Baked Sweet Potato Pecan Crisps

Baked Sweet Potato Pecan Crisps

The other morning I ate a sweet potato for breakfast. And not just a sweet potato. But a sweet potato topped with oats, brown sugar, a bit of butter, and pecans. It was totally warming and comforting and the perfect Autumn breakfast. I patted myself on the back for the great idea.

Baked Sweet Potato Pecan CrispsI’m really into sweet potatoes. I have a difficult time understanding why people don’t like them. They can be savory or sweet. You can make them into a mash, or fries, or a pie. You can even make them into cookies or keep them whole and appreciate how perfect they are as is. What is not to like? I can’t relate on this one.

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Creamy Breakfast Polenta with Asiago, Thyme, Bacon, and Poached Eggs

Creamy Breakfast Polenta with Asiago, Thyme, Bacon, and Poached Eggs- Baker Bettie

This weekend was intense. Friday night and all day Saturday were filled with exciting yet anxiety provoking activities. Including a trip to NYC where the stressful day ended with a relaxing show that one of my best friends was in! My husband and I didn’t get home until pretty late Saturday night and I was exhausted Sunday morning. I don’t know what it is about creating a hearty breakfast (that always includes eggs with runny yolks) that just energizes me. And what is it with people saying they aren’t a “breakfast person.” Stop it. Just stop.

Creamy Breakfast Polenta with Asiago, Thyme, Bacon, and Poached Eggs- Baker BettieI have mixed feelings about polenta. It’s one of those things that is often prepared so bland that it isn’t even worth eating. And I am really not a fan of it being prepared as a cake. You know those solid masses of polenta? Ew. The texture just isn’t appetizing to me. I have had bad polenta so many times that I rarely think of it when I’m snooping through my cupboards for inspiration. But we’ve been making polenta at school lately so I guess it was on my brain when I saw the bag of cornmeal yesterday morning. I wanted to make a really well seasoned polenta as a savory breakfast porridge to eat with my poached eggs and bacon. It was heavenly.

Creamy Breakfast Polenta with Asiago, Thyme, Bacon, and Poached Eggs- Baker BettieIt’s silly how excited I get over really simple food. Like a perfectly poached egg. I had never tried to poach eggs before until recently and now every time I do a proper one I get really excited. “Look at the beautiful egg!” I squealed when I pulled this one out of the pan. My husband didn’t understand the excitement. Perfectly poached eggs are just about the most beautiful thing in the world. I completely understand that I’m nuts. I’m okay with that.

Creamy Breakfast Polenta with Asiago, Thyme, Bacon, and Poached Eggs- Baker Bettie

Creamy Breakfast Polenta with Asiago, Thyme, Bacon, and Poached Eggs- Baker Bettie

Creamy Breakfast Polenta with Asiago, Thyme, Bacon, and Poached Eggs- Baker Bettie

Creamy Breakfast Polenta with Asiago, Thyme, Bacon, and Poached Eggs

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 5 TBSP unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 cups whole milk, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup coarse ground yellow cornmeal
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 TBSP finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 oz shredded asiago cheese, plus more for serving
  • 4 poached eggs
  • 4 strips crisp cooked bacon, crumbled

Instructions

  1. In a medium sauce pan melt 3 TBSP of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent.
  2. Add in the water and milk and bring to a simmer. While whisking continuously, slowly pour in the cornmeal. Continue whisking until the mixture starts to thicken.
  3. Heavily season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the thyme, asiago cheese, and the rest of the butter (2 TBSP). Add more warm milk as needed if the mixture starts becoming too thick.
  4. Serve warm topped with more asiago cheese, a poached egg, and crumbled bacon. Makes 4 servings.
http://bakerbettie.com/creamy-breakfast-polenta-asiago-thyme-bacon-poached-eggs/

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie (wheat free, vegan)

