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Thursday, June 26, 2008


It turns out that when I nest, it isn't by cleaning or setting up the baby's room (which will be our room for the first six months). We have tons of baby things, there isn't a whole lot more for me to arrange, as we know the routine of what we'll do and where she'll go. However, I have been cooking and making cleaning supplies for some time. I just finished a double batch of the granola recipe I posted here. In the last few weeks, I've made fabric softener, laundry detergent and glass cleaner. I'm trying to finish Amira's pillow and the new baby's dress in the next 12 days. I have been doubling and freezing meals, making tons of extra bread, and still have a batch of yogurt, some chocolate syrup and some "grape nuts" to make.

I found this recipe in a farm magazine. To fill our container, I would make 3/4 of the author's recipe, which is about three times the recipe I'll post below. I use real maple syrup and not flavoring when I make this. I'll also post my chocolate syrup recipe, which I modified from Martha Stewart Living.

Homemade Fake Grapenuts
2 1/3 cups brown sugar (or 7 cups)
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or 10 1/4 cups)
1/4 teaspoon salt (or 3/4 teaspoon)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda (or 4 1/2 teaspoons/1 1/2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup (or 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 4 1/2 teaspoons/1 1/2 tablespoons)
1 quart of cream, give or take, (or about 3 quarts of cream)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease cake pans.

Mix all dry ingredients, except baking soda, in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle, and pour in three quarters of the cream. Dissolve the baking soda in this puddle. Add flavorings and mix together until all flour is wet. Add more cream as needed. Do not over mix. The dough will be quite thick, with no spots of dry flour left.

Fill greased cake pans no more than half full and bake until a toothpick comes out dry, this should take about 40-50 minutes, but check on them starting at 30 minutes. Invert cake pans on a rack to cool slightly. While they are still warm, wrap them in plastic bags and let stand overnight.

The next morning, break the cakes in chunks and rub through the medium holes on your grater, or through 1/4 inch hardware cloth, to crumble the cakes .

Dry the crumbs in a moderate oven, 275-300 F, until dry and crunchy, stirring often.

Store in airtight containers.

Chocolate Syrup

1 1/2 cups unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
2 1/2 cups water
4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Bring cocoa powder and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in sugar and salt until both are dissolved. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add chocolate, stir until it is melted. Whisk well until mixture is completely smooth. Take off heat. Stir in vanilla. Let cool 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for at least three months. Stir before serving.

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It may be because I haven't had my coffee yet this morning, but in your recipe for the "grapenuts", there is no baking soda listed. It's mentioned in the directions, but no amount. How much do I need? I think this would be fun to try.

Thanks- ~Becky
Thanks for the chocolate syrup recipe! I've been looking for one.
Where do you get Dutch process cocoa powder? Do you just buy it at a supermarket, or do you have to go to a specialty store? I found some once at a local supermarket, but I haven't been able to find it again.
Becky, I did forget to put the baking soda in the recipe. I'll correct that in the post, too. It's 1 1/2 teaspoons on the small batch and 4 1/2 teaspoons or 1 1/2 tablespoons on the larger batch.

Kris, Hershey's makes dutch process cocoa. It used to say it on the packaging more clearly, now I think it says special dark on it. If you really want to make it over the top, King Arthur Flours has a black cocoa that is the darkest I've ever run across. This recipe is definitely not more frugal than store bought (especially when I can buy the giant jug at Cash and Carry) the way the granola and yogurt and most of those are, but it is so much better, and we save money in so many other places that I'm willing to pay for it here.
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