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Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls

Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls by Kate Wood of The Wood and Spoon Blog. A take on the classic New Orleans dessert, these bananas foster cinnamon rolls are fluffy yeast rolls inspired by the pioneer woman, filled with butter, cinnamon sugar, pecans, and sliced bananas, and topped with a homemade foster sauce. Caramelized sugar, dark rum, and a bit of butter are a simple way to fancy up your normal homemade breakfast buns. Find the recipe and how to on thewoodandspoon.com

Good morning and Happy Sunday, blog family! I hope you find yourself filled with loads of joy and coffee this morning, maybe even with a bit of spare time to whip up these bananas foster cinnamon rolls that I’m about to share with you. I’ve got the lineup of fun things to watch, read, and eat this week, so get comfy in your favorite chair and let’s chat!

2017 Restaurant City of the Year

Brett and I are planning a trip to Chicago for my birthday this year! Luckily, the city was just named restaurant city of the year by Bon Appetit Magazine. Read this article’s rundown on why Chicago is THE place to catch a meal and be sure to tell me all of your favorite spots there to check out!

Carpool Karaoke 

It’s no secret that I love carpool karaoke. James Corden is a wizard of musical comedy and I constantly find myself chuckling at his sketches. The folks at Apple must agree, because they have just launched an original series of carpool rides that you can watch exclusively on Apple Music. I fell in love with Will Smith’s episode and plan to catch up on the rest. Perhaps you should too?

Roasted Sugar

Did you know you could roast sugar?  Apparently it’s totally a thing, so excuse me while I put roasted sugar in everything from here on out. Stella Parks is a dessert genius and I cannot wait to try her method that she shares in this article. Roasted sugar cookies? Yep. Roasted sugar ice cream? You betcha. Roasted sugar everything from now until forever.

Taylor Swift 

Are we all still reeling from the new Taylor Swift single that was released last week? I’ve been a loyal fan of Tay for many years now, but I find myself puzzled, if not mildly disappointed, in the direction the album appears to be going. I’ll keep listening to 1989 and Red on repeat while I wait for the full album to be released, but I really do hope she surprises us with this one. I ran across this article that dishes on who Taylor’s past songs were written about. Nothing warms my heart like reminiscing on her former flames, and if that’s weird for an almost 30 year old to admit then I’m sorry, I’m not sorry.

Aimee’s 3rd Birthday

My Aimee girl’s 3rd birthday is next week (How? Why? Stop Growing!!). We aren’t having a major blowout this year, but I am looking forward celebrating with cake, ice cream, and a few other birthday surprises. If you’ve got any special days coming up soon, be sure to check out my blog archives for cake recipe inspiration. Also, this is my fave spot for candles and cake toppers. Ya welcome.

Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls

Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls by Kate Wood of The Wood and Spoon Blog. A take on the classic New Orleans dessert, these bananas foster cinnamon rolls are fluffy yeast rolls inspired by the pioneer woman, filled with butter, cinnamon sugar, pecans, and sliced bananas, and topped with a homemade foster sauce. Caramelized sugar, dark rum, and a bit of butter are a simple way to fancy up your normal homemade breakfast buns. Find the recipe and how to on thewoodandspoon.com

These bananas foster cinnamon rolls were inspired by the classic New Orleans dessert. Last summer, Brett and I took a cooking class where I learned to make bananas foster for the first time, and I fell in love with the idea of including caramelized syrup and rum-soaked bananas in other baked goods. These bananas foster cinnamon rolls are the result of that dream.

Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls by Kate Wood of The Wood and Spoon Blog. A take on the classic New Orleans dessert, these bananas foster cinnamon rolls are fluffy yeast rolls inspired by the pioneer woman, filled with butter, cinnamon sugar, pecans, and sliced bananas, and topped with a homemade foster sauce. Caramelized sugar, dark rum, and a bit of butter are a simple way to fancy up your normal homemade breakfast buns. Find the recipe and how to on thewoodandspoon.com

If you’re unfamiliar with the process of making cinnamon rolls, you can check out my other two recipes here and here, or read up on Ree’s tidbits about making cinnamon rolls. She is The Godfather of cinnamon rolls so I highly recommend starting there. Once you have your dough made, the next steps are fairly straightforward.

Making the Cinnamon Rolls

First, roll out your dough into a long, slender rectangle. Lather up the dough with melted butter and then sprinkle on some brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Next comes the bananas which should be sliced into thin, slivered coins; we want the bananas to roll easily with the dough so be sure not to leave any large chunks. Starting with one of the long ends, roll your dough tightly from end to end, like you’re working on a typewriter, and pinch the ends to seal in the filling. Slice equal-sized rolls and leave them to rise while the oven preheats. Bake the bananas foster cinnamon rolls until golden brown, and refrain from eating them all before you make the sauce. Trust me- you’re going to want to something to soak up that goodness with.

Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls by Kate Wood of The Wood and Spoon Blog. A take on the classic New Orleans dessert, these bananas foster cinnamon rolls are fluffy yeast rolls inspired by the pioneer woman, filled with butter, cinnamon sugar, pecans, and sliced bananas, and topped with a homemade foster sauce. Caramelized sugar, dark rum, and a bit of butter are a simple way to fancy up your normal homemade breakfast buns. Find the recipe and how to on thewoodandspoon.com

Making the Foster Glaze

To make the glaze, cook butter and sugar in a cast-iron skillet until the sugar has melted. Add the bananas and some spice, allowing the mixture to bubble and caramelize. Next comes the entirely optional (but oh-so-delicous) boozy part where we add in some rum. Add the liquor and remove the pan from the heat, tilting the skillet just slightly away from you. Using a long-handled lighter, carefully ignite the mixture and allow the alcohol to flame and burn off. (Sidenote: This step, if executed well, will make you look like a flambe guru, but no one wants to eat breakfast rolls that smell like burnt hair. Keep your bangs close and your eyebrows closer.) Allow your foster sauce to cool slightly before drizzling over top of the bananas foster cinnamon rolls.

Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls by Kate Wood of The Wood and Spoon Blog. A take on the classic New Orleans dessert, these bananas foster cinnamon rolls are fluffy yeast rolls inspired by the pioneer woman, filled with butter, cinnamon sugar, pecans, and sliced bananas, and topped with a homemade foster sauce. Caramelized sugar, dark rum, and a bit of butter are a simple way to fancy up your normal homemade breakfast buns. Find the recipe and how to on thewoodandspoon.com

If you’re into breakfast, brunch, and booze, these bananas foster cinnamon rolls are for you. Include them in your breakfast lineup these coming weeks and let me know what you think.

Don’t forget to be voting regularly for the Saveur Blog Awards! You can check out the link here or in the sidebar of my blog homepage. You’ll find me and a few other friends in the “Best Baking and Sweets” category. As always, thank you for your love and support. Have a great week!

Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls by Kate Wood of The Wood and Spoon Blog. A take on the classic New Orleans dessert, these bananas foster cinnamon rolls are fluffy yeast rolls inspired by the pioneer woman, filled with butter, cinnamon sugar, pecans, and sliced bananas, and topped with a homemade foster sauce. Caramelized sugar, dark rum, and a bit of butter are a simple way to fancy up your normal homemade breakfast buns. Find the recipe and how to on thewoodandspoon.com

If you like these bananas foster cinnamon rolls, you should check out:

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls 

Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls

Orange Cardamom Rolls

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

BBC Popsicles (Bananas, Bailey’s and Coconut)

Banana Cream Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crust

Banana, Chocolate, and Coconut Cream Pie

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Bananas Foster Cinnamon Rolls

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

These bananas foster cinnamon rolls are a breakfast take on the classic boozy dessert. Filled with cinnamon sugar, pecans, and bananas, these rolls are topped with a foster sauce that is to die for!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Yield: 16

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 2 cups (480 mL) milk (whole or 2%)
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick, 85 gm)) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (100 gm) granulated sugar
  • 21/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 41/2 cups (540 gm) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

For the filling:

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 55 gm) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup (70 gm) brown sugar
  • 11/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ cup (60 gm) pecans, finely chopped
  • 2 bananas, sliced into very thin coins.

