Gluten-free Pear-Chocolate Chip Muffins

With my first post of the season, I would like to officially welcome everyone to fall! I feel like I should have said that back in August, since that is when all of the Halloween and fall merchandise hit the stores. For those who live in areas where the temperatures drop in early September, I suppose it’s not a big deal to have fall flavors pop up early. Here in the sunshine state, however, it still feels too much like summer, even into mid-October.

Thankfully, temperatures have finally gotten a little cooler lately, especially at night, helping boost those fall vibes. Even on the warmest days, I still couldn’t resist switching my protein coffee into fall mode the moment the pumpkin spice almond milk hit the shelves. Slowly but surely, the spirit of fall is sinking in, thus my transition into fall mode with my sweets.

This is my first fall-inspired sweet of the season. I know it does not use either of the traditional fall favorites, apples and pumpkins, but I did still choose a fall harvested fruit, the pear. I’m not big on eating pears raw because of my issue with their texture, but I love baking them into food for their flavor. These muffins showcase the pear flavor perfectly and when paired with dark chocolate chips….need I say more? Even better, these muffins are gluten-free and only cost 155 calories, making them a great on-the-go breakfast or healthy snack when a sweets craving strikes. I urge you to give them a try, especially when you begin to grow tired of everything pumpkin and apple this season!

Gluten-free Pear-Chocolate Chip Muffins

(Yield: 16 Muffins)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Old-fashioned Rolled Oats; divided
  • 2 ¼ tsp. Ground Cinnamon; divided
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 ¼ cups Whole Buttermilk
  • 5 tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 Pears; finely chopped
  • 5 tbsp. Dark Chocolate Chips (70% or higher)
  • ¼ cup chopped Pecans; unsalted
  • 2 tsp. Sucanat

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line two standard size muffin tins with paper liners (16 total). Fill remaining empty cups with 2 tbsp. water to prevent the tin from warping. Set aside.
  2. In a blender, pulverize 2½ cups oats into a fine flour. Transfer oat flour to a large bowl and add remaining ½ cup oats, 2 tsp. cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk egg. Add in the buttermilk, maple syrup, and oil. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in pears, chocolate chips, and pecans. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each liner three-quarters full. Set aside.
  4. In another small bowl, toss together Sucanat and the remaining ¼ tsp. cinnamon. Sprinkle 1/8 tsp. Sucanat mixture over batter in each liner. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.
  5. Allow muffins to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for 3 days or freeze and defrost when needed.

Nutrients Per Serving: 1 Muffin

Calories: 155, Protein: 4 g.,

Total Fat: 6 g., Sat. Fat: 2 g.,

Fiber: 3 g., Sodium: 130 mg.,

Sugars: 9 g., Carbs: 22 g.,

Cholesterol: 14 mg

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: H. BAINBRIDGE
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2019

Maple Frosted Pecan Spice Cupcakes

20161212_113728The temperatures have officially dropped for the year and much of the country has a dusting (or few feet) of snow on the ground. We may not have snow here in Florida but the temps have dropped enough that I still get the instinct to stay inside bundled up in blankets and make something warm to keep me cozy. This time of year I usually start making cookies as part of my Christmas cookies series with the hopes of helping those looking for ways to add a new type of cookie to the traditional holiday offerings. I promise those recipes are coming soon but I had to fulfill a wish from my 3-year-old who kept asking for cake.

20161212_113623Anyone with a toddler or preschooler knows a slice of cake is extremely messy so I typically offer cupcakes instead. This typically cuts down on the mess minus a few crumbs here and there. I chose to keep with the holiday spirit and select a cake that combines all of the aromas associated with this time of year. Nothing gets me in the holiday spirit more than cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves permeating the air with their wonderful aroma as the cake bakes. Throw on some Christmas music and voila you have holiday cheer in your house without having to make the dreaded (at least in my house) sugar cookies.

20161212_113521What takes this cake to the next level is the frosting. I will warn you this frosting is not the easiest to work with but it is totally worth the effort. The maple adds the perfect complement to the spice cake and makes it feel as if you purchased them from a fancy pastry shop. If the frosting starts to set up on you too quick add a few drops of cream or water until it reaches a spreadable consistency once more. A toasted whole pecan on top adds the finishing touch and a delightful crunch!

