Category Archives: Pecans

Coconut Cream Cheese Balls (AKA Heaven)

I love my new town!

It’s full of Victorian houses, side roads filled with gravel, a cute little downtown of “mom and pop” stores, greenery everywhere, etc.  But, the best part about it is the feeling I get when I drive around the area.  For me, it’s a sort of nostalgic feeling.  I couldn’t describe it myself, so I looked it up and I think this is perfect: I think it’s the feeling you get when you are overwhelmed with passion and longing for the favorite things from your youth. And the satisfaction you get when you re-live them.”

I spent my Saturday exploring and just taking it all in.  Please indulge me and check these out (all via Google… none of these are mine):

To top off all this goodness, I made my moms Coconut Cream Cheese Balls.  They are the best quick and easy dessert ever. I’m not exaggerating.  Unless you don’t like cream cheese or coconut, you will agree with me and I guarantee that.  These are heaven in a small bite-sized ball.  Please try them… they won’t disappoint you!

What do you guys love about your town?
Give links to your favorite fast and easy desserts!

Coconut Cream Cheese Balls

Ingredients:
1 8 oz. block of cream cheese, room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar (*If you don’t want these super sweet, sub 1/2 cup flour for 1 cup powdered sugar)
1-2 cups shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
*1 cup pecans, optional

Directions:
1. Beat the cream cheese until it’s smooth.
2. Slowly, cup by cup, beat in the powdered sugar, until it reaches a semi-doughy consistency.  It will be a bit gooey, but still hold it’s shape when formed into a ball.
3. Beat in vanilla.  If using pecans, fold them in now.
4. Roll each ball in the coconut.
5. Chill for about an hour before serving.

Caramelized Pecan Banana Bread

Hey, friends!

Sometimes I get on Blogger with the intentions of posting a really awesome recipe, I get to the “New Post” page and realize, “Wow, I really have nothing interesting to write about.”

And then I sit here… and I sit here… and I sit here… and still have nothing interesting to write.  Sometimes I wonder if people even read what I write, since this is a food blog and most of you are most likely here for a recipe… and then I start feeling sorry for myself because nobody wants to read what I have to write. (That’s called catastrophizing…don’t do that.) But then I snap out of it and realize that if you all just wanted a recipe, you could go to AllRecipes.com or Food.com and I feel better.

But, then I still have nothing to write about, but, hey, at least I’ve taken up 5 minutes.  Please tell me I’m not the only person who does this.  If I am… lie to me.

So here I am today with an awesome recipe and no story to go behind it except the pity party of a girl with writer’s block.

Here’s what I can tell you:  This is banana bread.  It’s really good.  Like, the bomb.  And it has caramelized pecans in it… basically candy.  Really moist candied banana bread that will make your house smell like a big, hot caramel-y banana.  How appealing does that sound?  I’ll work on it.

Do you guys ever have those days when you can’t think of anything to write??

Caramelized Pecan Banana Bread
adapted from: Betty Crocker



1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

1         tablespoonbutter2         tablespoons sugar1         cup pecan halves2         tablespoons ground cinnamon

  1. 1. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2×4 1/2×2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches.
    2.  Add the tablespoon of butter and let melt in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the sugar, pecans, and cinnamon, and mix until the pecans have been coated and the sugar has started to stick. Set aside and let cool.
    3. Mix sugar and butter in large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt just until moistened. Stir in nuts. Pour into pans.
    4. Bake 8-inch loaves about 1 hour, 9-inch loaf about 1 1/4 hours, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. (Good luck!) Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 6 days.

Passover Pecan Brownies



I received an email from Osem…  I almost deleted it, but I was interested because I had never heard of Osem before.


I checked it out and they’re a large provider of kosher foods.  Kosher means that something is “meant to be eaten” and kosher foods “conform to the regulations of the Jewish Halakhic law framework”.  


Although I’m not Jewish, I decided to make these brownies… mostly because they looked really good, but also because I wanted to branch out a little bit.


If you don’t know where to get Matza cake meal, you can get it here or here. Or you can just switch the 1/2 cup Matza cake meal out with 1 cup of all purpose flour.

