January 18, 2011

Pecan Squares

I'm from Georgia, so I grew up eating a lot of pecan pie.  It is such a yummy dessert especially with a little vanilla ice cream.  Oh my!  As I have gotten older, the gummy, gooey part of the pecan pie started grossing me out a bit.  I came across this recipe on myrecipes.com one day.  I bookmarked it on my computer and then waited for the perfect opportunity to make it.  Our neighbors had a little get together and asked everyone to bring something.  I thought of these pecan squares.  I had all the ingredients on hand.  They were very easy to make.

These pecan squares are delicious!  They are so buttery and nutty, it was amazing.  They were a huge hit at the get together.  :)

When I make these again, I won't pat the bottom mixture 1 1/2 inches up the sides of the dish.  I felt like that was too high above the pecan filling.  Next time I will probably do 1/2 to 1 inch up the sides.

Pecan Squares

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
2/3 cup butter
3 tablespoons whipping cream
3 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Sift together 2 cups flour and 2/3 cup powdered sugar.  Cut in 3/4 cup softened butter using a pastry blender or fork just until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Pat mixture on bottom and up 1 1/2 inches up sides of lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Cool.

Bring brown sugar, honey, 2/3 cup butter, and whipping cream to a boil in saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir in pecans, pour hot filling into prepared crust.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.  Cool completely before cutting into 2-inch squares. 

Makes about 28 squares.

Hat Tip - MyRecipes.com

January 14, 2011

White Chocolate, Cranberry, Macadamia Nut Cookies

So, the holidays have come and gone.  I did some holiday baking but sadly didn't have time to post them.  Now that the holidays are over, I'm going to play catch up.  I know these cookies are festive for Christmas but I think they would be yummy anytime of the year.  I love dried cranberries; it's a nice tartness to compliment the sweet white chocolate and then the salty macadamia nuts, oh my!  It's a combination made in heaven!

I had a ton of these cookies!  It makes 36 large or 72 small cookies.  I had plenty to share with our new neighbors, take some to work, and share some with family.  They were a huge hit!  I'm beginning to get a reputation in the neighborhood as the baker!  That is a reputation I can be proud of.  :)

I decreased the amount of white sugar in the cookies to about 1/2 a cup.

White Chocolate, Cranberry, Macadamia Nut Cookies

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed golden brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries (about 6 ounces)
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips (about 8 1/2 ounces)
1 cup coarsely chopped roasted salted macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.  Sift first 3 ingredients into a medium bowl.  Using electric mixer, beat butter in a large bowl until fluffy.  Add both sugars and beat until blended.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and beat just until blended.  Using spatula, stir in cranberries, white chocolate chips, and nuts.

For large cookies, drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, spacing 2 1/2 inches apart.  For smaller cookies, drop dough by level tablespoonfuls onto sheets, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake cookies just until golden, about 18 minutes for large and 15 minutes for small cookies.  Cool on sheets.

Hat Tip - Epicurious.com