Tag Archives: pecans

Pumpkin Spice Magic Bars

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It’s been a while since I posted but I’m back! I made this recipe for our Halloween Party at my new job. (Ok it’s not so new anymore) Everyone knows how much I LOVE to dress up (NOT!) so instead I made a dessert. Normally dessert is not my go to recipe realm but I keep trying! Never give up! Anyway…. I found this recipe on Taste of Home. It was originally called Pumpkin Delight Magic Bars. After reading the reviews I decided it would be a good choice. Though as the reviews do state, the toppings do tend to fall off a bit after it’s baked. Not a big deal but even when I was determined to ‘fix’ that by making sure I pressed the toppings into the cake before baking, it did no good. Oh well! I think the next time I make it I may put some of the topping inside instead. Either way, this recipe came out amazing! I didn’t have any leftovers at work! Score for the newbie! The recipe says it makes 24 bars. I thought they might be too big so I cut them in half and got 48 small bars. Worked out great. But what to do about keeping the topping under control? I put each bar into a cupcake liner! This way it kept everything neat! Easier to transport and display as well.

 

I kept the recipe the same except instead of the 1 cup of white baking chips it called for I used 1 cup of pumpkin spice chips. AMAZING! So experiment with different flavors! I think for Christmas I will use cinnamon morsels and maybe throw some toffee bits on as well! Can’t hurt right! And yes even though I am doing WW again, and yes these are many points I did eat a few. How could I not? And I definitely recommend keeping them in the refrigerator if you’re not going to devour them at one sitting. Chilled is definitely better! They will not disappoint! Moist, sweet, nutty, rich bites of heaven…

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INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 package vanilla wafer cookies (11 ounces)
  • ½ cup butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened (½ a brick)
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin (NOT Pumpkin Pie filling)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup pumpkin spice baking chips (or white if you choose)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Great a 13×9 inch baking pan.
  2. Place the vanilla wafer cookies in a food processor* and pulse until coarse crumbs form. 
  3. Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse until blended. Press into the bottom of the baking pan.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Beat in the pumpkin. Stir in cranberries.
  5. Pour over crust. Layer the coconut, baking chips and pecans.
  6. Bake 45-55 minutes (it took my oven 45 minutes) or until golden brown. Cook in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes
  7. Loosen the sides from pan with a knife of spatula. Cool completely. Cut into bars**and refrigerate leftovers.

* If you don’t have a food processor you can just put the cookies in a large Ziploc type bag and smash them until they are crumbs. 

** I recommend cooling completely in the refrigerator and then cutting them. Makes it easier to cut.

NUTRITION FACTS: (like we really care at this point)

1 bar: 299 calories, 17g fat (8g saturated fat), 25mg cholesterol, 144mg sodium, 35mg carbohydrates (28g sugar, 2g fiber), 4g protein.

Makes 24 bars (or 48 if you cut them in half)

 

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Pecan Petites

One of my favorite cookies from a cookie exchange was from my friend Aimee. These cookies melted in your mouth! There was no way you could eat just one! Or two or three…They are delicious round balls of yumminess!

This recipe is also very easy to make. Easy is good. This way you can make more than one type of cookie! The recipe originally called for margarine but I don’t like using margarine. So using butter is a great alternative.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup butter/margarine

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 cup chopped pecans

Confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS:

1. Cream butter or margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla.

2. Add flour, mix well. Stir in the pecans.

3. Shape rounded teaspoons of dough into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake at 325º for 20 minutes. Cool slightly, roll in confectioners’ sugar.*

*If you want to make them festive for Christmas roll them in red or green sugar crystals.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Easy Bark Candy

Bark Candy is a really tasty snack if you like chocolate and nuts. I love both so it’s a win-win! And when you make it in the microwave it’s even better because it only takes a few minutes! Quick, easy, delicious! You can use any kind of confectioners’ or candy coating flavor and any kind of nut you want! So decide what you want and get nuking!

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound confectioner’s or candy coating (vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch or caramel)

1 cup of any of the following nuts: roasted, salted nuts (unblanched almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans or mixed nuts), sunflower seeds, soya nuts or raisins! Or mix it up and use a little of each or whichever combo you wish!

DIRECTIONS:

1. If the candy coating is in a solid block/piece break it into squares. Place in a single layer in a 2 quart casserole.

2. Microwave at 50% power (medium) for 3-5 minutes, until pieces are soft. Stirring after 3 minutes until all softened.

3. Add nuts, seeds or raisins. Stir until candy coating is smooth and completely melted.

4. Spread on wax paper (on a flat cookie sheet) to ¼” thickness. Cool until hard, then break into pieces.

Savory Stuffing

Even though thoughts of Thanksgiving and turkey are months away it’s never too early to start thinking about stuffing! Stuffing comes in so many varieties so it’s nice to try some new ones every so often. And since we have plenty of time before the holiday season you can try it out now to make sure it’s a hit for your family. And who says you have to wait till Thanksgiving to have a great turkey dinner! I got this recipe from my leader at one of my Weight Watcher meeting several years ago. She had raved about it and I had to try it. It is delicious. It’s a lower calorie version as well so we can not feel so guilty eating it!

Photo is for illustrative purposes only

INGREDIENTS:

½  cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped celery

1 cup fat-free reduced sodium chicken broth

½ cup unsweetened apple juice

4 cups seasoned cubed bread stuffing mix (7 oz.)

½ cup diced unpeeled red apple

¼ cup toasted chopped pecans

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup dried cranberries (6 oz.)


DIRECTIONS:

1. Saute onions and celery in the canola oil.

2. In another pot bring the chicken broth and apple juice to a boil. Pour over the sautéed vegetables.

3. Mix bread, apples, cranberries and pecans into liquid ingredients.

4. Spray a 13 x 9 casserole dish (or any size dish it will fit in) with oil and place stuffing in it.

5. Cover and bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes.

Serves 12 (½ cup servings)

***ATTENTION*** CHECK OUT MY NEW WEBPAGE http://www.cucinadiandrea.com! It is still a work in progress but it will also link to this blog. Take a peek!

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