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie (gluten free, vegan)- Baker BettieI’m currently in full veg out mode. Lounging in bed way longer than anyone should ever stay in bed, watching Orange is the New Black, sipping my mug of coffee, and occasionally reaching over to pet my purring kitty. I need this today. My body is saying, “Thank you. Quit abusing me please!” I have a week off of school (though I am still working most nights) and I plan to use it to recuperate from my sleep deprivation and to bake as much and as leisurely as possible.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie (gluten free, vegan)- Baker Bettie

I’ve been playing with oat flour a lot lately. I’m pretty into it. It gives baked goods a really lovely rustic texture and the perfect amount of chew. It is also a great flour to use in vegan baking because oat flour has a much higher protein content than wheat flour which is helpful since we are nixing the eggs. I also love it in gluten free baking because the end result never feels like an alternative recipe. Oats are a familiar flavor and texture for people and I think they feel less intimidating than some other alternative flours.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie (gluten free, vegan)- Baker Bettie

Making your own oat flour is so easy! All you have to do is put rolled oats (certified gluten free of course if you are gluten intolerant!) in a blender or food processor and pulse until it is the consistency of flour. The time for this will vary depending on the strength of your kitchen appliance. Then, I always sift the flour. I don’t have a great blender so there is always a good deal of oat crumb that is too big to go through the sifter. So I add all of the bigger crumb back into the blender for one more whirl through, sift again, and store it all in an airtight container. Of course you can always buy oat flour in the store. It’s a little pricier than making it yourself but a little more convenient if you don’t want to pull out your blender.

I really want you guys to try this recipe. Even if you aren’t vegan or gluten free. I promise it does not taste like an alternative to a traditional cookie. It is an amazingly simple and delicious dessert that just so happens to be vegan and gluten free. And while you’re at it, you should check out these brownies and banana bread that I made with oat flour too. They just so happen to be vegan and gluten free as well and that bread has been blowing up like crazy on pinterest. Oat flour. Get into it.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie (gluten free, vegan)- Baker Bettie

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie (wheat free, vegan)

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie (wheat free, vegan)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup your favorite vanilla yogurt (I used SoDelicious Non Dairy Coconut Milk yogurt)
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups oat flour (make sure they are certified gluten free if you have a gluten intolerance)
  • 8 oz dark chocolate chips or chunks

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, peanut butter, and brown sugar and mix until well combined.
  3. Add the baking soda, and oat flour and and mix until combined (the batter will be thick)
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips or chunks.
  5. Using clean hands, pat the mixture into a 10" cast iron skillet or baking dish (mixture will be thick).
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
http://bakerbettie.com/chocolate-chip-peanut-butter-skillet-cookie-wheat-free-vegan/
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Peach Rhubarb Skillet Crisp (gluten-free, vegan options)

Peach Rhubarb Skillet Crisp (gluten-free option, vegan option)Anger is an emotion I have chosen to reject. I have come to realize that even though anger is almost always directed at someone or a group of people, the only person it ever truly effects is the person with which the anger lies.

Rejecting anger is a skill. One that I readily admit I have still not fully mastered. In fact, it may not be completely possible to do so. But I do know for sure that my life is much simpler, more fulfilled, and so much more happier by the conscious effort to reject anger.

Peach Rhubarb Skillet Crisp (gluten-free option, vegan option)One of the biggest steps in rejecting anger is the realization that it is masking an underlying emotion. Am I hurt? Am I sad? Do I disagree on a moral level? Or am I just simply not able to relate and understand the point of view? In all cases, anger is the easy way out. It initially feels easier to be angry because the emotion is projected toward someone else. But in reality, I am only left a weaker and unhappy person if I do not choose to push through the anger.

Peach Rhubarb Skillet Crisp (gluten-free option, vegan option)Of course there are situations when it seems impossible or maybe even irrational to reject anger. And perhaps in some instances anger is initially a very necessary emotion. But there comes a point when it is much more productive to let the other emotions and beliefs stand on their own. To get out of the way of yourself and the anger and to just deal. It is a conscious choice. We are much more in control of our emotions than we believe. And a good comforting dessert always helps…

Peach Rhubarb Skillet Crisp (gluten-free option, vegan option)This crisp is nothing but comforting. The crumble to fruit ratio is absolutely perfect. That is if you like a ton of crunchy topping and you should. If for some strange reason you don’t like a ridiculous amount of crisp topping, you can half the topping recipe. I just don’t want to hear about it. Fingers in my ears, “la la la la la.”

