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


pineapple cookies

A Pineapple Cookie Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook
Fabulously Fruity

I had never heard of a pineapple cookie before but when Joe found this recipe in Mom’s cookbook I was excited; we had all the ingredients in our kitchen meaning treat consumption was near. We just needed to get the featured ingredient – the pineapple.

A quick trip to the store and back we started cookie production … Lah de dah … I was following the recipe and noticed that it ended at the bottom of the page Mom tore out of a magazine and there was no continuation of the recipe – no extra page! Click here to hear the sound in my head when I realized the recipe was incomplete!

I scoured the front and back of the page (below) containing the recipe and noticed a small callout for folks to send their old-fashioned family recipes to “Southern Living” – and if their recipe was used they would receive $5/each. Note to self: Southern Living. I also noticed a Lemon Jell-O Peachy Cream Salad recipe with a copyright of 1979. Note to self: 1979. With these two data nuggets I should have been lucky enough to find the recipe but the interwebs did not produce; I couldn’t find any record of the recipe – not even on SouthernLiving.comBut I found this one, which helped me interpret and fill-in the gaps.

Pineapple is one of my most favorite fruits of all. I hope you give this recipe a whirl!

foodie tips ~

Morton Iodized Salt ~ When It Rains It Pours

 I added the nuts. “Nuts” is an abbreviation for Texas Pecans, y’all.

I read several online complaints about cookies like these being soggy and wet. Follow these instructions! Make sure and DRAIN the pineapple. I had no problems with soggy cookies!

 I recently purchased a cookie scoop which makes forming cookies a snap. Give it a squeeze and see!

 I’m confident iodized salt was used back in the day. Today I’m a salt lover and have five salt varieties in my kitchen. I used a kosher salt for these cookies and was treated to a little kick of salt in-between the pineapple nuggets. I liked.

i. ingredients

1 ¾ cups | all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon | soda
¼ teaspoon | baking powder
¼ teaspoon | salt
½ cup | brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup | sugar
½ cup | shortening
1 | cage free egg
1 teaspoon | vanilla extract
½ cup | crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup | chopped nuts (these are not optional says me)

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 375°F.

1. Combine flour, soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

2. Combine sugars and shortening in a large mixing bowl (I used my Kitchen Aid); cream until light and … [ here’s where I pick up with the rest of the instructions ] … chunky.

3. Beat egg and vanilla into creamed mixture.

4. By hand stir-in the pineapple and nuts.

5. Fold-in half of the dry ingredients from step 1 above into the creamy mixture. Hand mix until well blended. Add/mix/blend the last half of dry ingredients.

6. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of the cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet.

7. Bake until light golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. If the first tray turns out a bit crispy, reduce the baking time on the next go.

Yields: About 24 cookies

A Scan Of Mom's Pineapple Cookies Recipe From A 1979 Issue Of Southern Living


pearl’s macaroons

Get Mom's recipe for Pearl's MacaroonsSweet Up

I don’t know who Pearl is, but her macaroon recipe found its way into Mom’s cookbook.

Since Easter is synonymous with coconut, let’s whip-up a batch of these sweet, sweet treats.

Go Coconuts!

i. ingredients

| egg whites, beaten stiff
1 cup | sugar
1 cup | coconut
1 cup | nuts
1 teaspoon | vanilla
3 cups | corn flakes

ii. what to do

4 Egg Whites, Beaten Stiff

0. Preheat oven to 400°F.

1. Grease a large cookie tin and set aside.

2. Beat egg whites to a stiff peak.

3. Fold in the remaining ingredients.

4. Drop rounded tablespoons of the macaroon mixture onto the cookie tin.

5. BEFORE placing macaroons in oven, reduce heat to 150-170°F.

6. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Ingredients for Pearl's Macaroonsfoodie tip ~

  “Nuts” = Texas Pecans, folks! This. Is. Texas.

A scan of Mom's recipe for Pearl's Macaroons


brandied pumpkin flan

Pumpkin Flan On Fire

This recipe is dedicated to my foster family in Italy ~ the hospitality
they shared was bigger than Texas! 
I’ll never forget us uniting over this dish
during “Tex Mex Night” in Tuscany. 

~      ~

a flan on fire? 

You betcha! This is one of the most amazing recipes that made my Mom look more magician than chef.

When I was growing up this flan was typically served at Thanksgiving. When it was time for dessert the lights would be dimmed and Mom placed the flan in the middle of the table and lit the brandy. Widening eyes were aglow. Pure deliciousness on many levels!