For the bananas foster glaze:

  • ½ cup (1 stick, 113 gm) unsalted butter, diced into tablespoon sized pieces
  • 1 cup (200 gm) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large banana, chopped into ½” chunks
  • ¼ (60 mL) cup gold rum
  • Chopped toasted pecans (if desired for sprinkling)

Instructions

To prepare the rolls

  • In a large pot, combine the milk, butter, and sugar over medium heat and allow to warm just before the milk is scalding. Remove from burner and allow to cool until luke warm. Add the yeast and allow to dissolve, about 2 minutes.
  • Add 3-1/2 cups of the flour to the milk mixture and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow to rest and rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour. If your dough hasn’t doubled in size within that hour, place the dough in a slightly warmer spot of the kitchen.
  • Combine the remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and add to the risen dough. Stir to combine. At this point, you can refrigerate the dough overnight or roll out to use immediately. If you decide to save it, punch dough down into bowl if it over-rises.
  • Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface to a 10”x30″ rectangle. Spread the melted butter out evenly on the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the sides. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans in a small bowl and sprinkle this out evenly on the dough. Cover the entire sheet of dough evenly with little banana slices.
  • With one of the long ends closest to you, begin to roll the dough away from you, pinching the dough together at the end to seal your roll. Trim off any shaggy ends (no more than 1 inch) Using a sharp knife, cut 1-1/2” slices of buns from your log of dough.
  • Arrange the buns in two 9” round pans or in casserole dishes with about ¾” separation between the buns. Cover the pans with plastic wrap and allow the buns to rise for 25-30 minutes, or until they are puffed and rounded. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once the rolls are ready for the oven, bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool on pan for 10-15 minutes and then top with glaze.

To prepare the glaze:

  1. Add the butter and brown sugar to a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the pan until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Add the cinnamon and salt, stirring to combine. Add the diced bananas and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and flipping the banana pieces as needed. Add the rum, stirring briefly to combine. Remove the pan from heat, tilt it slightly away from you, and using a long handle ignite the rum for the alcohol to burn off. If you’re not comfortable doing this safely, you can omit this step. When the flames have burned out, remove the banana pieces and pour the glaze evenly over the top of the cinnamon buns. Sprinkle with toasted pecans, if desired. Serve warm.

Notes

If desired, strain the banana pieces out of the glaze with a strainer. I prefer to keep them in!

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Recipe for the dough adapted from Ree Drummond

Honey Nut Biscuits and Breakfast Ideas for Mother’s Day

Honey Nut Biscuits Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog. Flaky butter biscuits sweetened naturally with honey and filled with nuts like pecans or walnuts. This simple recipe makes biscuits with lots of layers and doesn't require laminating. Recipe and other Mother's Day breakfast in bed menu inspiration on thewoodandspoon.com // woodandspoon.com

Happy almost Mother’s Day to all those baby mamas out there who are crushing it. To the ones who are working hard to raise babies, punch time clocks, manage baseball practice schedules, and so on and so forth. You work it 365 days a year, usually without any thank yous, awards, or so much as time to enjoy an extra generous pour of wine during the witching hour. Mother’s Day is a day where, in an ideal world, you would get to do you. You could wake up, leisurely enjoy a cup of coffee, and maybe even nibble on one of these honey nut biscuits. There’d be flowers waiting at your bedside, and well behaved children would have already fed, groomed, and entertained themselves while you adjusted to the morning light. 

But let’s be real- the chances of that happening are slim. More than likely, there’s a dirty diaper or a Cheerios explosion waiting for you. There’s a dishwasher to unload, laundry to fold, and a few knees that will require Band-Aids.

Motherhood is work. It’s exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time, and no matter how many books you read, mommy bloggers you follow, or packs of diaper wipes you buy at the store, it’s nearly impossible to be prepared for everything this life will hand you. Motherhood is the job you can’t clock out of, but it’s also the one with the most benefits. It’s a beautiful role we play, and despite how much I often disdain wiping one more nose, making one more bottle, or hearing “NO!” for the millionth time, I’ll always be honored to walk in these mama shoes. Even if they’re covered in baby food and spit up.

Honey Nut Biscuits Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog. Flaky butter biscuits sweetened naturally with honey and filled with nuts like pecans or walnuts. This simple recipe makes biscuits with lots of layers and doesn't require laminating. Recipe and other Mother's Day menu inspiration on thewoodandspoon.com // woodandspoon.com

Honey Nut Biscuits Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog. Flaky butter biscuits sweetened naturally with honey and filled with nuts like pecans or walnuts. This simple recipe makes biscuits with lots of layers and doesn't require laminating. Recipe and other Mother's Day menu inspiration on thewoodandspoon.com // woodandspoon.com

I’ve got just the thing to help you celebrate all the Moms you know- breakfast! Why buy Mom a gift when you can make her something entirely satisfying and delicious from the comfort of your own kitchen? Below you’ll see a few menus that I’ve put together based on a few different dietary needs and preferences. (Sidenote: Brett, if you’re reading this, I want the “Sweet Tooth” menu, ok?) These are tasty recipes from some of my favorite blog friends, some of which I’ve tried, and others that I’m just dying to get to. Skim over the links and see if any suit you! And if you’re a Mama reading this thinking, “There’s no way my kids//husband//crazy landlord will be able to pull off one of these breakfasts for me on their own,” then I would charge you to make something delicious for yourself. You’ve earned it. 

 

Protein Packed

For the lean, mean, protein-requiring machine moms who need a little muscle to make it through the day.

Eggs Baked in Herbs and Cream

Honey Nut Biscuits

Coffee Protein Smoothie 

Double Chocolate and Banana Superfood Granola

Honey Nut Biscuits Recipe Sweetish Co Baked eggs with Cream

 

Sweet Tooth

For the moms who like their breakfasts like they like their children- SWEET. 

Baked French Toast

Funfetti Scones

Brioche Cinnamon Rolls

Vanilla Iced Coffee

Brioche Cinnamon Rolls By Kenan Hill On Honey Nut Biscuits Recipe Page

 

Health Nut

For the moms who don’t need to be told to eat their veggies. 

Kale Fritatta

Fruit Salad with Honey Vanilla Yogurt

Flaxseed Bread

Raspberry Beet Smoothie

Raspberry Beet Smoothie by Heartbeat Kitchen on Honey nut Biscuits Recipe by woodandspoon.com

 

Southern Fixin’s

This category is basically for all of my Alabama friends who wouldn’t know a green smoothie if it sat on their face. Gals, if you make any of these, please invite me over.

Hummingbird Muffins

Banana Bread with Olive Oil Glaze

Sausage Pinwheels

Baked Eggs with Cheese Grits

Hummingbird Muffins Recipe by thewoodandspoon.com . Crumb / streusel topped muffins based on the classic Southern hummingbird cake recipe, these muffins are filled with brown butter, banana, pineapple, brown sugar, and nuts. Topped with a simple glaze/ drizzle. This recipe would be perfect for an Easter breakfast or brunch and are a great treat to share with friends. Simple, easy recipe based on Bake From Scratch Coffee Cake. By The Wood and Spoon Blog.

In addition, I’m sharing with you this most delicious recipe for honey nut biscuits. These are all butter, Southern-style biscuits, naturally sweetened with local honey and flecked with little bits of toasted pecans. Serve these with bacon and sausage, eggs, or maybe even just a pad of butter and a drizzle of honey. I promise that your Mama will thank you for it. These biscuits are sweet, buttery, incredibly flaky, and almost too good to be true. Perfect for the mom in your life who needs all the thanks in the world.

