Italian Day of the Dead Treats

Pan dei Morti

I’d almost forgotten about these seasonal cookies that show up this time of year in Italian bakeries and I admit, this recipe is a work in process. I’ll be fiddling with it until I get it right. The recipe I used was from an Italian website, hence the metric measurments. The result was good, but not quite as good as I remembered them. One thing for sure, out of the two batches I made, one in the gas oven due to clouds and the other in the Sun Oven, the latter was far superior. These cookies should be moist and chewy, the gas oven batch was too dry.

Pan dei Morti

Ingredients

150 grams (about 5-oz or 3/4 cup) raisins, set to soak in warm water

250 grams (about 9-oz) Italian lady fingers (savoiardi)

80 grams (about 3-oz) blanched almonds

150 (about 5-oz) all-purpose flour

150 grams (5-oz) sugar

20 grams (about 1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

100 grams (about 3.5-oz) dried figs

50 grams (about 2-oz) pine nuts

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

About 1/4 cup sweet white wine or water

Powdered sugar

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line baking racks or sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats.

Use a food processor to to grind the ladyfingers to a fine meal and transfer to a large bowl. Grind the almonds in the same processor and add to the ground lady fingers. Mix in the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon baking powder. Use the processor to chop finely chop the figs and add them to the bowl. Drain the raisins, squeezing out excess liquid, and add to the bowl along with the pine nuts. Use your hands to mix in the egg whites and slowly add the wine until the dough forms, it should have the consistency of rolled cookie dough. Break off golf ball sized pieces of dough and flatten the into an oval shaped cookie on a lightly floured work surface. Bake the cookies in the Sun Oven 20 to 30 minutes. Cool on racks. Store in airtight containers. Dust with powdered sugar before servings.

Makes about 18 cookies.

 

Solar Oatmeal Cookies with Bananas

Banana Cookies

These cookies are very moist. Almost a cross between a cookie and banana bread. And a good use of any over ripe bananas you might have on hand.

Sun Oven Banana Oatmeal Cookies

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Banana Oatmeal Cookies by Life Love and Sugar)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cornstarch

3/4 cup butter, at room temperature

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg, at room temperature, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup mashed very ripe bananas

3 cups old-fashioned oats

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line baking racks or rimmed baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until smooth. Slowly beat in the egg and bananas. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the oats. Spoon the batter by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared baking racks. Stack the racks (or cross-stack the rimmed baking sheets) and bake until the top layer is just starting to brown, about 2o minutes. Remove top layer and continue baking remaining layers until browning, 3 to 4 additional minutes per layer. Cool cookies on racks.

Makes about 34 cookies

 

Guinness World Record Using Solar Ovens

The most cookies baked in one hour using solar ovens is 1,225, achieved by Miami Country Day School (USA), in Miami, Florida, USA, on 20 April 2012.

The cookies were cooked by students, parents and teachers in an event organized by student Matthew Cohen to honor Earth Day. The cookies were donated to the Feeding South Florida food bank and the ovens were donated to Help Brings Hope to Haiti. Fifty Global Sun Ovens® and two Villager Sun Ovens® were used to bake the cookies. Photos: http://powerfromthesun.us/Guinness recors

Guinness record

Baking Cookies in the Sun Oven® in January

is a cookie recipe floating around Facebook that has no wheat or added sugar. I had three really ripe bananas that desperately needed to be used so I thought I’d give the recipe a try.  The sun was shining, mostly, with an air temperature of 35º F, so we set up our SunOven®.

Ingredients

3 mashed bananas (ripe)

1/3 cup apple sauce

2 cups oats

1/4 cup coconut (or almond) milk

1/2 cup raisins

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

chocolate chips (optional)

Stir together and place on parchment paper on cookie racks that come with the oven

Bake at 350º for 15-20 minutes

The oven temperature dropped while I was stacking the racks, so I cooked them for forty minutes, which allowed time for the oven to get back to temperature. Yummy! Bet you can’t eat just one.

solar cookies

photo courtesy RustyBuggy.com

Billie Nicholson 2014

Solar Breakfast Bars

Oatmeal Banana Bars

Here’s a good way to take your oatmeal on the go. These breakfast bars are sweet enough even without any added sugar, but I might sneak a little maple syrup into my next batch.

Sun Oven Baked Oatmeal Bars

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Hillbilly Recipes)

Ingredients

3 medium ripe bananas

2 cups old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 cup raisins

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line a baking pan with parchment paper, set aside.

In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a potato masher or fork. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared baking pan.

Bake in the Sun Oven until firm and starting to brown, about 40 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Use the parchment paper to lift it out of the pan. Let cool completely before cutting into 16 bars.

 

 

Lighter Solar Treats for the New Year

Perfect for this time of year when just about everyone is trying to shed a few pounds, these bar cookies are a lighter twist on one of my favorite solar baked goodies. The more decadent version can be found here.

Sun Oven Raspberry Bars

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Weight Watchers In One Pot Cookbook)

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped

1 large egg

1/4 cup canola oil

Read more »

Macaroons Made Easy

I try to keep almonds and candied cherries in the pantry just so I can make a batch of these macaroons whenever I have a craving for them.

Sun Oven Almond Macaroons

Ingredients

1 cup whole almonds, blanched

2/3 cup sugar

1 large egg white

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Solar Baked Maple Cookies

Normally I would use a maple leaf shaped cutter for these cookies but the shamrock seemed more appropriate for this time of year.

Sun Oven Maple Cookies

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

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Solar Spicy Molasses Cookies

When baking cookies in the Sun Oven there are three things to keep in mind: adjust the tilt of the Sun Oven before putting the cookies in the cooking chamber, use rimmed baking sheets, and set a timer. Due to the high fat content of cookies they can easily slide off the pans. Getting the leveling tray as flat as possible and a rimmed baking sheet (or the rim of the dehydrating racks) will stop that from happening. The cooking time is short enough that you won’t have to readjust the tilt while they’re baking. The fat content also make cookies one of the few foods that can burn in the Sun Oven. A timer will solve that problem. You don’t need the dehydrating rakes to bake drop cookies but they make it a lot easier.

Sun Oven Molasses Cookies

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

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Solar Breakfast Bars

Now that we live in the L.A. area long commutes are becoming a part of life. What should be a 20 minute trip can take an hour (on a good day) or more. Easy to eat, fun snacks like these oatmeal bars help make sitting in traffic a little more bearable. This recipe is pretty basic. It can be jazzed up with mix-ins such as chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or dried fruit.

Ingredients

3 cups old-fashioned oats

2/3 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 egg, beaten

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corin