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Bars & Squares

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

 

Bars & Squares, Dairy-Free, Recipe, Wheat Free

Quinoa Rice Crispy Squares

January 21, 2014

Quinoa Rice Crispy Squares // bakeaholic.ca

There’s a lot of things about wedding planning that you have no idea about – until you get engaged. 

After searching online for venues, vendors and researching prices it’s clear that wedding planning is difficult. First, you have to decide on the day, and that’s all fine and dandy until you find out no one, and no venue, is actually available for that date. It also doesn’t help when you have a popular date in mind. So, as of now we haven’t finalized anything after almost a month of being engaged (this Thursday.) 

Actually, I have to laugh because as soon as you’re engaged the first thing people ask is “have you set a date!?” I’m sure I’ve been guilty of this before when my friends or family have gotten engaged. We called family and friends within an hour of Adam popping the question and more than once we were asked “So, have you got a date?” We were both like “no, it just happened half an hour ago!” should we have this figured out that soon?? Even a month later, we’re no closer to figuring out a set date or venue location. 

One thing we have decided is that it won’t be this year – with our date in mind it would have been much too quick to get everything done this year (although I’m sure it could be done, I’d rather enjoy our engagement than stress over rushing through preparations.) We have a few appointments to look at venues for a 2015 wedding, which will give us lots of time to prepare, plan, and most importantly, enjoy our engagement. 

A couple weekends ago I attended my first ever Wedding Fair.  I thought it would be totally overwhelming, but it was actually really enjoyable. I now have hundreds of brochures and bridal magazines to peruse. 

Just before meeting with a friend to chat about our engagement over coffee one afternoon, I popped into London Drugs and found this puffed quinoa cereal. I hadn’t seen quinoa cereal before and instead of thinking about it as a breakfast food, I immediately thought about turning them into squares. Rice Crispy Squares are one of Adam’s favourite things, and I guess he is my fianc√© now, so I thought I’d make him a treat since I couldn’t remember the last time I actually made them. 

I also bought Trader Joe’s Crisp Rice Cereal, which I found was way crispier than regular rice krispies – which makes for an even better square. 

Quinoa Rice Crispy Squares // bakeaholic.ca

I made these without butter (sub coconut oil), and you can make your own marshmallows (recipe here!) or use store bought. The cocoa quinoa reminded me of my favourite tri-colour qunioa, yum!

Quinoa Rice Crispy Squares // bakeaholic.caQuinoa Rice Crispy Squares // bakeaholic.caQuinoa Rice Crispy Squares // bakeaholic.caQuinoa Rice Crispy Squares // bakeaholic.ca

Cocoa Quinoa Rice Crispy Squares
Yields 24
Crisp quinoa and rice squares made with gooey marshmallows. Wheat Free - Gluten Free - Dairy Free
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. Marshmallows (half a pan of homemade, or 1 bag of store bought)
  2. 3 cups Cocoa Quinoa Cereal
  3. 3 cups Crisp Rice Cereal
  4. 2 Tbs. Coconut Oil
Instructions
  1. 1. In large pot melt coconut oil along with marshmallows over medium-low heat until completely melted, stirring often with wooden spoon.
  2. 2. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish, or 2 8x8 baking dishes with parchment paper, or spray with coconut oil/cooking spray.
  3. 3. When marshmallows are completely melted, turn off heat. Pour in the Quinoa and Rice cereal and stir together until well incorporated.
  4. 4. Pour mixture into prepared pan and, using a large metal spoon sprayed with cooking spray, push down and smooth out using the backside of the spoon.
  5. 5. Set aside and cool completely. Cut with knife into squares, store in ziplock bag or container on the counter for up to a week.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/

 

Bars & Squares, Candy, Christmas, Holidays

Chocolate Toffee Crack(ers)

December 21, 2013

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 The last weekend before Christmas – and I woke up this morning feeling not so great. I already had one cold this month, which turned into an ear infection. I’m hoping it’s just the result of walking around in the cold windy snow yesterday. I’ll be popping vitamin C for the next few days before the big day. 

On the plus side – I got all of my Christmas wrapping done yesterday – including some last minute gift pick ups. All that’s left is to get ready for our Annual Christmas Cousins get-together tomorrow.

Every year Adam’s cousins try to get together for Christmas and this year we’re having it at our new Club House – which is perfect since it’s easier to have a large group of people there than in our townhouse – although we have done it before. Plus, there’s a pool table in the Club House. However, someone has taken all of the pool cues – or – they have put them inside a locked closet. Hopefully we have some for tomorrow’s get together. 

I’ll be bringing most of my baking – It is currently taking up real estate in our freezer and we have no room for even the ice tray anymore. 

I have made this ‘toffee’ style cracker dessert before, only with saltine crackers. I’ve seen both versions, and I actually prefer it with the Graham Crackers. It’s a better, thicker base than the saltine’s, and I think the Salt overpowers the chocolate – the base needs to be fairly bland for such a sweet and decadent topping such as toffee and chocolate. Here I used bought Graham Crackers, however if you have the time (and I suggest you do) you can totally make your own. I have a recipe for Graham Crackers here, and they are very simple and taste amazing when you make them yourself. 

graham cracker toffee

The recipe is affectionately called ‘Christmas crack’ – and the title is deserving. It is mildly addicting – but like I said, with the more neutral graham crust it isn’t tooth-sickeningly sweet. It’s just the right amount. The Toffee portion also isn’t the hard-as-rock toffee, more of a caramel-smooth toffee. 

It’s a super simple recipe – lay tray with graham crackers, boil the sugar and butter, bake then spread with chocolate. You can sprinkle anything on top – I like the combination of nuts (walnuts or pecans would be good) You can even package the crackers up for a sweet gift. 

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Chocolate Toffee Crack(ers)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  3. Enough Whole Graham Crackers to Line baking tray (about 1/2 package)
  4. 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate, chopped
  5. 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. 2. Arrange whole graham crackers to fit the bottom of the pan in a single layer.
  3. 3. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow mixture to simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  4. 4. Remove saucepan from heat and pour mixture evenly over the graham cracker layer. Spread with a spoon to cover. Bake in preheated oven for about 5-10 minutes.
  5. 5. Remove pan from oven and allow bubbling to subside. Place chocolate chunks on top of toffee layer. Wait two minutes for chocolate to melt, then use an offset spatula to gently spread chocolate in an even layer on top of the graham crackers.
  6. 6. Sprinkle chocolate with chopped walnuts.
  7. 7. Allow to cool to room temperature. Break into chunks.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/