Honey Nut Biscuits Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog. Flaky butter biscuits sweetened naturally with honey and filled with nuts like pecans or walnuts. This simple recipe makes biscuits with lots of layers and doesn't require laminating. Recipe and other Mother's Day menu inspiration on thewoodandspoon.com // woodandspoon.com

Honey Nut Biscuits Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog. Flaky butter biscuits sweetened naturally with honey and filled with nuts like pecans or walnuts. This simple recipe makes biscuits with lots of layers and doesn't require laminating. Recipe and other Mother's Day brunch or breakfast menu inspiration on thewoodandspoon.com // woodandspoon.comGive these honey nut biscuits a try on Mother’s Day, whether for yourself or for the special lady in your life. It’s good to share gratitude, and I can almost guarantee that the effort will mean the world to her. Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful friends and readers who make this Mama’s life and world a little bit nuttier and sweeter. You guys are the best. Cheers!

Honey Nut Biscuits Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog. Flaky butter biscuits sweetened naturally with honey and filled with nuts like pecans or walnuts. This simple recipe makes biscuits with lots of layers and doesn't require laminating. Recipe and other Mother's Day brunch or breakfast menu inspiration on thewoodandspoon.com // woodandspoon.com

If you like these honey nut biscuits, you may also like:

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Orange Cardamom Rolls

Breakfast Danish

Honey Oat Bread

 

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Honey Nut Biscuits

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

Sweetened with honey and flecked with toasted nuts, these honey nut biscuits are all-butter, flaky, Southern-style biscuits that are perfect for breakfast or brunch. Serve with additional butter and honey.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12
  • Category: Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (390 gm) all-purpose flour
  • 21/2 teaspoons (11 gm) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons (140 gm) cold, unsalted butter, chopped into large chunks
  • 1 cup (95 gm) pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (240 mL) cold milk (I use whole or 2%)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) honey
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Additional pecans for sprinkling on the biscuits, if desired.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 415 degrees. Prepare a baking pan by lining it with a sheet of parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Using a pastry cutter or the backs of two forks, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until there are pea-sized clumps throughout. Toss in the pecans.
  3. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the milk and honey, stirring until well mixed. Add this to the flour and butter mixture and fold gently just until all of the flour has been moistened. Do not overwork the dough.
  4. Dump the dough out on to a floured surface and pat the dough out until it’s about 1″ thick rectangle. Working quickly, fold the dough in thirds, as you would a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat the folding process. Rotate the dough 90 degrees once more and repeat the folding process. Gently pat out the dough to 1” thick. Use a 2″ round biscuit cutter to cut out biscuit rounds and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Gather dough scraps and gently pat them together to form another 1″ thick flat of dough and continue cutting out biscuits. Take care to not overwork your dough, as this can yield tough biscuits.
  5. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the melted butter and sprinkle with additional chopped pecans, if desired.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes or until the edges and tops of the biscuits are adequately golden. Serve buttered with additional honey, if desired.

Notes

  • Be sure to use very cold butter and milk. Butter and milk that is not cold enough can prevent your biscuits from rising well.
  • Do not overwork your dough at any phase of the preparation.
  • The folding of the dough helps to create flaky layers within the biscuit, but is not necessary if you don’t care about this.
  • For flakiest layers, use a sharp biscuit cutters and push straight down into the dough. Refrain from twisting the cutter as you insert it into the dough as this can cause the edges to seal off and keep from rising well.
  • You can substitute walnuts, almonds, or another preferred variety of nut for this recipe, if desired.
  • You can substitute additional melted butter with heavy cream or milk.
  • To reheat biscuits, toast in a toaster oven until fragrant.

Did you make this recipe?

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Derby Pie Bars

Derby Pie Bars Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog. This buttery shortbread bar is based on favorite Kentucky recipe. With a crumble crust, bourbon pecan pie and brown sugar filling, and a drizzle of chocolate these simple bars bake up quickly and are enjoyable for a crowd. Get the recipe in time for the Kentucky derby at www.thewoodandspoon.com.

In two days, I’ll be celebrating my fourth wedding anniversary. Yes, I already know what you’re thinking. You think I’m going to spend the next few paragraphs spouting about marriage, right? About love. About how my husband is the best, or how married life is hard, or about any number of silly things that I may have learned over the course of the past four years. Well, joke’s on you! Today we’re talking all about these derby pie bars.

Our Kentucky Wedding

Brett and I got married on my grandparent’s farm in Kentucky the week before The Derby. It was a small, outdoor ceremony on a private corner of the farm’s rolling green hills. I shivered through the ceremony, half nervous, half chilled from the wet air that blew on that gray day. We said “I Do,” tried not to make out in front of all of our friends and family, and headed to the reception which took place in a tobacco barn a short walk away.

Derby Pie Bars Recipe

Derby Pie Bars Recipe

Derby Pie Bars Recipe

Derby Pie Bars Recipe

Derby Pie Bars Recipe
Photos by 509 Photo

Like any good Kentucky party, we served stout bourbon cocktails and danced to the music of a five piece bluegrass band. Our caterer passed small plates of Southern-inspired dishes to our guests, while others picked at the dessert table filled with bourbon balls, lemon squares, and even a humble little wedding cake that was made by yours truly. The day contained more than a few nods to our families, heritage, and even the Bluegrass state itself, but on the week before the Kentucky Derby, one dish that we really should have served is derby pie.

Derby Pie Bars Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog. This buttery shortbread bar is based on favorite Kentucky recipe. With a crumble crust, bourbon pecan pie and brown sugar filling, and a drizzle of chocolate these simple bars bake up quickly and are enjoyable for a crowd. Get the recipe in time for the Kentucky derby at www.thewoodandspoon.com.

Derby Pie Bars

If you’re not familiar, derby pie is fudgy, chocolate and nut-filled pie that is traditionally served that first Saturday in May at Kentucky Derby. Rich and chocolaty with a subtle crunch from walnuts, the original pie is decadent and one of the few desserts that just screams “KENTUCKY” to me. These derby pie bars are adapted from the original pie but have a few twists of their own that make them a delicious Southern treat you can enjoy all year round.

Derby Pie Bars Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog. This buttery shortbread bar is based on favorite Kentucky recipe. With a crumble crust, bourbon pecan pie and brown sugar filling, and a drizzle of chocolate these simple bars bake up quickly and are enjoyable for a crowd. Get the recipe in time for the Kentucky derby at www.thewoodandspoon.com.

Making the Bars

To prepare these derby pie bars, we start with a shortbread crust. Sugar, flour, and the rest of the dry ingredients work in with a few tablespoons of butter to create a flaky bottom layer for our bars.

Once baked, the crust gets a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips. Next we slather it with a brown sugar pecan pie filling. The filled is made with butter, brown sugar, a swig of bourbon, and more than a handful of pecans. The whole thing gets baked in the oven, drizzled in chocolate, and cut into bite-sized bars. If you love pecan pie and chocolate, these bars are for you. If you need boozy desserts for  your Kentucky Derby party, these bars are for you!

Derby Pie Bars Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog. This buttery shortbread bar is based on favorite Kentucky recipe. With a crumble crust, bourbon pecan pie and brown sugar filling, and a drizzle of chocolate these simple bars bake up quickly and are enjoyable for a crowd. Get the recipe in time for the Kentucky derby at www.thewoodandspoon.com.Brett and I have no plans to attend the Derby this year, but I absolutely adore any treat that reminds me of our wedding day. I hope that you’ll give them next week on Derby day and think of me! Stay tuned for next week, when I’ve got not one but TWO recipes to share with you guys! It will be a mouth-watering few days in these parts.

And on the off-chance that he’s reading- Brett, I love you. You make my life better and I’m grateful to be yours. Happy Anniversary.

