nutty

Bready or Not: Double Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

Posted by on Jan 6, 2021 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, nutty | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Double Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

These Double Pecan Thumbprint Cookies take some extra work, but that is evident in their final appearance and flavor.

Bready or Not: Double Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

Seriously, these cookies are amazing. The shortbread-like base is filled with frangipane and crowned with a pecan. You get layers of flavor and texture in a single bite.

Bready or Not: Double Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

“What is frangipane?” you may ask. It’s an almond custard found in various fine European baked goods. You’ll find it in past Bready or Not recipes like last week’s Galettes Des Rois.

Bready or Not: Double Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

I wouldn’t rate this recipe as difficult, just outright laborious.

Bready or Not: Double Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

Plan to make these cookies over a day or a few days, and then try to space out the eating of the cookies like that, too. They are sooo dangerously good.

Bready or Not: Double Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

Modified from the original found in Bon Appetit December 2018/January 2019.

Bready or Not: Double Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

There’s no denying these cookies take extra work, but they look like it and taste like it! A shortbread-like base is topped with luscious from-scratch frangipane with a whole pecan crown. These cookies are delicious decadence.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cookies, pecans
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • food processor
  • stand mixer

Ingredients

Frangipane

  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Dough and Assembly

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) room temperature
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar divided; plus more for serving, if desired
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste

Instructions

Make the Frangipane

  • (This stage can be done as much as 3 days ahead of time. Cover the finished frangipane and store it in the fridge. There will be leftovers, but it’s great toasted on bread or mixed into other cookie dough recipes.)
  • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spread out the pecans on it to mostly be in a single layer. Lightly toast them for a total of 6 to 8 minutes, with a pause in the middle to stir them. Let the pecans cool. Set aside 1 1/4 cups to go into the cookie dough.
  • Pulse the 3/4 cup of pecans and white sugar in a food processor until nuts are very finely ground, which will take less than a minute (don’t let them become paste!). Divide the egg, adding the egg white to the processor; place the yolk in a small bowl, add a sprinkle of sugar to help preserve it, then stash it in the fridge to go into the dough later.
  • Into the food processor, add the butter, espresso powder, salt, and almond extract. Pulse until everything is smooth and combined. Scrape the frangipane into a small bowl and chill for anywhere from 30 minutes (minimum) to 3 days.

Cookie Dough

  • In the clean food processor, pulse the flour, salt, baking powder, and 1 cup of the reserved pecans until nuts are very finely ground, about 1 minute. (Note that there is still 1/4 cup of pecans reserved for topping the cookies.)
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, white sugar, and 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add in egg yolk and vanilla. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients until just incorporated, about 1 minute.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill dough until it is firm enough to be scooped and hold its shape, 30 to 45 minutes.

Make the Cookies

  • Set oven racks in upper and lower thirds, and preheat at 350-degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Place 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar in a bowl. Scoop out dough by the tablespoon and roll into balls, then roll in confectioners’ sugar, knocking off any excess. Set balls on baking sheets, spaced a few inches apart.
  • Bake cookies for 6 to 8 minutes, until puffed but edges are still soft. Remove sheets from oven. Make an indentation in the center of each cookie with the handle end of a wooden spoon or a similar heatproof object. Spoon a heaping 1/2-teaspoon of frangipane into each well and top with a pecan half from the reserved 1/4 cup.
  • Return cookies to oven and continue to bake until edges are set and very lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes more. Let cool on baking sheets.
  • If desired, serve with a dusting of extra confectioners’ sugar on top. Cookies keep well in a sealed, room temperature container for up to 5 days.

OM NOM NOM!

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    Bready or Not: Noel Cookies

    Posted by on Dec 2, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, nutty | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Noel Cookies

    We made it to December! Let’s celebrate with these Noel Cookies.

    Bready or Not: Noel Cookies

    These cookies are a fun mixture of textures and flavors. Chopped nuts crust a soft cookie, everything complemented by a zing of jam.

