CARAMEL APPLE HAND PIES

CARAMEL APPLE HAND PIES
DOUGH
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup cold sour cream

  • Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
  • Add the cubed butter to the bowl and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.
  • Stir in the sour cream (the dough will be very wet), and then turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.
  • Knead the dough a few times until it comes together, adding more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky to handle.
  • Roll the dough into an 8×10-inch rectangle and dust both sides with flour before folding it into thirds as if you were folding a letter.
  • Rotate the dough 90º and roll it out again into an 8×10-inch rectangle.
  • Fold the dough again into thirds then wrap it securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes while you make the filling.

FILLING
2 cups small peeled and SMALL diced Granny Smith apples (about corn kernel size)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • In a small bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

ASSEMBLY
Egg wash – 1 egg lightly whisked with 1 Tablespoon water
LARGE flake sea salt
Crystal sanding sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 425º.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unfold it onto a well-floured surface, rolling it out to a 14×14-inch square.
  • Using a 3-inch circular cookie cutter or cup, cut out as many circles as possible. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting out circles until you run out of dough, ensuring you end up with an even number of circles.
  • Place six of the dough circles on a Silpat or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Spoon a small portion of the apple filling into the center of each circle, leaving enough of a border around the filling.
  • Top the apple filling with a pinch of sea salt.
  • Place a second dough circle atop each filled circle then use a fork to crimp the edges together, sealing each pie.
  • Brush each pie with the egg wash, and using a sharp knife, cut two or three vents on the top of each pie.
  • Sprinkle the pies with crystal sanding sugar.
  • Bake the pies until they’re golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pies from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes before glazing.

GLAZE
Juice of 1 Large lemon
+/- 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • Blend together to desired consistency.

NOTES:

  • I like to use a FULL wine bottle to rill the dough as the weight helps it stay smoother.
  • I also roll the dough between 2 sheets of wax paper so I don’t need t add as much flour.
  • Large flake sea salt is available in most specialty supermarkets. My preferred brand is Maldon Salt.

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CHERRY BALSAMIC PORK CHOPS & PINEAPPLE COMPOTE

CHERRY BALSAMIC PORK CHOPS
2 boneless center cut pork chops
Avocado oil
1 shallot, sliced thin
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper
1 tablespoon white moscato wine
2 tablespoons cherry jam
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
PINCH sugar
1 tablespoon butter

  • Heat a drizzle avocado oil in heavy cast iron pan.
  • Season pork chops with salt and pepper.
  • Add to pan and sear 3-4 minutes per side until ALMOST cooked through.
  • Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add another drizzle of oil to the pan.
  • Add shallots and sauce until browned.
  • Add vinegar into pan and simmer until reduced.
  • Add cherry jam and wine, breaking apart any large clumps.
  • Season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste.
  • Add butter, stirring to melt.
  • Add pork chops back to pan, turning to coat. Cook another couple minutes until cooked through.

 

PINEAPPLE COMPOTE
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup minced onions
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons white moscato wine
2 cups FRESH diced pineapple (about 1/2 a pineapple)
6 ounce can pineapple juice (I sometimes use pineapple orange)
1/2 cup QUALITY honey
FRESH ground sea salt, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (I like to use champagne vinegar)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons FRESH minced parsley

  • In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat.
  • Add onions and ginger, cooking until softened.
  • Add wine, increase heat and cook until wine is absorbed.
  • Stir in the pineapple pieces, pineapple juice and honey, stirring to combine well. Bring to a SLOW boil. Reduce
  • heat and simmer until liquid is about half gone.
  • Season with salt and red pepper.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar and cornstarch.
  • Fold vinegar mixture into saucepan.
  • Simmer until thickened.
  • Stir in parsley.
  • Serve in parfait cups.

CARAMELIZED GRILLED PINEAPPLE & CARNE ASADA ala CITRUS

These pineapple spears are coated in a buttery brown sugar apple cinnamon glaze that caramelizes on the grill! It also pairs perfectly with a citrus carne asada!

CARAMELIZED GRILLED PINEAPPLE Serves: 4-6
Adapted from the Recipe Critic, Alyssa

One large ripe pineapple cut into spears
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon apple pie spice

  • In a shallow baking dish lay the pineapple spears in a single layer pan.
  • Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
  • Whisk together the butter, brown sugar and apple pie spice. It needs to be thin enough to easily pour over the pineapple – microwave a few seconds if necessary.
  • Pour over top of the pineapple spears.
  • Grill for about 7-10 minutes or until it is starting to turn golden brown and has gorgeous grill marks.
  • Brush with excess sauce from the dish before serving.

