Pecan Sugar Cookies

Pecan Sugar Cookies

My hubs loves these cookies! They are part shortbread, part sugar cookie and chocked full of pecans. They have been a family favorite for over 25 years. We make these every Christmas.

Pecan Sugar Cookies

Category: Bars & Cookies, DESSERTS

Servings: 3 Dozen Cookies

Pecan Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • Pecan halves for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream sugar and shortening. Then add eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add all other ingredients and mix well.
  4. Drop by teaspoonfuls on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Optional: Press a pecan half on top of each cookie.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden.

Notes

I use a small cookie scoop for these cookies.

http://michellesipsandsavors.com/pecan-sugar-cookies/

Pumpkin Pecan Trifle

Pumpkin Pecan Trifle

Here’s something different for your Thanksgiving dessert table! This pumpkin trifle is easy and it’s yummy! I used a store bought cinnamon swirl type cake, instant pudding and whipped topping. You could certainly upgrade this dessert by making your own cake and whipped cream. But why? This version is delicious!

Pumpkin Pecan Trifle

Category: DESSERTS, Puddings & Parfaits

Servings: 12 Servings

Pumpkin Pecan Trifle

Ingredients

  • 1 store bought pound cake or cinnamon streusel type cake
  • 1 (15oz) can pumpkin
  • 2 (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup chopped pecans & 1 cup chopped maple sugar pecans (or candied pecans) missed together (reserve 2 TBS for garnish)
  • Whipped topping
  • Caramel sauce

Instructions

  1. Cube the equivalent of 6 cups of cake. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin, instant vanilla pudding, milk, light brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes to set.
  3. In a trifle bowl, place one layer of cake cubes on the bottom of the bowl. Then top with half the pumpkin pudding mix and half the pecan mixture. Continue by adding the remaining cake cubes and the remaining pudding. Top with whipped cream. Drizzle with caramel sauce and sprinkle the reserved pecans on top.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and serve.
http://michellesipsandsavors.com/pumpkin-pecan-trifle/

Poached Pears in Puff Pastry

Poached Pears in Puff Pastry

DESSERTS

Easy and Elegant! Yes, you heard me right!!!! This stunning dessert just takes a little time. And, since I can’t pass up buying Bosc pears anytime I see them at the market, I was super excited to see a pic of this lovely dessert on Pinterest. Any of you look there for ideas. I know I do! Using store bought puff pastry will have you creating this loveliness in no time!

Poached Pears in Puff Pastry

Category: DESSERTS, Tarts

Servings: 2 Servings

Poached Pears in Puff Pastry

Ingredients

  • Poaching Liquid & Sauce:
  • 4 cups of good red wine
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 strips of orange zest
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup rough chopped strawberries
  • Other ingredients:
  • 2 Bosc pears that are just getting ripe
  • 1 frozen puff pastry
  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 TBS rum
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Prepare the pears by coring nd peeling them. Leave the stem intact. Set aside.
  3. Put all the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan - big enough to fit both pears. Heat to a simmer and then add pears.
  4. Cook the pears at simmer for 20 minutes, turning every 5-6 minutes. You want them cooked evenly. And since the sauce won’t cover the pears entirely, turning the pears is important. You do not want the pears to get too soft, but you do want them to begin to become tender.
  5. Remove pears & place in a bowl. Pour sauce over the pears and cover. Leave the pears to cool in the sauce for 2 hours. The pears will continue to cook a bit.
  6. While the pears are cooling, remove your puff pastry from the freezer and defrost.
  7. After 2 hours, remove the pears and place on paper towels & pat dry. Set aside. The poaching liquid will now be strained and you will use the liquid to prepare a sauce you will serve with the pears. Place strained liquid in a small sauce pan and set aside.
  8. Cut the puff pastry into 3/4 inch strips. Leave one section in a 2 1/2 inch strip - use this one to cut 2 squares for the bottom of each pear. Use the remaining to cut leaves for a garnish.
  9. Starting at the top of the pear, overlap strips of puff pastry around each pear until you have it covered. You will want some water handy, so that you can dap each end with water when you add a strip. You will also need to dab water on the leaves when you add them to the top of the pear.
  10. Heat the marmalade and rum in the microwave for 12 seconds. This should be enough to get it a little bubbly.
  11. With a pastry brush, brush the marmalade mixture all over the puff pastry. Dust with sugar.
  12. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Mid way through baking you may need to tent the stem and leaves with foil so they do not get too brown.
  13. While the pears are baking, cook the poaching liquid on medium. Reduce to 1 cup.
  14. Once pears are done, remove from oven and let cool at least 15-20 minutes.
  15. Drizzle wine sauce on a plate and set pear in the middle.

