Christmas Dinner # 2 Desserts

As I mentioned in Mini Bread Loaves, my mom had her annual Christmas dinner on Sunday.  I was enlisted to make some desserts.

I’d been wanting to try out these recipes for a while, but hadn’t had an opportunity, especially for the banana one, because, gasp, Zack isn’t a big fan of bananas.

I’m glad that I got to sample both of them, but I think they were both one time things.  Neither really knocked my socks off.

The Wassail tea was really good, though.  I will definitely make that again.  In fact, I saved some of it to give to my dad.  He loves wassail.

I’m also taking the leftover desserts to work with me and hopefully they will get gobbled up!

Also, I cannot believe Christmas is in 5 days! Oh my gosh!  I am so excited!

Banana Split Pie

– 1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs

– 6 T butter, melted

– 3 medium bananas

– 4 oz cream cheese, softened

– 8 oz cool whip

– 1/2 stick butter, softened

– 1 c confectioners sugar

– small can pineapple

– various toppings of choice: ex) chocolate syrup, sprinkles, cherries, nuts, etc

Mix melted butter and graham cracker crumbs and press into an ungreased 8×8 baking dish.

Mix confectioners sugar, cream cheese and 1/2 stick butter together until fluffy.  Slice bananas into crust.  Add fluffy mixture on top, then add fluffy mixture.  Sprinkle pineapple on top and cover with cool whip.

Top with various toppings before serving.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert

Prep: 20 minutes + chilling

– 20 chocolate cream filled sandwich cookies, divided

– 2 T butter, melted

– 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

– 1/2 c peanut butter

– 1 1/2 c confectioners’ sugar, divided

– 1 carton, 16 oz, frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided

– 15 miniature peanut butter cups, chopped

– 1 pkg (3.4 oz) instant chocolate fudge pudding mix

– 1 1/2 c milk

Crush 16 cookies, toss with the butter.  Press into an ungreased dish.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar until smooth.  Fold in half of the whipped topping.  Spread over crust.  Sprinkle with peanut butter cups.

In another large bowl, beat the milk, pudding mix and remaining confectioners’ sugar on low speed for 2 minutes.  Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set.  Fold in remaining whipped topping.  Spread the pudding mixture over the peanut butter cups.  Crush the remaining cookies, sprinkle over the top.  Cover and chill dessert for at least 3 hours.

Wassail

– 1 c sugar

– 4 c water

– 4 cinnamon sticks

– 1 t allspice

– 1 t cloves

– 1 qt orange juice

– 2 c pineapple juice

– 2 qt apple cider or juice

Simmer for several (at least 2) hours.  Serve hot.

More Thanksgiving Desserts

I work for my parents at a place called Jenfab Inc.  (Yes, it is named after me and yes, my parents are still business partners even though they’re divorced).  It’s a really fun job.  I work in the office part-time doing odds and ends and help out the other office workers.

Every year Jenfab has a Thanksgiving dinner for employees.  It’s always catered, but this year I decided to make a cake and take it to the dinner.  It was a huge success!  The entire thing was gobbled up really quickly.  Plus, I got to practice my cake decorating skills which always makes me happy.

I think it turned out rather cute.

Fudge Cake

– 1/2 c shortening

– 1 1/2 c sugar

– 2 eggs

– 1 t vanilla

– 1/2 c + 1 T water

– 2/3 c cocoa

– 1 3/4 c AP flour

– 1 t baking soda

– 1 t baking powder

– 1/2 t salt

– 1 c sour milk (1 c milk + 1 T vinegar)

Grease bottoms and sides of 2 9-inch layer pans.  Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; blend in vanilla.  Stir hot water into cocoa to form a smooth paste; gradually add to creamed mixture.  Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add alternately with sour milk to creamed mixture.  Pour batter into pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until take tester inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes.  Remove from pans; cool completely.  Frost with homemade frosting.

Homemade Chocolate Frosting

– 1/2 c butter, room temperature

– 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

– 1/2 c baking cocoa (here’s where I mucked with the recipe a little.  I didn’t have 1/2 c of baking cocoa left, so I filled the 1/2 cup measuring cup about 3/4 full and then filled it the rest of the way with hot cocoa mix.  It turned out perfect.)

