Mini Pecan Tarts

mini pecan tarts

I absolutely love pecan pie. However, it is not a pie I grew up eating. Our family enjoyed pumpkin, sweet potato and apple pie during our Thanksgiving gatherings. It was not until I saw an episode of the Pioneer Woman where we baked a pecan pie, that I decided to try it and immediately loved it. 

pecan tarts

I created my mini pecan tarts as a spin off of the classic pecan pie. I really love individual desserts, as they make serving so easy! 

For the crust, I used a short pastry that I have been using in my lemon bars for years. I love this crust because it is a few simple ingredients, is fool-proof and it is absolutely delicious. 

mini pecan pies

I will be making these for my family this Thanksgiving. I love that they can be made ahead and will keep for two days at room temperature stored in an air tight container 😀

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Mini Pecan Tarts
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 dozen
 
Ingredients
Crust
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ice water
  • pinch of salt
Filling
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ⅔ cup Light Corn Syrup
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup pecan halves
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine butter, 2 cups AP flour, brown sugar and pinch of salt in a food processor. Pulse until mixture begins to come together. Add in the ice water and pulse a few more time, until the dough comes together.
  3. Divide the dough evenly into each tartlet pan. Press the dough up the sides. Prick the dough with a fork.
  4. Place the tartlet pans on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
  5. While the dough is blind baking, make the filling.
  6. Whisk egg, corn syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.
  7. Remove the crusts from the oven. Place1 tablespoon pecans in each tartlet.
  8. Pour the filling over the pecans. Return tartlets back to the oven for 12-15 minutes, until they are just set.
  9. Remove from oven and enjoy!

amandas plate mini pecan pies

 

Make this recipe? I’d love to see! Tag me @AmandasPlate or #CreateAmandasPlate

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Easy Peppermint Bark

easy peppermint bark, peppermint bark

Looking for a last minute gift? Look no further than this peppermint bark!

All you need is some chocolate, candy canes and peppermint extract (which is even optional)!

peppermint bark, chocolate peppermint barkPackage these treats, wrap them with a bow and share with your friends and  neighbors! There’s nothing that says “I appreciate you” more than a homemade gift! I know it is something I love to receive 😀

chocolate peppermint bark, peppermint bark

Easy Peppermint Bark
Prep time: 
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Ingredients
  • 8 ounces white chocolate
  • 8 ounces milk or dark chocolate
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 candy canes, crushed
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Melt white chocolate, over a double boiler. This means placing a bowl over a pot of simmering water and gently melting the chocolate.
  3. Mix in the peppermint extract
  4. Spread white chocolate evenly onto the parchment paper. Place in refrigerator to cool and harden.
  5. Melt milk or dark chocolate.
  6. Spread evenly on top of the white chocolate
  7. Sprinkle on the crushed candy canes and gently press in the candy canes
  8. Allow to cool and set in the refrigerator
  9. Break into pieces
  10. Enjoy 🙂

 

 

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Candied Pecans

candied nuts, holiday nuts

Is it just me or did this year fly by?

I mean, 2015 will be over in just a few short weeks!

But before we can celebrate the new year, we need to gift our friends and neighbors these delicious candied pecans!

candied pecans, candied nuts

Who doesn’t love a sweet, nutty, candied nut? And as a gift? The best 🙂

 

I’ve made several batches of these pecans and they are always gone in the blink of an eye! Seriously, they’re that good.

And the good news is, they’re really simple and easy to make.

pecans

 

Candied Pecans
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 4 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 16 ounces pecans (about 4 cups)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 320 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg white, water and vanilla until it stiffens slightly.
  3. Stir in sugar, cinnamon.
  4. Add the pecans to the bowl and mix until the pecans are coated in the cinnamon and sugar.
  5. Spread pecans evenly on a baking sheet and place into the oven.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden.
  7. Allow to cool completely
  8. Enjoy 🙂

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Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

chocolate peppermint cookies

I’ve kind of been obsessed with chocolate peppermint flavored everything right now.

It is the holiday season and I DO love chocolate, so it totally makes sense!

*See my Peppermint Marshmallows Here *

 peppermint marshmallows

I am so excited to announce my Youtube Channel and this is the first video I am sharing on there!

 

 

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Prep time: 
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Serves: 18 cookies
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup chocolate chips
  • 2 candy canes, crushed
  • 18 peppermint Hershey kisses
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cream together butter and sugar. Add in the egg. Mix well.
  3. Add in salt, baking soda, peppermint extract, cocoa powder and flour. Mix until combined.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Place in freezer for 5 minutes.
  6. Scoop onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  8. Place a peppermint Hershey kiss in the center of the cookie and swirl with a toothpick.
  9. Sprinkle on crushed candy canes
  10. Enjoy!

 

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Gingerbread Cake with Orange Icing

orange icing, gingerbread cake

I love a beautiful cake pan almost as much as the cake that bakes within it!

Hussein and I were at the mall last weekend and I had to stop and have a look (and only a look, I promised) at William Sonoma when I came across the most beautiful Nordic Ware pan. I *had* to have it. 

gingerbread cake with orange icing

I then set out to make a special cake flavor to go with this oh *so* special pan. I wanted it to be festive, reminiscent of the season and unlike other cakes that I have made before.

I decided on a gingerbread cake and landed on this recipe from Bon Appetit. I paired it with a very simple orange icing 😀

gingerbread cake, gingerbread cake

 

Gingerbread Cake with Orange Icing
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
Gingerbread Cake
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
Orange Icing
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2½ tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9inch baking pan with non-stick baking spray.
  2. In a bowl, mix oil, brown sugar and molasses until well combined.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between each addition.
  4. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, clove.
  5. Add the flour to the wet ingredients. Also add in the boiling water and orange zest.
  6. Mix until all ingredients are combined, being careful not to overmix.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean
  8. Allow the cake to cool completely
Icing
  1. Mix powdered sugar with orange juice and zest, until well combined
  2. Use a pipping bag to decorate your cake
  3. Enjoy 🙂

 

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Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

Mexican hot chocolate cookies, spicy cookies, mexican cookies, spicy chocolate cookies

I first had Mexican chocolate while vacationing with my family in Mexico. As a teenager, I did not appreciate the intense flavor profile of this chocolate. Luckily, my palate has evolved and I have since learned to appreciate this beautiful marriage of sweet and spicy.

The history of chocolate takes us to

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