Rhubarb always makes me think of my grandma Chris. She always had loads of it growing in her garden and she made the most fabulous pies with it. It took me a few tries to finally warm up to rhubarb, but once I did it became my favorite kind of pie. You just can’t beat the tartness. If you hate rhubarb (and I know there are a lot of people out there), you could replace it with raspberries for a similar tartness. If you have never tried rhubarb, try it! Now is the time.

Peach Rhubarb Skillet Crisp (gluten-free option, vegan option)

Peach Rhubarb Skillet Crisp (gluten-free, vegan options)

Peach Rhubarb Skillet Crisp (gluten-free, vegan options)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh rhubarb, diced
  • 2 ripe peaches, sliced
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 stick (6 TBSP) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Toss sliced peaches and rhubarb into a cast iron skillet or a 9X9 baking dish
  3. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans in a large mixing bowl
  4. Cut the butter into the crumble mixture using your fingers or a fork until the mixture is the texture of small pebbles
  5. Pour topping evenly over the peach-rhubarb mixture
  6. Bake at 350ºF for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and the topping is browned
  7. Serve hot with ice cream

Notes

For a vegan option: Simply replace the cold butter with a cold vegan butter option such as Earth Balance.

For a gluten free option: Use certified gluten free oats, and replace the 1 cup of flour with 1/2 cup of cornstarch.

http://bakerbettie.com/peach-rhubarb-skillet-crisp-gluten-free-vegan-options/

Lime, Honey, and Fresh Herb Fruit Salad

Lime, Honey, and Fresh Herb Fruit SaladSometimes I forget too easily how beautiful and delicious simple and fresh food is. I have no doubt in my mind how addictive refined sugar is. Get a little bit too much in me and I can’t be stopped. It can get bad. Real bad. And anytime I start to realize that it is getting bad or that it is already far beyond bad, I force myself to cut it off for a while. To get myself back in the zone. And this is one of those times. I’m on a refined sugar boycott.

Lime, Honey, and Fresh Herb Fruit SaladI seriously need to stop procrastinating making an herb garden in my kitchen. It is ridiculous how much fresh herbs cost at the grocery store. And I am obsessed with adding them to pretty much everything. I fully admit that a green salad isn’t my favorite thing. I eat them because I should, but sometimes I just don’t want it. But tossing some fresh herbs in always brightens it up and makes me much more excited about eating my greens. Basil, mint, and cilantro is my favorite herb salad combo.

Lime, Honey, and Fresh Herb Fruit SaladAnd while eating fresh fruit is so much more exciting to my taste buds than a green salad is, fresh herbs only make it that much more exciting. I am pretty obsessed with this fresh herb fruit salad. I made a big batch this morning and I keep pulling it back out of the fridge for more nibbles. It is just so fresh and summery. I can definitely eat this for breakfast, a side dish, or a dessert and feel completely satisfied. Now excuse me while I go eat some more and continue to procrastinate making a kitchen herb garden.

Lime, Honey, and Fresh Herb Fruit Salad

Lime, Honey, and Fresh Herb Fruit Salad

Lime, Honey, and Fresh Herb Fruit Salad

Ingredients

  • 6 cups fresh fruit, chopped (I used strawberries, pineapple, and nectarines)
  • 4 large basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 large mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 TBSP honey (you can use maple syrup or agave for a vegan option)

Instructions

  1. Combine the fruit in a large bowl with chopped basil and mint. Stir to combine.
  2. Whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, and honey.
  3. Pour the dressing over the fruit and stir to combine.
  4. For the best flavor chill and let the flavors combine for at least 2 hours before serving.
  5. Store in an airtight container for up to 48 hours.
http://bakerbettie.com/lime-honey-and-fresh-herb-fruit-salad/

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Brownie Bites (wheat free, vegan)


Gluten Free Vegan Brownie Bites

I have this pattern in my life involving my hair. I have done it over and over again, I can’t even remember how many times. I see someone with really awesome bangs that look fantastic on them and then I decide, “Hey! I want bangs!” So I get bangs. And immediately I hate them. Immediately I regret ever having let the thought of wanting bangs enter my head. Then I’m stuck with them for a ridiculous amount of time, because if you’ve ever had bangs you know how freaking long it takes to grow them back out. I’m sure you have guessed by now that I just got bangs… again. And again, I hate them. I’m kicking myself for thinking that this time it will be different. That I didn’t learn after last time.