Derby Pie Bars Recipe

If you like these derby pie bars, you may also like:

Kentucky Bourbon Balls and Homemade Chocolates

Candied Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pecan Toffee Bars

Crispy Butter Pecan Cookies

Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting

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Derby Pie Bars

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.3 from 7 reviews

These derby pie bars are based on the favorite Kentucky pie. A shortbread crust, bourbon pecan pie filling, and a drizzle of semisweet chocolate make these bars rich, decadent, and delicious to serve a crowd.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 16
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

For the crust

  • ¾ cup (90 gm) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (35 gm) corn starch
  • ½ cup (55 gm) confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (113 gm) unsalted butter, cold and cut into teaspoon sized pieces

For the filling

  • ¾ cup (170 gm) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup (160 gm) brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons good quality bourbon (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups (320 gm) coarsely chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup (130 gm) mini chocolate chips, divided

Instructions

To prepare the crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9” square baking pan with aluminum foil with enough overhang on each side to easily remove the bars from the pan once baked. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, corn starch, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or the backs of two forks, cut the diced butter into the dry ingredients until it becomes a coarse meal consistency with pea-sized clumps. Press the mixture evenly into the square pan and then chill for 5-10 minutes in the fridge. Then, bake in the preheat oven for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is set and then edges have just started to turn golden. Do not overbake. Set aside the cooked crust while you prepare the filling.

To prepare the filling

  1. Combine the butter, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and optional bourbon in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring until the butter and sugar have dissolved. Once melted and no graininess from the sugar exists any longer, increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil, boiling for 3 minutes. After three minutes have passed, remove the pan from the heat. Add the chopped pecans and heavy cream to a medium sized bowl and stir in the butter/brown sugar mixture until evenly combined.
  2. Sprinkle ½ cup of the mini chocolate chips over the cooked crust. Spread the warm filling over top of the chocolate chips and smooth out. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the edges and parts of the center are bubbling and the bars have turned caramel in color. Allow the bars to cool completely prior to removing from the pan (you can speed this process up in the fridge). Remove from pan by pulling out the foil liner. Melt the remaining chocolate chips in a microwave on low heat in 15 second increments or over a double boiler. Drizzle bars with chocolate and allow to set. Cut into 16 bars and serve at room temp.

Notes

  • Be sure to allow bars to cool completely prior to cutting. You can place them in the fridge or freezer briefly to expedite this process.
  • The drizzling chocolate can seize up if it gets too hot while melting. Be sure to melt on low heat and (if microwaving) in short increments so that you get smooth chocolate.

Did you make this recipe?

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Recipe Adapted From: Once Upon A Chef

Carrot Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

Carrot Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Glaze by The Wood and Spoon Blog. This moist cinnamon and carrot flavored cake is topped with a browned butter frosting and toasted chopped pecans. This recipe is one bowl, easy, and can be modified to make a layer cake as well. Perfect for parties and upcoming Easter brunch, breakfast, or dessert. thewoodandspoon.com

This past week, my great grandmother (I called her Grandma Grape) passed away. She was 97 and lived a beautiful life- one marked by kindness and joy, wisdom and love. Since her passing, I’ve found myself quietly inspired, desperately wanting a similar kind of grace on my life. Somehow, knowing that it’s possible to live and die as beautifully as she did fills me with so much hope.

I’m sure you know people like this- the ones that make it count. People who use up their lives and time and every last bit of air in their lungs to make the world around them a better place. People that love their families fiercely and spur on their neighbors towards goodness. People that change the atmosphere. These are the ones who leave a legacy worth remembering.

A few photos of Grandma Great from when I was a baby. Check out my babe of a mom and Nana. And of course sweet Grandpa Great too. 🙂

My Sweet Grandma

My sweet Grandma Grape was one of them. Though I won’t see her earthy body any longer, I know I will catch glimpses of her life in the lives of the women who came after her. I see her warmth and benevolence in my beautiful Nana. Her faith and grace in the peacefulness of my Mother. I see her spunk and playfulness in the laughter of my own daughter. The lasting effect of the beauty she created on this earth will continue to make waves throughout generations to come, and it’s a concept so lovely and full of possibility that my heart can’t help but be encouraged.

5 generations of women, beginning with Grandma and ending with my sweet Aimee girl.

If you know somebody who is making this kind of a difference, I would challenge you to rise to the occassion and tell them. Give them a call, a hug, or even use this free letter template to write it out with pen. Don’t let the opportunity to be intentional with the people you love pass you by.

I, for one, have a renewed resolve to make it count. I want to be a human worth remembering and to be a person that spends their life on the cause in their heart for the people around them. The glimmer of hope from great grandmother’s legacy tells me that it’s possible… So that’s the new goal.

Carrot Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Glaze by The Wood and Spoon Blog. This moist cinnamon and carrot flavored cake is topped with a browned butter frosting and toasted chopped pecans. This recipe is one bowl, easy, and can be modified to make a layer cake as well. Perfect for parties and upcoming Easter brunch, breakfast, or dessert. thewoodandspoon.com

Carrot Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Glaze by Kate Wood of The Wood and Spoon Blog. This moist cinnamon and carrot flavored cake is topped with a browned butter frosting and toasted chopped pecans. This recipe is one bowl, easy, and can be modified to make a layer cake as well. Perfect for parties and upcoming Easter brunch, breakfast, or dessert. thewoodandspoon.com

Carrot Bundt Cake

This carrot bundt cake is right for the times. It feels comforting and familiar- like a cake my grandmother and the women who came before her might have made. And with Easter just around the corner, a cake like this needs no excuse for making.

The recipe for this carrot bundt cake was adapted from Paula Deen, the queen of Southern heirloom recipes herself. This cake has a dense but tender crumb, kept extra moist from the addition of several eggs, oil, and finely grated carrots. Though the warmly flavored cake ordinarily steals the show in similar recipes, here, the brown butter glaze is the star. Nutty, buttery, and just barely sweet enough to make the carrot bundt cake worthy of the title “dessert”, this brown butter glaze is delicious and dangerously tempting to eat straight from a bowl with a spoon. (Update: for help on browning butter, see my post here!)

Carrot Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Glaze by The Wood and Spoon Blog. This moist cinnamon and carrot flavored cake is topped with a browned butter frosting and toasted chopped pecans. This recipe is one bowl, easy, and can be modified to make a layer cake as well. Perfect for parties and upcoming Easter brunch, breakfast, or dessert. thewoodandspoon.com

Making the Cake

The preparation for this bundt cake is rather simple. You’ll need some muscle to peel and grate the carrots, but from there, it’s a one bowl situation that requires nothing more than a mixer and a finger to lick the bowl with. This recipe will prepare enough batter to fill a 10-cup bundt pan, but you can use a larger 15-cup pan like I did with no problem. If you lack a bundt pan large enough, just fill the pans you have no more than 3/4 of the way full and pour remaining batter into additional pans. This recipe will produce enough batter to fill approximately 3-8″ round cake pans, so if you’d prefer to make the cake that way, you certainly can, however, keep in mind that baking time will change.

Carrot Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Glaze by The Wood and Spoon Blog. This moist cinnamon and carrot flavored cake is topped with a browned butter frosting and toasted chopped pecans. This recipe is one bowl, easy, and can be modified to make a layer cake as well. Perfect for parties and upcoming Easter brunch, breakfast, or dessert. thewoodandspoon.com

If you need a soul-comforting recipe to share with people you love, this carrot bundt cake is just the thing. There’s a number of other Easter-worthy recipes in the blog archives, so be sure to check out a few that I’ve bookmarked below. I hope your week is filled with lots of joy, and if you need encouragement to make it through, please contact me via the comments section below or by email on the “About Me” page of this blog. This Sunday is the most hopeful day of my year and I’d love to share it with you. Happy baking and cheers to you!

If you like this carrot bundt cake, you may also like:

Easter Cake

Blood Orange Bundt Cake

White Chocolate Cake

Hummingbird Muffins

Strawberry Pretzel Tart

Lemon Almond Poppyseed Cake

Ginger Molasses Bunt Cake

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Carrot Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

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This carrot bundt cake is a moist and tender cake topped with brown butter glaze and toasted pecans. Serves a crowd and perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10
  • Category: Dessert

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 2 cups sugar (400 gm)
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup oil (240 mL)
  • 11/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 gm)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 cups finely grated carrots (340 gm, about 1 pound unpeeled)

For the brown butter frosting

  • 6 tablespoons (80 gm) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 11/2 cups (190 gm) powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 14 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Instructions

To prepare the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan with at least 10 cup capacity.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed (I use number 4 setting on my stand mixer) for 2 minutes. Add the flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon and stir just until barely combined. Fold in the carrots. Pour the mixture into the bundt pan. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan and then invert on to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely if you want the frosting to drizzle evenly.

