Recently I set up a little morning tea booth at our church. There are some NZ traditions we just cannot drop. We love our church and everything it does, however we didn’t like the weak filter coffee, styrofoam cups and store-bought tea biscuits tucked away in the back of the room that was the original ‘morning tea’. I brainstormed a little, spoke with the local coffee roaster for ideas, and created a roster. A little bit of cooperation from keen bakers, some quality Rosso coffee and a few table decorations and we were able to create something beautiful. What a blessing to have community gathering prior to the service and during tea break. How wonderful to hear that churchgoers arrive early to get their fix of coffee, a small breakfast treat and some meaningful fellowship with friends.
For our Thanksgiving service I decided to bake some pecan treats that could be enjoyed by all (including those with allergies and intolerances). These are light but decadent – I think a splash of bourbon wouldn’t go amiss… The coconut base, if too thick can be a little dry, so ensuring it is thin is key. The topping is so close to traditional pecan pie – without that sickening sweetness I used to love so much. If you too don’t mind establishing an aversion to vast quantities of refined sugar check out Fed Up!
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/4 cup butter (or coconut oil), melted
For the filling:
10 pitted medjool dates (soak in boiling water if they are dry)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9x9inch baking pan with parchment paper.
In a food processor, combine the almond meal, coconut flour, butter (or oil) and eggs. Pulse until the dough forms a ball. Press the dough evenly into the dish and bake for 15 minutes until golden around the edges.
Meanwhile, make the filling by adding the dates, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla extract and salt to the food processor. Process on high until the filling is smooth (and delicious). Pour the filling mixture over the partially baked crust. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the top, and bake the bars for another 25 to 30 minutes. Let bars cool completely. I find them easier to cut evenly if they are partly frozen.