Salted Caramel Coffee Toffee

Yep, I said Salted Caramel Coffee Toffee.  Coffee Toffee…  Say that 10 times fast!  This sweet almond-roca-ish treat is easy to make, and more importantly – easy on the teeth!  (We all know, not all toffees can make that claim!)

Salted Caramel Coffee Toffee | Sweet Anna's

All you need is a good pot, a cheap candy thermometer, and a whisk.  Easy, peasy!

Salted Caramel Coffee Toffee | Sweet Anna's

If you really want to spoil someone you love this holiday season, this is the treat to make.  The hint of coffee and maple syrup are just out of this world in the sweet/salty toffee base, and chocolate and toasted almonds round out the topping!

You all know my love of Starbucks VIA instant coffee packets for baking (you remember this ice cream recipe from this summer, right?) and this toffee recipe is no disappointment.  Even if you don’t use them for anything else (I don’t drink them!) grab a box at the store and keep them on hand for baking.  Add them to brownie batter, cookie dough, ice cream, etc. and you will learn to love their versatility as much as I do!

Salted Caramel Coffee Toffee | Sweet Anna's

I am a big fan of homemade Christmas gifts.  Now, if I was handy enough, I would probably do all homemade gifts.  But all I do is bake, so my usual MO is to add baked goods, treats, homemade vanilla, etc. to the Christmas presents we give.  A little homemade love + a little store-bought token = a perfectly well-rounded gift, in my opinion!

(Hint: It’s not too late to make Homemade Vanilla Extract for your friends/family this Christmas.  It’s such a fun, unique gift…  And about the easiest thing in the world to make!)

Salted Caramel Coffee Toffee | Sweet Anna's

Salted Caramel Coffee Toffee

Ingredients

  • 2 cups butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pouch Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted and cooled**

Instructions

  1. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
  2. In a medium-large heavy pot with a candy thermometer clipped to the side, dump in the butter, sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, salt and instant coffee*. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the thermometer registers 250ºF.
  3. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the caramel reaches 290-300ºF.
  4. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the vanilla extract and then the baking soda. Pour onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle the top evenly with the chocolate chips.
  5. Let the chocolate chips sit for about 3-4 minutes, until they are all soft and shiny, and then spread the melted chocolate gently with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Sprinkle the top with the toasted almonds. Let cool completely (in the fridge if your kitchen is too warm!) before breaking into bite-sized pieces and storing in an airtight container!
  6. *If you don't have any Starbucks VIA pouches, you can use regular instant espresso. I just hate buying that little jar and knowing how stale it was every time I wanted to use it!
http://sweetannas.com/2015/11/salted-caramel-coffee-toffee.html

Salted Caramel Coffee Toffee | Sweet Anna's

recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen!

No-Bean Pumpkin Chili (Whole30 & Paleo friendly!)

No beans and wholesome ingredients make this cozy pumpkin chili a perfect Whole30, or Paleo friendly meal.  It is rich, comforting, easy and the best part – it tastes even better the longer it sits.

Make a double batch if you have a big enough pot and freeze some for a busy day.  You’ll be so happy to have this ready to go!

No-Bean Pumpkin Chili (Whole30 & Paleo friendly!) | Sweet Anna's

I am on Day 5 of the Whole30 (If you’re not sure what that is, Google away! It’s great!)…  The only side-effect I’m having right now is that I am absolutely starving all the time, no matter how much I eat. (Starving!)

This chili is the perfect solution to that problem.  I really don’t think it’s even possible to eat this and still be hungry, there is so much meat and good things in it!

Don’t let the “healthy” part deter you, though…  if you are serving this to your kids, or you don’t care about Whole30 or Paleo recipes,  then by all means top this with some shredded cheese, sour cream and your favorite chips!  It will be a crowd pleaser, for sure!

No-Bean Pumpkin Chili (Whole30 & Paleo friendly!) | Sweet Anna's

I will absolutely be making this again and again, and I have to say… as much as I love beans, it was kind of nice to have a bean-free chili for once!