Today is the last day of Passover, so if you get a change, I highly recommend you make these delicious, chocolatey brownies.  The top crust is crunchy and the inside is light and moist.  MMM!

PECAN BROWNIES
Levana Cooks

The Passover version of this timeless classic is virtually identical to the year-round one: Osem Matza cake meal is that good! Secret of delicious brownies, beside of course delicious chocolate: Do not be tempted to bake a minute more or they will harden.
Ingredients 

8 ounces best-quality dark chocolate, chopped, or 2 cups best-quality semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup margarine (try your best for a good natural brand)
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup Osem Matza Cake Meal (or 1 cup AP flour)
¾ cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans (12 to 15 minutes in a preheated 325 degree oven)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. 
Melt the chocolate and margarine in a small saucepan over very low heat or in a microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. 
In a food processor or with an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. 
Add the chocolate mixture and mix. 
Add the matza cake meal and vanilla and mix, pulsing until just combined. 
Fold in pecans.
Pour the batter into a greased 12-inch square pan (or any pan of a comparable size) and bake for 35 minutes until the top is barely firm. It will set completely with the residual heat sticking to the pan. Chill before cutting, so you can cut them neatly. 
Store refrigerated in a sealed container. Makes about 3 dozen.



P.s. Beautiful Ari is having a giveaway… you should all go check it out!

Easy and Addictive Crack(er) Toffee

I love baking. I really, really do.

But sometimes, I need to make something fast.  Something easy.

If you can believe it, I sometimes use box mixes… and store-bought frosting… and sometimes, I even buy cookies from the store.

Crazy right?

Well, when I’m in the kitchen baking in my high heels and apron and bright pink lipstick(ha), feel free to call me Katie Homemaker…. but today you can just call me Katie…the lazy baker.

Cracker Toffee

Adapted from: The Girl Who Ate Everything

*Note:  Make sure your jelly roll pan is even.  Mine slants toward the middle so the middle crackers ended up laying in a puddle of caramel and being chewy instead of crunchy.

40 salted butter crackers
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips
(optional) 3/4 cup chopped pecans
(optional) 1/2 cup white chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with saltine crackers in a single layer. 
 
In a small pot combine brown sugar and butter and bring to a boil. Once mixture is at a boil, continue boiling for 3 minutes. Mixture should be a deep caramel color. Immediately pour over saltines and spread to cover crackers completely.

Bake at 400 degrees 5 to 6 minutes. It will get all bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top and let sit a couple of minutes to melt. Sometimes I melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for about 1 minute then spread it on. Spread melted chocolate and top with chopped nuts and melted white chocolate if desired. Cool completely and break into pieces.

I like to keep mine in the freezer.  It keeps it nice and crunchy.

—————————————————–
Watch for my sister, Angela Lewis, tomorrow morning at 7 (central) on Good Morning America!!!

Easy and Addictive Crack(er) Toffee

I love baking. I really, really do.

But sometimes, I need to make something fast.  Something easy.

If you can believe it, I sometimes use box mixes… and store-bought frosting… and sometimes, I even buy cookies from the store.

Crazy right?

Well, when I’m in the kitchen baking in my high heels and apron and bright pink lipstick(ha), feel free to call me Katie Homemaker…. but today you can just call me Katie…the lazy baker.

Cracker Toffee

Adapted from: The Girl Who Ate Everything

*Note:  Make sure your jelly roll pan is even.  Mine slants toward the middle so the middle crackers ended up laying in a puddle of caramel and being chewy instead of crunchy.

40 salted butter crackers
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips
(optional) 3/4 cup chopped pecans
(optional) 1/2 cup white chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with saltine crackers in a single layer. 
 
In a small pot combine brown sugar and butter and bring to a boil. Once mixture is at a boil, continue boiling for 3 minutes. Mixture should be a deep caramel color. Immediately pour over saltines and spread to cover crackers completely.

Bake at 400 degrees 5 to 6 minutes. It will get all bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top and let sit a couple of minutes to melt. Sometimes I melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for about 1 minute then spread it on. Spread melted chocolate and top with chopped nuts and melted white chocolate if desired. Cool completely and break into pieces.

I like to keep mine in the freezer.  It keeps it nice and crunchy.

