Archive for October, 2011

Pecan Puffs

Light and delicious; it’s like eating miniature snowballs!

Makes 24


1/2 cup butter, softened

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup pecans

1 cup sifted cake flour

confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar until light.

Add the salt and vanilla.

Finely grind the nuts in a food processor, blender, or nut grinder, stirring several times to prevent the nuts from becoming oily.

Stir the nuts and flour into the butter mixture.

Roll the dough into marble-sized balls and place on 2 greased cookie sheets.

Bake for 30-45 minutes.

While the puffs are still hot, roll them in confectioners’ sugar.

Let cool completely, then roll again in the confectioners’ sugar.


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Baked Fudge

 Crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside, delicious all the way through.

Creme Brulee

Creamy, crunchy heaven.

Serves 8-12 depending on the size of your ramekins.


1 3/4 cups heavy cream

1 3/4 cups milk

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

7 egg yolks

2 whole eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for the top

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a heavy saucepan, combine the cream, milk, and vanilla bean.

Heat to almost boiling, remove from heat, and let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


With an electric mixer, beat together the egg yolks, whole eggs, and 1/2 cup sugar.

With the mixer running, add the milk mixture in a steady stream.

Skim the foam.

 Divide into 8-12 ramekins, filling about 2/3 full.

Set the ramekins in 1 or 2 baking dishes and pour in enough hot water to come half-way up the sides.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until just set.

Cover the top of each with 1-2 teaspoons of granulated sugar and caramelize under a broiler or with a creme brulee torch.


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Meal Plan #8

Here is our meal plan for this week:

Sunday: Leftovers

Monday: Beef Stew

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken with Sweet Potatoes  and Broccolli

Wednesday: Chili

Thursday: Eat out

Friday: Potato Soup

Sweet Cinnamon Scones

Light, fluffy, delicious cinnamon scones.

Soft Chocolate Cookies

Makes 3-4 dozen


1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

confectioners’ sugar

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and granulated sugar.

Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

Gradually add this to the creamed mixture.

Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Flatten slightly and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are firm.

Remove to a wire rack.

Dust warm cookies with confectioners’ sugar.

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Gingerbread Scones

A moist, spicy scone with a crunchy topping.

Makes 8 scones


2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces

1/3 cup molasses

1/4 cup milk

1 egg, separated

granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

With a food processor or by hand, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse crumble.

In a small bowl, whisk together the molasses, milk, and egg yolk until smooth.

Add the molasses mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until combined.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently press together.

Knead 6-8 times.

There are 2 ways to do the next step:

1.  Form the dough into an 8-inch circle.  Cut into 8 wedges and place on a greased cookie sheet.  (Double Chocolate Scones)


2.  Divide the dough among the 8 sections of a grease scone pan.

Beat the egg white until frothy.

Brush it over the scones, then sprinkle them with granulated sugar.

Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Serve warm.

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