Tag Archives: Maple syrup

Carrot Cupcakes with Maple Coconut Cream Frosting (Gluten & Dairy Free)

Good day, everyone! I hope that this blog finds you well. I am truly appreciating the weather today, such a bright and sunny day, which is a welcome relief from all of the wind and rain we had this past week. The apples I have been purchasing at the local farm have been outstanding, so much so that I have not baked with apples yet this season because SensitiveHusband and I keep eating them before there is any chance of making a muffin or sauce. The carrots, however, I managed to snag for a cake (more on that in a moment). carrot cake cupcakes

Speaking of cake, have you ever eaten “too many slices of suboptimal, day-old cake,” which then inspired you to figure out how best to slice a cake so as not to expose the remains to the air and get dried out? No? To tell you the truth, I hadn’t thought much of it either. Yet this issue has been pondered for well over a century. In 1906 Sir Francis Galton, a British mathematician, discussed the scientific principles of cutting a cake in a letter written to the journal Nature. Galton, who was a first cousin to Charles Darwin, notes that instead of cutting a cake into wedges, you should cut the cake down the middle and remove a thin slice, then push the cake back together, which seals the cake back up. Galton goes a step further and suggests wrapping a rubber band around the outside of the cake to guarantee that no air dries out the baked good. He, who discovered regression to the mean, perhaps only ate cakes with fondant frosting – because I fear the effects of a rubber band wrapped around a luscious buttercream.

Need to see this to believe it? There is an excellent video demonstration by Alex Bellos – check it out here. And see if it convinces you that a wedge slice may not be the only option for parsing out dessert.

Since I continue to think of cake, I will share with you a recipe I made recently for my SIL’s (sister-in-law) birthday. This carrot cake was inspired by a fabulous recipe found in Elana’s Pantry. I chose to sweeten the cake with honey and I used grapeseed oil for the fat. I also crushed the walnuts and baked them into cupcakes. My notes are included in the recipe below. And then I topped them off with a maple coconut cream frosting! I again was inspired by Elana’s Pantry, although I sweetened the frosting with maple syrup, which paired so nicely with the flavors.

Still not sure how you want to slice a cake? No worries, just bake cupcakes!!

CARROT CAKE – INGREDIENTS
3 cups blanched almond flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
5 eggs
½ cup honey (or agave nectar)
¼ cup grapeseed oil
3 cups carrots, grated
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped

PREPARATION
In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg
In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, honey (or agave nectar) and oil
Stir carrots, raisins and walnuts into wet ingredients
Stir wet ingredients into dry
Place batter into 24 cupcake tins with liners (or 2 well greased, round 9-Inch cake pans)
Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes for cupcakes (35 minutes for cakes)
Cool to room temperature and spread with frosting

MAPLE COCONUT CREAM FROSTING – INGREDIENTS
1 cup coconut milk (in a can)
1 cup maple syrup
pinch sea salt
5 teaspoons arrowroot powder
3-5 tablespoons water
1¼ cup coconut oil

PREPARATION
In a medium saucepan, heat coconut milk, maple syrup and salt, simmer for 10 minutes
In a small bowl, combine arrowroot and water to form a smooth paste
Pour arrowroot mixture into saucepan
Whisk vigorously to combine, then bring to a boil, briefly, until shiny
Remove pot from heat and very gradually blend in coconut oil with a hand blender (or mixer)
Allow pot to cool for 10 minutes
Place pot in refrigerator for 45-120 minutes, until frosting solidifies
Remove from refrigerator and blend again with a hand blender (or mixer), until fluffy
Spread over cake or cupcakes

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Cheer Up with Maple Syrup – and a Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

Hi everyone! I hope that you are enjoying (or at least tolerating) the snowy and cold winter weather. Sensitive Husband and I have been busy stimulating the economy by purchasing real estate and a number of various services that go along with it. I must say, based on our recent house-buying experience, that the housing market is beginning to pick up, although slowly. The number of buyers is increasing, although some service providers are still clambering for work. For example, mortgage brokers, real estate appraisers, painters, and repairmen are more than happy to hear about a new house sale, and are available to help at a moment’s notice, which is not the case when the housing market is strong. Needless to say, most of my free time lately has been focused on choosing paint colors instead of trying new recipes. However, spring is almost here, and I am looking forward to more cooking and baking in a new kitchen!

