Category: Dessert!


Carrots are good for your eyesight. Walnuts are good for your heart. Pineapple has anti-inflammatory properties.

Banzai Carrot Cake

Banzai!

Translation: If you eat this carrot cake, you’re doing good things for your body! It’s health food!

If that doesn’t convince you and you need another reason to try this cake, I’ve got a very convincing one. Cream Cheese Frosting.

Sensei Phil didn’t have anything particular in mind for his Banzai Birthday treats. Knowing he’s not a chocolate person, I suggested one of my favorite cakes – Carrot Cake! I thought our karate group would enjoy it. The consensus was the cake is good and the frosting is Banzai-worthy!

Carrot CakeThis is a delicious AND nutritious cake, and you should try it. There are a couple things you should know:

  • I bought already-shredded carrots in the produce section. I’m too lazy to shred them myself.
  • You can use pecans instead of walnuts, or eliminate the nuts if there is a nut allergy. Personally, I’d add the nuts if you don’t have to leave them out.
  • This is a great way to sneak fruit and vegetables into your family’s bodies. The ingredient list can be your secret!  😉
  • The frosting amount shown is 1 1/2 times the original recipe. What can I say? I like cream cheese frosting. If I hadn’t used it all on the cake, I would have eaten it right off the spoon. You can make 2/3 of the frosting if you want – it’ll give enough for the cakes. But why would you do that? The frosting is why we eat carrot cake, right?

Make this. Eat it. Feel healthier because you ate stuff that’s good for you. Then have another piece. Carrot cake is health food, and the cream cheese frosting is just plain awesome!

Carrot Cake

Slightly adapted from Food.com

Stuff you need:

CAKE
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 3/4 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained

FROSTING (See TIP 2 for a lighter frosting.)
12 ounces cream cheese, softened — the blocks, not the whipped stuff
6 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups icing [powdered] sugar

Optional for decoration: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts

Now what?

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 9″ round cake pans or one 9×13 inch pan.
Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; make a well in the center and add sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix with wooden spoon until smooth.
Stir in carrots, coconut, walnuts and pineapple.
Pour into pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes for the rounds or 45 minutes for a 9×13. The cake will bake up fairly dark, and the centers will sink a little.
While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting.
Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth; add the vanilla then the icing sugar and beat until creamy.

To frost: If using the round cakes, no need to frost the sides. Plop half the frosting on one cake and spread. You’ll have a nice, thick layer of icing. It’s OK if a little goes over the edges. Place the second layer on top and frost with the remaining frosting.
Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and add a few chopped walnuts for decoration, if desired.

TIP: If you’re transporting the layered cake, put a dab of frosting on the plate before you put the first cake layer on it. It’ll act like a glue to hold the cake layer in place.
TIP 2: If you are one of the few people who don’t care for the thick cream cheese frosting, there’s a lighter version that’s also delish. Beat 8 ounces softened cream cheese. Beat in 1 jar (7 oz.) of marshmallow fluff. Frost your cake then lick the spoon and bowl clean!

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We were getting ready for another big storm to hit KC. Like most people, I’m sick of the snow but what are you gonna do, right?

Well, with nasty weather coming in, I did what most normal women would do to get ready. First, I got a pedi. Everything’s better with fresh nails, right? And then, I baked cookies!Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

With fresh nails, warm cookies, books on my Kindle and plenty of movies, I don’t mind being snowed in!

We “lucked out” and this last round wasn’t as bad as it might have been. Still, I’m home waiting for the snowplow. We live on a cul-de-sac and are the last ones to be plowed out. It’s usually a combination of a bobcat and a snowplow. So far I haven’t seen either, but that’s OK with me. I’ve got cookies!

This recipe is simple and tasty. It doesn’t use any weird ingredients, so if you’re snowed in you might have everything in your pantry to make these now. I used peanut butter chips and no nuts, but you could use any combo of chips and nuts you like.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Slightly adapted from She Makes and Bakes

Stuff you need:

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups oats (quick or regular – both work)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts [use any combination of chips and nuts that equals 1 cup]

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips [use any combination of chips and nuts that equals 1 cup]

Now what?

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream together the butter and sugars until soft and mixed.

Add in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add in the vanilla, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low until combined.

Mix the cocoa powder and flour together and add gradually with mixer at low speed.

Once combined, add in the oats and mix.

Stir in the nuts and chips and mix until just incorporated.

