Russian Tea Cakes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups pecans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup super fine sugar (see note)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat. Set aside.
  • Place 1 cup pecans (plain pecans) in a food processor and process for about 15 seconds or until the texture is similar to coarse cornmeal. Transfer the pecans to a medium bowl. Place the candied pecans, if using, in the food processor and process until coarsely chopped, about 10 seconds. Add the chopped pecans to the bowl with the ground pecans.
  • Stir the flour and salt into the pecans. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed with the beater blade until fluff, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  • Reduce the speed to low and slowly add in the nut mixture. Mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula and mix until the dough comes together. Give the dough a final stir by hand to mix in any remaining flour.
  • Roll the cookie dough into balls, about 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart.
  • Bake for 18 minutes or until cookies are pale golden and the bottoms are beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.
  • Pour confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl and roll the cookies in the sugar until the are well coated. Before serving, cookies in sugar another time and gently shake off the excess sugar.

*www.twopeasandtheirpod.com

 

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Salted Caramel Pretzel Fudge

Thanks to Two Peas and Their Pod for this amazing fudge!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pretzels
  • 25 soft caramel candies, unwrapped (I used Kraft.)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 25 whole pretzels for garnish
  • Sea salt, for garnish

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, making sure to leave some overhang for easy removal. Lightly grease the bottom and sides and set aside.
  • In a large microwave safe bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Add the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Stir until combined. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat for 1 minute on high. Remove from microwave and stir to combine. If needed, heat an additional 15-30 seconds. Stir until chips are completely melted and chocolate is smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract and chopped pretzels.
  • Put the caramels and heavy cream in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 20-30 second increments, stirring well after each increment, until the caramel is melted and smooth. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon sea salt.
  • Add half of the fudge to the prepared baking pan and smooth it out with a spatula. Add the caramel and spread evenly over the fudge with a spatula. Add the remaining half of the fudge and spread it out evenly over the caramel. Top with pretzels and a sprinkling of sea salt.
  • Place the fudge in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or until the fudge is solid enough to cut into squares. I like to chill it overnight. Cut the fudge with a hot wet knife. Fudge will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

*www.twopeasandtheirpod.com

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Homemade Potato and Cheddar Pierogies

Half Baked Harvest is filled with the most beautiful photographs.

The recipes are even better!

INGREDIENTS:

DOUGH

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup plain full fat greek yogurt
  • 1 egg

FILLING

  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • kosher salt and pepper

ROSEMARY BUTTER

    • 1 stick butter
    • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or grated (to your taste)
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

 

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS:

  • To make the dough. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, butter, yogurt, and egg, and mix until combined. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes. Cover and let sit 30 minutes.
  • To make the filling. In a large pot of cold water, bring the potatoes to a boil. Salt the water and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Drain the potatoes, return the potatoes to the pot and mash over low heat, or mash in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, adding the butter and cheddar cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Roll the dough out onto a floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out 3-inch circles. Spoon 2 teaspoons of filling into the center of each round. Brush the edges with water and fold half of the dough over the filling to enclose it. Press down the edges to seal, pressing out all the air. Be sure to keep the dough covered as you work work to prevent from drying out. At this point, the pierogies can be flash frozen on a baking sheet for 30 minutes, then transferred to a freezer bag and frozen for up to 3 months.
  • When ready too cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pierogies in batches for 1-2 minutes, or until they float. Drain.
  • To make the butter sauce. In a large skillet, brown the butter over medium heat, stirring often until the butter is golden and toasted. Add the rosemary and garlic and cook 30 seconds to a minute or until fragrant. Remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Divide the pierogies among plates and spoon the butter over the pierogies. Top with cheddar and parsley.

*www.halfbakedharvest.com

 

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Cincinnati Chili

INGREDIENTS:

For the Chili

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 cups (720 ml) water
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1½ teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

For the Toppings

  • Cooked spaghetti
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • White onion, chopped  (I used green onions. Sorry, Cincinnati!)
  • Chili beans

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS:

  • In a large dutch oven or heavy stockpot, stir together the ground beef and water until soupy.
  • Stir in all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a rapid simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 3 hours.
  • Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles (2-way), top with shredded cheddar cheese (3-way), chopped white onions (or green onions) (4-way), and/or canned, drained chili beans (5-way). Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

*www.browneyedbaker.com

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