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Cranberry Maple Rice Pudding with Candied Pecans

When I was a kid, my Dad didn't do much cooking. He did have one specialty.....Rice Pudding. I have memories of him standing over the stove, stirring a big pot of the stuff. His version was pretty basic ... milk, rice, sugar, and vanilla, but sooo good. When the pudding was finished cooking, he would pour the whole thing in a huge yellow bowl and then we would wait.....and wait for the rice pudding to get ice-cold. Out of the five of us,  my Dad, my brother Dean and I were the only ones that liked  rice pudding.  My mom and my brother Darren wouldn't touch it if their lives depended on it. They didn't know what they were missing.

Cranberry Maple Rice Pudding
3/4 cup white rice, uncooked
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
4 cups Vanilla Almond Milk
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup dried cranberries

In a medium heavy-bottom pot stir in water, rice and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cook until most of the water has been absorbed for approx. 8-9 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients except cranberries. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered about 25 minutes, stir constantly. Cook until rice is very tender and is thickened (will still continue to thicken slightly as it cools) Remove from heat and stir in dried cranberries. When ready to serve, top with a few candied pecan halves and a drizzle of maple syrup.* Note* Regular milk can be used  in place of the Almond milk, just increase the vanilla extract to 1 1/2 tsp and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup.

Candied Pecans
1/2 cup whole pecans
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350*F. Bake pecans for 7 minutes. In a skillet over med-low heat stir in the remaining ingredients. Add pecans. Cook, stirring often until mixture is thick and syrupy  5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and spread out in a lightly greased pan.

This is good hot or cold. Personally, I like my rice pudding the same way I like my beer,,,,,, ice-cold.

Tags: Rice Pudding, Dessert, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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