Tag Archives: pecans

Thanksgiving Roundup

25 Nov

Looking for some last minute additions or recipes for the big day? Here are some yummy breakfast, dessert and side dish recipes that would be perfect for Thanksgiving. I hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with family and friends. And who is going out Black Friday shopping? Some new outlets just opened last week about a half hour from our house so that’s what we are doing…wish us luck. Everyone I know that has gone so far has said it was nuts.

Perfect for starting off the day right, Pumpkin Granola. It’s light and healthy and won’t fill you up too much.
Pumpkin Granola

Pumpkin Pie Cashews would be the perfect thing to snack on throughout the day.
Pumpkin Pie Cashews

Share what you are thankful for with these Gratitude Rolls.

These slow cooker mashed potatoes free up that precious stovetop space and still create a creamy, decadent side to that juicy turkey.

Maple Glazed Carrots are a super simple yet delicious addition.
Maple Glazed Carrots

Creamy Cheesy Potatoes are so easy and amazingly delicious!
Creamy Cheesy Potatoes

Brined and Roasted Turkey results with the most juicy and succulent bird ever.

Mini Pecan Pies always grace our Thanksgiving table. They are the perfect little bite that leaves a little room for a second dessert!

Apple Streusel Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze is rustic but delicious.
Apple Streusel Cake

Looking for a rich, dense way to end Thanksgiving? Boom, French Silk Pie.
French Silk Pie

The Great Pumpkin Cookies

14 Oct

The Great Pumpkin Cookies
These are one of my favorite cookies of all time. The combination of pumpkin, cinnamon, oats, chocolate chips and pecans screams fall. And they are so soft and chewy, yum. As soon as September hits, the cravings for these start and doesn’t really go away until well past January. Well, if we’re being honest, I could eat these anytime of the year they are so good. But I’m a total pumpkin lover and don’t always stick to pumpkin only in the fall. I think that’s a silly rule.
The Great Pumpkin Cookies
This recipe is from my mom’s best friend, Kathe. She’s kind of the cookie queen in my world (my favorite sugar cookie recipe is from her too). We love to stay up all night baking Christmas cookies together during the holiday season.
The Great Pumpkin Cookies
These yummy cookies are named after “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” because it’s very loved among our families as are these cookies. If you aren’t into oatmeal, be sure to check out some of my other favorite pumpkin cookies here and here.
The Great Pumpkin Cookies
The Great Pumpkin Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup pumpkin
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine flour, quick oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

2. Add eggs and vanilla to creamed mixture, mix well. 3. Alternate adding dry ingredients and pumpkin until thoroughly combined. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Drop onto greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.
The Great Pumpkin Cookies

Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes

16 Nov

Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes
These crash hot sweet potatoes have to grace your Thanksgiving table. I mean it. They are so delicious that you should totally ditch the sweet potato casserole. I’m a little biased since I don’t generally like casseroles but these guys are SO GOOD. They are caramelized and crispy on the outside while smooth and creamy inside.

I made two different spice varieties, the spicy sweet version from the original recipe and a sweet cinnamon pecan version. I thought I would prefer the sweet ones but surprised myself when I kept going back for the spicy ones. I loved the combination of flavors and it added a lot of depth. Yum! You’ve gotta make these tasty little morsels of goodness!
Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes
Head on over to DLYN for the recipe and make sure to scroll down to get the sweet rub recipe too! Apply it just as you would the sweet and spicy version.

Sweet Rub:
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. pecans, chopped
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

12 Nov

Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes
So do you all follow How Sweet It Is? If you don’t, you must follow the link know because she is amazing and quite hilarious. The recipes she dreams up are spectacular and this is one of them!

I only recently became a fan of sweet potatoes and now I’ve kind of become obsessed. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately since I certainly don’t need 12 of these in my house), Joel hasn’t jumped on my sweet potato band wagon yet so I’ve had these bookmarked for awhile waiting for the perfect opportunity to make them for someone else. When we were invited to a friends house recently to watch the Husker game I knew the time had come. And brought my cupcake holder home empty!
Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes
The cupcakes themselves were warm and spicy with a nice crunchy texture from the graham cracker crust. The marshmallow frosting was really, really sweet. I’m not a big fan of frosting in the first place so it was a bit much for me but the frosting lovers reported that it was yummy. The caramel drizzle of course adds more sugary goodness. The pecans added another layer of crunchy texture which I really enjoyed (but they are optional so do as you please).
Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes
These cupcakes would be a perfect update to the regular ‘ole sweet potato pie that usually graces the Thanksgiving buffet.

Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting
recipe from How Sweet It Is
makes 12 cupcakes

Graham crust:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Cupcakes:
1 1/3 cups loosely packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 ounces cooked, mashed sweet potato
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with liners. In a small bowl, mix melted butter, sugar and graham cracker crumbs until moist, then press about 1/2-1 tablespoon of crumbs into the bottom of each liner.

2. In a large bowl, whisk egg and sugar together until combined and no lumps remain. Add in vanilla extract and butter, then whisk in sweet potato. Add in flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, then add in milk and stir until combined and smooth. Drop about 1/4 cup of batter on top of each graham cracker crust. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until cupcakes are set and spring back at the touch. Let cool completely before frosting.

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
3 cups of powdered sugar
1-2 tsp. milk, if needed

Beat butter in the bowl of electric mixer until creamy. Add in fluff and beat for 2-3 minutes, then add in vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, add in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until fully incorporated. Once all the sugar has been added, beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes. If mixture if too runny, add a bit more sugar. If it’s too thick, add a bit of milk one teaspoon at a time. Frost cupcakes and drizzle with caramel sauce and chopped pecans.

Maple Pecan Chicken

9 Nov

Maple Pecan Chicken
During our trip to the North Shore of Lake Superior, we bought some delicious, pure maple syrup from the guy who actually made it. We got to see the taps and system that he used to extract the syrup and cook it up. Since then, I have been on the hunt for ways to use it besides the typical pancakes or french toast.

When I found this chicken recipe, I thought it would be worth a try even though I had a feeling I wouldn’t like it all that much. Why you ask? Because this is yet another one of those dishes that I always swore I didn’t like….until I actually tried it. The combination of meat/poultry and nuts just sounded too weird to me but turns out it is quite good. The nuts, along with the panko, add a nice texture to the chicken. The maple flavor is noticable but not overpowering. I think next time I may switch out the mayonnaise for mustard to make it even healthier.
Maple Pecan Chicken
This is a wonderfully easy, no-fuss meal for fall that is ready in less than 30 minutes. Make sure to prepare extra because it is great for lunch the next day over a bed of mixed greens with a little honey mustard dressing drizzled over the top. Yum!

Maple Pecan Chicken
recipe from Betty Crocker

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray. Between pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper, place each chicken breast smooth side down; gently pound with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/2-inch thick.

2. In shallow dish, mix together maple syrup and mayonnaise. In another shallow dish, mix together panko and pecans.  Dip chicken into syrup mixture, then into panko. Place on baking sheet. Spray top of chicken with cooking spray.

3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (165°F) and coating is golden brown.

Turtle Bars {Classic Southern Dessert}

5 Jul

Turtle Bars
I realized I haven’t made anything from my amazing Classic Southern Desserts cookbook in quite a long time so when I needed to whip up something for a recent get together, I grabbed it out and scoured the pages for something simple and delicious. The first recipe I made from this cookbook was Lemon Bars and looking back at that post made me realize how much my photography has improved in a year. Those pictures were awful. I am going to have to make those again but just for the sake of my photography….
Turtle Bars
These Turtle Bars didn’t disappoint. With a brown sugar cookie base, pecan halves, simple homemade caramel and lots of chocolate I really don’t know how they could. I decided to take these bars and my camera outside for a little change of pace in my food photography. It was a gorgeous day so I relaxed out on the deck taking in some warm rays and the beautiful view. Look what I saw while I was out there shooting these bars.
Family of Geese
I love all of the amazing wildlife our little pond brings to our backyard view. There is a beautiful blue herring that comes back every summer that I have been trying desperately to get a picture of and still haven’t succeeded. It’s my mission by the end of the summer.
Turtle Bars
Turtle Bars
recipe from Classic Southern Desserts

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup pecan halves (I think I will use 1/2 cup more next time)
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup milk chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet instead)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine first 3 ingredients in a mixing bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Pat mixture firmly into an ungreased 13- x 9-inch pan. Arrange pecan over crust.

