Tag Archives: maple

Recipe Roundup

I spend hours upon hours reading blogs, scouring the internet for recipes and idea, and writing lists (so many notebooks full) of what I want to make next. But, I just realized, I’ve not shared any of these wonderful finds with you! So here it is, my first recipe roundup!

These “Thinnest Oatmeal Cookies” from Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks look just wonderful. Her recipes are always simple twists on the classics, and have never failed to produce amazing results.

Source: Healthful Pursuit

I was never a fan of chocolate turtles in the past, but over the years I’ve developed a slight addiction to pecans, chocolate, and dates on their own. Leanne’s version of the classic candy looks wonderful!

Source: Have Cake Will Travel

I’ve had gingerbread on the mind lately (gingerbread biscotti, anyone? or maybe some chewy gingerbread bars?), and the more forms I can turn it into, the better. Celine’s gingerbread granola looks like the perfect treat for when cravings hit.

chocolate maple granola overheadHow about some more granola – granola clusters to be more precise. Sally has made some wonderful looking maple almond granola clusters here. If those two granolas don’t catch your eye, try my my Chocolate Chunk Maple Granola with Coconut and Dates yet. You won’t be disappointed!

These Sugar ‘n Spice Dipped Pumpkin Pretzels from Healthy Happy Life look too good to resist. Regular cinnamon sugar pretzels are hard to beat, but I think Kathy did it here!

What are your favorite recent recipe finds? Do you have any favorite cozy winter meals or snacks? When it’s cold outside, I just want to stay in the kitchen and bake up my own storm (since, apparently we won’t be getting any snow storms here in Maryland).

Chocolate Chunk Maple Granola with Coconut and Dates

IMG_5936Granola is a staple in my kitchen, and I cycled through recipe after recipe, with many failures and simply mediocre recipes along the way. That is, until I found this gem of a recipe from David Lebovitz (who originally found it from self-proclaimed domestic goddess, Nigella Lawson). While I do really enjoy big chunks of granola from time to time, this recipe produces a lighter result, thanks first, to the crisp rice cereal, and second, to the slow, gentle baking.

This granola is full of flavor and texture thanks to the crunchy pecans, flaky coconut, chewy dates, and rich chocolate that melts with each bite. Of course, you can substitute your favorite dried fruits and nuts for the pecans and dates, but I must say that this is a winning combination.

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Chocolate Chunk Maple Granola with Coconut and Dates

Inspired by this recipe from David Lebovitz.

Ingredients
•4 cups rolled oats*
•1 cup crisp rice cereal (not puffed rice)*
•1 cup chopped pecans
•1 cup sesame seeds
•1 cup large coconut flakes
•1/4 cup packed brown sugar
•1 teaspoon sea salt

•3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or other fruit puree)
•1/3 cup brown rice syrup
•1/4 cup maple syrup
•2 tablespoons coconut oil
•1 teaspoon maple extract (or vanilla extract)

•1 cup chopped dates
•1/2 cup dark chocolate chips*

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line two baking sheets (preferably jelly roll pans) with parchment.

1. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, crisp rice cereal, pecans, sesame seeds, coconut, brown sugar, and sea salt.

2. In a small saucepan, heat the applesauce, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, coconut oil, and maple extract until warm.

3. Pour the fruit mixture over the dry mixture and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Divide the mixture and spread evenly onto prepared baking sheets.

4. Bake the granola for approximately 45 minutes, stirring every ten minutes, until the granola is deeply golden.

5. Remove granola from the oven, stir in dates, and let cool completely. Once cool, stir in the chocolate chips. You can stir in half of the chocolate chips while the granola is still warm, if you prefer that they melt into the mixture.

The granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month.

*Notes: For a gluten free version, be sure your rolled oats, crisp rice cereal, and chocolate chips are gluten free.

IMG_5931What is your favorite granola recipe? Or, if you don’t have one, what would your perfect bowl include?

Seeded Maple Cinnamon Bars

IMG_5788Some foods just evoke a certain season for me, and almost any sweet with a hint of cinnamon immediately makes me think of fall. I had been craving something sweet, but not cloyingly so, with just a hint of cinnamon for warmth, and perhaps a bit of crunch. That is where these little gems began. I threw these bars together with ingredients I nearly always keep in my pantry, so they’re perfect to make in a pinch. This isn’t so much a recipe as it is a guideline; I can imagine all sorts of mix ins that would work just as wonderfully. I chose poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and raisins this go round, but any combination of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit would be equally as delicious. Next time, I’m thinking of adding crystallized ginger, to up the spice just a bit. If you’ve ever had a hermit cookie, the texture and taste here are quite similar.

IMG_5811Seeded Maple Cinnamon Bars

Ingredients

•1/4 cup maple syrup (coconut nectar, agave nectar, or other liquid sweetener will work if you don’t have maple syrup on hand)
•2 tablespoons coconut sugar (sucanat or turbinado sugar will work, too)
•1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses (or regular molasses, for a milder taste)
•1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons warm water
•2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
•2 tablespoons almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract

•1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
•1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons almond meal
•1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
•1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1/2 cup rolled oats
•1/4 cup poppy seeds
•1/4 cup sesame seeds
•1/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

1. In a small bowl mix together maple syrup, coconut sugar, molasses, flaxseed mixture, oil,     almond milk, and vanilla until combined.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the rest of the ingredients.

3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.

4. Scoop dough onto parchment lined baking sheet and form into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick all the way around.

5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to brown.

6. Let cool on baking sheet for at least 30 minutes before slicing into bars.

The bars can be stored in an airtight container, unrefrigerated, for up to a week, and though I haven’t tried it, I’m sure you could make a batch now to freeze and save for the holidays. If anyone tries this with success, let me know.

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