Gluten Free Vegan Brownie Bites

In my job we do a lot of talking and teaching about radical acceptance. The letting go of fighting reality and accepting the situation for what it is. It is so important in big life struggles and I guess in little ones too. Kicking myself for chopping off my bangs is not going to grow them out any faster. So I guess my only choice is to embrace them and rock them. At least for the next 6 months or so until I can get these babies grown out. It’s the little things in life that sometimes remind me of big lessons. I preach radical acceptance but need to take my own words to heart. Not just with my bangs, but with big things going on in my life.

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Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (vegan, gluten free)

Vegan Gluten Free Banana Bread

I love my husband’s sweats. They are just so much more comfy and roomy than my own. On Saturday night I put them on before bed and then I never changed out of them. All day Sunday I lounged in his oversized cozy sweats that I went to bed in the night before. We snuggled, watched tv, took a nap, watched football, laughed, and just vegged out. And I didn’t even care how incredibly lazy that was. It felt awesome.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (vegan, gluten free)

My friend posted a meme on facebook the other day that said “Stop the glorification of busy.” I usually hate those things. They are usually political and people just see them somewhere and repost them without really thinking. But this one was different. This one made me really stop and think. It really is true. Why do we glorify busy? I do it all the time. Being so proud of myself for the non-stop day I had. When truly I never got to spend any quality time with my husband, or kitties, or just time to myself. I’m trying to be more conscious of that.

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Apple Almond Breakfast Cereal with Blackberries

Grain Free Fresh Apple Cereal

I just discovered something. Something amazing. Something I am pretty damn proud of. And I’m scared that somebody else already discovered this and has been doing it forever. In fact I pretty much know, without a doubt in my mind, that somebody else is already doing this. Because seriously. Is it even possible to come up with something completely unique anymore? But I refuse to google it. I absolutely refuse to google “fresh apple cereal” or “shredded apple cereal” or anything along those lines. If I don’t look then it isn’t happening! Right?! And this is completely my invention/discovery! Let’s just go with that.

Grain Free Fresh Apple Cereal

I have issues with traditional breakfast cereal. I feel like I’m eating overly sugared cardboard that quickly turns into overly suggard soggy cardboard. And while that’s all fine and good for a lot of people, I just really can’t stomach it very often. But I like the idea of breakfast cereal. The idea of dosing something delicious and crunchy with milk and  eating it in front of the T.V. in your jammies on the weekend. A lazy Sunday morning on the coach with very few dishes to clean.

Grain Free Fresh Apple Cereal

This cereal has several advantages…

#1:You can control the amount of sugar (or lack of sugar) you are consuming before noon.

#2:The apples stay crisp in the milk for a long time! No soggy cardboard here!

#3:It only takes about 5 minutes longer to prepare than pouring cereal out of a box.

#4:You can easily flavor it the way you like. Some of my other favorite combinations are…
-Apple and peanut butter
-Apple and pumpkin pie spice
-Apple, pecan and dried cranberries
-Apple, carrot, and raisin

Oh the possibilities!

#5: You really don’t need a recipe, but I will give it to you anyway!

