Southern “Traditional” Pecan Pie

There are as many Pecan Pie Recipes as there are Pecan Tree’s. To each family their own brand or flavor of Pie. Although there are many different kinds of “Nut” pies in the South, I would have to say that many families during the Holiday’s have at least One Pecan Pie is at their table.  Over the years this well-known Dish has graced us with its pressance every year without fail.

You can flavor this Pie with a few extra flavors that you like, Like Rum, Maple Syrup, Bourbon/Whiskey, Cinnamon, Nutmeg or even White or any flavor Chocolate Chips/ Chunks or Shavings. I have to say that nothing can or will go wrong if you serve up the “Traditional” Pie. You can always Substitute store-bought pie shell if you do not have the time to make your own. I do not look down upon this as I have done it a few times myself. If you are stretched for time you can always take the easiest route.

Here are the Ingredients:

1 Pie Shell, thawed ( or you can make your own)

1 cup Light Corn Syrup ( you can substitute with honey)

1 cup Light Brown Sugar, Packed

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 Stick Butter (1/4 c) melted, cooled

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

3 Eggs, Room temperature

1 1/2 cups Pecans, chopped fine

1/2 cup ( more if needed) Whole Pecan Halves

(1) Pre-heat the oven to 375*.  Roll the dough out to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and roll up on to the rolling-pin and unroll onto the pie pan. Gently press into the pie pan and shape and crimp as desired. Prick bottom gently with a fork to prevent the dough from bubbling. If you are using a store-bought shell then place the tin with shell inside onto a sheet pan and prick gently with a fork to prevent bubbling. You can also place the pie pan with dough onto the sheet pan as well. This ensures even browning on the shell. Make sure to use a 9 inch pie shell or a 9 inch pie plate (pan).

(2) Place the sheet pan with the Pie shell into the oven and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove and let cool completely before filling. This takes about 25 minutes. Make sure to leave the oven on to the same temperature.

(3) In the meantime, In a medium bowl whisk the Corn syrup, Brown Sugar, Salt, Butter and Vanilla until well combined. In a small bowl beat the eggs and add to the sugar mixture and whisk to combine. Set aside.cooking blog pictures 001

(4) Place the 1 cup of finely chopped Pecans into the bottom of the cooled pie shell evenly. Add the other 1/2 cup of finely chopped pecans into the sugar mixture and mix together well. Pour The sugar/nut mixture over the nuts in the shell and spread evenly. Arrange the 1/2 cup of whole pecan halves on to the top of the mixture in a circle pattern. Do not mash them down, They will stay this way through the baking process. cooking blog pictures 003cooking blog pictures 004cooking blog pictures 005

(5) Carefully place into the hot oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the center is set but still slightly jiggly ( but not too much, just a little). Carefully remove from the oven and let cool on the sheet pan for about 30 minutes to allow the pie to set. When cool enough to handle remove from the sheet pan and place on a cooling rack on a cool surface to finish cooling. Allow to cool completely before cutting. When ready cut out a small wedge and place on a plate and top with whipped cream (optional).cooking blog pictures 014

(6) TO STORE: Place a small piece of waxed or parchment paper (cut to fit top of pie) on top of the pie and wrap in plastic wrap. Store in a pie plate or chill in the fridge. Allow to set a few minutes before cutting when removing from the fridge.

Chocolate Cocoa Brownies

Brownies come in all different flavors and topped with different things. I have to say these are my favorite. They are moist, chocolate, and very  decadent. I top these little babies with Nutella spread and Chocolate chips to make it decadent. You of course do not have to. You can certainly eat them as is and they are still delicious. These brownies require a few minutes to make but are well worth it. Rule of Thumb. If you so desire to store these in the refrigerator wrap them individually in wax paper or plastic wrap to keep them moist. I do this any way even if I store them in an air tight container. I do this because my little ones like to take some to school every now and then when I make them. They travel well if packed in a container to keep them whole and will not allow them to get smushed along the way. I also make them as a Holiday give away treat. Now let’s get started on making them. Here are the Ingredients:

 

1 oz. Unsweetened chocolate, Shaved or chopped

1/4 c. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1/2 c. Cocoa Powder ( any brand of your choice)

1 Stick of  Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature

1/4 c. Crisco Shortening, Room Temperature

1 c. Sugar

2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/2 Tsp. Coffee Powder ( Instant)

1/2 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp. Baking Powder

3 Eggs, Beaten and at Room Temperature

3/4 c. All Purpose Flour

 

(1.) Grease a 1/4 inch sheet pan with vegetable spray and line with parchment paper to fit bottom of pan. Spray the Parchment with vegetable spray and set aside. This helps the Brownies from sticking to the pan.  Heat your oven to 350*.

(2.) In a Double Boiler add the Butter, Crisco, Both Chocolates, Cocoa Powder and the Instant Coffee Powder. Stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

(3.) In a bowl whisk together the Egg, Vanilla, Salt and sugar until combined. Add in the cooled Chocolate and whisk together until combined.

