Tag Archive | pecan

Cranberry Pecan Muffins: The Baker’s Equivalent of Erectile Dysfunction

Remember how I was telling ya’ll how it was hard to find a good jar mix recipe? Well, here’s another one I tried. It’s called Cranberry Pecan Muffins. It sounded really promising. Dried cranberries, pecans, brown sugar. What’s not to love?

It was one of those recipes in my organizer I’d never tried, and I’m always up for finding jar mixes cause they are so damn easy to keep in the cabinet and grab and make at a moment’s notice, so I figured, why the hell not! Plus, muffins are so easy to freeze. Instant lunch snacks.

So I grabbed and lined my muffin tins.

I had greased them prior and then decided against that and went with muffin cups. God I hate how my tins always get so stained. Anyway! Then I added the sugars and flour.

Add in the yummy cranberries and pecans, with some baking powder.

Then I added the wet stuff

Mixed it up

Plopped them into the muffin cups

Put them in the oven. Baked them. And took them out.

I was slightly disturbed at this point because they didn’t really “rise.” They kind of kept the same shape as the batter when I plopped them in. Oh well, I figured, there’s a lot of food that doesn’t look good but tastes dreamy.

Since my blood sugar can’t handle a whole muffin, and I was about to eat dinner and couldn’t afford the carbs, I called the Texan down to try one.

“Try one of these muffins!” I exclaimed

“They look weird.” he muttered

“Yeah, yeah, just eat them!” I demanded

He picked one up, took a bite. And then he got that look on this face. Not a look of “ew” but a look of “what the hell.” And he cracked a little smile.

“Try one.” he said

“I can’t, too many carbs. How are they?”

“No, really, I insist, try one.”

This couldn’t be good.

I broke off a quarter of one of the muffins and popped it in my mouth.

It was warm cardboard with a sort of cranberry after taste. F*#king great.

I picked up the tin and dumped them in the trash. SONOFABITCH. WHO in their RIGHT MIND actually came up with this recipe but then decided it was good enough to actually put in a recipe book? Are you freakin’ serious?

Ok, was it gross? No. It wasn’t puke gross. But it was nothing. It was like dry brittle pecan cranberry crap. I HATE WHEN THAT HAPPENS! It’s gotta be the baker’s equivalent of erectile dysfunction: You get so excited at the prospect only to find out the damn recipe is completely flaccid no matter how much you are attempting to will it into deliciousness. And even if it’s NOT your fault because it’s not your recipe you still FEEL like it’s your fault and you start apologizing and turning red faced to the other party:

“I’m sorry, honey, I really tried, I don’t know what’s wrong with my muffins. Why does this keep happening to me?”

And if the party is worth anything as a human being they will respond “It’s ok, dear, it happens to every baker.”

UGH! Martha Stewart I am not.

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Nekkid Brownies

I’ve got to admit I’m a little obsessed by Pioneer Woman’s recipes. It’s probably because I’m diabetic and my poor little beta cells can’t take most of her recipes. But she’s very unafraid to kill ya with her recipes. I love it.

Every time I make one of her recipes, or most of the time, they are near gone within a day. That’s not to say I haven’t been disappointed with some of her stuff, but most of it is pretty damn good. And I’ve NEVER had an “ew that’s gross” experience with her stuff, just some “not as good as it looked” kind of stuff. Yet, I have to say most of her recipes are EXCELLENT, way higher a “damn that’s good percentage” than other recipe touters out there!

So I saw the recipe on her site for Knock You Naked Brownies. In the spirit of not stepping on any toes, I’m not going to actually post the recipe here but tell you to look it up right now. Just search Pioneer Woman Knock You Naked Brownies. You’ll find it.

So, first I greased up a pan. It says use a 9×9, I used an 8×8 cause that’s what I had. IMPROVISE DAMNIT!

Then I used my handy dandy food processor to chop up the nuts

Then it’s time to melt the butter

And don’t forget some of the evaporated milk

This recipe cheats a little and asks you to use cake mix. So here’s the one I used.

Now you are to mix the milk, butter, nuts and cake mix together to form a thick batter. In go the nuts and mix.

Then the milk

Then the butter

Now mix the ever living hell out of it. Actually, you don’t want to over mix, it’s just VERY stiff in the beginning, but it ends up more pliable.

And eventually you get this. Well it still needs more mixed but you get the picture. (HERP! unintended pun…I’m a dork…anyway)

Now you’ve got to press half of this into the pan and bake it for a bit.

While it’s baking, I decided to melt the caramels. I use a double boiler for this because I hate doing anything in the microwave. So, first the rest of the evaporated milk

Then the caramels on the stove in the double boiler

That’s right, you have to unwrap every damn one of them. Don’t worry, it’s worth it. Now pour the milk in with the caramels and set it to meltin’!

And it’ll turn into a gooey stick smooth beautiful mess. *drool*

Once your caramels are melted and the brownie thingee is cooked, you want to pour the caramel over the brownie thingee. That’s right, I have a skull spoon rest. Wanna fight about it?

Now you are gonna measure out some chocolate chips. I used semi sweet minis.Pour those on top.

Now comes the hard part. She says to go ahead and roll out the rest of the brownie dough on a surface and place it on top. Yeah. I couldn’t do that. My brownie dough was way too moist for that. So I just kind of flattened it in my hands and plopped it on top. Worked fine.

Now pop that puppy back in the oven and out comes this:

Now, that doesn’t look too impressive. HOWEVER, the middle is a beautiful sticky caramel chocolately goo of a mess and it’s beautiful. I stuck mine in the freezer to let it cool because otherwise it takes hours and hours and hours for it to cool, and there was no way the vultures in this house were going to wait that long without holding a gun to my head and demanding their caramel brownie goodness.

I sifted some powdered sugar on top when it was cool and served it up. It was GOOD don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t amazing to me. That could very well be because I’m not longer acclimated to the super sweet american diet thing (stupid diabetes) but it was GOOD. Really good. It kind of reminded me of a turtle brownie, though it wasn’t as sweet as I expected since there is no frosting, so that was definitely a good thing. Everyone else however thought it was amazing. My BFF came walking over here just to have one when she heard I was making them. They didn’t last over night.

They are a new request in this house, so it’s totally worth trying. Especially if you’re body doesn’t send you into a coma at the sight of sugar!