Wednesday, October 17, 2012

To All The Crust Haters Out There...

Now when I say crust haters, I don't mean people who hate EATING crusts, I mean people who hate MAKING crusts. That's me :) I absolutely love pie crust, but it stresses me out to make it, and I feel like it takes a long time. My mother is absolutely pro at making pie crusts, but unfortunately I can't say I inherited her talent.

Anytime we take a trip to Hooper to visit the parents, my dad is always trying to talk me into making a pecan pie for him. The only reason it is difficult for him to convince me to bake him one is that I would have to make that darn crust. So, when I discovered these Pecan Pie Bars, I knew I had to give them a shot. Instead of a pie crust, they have more of a shortbread base. I was intrigued.

Let me tell you, I was not disappointed! These taste extremely similar (pretty much exactly) like pecan pie! The shortbread base really does taste like pie crust, and the gooey pecan topping tastes exactly like the pie! YUM. Although I consider my opinion to be important, the big test was to see if my dad liked them! Well guess what everyone? HE DID! The next morning I woke up to find 3/4 of the pan gone! Somebody got hungry in the night :)

I'd definitely say these bars receive an A+! An avid pecan pie eater and lover gave them a thumbs up. Now that means something!

Here's to you, dad.

Pecan Pie Bars
From Taste of Home Magazine

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
1 package (10 ounces) English toffee bits or almond brickle chips (7-1/2 ounces)
1 cup chopped pecans


In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press firmly onto the bottom of a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat the milk, egg, vanilla and salt until smooth. Stir in toffee chips and pecans; spread evenly over baked crust.
Bake for 20-25 minutes longer or until lightly browned. Cool. Cover and chill; cut into bars. Store in refrigerator. Yield: 4 dozen.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Better than what, now?

EVERYTHING. That's right, this cake is better than everything! Some call if Better-than-Se* Cake, but I'll stick to Better-than-Everything Cake :) I'm sure all of you have had the original Better-than-Everything cake... chocolate, caramel, toffee bits- you know the drill. Pure Heaven. I've got a slightly different version of this cake that will blow your mind. There's one ingredient that takes the stage to make this recipe incredible. So, who's the star you ask? Mr. PUMPKIN.

WOW. That's about all I have to say. WOW. Pumpkin recipes are being baked all over the country right now. Tis the season for things pumpkin! If you are a pumpkin lover, like myself, you will LOVE this cake. Seriously, run to the kitchen and whip this up right away. You will not be disappointed. I saw this recipe on Pinterest, but it comes from the blog Something Swanky .

Pumpkin Better-than-Everything Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 small can pumpkin puree
1 - 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 - 8 oz. tub cool whip
1/2 bag Heath Bits
Caramel Sundae Sauce


Combine the yellow cake mix and small can of pumpkin puree. Do not add the ingredients on the back of the cake mix. Just combine the cake mix and pumpkin puree.
Pour batter into a well greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350ยบ according to the directions for a 9x13 cake on the cake mix box.
Let cool for about 10 minutes after baking. Using the bottom of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the top of the cake
Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the cake, filling the holes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Spread the cool whip over top of cake. Sprinkle on the heath bits, and drizzle caramel over top (just to your liking). Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or overnight.