Friday, December 21

Christmas Tarts

Harper thinks garlic should be added to the tarts this year.
 This Saturday is the Swift Cookie Party, so it's time to make my mom's pecan tarts!  There isn't much to these delicious little wonders, but they do take a bit of time to fill the crust dough into the pan.

The filling is eggs, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt.  The dough can be any pie crust dough, but mom's is cream cheese, flour, and butter.

I didn't have enough cream cheese on hand, so I supplemented with shortening. 

 I had some extra so I made a small pie for Dan and I to share for dessert.

Are you sure you don't want to add garlic, Mom?

Heart crock was a gift from Sarah for our wedding!  It is adorable!  It isn't really meant for this purpose, but still worked great.

 They are little, perfect, pecan pies!    Love them!

Wednesday, December 19

Spicy Pecans

 Dan and I would like to give out some small gift at our Cousin Christmas night, but there are now too many people to give individual gifts.  I've been looking into ways to use the Pecans my dad sent me (6 pounds!) besides my usual pie and tarts. 

I found a recipe in County Living Magazine for spicy cocktail Pecans and thought I'd give it a try.  I halved the call for amount, as I didn't want to waste my delicious pecans if I didn't like how they turned out.

The recipe I followed was:

3 Cups Pecan halves
1/2 stick of butter (unsalted ) Melted
2 Teaspoons Tabasco sauce
1 Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Teaspoon of sea salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder (it should have been just 1/2 teaspoon, but I love garlic)

Oven on 325 degrees.  Combine ingredients, then poor over Pecans.  Toss to mix then put on baking sheet in a flat layer.  Bake for 7-8 minutes, stir, the bake for 7-8 more until nuts are toasted.

Pre-baked nuts.  I store my nuts in the freezer, so when I poured the melted mixture on them, it congealed again. 

After being toasted!  Bonus: the house smells delish.


I'm storing them in a tin lined with wax paper.  

Tasting thoughts:

They taste very similar to the chex mix Dan's mom makes.  They aren't as spicy as I would have imaged them to be (since they were called spicy cocktail pecans).  I don't know if we'll make this for the fam, but we'll certainly eat the 3 cups I made of it.  Perhaps I'll try batch adding some other seasonings (thinking red pepper flake, cumin, more Tabasco as options).

Wednesday, December 5


I tried my hand at making caramels (Thanks Martha Stewart for the info!).  It went alright.  I learned some things about what not to do after the caramels were made, but the making and eating all went off without a hitch. 

Ingredients and my Nook with recipe

Starting off.  It takes a while to get it up to the right temperature.  The recipe said about 15 minutes.  I didn't have my heat up for that, as it took about 35 for mine to reach the necessary 248 degrees.

Still cookin.

It was great to watch the bubbles as the consistency changed.

Getting more carmel-y

Almost there! 

As soon as it gets to temp, the recipe says to hall ass though the last steps (ie: add vanilla and salt, then pour into cookie sheet with greased paper)

Yummmm...Caramel.  Well, soon.  You let it sit for 8 HOURS, then you can cut it. 

Inspired by my sister's love of salted caramels, I thought to try it.  It was a win.

And then they got wrapped. 

It doesn't look like 120 caramels, does it?

One of the boxes for a friend

The ingredients list on the inside.

The boxes for Dan's workish party.

The got all dolled up for the holidays! 

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