Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Pecan. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Pecan. Sort by date Show all posts

Saturday, April 11, 2020

National Pecan Day Review

National Pecan Day Review
National Pecan Day - April 14
 National Pecan Day is a Food Holiday celebrated each year on April 14.  The pecan is a  member of the hickory family and is native to central and southern United States.  Pecans make great snacks eaten on their own, but they also make terrific garnishes to other foods such as desserts, salads or the main meal. 

"Pecan” is an Algonquian word, meaning a nut requiring a stone to crack. 

The pecan tree is the only nut tree native to North America.  These trees grow best in central and southern United States. Georgia, in particular, is known for it's Pecans. 

Here are two of my favorite recipes using pecans – Pecan Pie  and Sugar Coated Pecans. Either recipe ~ or both ~ would be a great way to celebrate National Pecan Day! 


Pecan Pie


National Pecan Day Review

Ingredients:

Pie Crust:


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening or lard
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar


Filling:


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup corn syrup (light or dark)
  • 1/3 cup melted salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 whole eggs beaten
  • 1 cup (heaping) chopped pecans


Directions:


  1. First, whip up the pie crust: Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the vegetable shortening and salted butter. Work the butter into the flour using a dough cutter until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles.
  2. Add the egg, 5 tablespoons cold water and the white vinegar. Stir until just combined. Divide the dough in half and chill until needed. (You will only need one half for this recipe, reserve the other half for another use.)
  3. Next make the filling: Mix the granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, vanilla and eggs together in a bowl.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out one dough half on a lightly floured surface to fit your pie pan. Pour the pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. Pour the syrup mixture over the top. Cover the top and crust lightly/gently with foil.
  5. Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, and then continue baking for 20 minutes, being careful not to burn the crust or pecans. The pie should not be overly jiggly when you remove it from the oven (though it will jiggle a bit). If it shakes a lot, cover with foil and bake for an additional 20 minute or until set. Required baking time seems to vary widely with this recipe. Sometimes it takes 50 minutes, sometimes it takes 75!
  6. Allow to cool for several hours or overnight. Serve in thin slivers.


*This Pecan Pie Recipe is courtesy of The Food Network.com


Sugar Coated Pecans




"These sweet pecans are wonderful snacks for any occasion."

Ingredients:


  
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Directions:


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Grease one baking sheet.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whip together the egg white and water until frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Add pecans to egg whites, stir to coat the nuts evenly. Remove the nuts, and toss them in the sugar mixture until coated. Spread the nuts out on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.


*Sugar Coated Pecans Recipe is from allrecipes.com 


More Pecan Treats


In addition to sugar coated pecans, another absolutely delicious pecan sweet treat is pralines.  The best I've ever had are handmade at River Street Sweets candy shop in Savannah, Georgia. 



Other Pecan Day celebrations include:



  • Pecan Day – March 25
  • National Pecan Day – April 14
  • National Pecan Month – April


So, pick a day …. or a month … and enjoy this nutritious and tasty nut called the Pecan.

Related Articles:


Praline - Source: Pixabay








National Pecan Day written by (c) Wednesday Elf on 4/11/2020







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Elevate Your Tired Recipes To New Heights With Spicing Pecans!

Amelia's Spicing Pecans, recipes
My own jars of Amelia's Spicing Pecans
Are you just plain tired of using the same old "tried and true" recipes? I recently found a product that will set your tastebuds on fire with happiness. (Well, not on fire unless you use the "hot and spicy" blend.) So, what is this magical creation that will spice up your kitchen creations? Amelia's Spicing PecansYes, pecans! To quote the now defunct website, "Amelia's Spicing Pecans are made from select roasted chopped pecans, specially seasoned, then used as spicing ingredients to add rich flavors to your favorite dishes." You can now find information about these wonderful pecans on Facebook by clicking Amelias-Spicing-Pecans.