(4.) Add in the Flour and Baking Powder and whisk to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until done when toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool until cool enough to handle. About 15 minutes.

(5.) Now this part is kind of tricky but not hard. When the brownies are cool enough to handle grab another 1/4 in sheet pan and place the clean bottom on to the top of the brownies. Carefully but quickly turn the pan over and remove bottom pan. Remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the brownies and discard. Place the top part of the pan back onto the brownies to fit snug as it was before flipping the first time. Now flip the pan back over to reveal that the brownies are back into the pan the same way as it was when you pulled it out of the oven.

(6.) Now this part you do not have to do. When you have successfully have the brownies in the pan you can spread a thin layer of Nutella spread over the top of the brownies all the way to the edges. I use about 1/4 cup. I then evenly distribute some Chocolate Chips over the top. I then place them back in to the oven for about 10 minutes to warm the Chocolate Chips through to slightly melt them. I then cut the brownies in to 2 in squares and let them set about 10 minutes to set. I then wrap them separately in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container. I hope that these yummy brownies become a part of your families treats. I do hope you enjoy them.

Sugar And Spice Nuts

This is a recipe that I make every year for Friends and Family. They are easy to store and transport. Keep them in an air-tight container up to 5 days or in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks. Here are the ingredients:

 

1 Egg white

4 c. Nuts ( any brand or any mix)

1 c. sugar

1 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon

3/4 Tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/8 Tsp. Ground Clove

 

(1) In a large bowl beat the egg white until thick and frothy. Add in the Sugar, Cinnamon, Pumpkin Pie Spice and the Ground Clove. Whisk together until combined and add the nuts. Gently toss together until completely coated with the mixture.

(2) Grease a Sheet pan with vegetable spray and line with parchment paper and spray with vegetable spray. Pour the Nut mixture on to the sheet pan and spread out evenly making sure they all lay flat and not on top of each other. Bake at 350* for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and gently toss around. Make sure they are all flat and even. Bake for another 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Gently break apart with your fingers and let them finish cooling. Store in a air-tight container.

You can add Chocolate chips to the mix after they have cooled completely.

Chocolate – Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Chocolate… Who does not love chocolate. I know I do. This recipe is double the Chocolate. I decorated the tops with Halloween inspired colors but you can frost with your favorite frosting.

 

1 1/2 sticks of Butter, room temperature

2/3 c. Brown Sugar

2/3 c. Granulated Sugar

2 Eggs, Room Temperature

2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

3/4 tsp. Instant Coffee Powder

1 c. Milk

1 c. Cocoa powder

3 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 3/4 c. Flour

1 c. Chocolate Chips

 

(1.)Heat the oven to 325*.

(2.) In a stand mixer with paddle attachment beat the butter, both sugars, salt and Instant coffee powder together until fluffy. About 2 minutes.

(3.) Add in the cocoa powder and mix until combined. Add in the Vanilla extract and the eggs one at a time until combined.

(4.) Slowly add in the milk until combined. Add in the baking powder and flour until almost combined but not quite. Add in the Chocolate chips and mix to combine. About 10 seconds on low-speed.

(5.) Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and scoop out some batter using an ice cream scoop. Fill each one with the batter. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan. About 2 hours. Frost as desired.

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

I love brownies and I love cookies. When you put the two together I am in heaven. These little cookies look like cookies but have the  flavor and texture of brownies. When you taste this cookie you will be taken back to your childhood. It also makes your whole house smell like chocolate. Who does not like the smell of chocolate baking. I know I do. Here are the Ingredients you will need.

1/2 c. flour

1/2 tsp. salt ( I use Kosher)

1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 1/2 c. semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 stick of butter, room temperature

3 eggs, room temperature

1 tbsp. honey

2/3 c. sugar

2 tsp. Vanilla extract

 

(1.) In a Double Boiler combine the Chocolate chips and butter over low heat. Set aside to cool slightly. This mixture will be thick.

(2.) In a bowl whisk together the Flour, Salt and the Baking Powder. set aside

(3.) In another bowl whisk together the Eggs, Honey, Sugar and the Vanilla. When combined well add the cooled Chocolate mixture and slowly and carefully mix in until combined.

(4.) In two batches add in the Flour Mixture until combined. I use a rubber spatula to fold it in. You don’t want to over mix the batter because you won’t have that brownie like texture you want.

(5.) Line two baking sheet pans with Parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray. Using a 1/2 inch Ice Cream Scoop, Scoop out the batter and place on the sheet pan about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375* for 12 minutes. Any longer than this and they become to chewy. You want them nice and moist. Let them cool slightly and then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in  an airtight container. They travel well also, so packing them for a road trip are alright.

Variations: You can add softened Ice cream to the middle and sandwich them together for an Ice Cream sandwich. I use either Vanilla or Coffee Flavored Ice Cream but you can use your favorite. You can also add dried fruit, chocolate chips or nuts to the batter if you prefer.

 I hope that you enjoy this delicious cookie/brownie recipe.

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