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Blog

Filtering by Category: nuts

Snowball Cookies

Patricia Reitz

Whether you call them snowballs, Russian tea cakes, or Mexican wedding cookies, these melt-in-your-mouth cookies are a must for so many people during the holidays. It seems no cookie platter is complete without them. I like to make them with ground pecans, but feel free to substitute ground walnuts or almonds.

This cookie dough is extremely easy to make as long as you start with room temperature butter. Just place all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine until no traces of dry flour remain. If you use BeaterBlade attachment, you won’t have to stop and scrape down the sides of your bowl.

Tip: Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to microwave cold butter to soften it - melted butter and softened butter act very different in recipes so just be patient and wait until the butter reaches room temperature naturally.

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Use a #60 cookie scoop to portion out the dough.

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Place them evenly on a silicone lined half sheet pan and bake as directed below. If you like, roll the dough into balls (I don’t because they roll all over the place).

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Allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes before rolling in confectioner’s sugar.

Tip: I like to store used vanilla bean pods in my confectioner’s sugar. It really improves the flavor.

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Just remove the vanilla bean pods from the confectioner’s sugar while you roll the cookies so they don’t get in your way. Replace them when you’re done.

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Mmmm… your kitchen is going to smell like vanilla!

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Allow the cookies to cool completely and, if you like, give them a 2nd toss in the confectioner’s sugar. Enjoy!

Items used to make this recipe:


Snowball Cookies (aka Russian Tea Cakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies)

makes 48 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, room temperature (70F)

  • 1/2 cup (63g) confectioner’s sugar, sifted

  • 1 teaspoon (4g) pure vanilla extract

  • 2 1/4 cups (270g) all purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup (90g) finely chopped toasted pecans (or walnuts or almonds)

  • extra confectioner’s sugar for coating the cookies

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and place rack in center position.

  2. Place the first 6 ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a BeaterBlade or paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until no traces of dry flour remain (if you us a paddle attachment, scrape down sides of bowl as needed).

  3. Use a #60 cookie scoop to portion 12 cookies per tray; bake one tray at a time for 8-10 minutes.

  4. Remove cookies from oven and allow to rest on tray for 5 minutes before rolling in confectioner’s sugar; return cookies to tray and allow to cool completely before rolling in confectioner’s sugar a second time.

Note: to toast pecans, place in a 350F oven for 5 minutes; cool completely before using.

Coconut Almond Granola

Patricia Reitz

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I love cooking big meals when we have company, but after a few days (and many, many dirty dishes), I need a break so it's nice to  have a big batch of granola in the pantry.  This one features dried cherries and sliced almonds, but you can easily switch up the fruit and nuts.  It keeps well too so feel free to make it far in advance.

In a large mixing bowl, combine with oats, almonds, coconut, and sunflower seeds.  You can add the dried fruit now if it's plump - otherwise, hold off until a bit later.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the pure maple syrup, brown sugar, oil, vanilla, and salt. 

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Pour the maple syrup mixture over the oat mixture and stir well.

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Stir until all the dry ingredients are coated.

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Pour the mixture into a large roasting pan and bake in a preheated 250F oven.

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Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir in the dried fruit if you haven't already.  Cool completely before transferring to an airtight container for up to a month.

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Enjoy!

Items used to make this recipe:


Coconut Almond Granola

makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats

  • 1 cup sliced or slivered almonds

  • 7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut

  • 1/3 cup shelled sunflower seeds

  • 6 tablespoons pure maple syrup

  • 6 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup neutrally flavored oil (canola, safflower, grapeseed, etc)

  • 2 tablespoons warm water

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1 cup raisins, craisins, dried cherries, or other dried fruit (make sure they taste good)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250F and spray a large baking dish with nonstick spray.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, coconut, and sunflower seeds; set aside. Note: if your dried fruit is very plump, you can add it now, otherwise wait until step 5.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, dark brown sugar, oil, water, vanilla, and salt; pour over oat mixture and stir well until completely coated.

  4. Pour mix into prepared baking dish and bake in the center of the preheated oven for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.

