chocolate pecan ritz pie

Chocolate Pecan Ritz Pie Recipe From Bettys Cook Nook

Sweet Formations

In honor of my brother’s birthday today (Betty’s son Tim), I’m making pie.

I broke away from my recent sequence of making recipes in the order I find them in Mom’s two cookbooks by skipping right to the dessert section of the green index card file that has about 100 recipes in it. A funny little recipe (see below) caught my eye because it had no name. So I chose it without doubt.

I almost named this “no name pie,” but I thought I could do better than that so “Chocolate Pecan Ritz Pie” seemed suitable enough.

Tim is the oldest of 3 of Louis and Betty’s kids. I’ve known him to be a fan of hunting and fishing, sports and good Tex Mex. Shown here is a picture of Tim as a yell leader at MacArthur High School from the 1970s – a time when our family was eating many of the recipes here at Betty’s Cook Nook.

I hope you enjoy this pie as much as I did. Hats off to you on your sweet day, big bro!

MarArthur Cheerleaders & Yell Leaders, 1975

Here’s a pic of my brother Tim when he was a Yell Leader at MacArthur High School. He’s the 3rd Yell Leader from left to right. #PerfectPosture

 

foodie tips ~

  Whipping cream or whipped cream? So whipped cream is whipping cream after it has been whipped. I’m not sure if this recipe really called for whipping cream to be poured on top, so I whipped mine. I prefer my whipped cream with tall, thick peaks – not flimsy and runny rivers which is what I associate with canned whipped cream.

I suppose I’m a bit of a whipped cream snob as I have a gourmet whipper that I, ahem, whip out when it’s time for the best. It only takes a few moments to make fresh whipped cream and I can sweeten and flavor the cream to my liking. Chocolate whipped cream? I’ve done it, and so can you!

  Here in Texas “nuts” is an abbreviation for “Texas Pecans.” Giddy up!

  If you also top the pie with more chopped pecans, I’m likely to high five you. #ThisIsTexas!

i. ingredients

| egg whites
1 cup | sugar
1 teaspoon | baking powder
1 cup | nuts, chopped (see above for cooking tip)
21 | Ritz brand crackers, crushed
to line pie plate | butter – better make it Falfurrias (my Grandmother’s favorite)
1 cup | whipped cream
to top | hershey chocolate bar, shaved

Chocolate Pecan Ritz Pie Recipe

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Beat the egg whites until stiff.

2. Stir together the sugar and baking powder and add to the egg whites and gently fold in.

3. Add the pecans and the Ritz crackers and fold in.

4. Pour your mix into a buttered pie plate and bake in your preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Nobody likes charred pie so please watch carefully so that you don’t overcook this sweet dish!

5. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool thoroughly. Use a cooling rack if you’re in somewhat of a hurry.

6. Top the pie with some fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Serve chilled.

Yields about 6 – 8 servings

~ Patrick

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

Chocolate Pecan Ritz Pie Recipe

A scan of Mom’s pie recipe. It was penned without a name so I coined it “Chocolate Pecan Ritz Pie.”

 

Chocolate Pecan Ritz Pie Recipe From Bettys Cook Nook

Flashback 1970s

I thought it would be fun to have a look at some vintage 60s and 70s whipped cream advertising.

While we often had Reddi-wip at the ready in our fridge, it looks like they didn’t run commercials in the good ol’ days (just print). Here’s one of the most peculiar print ads I found which seems to promise that serving Reddi-Wip will get you a man or sex. Or both. (Sous Chef‘s Note: We all know sex is really guaranteed after serving the Pineapple Cheese Salad recipe cleverly included in the ad. Um, NO thank you!

Reddi Wip Mate Bait

Since my family also enjoyed the fresh non-dairyness of Cool Whip Whipped Topping, here are some of their funny commercials:

I don’t have the heart to tell Little Susie that with Cool Whip “Swiggle” she really CAN keep her cake forever – that stuff surely lasts the test of time! #cardboard. Enjoy this 1970s spot:

Gomer Pyle and Cool Whip make for the perfect promotion for all Americans*. *Except those in Wisconsin.

