Tag Archives: Maple

Holiday Spiced Almond Butter

This Christmas, I wanted to make something for my friends and family that would be interesting and delicious. I did just that.

The first two jars are recipes I found on the edible perspective, the last (Honey Vanilla and Flax Almond Butter) was something I developed from a few of her recipes. I don’t think I could pick a favorite recipe of the three, they’re all so unique and delicious. We don’t use a lot of nut butters around here (Brett’s allergic to peanuts and addicted to Biscoff spread) but this was gone in days. We added it to oatmeal, spread it on English muffins and toast, ate it with a spoon… etc. And it’s so much cheaper than buying almond butter in the store (I may have payed $16 for a jar once) and you can control your ingredients and sugar levels. It also makes a great gift!

Holiday Spiced Almond Butter
(from the edible perspective)

2 cups raw almonds
3 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons molasses, divided
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, or more according to desired consistency

Spread almonds on parchment on a baking sheet. Pour on 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and 1 tablespoon molasses. Stir with hands so that all nuts are covered. Roast for 30 minutes at 300 degrees, stirring once every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 20 minutes. Pour into food processor and turn on. Process and scrape down bowl as needed, until it butterizes (10-15 minutes, past the stage where it turns into a ball of “dough”). Stop food processor and add remaining 1/2 tablespoon of molasses and 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and all of oil, spices, and salt. Process again until smooth consistency is met (another 5-8 minutes, past the second dough ball stage). You can add more oil if you want a smoother, more “drippy” almond butter. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

Almonds coated with goodness. I use Grade B maple syrup because it has more flavor and less sugar. Win-win.

All of the in-process additions.

Hot out of the oven. There may have been a few of these that didn’t make it to the food processor…

Warning about processing: the first 30 seconds is very LOUD! Hold your ears. About 8 minutes into processing, the mixture will turn into this ball of “dough” that just circles around and around the outside of the food processor. This means your close to your goal!

Final product: about 1 1/2 cups of yumminess. This lasted about a week.

Mmmmm

One word of advice: don’t double or half the recipe. This amount works great in a normal-sized food processor. I tried to double it and my (admittedly old. but great-working) food processor started smoking. If you cut in in half (which you would regret as soon as you immediately hit the bottom of the jar), I’m not sure there would be enough mass for the food processor to work with.

Happy butterizing!

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Filed under Recipes, Sauces & Spreads, Vegan

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Scented Filling

In my last installment of blabbering about organic pumpkin vs. Libby’s, I will provide a visual that will illustrate everything I’ve been trying to explain.

The organic is on the left, Libby’s is on the right. While the Libby’s is thick, creamy, and orange, the organic pumpkin is watery, grainy, and brown/almost green. If you still choose the organic, that’s your prerogative. And it leaves more Libby’s for me!

Just because I’m done talking about pumpkin doesn’t mean I’m done cooking with it.

I admit I had never heard of a whoopie pie until this past year when I was researching popular foods in Montreal (for work… although I sometimes do that for fun). Since then, I feel like I’ve seen them mentioned all over the place (perhaps because now I’m closer to their origins?) and decided I had to try them for myself. And what better flavor to try first than my favorite?

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
(cookies from Serious Eats, filling adapted from Martha Stewart)

For the cookies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cloves
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups chilled pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves together and set aside. In a seperate bowl, whisk the brown sugar and oil together until combined. Add pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.
Use a cookie scoop to drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough about one inch apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cookie comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on the pan while you make the filling.

For the filling:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
6 ounces marshmallow fluff (about 3/4 of a jar)
1 tablespoon Grade B maple syrup

Cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. add fluff and maple syrup and continue mixing until well combined. Refrigerate before using.

Assembling the Whoopie Pies:
Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature or refrigerated. Turn half of the cooled cookies upside down. Use a small cookie scoop or pastry bag to drop a large (~1 tablespoon) dollop of filling onto the flat side of the cookie. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up before serving.

Yield: about 26 finished Whoopie Pies

I made my own marshmallow fluff using this recipe, because I thought it would be interesting. It was fun to make, but definitely needs some tweaking to get it closer to the stuff in a jar. It was just not very sweet and almost tasted soapy? I didn’t notice the off taste in the final product though.

The amount of maple in the filling could also be increased. You could taste it if you really looked for it, but a little more wouldn’t hurt. Grade B is important because it has a richer maple flavor than the more expensive Grade A stuff. And please, don’t use the fake stuff.

I actually made a half recipe of the cookies twice. The first time everything was at room temperature or slightly warm, and by the time I placed the top on the last pie, most of the tops had slid off their base and made a mess of gooey white filling. I stuck them in the refrigerator and they firmed up fine, but looked pretty sloppy, and most of the filling ended up around the edges instead of between the cookies (the best ones are pictured above). I was making these for Brett to take to work, so I decided I needed to make some prettier ones. I refrigerated the filling and a baking sheet so I would have a cold surface to work on. After the second batch of cookies were finished (they’re really easy to put together!) I let them cool completely, then put them in the fridge for about 5 minutes, just to be safe. These turned out much prettier and worthy of taking to work.

I don’t mind eating the practice batch.

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Filed under Baked Goodies, Recipes