    Bready or Not: Noel Cookies

    I used good ol’ Smuckers strawberry preserves for this recipe and avoided large chunks of fruit. Really, use whatever jam you like!

    Bready or Not: Noel Cookies

    I was a bit concerned about how these cookies would travel to my husband’s work. I didn’t want jam to get everywhere and make a sticky mess. I found, though, that the dabs of jam stayed put and that waxed paper between the stacked cookies kept everything from going sticky.

    Bready or Not: Noel Cookies

    These cookies will keep for at least 3 days in sealed containers. They might last longer, but you’ll need to test your restraint to find out!

    Recipe modified from Taste of Home Best Holiday Recipes 2008.

    Bready or Not: Noel Cookies

    These jam-filled cookies look bright and cheery for holiday cookie plates! Recipe makes about 40 cookies.
    Course: Dessert, Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: cookies, walnuts
    Servings: 40 cookies
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • teaspoon scoop
    • parchment paper

    Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter half stick
    • 1/4 cup shortening
    • 3/4 cup white sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 3/4 cup finely-chopped nuts
    • 1/3 cup seedless fruit jam or preserves, avoid big chunks

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
    • In a big bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
    • In another bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture while also intermittently adding in the sour cream.
    • Use a teaspoon scoop to measure the dough. Roll into balls, then roll each ball in the chopped walnuts. Place cookies about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Use the end of a wooden spoon or another kitchen tool to create a deep indentation in the middle of each cookie. Add a dollop of jam to fill each well.
    • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until set. Let cool on cookies sheet for a few minutes, then move to rack. Store in a sealed container with waxed paper between the layers. Keeps for at least 3 days.

    OM NOM NOM!

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      Bready or Not: Pecan-Whiskey Pumpkin Pie

      Posted by on Oct 7, 2020 in Blog, boozy, Bready or Not, nutty, pie, pumpkin | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Pecan-Whiskey Pumpkin Pie

      This Pecan-Whiskey Pumpkin Pie is FANCY. It looks fancy, and let me assure you, it tastes fancy.

      Bready or Not: Pecan-Whiskey Pumpkin Pie

      I’m relieved that the results are amazing, because honestly, this is the most complicated pumpkin pie recipe I have ever made.

      Bready or Not: Pecan-Whiskey Pumpkin Pie

      I’m used to the basic, yummy Libby’s pie. This pie is substantially more intimidating, but doable.

      Bready or Not: Pecan-Whiskey Pumpkin Pie

      I found the original recipe in the November 2019 issue of Bon Appetit. I do not like how the original recipe is written. It’s confusing at several points. Therefore, I largely rewrote it, creating what (I hope) is a more straightforward version.

      Bready or Not: Pecan-Whiskey Pumpkin Pie

      But it is still complicated. I suggest making the pie crust a day ahead, just to avoid dirtying everything all at once.

      Bready or Not: Pecan-Whiskey Pumpkin Pie

      The end result is a pumpkin pie with a custard that is delicately firm and soft, with nuanced spices that perfectly complement the candied pecans on top.

      Bready or Not: Pecan-Whiskey Pumpkin Pie

      This is a pie to make to impress people. Truly, this is a Bake Off showstopper kind of pie.

      Recipe heavily rewritten from original in Bon Appetit November 2019.

      Bready or Not: Pecan-Whiskey Pumpkin Pie

      This Pecan-Whiskey Pumpkin Pie is a true showstopper. No denying it--this is a complex pie recipe, but one with gorgeous, delicious results.
      Course: Dessert
      Cuisine: American
      Keyword: pecans, pie, pumpkin
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • deep dish pie pan
      • parchment paper
      • pie weights
      • immersion blender or blender

      Ingredients

      Crust

      • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1 Tablespoon white sugar
      • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
      • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) cold, cut into pieces
      • 3/4 cup ice water
      • 1 large egg white reserve yolk to use in pie filling

      Pecan Topping

      • 1 1/2 cups whole pecans
      • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar packed
      • pinch kosher salt
      • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter melted
      • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup

