One comment in my previous post got me thinking…

In my 2009 in pictures post, I got a comment about all of the dessert pictures I posted…

Now, anyone who knows me, even a little bit, knows that I’m a Chocoholic. So, some of those desserts were in fact for me! But… The comment also got me thinking about all of the pictures of desserts that weren’t for me and that just made me think about why they were there…

I am a very emotional person. Very often you’ll find me crying over nothing and I get depressed quite easily. There are few things that help when I’m depressed. One is my awesome husband… Another is eating, yes, I hate to admit it, but it’s true… Another… is baking!  And yet another is giving to others. When you add baking and giving, well, that’s a wonderful way to make myself feel better. Especially since when I bake, I don’t eat as much! 🙂

So, I decided that for the next couple of posts, I will share some of my favorite recipes for desserts that I love to share. Most of my recipes can be easily found on Allrecipes. You can find almost any recipe there and they are reviewed by regular people just like me! Who make suggestions on possible changes  and substitutions. It makes cooking and baking so much easier when you have a good recipe to start with. On my posts, I will give you the URL for the recipe, just in case you prefer to go directly there. I’ll post my own picture plus I’ll include my comments on changes (if any) I’ve made to the recipes that have worked for me.

The first dessert I’ll share is the one that makes most of my family ask whether I really made that. I love making it, it’s easy and it looks like a lot of work (but isn’t!).

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup margarine, melted
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a heavy saucepan combine melted margarine, corn syrup, white sugar and cocoa. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Add vanilla, salt and eggs, stirring well. Stir in 1/2 cup pecans. Mix well.
  3. Pour filling into unbaked pastry shell and top with remaining 1/2 cup pecans. Bake at 325 degrees F(165 degrees C) for 55 minutes. Let cool and serve.
There are various comments I’d like to make about this recipe.
  1. I always cook it at a higher temperature, closer to 350 degrees, sometimes 375. This could be due to my oven though. So, if you want to make it, set your timer for about half of the time and check it, make changes as required…
  2. I don’t use chopped pecans, I use pecan halves. In the mixture as well as to garnish the top. It’s pretty and doesn’t make much of a difference.
  3. It’s good hot/cold/warm! I’ve made it hours in advance, but I’ve also made it right before leaving for a dinner party, it always works!
  4. I use the Basic Flaky Pie Crust recipe from allrecipes, which I’ll share below… But, in a pinch, I’ve bought pre-made pie crusts and they were almost as good. 🙂

Basic Flaky Pie Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons ice water

Directions

  1. Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium size bowl. With a pastry blender, cut in the cold shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water over flour. Toss mixture with a fork to moisten, adding more water a few drops at a time until the dough comes together.
  2. Gently gather dough particles together into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
  3. Roll out dough, and put in a pie plate. Fill with desired filling and bake.
My comments:
I have always made changes to this recipe. Minor to me, but they could be major to you…
  1. I always substitute the shortening for butter. I never buy shortening, I always buy butter.
  2. The last few times I’ve made it, I substituted self rising cake flour for the all purpose flour. I followed package directions and added a couple of tablespoons. I sifted the flour before adding. This was a GREAT change, since it meant that the ingredients were just flour, butter and a bit of chilled water. The crust was flaky and delicious!
  3. I live in Puerto Rico, so chilling the dough before rolling is completely necessary. Also, if I don’t roll it out quickly enough, the butter starts to melt and get sticky… So for me, this recipe was perfect in it’s simplicity. Just mix the ingredients, gather it up, chill it for a bit, roll quickly and bake!
Now I just need to buy myself a pie dish, so I can make a pretty border, since getting the dough in my ring mold always takes me too long to be able to work the dough into a nice shape… Well, I’ll work on THAT later… Since I also have to work on my patience!!!
This is always a crowd pleaser. It tastes amazing, with very little work!

GAME: The Rare Food Challenge

First of all, I want to thank everyone who has voted on our Survey of ‘Have you Eaten THIS!?‘ !!  The response has been very good and we have reached 42 million votes! (margin of error of +- 41.9999 million).  The polls will remain open till Saturday.

But, I decided to make a game to entertain you all while we finish the poll!  I present you the RARE FOODS CHALLENGE, Part I.  See how quick and accurate you can tag your favorite oddities!  This game is HARD and only a mastermind of evil like me could had developed such a painful punishment to your eyes and brain.

More

Chocolate Chip Fail

FAIL! The Chocolate Chip Edition!  Visit Fail Blog to see many funny Failures images and videos.  Is a really funny and sad site!

LINK: failblog.org