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Turtle Bars

I try to make one treat for the week. Something that is not too elaborate, yet hits the sweet spot when we have got to have a little nibble of something sweet. This particular sweetness is a little different for me to make. I am trying to expand my culinary boundaries.

These Caramel Bars hit all the spots: sweet, salty and crunch. The shortbread base is the platform for the caramel (sweet). The pecans add the salt and crunch. And there definitely has to be some chocolate. There it is a Turtle Bar.

Shortbread Crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients into a food processor. Pulse ingredients until they resemble a meal with pea size pieces of margarine throughout the flour mixture.

Press mixture into a parchment lined 8X8 baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes. Set aside refrigerator to cool.

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Caramel:

  • 3/4 c maple sugar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1/4 c vegan margarine (or butter)
  • 4 tsp almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a small sauce pan over medium heat combine: maple sugar, molasses, margarine and milk. Stir occasionally, bringing all the ingredients together. The sugar should be dissolved and the margarine is melted.

When the ingredients have come together turn heat up to bring mixture to a boil. Keep stirring during this time so that it does not burn. Boil for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

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Pour caramel over cooled shortbread layer. Refrigerate until caramel has set.

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Chocolate Layer:

  • 1/2 c pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp of Kosher or Flaked Salt
  • 1 c chocolate chips

Melt chocolate chips either over a double boiler or in the microwave. If using the microwave, stir every 30 seconds, until melted.

Pour melted chocolate over caramel. Spread evenly. Sprinkle pecans and salt over chocolate. return to refrigerator to set the chocolate layer.

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When the chocolate is completely set lift out the bar by the parchment paper. Cut bars into squares.

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Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Apple-Cranberry Crumble

Recently my husband and I were having a conversation about what our favorite pies were. To be honest I think we decided that we have a lot of favorites depending on what time of year it is. There was really no clear cut favorite. Then the conversation morphed into crumbles and cobblers. Still there was no real favorite.

Because of all that talk of pies, crumbles and cobblers I had to make something for us. This is an old recipe (originally an apple pie) I have had for more years than I can remember. I did update it to a more healthy crumble with a little twist. It is in the oven right now and it smells amazing. I can hardly wait for it to come out of the oven and cool.

Serve this with your desired topping and enjoy.

Filling:

  • 6 tbsp vegan margarine, divided 3/3
  • 2 1/2 pounds apples, use your favorite that is a firm apple, peeled, cored, sliced
  • 1/2 c maple sugar
  • 1/4 c cranberries, dried
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1/8 tsp ginger, ground
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch

Melt 3 tbsp of butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the apple wedges and sauce until slightly softened but holding their shape. Add maple sugar, cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger; stir.

Mix together lemon juice and arrowroot. Stir into apple mixture. Remove from heat. Pour apple mixture into 9×13 baking dish. Dot remaining margarine onto apple mixture.

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Crumble Topping:

  • 1/2 c GF rolled oats
  • 1/2 c walnuts, chopped
  • 4 Medjool dates, chopped
  • 2 tbsp GF flour mix
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine cut into peas size pieces
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger

Mix together all ingredients. Spoon crumble onto apple mixture.

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving. top with your favorite topping: whipped cream, whipped coconut cream, or ice cream.

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Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Carrot Cake Donuts

I started out going to make a carrot cake, but then I thought I haven’t made donuts in months. Then I thought, Carrot Cake Donuts sounds pretty good. So here we are making Carrot Cake Donuts.

They are cooling as I write this post and I can hardly wait to have one. So when you see a picture with a bite taken out you know that is a real bite.

I have always liked carrot cake. It has a vegetable in it, so it has to be good for you, right?? They are gluten free and vegan. Also, there is no refined sugars. These donuts are packed with flavor and none of the bad stuff.

This batter is made entirely in the food processor.

  • 1 1/2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 4 1/2 oz whole dates, pitted, chopped
  • 1/2 c applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 c  GF oat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 c carrots, finely shredded
  • 1/2 c walnuts, chopped

In the food processor add milk, dates, banana and vanilla. Pulse a few times to break up the dates. Let ingredients set for about 15 minutes to let the dates soften.

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, ginger and carrots. blend until completely mixed and carrots are in small pieces. Add walnuts and pulse until the walnuts are broken up.

Spoon batter into a ziplock bag. Squeeze out air and snip the end of the bag so that you can pipe the batter into a donut pan.

Tip: If you are using a silicone pan, place the silicone pan onto a sheet pan. Then pipe batter into donut rings. This make s it much easier to work with the donut pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool inside the donut pan. They will probably break apart if you try to remove them sooner. Turn donuts out onto board/platter (whatever is large enough).

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You can eat them plain or ice with your favorite icing.

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Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Apple Cake Squares

 

At least 5 days a week I try to work on recipes that I can bring to my readers that are healthy, gluten free, and over the top delicious. I gather inspiration from fellow bloggers, cookbooks and even magazine articles. Needless to say I do a lot of reading on different formats (electronic and paper).

This recipe was inspired by a book I saw in the book store. I can honestly say I am at the book store at least once 3 out of 4 weeks. Yes, I like books. It is probably time to donate some of my cookbooks that I have not peeked at in a long time. Sorry, back to the recipe.

You can feel good about serving this anytime – Breakfast, Snack, Dessert, this cake hits the spot.

Dry ingredients:

  • 2 c gluten free flour blend
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 c maple sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp  sea salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 c oil (your choice)
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Apple: Mixture:

  • 3 pink lady apples, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1/2 c walnuts, chopped

Icing:

  • 1 c powdered maple sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9×13 cake pan.

In a large bowl combine: flour, xanthan, maple sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and sea salt.

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In a liquid measuring cup combine wet ingredients: oil, water, vanilla and apple cider vinegar.

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Pour wet ingredients in dry ingredients and stir. Batter will be thick resembling a cookie dough.

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Fold in apple mixture into batter and stir.

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Spoon batter into cake pan.

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Bake for 30-35 minutes. The cake should be light golden brown on the top when it is done.

Pour icing on to cake while it is still warm. Let icing set.

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Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Note: This would be extra good with your favorite ice cream served on top.