texas praline cake

A Texas Praline Cake Recipe from Betty's Cook Nook

Texas Praline Cake (before it’s frosted)


Texas : It’s A State Of Mind

Growing up in Texas I had no clue the true passion folks have for our country state. Nowadays it seems like most everything comes in the shape of Texas these days.

Blocks of cheese. Stepping stones. Sunglasses. Pencils. Coasters. Coffee Tables. Swimming pools. In the kitchen some of my most prized possessions include a Texas-shaped cutting board, ice cube trays, pasta, cookie cutters, a hamburger press and my very, very special Texas waffle maker. I’m not kidding!

A Texas Shaped Waffle

My Very Own Chocolate Chip Pecan Waffle. Mine! Mine! Mine!
PS ~ I just ate the Texas Panhandle!

For this recipe, when I saw “Texas” in the name I instinctively knew what I had to do – cut the cake into my favorite shape.

But sadly, when I realized this cake is actually made from a bundt pan (not a sheet cake), I decided to spare you all my creative talents attempting to “Tex-afy” this dish.

foodie tips ~

  If this were “fight club” turned “cooking club” the 1st rule of cooking club would be to clearly list all ingredients in your ingredients list! This is not the first time I skimmed a recipe (below), rushed to the store to fill-in my ingredient holes then when making the dish I discover that there were more ingredients buried deep, deep down in the recipe’s body copy. [ insert angry face here ]. This is my own fault of course and I hopefully will remember to read recipes from A-to-Z next time. Just note that I included all ingredients below – including those for the Whipped Cream Imperial – to make it easy for you to have the ingredient essentials at the ready. [ insert happy face here ].

A Texas Praline Cake Recipe from Betty's Cook Nook  Instant coffee granules? Me, either. But surprisingly they worked magic in this dish. What else am I missing here? Coffee granule brownies? Instant coffee toffee (if only)? Chili con carne con coffee? That’s just wrong.

i. ingredients

for the cake

2 sticks (1 cup) | butter, softened (my Grandmother Nanny insisted on Falfurrias brand butter)
1 cup | Imperial brand brown sugar
½ cup | Imperial brand granulated sugar
| cage free eggs
1 ½ teaspoons | vanilla
1 ½ cups | water
1 tablespoon | instant coffee granules (this is not a typo)
4 cups | all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon | cocoa powder
5 teaspoons | baking powder
1 teaspoon | salt
1 cup | pecans, coarsely chopped

for the cream topping

1 cup | heavy cream
⅛ teaspoon | salt
½ teaspoon | vanilla
½ cup | Imperial brand brown sugar, sieved (sifted or strained)

ii. what to do

0. Heat It Up: Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Make Dough: In a large mixing bowl using low speed, cream butter with the brown and white sugars until well combined. On high speed, add the eggs and cream them about five minutes. Add the vanilla, water and coffee granules and mix on low speed just to combine. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add the dry mix to the wet mix on low speed just until all ingredients are well combined. Stir in the pecans by hand.

3. To Bake: Pour the dough into a 10″ tube pan that’s been greased on the bottom only. Bake in preheated oven about 55 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool your cake in the pan on a metal/wood cooling rack.

4. To Frost: To make the “Whipped Cream Imperial” topping combine by hand the four topping ingredients above (heavy cream, salt, vanilla and brown sugar). Chill the frosting mixture for 1 hour in the fridge. Beat with a chilled beater until stiff.

Serves: 12 or more slices of Texas Praline Cake

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

PS ~ If you’re still reading this recipe you may be wondering why I didn’t include a picture of the cake frosted. Well, me and my gas oven are at odds these days and I think the thermostat is shot and my cake was over-cooked. It still had a good flavor but it was dry so I didn’t frost the cake. This is my second fail proving to me that creating kitchen masterpieces is not as easy as it sounds – especially when your oven hates you. My first fail? These red candy apples. Just looking at a picture of them makes my stomach sad.

