Tag Archives: pecans

Chocolate Chip, Bourbon Pecan Bars – Kentucky

It’s Derby Week! Yes, the Kentucky Derby is one of the fastest sporting events, clocking in at around two minutes, but it’s oh so much fun, even if you simply watch on TV with a few friends. If you

Chocolate Chip Bourbon Pecan Bars - Kentucky

do decide to host a viewing party, be sure to include mint juleps (see our recipe for the hands down best way to pump up the mint flavor), and Hot Browns, (a turkey sandwich fancied up with mouthwatering Mornay sauce and then topped with tomatoes, bacon and Pecorino Romano cheese). The traditional sweet finish is Bourbon Pecan Pie but if you want the same flavors in an easier to eat form, try these Chocolate Chip, Bourbon Pecan Bars. The shortbread cookie crust is a great base for the bourbon-laced filling.

Can’t make it to the Kentucky Derby? Don’t fret. You can take a variety of different tours of Churchill Downs after the crowds disperse.

Chocolate Chip, Bourbon Pecan Bars

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

   For Cookie Crust:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces

 For Filling: 

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

For cookie crust: In the bowl of food processer, add flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter pieces and process until dough forms. Press into bottom of a greased 8X8 pan, being sure to add about a quarter of an inch around the sides of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven or just until cookie crust begins to brown. Remove and let stand.

For filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, add butter and brown sugar. Mix until creamed. Add eggs and bourbon, mix until incorporated. Add flour, chocolate chips and pecans. Mix until just incorporated. Pour filling on top of cookie crust and smooth to the edges. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until filling is firm and top is light golden brown. Cool completely before cutting.

Advertisements

Maple Glazed Apple Strudel – Vermont

Sniff around outside in the Green Mountain state from early late March to late April, and you’ll suddenly be struck with a craving for pancakes. That delicious smell is from sugarmakers who are

Maple Glazed Apple Strudel - Vermont

processing and boiling the sap of sugar maples to make Vermont’s most famous product, maple syrup. We’ve talked before here and here about how maple is the official state flavor (pretty cool to have one of those, right?).

This apple strudel recipe calls for maple syrup both in the filling and also in the glaze on top. Using puff pastry for the dough makes it super easy, too. If you don’t like pecans leave them out or add a ¼ cup of raisins to the filling if you are so inclined.

Check out the Maple Open House Weekend, March 25-26, 2017, when sugarhouses across the state of Vermont give tours, demos and samples.

Maple Glazed Apple Strudel

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

 For Strudel:

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 2 large tart apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

For Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

On a lightly floured surface, unfold puff pastry and roll out with a rolling pin until it is 12 by 12 inches. Peel the apples, core them, then slice thinly. Sprinkle with lemon juice so they do not brown. In a medium mixing bowl, add sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, breadcrumbs and ½ cup of pecans. Mix well. Add apples and stir until they are well coated. Place apple mixture on one half of the puff pastry. Fold over the other half and pinch the edges closed. Gently lift onto a parchment lined baking sheet and turn seam side down. Cut 3 vents in top of puff pastry to allow steam to escape. Brush top and sides with melted butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

To make the glaze, in a small bowl, combine confectioners sugar, maple syrup and vanilla extract (if glaze is too stiff, add a teaspoon of milk at a time to reach desired consistency). When strudel is cooled, add maple glaze, then sprinkle with ¼ cup chopped pecans.

Pumpkin Pie Bars – New Hampshire

Pumpkin became the state fruit of New Hampshire in 2006. The New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival, first held in Keene, New Hampshire, and now in Laconia, set a world record in 2013 with over

Pumpkin Pie Bars - New Hampshire

30,000 lit jack-o-lanterns. The lit pumpkins are housed on a huge scaffolding tower and honestly, it’s a sight to behold.

Because Thanksgiving is coming and because we can’t get enough of all things pumpkin we decided to bring you these pumpkin pie bars. They give you all the sumptuous goodness of pumpkin pie without the hassle of rolling out pie dough. Bake these and stash them in your freezer for the next time you are craving pumpkin pie.

The Portsmouth Harbour Trail is a walking tour that passes by 70 significant historical spots including 10 national historical landmarks and 10 buildings listed on the National Register of Historical Buildings.