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black forest squares

Black Forest Squares Recipe

Just like bad hair days, not every single food photo I take turns out amazing. This is one of them! But I promise you this tasted oh, so good!

Into The Forest We Go

When the word “forest” comes to mind, I often think about the first forest I ever visited – the San Isabel National Forest in Colorado.

Time warp 1980. It was the year of my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary and in the San Antonio Express News Mom read about a small, charming getaway in south central Colorado called Cuchara (Spanish for “spoon”). The article tugged at her heart and a family trip to Cuchara was going to happen! Since the only vacations I had been on were to the Texas Coast and one trip to Nuevo Laredo where I spent more time in the hotel sick than out and about, I knew we were in for a big treat – even bigger than when the Brady Bunch went camping.

Our Kiker family of five piled into two cars and with our CB radios at the ready we made the 12+ hour drive from San Antonio to Cuchara. Just inside the Colorado state line I remember my first few moments outside of the car – the air smelled so foreign … and fresh! It was like Mother Nature had sprayed air freshener and beauty in all directions!

Resting at an altitude of 8,468 feet, Cuchara had no stop lights and a year-round population about 100 strong. So this was a place you came to unwind. Fishing, horseback riding, hiking, sitting and staring this way and that (literally) – all the things we didn’t do in our usual city life. Mom and Dad rented a cabin at Yellow Pine Ranch – a working dude ranch with everything you’d expect and more. Here along the Cuchara River there was a pond, horses and even a donkey named “Cucklebur.”

San Isabel National Forest

Into The Forest We Go!

The National Forest was expansive and we had fun enjoying the views from our 1970s Toyota Land Cruiser. Mountains, pine trees and quaking aspens were abound and my Dad later referred to this land as “God’s Country.” It came as no surprise that in November of the same year Mom and Dad were back in Cuchara scouting for land to purchase so they could build a cabin in the woods – a joint venture with their friends Margie and Herb from Waco.

That is the kind of effect the beauty of a forest can create! Now let’s make black forest squares!

foodie tips ~

 As my kitchen smarts continue to deepen, I’m reminded that all pans are not alike! Glass and metal pans cook differently and you might find that if you’re cake is a little burned around the edges, you might switch to metal bakeware. Here’s why.

 In the 1970s while whip cream often came from the can, these days I use my gourmet whipper which creates a super fresh whip. When you make your own whipped topping you can flavor the creams but for this recipe we chose to go with the standard recipe.

i. ingredients

1 package | chocolate cake mix
8 ounces | sour cream
1 package (4-serving size) | instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup | milk
¼ cup | crème de cassis … or brandy (I had brandy on hand)
16 ounce can | pitted dark sweet cherries
2 tablespoons | sugar
1 tablespoon | cornstarch
to serve | fresh whipping cream
¼ cup | sliced almonds, toasted

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Prepare the cake mix according to the package directions. Turn batter into a greased and floured 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Bake 10-12 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out of the middle clean. Cool completely in pan.

2. In a large mixer bowl beat together the sour cream, dry pudding mix, ⅓ cup of the milk and the crème de cassis or brandy until the mixture is fluffy. Gradually add the remaining milk, beating until smooth. Pour mixture over the cooled cake and chill.

Black Forest Squares by Betty's Cook Nook

3. Meanwhile, drain the cherries, reserving ¾ cups of the syrup. In a sauce pan combine the sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in the reserved syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute longer. Add the drained cherries, remove from heat and cool.

4. Spread the cool cherry mixture on top of the chilled pudding layer. Cover and chill several hours or overnight.

5. To serve – whip fresh cream to soft peaks. Pipe over cherry mixture in a lattice design. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Yields about 12 squares, depending on size

~ Patrick

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

Black Forest Squares Recipe

Here’s a scan of Mom’s original recipe. Ironically it was from a 1980 Betty Homes and Gardens Magazine – the same year we took our awesome trip to Colorado (mentioned above).

From The Cuchara Mountaintop

Over the river and through the wood … we find ourselves above the tree line atop Colorado.