Pecan Pie Bars

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Thanksgiving is almost here, you know what that means……. Pie! I love me some pie! Mom always made Pecan Pie and Pumpkin Pie. The pecan is my favorite! But I always have a sliver of each. (I don’t want to discriminate!)

What kind of pie does your family serve? What is your favorite? I don’t think that I have met a pie that I didn’t like!

Since I won’t be doing the traditional Thanksgiving feast this year (my brother is taking us out to a restaurant), I decided to make these pecan pie pars to munch on for dessert. That way I can get my pie fix and send a few pieces home with my brother. (if there is any left!)

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These Pecan Pie Bars are a great addition to the plethora of desserts served at the Thanksgiving table. I like to add these to my holiday cookie trays as well and give them as gifts.

The original recipe for these Pecan Pie Bars comes from the “A Taste of Oregon” cookbook. I made a couple of changes to the recipe this time. First, I added more nuts (because, who doesn’t want more nuts!) and threw in a few chocolate chunks. Then, I omitted the maple glaze on this batch.

They are absolutely delicious either way you make them. The crust is similar to that of a shortbread and the topping is like a traditional pecan pie with a maple glaze to top it all off.

Here is the original recipe but change it up as you like it. Try them with a big dollop of freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top. Yum!!

Pecan Pie Bars:

Crust:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter

Filling:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups dark corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Icing:

  • 1/8 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon maple extract
  • milk

Crust: Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until well mixed. Pat evenly into bottom of well-buttered 9×13 inch pan and bake 325 degrees F for 12 minutes.

Filling: Beat eggs until well mixed but not too light. Add brown sugar, flour and salt. Blend. Add corn syrup and vanilla. mix well. Pour over the partly baked crust and sprinkle with pecans. Return to 325 degree F oven and bake 40-45 minutes. Cut into squares while still warm.

Icing: Blend butter, powdered sugar, maple extract and add enough milk to make a thin consistency. Drizzle over the top of cooled cookies.

Enjoy!

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Summer Bread Pudding Cups with Blackberries and White Chocolate Limoncello Sauce

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July!

Mine was uneventful, which is fine by me. My dog, on the other hand, was not impressed by all of the fireworks going off throughout the neighborhood. Once I peeled her off the ceiling and let her know we were not being ambushed, she began to relax.

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Earlier in the day I found these giant blackberries and just had to bring some home.

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They are the inspiration for my Bread Pudding Cups with Blackberries. I wanted to make a dessert that was simple and comforting ( like cobbler or shortcake) yet decadent. The combination of juicy blackberries in a rich bread custard, drizzled with a white chocolate sauce laced with limoncello, definitely fits the bill.

I can’t wait for you to taste it! Yum!

Summer Bread Pudding Cups with Blackberries and White Chocolate Limoncello Sauce:

  • 7 cups cubed bread ( I used Croissants ) Brioche or Challah would be great as well
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice ( a blend of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, lemon, allspice, ginger)
  • 1 1/2 cups blackberries

Place bread cubes in a large bowl. In a mixing bowl whisk together remaining ingredients except blackberries. Pour mixture over bread cubes and toss to coat. Let soak for about 15 minutes.

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Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper cups into a cupcake tin. Once bread has soaked fold in blackberries. Fill cups about 2/3 full with bread mixture making sure to get some blackberries in each cup. There will be a bit of leftover liquid in the bowl. Evenly disperse liquid in each cup.

Bake 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Cool completely before serving. Drizzle with White Chocolate Limoncello Sauce and garnish with more blackberries.

White Chocolate Limoncello Sauce.

  • 5 ounces good quality white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons Limoncello
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Place chocolate chips in a bowl. Heat heavy cream just till boiling and remove from heat. Pour hot cream over chocolate and then whisk until melted and thoroughly blended. whisk in Limoncello ans lemon juice. let sauce cool a bit to thicken. Whisk again and pour over cooled bread pudding cups.

Enjoy!

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My Favorite Oreo Cookie Cheesecake

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Cookies and Cream, Yum! What’s not to love? I know, this is nothing new to the culinary world. But…. this is too good not to share.

As I was going through some notebooks full of old recipes, I came across this beauty. A rich and creamy New York style cheesecake loaded with big chunks of Oreo Cookies.

I found this recipe many moons ago in a Sunset magazine. The date on the page is 1987. Yep, 1987, that’s not a typo.

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Cookies and cream were all the rage back then and still are to this day.

This Cake uses an entire 1 1/2 pound package of Oreo cookies. Half for the crust and the other half broken up and cooked into the filling.

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It is absolutely decadent and worth every calorie. Hey, I just read an article today that said chocolate cake for breakfast is good for you. I think this one counts, right?

Anyway, it doesn’t matter if you have cake for dessert or breakfast, just eat cake!

Chocolate Cookie Cheesecake

  • 1 package (1 1/2 lb) chocolate sandwich cookies
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 4  8-ounce packages cream cheese, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

In a food processor, whirl 1/2 package of the sandwich cookies, including filling, until they form fine crumbs. mix in butter.

Press crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan ans about 1/2 inch up the sides. Chill crust to firm. About 20 minutes.

In the bowl of electric mixer beat the cream cheese, sugar and whipping cream at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, flour and vanilla and beat again to blend.

Pour 1/2 of the cream cheese mixture into the chilled crust. Break the remaining cookies in half and scatter over cream cheese mixture, overlapping if necessary to use up all of the cookies. Pour remaining cream cheese mixture over cookies.

Bake in a 300 degree oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. until golden on top and and cake only jiggles slightly when shaken.

Remove from oven and cool on a rack. cover and chill and until cold. at least 4 hours. Overnight is better.

Before serving, run a knife between the cake and the pan sides. remove rim of pan and cut cheesecake into slender wedges to serve.

Makes 12-16 servings