Form the dough into one-inch balls or use a cookie scoop and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet about 1-2 inches apart. Bake for 11-12 minutes until set, but don’t overbake.

Let them cool for one minute on the sheet and then remove to a cooling rack.

Store in an airtight container or bag.

Blondies!

My favorite baked desserts, aside from kick-ass cheesecakes, are the bar cookies. I think it’s because they’re easier to make than cookies, and versatile enough that you can customize them to your own tastes.Blondies

I was craving cookies but didn’t want to watch several pans of cookies closely enough that I didn’t burn them. I thought about brownies but didn’t have the right chocolate to make them from scratch. I saw this recipe and thought it would do the trick – quench my cookie craving while catering to my laziness today.

You don’t need a mixer for these; they’re mixed in a saucepan and poured into the baking pan. My Craggy-Topped Fudge Brownies use the same method, and it’s an easy one.

The base to these have a slight butterscotch flavor due to the butter and brown sugar base. I topped them with semi-sweet chocolate chips and chopped pecans. If you want a less-sweet bar, consider using bittersweet chocolate chips (but don’t go overboard!) and/or walnuts instead of pecans.

These are really easy to make and the recipe can be halved if you don’t want to eat them all yourself.  😉  They’ll travel well and would be great in lunches or to take to a pot luck.

Blondies

Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

(Recipe can be halved; bake in 8×8 pan.)

Stuff you need:
2/3 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Now what?
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside.
In a medium saucepan heat and stir butter and brown sugar over medium heat until smooth. Cool slightly. [I cooled mine about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The eggs will “cook” when they’re added if you don’t cool the mixture a little.]
Stir in eggs, one at a time.
Stir in vanilla.
Stir in flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan.
Sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. Press down slightly.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool slightly in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars while warm.

Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Nut ToppingMy daughter and her children befriended an elderly gentleman neighbor. For his birthday, he requested an Oatmeal Cake. Tish said that was all he wanted – just a simple oatmeal cake.

This morning, tired from working so much that many mornings I wasn’t sure what day it was, I decided to take the day off and do anything but work. I hadn’t baked anything in a couple of weeks, and I felt like I couldn’t go another day without playing in my kitchen!

While I was reading cookbooks in bed I ran across this Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Nut Topping. I remembered Tish saying she’d made one, realized I’ve never had it, and discovered I had all the ingredients in-house so I didn’t have to take my lazy butt to the store.

I’m not much of a cake person so I don’t make them often, but the “homey” feeling of this appealed to me. If there is a “comfort food” cake, this is it. It’s a bowl of oatmeal folded into a cake; a bit denser than most cakes because of the oatmeal yet not too heavy, and that may be why I like it.

The other thing I like – OK, maybe like isn’t a strong enough word – is the broiled nut topping. Mmmm… Mmmm… MMMMmm!! It’s definitely worth the extra steps required. In fact, I think it makes the cake memorable.Oatmeal Cake w/Broiled Nut Topping

I added a bit more cinnamon and nutmeg than the original recipe called for because I wasn’t really smelling the spices in the cake batter. I’ll see if the flavors meld overnight and come out a bit more. If not, I’ll double the spices the next time I make it. In my world, you can never have too much nutmeg.  =D

If you want a simple, homespun cake, give this a try. If you don’t want to make the broiled nut topping, you can serve it as-is; sprinkle powdered sugar on top; or serve it warm with ice cream, caramel sauce and nuts.

If you’re looking for a healthy breakfast, you could pretend this is a good choice. After all, oatmeal with cinnamon is a common breakfast, right? So why can’t it be in a cake? (I can justify just about any food choice when I try.) Enjoy!

Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Nut Topping

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook (the pink Limited Edition)

Stuff you need:

CAKE

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups boiling water

1 cup rolled oats [not quick cooking]

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon [More if you like more spice.]

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg [More if you love nutmeg!]

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 recipe Broiled Nut Topping (see below)

 

Now what?

CAKE

Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In small bowl pour boiling water over oats. Stir until combined; let stand 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour a 9-inch springform pan; set pan aside. [I don’t think a regular 9-inch pan will work – this bakes up higher than a regular cake and will need the tall sides of the springform.]

In medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.

Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla; beat until well combined.

Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Alternately add flour mixture and oatmeal mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove sides of pan; cool on wire rack at least 1 hour more.

