27 May 2008

Book Review: Food 2.0

Charlie Ayers, former chef of search giant (and Blogger originator, for that matter) Google, has published "Food 2.0," a really useful cookbook packed with tips, recipes, and amusing stories. The dishes are as diverse as the employees at Google, but always healthy (or at least using whole, fresh ingredients). The recipes are very easy to follow and pretty simple to prepare. Those lucky ducks at Google!

The photo above is of the Coconut-Oatmeal Squares with Chocolate Chips recipe from "Food 2.0" that I've altered for this blog. I didn't fiddle with it too much so that I could get a true feeling for how Charlie's squares would taste. Aside from using agave instead of sugar, I substituted unsweetened carob chips for the chocolate chips, and added a small amount of coconut flour to account for the extra liquid.

Although I enjoyed the square I tasted (as did my regular Monday night tasters club), I'd probably noodle around with the recipe a bit more next time. For instance, I'd start by veganizing it, using oil for the butter and ommitting the egg. I'd definitely add some chopped nuts and substitute whole wheat pastry flour for the white flour. Finally, I'd add a touch more vanilla and some freshly grated nutmeg. Because the prep and cook time for this recipe is so short, I would definitely make these again soon (with the alterations noted above).

For now, here's the recipe as I made it:

(Inspired by Charlie Ayers' recipe for Coconut-Oatmeal Squares with Chocolate Chips, published in "Food 2.0.")


1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup dried, unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/2 cup unsweetened carob chips
6 tablespoons melted butter cooled to room temperature
1 large egg beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a small baking pan (I used 7 x 11 in., the original called for 8 in. square) with parchment paper, using weights to make sure the paper stays put.
2. Sift together the flours, baking powder and salt.
3. Stir in the remaining dry ingredients until well combined.
4. Whisk together the butter, egg, and vanilla.
5. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, making sure not to over mix the dough.
6. Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan (of course, taking the weights out first).
7. Bake until just golden brown on the top (about 20 - 25 mins).
8. Using the parchment paper, pull the finished cookie flat out of the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Makes about 16 cookies, depending on how wide your cuts are.


Anonymous said...

These sound good (though your suggestions make them better, I'm sure). I've been wondering about the unsweetened chips you use. I know that carob has a slightly sweet taste on its own, but how are they in the baked goods? Would anyone notice they're not sweetened when they bite into the bar as a whole?

Deb Schiff said...

That's a great question, Ricki! Thank you for asking.

What I've heard from my tasters is that in baked goods, the unsweetened chips remind them of dark chocolate. Albeit, they don't melt the way chocolate chips do.

In brownies, it's a different story because I use them melted with a fat to achieve the "brownie-ness."

Hope that helps!