Pecan Pie Muffins

Nothing says “Welcome to the South” better than a delicious pecan dessert.  Pecan pie muffins, found in River Road Recipes IV: Warm Welcomes, page 100, are a unique variation to the typical assortment of muffins.  With the many celebrations of fall and winter quickly approaching these tasty muffins will be a southern addition to your holiday celebrations or just perfect to enjoy with a cup of café au lait on a cool fall morning.  Be sure to stop by the River Road Recipes tent at Alexander’s Market on Sunday, October 2 to sample a pecan pie muffin and purchase your own River Road Recipes cookbook to add this and other fabulous recipes to your own collection.

Photo by Kimberly Brewster.

Photo by Kimberly Brewster.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 to 25 minutes

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 2 to 2 and 1/2 dozen

KITCHEN TOOLS:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer (optional)
  • Cookie sheet

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix the brown sugar, pecans, and flour in a bowl.
  2. Whisk the butter and eggs in a separate bowl until blended.
  3. Pour the butter mixture into the brown sugar mixture and stir just until moistened.
  4. Fill greased or paper-lined muffins cups 2/3 full.
  5. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or less.  Serve warm.

 

Lemon Drop Cookies

This delicious, lemony dessert is found in River Road Recipes I on page 195. You can find lemon drops on the candy aisle of your grocery store or even at the gas station.

lemon-drop-cookies-1

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Level of Difficulty: Medium

Servings: 3 dozen cookies

KITCHEN TOOLS:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer (optional)
  • Food processor
  • Mortar and pestle (optional)
  • Sifter
  • Cookie sheet

INGREDIENTS:

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

  • 1/2 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed lemon drops

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Gather kitchen tools and ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease cookie sheet. Using a food processor, process the lemon drops as much as possible. Use a mortar and pestle to grind the processed lemon drops further if necessary. Sift the flour.
Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Sifting the flour allows you to use less flour overall and makes for a lighter, fluffier cookie! Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Sifting the flour allows you to use less flour overall and makes for a lighter, fluffier cookie! Photo by Lauren De Witt.

2. Cream (mix) butter and sugar together using an electric mixer or by hand.

3. Add egg and lemon juice.

4. In a separate bowl, mix together the sifted flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon drops.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

5. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix together.

6. Drop by 1/2 teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.

7. Bake about 10 minutes, until sides begin to brown.

8. Cool slightly and remove from pan.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Party Mix

This easy snack is found in River Road Recipes I on page 227. You can make this ahead of time and store in an airtight container – it will keep indefinitely! It also makes a great and easy gift for new neighbors, teachers, or any kind of little “thank you.” Just pour some of the party mix into a clear bag, tie off with a ribbon, and you are good to go!

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1.5 hours

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 20

KITCHEN TOOLS:

  • Measuring  spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet
  • Aluminum foil (optional)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 package Cheerios
  • 2 packages Rice Chex
  • 1 box “Slim Jim” stick pretzels
  • 3/4 pound butter (3 sticks)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Any kind of salted nuts (such as peanuts) (approximately 3 cups)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Gather kitchen tools and ingredients. Preheat oven to  250°. Break the pretzels in half. Using the microwave, melt the butter in a mixing bowl. Watch the butter carefully in the microwave as it can pop and make a mess!
  2. Pour the Cheerios and Rice Chex into a large roaster pan or rimmed cookie sheet and add the broken pretzels. Sprinkle with salt and garlic salt.
  3. Add the red pepper and Worcestershire sauce to the melted butter and mix.
  4. Pour the butter, red pepper, and Worcestershire sauce mixture over the cereals and pretzels.
  5. Cover the roasting pan (or use aluminum foil to cover if using a rimmed cookie sheet or if you do not have a lid) and bake at 250° for one hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 30 minutes longer.
  6. Mix in any kind of salted nuts.
  7. Cool and store in an airtight container until ready to serve!
Photo by Don Kadair.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Fool's Toffee

Fool’s Toffee

This foolishly easy treat is found in River Road Recipes IV: Warm Welcomes on page 235. Check out our original post here!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes, plus at least 30 minutes refrigeration time

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 8 to 12

KITCHEN TOOLS:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • 10×17 inch baking pan
  • Aluminum foil
  • Saucepan
  • Food processor or chopping knife and cutting board
  • Butter knife or metal cake spatula

