Winter Spice Bonbons 

It’s time for Christmas cookies! My sweet husband has requested 7 kinds of Christmas cookies (apparently lots of cookies were a tradition in his family). We’ll see how far I get! 😊

This first installment is based on the Lara bar. Many copycat Lara bars have been posted across the internet; this one is based on the seasonal flavors (like gingerbread cookie) I had found last year at Whole Foods. They were so good! And now I can make them to enjoy any time of year!

I hope you enjoy them too!

Winter Spice Bonbons

3 cups whole pitted dates
2 cups pecans
1 cup cashews
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves

Grind all ingredients in food processor* until smooth and sticky (you may still have some nut pieces). Form into balls or press flat between parchment paper and cut into into bars. Store in refrigerator.

*Note: this does not work well in a blender!

Nut Flour Muffins

The trees have turned beautifully golden, red, and all the delightful shades in between. The air is crisp with the approaching of winter, and frost appears on the grass at dawn. Fall is here—and it’s time for “comfort food.”

Everyone seems to have their own favorite comfort food. Mine is muffins. When I was a child, nothing said home to me like walking into our tiny apartment after a long ramble in the crisp fall air and being greeted with the warm, delicious fragrance of my mother’s freshly baked muffins. The aroma of those muffins and the memory of my mother’s loving welcome became all wrapped up together. And I suppose that is what makes comfort food…so comforting.
Fortunately, you can still have muffins, even if you’re going grain free! I found this recipe on a Specific Carbohydrate Diet site, which I can no longer find. I’ve added my own variations, and the option for making them with freshly ground cashew flour. Feel free to come up with your own variations. And share them with me! 😊

Basic Muffin Recipe

2 1/2 C blanched almond flour, or 2 3/4 cups raw cashews
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C homemade yogurt, butter, or coconut oil
1/2 C honey
3 eggs

If using almond flour, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix. If using cashews, place cashews in a food processor and grind into flour. Add other ingredients and blend until mixed.

Spoon batter into lined muffin pan (stoneware bakes the best). Bake at 350° for 16-22 minutes being careful not to burn. Muffins are done when golden brown and springy in the middle.

~Variations~

Blueberry Muffins

Add:
1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
1 teaspoon vanilla

Lemon Raspberry Muffins

Add:
2 tsp grated lemon rind, plus juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup frozen raspberries

Cinnamon Coffee Cake Muffins

Use only 1/4 cup honey, and use the remaining 1/4 cup honey to make topping/filling (alternate batter-filling-batter-topping):

1/4 cup honey
2 T butter, melted
2 T cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

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Making Nut Flour

Since I do a lot of baking with cashew or walnut flour that I grind myself, I thought it might be helpful to post a tutorial on making your own nut flour, for those who may not have done it before. So here it is:

Place nuts in Cuisinart food processor. Process until crumbly. When crumbs start to turn into a paste at the bottom of the bowl, scrape sides and check consistency. Repeat until nut crumbs roll like play dough between your fingers. just past this stage, the nuts will start to become butter instead of flour, so keep an eye on it! That said…if you want nut butter, just run the processor a lot longer until nuts are completely smooth (note that some nuts may require additional oil to become entirely spreadable butter).

This does work in a Vitamix too, though getting uniform consistency is a little trickier.

And that’s all!

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