Cinnamon Pecan Dehydrated Coconut Macaroons {Recipe}

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Here’s a fun weekend project for those with a dehydrator…

…a new coconut macaroon flavor! Cinnamon Pecan Coconut Macaroons!

I had been wanting to make some more macaroons recently, but I was low on almonds. However, I did have some pecans in the house since I’ve been trying to eat (and develop recipes) more seasonally. I wondered if they’d work in an adaptation of my Irresistible Coconut Macaroons, and they did! Scroll down for the full recipe.

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Cinnamon Pecan Dehydrated Coconut Macaroons

Here’s a healthy treat made with coconut, cinnamon, and pecans. These sweet, chewy bites are fun to make but hard to resist. Yum! They’d probably even be a fun project to do with your kiddos (except for the food processor part, of course) – they’d probably rather help mix ingredients and form the macaroons, riiight? Either way, they’d make a fun weekend project you can prep for the week ahead.

I like to prep these in the evening and let them work overnight. Just make sure you leave enough time for them in the morning to cool to room temperature before you pack them up in tupperware (or whatever you use for storage).

Prep time: 20 minutes
Dehydrating time: 8-12 hours
Total time: 8 hours 20 minutes – 12 hours 20 minutes
Yields: about 2 dozen macaroons  

*Vegetarian, Vegan*

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded coconut (finely shredded, not long flakes)
  • 3/4 cups raw almonds, processed in a food processor to coarse flour consistency, about 1-2 minutes (or sub almond flour/meal)
  • 3/4 cup pecans, processed in a food processor to flour consistency, about 1-2 minutes (or sub pecan meal)
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp almond extract

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix till all ingredients are evenly combined.
  2. Using a small ice cream scoop (1-inch deep), scoop mixture, pressing mixture into scoop to tightly pack. Remove macaroon from scoop, press together to create a well-formed macaroon with a rounded top. Note: it may get a little wonky when you remove it from the scoop, so just carefully re-form. Also, this mixture is quite wet, so it may seem tricky to form the macaroons, but be patient and try to pack them really tightly in the scoop before removing.
  3. Place macaroons, well-spaced, on dehydrator trays.
  4. Dehydrate for 8-12 hours, depending on how fast your machine works or how you like the texture of your macaroons. NOTE: 8 hours should yield very tender macaroons. The 12 hour batch is a little tougher on the outside and super-tender on the inside. I found I liked mine dehydrated a bit longer than the original macaroon recipe since this mixture is more wet.
  5. Allow them to cool before eating. I like mine at room temperature. Enjoy!

Click here to check out my original dehydrated coconut macaroon recipe!

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Make them in the evening and wake up to fresh-made coconut macaroons!

Reader question: What macaroon flavor would you like to see next?

Spiced Pecan Cake Minis Recipe

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I whipped this new cake mini recipe up the way I usually come up with most of my cake mini recipes. I wanted dessert, and I wanted it fast. Aaand I want to try a new flavor. The Chocolate “Depression” Cake Minis are often my quick-fix dessert of choice, but sometimes you just want to try something new. For whatever reason, fall has me thinking about using spices and nuts, so I threw them into a basic cake batter to see how it would turn out. To be honest, I didn’t think I’d share this recipe because it seemed so simple, but hubby and I really enjoyed them. I thought maybe some of you guys would, too.

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Spiced Pecan Cake Minis

A quick spiced dessert with pecans, cinnamon, and nutmeg, perfect for a cool fall day. The pecans add great texture, and the scent of these cake minis baking away make your house smell like autumn.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 16-20 minutes
Total Time: 21-25 minutes
Yields: 2 cake minis

*Vegetarian, Vegan options*

Ingredients:

  • 3 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoons flaxseed meal / ground flaxseeds
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • small handful pecans, chopped (about 2-3 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (or sub a similar oil)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk (or vegan milk substitute)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • powdered sugar, optional
  • non-stick spray

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two ramekins (3 inch diameter) with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Mix flaxseed meal and water together and set aside to bind while you continue with the rest of the recipe.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until ingredients are well-combined. Stir in pecans.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix oil and sugar. Stir in flaxseed/water mixture, then milk and vanilla until well-combined.
  5. Stir wet mixture into dry mixture until just combined (careful that no flour bits remain, but that you also do not over-mix).
  6. Evenly distribute batter into the two ramekins. Bake until top is golden brown and cake is cooked through (or a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean), about 16-20 minutes.
  7. Cool cakes to room temperature. Run a knife around the edge of the cake in the ramekin to loosen the cake (circling a couple times until you see the cake loosening from the bottom). Place the cake minis on serving plate.
  8. If using, dust the tops of the cakes with powdered sugar and serve. Enjoy!