INGREDIENTS:

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

  • 36 to 40 saltine crackers (1 sleeve)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Gather your kitchen tools and prepare your ingredients. Preheat your oven to 350°. Using a food processor or a chopping knife and cutting board, roughly chop 1/2 to 1 cup of pecans and set aside.
  2. Line a 10×17-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and coat the foil with butter. Arrange the crackers in a single layer with sides touching in the prepared pan.
Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

3. Combine 1 cup butter and brown sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring constantly.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

4. Pour the butter mixture over the crackers. Using a wooden spoon, spread the mixture evenly over the crackers.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

5. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and let stand for 2 minutes or until the chocolate chips soften. Spread the chocolate evenly over the prepared layers using a butter knife or metal cake spatula.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

6. Sprinkle with the pecans and press lightly. Chill for 30 minutes or until set. Break into pieces and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Fool's Toffee

Photo by Aimee Broussard.

River Road Recipes Potato Chip Cookies

Potato Chip Cookies

This sweet and salty treat is found in River Road Recipes II: A Second Helping on page 210. Check out our original post here!

River Road Recipes Potato Chip Cookies

Photo by Aimee Broussard.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 to 12 minutes

Level of Difficulty: Medium

Servings: 9-10 dozen

KITCHEN TOOLS:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer (optional)
  • Cookie sheet

INGREDIENTS:

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) butter (note: best with butter, but margarine and butter flavoring may be used)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed potato chips (such as Lay’s Original)
  • Powdered sugar (to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Gather kitchen tools and ingredients. Preheat your oven to 350°. Using an electric mixer or by hand (phew!) beat the butter until light and fluffy. This will take a long time! (Note: Try setting your butter out on the counter to soften for about 30 minutes to make the process easier. Do not try to speed the process up by microwaving the butter, however. If the butter is too soft, your cookies will not hold their shape upon cooking.)
  2. Add sugar to the butter and beat well.
Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

3. Add vanilla and flour gradually and mix.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

4. Crush potato chips with your hands and add them, mixing well.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

5. Drop batter from teaspoon onto cookie sheets.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

6. Bake at 350° until slightly brown. The cookie baking time will vary dependent on oven type (conduction versus convection) and climate but will typically take between 8-12 minutes. Monitor carefully at 9 minutes. 

7. Sprinkle cookies with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Potato Chip Cookies- River Road Recipes Blog

Photo by Aimee Broussard.

Sparkling Cranberry Punch

Iced Spiced Tea

This refreshing drink is found in River Road Recipes II on page 23.

Prep Time:  5 minutes

Cook Time: 5-10 minutes, plus at least 2 hours refrigeration time

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 1/2 gallon

KITCHEN TOOLS:

  • Measuring cups
  • Colander
  • Large pot
  • Pitcher
  • Citrus squeezer
  • Cutting knife and cutting board
  • Stirring spoon

INGREDIENTS:

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

  • 4 Community tea bags
  • 1 quart (4 cups) boiling water
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 quart (4 cups) cold water
  • Fresh mint (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Gather kitchen tools and ingredients. Add water to pot and bring to a boil. Cut lemons in half.
  2. Once water is boiling, add the tea bags, cinnamon, and cloves and remove from the heat. Let steep for 3 to 8 minutes.
  3. Using the colander, strain the tea. Add the sugar and quart of cold water. Squeeze the lemons into the tea (make sure to remove any lemon seeds that may slip through the squeezer). Stir.
  4. Refrigerate until cool and serve over ice. Garnish with lemons or fresh mint!
Photo by Don Kadair.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Bacon Cheese Spread

This yummy appetizer is found in River Road Recipes IV on page 131 and is very quick and easy to make.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes, plus at least 3 hours of refrigeration time

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 8

KITCHEN TOOLS:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Chopping knife and cutting board
  • Nonstick frying pan
  • Food processor (optional)
  • Plastic cling wrap

INGREDIENTS:

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 slices bacon, crisp cooked and crumbled
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup (about) chopped pecans
  • Assorted party crackers

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Gather kitchen tools and ingredients. Set out the cream cheese to allow it to soften. Using a chopping knife and a cutting board, roughly chop one cup of pecans or use a food processor. Chop the green onions.
  2. Beat the cream cheese in a mixing bowl until creamy. Stir in the bacon, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.
Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

3. Shape the cream cheese mixture into a ball and coat with the pecans.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

4. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, for about three hours.