If you have been down in the dumps because of the cold winter, cheer up because spring is a mere three weeks away. Late winter is also a wonderful time of year because the maple sugaring season is typically in February and March. Once the temperature reaches above freezing, pressure develops in the tree and causes the sap to flow out of the taps created by the sugar makers. Then with colder temperatures below freezing, suction inside the tree pulls in water to make more sap. When the fluctuations in temperature lessen, the sap stops flowing. This period of sap flow usually falls within early March to mid April. This year the maple sugaring season will be on the later side because the temperatures have been so cold.

According to the University of Vermont Extension Department of Plant and Soil Science, sap is boiled to evaporate water and to concentrate sugar. The quality of syrup is affected by the particular season, time of season the sap is collected, and how it is processed. The top quality syrups contain about 66% sugar.

Since we received a sampler of maple syrups as a gift, Sensitive Husband and I decided to conduct a taste test of all of the grades since we did not know much about the differences among them. The Grade B maple syrup was the darkest in color and had a rich, smoky taste. The Grade A Medium Amber variety was also quite good, and had slightly smoky and slightly buttery flavors. Grade A Dark Amber was also delicious, with buttery and maple flavors. And the Fancy grade was excellent with even stronger butter and maple flavors. Our taste experiment yielded positive results, in that we enjoyed all of the options! I think Grade B would be best for baking, and the Grades A and Fancy would be good for both baking and pouring over breakfast treats. The trick is to make sure that the maple syrup you purchase is pure, with no added sugars or preservatives, to get the best taste.

So now that we finally familiarized ourselves with various grades of maple syrup, the labels of the grades are about to change. The Grade B label will be eliminated, and the grades will explain more about the taste. Maple syrup producers will be required to use them starting in 2015, although consumers will probably start seeing them this year:

Golden Maple Syrup with a Delicate Taste: light to more pronounced golden colour and a delicate or mild taste

Amber Maple Syrup with a Rich Taste: light amber colour and a rich or full-bodied taste

Dark Maple Syrup with Robust Taste: dark color and a robust or strong taste

Very Dark Maple Syrup with a Strong Taste: very strong taste, generally recommended for cooking

According to the International Maple Syrup Institute, 2013 produced a bumper crop of maple syrup in most areas with the production of lighter syrups being most common. Total production of maple syrup for 2013 in Canada and the U.S. combined was estimated at 170 million pounds, with about 120 million pounds being produced in Quebec.

Skillet Chocolate Chip CookieMaple syrup is a fabulous natural sweetener, and can be substituted for cane sugar in most recipes as a 1:1 swap. I substituted maple syrup for the sugar in this recipe for a skillet chocolate chip cookie in the October 2013 Everyday Food magazine. This cookie is delicious and can be made in just a few minutes. I hope that you enjoy finding many ways to use this delicious natural sweetener.

Ingredients:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (or maple sugar)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup grain-sweetened chocolate chips

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine butter, maple syrup, and sugar with a spoon. Stir in egg and vanilla. Stir in flours, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chips. Transfer to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet; smooth top.

Bake until cookie is golden brown and just set in the center, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes.

Spiced (and Sugar Free) Banana Nut Muffins

SpicedBananaNutGood day, everyone! I hope you are having a nice week. I have been busy at work, including enjoying a fun project – estimating the economic impact due to the arrival of the royal baby. Analysts expect that this economic impact in the U.K. will be higher than those measured due to the royal wedding or the Queen’s diamond jubilee events because there are no public holidays scheduled, which closed financial markets and establishments, and reduced retail spending. It is estimated that the U.K. should see about a $400 million bump to the economy this summer. The largest boosts will be in industries related to food and drink as well as memorabilia. I know I did my part to stimulate the U.S. economy by buying refreshments for a Royal Baby (Sugar Free) Cupcake Party at my office this week!

In case you are inclined to host your own Royal Baby Tea in the near future – Newman’s Own sells a delicious Royal Tea in a variety of flavors. Scones are delicious and a good idea to include at a Tea – I have recipes online for Millet Raisin, Pear and Oat, and Banana Berry. Muffins can also be a nice addition to a party, and below is a recipe for Spiced Banana Walnut Muffins that I adapted from a July 2009 issue of Oprah Magazine. I substituted the sugar with maple syrup, added brown rice flour in order to reduce the gluten content, and removed the butter by adding canola oil. The result is a light and moist muffin with a unique combination of flavors. For additional spice, add another 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom.

Ingredients
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
3 very ripe mashed bananas
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tins with paper liners or grease well; set aside.

Put flours, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt into a large bowl; set aside. Put maple syrup and oil into a second large bowl and mix until well combined. Add bananas, applesauce, zest, vanilla, and eggs to the syrup-oil mixture, and mix again until combined. Add flour mixture to banana mixture in three parts, stirring well after each addition; fold in walnuts.

