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.

 

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Gingerbread House with Icing and Decor

For the 2013 holiday season, I was contacted by Allergic Living Magazine to develop a gingerbread house free of all the top allergens. For their (and my) readers, I also wanted to create an eggless/vegan royal icing (you know–the kind that hardens) and offer candy/decor options as well.

Check out the recipe, template, and step-by-step detailed instructions on Allergic Living’s website here.

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Cinnamon-Spiced Ice Syrup Milk

I’ve posted about Ice Syrup before; it’s such a unique, Niagara-based flavor that’s made in the same technique as our amazing ice wine. You can get your hands on some from the site linked above, and once you do, don’t neglect it on your pancakes, either. If you’re in the mood for a non-coffee, non-tea warm winter drink, this is the one.

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Cinnamon-Spiced Ice Syrup Milk

2 cups creamy unsweetened nondairy milk, such as So Delicious Coconut Milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons Ice Syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the nondairy milk and cinnamon a medium saucepan. Whisk to combine, then heat until steaming. Remove from heat and stir in the ice syrup and vanilla extract. Serve warm.