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Oh, and if you’re wondering about the dip in the middle, I thought it would look cool if there was a whole pecan sitting the top of the cake. Unfortunately, the cake batter swallowed it. So, it looks a little weird, but it still tastes good.

Happy baking!

Thanks for reading!

Reader question: What ingredients do you think about when it comes to fall?

Carrot Cake Minis (for two) – Vegan

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Bake This…Today!

Looking for something to bake this weekend? Then whip these up! They take only minutes to mix up, 1/4 of the time of a regular cake to bake, and you get 100% of the deliciousness.

What is a Cake Mini? Why Bake One?

I’ve been working lately on a new style of dessert – Cake Minis. A Cake Mini is a basically just a small version of a regular cake. So, I know what you’re thinking…what’s the difference between this and a cupcake? Well, a cake mini is baked in a ramekin instead of a cupcake tin. This means no more putting an awkward, mostly-empty cupcake tin in the oven AND (perhaps the best part) easier clean up for you! Score!

But I’m not Vegan!

Oh and you don’t have to be vegan to make these. I’m not vegan. Heck, I’m not even vegetarian. But, I’ve found that when baking in small sizes, which I like to do a lot, it’s easier to make something vegan since eggs are really hard to portion out in the small amounts needed for these types of recipes. Feel free to use eggs instead of flaxseed-eggs (use 4 teaspoons egg instead of mixture of 1 teaspoon flaxseed + 3 teaspoons water).

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My first Cake Mini recipe was in one of my favorite flavors – Coconut Cream. This one is perhaps a more popular flavor (or at least one you guys have been asking for with such enthusiasm) – Carrot Cake!

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Yup, I used freshly grated carrots in these cupcakes.

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In fact, there is almost one carrot in each Cake Mini! So it’s like healthy…ish. Ok, not really, but we can pretend, right? ;)

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I doubled my recipe to make four Cake Minis since I was entertaining last weekend. It worked out quite nicely.

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I think I need another Crate and Barrel ramekin since I had to use a turquoise Le Creuset dish to bake my fourth! lol. But, really, any baking dish that is 3 inches in diameter should work.

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Anywho, like I said, this recipe really is easy and fast. Just mix dry, mix wet, mix wet mixture into dry mixture, pour, bake, make frosting, frost and enjoy. Ok, there is some time required to allow the cakes to cool to room temperature, but the best things come to those who wait, right? At least you don’t have to bake a cake for a full hour like full-sized versions! See what I do for you guys? I saved your 40 minutes of your weekend! ;)

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Carrot Cake Minis (for two)

Having a sweets craving? Why waste all the ingredients and time baking a full-sized cake when you can make just enough for you and a very lucky friend (or ok, enough for you to enjoy twice)? These Carrot Cake Minis are easy to make with a wonderful, spiced flavor, moist interior, and creamy-cream-cheese frosting. What are you waiting for? Let’s bake!

*Vegan* (with traditional substitutions listed below)

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed meal or ground flaxseeds + 3 teaspoons water (or sub chia seed egg or 4 teaspoons egg)
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance, softened (or sub butter)
  • 3 tablespoons sucanat (or sugar, which will yield a slightly sweeter cake)
  • 1/2 tablespoon oil (use non-flavored, i.e. canola or safflower)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (or milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup carrot grated, preferably organic (about 1 1/2 medium sized carrots)
  • 1/8 cup pecans, chopped, plus additional for topping

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two ramekins (3 inch diameter) with non-stick cooking spray. Note: I’d go ahead now and set aside the butter and cream cheese used in the frosting recipe so they can come to room temperature while your cakes bake, see below for details.
  2. Mix flaxseed meal and water together and set aside to bind while you continue with the rest of the recipe.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt until ingredients are well-combined.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together Earth Balance and sucanat until well-combined. Stir in oil. Stir in flaxseed/water mixture, milk, and vanilla until well-combined.
  5. Stir wet mixture into dry mixture until just combined (careful that no flour bits remain, but that you also do not over-mix). Gently fold in pecans.
  6. Evenly distribute batter into the two ramekins. Bake until top is golden brown and cake is cooked through (or a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean), about 19-22 minutes.
  7. Cool cakes to room temperature. Run a knife around the edge of the cake in the ramekin to loosen the cake (circling a couple times until you see the cake loosening from the bottom).
  8. Frost cake with Creamy-Cream-Cheese Frosting, recipe follows, and top Cake Minis with additional chopped pecans.
  9. Enjoy!

