amped up drunken blondies

oh my gosh y’all.

i’ve been totally holding out.

but but but not purposefully!!

i’ve been meaning to share these for like 2 weeks now but things have been crazy and then i had a viral infection last week so the crazy was even crazier!

so since i’ve been holding out i’m not going to blab on and on about something…. we’ll get straight to the food.

i couple weeks ago i was in the mood to make something but i wasn’t really sure what. well that’s kinda a lie. i really wanted to make brownies but while i was browsing pinterest for an idea, i saw these cookies over at heather’s site. {yes i’m totally aware that cookies and brownies aren’t the same thing.} then i turned to one of my new favorite cookbooks and saw a recipe for drunken blondies and it was like everything righted itself in the world and i got to work.

and of course me being me, i couldn’t leave things alone. but let’s be real…. melted butter is really just screaming to be brown butter. {which if you are looking for a fabulous tutorial on, see darla’s here!} and i mean bourbon really loves maple and bacon so why not make sure the bffs are together? it’s only right.

so if you’re looking for a dessert to bring to your tailgate this upcoming weekend or something different for your thanksgiving dessert buffet, give these a try!

amped up drunken blondiesamped up drunken blondies

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 c {8-10 slices} bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1 c {2 sticks} brown butter
  • 2 tbs bacon grease
  • 1 c dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 c light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 2 tbs bourbon
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans
  • 1/2 c dark chocolate chips
  1. preheat oven to 350F. line a 9×13 baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing the ends to hang over the edges of the pan; grease with baking spray.
  2. whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. in a large mixing bowl, stir together the butter, bacon grease, and brown sugars until smooth and well combined. add in the eggs, bourbon, vanilla extract and maple extract; mix until thoroughly combined. stir in the dry ingredients followed by the bacon bits, pecans and chocolate chips.
  4. pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. bake 20-25 min or until the top is golden brown. remove the pan from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. cut into bars and keep in an airtight container.

seriously good bars and no fancy mixer required!

kisses.

recipe adapted from: the back in the day bakery cookbook

brie bites

so i’m about to gift you the world’s easiest appetizer.

i like to throw get togethers and i came up with these little gems a couple months ago for a girls night. i love baked brie and figured there had to be a better way to get all that goodness into a simple bite. after scouring magazines and the internet these little beauties were born!

so let’s not be wordy (for once in my life)…..

brie bites

brie bites

  • 30 phyllo cups
  • 3/4 lb brie cheese (i remove the rind but it’s perfectly edible so if you don’t feel like going through that, no worries)
  • 1/4 c dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans
  1. preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and pecan; set aside. equally divide the brie among the phyllo cups. place 1/2 tsp of the sugar mixture on top of each of the brie filled phyllo cups. bake at 350F for 10 min.

easiest.appetizer.ever.

kisses.

this post is linked up to these fun link parties!! what’s cookin’ wednesday, what’s in your kitchen wednesday and taste and tell thursdays

maple pecan pie with bourbon whipped cream

ok… so i figure we’re past thanksgiving so i can have a mild rant right now….

remember back in the day when having a magazine subscription meant you received the magazine in the mail BEFORE it went on sale at the grocery store / target / anywhere?!

ummmm well it seems to me that having a subscription now just means you’ll eventually receive it in the mail after you’ve already read the whole thing standing in the checkout line for like 4 years.

i mean i’m just saying… i stare down the magazines and they all have some yummy stuff on the front and i just can’t wait to check out the recipes so i stalk out my mailbox like i’m waiting for the acceptance letter from my dream college. oh and you wouldn’t get faked out by thinking there’s a new issue when really they did a double month issue and just changed the cover picture so it looks different… true story.

but really… getting the magazines in the mail is waaaaaay easier and costs less (bonus!) so i just needed to rant that one out a little.

sorry.

anywho…

this recipe comes from the one magazine i do buy on the regular because i just haven’t subscribed to it for whatever reason. i’ve been wanting to try a new pecan pie recipe that had maple in it because i do love maple. and this one seemed close enough to my go to pecan pie recipe that i figured it had to work. and it pretty much did. i added some maple extract to bump up the maplely goodness and instead of bourbon ice cream, i did some homemade bourbon whip cream…. which may or may not have been the star of the show and something that should be repeated and served with everything.

