Friday, September 9, 2016

Pecan Cookies with a Maple Penuche Frosting

I would like to share these little goodies with you.  We have made them a couple of times and they are delish!  I think it is the cooked frosting that makes them so good.  I fell in love with cooked frosting many years ago when I first came upon Texas Sheet Cake.  Cooked frosting has to be my favorite, and the soft cookie tastes so good with this cooked frosting.

I love the maple in these cookies, it just seems to say Fall is coming.  Maybe because it is starting to turn fall --I don't know-- the maple flavoring was delicious with this penuche-type frosting.

Pecan Cookies
Yield:  Around 30 to 36 cookies.

1 cup butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup finely chopped pecans
36 pecan halves, toasted

Cooked Brown Sugar Frosting

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cream
1 tablespoon  butter
1½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon maple extract (Mapeleine)  Do not use maple syrup.

Instructions for Cookies

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, put butter and sugars and beat until light and fluffy.  Add in the egg and vanilla and mix well. 
2.  Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt, and beat until well mixed.  Add chopped pecans and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.  Please do not skip this step, or you will have flat cookies.
3.  Shape into 1-inch balls and place on baking sheet (12 to a baking sheet, in a 350 degree oven  for about 8 to 10 minutes.  You do not want an overcooked cookie.  Set aside and cool before frosting.

Instructions for Frosting

1.  Combine brown sugar and cream in a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat.  Bring mixture to a boil, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in butter.

2.  Stir in 1-1/2 cups powdering sugar into sugar and cream mixture, beating until smooth.  Work quickly.   If frosting is too thick, add some more cream and beat again until smooth.  If frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar.  You are looking for a frosting consistency that will not droop off the cookie.

3. Frost each cookie and  place a toasted pecan on each cookie.  Make sure you place the pecans on the cookies as you frost them, so they will stick on the cookie.  Make sure frosting is set before you store the cookie. 

I adapted these cookies from a recipe on Recipe Rebel's blog, and she adapted them from Southern Living, which is a favorite source of mine for recipes.

Thanks for dropping by the Couch.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Beach Cupcakes

These cupcakes are a great way to celebrate summer coming to an end!  We have made these on several occasions before, this time we made these for a friend who was celebrating her birthday.  She had just been to the beach.

These are so fun and easy to make.  I just love the Fruit Stripes gum.  We found the Fruit Stripes gum at Winco (we live in the west), but you really could use any kind of gum.  The "beach ball" is just a little gum ball.  The parasols can be found at Hobby Lobby or other craft stores.

Directions for the Beach Cupcakes

1.  Bake your favorite cupcakes.
2.  Make a batch of buttercream frosting.  Tint it light blue, ocean-colored.
3.  Crush a sleeve of graham crackers.
4.  Frost the cupcakes with the buttercream frosting for the water.
5.  Dip half of the cupcakes in graham crackers for the sand.
5.  Bend the Fruit Striped Gum into a beach chair, apply a little bit of frosting on he bottom of the chair.
6.  Add the beach ball (bubble bum) to the cupcake with a little bit of frosting on the bottom.
7.  Place the umbrella in the cupcake.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sun-Dried Tomato Bacon Parmesan Pasta

Hello Red Couch Readers!  We have been making this pasta, on and off last summer and this summer.  It was a recipe that my daughter Talley and I came up with last summer.  It is filled with some of my favorite ingredients.  Even those that don't like fresh tomatoes, love the sun-dried tomatoes in this pasta.  The sun-dried tomatoes just gives the pasta a wonderful zing.

Here is a close-up of the pasta.

Sun-Dried Tomato Bacon Parmesan Pasta

1 (16 - ounce) package of pasta -- we used Rotini, but any pasta will do
1-1/2 cups sun-dried tomatoes, cut in small pieces -- we use the tomatoes in a plastic pouch (not in oil)
1-1/2 cups onion, diced -  we used a sweet onion
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 (12-ounce) package bacon, cooked until brown and then crumbled
1 (5 ounce) container shredded Parmesan -- we use the kind from the deli.
Basil, for garnish, optional

In a large pot, cook pasta according to directions, drain and set aside.  In a large dutch oven, put sun-dried tomatoes, onion, garlic, and olive oil.  Saute the onion, sun-dried tomato, garlic, and olive oil in the dutch oven for about 6 minutes, or until the onion is soft.  Add the ground pepper and the red pepper flakes.  Add the bacon and heat thoroughly.  Remove from heat.  In a large serving bowl, add pasta and sun-dried tomato mixture.  Cool, then add Parmesan cheese and garnish with basil.  Serve hot or cool.

Note:  This is a really, no-fuss recipe, and it can be adapted to your needs --  add less oil or more sun-dried tomatoes.

Thank you for dropping by our Red Couch.