Spoon batter into prepared tins; bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Chocolate Beet Cake

Good day everyone! We are in the middle of our second week of our community-supported agriculture (CSA) program with a local farm. Each week, we pick up one box (a half share) of fresh produce. At this point in the season, our box has been bursting with greens including spinach, lettuce, kale, and collard greens. It’s exciting to discover what is in the box each week and a fun challenge to use all of the fresh ingredients in interesting ways. The CSA program works well for a farm because there is a consistent demand for the produce, and the program also benefits a household because the prices are lower than what is seen at the grocery store. If you are willing to try a variety of vegetables, a CSA is a fun and economical option.

This week we received two vegetables that we do not eat that often but are such a treat when we do: kohlrabi and beets. I roasted kohlrabi during the week with olive oil and asiago cheese…click here for my simple recipe. Roasted beets are also delicious as an accompaniment to a meal; however, they can also be turned into a sweet and healthy dessert!

chocolate beet cakeI found this recipe from The Simple Lens for Chocolate Beet Cake for Two. I immediately liked the recipe because it did not use any refined sugars and was vegan, which appeals to a number of my friends. I swapped lemon juice for vinegar to keep the acidity level the same. In addition, the yield is two small cakes, which is a nice option for a household that does not want a large amount of cake sitting in the kitchen, tempting people to eat it. This dessert is rich and satisfying and very chocolatey, without being heavy. The beets lend a subtle sweetness to the taste and a soft raspberry hue to the cake. Try this for a fun treat with some fresh beets. You will enjoy it!

Ingredients
For Cake:
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple syrup
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons applesauce (unsweetened)
1/3 cup beet puree (1-2 medium-sized beets)

For Chocolate Ganache:
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons (unsweetened almond) milk
4 tablespoons dark chocolate chips (dairy-free)

Preparation:
1. Prep beet puree: cook beet(s), let cool, process into puree in food processor.
2. Sift together dry ingredients (salt, baking soda, baking powder, flour, cocoa.)
3. Combine wet ingredients (lemon juice, vanilla, applesauce, maple syrup, water, beet puree).
4. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
5. Divide mixture between 2 well-greased ramekins.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes (or until skewer pulls back clean). Let cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from ramekin. (Or just eat right out of it!)
7. Prep ganache: bring milk just to a boil and then remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips and syrup.Continue stirring until chips are fully melted.
8. Plate up: Pour delicious, melty ganache over beet cake and serve. Makes 2 (ramekin-sized) cakes.

I am sharing my recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

Chocolate Macaroons are Full of Taste Yet Free (of Gluten, Dairy & Cane Sugar)

Chocolate MacaroonsMacaroons always look very pretty, delicate and light, yet I rarely eat them because they do not have my favorite dessert ingredient, chocolate. I assume that many other people have snubbed a macaroon when deciding what treats to eat from a dessert table since the majority of us agree that chocolate is our favorite dessert flavor.

dessert_flavors_tableThe most recent SensitiveEconomist poll shows that 63% of the 112 respondents would choose a chocolate dessert over any other flavor, with mint coming in a distant second place with 11% of the responses. These survey results mean that when given the choice between a light and flaky macaroon and a slice of chocolate cake, most of us turn to the delicious cocoa. Until now – where we can have both.

Most of you will share in my excitement for Kay Stepkin’s recipe for chocolate macaroons that I read in my newspaper a few weeks ago. What a great way to combine a light and delicate treat with my favorite dessert flavor, chocolate. Plus, this recipe is free of gluten, cane sugar and dairy – and it’s vegan! This is a delicious treat for so many people. I made the dessert for a dinner party and they were an absolute hit! I will definitely be making these again right through the summer.

Speaking of summer, what is your favorite summertime food? Please share your opinion with a simple poll right on my home page. Just click your answer and then click “vote” and you will see the up-to-the minute results. The food with the most responses will probably find itself highlighted as a main ingredient sometime soon on this blog. Thanks for participating!

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1½ cups cocoa powder
½ cup almond meal/flour (or ground almonds)
1/4 teaspoon sea (or kosher) salt
Coconut sugar, optional

Preparation:
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Pour coconut oil, maple syrup, almond extract, coconut, cocoa powder, almond meal and salt into a bowl; stir until well combined.

2. Using a large tablespoon of dough per cookie, shape into mounds, packing mixture firmly. Distribute cookies onto a parchment-covered baking sheet. Do not press down.

