15 February 2009

A Plate Full of Happiness

From Feb 2009 Recipes and Product Reviews

One of my favorite blogs (food or otherwise) is Culinary in the Desert, by Joe. He and his partner, Jeff (and their GORGEOUS dogs) bake and cook the most amazing things. Recently, he made some homemade graham crackers adapted from an Alton Brown recipe. Because John only eats two of the cookies I make -- peanut butter cookies and graham crackers, I decided to give Joe's recipe a try. After all, every recipe I've tried from his site has turned out to be terrific.

Because you should really go visit Joe's site, I'll just tell you about the alterations I made to the recipe and about the cookies themselves. First, the alterations:

1. Substituted 3 oz of agave nectar for the dark brown sugar, golden syrup, and molasses.
2. I used 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon instead of 1/8 teaspoon because I like my graham crackers cinnamony.
3. I didn't actually use graham flour, but genuine whole wheat flour. Someday I will try it, but times being tight, I'm just going to use up what I have first.

From John's reaction, I probably could have used more agave. In my humble opinion, they were plenty buttery and sweet enough. He said the consistency of these was much closer to the store-bought kind than in the past. I explained that they're never going to be the same because 1. I don't use funny ingredients or shortening and 2. I don't use cane sugar.

From Feb 2009 Recipes and Product Reviews

Agave nectar just doesn't behave the same way that sugar does. It doesn't crystallize, and it doesn't give cookies the same kind of crunch that sugar does. There's no getting around it. However, it will do marvelous things for the flavor and moistness of baked goods. I'll just keep hacking away at it. At least he tried them.

In my estimation, they're very nice buttery, crisp cookies. I'd be happy, in fact, I'd be smiling as I served them. And now, the house smells delicious. Thanks, Joe!


Ricki said...

Aw, those smiley faces are SO cute! ;)

Amy said...

MMm, this sounds delicious! I'll have to give it a try.

Vegetation said...

My waistline is not thanking you for that link to such a delicious blog. My eyes and my tastebuds however are overjoyed ;)

I love your smiley face graham crackers! They're adorable (and they sound yummy!)

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks Ricki, Amy and Veg! And, my apologies to my vegan friends for not veganizing this recipe right off the bat. I'll work on it though.

Definitely visit Joe's blog. He has plenty of nice, healthy recipes in addition to the truly indulgent ones.

Alisa - Frugal Foodie said...

Those look sensational! I am heading over to Joe's blog now! Always fun to find fellow desert dwelling, food-loving bloggers :)

Anonymous said...

I love Joe's blog! It is far from vegan, but some things are more easily adaptable than others, and everything he makes looks so good I don't mind that it isn't vegan!

Your crackers are adorable and sound great! I was going to try to veganize the graham cracker recipe too!


Deb Schiff said...

Thanks Alisa and Courtney!

Alisa - Joe's not living in the desert any more, but you can always email him about it.

Courtney - While there are quite a few vegan blogs, the majority of us are non-vegans, but willing to try to veganize things and/or offer alternatives for our vegan friends. I'm always fascinated by the number of food bloggers who keep food specific or food allergy or food restrictive blogs.

Having been vegan and still eat veganly most of the time, I understand the discipline and consciousness the act of eating becomes. Further, with my own food restrictions regarding chocolate and sugar, I know intimately the challenges that playing around with recipes often brings.

Nevertheless, I will keep at it!

ConsiderEatz! said...

Homemade grahams, awesome! They are too cute with the faces :)

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks, CE. Just flipped my fork around and made smilie faces. Always a good way to cheer up the eater. Or myself. :)

Joe said...

Fantastic job on the grahams! I like the smiley faces!

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks, Joe! Thanks for visiting.

Kelly Ann said...

Hi Deb,

Thanks so much for your comment on Just a Taste. I will definitely have to try out another granola recipe using the barley flour. What a great suggestion! Best of luck to you and happy cooking!

Kelly Ann

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks, Kelly Ann. Happy cooking to you!

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Deb Schiff said...

Hi Alanna! Thanks for leaving a comment to let me know that you've been reading and enjoying my blog. I'm so glad!

Please come again soon.