To prepare the brown butter frosting

  1. Add the cubed butter to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted to ensure that it melts evenly. Once the butter has melted, it will begin to bubble.Continue to stir regularly. Small golden flecks will begin to form on the bottom of the pan. Stir or whisk gently continuously at this point as the butter is beginning to brown. The bubbling should subside at this point and you should notice the butter takes on a golden tint and begins to smell nutty. Do not let it burn, but stir until golden brown and then whisk the mixture into a medium sized bowl to cool slightly.
  2. Once slightly cooled, about 5 minutes, add the sugar and salt, whisking to slightly combine. Add a tablespoon of milk, and continue to add small amounts until the mixture is the right consistency. I like my glaze a bit thicker so that it drizzles nicely on the sides of the cake. To test for this viscosity, drag your whisk through the mixture- the line in the mixture should come back together almost completely in about ten seconds. Pour the glaze over the cake.

Notes

  • I like to use a finely grated carrot so that it evenly disperses in the cake and stays extra moist. Do not use store-bought pre-shredded carrots.
  • You can also bake this cake in round cake pans (3). Baking time will differ.
  • If your brown butter frosting sets out for too long it will start to crust over. Heat for 5-10 seconds in the microwave and whisk to prepare it for the cake again.
  • If you burn your butter, pour out and start again! There are great videos on Youtube on browning butter.
  • For help on browning butter, see my post here: https://thewoodandspoon.com/you-need-to-know-how-to-brown-butter/

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Recipe Adapted From: Paula Deen

Homemade Chocolates

Homemade Chocolates Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. Learn how to make homemade chocolate in little wax candy cup wrappers. Kentucky bourbon balls topped with chopped pecans, peanut butter cups, and almond joy candies. These candies make a great gift or dessert for the chocolate lover in your life or valentine. Make these ahead and freeze. Simple way to make chocolate candy at home that taste like Reese's and mars candy and bourbon Balls. Find the recipe for making these chocolates in mini muffin tin on thewoodandspoon.com

This is a public service announcement to the men of the world. Listen closely, boys, because I’m only going to remind you of this one time. Are you ready? Here it goes:

Next Tuesday, February 14th, is Valentine’s Day. DO. NOT. BLOW IT.

Homemade ChocolatesHomemade Chocolates

On Valentine’s Day

Back in high school, performance on Valentine’s Day was everything. Giant teddy bear? Check. Heart shaped balloons and bouquets of carnations? Check, check. Brian McKnight/ KC and JoJo mix tapes and folded loves notes  shoved through the vent of your locker? Might as well be the boyfriend starter kit.

Once you get to college, things escalate a bit. Dinner dates, rose bouquets, and jewelry are the new gifting norms, although, if you can land a guy who opts for concert tickets and cooking classes, YOU ARE WINNING AT EVERYTHING.

Unfortunately, after college and into adulthood, Valentine’s Day loses a bit of its luster. Babysitters are impossible to book, restaurants are too crowded, and somehow, husbands think items like dustbusters and  shower curtain liners qualify as legitimate gift options (they don’t, BTW). It’s no wonder that people get fed up with Valentine’s Day. What’s there to love about overpriced retail gimmicks and packing into movie theaters with a bunch of hormonal, sweaty-palmed middle schoolers whose moms think they’re watching the newest Pixar film with their “friends” (they’re not, BTW).

Homemade ChocolatesHomemade Chocolates

A Tip to the Guys

Guys, I’m going to break it down for you as plainly as I can. Please, let me make it simple for you. Are you ready?

EVERY GIRL LIKES VALENTINE’S DAY.

Yep. You heard me right. That includes your girlfriend who boycotts Hallmark and laughs at the nervous kid wearing a tie and sport coat to his first date. It includes your wife who claims flowers are a waste of money, but gives you the silent treatment when you come home empty handed. And it evens includes the gal who begs you not to give her a gift and says you celebrate her love every other day of the year.

No matter what they tell you, every woman wants a gesture of love on Valentine’s Day, and I know this will come as a shock to you husbands out there, but it almost always has nothing to do with… *cough* you know what. (Literally, the brains of guys everywhere are spontaneously combusting right now.)

Homemade ChocolatesHomemade Chocolates

What Women Really Want

You know what we want? We want chocolate. And not just any average heart-shaped, store bought, golden box of chocolates. We want delicious, melt in your mouth homemade chocolates, made by the sweat of your brow and at the expense of your time spent with a remote in your hand. Specifically, we want these bourbon pecan, peanut butter cup, and coconut almond chocolates. There. Now you know. So let’s get to it.

Homemade Chocolates

These homemade chocolates are no bake and are made with just a few basic store bought ingredients. I decided to include a few variations of homemade chocolates so that there’s an option for almost everyone, but primarily so that the overachiever boyfriends can impress their ladies with an assortment of all three. But girls, don’t be afraid to get in there and make these for your man too! If he’s got a sweet tooth like mine does, just a few of these beauties will go a long way and he will be grateful you passed on the conversation hearts and sappy card.

Homemade Chocolates

Bourbon Pecan

First up is bourbon pecan. If you’ve ever had the Southern treat of “Bourbon Balls,” you can expect something quite similar here. With a dark chocolate shell, these little bourbon pecan homemade chocolates are filled with powdered sugar, toasted pecans, and premium booze. These are perfect for the bourbon lover in your life, or someone who loves their desserts extra dark and extra sweet.

Homemade ChocolatesPeanut Butter Cups

Peanut butter cups take homemade chocolates to the next level. Everyone loves the store-bought variety of peanut butter cups, but have you ever had one literally melt upon impact with your mouth? Prepare for that here. These peanut butter cups are RICH, filled with a fluffy peanut butter cream filling and coated with smooth milk chocolate. A crowd favorite, if you’re ever in doubt, just go in this direction.

Homemade ChocolatesHomemade Chocolates

Coconut Almond Chocolates

Finally, my favorite of these homemade chocolates, the coconut almond chocolate. Filled with sweetened coconut and a little extra sugar, these little friends are coated in a milk chocolate blend and topped with a single toasted almond. Anyone who knows anything about candy will know what a treat they’re in for when they spy these little friends. For a nut-free option, leave off the almond and top with a few flakes of toasted coconut or a sprinkle of sea salt. Perfection!

These homemade chocolates require some special equipment like a mini muffin tin and little waxed paper cups for the candies, but the assembly is quite simple. In a pinch, you can used paper mini muffin liners, although, beware that some stickage can happen. And if you’re not a fan of dark or milk chocolate, feel free to swap up the top used in the recipes! I like each chocolate as the recipe is written, but certainly you can switch it up if desired.Homemade ChocolatesHomemade ChocolatesAny man friend that takes the time to muster these up for his lady is worth his weight in gold chocolate and has certainly outdone himself on Valentine’s Day. You should give these homemade chocolates a try for your significant other, friends, co-workers, or secret admirer- they’re sure to overflow with heart eyes and appreciation.

On the off chance that your special someone doesn’t like chocolate, let me encourage you to just let them know they’re loved in a special way. You probably already know what types of things make their heart skip a beat, so I’d challenge you to go the extra mile to make someone feel like a million bucks next Tuesday. Happy weekend, Happy Valentine’s Day, Happy #monthofchocolate,  and as always, cheers to you!