Pumpkin Pie Bars

  • Servings: 24 bars
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

For crust:

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

For filling:

  • 15 oz. can pumpkin filling
  • 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Instructions

To make crust: In the bowl of the electric mixer, combine oats, flour, brown sugar and butter. Mix on low with the paddle attachment until just combined. The mixture will look crumbly. Press into the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

To make filling: While crust is baking, combine pumpkin filling, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, spices and salt. Mix on low until smooth. When crust is done, pour mixture over it and then return pan to oven for 20 minutes.

To make topping: While filling bakes, combine brown sugar and chopped pecans in a small bowl. When filling has baked approximately 20 minutes, remove from oven. Sprinkle topping over the filling which will be wiggly and not yet set. Return pan to oven for an additional 20 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Dems and GOP Vote for Hartford Election Cake – Connecticut

We’re reprising our Hartford Election Cake because no matter if you vote Democrat or Republican, this cake is a huge electoral win. This very old recipe dates back to colonial times, when the cake was

Hartford Election Cake

made to feed hungry militia during training days. After the Revolutionary War, Election Day was almost like a holiday. Historians are not sure if this cake was baked in celebration of the right to vote, or just to feed weary travelers who traveled long distances to get to polling places.

For this election season, we were delighted to discover that Old World Levain Bakery in Asheville, NC created a Make American Cake Again! project with election cake as its centerpiece, to raise awareness about our culinary heritage. If you make this cake, be sure to use #electioncake and #MakeAmericaCakeAgain on social media.

Full of nuts, raisins and spices, including cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg (very appropriate for the Nutmeg State) this cake rises twice for a total of two and a half hours. We can’t think of a better dessert to serve as you watch the returns roll in.

Nathan Hale is Connecticut’s state hero. He was an American soldier and spy for the Continental Army. He was captured by the Brits and before he was hung he stated “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Check out the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry, built in 1776, with Hale-family furnishings and period antiques.

Hartford Election Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Adapted from Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, by Patricia Bunning Stevens, www.ohioswallow.com, used with permission.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1½ cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour (divided in two parts: 1½ cups, then 1¾ cups)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup chopped raisins (soaked overnight in brandy or bourbon, optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Instructions

Dissolve yeast in water. Stir in milk. Add 1½ cups flour gradually, until mixture is smooth. Cover and let rise in warm place until very light and bubbly, 30 to 45 minutes.

Mix together 1¾ cups flour, salt and spices and set aside. Chop raisins, mix with nuts and set aside. Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. By hand, blend in yeast mixture. Gradually add dry ingredients, beating until smooth after each addition Add raisin-pecan mixture and mix well.

Grease and flour a 9-inch tube pan or large Bundt pan. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until dough almost reaches the top, 1½ to 2 hours. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake cake until golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then loosen cake from edges with a knife. Turn out onto a cake rack and cool completely.

For glaze: In a mixing bowl, whisk confectioners sugar, vanilla and milk until desired spreading consistency. Glaze should cover top of cake and drizzle down the sides.

 

Persimmon Muffins with Sugared Pecan Topping – Indiana

If you’ve never had a persimmon you’ve been missing out. Their flavor is often described as a cross between a guava, an apricot and an avocado. Southeastern Indiana has an abundance of wild

Persimmon Muffins with Sugared Pecan Topping - Indiana

persimmon trees and if you are lucky enough to live nearby, the delicate fruit will be showing up in farmers markets and farm stands in the next few weeks. Nutritionally, persimmons are a great source of dietary fiber, as well as vitamin A and vitamin C. We did a little experimenting and used our family zucchini bread recipe but replaced the zucck with persimmons. It worked beautifully and the pecan topping lends a bit of crunchy sweetness.

Mitchell, Indiana, hosts a Persimmon Festival each year with arts and crafts, a persimmon pudding contest, entertainment and the crowning of Persimmon Festival Queen.

Persimmon Muffins with Sugared Pecan Topping

  • Servings: 12 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

For Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For Muffins:

  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 -3 very ripe persimmons
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

 Instructions

To make topping, in a small mixing bowl combine melted butter, flour, sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and ground ginger). Whisk a bit until fully mixed. Set aside.