5. Serve with assorted party crackers.

 

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Black Bean Salad

This quick and easy side dish is found in River Road Recipes IV on page 274. While excellent as a side dish, this black bean salad is also quite tasty when eaten as a “dip” with tortilla chips!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes, plus 2 hours of refrigeration time (optional)

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 6

KITCHEN TOOLS:

  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Chopping knife and cutting board
  • Can opener
  • Colander

INGREDIENTS:

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

  • 1 (12-ounce) can Shoe Peg corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (11-ounce) can tomatoes with green chiles, drained (such as Rotel)
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Gather kitchen tools and ingredients. Using a chopping knife and a cutting board, chop the green onions. Open the cans of black beans and the shoe peg corn and drain and rinse. Open the can of tomatoes with green chiles and drain.
  2. Combine the corn, beans, tomatoes, green onions, vinegar, and olive oil in a salad bowl and mix well.
Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

3. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Chocolate Fudge Turtles

This decadent dessert is found in River Road Recipes I on page 212. While fairly easy to make, this recipe is considered of medium difficulty due to the time involved. The majority of the ingredients, including the evaporated milk and the marshmallow creme, can be found on the baking aisle of your grocery store. To store your Chocolate Fudge Turtles, layer them between sheets of parchment paper to ensure they do not stick together.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes, plus at least 6 hours of refrigeration time

Level of Difficulty: Medium

Servings: 5 pounds of chocolate turtles

KITCHEN TOOLS:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Spatula
  • Mixing bowl
  • Food processor or chopping knife and cutting board
  • Large pot
  • 9×13″ cake pan
  • Butter knife

INGREDIENTS:

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

  • 4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • One 8-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 3 packages chocolate chips
  • 5 ounces marshmallow creme
  • 1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 pound chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Gather kitchen tools and ingredients. Using a chopping knife and a cutting board, roughly chop one cup of pecans or use a food processor. Using extra butter, grease the 9×13″ cake pan.
Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

2.  Stir the sugar and evaporated milk together in a large pot. Bring the mixture to boil and boil gently for 9 minutes – make sure to watch carefully to ensure it does not boil over as the mixture becomes somewhat frothy. Stir occasionally.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

3.  Remove the mixture from the heat and add the chocolate chips, butter, marshmallow creme, and vanilla extract. Stir until well blended and until the chocolate bits are melted.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

4.  Add the nuts to the mixture and combine.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

5.  Pour the mixture into the buttered cake pan, using the spatula to scrape out the inside of the pot. Be sure to run water in your pot immediately after transferring the mixture to make for easier clean up!

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

6.  Refrigerate the mixture for at least 6 hours. After the mixture is cold all the way through, use the butter knife to cut into small squares for serving.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Photo by Don Kadair.

Pepper Jelly Cheese Pâté

This delicious appetizer is found in River Road Recipes IV: Warm Welcomes on page 170 and is very easy to make. Commercially prepared red pepper jelly can be purchased in just about any grocery store or gourmet food store and is typically found on the same aisle as other jellies and jams.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes, plus 3-10 hours of refrigeration time

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 12 to 14

KITCHEN TOOLS:

  • Measuring cups
  • Wooden spoon
  • Mixing bowl
  • Chopping knife and cutting board
  • Plastic cling wrap
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1-quart loaf pan
  • Food processor (optional)

INGREDIENTS:

img_0699

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions (about 1-2 green onions)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups red pepper jelly
  • 1 sleeve whole wheat crackers

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Gather kitchen tools and ingredients. Spray the 1-quart loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the prepared pan with plastic wrap, allowing enough overhang to cover the pâté (see the picture under step 4 for example) and spray the plastic wrap with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Using a chopping knife and a cutting board, roughly chop one cup of pecans or use a food processor. Chop the green onions.
  3. Mix the cheese, mayonnaise, pecans, green onions, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

4.   Pat the cheese mixture into the prepared pan and cover with the plastic wrap. Chill, covered, for 3 to 10 hours.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

5. Invert the pâté onto a serving platter and discard the plastic wrap. Spread the top of the pâté with the pepper jelly, allowing some of the jelly to drizzle down the sides. Serve with the whole wheat crackers.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.

Photo by Lauren De Witt.