  5. Remove from oven; stir in the raisins and allow to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container for up to a month. Recipe may be doubled.

English Toffee

Patricia Reitz

Seriously, is there anything better than caramelized sugar?  Ok, maybe caramelized sugar, a stick of butter, lightly toasted almonds, and a glorious robe of melted chocolate.  Heaven help me, this stuff is amazing!  

Before beginning, have ready a half sheet pan lined with a silpat liner.

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Also, make sure you have chopped chocolate ready to go.  I'm a huge dark chocolate fan, but you can certainly use milk chocolate if that's your thing.

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And another thing you need before you start is toasted, sliced almonds.  I place the almonds on an unlined half sheet pan and pop them into a cold oven.  Then I turn the oven on to 350F and slowly toast them until golden brown and fragrant.  

Allow the almonds to cool completely, then chop them into smaller bits in a food processor, being careful not to chop them too much.  You still want to recognize they are sliced almonds.

Alternatively, you can place the almonds in a resealable bag and crush with a rolling pin.

Ok, now that the half sheet pan is prepared, and the chocolate and almonds are ready to go, it's time to start cooking - in a 3 or 4-quart saucepan, heat butter, water, corn syrup, and dark brown sugar over medium-high heat.  

Have an instant read digital thermometer, pure vanilla extract, and baking soda nearby.

The toffee mixture should be stirred occasionally until it reaches the proper temperature.  Note that I used a nonstick pan for easy cleanup.

Stop cooking when the toffee reaches 285F.

English Toffee recipe with lots of how-to photos - ButterYum

Stir in the vanilla and baking soda; stir vigorously to combine.

Pour mixture onto silpat lined half sheet pan.

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Spread mixture with an offset spatula.  I like my toffee on the thin side so I spread mine out more than directed by the recipe. 

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While the toffee is still hot, evenly sprinkle the chocolate bits all over.

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Allow chocolate to rest on the hot toffee for 5 minutes.

Use an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly over the toffee.

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While the chocolate is still warm, sprinkle the toasted almonds evenly all over.

how to make English Toffee from scratch - recipe and how-to photos - ButterYum

Pop the whole tray into the fridge until the toffee and chocolate set.  Break into pieces and enjoy.


English Toffee

makes 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces

  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted and cooled completely

  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar (light or dark), packed

  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

  1. Begin by lining a half sheet pan with a silpat liner (I have 6!) and measure out all the ingredients.

  2. Place toasted almonds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 2 or 3 times to break into smaller bits, being careful not to make the pieces too small. Alternatively, you can place the toasted almonds in a resealable bag and crush them with a rolling pin.

  3. In a 3 or 4-quart heavy bottomed, preferably nonstick, saucepan over medium-high heat, combine butter, corn syrup, butter, and water; heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 285F.

  4. Remove mixture from heat and vigorously stir in the vanilla and baking soda.

  5. Pour the mixture onto a silpat lined half sheet pan; use an offset spatula to spread thinly over the silpat.

  6. While the toffee is still hot, sprinkle the chocolate bits evenly all over; allow chocolate to soften from the residual heat for a few minutes, then use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate into an even layer (I like to stop just short of the edge of the toffee).

  7. Immediately sprinkle the almond pieces evenly all over the melted chocolate.

  8. Place the toffee in the refrigerator for 10 minutes; remove from fridge and break into serving pieces. Store at room temperature in an airtight container with waxed paper between layers.

Note: To toast almonds, spread in a single layer on an unlined half sheet pan and place in a cold oven; turn the oven on to 350F and allow the almonds to toast for 8-12 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant (watch them carefully).  Cool completely before using.

adapted from The Baking Bible

Gluten-Free Fudge Cake

Patricia Reitz

This dense, rich, fudge cake is not only gluten-free, the batter is mixed together in a blender.  When have you ever heard of such a thing?   This cake takes no time to make at all - the batter is literally ready in a matter of minutes.  You can serve this cake warm or at room temperature, but we like it chilled. 

how to line a springform pan with parchment

Start by lining the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper, then spray the rest of the pan with Baker's Joy to ensure perfect release.

