Pecan Recipes | April, 2005

Pecan Pound Cake

1 cup unsalted butter or margarine; softened
2 cups granulated sugar
6 eggs; separated
3 cups cake flour
¼ teaspoon soda
1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
2 cups Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces1. Preheat oven to 300ºF.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Set aside about ¼ cup flour. Combine remaining flour and soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with yogurt, beating well after each addition. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Dredge pecans in reserved flour, and fold into batter.
3. Spoon batter into a greased a floured 10-inch tube pan or Bundt pan.
4. Bake in preheated oven 90 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
5. Cool 15 minutes before removing from pan.

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Pecan Rice Pilaf

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, minced
⅓ cup wild rice
1¼ cups water
½ cup long-grain white rice
¾ cups beef stock
¼ cup dry white wine
1 small bay leaf
1 dash hot pepper sauce
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons parsley; chopped
¼ cup Pecan Valley Pecan Halves; toasted*
1 teaspoon mint; chopped

1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the wild rice and the water, and heat to boiling. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes
2. Add the white rice, beef stock, wine, bay leaf, and hot pepper sauce to the wild rice. Heat to boiling, and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, until both rices are tender and almost all the liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.
3. Discard the bay leaf. Stir the peas into the rice mixture; cook, covered, for 5 minutes more. Remove the cover and raise the heat slightly if the mixture is too wet.
4. Add the parsley and pecan, and sprinkle with mint, if desired.

Note: To toast the pecans, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans and toast until golden, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes.

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Pecan Spice Cookies

¼ cup oil; natural
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup brown date sugar; packed
¾ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cups Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
½ cup raisins
1 teaspoon anise seeds
½ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
1 dash nutmeg
1 dash ginger
1 dash ground cloves
¼ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. Mix the oil, maple syrup and date sugar together well.
3. In a separate bowl, mix whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, pecans, raisins, anise seeds, cinnamon, sea salt, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and shredded coconut and then slowly stir them into the liquid mixture.
4. For each cookie, drop 1 to 2 tbsp of the dough onto lightly oiled cookie sheets, about 2 to 3 inches apart.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 9 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned but still soft. Cool on wire racks. The cookies will get crispy as they cool.

Makes 1 to 1½ dozen

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Pecan Tea Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter or margarine
2 cups powdered sugar; unsifted
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
Pecan Valley Pecan Halves

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, salt and nutmeg. Add to creamed mixture. Mix well. Shape into small balls. Place on greased cookie sheet.
3. Mix egg yolk and water. Brush each cookie with egg mixture. Lightly press pecan half on top of cookie.
4. Bake in a preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Immediately remove from the cookie sheets. Cool on wire racks.

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Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf

4 cups chicken broth
1 cup wild rice, rinsed well
1¾ cups wheat pilaf
1 cup Pecan Valley Pecan Halves
1 cup currants, dried
1 bunch scallions; thinly sliced
½ cup Italian parsley; chopped
½ cup fresh mint leaves; chopped
Zest of 2 oranges; grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon orange juice
Freshly ground black pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add wild rice to boiling broth. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 50 minutes or until rice is tender. Do not overcook. Remove to a large bowl.
2. While the rice is cooking, in another saucepan bring about 2¼ cups water to a boil. Stir in the pilaf, cover and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes, or until pilaf is tender.
3. Remove from heat, let rest 15 minutes, and add to the (cooked) wild rice. Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Serve at room temperature.

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Perfect Pecan Pie

1 9-inch pie shell; unbaked
1 cup dark brown sugar; firmly packed
⅔ cups cane syrup
¼ cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons bourbon
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon sea salt
4 eggs
3 tablespoons half-and-half
2 cups Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
Pecan Valley Pecan Halves

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In a large saucepan, melt the brown sugar, syrup and butter together with the bourbon, vanilla and salt. Continue heating the mixture to the boiling point, stirring frequently. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat and let mixture cool.
3. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the half-and-half until they are light and frothy. Add to the cooled syrup, beating until the mixture is well incorporated. Stir in the pecan pieces. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Top with a layer of pecan halves.
4. Bake in a preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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Pesto Green Beans and Tomatoes

1½ pounds fresh green beans
1 pint small tomatoes, such as red grape halved
¼ cup Pesto Vinaigrette
Salt and pepper

1. Cook green beans, covered, in a small amount of boiling salted water for 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse under cool water. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
2. In a large bowl, toss green beans and tomatoes with pesto vinaigrette. Add additional pesto vinaigrette, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator up to 8 hours.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Pesto Vinaigrette
½ cup Texas Basil Pesto
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and ground white pepper

1. In a bowl combine pesto, vinegar and lemon juice.
2. Slowly add olive oil in a thin stream, whisking until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate up to 3 days

Makes about ¾ cups

Texas Basil Pesto
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1½ cups fresh baby spinach; stems removed
¾ cups fresh basil leaves
½ cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
6 ounces Asiago cheese, grated
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and quartered

To Prepare In a Food Processor
1. Combine 2 tablespoons of the oil, the spinach, basil, pecans, cheese and garlic. Cover and process until nearly smooth, stopping processor and scrapping sides as necessary.
2. Drizzle in remaining olive oil until mixture is smooth.

To Prepare In a Blender
1. Coarsely chop spinach, basil, pecans and garlic on a cutting board, in a blender combine all ingredients.
2. Cover and blend until mixture is smooth.

To Store
Place pesto in an airtight container. Cover and refrigerate for 1 or 2 days of freeze up to 1 month

Makes about 1¾ cups

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1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup lard
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon anise seed, finely crushed
1 pinch sea salt
½ cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces; finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Beat ¾ cups of the sugar, butter and lard in large bowl of electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy; about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla; beat until smooth. Beat in flour, cinnamon, anise seed and salt until well mixed. Stir in pecans.
3. Roll walnut-size pieces of dough between palms to make round balls. Put remaining ¼ cup sugar in pie plate; roll dough balls in sugar. Place balls 5 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press each ball with bottom of a glass dipped in sugar to about ¼-inch thickness.
4. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 300ºF and continue baking, for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned. Remove to cooling rack.

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Ritz Pecan Pie

20 Ritz Crackers; crushed
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup Pecan Valley Pecan Halves
3 ounces milk chocolate; finely shredded
Whipped cream or ice cream

1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
2. In a large mixing bowl mix cracker crumbs and baking powder.
3. Beat egg whites stiff, then very gradually add sugar, continuing to beat.
4. Add vanilla.
5. Fold egg whites and crackers together. Put in a buttered 9-inch pie plate.
6. Arrange pecans across top.
7. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.
8. Remove from oven, sprinkle with shredded chocolate, then put under the broiler for a few seconds, watching closely so that the chocolate melts but does not scorch.
9. Serve with Ice Cream or Whipped Cream.

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Sour Cream Breakfast Cake

2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter; room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
1½ cups sour cream
3 eggs
1 recipe Pecan Filling
Powdered sugar; for dusting1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Sift together the flours, baking powder, soda and salt in a large bowl.
3. In another bowl, cream the butter, sugar and sour cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in the lemon zest. Add the flour mixture, and beat until just smooth.
4. Pour about ½ the batter into a greased and floured 10-inch Bundt or tube pan. Sprinkle the filling evenly down the center of the batter, preventing the filling from touching the sides of the pan. Cover with the remaining batter.
5. Bake in a preheated oven for about 45 to 55 minutes until a skewer tests clean in the thickest part.
6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, before turning out. Dust with powdered sugar.

Pecan Filling
1½ cups Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
¾ cups brown sugar; firmly packed
1 tablespoon cinnamonMix pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon together. Put aside.

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