I took Amelia's "Be Creative" challenge and did indeed find that Amelia's kicked up my old boring recipes to a higher notch. 
Why should one use these delectable spiced pecans in recipes instead of just plain pecans? Because Amelia's is made with only the finest all natural ingredients, specifically chosen by Amelia's creator. He oversees the roasting and the flavoring of this Alabama-made product. There were four entirely different flavors to choose from: Herb, Hot & Spicy, Cinnamon and Coffee. 


Remember, these Spicing Pecans are not just nuts that a cook might use to add texture to a recipe, they are finely chopped, seasoned and roasted Southern pecans that add character and depth to the food you eat. 


The first recipe I decided to "renew" was one that really needed spicing up. My original "Pecan Rice" recipe came from a vintage church cookbook. I had planned on making this traditional rice side dish for a family holiday dinner and I wanted it to be very special. I chose to use the herb flavored pecans because that just seemed to "fit" with the menu. 

First, I cooked 2 "boil-in-bag" rice pouches in chicken broth.  I sautéed some celery (onion could be used, too) in olive oil and added that to the drained cooked rice. After stirring in one cup of the 
Amelia's Herb Flavored Spicing Pecans, I had my finished side-dish. No, wait, I chopped up some fresh parsley to sprinkle on the top of the bowl. It looked pretty--should have sprinkled more spicing pecans on the top, too! It was that easy to come up with an improved recipe! (Note: I did not add enough spicing pecans--it was my first try at "being creative" and I chose to be conservative with my measuring cup! Mr. Reardon, the creator of this fab product, almost always recommends using at least 1 1/2 cups --or more-- in recipes.)

rice side dish, spicing pecans
"Pecan Rice" recipe kicked up with Herb Amelia's Spicing Pecans
So excited by the raves from my family about the pecan rice, I began to think of even more ways to use Amelia's Spicing Pecans. The obvious choice is to use the herb flavored nuts in a salad. Yes, I will tell you that the pecans worked very well in mine. It is so much fun to spice up one's culinary life. It occurred to me that the "Hot and Spicy" Amelia's would be good on a salad, too. I went to my local Whole Foods, bought that flavor to add to my growing collection of Amelia's. I was not disappointed in the results of the addition of the subtle hotness of those exquisitely seasoned, roasted pecans to a salad. I even spiced up a simple appetizer of pimento cheese on a cracker by sprinkling the Hot & Spicy Spicing Pecans on top. The Coffee flavor was amazing with the pimento cheese, too, believe it or not.

Then, I had another light bulb moment! These hot and spicy pecans would be great on a pork tenderloin roast. Adapting a recipe for Pecan-Crusted Pork Tenderloin, I used the Amelia's hot and spicy blend with perfect results. My only regret is that I did not crush the pecans into even smaller pieces. They might have not fallen off the tenderloin as easily as they did. Live, cook and learn, I say!

spicing pecans, pork tenderloin
Hot and Spicy Pecan Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Now I am really cooking and being creative! What can I use these spicing pecans on next? Why not take Cooking Light Magazine's Texas Sheet Cake to a higher level? Yes, that is what I will do. Anyway, I need a spectacular dessert to take to a party and this is the perfect chance to show off my baking creativity.

First I made the cake just like the recipe on the Recipe.com website and poured the cake batter into my new KitchenAid 10"x15"x1" Jelly Roll Pan . Yes, a jelly roll pan is a must for a Texas sheet cake!

Next I sprinkled 2 cups of Amelia's coffee blend pecans on the batter and gently pressed them down with a fork. This will keep the pecans pieces from burning--they are already roasted, you see.

spicing pecans, texas sheet cake recipe
Amelia's Coffee Spicing Pecans on top of the uncooked cake batter.

After the cake baked for 22 minutes, a toothpick inserted in the center came out clean signaling that the cake was done. Now for the best part: pouring the boiled icing over the warm cake and gently covering the top with more of the coffee flavored roasted pecans. 

texas sheet cake, spicing pecans
Iced Texas Sheet Cake topped with Amelia's Coffee Spicing Pecans
The aroma of the coffee and chocolate was irresistible. The end result was a delightfully good and moist Texas Sheet Cake. I took it to the party and not a crumb of it remained at the end of the night.

