Thursday, January 7, 2021

PECAN PIE BITES

 
Picky-picky Hubby tells me these Pecan Pie Bites are totally addicting. They have a buttery shortbread crust ......  a slightly gooey center and glazed sweet pecans on top. What more can you ask for?  Oh yes, they also freeze exceptionally well!!!

Click on this photo to get a better look

CRUST
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter (room temperature)

Mix the above crust ingredients well and press into a  9" x 13" baking dish that has been lined with parchment or no-stick foil (see note below). This mixture will seem crumbly before you bake it, but don't worry about that. Just pat it evenly into the pan and bake in preheated 350° oven for 20 minutes. If you are using a glass baking pan, bake at 325°.

While the crust is baking, mix up the topping:

TOPPING
3 eggs well beaten
1 cup light corn syrup (I use Karo brand)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 + 2/3 cup chopped pecans

Mix well and pour over partially baked crust, making sure the nuts are evenly spread out. Return to the oven and bake for 25 more minutes.

 
Cool COMPLETELY in pan.



NOTE:  The Pecan Pie Bite crust does not stick to the pan, but around the edges of the topping, it does like to stick. To combat that, I line my 9" x 13" baking pan with parchment paper or the new Reynolds Easy Release foil, leaving the ends a little long so I can use them as "handles" to lift out the COMPLETELY COOLED recipe. 

Make sure they have cooled this 
to room temperature before
you cut them into bites. 

NOTE:  Since we are empty-nesters, this recipe is too big for us, so I cut the baked recipe into thirds and wrap each one in plastic wrap then again in a zip top freezer bag and freeze them.They freeze VERY well. 

DO NOT CUT THEM INTO "BITES" UNTIL YOU  THAW THEM OUT.


ENJOY !!!

Friday, January 1, 2021

PERFECT FRENCH FRIES AT HOME

We don't eat homemade french fries very often because they don't turn out very well. I've tried many potato varieties; I've tried various oils and temperatures; I've tried double frying them (what a hassle that was!) and I've tried baking them... they all come out of the oil LOOKING great but turn limp and greasy in a matter of minutes.

Then, recently, I came across this very simple recipe.  Assuming this technique was just too easy to produce great results, I didn't even mention the recipe "experiment" before I served them to Hubby.


After about the third french fry, picky-picky hubby offered this unsolicited critique: "these fries are REALLY good"... I knew I had a winner.  I will definitely be using this super easy method the next time we decide to treat ourselves to some fries.

2 pounds of Russet potatoes (make sure they are Russet potatoes)
2 tablespoons corn starch
peanut oil   (peanut oil works the best)
kosher salt

Slice the potatoes into shoestring size pieces, trying to make them as even as possible. Rinse the cut potatoes thoroughly and put them in a big bowl of plain cold water in the fridge until dinner time (at least an hour, but overnight is even better).

Take the potatoes out of the cold water and lay them on an absorbent towel, blotting most of the water off. Coat the potatoes lightly with the cornstarch and shake off the excess.  Let them air dry on a baking rack while the peanut oil heats up to 375°.

A WORD ABOUT THE OIL:  You will get the best french fries using peanut oil; it has a high scorch level and tastes great. You can also use regular vegetable oil, but avoid Canola oil. Canola oil tastes a little "off" if you bring it up to 375 degrees. I was surprised what a difference peanut oil makes.

When the oil reaches 375°, put a big handful of the cornstarch coated potatoes in the oil and stir gently to separate them.  After they've fried for a minute or so, stir them again to make sure they aren't sticking together (don't overcrowd your pan).

When the potatoes are light golden brown, take them out of the oil and put them on paper towels to wick away some of the oil. Sprinkle generously with KOSHER SALT (it tastes so much better than regular table salt on the french fries).

That's it!! No more limp, greasy french fries (and NO more double frying!!). Who knew that russet potatoes, a little soak time, a little corn starch and some peanut oil would make such a great french fry?!?!

NOTE ABOUT CUTTING THE POTATOES: Peel (or wash) the potatoes and cut the sides of the potatoes off (making sort of a rectangle). This will give your potato flat sides to rest on while you slice through the potato.  Stack the potato "slabs" and cut into shoestring size potatoes.
Russet's are those big baking potatoes.

Here is the link to McDonalds "special sauce"
that they serve on the Big Mac Burgers (clone recipe)

CLICK HERE FOR 
BIG MAC SECRET SAUCE CLONE RECIPE

ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

JUMBO CHOCOLATE - CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

These BIG chocolate cookies are addictingly delicious!! They are buttery, rich and chocolate-y, studded with mini chocolate chips and it all comes in a whopping 4" soft cookie that tastes like a brownie!!


JUMBO CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE-CHIP COOKIES
THIS RECIPE MAKES 17 COOKIES

2 cups flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/3 cups brown sugar (packed)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
10 oz. pkg. MINI chocolate chips
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch salt
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup melted butter

Whisk together the flour + cocoa + baking soda + salt (set aside)

In your stand mixer, mix together the melted butter + brown sugar + granulated sugar + eggs + vanilla.  Mix until smooth.

Add the flour mixture (1/2 at a time), mix well between each addition (batter will be VERY thick). Add the mini-chocolate chips and mix just until well incorporated.

Form cookies into large ball (1/4 cup each in size). Flatten each cookie JUST A TINY BIT, then place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet with 4" space between each cookie. I add a few extra mini chocolate chips on top of each cookie, but you don't have to.

CHILL FOR 2 HOURS.

Take chilled cookies out of refrigerator while your oven is pre-heating.  Bake 14 minutes, or until top of cookie is just "set". Don't over-bake.

Let the baked cookie sit on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes before you move to a cooling rack.


ENJOY !!!!!