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Bourbon Pecan Chocolates

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These homemade chocolates includes peanut butter cups, bourbon pecan candy balls, and coconut almond candies. No bake, easy to assemble, simple gift option!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 28

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 11/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 11/2 tablespoons bourbon
  • ½ cup pecans, finely chopped, divided

Instructions

  1. In a double boiler or heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water on medium-low heat, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together. Stir frequently to ensure that the chocolate does not get too hot. If you allow the chocolate to become too hot, it could seize up, so be sure to keep the water on medium-low heat. Once melted, set off to the side while you prepare your filling.
  2. In the meantime, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, and bourbon in a medium sized bowl. Once fluffy and smooth, stir in ¼ cup of pecans. Set in the fridge to chill briefly.
  3. Line a mini muffin pan with waxed paper candy cups. Fill a plastic sandwich bag (or a piping bag fitted with a small round tip) with approximately half of the melted chocolate and snip the tip of it off, being sure to not cut too large of a hole or allow all of the chocolate to drip out immediately. Squeeze 1 teaspoon of chocolate in to the bottom of each of the paper candy cups and then set the plastic bag aside. Use a small instrument (I use a small clean paint brush or the end of a chopstick) to paint the chocolate up the sides of the paper candy cup, coating up at least half of the height of the paper. This prevents the filling from showing out the sides of the chocolate once the candies are assembled. If you don’t care if the filling shows, you can skip this step. Once covered, place the pan in the fridge or freezer to chill for about 5 minutes.
  4. Once firmed up, scoop teaspoon sized rounds of the bourbon pecan filling into the bottom of each cup. You can lightly wet your finger and gently smooth out the top of the filling to make a flatter mound.
  5. Add more chocolate to your plastic bag and then top the filling with an additional teaspoon of chocolate. Use your paint brush to smooth out the chocolate and cover the filling completely, and then gently rap your pan on the counter to smooth and settle all three layers of the candy. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining pecans. Allow them to rest in the mini muffin tin in the fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes. Store candies in the fridge for up to two weeks. The candies may form a white film on the chocolate if stored at room temperature for extended periods of time.

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Peanut Butter Cups

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These homemade chocolates includes peanut butter cups, bourbon pecan candy balls, and coconut almond candies. No bake, easy to assemble, simple gift option!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24

Ingredients

  • 11/2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 11/2 tablespoons shortening
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. In a double boiler or heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water on medium-low heat, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together. Stir frequently to ensure that the chocolate does not get too hot. If you allow the chocolate to become too hot, it could seize up, so be sure to keep the water on medium-low heat. Once melted, set off to the side while you prepare your filling.
  2. In the meantime, cream together the peanut butter and butter in a medium sized bowl. Add the salt and powdered sugar and continue to beat until smooth and fluffy. Set in the fridge to chill briefly.
  3. Line a mini muffin pan with waxed paper candy cups. Fill a plastic sandwich bag (or a piping bag fitted with a small round tip) with approximately half of the melted chocolate and snip the tip of it off, being sure to not cut too large of a hole or allow all of the chocolate to drip out immediately. Squeeze 1 teaspoon of chocolate in to the bottom of each of the 24 paper candy cups and then set the plastic bag aside. Use a small instrument (I use a small clean paint brush or the end of a chopstick) to paint the chocolate up the sides of the paper candy cup, coating up at least half of the height of the paper. This prevents the filling from showing out the sides of the chocolate once the candies are assembled. If you don’t care if the filling shows, you can skip this step. Once covered, place the pan in the fridge or freezer to chill for about 5 minutes.
  4. Once firmed up, scoop teaspoon sized rounds of the peanut butter filling into the bottom of each cup. You can lightly wet your finger and gently smooth out the top of the peanut butter to make a flatter mound of filling.
  5. Add more chocolate to your plastic bag and then top each peanut butter mound with an additional teaspoon of chocolate. Use your paint brush to smooth out the chocolate and cover the peanut butter completely, and then gently rap your pan on the counter to smooth and settle all three layers of the candy. Allow them to rest in the mini muffin tin in the fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes. Store candies in the fridge for up to two weeks. The candies may form a white film on the chocolate if stored at room temperature for extended periods of time.

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Almond Coconut Chocolates

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These homemade chocolates includes peanut butter cups, bourbon pecan candy balls, and coconut almond candies. No bake, easy to assemble, simple gift option!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 30

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 11/2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 11/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 30 whole almonds, toasted

Instructions

  1. In a double boiler or heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water on medium-low heat, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together. Stir frequently to ensure that the chocolate does not get too hot. If you allow the chocolate to become too hot, it could seize up, so be sure to keep the water on medium-low heat. Once melted, set off to the side while you prepare your filling.
  2. In the meantime, beat together the butter, coconut, corn syrup, and powdered sugar in a medium sized bowl. If you wish for a smoother, less clumpy filling, feel free to whiz the mixture in a food chopped briefly. Set the filling in the fridge to chill briefly.
  3. Line a mini muffin pan with waxed paper candy cups. Fill a plastic sandwich bag (or a piping bag fitted with a small round tip) with approximately half of the melted chocolate and snip the tip of it off, being sure to not cut too large of a hole or allow all of the chocolate to drip out immediately. Squeeze 1 teaspoon of chocolate in to the bottom of each of the paper candy cups and then set the plastic bag aside. Use a small instrument (I use a small clean paint brush or the end of a chopstick) to paint the chocolate up the sides of the paper candy cup, coating up at least half of the height of the paper. This prevents the filling from showing out the sides of the chocolate once the candies are assembled. If you don’t care if the filling shows, you can skip this step. Once covered, place the pan in the fridge or freezer to chill for about 5 minutes.
  4. Once firmed up, scoop teaspoon sized rounds of the filling into the bottom of each cup. I like to roll teaspoon sized balls in the palm of my hand and then flatten slightly to make flat round disks that fit inside the paper liners.
  5. Add more chocolate to your plastic bag and then top the filling with an additional teaspoon of chocolate. Use your paint brush to smooth out the chocolate and cover the filling completely, and then gently rap your pan on the counter to smooth and settle all three layers of the candy. Place a single toasted almond on top of each candy. Allow them to rest in the mini muffin tin in the fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes. Store candies in the fridge for up to two weeks. The candies may form a white film on the chocolate if stored at room temperature for extended periods of time.

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Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. These are fluffy, light cinnamon rolls and that make several pans or just a few large oversized big cinnamon rolls. These contain sweet potato puree or you can use pumpkin puree from a can. Filled with a cinnamon and brown sugar pecan filling and topped with a simple and easy cream cheese frosting / icing / glaze. Make these ahead if desired. Find the recipe for these fall favorite best breakfast buns at thewoodandspoon.com

When it comes to leftovers, my belief is that every person belongs to one of two camps. You either like them, or you don’t. 

I personally have always been a fan of leftovers. My brain is filled with fond memories of cold pizza, leftover birthday cake for breakfast, and carry-out Chinese from the night before. Pasta, soup, and casseroles- all better on day two. I’ve even been known to eat giant spoonfuls of mac and cheese straight from dish in the fridge, and I promise you it’s delicious.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

Ok, ok, I can hear you gagging. 

I may have an absurd level of tolerance for leftovers, but I’m pretty sure there’s at least one day per year that we can all get behind leftovers.

THANKSGIVING! The day of giving thanks and putting down some grub. The day to fill your heart with gratitude and your plate with tan colored food. When else can you justify cooking 18 pounds of food (32 pounds if you count the turkey) and binge snacking for 72 hours straight? When else can you dirty every Pyrex dish in your house and justify running the dishwasher 4 times in one day?

Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving! That’s when! 

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

I am pro Thanksgiving leftovers. I vote yes to breakfasts made of cranberry sauce oatmeal and veggie plate dinners. I am all for lunches of open-faced turkey sandwiches on thick slices of cornbread and eating pumpkin pie as a breakfast food. And this year, I’m preparing Thanksgiving dinner with leftovers in mind because I have officially perfected the sweet potato cinnamon roll.

Yes, you heard me right. You can call your mother and tell her you’re finally eating more vegetables, because sweet potatoes. In a cinnamon roll. With pecans. And frosting. 

These sweet potato cinnamon rolls are made by combining a typical dough with some sweet potato puree. The puree, which is made simply by pureeing cooked and peeled sweet potatoes, keeps the dough fluffy and moist for days. Filled with a cinnamon sugar spread and toasty chopped pecans, these sweet potato cinnamon rolls are topped with a cream cheese frosting and will make your house smell like a fall-flavored dream.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

This dough starts decadently by melting the butter into the milk and sugar. After some yeast proofs in the warm milk, the sweet potato puree and some dry ingredients are added. We let the dough rise before the remaining dry ingredients are tossed in. After a quick once over with the rolling pin, a schmear of butter, sugar, and spices, and a sprinkle of pecans, these sweet potato cinnamon rolls are ready for baking.

