That Time I Went Nuts for Maple Syrup: The Tale of Maple Candied Almonds

My week of all things maple continued with the perfect snack to take me through the weekend: maple candied almonds!

I always have some kind of nuts on hand but to be honest, I bake with them more than eat them. I’m not the best at healthy snacking so I’m trying to change that. I figure that almonds and pecans are probably better for me than my usual go-to of fruit roll ups and  skittles. Did I mention that my company keeps our kitchen stocked with all of my favorite foods from middle school?

These candied almonds are just sweet enough to help me transition to healthier snacks. They’re also super crunchy and mildly addictive. Consider this your fair warning.

Colin and I are getting a new foster kitten this weekend and I am so excited. Seriously. So excited. I don’t know why he agreed to this again since we didn’t sleep much the first few days we had the last one but I’m not going to question it. Our last foster was three pounds lighter than we expected so we called her ‘Tiny Cat’. This next one is a tuxedo cat so we’re going to call her ‘Fancy Cat’. I’ll work on being more creative with names if we ever make it to three fosters.

These almonds will be great to have on hand while we help Fancy get acclimated to her new temporary home. I can grab a handful and munch while playing with her. I guess I could do that with regular almonds but these are so much yummier I’ll have a hard time ever going back to regular almonds.

Tip: Watch the cook time carefully. Take it from me: 15 minutes isn’t quite long enough, 20 minutes is too long and 17 minutes is just right.

Maple Candied Almonds

Maple Frozen Yogurt in Mini Chocolate Cups

No FOMO here, just FroYo.

My week of maple continues but this time I’m moving away from coffee cake and going cold. Really cold.

As Colin and I start making new traditions for our family, Easter was a blank slate.  This dessert was so easy to pull together on Sunday and was the perfect follow up to our beef tenderloin dinner. I had three cups to myself and couldn’t decide whether to eat the chocolate cup and froyo together, or eat them separately. I’ll need to make a few more batches to continue testing.

Have you tried Brown Cow yogurt? I picked some up at Whole Foods a few months ago and have been hooked on their maple flavor ever since. I have a love/hate relationship with yogurt but with it’s rich maple flavor, Brown Cow’s maple yogurt has me madly in love.

Unlike ice cream, frozen yogurt doesn’t contain eggs. It has only a handful of ingredients so you don’t have an excuse not to have them on hand. Seriously. Yogurt, sugar and heavy cream? If you don’t have all of those in your kitchen right now stop reading this and go food shopping.

When taking photos takes too long... everything starts to melt! 

When taking photos takes too long... everything starts to melt! 

I saw a variation of these chocolate cups on Instagram over the weekend and knew I wanted to have some of my own to try. They’re the perfect vessel for enjoying the frozen yogurt in. In fact, they’re the perfect vessel to enjoy any number of things in: candied nuts, fresh fruit, more chocolate. The options are endless so you get to be creative with it! Make sure you use silicon muffin liners to make it super easy to peel them off the chocolate mold.

Maple Frozen Yogurt in Mini Chocolate Cups

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Maple Coffee Cake Donuts

Maple donuts from a Canadian? Groundbreaking.

I say this all the time but there’s something about baked donuts that make me feel so healthy. Or maybe I should say ‘healthier’ than if I had made fried donuts. Everything is relative after all.

My cold followed me into the weekend so I spent a lot of time indoors over the past two days. The upside of my self-imposed quarantine is that I picked up an old needlepoint project I hadn’t touched in nearly a year. That’s not a typo, I hadn’t touched this project in 14 months. My new goal is to finish the Mrs. Claus canvas by September so I can have it finished in time for the holidays. This feels like a lofty goal but since I’m out of thread for all my other projects, it just might happen.

I’m on a maple kick this week so I apologize in advance for baking on trend over the next few days. There’s something about the hockey playoffs that make me return to my Canadian roots and crave maple EVERYTHING.

Coffee cake is hard not to love but add in maple and it’s unbeatable. These donuts have a crunchy toppings, a moist middle and a super sweet glaze that will have you licking the plate. I’m not saying I did that but I’m also not ready to say I didn’t. The cinnamon flavors that coffee cake is known for help balance the sweet maple and the textural variance between the top and bottom of the donut make eating it an experience from start to finish. Can you tell I also watched a lot of Iron Chef re-runs this weekend? The judges inspired me to be extra descriptive.

Maple Coffee Cake Donuts

Chocolate Easter Ice Cream

I usually try to write blog posts ahead of time so that the night before I want them to go live, I’m not sitting in bed typing while my cat attacks my feet demanding attention. Unfortunately, between traveling and being sick over the last two weeks, my planning went out the window. So yes, I wrote this last night while Onyx wreaked mayhem.

Luckily I was so hyped after seeing the new Fast & Furious movie that I knew I'd be up for hours anyways. I know, I know, I don’t seem like the type of person to be a HUGE fan of this movie series but it’s not all rom-coms in my Netflix queue. Terrible action movies are in there too. But only the ones that are so terrible they are actually fantastic. All joking aside, how soon is too soon to see it again in theaters?

This is the first year in ages that I’m not going to be traveling for Easter so I thought I might as well make a fun treat for myself. My Pinterest feed has been blowing up with adorable bunny cakes and edible bird nests but with the weather finally warming up, I thought I’d go the ice cream route. I also branched out from hazelnuts since I figured that after two recipes in the past two weeks y’all were probably ready for something different.

I haven’t made a chocolate-based ice cream for the blog in over a year (not since this batch of chocolate thin mint ice cream) so I knew that’s where I had to go. Instead of using chocolate chips for this one, I used chocolate pudding in the custard. The texture is equally soft and smooth but it tastes almost like a cold hot chocolate. Like the Swiss Miss packets my office keeps our snack room filled with.

Confession time: I loved this batter so much that I went through every single spoon in my kitchen stealing tastes while it churned. I didn’t want to double dip since I was sick so this strategy made the most sense. Until I ran out of spoons.

I’m having a hard time making this ice cream batch last until Easter but luckily I’ll be busy doing fun things with fellow Blog Society members that force me out of my apartment and keep me away from my freezer. The 14th Street SoulCycle studio will be welcoming us for a late morning class before we head out for some well-earned brunch. Pretty much my ideal Saturday.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups heavy cream
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ½  cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup chocolate pudding
  • ½  cup Cadbury mini chocolate eggs
  • ½  cup Reese's peanut butter chocolate eggs

Recipe

  • Heat heavy cream and milk over medium heat in a medium saucepan until simmering. While it is heating up, whisk in the cocoa powder. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, granulated sugar and chocolate pudding. When the milk and cream is simmering, temper into egg mixture. Return everything to the saucepan over medium low heat until it reached a temperature of 160 degrees, being careful to whisk continuously to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
  • Transfer custard to a bowl and refrigerate until cool (about 8 hours or overnight). Once cool, churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. In the last few minutes of churning, throw in the Easter candies. Place ice cream in a tupperware and return to the freezer until ready to enjoy.

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You could say Onyx likes Easter candy. 

You could say Onyx likes Easter candy.