Bars & Squares, Pumpkin

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Squares {Dairy-Free, Grain-Free, Flourless}

October 16, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip SquaresPumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

I’d like to think I’ve been pretty good at not going overboard when it comes to halloween this year – the only decorations I’ve purchased this year are a couple bats from the dollar store. I love halloween, it’s one of my favourite holidays to prepare for. However, we only have so much storage space in our closets and garage that can hold all of our decor items. I’ve also been trying not to spend any more money on home decor items; Adam already cut me off from purchasing any more pillows this year -luckily there’s only a few months left til next year ;) With that said, I’ve been patiently waiting to take the decorations out for halloween, including going to get pumpkins. 

With Adam being away I’ve been itching to go to the pumpkin patch, and hopefully next weekend when he’s home we can venture out to our favourite little farm in Ladner on Westham Island and pick up a wagon full.

One thing I haven’t been able to keep away from, however, is pumpkin puree. It seems to have found its way into my basket and into my baked goods. I was pretty disappointed to see that on Thanksgiving long weekend Wal-Mart had no cans of pumpkin puree in the entire store. Shocking. So, luckily I ventured over to my favourite store (& my very first job) Thrifty Foods. They had an abundance of pumpkin puree selection, and it was on sale, even better! So, I stocked up my basket incase of a pumpkin shortage, and can happily bake pumpkin goodies to my hearts desire this fall. 

I couldn’t believe when I stumbled upon this recipe how easy it looked, and how delicious the outcome was. A pumpkin square that looks like a decadent wheat-laden goody, that is in fact dairy-free, flourless and even grain-free. You’d never know it because the end result is a fluffy, moist square like any other cake.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip SquaresPumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Squares
Yields 16
A fluffy, light pumpkin bar made with no flour or added sugar.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup pumpkin puree
  2. 1 cup almond butter
  3. 4 eggs
  4. 1 tbs. ground flax
  5. 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  8. chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper, or spray with coconut oil.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and blend with handheld beater or standup mixer until well blended.
  3. Add in the chocolate chips and fold using spatula.
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish, and bake at 350 for 25 minutes, until edges are brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool completely in the pan, then remove, cut and serve.
  6. Best kept on countertop, can be refrigerated.
Notes
  1. Can be refrigerated, or left on counter covered for 3-4 days. I used raw crunchy almond butter, but you can use regular almond butter. If you like the added crunch, you can add in some chopped almonds.
Adapted from food renegade
Adapted from food renegade
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
 Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares

 

Cookies

Pumpkin Biscotti

October 6, 2014

Back to school means back to working with 30 little funny, messy, sticky, gooey students. It also means that everyone gets sick – including the teacher. Being a substitute teacher I work at different schools, meaning I basically can never build up any immunity to the students because I’m usually in a different class each day. 

Last week, I was in one class for the majority of the week as their regular teacher was out sick, with strep throat. Luckily, it meant I got to work all week, unluckily it meant I was probably going to catch whatever cold she caught. And I did. Thursday night I felt it, the sore throat, achey ears congested cough. I quickly self-medicated myself and loaded up on vitamin-c. After school friday I curled up on the couch and didn’t move for most of the night – hello 9 pm bedtime. all. weekend. long.

Thankfully Adam was home this week and went out to get feel-better sushi Friday, because sushi is totally a meal you should eat when sick. Saturday was spent home for the most part, aside from a quick drive down the road to the park to walk the dog – i couldn’t go all weekend without enjoying the lovely sunshine. Sunday we had a pre-thanksgiving dinner with Adam’s family, since most of them are away next week visiting family back east.

My brother and his girlfriend are also away, currently travelling around Italy with my Nonna for the next 3 weeks probably eating cheese, salami, pasta and biscotti to their hearts content before returning home.I went to Europe 2 years ago and I am already dreaming about our honeymoon (hopefully going back to Europe) in 2016 (so. far. away) Since I can’t go to italy, I thought I’d make some biscotti. Biscotti means ‘twice baked,’ because you bake these cookies twice. Once, in a long dough log, then you slice and bake again to get crisp authentic biscotti. These cookies are great on their own, or even better dipped in coffee or espresso. (side note, this espresso cup is like super tiny, the handle can hold like your thump, but looks massive in these pictures – so deceiving)

Pumpkin Biscotti // bakeaholic.ca

Adam had to tease me, since I don’t drink coffee (i know, i’m like not grown up enough yet to enjoy its dark caffeinated substance) however, I let him know that “i’ll drink anything if I can dunk a cookie into it” – and I will. Biscotti being one of them. Its dry, almost stale crunch is the perfect partner for a glass of hot coffee, or even tea. 