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In 30-second bursts the microwave, slowly melt butter and chocolate together, stirring between bursts.  When the chocolate is completely melted, stir well to make sure butter is completely incorporated.  Set aside until needed.

NOTE:  if your microwave is very powerful, decrease the power to 50%. 

Alternatively, you can melt the butter and chocolate together over a double boiler of simmering water, stirring frequently.

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Additional ingredients needed are almond meal (finely ground almonds), salt, baking soda, baking powder, espresso, and....

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Whole eggs and sweetened condensed milk.

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Now for the fun part - we mix all the ingredients together in the blender (this is the one I love).  Start to combining the eggs and sweetened condensed milk on low speed until combined.

gluten-free fudge cake recipe made in a blender

Add the chocolate/butter mixture, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and coffee.  Blend again on low speed until combined. 

gluten-free thanksgiving dessert recipe with how-to photos

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes in a preheated oven.

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The cake will come out of the oven puffed up in the center.  

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Allow the cake to cool for 1 hour before chilling for at least 2 additional hours.  The cake will fall in the center as it cools - this is normal so don't be alarmed.

Gluten-free cake recipe with how-to photos

Remove the sides of the springform pan and cut into 16 slices with a hot, sharp knife (long, thin, non-serrated blades work best - like this one).  This cake is very moist so if you want to sprinkle it with confectioner's sugar, use the non-melting variety.


Gluten-Free Fudge Cake

makes 16 servings

Ingredients

  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 6 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate (I used Moser-Roth 85%)

  • 4 large eggs

  • 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk, plus 1/4 cup

  • 1 1/2 cup almond meal (aka almond flour)

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

  • 1/4 cup hot espresso (or see note below)

  • Optional: non-melting confectioner's sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and place rack in center position.

  2. Line bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and spray pan with Baker's Joy.

  3. In 30-second bursts the microwave, slowly melt butter and chocolate together, stirring between bursts; set aside until needed. NOTE: if your microwave is very powerful, decrease power to 50%, or you can melt the butter and chocolate together in a double boiler over simmering water.

  4. In the jar of a blender, combine eggs and sweetened condensed milk on low speed until combined.

  5. Add chocolate/butter mixture; mix on low speed until combined.

  6. Add almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and espresso; mix on low until combined.

  7. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake tests done (a few crumbs sticking to the toothpick are ok).

  8. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 1 hour; cover with plastic and chill for at least 2 hours.

  9. Remove sides of springform pan and slide cake off of parchment base.

  10. Use a hot knife to cut cake into 16 slices. Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Note: to make espresso, combine 1/4 cup boiling water with 1/2 teaspoon high quality espresso powder .

recipe adapted from Pati Jinich

 

Italian Almond Cookies

Patricia Reitz

These delicate, chewy, 6-ingredient cookies have an incredibly intense, smack-you-in-the-face almond flavor.  We go crazy for them.  For maximum flavor and chewiness, it's worth going the extra mile to find canned almond paste.  

cookie recipe using almond paste cookies

If you can find it, canned almond paste is preferred.

On the day I did the photo shoot for these cookies, I was fresh out of canned almond paste so I had to use the foil-wrapped stuff.  It's not as soft as the canned stuff, but it works in a pinch. My particular tube was a bit dry so I grated it before I used it.  

The easiest way to do this is the use a food processor fitted with a fine grating disk.  

The food processor did an awesome job. 

To the bowl of the food processor, add the flour, sugar, and confectioners sugar.  

Pulse to combine.  

We're getting close!  

Time to add egg whites.  They're the magic glue that transforms the bowl of crumbs into the tastiest cookie dough ever!

how to use almond paste. what to do with almond paste. almond paste recipes. Italian macaroons recipe. Italian almond cookies. Italian almond paste cookies - ButterYum

Mmmmmm.  When you open your food processor, the aroma is going to make you salivate!

For the record, if you use canned almond paste, you can mix this dough in a stand mixer instead of a food processor.