Transfer cake to a baking sheet. [For easier clean-up, put some foil on the baking sheet.]

Spread Broiled Nut Topping over warm cake. Broil about 4 inches from heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until topping is bubbly and golden. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

 

BROILED NUT TOPPING

 Stuff you need:

1/4 cup butter

2 tablespoons half-and-half, light cream, or milk [I used milk and it worked fine.]

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1/3 cup flaked coconut

Now what?

In a medium saucepan combine butter and half-and-half, light cream, or milk.

Cook and stir until butter melts. Add brown sugar; stir until sugar dissolves.

Remove from heat. Stir in chopped pecans or walnuts and flaked coconut.

Today is Thanksgiving, and my mama is in town to celebrate with us!

Pumpkin Pecan Crumble Pie

“Light and fluffy. The perfect pie!”

Thanksgiving is full of traditions, except in my house. We’re not big turkey people, so I usually make something else. I guess you could say that’s our tradition. One year we had baby back ribs, another fried chicken.

Today was no exception – I made stuffed pork chops with an apple/onion/celery stuffing, mom’s sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, mashed potatoes & gravy (maybe the BEST food ever!!), corn, rolls, and of course, pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Pecan Crumble PieI’ve said it before – I’m not so whoopie on pumpkin stuff, but it’s “traditional” so I was set on making a pumpkin pie. However, somehow I got the idea of a nut streusel-type topping for it. I must have been looking at recipes with streusel or something. Well, it turned out to be a good addition to the pie – just enough crunch and a little extra flavor for a pie that’s typically simple.

With the extra step of the topping it takes a bit more effort to make this pie, but according to my mama, it’s “so light and fluffy! It’s the perfect pie.” I’ll take her word for it; she really likes pumpkin pie! I tasted it but didn’t love it, mostly because it wasn’t a chocolate pie.  🙂 I expect my daughter will love it – she’s the family pumpkin queen. If you like pumpkin, I bet you’ll love it too!

Pumpkin Pecan Crumble Pie

Adapted from Food Network.com

Stuff you need:

1 unbaked pie crust [Use your favorite recipe or buy one. Follow directions on package to prepare, but do not pre-bake crust.]

Filling:

2 eggs, beaten
1 (16-ounce) can pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk [I used light. I don’t think fat-free would be good in this but I could be wrong.]

Pecan Crumble Topping:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Now what?

Filling:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Beat eggs until frothy [probably about 5 minutes]. Add all remaining ingredients in order given [one at a time], beating only until well blended.
Pour filling into crust.
Bake for 35-40 minutes. [The original recipe said to bake for 35 minutes and then add the topping, but my topping sank. Try it out with just a few pieces and see what happens. If most of it stays on top, you’re good.]

Topping:

Combine topping ingredients.
Remove pie from oven and sprinkle topping over filling. [Or gently pull the oven rack out enough to put on the topping and then gently push the rack back in. No need to remove the pie.]
Return pie to oven and bake 15-25 minutes more or until center is set.
If crust is getting too brown, cover with foil (with the center cut out) or pie crust shield.
Ovens vary, so you’ll have to keep an eye on the pie to see when it’s done. Mine took 60-70 minutes total.

Peanut Butter CarmelitasI love Oatmeal Carmelitas. The combination of caramel, chocolate, and oatmeal in a bar is irresistible to me!

It had been quite a while since I made a batch, and while looking for a peanut butter and chocolate dessert to make for my friend Amie’s birthday, I ran across the recipe. The thought of these made my mouth water, and I started trying to figure out how to work peanut butter into the recipe. After a little thought, I had it – peanut butter caramel! After all, the peanut butter caramel in the Knock You REALLY Naked Brownies was fantastic, so it should be delish in Carmelitas too, right?

I adapted a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Pillsbury: Best of the Bake-Off Cookbook, published in 1996. Just about everything I’ve tried from this cookbook is a winner. The hard work was already done by the Bake-Off contestant, but I think I took a really good recipe and made it even better!

Peanut Butter Carmelitas

Stuff you need:

Crust

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats

1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups margarine or butter, softened [2 1/2 sticks]

Filling

1 (12.5 oz.) jar (1 cup) caramel ice cream topping

1/2 cup peanut butter

3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Now what?

Heat oven to 350F. Grease 13 x 9inch pan and set aside.

In large bowl, mix all ingredients at low speed until crumbly.

