Happy Hanukkah to all of our friends who celebrate the Festival of Lights! Hanukkah Harry (and Harriet) have been well fed with delicious treats left under the menorah and appropriate, festive beverages (IPA for dad, Rioja for mama).
The littlest guy in our clan was happy to lend Hanukkah Harry a hand and help with shopping. Each munchkin receives one small gift each night, and Gideon picks out perfect presents for his siblings.
All three kids (and Hanukkah Harry) love mama’s gluten-free apple cake with pecans, toasted pecans and chocolate chips. Hints of warm spices, floral orange and robust, sweet vanilla complement the tart apples.
Naomi’s favorite part of the seasonal treat is the lightly toasted pecans from her dad’s home state of Georgia. Once you’ve had a Georgia pecan, you’re ruined, and no commercial pecan will suffice.
Plus, the crunch of the nuts is an ideal counterpoint to the oh-so-moist, soft sponge.
Mama first began making an apple cake with nuts and chocolate after her dear, lovely friend Susan served a version to her in November of 2009.
Since them, the spirit of that cake (now lightened-up, altered slightly and made gluten-free) has become intertwined in our fun family festivities.
Another wonderful treat to accompany menorah lighting, gift-wrapping – or to serve as a bite-sized appetizer at holiday parties – are our family’s kale quinoa bites.
Sweet roasted red pepper, hearty kale and rich, mature Irish cheddar pare harmoniously with nutty quinoa and rich eggs. The outside is crisp and the inside is moist; it’s a perfect bite.
Revision: it’s a perfect bite when paired with a glass of oaky, smooth chardonnay. The well-bodied, slightly sweet wine stands of to the pungent, aged cheese and mellows out the tart, sturdy kale.
True story: Gideon ate four quinoa muffins and did not leave a trace of crumbs… Other than the standard residual floor sprinkling. Par for the course.
He would have devoured a few more but wisely opted to save room for cake. Smart baby.
We enjoy these savory mini-muffins either warm or at room temperature. If Hanukkah Harry doesn’t require additional hors-d’oeuvres, they are delicious for breakfast- or lunch with a steaming bowl of bean soup.
Asher loves these nuggets of vegetable goodness! We first made the bites at brunch back in New Mexico for Asher’s BFF Steele, Gideon’s favorite baby pal Gunnar and my fun, amazing friend Emily.
Whip up some scrumptious gluten-free goodies this holiday season, and share them generously with Hanukkah Harry (or Harriet) and those you love. Happy Hanukkah!
Kale Quinoa Bites (Gluten-Free)
Yield: About 3 dozen bites
- Preheat the oven to 400•F. Spray two mini muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray.
- Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the quinoa, kale, shallot, cheddar, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper until well-combined.
- Use a small melon ball scoop to fill each muffin cup completely, about 36 cups total. Pat down each cup.
- Bake until golden brown, about 8-12 minutes. Allow to cook completely, then transfer to a serving tray.
- Crack black pepper over the quinoa bites. Serve at room temperature.
Amazing Apple Cake (Gluten-Free)
Yield: About 16 pieces
- Heat the oven to 350•F. Spray a 9×13-inch glass pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, toss the apples, pecans and dark chocolate with the cake mix.
- In a medium bowl, whisk in the orange juice, coconut oil, apple sauce, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon and vanilla.
- Fold the orange juice mixture into the apple mixture with a rubber spatula, and mix until well combined.
- Pour the mixture in to the prepared glass pan, evenly distributing the batter. Even out the top of the cake.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top of the cake is a light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow cake to cool completely on a wire rack. Serve pieces with freshly grated cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired… Hanukkah Harry prefers a big scoop or two of vanilla bean ice-cream.
shannaward.com (2013-2015). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.