Transfer the cookie dough to a small container.  It's really soft and sticky, but don't be alarmed.  You can scoop and bake the cookies right away, or chill the dough in an airtight container for a day or two.

Use a very small scoop (#100) to portion the dough into 1-teaspoon blobs.

Like I said, the dough is extremely soft and sticky so place the blobs directly into a bowl of sliced almonds.  Roll the blobs to coat them all over with almonds so you can pick them up and place them on a half sheet pan.

Because the dough is so sticky, I find it helps to dip the scoop in water for each cookie. 

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I tested baking these cookies on silicone and parchment and even though I usually prefer baking on silicone, parchment worked better for this recipe.  

Italian almond cookies. almond cookies. almond macaroons. almond macarons. Italian macaroon recipe with how-to photos - ButterYum

Bake the cookies until they puff up and turn golden brown.  

To-Die-For chewy Italian Almond Cookies (Italian Macaroons) - recipe and how-to photos - ButterYum. Italian Christmas cookies. Italian Easter cookies.

Allow the cookies to cool completely on the sheet tray.  Don't be alarmed when the cookies collapse as they cool - that's completely normal.  Store leftovers in an airtight container.  Cookies are best eaten on the day they're baked.  

Items used to make this recipe:


Italian Almond Cookies

makes 36 cookies

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces almond paste, canned is preferred (NOT almond filling)

  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar

  • 2 large egg whites

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line half sheet pans with parchment paper.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine almond paste, flour, egg whites, and both sugars. Mixture will be very sticky. Note: if almond paste is dry or hard, grate the almond paste and mix the dough in a food processor.

  3. Place sliced almonds into a small bowl.

  4. Drop 1 teaspoon blobs of cookie dough into bowl of almonds; roll until coated.

  5. Place 2 inches apart on prepared half sheet pan.

  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden.

  7. Cool on half sheet pans for several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

Patricia Reitz

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti - ButterYum

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti - ButterYum

There's something quite indulgent about sitting down for a little "me time" with a hot beverage and a lovely biscotti cookie for dunking.  Biscotti (biss-KO-tee) means "twice-cooked" or "twice-baked", and that's indeed how these cookies are made.  They're first baked in loaf form, then sliced and baked again.  The second baking is what gives them their crunchy, dunkable character.  

Start by placing flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.

Whisk together and set aside until needed.

Next, chop the chocolate.  In our house, we like dark chocolate - I used 85% cocoa here, but you could use something a bit sweeter.  Semi-sweet chocolate usually falls around 60% cocoa.  

In a small mixing bowl, combine the chopped chocolate and brown sugar together and set aside until needed.

You'll also need a couple of large eggs and pure vanilla extract.

And a little instant espresso powder mixed with some hot water.

I love how espresso powder accentuates the flavor of chocolate.

And don't forget the pistachio and craisins.  Chopped dried cherries would be a nice substitution for the craisins.

Now for the fun part - dump everything into a stand mixer fitted with a BeaterBlade or paddle attachment; mix until no traces of dry flour remain.  

The dough should look like this when done.  Now put the dough into a gallon-size zipper bag and chill for about 30 minutes while you preheat your oven. 

Chilling the dough makes it a little easier to handle, but it's still very sticky so I suggest gloving up before handling.  

Press the sticky mass into a 4x10-inch rectangle on a silpat or silicone lined half sheet pan.

See?  I told you the dough was sticky.

Bake as directed, then cool for 20 to 30 minutes, or until you can comfortably handle it.

Transfer the loaf to a cutting board and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices with a serrated knife.

Place each slice onto a silpat or parchment lined half sheet pan and put them back into the oven to bake again, flipping half-way through so both sides crisp up.  

After the cookies have finished baking a 2nd time, allow them to cool completely on a rack, then drizzle with melted white chocolate.  I melted my chocolate in the microwave before pouring it into a plastic zip-top bag.

Snip a very small hole in the corner of the bag and drizzle.  Work quickly - the chocolate will firm up fast. 

There you go.  Leftovers can be stored up to a week or more in an airtight container.  

