Tag Archives: walnuts

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie

Guys, this pie.

So. Good.

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie via SweetRevelations

I’m completely, utterly nuts over it.   The idea came to me last week-end while still tidying up from the holidays.  What on earth were we to do with all of those in-shell nuts I bought?  And why, for heaven’s sake, did I buy so many to begin with?!  I say this, but I know why.  It’s the same reason I buy those stuck together, hard as a rock, assorted Christmas candies.  When I was growing up, there was always a bowl of mixed nuts sitting out during the holidays.   It was tradition at our house, and at my grandparents.  With the same old-school nutcracker that my mom had for years, the bowl of nuts came out and stayed out for the duration of the winter.  As kids, we cracked them simply for entertainment purposes, nut pieces and shells flying across the room.  We were so convinced that if we just squeezed hard enough, we could crack them open with our bare hands (never happened I can assure you).  But growing up, I certainly began to appreciate the value of shelled whole nuts a little more.  My husband often cracks a few for a quick snack just before dinner.  Sometimes we are catching up about our day, and we’re both just absent mindedly cracking and eating amongst the chatter.  When the kitchen is busy with guests and family, someone is undoubtedly cracking open a meaty walnut or a crunchy filbert, while usually the brazil nuts are largely ignored.

So there I was, holidays over, company dwindling, and hoards of mixed nuts left.  I knew without a doubt that I would be using the walnuts for a pie.  A warm pie to me is the ultimate comfort food.  A sweet, nutty winter pie seemed just right.  And adding chocolate and sea salt was a logical step.  Crunchy walnuts, dark chocolate and sea salt amongst a tender, flaky pastry?  Count me in!

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie via SweetRevelations

I knew I would be using a recipe similar to pecan pie for my base.  I took a few recipes I currently have, and adjusted them until I found something that I was happy with.  The sea salt just takes this pie over the top.  It’s only a subtle salt flavor, but one that pairs perfectly with the other ingredients.  So perfectly in fact, I’ve made it two more times since then.  So. Good.

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie

I love baking pies in the winter.  I usually keep lots of local summer fruit frozen just for that reason.  However, a nutty, decadent Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie is not only an appropriate alternative to fruit, I guarantee you that it will warm up your house and chase those winter blues away!

So I think I’ve given that ages old tradition of whole nuts during the holidays a new twist.  And when my children are in their own houses, and questioning their own winter bowl of nuts, “why do I put these out?” and “why on earth did I buy so many?!”, they’ll think back to these days in our kitchen.  And they’ll do it just the same, after all, its tradition.

Happy baking friends,

Renee

xo

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie

Preheat oven to 375°

Ingredients

  • 9″ unbaked pie shell
  • 1 cup Hershey’s dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tsp sea salt (more to taste if desired)
  1. Scatter the cup of chocolate chips on the bottom of the unbaked shell, set the shell aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter with the sugar.  Add the flour, eggs and corn syrup. Mix well.  Mix in the walnut pieces.  Pour the mixture into the pie shell, on top of the chocolate chips, and bake for 45 mins to an hour.  The filling will be puffed up and set at the sides, but still slightly jiggly in the center.  Don’t hesitate to leave it in longer if need be, the filling should be slightly jiggly but not sloshing around or it won’t set.  Cool completely and sprinkle with sea salt just before serving.

Walnuts via SweetRevelations

 

 

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Easy Icebox Shortbread Cookies {Featured Post}

Happy holiday cookie baking everybody!

I recently shared a recipe post over at Hello Creative Family, all about Easy Icebox Shortbread Cookies.  This is a dream cookie dough mix for busy bakers during the holidays!  It’s a super versatile, delicious, buttery dough, that can mixed into 4 different cookie flavours, and the best part is, that the dough can be made well ahead of time.   Just follow this link to the recipe here:

http://hellocreativefamily.com/easy-icebox-shortbread-cookies-recipe/

Check out the recipe and start your holiday baking off right!

Happy cookie baking friends,

Renee

xo

 

Back-To-Basics-Easy-Icebox-Shortbread-Cookies-Recipe

 

 

 

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Dutch Baby Pancake

We are a lazy Sunday morning kind of family.  Usually, we indulge in a brunch of some sort, that includes endless cups of premium coffee (because life is too short to drink bad coffee), crispy Canadian bacon and something sweet.  Sometimes,  it’s these doughnuts (insane) or these beignets (oh mercy) on the menu, depending on whether I was able to prep the night before.   More often than not, my husband will have pancake duty.  It’s entirely his job, always has been.  He’s good at it and I’m generally pretty useless until I’ve had a few servings of that premium coffee I was telling you about.

sweetrevelationsdutchbaby

This week-end we threw a Dutch Baby Pancake  into the oven.  Sometimes called a German Pancake or a Bismarck, this is literally one giant egg-y, custard-y pan of Sunday morning awesomeness.  With only 5 ingredients, that virtually every household has, there really is no excuse for not making one.  If nothing else, get the kids involved and watch how delighted they are when the magic happens with this seemingly plain and boring batter.  Once fully baked, this Dutch Baby Pancake is a giant puff of sweetness that deflates moments after being out of the oven.