Notes

Original recipe from www.redpathsugar.com

http://michellesipsandsavors.com/poached-pears-in-puff-pastry/

Pumpkin & White Chocolate Pots de Crème

Pumpkin & White Chocolate Pots de Crème

These little gems are perfect for an upscale fall dinner party. They are an excellent make ahead dessert that your guests will love. I like to use small, disposable appetizer/dessert cups with mini spoons. It’s so convenient for clean up and really helps with portion size. Plus, they look super impressive on a tray. Easy, fancy and fun!

Pumpkin & White Chocolate Pots de Crème

Category: DESSERTS, Puddings & Parfaits

Servings: 8 Servings

Pumpkin & White Chocolate Pots de Crème

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 oz) package of white chocolate chips
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Dash salt
  • 3/4 cup milk you have brought to a slight boil
  • Whipped cream & crushed ginger snaps for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a blender, purée white chocolate chips, eggs, pumpkin purée, spice & salt.
  2. With the blender on, pour the steaming hot milk on the white chocolate & pumpkin mixture in a stream. Continue blending until thick & smooth.
  3. Pour mixture into ramekins or desired individual serving dishes.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Can be made a day ahead.
  5. When ready to serve, dollop whipped cream on top and add a sprinkle of crushed ginger snaps.
http://michellesipsandsavors.com/pumpkin-white-chocolate-pots-de-creme/

Fresh Fig Tarts

Fresh Fig Tarts

These figs may be small in size, but they sure aren’t small on flavor. I got them from my daughter’s fig tree, which probably needs some pruning to achieve larger fruit. But I digress. These little guys were perfect for these scrumptious tarts. And the best part is they are super easy to prepare.

Fresh Fig Tarts

Category: DESSERTS, Tarts

Servings: 8 Tarts

Fresh Fig Tarts

Ingredients

  • 1 package of frozen puff pastry (you will use both pastries)
  • 1/2 cup almonds, crushed in a food processor
  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh figs, washed and sliced in half. If the figs are very large, cut them into slices.
  • 2 TBS fig jam (or pretty much any jam you have in your fridge)
  • 2 TBS dark rum
  • 4 TBS turbinado sugar
  • Garnish:
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the jam and rum, and set aside.
  3. Lay out and lightly roll the puff pastry just to make sure it is nice and even. Cut each puff pastry into 4 pieces, and lay out of the lined baking sheet.
  4. Sprinkle crushed almonds in the center of each puff pastry piece.
  5. Arrange the figs on top of the almonds, leaving about a 1/4-1/2 inch of pastry all the way around.
  6. Brush the pastry edges with the fig & rum mixture. Sprinkle each tart with turbinado sugar.
  7. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool.
  9. Top the cooled tarts with any remaining crushed almonds and shredded coconut.
http://michellesipsandsavors.com/fresh-fig-tarts/

Lemon Ginger Barley Pudding w/Raspberries by The Culinary Institute of America

Lemon Ginger Barley Pudding w/Raspberries by The Culinary Institute of America

This dark, rich pudding is yet another recipe from the Plant-Forward Cooking Boot Camp I attended at The Culinary Institute of America. It is an example of how using unexpected ingredients can produce a delicious result.

