Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mock Toffee

Mock Toffee was my comfort food of choice during the final month of pregnancy, and has also proven to be my comfort food of choice in the postpartum period! I can't get enough of it, especially when I spread cream cheese on in. So delicious! Lately I have been making it without nuts due to some nut allergies in our family, and it's just as tasty without the nuts. Here's the recipe:

Mock Toffee

1 c. brown rice syrup

1/2 c. butter
Midel graham crackers (or homemade)
grain-sweetened chocolate chips

pecan pieces (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line large cookie sheet with foil, butter heavily; Place crackers side by side to cover cookie sheet.

2. Combine butter and brown rice syrup in a saucepan and heat until they boil and bubble. Pour immediately over crackers; Bake 10-12 minutes.

3. Remove from oven and sprinkle surface with chocolate chips. Allow to sit for about one minute, then spread chocolate around with a spatula until all the crackers are coated. If using nuts, sprinkle over chocolate and press into chocolate with spatula.

4. Allow to cool and harden in refrigerator.

5. When cool, break into pieces and enjoy!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Agave Nectar

I've had several people ask me for more information about agave in recent months. For a great overview about agave, I recommend reading Debra Lynn Dadd's write up on it here.

Agave is one of my favorite natural sweeteners because it tastes very much like sugar in recipes. It is a liquid, so it does behave a bit differently than granulated sugar. I usually use 3/4 c. agave for every 1 c. sugar in a recipe. Sometimes I'll go as low as 1/2 c. agave per 1 c. sugar, but I tend to prefer things less sweet.

I also like agave because it doesn't spike insulin the way refined sugars do.

As for where to get agave, you can find it at health food stores, but it's expensive. The cheapest way we have found to buy it is to order a case of it from Amazon. We usually buy Madhava Raw Agave Nectar. You can also order in bulk from Agavebythecase. On that site you enter in the products you are interested in buying and they e-mail you a quote for how much it would cost, shipping included.

At this time, according to Debra Lynn Dadd, Mexico is the only country that produces agave nectar (some have asked if it's possible to find agave produced in the U.S.).