December 4, 2016

Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts (Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts)

My parents have a huge black walnut tree in their backyard.  This year we picked up big storage tupperware bins full of walnuts.  We have bins and bins of walnuts.  BUT, the thing is, you have to crack each walnut shell to get out a walnut.  Lots of work.  I had no idea it took so much effort and hours of work just to get a zip-lock bag full of walnuts.  I can now understand why they are so expensive to buy in the grocery store.

I love snacking on nuts and what's better than cinnamon sugar candied nuts?
Cinnamon almonds are to-die-for and every time I walk through the mall this time of year, the smell of those almonds is irresistible.  BUT, they are a little pricey, so, I figured why not make my own candied nuts and use up some of these walnuts I have along with some of my other favorite nuts.

These nuts turned out fantastic.  A great snack to have on hand or they are a great neighbor gift.  Your house will smell amazing while they bake.

Let me show you how easy they are to make . . .
Combine egg white, water and vanilla and whisk with a fork until frothy.
Add the nuts.
Combine sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt and add to bowl with nuts. 
Stir everything together until well combined. 
Spread out onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes and that's it.  

See how easy they are to make at home?  Save yourself some money and skip the lines at the mall and make your own cinnamon sugar nuts.

They are absolutely delicious and hard to stop eating.  

Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe)

1 large egg white
1 Tbl. water
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. light brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 c. nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc. . . )

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a large bowl, combine egg white, water and vanilla and whisk together with a fork until frothy.  Add the nuts to the bowl.  Then, in a separate small bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt and add to the bowl with the nuts and egg mixture.  Stir mixture together until well combined.  Spread out evenly onto a large baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake for 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  The parchment paper will want to slide a little bit when you stir the nuts, but when it's time to clean your pan, you will be glad it was lined with parchment.  When done baking, remove from oven, cool and serve.

November 27, 2016

Triple Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

It feels like I have not posted a recipe in forever.  It's only been a week, but it was such a busy week with Thanksgiving and everything that it seems like much longer.  Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time to focus on all things Christmas.  I set up my tree and Christmas decorations yesterday.  Now, I'm debating about putting lights on the outside of the house.  Do you put lights on your house?  What kind and color do you like?  There are so many choices.  I kind of like the big red and white lights.  

I'd much rather be eating cookies than deciding which lights to buy.  Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are such a classic cookie. I remember eating them when I was a child.  My friend, Shanelle, brought these into work one day and I went home and made them that same night.  I had to share them with my family.  They are amazing.  
EVERY.SINGLE.PERSON. that tried these cookies LOVED them and told me they LOVED them.  That doesn't happen all the time.  Sure, I make a lot of treats that people tell me they like, but everyone RAVED about these cookies.    

I have made many different cake mix cookie recipes, but nothing like this.  The difference is the dough is chilled in this recipe.  Chilling the dough is the secret.  I know it can be a pain to have to wait for the dough to chill, but really, it is well worth the wait. 

They are soft and chewy and loaded with chocolate flavor thanks to the addition of three different types of chocolate (chocolate cake mix, chocolate pudding mix and chocolate chips).  The powdered sugar on the outside makes them extra special and will take you right back to your childhood.  These are guaranteed to be a hit, so make sure to add them to your cookie plates this year.
You might also like:

Triple Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
From: Shanelle S.

1 (15.25 oz.) box Devil's Food Cake Mix
1 (3.9 oz.) box instant Chocolate Fudge Pudding Mix
1/2 c. vegetable or canola oil
2 large eggs
1 (11.5 oz.) bag milk chocolate chips
1/2 c. powdered sugar, for rolling

In a large bowl, combine dry cake mix, dry pudding mix, oil and eggs and mix together until combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Cover and refrigerate dough for at least one hour or up to 24 hours (I usually chill mine overnight).  

Then, form about 1 1/2 - 2 Tablespoons of dough into a ball (dough will be crumbly, so use a little pressure to form it into a ball).  Roll ball into powdered sugar and place onto a greased cookie sheet.  Repeat.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes.  Remove from oven, cool and serve.  Makes around 31 cookies.     


November 20, 2016

Butterscotch Pudding Pie Bars

We have a walnut tree in the backyard that produces a crazy amount of walnuts.  So, I have been using them in so many different recipes.  This crust recipe comes from my Grandma.  It's the base to one of my family's favorite desserts (some day I'll share it with you), but today, I thought it would pair nicely with some homemade butterscotch pudding.  

Homemade butterscotch pudding is a little different than making a box of butterscotch pudding.  It's not as vibrant in color and the flavor is a little more mild.  BUT, homemade butterscotch pudding is really delicious.  It tastes like homemade vanilla caramel in pudding form.  The texture is silky smooth and the walnut crust is the perfect base.  The crust does not have any sugar in it and it doesn't need any, because the pudding is sweet enough.  Try these bars topped with whipped cream and chopped walnuts . . . yummy!

 P.S. If you have any good recipes that use walnuts, send them my way.  

Butterscotch Pudding Pie Bars
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe)

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. (8 Tbl.) cold unsalted butter
3/4 c. chopped walnuts

Butterscotch Pudding
1 1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. + 2 Tbl. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
4 c. milk (I used 1%)
4 large egg yolks
2 Tbl. unsalted butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For Serving
whipped cream, opt.
chopped walnuts, opt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  For the Crust: Add the flour to a medium bowl.  Cut the cold butter into the flour until it's the size of peas or smaller.  Stir in the chopped walnuts.  Pour into a greased 9x13-inch pan and press evenly until it covers the bottom of the pan.  It will be very crumbly, but it bakes up perfectly.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely.

For the Pudding Layer: Add the sugar, cornstarch and salt to a medium saucepan and whisk together until well combined and no lumps of cornstarch remain.  Whisk together milk and egg yolks and gradually whisk into brown sugar mixture and whisk until smooth.  Heat over medium heat until mixture starts to bubble, stirring frequently.  Cook and stir another few minutes or until the mixture has thickened (it's thick enough when it coats the back of a wooden spoon and if you run your finger through it, the line remains and doesn't run back together).  

Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla until the butter has melted.  Mixture should be very smooth and creamy. Pour over cooled crust and spread out evenly.  Cover and refrigerate until mixture is completely chilled, at least two hours.  Slice and serve with whipped cream and chopped walnuts, if desired.  Serves: 12-15.