We’ve been eating mostly vegan lately. It all started with that Quantum Wellness Cleanse, and I felt so good I just didn’t want to go back. The other day, though, our good friend Ronna stopped by with a dozen eggs for us. Ronna raises a few chickens in her yard. Let me tell you, these are some spoiled chickens. Of course they have the run of the yard. That’s to be expected. But, in the winter, there’s always at least one that winds up living in Ronna’s house with her. The oldest, saddest chicken gets the glory. This winter, she had two in there. And this spring, they’re rewarding her (and us) with beautiful brown eggs, with thick shells and deep saffron yolks. I don’t think I’ll ever turn down a dozen of Ronna’s chicken eggs.
About the same time, another friend sent me home with a couple of pounds of walnuts. It seems a local restaurant closed and gave all their leftover food to a local food pantry where she worked. Some things, due to packaging and health restrictions, couldn’t be used for the food pantry, and she wound up with a commercial-sized bag of walnuts. She loves walnuts as much as the next person, but 6 pounds seemed a bit much. So I reaped the benefit there, too.
Walnuts and eggs…walnuts and eggs…what to do with them.
In a third stroke of serendipity, I had just picked up a new cookbook – The Best Ever Wheat and Gluten Free Baking Book by Mary Ann Wenniger with Mace Wenniger. I’d yet to make anything from it, so I started flipping through it and happened on her walnut squares recipe. 4 eggs? Check. A cup of walnuts? Check. Yep, this sounds like a winner. And oh what a winner it is. Light and fluffy and slightly sweet – they’re a hit with everyone in the family. I did make a couple of tweaks (don’t I always?) which are noted below in the recipe. I’m sure I’ll be baking more from this book, and you’ll be hearing more from me on the subject soon.
The Best Ever Wheat and Gluten Free Baking Book (with slight adaptations)
1 cup (100 g) plain California walnuts
2 T. potato starch
2 1/2 t. GF baking powder
1/2 cup (150 g) sugar (I used palm sugar here)
1 t. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325°. Grease one 8 inch square baking pan. (I lined the pan with a piece of parchment that hung over 2 sides.) Place walnuts, potato starch and baking powder in the blender and blend until finely ground. (I used a food processor.) Add eggs, sugar and vanilla and continue blending until mixture is smooth. Pour into greased pan. Bake at 325° for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from pan and bake for another 20 minutes at 225°. (Here’s where that parchment came in handy. I just loosened the 2 edges and lifted the parchment out and set the whole thing on a cookie sheet. I’m not sure how it would work otherwise.) When cool, cut int squares and add frosting. (I did not cut them into squares before adding frosting.)
A Quick Frosting
7-8 counces (200-225 g) GF semisweet chocoloate
1/2 cup (112 g) butter (I used coconut oil.)
1/2 t. GF vanilla extract
Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Add butter and vanilla. Beat until thick. Add chopped nuts. Spread on cake.
Nutritional Analysis: Assuming 12 squares per pan, each has 176 calories, 11.9 g fat, 2.4 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate, 1 g dietary fiber.
Note that the yield on the walnut squares was 12 and the yield on the frosting recipe was 24. So, I cut the frosting recipe in half. I still felt like it was more frosting than was needed. Mine also never got really thick – probably because coconut oil has a lower melting temp than butter and my coconut oil basically melted in the chocolate. If I were to do it again, I’d make a whipped ganache of chocolate and coconut milk (recipe for that on another day).