Press half of crumb mixture, about 3 cups, in bottom of greased pan. Reserve remaining crumb mixture for topping.

Bake at 350F for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, microwave peanut butter for about 20 seconds. Remove from microwave and slowly stir in caramel and 3 T flour.

Add 1/2 cup peanuts to remaining crumb mixture and mix well.

Remove partially baked crust from oven; sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Drizzle evenly with caramel mixture. [There’s enough caramel mixture to pour over the crust and cover most of it.]

Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake at 350F for an additional 22 – 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool completely then refrigerate 1 – 2 hours until filling is set.

Cut into bars.

Fresh Apple Cake

Fresh Apple CakeHow about a quick and easy apple cake? The most time-consuming part about this is chopping up the apples. If you’re lazy like me, don’t bother to peel them. Just wash them well, and start chopping!

I used Granny Smith apples because that’s what I had in the house. Use your favorite kind, or a mixture of sweet with tart. I didn’t chop the apples too much because I like to have pieces in my cake. However, if you don’t like biting into apple chunks, dice them finer.Fresh Apple Cake!

The batter will be very thick. That’s fine – just make sure you’ve got the dry ingredients mixed evenly with the wet ingredients before smooshing the batter into the pan.

Make a 9 x 13 pan or split the batter into two 9×9 cake pans and keep one for yourself, and share the other with friends.

Fresh Apple Cake

Adapted from Midwest Living

Stuff you need:
3 cups flour [I used 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 all-purpose flour.]
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sale
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 medium Granny Smith apples, washed and chopped [Peel if that’s your preference – or you’re not as lazy as I am.]
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Powdered sugar for dusting

Now what?

Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan or 2 9×9-inch baking pans; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; make a well in center of dry mixture and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, oil and vanilla; stir in apples and nuts.

Add egg mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened (batter will be stiff). Smoosh batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 1 hour. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. If you like, dust with powdered sugar or top each serving with sweetened whipped cream and an apple slice.

Cutie Patootie #3

Cora’s 1st birthday!

Two of my grandkids just had birthdays. Yea! Cutie Patootie #3 turned 1 and the little Chunky Monkey turned 2 within a few days of each other. My daughter planned a creative double-party for the kids, with one side being decorated for Cora and the other for Corbin. She asked for a pink cheesecake for Cora’s table, and I had the perfect strawberry cheesecake recipe for it! Click for recipe.

Only part of this got eaten at the party, which wasn’t a problem, because it kept nicely in the refrigerator for the second party a couple of days later.  Cutie Patootie #1, who is 6 and was very busy at the party, slowed down long enough to taste it for me and declared it “OK.” Her mother, who has eaten my cheesecakes for years, said it was delicious. Pink Cheesecake, Strawberry Cheesecake

I liked it but it was a bit more subtly flavored than I’d like. Then again, I had a piece less than 24 hours after it was baked, so the flavor might have intensified a bit with time. If you want a really intense strawberry flavor, top it with more strawberries or spread a high-quality strawberry jam on the top of the cheesecake before you serve it.

I got this recipe from Junior’s Cheesecake Cookbook, a collection of 50 recipes from the owners of Junior’s restaurant in New York. I love cheesecake, so when this cookbook came out, I added it to my collection. I had never used cornstarch in a cheesecake until I made this recipe. I think it helps balance all the liquid from the whipping cream and the berries in the recipe; at least I assume that’s the purpose of it. It also may be the reason this cheesecake sliced up so beautifully. None of my other cheesecake recipes have ever sliced so cleanly!

If you need a dessert for a pink-themed party, this is it! If you just want a good cheesecake with the strawberries built-in, this is also it! Eat up!

I was invited to dinner at my daughter’s a couple of weeks ago. After we finished the chicken enchiladas she’d made, my son-in-law looked over and asked, “What did you bring for dessert?”

“Nothing,” was my reply. “Tish told me not to bring anything.” “What?!? Why’d you do that?” he asked his wife. It seems Alex had been hoping for the pumpkin cake I’d made last fall for him, and was disappointed when it didn’t appear. I promised to bring one the next time I saw him, which turned out to be last weekend for their kids’ birthday parties, and he was appeased. Pumpkin Spice Pudding for Alex's Cake

This cake is an adaptation of the Hornet’s Nest Cake from The Cake Mix Doctor. It’s crazy-easy and comes out perfect every time! Basically, you make pudding, fold in a cake mix, then top it with pecans and chips before baking.  The original recipe calls for vanilla pudding, butterscotch chips and pecans. The chips sink slightly into the cake to create holes, which mimics the appearance of a hornet’s nest. No frosting is needed, and would probably be just too much sweetness anyway. (Yes, there is such a thing as too much sweet!)