Hot from the oven, these cinnamon rolls get frosted with a glossy cream cheese frosting. I prefer sweet frosting, but you can certainly decrease the amount of butter and sugar here to have a more dominantly cream cheese flavored frosting. Once they’re frosted, the sweet potato cinnamon rolls are ready for action. And by action, I mean devouring.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

If you’re in charge of any dish this Thanksgiving, make sure it’s the sweet potatoes… And while you’re whipping up that dish you should casually throw in an extra potato or two… And when there’s leftovers, well, you know what to do. This sweet potato cinnamon roll recipe will be waiting for you.

Cheers to you and happy Tuesday!

 

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Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

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These sweet potato cinnamon rolls are fall scented buns stuffed with a cinnamon sugar filling, toasted pecans, and topped with a cream cheese frosting.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 90
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 1 cup milk (whole or 2%)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 21/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup sweet potato puree (see notes below)
  • 31/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened slightly in the microwave but not completely melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 11/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

For the glaze

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of cream or milk, plus more as desired

Instructions

To prepare the cinnamon rolls

  1. In a large pot, combine the milk, butter, and sugar over medium heat and allow to warm just before the milk is scalding. Remove from burner and allow to cool until luke warm. Add the yeast and allow to dissolve, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the sweet potato puree to the milk mixture, stirring gently to combine. Add 3 cups of the flour and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow to rest and rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour. If your dough hasn’t doubled in size within that hour, place the dough in a slightly warmer spot of the kitchen.
  3. Combine the remaining flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and add to the risen dough. Stir to combine. At this point, you can refrigerate the dough overnight or roll out to use immediately. If you decide to save it, punch dough down into bowl if it over-rises.
  4. Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface to a 12″x18″ rectangle. Combine the butter, brown sugar, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon in a bowl to create a paste. Spread softened butter mixture out across the dough , leaving a 1/2 inch border around the sides. Evenly sprinkle the pecans over the dough.
  5. With one of the long ends closest to you, begin to roll the dough away from you, pinching the dough together at the end to seal your roll. Trim off any shaggy ends (no more than 1 inch) Using a sharp knife, cut 1″ slices from your log of dough.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place buns 1″ apart in a baking dish (I use 3- 8″x8″ baking dishes) and cover again with a sheet of plastic wrap or a tea towel. Allow to rise for 25-30 minutes, or until buns are puffed and rounded. Bake in the oven until buns are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool on pan for 10-15 minutes and then top with glaze.

To prepare the filling

  1. In a medium sized bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the powdered sugar slowly and beat until combined. Add the vanilla and cream, beating until smooth. Add additional cream if you wish to have a more loose glaze.

Notes

 

  • To make sweet potato puree, peel 1 large sweet potato and cube it into 1″ pieces. Place cubes in a pot of water boiling over medium high heat and cook until tender to a fork, about 10 minutes. Drain water and set aside to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, place potatoes in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Be sure no large clumps remain, or your rolls will also have clumps in them. Allow to cool in the fridge slightly prior to adding to the cinnamon roll dough. The puree can be made and saved in the fridge several days in advance.

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Recipe Adapted From: Ree Drummond
 

Pecan Toffee Blondies

Pecan Toffee Blondies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple blondie recipe made in a half or quarter sheet pan that serves a crowd. A great make ahead dessert for parties and gifts. Tastes like butter pecan ice cream! These bars are butter and brown sugar blondies, made extra salty with sea salt and chopped pecans. Find the easy recipe for this great fall dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

Happy November to you from Alabama where it’s still hot as fire and we’re all frying eggs on the pavement. The only time nowadays that I don’t sweat like a baby gorilla is if I’m sitting inside or standing in front of an open refrigerator. And don’t judge me, but I do that a lot.

Pecan Toffee Blondies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple blondie recipe made in a half or quarter sheet pan that serves a crowd. A great make ahead dessert for parties and gifts. Tastes like butter pecan ice cream! These bars are butter and brown sugar blondies, made extra salty with sea salt and chopped pecans. Find the easy recipe for this great fall dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

Celebrating Birthdays

Last week, we celebrated my birthday with friends over a  meal of stone crabs and layer cakes. I’ve only cracked crabs one other time in my life, back when Brett and I were dating and I was still trying to prove I was adventurous and fun. I typically don’t like food that requires you to work for it, but the stone crabs turned out to be a blast. Were it not for the bloodied knuckles, broken nails, and overall brute strength that was required for breaking through the shells of those tough little buggers, I probably would have cracked all night long. Plus, there was an abundance of crabs jokes, and even though lice in the nether-regions is not something to laugh about, I found it hysterical. So basically the night was a success.

Birthdays are always a big deal in my book. Even though I relish any moment for a celebration, birthdays somehow take the proverbial (and literal) cake. Any chance to celebrate people that I love with music and laughter and dessert is a winning event, if you ask me.

Pecan Toffee Blondies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple blondie recipe made in a half or quarter sheet pan that serves a crowd. A great make ahead dessert for parties and gifts. Tastes like butter pecan ice cream! These bars are butter and brown sugar blondies, made extra salty with sea salt and chopped pecans. Find the easy recipe for this great fall dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

Pecan Toffee Blondies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple blondie recipe made in a half or quarter sheet pan that serves a crowd. A great make ahead dessert for parties and gifts. Tastes like butter pecan ice cream! These bars are butter and brown sugar blondies, made extra salty with sea salt and chopped pecans. Find the easy recipe for this great fall dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

Pecan Toffee Blondies

These pecan toffee blondies are not a birthday cake. These weren’t even served at my birthday party. But they are good and fall-ish and ridiculous easy to make so let’s dive in, shall we?

The blondie dough is made just the same as your average drop cookie recipe. We start by creaming the butter and brown sugar for a while until it’s light and fluffy. Next comes a few eggs followed by a dusting of flour and salt. Things get real at the end when we bring in our guests of honor: pecans and toffee bits. The sweetness from the brown sugar and toffee is offset perfectly by the pecans and salt and if you really like to get down and dirty, I’d recommend adding an extra sprinkle of each once the dough has been pressed out in the pan.

Pecan Toffee Blondies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple blondie recipe made in a half or quarter sheet pan that serves a crowd. A great make ahead dessert for parties and gifts. Tastes like butter pecan ice cream! These bars are butter and brown sugar blondies, made extra salty with sea salt and chopped pecans. Find the easy recipe for this great fall dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

Pecan toffee blondies are one of those foods that you need in your arsenal of recipes. You can file this recipe under “fall recipes to make for a crowd” or “pecan desserts to go nuts for” or “blondies that really do have more fun.” This is the bar I’d be making every week if it weren’t still Africa hot here in the South. I’d eat them for dessert, or afternoon snacks, or even for breakfast if you swore you wouldn’t judge me. But who am I kidding- they’re worth even that.

Pecan Toffee Blondies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple blondie recipe made in a half or quarter sheet pan that serves a crowd. A great make ahead dessert for parties and gifts. Tastes like butter pecan ice cream! These bars are butter and brown sugar blondies, made extra salty with sea salt and chopped pecans. Find the easy recipe for this great fall dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

These pecan toffee blondies are a cinch to make and are a terrific dessert for any occasion. If you get a chance to try them out, let me know what you think in the comments section below!

Cheers to you!

