Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Apple Bars

The weather is getting a bit cooler. Actually, I just wish it were. But when it does, I'll buy Apples and make Apple desserts.
I grew up in Michigan and there was an Apple Orchard at the end of our street. We would raid the orchard as often as we could get away with it. I'm sure the owner was completely aware that the kids were eating plenty of his Apples!  Apparently we got away with it, because I don't ever remember getting caught!

Here's a great Apple Bar to start the Fall season.
Since I discovered Jonagold Apples, they've become my first choice when it comes to baking with Apples.

Apple Bars:

2 C Flour
16 TBS (2 sticks) Butter
1/2 C Rolled Oats
1 C Brown Sugar
1 C Water
1 C Granulated Sugar
3 TBS Cornstarch
1 TBS Vanilla
3 C  peeled, cored and sliced Apples

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
9" X 13" baking dish brushed with my Pan Release Mix (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each mixed well in a jar and refrigerated. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.

In a large mixing bowl:
Rolled Oats
Brown Sugar
Mix well with a wooden spoon.
Press 3/4 of the mixture into the pan.

In a saucepan on medium heat:
Granulated Sugar
Bring to a boil.

In a small bowl:
2 TBS Water
1 TBS Cornstarch
Stir until combined.
Add this to the saucepan.
Stir well.
Add the remaining Cornstarch ,
Stir until it begins to thicken.
Remove from heat, set aside.

Mix well.
Pour evenly over the crust.
Sprinkle evenly with remaining Rolled Oat mixture.

Bake 40 minutes, the top should be golden brown.
Remove the pan to a rack and cool completely.
Cut into squares to serve.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Pecan Pie Muffins and Pecan Pie Bars, an alternative to the Iconic All American Pecan Pie.

The All American Iconic Pecan Pie!

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!

Pecan Pie Cake

This is a decadent cake to serve at Thanksgiving. Your guests will be impressed with the presentation and the taste. We eat with our eyes first and that's why this cake is amazing. I will certainly make this one for Thanksgiving this year.

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  + 2 dozen that have not been toasted, for garnish. ( toast the pecans in the oven before chopping, recipe at the end)
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 (toasted)

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 350 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 dough and pecans with egg wash.
Bake all of the pieces 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 Pecans.

Toasted Pecans
This recipe is for 6 C of Pecans. I generally roast them and store them refrigerated until I need them.
6 C Pecan Halves
2 sticks (16 TBS) Butter, melted
Pour melted Butter into a large mixing bowl.
Add Pecans and mix to coat well.
Place the nuts on two Sheet Pans in a single layer.
Bake at 275 degrees for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Remove the pan to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to use in a recipe.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Southern Holiday Tea Cakes

This is an interesting name for a cookie. I didn't want to change the original name. I've had this recipe  since 2007. It's in my collection of the Best of the Best recipes.

These cookies are great dipped in Chocolate for the Holidays. (recipe to follow)
They can also be drizzled with a Lemon Glaze. (recipe to follow)

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line a Sheet Pan with Parchment Paper.
Waxed Paper

4 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 C Granulated Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 C Buttermilk
16 TBS (2 sticks) Butter, softened
1 tsp Vanilla , Lemon or Almond Extract

In a large mixing bowl:
Baking Soda
Baking Powder
Whisk well.

Mix well to form the dough.

Roll it out onto a floured surface, 1/4" thick.
Use a 2" round cookie cutter.
Place them 2" apart, on the lined Sheet Pan.
Bake 10 - 12 minutes.
I baked mine  11 1/2 minutes.

Remove and cool the pan on a rack for 10 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to the rack and cool completely.

Chocolate Dip:
1 C Semisweet Chocolate Chips
2 TBS Crisco, (shortening)
In a heat proof glass bowl:
Chocolate Chips
Heat in a microwave until melted and smooth, stirring often.
Dip half of each cookie in the chocolate , place on waxed paper until it sets completely.

Lemon Glaze:
2 C Confectioner's Sugar
2 TBS Grated Lemon Zest
1/3 C Fresh Lemon Juice

In a medium bowl, mis all ingredients together and whisk until smooth.
Drizzle over cooled cookies on a rack over a sheet pan.
Allow the glaze to set for 1 hour.
Once dried, they can be stacked and stored in an air tight container.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Julpepparkakor ( Swedish Christmas Ginger Snaps)

I've had this recipe card for many years. I thought about writing the recipe and posting it on the blog. I decided to photograph the card and post it.
I love Ginger Snaps and there's nothing better than making them yourself. These are perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Dunk them in a mug of my homemade Hot Chocolate for a simply, yet decadent dessert. The recipe is on the blog!


Banana Split Lush from Melissa's Southern Style

I just received this incredible looking recipe from Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen. I looks amazing and would certainly be a great dessert for a crowd!
I know that we will serve this to our crowd!
Thank you Melissa for another delicious recipe!

Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen: Banana Split Lush

Peace in the Kitchen!

Cabbage Slaw

I reposted the Cabbage Slaw recipe and two others for Cole Slaw on the blog, because I just made the Cabbage Slaw and added pictures.
I doubled the recipe and it made a lot. I ended up making three of the dressing recipes for the amount of cabbage I had. I used 2 very large heads of cabbage.

Cabbage Slaw:

This is my favorite Slaw.
I've been making it for 10 years.
I make it often.

It's fairly simple and the end result is tasty.

1 Head of Cabbage,shredded
1 Onion, chopped
3/4 C Sugar

I use an 80 oz. Pickle Jar or a Crock to make this in.

Place the shredded Cabbage in a Jar or a Crock.
Sprinkle the Sugar over the Cabbage

Heat: In a Saucepan
1 C White Vinegar
3/4 C Vegetable Oil
2 tsp Sugar of the Sugar (the remaining is poured over the top after the dressing goes on.
1 tsp Dry Mustard
1 tsp Celery Salt

Pour this mixture over the Cabbage.
Do not stir it.
Cover it with a top or a plate and leave it stand at room temperature overnight.

I often double this recipe because we love it!

Store refrigerated

Peace in the Kitchen!

The jar is an 80 Pickle Jar and the Crocks are large.
This made a huge amount of slaw.

This is a Crockery Bread Bowl that's 13" X 6".
This is a lot of slaw.