Grain Free Fresh Apple Cereal

Fresh Apple Almond Cereal (paleo & vegan friendly, gluten free)

Fresh Apple Almond Cereal (paleo & vegan friendly, gluten free)

Ingredients

  • 1 tart apple (such as granny smith)
  • 1 TBSP slivered almonds
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 packet stevia, or sweetener of choice (optional)
  • ½ cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • handful of blackberries

Instructions

  1. Finely chop the apple. (If the apple is firm enough, you can also use a box grater and grate the apple)
  2. Combine the shredded apple, almonds, cinnamon, and stevia in a bowl and stir.
  3. Pour milk over the apples mixture.
  4. Top with blackberries.
http://bakerbettie.com/apple-almond-breakfast-cereal-with-blackberries/

10 Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers

How to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers

Good morning! I hope everyone had a lovely and relaxing Thanksgiving.  Our family sure did! We spent a long day eating, relaxing, playing games, and being thankful for everything we have.

I have always thought that Thanksgiving leftovers were just as important and as exciting as the actual Thanksgiving day meal. I love to use the leftovers in all kinds of ways. Here are a few ideas for you to use up those leftovers!

#10: Use eggnog as creamer for your coffee. Top with some pumpkin pie spice!

How to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers

#9: Boil your turkey bones and any leftover veggies and garlic to make some delicious homemade turkey stock!

#8: Use your turkey stock, leftover turkey meat, and mashed potatoes for Turkey and Noodles!

How to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers

#7: Make a Thanksgiving leftover grilled cheese! I always use turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and cheese of course!

#6: Make a corn chowder with all that leftover corn that you thought you needed on the table but nobody ate because you were eating all of the other stuff.

#5: Use cranberry sauce as jam on toast!

How to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers

#4: Make a Thanksgiving leftover Shepherd’s Pie. Layer turkey meat, stuffing, corn, and cheese and drizzle with gravy. Top with mashed potatoes and bake! (If you like the savory/sweet thing, some cranberry sauce would be good in there too!)

#3: Pour cranberry sauce over cream cheese and serve with crackers as a snack for guests who are still in town.

#2: Mash up sweet potato casserole and use it as topping for pancakes or waffles.

#1: Make a breakfast egg bake. Put leftovers (such as sweet potatoes, stuffing, or mashed potatoes) in an oven proof dish. Crack some eggs over top, and put under the broiler for a few minutes.

How to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers

Sweet potatoes are one of my most favorite foods. I had no idea until recently how controversial they are. Kind of like cilantro. You either love them or hate them. Well I definitely LOVE them. I found out that most of my in-laws were not fans of the traditional sweet potato casserole so I had decided that I was going to try something new with them. I wanted to do a savory take on it.

How to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers

I thought about it all week and dreamed up this amazing combination of mashed sweet potatoes, cheddar cheese, bacon and rosemary. Then Rachael Ray made almost the exact recipe on her show this week! That jerk! She totally stole my idea. But the dish was incredibly delicious and I used the leftovers in an egg bake this morning. So here is MY recipe for a savory sweet potato mash.

How to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers

Sweet Potato and Bacon Mash

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs sweet potatoes
  • water
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ stick butter
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese + 1 handful for topping
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary
  • pepper
  • ½ lb bacon, cooked crisp

Instructions

  1. Peel and cube sweet potatoes.
  2. Cover sweet potatoes with cold water in a large stock pot.
  3. Put over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  4. Turn down heat and simmer until potatoes are tender.
  5. Strain.
  6. Put cooked potatoes back into the pot over medium heat and add the milk and butter and begin mashing.
  7. Add the cheddar cheese, rosemary, and pepper to taste and continue mashing until all combined and smooth.
  8. Chop up or crumble the bacon and fold into the potatoes, reserving a small amount for the top.
  9. Pour into a baking dish, top with a handful of cheese and the reserved bacon.
http://bakerbettie.com/10-ways-to-use-thanksgiving-leftovers/


 

Smoked Almond Dark Chocolate Turtles and Caramel Science

Dark Chocolate Turtles with Smoked Almonds (Vegan)

Ever since I learned how to caramelize sugar, I have been fascinated with it. It amazes me how one simple ingredient can change into something that resembles nothing of it’s original state both in it’s look and taste. It feels like magic. But really, it’s just science.

