‘Secret’ Family Pecan Tarts Recipe

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I am so excited to share this recipe with you guys! Why? Because it is my all time favourite. This is my ex mother-in-law’s recipe and is a family favorite. I’ve been making it forever. The crust for these tarts is the key. It’s light and fluffy and delicious. Without a great crust the tart is, well… not worth making. And this crust is da bomb! You are going to love them. They are the ultimate holiday treat.

Natasha was playing around with the camera and ended up filming me while baking the pecan tarts last night..
Here’s a little behind the scenes of what went down; Check it out!

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'Secret' Family Pecan Tarts
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Ingredients
  1. Ingredients for the Pecan Tarts Crust
  2. (Yield: 3 dozen tarts or 2 pies (top & bottom crusts))
  3. 1 lb Crisco
  4. 4 c. Flour
  5. 2 tsp. brown sugar
  6. 2 tsp. white vinegar
  7. 1 tsp. baking powder
  8. 1 tsp. salt
  9. 1 egg (mixed in with a 1/2 cup of water)
Ingredients for Pecan Tarts Filling
  1. (yield: 1 dozen)
  2. 1 egg beaten
  3. 1/3 c. butter (melted and cooled)
  4. 1 c. brown sugar
  5. 2 tbsp. milk
  6. 1/2 c. chopped pecans (can substitute with walnuts or raisins)
  7. 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Pecan Tart Crust Directions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Refrigerate covered for 1 hour.
  3. After chilling, roll out dough and cut into tart shapes.
Pecan Tart Filling Directions
  1. Mix all ingredients together. Fill tart shells 2/3 full.
  2. Bake at 450 degrees f. for 8 minutes then adjust oven to 350 and continue baking for 15-20 minutes.
Rose & Lea http://roseandlea.com/

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I hope you enjoy these amazing Pecan Tarts as much as my family does!

Happy baking!
Laura xo

The One & Only Chocolate Chip Cookies

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After searching high & low for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, I have finally found the one!
I have eaten many (far, far too many) chocolate chip cookies in my lifetime, and my mom and I have tried many different chocolate chip cookie recipes over the years so believe me when I say – this recipe is the best homemade chocolate chip cookie recipe out there right now. They are so, so good, it’s insane. And yeah, I ate over ten of these babies tonight. (I don’t curr, I’ll admit it.)

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You may be asking how this recipe is any different than the other billions of chocolate chip cookie recipes out there? Well let me tell ya – the main reason for their goodness, and the secret ingredient to making these cookies so thick, soft, gorgeous & chewy is….

CORNSTARCH! 

Cornstarch is the ingredient that makes these cookies so thick & chewy, and gives them that delicious soft-baked quality.
Funny how one ingredient can make all the difference! All of the chocolate chip cookie recipes I have made in the past did not use cornstarch. The difference in cookies using cornstarch was like night & day.
The other main component as to why these cookies are so chewy and moist is because of the higher ratio of brown sugar to white.

Not only is this recipe the BEST tasting, it is also super easy & straightforward. No crazy ingredients are used – you’ll probably already have all of the needed ingredients in your cupboard!

This is the recipe that I’ve been looking for, the classic chocolate chip cookie – the one that I’ll be making over and over again for years.

I thank the cookie heavens for creating a cookie so perfect –  the One & Only Chocolate Chip Cookie. 😉

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The One & Only Chocolate Chip Cookies
(This glorious chocolate chip recipe is from Anna Olson (Food Network), which can be found here. I have adapted the recipe slightly.)

Ingredients:
(yield: approx. 3 dozen cookies)

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar (the darker the sugar, the better)
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, (preferably at room temperature)
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon cornstarch (the magical ingredient!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl using a hand-held electric mixer or in the bowl of your stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment), cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed until light & fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda & salt. On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until all ingredients are evenly combined. Do not overmix. Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes – 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an ungreased cookie sheet with parchment paper. (If you don’t have parchment paper, just leave the cookie sheet plain.) Using your hands to form the balls, roll dough into 1 Tbsp-sized balls and place onto cookie sheets. If you want extra chocolaty cookies, press a few chocolate chips onto the top of the dough balls.

3. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. They will almost look uncooked. Do not leave cookies in oven over 10 minutes! Remove and let cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet. If the cookies are too puffy for your liking, gently press down on them with the back of a spoon.
Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.

Note: Cookies stay chewy and fresh for up to 10 days in an airtight container.

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Enjoy!
Natasha xo

Decadent Double Layer Chocolate Cake

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Chocolate Lovers – this one’s for you.

This cake is hands down, the best homemade chocolate cake recipe ever. You’ve gotta trust us on this one – we’ve tested many different kinds of chocolate cake recipes over the years, and this one blows away all the others.

This cake is soft, light, fluffy, and perfectly chocolatey. {All the things a good chocolate cake should be.}

The cake’s super fluffy & moist texture is due in part to a few things.. the use of buttermilk, and coffee! That’s right – 1 cup of hot coffee is used in this cake to help accentuate the chocolate flavour. Don’t worry, it will NOT make the cake taste like coffee. Buttermilk is also used to help keep the cake super moist. (Buttermilk really is a great baking ingredient for cakes & cupcakes.)

For the frosting, we decided to ditch the usual chocolate buttercream that is often used for this kind of cake and went with a Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting instead. Neither of us are big fans of buttercreams, as they are usually extremely sweet and overpowering. We always tend to frost cakes using a whipping cream frosting because it is a lot lighter, less sweet, and just seems to taste better & fresher.

Natasha made this cake a few weeks ago for a birthday, and everybody raved about the cake so we decided to make a Valentine’s version! This chocolate cake is perfect for any occasion – decorate it however you wish! 🙂

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Nummm! You can see just how moist & fresh the cake is.

This cake is amazing because it actually stays fresh like this for days after baking! {Keep cake covered at room temperature for up to 4 days to ensure freshness, or covered and refrigerated for up to 6 days.}

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Decadent Double Layer Chocolate Cake
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For the Cake
  1. 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 and 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  3. 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder {not dutch processed}
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 cup buttermilk
  8. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  9. 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  10. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  11. 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting Ingredients
  1. 250g whipping cream
  2. Nestle Nesquik Chocolate Syrup (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Butter & flour two 9-inch round cake pans & set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, & salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the buttermilk, oil, room temperature eggs, & vanilla.
  4. With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined. Add in the coffee. {Batter will be very wet – it is supposed to be. don’t worry!}
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the 2 prepared baking pans and bake for approx. 24-28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the beater/whip attachment, whip the whipping cream on medium-high speed for 2-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in chocolate syrup to taste, and mix.
Notes
  1. It is very important that eggs are at room temperature for this recipe! using eggs at room temperature will allow the cake to rise properly. using cold eggs could ruin your cake.
Rose & Lea http://roseandlea.com/

Happy Valentine’s Baking!
 Natasha & Laura xo