Bob’s Red Mill’s Second Annual Spar for the Spurtle Oatmeal Recipe Contest

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Bob’s Red Mill has kicked off their Spar for the Spurtle 2 Oatmeal Recipe Contest, which invites home cooks and professional chefs alike to submit videos demonstrating a unique recipe that makes use of Bob’s Red Mill’s Steel Cut Oats – the World’s Best Oatmeal. From the entries, three finalists will be flown to Portland, Ore. to compete in a live cook-off. The winner of the cook-off will receive an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Scotland, including $2,500 in cash, to help represent team Bob’s Red Mill in the 19th Annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship!

The deadline to submit entries in the Spar for the Spurtle contest is July 20, 2012. Full details and images are available in the press release

For additional information and real time Spar for the Spurtle updates now through October 6, 2012 also can be found on the contest website, and Bob’s Red Mill’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

Check it out! =)

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Quinoa Cupcakes

“That’s why I bake. To fill fairies with goodness.”

And it was true, she realized. She didn’t run the kitchen just to boss other fairies around. She didn’t give orders just to make herself feel important. Well, at least she wouldn’t anymore. No. The day before, she hadn’t missed that part of her job at all. She had missed the baking. She had missed creating something for others to enjoy.

And, oh, how she wanted to go back to work!”
― Gail Herman, Dulcie’s Taste of Magic

Tonight I worked with a new ingredient – quinoa flour. Bob’s Red Mill Organic Quinoa Flour is what I used to make Sour Cream Fudge Cupcakes.

Organic Quinoa Flour (pronounced keen-wa) is the most nutritious grain available. It is also one of the oldest cultivated grains in the world. Quinoa is high in protein, calcium and iron. Use this delicate flour when baking. You can substitute this flour for half of the all-purpose flour in many recipes or completely replace wheat flour in cakes and cookie recipes.

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I began by bringing water and butter to a boil then whisking in cocoa powder.

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Then sift the quinoa flour with sugar (I used brown sugar), baking powder, baking soda and salt.

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I separated 2 eggs. The yolks were poured into the flour mix while the egg whites go into the mixer to be beaten.

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As the egg whites get beaten, I add vanilla and sour cream along with cocoa mix to the flour bowl and give it a quick swirl by hand.

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We are waiting for the egg whites to become stiff but not dry. Something like so:

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Then we add to the rest of the batter and gently fold in.

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Once all the ingredients are incorporated, we spoon evenly into the cupcake tin. The batter is light and fluid but not runny. It is very easy to pour. This batter would probably make a nice cake too.

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Oven ready. 370 for 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

I can smell that familiar cocoa smell. Heavenly. Ding goes the timer and we have the final product…

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These cupcakes are light and fluffy. Most likely as a result of beating the egg whites as opposed to just adding the eggs straight as well as the quinoa flour which is delicate. Not only nutritious, the quinoa flour creates a tender moist cupcake. The cocoa flavour is not the dominant taste nor is it sweet. There is a very distinct taste that tells you the cupcakes are not made with just ordinary ingredients. It is a nutty flavour of sorts, very subtle. I think I like it. =)

Bob’s Red Mill Part I – Apple Blueberry Granola

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Composed of whole grain oats, rice flour, oat flour and barley malt with unsulfured dried apples, natural blueberry flavor, sweetened with mixed fruit concentrate – pineapples, pears, peaches – and evaporated cane sugar, Bob’s Red Mill Apple Blueberry Granola makes a great healthy cereal. I could very easily throw this stuff into a bowl, pour on some milk and chow down, but, I’ve decided to go a step further. I’m baking cookies!

Mill Favorite Granola Cookies

I opened the bag of granola and the fragrant scent of apples hit my senses. Big clusters of granola that when eaten show off the hint of blueberry flavour.

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First off, I creamed butter, brown sugar, an egg and vanilla in the mixer.

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In the wings waited a flour mixture – pastry flour, all purpose flour and baking soda. Once the butter mixture was smoothed out, in went the flour for a quick spin.

I then added the granola. The recipe called for chopped dried apricots and some nuts. I had dried currants on hand, so substituted them for the apricots. I then also added some slivered almonds and mixed by hand

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Prepped for the oven.

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15 minutes later we have golden brown granola cookies.

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Crispy edges and chewy insides after cooling them for a few minutes. That blueberry flavour still stands out and the currants are a nice touch. Using Bob’s Red Mill Apple Blueberry Granola to make cookies adds great texture and creates a nice hearty cookie that would probably taste amazing with a glass of milk. =)