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti Recipe WITH PHOTOS

Happy Dunking!

Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti

makes about 20 cookies

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

  2. in a small bowl, combine chopped chocolate and brown sugar; set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with BeaterBlade or paddle attachment, place flour mixture, chocolate mixture, eggs, vanilla, espresso mixture, pistachios, and craisins; mix on medium speed until all traces of dry flour disappear.

  4. Wrap cookie dough well with plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes (or up to a week).

  5. Preheat oven to 300F and line a half sheet pan with a Silpat or parchment paper.

  6. Press cookie dough onto prepared sheet pan, forming a 4x10-inch loaf.

  7. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.

  8. Remove from oven and allow loaf to rest for 20-30 minutes before transferring to a cutting board and cutting into 1/2-inch thick slices using a serrated knife.

  9. Return sliced cookies to sheet pan and bake for another 6 or 7 minutes per side.

  10. Cool cookies completely on a rack before drizzling with melted white chocolate. Leftovers can be stored for a week or more in an airtight container

adapted from Entertaining with Beth

Easy Peel Hazelnuts

Patricia Reitz

How to Skin Hazelnuts the Easy Way - ButterYum

How to Skin Hazelnuts the Easy Way - ButterYum

If you've ever struggled to remove the pesky skins off toasted hazelnuts, you know it's a maddening process that makes a huge mess.  Little pieces of papery hazelnut skin fly all over the place and no matter how hard you try, you can never get it all off.  But I want to tell you, there's a much easier way.  I shared this technique a couple of years ago when I made Nocciola Baci.  I'd seen Alice Medrich teach Julia Child the technique many years ago.  I'm amazed more people don't know about it.  Since the busy baking season will soon be upon us, I thought now would be a good time to share again.

Start with yummy hazelnuts.  Do you call them hazelnuts or filberts?  

We're going to need boiling water and....

....and baking soda.  Yes, baking soda.  Trust me, it works!

So when the water begins to boil, add the baking soda.  The mixture should bubble furiously.

Add the hazelnuts and boil for a few minutes until the skins are easily removed. 

Be careful, the mixture will foam a lot and it boils over easily.  As you can see in the photo, that happened to me when I turned my back for just a moment.   Don't be alarmed when you notice the water turning black.  Totally normal.

Keep the temp low and stir, stir, stir.  That seems to help keep the mixture from overflowing.  If at any time the bubbles get close to the top of the pan, lift the pan off the heat until the bubbles subside.

The hazelnuts are ready to go when the skin slips off easily.  Looks like mine are ready.  Strain and rinse them in cool water, slipping the skins off as you go.

4 done, 400 more to go.  The hazelnuts are now "blanched".  Allow them to dry and use them as they are or toast them to deepen their flavor.

Best way to get the skins off of hazelnuts or filberts w/PHOTOS

Toast them in a hot skillet or pop them in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes.   Cool completely before using. 

How to Blanch, Peel, or Skin Hazelnuts

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 cup hazelnuts

Directions

  1. Bring water to a boil in a 4-quart saucepan.
  2. Add baking soda and hazelnuts; boil 2-3 minutes or until skins easily slip off (stir and adjust heat frequently to prevent mixture from boiling over). 
  3. Strain and rinse nuts under cold water.
  4. Pinch skins off nuts; allow to dry completely.

Notes:

  • This technique creates a lot of foamy bubbles so use a large saucepan to prevent the chances of the mixture boiling over and making a mess on your cooktop. 
  • To toast blanched hazelnuts, place on a sheet pan and bake in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes.  Cool completely before using.
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Candied Pecans

Patricia Reitz

Hi Everyone.  It's time for this month's Secret Recipe Club, where each month, a group of bloggers are assigned a blog, and we get to choose a recipe from that blog to feature on our own blogs, then we all reveal our assigned blogs on the same day.

This month I was assigned the blog:  Smells Like Brownies by Melissa.  Melissa is a stay-at-home wife and mother of two, and her favorite thing to do is share delicious food with her family and friends.  