Remove stems from the persimmons then slice into eighths. Remove any seeds. Working in 2 batches, place persimmon sections in the bowl of a Foley food mill. Process until 1 cup of pulp is extracted and only the skin remains.

To the pulp add sugar, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla. Stir until fully incorporated. Add dry ingredients and stir just until batter is mixed, being careful not to overmix.

Add batter into lined muffin tins, filling about three quarters full. Distribute pecan topping equally over all muffins. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Oh, Give Me a Home: Cowboy Cookies – Wyoming

We will not say one discouraging word against the Cowboy Cookie. A variation on the tried-and-true chocolate chip, this cookie is satisfyingly crisp on the outside and chewy in the center. The origin

Cowboy Cookies

of the name is as fuzzy as spring duckling. Some say it has something to do with the addition of coconut, oats and pecans, which help keep a cowboy fortified in the saddle. Sounds mighty sensible to us. The StateEats kids gobbled these up before we could utter “giddyup.”

Cowboy Cookies - Wyoming

If you’ve never seen it, the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is a wonder to behold. It is the largest hot spring in the U.S. and is known for its striking rainbow hues.

Cowboy Cookies

  • Servings: 2 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, cream the shortening and two types of sugar on medium speed until thick and creamy. Add eggs, and vanilla. Add flour mixture. Stir by hand until well combined. Then add oats, coconut, chocolate chips, and nuts if using. Stir by hand until well combined. Drop walnut size dough balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 7-9 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove to wire rack to cool. Transfer to an airtight container.

Get Crunchy: Vegan Maple Pecan Cherry Granola – Vermont

If never made homemade granola, we’re here to tell you it’s the simplest thing ever. Besides that, you have the added bonus of being able to control the ingredients, especially the sugar. This recipe uses

Vegan Maple Pecan Cherry Granola - Vermont

Vermont’s most famous and favorite product – maple syrup. We’ve told you before how Vermont leads the states in producing maple syrup and how maple is the official flavor of the Green Mountain State.

We’ve been making this granola recipe for years and it’s a big hit whenever we have company. We are partial to pecans and dried cherries but you can use whatever nuts and dried fruit you prefer – almonds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, cranberries – it’s all good.

If a visit to the Vermont is in your future, check out the Open House Weekend, April 2-3, 2016, when sugarhouses across the state give tours, demos and samples.

Vegan Maple Pecan Cherry Granola

  • Servings: 15-20
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 4 cups old fashioned oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1 ½ cups pecans or other nuts
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup dried cherries

Instructions

In a large bowl, place oats, nuts, chia seeds (if using), turbinado sugar and salt. Stir until combined. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil. Add maple syrup and water. Heat until boiling. Add maple syrup mixture to the oat mixture. Stir to combine.

Place granola on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 300 degrees, stirring granola every 15 minutes until it reaches desired shade of brown (approximately 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how dark you like it). Let cool. Add dried cherries. Granola will keep 2 to 3 weeks if sealed tightly.

 

Get Dirty: Mississippi Mud Pie

It is any surprise that February is National Chocolate Lovers Month? With Valentine’s Day this weekend, we decided we absolutely had to go all chocolate with this Mississippi Mud Pie. This Southern

Mississippi Mud Pie

indulgence gets its name because it supposedly looks like the thick mud that lines the Mississippi River. Lots of variations of this pie exist, some with a regular graham cracker crust, some with marshmallows, and some even with ice cream. We went with a more traditional version and oh my, we were left swooning in chocolate heaven.

If you are planning a trip to the Magnolia State, check out the Mississippi Blues Trail. This travel planning site includes information about historic sites, museums, upcoming concerts and more.

Mississippi Mud Pie

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

For crust:

  • 1 sleeve chocolate graham crackers
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup pecans

For filling:

  • 1 ½ sticks butter
  • 1 ¾ cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted in microwave
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon chocolate extract
  • 1 teaspoon Kahlua liqueur (optional, if omitted add another teaspoon of chocolate extract)

For topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
  • Chocolate shavings (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted and cooled (optional)

 Instructions

For crust:

Pulse sleeve of graham crackers and pecans in food processor until fine crumbs are formed. Transfer mixture into a bowl. Add melted butter and sugar. Mix well. Press mixture evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 325 degrees.

