Cookies, Dessert

Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Chewies

Oatmeal-Coconut-Pecan-Cookies-aI started out wanting to make Anzac cookies, but the recipe I found called for desiccated coconut which I don’t have so I decided to sub shredded coconut. After a little research I realized that there is a big difference between desiccated and shredded coconut so I decided to add pecans and make a new cookie! I have started dipping my toe in the recipe creation pool and this was my first attempt. I’m proud to say that these turned out delicious! Chewy, not too sweet, and just the right size. I’ll definitely make these again.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, salted
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/4 boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda*

Combine all your dry ingredients into a bowl. Melt your butter and corn syrup in a saucepan over low heat, then mix together the boiling water and baking soda and add it to the butter/syrup mixture. Mix into the dry ingredients until the dough comes together. You want it to be scoopable but not too wet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until brown.

For high altitude baking, use 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda.

Bread

Fry Bread (aka Mana Biscuits)

fry breadThis recipe comes from the Pioneer Woman and while the title of this post is fry bread, the dough can also be used for good old white sandwich bread. This recipe was so so easy and came out perfectly. We topped our fry bread with spaghetti sauce, but you could also make tacos or Korean Beef or drizzle it with honey or butter and cinnamon sugar. The options really are only limited by your imagination. I will note in the instructions when you would fry and what to do if you want to bake it up as a loaf of bread. Do yourself a favor and make these today.

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 1/4 cups of flour, plus more for dusting

Combine the yeast and 2 cups warm water in a mixing bowl and stir to dissolve. Add the butter, sugar and salt. Use a wooden spoon to stir in 2 cups of the flour until smooth. Add another 2 cups of the flour and stir, then turn it out onto a floured board to knead. Knead it over 15 minutes, adding the rest of the flour as you knead. Don’t let it get dry too fast; it should stay sticky. Put the dough in a buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise for 1 hour. (At this point if you wanted to make fry bread, tear off pretty large pieces of dough and shape into rough rectangles. It’s totally fine if you have a hole or two in the center. Fry it up in a skillet with a thin layer of oil. Cook each side for about 45 sec or until brown. I got about 18 pieces from the full recipe.)

If you are making loaves, knead the bread for 5 more minutes, then put it back in the bowl to rise for another hour. After the second rise, butter two loaf pans and separate and shape the dough into 2 loaves. Place in the pans and let them rise for another 45 minutes. Towards the end of the third rise, preheat the oven to 400 and then bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown on top and cooked through. Cool on a wire rack.

Bars, Dessert

Pecan Chewy Bars

Pecan-Chewies-2These bars are so simple and come together so quickly, but they are so good. Like crazy addictive. I am seriously considering making these instead of pie at Thanksgiving next year.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat the oven to 300°F and lightly spray a 13×9-inch* baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Melt butter, add sugars, and blend well by hand. Add beaten eggs, stir well. Add flour and stir until all lumps are gone. Add pecans and vanilla. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake approximately 40 to 50 minutes being cautious not to over cook. They will still be jiggly in the middle.

*I used a slightly smaller rectangular baking dish because I wanted them to be slightly thicker, but use whichever you want.

Entree

Insta-Pork!

instant-pot-pulled-pork-recipeteacher5Ever since I bought my Instant Pot last Christmas it has become my favorite kitchen appliance. This pulled pork recipe is so so good, and while you can add barbecue sauce to it, I didn’t need to add any. Recipe and photo courtesy of recipeteacher.com.

  • lb pork butt roast, boneless or bone-in
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce.

Trim the fat from pork roast and cut into 4 same size chunks. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together. Add pork roast chunks to rub mix and coat well. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to Instant Pot and set to saute. Once it indicates hot, add 2 pieces of the pork. Sear on each side for about 2 minutes each. Remove pork and set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining pork pieces. Once pork is seared and removed from pot, press cancel and add 1/2 cup chicken broth. Use a wooden spoon and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Make sure to scrape up all the bits. Then add remaining chicken broth. Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Place pork chunks directly into the liquid in the pot, spacing out as best possible. Secure lid and make sure vent is set to sealing. Pressure cook/manual on high pressure for 60 minutes.Then let pressure release naturally for 20 minutes or until pin drops. Remove pork to a large bowl and shred with 2 forks. Add your favorite BBQ sauce as desired. Or use the juice from the Instant Pot – it’s loaded with awesome flavor!

Dessert

Instant Pot Cheesecake

Instant-Pot-Cheesecake-ImageWhen I got my Instant Pot I knew you could make desserts in it, and since I love desserts, I knew I would be using that feature. What I didn’t know is that the sealing rings in the lid of the Instant Pot holds odors like nobody’s business so unless I wanted pulled pork smelling cheesecake I would need to buy more sealing rings. As I don’t currently have any other sealing rings, I ended up making this cheesecake recipe in the oven with a water bath and it turned out beautifully. I am going to post the instructions for the Instant Pot method here, but if you don’t have one, it makes a delicious 6″ cheesecake in the more classic manner also. Recipe and photo courtesy of mybakingaddiction.com.

