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Friday, May 4, 2018

♥ Pecan Shortbread Tea Cakes Recipe ♥

Pecan Shortbread Tea Cakes Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract                                      
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 72 pecan halves, toasted
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brandy


Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture, and mix well. Roll into 1-in. balls; place in greased miniature muffin cups. Lightly press a pecan half into the center of each. Bake until edges are lightly browned, 10-12 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
For caramel glaze, combine brown sugar, milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and brandy. Drizzle over cookies.

Yield: about 6 dozen.
Originally published as Pecan Shortbread Tea Cakes in Taste of Home Christmas Annual 2018

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

♥ Glazed Apple Cookies ♥

Recipe & photo from:
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1⅓ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced
  • 1 cup raisins
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2½ tbsp half and half

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Beat shortening, brown sugar, and egg together until light and fluffy
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg
  4. Stir half of the dry ingredients into creamed mixture
  5. Stir in apples and raisins, then stir in remaining half of dry ingredients and milk
  6. Mix well
  7. Drop batter (from about a big tablespoon) 2 inches apart onto a lightly greased baking sheet
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes (I did 8-9 minutes because we like them soft and they were perfect)
  9. Make glaze: combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and half and half and beat until smooth
  10. Remove cookies and put on cooling racks
  11. Spread glaze on warm cookies
  12. Enjoy!
~~from: ~~

Friday, September 12, 2014

♥ Slow Cooker Autumn Apple Butter ♥

Recipe & photo from:
Chilling Time: 3 hr
Cooking Time: 12 hr
  • 6 pounds apples
  • 1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (1 cup if you prefer it less sweet)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. Peel and chop apples and place them in the slow cooker.
  2. Pour honey over the apples and toss to coat.
  3. Combine the spices and brown sugar and toss with apples and honey in slow cooker.
  4. Cook on low 8 to 10 hours (overnight works great).
  5. Stir in the vanilla extract and cook an additional 2 hours with the lid off.
  6. If you prefer your apple butter thick, keep cooking to reduce the liquid a bit.
  7. Turn off the slow cooker and let the apples cool for a few hours. Ladle the cooked apple mixture into the bowl of a food processor (an immersion blender or regular blender works). Process for 2 to 3 minutes or until very smooth.
  8. Pour into jars, add lids and store in the refrigerator for up to two week. Jars can also be frozen, just be sure to leave enough head space in the jar to allow for expansion.

 ~~from: ~~

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

♥ Pink Lemonade Chiffon Cake ♥

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 eggs, separated with whites reserved
  • 3/4 cup pink lemonade
  • 3 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • *pink food coloring 

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
  • 2 lbs powdered sugar (about 8 cups)
  • 1/2 cup pink lemonade
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • *pink food coloring (optional)

How to Make:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Spray 3, 8" cake pans generously with baking spray, set aside
  3. In bowl of stand mixer, mix on low speed flour, sugar baking powder and salt together until combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in the egg yolks, oil, pink lemonade and 2-3 drops of food coloring if desired. Beat mixture on medium high for 3 minutes, scraping sides as needed.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl combine egg whites and cream of tartar and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, will take a few minutes.
  5. Fold egg whites into the cake batter and divide equally into the 3 prepared pans.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until centers spring back to touch.
  7. Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then remove from pans and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Frosting
  9. Beat butter until smooth and creamy. Slowly add in powdered sugar and pink lemonade, alternating back and forth until everything is mixed in. Add in the zest and 1-2 drops of food coloring, if desired. Mix until creamy and desired consistency is reached. Feel free to add more powdered sugar or lemonade to get desired consistency. *Hint, the more pink lemonade you add, the more the frosting will appear "curdled", so to amp up the tartness, if desired, add more zest.
  10. Spread the frosting on the layers and the outside of the cake.

recipe adapted from Southern Living

To achieve the frosting technique I got here I crumb coated the whole cake and then divided the frosting into thirds coloring one section slightly darker, the next a little lighter and didn't add coloring to the last bit. I used an off-set spatula and started with the darker color on the bottom, adding the middle color next and finishing the top with the lightest color. I blended it all together with my large off-set spatula.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

♥ Cream Cheese Apple Cake ♥

Recipe & photo from BunnysWarmOven
3 large apples peeled, cored and chopped (use firm crisp apples, I used Cameo)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice ( to toss chopped apples with)
1 3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1- 8 ounce pkg cream cheese, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place baking rack in the middle of the oven. Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan with shortening.

