Category: Dessert

Puff Pastry Baked Pears with Coffee Caramel

Puff Pastry Baked Pears with Coffee Caramel

Baked pears like you’ve never had! Wrapped in a flaky and buttery puff pastry, these pears are then covered in a caffeinated caramel sauce made with coffee. Just like my book!

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Ingredients

Puff Pastry Baked Pears
6 small pears, ripe but firm
1 (14 ounce) package puff pastry
Coffee Caramel Sauce
½ cup half and half
1 tablespoon coarsely ground coffee
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

Directions

Puff Pastry Baked Pears

Defrost the 14 ounce package puff pastry per instructions on the box and preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Trim the bottom of each of the 6 pears so that they sit flat, then core them, removing all seeds. Peel the pears and if they are oxidizing quickly, store them in water with some lemon juice as you finish the remaining pears.

Pears don’t ripen on the tree. They must be picked to ripen and will only ripen at room temperature. They should ripen in a few days but can be ripened faster if stored in a bag with a banana or apple, as those fruits put off ethylene gas. The pears absorb it and start producing their own. To test if a pear is ripe, gently press on the neck with your thumb. If it yields, it is ripe.

Lay the pastry out on a floured surface. Using a pizza cutter, cut the pastry into strips that are about ⅓ of an inch wide.

Starting at the bottom, wrap each pear with strips of puff pastry until fully covered.

Place the wrapped pears on a parchment-lined baking sheet with about 2 inches of space between each pear.

Bake pears for 45 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and puffed out. You may want to wrap the tops with some foil to prevent the tops from burning and for an even bake.

You can make the caramel while the pears are baking.

Coffee Caramel Sauce

Add ½ cup half and half to a small pot and warm over a medium-low heat. Careful not to burn. Add 1 tablespoon ground coffee and cook for 1 minute, until the cream becomes light brown.

Strain out ground coffee, returning the cream to the pot.

Add in 4 tablespoons butter and 1 cup brown sugar, and incorporate. Cook on a low simmer for 5 minutes. Whisking gently.

Brown sugar never spoils. Store it in an airtight container in a cool dark place. If it bricks, microwave it in a microwave safe dish with a damp paper towel on 10-second intervals until desired consistency.

Remove from heat and add in 1 teaspoon vanilla and a pinch of salt, gently stir to combine.

Vanilla extract lasts indefinitely unlike the imitation stuff. Store it in a cool dark place.

Plate the coffee caramel and place a baked pear on top. Drizzle more caramel around the base.

Puff Pastry Baked Pears with Coffee Caramel

Mom's Homemade Pecan Tassies Main

Mom’s Homemade Pecan Tassies

In this video, I show you how to make my mom’s homemade pecan tassies. A gooey brown sugar filling wrapped in a cream cheese pie crust. These bite-sized dessert pieces are bound to be a holiday staple.

Ingredients

Cream Cheese Dough
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup flour
Pecan Pie Filling
1 large egg
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
½ cup chopped pecans
24 whole pecans

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Cream Cheese Dough

Mix together 3 ounces cream cheese and ½ cup butter. Work in 1 cup of flour. Cover dough and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Any leftover cream cheese can be frozen if you don’t use it often. Simply put it in a plastic container and freeze it. Warning, it will get a little grainy and possibly watery from freezing. When you are ready to use it, let it thaw out in the fridge. Mix it all together if any separation occurred and you are good to go. It is best to use frozen cream cheese in things like this recipe.. I wouldn’t put it on top of a bagel.

Shape dough into 24 1-inch balls. Place in an ungreased 1 ¾ inch muffin pan, pressing dough against the sides. Helps if you have a 1-inch rod to form dough cups with. After forming the cups, place the pans back in the fridge while making the filling.

BTW, a tassie is a Scottish term for a cup or goblet for drinking wine.

Pecan Pie Filling

Beat together the 1 egg, ¾ cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of sea salt.

Mom’s Homemade Pecan Tassies

Divide ½ cup chopped pecans between the cups. Divide egg mixture between the cups. Top with whole pecans.

Any leftover pecans should be stored based on how you plan to use them. If they’re shelled, put them in the fridge, they will keep there for about 6 months, up to a year in the freezer. The oils in nuts go rancid when left out at room temperature. It’s important to keep them stored in something airtight to avoid any exposure to moisture.

Bake for 25 minutes until egg mixture is set and the crust is golden brown.

Enjoy!

Mom's Homemade Pecan Tassies Recipe

Chocolate Glazed No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake Main

Chocolate Glazed No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake

A delicious and thin chocolate-glazed no-bake vanilla cheesecake made with a California prune and graham cracker crust that is chewy and naturally sweet.