Maple Frosted Pecan Spice Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Spice Flavored Cake Mix (or your favorite spice cake recipe)
  • 1/3 cup Chopped Pecans; toasted
  • ½ cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • ¼ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ¼ cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • Dash of Salt
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 18 Whole Pecans; toasted

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Fill a 12-cup and a 6-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Prepare cake mix according to box (or recipe) directions. Once batter is prepared, gently fold in the chopped pecans until just combined. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each liner ¾ full with batter. Bake cupcakes until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool.
  3. While the cupcakes cool prepare the frosting. In a saucepan place brown sugar, heavy whipping cream, maple syrup, butter, and salt. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring only until the sugar dissolves. Cook mixture for 3 minutes without stirring. Remove mixture from the heat and scrape into a large bowl. Add the powdered sugar and beat with a hand mixer on high-speed for 2 minutes (or until mixture has cooled slightly and thickened). Beat in the vanilla.
  4. Using an offset spatula, move quickly to frost each cupcake. If the frosting sets before you have completed all of the cupcakes add a few drops of cream or water until the frosting is back to a spreadable consistency (the frosting will set faster if your cupcakes have completely cooled). Place a whole pecan on the center of each frosted cupcake. Serve.

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: KATHY FARRELL-KINGSLEY
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

Skinny Bourbon Pecan-Date Bars

20161114_103250Halloween has come and gone in the blink of an eye and now Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Two quintessential Thanksgiving treats found on almost every family’s Thanksgiving table tend to be Pecan or Pumpkin Pie. I try to make one or the other every year and I also like to reinvent old flavors into new favorites. These bars are a re-invention of the traditional pecan pie. In the South, pecan pie traditionally gets spiked with a bit of bourbon but dates are usually not in the mix. The date palm across the street from our house currently dropping fruit gave some inspiration for the non-traditional addition and I must say it was a success.

20161114_103003One thing I dislike about pecan pie (or inspirations derived from it) is the mess. These bars are no different. They are sticky messes of deliciousness so I suppose it is all worthwhile in the end. If you do decide to prepare these keep in mind that they are just as sticky as a pecan pie and they can fall apart like a pecan pie if not allowed to properly set. In order to avoid some of the mishaps that may come from this I have a few simple suggestions. First, plan on making these at least a day in advance. This is beneficial in two ways. The first is that the bars are much easier to cut when they have had a chance to chill. The second is simply saving you time on Thanksgiving to devote to other items you can’t prepare in advance.

20161114_102718Unfortunately, sometimes when we solve one problem we ultimately create another. That is the case with chilling these bars. When they are chilled, they set up properly and allow you to cut them easily and uniformly. However, they are extremely hard to separate from the pan when cold. I do have a solution to this minor issue. Simply make sure that after these bars have cooled completely, run a knife around the outer edge to loosen the bars from the pan but refrain from cutting into portions before chilling. Chill the bars at least 3 hours but preferably overnight. Once fully chilled, you can cut into portions and not struggle to cut the edges from the pan when they are rock solid. The edges should slide away from the pan easily. Enjoy!!!

Skinny Bourbon Pecan-Date Bars

Crust Ingredients:

  • 4 ½ oz. All-Purpose Flour (approximately 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ cup Chilled Butter; cut into small pieces

Filling Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Light Corn Syrup
  • ¼ cup Molasses
  • 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • ¼ cup Egg Substitute
  • 2 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp. Bourbon
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 Large Egg
  • ½ cup chopped pitted Dates
  • 1/3 cup Chopped Pecans; toasted
  • Toasted Whole Pecans; for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Coat an 11 x 7 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. To prepare the crust, whisk the flour, brown sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the butter pieces to the bowl and cut in using a pastry blender or two knives until mixture looks like coarse meal. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 12 minutes or until crust is light brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°. In a large bowl whisk together the corn syrup, molasses, brown sugar, egg substitute, flour, bourbon, vanilla, salt, and egg. Stir in the dates and chopped pecans. Pour the filling over the prepared crust. Place the whole pecans on top of the filling to create a presentable pattern. Bake bars for 35 minutes or until set. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Use a knife to separate bars from edge of pan. Cover and chill 3 hours or until firm. Cut into bars and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

(1 Bar)

 

bourbonpecandatebarsnutritionlabel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weight Watchers: 5 Smart Points, 3 Points Plus, or 2 Traditional Points

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: JULIE GRIMES BOTTCHER
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

Glazed Orange-Pecan Bread

3This winter came a bit late for us like many others in the U.S. and with that wait for the arrival of colder temps came a delay in many of my favorite winter recipes. I usually have made some type of soup or chili by November, yet this year my first soup did not come until late December, practically January. The same goes for bread. There is nothing that spells winter like a fresh, warm loaf of bread from the oven. I tend to associate the two because I dislike going out in the cold and so I would traditionally bake to occupy myself plus keep the house warm. This is my first bread of the season and I have to say it was a spectacular choice.