2. Combine 2/3 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour mixture over pecans. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

3. Remove from oven; sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly melted. Gently swirl chocolate with a knife, leaving some chips whole (do not spread). Let cool on wire rack at room temperature until chocolate is set (about 2 hours). Cut into squares.

Classic Southern Dessert Series: Cherry Coke Cake

11 Jan

I’ve been wanting to make this cake forever. Anyone who knows me knows that I am slightly addicted to Cherry Coke. When I was in high school I was on the newspaper staff. We spent a many a night at school late working on our publication and I always had this delicious beverage in hand. If I didn’t, people were concerned. Even my wedding pictures included a Cherry Coke bottle (and it totally wasn’t staged)! I am not usually a lick the beater kind of girl but this cake batter totally changed me. I licked it clean and I’m not afraid to admit it. I didn’t save any for Joel and I don’t feel bad about it. I don’t even care for chocolate cake but the Cherry Coke gave it such a light, airy, bubbly texture that I just couldn’t resist. Amazing. I couldn’t taste the Cherry Coke in the finished product but it was extremely moist and airy due to the carbonation. I couldn’t get it out of the pan in one piece because of the moistness (is that a word?). And the crunch of the toasted pecans totally makes this cake. It was a huge win in our house and it marked off another item in my Top 100 list.

Cherry Coke Cake
recipe slightly* adapted from Classic Southern Desserts by Southern Living

1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup Cherry Coke
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
Cherry Coke Frosting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange chopped nuts in a single layer in a shallow pan. Bake 8 to 9 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.
2. Combine cola and buttermilk.
3. Beat butter at low speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat at low speed just until blended.
4. Combine flour, cocoa and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with cola mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in marshmallows. Pour batter into a greased and floured 13×9-inch pan.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes.
6. Pour Cherry Coke Frosting over warm cake; sprinkle with toasted pecans.

Cherry Coke Frosting

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup cherry coke
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a large saucepn over medium heat, stirring until butter melted. Remove from heat; whisk in sugar and vanilla. Use immediately.

*Original recipe called for regular Coke.Recipe linked to What I Whipped Up Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesdsay, Full Plate Thursday, Sweet Treats Thursday, Friday Food, Fusion Fridays and Sweets for a Saturday.

Mini Pecan Pies {12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies}

30 Nov

I’ve realized that I should have dubbed this series 12 Weeks of Christmas Goodies rather than Cookies but it’s too late now. I apologize to any of you that were totally excited about pure cookie bliss. Hopefully these will make up for any disappointment. Who doesn’t love a mini treat?

Today, I bring you one of our family favorites…Mini Pecan Pies. These are a must during the holidays in our home. They are usually my brother’s requested dessert. Each person in my family has different favorites so we each get our own dessert. Yes, you heard that right. There are always about 4 desserts at the holidays (if not more) because we just can’t choose and my mom always wants each of us to have our most cherished sweet treat. A few of us usually agree on something pumpkin while the rest go on with their choices. It’s a bit excessive but it has become tradition and you just can’t mess with that.

I am a big fan of crust so these are so much better than a big, traditional pie because the crust to filling ratio is more equal. Plus, there is no rolling involved making me a very happy girl! They are pretty simple to put together and look so cute piled up on a serving tray or in a cookie tin.

Mini Pecan Pies

Crust:
1 stick butter, room temperature
3 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup flour

Filling:
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp. butter, melted
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 tsp. vanilla

1. For the crust: cream butter and cream cheese then mix in flour. Make 24 balls from the dough and press in mini muffin tin.*
2. Stir together filling ingredients. Evenly fill dough cups. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes.

*This mini tart shaper makes this step so much simpler. All you have to do is place a ball of dough in the mini muffin cup and then press down with the tool. It pushes the dough down over the bottom and up the sides. So simple.

Recipe linked to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, What I Whipped Up Wednesday, Sweet Treats Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Potluck, Fusion Friday, Holiday Sweet Swap, Seasonal Inspiration, Strut Your Stuff Saturday,  Sweets for a Saturday and A Themed Baker’s Sunday.

