Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Pumpkin Pie

I took a little break from blogging, have had a very busy life in the last few weeks.  Was gearing up for Thanksgiving, it was awesome! I had 12 people sit down for dinner and it was enjoyed by all.  There were two 20 plus pound turkeys with all the fixin's to be eaten, along with many, many desserts to be sampled. Some of the desserts we had were  - Cherry Crostata, Apple Crostata, Apple Pie, Pecan Pie, Cheesecake with Berry Topping, Cookies, Chocolate Cream Pie and of course my favorite Pumpkin Pie from Costco.  They make THE BEST Pumpkin Pie!  To dress up the store bought pie, because everything else was homemade, I  broke out the store bought pie crust.
  Check it out!

I used one crust.......
 pulled out my mini leaf cookie cutters......
Cut out a few different kinds of leaves, and placed them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Brushed with a little egg wash....
 and sprinkled with a little cinnamon sugar.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees until golden brown and place on top of the pie.  And VOILA, looks homemade!  This pie really is the best, I could eat the whole thing myself, but I didn't. I purchase a few of these pies as soon as they hit the shelf every Fall at Costco, and put them in the freezer.  I defrost it, bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes so the crust crisps up, and let it cool. Delicious! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Nutty Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is on it's way, and what better way to have a dessert that day with something a little different.  Pie is always on the menu, especially pumpkin.  My favorite, hands down, is the pumpkin pie at Costco, I love that pie!  Now getting back to dessert for Turkey Day, I want to make something besides pies.  I toyed with the idea of making my pecan pie from last year, but changed my mind and decided on these Chocolate Chip Bourbon Pecan Pie Bars.  Everything the pecan pie has but jazzed up with bourbon, oh yeah! I love Thanksgiving, the meal, family all around, of course the nap after the cleanup, and the best part - LEFTOVERS!
Recipe below.
To print recipe, click on it, highlight and print.
To view photos in a larger format, click on them.

I started with the crust - flour, butter and brown sugar. I used the food processor to blend it, made it faster.  You can use a pastry blender or a fork if you don't have a processor.  When it all combines, pat in the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 baking dish and bake until lightly browned.
 While the crust is baking, in the bowl of a mixer beat the eggs, corn syrup, sugar, salt, vanilla, butter and bourbon.
 Here is a little tip I learned a long time ago.  I don't always have a big bottle of certain liquors in the house, so I buy the little ones to keep on hand when I only need a teaspoon or tablespoon of it.  It's cheaper to buy those, than a big bottle of something you don't drink, so no waste.
 Add chopped pecans.....
.....and chocolate chips.
Fold them into the egg mixture.
 Mix it, mix it good! If it separates, mix it again before pouring onto the crust.
 The crust is nice and lightly browned, spread it over the top and bake.  This is so easy for such a rich dessert bar.
 They are baked and they are B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!  And there you have the flavor of pecan pie, with a little kick (the bourbon), without having all pies for dessert on T-day. Hope you enjoy them, I'm gonna have one now, no one is home, just me, so no one has to know it's my dinner.  Pecans are nuts and nuts are protein, right?  So they ARE good for me!
The crunchy top and soft gooey center, lucious, just lucious,  that's all I can say.   

Cooking Spray
1 1/2 cups of unbleached flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons melted butter
2 Tablespoons bourbon, add more if you like
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.

In a food processor, or with a pastry blender or fork, combine flour, butter and brown sugar, until a crumbly dough forms.  Press into the baking dish covering the bottom evenly.  Bake in the oven until lightly browned, about 15 minutes, depending on your oven.  Remove from oven, leave oven on.

In the bowl of a mixer combine eggs, corn syrup, sugar, vanilla and salt.  Blend together.  Add melted butter and bourbon and mix until all is combined.  With a spatula, fold in pecans and chocolate chips. Pour this mixture evenly over the top and to the sides of the crust.  Bake for 25 -30 minutes (again, depending on your oven) or until the top is browned and the egg mixture is set.  Cool completely, cut into bars and serve. Makes 18 bars.