Tag Archives: snack

Hot Peppered Pecans

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Hot Peppered PecansIt’s TV time again and the Hot Pepepred Pecans fit the 4 minute segment to a tee.  I originally discovered these Hot Peppered Pecans when the St. Louis Art Museum wrote their cookbook, “Artists in the Kitchen”. Some of the testing was done in my bakery kitchen.

These Hot Peppered Pecans are a standout. Heat Alert –  they are hot!!  So if you don’t favor a lot of heat, tone down all the pepper and the hot pepper sauce. Start with half and go from there.

These pecans make a great holiday or hostess gift. Choose little containers or put them cellophane bags and tie with decorative ribbons. They are also great on a cheese tray, crumbled in a salad or included in any recipe calling for pecans, including sweet ones.  The kick they add to chocolate chip cookies is amazing. As an added bonus they are gluten free. Continue reading

Cheddar Pecan Shortbreads

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Zippy Cheddar Pecan ShortbreadsWhile shortbreads are usually thought of as sweet, these Cheddar Pecan Shortbreads are definitely on the savory, snacky side. Anything with cheddar cheese, pecans and cayenne pepper is definitely on my must try list. But I must warn you, these are absolutely, positively addictive. There is not way to eat just one – hence the large number it makes!

When I had my take out shop, we sold these Cheddar Pecan Shortbreads and they were always a winner with wine, beer, lemonade or nothing at all.

They are perfect for the holidays as they can be kept in an airtight tin for weeks and in the freezer, unbaked for months. One thing to mention is that they will seem a lot zippier if eaten when just baked. They should be made and stored in a tin for at least a few days to mellow them out – even better for the busy times. Continue reading

Granola

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

granola.jpegGranola!  What could be better first thing in the morning than oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, raisins, dates and sesame seed all bound together in a honey glaze? It’s ridiculously simple and, as an added bonus, it’s good for you!! Easy and good for you, what more could you want? Any dried fruit can be substituted for the apricots and cherries. Raisins and dates work well or any of your favorites.  Don’t like almonds?  Use another nut. Macadamias come to mind.

You can see this on Thursday, April 7 on Great Day St. Louis, Channel 4 in St. Louis at 9:00. Continue reading

Puff Pastry Crackers

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Puff Pastry CrackersI don’t know about you, but last minute everything seems to happen at my house. With little time to plan or think ahead, it makes it difficult sometimes when your guests expect something a bit out of the ordinary.

These Puff Pastry Crackers are the solution for 2015….or the first of 2016! Take one box of purchased puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm is fine), a beaten egg and various toppings and you have the makings of instant crackers.

These Puff Pastry crackers will keep a few days in an airtight container. However, they are so easy to make ahead there is no need. Just top the, cut and freeze. Bake from the frozen state in a matter of minutes and you’ll have everyone thinking you are a genie in the kitchen!

Puff Pastry Crackers
1 box frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
1 egg, well beaten
Assorted toppings, such as
sesame seed
finely grated parmesan cheese with a hint of cayenne pepper
parmesan cheese, dried basil, oregano, a dash of garlic powder and a hint of      cayenne,
cheddar, cayenne and cumin
anything favorite flavor combination

Remove one piece of puff pastry from the box. Roll it out to about 14×12 inches. Brush it with the egg and top it as you please. Place in the freezer until frozen – this takes about 10 minutes. Remove it and cut it into the desired size of cracker. Keep in mind they will shrink somewhat when baked. Freeze again before going into the oven. Or keep them frozen for later.

When ready to bake preheat the oven to 375°F.

Line the tray with parchment paper and place the crackers on the tray about 1/4 inch apart. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes until browned and risen.

That’s it! Now act like it was just a pain to make these crackers but your guests were sooooo worth it!!!

Yield:  It depends upon the size of the cracker.  But a lot!

Italian Calzones

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished cutWhat’s better than Italian food?  Italian Calzones that you can hold in your hand!   Eat them for a snack, lunch, supper or just because it seems like a good idea.

One of the things I like so much about this recipe is that it does not use a yeast dough for the crust.  That eliminates a lot of waiting time.  This crust is so full of flavor and is very easy to use and to make.  After the initial roll out of the crusts, I trim them into perfect 9″ circles by using an 9″ cardboard circle.  This isn’t because I am seeking perfection but because it is easier to enclose the filling if the circles are relatively perfect.

The calzone pastry is an all purpose savory pastry that I used for the  Goat Cheese Pesto Tart.  It makes great crackers rolled fairly thin, brushed with egg white and sprinkled with more cheese.

If you want a really great pastry use Kerry Gold butter with garlic and herb.  Lacking that any butter makes a great savory pastry dough for calzones. Continue reading