Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Best Sugared Pecan Recipe for the Holidays!

'Twas the Wednesday before Christmas,
Outside not a 'flake,
This little creature was stirring,
Because she had to bake!

So here we are days before Christmas and the second day of Hanukkah and the baking has begun!
As the dear reader knows, I always like to try new recipes and this time of year is no exception (this year was lace cookies) but an annual favourite is my Sugared Pecans.  As my gift to all of you here is the recipe.


2 lbs Pecan halves
2 cups white sugar  (no one said these were low cal)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
dash of allspice (optional)
2 egg whites
2 tbs cold water
splash of pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 250*

In a bowl mix sugar, salt, nutmeg and allspice.

In a second bowl beat egg whites and water until fluffy.  Add splash of vanilla and beat for a few more seconds until vanilla is mixed in.

Gently fold pecans into the egg mixture.

In 3 or 4 parts add the sugar mixture to the pecans and continue to fold until evenly coated.

Spread the pecans out onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake on middle rack of your oven.

Bake pecans for a total of an hour stirring every 15 minutes. 

Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container.  

These little bites of heaven won't stick around for long!  You can give them away in cute little jars or keep them for yourself to munch on (also great in a salad).

Happy Holidays!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Savoury Shortbread

Most people associate shortbread with the holidays but I think they work well as an appetizer or to enjoy with your favourite glass of wine all year round!
There are so many combinations for savoury shortbread that it's good to just look at the ingredients you already have in your fridge and go from there.   I like the combination of using a cheese and a fresh herb - sharp cheddars go great with rosemary,  mild cheddars go well with garlic and just think of the possibilities that go with asiago!  Gulp.... so good.
Last week I purchased some fresh sage for a braised beef recipe and had a ton left over.   I always keep a big block of parmesan in my freezer so behold I had my combo!

In a bowl mix together 2 cups flour,  1 cup butter, 1/2 cup grated parmesan (or other cheese), 20 small leaves of sage (chopped) and a tsp of salt (I like to mix half regular salt with corse salt)  I also added a pinch of cayenne pepper and mustard powder.

Work ingredients together until the dough comes together.  If it's too dry add some more butter or a bit of water.

Here's a little tip - If you want to use your butter right from the fridge, grate it and it will become room temperature faster!

Once you dough comes together roll it out into logs in some plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a half hour.

After you remove it from the fridge you can either cut it into rounds or if you prefer, you can  press into cookie rounds.

Place on parchment paper and bake at 400* for 10-15 minutes - until golden brown.