Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut!


So here’s the backstory on this snack I just discovered…. I’m trying to lose a pound or two, so that when I greet my really cute doctor (his name is “Steve”) at my annual physical in a couple of weeks, he won’t look down at my chart and frown. I hate to make him sad. In an attempt to accomplish (just a bit) of weight loss, I cut out the usual suspects: white starchy stuff, fatty meat and virtually all junk food. That leaves me with green leafy veggies, chicken and fish. I am a VERY creative cook, so my dishes are still fun, exciting and yummy! Snacking, however is a bit of an issue for me – until the other day, that is!

While playing golf, a buddy reached into her purse and pulled out a plastic bag filled with little white beads that turned out to be dry roasted Macadamia nuts.  I popped one into my mouth and was instantly pleased. The rich little nut is really, really crunchy on the outside and really, really creamy on the inside. Then I find out that Macadamia nuts are lower in Omega 6 fats than other nuts – a double blessing. My pal recommended that I buy a big bag from Costco and the rest, as they say, is history.

Thank God for FUN stuff! Just because I’m trying to make my doctor happy, doesn’t mean everyone else has to suffer. I decided to experiment with these little beads of nutty goodness, and look what I came up with: Maple Macadamia Nut Butter that tastes just as terrific in the following ways:

A)    Spread onto cool, crisp apple wedges
B)    Whipped into frosting and smoothed onto chocolate cupcakes
C)    Slathered between layers of tangy spice cake, topped with chocolate shavings.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

PS…. I’m sending the cake home with my kids after they eat Sunday dinner—here’s a shot of what it looks like on the inside:

PSS… I can’t wait to see the smile on Dr. Steve’s face!!

Maple Macadamia Nut Butter

(makes about 1 cup)
2 cups dry roasted Macadamia nuts
1 tablespoon maple syrup
¼ teaspoons coarse salt
Place the nuts into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are totally ground. Add the maple syrup and the salt. Continue pulsing until the nuts turn into nut butter.

Macadamia Nut Frosting
(makes enough to frost an 8-inch 4-layer cake, pictured below)

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup macadamia butter
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 to 6 tablespoons milk

In the bowl of an electric mixer place the sugar, nut butter, butter and vanilla. Stir to combine. Drizzle in 3 to 4 tablespoons of milk. Mix on high until the frosting is smooth and spreadable. You can add more milk if necessary.

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