My sister Jane has been making these for years. It’s from a cookbook called Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts. When I asked her to send me the recipe, she had 20 years of notes scribbled all over the pages. So she has worked out the kinks and figured out the shortcuts for all of us. I made a test batch yesterday, and then ate half the pan, not kidding. They are so good I had to throw the rest away this morning, or I would have gone into a diabetic coma. So, make sure guests are coming over when you bake these or you won’t fit into your jeans in the morning.

PASTRY SHELL
Ingredients:
½ pound (1 cup) unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg
¼ tsp. salt
Finely grated rind of 1 large lemon
2-3 cups of all-purpose flour.
*butter and egg must be room temperature…I don’t know why, but Jane and Maida say it is crucial.

Directions:
Adjust the rack 1/3 up from bottom of oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Butter a 15 1/2×101/2/1 inch jelly roll pan (I used a square baking dish, but that’s all I had and they came out too thick) and place in the freezer. (It’s easier to spread the pastry on a cold pan.)

In a large bowl or Cuisinart cream the butter and the sugar, beat in the egg, salt and lemon rind.

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - Pecan Bars

Gradually add the flour and BEAT ONLY until mixture holds together. TIP: you want it to become the consistency of thick pancake batter, not crumbly like pie dough, so add 2 cups of the flour and then if you need more add tablespoon by tablespoon. As you can see in the picture mine is a little thick, but they were still fantastic.

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - Pecan Bars

Place mixture by large spoonfuls all over the bottom of the cold pan then with floured fingers press into all the corners. This for some reason makes me nervous and I feel I am doing it wrong, but just shove it around. Prick the bottom with at ¼ inch intervals with a fork. Chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - Pecan Bars

Then bake for 20 minutes until half-baked and lightly colored. Next, take it out to cool completely. Finish this before starting the pecan topping.

PECAN TOPPING
Ingredients:
½ pound ( 1 cup) butter, cut in pieces
½ cup honey
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, firmly packed
¼ cup heavy cream
4-5 cups pecan halves, I like them chopped in half again.

Directions:
In a heavy 3 quart saucepan over moderately high heat, cook the butter and honey until butter is melted. Add both sugars and stir to dissolve.

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - Pecan Bars

Bring to a boil and DON’T STIR for exactly two minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the heavy cream and pecans.

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - Pecan Bars

I like to use less pecans because I like the caramel gooey stuff, but if you like it more “nutty” then add the full 5 cups. Immediately spread the hot mixture evenly over the half-baked crust. Spread with the back of a wooden spoon to make as even as possible.

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - Pecan Bars

Bake in a 375 degree oven (rack in same position as pastry shell) for 25 minutes. Remove and let cool completely. I put mine in the refrigerator once it had cooled, and it helped to pop it out of the pan. Cut into small squares, with a long knife. Yum.

This fudge is pure bliss. It is made from Baileys Irish Cream and coffee. Fudge with booze and coffee? I’m in! The fudge smells unbelievably good and it’s so silky smooth – the taste is heaven.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream
1 Tbsp instant coffee crystals
3/4 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk
3 cups sugar
7 oz. jar marshmallow cream
1 pkg vanilla morsels or butterscotch chips
1 tsp vanilla
Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka? Irish Coffee Fudge
Directions:
In a small bowl, combine Baileys and coffee crystals. Microwave on high for 15 seconds or until melted and dissolved. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter, evaporated milk, sugar, and marshmallow cream. Slowly add the Bailey’s coffee mixture. Stir well. Boil for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and mix in chips and vanilla extract. Stir for approx. 3-4 minutes, until smooth. Pour in a foil lined 8×8 pan. Chill to set.

Enjoy!

Looking for some inspiration for your Labor Day Weekend celebration? Then take a peek at this festive roundup we’ve put together of all things red, white and blue! From food, to nails, to decorations, you’ll be sure to find something to help bring out your holiday spirit! 

It’s almost here! It’s almost here!

We love Independence Day. It’s a birthday party for our country and we celebrate in style. Fireworks are legal and available here. Everyone up and down our street has been shopping and we all anxiously anticipate sundown.