I saw some Jell-O Pumpkin Spice instant pudding mix in the store last fall and thought I could do something with it. I’ll admit I don’t get excited about all the pumpkin stuff on the market in the fall. It’s just not one of my favorite flavors, nor is it in the top 25 probably. But my daughter and her husband love pumpkin stuff and I thought I’d play with the pudding mix somehow.

This Hornet’s Nest Cake came to mind, because I think you could change it up to use whatever flavor pudding, cake mix, and type of nuts you like and come out with something that is both easy and impressive. So I went with pumpkin spice pudding, a yellow cake mix, a combo of butterscotch and white chocolate chips, and pecans. I thought it was good, but Tish and Alex liked it even more and requested it a couple times after that. Click for recipe.

Son-In-Law Cake (Pumpkin, Butterscotch & Pecans)The cake is moist, and the top layer is both sweet and crunchy, as the chips and nuts stay near the top of the cake and the nuts brown a bit. I haven’t checked the stores to see if the pudding is out yet, since it’s seasonal, but I’d guess it’ll be there soon if it’s not already. I was lucky and had stocked up at the end of last year’s holiday season so I still had 1 box stashed away.

If you can’t find pumpkin spice pudding, try butterscotch or maybe a butter pecan, if there is one, and add some pumpkin pie spice to the pudding mixture. Alternatively, use vanilla pudding and a spice cake mix, and add pumpkin pie spice to either the cake mix or pudding. I’d start with about a tablespoon of the pumpkin pie spice, smell and taste your mixture, and add more spice if you think you want it.

I delivered the cake to Alex last weekend and he declared it, “All mine!” Since we didn’t cut it while I was there, I can only show you a picture of the un-cut results. But trust me on this one – it’s a really delish cake that takes maybe 5 minutes to throw together.

Give it a try and let me know if you make any variations to Alex’s version!

Boy, it’s been a crazy-busy family weekend. I loved it, but I’m tired!

Mixed Nut PieFriday night I went up to Leavenworth, KS to spend some time with my Karate Family. On the way home I stopped at the store to pick up ingredients for Saturday’s baking and made it home around 11:30 pm. Saturday morning it was up and at ’em! The oven was on, the mixer was going, and my house started filling up with the most wonderful scents.

I baked this Mixed Nut Pie (click for recipe), a Sweet Apple Pie, and Alex’s Cake – a pumpkin butterscotch fall treat for my favorite son-in-law. Then the pies and I were off to a Wiffle Ball Tournament hosted by Friends Who Are Family in Peculiar, MO. Sadly, my team lost again this year, but that’s OK because there was pulled pork and home made potato chips to console me. Even though my team went down in flames, it was still a great day!

After the fun, it was back home where I fired up the oven once again and baked a Pink (Strawberry) Cheesecake for Cutie Patootie #3’s first birthday celebration this afternoon in Liberty, MO.Mixed Nut Pie

Whew! Can you see why I say it’s been crazy-busy? I’ve been all over town, with a bunch of baking and shopping in between trips. Tonight I’m trying to unwind and prepare for the upcoming week by sitting in front of the TV. And blogging. I wanted to get at least one of the recipes up tonight; I’ll get the others up as I find time.

This pie is a lot like a pecan pie. The recipe calls for mixed nuts and I took that to mean a can of mixed nuts, but then I realized you really could use whatever combination of nuts you like. Personally, I like the combination in the mixed nuts can so I’d use them again.

This isn’t a hard pie to make. The most difficult step, I think, was boiling the syrup and sugar to make sure the sugar dissolves completely. I used a refrigerated pie crust, but you might have more patience than I do and choose to make your crust from scratch. If that’s the case, don’t pre-bake the crust, and don’t prick the crust with a fork before adding the filling! If you do, the filling will seep under the crust, stick to the pan, and make a mess.

The pan will be very full, so you may want to pour most of the filling in the crust, put the pie in the oven, then add the rest of the filling until the crust is full.

Nuts are a great addition to fall and holiday menus. I think you’ll enjoy the change – especially if you’re not particularly a pecan fan.