According to Wikipedia Carne asada is a roasted beef dish, literally meaning “roasted meat”[1][2]. The dish mainly consists of pieces or thin cuts of beef (e.g. flank steak, skirt steak), sometimes marinated, sometimes lightly salted or rubbed with salt, pepper and/or spices, and then grilled. It can be eaten alone, with side dishes, chopped and eaten as tacos, or chopped and used as filler for tortas, burritos, etc. It is commonly accompanied with guacamole, salsa, beans, and grilled scallions and tortillas.

The dish is commonly prepared in the northern parts of Mexico (in the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Coahuila, Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas) as well as in the American Southwest (especially Texas and New Mexico). It can be found as the main ingredient in tacos, tortas, burritos and fajitas, or is simply served as a stand-alone. It is sold at Mexican meat markets called “carnicerias” in the American Southwest; especially those states with Mexican/Mexican-American enclaves.
When purchasing carne asada from meat markets, consumers have two options available to them regarding the amount of preparation the steak has undergone pre-purchase: preparada, marinated meat as described above, serving as a time-saver for the home cook but typically at higher cost; and no preparada, unprepared meat, allowing for a home cook to create one’s own marinade. I buy unprepared meat and doctor my own.
All my pictures are before as we’re having it for dinner tonight. I’ll add an after picture later.


CARNE ASADA
2-3 pounds flank or skirt steak, sliced THIN
1 medium Vidalia onion, sliced thin
2 lemons, 1 sliced thin, 1 wedged for squeezing
1 lime, sliced thin
1 orange, sliced thin
1/3 cup champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons minced garlic, jar
1 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
1 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
  • Soak the meat in the vinegar for an hour or so.
  • Remove meat from vinegar and dry on paper towels.
  • Sift together all the seasonings and rub into the meat on both sides.
  • Layer the meat into a container alternating with the slices of lemon, limes, oranges and onions squeezing lemon juice on each layer as you go.
  • Let marinate for overnight or a day or so.
  • Grill on a VERY hot grill to desired doneness, 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Serve with warm tortillas, Fresh Guacamole and Fresh Garden Salsa.

BAKED CARAMEL PEARS

In an effort to clean out magazines and cookbooklets, I joined Magazine Mondays hosted by Cream Puffs in Venice several years ago. What I really liked was that she wasn’t strict about when you posted so I could publish these yummy results as I found them. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find her bog for awhile and then she changed formats, but it got me working on that pile of recipes.

If you are anything like me, you have a drawer or a box full of recipes from newspapers, magazines, old maiden aunts, grandmothers, friends and every potluck you ever went to and said I have to have that recipe! Now while I usually keep the combination of spices and seasonings somewhat intact, I do make changes that make it more palatable to my family. So I always keep a list of likes, dislikes and allergies and am constantly altering recipes to fly by the seat of my pants.These recipes have been floating around so long in the box of scraps that I have no idea where they originated (but they look like pages from an old Lawry’s magazine when I worked there) which based on all my changes doesn’t matter, but reminds me to keep that box. Some days I feel like an archaeologist, but come up with oldies that were favorites and will now be revived.


BAKED CARAMEL PEARS

3-4 firm pears, pared and cut into fourths
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon*
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small squares
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 to 6 tablespoons chopped, toasted pecans, optional
1/4 cup rum soaked golden raisins**

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Arrange pears side by side, center down in an un-greased 8×8 baking dish.
  • Stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Sprinkle raisins around the pears.
  • Sprinkle with the brown sugar.
  • Evenly dot with the butter squares.
  • Bake uncovered 35-40 minutes or until pears are tender and brown sugar is bubbly.

*I deleted the pecans and increased the brown sugar to 1/3 cup while adding the cinnamon also.
**I soaked the raisins in rum for a day or so before and they were yummy!

Next time I will maybe broil the pears for a couple of minutes after they come out of the oven to crystallize the sugar.

HIP HIP HOORAY FOR BANANA JAM an oldie, but goodie from 2014 and a 2 for 1 with BANANAS FOSTER BUTTER

I’m still working on blog compilation and I ran across this recipe and can’t wait to make some later this week.  I can actually eat this YAY!
I LOVE!!!!! trying new recipes, but more importantly I LOVE!!!!! trying a new recipe that blows my socks off! My friend Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home mom featured a Banana Jam the other day.  I know, sounds weird right?  WRONG!!!! It’s the most fantastic, addictive recipe I’ve tried in a long time and even better it’s SOOOOOOOO simple.