I was on holiday in Italy when I made this recipe for the very first time; it was something that we had for dessert for “Tex Mex Night.” A memory for a lifetime.

i. ingredients

¾ cup | sugar
1 cup | canned or cooked pumpkin
1 cup | milk
1 cup | light cream
6 | cage free eggs
½ cup | sugar
½ teaspoon | salt
2 teaspoons | vanilla extract
⅓ cup | brandy
boiling water
2 tablespoons | brandy (more brandy!)

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place a 8 ¼” round, shallow baking dish into the oven. See my Texas twist on the dish shape below!

1. In a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, cook ¾ cup sugar until it melts and forms a light-brown syrup. Stir to blend and do not overcook!

2. Immediately pour syrup into the warmed baking dish. Holding the dish with pot holders, quickly rotate it back and forth, to cover bottom and side completely. Set aside.

Pouring the pumpkin flan into the prepared dish3. To make the pumpkin custard: In a medium saucepan, combine pumpkin, milk and cream, stirring until well blended. Heat over low heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.

4. In a large bowl with a rotary beater, add eggs and beat them slightly. Add sugar, salt and vanilla. Gradually stir in the hot pumpkin-milk mixture and ⅓ cup brandy. Pour into the prepared baking dish.

5. Set the baking dish into a shallow aluminum pan. Pour boiling water to a ½-inch level around the dish. Put the dish/pan into the preheated oven.

Pumpkin Flan Hot Out Of The Oven

6. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the flan comes out clean. Remove the custard from the oven, let cool and refrigerate overnight.

7. To serve, run a small spatula around the edge of the dish to loosen the flan. Invert the dish onto a shallow serving dish and shake gently to release. The caramel acts as a tasty sauce. Lower the lights in the room, gather your foodies, and at the table ignite 2 tablespoons of warm brandy and quickly pour it over the flan. It was at this point back when I was in Italy that our Italian host “Fausto” grabbed a pitcher of water in case things got fiery. Oh, they did, but only in pure awesomeness. We were all impressed. Me? I was simultaneously surprised and proud. At this step you can whisper some magic chant or a funny limerick for full effect. Your foodies will admire you! Or at least fear you. :)

Serves: 8

foodie tips ~

  In step 4 above, make sure and slowly add the hot pumpkin-milk mixture into the egg mixture to prevent cooking of the eggs! This step works great with two people; a “stirrer” and a “pourer.”
  Stumped with your limerick? Try making your own with a little help from the limerick factory!

Texas Brandied Flan

Here’s a picture of my special Texas-shaped casserole dish of Step 2 (above).
I guess this makes this the Texas Two Step. (Ba Dum Tss!)

the original brandied pumpkin flan recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Recipe For Brandied Pumpkin Flan


easy cheese cake

an easy breezy cheese cake recipe

Indulgence.

This is a quality I developed early on in life.

Perhaps the greatest form of “the sweet life” that I can remember was the day I polished off an *entire can* of Betty Crocker ready-made frosting. In mere minutes…The entire can of betty crocker frosting. IN. MY. BELLY.

…I found it in the pantry… It was lemon-y… My eyes were as wide as dinner plates! I partnered the frosting with a tablespoon and found myself watching TV for no more than 20 minutes of unadulterated over-the-top-don’t-stop-me-now pure sweetness.

Well, I never did that again. And I’ve never thought of lemon frosting quite the same way.

This sweet n’ easy cheese cake recipe makes clever use of sugar cookie dough to form the crust. I hope you’ll find it as tasty as I did!

Sweet, Up

i. ingredients (for 2 cakes)

2 packages | slice-and-bake sugar cookie dough
1½ pounds | softened cream cheese
1 cup | sugar
2 | cage free eggs, beaten
½ cup | softened butter (Nanny says make it Falfurrias brand butter)
1 teaspoon | vanilla
to garnish | fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, etc.)

ii. what to do

a sugar cookie dough crust? yes, please!

0. Preheat oven to 400°F.

1. Line 2 greased 9-inch round pans with slices of refrigerated slice-and-bake sugar cookie dough.

2.  Blend the cream cheese and sugar. Add the eggs, butter, vanilla and blend thoroughly.

3. Pour into the lined pans.blend it up

4. Bake 25 minutes in oven. Remove and let it set/cool.

5. Garnish with fresh strawberries or other berries.

Slice, serve and enjoy!

Foodie Tips ~

♥ Each cake serves 8 folks. You can half this recipe, if desired. Or better yet, why not share one with a friend?

kinda looks like a sunflower, huh? When lining the pan with the cookie dough, fill-in holes/gaps with extra pieces of the dough. Hand cut the dough, if needed. Cut slices to no more than 1/4″ thick (see pic above).

 You can serve this at room temperature, but I prefer chilled.