For filling:

In the meantime, mix butter and brown sugar together in mixer on medium speed until mixture is creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add melted chocolate chips, cocoa, heavy cream, chocolate extract, and Kalua and beat until all ingredients are incorporated. Pour the filling in the pie shell. Bake for 45 minutes or until filling is set. Let cool on counter and then transfer to fridge.

For topping:

Add heavy cream into a mixing bowl and beat on medium to high speed. Just before soft peaks begin to form, add the sugar to taste. Beat a few more minutes until soft peaks form. Add whipped cream to cooled pie, then top with chocolate shavings and pecans.

In Celebration of the Cranberry: Cranberry Nut Bread – Massachusetts

Didja know National Cranberry Day is coming up on November 23? We’ve talked before about how the cranberry is the Bay State’s

Cranberry Nut Bread- Mass.

official state berry, thanks to some lobbying school children. We happen to adore the tart flavor of this lovely little fruit so we bring to you this family recipe that is sure to be a hit in your household too. If you’ve got company coming for Thanksgiving, this is an easy quick bread that you can make ahead of time. Perfect for that crazy Thursday morning when your mother-in-law is dashing about the house looking for her misplaced phone and your brother is wrestling with the kids, causing the dog to bark. Just make some coffee, slice it up, and breakfast is served.

Check out America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration in Plymouth, November 20-22, 2015, with a parade, the New England Food Festival, music and more.

 

Cranberry Nut Bread

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup frozen cranberries, chopped in food processor

Instructions

 In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until combined. Add orange juice, zest, and egg; mix until combined. Add pecans and cranberries and stir by hand until combined. Add flour mixture and stir by hand until just combined, taking care not to overmix. Pour into two loaf pans lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until golden brown.

Playin’ Possum: Possum Pie – Arkansas

When we first heard about this pie, we had the same reaction that most people have. “It’s not made with possum, is it?” We assure you, it’s not (eww). This delicious concoction that should be the official

Possum Pie - Arkansas

state dessert of Arkansas goes by other names in the south including Striped Delight, Chocolate Layer Pie and Four Layer Delight. A sandy bottom crust is the base upon which a cream cheesy layer sits. A chocolate pudding layer comes next, followed by a whipped cream topping. No one is really sure where the name comes from, but the best reasoning is that this pie plays possum by pretending to be something else – in this case the whipped cream hiding the chocolate filling.

We have seen lots of variations of this dessert including those made with a graham cracker crust, instant chocolate pudding and Cool Whip for the topping. You can go that route, but we prefer our version with no processed ingredients.    

If this pie isn’t a near-religious experience, check out Thorncrown Chapel near Eureka Springs. This stunning architectural masterpiece is comprised of 6,000 square feet of glass and 425 windows. Designed to blend into its surroundings, the chapel has won numerous architectural awards and is a must-see if you are in the Ozarks.

Possum Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

First Layer

  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans, toasted

Second Layer

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Third Layer

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • Salt, a pinch
  • 3 tablespoon corn starch
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Fourth Layer

  • Whipped cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • Chocolate shavings (optional)

Instructions

 Place all pecans needed for recipe in a skillet on medium heat until they just begin to turn fragrant and brown, about 3 to 5 minutes (watch closely so they don’t burn). Remove from heat and let cool. Divide for each layer and set aside. Line a 9X9 square pan with aluminum foil, making sure the corners are tight.

For the first layer: Combine melted butter, flour and pecans. Spread the dough evenly over the bottom of the foil-lined pan, pressing down with your fingers. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until the dough just begins to brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

For the third layer: While the first layer bakes, in a medium saucepan, add the sugar, cocoa powder, flour, salt and corn starch. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks until broken up, then milk. On medium heat, add milk mixture to dry ingredients, whisking constantly until pudding begins to boil and thicken, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Let cool about 5 minutes. Pour pudding in a shallow bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface so a skin does not form. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

For second layer: In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk. Beat with electric mixture for 2-3 minutes or combined.

To make pie: Spread cream cheese mixture over the dough base. Remove pudding from fridge. Carefully spread pudding over the cream cheese layer. Top with whipped cream, toasted pecans and chocolate shavings if desired. To serve, remove pie from the pan by lifting up by the foil. Transfer to a serving platter.