BANANA JAM
4 cups mashed bananas
4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure Madagascar vanilla extract
Juice of 1 large lemon

  • Combine ingredients together and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until your boil.
  • Turn down heat and simmer until nice and thick, stirring frequently.
  • Pour into sterilized jars and water bath for 10 minutes.
  • Once open, refrigerate.

I’ve already added pineapple for a varied flavor and caramel for an ice cream topping.  Next is turning it into a Banana Cream Pie.

And OMG you have to try it on sourdough toast with JIF peanut butter.

Then a few weeks later  I was searching through my box of tricks, er recipes for tailgating recipes I wanted to try and found a recipe for BANANA FOSTERS BUTTER. It just screamed out for me to try it. It was fantastic too and great on Peanut Butter Toast.

BANANA FOSTERS BUTTER
8 ripe, firm large bananas
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons light rum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Mash bananas until smooth. Transfer bananas to a pot.
  • Stir in sugars, lemon juice, rum, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Bring to a slow boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently.
  • Ladle into hot sterilized jars leaving a 1/4 inch headspace.
  • Wipe jars clean, add lids and rings.
  • Process filled jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
  • Cool on wire racks.

Submitted to FULL PLATE THURSDAY @Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.

CARAMEL GLAZED APPLES

I’ve been making these for years, but they never grow old and are a GREAT fruity pick me up in this cold weather.
4 large Granny Smith apples (I used Honey Crisp, but they’re only available for such a short window of time)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons Kahlua’
4 tablespoons golden raisins

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Peel and core apples.
  • Slice each apple horizontally into 5 or 6 slices.
  • Place apples in a 9×9 baking dish.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of raisins into each apple.
  • Melt butter and whisk in the Kahlua’.
  • Drizzle over the apples.
  • Bake uncovered 45-60 minutes until fork tender.
  • Baste every 15 minutes.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt

  • In a heavy saucepan whisk together the water, sugar, corn syrup and a pinch of salt.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Boil without stirring until mixture turns golden.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Slowly stir in the cream.
  • Let cool.
  • To serve, plate apples in their stack, pour caramel sauce down the center of each apple and top with a scoop of french vanilla ice cream.

PB BANANA BITES

These are so SIMPLE and relatively healthy too.
PB BANANA BITES makes 12 – 16 pieces
2 bananas, sliced 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick (size is based on your desire)
1/4 cup peanut butter
4-6 squares Candiquick
Sea Salt

  • Place a dollop of peanut butter on half the banana slices.
  • Top with the other half of the banana slices.
  • Microwave candiquick at 30 second intervals until melted.
  • Using a fork to support a stack dip it into the chocolate and place on a sheet of waxed paper to harden.
  • While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle with seas salt.
  • Keep refrigerated.

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ROASTED BANANA PUDDING

ROASTED BANANA PUDDING

5 ripe unpeeled medium bananas (about 2 pounds) + 1 fresh banana for garnish
2 cups half-n-half
2/3 cup sugar, divided 1/3 + 1/3 + 1/3
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (12-ounce) container COOL WHIP, thawed and divided (4 1/2 cups fresh whipped cream)
45-55 vanilla wafers, divided

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Place 5 bananas on a jelly-roll pan covered with parchment paper.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove 2 bananas; cool completely.
  • Peel and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
  • Bake the remaining 3 bananas for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Carefully peel and place the 3 bananas in a small bowl, and mash with a fork until smooth. *The original recipe calls for 3 sliced bananas and 2 mashed bananas. If you want more banana pieces in your pudding you may want to do this.
  • Combine half-n-half and 1/3 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a SLOW simmer. DO NOT BOIL!
  • Combine remaining 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, salt, and eggs in a medium bowl; whisking well.
  • SLOWLY add hot half-n-half mixture to sugar mixture, whisking constantly. It’s very important that you mix these together very slowly and whisk constantly. If the hot mixture is added too quickly it can cook the eggs!
  • Return this combined mixture to pan.
  • Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 3 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  • Add mashed bananas, butter, and vanilla, stirring until butter melts.
  • Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl (or your kitchen sink filled with ice) for 15 minutes or until mixture comes to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  • Fold half of whipped topping into pudding.
  • Spread 1/2 of the custard evenly over the bottom of an 8x 8-inch baking dish. Top evenly with vanilla wafers and half of the banana slices.
  • Spoon remaining custard over banana slices.
  • Repeat procedure with vanilla wafers, banana slices.
  • Spread remaining half of whipped topping evenly over top.
  • Crush several wafers; sprinkle over top of whipped topping.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled.
  • Spoon into ramekins and top with crumbled vanilla wafers and fresh banana slices.

