Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dessert Ideas for a Spring Dinner

One of my favorite sayings is ...Life Is Short Eat Dessert First 
So I will work backwards as I did in March with recipe ideas for your Spring dinner.

Southern Pecan Praline Pie
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Holiday Baking 2007
Cook’s note: Recently I read an article that taste tested refrigerated pie crusts. The winner hands down by far in points was Marie Callender’s Deep Dish Pie Crusts. The reviewers thought the crust turned out light, flaky with no bitter after taste and really homemade. It is on my list to try at a later date but for this recipe used a product called Pappy’s Pie Crusts. I have always had success with it. I used 2-pie crust doughs rolled out for one bottom crust. If you turn a pie pan upside down over rolled out dough, trim in a circle so there is about 1-1/2 inch overhang. I did find out on the Internet this pie crust dough is mostly available in Upper Midwest. If not in that area you will have better luck finding Marie Callender’s product.  You will only need one deep-dish crust to make this Pecan Pie.
Ingredients:
  • pie crust
  • 1 stick of butter cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4-cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • 3 TB. bourbon
  • 2 cups pecans toasted and cooled (spread out on a cookie sheet @ 350 for about 10 minutes) 
Directions:

Pie Crust
  • Roll out crust and fit into pie shell-if using pre-made pie shell the following directions work the same for both kinds
  • Heat oven to 375
  • Line pie shell with 2 pieces of foil that overlap each other
  • Push foil tightly around bottom of pie pan and bake 15 minutes
  • Carefully remove foil and bake crust 10 minutes longer till set and lightly browned
  • Remove pie shell from oven and set aside
  • Lower oven to 275

·Filling

  • Cook butter, brown sugar and salt over medium heat till sugar melted and butter absorbed-use a whisk to mi it well
  • Remove from heat and whisk in eggs one at a time, whisk in corn syrup, vanilla and bourbon
  • Return to medium heat and stir about 4 minutes till mixture is glossy-watch carefully and whisk occasionally
  • Remove from heat and stir in nuts-reserve ½ cup for top
  • Pour mixture into warm shell
  • Crimp strips of foil around edges of pie pan to avoid over browning when cooking
  • Sprinkle reserved nuts on top
  • Bake 45- 50 minutes-check at 45 need center to be set
  • Cool pie on a wire rack
  • Serve with whip cream mixed with 1 TB. bourbon


The following are some cupcake decorating ideas that are easy to implement 
This cupcake pictured above would be great using a lemon cake and lemon frosting



Coconut Cake
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home April May 2011
Ingredients:
  • 5 eggs separated
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp. coconut extract
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. almond extract
  • 2- ¼ cup cake four
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups flakes coconut
  • ¼ tsp. crème tartar
Directions:
  • Separate eggs and place whites in a bowl and bring to room temperature
  • Beat sugar, butter, oil, till fluffy
  • Add yolks in one at a time
  • Beat in extracts
  • In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda. And salt
  • Add to creamed mixture alternate with buttermilk-beat well
  • Stir in coconut
  • Add crème of tartar to egg whites and beat until stiff peaks
  • Fold whites gently into batter
  • Divide batter into two greased cake pans
  • Bake 25 minutes at 350 or until center comes clean with a toothpick
  • If using a 13 x 9 pan cook 30 minutes but check at 25 minutes

Cream cheese Frosting

Ingredients:
·         1-8 oz. cream cheese softened
·         5 TB. softened butter
·         4-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
·         1-1/4  tsp. coconut extract
·         2 cups coconut toasted
·         milk 2% or higher
Directions:
·         Beat butter, cream cheese, extract till fluffy
·         Add in confectioner’s sugar
·         Use milk as needed to get correct consistency-a few tablespoons at a time
·         Frost cake-sprinkle with toasted coconut and chopped macadamia nuts

LAST... but not LEAST by any means is a link to my favorite magazine with many more Spring menu ideas

http://www.southernliving.com/food/holidays-occasions/easter-menus-00400000042194/?iid=newsletter

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