lots of exciting things to talk about today friends. snow! the 2018 tasty seasons calendar! maple pecan chocolate chip snack cake!
let’s start with the fun surprise falling from the sky yesterday when i looked out the window. that’s right, pretty white snowflakes! i love snow and winter and always treat the first snowfall as if i’m a school aged kid and it’s a snow day worthy snowfall. which this was not.
but it was still pretty and happened, both of which were exciting. and the nice thing about living in maine? nobody else cared. we didn’t do the whole PANICIT’SSNOWING! thing that some places get excited about. so that’s nice.
next up: the 2018 tasty seasons calendar! it’s here, it’s here! and i do mean “it”. as in, just one. i wanted to do a test print to make sure it looks nice for y’all before ordering a bunch and it does. hooray! now all i need to do is finish (uh, read: start) updating the website to be able to take orders and securely process credit card payments. that will be ready by thursday (she says confidently, based on a general understanding of what needs to happen to make this true), and then we can start preorders! hooray!
i’m going to open the site to start taking preorders later this week and then will start shipping calendars in early december, for all of your holiday gifting needs. and don’t worry, there will be a whole page devoted to the calendar, with lots of pictures and details, so you know exactly what you’ll be getting, should you be so inclined. in the meantime though, you’ll just have to take my word for it that it’s pretty. allllmost as pretty as a snowflake, which is saying something.
alright, finally, our ostensible purpose here: maple pecan chocolate chip snack cake. it’s a mouthful, both the name and the cake (sorry; apparently terrible puns come out when i’m writing tired. i shan’t make it a habit.).
ok, here’s a thing i learned while testing versions of this snack cake: it’s not just walnuts that i don’t like in baked goods; it’s any nuts.
i always thought that i just didn’t like walnuts that much and so sort of resented how they are the default nut to add to brownies, quick breads, etc. i figured that if we just all agreed to use pecans, i’d be a happier camper (since pecans are generally delicious).
so naturally when making this cake, i used pecans when i decided to add nuts (also i was using pecan butter, so…). yep. turns out i just like my cakes and brownies nut-free, please and thank you.
well, pieces-of-nut-free, that is. because i’m definitely all about the pecan butter. we used it in the blueberry oat pecan crumble bars over the summer and now we’re doing it again. because it’s delicious. AND it adds pecan flavor (which i LOVE paired with maple syrup) WITHOUT having to mess up the cake with actual pieces of pecans.
because it turns out i don’t like those (in case you couldn’t tell…). now, of course, if you don’t share my weird no-nuts-in-baked-goods thing, feel free to add the pecans! i’m sure you’ll love them. heck, in a different version of the universe, i love them. but in this version of the universe? meh, not so much.
whichever version of the maple pecan chocolate chip snack cake you make though, it will be delicious. and if you have any thanksgiving guests who eat a gluten free and/or dairy free diet, this snack cake is perfect, as it doesn’t contain either of those things! and for folks who do eat those things, did i mention the maple and the chocolate chips? see, something (or the lack of something) for everyone! (please note that this little guy serves 4 – 6, so if “everyone” is more than 4ish people, you may want to scale the recipe up!)
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons (45 g. / 1 ½ oz.) maple syrup (i like grade b/”grade a: dark color and robust flavor” for more maple flavor)
- ¼ cup (50 g. / 1 ¾ oz.) olive oil
- 1/3 cup (90 g. / 3 1/8 oz.) pecan butter
- 1 teaspoon (5 g. / 1/8 oz.) vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon (14 g. / ½ oz.) unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup (96 g. / 3 3/8 oz.) almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon (2 g.) baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (skip if you use melted salted butter in place of the olive oil)
- ¼ cup (45 g. / 1 ½ oz.) dark chocolate, chopped (or chips)
- 1/3 cup (45 g. / 1 ½ oz.) chopped toasted pecans, optional
- preheat the oven to 325° F. spray an 8” (20 cm) round cake pan or use a well-seasoned nonstick, oven safe skillet of the same size. set aside.
- whisk the egg in a large bowl then add the maple syrup, olive oil, pecan butter, vanilla, and almond milk. whisk until combined.
- use a wooden spoon to stir in the almond flour, baking soda, and salt. fold in the chocolate and the pecans, if you’re using them.
- pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth it into an even layer. bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then gently run a thin spatula around the edge to loosen the cake. invert a large plate over the pan and then turn the whole thing upside down to release the cake. invert a cooling rack over the plate and turn the whole thing upside down so that the cake cools on the rack right side up. allow to cool a few minutes so the chocolate chunks don’t burn you, then enjoy warm or at room temperature. the cake stays moist for several days when stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
when i make this snack cake, i’m a big fan of setting the bowl on the scale and just weighing the ingredients directly into the bowl. but i’m a big risk taker (read: the stakes are low when i’m making a small, simple cake that will likely be eaten only by me. not all at once, mind you, but it’s not like i’m making it for someone’s wedding such that if i have a mess up, it really matters…), so you do you.
most of the substitutions you’re wondering about would work: dairy milk for the almond milk, almond butter for the pecan butter (if you use peanut butter, make sure it’s a runny, natural one), etc. i adapted this from rachel’s good eats cashew chocolate chip cookie skillet and her recipe and narrative discusses other substitutions, should you be wondering about how something i didn’t mention might work.