Saturday, March 21, 2015

Homemade Cranberry Pepita Pecan Cliff Bars

So, as many of you can tell from fb I've been on a energy bar recipe craze- I would make one, be kinda happy with it, and then make another.  And another.  And another.  (no kidding.  I made like 5 different recipes this week- I found that what I wanted I would just have to make happen.  So I did) And then this one..... this turned out amazing.  I roughly based it off another recipe I found on the internet and wasn't completely happy with- so feel free to swap out and add in other ingredients to your hearts content. :)

Homemade Cranberry Pepita Pecan Cliff Bars

1/2 cup raw pecans
1/4 cup toasted pecans
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup maple sirup
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups crisp rice cereal
2 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup pepitas

Line a 9x13 pan with parchment- making sure the parchment is overhanging the pan so you can later pull the bars out.  In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the raw and toasted pecans till chopped, put pecan peices aside and in the now empty food processor pulse the cranberries till in small pieces.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, microwave the almond butter, sirup, and honey for 1 minute.  Stir in the cinnamon and vanilla,  Then add the cereal, oats, flax meal, pepitas, pecans, and cranberries.  Stir till combined, then pour mixture into the pan.  Press very firmly into the pan, as hard as you can pack it.  Refrigerate for an hour, then pull the bars out of the pan with the parchment and cut into squares or rectangles of desired size, then press all over very firmly with the flat side of a metal spatula or something flat and sturdy before taking the bars apart.  Refrigerate or freeze bars till ready to use.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cinnamon Roll Toasted Pecan Cupcakes with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

So, since it's been about a year *cough cough* since I published my last post, I thought I'd throw one out there today.

So, since several people requested this recipe, it was a great excuse to revive my poor forgotten little blog which I never seem to have any thing to post or say on.  I mean, I'm good posting on Instagram, FB, Twitter, all that, but why is it so difficult for me to post on my blog?  I think it has something to do with the fact I hate the thought of sitting at the computer and typing (and the fact that come on, IPhones are super easy go go on and post stuff- they don't make you sit with a big hunk of technology on your lap), but, once I get started it's hard to stop talking.  I seem to have that problem quite a bit nowadays.  I mean, give me an opening and I basically talk your ear off.  About the randomest stuff.  Okay..... I'll stop I guess.  After all, the real reason you're here is for the recipe, and not to hear me ramble on, right?  

Cinnamon Roll Toasted Pecan Cupcakes with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk

4 oz. cream cheese
1 cup whipping cream, divided
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
5 cups powdered sugar

To decorate-
24 toasted pecan halves

Mix together the brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Line 2 standard dozen muffin tins with cupcake liners, set aside.  In a large bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder.  In the bowl of a mixer, beat together butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and add vanilla, then mix for 10 seconds.  Add flour in three batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each time till barely incorporated.  Fill muffin tins 2/3 full.  Top each cupcake with 1 1/2 teaspoon of the filling, and use a knife to gently swirl (slide knife blade into the cupcake batter, and fold it over the topping once or twice).  Set aside the remaining filling to use later.  Bake for about 15 minutes (or until center of cupcakes springs back lightly when touched).  Remove from oven, let cool for 3 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a rack to cool completely. 

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, slowly adding in 1/3 cup whipping cream, till smooth.  Set aside.  In another bowl, beat butter till fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add in the vanilla, remaining 2/3 cup whipping cream, and powdered sugar.  Beat on high till light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  If needed, add more powdered sugar or whipping cream, depending on the consistency you would like it to be.  Add in the cream cheese mixture, mix till just combined (do not overbeat).

To assemble-
Using a round frosting tip, frost cupcakes.  Sprinkle the remaining filling over cupcakes, then top with a toasted pecan half.  If not consuming them within an hour or so, refrigerate and let them sit for an hour at room temperature before serving.  Refrigerate leftovers.       

*Note on the frosting- when I made this, I basically just kept throwing stuff in, so what I gave your is the closest to what I think I threw in.  So, if you find it doesn't work for you, feel free to keep throwing in extra powdered sugar and whipping cream like I did.