by Lara Ferroni
If you're like me, you love to bake from scratch. And, even though I do bake a lot of desserts, I still find myself buying snacks, too. My younger son loves nothing more than snacking on a Little Debbie cake. But, I love the idea of being able to prepare any snack or dessert that I want from scratch right here in my very own kitchen. I've found the perfect cookbook for that, Real Snacks by Lara Ferroni.
In the first section of the cookbook, Real Sweet, the author covers snack cakes, cookies, frozen treats and confections. Whether you're a Twinkie, Ring Ding, or Hostess Cupcake fan, you're covered here and along with the traditional recipe, you'll find gluten-free and vegan options, too. My weakness is powdered doughnuts so I was happy to find a recipe for Mini Cake Doughnuts.
There's something so fun about the idea of making your own snacks. Wouldn't your kids love to help you make homemade animal crackers, graham crackers, moon pies, creme-filled chocolate cookies (aka Oreos) and vanilla wafers? There are some cookies that I consider adult treats such as figgy cookies (Newtons), chocolate and orange wafers (Milanos), and Chocolate Mint Wafers (think Girl Scouts). And, for those of you who like a little extra sweetness, try caramel corn, chocolate toffee bars, and yogurt-covered raisins.
My husband and older son are all about the salty snacks. I'm excited at the prospect of making my own crackers: cheesy fish, butter crackers, and wheat crackers. Chips are covered, too, from potato chips and corn chips to nacho cheese tortilla chips and crunchy cheese puffs. The cookbook also includes a chapter on dips because what would a chip be without dip?
The cookbook ends with a various assortment of snacks such as corn nuts, hot pockets, and potato sticks and tots. There are also various "pantry" recipes so that you'll never have to make a last minute run to the grocery story. Yes, you can make your own sweetened condensed milk, chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, marshmallow creme, and chocolate hazelnut spread. And, again, all recipes include gluten-free and vegan options.
So, if you're like me and want to make more of your own snacks from scratch, then Real Snacks could be the cookbook you've been waiting for.
Mini Cake Doughnuts
Mini Cake Doughnuts
from Real Snacks
1/2 cup white spelt or all-purpose flour
1/4 cup rye flour or whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup barley flour or all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup cane sugar
Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Semisweet chocolate, tempered or melted, or powdered sugar, for coating
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a mini doughnut pan.
Sift the white spelt, rye, barley, and baking powder together. Whisk in the sugar, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, vanilla, and egg. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not overmix or your doughnuts may be rubbery.
Fill each doughnut cup 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full with the batter. You can do this with a spoon, but I prefer using a piping bag to fill each cup evenly and cleanly. It's important not to overfill or as the doughnuts rise, you'll lose the hole. Bake until the doughnuts spring back when touched, 6 to 10 minutes depending on the size of your doughnut pan. Let cool completely on a wire rack; then dip in melted chocolate or dust with powdered sugar.
For more information or to find a retailer, visit http://www.randomhouse.com/book/219293/real-snacks-by-lara-ferroni.
Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with a review copy of the cookbook; however, the opinion expressed here is my own.