Classic Southern Desserts Series: Browned Butter-Pecan Shortbread

17 Jul

I think I may have died and gone to heaven….and I didn’t even follow the recipe.  After hours of cooking and cleaning, I finally got around to making these cookies.  I had browned the butter hours earlier and I had to get these going.  My mom was coming to visit so I was rushing through trying to get these thrown together before she arrived.  I saw brown sugar listed then sugar but what I failed to noticed as I quickly skimmed the recipe was that it was powdered sugar, not granulated.  Ooops.  This wasn’t my first baking blunder and I know it won’t be my last.

Would these have been better with the powdered sugar?  I’m sure.  They probably would have been more airy but in the end they were still pretty divine and that’s all that matters!  I mean, how could you go wrong with all that butter and the pecans can’t hurt either.

I love that this recipe consists of only 5 ingredients that I always have in my pantry and fridge.  Though they have few ingredients, they do have a few extra steps.  Browning the butter adds about an hour and 15 minutes to the prep time (browning and cooling) but it gives the cookies a distinct, nutty flavor that is totally worth the time.  I’ve never browned butter so I wasn’t sure if I cooked it long enough but by the taste of the cookies I think that I did.

The chilling time of 4 hours is also something you need to plan for that is very important.  If the dough isn’t chilled, it won’t cut easily.  I only chilled mine for 2 hours and it worked just fine.

The cookies have a nice crisp exterior and are soft and crumbly when you bite into them.  I can’t imagine how amazing they would be with the powdered sugar!  They totally brought me back to my childhood.  Pecan Sandies were one of my favorite cookies and these totally taste like them….but better if you can believe it!

Browned Butter-Pecan Shortbread
recipe from Classic Southern Desserts by Southern Living

1 1/2 cups butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups finely chopped toasted pecans

1. Cook butter in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until butter begins to turn golden brown. Remove pan from heat immediately and pour butter into a shallow dish. Do not cover. Chill 1 hour or until butter is cool and begins to solidify.
2. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugars, beating until smooth. Gradually add flour to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in the pecans.
3. Shape dough into 4 (8 inch) logs. Wrap logs tightly in plastic wrap and chill 4 hours or until firm.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut logs into 1/4 inch thick rounds; place on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks and let cool completely.

Cream Cheese Streusel Banana Bread

10 Apr

All week I’ve been secretly hoping my husband wouldn’t eat the bananas.  I even considered hiding them.  I was craving banana bread and it is just not the same with fresh yellow bananas.

This amazing banana bread recipe from Southern Living is the best I have ever had.  It’s a simple, dense and decadent bread that is super moist.  And it’s so easy to throw together for a quick breakfast for guests.  Every time I make this the recipe is requested.

We prefer our banana bread a little “spicy” so I have altered the original recipe a bit to fit our taste.  The cinnamon, allspice and cloves in the batter are my additions so if you would like to try the original recipe simply leave those out.

The streusel makes this bread a dream come true…and the cream cheese.  I think it helps fancy up a normally humble bread.

See what I mean?

There is an insane amount of streusel on this bread and we like it that way! But if you don’t just cut the recipe in half (that’s what the original recipe called for anyway).

The aroma of this bread baking fills our house and is undeniable.  Sometimes I wish I could sit in front of the oven and watch it bake.

Cream Cheese Streusel Banana Bread
Recipe from Southern Living

6 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 ½ cups flour
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. cloves
1 cup banana (I use three bananas)
½ tsp. vanilla

Streusel Topping:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup pecans, optional*
2 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
2 Tbsp. flour
½ tsp. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and cream cheese until creamy.
2. Gradually add sugar; add the egg.
3. Add dry ingredients until combined.
4. Mash bananas then stir into batter.  Add vanilla.
5. Spoon into greased and floured loaf pan.
6. Combine topping ingredients until crumbly then sprinkle over the bread.
7. Bake for about an hour.  You may want to place a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil below the bread as it sometimes overflows.
8. Enjoy a slice slathered with butter!

*Storing your nuts in the freezer will prevent the essential oils from spoiling too fast creating a longer shelf life

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