The inspiration for the berry decoration shape above? I filled the berries inside the cracks left by the cooled cheesecake. What did the berries’ shape spell? A mighty “K!”

Yea, Kiker’s Cook Nook!

a scan of mom's orignal easy cheese cake recipe




banana pudding

mom's banana pudding

Go Ape

When you think of bananas, you think of monkeys. Right?

Growing up in the 70s meant enjoying the ritual of watching Saturday morning cartoons for hours. And one of my favorites was the Tom & Jerry Grape Ape Show. Let’s have a watch (play the video below, folks)!

So bananas. I was shocked this recipe listed the marshmallows as “optional” (really?) and that it didn’t call for the joy of the nilla wafer. Just make sure you include ’em both for an over-to-top old world tasty treat.

Oooh! Ahhh! Oooh! Ahhh!

i. ingredients

½ pint | cream, whippedenjoy the big taste of mini marshmallows
1 large box | jello brand instant vanilla pudding
a little bit | vanilla
2-3 cups | miniature marshmallows
4-5 | bananas, cut up into slices

ii. what to do

1. Whip cream in a mixing bowl.

2. Add the vanilla and whip some more.

3. Make the pudding per the box instructions.

4. Fold in the cream.

ahhh... the pouring of the bananas5. In a serving bowl, pour the cream-pudding batter over sliced bananas and chill for an hour or so.

Serve from the casserole dish or spoon into individual custard cups. Eat it up! If you’re lucky, it’ll all be gone before any bananas on top brown.

Foodie Tips ~

♥ Get creative and find a way to decorate the top of your pudding masterpiece. I made a banana sunflower out of sliced bananas and chocolate chips. Or, at least I tried to!

Nilla wafers. On the top. “Chunky crush” ’em first.

 No nilla wafers? Mom would approve of some chopped Texas pecans, y’all.

 Do you go bananas for bananas? Click here! Then scroll down to your heart’s content.

mom's actual banana pudding recipe card

 





banana nut loaf cake

The Finished Piece ~ Banana Nut Loaf CakeFresh From The Family Archives!

My cousin Julie revved-up her scanner and shot me some recipes from her San Antonio kitchen last week. This tasty banana nut loaf cake recipe was one of them… and hailed from Delores’ kitchen (her handwriting is shown on the recipe below).

Julie’s mom “Delores” was Mom’s sister… and “magically,” the Kiker family always referred to her as “Sister”… and her husband, “Uncle Bill.”

Julie said: “This is another recipe I thought my Mom got from your Mom. She made it several times and then taught Jeannette how to make it. Jeannette made it probably a zillion times for her! My father just loved that banana bread ~ or at least my Mother thought he did!”

Let’s Go Bananas!

the cast of ingredients for banana nut loaf cake


i. ingredients

½ cup | butter, softened (use Falfurrias butter per my Grandmother Nanny)
1½ cup | sugaralways sift your flour, folks!
2 | cage free eggs, beaten well
3 | bananas, mashed well
½ cup | nuts, finely ground (I like pecans)
½ teaspoon | baking soda
4 tablespoons | buttermilk
1½ cups | flour
1 teaspoon | baking powder
1 teaspoon | vanilla

ii. what to do

banana nut loaf cake : batter up

0. Soften your butter. See tip below!

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a large bowl, mix the first five ingredients.

3. Dissolve the soda in the buttermilk; add to the first five ingredients.

4. Mix the flour with the baking powder; add to the ingredients along with the vanilla and mix well.
hero shot

5. Grease the bottom of a loaf pan (roughly 8.5″ x 4.5″ x 2.75″) then line the bottom of the pan with wax paper.

6. Pour batter into baking pan and bake at 350°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Foodie Tips ~

 Ahhh, softening butter. I’m usually in the heat of the moment before I realize I need room temperature butter but it’s still in the fridge! If you’re short on time and can’t wait the 30-60 minutes for your butter to soften on the countertop, here are some helpful tips for how to accelerate things. I usually cut the butter into 1/2″ slices and set them near my preheating oven and usually in about 15 minutes things are ready to roll.

This recipe was surely a family favorite ~ the measurements for how to make *three loaves* is noted in the original recipe below (see the circles)!

Julie says this recipe is a good use for almost-bad bananas.

 You can also split this into two smaller loaves. I used foil pans that were 8″ x 3-7/8″ x 2.5″ and kept one and gave one as a gift.

Who’s Jeanette? Click here and learn more about Jeanette and her famous oatmeal cookies!

Delores' Original Banana Bread Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Banana Nut Loaf Cake Recipe (a.k.a Banana Bread)

 

Banana Bread Recipe