2The inspiration to make an orange infused bread came from the constant reminder of fresh oranges currently in season here. Every day upon leaving home, I see all of the orange trees in the grove across the street from our subdivision. Recently, all of the oranges have ripened and the sweet smell of blossoms are just starting to permeate the air signifying their arrival. This bread is the perfect representation of what oranges have to offer. Infused with a triple punch of orange flavor, the bread is not only full of citrus but is also quick and easy to make. You do not need a mixer, only a spoon and two bowls. Simple and quick so that you can be devouring this delicious and lighter bread.

1

Glazed Orange-Pecan Bread

Bread Ingredients:

  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 ¾ cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Allspice
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ½ cup Low-Fat Buttermilk
  • ¼ cup Chopped Pecans; toasted
  • 3 tbsp. 1% Low-Fat Milk
  • 3 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp. Orange Marmalade
  • 1 tsp. Orange Extract
  • 2 Eggs

Glaze Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Orange Juice; fresh squeezed
  • 2 tsp. Chopped Pecans; toasted

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice together in a large bowl. Stir together with a whisk, making a well in the center of the mixture. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, combine sugar, buttermilk, pecans, milk, oil, marmalade, extract, and eggs. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Pour mixture into the well made in the flour mixture. Stir mixtures together until just moistened.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs attached (or clean). Cool bread for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. After 10 minutes, remove the bread from the loaf pan and cool completely on the wire rack.
  5. After the bread has cooled prepare the glaze. Combine the powdered sugar and juice together until mixture is smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled bread and sprinkle with the chopped pecans. Serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

(1 Slice)

glazed orange pecan bread label

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weight Watchers: 7 Smart Points, 5 Points Plus, or 4 Traditional Points

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: MAUREEN CALLAHAN
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

No Bake Crispy Date Bites

3When I initially went to work on these no bake bites I was having quite the rough week. My daughter was sick with a severe cold and I had caught the dreaded bug myself. I spent many hours wiping boogies, picking up spit out food, and changing sweat soaked, vapor rub scented pj’s. If I managed to get her to sleep for longer than a few minutes without waking up in a coughing fit or needing consolation, I had to work on my 20 pounds of homework I had waiting for me each week to figure out how to complete. Since my focus had obviously been everywhere else but the blog, I needed another quick fix and what could be more quick than something you do not have to bake.

These bites are perfect for mommy’s/daddy’s and all the worker bees out there who simply do not have the time or energy to make anything elaborate. My no bake crispy date bites come together quick (only 5 minutes of cook time on the stove) and taste like they have had hours spent on them in a confectionery getting the flavor and texture just right. Everyone that sampled these tasty treats thought they had been slaved over and they were shocked to find out these dainty treats were practically as simple as the traditional back of the box Rice Krispie favorite. These really are a simple treat that can be made to give kids after school or as an additional treat at a holiday table or office party.

2Being as this recipe is a quick one I will also keep my discussion about it brief. The following recipe prepares about 3 dozen bites, which is adequate for entertaining or munching over several days. The bites should be stored at room temperature and kept for no longer than three days.

 

Note: When toasting the nuts be sure to stir them frequently to prevent them from burning. Also please be sure that the date mixture does not reach a rapid boil as you may risk curdling the eggs.

 

NO BAKE CRISPY DATE BITES

 Ingredients:

  •  8 tbsp. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter
  • ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Chopped Dates
  • 1 Egg; lightly beaten
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies Cereal
  • ½ cup Pecans; toasted & chopped

Formula:

  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add the sugar, dates, egg, and salt to the butter and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla, Rice Krispies, and pecans until the mixture is well incorporated (there should be no areas of dry cereal pieces). Allow the mixture to cool for about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Once the mixture has cooled it is time to shape them into bite size portions. Grab a portion of the mixture and shape it into a 1-inch ball. Transfer the shaped ball onto the prepared baking sheet. Continue until all of the mixture has been shaped into bite size portions. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator and chill the bites until firm, about 15 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: PAMELA GRAHAM
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2015

Dreamy Coconut Cookie Cups

20140128_162242Today was a rather dreary day and that made it perfect for staying in and baking. After a relatively busy day yesterday full of appointments revolving around my little one and grocery shopping, I was ready for a mellow day. After making breakfast for my little family I took on a recipe called Dream Bars. I decided to reinvent it into a more convenient, portable treat.

20140128_162215

Sure they may not seem like much but they sure do taste delicious. Surprisingly, despite how simplistic they may appear, these little guys can cause some problems. First off, most of the traditional Dream Bar recipes out there were just too sweet, even for my very forgiving sweet tooth. To overcome this, I wanted to overcome the sweetness with nuts. By toasting the nuts until crunchy, it cut through even the toughest of residual sweetness.

