Butterscotch Meringue Pie

Butterscotch Pie perfection has been an elusive mystery to me.  My grandmother could make them.  If you read the Almost Butterscotch Pie, or Sugar Cream Pie recipes, then you already know Aunt Alice could make them.

Any time I have tried to make one, it has either been runny or grainy, and sometimes both.  For me, I think the problem has something to do with the way I was mixing ingredients.  Generally, it looks curdled to me before I even add eggs.  Almost like the brown sugar curdles the milk, turning it into what looks like tiny pieces of cottage cheese floating in the pan.

The flavor has never been an issue, just the finished texture.  During a recent trip to visit family, my husband returned with an entire folder of recipes from Uncle Bill.  They were not the recipes that he was looking for, but in this folder are some amazing recipes that will be shared as time allows.

The first find that needed to be cooked and adjusted was Butterscotch Pie.  The reason for adjustments is that these recipes are designed for 50 and 100 people.  There are only 2 of us in this household, and unless you are feeding ranch hands or cooking for a family reunion, chances are you also need a smaller serving size to make in your kitchen.

I tested this recipe with my modifications using flour and using cornstarch.  We prefer the texture of the flour version, but the cornstarch version seemed to set up better.  Andy wanted a piece of pie before it was fully cooled, I would have preferred to wait a day, but he smelled it as soon as he opened the refrigerator.

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Lazy Cream Horns

Lazy Cream Horns were just an experiment in the kitchen to recreate cream horn flavor without having baking tubes handy.  I could have ordered them online, and maybe one day I will, but for now I do not own any.

It is kind of like a Napoleon pastry, but instead of being filled with whipped cream or pastry cream, it is filed with a cream horn filling.

I had never heard of a cream horn before I met my husband.  I never ate one until our first trip to Florida together.  If I remember right, he found them at a gas station, wrapped individually.  They seemed to be pretty elusive back then.

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Cherry Coffeecake

I have been on a cherry recipe kick lately.  Everyone seems to love cherry anything!  Cherry Coffee Cake is no exception to this rule.

Cherry Coffee Cake is always a welcome morning addition.  I hate to admit it, but we even have this sometimes in the hours between dinner and bedtime.  It goes great with coffee or a glass of milk.  The leftovers are best sent off to work with someone so that it is no longer hanging out at your house.

It does not have to be made with cherries though, any pie filling can be used as a replacement.  If you choose to use another flavor, you might want to omit the almond extract in the cake batter.  Cinnamon would be a much better flavoring for apple and blueberry.

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Angel Food Layer Cake

Angel Food Layer Cake has a creamy middle layer of cream cheese.  Topped with cherries makes a beautiful presentation.  Other pie fillings can be used to fit your own tastes, I just prefer the stunning contrast of the white and red.

This can be made with either a box mix or by making your own.  I use a box mix because I hate the thoughts of wasting so many egg yolks or looking for a use for them.

There is no rule that says you must bake and angel food cake in a tube pan.    It can be made in a 9 X 13.  It will take less time to bake and it will require some patience and gentle effort to get it out of the pan.  In retrospect, I probably should have used parchment paper or wax paper on the bottom of the pan.

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Sweet Bacon Crackers

Sweet Bacon Crackers are an idea that have been running around the internet for quite some time.  Lord knows, I have looked at a few of them, so it is hard telling which onse was the first one I saw.  It is also hard to tell if there was any one recipe that I have used so I apologize to any other blogger out there who believes this recipe may belong to them.

This can be made any type of cracker that you would like.  I prefer the buttery small rectangles, only because I like the shape that this cracker becomes.  All of the cracker types will shrink somewhat in the general area the bacon is wrapped.

The key to keeping your crackers together is to keep the heat high in the oven.  If you cook these too slow, there is more time for the grease to absorb into the crackers and they will be soggy in the middle.  But if you like your pork fat, this might be the way you want to cook them.

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Cream of Coconut Cake

I have been making one version or another of this cake for so long now that I couldn’t even begin to tell you where or when the idea originated.

Coconut Cream Cake is a fairly rich dessert.  It’s similar to a tres leche cake, except it uses cream of coconut as one of the components.  This one is also served right from the pan you baked it in, which can be a blessing for folks like me who can hardly get a small cake out of a pan in one piece.

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Flat Bread Pizza

Flat Bread pizza when made on homemade flat bread, creates a very crispy crust.  This crust does contain yeast, unlike our thin pizza crust recipe.  Both are good, but this one can be made on very short notice if there are flat bread rounds in the freezer.

If you have read the flat bread post, then you know I make these quite a bit and freeze them just for pizza making.

This is not as easy as our other recipe for thin pizza crust, unless you have premade these flat breads and pull them out of the freezer.  Then it IS easier than thin crust pizza.

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Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan pie bars turned up in my holiday recipe rotation out of necessity.  It was necessary to avoid any further embarrassments served out of my kitchen.

Let me explain.  I had a neighbor in Mississippi that thought I was a great cook.  This alone should have been enough to keep me happy, but the truth of the matter was his mother also thought I was a great cook.  That made me do some internal cartwheels, you really wouldn’t want to see this old body do a real cartwheel.

When I was asked to make some pies for their Thanksgiving dinner I was honored.  After all, a true southern family wanted my cooking.  In addition to the pecan pie, I think I made them a chocolate pie.

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I was so proud to send the pies next door for him to take to his family function.  Imagine my horror when the reports came back that it wasn’t set up when they cut into it.  I am probably sitting here with that some shocked face I had when I heard it.  I was so devastated that I have had a mental kitchen block about pecan pies since then that I have yet to attempt one again.

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Soft Homemade Flat Bread

Flat Bread is a recipe that has recently been added to my recipe rotation.  I was actually looking for a pita bread replacement.  Have you seen the cost of pita bread in the store?  This recipe is also a decent replacement for store bought Naan bread, that stuff carries a crazier price than pita.

I make a lot of hummus which means I need a healthy supply of carrots, celery, and pita bread on hand.

Carrots and celery are two of the many staples I keep on hand, but pita bread, not so much.  It seems to me that it dries out too fast to keep it on hand.

I ran across a recipe at Mel’s Kitchen for Greek Pocketless Pitas.  I thought to myself “Self, we have got to try this.”  I did, and I have never looked back.  We use it so much that I only make it in double batches.  It is time consuming and since I am kind of lazy, I go ahead and make a mess once instead of twice.  It also cuts my waiting down by half, since I only have to let dough rise half as many times.

I suspect this flat bread will also dry out fast, but I only keep out what I intend to use in a day or two.

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DoubleTree Cookies

In my previous life, I spent a lot of time on the road and in hotels.  Once a year a week was spent in Louisville, Kentucky at the Seelbach Hotel.  If memory serves me right, it wasn’t a convenient location to our daily destination, but I think the co-workers and I wound up there year after year for the turndown service that included a cookie.  Since this is a Hilton, and DoubleTree is “by” Hilton, I figured any cookie called the DoubleTree was worth a try.

The ones at this hotel were the thickest chocolate chip cookies I had ever seen.  They weren’t gooey like most thick chocolate chips cookies, they were cakey.  I don’t really remember there being any oats in them, but perhaps they were able to grind their oats into a much finer powder than my handy dandy food processor can.

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