How else can one use Spicing Pecans? Use your imagination and feel free to try anything! I created a Sautéed Zucchini and Squash Pasta dish for dinner one evening with amazing results. A friend suggested that I could have added a cheese like a parmesan to this dish, too. The pecan pieces you see in the photo below are the Herb Spicing Pecans. The addition dressed this dish up and add a satisfying crunch. It was incredible how the sweet flavor of the roasted pecan pieces turned this dish into a culinary event inside my mouth!

pasta recipe, spicing pecans
Sautéed vegetables and Herb Flavored Amelia's over pasta.

You can also put these nuts on leftovers!

 
Zoe's Chicken Salad and roasted veggies dressed up with pecans by Amelia!
I am sure you are wondering where you can get your own jar of these inspiring spicing pecans. Just click Amelia's-Spicing-Pecans- and call the phone # listed. When Birmingham Alabama's Pepper Place Saturday Market begins in the springtime, you might find that Amelia's in a booth with samples to try. 

If you are just plain impatient (or are not in Alabama or near a southeastern Whole Foods), you can contact the creator of this unique and versatile product that you MUST have in your kitchen, by emailing spicingpecans@gmail.com. Tell Mike that Mickie sent you.

Disclaimer: I do not receive any compensation for sales of Amelia's Spicing Pecans. I purchased the Herb and Hot and Spicy Spicing Pecans you see int he photos on this page at Whole Foods and Organic Harvest Market in Birmingham, Alabama. The creator of Amelia's did graciously give me the Coffee Flavored Spicing Pecans to try in the Texas Sheet Cake recipe.











Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Pie Day Review - January 23

Review of Pie Day ~ January 23

Apple Pie
In my opinion, every day should be Pie Day, but let's review a few pie facts in honor of National Pie Day held each January 23rd.

Pie Day was begun in the 1970s in Colorado when Charlie Papazian declared his birthday to be National Pie Day.  Today 'Pie Day' is sponsored by the American Pie Council, which is an organization set up to preserve America's pie heritage and promote “America's love affair with pies”.

There are fruit pies and custard pies and cream pies, with apple pie leading the way.


A Few Pie Facts

You could go to Pie School to learn about pies, or you could learn a great deal by reading this Pie Post!

Pie School Cookbook

  • Nearly one out of five Americans prefer apple pie. Next favorite is pumpkin pie, followed by pecan, banana cream, and cherry pie.
  • Pumpkin pie was first introduced to the holiday table at the pilgrim’s second Thanksgiving in 1623.
  • When invited to a family or friend's house for a holiday dinner and asked what dessert we could bring, pie was the winner at 29%, followed by cake (17%) and cookies (15%). Surprisingly, ice cream wasn't in the top three spots.

SPECIAL PIE DAYS



In our own glad and fortunate country the seasons are known by their respective dominant pies—for each there is an appropriate pie, with apple pie for all the year round.... The perfect days of June welcome the lip-painting berry pies.... Then, as nature paints the forests with her magic brush, comes in the golden glory of the year, the royal pumpkin pie!

             ~New York Times, 1902 May 3rd

Besides National Pie Day celebrating all pies, we have individual days to recognize specific kinds of pies.

*There's Cherry Pie Day on February 20, naturally associated with President's Day due to the George Washington story of cutting down the cherry tree.  


Cherry Pie was my hubby's favorite and instead of a birthday cake for his birthday on February 23rd, we always had Cherry Pie!

*Apple Pie has it's own special day (Apple Pie Day) held on May 13.


Did you know that the first apple pie recipe was printed in England in 1381? 

*March 2 is National Banana Cream Pie Day

*May 8 is National Coconut Cream Pie Day.