Lemon Ginger Barley Pudding w/Raspberries by The Culinary Institute of America

Category: DESSERTS, Puddings & Parfaits

Servings: 10-12 Small Servings

Lemon Ginger Barley Pudding w/Raspberries by The Culinary Institute of America

Ingredients

  • Pudding:
  • 2 cups cooked barley
  • 1 cup chestnut cream
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, bean paste removed & pod set aside
  • 1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • Lemon Ginger Cream:
  • 6 TBS chestnut cream
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 TBS filtered water
  • 1 inch ginger peeled & sliced
  • Candied Lemon Zest:
  • Zest of one lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups sugar

Instructions

  1. Pudding:
  2. Prepare barley according to package directions and add the vanilla bean pod to the water. When the barley is done, remove from heat and remove the vanilla pod & discard.
  3. Add the vanilla bean paste & remaining pudding ingredients to the cooked barley and cook on medium heat until it is thick. Set aside.
  4. If the pudding needs thickening add 2 or 3 TBS of cornstarch slurry (2 TBS cornstarch and 3 TBS filtered water).
  5. Lemon Ginger Cream:
  6. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool and remove the ginger slices.
  7. Candied Lemon Zest:
  8. Place sliced lemon zest in a shallow bowl and cover with sugar. Toss to coat. Set aside for at 1 hour. Make sure that the zest is completely covered while it rests.
  9. Assembly:
  10. Scoop 1/2 cup pudding into a small ramekin. Top with a drizzle of the Lemon Ginger Cream, a fresh raspberry, candied lemon zest and fresh mint, if desired.

Notes

We changed this recipe significantly during our cooking boot camp. This recipe reflects those changes.

http://michellesipsandsavors.com/lemon-ginger-barley-pudding-w-raspberries-by-the-culinary-institute-of-america/

German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake

I’ve been making this cake ever since my mom gave me Pillsbury’s Kitchen Family Cookbook (1979), when I moved into my first apartment. I have even tripled the recipe to make the groom’s cake for our backyard wedding in August of 1991. Don’t try and calculate my age; you’ll just hurt my feelings. My real point is that this cake is money, and you have got to try it. My hubs asks for this darn thing all the time.

German Chocolate Cake

Category: Cakes & Pies, DESSERTS

Servings: 12 Servings

German Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  • Cake:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 oz bar sweet cooking chocolate
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Coconut Pecan Frosting:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Cake:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 nine inch pans. I also put a parchment paper circle on the bottom.
  3. In a small sauce pan, melt the chocolate and water together. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each.
  6. Add remaining ingredients and beat until combined.
  7. Divide mix into the 3 pans.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes until tester comes out clean in the center.
  9. Remove from and oven and cool completely.
  10. Frosting:
  11. In medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter and eggs. Cook over medium heat until mixture starts to bubble. You must stir constantly, so the eggs do not overcook. Once mixture starts to bubble, remove from heat.
  12. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cool until of spreading consistency.
  13. Assembly:
  14. Spread frosting between each layer and on top.

Notes

Adapted from Pillsbury Kitchen’s Family Cookbook, 1979.

http://michellesipsandsavors.com/german-chocolate-cake/

French Apricot Cake

French Apricot Cake

The hubs loves this light, yet decadent cake! It’s not too sweet and is moist in the middle. I found this cake recipe written in French, and had to experiment until I got the correct amounts for each ingredient. I feel like I got it just right. Try it and let me know what you think!

