- Make sure to pre-mix your tahini so that there are no solids settled at the bottom and it is creamy and smooth. If necessary, try heating it up a bit in the microwave to help it re-emulsify.
- Preheat oven to 300°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Toss nuts and coconut in a large bowl. Whisk maple syrup, tahini, oil, salt, and cardamom in a medium bowl until combined. Pour tahini syrup over nut mixture and toss with a spatula until evenly coated. Scrape onto prepared sheet. Bake granola, tossing and rotating sheet from front to back every 10–15 minutes, until golden brown, 30–35 minutes total.
- Let cool on baking sheet (granola will crisp as it cools), about 20 minutes. Break into pieces before serving.
- Do Ahead: Granola can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
I love baking with tahini, so I jumped at the excuse to use it in a granola. Obviously, one could adjust the ingredients and ratios as one wishes; my one caveat is that I found the original recipe way too salty, even when using the proper kosher salt. So I've reduced it down to my usual ratio for a single baking recipe. Feel free to adjust it back up to your taste.
This started when one of my best friends gave me some homemade apple jam made from her homegrown apples. Since I don't eat a lot of toast in general, I was trying to figure out if there were baked goods I could use it in without losing it as a flavor. While apple sauce and any fruit in general is a wonderful source of moisture for cakes, I wanted to actually taste it. Also, most baked goods that include apples tend to ask for the original fruit itself, whether in slices or chunks, rather than in jam form.
So, then came the idea of using it as a filling in cored out cupcakes, and I stumbled across this recipe for an almond cupcake that, coincidentally, was already going the jam-filled route! As it so happened, the cupcake itself was good enough to stand on its own even without the extra jam and icing, so it's getting its own recipe space. Extra bonus is that since it's made from almond flour rather than refined flour, I can eat a lot more of it without getting nasty sugar spikes! Yum!
This was everything it promised to be and my entire family was blown away. I stumbled across this recipe looking for pistachio-related things to make, and it turned out absolutely beautifully. The dijon mustard gave it a lovely tangy depth (and as an otherwise avowed mustard-hater, I would NOT leave this off or substitute it with anything else) and everything else crusted up just as promised.
I've been on a huge skillet kick lately, and this seemed like the perfect way to get my apple pie fix the quick-and-easy way. It's not quite easy-peasy, but easy enough with the right tools - a food processor and a 12" skillet, which might seem humongous for a single family dessert, but with all the fruit spread out, is mostly just a single layer thick, so quite manageable for two evenings' worth of enjoyment!
This was a surprisingly extraordinary cake considering its borderline easy-peasy status! From the Better Baking book by Genevieve Ko, it was a surprise hit as I had only made it because I had leftover ricotta in the fridge. Wonderfully fragrant, with the pistachio's nutty undertones and a density and texture reminiscent of pound cake, the cherry on top was that you can throw all the ingredients into the food processor and be done with it.
I love cereals and granola bars, but even eyeing nutritional labels like a hawk, I still find 99% of them sweeter than I prefer these days. So, I started looking up steps for making my own granola - and how can you go wrong with tons of spices like this recipe calls for?
This turned out surprisingly well for a first attempt! Maybe not quite as crunchy as I sometimes prefer, but more than just edible, and endlessly adjustable.
Alternative using soaked oatmeal:
I don't even remember how I stumbled across this recipe from Tending the Table anymore, but it was perfect for my needs at the time as I had a friend over who had a gluten allergy. And how can you go wrong with dark chocolate?
It was beautifully decadent, a little bit like a dense brownie except without all the carb guilt, and nicely balanced on sweetness. I didn't want to specially buy coconut sugar just for this, so followed an online guide that indicated one could substitute light brown sugar at about a 2/3 ratio, and it came out beautifully. This is also one of those magical baked goods that is even more delicious after it has sat in the fridge for a bit.
Adapted from this recipe, don't let the "paleo" part fool you - this was a super-moist fluffy muffin that had none of the meal-like texture that I usually associate with nut or coconut-based flours. Granted, there's very little "flour" associated with it at all - just enough to hold everything together, which is why I love it since I'm highly sensitive to refined carbs. Even with all the bananas, it didn't taste over-sweet - in fact, some might find it not sweet enough, though I found it perfectly to my taste, especially with the walnuts to help add texture and the addition of some dark chocolate chips. I think this is a fabulous breakfast muffin, where you don't feel like you just ate a cup of sugar, can spread a little bit of butter and salt atop it if you'd rather have some savory than sweet, and feel like you ate something reasonably healthy with all the fruit and nut bases in it (not to mention a nice shot of chocolate)!
My brother adores pecan pie, but they almost unilaterally call for corn syrup in their recipes, which is just ... bleh. This is one of the rare ones that does not ask for corn syrup - and from the way he devoured it on his birthday (in place of a cake), I'd say it did quite well without it.
(Though this is usually done in a pie crust, I have also substituted the pine nut tart crust for the usual pie crust. One note is that you can't just cook the tart crust first as usual; it may burn if you just put it into the oven with the rest of the filling for 30 minutes. I took the halfway road and cooked the crust for 10 minutes at 350 F, poured the filling in, covered the edges with foil, and then popped it back into the oven to finish.)
I got this recipe from a coworker of mine many years ago, and it's a great way to help spruce up pecans which, sadly, often become stale or soft really quickly, particularly if you get them from the bulk bins in grocery stores. While the original recipe had called for almost double all the spices and flavors, I found that cutting those down makes these more enjoyable by the handful.
Part of the reason I started baking was because I like my goodies to be less obviously sweet - I want to taste the flavor, not just the sugar. So most of these recipes will have the sugar dialed down.