Source: Creative Commons Photo by Whitney Wright

My mother was not much of a cook (our dad did most of the cooking in our family), but she was a wonderful pie maker and coconut cream pie was my dad's favorite, so we had it often. Yum! 

*On July 12 we have National Pecan Pie Day, a true Southern favorite.

*National Lemon Meringue Day is held on August 15 and Peach Pie Day is August 24.

*September brings us National Strawberry Cream Pie Day on the 28th of the month.

*October 23rd is National Boston Cream Pie Day.

*November has two special 'pie' days: Bavarian Cream Pie Day  on the 27th and Lemon Cream Pie Day on the 29th.


National Pumpkin Pie Day



We tend to associate Thanksgiving with Pumpkin Pie, but the actual designated National special day for it is actually Christmas Day (December 25).   But pumpkin pie is also associated with Halloween as pumpkin is the symbol of Harvest Time.


Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Sylvestermouse Cynthia has a yummy recipe for Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.  It can be found on her Cooking for the Holidays site.

Chocolate pie doesn't appear to have a designated day, but being MY favorite of all pies, it definitely SHOULD.  Any day is special to me when I can have chocolate pie! There IS a National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day on August 20.

There are also meat pies, especially popular in England and perhaps the forerunner of the original pie, and vegetable pies such as Sweet Potato Pie and Rhubarb Pie and Tomato Pie, but our focus today has been on favorite 'dessert' pies.


Pie Town, New Mexico



Daily Pie Cafe, NM

If you REALLY love pies, there is a special place for pie lovers.  It's called Pie Town, New Mexico, a small community that got its name from an early bakery for making dried-apple pies established by Clyde Norman in the early 1920s.   Located just north of the Gila National Forest, Pie Town has a population of 186 people.  A "Pie Festival" is held on the second Saturday of September which includes a pie-baking contest, games and races, music, food, and arts and crafts.

Photographer Russell Lee (working for the Farm Security Administration) photographed Pie Town and its people in 1940. In 2005, Lee's photos, and the local restaurant the Daily Pie Cafe were the subject of an article in Smithsonian magazine. CBS News Sunday Morning aired a story about the town in 2015.


Delicious Homemade Pie Recipes



300 recipes for homemade pie in this Pie Cookbook
Available on Amazon

Whichever pie is your favorite, you can find a whole lot of pie recipes (300)  in Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie.

Rated near the top at #29 in pie cookbooks, this recipe book with the short title (PIE) is filled with 300 pie recipes for everything from fruit pies, berry pies, nut pies, custard pies, turnovers, and ice cream pies to the perfect pie crusts.  Author Richard Haedrich is a cooking teacher and cookbook author who compiled this Pie cookbook because of his lifelong passion--the making and baking of all manner of pies.


Besides January 23rd, we have December 1st also designated National Pie Day. With two national days and a host of days associated with individual kinds of pies, we will never be without an excuse to indulge this favorite dessert.

Come tell me YOUR favorite kind of PIE, this most traditional of American desserts.  If I've left out any, let me know. 

Quick Links:

Cooking for the Holidays
PIE Cookbook on Amazon


*Article written by Wednesday Elf (c) on 1/23/2016.  Updated on 1/4/2019




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Monday, August 12, 2019

Nonni's Biscotti Reviewed

Nonni's Biscotti Reviewed
Looking for a light and airy snack? Perfect to accompany a nice cup of tea or coffee? Nonni's biscotti is a yummy alternative to the after meal cookies and sweets or a mid afternoon snack.

Biscotti The Alternative Snack

The biscotti are made with real butter, eggs and sugar. No preservatives or artificial flavors are used in Nonni's recipe.

Each biscotti is individually wrapped which is very user friendly and keeps the biscotti fresh. The biscotti are light and airy yet crispy. These are perfect for those who like to dunk a crispy treat in their coffee, tea or milk.

These are a very nice alternative to sweets and cookies, but remember that biscotti does translate to a crisp cookie or biscuit. Biscotti is the plural of biscotto and biscotti are traditionally twice baked to obtain the light and dry consistency.

