Tag Archives: pecans

Easy Holiday Food Gifts

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

Chocolate Truffles for Holiday Food GiftsFood gifts are always welcome, but even more so during the holiday season.  Every year the holidays arrive faster and faster.  No matter how I try, there is no way to slow them down.  When I was a little girl, time could not go by fast enough.  Now that I am no longer a little girl, it goes all too fast.

Many of us, including me, have people on our gift list that we want to remember. There is no better way to let someone know you appreciate them or what they do than with food gifts you make.  So I drew together a list of quick to make and wonderful to receive gifts that are not cookies.  Don’t get me wrong, I love making and giving cookies, but they can be time-consuming if you work or are just busy. Continue reading

Praline Squares or Pecan Candy

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

Praline Squares or Pecan CandyThese Praline Squares or  Pecan Candy are one of those happy accidents that comes from just enough knowledge. I found a recipe for New Orleans Praline Pieces on  epicurious.com that sounded just like what I was looking for.

I had made pralines before and I remembered they always seemed grainy after they set up. So, in an attempt to make them less grainy or not grainy at all, I decided to replace some of the sugar with clear corn syrup as it is an invert sugar and helps reduce crystallization in sugar.

So out comes the pot and in goes everything except the pecans. The butter melts, a candy thermometer is clamped on and the bubbling mass cooks to a temperature of 236 degrees. I removed it from the heat and cooled it to 220°F as instructed. Continue reading

Gluten Free Turtle Cake with Salted Caramel

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

Turtle CakeThis Decadent Gluten Free Turtle Cake was supposed to posted last week.  But I ran into a problem.  Actually six problems.  Six gluten free chocolate cakes later, here is the recipe.

I have a son who was recently diagnosed as celiac.  Although he lives about 300 miles away, I try to think of things for him.  I was determined to make this chocolate cake gluten free.  I had a recipe in mind but I had to ditch the flour.  Easier said than done for sure!  To make it more of a challenge, I didn’t want to use a gluten free flour substitute. In the end, I used cocoa which gives the cake an edge, but a delicious one. Continue reading

The Importance of a Base Recipe in Baking

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

Single cookie for The Importance of Base Recipes in BakingThis is a perfect base recipe for cookies as it can be adapted endlessly and can be put together in a matter of minutes.

When baking professionally a base recipe is not only desirable but necessary. It is impossible to have 40 chocolate cake recipes or one for every chocolate cake you ever made. We had about 6 but our work horse was the cake for the Espresso Fudge Cake.

We could combine endless fillings and finishes as well as baking the layers thicker or thinner depending upon what we wanted when we used a base recipe.

I first used this recipe in “My Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies”. I listed the following points that make this cookie a favorite.

The cookies shown in this blog are the Orange Macadamia Chocolate Chip Cookie listed below.

Continue reading

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