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Welcome to my collection of recipes and cooking related ramblings. Please don't expect culinary perfection during your time here... for I am a frustrated foodie with very little patience and more than a tendency for often unnecessary creativity in the kitchen. I have a hard time following instructions (Never fear, I can read, I just don't like being told what to do), so cooking is a good exercise in discipline for me. Luckily I have a willing husband to taste test these creations, good and bad, so I don't have to suffer alone in my experimentations.  

If you dare - learn along with me as I try out recipes, tweak them to my liking, learn what NOT to do and share all the mundane details with you! Let's do this... 

Entries in Pecans (2)

Sunday
May202012

Southern Sweets - Toasted Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Toasted pecan chocolate chip cookiesI've forever been on a culinary quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. I like a substantial-sized cookie crammed full of nuts and chips. I like the cookie to have some flavor other than just chocolate to elevating the taste to the next level. I crave the texture of the ones my mom used to make - the kind where you substitute shortening for butter and the cookies have a light and fluffy texture. However, I can't really use shortening in my cookies -  I just can't bring myself to do it. 

Well folks, I may have finally stumbled on my version of the perfect chocolate chip cookie. This confection has a hint of cinnamon that perfectly complements the dark chocolate and the nutty pecans. Heaven I tell ya. They don't flatten out and turn chewy - these have a thick texture that's just shy of "cakey" with a satisfying soft center and a perfectly crunch outside. Not to mention, this recipe makes a ton of cookies - so you can eat yourself silly and still have plenty to share. Perfection!

Toasted Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

INGREDIENTS: Makes about 4 dozen

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup butter + 2 Tbsp., divided
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a microwave safe bowl, melt 1 cup butter (nuke for about 45 seconds), stir until smooth and set aside to completely cool. You can put it in the fridge for 10 minutes or so if you prefer. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt and set aside. Next, coarsely chop pecans and toss with cinnamon.

Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Stir in pecans and cinnamon until nuts are completely coated . Continue to toast over medium heat for about five minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Once nuts are aromatic and toasted, remove from heat and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together cooled, melted butter and both sugars. Combine completely. Add in beaten eggs and vanilla. Slowly pour in the flour mixture until batter is thoroughly combined. Lastly mix in the pecans and chocolate chips. The batter will be sticky and thick but not runny.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using two spoons drop balls of dough (about 1 heaping tablespoon each) about two inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes until cookies turn golden brown around the edges. Let sit for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack. 

Saturday
Apr072012

Try these addictive little pretzel party treats, I dare you.

Need to bring a snack to a potluck or poker game? Have a birthday party coming up or a bar mitzvah? Need to stuff an army full of carbs & sugar for upcoming battle? Whatever the reason, or the season, these little candy pretzel snacks will fit the bill. 

No doubt you've seen this recipe all over the internet, and that's because it's so easy and makes you feel like a rock star for making it, therefore, everyone must blog about it... including me. Big bang for your buck on this recipe. You can make several hundred of these in less than an hour. Trust me, it takes longer to unwrap the Rolos and kisses than anything else in this recipe. 

Kids love these things and so do big adult kids. Get creative in your candy combinations - vary them for the different seasons and try different flavors, colors and varieties of kisses and M&Ms. The picture above uses the peanut butter M&Ms in Easter egg shapes. I've seen them made with the striped peppermint kisses for Christmas. Use your imagination... go nuts. Go peanut M&M nuts. 

If you're a caramel lover - then the more sophisticated variation of Rolo candies and pecans will suit your sweet tooth. The nutty treat is reminiscent of a turtle candy, but crunchier, and saltier. 

Pretzel Party Snax

INGREDIENTS:

  • M&Ms
  • Pretzels
  • Pecan halves
  • Rolo candies
  • Hershey's Kisses

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 225F. There are two different varieties you can make - the first variation uses Hershey's kisses and M&M candies and the second uses Rolo candies and pecan halves. You will need to unwrap either a Rolo or Hershey's kiss for each pretzel. (Note, this will take forever so bring a friend.)

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread out one layer of pretzels. Place a Rolo or kiss on top of each pretzel. Put in the oven for 2 - 2 1/2 minutes. Take the tray out of the oven and let sit on the counter for about one minute - this will allow the chocolate to finish "melting" and will make it easy to "smoosh". Quickly place an M&M on top of each Hershey's Kiss and a pecan half on top of each Rolo candy - press down to flatten. The chocolate will fill into the holes in the pretzel to form a bond. 

Place the tray of candies into the refrigerator to chill for about half an hour. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to serve. These will keep for a few days in the fridge.