Saturday, October 24, 2009

Chewy Chocolate-Oat Bars

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup (from 14-oz can) fat-free sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)

1 cup Gold Medal® whole wheat flour

1/2 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup canola or soybean oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup fat-free egg product

2 tablespoons old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats

2 teaspoons no-trans-fat stick margarine, softened*

1. In 1-quart heavy saucepan, heat chocolate chips and milk over low heat, stirring frequently, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth; set aside.

2. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with cooking spray.

3. In large bowl, mix flour, 1/2 cup oats, the baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In medium bowl, stir brown sugar, oil vanilla and egg product with fork until smooth; stir into flour mixture until blended. Reserve 1/2 cup dough in small bowl for topping.

4. Pat remaining dough in pan (if dough is sticky, spray fingers with cooking spray or lightly flour fingers). Spread chocolate mixture over dough. Add 2 tablespoons oats and the butter to reserved dough; mix with pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Drop small spoonfuls of oat mixture evenly over chocolate mixture.

5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until top is golden and firm. Cool completely, about 1 hour 30 minutes. For bars, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows. *Only use margarine with at least 65% vegetable oil.

Nutritional Information
1 Bar: Calories 160 (Calories from Fat 50); Total Fat 6g (Saturated Fat 1 1/2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 115mg; Total Carbohydrate 25g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 17g); Protein 3g % Daily Value*: Vitamin A 0%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 4%; Iron 4% Exchanges: 1 Starch; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 1 1/2 MyPyramid Servings: 1 tsp Fats & Oils, 1 oz-equivalents Grains
*% Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

God Is Love

"He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."
(1 John 4:8)

The simplest description of God is the Bible phrase "God is love." Everyone responds to love, and everything seems empty and pointless without it. Little wonder, then, that the Scripture also says, "He that loveth not knoweth not God." If God were truly known, love--not hate--would be the result.
The love of God is not merely a theoretical concept or a theological doctrine. "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10).
One of the first glimpses we have of God is when He was looking for Adam and Eve after their disobedience. One godly preacher noted, "When you read God's first question to man, 'Where art thou?' (Genesis 3:9), as though He were some sort of policeman seeking a fugitive from justice, you do not know anything about God. You must read it as though God were a broken-hearted father looking for a lost child."
God aches to help us. God loves us more than we can ever understand or even begin to feel. Our text tells us that "God is love." "The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth" (Exodus 34:6), loves us.
Yet in spite of God's love and His never-ceasing desire to bless us with His love, our thoughts toward Him and our relationships with Him are often troublesome and uncomfortable--not warm and loving. Could it be that our "iniquities have separated between" us and God, and our "sins have hid his face" from us (Isaiah 59:2)? God is love, but God is holy, too (1 Peter 1:16). These meet together in Christ. When we come to Him, we need only to "confess our sins," for "he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Spicy Pumpkin Pound Cake
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 eggs, at room temperature, separated
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon Bourbon whiskey or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
Powder sugar for dusting the cake

Preheat oven to 350°F. Position rack in lower third of oven. Spray a 10-inch tube pan or 12-cup Bundt cake pan with vegetable spray and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.
Separate eggs. Place yolks in a small bowl and whites in a large mixing bowl.
In another large bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Add the brown sugar a half-cup at a time beating well after each addition. Beat in Bourbon whiskey or vanilla and continue beating for about 3 minutes.
Beat the yolks with a fork then add to sugar mixture, one-third at a time. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down sides of bowl as you mix.
Add pumpkin puree and beat until smooth. With a wooden spoon, stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture. Beat just until dry ingredients are incorporated. Continue adding remaining flour in two batches. Set aside.
Add cream of tartar to egg whites and beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold whites into pumpkin batter.
Spoon batter into prepared pan. Gently spread batter evenly around pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cake plate. Allow to completely cool. Dust with powdered sugar.