Fill a mason jar with praline walnuts, tie a ribbon around the lid, and Viola! You've got a creative gift for a friend, colleague, or hostess.
Here’s a great appetizer or holiday snack. This recipe doesn’t take very long and is easy to make. All the ingredients are basic items you should have in your pantry except perhaps the brown sugar.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 5 Tablespoons water (almost 1/3 cup)
- 1/2 pound pecans or walnuts
- Preheat your oven to 300°. Spread the nuts (I used walnuts) in a single layer on a cookie sheet. No need to butter or line the sheet with wax paper at this point. Warm the nuts in the oven for 10 minutes. (This isn’t the same as toasting the walnuts, because to toast nuts, the oven would need to be 350°.)
- Line another cookie sheet/pizza pan with wax paper. Wax paper is not the same as parchment paper … close, but no cigar. (For one thing it’s cheaper.)
- In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, white sugar, butter and water. Heat over high heat until the mixture begins to boil.
- Add the warmed nuts and stir to make sure all the nuts are coated.
- Boil on high heat until the mixture forms large bubbles on top and looks sugary. (The recipe I used said this step takes a while, but by warming the nuts the boiling time was much shorter.)
- Remove the nuts from the stove. Drop by teaspoonfuls on the wax paper. Allow the nuts to cool. I had a little less than 1/2 pound of walnuts so I spread out the nut mixture on the wax paper and broke the nuts apart when cooled. Either way, these are delicious!
Wanna look at the recipe I used online? Click here.
Cream Cheese Filling ingredients
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all–purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/4 cups all–purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup cold butter or margarine (NOT softened at room temp)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla extract)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup strawberry or raspberry preserves*
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat your oven to 350°. Use shortening to grease the bottom and side of an 10 inch springform pan or an 11×7 inch (2 quart) glass baking dish; lightly flour. (If you don′t have shortening, use margarine. If you use non–stick spray, be sure the pan is coated evenly.)
- In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the Cream Cheese filling until smooth. (The easiest way is to use a hand mixer, but mixing by spoon is fine, too.) Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix 2 1/4 cups flour and 3/4 cup sugar (by hand). Cut in the cold butter (see below). The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup of the crumb mixture.
- Into the remaining crumb mixture, stir in baking powder, baking soda, salt, sour cream, almond/vanilla extract, and egg. Pour this batter into your springform pan until it is 2 inches up the side (you may have a little extra left over since you have a 9.5 inch pan).
- Pour the cream cheese filling over the batter. Carefully spoon the preserves evenly over the filling. Mix the almonds and reserved crumb mixture with a spoon and sprinkle it over the preserves.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes (or 35 to 45 minutes if using a 2 quart dish), or until filling is set and crust is a deep golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes; remove side of springform pan.
*Preserves: chunkier than jelly or jam. Real fruit? Yum!
How to cool a cake so it doesn′t fall to pieces.
Strawberry Cream Brunch Cake recipe at BettyCrocker.com
Sounds Italian and yummy, doesn’t it? Try it out with or without the olives and let me know how it tastes.
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 2 pounds ricotta*
- 6 tablespoons Romano, shredded
- 1 can black olives, drained & chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 chili pepper, seeded & chopped
- 1 refrigerated pie crust (not frozen!)
- Preheat your oven to 350°.
- Saute onion and pepper in butter (you probably prefer olive oil).
- Combine all ingredients (except pie crust) in a large bowl and blend until smooth. (The best way to do this is with a spatula or spoon, not a hand mixer, so that the veggies do not become pulp.)
- You probably want to grease the inside of the springform pan with a light coating of cooking spray even though the original recipe did not include this step.
- Press the refrigerated pie crust into the bottom and sides of a 10 inch springform pan. (The pan I bought for you is a 9.5 inch pan. So you may have a little crust left over for decorating with.) Need to know how to decorate the edges of your crust? And here are some tips from Paula Deen. 😮
- Add the cheese & veggie filling.
- Bake at 350° for one hour, until golden brown.
*Ricotta cheese can be expensive and some people prefer to use cottage cheese as a substitute. However, the taste and texture of cottage cheese is different from that of ricotta and replacing such a large quantity (2 pounds) of ricotta cheese might make a not–so–tasty torte.
What is an egg wash? An egg wash is a beaten egg with a little bit of liquid (milk/water) mixed together and brushed onto the surface of the unbaked pastry. It is used to make the pie crust shine and patch up holes & cracks. More info about egg wash.
How to Garnish Pie Crusts video.
Find the original recipe for Torte Rustica with a photo here.