I’m not sure you’d find ‘pumpkin biscotti’ anywhere in Italy, and I’m sure my Nonna would prefer the regular anise biscotti, but I love this version for Fall, apologies to my heritage. The cookies are great by themselves, and if you want to indulge go ahead and drizzle some chocolate on top. They also freeze well, make them ahead and take out for company. 

 

Biscotti might look daunting to make, but the cookies come together quickly and easily.

Pumpkin Biscotti
Yields 24
A twice-baked lightly spiced pumpkin cookie, perfect for dunking in coffee or espresso.
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Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  3. 1 cup of sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  5. big dash of cinnamon
  6. dash of freshly grated nutmeg
  7. dash of ginger
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1/2 cup of pumpkin purée
  10. 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Sift together the flours, sugar, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the wet pumpkin mixture into the dry flour mixture.
  5. Using a spatula, stir toy incorporate the ingredients, the dough will be loose and crumbly.
  6. On a clean floured surface, lightly knead the dough for a minute or two, until a slightly-elastic dough forms.
  7. On a lined baking sheet, form the dough into a large log, about 15-20 inches long by 3-5 inches wide. The loaves should be somewhat flat, only about 1/2 inch high. You can cut the dough in half, and bake the two side by side on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.
  9. Transfer to wire rack and let biscotti cool for 5 minutes.
  10. Carefully transfer to a cutting bird, and with a serrated knife slice at a 45° angle about 1/2-3/4 inch thick.
  11. Return the slices back to the baking sheet face up, and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes.
  12. Cool completely, you want the cookies to be crisp. You can keep them on the counter overnight to dry further.
Notes
  1. Alternatively, you can use pumpkin pie spice. You can top the biscotti with almond slices before baking, if you like.
  2. To drizzle with chocolate, melt dark chocolate with a tsp. of coconut oil, stir and pipe or drizzle on top. Allow to harden on counter or in fridge.
Adapted from Nonna's Recipe
Adapted from Nonna's Recipe
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/

 

 

 

Breakfast, Dairy-Free, Muffins, Wheat Free

Chocolate Peanut Butter Blender Muffins

September 29, 2014

blender muffins

Is it crazy to run a 10 K without ever racing in a 5 K? I’m trying to decide if I can jump (or run) into a 10 K with no real race experience, or if should prepare a little longer (than a month-ish) for a longer race. I’ve been doing my runs, most between 5 and 6 K, a few times a week casually along with other workouts. I want to do the 10K, but just want to make sure I’m fully prepared! Heck, I might sign up and then I’ll just have to do it – ya know? Is it wrong I’m most worried that I’ll have to wake up at like, 6 am to get ready for the race? lol – maybe I need to re-think this whole race thing.. for those of you who are seasoned racers, what’re your thoughts about diving into a slightly longer race before doing any shorter ones?

In the meantime I’m loving this whole fall-thing. I’ve purchased no less than 3 pumpkin pie candles, and lit my campfire s’mores candle thats been hiding in my cupboard since last fall. The house smells aromatically fall. I’ve talked before about how I love fall baking – it’s the best. Everything from soups to baked goods, comforting healthy fall foods are where it’s at. 

Now lets talk about these ah-mazing blender muffins!! I’ve seen them online for a little while, and I don’t know why it took me so long to make the first batch of them. seriously – they’re easy, wheat-free and the easiest prep ever.mini blender muffins bakeaholicThrow a few ingredients into the blender (or food processor) and whirl the deliciously thick batter together. Perfect as part of breakfast, a little snack or pre-post run tidbit because its packed full of healthy fats – avocado and peanut butter. Both of which give you fuel for a run or recovery from your workout. I used carob chips in place of regular chocolate chips, but you can use either. I think adding some nuts on top, crumbled almonds or even walnuts would be good too.

This is my first foray into mini-blender-muffins and I’m already thinking about the next combination I’m going to make. 

blender muffins // bakeaholic.ca

Chocolate Peanut Butter Blender Muffins
Yields 16
Flourless mini-muffins made with healthy-fats like avocado and peanut butter. Perfect for a quick grab-and-go snack.
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Cook Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup of natural peanut butter
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1 small-medium sized ripe avocado
  4. 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  5. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  6. 2 Tbsp honey or other liquid sweetener
  7. Mini Chocolate-Chips (I used carob chips)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a mini-muffin pan with baking spray - I use coconut oil.
  3. Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  4. Blend/process until smooth - batter will be silky and thick.
  5. Use a small ice-cream scoop to pour into greased muffin pan.
  6. Top with a few mini chocolate chips (optional)
  7. Bake 9-10 minutes.
Notes
  1. Keep in container on counter or in fridge for a few days, or freeze.
Adapted from Heather's French Press
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/