20140128_162051

Perhaps my favorite part of this treat is the coconut topping. Of course my favorite things always end up being the most problematic… go figure!!! Shredded coconut on its own would just dry out, burn, and become gross. To keep the shredded coconut moist and delicious I soaked it in cream of coconut, which not only kept it moist but added richness and the perfect concentration of sugar that results in a caramelized topping without being overly sweet.

20140128_162032

To further balance out the sweetness it is key to dial back the sugar in not only the topping but also the crust. By making the crust thicker and resemble a shortbread cookie instead of the typical thin, weak base, the nuttiness is more prevalent and keeps the sugary topping at bay. Speaking of sugar, I’m sure Domino Sugar would be hating on me for discouraging the over usage of its product since back in the day it was the bar version of this recipe that was used as a marketing tool to sell their sugar to housewives. Sorry Domino, please forgive me 🙂

20140128_162017

I will admit this isn’t my strongest post, but it was never meant to be. It was meant to be an experiment, a way to refresh a recipe created in the Great Depression into something modern for our crazy, hectic world we now reside. It is not glamorous or gourmet. It is homey, practical, and satisfying. Probably why it has stuck around for so many years and had so many back-of-the-box variations. If it made some of the harshest moments of American history a bit more dreamy, than it is okay in my book!!!

Note: Formula yields 18 cookie cups. Cookie cups can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 5 days.

Dreamy Cookie Cups

Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • ¾ cup Dark Brown Sugar; packed
  • ½ cup Pecans
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 10 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; cut into pieces & chilled

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups Shredded Coconut
  • 1 cup Cream of Coconut
  • 2 Eggs
  • ¾ cup Dark Brown Sugar; packed
  • 2 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla-Nut Extract
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Pecans; toasted & chopped

Formula:

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. To make the crust, process flour, sugar, pecans, and salt in a food processor until pecans are coarsely ground. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press mixture firmly into the bottoms of each muffin tin. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the topping. Combine the shredded coconut and cream of coconut in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Stir in the pecans, then spread over the cooled crusts, dividing evenly among each cookie cup. Dollop heaping tablespoons of the coconut mixture over the filling and spread into as even a layer as possible.
  4. Bake the cookie cups until deep golden brown, about 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM MARIA DEL MAR SACASA

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2014

Pecan Bars

DSC_0391

Christmas is just one week away and I have yet to finish my Christmas shopping. Surprise Surprise. I am however a lot closer to being finished than previous years. That is either because I have been more organized this year or because I less to spend on presents and therefore I am not buying as much and I finish quicker. I choose to look at it positively.

DSC_0399

This will be the first Christmas for my daughter and I am quite excited. She will be 11 months old on Christmas Eve and she has been “helping” me in the kitchen as she walks around yelling and giggling trying to pull anything and everything out of the refrigerator as it is open. I can’t help but laugh.

DSC_0403

Today I will share with you my Pecan Bars. If you didn’t get a chance to eat Pecan Pie at Thanksgiving or are just an addict to anything Pecan Pie related than these are surely for you. They are very simple to make and can be doubled with ease to create larger quantities for big families. They have a cookie base similar to a shortbread in taste and texture which is a perfect complement to the gooey sweet Pecan Pie reminiscent topping. The shortbread soaks up the caramel juices of the topping and isn’t too showy itself that it allows the pecan topping to shine in all its delicious glory.

DSC_0393

A few little pointers for cookie number 2 in this years line up: Be sure to not skip the step of foiling the pan. Otherwise you will have a disastrous sticky mess on your hands and be very disappointed. Also be careful as you are adding the cream into the caramel mixture because it can bubble rather vigorously and we don’t want any burns just before Christmas!!!!

 

Pecan Bars

 

Ingredients:

  • 20 tbsp. (2½ sticks) Unsalted Butter; softened
  • ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 ¼ cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla-Nut Extract
  • 2 tbsp. Heavy Cream
  • 1 ½ cups Pecans; Toasted & Chopped

Formula:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil. Be sure to leave excess hanging around the edge to have an easy removal later. Grease the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. To make the cookie crust, beat 6 tablespoons butter and granulated sugar in a stand mixer set to medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until incorporated. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour. Mix until combined. Don’t overmix. Press the dough into the prepared pan. Dock the dough with a fork by making several piercings in the dough like you would to a baked potato before microwaving. Bake until the crust becomes light golden in color, about 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.
  3. To prepare the caramel filling, melt the remaining butter in  a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, honey, and vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the cream and cook for about 3o seconds. Off heat gently stir in the pecans.
  4. Pour the caramel mixture over the cookie crust. Bake until bubbly and deep golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour. Using the excess foil overhang, gently lift the bars out of the pan. Cut into squares. Bars can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

 

PETER MENDOROS – PHOTOGRAPHY  & STAGING

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM KAREN KUHN

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEE’S PATISSERIE 2013