rich

Sweet Ambrosia Cookies

Ambrosia: The food of the gods. It is said the consumption of ambrosia results in immortality.

Recipe: Sweet Ambrosia Cookies

I can't promise immortality, though I will say these honey-sweetened aromatic cookies are pretty satisfying and delicious :-) Inspired by Tahini Oatmeal Walnut Cookies, these are made with sweet nutty sunflower seed butter, which is abundant in these parts (and for some, easier to digest than tahini). Rich and healthy, these gems also contain oats, pecans, coconut, vanilla and cinnamon. These cookies happen to be vegan and wheat-free/gluten-free - they're really quick and easy to make too!

rich dark chocolate spread


As a child, I absolutely loved spreading nutella on my toast. These days, I'm more into dark chocolate, as well as natural healthy whole ingredients. I came up with this exquisite silky dark chocolate spread to satisfy my craving:
Recipe: Noir Chocolate Spread

It's perfect for slathering on toast, crackers, rice cakes, or for enjoying with strawberries or other fruit. This sweet decadent raw vegan treat is good for you too: rich in healthy omega-3 flax oil, full of antioxidant-rich cocoa, and sweetened with raw agave syrup.

The bread in the photo is gluten-free quinoa bread from Little Stream Bakery, a superb moist almost-cake-like sourdough bread, my current favorite :-)

Patty's Pumpkin Pudding Pie

They say that the smell of pumpkin pie baking in the oven is an aphrodisiac. They also say that it's good to bake one while you're having having an open-house to sell your home - chances of scoring are higher. I bake them often in the fall and winter, as they're the perfect seasonal dish (winter squash is one of the few vegetables that will keep for months), and they're supremely delicious.

Most days, I prefer making variations of this pumpkin pudding to a traditional pumpkin pie. Why? Because it's healthier (no refined ingredients or empty calories), quicker and easier to make - and I'm more into the filling than the crust. Here's my quintessential recipe: Patty's Pumpkin Pudding

Like a clafouti, this pudding makes it's own "crust" and is sliceable when cooled down. Beautifully spiced and rich, it can be embellished with a layer of crunchy caramelized nuts. This is an easy and flexible recipe where you can play with the ingredients and their proportions - so have some warm sexy winter baking fun!

ps - here are some tips on how-to take a classic pumpkin pie recipe and make it healthier - without compromising flavour: Hi there pumpkin pie!

Beautiful Burfi

Not too long ago, we ventured out east - east Toronto that is - and scored these gorgeous rich decadent Indian sweets.

Here's what's in the photo, starting in the upper left and going clockwise: carrot halva, caramel? burfi with pistachio and silver leaf, pistachio burfi, chocolate burfi, saffron burfi, almond burfi. Yum! I especially loved the carrot halva and the mysterious caramel-flavored silver leaf fudge.

Burfi (aka barfi) is basically Indian fudge, that's generally made with milk, ghee, sugar, nuts, chickpea flour, and spices. Interesting fact: most recipes don't contain eggs, and most are gluten-free - though this doesn't make these sugary-dairy-rich sweets health-food ;-)

Check out these (mostly) traditional Indian recipes for fudge (burfi, barfi), halva, and egg-free cakes.

Spicy Mayan Brownies

I came up with these super-rich fudgy spicy brownies a while back to satisfy my craving for chocolate and spice. Having a sweet spot for all things Mayan, I composed these using some traditional Mayan flavours: chocolate, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, anise, chilli, vanilla - yum! I also incorporated the healthy meso-American super-grain quinoa (I used red quinoa) as well as flax seeds - I don't think flax is Mayan, but it allowed me to avoid eggs in this recipe. I soaked my seeds to germinate/sprout them: super healthy and easier to puree. Though the high amount of cocoa, sprouted seeds, and spices would qualify these gluten-free vegan treats as healthy, the sucanat and butter (coconut oil works here for the vegan or dairy-free diets) bump these into the supremely rich and tasty side of healthy. I love these brownies + they are now officially my sweet-heart's new favorite brownies :-)

Recipe: Spicy Mayan Brownies

Panforte

Panforte cross-section
a chocolate version of the famous Italian fruitcake: Panforte

Yes - it's the holiday season. I've been busy making super-rich frighteningly tasty treats including my own version of the amazing sweet/spicy/chewy/bitter/nutty Italian cake/confection panforte (aka Sienna cake).

Some inspiring recipes for panforte:

I've read slightly different historical accounts of panforte - here's the Wikipedia's most recent write-up:

"Panforte is a traditional Italian dessert containing fruits and nuts, and resembling fruitcake or Lebkuchen. It may date back to 13th century Siena, in Italy's Tuscany region. Documents from 1205 show that Panforte was paid to the monks and nuns of a local monastery as a tax or tithe which was due on the seventh of February that year. Literally, Panforte means "strong bread" which refers to the spicy flavour. The original name of Panforte was "panpepato" (pepper bread), due to the strong pepper used in the cake. There are references to the Crusaders carrying Panforte, a durable confection, with them on their quests."

Currently there are many shops in Italy producing Panforte, each recipe being their jealously guarded interpretation of the original confection and packaged in distinctive wrapping. Usually a small wedge is served with coffee or a dessert wine after a meal, though some enjoy it with their coffee at breakfast."

(more history here)

ps - panforte is really really sweet so consume in moderation ;-)

Panforte discovery

In my search for an amazing fruitcake recipe, I came across panforte. Panforte, or "strong bread" is like the Italian version of fruitcake: very rich and full of nuts, honey, spices, citrus peel - more like a confection than cake.

Black Gold!

lack Gold
Super-rich fudgey mineral-dense Black Gold.

I've been craving rich mineral-dense food lately, so I concocted this satisfying and healthy confection. Quick and easy to make and no baking required. Minerals in this fudgey delight include: iron, copper, magnesium, calcium, zinc - not sure if there's actually gold in these though!

Recipe:
Black Gold

Get rich!

Chewy, sweet, and nutty

Chewy Oat Nut Cookies

My friend Meeshka sent me a recipe for some lovely little cookies.

These are pretty special: chewy, sweet, nutty, and delicious. They are also free of dairy, eggs, wheat, and refined sugar. They can also be gluten-free, if you use oats that have not been contaminated with wheat. Yes, these cookies are packed with flavour and nutrients - one could even call them healthy. Eater beware: consume in moderation - these cookies are rich!

Recipe: Tahini Oatmeal Walnut Cookies

Added bonus: quick and easy to make!