– 1 t vanilla

– 4 c powdered sugar

Place butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl.  Beat until combined – about 1 minute.  Scrape down the sides and add cocoa and vanilla.  Mix until combined.  Add powdered sugar and mix until well combined.  Beat for an additional couple of minutes.  The texture becomes lighter if you beat for a few minutes.

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Every year my mom’s side of the family has Thanksgiving dinner together on Thanksgiving day.  The location varies, but this year it was at my Granny’s house. I volunteered to bring desserts…shocking. 

I decided on these desserts for a couple of reasons: 1) every Thanksgiving dinner needs a pecan dessert and an apple dessert.  2) no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without a pie of some sort.  3) I recently discovered my uncle has a peanut butter obsession just like my mom and I. 

The entire peanut butter dessert was scarfed down.  It.Was.Amazing.  I ate so much of it that everyone thought I was going to be sick. 

My aunt said, “you should do this for a living…these are amazing!”  If only I could…

The highlight of everything occurred after the dinner, though.  My granny asked me for the recipe for my pecan squares.  I almost fell in the floor.  My granny is the stereotypical perfect-baking-everyone-asks-HER-for-recipes type granny.  Her asking me for a recipe was the ultimate compliment. 

I love the holidays!

Pecan Squares

– 2 c AP flour

– 2/3 c confectioners sugar

– 1 1/3 plus 1 T butter, divided

– 1/2 c packed brown sugar

– 1/2 c honey

– 3 T whipping cream

– 3 1/2 c pecans, coarsely chopped

Sift together flour and powdered sugar.  Cut into 3/4 cup softened butter using a pastry blender or fork, just until mix resembles coarse crumbs meal.  Pat mixture on bottom and 1 1/2″ up sides of lightly greased 13×9 baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly golden.  Cool.  In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring brown sugar, honey, 2/3 c butter and whipping cream to a boil.  Stir in pecans and pour into prepared crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.  Cool in pan on wire rack.  Cut into 2-inch squares.

Apple Crumb Pie

Pastry:

1 c AP flour

– 1/2 t salt

– 1/3 c plus 1 T shortening

– 2-3 T cold water

Mix flour and salt in medium bowl, cut in shortening, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until particles are size of small peas.  Sprinkle with cold water, 1 T at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves side of bowl (1-2 t more water can be added if necessary).

Gather pastry into a bowl.  Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface.  If desired, wrap flattened round of pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes to firm up shortening slightly, which makes the baked pastry more flaky and lets the water absorb evenly throughout the dough.  If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.

Roll pastry on lightly floured surface, using floured rolling pin, into circle 2 inches larger than upside down pie plate.  Fold pastry into fourths and place in pie plate.  Unfold pastry and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side and being careful not to stretch pastry, which will cause it to shrink when baked.

Pie:

3 lbs granny smith apples

– 2/3 c light brown sugar

– 2 T flour

– 1 t cinnamon

– 1/2 t ground nutmeg

– crumb topping:

  • 3/4 c flour
  • 1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 c softened butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine apples (pared, cored, and thinly sliced) with sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Place in prepared pastry shell, mounding in center.

Prepare crumb topping.  In a small bowl, combine crumb ingredients and blend with fingertips until crumbs are formed.  Sprinkle evenly over apples.

Place pie in lower third of the oven.  Bake 50-60 minutes.  Cool.  If desired, dust with confectioners sugar.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Trifle

Prep: 10 minutes.  Total: 2 hr 50 min.  Makes 12 servings.

– 1 pouch Betty Crocker peanut butter chip cookie mix

– 1/3 c vegetable oil

– 1 T water

– 1 egg

– 1/2 c butter

– 1/2 c packed brown sugar

– 1/2 c creamy peanut butter

– 1 1/2 c whipping (heavy) cream

– 4 T chocolate syrup

– 2 T chocolate covered peanuts

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Makes cookies as directed on pouch, using oil, water, and egg. Bake and cool as directed.  Cut each cookie into fourths.

Melt butter and brown sugar in 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is smooth.  Stir in peanut butter until well blended.  Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Beat whipping cream in chilled medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until soft.  Fold whipped cream into peanut butter mixture.