Creamy-Cream-Cheese Frosting

*Vegan substitute listed below*

Makes enough to top 2 Cake Minis. I actually made this with real cream cheese since I’m not vegan, but there are vegan cream cheese products out there that you could use. Check your health food store for options. :)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tablespoon Earth Balance, room temperature (or sub butter)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cream cheese , room temperature (or sub vegan cream cheese, i.e. Tofutti)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Combine Earth Balance, cream cheese, and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Using a handheld mixer, slowly mix until dry sugar is mixed into the Earth Balance and cream cheese. Then on medium to medium/high speed, whip frosting for a minute or so to get it light and fluffy.
  2. Apply frosting to Cake Minis from previous recipe.

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Nommmm!

I still have a full list of additional flavors you guys have requested and trust me, I will enjoy every moment working on those new flavors for you! :) You can check out the list of future Cake Mini flavors (or reader requests) here.

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Candied Pecan Topped Oatmeal

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TGIF Friends! This week has been sooo long! Know what I mean? I’m so ready for the weekend!

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I was so excited to share some photos from breakfast with you guys today that I had to take a lil break from work today to post, instead of waiting till after work.

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I used the last of my frozen steel cut oats from my “oatmeal factory” awhile back for today’s breakfast.

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I just mixed in half a mashed (very-well-ripened banana), plus some 1% organic milk (you could use non-dairy milk to make your version vegan) and chia seeds.

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To top, I added ground flaxseed meal and the last of my vegan candied pecans (click for this fast and easy recipe). Boy did they make an amazing topping, folks! Look for those candied pecans again soon…they’re way too easy to not make again in the near future.

Remember to tell me how you dress up your t-shirt and jeans by clicking here and adding a comment. I love reading about your ideas!

Roasted Pear Salad with Gorgonzola, Candied Pecans, & Balsamic Reduction

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This weekend, I finally got around to making that new salad creation I’ve been dreaming about the last few days.

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Ever since I received those coupons for free Fresh Express salad blends as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, all I can think about are creative salad concoctions.

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Tonight’s salad focused on a fall fruit as the star ingredient – pears! I used Bartlett because I read online they are good for roasting. I chose a nice, firm, organic pear for my recipe.

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And I made some quick and easy candied pecans. These are vegan, too, because I didn’t use the traditional egg white. I actually really like my recipe because it’s easy to make in small batches. You can’t really use half an egg white (unless you use the stuff in the jugs).

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All in all, I’m pretty proud of my little fall salad. I had another turn feeling like a real chef with all my you-can’t-rush-this cooking: the reduction of the balsamic, the roasting of the pecans, and the roasting of the pears.

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It was so worth it for this yumminess!

This salad would be so pretty to entertain with. And if you’re on the fence about trying it because it looks complicated, maybe just go for the roasted pears, but use a store-bought dressing? I’d go with something on the sweeter side if you do that. If you have company over, make extra of the pecans and put them out in a bowl for your guests to snack on. I know from personal experience that they are quite tasty to snack on. ;)

Roasted Pear Salad with Gorgonzola, Candied Pecans, & Balsamic Reduction

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 pear, peeled, halved horizontally, seeded/cored (I used Bartlett)
  • 2 cup tightly packed Fresh Express Five Lettuce Mix, rinsed and dried
  • 1/4 cup gorgonzola
  • extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • balsamic reduction, cooled, recipe below
  • candied pecans, cooled, recipe below

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut a small slice from the bump of each pear to help it lay flat on the rounded side.
  3. Place pear wide side down and drizzle with a bit of EVOO.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip. Drizzle other side with a bit of EVOO. Bake for 10 more minutes. Remove to cool.
  5. Place salad mix on 2 large plates as your salad base.
  6. Place cooled, roasted pear on top of each salad. Top with gorgonzola, candied pecans, and drizzle with balsamic reduction to finish (use portions to your preferences). Enjoy!

Balsamic Reduction

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • pinch salt

Directions:

  1. Add balsamic vinegar and salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, while whisking often. Reduce heat to simmer.
  2. Continue cooking, whisking often, till vinegar is to as thick a consistency as you like. (It should reduce to about 1/4 – 1/2 cup).

Quick Candied Pecans

Easy and Vegan!

These are great for salads, topping for bread or breakfast casseroles, over oatmeal, in cereal, over mashed sweet potatoes, or even served straight up as a party snack.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pecans (I used whole)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1-2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together maple syrup, cinnamon, and oil until well combined.
  • Add pecans and stir till sauce is well-distributed and all nuts are coated. Pour nuts onto prepared baking sheet and spread out a little so nuts aren’t touching.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Turn pecans. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Return to oven and bake 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle lightly with sugar.
  • Set aside to cool.

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Nommmmm!

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