Tag Archives: Pecans

Copycat Starbucks Bran Muffins

My husband has breakfast with his life-long buddy just about every Saturday.  Lately, they’ve been going to Starbucks for coffee and a baked good.  I asked DH to bring back one of their Bran Muffins, which are soooo yummy!

Then it dawned on me, why not make my own?  I searched the internet and settled on this recipe:

https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/starbucks-bran-muffins-404763#activity-feed

Meh, not so much.  I’m not sure why I wasn’t wow-ed by these muffins… was it the recipe?  Or was it the dried Apples that I found at the local market, that had absolutely no Apple taste to them, dunno … but I’ll go back to making my standard Bran Muffin recipe, from the side of the cereal box.

Apple Squares

I participate in several Food Forums, I may have mentioned this before; a nice gentleman posted a recipe that his Sister gave him for what they call Apple Squares, me, I say pure yumminess is much more along the line!

Apple Squares

courtesy of Andy M.

Serves 9

 

130g (1 C.) All Purpose Flour

240g (1 1/4 C.) granulated Sugar

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. ground Cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground Nutmeg

2 tsp. Baking Powder

3/4 C. Chopped Walnuts (I used Pecans)

3 Macintosh Apples, peeled, cored and diced (I had Ruby Frost Apples that needed using)

2 Eggs, beaten

 

Preheat the over to 375°F

Grease and line with parchment paper, an 8″ x 8″ pan

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the Apples and mix well.  Stir in the beaten Eggs thoroughly.  This makes a very stiff batter, but be patient, it will come together.  Pour the batter into the pan and spread it out evenly with an off-set spatula.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick test comes out clean.  Cool the cake completely on a wire rack, in the pan.

Using the parchment paper, remove carefully to a cutting board and slice with a serrated knife into 9 equal pieces.

YUM!

Why not guild the lily and serve your cake ala mode?  😀

Triple Chocolate Half-Sized Bundt® Cakes, One To Eat and One to Share

I love Bundt® cakes!  For the most part, they’re moist and tasty.  I even have more than one type of Bundt® pan, with another one on its way.

I saw a recipe somewhere for Chocolate Bundtlettes, heh, I have a pan like that!

But as I thought about the recipe, I figured I could one up that!  I’ll make the cake in my Half-sized Bundt® pans and then guild the lily farther.

 

Triple Chocolate Bundt® with a Deluxe Ganache Frosting

1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix

1 box Instant Chocolate Pudding (the small one)

1 1/3 C. Vegetable Oil

4 Eggs

½ C. warm Water

1 C. Sour Cream

1 C. Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 350⁰

In a Stand Mixer or using a Hand Mixer, combine all of the ingredients until smooth, excluding the Chocolate chips, stir those in last.  The batter with be like thick pudding.  Using a Baking Spray, grease the two Half-sized Bundt® pans; immediately pour the batter evenly between the two pans (I use a scale to be accurate).  Bake for 20-30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Place the cakes on a cooling rack and set aside until completely cooled and then turn them out (I run a disposable plastic knife around the edge of the pan first) on to the rack, fitted in a sheet pan.

Now comes the fun part, frosting and decorating those two cuties!

I wanted a bumped up Ganache Frosting, so I kinda winged it.

Deluxe Ganache Frosting

1 C. Chocolate Chips

1 C. Half and Half (or Cream, we use ½ & ½ in our coffee)

½ C. Shredded Sweetened Coconut

½ C. Chopped Pecans

In a glass bowl, heat the ½ & ½  in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, just til hot but not boiling.  Add the Chocolate Chips and stir gently until all of the Chocolate is melted.  You might need to “nuke” it again for a few seconds.

Pour the still warm Ganache over the two cakes; sprinkle the Coconut and Pecans into the Ganache, pressing very lightly in so that they stick.

Slice and enjoy with a cup of coffee or a big glass of cold milk.

I took one of the cakes to our next door neighbors and put the other one into our Covered Cake Plate.

It should keep for 4-5 days, that is if you don’t devour it!

ENJOY!

St. Patrick’s Day Dessert, Texas Sheet Cake

That’s right, I made an appetizer, an entrée and I even made a dessert for our neighborhoods’ block party celebration.

I recently ordered The Complete Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook; I saw this recipe and have wanted to try it ever since I saw them make it on the show.

 

Texas Sheet Cake

For the Cake:

2 C. (10 oz.) All Purpose Flour

2 C. (14 oz.) Granulated Sugar

½ tsp. Baking Soda

½ tsp. Salt

2 Large Eggs + 2 Large Egg Yolks

¼ C. Sour Cream

2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

8 oz. Semi-sweet Chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Chips)

¾ C. Vegetable Oil

¾ C. Water

½ C. (1 ½ oz.) Dutch-processed Cocoa

4 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter

 

For the Chocolate Icing:

8 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter

½ C. Heavy Cream

½ C. (1 ½ oz.) Dutch-porcessed Cocoa

1 Tbsp. light Corn Syrup

3 C. (12 oz.) Confectioners’ Sugar

1 C. Pecans, toasted and chopped

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a half sheet pan (18X13 inch).