French Apricot Cake

Category: Cakes & Pies, DESSERTS

Servings: 9 Servings

French Apricot Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 3/4 cup riccota
  • 4-5 apricots, halved

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line an 8 x 8 glass baking dish w/parchment paper
  3. Beat the butter & sugar, until creamy. Then add the egg yolks one at a time, beating between each. Add the lemon juice and zest, until incorporated. Add both flours & mix in.
  4. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into the flour mixture, carefully. Now, add in the ricotta, delicately.
  5. Put the dough into the prepared dish. Lightly press in the apricot halves, skin side down. Sprinkle a little sugar on top.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool, before removing the parchment paper from the cake. Cut into squares.
http://michellesipsandsavors.com/french-apricot-cake/

Vegan Almond Cream Cake w/Apricot Coulis

Vegan Almond Cream Cake w/Apricot Coulis

I have seen so many recipes for vegan cheesecake and other items that typically call for eggs or cream cheese. These recipes intrigue me. After successfully making vegan waffles by substituting flax seeds and water for eggs, I decided to try something a bit more challenging. I have to say the texture of this cake was excellent. The only change I would make is to maybe use a smaller springform pan, so that the cake is taller and thicker.

Vegan Almond Cream Cake w/Apricot Coulis

Category: Cakes & Pies, DESSERTS

Servings: 8-10 Servings

Vegan Almond Cream Cake w/Apricot Coulis

Ingredients

  • Chocolate Crumb Base (Choose your fav – I used Nutsola Cacao Almond)
  • Almond Cream Filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup agave sweetener
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup plant based milk
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Dash of salt
  • 4 apricots, cut into chunks
  • 3 TBS sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Crust:
  2. I used a 9 inch springform pan & baked the crust according to package directions. Cool and set aside.
  3. Almond Cream Filling:
  4. Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Put the filling on the prepared crust and chill for at least 2 hours.
  5. Apricot Coulis:
  6. In a small sauce pan, bring the apricots, sugar and water to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  8. Reserve 3 TBS of the poaching liquid. Drain the apricots.
  9. Add the apricots and reserved liquid to a blender and purée, until smooth. Cool until ready to serve.
  10. Assembly:
  11. Serve slices of the almond cream cake with a drizzle of apricot coulis and a few blueberries.

Notes

For a taller, thicker cake use a 6-8 inch springform pan.

http://michellesipsandsavors.com/vegan-almond-cream-cake-w-apricot-coulis/

Lemon Meringue Mini Tarts

Lemon Meringue Mini Tarts

Today is National Lemon Meringue Pie Day and Julia Child’s birthday. So, I channeled my inner Julia Child and prepared scratch-made lemon curd and meringue for these little beauties. Admittedly, I used store bought tart shells, but I think Julia would be fine with it. These shells are from a local bakery, and are as close to homemade as you can get for the frozen section. Anyway, I feel good about it. I was, however, worried about making the lemon curd because it was my first stab at it. I persevered, because as Julia would say, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”

Lemon Meringue Mini Tarts

Category: Cakes & Pies, DESSERTS

Servings: 6-8 Servings

Lemon Meringue Mini Tarts

Ingredients

  • 6-8 tart shells (I used store bought shells – depending on the size you will make anywhere for 6 to 8 tarts with this recipe)
  • Lemon Curd:
  • 6 egg yolks (reserve 4 egg whites for your meringue)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 TBS lemon zest
  • Meringue:
  • 4 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 TBS sugar

Instructions

  1. Prepare tart shells according to package directions and let cool.
  2. Lemon Curd:
  3. In a small sauce pan combine egg yolks, sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Whisk constantly. This will take about 5 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil. You will know it is done when the mixture sticks to the back of a spoon.
  4. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and lemon zest. Set aside.
  5. Meringue:
  6. Place egg whites, cream of tartar & vanilla in a mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk until soft peaks form.
  7. Continue whipping the egg white mixture, while adding 1 TBS of the sugar at a time, until it is all added. When stiff peaks have formed the meringue is done.
  8. Place meringue in a piping bag.
  9. Assembly:
  10. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  11. Place 2-3 spoonfuls of lemon curd in each tart. Pipe a swirl of meringue on top of the lemon curd.
  12. Bake for 2-3 minutes, until top of meringue begins to lightly brown. Watch carefully, as this can happen quickly. Remove from oven and let cool. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

Lemon curd can be used for many other things. You can refrigerate the lemon curd for up to 5 days.

http://michellesipsandsavors.com/lemon-meringue-mini-tarts/
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