Thursday, June 5, 2014

Pecan Pie Cake , Pecan Pie Muffins and Pecan Pie Bars. Holiday Desserts that will definitely impress your Family and Guests!

I've posted my favorite recipes for Pecan Pie Muffins and Pecan Pie Bars, that are a family favorite. A blog that I follow just posted this recipe that they found in a Southern Living Magazine. I researched it and I found it on their website.
I'll repost the Muffin Recipe and the Bar Recipe at the end of this. I will definitely make this cake at Thanksgiving this year.
I know this is not for the average baker, but if you want to impress your Holiday Guests, this cake will do it!

Pecan Pie Cake:
Southern Living Recipe

Here's what you'll need:
3 - 9" round cake pans generously brushed with my Pan Release Mix (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil, Flour) I start with 1 C of each and store it in a jar in the refrigerator. I always keep some available for all of my baking needs.
A variety of 3" leaf shaped cookie cutters for garnish.
1 Sheet Pan , Aluminum Foil.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3 C finely  chopped pecans ( toast the pecans in the oven before chopping)
1/2 C butter, room temperature
1/2 C Crisco
2 C granulated sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 TBS vanilla
2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 C buttermilk
3/4 C dark corn syrup

1 recipe of Pecan Pie Filling , recipe to follow
1 recipe of Pastry Garnish, recipe to follow.

Evenly distribute 2 C of the chopped pecans among the 3 cake pans.

In a Stand Mixer with a paddle attachment:
Beat until creamy.
Gradually add sugar and continue beating until incorporated.
Add egg yolks 1 at a time beating well after each one.
Add vanilla.

Baking Soda
Alternate with the Buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour.
Beat on slow speed after each addition until mixed well.
Add remaining 1C of chopped pecans.
Transfer batter to a large mixing bowl.

Clean the bowl of the Stand Mixer and prepare a meringue:
Add the egg whites to the bowl of the mixer and beat on medium speed until stiff peaks form.
Fold 1/3 of the Meringue, by hand, into the batter until combined.
Fold in the remaining meringue just until incorporated ( do not over mix).
Divide the batter evenly among the 3 pans.

Bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and place the pans on cooling racks  for 10 minutes.
Cover cooling racks with waxed paper and invert the cakes onto the racks.
Brush the top and sides of the cakes with the corn syrup.
Cool the cakes completely.

1/2 C firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 C dark corn syrup
1/3 C cornstarch
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 C Half & Half
1/8 tsp salt
3 TBS butter
1 tsp vanilla

In a Saucepan over medium heat:
The first 6 ingredients
Whisk together well.
Bring to a boil, whisking constantly for 1 minute. It should begin to thicken.
Remove from heat.
Whisk in butter and vanilla.
Place a piece of waxed paper directly onto the surface to prevent it from forming a film.
Refrigerate for 4 hours.
Make the Pastry Garnish.

Pastry Garnish:
1 (15oz.) package of refrigerated pie crusts
1 large egg
1 TBS water
24 pecan halves

Unfold the pie crusts.
Cut 8 - 10 leaves from each crust.( mark leaf veins with a paring knife)
Keep the pastry trimmings.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and the water
Brush each leaf with the egg wash.

Crumple 12 small 1/2" balls from small pieces of the aluminum foil.
Spray each ball with a vegetable cooking spray and place on the Sheet Pan that's been lined with Parchment Paper.
Drape a leaf over each ball and place the remaining leaves onto the Sheet Pan.
Bake at 425 for 6 - 8 minutes.
Remove the pan to a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
Gently remove the foil from  leaves.

Pinch off 12 pea sized pieces of the remaining pastry trimmings.
Place a piece between two pecan halves creating a sandwich.
Cut the remaining pastry into 2" squares and wrap a piece around each pecan sandwich, leaving part of the pecan exposed to represent a half shelled pecan.
Brush with egg wash.
Bake on a parchment paper lined sheet pan at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Remove the pan to a cooing rack for 10 minutes.
Transfer the pecans to the cooling rack and cool completely.
Begin assembling the cake.

Transfer 1 layer, pecan side up onto a serving platter and spread with 1/2 of the filling.
Pace the second layer , pecan side up onto the first layer and spread with remaining filling.
Add the third layer onto the top.
Garnish the top and the edges of the platter with the Pastry Leaves and Pastry Covered Pecans.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Here are two more Holiday Best of the Best recipes:
Alternatives to the All American Iconic Pecan Pie and just as Yummy!

These are truly two of our favorite recipes!
You may want to make a few batches of the muffins.

If you need to make something to take to a Thanksgiving dinner or to share with
coworkers, this is it!
They are easy and they taste incredible!

The Bars are equally impressive.
Just two variations on the Iconic All American Pecan Pie!

Pecan Pie Muffins:

1C chopped pecans
1C packed brown sugar
1/2 C all purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 C butter, melted

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl.
Make a well in the center

In a separate bowl:
Beat eggs.
Stir in the melted butter and add this mixture to the dry ingredients.
Stir until moist.

Spoon the batter into paper lined muffin tins, filling 2/3 full.
 (I brush the cups with my Pan Release Mix, equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour. I start with 1C of each and keep it refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.)

Bake  at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Pecan Pie Bars:

Here's what you'll need:
1 - 9" X 13" baking pan, brushed well with my Pan Release Mix. ( Equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Shortening and Flour.) I start with 1C of each and keep it in a jar in the refrigerator for all of my baking needs.

1 1/2C Flour
1/2 C (1stick) Butter, softened.
1/4 C Brown Sugar

3 large Eggs
3/4 C Corn Syrup
3/4 C Sugar
2 TBS Butter, melted
1 tsp Vanilla
2 C Chocolate Chips
2 C chopped Pecans

To make the Crust:

In a medium mixing bowl with a hand mixer:
Brown Sugar
Mix until it forms a crumble.
Press evenly into the pan. I use the bottom of a stainless steel measuring cup.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes.

Remove from oven to a cooling rack and prepare the filling.

To make the Filling:

In a large mixing bowl:
Corn Syrup
Whisk well by hand.
Fold in Chocolate Chips and Pecans by hand.
Pour evenly over the baked Crust.
Bake an additional 25 - 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Cut into squares to serve.

Peace in the Kitchen!

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