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust
1 cup pitted California prunes
¼ cup rolled oats
¼ cup pecans
½ cup crushed graham crackers
Pinch of sea salt
Vanilla Cheesecake Filling
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Glaze
6 ounces chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Directions

Add 1 cup California prunes, ¼ cup rolled oats, ¼ cup pecans, ½ cup crushed graham crackers, and a pinch of sea salt to the bowl of a food processor. Run the food processor until the mixture is even and sticks together when pinched. Prunes pair beautifully with rich complex flavors like the chocolate chips were going to top this baby with.

Transfer crumb mixture to a 9-inch springform pan, pressing it out until flat. Chill crust in the refrigerator.

Where you might typically use butter to create this no-bake crust, the California prunes not only hold the crust’s shape with their natural moisture, they’re also gut and heart-healthy. Obviously high in fiber but also potassium and other nutrients.

California grows 97% of the nation’s prune crop and 44% of the prunes in the world.

Oatmeal, once opened, should be transferred to an airtight container. Stored this way, in a cool dry place, the oats will keep for a year past the Best By date. Prunes, stored this way, will also keep for several months, and up to six months or longer if you keep them in the fridge.

Add 16 ounces of cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to a mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat until smooth and whipped.

Pour filling over graham cracker crust and smooth out until even. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

Sugar will last indefinitely if kept in a cool dry place. Vanilla extract, the real stuff, will too. Much longer than its imitation counterpart.

Add the 6 ounces of chocolate chips to a microwave-safe dish and microwave in 10-second intervals until melted, stirring between each session. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the chocolate and mix in until smooth. When chocolate is no longer hot, remove the cheesecake from the freezer.

Unclasp sides of the pan. Carefully spread chocolate glaze over the top of the cheesecake or drizzle it.

Serve immediately or refrigerate for later. I like to pop mine in the freezer for about 30 minutes before diving in, just to firm it up.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Glazed No Bake Vanilla Cheesecake Main

Roasted Grape & Candied Pistachio Ice Cream Sundae Main

Roasted Grape & Candied Pistachio Ice Cream Sundae with Balsamic, Olive Oil

Vanilla bean ice cream with juicy roasted grapes and candied pistachios. Yes, you can candy pistachios! Plus, there are food storage tips so you’ll get the most out of your fresh produce!

Ingredients

Roasted Grapes
¾ lb red California grapes
1 teaspoon California olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
Candied Pistachios
cup California pistachios
2 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons sugar
Ice Cream Sundae
8 scoops of vanilla bean ice cream, divided
Roasted Grapes
Candied Pistachios
Drizzle of California olive oil
Drizzle of balsamic glaze

Directions

Roasted Grapes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Take the California grapes and remove them from the stem, transferring them to a strainer. Discard any browned or wrinkled fruit. Rinse the grapes thoroughly and then dry them.

In a large mixing bowl, add the grapes, California olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Mix until the grapes are thoroughly coated.

I like sea salt because it stays fresh forever compared to iodized salt which can only last up to 5 years. Olive oil, the extra virginy kind, keeps for up to 2 years.

Place grapes on a quarter-sized baking sheet (13 X 9.5 inches) and bake them for about 30 minutes, until they soften and get a little charred. Remove from the oven and let cool.

For any left over grapes you purchased, do not rinse them or remove them from the stem. Store in the fridge in the ventilated bag they came in and they will last up to 10 days.

BTW, did you know that California has been producing grapes for more than two centuries? Yup. No surprise, we lead the nation in table grapes, growing over 99% of them in the U.S.! We got over 80 varieties of grapes that are grown here but you keep on calling them green, red, and black.

You can easily stay up to date for everything grown in California, and when you can eat it, with this handy dandy guide to what’s in season. We grow 40% of the nation’s fresh produce and now more than ever, famers could use your help.

Candied Pistachios

Whisk sugar and hot water in a mixing bowl until sugar is dissolved. Add in California pistachios and stir to fully coat. By the way, stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, sugar stays fresh indefinitely.

Spread nuts out on a prepared baking sheet in a single layer and bake on the middle rack until nuts are crisp and dry, 10 to 12 minutes.

Transfer sheet to wire rack and let nuts cool completely, about 20 minutes. Transfer nuts to a cutting board and chop if desired. Nuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

If you purchased pistachios for this recipe, you probably have some left over. They should be stored in an airtight container in a cool and dark place. They will keep in the pantry for about 6 months this way, up to 1 year in the fridge, and 2 years in the freezer.

Ice Cream Sundae

Divide the scoops of ice cream between 4 serving bowls.

Drizzle with olive oil and top off with deliciously roasted California grapes and candied pistachios.

Drizzle with balsamic glaze and serve.

Enjoy!

Roasted Grape & Candied Pistachio Ice Cream Sundae Final

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