maple cinnamon pecans

Crispy, sweet, nutty, and slightly salty with warm notes of maple and vanilla — a.k.a the perfect snack. I am obsessed with candied pecans — and I’m not surprised considering that this recipe is loaded with cinnamon!

Personally, I find the candied nuts from the store way too sickeningly sugary, and always feel icky about all of the preservatives that they dump on them. These homemade nuts are sweet, salty, flavorful and have no refined sugar, so you can feel good about snacking on them. Plus, pecans are known to be full of nutrients that help lower cholesterol and help protect the body and mind.

These are great to give as gifts in pretty bags, toss into
salads, sprinkle over ice cream, or (my personal favorite) eat straight
off the baking sheet. This will be a great recipe to have up your sleeve when holiday season comes around.

This recipe also encourages creativity, as you can vary both the spices and the type of nut, so go nuts! (no pun intended). Be sure to tell me any new flavor combinations that you dream up, I would love to hear!

With love, Erica

Ingredients

2 cups pecan halves
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 dashes salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spread pecans out on a baking sheet.
Place the pecans in the oven and toast for 8-10 minutes.

Remove pecans from oven and set aside to cool. In a small saucepan
combine the maple syrup, vanilla, butter, cinnamon and salt. Stir until
combined and butter is melted.

Remove saucepan from heat and add pecans to the pot. Toss to coat all the nuts with the syrupy mixture. Spray a baking sheet with spray oil, such as PAM.
Spread pecans on greased baking sheet. Return to oven and roast at 300
degrees F for 20-25 minutes.

Spread parchment paper on a cookie cooling rack or counter. Place nuts
on top of the parchment, spreading so they don’t stick to each other
while they cool. When cool, package as you’d like or simple place in a
bowl on the counter for snacking.

hawaiian butter mochi

Butter mochi is an easy Hawaiian local-style treat made with sweet coconut, melted butter, and a gooey rice flour base. Hawaii is famous for its many fusion cuisine treats — such as malasadas, musubis, manapuas, and this sweet butter mochi. I have cousins in Hawaii, and have grown up savoring all of these delicious treats inspired by the diverse local culture whenever I visit. In fact, my oldest cousin also has a baking blog where she shares her recipes and reviews various restaurants in Oahu.

made in mini-muffin cups

This would be a great dessert for any tropical themed party, it’s also great for potlucks, and can easily feed a crowd. Everyone I know has fallen in love with its plump and chewy texture and irrisitable notes of butter, eggs, and vanilla. To find mochiko flour, look in your local Japanese/Asian store, or call a specialty store to see if they have it.
With love,
Erica

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter
4 eggs
3 cups sugar
4 cups mochi flour (you will need two boxes of mochiko)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 can coconut milk (12 oz.) – add water to make 2 cups
1 can (13 oz.) evaporated milk – add water to make 2 cups
2 teaspoons vanilla
optional:
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare your pan with butter and flour. I made an 8×8 square pan of mochi and some mini cupcakes. The batter will fill 2 square baking pans, or one baking pan and one mini cupcake pan. Sprinkle the pans with a little bit of mochiko.
In your stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar and eggs with an electric mixer. Add the mochiko and baking powder, along with the coconut milk and evaporated milk. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and the coconut extract. Next, add the shredded sweetened coconut.
Pour half the batter into the pan and place it in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take the mochi out of the oven and sprinkle some shredded coconut on top. Bake for another 30 minutes. Cool, and cut into squares.
For the mini cupcakes: Bake at 325 degrees F for about 15 minutes, then sprinkle some coconut on top, and bake for 15 minutes more.