—————————————————–
Watch for my sister, Angela Lewis, tomorrow morning at 7 (central) on Good Morning America!!!

Date and Pecan Drops {Healthy Recipe}

I’m feeling a little blah right now.  Ever since Kellen and I got back from New York, my mind has been elsewhere.  I’ve had no motivation to exercise, do homework, or work.  I’m just super ready for summer to roll around.  This cold weather at the start of “spring” isn’t helping either!
When I start feeling like this, I do a few things to get myself out of the “rut”.
1.  Find inspiration elsewhere (E.g. Flickr, PostSecret, StumbleUpon):
2.  Make a list of things I’m looking forward to. 
My list right now consists of: 
1) The weekend/sleeping in/spending it with Kellen.  
2) Working a Taste of Home cooking show! 
3) Enrolling at Park
4) Summer 
5) A high of 78 on Saturday.  
They may just be little things, but that’s all it takes.
3. Indulge in hobbies.  Today, I baked these cookies just so I could photograph them.  Now I’m writing.  I like to keep a journal other than this blog, too.  I think writing is a good way to keep things from bottling up.  
4.  Listen to music.  Right now my favorite is “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele… and the John Legend remake, too.   
5.  Pray!
What do you do when you’re in a rut??
Anyway, I figured I’d give you all a break from the 3 cups of sugar, 3 sticks of butter, and who knows how much chocolate from the last post.  I’ve had a lot of people asking me for “healthy” and “low calorie” recipes lately…. so here you guys go!  They’re pretty tasty if you ask me.  The ingredient list is a little random…

Date and Pecan Drops
1 cup cream of wheat 
1/8 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup chopped and toasted pecans
1/4 cup coconut flakes (I used unsweetened)
Topping:
1/2 cup Splenda
1 tablespoon honey or agave
*Sprinkles, optional
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix all ingredients.
3.  Drop by 1/8 cup balls onto a lined baking sheet.
4.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  
5.  While cookies are in the oven, mix together topping.  Once you take the cookies out, sprinkle the topping over cookies.  *Don’t turn oven off! 
6. Put cookies back in for another 2 minutes or so, while the topping caramelizes a little.
7.  Let cool, devour. :)

Date and Pecan Drops {Healthy Recipe}

I’m feeling a little blah right now.  Ever since Kellen and I got back from New York, my mind has been elsewhere.  I’ve had no motivation to exercise, do homework, or work.  I’m just super ready for summer to roll around.  This cold weather at the start of “spring” isn’t helping either!
When I start feeling like this, I do a few things to get myself out of the “rut”.
1.  Find inspiration elsewhere (E.g. Flickr, PostSecret, StumbleUpon):
2.  Make a list of things I’m looking forward to. 
My list right now consists of: 
1) The weekend/sleeping in/spending it with Kellen.  
2) Working a Taste of Home cooking show! 
3) Enrolling at Park
4) Summer 
5) A high of 78 on Saturday.  
They may just be little things, but that’s all it takes.
3. Indulge in hobbies.  Today, I baked these cookies just so I could photograph them.  Now I’m writing.  I like to keep a journal other than this blog, too.  I think writing is a good way to keep things from bottling up.  
4.  Listen to music.  Right now my favorite is “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele… and the John Legend remake, too.   
5.  Pray!
What do you do when you’re in a rut??
Anyway, I figured I’d give you all a break from the 3 cups of sugar, 3 sticks of butter, and who knows how much chocolate from the last post.  I’ve had a lot of people asking me for “healthy” and “low calorie” recipes lately…. so here you guys go!  They’re pretty tasty if you ask me.  The ingredient list is a little random…

Date and Pecan Drops
1 cup cream of wheat 
1/8 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup chopped and toasted pecans
1/4 cup coconut flakes (I used unsweetened)
Topping:
1/2 cup Splenda
1 tablespoon honey or agave
*Sprinkles, optional
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix all ingredients.
3.  Drop by 1/8 cup balls onto a lined baking sheet.
4.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  
5.  While cookies are in the oven, mix together topping.  Once you take the cookies out, sprinkle the topping over cookies.  *Don’t turn oven off! 
6. Put cookies back in for another 2 minutes or so, while the topping caramelizes a little.
7.  Let cool, devour. :)