Who Is Nonni?


Nonni is the grandmother of the founder of Nonni's Bakery. The lore of the biscotti recipe began with Nonni in Lucca, Italy an area of Tuscan. The family recipe was then brought to America over a century ago.

Flavors Of Nonni's Biscotti


There are quite a few flavors for the Biscotti!


  • The Originali
  • Cioccolati
  • Dark Almond Chocolate
  • Limone
  • Salted Caramel
  • Toffee Almond
  • Turtle Pecan
  • Triple Chocolate


Where To Buy Nonni's Biscotti


The Biscotti are not inexpensive at our local independent grocer or brand name grocery store. I have found the selection and prices are much better on Amazon. If you'd like to look for Nonni's in your area, check the retail store locator here.

Amazon has a very nice variety pack of Nonni's Biscotti which has four flavors of the Biscotti: Originali, Limone, Turtle Pecan and Cioccolati. The biscotti are much lower priced online than I found locally.


Biscotti are a nice change of pace for those who like sweets and snacks. The flavors are subtle so no need to be worried about being over powered by the flavors. 

As they used to say, "Try it - you may like it!" The tagline of Nonni's is Nobody treats you like Nonni's!





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Monday, March 17, 2014

A Few of the Best Mid-Atlantic Foods

Mid-Atlantic Regional Cuisine


Every region has their special foods and recipes.  When I think of shrimp, I immediately think of Louisiana. Cheese makes me think of Wisconsin.  Oranges come from Florida, of course.  I have known from early on that certain foods are special to certain areas. However, after moving to the mid-Atlantic region, I’ve realized just how passionate people are about their special foods.

One of my early Squidoo lenses was written as a result of strong craving for a regional food (Mary Sue's Pecan Nougat egg) and from the memory of seeing a thank you letter from a deployed person who had received Old Bay spice in their care package.  After seeing that letter, I had noticed others who bemoaned the difficulty of purchasing Old Boy, good crab meat, and other regional foods.  That prompted me to write an edible gifts lens consisting of Maryland treats.

When I move from Maryland someday, I can imagine myself begging friends and family (and perhaps strangers) to send me Mary Sue’s Pecan Nougat eggs every spring. My mouth waters every time I think of them.

Crabcakes and Crabbing


Image Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia Creative Commons
While I do not consider myself a foodie, I do love trying new foods and adding new favorites to my list. I’m not a good cook but I love eating good food.  Have you ever heard the saying, “champagne taste on a beer budget”?  That describes me to some extent about food.  I love the taste of good food.

Blue crab is one of those “champagne taste” foods, in my opinion.  A properly cooked jumbo lump crab cake is divine.  Clairissa also has a wonderful lens about crab cakerecipes.

Crabbing in this area is almost considered an event.  Family members young and old enjoy crabbing.  People look at me with wonder when I tell them that I’ve never been crabbing.  Around here, it’s a bit like learning to walk.  Everyone does it.

There's More Than Crabs to Eat in the Mid-Atlantic.


While I could talk about crab cakes forever, there are other foods in the Mid-Atlantic region. Another food staple of this area are cheesesteak sub sandwiches.  They originated in Philadelphia and Joyful Pamela introduces us to the wonderful world of cheesesteak among other wonderful Philadelphia foods.  People here are passionate about their favorite place to get a cheesesteak sub and will debate for long periods of time about what makes theirs the best.  The Mister and I clearly have our favorite and eat cheesesteaks weekly. I guarantee it is something that one you have found your favorite, you will crave it frequently. 
Image Credit:Photograph by Dawn Rae 2014

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go. Since I’m finished photographing the Mary Sue egg, I can finally eat it.  I have waited for months for egg season and I can’t wait any longer.

I will see you next Monday. If you would like to visit with me before then you can find my on my Mid-Atlantic Travel Facebook page.  