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Challenge Dairy Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 16 ounces Challenge Dairy Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • cherry pie filling, optional

Tightly wrap the bottom of 6-inch springform pan in foil and spray the inside of the pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan. Place pan in freezer for 10-15 minutes. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and mix until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Making sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add in the flour, heavy cream, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan. Cover the top of the pan with a piece of foil. Pour 1 1/2 cups of water into the Instant Pot and place the trivet in the bottom of the pot. Create a “foil sling” by folding a 20-inch long piece of foil in half lengthwise two times. This “sling” will allow you place and remove the springform pan with ease.Place the cheesecake pan in the center of the sling and carefully lower the pan into the Instant Pot. Fold down the excess foil from the sling to ensure the pot closes properly. Lock the lid into place and make sure the vent is closed “sealing”. Press the “Manual” button and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. When the Instant Pot beeps, hit the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button to turn off the pressure cooker. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes and then do a quick release to release any pressure remaining in the pot. Carefully unfold the foil sling and remove the cheesecake from the pot to a cooling rack using the foil sling “handles”. Uncover the cheesecake and allow it to cool to room temperature. Once the cheesecake has cooled, refrigerate it for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Before serving, top with pie filling and whipped cream if desired.

*If you are baking this in the oven instead, simply put your wrapped pan in a 9×13 pan with water in it and bake it for about 40 minutes in a 350 oven. There should still be a slight wobble in the center, just turn off the oven and leave the door cracked so it can finish baking for about 10 minutes.

Cookies, Dessert

BA’s Chocolate Chip Cookie

chocolate-chip-cookieThese cookies are from the Bon Appetit’s website and are billed as the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I had found the recipe about a month ago, and when I realized it was National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day last week I knew I needed to make them. These are much bigger cookies than I usually scoop but they are really delicious. There is no mixer or chilling required so if you are in the mood for immediate gratification from a homemade chocolate chip cookie then this is your recipe.

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp  kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) salted butter, divided
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60%–70% cacao), coarsely chopped, or semisweet chocolate chips

Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 375°. Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside. Cook ½ cup (1 stick) butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, swirling often and scraping bottom of pan with a heatproof rubber spatula, until butter foams, then browns, about 4 minutes. Transfer butter to a large heatproof bowl and let cool 1 minute. Cut remaining ¼ cup (½ stick) butter into small pieces and add to brown butter (it should start to melt but not foam and sizzle, so test with one piece before adding the rest). Once butter is melted, add both sugars and whisk, breaking up any clumps, until sugar is incorporated and no lumps remain. Add egg and egg yolks and whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Whisk in vanilla. Using rubber spatula, fold reserved dry ingredients into butter mixture just until no dry spots remain, then fold in chocolate. Using a 1½-oz. scoop (3 Tbsp.)*, portion out 16 balls of dough and divide between 2 parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets. Bake cookies, rotating sheets if cookies are browning very unevenly (otherwise, just leave them alone), until deep golden brown and firm around the edges, 8–10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets.

*I used a scale to weight out 1 1/2 oz balls of dough because my cookie was only 1 oz

Dessert

Banana Cheesecake

banana-pudding-cheesecake-3-768x1152I continue to be on a mission to find as many banana desserts as I can that only use ripened bananas. I always have bananas in the house and want to build a repertoire of recipes that I can use them in. There is nothing worse to me than artificial banana flavor so I promise that any recipe you find on my site will steer far clear. I was really impressed with this cheesecake recipe. I had never seen a banana cheesecake recipe before and this one turned out perfectly. I served it with strawberry and blueberry compote. Recipe and photo courtesy of bakingbeauty.net.

  • 3 cups crushed vanilla wafers
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 4 8 ounce blocks of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 powdered sugar

For the crust, preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch cake or springform pan. Wrap the outsides with aluminum foil. Set aside. Place vanilla wafers into a plastic bag or food processor. Process/crush until you have fine crumbs. In a medium bowl, combine wafter crumbs and melted butter. Press vanilla wafer mixture evenly into pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely.

For the filling, mash bananas with a for until smooth in a small sauce pan. Stir in brown sugar and lemon juice. Cook for 3-5 minutes until sugar is dissolved and bananas are cooked. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Let cool completely. In a large bowl mix cream cheese til light and fluffy. Cream in sugar until fully combined, scraping the bowl as necessary. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Stir in banana mixture until just combined. Evenly pour filling into prepared crust. Place cake pan into a roasting pan. Fill pan around halfway full with hot water. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-60 minutes or until the center is firm. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

For the topping, in a large chilled bowl, whip cream with a chilled whisk. Whisk until thickened. Stir in powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Whip until soft peaks form. Garnish with whipped cream, sliced banana, and vanilla wafers if desired. Store in the refrigerator.