A Texas Praline Cake Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Recipe

 


holiday cake

A Holiday Cake Recipe From Betty's Cook NookA Christmas Spectacular
(Part III)

This holiday recipe is a continuation of the ultimate holiday meal which begins with this tomato bisque recipe, which you’ve gotta check out if you want your holiday meal to be complete. ;)

You’ll also be able to read a little more about how this recipe was selected for Betty’s Cook Nook plus learn about the photographer who took the picture of the 1970s Christmas family below.

foodie tips ~

  Butter instead of margarine? Call me hard-headed, but yes. Plus, I don’t like to anger Mother Nature.

  Green maraschino cherries? I had trouble finding them at my local HEB so I went red all the way. Below, when it calls for well-drained cherries, after draining them in a colander transfer them to a paper towel then blot them with a paper towel.

  I had lots more glaze leftover. You could easily cut the powdered sugar and milk quantities below in half unless you want more glaze than what’s pictured above.

i. ingredients

1 cup | falfurrias butter, softened (falfurrias is from Texas, y’all)
1 package (8 ounce) | philadelphia cream cheese, softened ahead of time
1 ½ cups | sugar
1 ½ teaspoons | vanilla extract
| cage free eggs
2 ¼ cups | cake flour, sifted and divided into 2 cups in one bowl and ¼ cup in another
1 ½ teaspoons | baking powder
¾ cup | red and or green maraschino cherries, well drained
1 cup | pecans, chopped and divided into halves (½ cup each)
1 ½ cups | powdered sugar, sifted
¼ cup | milk
to top | more maraschino cherries

ii. what to do

1. Make sure your butter is softened then preheat your oven to 325°F. Things are about to heat up!

2. Combine butter, cream cheese and sugar then cream together until light and fluffy. We used our tried and true KitchenAid mixer for the ultimate fluffy. 

3. Stir in the vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with every addition.

4. In a medium bowl gently hand mix 2 cups flour and baking powder then gradually add to the creamed mixture.

5. Combine the remaining flour, cherries and ½ cup of the pecans and fold into the cake batter.

6. Sprinkle the remaining pecans into a greased 10-inch Bundt or tube pan; pour in the cake batter.

7. Bake for 1 hour or until cake tests done. Cool 5 minutes then remove from pan.

8. Combine powdered sugar and milk. Pour this glaze over the cake and garnish with cherries.

Here’s a scan of the original recipe! Note the missing Apple Cider recipe (how could they?!). No worries – I have a substitute recipe coming soon. 

Southern Living Magazine December 1978

 


pecan rolls

Pecan Rolls - A Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook10 Out Of 10 Elves Agree . . . 

These Pecan Rolls rock! Actually they roll, too, because they are, er, pecan rolls.

Rock and roll aside, these have a similar taste of Keebler Pecan Sandies which made regular appearances in our family’s pantry.
Ernie the Keebler Elf likes Pecan Rolls From Bettys Cook Nook

Growing up at 2927 Trailend we had a pecan tree in the back yard. It was a big tree and oddly I don’t remember picking up its pecans – probably because it was surrounded by bushes and a large bed of ivy that kinda creeped me out.

What I do remember are the mesquite trees we had – one in the front yard and one in the back yard. The front mesquite tree was precisely decorated with white lights each Christmas and our house was known for its white light signature tree every year at holidaytime.

The mesquite trees. I love to tell the story about how I was “ripped off” by my parents as I was paid a mere 25 cents PER BOX for picking up the mesquite tree beans that would fall off into the grass. The lawn mower couldn’t pick the beans up very well but small children who didn’t know better could!

Beans aside, pecans were a family treat growing up so I hope you enjoy this recipe featuring our nutty fall nut favorite partnered with vanilla and nutmeg – perfect for the holidays!

foodie tips ~

 If you like consistency, form the dough into balls using a cookie scoop. Scoop the dough onto a flat surface and cut it in half, then roll by hand.

 If you like round bally things coated in powdered sugar, you have to give these rum balls a whirl. They’re outstanding. And they’re made *with rum*, yum rum yum.

i. ingredients

9 tablespoons | powdered sugar
½ pound | falfurrias brand butter (per my grandmother Nanny)
2 cups | flour, sifted
2 ½ cups | ground pecans
1 ½ teaspoons | vanilla
½ teaspoon | nutmeg
1 teaspoon | salt

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 325°F.

1. Mix sugar and butter. Gradually add sifted flour. Stir in pecans, vanilla, nutmeg and salt.

2. Shape dough into the size of pecans in the palm of your hands.

3. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 20 minutes and do not brown.