Place half of the cookie pieces in bottom of 2-quart glass bowl.  Drizzle cookies with chocolate syrup.  Spoon half of peanut butter mixture over cookies.  Top with remaining cookies, chocolate syrup, and peanut butter mixture.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but no longer than 12 hours.  Sprinkle with peanuts.

 

Zack’s taco pie

Since I had class all day yesterday and had to eat a quick dinner once I got home before cake decorating class, Zack made dinner and had it ready when I got home.  He made this delicious chicken taco pie.

Isn’t it yummy looking?  It was delicious!

He said it was really easy to make, too.  Besides opening stuff, the only prep work that you have to do is cut up an onion and then mix bisquick, egg, and milk for the crust and throw everything in the pie pan.

We like our tacos plain, but I’m sure it would be good with all the additions the recipe suggests.

Easy Taco Pie

2 cups cut-up cooked chicken

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix

1 cup Bisquick mix

1 cup milk

2 eggs

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of glass pie plate. Mix chicken, onion, and seasoning mix. Sprinkle in pie plate.

Stir together bisquick, milk, and eggs with fork until blended. Pour into pie plate.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 1-2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Garnish with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, taco sauce if desired.

Yummy 🙂

Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownie Pie

On Saturday, Zack and I went to a cookout at a family friend’s home.  Everyone was asked to bring a dish, so I decided to try out this pie.  It turned out really well and got completely gobbled up really quickly (which made me very happy!)

It has a dark chocolate brownie crust, peanut butter mousse filling, semi-sweet chocolate ganache topping and chopped Reese’s cups on top of that.

Just a tip if you’re making it, allow yourself plenty of time to do it – it took me 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours to completely make it, because there are several times when the pie has to cool in the refrigerator and the time really adds up.

Here’s the recipe.  I actually found it online somewhere.

Ingredients:

For the Brownies:

4 oz dark chocolate, chopped

1 stick butter, cut into cubes

2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

3 fingered pinch of salt

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup all purpose flour

For the Peanut Butter Mousse:

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

3 tbsp milk

1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted

2/3 cup heavy whipping cream, very cold

For the Ganache:

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

10 mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, roughly chopped

Directions:

Make the brownies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a round 9″ cake pan with greased parchment paper. Spray the sides of the pan with cooking spray.

Place the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Melt completely on 50% power at 30 second intervals, stirring after each. Cool slightly.

Add the eggs to a mixing bowl. Next, add the vanilla, salt, sugar, and brown sugar to the bowl. Whisk thoroughly. Add the chocolate butter mixture and whisk again. Gently fold in the flour to the brownie batter until just combined. Over mixing will result in tough brownies.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Place in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted 3″ from the edge of pan comes out with only a few crumbs. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack – at least one hour.

To remove from pan, carefully slide a knife around the edges to loosen. Place a plate over the brownies then invert the pan. Brownies should easily flip out. Peel off parchment paper.

Make the mousse:

While brownies are baking, make the mousse. Place peanut butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and milk in a large mixing owl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Set aside.

Place whipping cream in a second bowl. Beat until whipped cream holds stiff peaks. Working in 4 batches, gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture to form a light, airy mousse. Over working the mousse will cause it to deflate, so use a light hand! Scrap the mousse into a gallon size ZipLoc and place into the refrigerator to cook for one hour.

Assemble the pie:

Carefully place the brownie onto the plate you wish to serve your pie on. Remove mousse from refrigerator. Cut about 1″ off of the corner of the plastic bag. Evenly pipe the mousse over the brownie in large spiraling circles. Use all of the mousse. With a rubber spatula, smooth out top surface of mousse. Place the brownie and mousse into refrigerator to chill at least 30 minutes before finishing.

Make the ganache:

While the brownie and mousse are chilling, make ganache. Place 1/3 cup whipping cream into a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Let chocolate and cream sit about 3 minutes. Whisk until smooth and shiny. Leave at room temperature until ready to finish pie.

Finish pie:

Remove pie from refrigerator. Sprinkle chopped Reese’s cups evenly over the top of the pie. Drizzle with ganache. This pie must be served chilled or mousse will deflate. May be stored in the fridge for 3 days. Freezes well and can be eaten straight from freezer.