Butter Pecan Cookies

This Butter Pecan Cookie is a light flaky crispy cookie and is perfect to complete the Christmas cookie platter, or to bring to any family or even non family gathering.  It will be uniquely yours.  It will never look exactly like anyone else’s cookie platter.

I remember as a child the cookies that were always baked right before Christmas. Those buttery, crispy, pecan cookie from years past.  This cookie is perfect by itself or dipped in a cup of hot chocolate, or in my case a cup of creamy hot coffee.

This Butter Pecan Cookie is a light flaky crispy cookie and is perfect to complete the Christmas cookie platter, or to bring to any family gathering.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Prepare the cookie sheet, I line the sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick stray.

Ingredients:
2 sticks/ 1 cup butter, softened
1 cup canola oil
1 cup regular sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste ( you can also use pecan flavoring)
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cream of tartar
2 cups pecans, chopped
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Additional ingredients used for decorating the cooled cookies
1 cup dark chocolate chips melted with 1 tsp coconut oil ( I microwave 15 seconds, stir, 15 seconds, etc. until melted)
1 cup  pecans, finely chopped
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In mixing bowl, beat butter and oil for 1-2 minutes. Add regular sugar, beat, add powdered sugar, beat.
Add eggs one at a time, beat between adding eggs.
Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients about 1 cup at a time.
Beat between additions.
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The choice is yours to either cook the cookies now or refrigerate first.  If you need them right away simply use a scoop or spoon, grab some dough, roll them in a ball, roll in some regular sugar, or not, up to you and place on the cookie sheet, squish down with a flat bottom cup until they are about 1/4 ” thick.  This will most likely create the most uniform cookies.
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Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes, take out of oven, they should have a slightly golden tint around the bottom edges.  Let cool for 1-2 minutes before you take off the pan.
Let cool completely before you either sprinkle the chocolate out of a plastic bag with a tiny little hole cut into the corner or just spoon chocolate over one end and then sprinkle chopped nuts onto the chocolate.
This Butter Pecan Cookie is a light flaky crispy cookie and is perfect to complete the Christmas cookie platter, or to bring to any family gathering.

If you don’t have the time to cook all the cookies, feel free to get a piece of plastic wrap and roll the dough into a log.  Refrigerate for up to 3 days.  These are great as slice a bake cookie.  They do take a few more minutes to bake-most likely 14-16 minutes.

This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies- kind of depends on the size of the cookies you make.

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Nutty Baklava

Baklava is so decadent and heavenly.  Nutty, sweet, gooey, crunchy all at the same time.

MeasuringSunshine-Baklava is so decadent and heavenly.  Nutty, sweet, gooey, crunchy all at the same time.

Homemade baklava  is so much better than store bought in my book.  You have so many choices in the ingredients you can put in the baklava.  You can use your favorite nut, I have used walnuts, almonds and Brazil nuts.  The type of honey, type of cinnamon or other  spices.

You will need:

9×13 baking pan
1 package of frozen filo dough-defrost in refrigerator 2 days before making baklava
1 lb. of nuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, or pretty much any other nut you would like to use.(chopped finely)
1 cup melted butter give or take- have extra butter on hand if needed
1 Tbsp of cinnamon, and any other spices you might want to add. (I will also use fresh nutmeg, powdered clove, you can also use pumpkin pie spice)
Honey syrup- recipe follows

Syrup ingredients:
1 cup honey
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks or 1 tsp of cinnamon

Bring to boil ,lower temperature and simmer for 15 min. Stir during cooking process.  After the 15 minutes turn off heat and let cool.

To put together the baklava:
Brush bottom of 9 x 13 pan with some of the melted butter.  Add layer of filo, brush with butter, add layer of filo, brush with butter, do this 4 more times.  Add layer of chopped nuts and cinnamon.  Add 5-6 more layers of the filo brushed with the melted butter.
When you have used all the nuts and cinnamon- add 7-8 layers of the butter filo to finish off the top.

Put pan into freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Pull pan from freezer, get a very sharp knife and cut long diagonal cuts through the dough.  When you have completed the cuts it will look like a pan of diamonds.
Bake for about 1 hour- it will look nice a golden color.
Take out of oven.  Pour syrup gently over the top of the baklava.  I normally pour about half and wait 5-10 minutes and then pour the remaining syrup over the top.

NuttyBaklava-MeasurningSunshine-Baklava is so decadent and heavenly.  Nutty, sweet, gooey, crunchy all at the same time.  You have so many choices in the ingredients you can put into it.

Tips:

Make sure filo is completely thawed.
Keep filo covered with damp towel while working with it.
Either precut filo to fit the pan or just fold the filo to fit. ( this is what I do- just adds additional layers of buttery filo.)
Freezing pan after layering will help to firm up the layers before you cut them- this is not required.
Let sit for several hours for syrup to soak it completing and baklava is cooled.
Some people leave baklava out for several days, I however, will usually store covered in the refrigerator.