maple pecan pie

  • 1 tbs bourbon
  • 1 c heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c light corn syrup
  • 1/4 c pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbs butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • 2 c pecan halves, roughly chopped
  • 1 frozen, 9 in pie shell
  1. with a rack in the center of the oven, preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. whisk together the beaten eggs, corn syrup, maple syrup, butter, vanilla and maple extract until smooth and well combined. stir in the chopped pecans. pour the filling into the pie shell.
  3. place the pie in the oven and lower the temperture to 350F. bake until the filling is just set and the center doesn’t jiggle when you gently shake the pie, about 50 – 60 min. remove from the oven and place on a cooling racking to cool completely.
  4. in a very cold bowl, whip the cream until it just starts to thicken. add the bourbon and sugar and whip until firm peaks form.
  5. cut the pie into wedges and serve with the whipped cream.

a couple things… the picture above has whole pecan halves. don’t be like me. it may look pretty but it slices and serves SO MUCH better if you roughly chop your pecans. trust me.

and like i said…. the whipped cream will probably steal the show. if you have any left over, just put it in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to a week.

now it’s time to start gearing up for the holiday baking season…. holla!

kisses.

recipe adapted from: everyday with rachael ray

buttermilk spice muffins

i am not a morning person. never have been, never will be. i’m not one of those people who have to get up at the crack of dawn because they don’t want to waste the day away. i mean who said the day started at the crack of dawn anyway?? whoever it was, they were severely off their rocker. i mean for real. my day starts when i say it starts okay? ok so maybe sometimes my days start a little later than most and i might be a little late to the party on that. (not to be confused with being late to events which i am not.)

maybe my lack of being a morning person is what translates into my lack of being a breakfast person. don’t get me wrong. i can enjoy a good peanut butter toast or some fluffy pancakes but it’s not my favorite meal of the day. i much prefer a good dinner. and i’m totally willing to skimp on lunch if i know dinner is going to be rocking. which these muffins help accomplish. they were super filling. as in i think i ate lunch at like 2p…. HOURS after i ate a muffin. and even then i barely ate a sandwich. it may have had something to do with the fact that i may have made these jumbo muffins but i’m pretty sure that they would have been just as filling as standard muffins.

buttermilk spice muffins

  • 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 c + 2 tbs + 1/2 c sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 3 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c + 1 tbs buttermilk
  • 1 c pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 c light brown sugar
  1. make the streusel topping: combine the pecans, brown sugar, 1/2 c sugar, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp cloves in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. preheat oven to 375F. line a standard muffin tin with liners.
  3. cream together the butter and remaining sugar until thoroughly combined and fluffy. add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined.
  4. in a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and salt. slowly add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the butter/sugar combo, alternating dry and wet (start and end with flour mixture). mix until just combined.
  5. fill each muffin cup 3/4 full with batter. sprinkle about 1 tbs of streusel topping on each muffin and gently press down into the batter so it sticks.
  6. bake 20-28 min, until golden brown and the muffins pass the toothpick to the center test.

if someone wants to come and make these for me in the mornings, maybe you can convert me to a morning person.

what’s your favorite meal?

kisses.

recipe adapted from: my life as a mrs

turtle brownies

dear universe, when i say that i need a vacation i was thinking more along the lines of somewhere on a beach with a fruity drink in my hand… NOT sitting in the heat because my power went out because of a stupid hurricane. can we please do something about our little miscommunication there? k? thanks.

y’all for real.

can i just tell you how miserable it is to be without power in the south in august? it is M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E. and i’ll be honest… the first day/night without power wasn’t horrible mainly because i had jacked my ac down before it went out and it was also still overcast and rainy. but then came day numero 2 AND the sun. all that semi-comfort i had from day 1 was gone in an instant. it was blazing. and i was sweating. if you know me, you know i’m not a particular fan of sweating. i mean there is reason i pay good money to go to a gym and sweat in the ac.

and with isaac coming at us, there has been no cooking to be had around my house. you learn after living with hurricanes your whole like that you could possibly have to throw out everything in your fridge/freezer so you try to stay minimal. that’s not to say i couldn’t have baked some food (and not heard a fair amount of grief from my coworkers) but let’s be honest, i have also been supremely lazy the past couple weeks. so that coupled with 72 hours of no electricity translated into me just getting back into the kitchen this week… well last night to be exact. and it was for a very special reason…

today is maddie’s birthday!!

