Tag Archives: almonds

Dark Chocolate-Almond Trail Mix

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Trail Mix is such a great snack and so easy to make! I just made a mix with some healthy ingredients I had on hand and also added in some new Lärabar Bites that I had recently larabarbitesreceived as complimentary samples. These are truffle-like bites made from real food like fruits and nuts, just like Lärabars. The bites come in 4 different flavors: Cherry Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Macaroon, Double Chocolate Brownie, and Mint Chocolate Truffle. I really liked all the flavors, which is not surprising, since I love chocolate so much! But you can feel good about eating these bites, since they’re made with healthy ingredients and fair trade certified chocolate chips. They’re also gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan and dairy-free.

I thought these Lärabar Bites would be perfect in this trail mix I came up with, which you can make in no time. It’s perfect when you want a healthy sweet snack! This makes 2 1/2 cups, but if you want a larger amount, you can always double the recipe.

DARK CHOCOLATE–ALMOND TRAIL MIX by NancyC

Makes 2 1/2 cups

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped Lärabar Bites, cut into fourths (I used the Double Chocolate Brownie bites) or, substitute 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened or sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup roasted almonds

Add all ingredients to a medium-size bowl and mix. Store in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks.

It’s nice when a snack is both yummy and healthy, isn’t it? What healthy snacks do you like to keep on hand?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Meal Plan Monday, Inspire Me Monday.

Easy Cherry Almond Coffee Cake

Easy Cherry Almond Coffee Cake II @ NancyCI had a can of cherry pie filling sitting on my pantry shelf just begging to be used in something. And then I found a coffee cake recipe at BettyCrocker.com that seemed perfect for this cherry filling–it sounded quick, easy, and looked really yummy! I made a few changes to the recipe and was able to whip up a tasty coffee cake one Saturday morning in a short amount of time–it really was pretty easy to put together and tasted great!

This coffee cake is perfect when you want to make something simple, but also want something a little different! And it’s nice for a weekend breakfast or brunch, when you can linger a little longer over a nice large square of this coffee cake with a mug of your favorite coffee or tea!

EASY CHERRY ALMOND COFFEE CAKE adapted from BettyCrocker.com

Makes a 9×13″ pan

  • 4 cups baking mix (like Bisquick™)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling

GLAZE

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk or Half & Half (light cream)
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • Optional: 2 Tablespoons sliced or chopped almonds, toasted or untoasted, for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease bottom and sides of a 9 x 13″ pan with butter or cooking spray.

In large bowl, mix the baking mix, sugar, melted butter, milk, and almond extract. Then add the eggs and mix everything well. You’ll end up with a very thick batter.

Spread 2/3 of the batter in a 9 x 13″ pan. Spoon pie filling over batter and spread to about 1/4″ from the edges of the pan. Drop remaining batter by heaping 1/2 tablespoonfuls onto pie filling.

Bake 23 to 24 minutes, until top batter and edges of coffee cake just start to turn lightly brown (don’t overbake, or coffee cake will be too dry).

While coffee cake is baking, make the glaze: stir  powdered sugar, milk or Half & Half, and almond extract until smooth and thin enough to drizzle.

Drizzle glaze over warm coffee cake, then sprinkle with sliced or chopped almonds. Serve warm or cool–I think it tastes best warm!

Easy Cherry Almond Coffee Cake @ NancyCI do like the added touch of having almonds sprinkled on top of this coffee cake!

Easy recipes like this really come in handy when you’re short on time. Do you have any easy coffee cakes you like making?

Sharing at Meal Plan MondayFiesta Friday.

 

Vanilla-Almond Granola

VanillaAlmondGranola@NancyCreative.com I’ve been putting off making granola because it’s been so hot outside! I try to avoid using my oven if I don’t need to when the weather is really hot, but I was really wanting to make some granola. So I got up very early one Saturday morning–which lately has been the coolest, least humid part of the day–and made this Vanilla-Almond Granola. It seemed like a nice, basic, summery flavor to try. I really like the vanilla-almond combination. You’ll notice that it does have quite a bit of vanilla in it–2 whole Tablespoons! It’s a slightly sweet granola, so if you like yours more sweet, add in the brown sugar, which I have listed as an optional ingredient. It’s sweet enough for me without the brown sugar, though, and I love eating this sprinkled on top of some vanilla Greek yogurt–a good, easy breakfast for the summer months!

VANILLA-ALMOND GRANOLA by NancyC

Makes about 6 1/2 cups

  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (do not use quick oats)
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced or slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ or ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower kernels (if you use roasted kernels, add those to the mixture after baking)
  • Optional: 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (if you want your granola sweeter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • Parchment paper for lining baking sheet

Preheat oven to 300˚F. Line a 10 x 15″ or 13 x 18″ baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the oats, almonds, wheat germ or ground flax seed, sunflower kernels, brown sugar (if using), salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; set aside.