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Saturday, December 22, 2018

River Street Sweets – Savannah Candy Store Review

(c) Wednesday Elf

The Sweet Taste of Savannah!

On historic River Street in Savannah, Georgia you will find a candy store that has been renowned for their world famous pralines for 44 years.  Everyone who walks into River Street Sweets will be enticed to try a sample of the pralines or fudge or other candies on display. 


A simple taste of these delicious handmade candies will also find you purchasing a bit of this, a little of that…. and of course a few pralines. So many sweet treats to choose from.  One whole wall is filled with every flavor of saltwater taffy you can imagine.  I have yet to go into the store without leaving with at least a few tasty tidbits. 



Oh Fudge – How River Street Sweets Came About


Chocolate Fudge - River Street Sweets
Stan & Pam Strickland had a gift shop on River Street called The Cotton Bale where they sold knick-knacks and Christmas ornaments.  In 1978 they were at a gift market trade show in Atlanta with their daughter Jennifer and son Tim looking for new items for their store .  Tim, age 11, found a fudge pot and begged his parents to put it in the store.  

They finally agreed and a week later, on St. Patrick's Day, the first batch of chocolate mint fudge was made. It sold like crazy and soon it became obvious that candy was much more popular than the gifts they had been featuring.  Within six months, River Street Sweets became a full-fledged candy store.

Today, they are known worldwide for their gourmet southern sweets. On a visit to River Street Sweets you can watch candy makers dip pralines onto a giant marble slab Stan bought from a gravestone company. You can also see them stir glazed pecans in  huge copper kettles and see the 100-year-old saltwater taffy machine in action. They make their sweets in the stores and also ship them out around the world.




Come on a video tour of Savannah Street Sweets




The Savannah store is run today by grown-up Jennifer and Tim, while just down the street Stan "The Candy Man" operates Savannah's Candy Kitchen, the largest candy store in the south since 1990. 


If you cannot make it to Savannah, other River Street Sweets stores can be found in the Mall of Georgia in North Atlanta, in two places in Charleston, SC, and in Myrtle Beach, SC, as well as Key West and Lancaster Maryland. New locations will soon be coming to Texas, New Jersey and South Carolina.  You can also order them online from Amazon or through their catalog or website.  



Holiday and Gift Baskets



Office Party Basket - River Street Sweets
The wicker gift baskets are popular with tourists for taking home to friends & family.  They are irresistibly filled with delights such as pralines, bear claws, glazed pecans, hand-stretched peanut brittle, nougat log rolls and creamy chocolate fudge. Or grab a box of your favorite sweets (mine is fudge with walnuts). 

All candies sold by River Street Sweets are made using their own family recipes to make the finest and freshest handmade Southern candies around.  Not surprising, their best sellers are the glazed pecans, their bear claws and the oh-so-delicious pecan pralines.




How the Pralines are Made





A Sweet Treat you'll love. 









(c) Travel Review written by Wednesday Elf (12/22/2018)




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Saturday, November 11, 2017

National Gingerbread Cookie Day Review

Gingerbread Cookies (source: Pixabay)
November 21st is National Gingerbread Cookie Day.  There is no real reason for the establishment of this fun food holiday, except perhaps the approaching Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays around which these rolled cookies have become favorites.

Gingerbread cookies are traditionally made in shapes such as flowers, hearts, and trees.  They can be made in different sizes and can be iced and decorated. 

The Gingerbread Man shape probably goes back to the time of Queen Elizabeth I.  History tells us that her palace baker during her reign (1558 to 1603) baked and decorated gingerbread men in the likenesses of important court visitors for Her Majesty to present to them.

The tale of Hansel and Gretel of Grimm’s Fairy Tales (1812) increased the popularity of gingerbread cookies and other treats. Later, Gingerbread men and animals became popular Christmas tree ornaments.



Gingerbread Cookie Recipes


There are lots of gingerbread cookie recipes online.




