When I was a teenager, long before I knew that I had a gluten intolerance and that food was an important factor of health, I used to spend my afternoons at the local mall eating those giant cinnamon rolls and sticky pecan rolls. Every.Single.Day. At one point I tore 4 pairs of pants in one day and wondered why this was happening to me. It’s funny the things we ignore and deny while 16 years old. Now anytime I’m in a mall and get that whiff of caramely sugar, it brings me back to my emotional eating days, when pillowy clouds of sugar were my best friend. High school was a real son of b*tch.
I normally make 95% of my recipes from scratch, but now that I’m finally hosting Christmas for the first time and planning out all of the recipes we will have on Christmas morning with 8 people in the house, the last thing I want to do is make a meal with a ton of different ingredients. That stresses me out. So instead I’m turning to some paleo mixes to make these meals a little easier. Just the other day I shared a recipe for Peppermint Swirl Cheesecake Brownies with an almond flour brownie mix and today my recipe uses an almond flour vanilla cupcake mix! It makes me feel like a fraud, but sometimes you just gotta be a lazy ass. That’s what the holidays are for, right? Sure.
This year has been one of the least stressful holidays and I LOVE it. For years I’ve pushed for not exchanging gifts since all of us are adults and can purchase things for ourselves if we want them, and finally the family has (slightly) agreed to this. This year we adopted a family and all came together to get them gifts. Then Christmas morning we are opening stockings with some small gifts in them. For a long time now I’ve believed that if I want something, I will work hard to get it…which has really ruined my husband’s love language. He’s a gift giver. So gifts aren’t part of the Christmas day agenda this year. Just lots of food, a HUGE charcuterie board, and some Christmas cocktails. Food is way more fun than gifts.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with parchment paper liners and spray with coconut oil spray.
- In a small saucepan, whisk together caramel with coconut cream, maple syrup, ghee, cinnamon, and salt until completely combined. Remove from heat and fold in pecan pieces. Let cool for about 5 minutes then pour mixture evenly throughout 12 of muffin liners.
- Follow directions on box to create cupcakes. Once mixture is combined, pour mixture evenly throughout the 12 muffin liners on top of the caramel sauce (I used an ice cream scoop to scoop the batter evenly throughout).
- Place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle. I recommend placing a baking sheet on the rack below to catch any caramel sauce that may pour over in the baking process.
- Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing from pan, flipping over, and slowly removing the parchment paper liner revealing the caramel bottom.
- Serve immediately while still warm and have a happy family breakfast!
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