Saturday, November 29, 2008

Coconut Cream Pie

I invented this recipe a couple of years ago and it's now a family favorite. The crust isn't homemade but the filling is. You can make banana cream pie with this recipe as well.

1 baked pie crust (I use Marie Calendars frozen crusts - better than homemade)
2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. milk
4 large egg yolks
2 T. butter (no substitutes - don't use margarine)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. coconut flavoring (optional)
1 cup shredded coconut

Bake pie crust according to package directions - set aside to cool. In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Slowly whisk in the milk, a little at a time, making sure to dissolve the cornstarch (if you pour it in all at once, you will get big lumps that you won't be able to get out). Stir in the egg yolks. Cook mixture over medium high heat, whisking constantly, until mixture starts to thicken and boil. Once mixture thickens and begins to bubble, boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and immediately pour mixture through a strainer into another bowl. Stir in the butter, flavorings and coconut. Pour into prepared pie crust. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on top. Refrigerate before serving. Can serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

***TIP: For banana cream pie, omit the coconut flavoring and coconut and instead add 1-2 sliced fresh bananas.

Tepee Treats

These were a hit with the kiddies on Thanksgiving. Jay and Lou helped me make them the night before and they only took about 10 minutes.

sugar cones (desired amount)
softened ice cream (favorite flavor)
1-2 squares chocolate almond bark
fall sprinkles
pretzel sticks

Break or cut the top off of each sugar cone (I let my kids bite the tops off since they would be the ones eating them). Chop chocolate almond bark into small pieces and place in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for about 1 minute, then stir until melted. Dip the rim of each sugar cone in the chocolate and then dip in sprinkles. Place on a cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap. Fill each cone with softened ice cream. Place a dollop of chocolate on the top of the cone and stick 3 pretzel sticks inside (the chocolate will cement them in place once it hardens). Place the tepee's in the freezer until ready to serve.

Sweet Potato Casserole

This casserole is heavenly! You can use fresh sweet potatoes that you boil and mash, or keep it simple by used canned Yams that are ready to go.

3 c. cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (or canned yams)
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup milk

Peel, slice and boil sweet potatoes for 20-25 minutes. Mix other ingredients in a bowl. Drain potatoes and mash them up (allow to cool for a few minutes). Mix sweet potatoes in with other ingredients and beat until smooth (it will seem a bit runny, but don't worry). Pour mixture into a 13x9 pan. Sprinkle with the following topping:

1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. chopped pecans

Smash all of these ingredients with a fork until well blended and crumbly. Sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I love recipes that include the use of canned pumpkin. You know that whatever you are baking will turn out moist and tender.

1 c. butter, softened
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
3 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. ground cloves
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips
1 c. chopped pecans
1 1/2 c. canned pumpkin

Beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Mix dry ingredients in with butter mixture, a little at a time, alternating with the canned pumpkin. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9x5 loaf pans. Can sprinkle with additional pecans if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 65 to 70 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in pans, then remove to wire rack. Glaze while warm.

Spiced Glaze:

1 c. powered sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3 T. milk

Mix ingredients well, then drizzle glaze on top of pumpkin loaves.