3. Bake for 15 minutes. When cool, dust with a little coconut sugar.

Makes about 22 cookies.

Additional Notes:
(1) For the almond meal, you can substitute with almonds ground up in a food processor.
(2) If you would like this recipe to be nut free, substitute the almond extract with vanilla extract, and replace the almond meal with brown rice flour.
(3) Since the coconut oil will be solid in the jar to start, microwave until melted and then spoon out the liquid oil for the recipe. After the coconut oil cools it will return to its solid state.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free and Food Trip Friday.

Minding the Vitamix – Part 3: Strawberry Almond Muffins

strawberry almond muffinsThe alternate title for this blog post is: Whose blender is this again?

While MIL and FIL enjoyed their vacation, I wanted to make the most of the time I had with their new Vitamix blender. Now that I had sampled turnip soup and hummus, I decided that it would be fun to try making something that required blended fruit. I found a recipe for Strawberry Yogurt Muffins that sounded quite delicious. I made a few changes, altering the flours used and switching the white sugar with maple syrup and the brown sugar with coconut sugar. Canola oil replaced the butter. If you do not want to make a strawberry puree in the blender, just chop up the strawberries very finely.

Sometime while I was developing this recipe, a change in my thinking occurred. I mentioned to SensitiveHusband that I would puree the strawberries in “my Vitamix.” Whoops – I actually referred to the Vitamix blender as mine! It’s easy to get attached to such a useful machine. Who would have thought such a thing could happen?

Ingredients:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup oat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup fat-free plain yogurt
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup strawberry puree (by blending about 1¼ cups fresh strawberries)
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh strawberries
1-2 tablespoons coconut sugar
¼ cup toasted almonds, finely chopped

Preparation:
In a small bowl combine flours, baking soda and nutmeg. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, yogurt, oil and vanilla. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in strawberry puree.

Fill muffin cups lined with paper liners two-thirds full. Top with coconut sugar, chopped strawberries and almonds.

Bake at 375° for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.

I am sharing my recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

Pumpkin Muffins

snowHi everyone! I hope that you are having a good weekend. Mine has been snowy. SensitiveHusband and I got out the tape measure yesterday and noted that there was three feet of frozen precipitation on the ground…and on the sidewalks…and in the roads…and on our cars. This picture shows our two cars under mounds of snow. Yes, they really are under there!

So SensitiveHusband and I made a deal – he would shovel and I would bake. I know I got the better end of the deal, for sure! I decided to try my hand at a muffin. I don’t make them very often, and I thought that would be a nice snack whenever SensitiveHusband felt like taking a break from his snowy project. I found a nice recipe from Dr. Oz for Pumpkin Muffins that already called for a natural sweetener (I used maple syrup) and did not use any butter or dairy. The recipe was made moist by the pumpkin and applesauce. I reduced the amount of maple syrup used and substituted some of the whole wheat flour with oat flour (for lighter texture and lower gluten).

pumpkin muffinsAs soon as the muffins came out of the oven, SensitiveHusband was back in the house to warm up with a cup of tea and fresh muffin. We both agreed that they were delicious and that the other neighbors shoveling would probably enjoy them too. After my snack I suited up in a parka and boots, with a plate of warm muffins in hand so my neighbors could have a pick-me-up while moving all of that snow. These muffins use only two bowls to prepare, and are neighborhood approved.

The recipe below will yield approximately 15 muffins. If you want to use the whole can of pumpkin, double the recipe and give the extras to your neighbors.

Ingredients
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1/2 (15-oz) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the maple syrup, oil, eggs, pumpkin puree, and applesauce. Add in the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula until the dry ingredients have been absorbed. Place in muffin tins and bake 20 to 25 minutes.

Give Thanks for Roasted Acorn Squash and Beet Salad

Greetings! I hope that you had a joy-filled Thanksgiving holiday. Mine was great seeing family and friends and sharing delicious meals over the long weekend. I am thankful for many things, including today’s quiet day to reflect on all the nice events that took place during the week. One of the many things I feel appreciative about is the fact that all of the side dishes I prepared for the Thanksgiving meal were delicious. And I am thankful that SensitiveHusband is such an excellent vegetable chopper! Here’s why…

About two weeks ago, MIL and I were talking about the Thanksgiving menu. MIL and FIL planned to host the holiday meal at their house and cook the turkey and mashed potatoes, among other things. Others coming would prepare additional side dishes. Would I want to try a new recipe that MIL found in her most recent magazine? The recipe was for Roasted Acorn Squash and Beet Salad. As luck would have it, I had just been to the grocery store and had purchased both acorn squash and golden beets, which are the headline ingredients in this recipe. Sure, I would try a new recipe! I just needed to remove the mustard from the ingredient list and adjust the quantity of a few things to suit my taste, and the rest seemed straight-forward.

