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Harvest Spice Apple Squash Muffins

2 Oct

Fall hit us with full force here in Portland. We were caught off-guard, blissfully sedated by the endless days of hot, cloudless weather we’d had for the past few months. One day it was 90°, our windows were thrown open and we had the fans going, then WHAM, it dropped down to 55°, the clouds barreled in and threw a stormy surprise in our faces. We quickly slammed our windows shut, threw the heavy comforters back on our beds, and put pants on for the first time since July.

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Welcome to fall!

“Don’t you love fall, though?” my hairdresser asked as she colored my locks an autumn-appropriate auburn red. “Yes, I do.” She knows me better than I thought. I love the crisp air, the smell of all the leaves on the ground, the excuse to bake and drink copious amounts of tea and cocoa. I love scarves and cozy sweaters and earth tones. I love boots.

I’ve created a plethora of fall-inspired treats over the years, chock full of pumpkin and pears, apples and cinnamon. But they’re not paleo! This needs to change, and change fast, as fall is most certainly upon us!

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The original version of these Harvest Spice Apple Squash Muffins appeared on my old blog exactly 2 years ago. I loved those spiced muffins so much, I actually developed this paleo version last year, but never shared it with the world. I gifted my mom with the recipe in her birthday card, however, and she adores them (right Mom?). I’m pretty sure she usually substitutes pumpkin for the butternut squash, so that’s definitely an option if pumpkin is what you have on hand. Try to find butternut if you can, though! Give the other squashes a chance!

These little muffins are a perfect taste of fall. Warm spices, tart apple, tender squash. And what a pretty orange hue!

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Toasted Sesame Coconut Cookies

29 Jul

Did you read my intro post? Good. Then you know I spend my days working in a bakery, making absolutely scrumptious pastries that I do my best to avoid eating. When a broken cookie or a slightly-smashed cupcake is staring at me from the end of the counter, it’s hard to look it in the eye and say “NO!”, but I’ve spent the last year strengthening my willpower. However, some treats are harder to resist than others. I have my favorites that give me a particularly devilish stare. One of those is the cupcake we recently developed based on those sesame seed balls stuffed with sweetened coconut found at Asian restaurants. Something about the pop and crunch of those little sesame seeds…the buttery nuttiness of toasting them…oh my!

When this delectable sesame cupcake appeared on the menu a couple weeks back, and I didn’t sneak one single bite, I knew I had to reward myself with a sesame-laden paleo treat when I got home.

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These Toasted Sesame Coconut Cookies are wonderfully chewy, delightfully nutty, and perfectly sweet. I brought them along to girls night with my coworkers and this honest group of taste-testers loved them. The leftovers were apparently eaten for breakfast…

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