Quick Easy Fudge

This fudge takes all of 10 minutes to get mixed and in the frig.  Quick easy fudge, this fudge take so little time and effort to make and tastes so smooth and creamy.
You can adjust to suit your tastes or the season for giving as gifts.

fudge-Quick easy fudge, this fudge take so little time and effort to make and tastes so smooth and creamy. You can adjust to suit your tastes or the season for giving as gifts.

You can add nuts or not, you can add vanilla, peppermint, rum flavorings or not.
You will need:
14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
7oz. marshmallow cream
3 cups chocolate chips.  I use 2cups milk chocolate and 1 cup of semi sweet.  Any mixture works.  You can even use bitter chocolate if that is your favorite.
1-2 tsp of vanilla paste- you can use extract if that’s what you have. (you can also substitute peppermint, rum or other  flavoring- less amount if using peppermint or it will taste like toothpaste)
Optional items: any type of nut, or mini marshmallows, broken candy canes, chopped candy bars or candy.

fudge-product-2

Start with a heavy bottom sauce pan.  Add milk, marshmallow cream and chips………. melt and mix together over low heat.  When all is mixed and melted add flavoring.

 

Have ready a 8×8 square pan, I usually line with wax paper.
When its all mixed pour into the prepared pan.
Put in refrigerator to harden.

fudge-Quick easy fudge, this fudge take so little time and effort to make and tastes so smooth and creamy. You can adjust to suit your tastes or the season for giving as gifts.

 

quickfudge-Quick easy fudge, this fudge take so little time and effort to make and tastes so smooth and creamy. You can adjust to suit your tastes or the season for giving as gifts.

Teacake Holiday Cookies

These cookies are quick, easy and are eggless.  You can add almonds, walnuts, pistachio’s or any other nut you prefer.  I personally like them with walnuts.
You can call them Swedish/Russian teacakes, snowballs, Mexican wedding cake cookies they are all pretty similar.
I have been using this recipe since 1982ish.  Its from a community cookbook in the Bay area.

These cookies are quick, easy and are eggless.  You can add almonds, walnuts, pistachio's or any other nut you prefer.  I personally like them with walnuts. You can call them Swedish/Russian teacakes, snowballs, Mexican wedding cake cookies they are all pretty similar.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream together:
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla paste ( or vanilla extract)

Add:
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
After everything is mixed well.

Add:
1 cup of whichever nut you decided to use.
You can refrigerate at this point or start rolling  dough into 1 inch balls.

These cookies are quick, easy and are eggless.  You can add almonds, walnuts, pistachio's or any other nut you prefer.  I personally like them with walnuts. You can call them Swedish/Russian teacakes, snowballs, Mexican wedding cake cookies they are all pretty similar.

 

Bake in preheated oven about 15 minutes.  They should not be brown all over just around the bottom edge of the cookie that is against the pan.
Pour powdered sugar into a medium bowl, while the cookies are still hot roll in sugar and set aside to cool.
After they cool, reroll in sugar again.

 

This recipe makes 40 -1 inch cookies.

 

The best homemade Nut Brittle

This is an old fashioned brittle, you can add any type of nut you want to personalize it to your families taste.

It helps this recipe go smoother if you gather all the ingredients and have them close at hand.

Please read the whole recipe before you start; or your brittle will not turn out the best it could be for your family.

I will usually line all the ingredient’s up in the order I need them.

At a certain point everything happens at once and you don’t have the time to search for a ingredient.

Use a  deep  heavy bottom pan.

Put these ingredients into pan.
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup-white
1/2 t. salt
1 cup water
Cook on Medium high heat, you can stir until it starts to boil-then do not stir.
Boil for 15-20 minutes until it gets to an amber color.
This is where things get a little quick.

If you want to use candy thermometer then it should be to soft crack stage- 132 degrees on a candy thermometer.
I will usually pick up the pan and swirl a couple of times to see the color on the bottom of the pan. Do this very carefully!

The next step is quick………. have everything measured out and prepared.

You can see the bubbles appear heavier and more condensed.

This is good, DON’T walk away from the pan at this point.

The color appears the last 1-3 minutes of the boil. See how dense the bubbles are, this is why I swirl it a little-you can see the darker color toward the bottom of the pan.

Have a pan prepped to pour the hot mixture onto it.

brittle-2

I use a cookie sheet with high edges, and one of those silicone baking sheets–spray with non stick to prepare. (you can use tin foil but make sure to spray really well)
Find a good heat resistant rubber spatula and spray with the non stick too, you will need this to spread out the brittle after you pour onto the pan.

The nuts, any kind, I really like cashews with this and it seems to be the most requested by friends and family.
I use about 1 and 1/2 cup of nuts. I break them up a bit.
2 tablespoons of butter (do not use margarine)
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 Tablespoon of vanilla bean paste.(or regular vanilla extract if you don’t have the paste)

I would loved to have a picture of all the ingredients being stirred but it happens in about 20 seconds before it begins to stiffen.

All the items that you have prepared are stirred in quick and spread on the pan.
Let sit for 15-30 minutes and break into pieces and enjoy.

As you can see this batch was Cashew Brittle.

Cashew Brittle