Oh my, pecan pie

We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving a week late this year, but it was still a gastronomic success. Turkey, stuffing, sprouts, and a good dose of wine, our Thanksgiving was complete. What I brought to the table was this little dish – one that we haven’t had in 7 years – pecan pie. And it was a delight, if I may say. I made a little maple leaf to match the season and occasion and placed it on top {I baked it separately on a baking tray, otherwise it would go soggy}. 

This is the most straight forward recipe – hand on heart. It takes about 4 minutes to make the filling. God bless simplyrecipes.com
If you’re feeling extra cheeky, serve with whipped cream with a splash of maple syrup. In case you didn’t ingest enough sugar. To die for. Recipe details after the jump. 

1 recipe for pie crust base – I found a really good one here
1 1/4 cups pecans, roughly chopped {save some whole pecans for decoration}
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup light corn syrup (I used Lyle’s brand)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp molasses {I couldn’t find any, so I just used a touch more corn syrup}
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Blind bake your pie base for 10 minutes. Spread the chopped pecans over the base. Mix the remaining ingredients, and pour over the pecans, which will rise to the surface. Place your decorative pecans on top. Don’t worry, they won’t sink. Cook for 45 minutes at 180C. Keep an eye on the pastry for the final 10 – 15 minutes. If it’s getting too overcooked, turn the temperature down.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving with or without ‘sugar-induced-coma’ maple whipped cream. Mmm.
Click here for a handy cooking calculator, should you prefer to measure in cups, mls, oz, etc.

Salty and sweet

This recipe reminds me so much of my childhood – peanut butter cookies. My mom was always steering us toward healthier food, and in a bid to take our minds off what every child really wants {chocolate chip cookies} she would make us peanut butter cookies. She also used to water down our Coca-Cola with orange juice, but that’s a different story altogether.

Last week I had a hankering for peanut butter cookies, and I realized I haven’t made them in about … 10 years. Fiance then said he never had them before. So in a desperate attempt to make up for lost time, I made four batches since then.

For those of you yet to experience the yumminess that is peanut butter cookies, all the gooey details for your inner child can be found after the jump. Get your om nom on.

3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter – if you have smooth peanut butter, add 1/4 cup of peanuts for a bit of bite
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl until creamy. Mix in the peanut butter, followed by the egg and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients 1/2 a cup at a time, and mix until fully incorporated.

Using your hands, roll the mixture into 1 inch {2.5cm] balls, placing on your baking tray about 2cm apart. Now the part that is forever associated with peanut butter cookies – using the back of a fork, press on the dough. You can do one fork imprint, or two making a crisscross pattern. I never knew why it was done, but it’s the international signage for peanut butter cookies.

Bake the cookies for 10 – 12 minutes at 180C until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. I like to chase mine with a big glass of milk.

This is my condensed version of The Joy of Baking’s delicious recipe. Click here for a handy cooking calculator, should you prefer to measure in cups, mls, oz, etc.

One word – poutine

Last night I asked fiance what he wanted for dinner, and he replied with a one word answer – poutine. For those of you to yet experience the glory that is poutine, I’m letting you know now that you are missing out. 

Poutine originated in the 1950’s in Quebec, the french province of Canada. My best memories of this dish are from high school, where poutine was served every day in the cafeteria. I still remember – plain fries were $1.50, fries and gravy were $2, and poutine was $2.50, served in brown recycled trays which would start to get soggy if you didn’t scoop up the gravy fast enough.

This is pure comfort food. Get on the couch, put a movie on and eat with a fork, spoon or your fingers, as we used to. I make it sparingly since healthy meals have been seared into my brain {thanks mom}, but every once in a while, I need this. All the gorey gorgeous details below.

Fries or chips – depending if you’re North American or from the UK
Cheese curds or grated white cheese
Brown gravy
All of the above – as much as desired

Cook fries / chips for as long as outlined on the package – roughly 20 minutes. While they’re cooking, prepare your gravy. Homemade gravy is preferable and makes it even more delicious, but granulated gravy will work. If you can’t find cheese curds, don’t worry. I haven’t come across any in my seven years here, so grated white cheese is an acceptable alternative. 

Once everything’s cooked and grated, add the fries / chips to your plate, layer on the cheese, and then drown it with gravy like it’s a house on fire. I went a bit heavy with the gravy in this picture, but that’s because I like my poutine struggling for air. A true treat that reminds me of home.