      Pumpkin Pie

      • 3 large eggs
      • 1 egg yolk
      • 15 oz pure pumpkin puree
      • 3/4 cup heavy cream
      • 1/4 cup white sugar
      • 2 Tablespoons rye whiskey
      • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
      • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
      • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
      • pinch ground cloves
      • 6 Tablespoons brown sugar packed
      • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
      • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

      Instructions

      Make the crust

      • Note that the dough can be made as days in advance and kept chilled. The crust can also be baked a day or two before the pie is finished; keep it covered at room temperature in the meantime.
      • Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter and coat it with flour, then use fingers to press butter into shaggy pieces of varying sizes. Drizzle in about 5 Tablespoons of cold water and knead it into flour. Add additional small increments of water until dough just starts to come together. There should still be visible pieces of butter.
      • Dump dough onto a clean, lightly-floured surface and knead a few more times to work in any dry, shaggy bits. Form the dough into an even, broad disc and encase in plastic wrap. Tuck inside fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes, or up to 3 days.
      • To blind-bake crust, preheat oven at 400-degrees.
      • On a floured surface, roll out dough to make about an even 12-inch round. Loop it over the rolling pin to lift it onto a deep dish pie plate. Shape it into pan. Form the crust edge as desired and trim away any excess dough.
      • Line the inside of the crust with parchment paper. Fill entire crust with pie weights, such as dry beans.
      • Bake until the edges of the crust start to brown, about 20 minutes. Use parchment to lift out pie weights and set aside to cool--do so with great care!
      • Decrease the oven temperature to 350-degrees, and continue to bake for another 20 to 25 minutes. While it is baking, separate an egg; place the white in a bowl and beat it slightly, and reserve the yolk in fridge to use for the pie filling.
      • Remove crust from oven. Immediately brush a tablespoon of egg white over the bottom, which will help it resist going soggy once the filling is added. Return crust to oven for another 5 to 10 minutes. Reserve the remaining egg white for use in the pie.
      • At this point, the recipe can proceed to the filling stage, or the crust can cool completely and be covered to sit at room temperature for a few days.

      Filling

      • Heat oven at 350-degrees; set a baking sheet inside oven at heat up, too.
      • While mixing the filling ingredients, toast the pecans on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring them once at the halfway point. The pecan should be a little darker and fragrant.
      • If using an immersion blender, combine the following ingredients in an even-bottomed large pot (a slow cooker pot works for this) or use a large blender (in two batches, if needed). Combine eggs, egg yolk, pumpkin puree, heavy cream, and white sugar. Add the whiskey, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, 6 Tablespoons brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons melted butter, and kosher salt. Blend until smooth.
      • Pour into crust and bake until the filling is puffed and mostly set--a little wobble is okay--about 40 to 45 minutes.
      • While that is finishing up, coat the pecans. Pull out the leftover egg white and whisk in 2 Tablespoons brown sugar and kosher salt. Add maple syrup and Tablespoon of melted butter, stirring until just combined. Add the pecans and toss to coat.
      • Carefully use baking sheet to bring out the pie. Use a slotted spoon to add the pecans on top of the pumpkin, letting the excess egg white slurry stay in the bowl.
      • Return pie to oven. Bake until filling is completely set, until a butter knife stabbed into center (avoiding pecans) comes out clean. This can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. If necessary, cover the edge of crust with foil to prevent overbrowning.
      • Let pie cool at least 2 hours before cutting in, chilling first if desired. Store pie loosely covered by foil at room temperature or in fridge.

      OM NOM NOM!

         

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        Bready or Not Original: Mixed Nut Bars

        Posted by on Sep 2, 2020 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, nutty | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Mixed Nut Bars

        This has been a nutty year. Time to make it nutty in a delicious way with these Mixed Nut Bars.

        Bready or Not Original: Mixed Nut Bars

        The amount of nuts here is the equivalent of the can size found in many American stores, but I buy my nuts in bulk. (I’m cheap like that.)