 

Pumpkin No-Bean Chili (Whole30 & Paleo friendly!)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons 21 Seasoning Salute*
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil**
  • 3 lbs lean ground beef
  • 2 large onions, chopped and divided (3/4 + 1/4)
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños seeded and diced (if the flesh is too spicy, only use one!)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups pumpkin purée
  • salt & pepper
  • chipotle chili powder, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the first 5 ingredients.
  2. *"21 Seasoning Salute" is from Trader Joe's and Costco has an almost identical blend called "Organic No-Salt Seasoning". If you don't have either of those stores near you, don't worry. The chili will be just fine without it!
  3. In a large 4-6 quart pot or dutch oven, heated over medium high heat, brown the ground beef in two batches, seasoning each half with a generous spoonful of the spice blend. Remove the first batch to a plate while you are browning the second batch of meat and then scoop the second batch of meat onto the plate also. Don't worry about cooking the meat through at this point, just get a good browned sear on it!
  4. **If the meat was very lean, add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pot. If the meat was not as lean, drain off all but about two tablespoons of the grease and don't use any additional oil.
  5. Stir about 3/4 of the chopped onions, the bell peppers and the jalapeños into the hot oil or grease in the pot. Season with a generous spoonful of the seasoning, and some salt & pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to brown. Stir in the garlic and let cook for about 30 seconds, until very fragrant, before adding back in the meat (along with any juices that have accumulated on the plate!), the crushed tomatoes and the pumpkin.
  6. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to make sure you get up any good bits on the bottom, and add in the rest of the seasoning mixture. Stir well to combine, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for as long as you can!
  7. At this point, taste for seasoning and add more salt & pepper as needed, and if it's not spicy enough for you, add some chipotle chili powder (or crushed red pepper flakes if that's what you have!).
  8. Stir in the remaining chopped onions just before serving, or sprinkle onto the top of each bowl for a nice fresh bite!
  9. You can eat the chili right away, but like all chilis, it gets better the longer it sits. That's why the batch is so big... feed a crowd, or save the rest for other meals!
http://sweetannas.com/2015/10/no-bean-pumpkin-chili-whole30-paleo-friendly.html

 

dairy-free coconut streusel pumpkin coffee cake

And I’m back!  After way too many long months of cookbook writing (and some health-craziness that I am still wading through) I am finally ready to get back into my kitchen!

This easy pumpkin coffee cake was the perfect way to ease back into things on this last-day-of-summer-that-feels-entirely-like-fall.

Dairy Free Coconut Streusel Pumpkin Coffee Cake | Sweet Anna's

Why dairy-free?  Well, let me fill you in.  My dairy-loving norwegian-self just found out that my body really can’t process dairy.

Yes, there were lots of tears shed.  No, there is no pill I can take.  And yes, I actually feel MUCH better already after just a few short weeks of this journey.

Am I happy about this turn of events in my life?  Not one bit.  Am I excited to actually feel good after spending way too many years of my life feeling ‘meh’?  Absolutely!

So, we journey on.  Yes, there will absolutely still be dairy involved in the recipes on this blog, but you will see more and more dairy-free recipes as I adjust to my new normal.

Dairy Free Coconut Streusel Pumpkin Coffee Cake | Sweet Anna's

With fall strongly in the air today, this coconut-streusel laced coffee cake was a no-brainer on the list of recipes I needed to convert first.  No dairy at all, but not missing a bit of flavor, you are sure to love this easy fall treat as much as I do!

Dairy Free Coconut Streusel Pumpkin Coffee Cake | Sweet Anna's

dairy-free coconut streusel pumpkin coffee cake

Ingredients

    for the streusel:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sweetened-flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
  • for the cake:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup melted virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups pure pumpkin purée
  • 3 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x9" square baking dish (or a similar size pan - I used a very deep dish pie plate!); Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the streusel ingredients until combined; Set aside.
  3. In another medium bowl, stir together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, cinnamon and salt for the cake; Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the 1/2 cup coconut oil and 1/2 cup brown sugar until well blended. Stir in the pumpkin, and then beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just well combined.
  5. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined (don't over-mix!) and then spread half of the pumpkin batter into the greased baking dish and then top with half of the streusel mixture. Carefully spread the rest of the batter on top of that, and then sprinkle evenly with the remaining streusel.
  6. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean, with just a few crumbs on it - no wet batter.
  7. Let cool a bit before cutting and serving, if you can stand it!
http://sweetannas.com/2015/09/dairy-free-coconut-streusel-pumpkin-coffee-cake.html