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BAKED CARAMEL PEARS

BAKED CARAMEL PEARS
3-4 firm pears, pared and cut into fourths
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon*
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small squares
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 to 6 tablespoons chopped, toasted pecans, optional
1/4 cup rum soaked golden raisins**

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Arrange pears side by side, center down in an un-greased 8×8 baking dish.
  • Stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Sprinkle raisins around the pears.
  • Sprinkle with the brown sugar.
  • Evenly dot with the butter squares.
  • Bake uncovered 35-40 minutes or until pears are tender and brown sugar is bubbly.

NOTE 1* I deleted the pecans and increased the brown sugar to 1/3 cup while adding the cinnamon also.
NOTE 2** I soaked the raisins in rum for a day or so before and they were yummy!

Next time I will broil the pears for a couple of minutes after they come out of the oven to crystallize the sugar.

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SOUR CREAM APPLE COFFEE CAKE

This SOUR CREAM APPLE COFFEE CAKE is so versatile – use whatever appropriate fruit is in season – love it with strawberries in May or peaches in August!

SOUR CREAM APPLE COFFEE CAKE
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
4 large Honey Crisp Apples

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Spray 9×9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Prepare the topping (see below) and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar and eggs.
  • Add sour cream and vanilla, blending well.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt until combined.
  • Gradually add flour mixture to the cream mixture until well mixed.
  • Pour half the batter into prepared baking dish. 
  • Layer half the apples over the batter.
  • Top with a scant half of the topping.
  • Pour remaining batter over topping, followed by the remaining apples and topping.
  • Bake 1 hour or until tester comes out clean.
  • Cool completely.
  • Refrigerate for an hour before serving.
  • Heat and top with Caramel sauce before serving (optional).

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup Fisher’s Cinnamon Pecans

  • Combine the brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and pecans, mixing well.
  • Set Aside.

APPLE CARAMEL CHEESECAKE

APPLE CARAMEL CHEESECAKE

CRUST
2 cups crushed gingersnap and vanilla wafer crumbs*
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup Fisher’s Cinnamon Pecans
11 ounce bag Kraft caramels
1/2 cup milk

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Combine cookie crumbs, melted butter and the pecans.
  • Press firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan.
  • Using a double boiler whisk together the milk and caramels until smooth.
  • Pour half of the caramel mixture over the crust, refrigerating the rest for later.
  • Refrigerate crust while making the filling.

FILLING
(2) 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature
2/3 cup extra fine sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
2 large Honey Crisp apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin

  • In a large mixing bowl cream the cream cheese until smooth.
  • Gradually add sugar until well incorporated.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, blending until VERY smooth.
  • Blend in vanilla.
  • Spread mixture evenly over prepared crust.
  • Arrange apple slices evenly over cream cheese mixture.
  • Bake on enter rack for 50-60 minutes until set (center should be only be SLIGHTLY jiggly.
  • Remove from oven and cool 20 minutes.

TOPPING
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons extra fine sugar
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla

  • Increase oven temperature to 475 degrees.
  • Whisk together sour cream, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  • Spread evenly over cheesecake.
  • Bake 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool 30 minutes.
  • Chill at least 3 hours (I do 8-10 hours).

GARNISH
1 Hershey’s milk chocolate ball
1 square unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 cup Fisher’s Cinnamon Pecans

  • Grate chocolates together.

TO SERVE

  • Microwave reserve caramel sauce 15 seconds.
  • Pour a small amount over each slice and then sprinkle with chocolate gratings and reserved pecans.

*If you prefer the original recipe called for graham cracker crumbs

BLACK FRIDAY THANKSGIVING WRAP UP with NEW RECIPES for GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE, CRANBERRY POMEGRANATE TANGERINE SAUCE, PUMPKIN PECAN BUTTER CAKE with CARAMEL SAUCE & CINNAMON PECANS

As I mentioned before, I DO NOT shop Black Friday, unless it’s from the comfort of my desk chair talking to a computer.  Thanksgiving weekend for us is and always has been casual.  This year was no exception. With just 2 of us this year I bought a turkey breast only.  So my questions is, where does the rest of the turkey go?

Our range is on the way out also – losing the heating elements one by one and the oven is now 75 degrees under temperature.  I didn’t want to take a chance so I started the turkey breast in the slow cooker and then used the oven to only brown the top.  Amazingly, it turned out PERFECT!  I see great turkey sandwiches tomorrow! And there are plenty of leftovers until the new range is installed next week.

Our morning started out foggy and drizzly before turning to serious cold and rain.  I did manage to capture this Robin hanging out in the old garden bed.

And the first opening bloom of the Christmas Cactus this season.