Have I mentioned that this takes only twenty-five minutes from start to finish?  And that it’s made in a blender?  That makes this totally doable on a weekday morning too.

dutchbabypancake

Some seasonal fruit, a handful of nuts and a sprinkling of powdered sugar is really all that is needed for garnish (a dollop of whipped topping also never hurt anyone).   For something so simple, the results are deliciously outstanding and a great way to showcase some of our sweet, local peaches!

dutchbabysweetrevelations

We’re gearing up for a hectic week of back to school routines here.  I hope you’re all enjoying the last few lazy days of summer too!

Renee

xo

Dutch Baby Pancake

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • splash of vanilla
  • fruit, powdered sugar or maple syrup for serving

Preheat oven to 425°

  1.  Put the butter in the bottom of a 9″ pie plate or cast iron pan.  Set the pan in the hot oven to melt the butter while you mix the rest of the ingredients.
  2. In a blender, mix the eggs for about 1 minute.  Add the flour, milk and vanilla and mix for an additional 30 seconds to combine.
  3. Pour the batter into the pie plate with the hot melted butter.  Bake for 20 minutes, until the edge of the pancake is lightly toasted brown and the pancake is puffed up.  Resist the urge to open the oven door during baking.  Serve immediately with fresh fruit, maple syrup or powdered sugar.

 

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Warm Skillet Butter Tart Bars

There are a few things some of us take seriously in this country.

Hockey.  The weather.  Politics.  Poutine.  Back Bacon.  Maple Syrup.  Nanaimo Bars (we made these first!).  Good beer.

And Butter Tarts.

buttertart/sweetrevelations

It’s a classic Canadian treat, that is beloved for its flaky pastry filled with brown sugar, melted butter and syrup.   Most people have a preference about how they should be filled.  Raisins or no raisins.  Nuts or no nuts.  Made with maple syrup or corn syrup.  Runny or firm.  Some use currants or cranberries.  Perhaps a splash of Whiskey or Maple Whiskey.

There’s also the popular Butter Tart Bars, that have that gorgeous buttery, tender shortbread crust with all of that gooey Butter Tart goodness on top.  They are very easy to make, great for serving at parties and potlucks, and on the Christmas holiday baking list of moms all across this country.

Everyone, we have got this Butter Tart thing down to a science.

sweetrevelations

I for one, am a complete sucker for a warm Butter Tart Bar, slightly runny, filled with raisins and walnuts, with a splash of Maple Whiskey, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  So baking a full on Butter Tart Bar in a skillet is only natural.  I  haven’t met anyone yet, who doesn’t swoon over the warm, buttery piece that comes out.  The scoop of ice cream, just pretty much takes it over the top.  Insanely, buttery, gooey, good.

sweetrevelations

I think most families have a recipe that’s been passed down.  Aside from all of the additions, the base recipe of Butter Tart Squares is essentially the same.  Instead of powdered sugar in my shortbread base, I use brown sugar.  I saw it used in another recipe for bars and have made shortbread crust that way ever since.

Do you love Butter Tarts as much as me?  What are your filling preferences?

Happy finger licking, slightly runny, full of raisins and walnuts, Butter Tart baking friends,

Renee

xo

 

Warm Skillet Butter Tart Bars

For the Crust:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling:

  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. Maple Whiskey (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°

  1.  In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the crust, using a fork or pastry blender.  Press into the bottom of a well seasoned skillet (I did a quick swipe of shortening around the sides first, very little) or baking pan lined with parchment.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the first six ingredients for the filling and mix until well combined.  Stir in the raisins, walnuts and whisky.  Pour the filling on top of the crust and bake for an additional 30 minutes.  Serve slightly warm with ice cream!

Notes:

  1. This recipe can also be made in an 8 x 8 pan.
  2. Butter Tart Squares freeze very well.   If making ahead, bake in an 8 x 8 pan lined with parchment.  Freeze when cool.

 

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Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies {Loaded With Walnuts and Cranberries}

I bet if I polled every follower of SweetRevelations, you would all have your version of the best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  Every home has one, that ultimate Chocolate Chip recipe that no one can beat.  It might be flat and crispy or thick and slightly chewy in the middle.   You may have a whole system down for how to produce the most amazing chocolatey bite; use only dark brown sugar, butter is a must, refrigerate a minimum of one hour before baking, stand on tip toes, tap heels three times and voila! The whole family is delighted and rejoicing in the joy that only this classic cookie can bring.