Melissa's blog is only 4 years old, but she has an impressive catalog of recipes to choose from.  I had a particularly busy week so I needed to find a simple and fast recipe to prepare for this month's reveal.  The Black Bean Hummus sounded really good, so did the Salmon Mousse (definitely going to make that one), and if I had had time, the Maple Coconut Granola has my name written all over it, and I would have tried the Homemade Mozzarella, but in the end, time was a huge factor so I chose Candied Pecans which I plan to share with family during the upcoming holidays.  These nuts are addictive - the only thing I'd do differently next time is make more!  

Thanks Melissa - these candied pecans are the bomb!

Start by lightly toasting the pecans in the oven.

Make a sugar praline-like syrup syrup.

Add pure vanilla extract (only the best!).

Add the toasted pecans to the caramelized sugar syrup.

Toss well to coat.

Pour coated pecans onto a silicone lined sheet pan; spreading them out into a single layer.

Bake in oven, tossing every 10 minutes until the sugar crystallizes. 

Totally addictive Candied Pecan Recipe w/PHOTOS

Totally addictive - sorry I didn't make a double batch!  

Items used to make this recipe:


Candied Pecans

makes 1 1/2 cups

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper or a Silpat liner and preheat the oven to 250F (yes, 250F).

  2. Spread pecan halves on prepared sheet pan and toast in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

  3. In a small saucepan (preferably nonstick, like this caramel pot) over medium-high heat, combine butter, sugar, water, salt, and cinnamon (use a silicone coated whisk if you have a hard time breaking up the clumps of cinnamon).

  4. As soon as the sugar is completely dissolved, stop stirring and insert a candy thermometer.

  5. Continue cooking, without stirring, until the temperature of the sugar syrup reaches 246F (soft ball stage).

  6. Remove sugar syrup from heat and stir in vanilla, followed by the toasted pecans; toss until pecans are completely coated.

  7. Pour coated pecans onto prepared sheet pan, spreading into a single layer.

  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

  9. Remove from oven and cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Note

  • To check if your candy thermometer is properly calibrated, use this online calculator to see what the boiling point of water is based on the elevation of your zip code (US residents). Simply plug in your zip code to get your elevation. Once you have your elevation, use the same calculator to see what temperature water will boil at that elevation. For example, according to my zip code, my elevation is about 900 feet above sea level. That means my thermometer should indicate 210F at the point water boils. If my candy thermometer indicates a difference, I would have to add or subtract that difference from my target temperature.

Norwegian Toscakake

Patricia Reitz

Norwegian Toscakake - ButterYum

Norwegian Toscakake - ButterYum

I was immediately drawn to this recipe while flipping through a copy of Scandinavian Classic Baking by Pat Sinclair.  It's a lightly flavored single layer cake flavored with almonds and topped with a glaze that's browned under the broiler.  Wonderful with a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon.

Note:  If you like a richer, more strongly flavored cake, check out our family's favorite European Almond Butter Cake (photo below).

Norwegian Toscakake

makes 8 servings

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

Cake: 

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 4 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Almond Topping:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 3/4 toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick baking spray; set aside.  
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  
  3. In a separate bow, beat the egg whites until foamy.  
  4. Gradually sprinkle in the granulated sugar while continuing to beat until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes; set aside.  
  5. In yet another bowl, whip the egg yolks for about 4 minutes until they are a light lemon color.  
  6. Gently fold the beaten yolks into the beaten whites.  
  7. Next, fold in the flour mixture in 4 batches, followed by the melted butter and almond extract.  
  8. Pour batter into prepared spring form pan and bake in a preheated over for 20-25 minutes.
  9. To make the topping, in a small saucepan over low heat, combine the sugar, flour, butter, and milk, stirring constantly until thickened, about 1-2 minutes.  
  10. Remove from heat and add the almonds and almond extract.  
  11. Pour the topping over the cake and place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until the topping turns golden brown.  
  12. Cool on wire cooling rack for 5 minutes.  
  13. Run a metal spatula around the sides of the pan to loosen.
  14. Remove the sides of the pan and cool completely before serving.