4. Remove from oven and cool. Then roll in powdered sugar.

Yields: 60 pecan balls. Yee Haw!

A scan of Mom's Pecan Rolls Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook


sweet and sour grapes

so sweet... so sour... so easy to make!You’ll Go “Ape” For These Grapes

There are only a handful of recipes that I can recall from childhood memory. You’re looking at one of them.

You may at first grimace at the idea of sour cream with grapes… but the sweet and sour taste was one of the earliest I can remember and topped with brown sugar, it was very easy to get me to eat them!

I remember mom serving this grape salad in her white Pfaltzgraff Heritage style custard cups. I’ve still kept her dinnerware all these years as the simple style withstands the test of time.

You can serve this as a side to the main course, but I think this is best enjoyed as a dismount from the table ~ a dessert!

i. ingredients

1 pound | washed green grapes, chilled
8 ounces | sour cream
½ teaspoon | vanilla
1 cup | brown sugar
optional ~ ½ cup | texas pecans, chopped

ii. what to do

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the sour cream and vanilla until well blended.

2. Gently fold-in the grapes and coat well.

3. Transfer the grape mixture into individual-sized serving cups or onto a wide and flat serving platter (for folks to serve themselves).

4. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top… and the pecans, if desired. Try and ensure you get the brown sugar on top of the grapes (merely blending the sugar into the mixture will cause the sugar to dissolve).

Makes A Great Summer Treat

Foodie Tips ~

♥ Make sure and serve this treat chilled.

 You can double the recipe depending on how many folks you’re serving.

 As a young study, I don’t quite remember the pecans in mom’s original rendition of this, but it’s possible I forgot. I found a similar recipe during research online and feel that mom would approve; who doesn’t love the crispy crunch of Texas pecans? Today’s version of this treat calls for 4 ounces of sour cream and 4 ounces of softened creamed cheese (vs. 8 ounces of only sour cream). You can decide what tastes best.

If you love sour cream, why not test out the mom’s frozen fruit delight ice cream? No churning required!





carrot cake

torta di carotaLove Carrots? Get Ready For This Sweet Treat!

In 5th grade, I remember my music class teacher praised me for my rhythm with the wood block. Grabbing that praise, I entered beginning band in 6th grade at Garner Middle School… and my passion for percussion marched on through high school and college. I still love music to this day.

Returning home garner yearlings! remember me?from summer band practice at Garner, I remember sitting on the floor watching TV (before cable or satellite TV) and Looney Tunes was tops on my list. Bugs Bunny was one of my favorites and we all know Bugs’ love of the carrot. With that in mind…

…I hope you enjoy mom’s tasty carrot cake as much as I do!

i. ingredients

for the cake:

2 cups | sugarbugs bunny loves carrots and drums
1-1/3 cups | cooking oil
4 | cage free eggs
2 cups | flour
1 teaspoon | salt
2 teaspoons | baking soda
2 teaspoons | cinnamon
3 cups | grated raw carrots
1/2 cup | nuts (texas pecans or walnuts)

for the icing:

1 pound | powdered sugar
8-ounce package | cream cheese
¼ cup | margarine (or unsalted Falfurrias butter, per Nanny)
2 tablespoons | milk
2 teaspoons | vanilla

ii. what to do1... 2... 3... blend

0. Preheat oven to 300°F.

1. Beat sugar and oil… add the eggs and beat well.

2. Sift together the flour, salt, soda and cinnamon. Add to egg mixture and beat well.

3. Fold-in the grated carrots and nuts.

4. Transfer batter to a greased 9″ x 13″ pan.

5. Bake 70 minutes at 300°F.

6. While cake cools, let’s make the icing by beating all of the icing ingredients (above), until creamy.

7. Spread icing on cool cake and serve.

Foodie Tips ~
"m" is for mom. it's also for muffins!
I had to cook the cake a little longer than 70 minutes. I used a ceramic dish vs. a metal one. So watch your baking cake carefully!

♥ Go nuts… Use tasty Texas pecans!

You can also make individual treats by transforming the cake into 24 cupcakes. Cook for about 50-60 minutes.