Finally dusk arrives. Cookouts wrap up and fireworks come out. All the neighbors set up chairs in our driveways for the show. For hours we watch the colors light up the sky, hear the bangs and pops, and smell the cordite.

But the tastes? Those are my domain. I love to bake, that’s no secret, but Fourth of July is an especially fun time for preparing desserts because of all the ripe, juicy berries available this time of year. Many of my desserts feature them.

Just before sundown on Independence Day I set up the kitchen island with desserts. Kids and adults alike are in and out of the house all night long. Some of these will be offered this year:

1.) Patriotic Pavlova

2.) Strawberry Shortcake, Nacho Style

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - 8 Delicious Fourth of July Desserts

3.) S’More and Strawberry Skewers

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - 8 Delicious Fourth of July Desserts

4.) Peanut Butter and Jelly Dessert Pizza

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - 8 Delicious Fourth of July Desserts

5.) Firecracker Red White and Blue Cake

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - 8 Delicious Fourth of July Desserts

6.) White Chocolate Peppermint Cake

7.) Butterfingers Brownies

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 11.33.07 AM

8.) Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka - 8 Delicious Fourth of July Desserts

Do you have a Thanksgiving recipe that is sacrosanct, one that your family will not let you waver from, or — perish the thought — omit from the menu? In my family it’s a festive jello mold that is the heralded star of the show.

“Jello mold?” You ask with a raised eyebrow. That ghastly relic of which surely no one on the Food Network would dare speak? A hideous affront to gourmands of all persuasions? The slut of 50’s cuisine, if you will — indiscriminate, always available, and dolled up with mini marshmallows, canned peaches or Maraschino cherries, whispering, “Take me, I’m easy.”

But wait. Our Thanksgiving favorite deserves some respect. Made with cherry jello and studded with fresh cranberries, chopped walnuts and celery, it can be made way in advance and forgotten about until the turkey is being carved. With just the right balance of sweet, tart, and crunchy, it is a perfect accompaniment to the meal. I usually double the recipe to serve 12-14.

I don’t know what age I was when my mother first made this dish. But I can totally imagine my gastronomical rapture upon tasting the first forkful. Henceforth known as Leenzil’s Thanksgiving Salad, it has been on my family’s table ever since.

Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Weird Thanksgiving Staple
My mother submitted Leenzil’s Thanksgiving Salad to our synagogue’s cookbook under my name years ago. This is a photo of that page.

Oh, and the Leenzil part? That was my dad’s nickname for me.

Happy Thanksgiving, and bon appetit!

This post was originally featured on Helene’s blog, Books Is Wonderful. Featured image via

We went to an apple orchard recently and have enough apples to survive off of for a year. Okay, maybe not that long but it feels like it. A few days ago, I made these mini pies and they are really good.

I think I may try to make one whole pie next time. Although, the mini pies are nice for a little treat… if you can just eat one. They’re also great to put in your child’s lunch for a treat.

I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

Refrigerated pie dough
1 1/2 cups apples, sliced and peeled (cut them to the size of corn kernels)
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
6 store-bought caramels (quartered)
Sea salt
Egg wash (1 egg, whisked with 1 tablespoon water)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 F.

In a small bowl, add the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar, and flour. Mix to incorporate. Sprinkle a little flour onto a cutting board. Unwrap 2 refrigerated pie dough crusts onto the cutting board. Take a glass or cookie cutter (the glass I used is 3 inches in diameter) and cut out the pie crusts. I was able to get 16 all together.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the pie crust on sheet. Divide the apple mixture and caramel evenly onto the pie crusts. Add a pinch of sea salt to the top of each. Place the tops of the pie crusts over the mixture. I slightly rolled out the tops to fit them easier. Using a fork, crimp around the edges of the mini pies.

With a knife, cut two holes on top of the pies. Brush each apple pie with the egg wash. Sprinkle them with sugar and put into the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Take out of the oven and let the pies rest for 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container or you can choose to devour several. I kept them in the refrigerator and warmed them up in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.

This post was originally featured on Elle’s blog, This Is MommyhoodPhoto via