Maple Pecan Squares

These squares have been made a few times over the years, but each time I slightly veer from my recipe in using whatever I had in the kitchen. Sometimes I change up the amount of sugar (they’re a sweet one). I’ve used both Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread and Earth Balance Coconut Spread (though I prefer the former), and I’ve used walnuts instead. Regardless of what you do, try to get your hands on dark maple syrup — the taste difference substantial.

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Maple Pecan Squares

Bottom Layer
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup unrefined cane sugar (I like Sucanat)
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/8 teaspoon fine sea or Himalayan salt
6 tablespoons nondairy buttery spread, such as Earth Balance (or EB Coconut Spread)

Top Layer
2 tablespoons nondairy buttery spread
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (recommend: amber or dark)
1/4 cup unrefined cane sugar
1 tablespoon nondairy milk (I like So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk beverage)
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

Position an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Line an 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, letting the ends hang over the edges for easy removal. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the bottom layer, put the sorghum flour, quinoa flour, tapioca flour, sugar, salt, and xanthan gum in a medium bowl. Cut in the nondairy buttery spread using a pastry cutter or two knives, until the mixture sticks together when you squeeze it in your hand. Press the mixture into the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly while preparing the topping.

To make the topping, put the nondairy buttery spread in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until melted, then add the maple syrup, sugar, and nondairy milk. Once it starts to bubble, let it cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in the pecans, vanilla extract, and salt. Pour the mixture over the crust. Return to the oven and bake for about 18 minutes, until the topping is bubbling and thick. Let cool completely before removing from the pan. Cut into squares. These freeze very well.

 

Super Simple Snack Bars

It’s hard to believe what is in these – or rather, what isn’t, notably, any added sugar. These
are a great snack for kids and a breeze to make. They also freeze well, and can use sunflower seeds instead of almonds to make them school-safe.

buckwheat energy bars

Super Simple Snack Bars

1 1/2 cups pitted honey dates, halved (I recommend honey dates over Medjool for best flavor and texture)
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup Creamy Buckwheat Cereal
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Put the dates, almonds, cereal, and cinnamon in a heavy-duty food processor. Process until ingredients are mixed well and the dough begins to stick together.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Press evenly into the pan. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Use the foil or parchment paper to help lift the bars out of the pan. Cut into bars and enjoy warm, or cool completely. Wrap individually and store leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer for a snacks on-the-go.