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Entries in pecans (3)

Tuesday
Jan032012

Pecan Brandy Cookies

 

 

Pecan Brandy Cookies

     Over the holidays this year I invented the “six days of cookies.”  The name is self-explanatory – each day Sophie and I made a different type of cookie.  Easy right?  Well not really.  Our first cookie from “Tasteofhome Cookies” was a total disaster.  If you have the magazine don’t bother with the “tender Italian sugar cookies,” they were tasteless even with doubling the vanilla (actually I think I tripled it) and they were anything but tender (very dry and floury).  The only way we sort of saved them was by dipping them in mint chocolate.  I was so spooked by our first attempt that I chucked the magazine in the bin and went back to my tried and true books; Cookies by Nick Malgieri, my ages old Betty Crocker’s Christmas book, and Martha Stewart’s Holiday Handbook.  So while the holidays are over and the cookies are gone the recipes are here…finally.

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons brandy

2 ¼  cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons

1 ¼ cup finely chopped pecans

½  cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for rolling

¼  teaspoon salt

     Cream butter and honey until fluffy in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle

attachment.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add brandy,

and beat to combine.  Whisk flour, pecans, confectioners' sugar, and salt together in a

medium bowl.  Add to butter/brandy mixture and beat to combine.  If dough is too soft,

refrigerate for 30 minutes.

      Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.

  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Roll dough into balls using 1-tablespoon

measure or small ice cream scoop.  Place on baking sheets 2 inches apart. Bake until just

browning about the edges about brown 12 to 13 minutes.  Be careful not to burn the

bottoms.  Cool completely on wire racks.  Roll cookies in confectioners' sugar to coat.

Store in an airtight container. 

 

  It’s All Delicious Notes:  This cookie melted in your mouth and would be a perfect

 treat for Easter as well!  Adapted from Martha’s recipe for Noel Nut Balls.

 

 

Monday
Oct102011

Pecan Praline Cake from the Charleston Cake Lady

 

I do believe I have found one of the best cake recipes – EVER!  I came across an out of print book called Special Recipes From The Charleston Cake Lady by Teresa Pregnall.  Sadly Mrs. Pregnall passed away in 2008 but her recipes live on.  They’re old-fashioned and remind me of my Great Grandmother Florence’s original (typed on a Royal typewriter) recipe book I treasure.  Anyway, the Pecan Praline Cake is not only dead easy to make, it received high marks from all the household critics here.  Make it once, and you’ll make it again, and again.  It will be one of your “go to” cakes and will now be included in our list of favorite family recipes – it’s that good!

 

For the cake:

2 cups flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

½  cup butter

2 cups light brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

Cooking spray

 

For the frosting:

¾  cup butter, melted

1 ½  cup dark brown sugar, packed

½ cup whipping cream

2 cups pecans, finely chopped

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 13x9 inch pan with cooking spray.

Whisk flour, cocoa, and baking soda in a medium bowl.  Melt butter into buttermilk in the microwave or on very low heat in a small saucepan.  Let cool slightly.  Beat eggs, sugar and buttermilk in a large bowl on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes.  Add flour mixture and vanilla, beat until batter is smooth.  Pour into prepared pan and spread batter to corners using a spatula.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until a tester comes out clean.  Let cool about 10 minutes.

 

To frost the cake:

 

Preheat broiler.  Lower the oven rack.  Stir melted butter, dark brown sugar, whipping cream and pecans together in a medium bowl.  Spread frosting over warm cake and broil.  “Cook” no more than 5 minutes just enough to allow the frosting to bubble – check often to prevent burning!

Frosting before sticking it under the broiler 

It’s All Delicious Notes:  sorry the pictures aren’t better – but the cake was gone before I could get an individual shot!

Monday
Apr192010

"Hilton Head Island" Pralines


 

Makes about 16-18 Pralines

Ingredients

¾ cup light brown sugar, packed

¾ cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 ½ cups (approx 6 oz) pecans, chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons butter

 

Line four cookie sheets with parchment paper or foil– butter paper lightly.

Combine sugars, cream, vanilla, and butter in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Clip a candy thermometer on the side of the pan.  Cook over low heat stirring frequently, with a silicon pastry brush until the sugars are dissolved.  Brush down sides of pan with the brush dipped in cold water if any sugar crystals form.  This could take up to 15 minutes. 


Increase heat and boil syrup until it registers 236°F on the thermometer and the mixture forms a thick syrup.  Add pecans stir to combine and remove sauce pan to a heatproof surface.  Let praline mixture cool to 220°F. 

Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop mixture onto prepared sheets.  The mixture will spread; so leave approximately 3 inches between each candy.  Work QUICKLY!  The mixture hardens fast!  Let Pralines harden at room temperature for about 45 minutes. 


Store Pralines in an airtight container in a cool dry place separated by parchment or wax paper.  They will keep for 3 days. 

Makes about 16-18 candies.

 

It’s All Delicious Notes:  Don’t even try this without a candy thermometer – I did and had a sugary glob of sugary pecans, which was tasty, but not “traditional.”  Also, let the mixture rest or the Pralines will be runny and spread too much - trust me I know that too!  This will make them hard to remove from parchment.

 

Best to try this on a day with no humidity - good luck!

 

Also, this recipe is a combination of ingredients and technique from www.Frenchquarter.com and “Gourmet – The Cookbook.”