If you don’t have one, I wonder if you’ve made endless batches on a quest for the perfect recipe?

chocchip

I present to you my version of the Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookie that is loaded with walnuts and cranberries.  It’s my go-to, Sunday baking, soul soothing recipe, that’s super thick, crisp on the outside and slightly soft inside.  You might be questioning the cranberry but I urge you to give it a shot.  It just adds an extra chewy bit of sweetness that compliments the chocolate chunks so well.  Warm from the oven, these are the very definition of comfort food.

cookie

All kidding about the heel tapping aside, I do believe the addition of molasses and chilling the dough is what puts these bakery style cookies over the top.  I dare say I’ve found the perfect recipe.  The batter is on the larger side and will produce close to 40 big cookies.  You can bake what you need now and easily freeze dough balls to pop in the oven at a later date.

Life is simply just better with milk and cookies!

splash

Do you have the ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe?  I would love it if you would share your favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie secrets with me!

Happy baking!

Renee

xo

 

Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies

*adapted from Baking Illustrated

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1  1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1  1/2 cups chocolate chunks, semi sweet
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325°

1. Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

2. Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, combine the sugars and the butter and mix well.  Add eggs, yolks, vanilla and molasses.  Mix until well incorporated.  Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Stir in chocolate, walnuts and cranberries.

3.  Refrigerate the dough for an hour.  Using a cookie scoop (mine is 2″ in diameter), scoop chilled dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 18 mins. Let the cookies rest on the sheet for about 2 mins.  Store in an airtight container.

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Love Cookies

You know the saying, that as you get older, you open your mouth and your mother comes out?   I would’ve sworn on my life as a teen that this would never happen to me, that it couldn’t, wouldn’t be how I would parent.  Speed ahead 30 years later and lo and behold I was blessed with three amazing children of my own and I’ve seen my mother in a whole new light.

I should say to her, thank you for loving us as deeply as you did and I’m sorry for all the trouble I gave you.

Oh, and you were right.

top

Mom scratch baked for us every single week-end.  Tunes always blaring in the kitchen, she made the best meals and treats.   I have vivid memories of standing on a chair and helping her roll dozens of cookies in sugar.  These Love Cookies were a regular during our childhood.  They aren’t really cookies, they’re made in bar form, and I’ve never seen another recipe similar.  Waiting for the glaze to set while they were still warm was a killer but mom usually cut a little warm piece off for us.

When I make these now, I often eat a piece or two (sometimes a row!) right after it’s been glazed.   It takes me right back to that little kitchen of my childhood, and to mom, within minutes.

stack 2

These are full of walnuts, cinnamon and raisins.  They are baked on a sheet pan and topped with a sweet glaze while still warm.  When the glaze sets, it leaves a gorgeous crackly layer on top.

I have no idea where this recipe came from, but I’m pretty sure of the Love in the name.

Thanks mom. xo

loveslice

Do you have a recipe that takes you right back to your moms kitchen?  I would love to hear about it!

Happy Spring!

Renee

 

Love Cookies

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup+ 1 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp water, divided
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cold milk
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

1.  In a medium saucepan combine sugar, cinnamon, 1/2 cup butter, raisins and 1 cup water.  Mix well.   Combine baking soda and remaining tbsp water and stir until soda dissolves.  Add to the raisin mixture and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.  Boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, add the walnuts and set aside.

2.  Mix flour and baking powder and add to the raisin mixture.  Stir just until combined.  Spread onto 10 x 15 cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 25-27 mins until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Watch carefully at 25 minutes as these can over bake quickly.

3.  In a small bowl combine the milk, tbsp of melted butter, icing sugar and vanilla.  Whisk any lumps out and spread over cookies while still warm.

 

 

 

 

 

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Best Ever Banana Cake

Did you notice anything funny about my picture?

Nothing at all?

How about that I have a slice of cake and I have a whole cake showing?   That’s because I baked three of these beauties.  Two for us, and one for my mom who recently had surgery to repair a badly broken arm.

Well I just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t bring someone a piece of cake when they were on the mend….

Banana Cake is one hundred percent comfort food to me.  So moist and delicious with Cream Cheese Frosting.   That is’ lick the bowl clean’ frosting.  So delicious.   I always add some freshly grated nutmeg to my banana cake recipe.  I think it gives banana cakes and breads just a little kick of flavour.

And, I love making them in 6 inch pans.  I rarely make a cake that’s any larger anymore.  It’s the perfect size for a family treat and to give as a gift.

One of my favourite icing technique’s is “tomboy” style from the Miette Bakery in San Fransisco.  I think its’ very simple.  No icing on the sides, just on the layers and an elegant swirl on the top.

