Tuesday, January 22, 2013
It was clean out the fridge day. Often when I am playing with new foods I tend to end up with a fridge full of leftovers and then I have to decide whether to cook with it, freeze it or toss it. To be honest I LOVE clean out the fridge day,because I get to be creative, and not worry about screwing anything up. If it turns out then Great, if it doesn't- no big loss. Everyone stands by waiting to see what in the world I will create on fridge clean out day, you never know if it is going to be some new amazing combination of foods, or a lesson learned!
I had a cup of sweet black bean paste(we love red bean paste and I decided to make my own with black beans. We are trying black beans with Abby and we find any complex fiber food is best if I cook, puree and cook again to help her digest)and a bit of tamarind paste for some reason I had it in my head it would be like a fig puree if I combined to the two. Actually it was tastier! Tangy and sweet and fruity it combined to make a terrific "jam" filling for your favorite cookie bar. If anything it reminded me most of a strawberry/rhubarb pie..
The other day I made the toasted coconut butter and I am desperate to get it out of my house- it was so tempting that I found myself thinking about it before I even had coffee this morning. Often when I have a cookie or pastry recipe I will combine coconut oil and grapeseed or palm shortening instead of just using one fat. So figured the coconut butter is mostly coconut fat so it would substitute nicely for the coconut oil I would ordinarily would have subbed half the oil with for any cookie recipe.
It turned out DELICIOUS! The thought of black beans and tamarind scared me at first too! I can imagine ya'll are shuddering, but I promise it was a great mix! You could use any bar crust you like and simply use this filling with it. We are actually thinking about making a gluten free fig newton but instead of fig for the filling we will us this odd mix. :-) We both thought maybe instead of jam we could use this filling with nofu butter or toasted coconut butter for a quick and very tasty replacement for Peanut butter and jelly.
1 cup sweet red bean paste(canned available at most asian markets) or sweet black bean paste
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract(if Abby could have almond, that would have been perfect!)
3 tablespoons tamarind paste(I use either the block or fresh tamarind. The block of tamarind is just tamarind pulp all mashed into a big sticky block. I use roughly measure 3 tablespoons of the pulp and mix 1 tablespoon of very hot water to it and stir a lot to make it into more of a "paste" vs chunks of sticky fruit.FYI-want for seeds!)
1⁄4 cup dairy-free milk (I used homemade rice milk but any "milk" would work)
1⁄4 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup toasted coconut butter melted(or increase the grapeseed oil to 1/2 cup instead)
3⁄4 cup sugar(still using domino's)
1 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract(homemade)
2 cups Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp baking powder(Hain's or homemade)
3/4 tsp salt(still using pink himalayan)
Preheat oven to 350
1. Grease 8x8 pan well.
2. In a medium sized bowl, mix sweet beans,sugar and tamarind well till smooth(as possible,some tamarind bits are fine)
3. In a large bowl, egg, rice milk, grapeseed oil,melted toasted coconut butter, sugar, and vanilla and a mix well until smooth. Sift or add in 1 1/2 flour, baking powder and salt and mix until a loose dough forms. Split dough. Pat 1/2 of the dough into the bottom of your greased pan and bake for 5-7 minutes just to set the cookie crust. To the remaining half of the dough, add the remaining 1/2 cup flour. It should be crumbly.(you can also add an extra dash of salt and a couple more tablespoons of sugar, but did not find it necessary.) If still too doughy, add addition flour tablespoon by tablespoon until crumbly.
4) when bottom crust is set, spoon the sweet bean and tamarind mix over it. Crumble the crumbly dough over the top of the tamarind bean mix. Cook for 22-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
6. Remove from oven, and cool. I find if you run a knife around the edge while bars are still hot it makes removing the bars when cool easier.