        Bready or Not Original: Mixed Nut Bars

        Use whatever combination of nuts you like. I would recommend having at least two kinds mixed in, to make it fun. Really, throw in what you like.

        Bready or Not Original: Mixed Nut Bars

        If you’ve followed Bready or Not for a while, you know I love caramel chips. They are awesome in this recipe! They make these bars sweet without it being overkill.

        Bready or Not Original: Mixed Nut Bars

        Make this to share with numerous folks. You essentially end up with a 13×9 pan of little candy bars. I imagine that they will keep well for days or even a week, but I can’t testify as to how long. When my husband took these to his work (in those halcyon days when that was allowed), they were gone in hours.

        Bready or Not Original: Mixed Nut Bars

        These mixed nut bars are like little candy bars, crunchy and just sweet enough. Caramel chips aren't made of actual caramel, but act like chocolate chips in baked goods.
        Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Snack
        Keyword: almond, caramel chips, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans
        Author: Beth Cato

        Equipment

        • 13x9 pan

        Ingredients

        Dough

        • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
        • 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
        • 1/4 teaspoon salt
        • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick

        Nutty layer

        • 11 1/2 ounces mixed nuts
        • 1 cup caramel chips plus extra 1/2 cup for top, optional
        • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
        • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
        • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

        Instructions

        • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 13x9 pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.
        • In a small bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the cube of butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Dump into prepared pan and compress into an even layer; a strip of waxed paper and a heavy glass make this easier.
        • Bake base layer for 10 to 12 minutes, until it looks set. Sprinkle nuts over the baked dough.
        • In the microwave, melt 1 cup caramel chips with the 2 Tablespoons butter by cooking for 20 second increments and stirring well between each pass, until smooth. Stir in corn syrup and vanilla extract. Pour over the nuts to cover as much as possible.
        • Bake for 12 minutes. If adding extra caramel chips, do so now, covering any thinner areas atop crust. Bake another 5 minutes.
        • Cool completely at room temperature. Use foil sling to lift contents onto a large cutting board. Slice into bars.
        • Store at room temperature in sealed containers.

        OM NOM NOM!

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          Bready or Not Original: Spiced Maple Macadamia Nut Cookies

          Posted by on Aug 19, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies, maple, nutty | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Spiced Maple Macadamia Nut Cookies

          These Spiced Maple Macadamia Nut Cookies mix maple sweetness and warm spices and chocolate with the wonderful crunch of macadamias. They are perfect for fall–and throughout the year.

          Bready or Not Original: Spiced Maple Macadamia Nut Cookies

          A food processor will be a big help in this recipe. The nuts and chocolate need to be in fine slivers. If the chunks are too big, the sliced cookies won’t be cohesive.

          Bready or Not Original: Spiced Maple Macadamia Nut Cookies

          These are fridge cookies. Form the dough into tube shapes, wrap up well, then stash them in the fridge or freezer. Then thaw, slice, and bake when you need cookies.

          Bready or Not Original: Spiced Maple Macadamia Nut Cookies

          If you do the full batch at once, you’ll likely get a lot of cookies, depending on your tube size and how you slice them. I got about 70 cookies.

          Bready or Not Original: Spiced Maple Macadamia Nut Cookies

          These are perfect cookies to warm up your belly on a cool autumn or winter night (or in Arizona, to make-believe in such a temperature shift).

          Bready or Not Original: Spiced Maple Macadamia Nut Cookies

          Bready or Not Original: Spiced Maple Macadamia Nut Cookies

          These sliced cookies are a delightful blend of sweet maple and warm spices with added nuance from chocolate and crunchy macadamias. Mix up the dough and stash in the fridge or freezer for future baking! Makes about 70 cookies.
          Course: Dessert, Snack
          Cuisine: American
          Keyword: chocolate, cookies, macadamia nuts, maple
          Author: Beth Cato

