I can’t believe it. I haven’t done any holiday baking.
Seriously, folks. I can’t even remotely comprehend that it is December 11th and there is nothing in the freezer.
I did, however, write an article for Allergic Living Magazine on building a gingerbread house. So if you want an amazing, sturdy, tastes-just-like-the-real-thing gluten-free, vegan, allergy-free gingerbread house, I’ve got that covered.
But I did find something that I made last year that I didn’t post. So I’m using that. And I’ve posted a few others after the recipe, as well.
I really, really like these.
These squares have been made a few times over the years, but each time I slightly veer from my recipe in using whatever I had in the kitchen. Sometimes I change up the amount of sugar (they’re a sweet one). I’ve used both Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread and Earth Balance Coconut Spread, though I can’t say I love the flavor with the coconut as much–it brings out too much coconut-taste, and the salt needs to be adjusted (IE add a pinch more). But if you’re keen on a hint of coconut, then it works just as well.
Also, I cut these into small rectangles, not squares. But I thought the name “Maple Pecan Rectangles” was a little too awkward. I promise you, it doesn’t affect the taste.
And… I might make them today. Because now I want them. See what happens?
Maple Pecan Squares
If you live near a maple syrup farm, get your hands on some amber or dark maple syrup for these–the extra flavor is well worth it. That’s what I do. I’m addicted to the stuff.
Makes 25 squares
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup unrefined cane sugar (I like Sucanat)
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/8 teaspoon fine sea or Himalayan salt
6 tablespoons nondairy buttery spread, such as Earth Balance (or EB Coconut Spread)
2 tablespoons nondairy buttery spread
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (recommend: amber or dark)
1/4 cup unrefined cane sugar
1 tablespoon nondairy milk (I like So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk beverage)
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
Position an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Line an 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, letting the ends hang over the edges for easy removal. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the bottom layer, put the sorghum flour, quinoa flour, tapioca flour, sugar, salt, and xanthan gum in a medium bowl. Cut in the nondairy buttery spread using a pastry cutter or two knives, until the mixture sticks together when you squeeze it in your hand. Press the mixture into the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake on the middle rack for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly while preparing the topping.
To make the topping, put the nondairy buttery spread in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until melted, then add the maple syrup, sugar, and nondairy milk. Once it starts to bubble, let it cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in the pecans, vanilla extract, and salt. Pour the mixture over the crust. Return to the oven and bake for about 18 minutes, until the topping is bubbling and thick. Let cool completely before removing from the pan. Cut into squares. These freeze very well.
Some others I’ve posted in the past that are perfect for holiday baking:
And from my Cakes and Cookies book*:
Festive Fruit and Nut Cake
Two-Bite Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cupcakes
Holiday Candy Cane Snowballs
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Orange Spice Cookies
Mint Brownie Ice Box Cookies
Shortbread with Dried Cherries and Cacao Nibs
Noreos Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Traditional Gingerbread Men
Canadian Nanaimo Bars
Triple Almond Butter Squares
Chocolate, Raspberry, and Pecan Blondies
No Bake Frosted Mint Brownies
Double Chocolate-Almond Biscotti
*And there’s more. These are just all a little more holiday-inspired.