Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Thanksgiving contributions

As you've probably guessed, Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday! Food, food, food:)..oh and family too!

We usually go to Nebraska to spend time with some of my side of the family, and there is always so.much.food. It's insane - even for me. I do try to contribute more than just a giant mouth to cram food in, so here are two recipes I'm trying this year. Yes, I keep them simple and full of sugar:

Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Bark:

There are so many variations of this, but I am using the one I found on Live Love Pasta:

Ingredients & Instructions

2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 pound bag of mini pretzels (you probably won’t use the whole bag)
12 ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 pinch of sea salt, for sprinkling on top

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cover an 11×17 baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
Melt 2 sticks of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
While the butter is melting, place enough pretzels on the prepared baking sheet to form a single, even layer.
Once the butter has melted, add the brown sugar and stir well to incorporate. Allow the brown sugar and butter to simmer and bubble, but do not let it boil. You may need to adjust the temperature to low.
Stir the butter-sugar mixture occasionally. It should take about 3 minutes for the butter and sugar to caramelize, but keep a close eye on it because it will burn quickly.
When the sugar and butter have caramelized, pour the mixture evenly over the pretzels, strafing it back and forth down the length of the sheet. The caramel hardens quickly so it’s important to pour it as evenly and quickly as possible.
If there are any clumps, use an offset spatula to spread the caramel as best you can.
Bake for 5-7 minutes.
Allow to cool completely.
Use a microwave safe bowl to make the chocolate layer.
Microwave chocolate chips in intervals of 30 seconds, stirring after each interval, until smooth.
The chocolate should melt in only a couple of minutes.
By this time the pretzel-caramel mixture should be out of the oven. Pour the chocolate over the pretzel-caramel mixture, strafing it down the length of the baking sheet just as you did for with the caramel layer. Again, move evenly and quickly.
Use an offset spatula to smooth out any clumps or thick spots.
Sprinkle sea salt evenly over chocolate before it starts to harden.
Allow the baking sheet to harden in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
When the bark has cooled and hardened, remove from the fridge and carefully pull the aluminum foil off the back.
Break the bark into pieces and serve.


Best stored in the refrigerator. Some readers have mentioned the caramel being too soft to spread the chocolate over top. If you’re experiencing the same problem you can put the caramel pretzel layer in the freezer to help the hardening process.

It's supposed to turn out like this:

 I'll let you know if it does!

Pecan Pie Bars:

There are even more variations for this recipe, and I chose the one from  Just A Taste:

Ingredients & Instructions
For crust:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
For topping:
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 9x13-inch pan with foil, leaving enough for a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
First make the crust by creaming together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add in the flour and salt and mix until crumbly.
Press the crust into the foil-lined pan and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
While the crust bakes, prepare the filling by combining the butter, brown sugar, honey and heavy cream in a saucepan and stirring it over medium heat. Simmer the mixture for 1 minute, then stir in the chopped pecans.
Remove the crust from the oven and immediately pour the pecan filling over the hot crust spreading it to cover the entire surface.
Return the pan to the oven and bake an additional 20 minutes.
Remove the pan and allow the bars to fully cool in the pan.
Use the foil overhang to lift out the bars and transfer them to a cutting board. Peel off the foil, slice into bars and serve.

These are supposed to turn out like this:


I hope they do! I don't like pecan pie, so I'm curious to see if I'll like these. I kind of hope I don't so it will be one less thing I eat, but I also kind of hope I do so it can be one more thing I get to eat!

I'll also be making pumpkin bread using the mix from Trader Joe's. I've heard it's amazing, so I'm excited to finally try it!

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!! I have so much to be thankful for, and I'm sure you do too:)

No comments:

Post a Comment