          Equipment

          • food processor

          Ingredients

          • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter 3 sticks, room temperature
          • 1/2 cup white sugar
          • 3/4 cup real maple syrup
          • 4 cups all-purpose flour
          • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
          • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
          • 1 teaspoon allspice
          • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
          • 1 teaspoon salt
          • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
          • 1 cup macadamia nuts
          • 3/4 cup chocolate chips semisweet or dark or mixture
          • 1/3 cup candied ginger finely chopped

          Instructions

          • In a food processor or by knife, finely chop macadamia nuts, followed by the chocolate chips. Set aside. (If these are not in fine pieces, the dough will fall apart when sliced.)
          • In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in maple syrup.
          • In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, spices, salt, and baking soda. Gradually work this into the creamed mixture. Fold in the nuts, chocolate, and candied ginger until incorporated.
          • Divide dough in half and shape into foot-long logs. Encase in plastic wrap. Chill at least two hours, or freeze for later baking.
          • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Unwrap log and cut dough into 1/4-inch thick medallions, reshaping with fingers as needed. Place spaced out on parchment-covered cookie sheet.
          • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until set with a firm, golden base. Cool on pan for 5 minutes then move to rack to completely cool.
          • Cookies keep for at least 3 days in sealed containers at room temperature.

          OM NOM NOM!

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            Bready or Not Original: Hazelnut Hand Cake [cake mix]

            Posted by on Jul 15, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cake, cake mix, chocolate, nutty | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Hazelnut Hand Cake [cake mix]

            Doctor up a basic yellow cake mix box into an amazing Hazelnut Hand Cake!

            Bready or Not Original: Hazelnut Hand Cake [cake mix]

            It’s called hand cake because it’s convenient to eat without a knife and fork. Heck, napkins are optional, if you don’t mind a dropped crumb or two.

            Bready or Not Original: Hazelnut Hand Cake [cake mix]

            This cake has a mild chocolate flavor–milder than that of a typical chocolate cake, from a mix or not. Nutella (or use a store-brand equivalent, as I did) is whipped into the batter, with some extra chocolate chips adding a gentle layer of flavor.

            Bready or Not Original: Hazelnut Hand Cake [cake mix]

            This thing is all about convenience. The cake comes together fast. Bakes fast. Give it some initial time to cool at room temp, then stash it in the fridge, and you can eat it even faster.

            Bready or Not Original: Hazelnut Hand Cake [cake mix]

            The end result is a cake with a soft, high, very moist crumb. The scattered nuts and toffee add extra flavor and crunch.

            Bready or Not Original: Hazelnut Hand Cake [cake mix]

            My husband’s co-workers inhaled this cake. One guy said it was the best Cato treat ever. Considering the goodies that come their way, that is high praise indeed.

            Bready or Not Original: Hazelnut Hand Cake [cake mix]

            No one will know this recipe uses cake mix! The resulting cake is easy to eat from your hand, no knife and fork required, and it embodies a gentler chocolate flavor than your typical chocolate cake.
            Course: Dessert, Snack
            Cuisine: American
            Keyword: cake mix, chocolate, hazelnuts
            Author: Beth Cato

            Equipment

            • 13x9 pan

            Ingredients

            • 1 box yellow cake mix
            • 3 large eggs
            • 2/3 cup water
            • 2/3 cup Nutella or similar hazelnut spread
            • 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
            • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
            • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts toasted or not
            • 1/2 cup Heath toffee bits
            • confectioners' sugar to dust top, optional

            Instructions

            • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 13x9-inch pan with foil and apply nonstick spray.
            • In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, eggs, water, hazelnut spread, and oil for several minutes, until thoroughly combined and no lumps remain. Fold in the chocolate chips, hazelnuts, and toffee bits. Pour batter into prepared pan.
            • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until center is no longer jiggly and passes the toothpick test.
            • Cool completely to room temperature; place in fridge to speed process along. Use foil to lift contents onto cutting board. If desired, sprinkle confectioners' sugar over top. Slice into pieces.
            • Store in sealed container(s) at room temperature.

            OM NOM NOM!

               

               

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