 

Start with the cake assembly:

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt, set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks, sour cream and vanilla until smooth.

Place a large saucepan on medium heat, add the chocolate, oil, water, cocoa and butter.  Stir constantly until smooth, about 3-5 minutes.

Whisk this mixture into the flour, then pour into your prepared sheet pan.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Transfer to a wire rack.

 

Let’s make that Icing:

About 5 minutes or so before the cake is done, heat the butter, cream, cocoa and corn syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Stir occasionally, until everything is nice and smooth.  Add the vanilla, off heat and spread this as evenly as possible over the cake that has just come out of the oven.  *This is a key part of the recipe to ensure a moist cake, you must ice the cake as it comes out of the oven.

Make sure to cover every little bit of the cake by using an offset spatula.

Sprinkle the chopped pecans all over.

Cool the cake to room temperature on the rack for about an hour.  This may be tricky, but place the cake, still in the half sheet pan, into the `fridge to set, for at least an hour.  I had to do quite a bit of rearranging to make this happen.

Cut the cake into 3 inch squares to serve 24.

This cake can keep in the refrigerator, covered,  for up to 2 days.

 

 

This is a VERY CHOCOLATE-Y cake. Folks at the party thought that this was a tray of Brownies, NOPE!  Its cake alright, a very dense, fudge-y, cake.  It was delicious, and a lot of it, so this is why I was waiting for an occasion just like this to try this recipe.

ENJOY!

A Continuation Of My First Cheesecake

Remember that first Cheesecake that I’d ever made; that made WAY too much batter?  Well… I saved that extra batter and made ANOTHER, YES, that’s two Cheesecakes under my belt now, YAY!  I thought that I’d take this one next door for the NYE party at our neighbors home.

I broke up this gorgeous bar of Dark Chocolate into a bowl and pored in some Heavy Cream that I heated in the microwave; stirred it gently for create a Ganache, MMM!

I spread it out evenly with an offset spatula and stashed it in the `fridge to set up.

Turtle Cheesecake

I melted some Caramels, spread that over the top and sprinkled it with a copious amount of chopped toasted Pecans; back in the chill box.  It’s a Turtle Cheesecake!

Can I blow my own horn here?  That was outrageously over the top, crazy delish, good stuff!  The buzz went around the room at the party that there was this really fabulous Cheesecake over on the buffet table.  This gal comes up to me with her plate in hand and fork in her mouth, “Did you try the Cheesecake yet?  You really need to taste this, it’s fantastic, the best I’ve ever had.”

Thanks

Hershey’s Best Brownies, Tricked Out

I have a thing for bar cookies I suppose you could say.  They’re so much easier to make, I mean there’s no scooping out dough onto multiple trays; in and out over and over until the batch is done, way too time consuming for me I say.  Why not just slap the whole wad into to a pan, chuck it into the oven, cool it, cut it, EAT IT!  This is why I love brownies so much.

So far, Hershey’s Best Brownies recipe is the best that I have found for our table at least.  But I just can’t leave well enough alone.

I tricked out this batch and took it with us to share while visiting Mr. & Mrs. DF in Prescott Arizona.  BIG HIT  all the way around.

Hershey's Best Brownies Recipe, but better

The original recipe calls for a frosting, but I’m not a fan of pretty much any kind of icing.  Hmm, chocolate chips, nuts… why do they have to go into the batter, why not on top and let the chocolate chunks melt into the brownie, making it’s own frosting of sorts?  I used Ghiaradelli Bittersweet baking chips, they’re wonderful.  For my choice in chopped nuts, I went with Pecans.

Cut the Brownies before drizzling with the Candy Melts®

Cut the Brownies before drizzling with the Candy Melts®

How’s about we take that one step farther?  Candy Melts®, okay that might be nice too as a festive garnish, let’s try it.

OMG! The Best brownie ever!

Oh my gravy all over my two scoops rice (that’s OMG! In my world)!

That is A~MAZ~ING!

Try these on your holiday cookie tray this year.

ENJOY

A Follow Up to Boomer Cake aka Prune Cake

I have been just dying to try this recipe from my DF Chef Joey.

My twist to her recipe was rather than use Triple Sec, which I didn’t have in the house, I added the zest from a large orange and pecans instead of walnuts, again, that’s what I had.

My oven must be a little slow, `cuz I had to bake the cake an addition 5 minutes, which then made my glaze into a caramel sauce.  WOW!  That was terrific on the cake.  Ooey-gooey delicious!  Try this cake, really, I know you’ll like it.

Aloha!