Tag Archives: brown sugar

Butter Pecan Cookies

7 Jan
Butter Pecan Cookies

Butter Pecan Cookies

I’ve gone rogue on you, I tell ya’! Me, making more cookies? Unheard of! Unlike the dreaded cakes and pastries, it appears I’m able to make some humble cookies without a complete disaster.

Once again, I got this fabulous recipe from my friend Jodi over at The Creative Life in Between. She’s the cookie-maker queen! My mom sent me a couple of pounds of Texas pecans for Christmas, and another dear friend gifted me some candied pecans. So when Jodi posted her Butter Pecan Cookie recipe… well, you get the picture.

I halved the original recipe, so the smaller version is below which makes about 3 dozen cookies. And for whatever reason, this cookie recipe didn’t really need a high-altitude adjustment aside from maybe a minute or two cooking longer. I put the candied pecans on top, and omitted the raw sugar topping. We kept a dozen for ourselves and the rest I brought to a USPS potluck on my last night of work as a Holiday Clerk Assistant. I survived six weeks helping to bring your holiday mail and packages to your doorstep! That certainly deserved a cookie or two.

Butter Pecan Cookies

1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter
1 1/2 cups pecan halves, chopped
2 sticks salted butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
Candied or regular pecan halves for decorating

Buttered Pecans

Buttered Pecans

Prepare buttered pecans by melting 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped pecans and cook, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes, until lightly toasted. Remove from skillet to a bowl to cool.

In same skillet, melt 2 sticks of butter for cookie batter. Bring to a boil until butter just begins to brown, and then remove from heat. Be careful not to burn it as that tastes bitter, but be sure to get it to the browned stage.

Browning Butter

Browning the Butter ~ yes, you really do boil the butter!

Using an electric mixer, combine sugars with browned butter on slow speed until fully combined. Add vanilla and then eggs, one at time, beating until fully combined.

Add flour, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda – folding in with rubber spatula until fully incorporated, and then fold in the buttered pecans.

Butter Pecan Cookie Batter

Butter Pecan Cookie Batter

Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees.

If you have refrigerated overnight – let dough sit long enough to become scoopable.

Place ping-pong-ball sized scoops of dough 1-2 inches apart on baking stone or cookie sheet. Flatten slightly and press a pecan half in center.

Bake 8 to 11 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit on baking stone/cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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Coffee-Infused Upside-Down Banana Baba au Rhum

5 Feb
Coffee-Infused Upside Down Banana Baba au Rhum

Coffee-Infused Upside Down Banana Baba au Rhum

Once again, a big shout-out to all the wonderful folk who voted my last recipe through to the final round of Diced! This next round had me a bit nervous, as I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and don’t do a lot of dessert dishes. So I had to rely on finding some other recipes that I could cobble together to come up with something “original” that included the three required ingredients: Coffee, Bananas, and Brown Sugar. The voting won’t open for a few days so I’ll post a linky when it does.

The day I got the ingredient list, I also got the latest edition of Southern Living in the mail. (Yes, I love my print magazines!) And lo and behold, way in the back of the issue was a coffee-flavored bundt cake called Baba ah Rhum. Bingo! But there were no bananas to be found in that one, so had to go find another recipe that used bananas as a dessert. I ran across an interesting upside-down banana tart on Chow’s website but it used a pastry dough as the crust. I started thinking about how I could combine those two, and settled on scaling down the bundt cake and using the cake instead as the “crust” for the bananas.

For the coffee, I decided to use a dark roasted coffee called “Amen Again,” which is hand-roasted and delivered to your door by Dan over at Coffee on the Porch website. He makes a lot of great coffees, so stop on by there and check out his selections. Link to Coffee on the Porch here.

Amen Again Coffee Beans

Amen Again Coffee Beans ~ From Coffee on the Porch

There was a lot of hand-wringing and fretting as I whisked, combined, simmered, and baked each step of the dish. And oh my gosh, it came out just incredible! The coffee infusion into the cake and bananas helped tone down the sweetness and the dollop of ice cream on top of the warm cake and bananas made for a heavenly dessert. (Which I ate, by the way, BEFORE my dinner.)

Although technically Baba au Rhum is made with rum, I had to make this kid-friendly so my daughter could eat it, so left out the alcohol. Either way, leaving it out sure did not make any difference in how delicious this came out!

Coffee-Infused Upside-Down Banana Baba au Rhum

For the Banana Topping:
1 stick of butter (8 tablespoons)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup strong-brewed coffee
1 large cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large almost ripe bananas
Juice from 1/2 large lemon
Vanilla bean ice cream, for serving

For the Baba au Rhum:
3 large eggs, separated
5/8 cup granulated sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons finely ground coffee
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/8 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
1 cup brewed coffee
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Coffee Syrup

Coffee Syrup with Cinnamon Stick

In a deep-sided cast iron skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat, then add the brown sugar, coffee, and cinnamon stick. Stir continuously until it starts to boil, then reduce heat down and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Remove the cinnamon stick and remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Now slice the bananas on the diagonal, then mix them and the lemon juice gently into the coffee syrup in the skillet. I’m assuming the lemon juice is to keep the bananas from turning brown. I found there was way too much syrup, so I removed about 1/3 cup of it at this point. You can arrange the slices in a pattern in the skillet, but I just pushed them around to cover the bottom of the skillet. Now it is time to make the cake batter.

Slicing Bananas

Slicing Bananas

In a large bowl, whisk together the yolks and white sugar until it is thick. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, ground coffee, and salt. Add it to the yolk mixture until blended. It’s pretty thick at this point but the next step loosens it up. Stir in the melted butter and milk and mix until blended.

