Pumpkin Pecan Pie

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Admittedly, I am a relatively recent pumpkin convert. It is only in the last few years that I have been able to enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread. I still can’t handle pumpkin spice flavored beverages though.  Pecan pie, on the other hand, was my absolute favorite when I was growing up. I would have gladly suffered through the consequences if my parents had let me eat an entire pie myself.  I don’t recall my grandmother ever making this recipe for pumpkin pecan pie but if she had, maybe I would have embraced pumpkin earlier in life. It is the perfect balance of pumpkin and pecan pie. For those of you who can’t decide between the two flavors, this is your solution!!!

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Grandma gets bonus points for this recipe because it is so amazingly easy. The hardest part was getting it into the oven without spilling the filling. Check out the tips below for help with that.

Tips

  • If you are using pre-made pie crust that is in an aluminum tin, place it on a baking sheet before pouring the filling in and keep it on the baking sheet even while baking it. The tin is flimsy enough that it is easy to spill the filling while transferring it to the oven if you don’t have the support of the baking sheet.
  • If you are using a roll-out pre-made pie crust and placing it in your own glass/metal pie dish, go ahead and put a baking sheet in the oven on the bottom shelf. If you happen to have any filling bubble over the edge of the crust the baking sheet will catch it and save you from a mess in your oven.

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Makes 1 pie

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 cup dark corn syrup

2 tablespoons butter (melted)

1 cup chopped pecans

1  9” unbaked pie shell

 

Heat oven to 350°F. If using a roll out pie crust, unroll it and place it in a pie dish. In a bowl, mix all ingredients except pecans. Pour mixture into pie shell. Top with chopped pecans. Bake for about 40 minutes or until done (filling should not be jiggly). Once cooled, serve topped with whipped cream.

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*Original source of this recipe is unknown. Directions are slightly modified from my grandmother’s recipe card.

Stir-n-Drop Sugar Cookies

IMG_4223I used to spend hours baking and decorating cut out sugar cookies. It was like therapy for me, a way to tune out the rest of the world for a while. I still enjoy making sugar cookies but I just don’t have time for the detailed work that goes into decorating those cut out cookies. As I was sifting through my grandmother’s recipe box I came across this great recipe. As with most of her recipes, the original source is unknown. However, the internet is a great tool and I did find the modernized version of this recipe on the Betty Crocker website. Following the recipe directly left me with slightly burned cookies so I altered the baking time a bit and the second batch turned out slightly soft – just the way I like them! The original recipe also makes some pretty small cookies so I also changed the amount of dough used for each serving.

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Tips

  • If you aren’t a fan of lemon flavor, feel free to leave the zest out or swap it for another citrus flavor (lime, orange or maybe even grapefruit).
  • It is really easy to customize these cookies for holidays by changing up the color of your decorative sugar.

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Makes 2 dozen cookies

2 eggs

2/3 cup vegetable oilBetty Crocker

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Zest of 1 lemon

¾ cup sugar

2 cups all purpous flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

Additional colored sugars for decorating

Heat oven to 400*F. In a large bowl, beat eggs with oil, vanilla, zest and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture. Drop dough by the tablespoon full onto parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Grease the bottom of a glass with butter or cooking spray. Dip glass into colored sugar then gently press on ball of dough until dough is ¼-inch thick. Repeat on each ball of dough. Bake 6 minutes or until edges of cookies start to turn golden brown. Transfer cookies from cookie sheet to cooling rack and let cool completely before eating.

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Farm-Style Biscuits

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I love bread. I mean, I REALLY love bread! Bring me your bagels, your loafs and your rolls! Homemade bread of any sort? Forget about it, I’m done. All of this being said, baking with yeast is always a challenge for me. That is the beautiful thing about this biscuit recipe, NO YEAST! No waiting on dough to rise (my house is always too cold to get a good rise).

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I pulled this recipe from my grandmother’s recipe box. I have no idea where it was originally printed but it is definitely a keeper. These biscuits are easy to make and taste great. The recipe also makes a manageable number of biscuits, I got nine out of it which is perfect for my small household.

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One of my favorite things about biscuits is how diverse they are. Top them with butter and honey like I did here or add your favorite jam for a snack. You could smother them in sausage gravy with a side of eggs for a hearty breakfast. Put them on the dinner table to soak up the au jus sauce from your favorite pot roast recipe. The options are nearly unlimited. The added bonus on this particular recipe is that it gives a couple of recommendations. First, it gives instructions for reheating the biscuits. Second, the recipe notes you can use this dough for topping meat pies, casseroles or cobblers.

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Tips

  • If you don’t have a pastry cutter, use your hands to blend the shortening into the dry ingredients.
  • You can use a glass or cookie cutter (basic shapes of circle or square) to cut out these biscuits.

Farm-style Biscuits

2 cups unsifted flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

½ cup solid shortening

2/3 cup milk

1 extra large egg, slightly beaten

Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cream of tartar. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles course crumbs. Add milk and egg all at once. Stir quickly until dough leaves sides of bowl. Turn out dough on lightly floured board. With greased hands pat out dough with biscuit cutter. Place biscuits about one inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake in oven preheated to 450 degrees about 12 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 10-12 biscuits.