In a small microwaveable bowl, heat honey for 20 to 30 seconds to make the consistency thinner. Then, in a medium size bowl, blend honey and melted coconut oil. Stir in the almond and vanilla extracts, blending everything well. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and toss until the oat mixture is well coated.

Spread granola mixture on prepared baking sheet and bake at 300˚F for 45 minutes, until mixture is golden, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let granola cool completely (the mixture will get crunchier as it cools). Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three weeks.

I’ve heard that you can also freeze homemade granola for two to three months, although I haven’t tried that myself yet. This granola would also be good sprinkled over ice cream for dessert. Have you made any special homemade granola flavors this summer?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Inspire Me Monday, Wow Us Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Inspiration Thursday, Let’s Get Real Friday, Show and Share.

Apple Almond Coffee Cake

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Do you like breakfast pastry? Or how about coffee cake? If you do, then I think you’d really like this recipe, because it’s a combination of both. It has a thin, rich cakey layer that’s topped with apple pie filling and drizzled with a creamy glaze, which gives it that pastry touch. So it’s the best of both breakfast worlds!

This Apple Almond Coffee Cake is great if you need to make something that serves a larger group of people, too, because it’s made in a 10 x 15″ pan. If you’re not crazy about apple pie filling, you can substitute another fruit pie filling like cherry or peach–I thought apple would be good for autumn. This would be great for a special breakfast or brunch any time of year, but since the holidays are coming up, you may want to keep this in mind for a holiday weekend brunch. It could also work as a dessert too, served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of whipped cream on top.

APPLE ALMOND COFFEE CAKE by NancyC, adapted from Taste of Home

Makes a 10 x 15″ pan, about 16-20 servings

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

ICING:

  • 1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 Tablespoons Half & Half (light cream)
  • 4 Tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted or untoasted, for sprinkling on top of icing
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The coffee cake before it goes in the oven (left) and after it is baked and glazed (right)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or line a 10 x 15″ rimmed baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder; add to the creamed butter/sugar mixture and mix just until combined. Spread 3 3/4 cups batter evenly into prepared 10 x 15″ baking pan.

Spoon pie filling into a medium-size bowl and cut apples into smaller chunks with a knife. Stir in cinnamon, blending well, then spoon and spread filling, in a thin layer, onto the batter to within 1″ of edges. Spoon remaining batter in small dollops over the filling.

Bake at 350˚F for 22 to 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool coffee cake in pan on a wire rack.

In small bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar, almond extract, and Half & Half (light cream). Drizzle over warm or cooled coffee cake (you don’t have to use all the glaze if you just want a light drizzle). Sprinkle glazed coffee cake with sliced almonds. Let glaze set at least 10 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.

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Did I mention this coffee cake was especially good in the morning with a nice hot cup of coffee? It helps make getting out of bed a little easier on a chilly morning! 🙂 Do you have a favorite coffee cake recipe you enjoy making this time of year?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener, Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy, Show and Share at Coastal Charm, and Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner.

Lemon Almond Bread

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I like to make lemon-flavored foods in the summer…lemons just seem to give everything a light, fresh taste. This Lemon Almond Bread recipe (adapted from Taste of Home) is like a pound cake…rich and dense, with almonds in the lemony batter, and more sprinkled on top of the lemon glaze. So, if you like lemons and almonds, you’re in for a treat!  You can substitute chopped pecans for the almonds if you prefer. This recipe has both a Lemon-Sugar drizzle that you put on while the loaf is still warm, and then an additional glaze. If you don’t want to do both, you can try doing one or the other. When you do both, it gives the loaf an extra lemony taste!

LEMON ALMOND BREAD by NancyCreative, adapted from Taste of Home

Makes one 9×5″ loaf

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all–purpose flour (I like to use unbleached flour)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp. grated lemon peel (the more you use, the more lemony the flavor)
  • 1 cup  sliced almonds

LEMON–SUGAR DRIZZLE:

  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Blend in lemon juice, lemon extract, and lemon peel; then fold in almonds.

Spoon batter into the greased and floured loaf pan; bake at 350 degrees for 50–60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes and remove from pan. While loaf is cooling, mix the lemon juice and sugar together for the Lemon-Sugar drizzle; mix until sugar is dissolved (you can heat the mixture up in the microwave for about 10 seconds to help dissolve the sugar more quickly). After removing loaf from pan and while still warm, drizzle the lemon–sugar mixture over the top of the loaf and let cool completely.

Now you’re ready to add the finishing touch–the Lemon Glaze…

LEMON GLAZE:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/8–1/4 cup sliced almonds

Blend powdered sugar and melted butter together; then add lemon juice and mix until well blended. Spoon glaze over cooled loaf; then sprinkle with sliced almonds. Let glaze set, and then reward your baking efforts with a nice thick slice of lemony sweetness! 🙂

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Linked to Just Something I Whipped Up Monday,  Mouthwatering MondayTuesday Tastes, and Tasty Tuesday.