Posts tagged ‘Holiday’

May 5, 2011

A Tale of Two Pecan Pies

2 Pecan Pies

Yes, I know it’s not the ‘season’ for pecan pie, but when I found out that it was my good friend Bree’s birthday last week and that pecan pie is her absolute favorite dessert, I just had to make it. Never mind that I had never made pecan pie before, much less tasted pecan pie, but I was pretty determined to make a good one! One problem that I’ve always had with pecan pie is that my husband is deathly allergic to nuts, so I try to avoid using them in the kitchen. However, since we’re moving this weekend, I figured that a few pecans in a kitchen that we would no longer be using couldn’t kill him (right?).

I had planned to only make one pecan pie (recipe #1), but when I took it out of the oven, it just didn’t look right. I had followed the instructions to a tee, but it looked like it may have been slightly overbaked. Being a bit of a perfectionist, I knew I couldn’t bring a dried out pie to a friend’s birthday, so I searched for a second recicpe, and thus found recipe #2. Following this one’s directions carefully, I came out with a much lighter looking pie. I ended up taking both to Bree’s house for a ‘pie taste test’. Her husband actually preferred the first recipe pie and Bree preferred the second, so I guess there really was no clear winner, but they both said the pies were great. My recommendation if you’re making the first recipe is to keep a close eye on it if you don’t want an overly dark pie. Otherwise, enjoy!

Pecan Pie #1

Ingredients

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup Karo corn syrup
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup chopped pecans
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell (I used the pie dough from this recipe)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a saucepan, melt the butter, but don’t let it brown. Mix in the sugar and corn syrupand cook, stirring, over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
Stir in the eggs. Mix well. Stir in the pecans.
Pour into the pie shell and bake for 1 hour or until firm when shaken.

Source: Sara’s Secrets – Food Network

Pecan Pie #2

Ingredients:
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell (I used the pie dough from this recipe)
4 large eggs
1 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups pecan halves

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. with rack set in lowest position.
Using kitchen shears or a paring knife, trim dough to a 1-inch overhang. With floured fingers, fold overhang under itself to form a rim; pinch between thumb and forefinger to form a uniform edge around rim of pie plate. Crimp with fingertips. Transfer dough-lined pie plate to refrigerator.
Make filling: In a large bowl, whisk eggs, corn syrup, sugars, butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth; mix in pecans. Pour mixture into chilled pie crust; place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until filling jiggles slightly in the center when gently shaken, 50 to 60 minutes.
Cool pie completely in plate, 5 to 6 hours. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Source: Martha Stewart

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December 18, 2010

Sugar Cookies With Royal Icing

 

Sugar cookies w Royal Icing

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

If at first you don’t succeed…try try again right?

Four years ago, I had the brilliant idea of starting a food blog. I loved having a way to share recipes that I enjoyed and track my progress as a cook and baker. As a first year medical student, buried  under piles of anatomy, biochemistry and physiology books, my attempt at food blogging was very short lived. Though I continued cooking and baking, my poor food blog gathered cyber spider-webs online.

Now, as a fourth year medical student, with more free time on my hands than I know what to do with (I actually had the dilemma this week of “If I watch too many episodes of CSI tonight, what will I watch tomorrow night?”) I thought I would try my hand at food blogging again. I know that my old food blog is still hanging out on the internet somewhere, but since I feel like I have grown up quite a bit since then, I would start with a clean slate and a new blog.

In the spirit of trying again, I attempted sugar cookies with royal icing for the second time…and guess what? Success!

The first time I tried these, they were my “Hanukkah Cookies” last year, and while they tasted great, they were not the prettiest cookies in the tin. This year, with a little more patience, my sugar cookies, while still not perfect, were a bit more attractive.

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups butter, softened,
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth.
Beat in eggs, one at a time and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
Cut into shapes with cookie cutter (heavy cookie cutters work best).
Place cookies 1 inch apart on  cookie sheets.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

For the Icing

Ingredients

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3tbsp. meringue powder
5 tbsp. water

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment.
Mix on low speed 7-10 minutes until the icing looses it’s shine.
This should be the “stiffer” frosting to outline the cookies but thin enough to pass through a Wilton #2 or #3 tip. If it is still too thick, you can add more water, about 1/2tsp at a time.
At this point, if you would like the background color of the cookie to be a color other than white (blue in my case), you can color the icing. the consensus I have found online has been that icing gel colors have been what has worked best.
Using a pastry bag and #2 or #3 Wilton tip, pipe around the edges of each cookie.
Allow the icing to set for a few hours or overnight, while keeping the rest of the icing in covered Tupperware.
Once the icing on the cookies is set, thin out another portion of the icing my adding 1/2tsp of water at a time to it until icing drips off the back of a spoon back into the container and disappears into the container in 10 seconds. If the icing becomes too thin, you can add more powdered sugar to re-thicken it.
When the icing is proper “flooding” consistency, transfer it to a squeeze bottle or plastic bag with a hole in one corner and pipe each cookie, using a toothpick to spread the icing throughout.
Allow this to set for several hours or overnight.
You may design the flooded cookie with the remainder of the thicker icing or sprinkles, edible pearls, sanding sugar, etc.

Sources: Allrecipes.com, http://www.browneyedbaker.com, http://cupcakesandcashmere.com,