I hope my mom enjoys her treat and that her road to recovery is a piece of cake.

Best Ever Banana Cake

*adapted from Food.com 

Note:  I have recently changed this recipe to include the use of oil or butter.  I find oil produces a much more moist and tender cake.   Either ingredient is an option! The recipe on Food.com recommends immediately putting the cake in the freezer after removing it from the oven.  I did not follow this step.

  • 1 ½ cups bananas , mashed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¾ cup oil or unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 2 18; cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk, room temperature
Preheat oven to 275°.  Grease and flour 3 6 inch cake pans.  You can also make this in a 9 x 13 inch pan.
1.  In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside.  In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda , nutmeg and salt; set aside.
2.  In a large bowl, mix oil/butter and sugar until well combined.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add in 2 tsp vanilla.
3.  On low, add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.  Stir in banana mixture.
4.  Pour batter into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven for one hour and 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (start checking at the hour mark).   Cool for 10 minutes in pans.  Unmold 6″ cakes on to wire racks and cool completely.  If using a 9 x 13 pan, you can cool completely in the pan and ice it directly in the pan for easy clean up!

Cream Cheese Frosting

*this makes just enough for two of the cakes

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 pound cream cheese softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 pound sifted powdered sugar

For the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Beat in the vanilla.  Add icing sugar and beat on low-speed until combined.  Slice cooled 6″ cake into two layers.  Place the bottom layer onto a cake board or plate.  Pipe or spread a layer of icing on top.  Place the second cake layer on top.  Pipe or spread another icing layer (I don’t ice the sides).  Sprinkle chopped walnuts over top of the frosting, if desired.

Notes:

  1. This makes enough icing for two of the 6″ cakes.
  2. These cakes freeze extremely well.  Make one 6″ cake for now and freeze the other two for later!
  3. This batter also makes excellent cupcakes.
  4. Oven temp can be easily changed to 350°- just decrease baking time to approx. 40 minutes for the cakes and 20 minutes for cupcakes.

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Good Things Come In 3’s….

The first person every little girl falls in love with is her dad.  And I, like I’m sure many others, have spent a good deal of my life comparing the other men in my world to my dad.  He’s  an ultra-focused, perfectionistic kind of guy with a killer dry sense of humour.  He’s my ‘go to’ guy when I need a home inspector, an appliance repair person, someone to tell me how to cook my seafood dinner, someone to teach me how to build something, a financial advisor and the list goes on….Thank you dad for teaching me all about my heritage.  I love your family stories and how you have shown me all the neat places and people from your childhood.

How blessed I have been to have another father figure in my life too!  A step-dad who can tell you the back road route to any destination, whom I have called many (NUMEROUS) times when I needed directions or something was wrong with my car.  Oh, and not to forget the hell he put any date through who came to pick me up!  Thank you for making me proud to have the nickname “squirt” even though I’m a grown woman with a family of my own (who all have nicknames too!).

And, finally number three, a fantastic person who I love more each day for the role model he is to my own children.  He is a hard worker, ultra-loyal, laid back kind of soul.  And, he has taught my sons (without even realizing it), the way you respect and love your leading lady.   Thank you for showing me how easy it is to just sit back and enjoy the ride.

So, now that we’ve got all that mushy stuff out of the way, lets eat boys!  This one’s for you.  Who wouldn’t enjoy a dessert made with Irish Whiskey?  Yum!  Happy Father’s Day,

Irish Coffee Sundaes with Caramel Whiskey Sauce

from Epicurious – I did not change a thing from this recipe!  It is absolutely perfect as is.

For coffee nut crisp:

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules, crushed
  • 1 cup walnut pieces (3 1/2 ounces), coarsely chopped if desired

For sauce:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 Tablespoons Irish whiskey
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • good-quality coffee/cappuccino ice cream

1.  Whisk egg white, sugar, coffee powder, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Stir in walnuts until coated. Spread mixture onto a parchment lined cookie sheet (make an 8 x8 rectangle) and bake at 325° for 25 minutes or until fairly dry to the touch.  Remove to a rack and break into small pieces when cool (I left some larger pieces to use for garnish).

2.  For the sauce, bring the sugar and water to a boil in a 2–quart heavy saucepan over medium–high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil without stirring, until syrup begins to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Continue to boil, swirling pan occasionally, until syrup is a deep golden caramel.

3.  Remove pan from heat and carefully add whiskey, cream, and salt (mixture will bubble up and steam and caramel will harden).  Return the pan to heat and simmer, stirring, until caramel is dissolved and sauce is smooth. Cool to warm.

Serve sauce over scoops of cappuccino ice cream then sprinkle with walnut crisp.

I would double the batch of walnuts, these are really addictive all by themselves!

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