99.9% of my recipes are made from scratch, but every now and then I do cheat a bit.  Part of Thanksgiving’s dessert, PUMPKIN PECAN BUTTER CAKE with CARAMEL SAUCE & CINNAMON PECAN was one of those small cheats and believe me I will cheat again, but next time I’ll add some fresh whipped cream.  MOST of the recipe is scratch ingredients, but it called for a Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix.  Instead I used a SuperMoist BUTTER PECAN cake mix and it was FABULOUS!  I’ll give you the original recipe (which for the life of me I can’t remember where it came from – probably pinterest) with my changes in red.

GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
3-15 ounce cans cut green beans, drained VERY WELL!
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Wondra
1 1/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon each, paprika, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Savory Spice Shop Hidden Cove Lemon Garlic Blend
1 teaspoon celery flakes
2 tablespoons Riverhouse Parmesan Herb dressing **
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup +/- French’s French fried onion rings

  • Over medium heat melt butter in saucepan.
  • Whisk in Wondra until golden.
  • Add milk and heavy cream gradually, bringing to a boil JUST SLIGHTLY!
  • Reduce heat and simmer, stirring continuously until sauce begins to thicken.
  • While still stirring add in paprika, salt, pepper, Lemon Garlic and celery flakes. When you reach your desired consistency set pan aside to cool slightly.
  • In a large mixing bowl toss the green beans with the Riverhouse Parmesan Herb dressing.
  • Pour sauce over beans and gently toss and coat.
  • Pour into a baking dish and top with crumbled bacon and fried onion rings.
  • Bake 20-30 minutes until heated through.

**If you can’t find this brand, Litehouse Parmesan Caesar is a great substitute.

CRANBERRY POMEGRANATE TANGERINE SAUCE
1 bag cranberries
1 cup pomegranate seeds

1/2 cup fresh squeezed tangerine juice with pulp*
1/2 cup pineapple juice*
2 cups sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange peel
  • Wash cranberries and drain in colander.
  • Mix tangerine juice, pineapple juice and sugar in saucepan until dissolved.
  • Add cinnamon and orange peel. Stir well.
  • Add the cranberries and pomegranate seeds simmering over medium high heat until bubbling, stirring often.
  • When the mixture begins to boil, reduce heat.
  • Cook uncovered or until all cranberries and pomegranate seeds have ’popped’.
  • Sauce will thicken as it cools.
  • Can be stored in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for future holidays.

Yields: 2 cups
*You can use ALL orange juice if you prefer

***I like to make a double batch at Thanksgiving and freeze half for Christmas.

PUMPKIN PECAN BUTTER CAKE with CARAMEL SAUCE & CINNAMON PECANS
CAKE BOTTOM 
1 Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix (Butter Pecan)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 Egg

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line the bottom of your 10 inch springform pan with parchment paper. I cut a square sheet and close it into the seam of the bottom with the latch and then trim into a circle. Lightly spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • NOTE: you can use a 9×13 cake pan, but coat it well with non-stick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix, melted butter and egg until well blended.Press batter into the bottom of your springform pan.

FILLING 
8 ounces softened cream cheese
15 ounce can pumpkin
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1/2 teaspoon orange peel 
3 eggs
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Caramel sauce (recipe follows) 
Candied pecans (I used Fisher’s Cinnamon Pecans) 
Kraft Caramel Balls 
Smucker’s Pineapple Sauce, slightly warmed (optional)

  • In a large mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth.
  • Add melted butter, vanilla and eggs, beating until well combined.
  • Fold in powdered sugar, orange peel and pumpkin pie spice until just mixed.
  • Pour batter over cake base and smooth even.
  • Bake 60-75 minutes until cake is set and top is only slightly wobbly (similar to a cheesecake consistency).
  • COOL COMPLETELY on a wire rack BEFORE removing the pan.
  • Serve sliced with Caramel sauce, pineapple sauce, caramel balls and pecans.

NOTE: YOU WILL NEED LESS TIME USING A 9X13 PAN!

CARAMEL SAUCE 
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
2+ tablespoons water

  • Combine the cream and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • In a medium saucepan cook the corn syrup over a medium heat until bubbly.
  • Fold in 1/4 cup of the sugar and continue to cook until the edges begin to turn a light amber color.
  • Add in 1/4 cup sugar more and repeat until all the sugar is blended in.
  • Continue cooking until amber color darkens stirring constantly.
  • Remove from the heat and carefully fold in the cream mixture.
  • Cook over medium heat stirring frequently until caramel is bubbling.
  • Serve warm.
  • Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Microwave 20-30 seconds to soften refrigerated caramel before serving.

I’m off to wrap Christmas presents – Have a great weekend! 

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