 OR… you can even transform this recipe into cake balls! To yield about a dozen cakeballs we crumbled 4 cupcakes along with 2 tablespoons of the frosting, chilled a few hours to firm then hand dipped into white chocolate bark. Delicious!

Carrot Cake Balls From Betty's Cook Nook


 

mom's carrot cake recipe

A pic of Mom’s original recipe


bohemian-creole pralines

pralines in the makin'    Being a native Texan guarantees you certain inalienable rights; using “crutch words” like y’all and “fixin’, wearing jeans and boots for any occasion… and the insatiable love of the praline.

For me, Christmastime was trimmed with midnight mass, tamales, the yearning for snow and the sweet, sweet treats that mom would make. It was a season of indulgence for the tummy.

This recipe is from Elouise and Frank Kallina’s kitchen. Mr. Kallina was one of dad’s great friends in the oil and gas biz. I remember visiting their house on Oak Park Drive more than once. Good people.

i. ingredients

3 cups | light brown sugar
1 cup | heavy cream
¼ cup | butter
2 tablespoons | light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon | salt
1 teaspoon | vanilla
1 1/2 cups | toasted texas pecan halves

ii. what to dopralines in the oven

1. In a large, heavy saucepan, mix sugar cream, butter corn syrup and salt.

2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally ’till the mixture reaches a soft ball stage (about 234 F on a candy thermometer).

3. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

4. Add vanilla and pecans.

5. Beat until the praline mixture looses its gloss.

6. Spoon onto wax paper to form patties. Let cool.

Enjoy!

Foodie Tip ~

Make sure and heat the mixture to the soft ball stage. I was in a rush to eat these and the sugar was a bit gritty because I didn’t heat it up all the way.

elouise and frank's bohemian-creole praline recipe


“nuts and bolts” party mix

Mmmmm ~

Ready to get the party started?

This recipe was a Kiker family favorite during the holidays.

It still is.

The more we made, the more we shared. And the more we shared, the more we ate. The circle of life.

I found it interesting to see that Mom’s *original* recipe (below) called for Corn Pops… and that it was later scratched out and replaced with Cheerios. I’m guessing perhaps the sweet-salty match-up was too “avant garde” back in the 70s… Or was it?

I dove-in head first with my first attempt re-making this classic by using both the Corn Pops and Tabasco. And you know what? I loved them both!

While my childhood friend “Snoopy” later popularized the Party Mix, Mom was making this original before it was available, pre-made in a bag, at the grocery stores (there’s not much fun in that).

Brother Roger said “Nuts and Bolts” would often be served warm in Mom’s white CorningWare bowls, which he still has to this day. And his favorite part? Taking the pretzel sticks and “stabbing” the Cheerios in their center hole, so he could stack ’em up.

Move over, popcorn. There’s an old snack in town. Nuts and Bolts rules. Hands down.

PS ~ I take responsibility for the doodling on the back of the well-worn recipe card; seems I was too young to have respect for life’s “little treasures.”

i. ingredients

group 1 :
1 stick (1/2 cup) | oleo (Nanny loved Falurrias Brand Butter!)
1 tablespoon | Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon | garlic salta close-up shot of the
¼ teaspoon | salt
to taste | Tabasco (if desired)
to taste | Lawry’s brand seasoned salt with black pepper (if desired)

group 2 :
2 cups | cheerios (the “bolts”)
3 cups | wheat chex
3 cups | rice chex
to taste | pretzel sticks
1 package | lightly salted peanuts (the “nuts”)
1 package | cashews (the “nuts”)
1 package | Texas pecans (the “nuts”)

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 325°F.
1. Melt the oleo (butter) in a large baking pan and add the “group 1” ingredients. Stir well.
2. Stir-in the “group 2” ingredients until well coated.
3. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
4. Serve warm, if you can.

foodie tips ~

This recipe is great for making treats for gift-giving… especially during the holidays when friends and family may pop-in for a visit.

I remember mom also using Lawry’s brand seasoned salt on the party mix. Roger remembers it, too. Rahhhh, salty! I sprinkled some seasoned salt with black pepper on top just before I put them in the oven and it brought back the good times.

Why not consider adding Corn Chex to the party? The more, the merrier.

mom's party mix recipe