Tag Archives: snacks

Date Nut Skillet Cookies

Still using up the pantry.  I found dates and coconut, and remembered these sweet, old-fashioned cookies that my Nana used to make.  Salted butter works best. Enjoy!

¼ c. lightly salted butter
½ c. light brown sugar
1 egg
8 oz. pitted dates, chopped
½ c. finely chopped pecans, toasted
1 c. crispy rice cereal
¾ c. sweetened coconut flakes

In a medium-sized cast-iron skillet, melt butter over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar. Stir in egg and chopped dates. Return the pan to the stove.  Cook mixture over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and cool, stirring often, about 5 minutes (or until cool enough to handle). Stir in pecans and cereal.

Spread coconut flakes on a small plate.  Using buttered hands, roll spoonfuls of the mixture into generous 1” balls, rolling each ball in coconut before setting it aside. You’ll end up with about 30 cookies.  Let cool.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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Honey- Spiced Pecans

There’s no denying…. I’ve become obsessed with the taste of honey and hot pepper.  It all started with the Red Pepper & Acacia Honey (from Tuscany!) that I found at beekind in San Francisco.  For this recipe, I use local wildflower honey and cayenne pepper.  The spicy-sweet combination on the crunchy pecans is reeee-aaallly good.  You might try adding a little less salt if you’re using salted butter.  Enjoy!

2 T. butter, melted
4 T. unfiltered honey
1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
½ tsp. salt
2 c. pecans
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine melted butter, honey, cayenne and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in pecans and gently toss to combine. Spread nuts out in a single layer on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes, stirring once, until toasted. Let cool. Store in an airtight container.

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Spider Cornbread

At our local farmer’s market they sell maple cream, maple syrup that has been heated and churned until it is the consistency of frosting.  This time of year, I start to crave it smeared on another New World staple, warm cornbread.  Originally, corn bread was made without flour, and the recipe I grew up with follows this tradition.  Early american cooks also put a premium on finer white cornmeal, but yellow works too.  I usually make two batches of this, as my kids scarf one pan down within minutes.   I slice any leftovers into individual servings and wrap with foil.  They rewarm beautifully in the oven this way.  Try splitting and filling each piece  with pb&j before throwing them into to reheat.  Makes for a great breakfast.  Enjoy!

2 T. butter
1.5 c. white cornmeal
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs, well beaten

Place butter in a 10” cast iron skillet and place in a cold oven. Turn oven to 450°F to preheat. (Alternatively, you can use a glass 8×8” pan and 425°F.)

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and add buttermilk and eggs. Remove warmed pan with butter (now melted) from oven and tilt to grease the bottom and sides. Pour remaining butter into batter and quickly mix. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.*

*Note: You may also use cast iron corn stick molds, but you will need to use additional butter to grease them prior to preheating. Melt the 2 T. butter called for in the recipe in the microwave and add to the batter as above.
Bake at 450°F for 20 minutes.

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Green Smoothie

The “Green and Glowing” smoothie at my local Whole Foods is all the rage at the moment.  Thought I’d pass along my rendition in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.  It serves 1-2.  Enjoy!

1/3 c. dried (unsweetened) coconut
1 c. almond milk
2 handfuls baby spinach (about ½ a blenderful)
1 c. frozen mango
1 c. frozen pineapple
2/3 c. water
1 T. maple syrup (opt.)

Place dried coconut and almond milk in a (microwave-proof) glass. Nuke for 1 minute. Let steep for at least 10 minutes to soften coconut.

Put spinach in the blender first, then add all the remaining ingredients. Puree on high until smooth. Serve.

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Banana Bread

According to John-Bryan Hopkins at Foodimentary.com, today is National Banana Bread day.  The stars must be in alignment for this recipe, which I whipped up yesterday and fed the kids this morning.  The recipe uses the same dry ingredients as the Pumpkin Bread I posted a few weeks ago.  It happens to be gluten-free, though it is just as good, if not better, than regular banana bread.  My kids scarf it down in every variation- with nuts, without nuts, with dates, without dates.. . I’ve even turned it into Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (well, cake really,) for special occasions.  That variation is included below.  Enjoy!

Banana Bread
1 c. soy flour
½ c. corn (or potato) starch
¼ c. brown rice flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

¼ c. butter, room temperature
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs

Scant ¾ c. mashed ripe banana (about 2 medium bananas)
½ c. toasted walnuts, chopped (opt.)
½ c. chopped dates (opt.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 8×4” loaf pan with cooking spray.

Combine soy flour, corn starch, rice flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Briefly attempt to cream butter and sugar (there won’t be enough butter to do this, but at least combine to grittiness). Add eggs and beat until thick and pale yellow.

Add half the dry ingredients and mix briefly. Add the mashed bananas. Mix. Finish adding the dry ingredients, reserving a tablespoon or so if using walnuts or dates. Toss dates and/or walnuts with that little bit of dry ingredients, then stir into batter. Scrape into loaf pan and smooth top. Bake 55 min, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on rack.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread  (variation)- Follow the recipe above, omitting dates. Up the sugar to ¾ c. (or 1 cup, if your bananas were not super-ripe). After beating the butter, sugar and eggs until thick, stir in 1 tsp. vanilla and ½ tsp. almond extract. Fold in 2/3 c. semisweet chocolate chips and ½ c. walnuts (opt.) Continue as above.

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Pumpkin Snack Bread

When I make this snack bread, I often measure out extra sets of the dry ingredients (minus the spices) into sandwich bags, making my own “mix” for next time.  This bread is gluten-free, and kids love it.  Feel free to amp up the sugar a little, if you want a sweeter bread.

1 c. soy flour
½ c. corn (or potato) starch
¼ c. brown rice flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground cloves
2 pinches ground nutmeg
½ tsp. salt
¼ c. butter, room temperature
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
¾ c. toasted walnuts, chopped or chopped dates (opt.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 8×4” loaf pan with cooking spray.

Combine soy flour, corn starch, rice flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Briefly attempt to cream butter and sugar (there won’t be enough butter to do this, but at least combine to grittiness). Add eggs and beat until thick. Add half the dry ingredients and mix. Add the pumpkin puree, mix briefly, and finish adding the dry ingredients, reserving a tablespoon or so if using walnuts or dates. Toss dates or walnuts with that little bit of dry ingredients, then stir into batter. Scrape into loaf pan and smooth top. Bake 60 min, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on rack.

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