1.  Peel, core and chop 3 large firm crisp apples.  Toss them in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, set aside.
2.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the 1 3/4 cup of white sugar, butter, the cream cheese and vanilla until smooth.  Add the eggs and beat until well combined and creamy.
3.   Combine the flour,salt and baking powder in a small bowl, stir to combine.  Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, beat with an electric mixer until just combined.  Add the chopped apples and fold them into the batter.
4.  Pour the apple batter into the prepared 13×9 inch baking pan. Leveling the batter out as needed.
5.  In a small bowl combine the light brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans.  Sprinkle over the apple batter in pan.
6.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 -60 minutes or until the cake tests done with a toothpick.

~~from:  BunnysWarmOven ~~

Thursday, September 4, 2014

♥ Pecan Bread ♥

Recipe & photo: Southern Life Beautiful
3 cups sifted flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¾ cup granulated sugar or 1 cup brown sugar
1 cup pecan meats, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ cups or so milk
2 Tbsp melted butter or shortening

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease one loaf pan 9x5x3.

Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together; add nuts.

Combine egg, milk and butter; add to flour mixtures, stirring only enough to dampen all the flour.

Pace into prepared loaf pan. Bake in moderate oven 46 to 60 minutes.

Makes 1 loaf

Add 1 cup raisins or dried cherries or cranberries.
Add 1 cup chopped apples or pears
Use orange juice in place of milk plus 1 Tbsp orange zest.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

♥ Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake ♥

    Cinnamon Roll Batter
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 

    Cheesecake filling:
  • 2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 eggs 

    Cinnamon Filling:
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cinnamon 

    Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch Springform pan.
  2. For the Cinnamon Roll Batter: In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla. Beat for another minute. Scrape down bowl.
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine the sifted and creamed ingredients together. Mix on low speed until thoroughly combined.
  5. Spread half of the batter onto the bottom of the Springform pan. This is the hardest part. It will be sticky and thick so spray your hands with baking spray and press down. It doesn't need to be perfect - it's very forgiving. It will be a thin layer but will rise up during baking. Transfer the remaining batter to a small bowl and set aside.
  6. For the Cheesecake Filling:
  7. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer (a clean bowl), beat cream cheese and sugar for 2 minutes on medium-high speed in a large bowl.
  8. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
  9. Add the vanilla and flour and beat for another minute.
  10. Pour all of the cheesecake batter on top of the cinnamon roll batter that is in the prepared pan.
  11. Cinnamon Filling: In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  12. Drop spoonfuls of the cinnamon filling over the entire top of the cheesecake making sure not to get too close to the sides. If you get too close to the sides the filling could bubble out when baking.
  13. Take the rest of the base batter and drop spoonfuls over the entire top of cheesecake. Swirl gently with a knife. The batter is thick but just gently do it the best you can.
  14. Bake for about 45-55 minutes or until the center is set. Cake will be puffy and lightly browned. You can cover it will foil for the last 10 minutes if it is getting too brown for your liking. Let chill for 20 minutes at room temperature and then cover and move to fridge for 4 hours. Remove cake and let it warm up to room temperature just a bit. Drizzle with Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below).
  15. For the Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat together cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Mix in additional milk if desired to reach the consistency you like. Since the top of the cheesecake is pretty delicate, I opted to drizzle the frosting instead of using a spatula. I placed all of the frosting in a large gallon Ziploc bag. I snipped off the corner with scissors (next time I would cut the hole a little smaller) and drizzled the frosting in a crisscross pattern.