For a different and a bit unusual Gingerbread Cookie recipe, I found this one in a gingerbread crafts leaflet:



Gingerbread Cutout Cookies 

by Shelly Vaughan

Source: Pixabay


Touch of Pineapple Gingerbread People Cookies


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark molasses
  • 1 cup pineapple juice or more as needed
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Miniature candy-coated chocolate candies (M&Ms) and/or raisins

Icing:

  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice:

Instructions:

  1. For cookies, combine shortening, sugar and molasses in large bowl.  Stir in pineapple juice.  In another bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.  Gradually stir into molasses mixture until thoroughly incorporated (Dough will be stiff.)  Cover and chill for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray once.
  3. On floured surface, roll dough out 1/3 inch thick.  Cut into desired shapes with floured cookie cutter, using gingerbread people cutter or other cutter.  Place cookies 1"-2" apart on prepared cookie sheet.  Decorate with candies and/or raisins as desired.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until light finger indentation springs back.  Cool completely.
  4. Store cookies in single layer in airtight container, or layer cookies with waxed paper separating layers.

*Makes 3 dozen.



Decorating Gingerbread Cookies

Source: Pixabay

Decorating Tips



  • Gently press decorating candies or other items into cookies before baking.
  • Pipe icing onto warm cookies with a small decorating tip.
  • Icing is quick and easy to make. If you prefer convenience items, however, you may use tubes of decorating icing with decorating tips.
  • If you would like to add some color to your cookies, lightly spinkle colored sugars, sprinkles, nonpareils or flaked coconut over wet icing.  Gently shake off excess, if necessary.


Gingerbread People Parts


It's fun to personalize your gingerbread people.  When baking with children, this is the part they like the best.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Eyes -- raisins, dried blueberries, miniature M&Ms.
  • Noses -- cinnamon red-hot candies, M&Ms, dried cranberries.
  • Buttons -- raisins, cinnamon-coated raisins or golden raisins, small jelly beans, decorating stars, miniature M&Ms, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, walnut pieces, pecan pieces, macadamia nut pieces.
  • Mouths -- licorice strings, almond slivers, red or pink decorating icing.

Currently on Sale on Etsy

*The gingerbread cutout cookie recipe and decorating tips are by Shelly Vaugham and was printed in the craft leaflet "Easy Gingerbread Crafts" published by House of White Birches in 1999.  Available on Etsy on sale at the present time.

And, in addition to the above recipe, Coletta Teske of Review This! included a yummy looking gingerbread cookie recipe in her blog post food review of Simple Snacks for Santa.



Other Forms of Gingerbread Cookies


Besides edible gingerbread cookies, other forms of this  cookie have become popular.


Gingerbread toys are fun too.

 

Gingerbread Cookie Doll in Crochet
A plush handmade gingerbread cookie doll can be found on Etsy in the shop of Coastal Crochet Crafts.   Handmade in crochet using tan acrylic yarn with white yarn 'frosting' around hands and feet. 

Gingerbread boy features include plastic safety eyes and embroidered mouth. He has two red crocheted buttons down the front. Gingerbread boy cookie doll is filled with soft new polyester fiberfill. There is a white yarn bow around his neck. 

Gingerbread cookie doll measures 8 inches tall. He's a sweet gift for Christmas or for any occasion.

Cute holiday stuffed doll makes a fun stocking stuffer or holiday decoration.




Gingerbread Cookie Coasters

Add to the decoration of your home for the holidays with this set of Gingerbread Cookie Coasters.

This is a set of 4 drink coasters with a gingerbread cookie design. Two coasters have a gingerbread boy with a candy cane. Two coasters have a gingerbread boy with a heart.

Gingerbread Cookie Coasters are handmade in needlepoint using acrylic yarn and plastic canvas.  They measure
3.5 x 3.75 inches.


Holiday Treats Playset found on Amazon
Treat the children with homemade gingerbread cookies and a cute Holiday Treats Playset by Gund available on Amazon.

