Maple-Spice Candied Nuts

Crunchy, sweet, and loaded with spice, these candied nuts are so easy to make and forever versatile. Great around the holidays, perfect for snacking, and excellent for topping cakes and desserts.

maple candied nuts

maple-spice candied nuts

2 1/2 cups unsalted mixed nuts
1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger (not crystallized)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the nuts, candied ginger, salt, and spices in a medium bowl. Put the maple syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute without stirring. Remove from heat. Pour the syrup over the nut mixture. Toss well to combine. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until the nuts are golden and fragrant, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 to 7 minutes. Cool completely on the pan before breaking into pieces. 

Fresh Cranberry Almond Truffle Squares

Using fresh cranberries in this incredibly easy vegan treat offers a tart twist to the sweetness of chocolate and the nuttiness of the almonds.

cranberry truffle squares

Fresh Cranberry Almond Truffle Squares

1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 cups nondairy semi-sweet chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life
1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup almonds, toasted

Line an 8-inch square metal pan with plastic wrap.

Put the cranberries and maple syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then boil on high for 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced and the consistency is similar to jam. Remove from heat. Stir in the chocolate chips and mix until they are completely melted. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Stir in the almonds. Pour into the pan, spreading evenly. Cover and chill overnight. Store in the fridge until serving.

Pecan Shortbread Jam Tarts

Two-bite tarts with a “buttery” pecan shortbread crust and a dollop of sweet jam. I recommend using homemade jam or an all-natural variety. If you’re from the Niagara area, I love Greaves Jam (from Niagara-on-the-Lake) with only two simple ingredients and full, sweet flavor.

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Pecan Shortbread Jam Tarts

3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
3/4 cup  pecans, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup nondairy margarine
About 1/2 cup red jam, such as strawberry, cherry or raspberry
Icing sugar for dusting (optional)

Put the sorghum flour, tapioca flour, quinoa flour, pecans, icing sugar, xanthan gum, and salt in a food processor fitted with the S blade. Process until pecans are finely ground and all ingredients are mixed. Add the nondairy margarine and process just until the mixture sticks together.

Divide the dough into 24 pieces. Press each one into a space of a 24-cup mini muffin pan. Use your thumb to indent the top of each one, about halfway down (I actually use the handle on a thick wooden spoon). Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

While it is in the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

After the 15 minutes, remove the pan from the refrigerator and put a small dollop of jam in the indent of each tart. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until tarts lightly browned on the edges (I overbaked these ones just a bit; they are a little browner than they should be). Cool about 30 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar once cooled.