Monday, September 1, 2014

♥ Skinny Chocolate-Caramel Banana Bread ♥

Recipe & photo from:


2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup egg whites (or 2 large)
1/3 cup light sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 packets Skinny Cow™ Milk Chocolate Dreamy Clusters Candy, chopped


1. Place rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, soda and salt.
2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the sugars, butter and applesauce. Mix in the banana, egg whites, sour cream and vanilla. Blend in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in the chopped candy, reserving a few pieces to sprinkle on top.
3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the reserved chocolate pieces on top.
4. Bake for 1 hour (checking at 45 minutes on how much the top has browned... place a piece of foil loosely on top of the loaf if it has already browned nicely on top). At one hour, draw a toothpick or a sharp knife into the center of the loaf to check for doneness. It should come out fairly clean- if not, bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes until done.
5. Cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting and serving.

Nutritional Information per serving: (Using the Spark People Recipe Calculator)
Serving size: 1/16th of the loaf
Calories per serving: 113
Fat per serving: 3.8g
Saturated Fat per serving: 2.4g
Sugar per serving: 16.5g
Sodium per serving: 180.9g
Fiber per serving: 1.5g
Protein per serving: 1.4g
Cholesterol per serving: 7.1mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 22g WW POINTS per serving:
Points Plus Program: 3 Old Points Program: 2

Sunday, August 31, 2014

♥ Favorite Soft Sugar Cookies ♥

Recipe & photo from:
  • 10 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla (I used 1 tsp + 1 vanilla bean ~ totally optional)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/3 cups flour 

  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp milk

How to Make:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
  3. Cream shortening and butter together until smooth, add in sugar and beat for 1 minute on medium speed.
  4. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth.
  5. Turn mixer to low and add in baking powder, salt and flour until just combined.
  6. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes until cookies just start to get golden.
  8. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to continue cooling.
  9. Frosting
  10. In mixer beat shortening and powdered sugar together. Mixture will look like course sand.
  11. Slowly add in milk and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes until smooth and fluffy.
  12. Color frosting if desired and spread onto cooled cookies.
Makes 26.


Friday, August 29, 2014

♥ Lemon Ricotta Cookies ♥

Recipe & photo from:


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese, whole milk (1 container)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh
For the Glaze:
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested


For the Cookies:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Mix with your fingertips until the sugar is fragrant. Set aside.
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the large bowl combine the butter and lemon sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing until they are fully incorporated.
  6. Add the ricotta cheese and lemon juice and mix until incorporated.
  7. Stir in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  8. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto prepared baking sheets.
  9. Bake cookies in preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges.
  10. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 20 minutes.
  11. Once all the cookies are cool, prepare the lemon glaze.

For the Glaze:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest and whisk until smooth.
  2. Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze.
  3. Place cookies on a wire baking rack or wax paper and allow the glaze to harden before serving.


Source: Slightly adapted from The Food Network.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

♥ Red Velvet and Cream Cheese Muffins♥

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened 

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into cubes

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, 1 cup of the sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, mix together the buttermilk, cocoa, food coloring, oil and eggs. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix just until moistened.
  3. In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Fold into the muffin batter, being careful to not overmix. Fill the muffin tins about 2/3 full with the batter.
  4. In another small bowl, mix together the flour and sugar. Cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the muffins.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 17-20 minutes.

Monday, August 25, 2014

♥Strawberry Shortcake Eclair Cake ♥

1 small box Strawberry Creme Instant Jello Pudding (3.4 ounce)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup Cool Whip + extra for garnish
graham crackers
2 cups diced strawberries
1/4 cups sugar
  1. Whisk together the instant pudding and milk. Fold in the 1 cup Cool Whip.
  2. Place a layer of graham cracker in the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish. Spread half the pudding on the crackers. Cover with another layer of crackers. Add the rest of the pudding over the middle layer of crackers. Top with one more row of crackers. You may need to break some into small pieces to cover all the pudding. Place in the refrigerator.
  3. Place the strawberries and sugar in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until it gets thick, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Spread over the top of the mixture in the pan. Keep refrigerated. Cut into 12 slices. Top with more Cool Whip and extra strawberries before serving.
*Use an instant vanilla pudding and a Strawberry Shortcake Duncan Hines Frosting Creation if you cannot find the Strawberry Creme pudding.
**You could also use a few spoonfuls of strawberry Jello gelatin powder in vanilla pudding. Stir to taste.
***For extreme strawberry flavor, use an instant Strawberry Pudding and the Strawberry Shortcake DH Frosting Creation together.