see recently, i proposed making everyone at the office a special birthday treat for their birthday instead of going to a local bakery and buying a cake. this way, everyone could have their favorite treat and i could try something new for here. it’s a win win. and today it happened to be maddie’s choice and i couldn’t be more excited for it. i am pumped to say i geniunely like everyone i work with but maddie’s special. she’s like the absolute nicest person you could ever meet. for real. when i was trying to get her to tell me what treat she wanted, she kept saying “whatever everyone else likes”. it was a task to get a request out of her because it wasn’t about her, she was determined to make sure that everyone enjoyed it.

she finally settled on brownies and they needed to have nuts.

one other thing about maddie is that she’s a chocolate lover. and who can blame her? so i knew that if she kept giving me the “whatever everyone else likes” line that there would definitely be chocolate involved; heavily involved. so when she allowed me to take refuge to her air conditioned house on night 2 of no-power-thank-you-very-much-isaac, i grilled her and she mentioned brownies with nuts. what goes better with brownies that have nuts than some extra chocolate and caramel? ummmm not too much.

so i researched for the perfect recipe and stumbled across these turtle brownies from annie. you may remember that i made annie’s lemon layer cake and it was delish. i knew that anything she came up with would be a winner. and these are. i mean what could be wrong about a dense, chocolatey brownie topped with pecans and drizzled with homemade caramel and ganache? um ok… maybe that dense brownie all warmed up with some vanilla ice cream but just make sure that brownie is all up in that combination ok?

turtle brownies

  • 10 oz + 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 c (2 sticks) butter, room temp
  • 6 tbs cocoa
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 c + 1 c sugar
  • 4 tsp + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp + 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 c chopped pecans
  • 1 1/4 c + 1/4 c heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  1. preheat the oven to 350F. spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. in a double boiler, melt the 10 oz of bittersweet chocolate, 2 oz of unsweetened chocolate and butter together until smooth, stir occasionally to prevent the chocolate from burning. whisk in cocoa powder until smooth and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. in a medium-large bowl, whisk together the eggs, 2 1/2 c sugar, 4 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp salt until thoroughly incorporated. whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until combined. stir in flour with a spatula / wooden spoon until just combined. pour the mixture into the greased pan and spread into an even layer. bake 20 – 25 min until the batter is beginning to set on top. remove from the oven and sprinkle with the pecans; press them slightly into the batter and return the pan to the oven for another 10 min until the brownies are slightly puffed on top. transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool to room temp while you make the caramel sauce and ganache.
  4. make the caramel: measure the 1 1/4 c of heavy cream into a measuring up. scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the heavy cream. spread the remaining 1 c of sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a heavy sauce pan. place over medium-low heat and watch it carefully. when the sugar begins to liquefy, gently stir it towards the center. continue to gentle stir (i swirlled rather than stirred) until the sugar is melted and the caramel has turned a deep amber. carefully whisk in half of the heavy cream mixture; stirring until well incorporated. whisk in the remaining cream, salt and vanilla.
  5. make the ganache: place the remaining chocolate in a double boiler until just melted. remove from heat and whisk in the remaining cream until you have a smooth ganache.
  6. once the brownies are room temp and both the caramel and ganache have been made, drizzle the brownies with caramel and ganache. place the brownies in the fridge for 2 hours before serving.

a quick note about the recipe…. yes, this requires a fair amount of steps but they’re totally worth it. if you didn’t want to make homemade caramel and / or chocolate ganache, you could sub ice cream toppings but nothing beats homemade caramel. like i cannot even begin to tell you how excited i am to have caramel left over for consumption straight from a spoon.

also, if you make the caramel and the sugar hardens, just place the saucepan back on a burner set to medium low and stir until everything melts and the caramel is gloriously liquidy.

p.s. sorry for the terrible iphone photo above… usually they are relatively decent but this one… eh.

oh and the birthday girl totally loved her brownies… see:

kisses.

recipe from: annie’s eats

martha’s maple pecan shortbread

what up friday?!

where have you been??

i wish you would come around more often.

and what a better way to celebrate friday than with another batch of martha’s cookie madness!

these are probably some of my favorites so far in this little adventure. i love me some maple and i’m a fan of pecans so i’ve been looking forward to these cookies since i decided i was going to do this challenge and planned out my weeks. and these cookies didn’t disappoint. they were deliciousness that wasn’t overly sweet, exactly what i think a shortbread cookie should be.

