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Posts Tagged ‘nuts’

68 Days of Gourmet: Day 44

I’ve wanted the ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid mixer for years now. They’re not that expensive, I don’t know why I didn’t just buy it for myself. I was so excited to finally receive the attachment this year for Christmas. I conducted a little poll a few weeks ago on Twitter to see what flavor of ice cream I should make for the first batch. The crowd favorites were Salted Caramel and Maple Butter Pecan. I decided to go with the Maple Butter Pecan because the method was a little simpler. But the Salted Caramel will definitely be making an appearance soon!

This ice cream is so good. How can it not be with pure maple syrup, heavy cream, whole milk and toasted pecans? It’s definitely a splurge. I could only eat a small scoop of this at a time because it was so rich – and this is coming from a huge ice cream fan! I think that I’ll save recipes like this for special occasions and try to use lighter ice cream recipes for everyday consumption.

So after taking two rest days last week, I managed to step it up on the fitness front over the weekend. I attended two 90 minute hot yoga classes and ran 3.5 miles with the pup (in the snow!!!). My leg is definitely still super sore and I have to ice it right when I get in from running but I can make it through short distances. I’m excited to share that my yoga practice was on this weekend. I was feeling really strong and balanced. Loved it.

This morning I taught BodyPump and couldn’t resist taking Sullie for a quick 3-miler when I got home from work. Love that it’s staying light until after 6 p.m.

And I leave you with a cute picture of Sullie in the powdery soft snow we received unexpectedly this weekend and the recipe for delicious Maple Butter Pecan Ice Cream!

Maple Butter Pecan Ice Cream
(Recipe source Gourmet, August 1997)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon maple extract (I substituted vanilla extract)

Directions:

In a small skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add pecans and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, to taste. Cool pecans and chill. (Buttered pecans may be made up to 3 days ahead and chilled.)

In a medium heavy saucepan bring cream, milk, maple syrup and salt just until boiling, stirring occasionally. In a separate medium bowl beat yolks until smooth. Slowly add hot cream mixture to egg yolks in a slow stream, whisking constantly, and then pour back into saucepan. Cook custard over low heat, stirring constantly, until a thermometer registers 170 degrees. (I did not have to reheat my custard in the saucepan, it was already 170 after being added to egg yolks.) Pour custard through a sieve into a clean bowl and cool. Stir in extract. Cover surface of custard with plastic wrap and chill, at least 3 hours or overnight.

Freeze custard in an ice-cream maker (following the instructions for your manufacturer). Fold in chilled pecans. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer to harden. Ice cream will keep for about 1-2 weeks.

Yield: 1 quart

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68 Days of Gourmet: Day 39

At 10 p.m. last night, after a long day of cooking and prep for my niece’s 2nd birthday party, I announced that I was tired and over cooking for a while. I told Brandon if he wanted breakfast this morning he would have to brave the icy road conditions to go get bagels. And then I woke up and found myself in the kitchen making muffins and a frittata. Guess I just needed a good night’s sleep to turn my attitude around!

We got several inches of snow/ice in Charlotte this weekend. That pretty much means that normal life comes to a halt in the South. The roads are super icy and I was worried that the birthday party would be cancelled. They decided to go ahead and have it so I spent all of yesterday preparing the butterfly cupcakes, ham and cheddar pretzel bites and fruit skewers. Blog updates to come soon with the butterfly cupcakes and pretzel bites. Cannot wait to share the cupcakes – they came out better than I hoped and were a huge hit!

I took yesterday as a rest day – the weather was terrible and I had so much cooking to do. We took Sullie for a walk this morning. She had so much fun playing in the snow. This afternoon I went to my favorite yoga class at Charlotte Yoga. Just the best way to wrap up the weekend and get my mind ready for the week ahead.

I made a lot of modifications to the Applesauce Spice muffins. The original recipe called for almost a stick and a half of butter. That just was not happening this morning! I ended up using about 4 tablespoons of  butter (half a stick) and subbing 1/3 cup of plain yogurt for the rest of the butter. Also, I used half wheat flour and reduced the sugar. Felt much better about eating two of these delicious muffins this morning with those changes. They are tender, not too sweet and have a great apple spice flavor. A great way to mix up my normal banana muffin routine! The recipe below is my modification so check out the link below for the original recipe.

Applesauce Spice Muffins
(Recipe adapted from Gourmet, November 2003)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

FOR THE MUFFINS
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup pecans or walnuts (3 1/2 ounces), coarsely chopped

FOR THE TOPPING
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Preaheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare 12-muffin pan with cooking spray or cupcake liners.

Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar and yogurt until well-combined. Slowly stir in butter, whisking until mixture is creamy. Stir in applesauce, then fold in flour mixture until flour is just moistened. Stir in nuts and divide batter among muffin cups.

Mix together topping ingredients and sprinkle over muffins. Bake about 20 minutes, until tops are puffed and golden. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 12 muffins

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angelbars

Behold, Dream Bars (also known as Angel Bars apparently). So according to Joy of Cooking (my favorite cookbook ever) they have sold many copies of their cookbook over the years “on the strength of this recipe.” How could I resist trying these when they tell me that? I was intrigued, especially once I read the ingredient list.

I think the best way I can describe these is pecan pie-esque with coconut and a lemon glaze. I know that sounds strange but somehow it works. First you make a shortbread-type crust and bake it. Next you spread the pecan/coconut mixture over the crust and bake again. And finally you top it with the lemon icing. It’s quite an addictive combination.

I don’t think these will go into the regular baking rotation in my kitchen but I will make them again. If you’re a nut and coconut fan you will definitely like these!

Dream Bars (Angel Bars)
(Recipe source Joy of Cooking)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CRUST
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

FOR THE FILLING
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
2 large eggs
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

FOR THE ICING
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 11 x 17 pan with aluminum foil, leaving about a 2 inch overhang on the narrow sides. Spray with cooking spray.

Beat together butter, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla until fluffy and well blended. Stir in flour and knead until blended and smooth.

Firmly press dough into pan into a smooth and even layer. Bake for 10 minutes, set aside to cool.

Place the nuts and coconut on a baking sheet in a thin layer. Bake for about 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the coconut is very lightly browned.

Beat together the eggs, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla on medium speed until well combined. Stir in the nut and coconut mixture. Spread evenly over the crust and bake for about 20-25 minutes. The top should be firm and golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out slightly wet.

Stir together the icing ingredients (adding a tablespoon of water or two if necessary to make spreadable) and spread evenly over bars while they are still warm.

Let the bars stand until they are completely cool. Lift the foil out of the baking dish and carefully peel from sides. Cut bars into squares.

Yield: about 12 bars

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