In case you have never tried it before, put 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup water into a heavy bottom pan over medium-low heat. Stir it until the sugar dissolves. Then stop stirring and watch it. I’m serious. Just stand there and watch it.  Caramel will appear before your very eyes. (Make sure the pan has fairly high sides and you probably shouldn’t put your face really close to it either or you will hate me for trying this.) I’m sure some of you have done this many times before and it seems like no big deal. But to someone who has never tried it, the first time is magical!

Dark Chocolate Turtles with Smoked Almonds (Vegan)

Once the mixture turns an amber color, it is done. You don’t want it to go too far or it will taste bitter. You can pour this onto parchment paper, let it cool, and break it up into shards to top a dessert. Or find a good brittle recipe to use it with. (but find the recipe before you make the caramelized sugar, you have to work fast!)  Or throw in some vegan butter, soy creamer, and a pinch of salt and you have yourself homemade caramel sauce. How easy this is, is scary information to know people!

Making chewy caramel candies is a bit different than going all the way with caramelizing the sugar. The process is similar, but you don’t heat the sugar to as high of a temperature. In the process described above, where sugar gets caramelized itself, you are taking the temperature up to “The Caramelization Stage” of sugar stages. The temperature will be somewhere from 320-360 degrees F.  For making chewy caramel candies, this mixture will only be heated to 250 degrees F, which is known in candy making as “The Hard Ball Stage.” And yes, you do need a thermometer. You see, sugar goes through numerous stages of change when it is heated up. You do need to know how hot it is getting. A candy thermometer is a good investment! I promise.

Dark Chocolate Turtles with Smoked Almonds (Vegan)

So why shouldn’t you stir when making caramels or caramelizing sugar? It is important that you do not stir past the point when the sugar has melted. If you stir too much your sugar will begin to crystalize again and you won’t get that smooth syrup you are looking for. Trust me. I learned this the hard way.

I saw Giada make these caramels the other day and I HAD to make them. I had all of the ingredients on hand to make a vegan version and I just couldn’t get it out of my head until I tried them. She suggests just spraying the pan down and making them without liners, stating that they will easily pop out of the tins. But here is the thing about Giada. She is a liar. They most definitely do not just “pop right out of the tin.” Take my word, use foil liners. It will also make them less sticky to handle.

Dark Chocolate Turtles with Smoked Almonds (Vegan)

 

Smoked Almond Dark Chocolate Turtles and Caramel Science

Smoked Almond Dark Chocolate Turtles and Caramel Science

Ingredients

    equipment
  • mini muffin tin
  • mini muffin liners
  • candy thermometer
  • for the turtles
  • ¾ cup smoked almonds, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream OR soy creamer, room temperature
  • ½ cup butter OR vegan butter, (such as earth balance), room temperature
  • ½ TBSP water
  • 4 oz dark chocolate (I used 72% Ghiradelli)

Instructions

  1. Fill 12 mini muffin tins with mini muffin liners.
  2. Split up the almonds between the 12 muffin tins, placing them in the bottom of the liners.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the brown sugar, soy cream, vegan butter, and water.
  4. Stir over medium-low heat until the mixture is smooth, and the sugar has melted. Stop stirring and allow the mixture to come to a boil. (keep on medium low heat unless the mixture is not boiling within a few minutes.)
  5. Without stirring, allow the mixture to bubble and cook until a candy thermometer registers 250 degrees F, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Let the mixture cool for 30 seconds.
  7. Carefully spoon the caramel over the nuts.
  8. Allow the caramel to harden, at room temperature, for 1 hour.
  9. Put the chocolate in a small, microwave proof, bowl.
  10. Heat the chocolate in 20 second increments, stirring in between, until it is melted, smooth, and glossy.
  11. (Alternatively, you could melt the chocolate over a double boiler if you prefer)
  12. Spoon the chocolate over the caramel and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  13. Serve straight out of the fridge if you prefer a harder caramel, or let soften at room temperature for at least 1 hour if you prefer a softer caramel.
  14. Store in an airtight container.
http://bakerbettie.com/smoked-almond-dark-chocolate-turtles-and-caramel-science/

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