maple pecan shortbread

  • 2 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 c cake flour (not self rising)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c pecan halves, finely chopped + 24 pecan halves for decorating
  • 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 c pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temp
  • 1/4 tsp pure maple extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • turbinado sugar for sprinkling
  1. in a medium bowl, sift together the flours and salt. whisk in the finely chopped pecans.
  2. beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. add the maple syrup, egg yolk and maple extract; beat until well combined. on low, gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. flatten dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. chill until firm; 2 hours or overnight.
  3. preheat oven to 350F. line your baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.
  4. on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough disk to 1/4 in thick. cut out rounds with a 2 in cookie cutter. place the rounds 1 in apart on the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with the beaten egg; sprinkle the entire surface with the turbinado sugar. place a pecan half in the middle of each cookie.
  5. bake cookies until golden brown around the edges, 10 – 12 min. let cool completely on a wire cookie rack.

i do have to make a confession… while i did enjoy these, i like the brown sugar cookies with maple glaze better.

kisses.

recipe from: martha stewart’s cookie cookbook

martha’s pecan tassies

ok so i’m back from being all m.i.a. like i said before i was a tad bit overwhelmed with things so i decided to take a break. and it was much needed. i have some things going on around me that have made me overwhelmed lately and taking the minute to back away from the blog and trying to make stuff to post helped.

see here’s part of the deal…

from reading the food blogs that i do, i realize that a lot of bloggers make stuff in advance and have a store of recipes that they can pull out months later. i don’t tend to do that. yes, i do have some unpublished items but for the most part, i post what i make that week/weekend. so i took a break. while i did cook, it was mostly dinner and while i did try some new recipes that were fantastic, when i was cooking they weren’t meant to be photographed and shared. but they were yummy enough that they will be made again and shared.

now that my apology for going all m.i.a on you is over, let’s move on to the newest martha’s cookie madness….

first let me tell you i had an epic fail with one of martha’s cookies. which kinda works out since i took a week off. buuuut then i had to find a replacement. back to the fail… because i feel it needs to be shared with you.

so i was going to make martha’s oatmeal raisin cookies because some people at the office like them. not me. i don’t like raisins. yuck. but anyways. so i mixed up this batch thinking it would work. ummmm they were flat. and when i say flat, i mean i think that aside from the color difference there probably was no way to tell there was anything on the cookie sheet. showing you the pictures won’t do the fail justice. trust me. i know you’re sitting there thinking… “how did martha create such a terrible recipe?” well i mean aside from the fact that it’s raisins, she didn’t. see the recipe calls for wheat germ. which i couldn’t find any where and i even looked at whole foods. that stuff is not around in this town. so i just left it out. moral of the story is if martha tells you to use wheat germ, you better listen… or just find something else.

like pecan tassies.

so these babies aren’t really what i would consider a “cookie” but i’m not really sure what to call them. they’re like mini pecan pies. but not. they’re not in a traditional pie crust so let’s just leave it at tassies. that’ll work. they were yummy too. and all gone. quickly.

pecan tassies

  • 1/2 c pecans + 3/4 c toasted and chopped pecans
  • 1/2 c (4 oz) mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 c (1/2 stick) + 1 tbs butter, room temp
  • 3/4 c flour
  • pinch + 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. preheat oven to 350F. spray a mini-muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. process the 1/2 c pecans in a food processor until finely ground, set aside. beat together mascarpone and 1/4 c butter until well blended. add flour, ground pecans and a pinch of salt; mix until just combined.
  3. roll dough into 1 in balls and press into the mini-muffin tin cups. make sure to press some dough up the sides so you have a well for your pecan filling.
  4. whisk together egg, brown sugar, maple syrup, 1 tbs butter, vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp salt. stir in the pecans. spoon about 1 1/2 tsp filling into each muffin cup.
  5. bake the pecan tassies until the crust begins to turn golden and the filling sets, about 15 min. let cool completely in the muffin tin before unmolding.

if you can’t find / don’t want to use mascarpone, you can use cream cheese instead. i’m a cream cheese hater but if i hadn’t had mascarpone, this is the type of recipe i could have used cream cheese for since it’s in the crust and you can’t taste it. but you should use mascarpone because it’s better. for real.

kisses.

recipe from: martha stewart’s cookie cookbook