Pecan Toffee Blondies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple blondie recipe made in a half or quarter sheet pan that serves a crowd. A great make ahead dessert for parties and gifts. Tastes like butter pecan ice cream! These bars are butter and brown sugar blondies, made extra salty with sea salt and chopped pecans. Find the easy recipe for this great fall dessert at thewoodandspoon.com

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Pecan Toffee Blondies

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These pecan toffee blondies are a brown sugar blondies speckled with toasty pecans and toffee bits. They make a terrific treat to share and store well in the freezer.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 11/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 11/4 cups pecans, chopped and divided
  • 1 cup toffee bits
  • Kosher salt for sprinkling, if desired

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a jelly roll pan with baking spray or line with a Silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until each are well incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat on low until just combined. Add 1 cup of pecans and the toffee and stir to combine.
  5. Gently spread the mixture evenly into the bottom of your prepared jelly roll pan. If you don’t have a jelly roll pan, a foil lined 9″x13″ casserole dish can be used as well. Sprinkle the remaining pecans on top. Bake in the oven at 325 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until the blondies are golden brown on top and no longer jiggly in the center. Allow the blondies to cool completely prior to cutting.

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Recipe Adapted From: Anne Thornton

Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting

Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a naked pumpkin layer cake with moist, fluffy layers make with cinnamon and pumpkin puree. The cake is filled with a sweet and salty pecan filling. The frosting is a southern style, almost caramel flavored frosting make by caramelizing sugar until it is almost burnt. The whole thing is layered together for an impressive layer cake that takes like fall. It is a great birthday , celebration, thanksgiving. Make this show stopper for your next event. Thewoodandspoon.com

It’s happened to all of us. You find a delicious looking recipe, get psyched up to make it, do the grocery shopping, log the man hours and then… the final product sucks. The cake fell, the cookie was dry, the pie didn’t set up, etc., etc., etc. Isn’t that the worst?

Well, I’m over it. I’m not spending all of my free time testing recipes and spilling my guts on this blog (read: embarrassing myself in front of the world) to have any of the recipes on this site belly-flop in your kitchen. I’m determined that YOU WILL HAVE SUCCESS!

Enter: my recipe tester. I have solicited the help of fellow baking enthusiast// butter and sugar boss-lady to test the majority of my recipes before they make it to your computer screen. Together, we are going to produce face-melting treats, and you, my friends, will be happier and more successful in the kitchen because of it. CAN I GET AN AMEN?!

Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting

This pumpkin pecan cake with burnt sugar frosting is the first recipe I sent to my little kitchen elf. It’s almost laughable because this recipe was not an immediate success. This cake, admittedly, is a bit of a bear to make if you have zero kitchen experience or ambition, but trust me when I say that the juice is worth the squeeze. Plus, we’re all grown ups here- we can totally do this. Are you up for the challenge?

This pumpkin pecan cake with burnt sugar frosting starts by making a burnt sugar syrup that is used both in the frosting and as a moistening syrup for the cake. This syrup, as well as the salty pecans scattered between the layers of cake, can be made ahead of time, so take heart in knowing that you can easily break this baking up over a couple of days. The pumpkin cake layers, an adaptation of Rosie Alyea, are quite simple to make and incredibly moist. When you’re ready to assemble the cake, you simply whip the syrup into a cream cheese buttercream and voila: pumpkin pecan cake with burnt sugar frosting.

Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting

And as if one pumpkin recipe wasn’t enough, there just so happens to be more to go around. I’m sharing today’s recipe in collaboration with Sara, Aimee, and a whole bunch of other bloggers who are slinging pumpkin dishes on their sites today. Check out the full list of those participating in the #virtualpumpkinparty on Sara and Aimee’s sites!  

 

Happy fall y’all and cheers to you! For more cake recipes, click here!
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Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting

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This pumpkin pecan cake is a 3 layer, 8″ cake made up of pumpkin cake layers, salty buttered pecans, and coats of burnt sugar frosting.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 90
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the pumpkin cake layers

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 11/4 cups canola oil
  • 11/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 11/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the burnt sugar syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup hot water
  • 1/2 tablespoon corn syrup

For the burnt sugar frosting

  • 1/2 cup burnt sugar syrup
  • 3 sticks (1-1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 11/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups powdered sugar

For the salty pecans

  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 cup of pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/23/4 teaspoon salt (add based on your preferences)

Instructions

To prepare the pumpkin cake layers

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease 3-8″ cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottoms of them with parchment paper rounds for easy removal.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar and eggs on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla and beat on low speed until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed, just until combined. Be sure not to over-mix. Scrape the sides of the bowl and fold in any ingredients that may have gotten stuck to the sides of the bowl.
  3. Evenly distribute the cake batter amongst the 3 pans. Bake in the preheated oven about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely prior to frosting. (See notes)

To prepare the burnt sugar syrup

  1. Place sugar in a cast iron or stainless steel skillet and allow sugar to melt on medium-low (I use 3-4 on my stovetop) heat for about 15 minutes, stirring as seldom as possible. Over-stirring the syrup can cause it to crystallize which is NOT the goal. Continue to cook on medium-low heat until the sugar has melted completely and it becomes a dark amber color. Cooking time may vary depending on your stovetop. Be sure to cook until it is dark and fragrant but has not begun to heavily smoke.
  2. Carefully and slowly add hot water and stir slightly to combine with the sugar. The mixture will bubble up and steam, so take care not to burn yourself. Cook on low heat for approximately 3 minutes and then add the corn syrup. Set aside to cool in a heat proof container (I use a covered mason jar) until room temperature. At room temperature, the syrup should be the consistency of molasses. See notes for help on the syrup if needed.

To prepare the burnt sugar frosting

  1. Cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer for about 2 minutes. Do not over-beat, but scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure that no clumps remain and the mixture is evenly combined.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of the cooled burnt sugar syrup and the vanilla and beat on low to combine, about 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then add the salt and powdered sugar. Beat on medium-low speed until combined, about 1-2 minutes. Add additional powdered sugar to thicken the frosting as needed.
  3. Use frosting immediately or refrigerate up to 1 week. Reserve the remaining 2 tablespoons of burnt sugar syrup to use as a moistening syrup for the cakes.

To prepare the salty pecans

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the butter, pecans and salt on a sheet pan. Bake in the preheated oven, stirring once or twice, for about 10 minutes or until the nuts have been evenly toasted. Allow to cool.

To assemble the cake

  1. Level all cake layers prior to stacking.
  2. Mix 2 tablespoons of the remaining burnt sugar syrup with 1/2 tablespoon of water to create a moistening syrup. You can microwave it on low for 10-15 seconds to help melt the syrup. Stir to combine.
  3. Using a pastry brush, “moisten” each cake layer with 1/3 of the syrup.
  4. Use a small dab of frosting to adhere the first layer of cake to an 8″ cake board or a serving plate. Spread 1-1/3 cups of frosting on to the first layer of cake and smooth until flat. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nuts evenly on the frosting. Repeat this entire process once for the second layer of cake and then place the final cake layer on top. Smooth 1-1/2 cups of frosting on top of that final layer and smooth over the top.
  5. Use a small amount of frosting to apply a thin coat of frosting on the sides of the cake to “crumb coat” the cake. (See notes). Refrigerate briefly, about 30-45 minutes, to help set the frosting, and then continue covering and decorating the cake with frosting as desired. Garnish the top of the cake with the remaining nuts. Enjoy!

Notes

Notes

  • You can store your syrup in the fridge to help maintain freshness, however, keep in mind it will firm up quite a bit in the fridge. Simply microwave at brief, 15 second intervals until it becomes soft enough to pour. Do not add hot syrup to your buttercream.
  • If you happen to cook your syrup too long and it becomes hard once cooled, you can microwave it at brief, 15 second intervals with a tablespoon or two of water. Once able, stir it all together to thin out the syrup a bit. The syrup should be molasses consistency at room temperature.
  • I briefly freeze my cake layers to ensure they are sturdy. It makes frosting the cake cleanly a bit easier.
  • If frosting becomes too soft while using, refrigerate briefly to thicken up. Likewise, if frosting is too hard, allow to warm slightly at room temperature, or add a small bit of water a teaspoon at a time to thin out slightly.
  • A crumb coat helps to lock in any cake crumbs and prevent them from showing up in the final coat of frosting applied to the exterior of the cake. This isn’t necessary, but helps to keep your cake neat and pretty!

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Recipe for cake layers adapted from: Rosie Alyea