Playset includes a carrying case with zipper closure, candy cane, tree-shaped cookie, peppermint stick with rattle and gingerbread man with squeaker.   The case measures ten inches and the 'treats' all fit inside. A cute plush playset for children age 12 months and up.  This Holiday Treats Playset is manufactured by Gund, known worldwide for it's top quality, soft and huggable plush designs.










Gingerbread Holidays Throughout the Year


November 21st isn't the only gingerbread holiday.  Besides this 'cookie' day, we have:

  • National Gingerbread Day on June 5.
  • Gingerbread Decorating Day on December 9.
  • Gingerbread House Day on December 12.






Happy Gingerbread Cookie Day!





(c) Wednesday Elf 11/21/2018








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Monday, October 23, 2017

Reviewing the Many Flavors of M&M's

Chocolate is my guilty pleasure.  M&M's are my favorite chocolate candy.  I love that I can keep a large bag of the little chocolate treats around and sometimes just one or two pieces are enough to satisfy my craving. Other times, I sit down with an entire bag. As Mars began adding different flavors to the M&M's line, I was fearful that they would ruin the original thing. We can all think of examples of when the "new and improved" isn't as good as the original. But that is not the case with M&M's. The original plain and peanut M&M's are as good as always. And the newer flavors are amazing. Are you familiar with all of the flavors? 


What are M&M's?


I can't imagine that there is a single person reading this review that doesn't know what M&M's are. But as a responsible reviewer, I will explain - just in case.

M&M's are delicious, roundish bits of chocolate covered in colorful candy shells.  

M&M's were first manufactured by Mr. Mars in the 1940s. It is thought that the idea for M&M's began in the 1930s when soldiers covered chocolate in a sugary coating to prevent it from melting. Mr. Mars created the shell coating over his small bits of chocolate for a similar reason - to be able to sell chocolate in even the warmer seasons. Thank you Mr. Mars!


Plain M&Ms and Peanut M&M's


Plain milk chocolate covered by the candy coating and peanuts covered by chocolate covered by the candy coating were the original M&M's. At least in my memory. I grew up eating them. They were my favorite thing to find in my bag at Halloween. I loved to find them baked in cookies. 


Peanut Butter M&M's

It is an entire bag of M&Ms day

More recently, Peanut Butter M&M's have been my favorite (as shown in the photo). These little treats are made with real peanut butter and I believe that is why they taste so good to me. I do not enjoy artificial peanut butter flavored candies. 


Caramel M&M's


Oh yes, caramel M&M's! I was so excited to find these on the store shelves. I love caramel treats: caramel squares, Rolos, and caramel apples - just to name a few. Even though I have been an M&M's fan over the years, I wasn't optimistic when I tried this flavor. I half expected the "soft center" to be a yucky, runny, caramel-flavored ooze. That is not at all what Caramel M&M's are like. They are delicious! 


The Many Flavors of M&M's


I guess rather than highlight each flavor, I'll just list them here. And leave it with my thought that there's not a new flavor of M&M that I haven't loved.  

  • M&M's Crispy
  • M&M's Pretzel
  • M&M's Dark Chocolate
  • M&M's Almond
  • M&M's Dark Mint
  • M&M's Dark Chocolate Peanut

Mars also offers seasonal flavors and limited editions. Some examples of those are:

  • M&M's Candy Corn Chocolate
  • M&M's Pecan Pie
  • M&M's Pumpkin Pie
  • M&M's Coffee Nut
  • M&M's Strawberry Nut

Intro photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Related Links:


Amazon is one of the places that you can easily find any limited edition flavors that are still available. Have your chocolate treats delivered right to your door and eat chocolate without leaving that house. Click on one of the items below to search Amazon for M&M treats.

Are you already an M&M's fan? Do you want to design your own M&M's? Choose your own colors? Create candies that match your wedding or celebrate a special occasion. Would like like to give them as personalized gifts? Believe it or not, you can add your own letter, word, clipart, or photo with MyM&M's







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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