Pecan Praline Scheherazades

Rose named these little treats after the story of Scheherazade, who told her murderous husband a new story every night for 1001 nights, to keep him from killing her like he had all of his previous liaisons. In this case, it’s “Just one more … pecan praline.” Reading the title of the recipe immediately brought back high school band memories. I remember playing Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, and I’m thinking we must have prepared it for a band festival. Maybe in Sherbrooke, QC? As I’m typing this up, I’m listening to the London Symphony Orchestra’s recording of “The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship.” Inspired by a couple of former band mates, I dug my flute out of the bottom of a box a while ago and started playing again for the first time in at least 10 years… I’ll have to see if I can find some sheet music for Scheherazade, because I remember loving it. I love how baking triggers and reinforces great memories. 🙂

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The Dutch Pecan Sandies

No, not Dutch pecan Sandies. “The Dutch” ones. There’s a place in New York called The Dutch and these cookies are from there. I messed up the recipe at least twice, but these still disappeared quickly at two board games birthday parties that I attended this past weekend. The first one was for my friend Gilad, and he was pleased to be on the receiving end of a bonus dessert delivery, a few months after his contract expired. 😉

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Pumpkin Pecan Pie? Or Spritz Butter Cookies?

The baking schedule got a bit turned around this weekend. Marie had intended to have the pumpkin pecan pie on the schedule at the right time for Thanksgiving dinner. She posted to our Facebook group recently to apologize – because for Americans, having the pie made in time to post about it on the Monday before Thanksgiving Thursday would mean that it would have to sit all week waiting for the big event. I have to admit, I’ve never really understood why Thanksgiving’s on a Thursday in the US, but that’s beside the point. Anyway, at the last minute (after I’d baked it), the schedule got updated to swap pumpkin pecan pie with spritz butter cookies. I did not make spritz butter cookies. Since I’m married to an American, we often do two Thanksgiving dinners. One for the real thing in October, and one for this silly American thing at the end of November. Since we don’t get Thursday off, we did it the weekend before, this time. Perfect timing for pumpkin pecan pie!

I don’t think I have much to say about this one, really. I didn’t take many pictures, either.

You roll out a pie crust, then add chopped pecans:

Deep dish of pecans
Deep dish of pecans

Add the sweet goo that is pecan pie filling (sugar, egg, butter, golden syrup…), and bake for round 1. Make the pumpkin filling. I got no pictures of this, but it’s basically cook pumpkin with sugar and spices, then whiz that in the food processor, then add eggs, cream, and milk. Really, the whole thing is about all things that are delicious. After the pecan pie layer has cooled a bit, add the pumpkin filling, and bake again, only this time with a pie shield to protect the crust.

Next stop: Thanksgiving dinner. We had apple pie, pumpkin pecan pie, cornbread, and rolls. Er.. and the stuff Jay made, too. Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, maple glazed carrots, green beans and salad. Actually, you know, despite not being much of a cook, I contributed to much of that, too – all but the turkey, gravy, salad, and converting the cornbread into stuffing. Jay prepped the veggies and cooked the potatoes, but I did the seasoning and mashing and whatnot. I’d call dinner a success. Nobody went away hungry, but plates were clean, and we had turkey soup for dinner the next day. We also now have a freezer full of poultry stock, since we tend to save up chicken carcasses until we do a turkey, then boil all the bones at once in the pressure cooker.

Despite both of us trying both types of pie, neither Matt nor I had trouble cleaning our dessert plates. Jay’s even had some pie in the last couple of days since then, so I must have done something right. He’s not generally a leftovers person. Inspired by my recent trip to (…Swabia? Bavaria? Technically, modernly,) Baden-Württemberg, I made a crème anglaise (aka vanilla sauce) to go with the apple pie. Feedback on that, so far: a little bit thicker and a little bit more vanilla, next time. Next time is tomorrow night, for my contribution to a potluck “soup strainer” Movember lunch at work on Wednesday. No auction this year, though, so I’ll have to find other ways to get the baking out of the house over the coming year!

Mud Turtle Pie

What’s a mud turtle pie, aside from this week’s recipe from Rose’s Alpha Bakers? It’s a pecan pie, with chocolate on top. Think a turtle candy, but the caramel’s a little less chewy. I went with the milk chocolate ganache, rather than the dark option. And I made the ganache long before making any of the rest of the pie. I also made 2 pies, since, as someone pointed out recently, it’s really not that much more work than one pie. I had some pie dough in the freezer, so I just doubled the other parts of the recipe, so that I could leave one at home for Jay while I’m away visiting family this week, and take one into work, sort of in part as a thank you for my co-worker bringing in a rhubarb custard pie on Friday.

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Caramel Rolls

Everyone in the Alpha Bakers group that baked this week’s recipe early was absolutely raving about these – the soft, sticky caramel sauce, specifically. I was going to post some of the quotes, but Monica beat me to it… so I’ll just quote her quotes:

“I just sampled the sticky caramel. OH MY WORD!!!!”

“OMG, these buns are so good I had to make a second batch.”

”..made them this past weekend. YUMMY. They lasted about an hour”

“The caramel pairs so well with your brioche recipe. Everything is in perfect harmony! That said, I feel like having another one now!”

Looking at Monica’s post again, I also realize just how terrible I am at taking appetizing pictures of food. To be fair, when I’m baking, I’m generally more concerned about taste than presentation, so it’s no wonder my pictures tend to turn out like this:

Sticky buns
Caramel buns

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Frozen Pecan Tart

I’ve previously mentioned my friend/coworker, Gilad, who won the charity auction, where I offered up one of the Baking Bible bake-along desserts each month. It may have occurred to you that, for the final auction to reach $600, there had to be at least one other coworker bidding against him.  That someone was Doug – who is known in some circles as the perpetual winner of the New Dundee Women’s Institute pie of the month auction, and I’m pretty sure he had planned on winning this one, too. This past weekend, we had Doug & his wife over for dinner (meatloaf in a cheddar cheese crust, inspired by the recipe in the Pastry Bible), and as a local authority on pies, he offered his feedback on the frozen pecan tart. 😉 Read on, to see what he had to say. Continue reading “Frozen Pecan Tart”