Now that I have prepared this recipe once, I definitely recommend adding an important preparation technique: a buddy who can chop, peel and seed the acorn squash as you look on in an encouraging way. SensitiveHusband agreed to do this part for me – it took about one hour of focused attention and a really sharp knife to prepare the two acorn squash. I tried to keep SensitiveHusband’s spirits up by cheering him on, but in his effort to only chop the squash and not his fingers, my happy words did not receive much of a response. However, the resulting acorn slices really were works of art! Thanks again, SensitiveHusband!

If you would rather not use a buddy system in preparing this recipe, I suggest purchasing butternut squash that is already peeled, seeded and cubed instead of the acorn squash.

However you decide to prepare this recipe, know that it will be delicious and look beautiful alongside your other side dishes. Thanks!

Roasted Acorn Squash and Beet Salad (inspired by Better Homes and Gardens, November 2012 recipe) Ingredients:
1 lb. small yellow and/or red beets
1 acorn squash (1 1/4 lb.), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cups baby romaine or leaf lettuces
1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Tightly wrap beets, separated by color, in aluminum foil bundles. Roast 1 hour, or until tender when tested with a sharp knife. Remove from oven; cool slightly. Peel beets and set aside.
2. Place squash slices on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with salt, pepper, and 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Roast 15 minutes. Drizzle 1/3 cup maple syrup over squash, and roast another 10 minutes, or until tender; cool.
3. To make dressing, in a small bowl whisk the lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. maple syrup together. Add the 1/3 cup olive oil and whisk till smooth.
4. To assemble, place lettuces in middle of a large plate. Pour half of dressing over salad and toss. Arrange beets and squash on lettuce. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Pass remaining dressing.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

Anjou Too Will Enjoy These Pear and Oat Scones

I have been on a bit of a scone kick lately. It all started with the raisin millet scones, which have turned out to be a lovely snack at any time during the day or evening. When I saw this recipe for apple and oat scones in the February 2012 Martha Stewart Living magazine, I became inspired and decided to add them to my repertoire.

The next morning I took out my mixing bowl and ingredients. Since I did not have any apples I used pears instead. In order to eliminate the brown sugar and turbinado sugar, I added maple syrup and maple sugar to retain the sweetness. I shortened a few of the steps (I did not rotate the baking sheet while cooking or flatten the dough into disks as suggested in the original recipe). The result is a sweet and chewy treat that is delicious with a cup of tea. I also discovered the beauty of parchment paper – it makes baking sheet cleanup a breeze. Enjoy these scones with pears or apples, or perhaps a combination of the two!

Ingredients
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 1/3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, plus more for topping
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups diced pears (cut into 1/4-inch cubes)
2/3 cup cold buttermilk (or 2/3 cup milk plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice)
Maple sugar, for sprinkling

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together flour, oats, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter with two knives (or rub in with your fingers). The batter will resemble crumbs. Add pears and buttermilk (or milk plus lemon juice), stirring until dough just comes together.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat dough into a 6-by-8-inch rectangle, and cut into twelve 2-by-2-inch squares with a floured knife. Place about 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with maple sugar and oats. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, Something Swanky, Food Trip Friday, Cybele Pascal Allergen-Free Cuisine and Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

Baked Acorn Squash

My sister-in-law made this great side dish for one of our festive family dinners. It was easy to make and delicious with maple syrup as the sweetener (rather than brown sugar). It is a nice alternative to sweet potatoes and can be enjoyed by carnivores and herbivores alike. Have a nice dinner!

Ingredients:
1 Acorn squash
1 Tbsp Butter
4 teaspoons Maple Syrup
Dash of Salt

Method:
1 Preheat oven to 400°F.
2 Cut the acorn squash in half, lengthwise, from stem to end. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff in the center of each half. Score the insides of each half several times with a sharp knife. Place each half in a baking pan, cut side up. Add about a 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the baking pan so that the skins don’t burn and the squash doesn’t get dried out.
3 Coat the inside of each half with 1/2 Tbsp of butter. Add a dash of salt if you are using unsalted butter. Dribble 2 teaspoons of maple syrup to each half.
4 Bake in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, until the squash is very soft and the tops are browned. Do not undercook. When finished, remove from oven and let cool a little before serving. Serve as is or stir the squash with the cooked maple syrup using a fork (as shown in the picture) for easier eating.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.