Today we have an entrant for the final course of the Diced! competition. This round includes ingredients that are vegan friendly. Contestants were encouraged to add any additional ingredients they wished (even non-vegan ones). Contestants were instructed to create or find a recipe for a dessert course containing the following ingredients: pineapple, dark chocolate, and oats. They were instructed to make their dish and create a blog post about it, including pictures. You can help determine who advances to the next round. After the last post, I will post a poll where you can vote for contestants to move on. Vote for the post you like the best. You can vote because of the inventiveness, the yummyness, the use of ingredients, the quality of the writing and pictures or for any other reason. The poll will be active for one week only. Check back and vote. In the event of a tie, the Ranting Chef will choose who advances. More information about Diced! can be found here.
Due to the generosity of the following companies, we have some really awesome products as a prize to the winner of this Diced! competition. The winner will receive:
- Zak – The winner receives their choice of a four piece setting or set of three serving bowls from their new Moso line. This is made from biodegradable bamboo and comes in a choice of four stylish colors. Look for a review of this product in the near future. Check them out here.
- Chobani – The leading brand in Greek Yogurt, the winner will receive a case of their choice of flavor of Greek yogurt. I’ve been using quite a bit of Chobani in my cooking lately and love it. Look for those recipes soon. Check out the selection at: http://chobani.com/products
- Microplane – Microplane will provide the winner with four items: Microplane Elite Series Fine Grater, Home Series Coarse Grater, Bartender’s Garnishing Tool, Cut-Resistant Glove. I recently reviewed these products here. Check out their products at their facebook page: www.facebook.com/microplane
- Youcopia – Maker of organization products, they would like to offer the winner a choice of a product from their web site. I recently reviewed the Bake Stack.
Today’s contestant, Naomi has been a guest blogger here before. In one of her first posts I had envy over her immersion blender which makes an appearance once again. Check out Naomi’s other posts on the Guest Blogger tab above and her entry below….
Many, if not all, of us probably know the expression my eyes were bigger than my stomach. My and my family’s experience of this round of Diced! was like that. Except for us, it was time we imagined having more of.
When we received the exciting news that we had made it to Round 3 – the Finals! – and received the ingredient list we imagined all sorts of different recipes. With the required oats, pineapple and dark chocolate, various members of my family envisioned making: parfait with homemade granola, my Grandmother’s pineapple upside-down cake (but with oat flour), a cake decorated with fondant, blintzes, crepes, something that would involve our chocolate fountain, and the list goes on.
Then the voice of practicality came: make it (relatively) simple and quickly. And the winning suggestion came from my husband: cookies.
When my husband I were in graduate school we were dorm advisors and used to host a drop-in party every other Friday night. I would bake blondies and brownies each week. Then I started baking a second set that was dairy-free for some of the students.
This round of Diced! took my cookies to a new level. I’ve baked oatmeal cookies before, but saw this as an opportunity to be creative and load them up. In addition to dried pineapple and dark chocolate chips, I decided to add craisins and coconut.
Tropical Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, beaten
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups rolled oats
¾ cup craisins
¾ cup dried pineapple, chopped
¾ cup dark chocolate chips
½ coconut flakes
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Mix the wet ingredients (butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla and eggs)
3. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, oats)
4. Combine wet and dry ingredients
5. Add craisins, pineapple, dark chocolate chips and coconut flakes
6. Place spoonfuls on greased cookie sheet (or used a nonstick silicone baking sheet that requires no greasing)
8. Let cookies cool. Looks yummy.
- We added an extra step: dipping the cookies in dark chocolate. I bought Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate (probably because of my California roots) and microwaved it for one minute.
- I stirred the melted chocolate and was ready to dip.
The end result? We loved them. My husband wondered out loud how come people don’t tend to bake with dried pineapple more often. We found that the dried fruit (pineapple and craisins) both baked well and even came out somewhat juicy. And they tasted heavenly with the oats, chocolate and coconut flakes.