Using an electric hand mixer, whisk the egg whites in another bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold about one-third of the egg whites into the yolk batter. Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites until combined, but don’t over-mix it.

Pour the batter evenly over the bananas and syrup. Place skillet in preheated oven, and bake for about 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Baked Upside-Down Cake

Baked Upside-Down Cake

Meanwhile, add coffee and brown sugar to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Set aside until cake is done, and reheat slightly just before removing the cake from the oven.

When the cake is done, remove from oven, and let sit for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Pierce the top of the cake all over about 20 times with a skewer. Pour all but about a half a cup of the syrup evenly over it. Now comes the scary part. Using oven mitts, place a large platter over the skillet, then quickly flip the platter and skillet upside down. I held my breath as I lifted up the skillet. (Did you hold your breath with me???)

Upside Down Banana Cake

Upside Down Banana Cake

WHEW! Not too bad. Only a few of the bananas stuck to the skillet, so I simply unstuck them with a fork and replaced them to the top of the cake. Beautiful!
Serve slices of the warm cake with vanilla ice cream, pour some of the extra coffee syrup over it, and dig in! Just heavenly!

Coffee-Infused Upside Down Banana Baba au Rhum

Coffee-Infused Upside Down Banana Baba au Rhum

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

San Francisco Pork Chops

11 Dec
San Francisco Pork Chops Dinner

San Francisco Pork Chops Dinner

I really have no background on why these are called this, but let me tell you they are AMAZING! Spicy, a very tad hint of sweet, and a delicious gravy to go over your rice. I “borrowed” this recipe over at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, one of many amazing foodie blogs I follow. There are so many fantastic cooks out there that cook meals in “real life” situations, and she is one of them. She also does a lot of baking and candy-making, which I don’t do, but her main and side dishes are great!

I was on a crunch for time (what else is new?) and wanted a quick and easy meal to prepare but I hadn’t started thinking about dinner until after noon. But this slow-cooker recipe saved the day, as I was able to put the crock pot on high and have it ready by a respectable hour. Please don’t skip the crushed red pepper flakes! You can always make substitutions for some of the other ingredients (I did, such as subbing beef broth for chicken broth and I added sliced onions) but the red pepper flakes really rounded out the flavors. I was in such a hurry I didn’t take the proper time to set up for my photos, so I didn’t end up with many usable “in the process of cooking” shots, but really, this is so easy I think you will forgive me this time.

San Francisco Pork Chops
adapted from San Francisco Pork Chops by Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 large boneless pork chops or loin, about 1-inch thick
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb blend, or salt, to taste
1/2 onion, sliced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup homemade beef or chicken broth, or low-sodium store-bought
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Cooked rice, for serving

Onions and Spicy Broth

Onions and Spicy Broth

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the pork chops on both sides with pepper and Mrs. Dash, or salt, to taste. Brown the pork for a few minutes on each side then transfer the pork to the slow cooker. Add the sliced onion to the skillet and cook until the onions start to wilt. Add in the garlic and stir for a minute or so more. Really everything cooks so long in the crock pot you could probably skip this step and add that later just to the pot. Stir in the soy sauce, broth, brown sugar and red pepper flakes and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the sauce and onions over the pork in the crock pot.

Pork Onions and Sauce in Crock Pot

Pork Onions and Sauce in Crock Pot Ready to Cook

Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours. In the last half hour of cooking, add in the cornstarch and water mixture and whisk it into the broth in the crock pot. If you cooked the pork on low, turn the heat to high and cook for about 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened, otherwise just add and stir in the mixture and cook for the 30 minutes. We served this with cooked rice and green beans. I kept going back and adding more of the sauce over it. Just delicious!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Spicy Korean Beef with Carrots and Rice

26 Oct
Spicy Korean Beef with Carrots and Rice

Spicy Korean Beef with Carrots and Rice

Can you say simple and quick? Like in under 30 minutes quick? And this packs a LOT of flavor with so few ingredients. I’ve been meaning to make this forever it seems, and tonight when I was seriously pressed for time in getting dinner on the table, I pulled up this recipe from the blog Lizzy Writes that I had pinned on Pinterest.

I scoured my freezer, pantry and fridge, and I could not believe it: I had every single ingredient necessary for this! No trip to the store necessary. Badda Boom Badda Bam! Dinner is served. I also added shredded carrots to the mix simply because I had some on hand, and also made steamed, shelled edamame as a side — a perfect accompaniment. Steamed broccoli would also go well with this. So what are you waiting for???

Spicy Korean Beef with Carrots and Rice
Adapted from Korean Beef by Lizzy Writes

3/4 cup dried white rice
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (or ground pork or turkey)
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Ground black pepper
4 or 5 green onions, diced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Start by cooking the rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, prep the veggies and heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Brown the meat with the garlic, ginger, and carrots in the sesame oil. Drain the fat and add the brown sugar, soy sauce, and crushed red pepper flakes. Grind a bunch of black pepper over it all and mix it together.

Turn heat to low and simmer while you toast the sesame seeds in an oven or toaster oven for about 7 to 10 minutes, no need to preheat. (Keep an eye on them!) When rice is done, spoon a portion of rice in a bowl or on a plate, top with the beef mixture, then garnish with chopped green onion and toasted sesame seeds. Wow! So deeee-licous!

p.s. My daughter said she wasn’t that hungry and didn’t want anything spicy because she wasn’t feeling so good. Well. She ate her entire bowl. So there!

Spicy Korean Beef with Carrots and Rice

Spicy Korean Beef with Carrots and Rice

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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