Friday, December 19, 2014

Caramelized Pecans Stuffed with Blue Cheese

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I recently made these and I have to say I’m addicted to them now! The blue cheese isn’t too overpowering in them so there’s a great balance of spice, falvor and a little sweetness all in one bite. Don’t make them too far in advance, what I mean but that is yes a day or two ahead make the stuffing and the candied pecans, but don’t stuff them until the day of your gathering.

Caramelized Pecans Stuffed with Blue Cheese

(Adapted from Z Tasty Life)

Serves 10

 

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100 large (about 6 oz. or 2 cups) selected pecan halves

2 Tbsp cup butter

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup sugar

the small pinch of salt, if you like

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne

1/8 tsp garam masala (or you can try curry powder or cumin)

1/2 cup sour cream (about 2 oz.)

1 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 4 oz), brought to room temperature to soften

 

To prepare the caramelized pecans: spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat (or parchment paper). Bake at 375° for 10 minutes. Watch them carefully and don’t overbake or burn them.

 

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Melt butter and honey in a large saucepan over medium heat.

 

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Add pecans, stirring until coated. Cool completely.

 

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Combine sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne and garam masala in a large bowl.

 

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Remove pecans using a slotted spoon, and place in sugar mixture, tossing to coat.

 

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To assemble: Mix the blue cheese and the sour cream with an electric mixer until creamy.

 

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Using either a small teaspoon (or better a pastry bag) mound (or pipe) the creamy mixture onto the flat side of half of the pecans.

 

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Top with another pecan, flat side down, and smooth all around the edges with a clean finger. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Chocolate Éclair Cake

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I made this cake for my mom’s birthday when she visited recently. I don’t think birthday cakes need to be traditional so I went with one of her favorite desserts the Éclair. Pinterest is an amazing place and you’ve heard me rave about it before which is where I found this little gem. It’s so much easier than making the traditional éclair's and a super time saver. I did mess up one part because I didn’t read the directions first which was whipping the cream cheese before adding the pudding. Super important if you don’t want chunks of cream cheese. I think I beat it long enough to make them little so you couldn’t tell, but still makes me made when I was making it for a special occasion. I would defiantly make this again! Happy birthday mom!!!

Chocolate Éclair Cake

(Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything)

 

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Crust:

1 cup water

1/2 cup butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 large eggs

 

Filling:

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 large box (5.1 ounces) vanilla instant pudding

3 cups milk

 

Topping:

1 8 oz. container cool whip (just enough for a thin layer. I don't use the whole container) or one batch of homemade whipped cream

chocolate syrup or homemade chocolate sauce

 

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease a 9"X13" glass baking pan.

 

For the Éclair Crust: In a medium saucepan, melt butter in water and bring to a boil.

 

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Remove from heat. Stir in flour.

 

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Mix in one egg at a time, mixing completely before adding another egg.

 

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Spread mixture into pan, covering the bottom and sides evenly. Mixture will be very wet. *If the sides of your pan are too greased you won't be able to get the mixture to stay up the sides so make sure to just lightly grease. No big deal but I like the crust to go up the sides a bit.

 

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Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown (Mine only took 25 minutes.) You may want to check it occasionally-you don't want to overcook the crust, it will ruin the cake! Remove from oven and let cool (don't touch or push bubbles down).

 

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For the Filling: Whip cream cheese in a medium bowl. In separate bowl make vanilla pudding by beating the pudding mix and the milk for 3 minutes and put in the fridge until set.

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Make sure pudding is thick before mixing in with cream cheese.

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Slowly add pudding to cream cheese, mixing until there are no lumps.

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Let cool in fridge. When the crust is completely cooled, pour filling in. Top with layer of cool whip however thick you want it. Serve with a drizzle of chocolate syrup. *If you want to make this even better use homemade whipped cream.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken Recipe

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Tis the season for crockpot meals, they just make life much easier when you have a ton of things to do. This may not look like much but it’s pretty good, we added some more seasoning while eating to make it a little more spicy and warm us up, but the flavor is good on it’s own.

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken Recipe

(Adapted from Fake Ginger)

 

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4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup apple juice

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 Tablespoons ketchup

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup cornstarch

 

Place chicken breasts in the bottom of slow cooker.

 

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In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, apple juice, brown sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, water and soy sauce. Pour sauce on top of chicken. Replace lid and cook 6-8 hours on low.

 

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Remove chicken and shred or cut into chunks.

 

In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup cornstarch with 1/4 cup of sauce from the crock pot.

 

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Whisk together and pour back into the crock pot to thicken the sauce. Return chicken to the slow cooker and let warm until ready to serve. Serve over rice and garnish with additional red pepper flakes.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Easy Pudding Cookies

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I actually made these last year and forgot to post them. I usually make them throughout the year because they are really easy. After the holidays you can find the flavored JELL-O on clearance. I got the Classic Turtle which I used for this recipe for 25 cents. They make an easy cookie for your next cookie exchange or holiday gift baskets.

Easy Pudding Cookies

(Adapted from JELL-O)


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1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 pkg (3.9oz) JELL-O Instant Pudding

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 pkg (6 squares) Baker’s White Chocolate, chopped


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy.


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Add dry pudding mix; beat until well blended.


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Add eggs and baking soda; mix well. Gradually add flour. beating after each addition until well blended.


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Stir in chocolate.


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Drop tablespoons of dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets.


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Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on baking sheets; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

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