The unveiling of the Bake Off
When it comes to preparing local food, there can be a lot of pressure to make something healthy. But leafy greens aren’t the only way to incorporate local food into your routine. With summer coming and more fruit coming in to season, we decided to hold a spring bake-off in our offices to try out some new recipes with foods offered at our farmers markets and on Market Mobile.
A bake-off brings people together around food- whether it’s at work, church or any other gathering. A theme is often a good idea to help encourage people to try new things, and we decided to stick close to home- any Rhode Island product available at the winter farmers market or through our Market Mobile ordering system was fair game! This opened us up to use Maine Grains flour and oats, eggs from local farmers, Rhody Fresh butter and cream, frozen berries from Schartner Farms last season, carrots, and jams and preserves hearkening back to last summer.
Trying new recipes can be daunting…but really it’s all about how you “market” it to your friends and family. Granola bars fell apart? Voila- help yourself to some of my patented granola candy. Pia once made apple muffins that were delicious, but small, lumpy and chewy. After propping a note up next to them that read “Apple Dumplings” people told her that they were the best apple dumplings they had ever eaten! Working with different ingredients, especially local ones, can change your recipe’s outcome a bit, but we think that it’s all for the better. Here are some of our experiments and family recipes to share!
Here are some of the goodies, with recipes and photos attached.
Chaos Carrot Cake *Gluten Free!
Kim’s gluten free carrot cake was gone before a picture could be taken!
1/2 cup canola oil, plus canola oil spray for the pan
3 eggs from Little Rhody Farms in Foster, RI
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons almond meal
1 cup + 2 tablespoons grated carrots from Schartner Farm in Exeter, RI
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup crystallized ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8’ springform cake pan with parchment paper. Coat the sides with a sheen of canola oil or spray.
Mix sugar and oil in a large bowl and add eggs, one at a time, mixing to combine. Stir in almond meal, carrots, spices, raisins, ginger and salt.
Pour mixture into the cake pan. Level batter with a spoon if necessary. Bake for 1 hour or until top is golden brown and firm to the touch.
Allow to cool before removing from the pan to frost serve.
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces whipped cream cheese, softened
4 Tablespoons salted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place softened, room temperature cream cheese in a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, beat on medium speed, gradually adding butter until smooth and well blended.
Sift in confectioners sugar, and continue beating until smooth.Add vanilla and mix to combine for another 30 seconds.
Load frosting into a piping bag and swirl onto carrot cake in a vortex swirl, starting in the middle of the cake and working your way out to the edges
Rye’s Famous Granola Bars adapted from inspiredtaste.net
The last bites of Rye’s Famous Granola Bars by our Bakin’ Angel
2 1/2 cups (230 grams) old fashioned rolled oats from Maine Grains in Skohegan, Maine
1/2 cup (80 grams) whole almonds, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup (113 grams) maple syrup from Bats of Bedlam farm in Chaplin, CT
1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup (50 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (60 grams) dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (67 grams) mini chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom and sides of a 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil. Then lightly oil or spray with cooking spray.
Toast Oats and Nuts
Add oats and almonds to a small baking sheet then bake 5 minutes, stir and bake another 3 to 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Transfer to a large bowl.
Prepare Granola Bars
Combine butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract and the salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves.
Pour butter mixture in to bowl with toasted oats and almonds. Mix well. Let cool about 5 minutes then add cranberries and a 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips. Stir to combine. (The chocolate chips will most likely melt a little. This is fine, they turn into glue and help to hold the bars together).
Transfer oat mixture to lined pan then use a rubber spatula or damp finger tips to firmly press the mixture into the pan. (Press hard here, this way the bars will stay together once cooled and cut — We press for about one minute to be extra safe).
Scatter remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips over pressed granola mixture then use a rubber spatula to gently press them into the top. Cover then refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Remove block of granola mixture from pan then peel away aluminum foil. Cut into 12 bars.
Store bars in an airtight container for up to one week. For the softest bars, keep at room temperature. For slightly harder bars, store in the fridge.
Chocolate Chip Crisp-wiches adapted from Minimalist Baker
A collage of the chipwich process, thanks Mikayla!
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg from Baffoni’s Farms in Johnston, RI
1 cup + 2 Tbsp gluten free baking mix*
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Using a mixer, cream butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl.
Add egg and vanilla and beat again until well combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
Add gluten free baking mix in two batches and mix again. It won’t be so thick that you can’t continue mixing it, but it should appear “doughy.”
Stir in chocolate chips, cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4-6 hours until thoroughly chilled. You should be able to roll the dough into balls before baking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Once chilled, scoop out rounded Tablespoon amounts of dough, roll them into balls and place them 2 inches apart on a baking sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are just slightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to several days. Freezer for longer term storage. (They taste just as good the 2nd and 3rd day as they hold their texture/flavor well.)
Nutella Ganache (for the middle of the crispwich-sandwich)
1 1/2 cup Nutella Hazelnut Spread
1 cup chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons heavy cream from Rhody Fresh in Foster, RI
Mix all ingredients together slowly over a double boiler on the stovetop, set aside and let cool before pressing together between the chipwich!
Berry Scones adapted from Smitten Kitchen
The most important part of the scones! Schartner Farms berries
Makes 12 to 16, depending on how you cut them
2 3/4 cup pastry flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder*
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 ounces of butter, in 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup fruit, I used Schartner Farms blueberries & strawberries
3/4 cup buttermilk or light cream from Rhody Fresh in Foster, RI
Turbinado or sanding sugar for sprinkling (optional, not in the original recipe)
Preheat oven to 375°.
Place cubed butter in freezer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, measure other ingredients (except buttermilk and fruit) and mix in the bowl of a food processor.
Add butter to processor bowl and mix until the butter and flour mixture are the texture of coarse cornmeal. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a mixer and add buttermilk and fruit, mixing on the lowest speed until the dough just comes together.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently a couple times. Roll dough out to approximately one-inch thickness and cut into squares. Cut those squares again on the diagonal, creating triangles. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if you’re using it.
Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned.
Crumbly Oatbars with Blueberry and Raspberry Jam adapted from allrecipes.com
A small view of the spread including Oat Bars, Scones, and Chipwiches
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam, Hannah also used blueberry jam from Schartners Farm in Exeter, RI
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 8 inch square pan, and line with greased foil.
Combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and rolled oats. Rub in the butter using your hands or a pastry blender to form a crumbly mixture. Press 2 cups of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the jam to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the top, and lightly press it into the jam.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.
We hope you enjoy these recipes at your next bake-off!