Tag Archives: pecans

Cranberry Pecan Muffins

I’ve been so glad to see fresh cranberries at the grocery store these past few weeks! I just had to make something with fresh cranberries and muffins seemed like a good idea. I added some orange extract to give these muffins a subtle orange flavor. You could also add some orange zest if you wanted to.

These muffins bake up with nice rounded tops and have lots of cranberries and pecans in every bite! These are great for a Thanksgiving or Christmas breakfast or brunch, or for anytime in the fall or winter, for that matter. They also make a nice snack or dessert if you’re wanting something a little less sweet. You could probably substitute dried cranberries for the fresh, but I’ve always made these with fresh–I like their slightly sweet, tart flavor!

CRANBERRY PECAN MUFFINS by NancyC

Makes 24 muffins

  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure orange extract
  • Optional: 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped fresh cranberries (or substitute dried cranberries)
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.

In large bowl, blend flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In medium bowl, mix milk, butter, orange extract, and eggs. Add this mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined, then fold in chopped cranberries and pecans and stir until evenly distributed in batter (be careful not to overmix). Batter will be thick!

Spoon batter into the lined muffin cups. Bake at 350˚F for 22 to 25 or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool muffins in pans for a few minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire rack, or serve warm.

Do you have your Thanksgiving menu planned out? Are you making anything with fresh cranberries for your special meal? Whatever your plans are, have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Let us be thankful…. HEBREWS 12:28

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Cranberry-Pecan Banana Bread

Cranberry Pecan Banana Bread @ NancyC

It’s been awhile since I made banana bread, so when I had some very ripe bananas, I decided it was time to make banana bread again! I also had some dried cranberries I was wanting to use and chopped pecans sounded like a great addition to those cranberries. So I came up with this Cranberry-Pecan Banana Bread. The loaf browns a little more while baking than some banana breads, but it’s sweet and moist when you bite into it and the dried cranberries give it a great flavor. My loaf did sink a little in the center–probably because I took it out too soon and then put it back in the oven. So be sure to do the toothpick test when you’re baking this bread!

I baked this loaf over the weekend one cold winter morning and it tasted so good with a hot cup of coffee! It’s great for breakfast, brunch, or an afternoon snack.  Also be sure to use a 9 x 5″ pan; an 8 x 4″ pan won’t be large enough.

CRANBERRY-PECAN BANANA BREAD

Makes one 9 x 5″ loaf

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed, ripe bananas (about 3 small or 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil or non-GMO canola oil
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, blend flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In medium bowl, stir eggs, mashed bananas, oil, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract, blending everything well.

Add egg/banana mixture to flour mixture in large bowl and stir just until combined. Fold in the dried cranberries and chopped pecans.

Pour batter into prepared 9 x 5″ loaf pan and bake at 325˚F for 68 to 72 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

(Note: this bread may sink slightly in the center, but if you remove it from the oven too soon it will sink even more noticeably, so be sure to do the toothpick test!)

The weather has been colder lately, and that always puts me in the mood to bake. It’s always fun trying new banana bread recipes–do you have a favorite you stick to, or do you like trying new recipes too?

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Pecan Chewies

Pecan Chewies @ NancyC

What’s thick, rich, chewy, and buttery with lots of pecan chunks baked in? Pecan Chewies, that’s what. I saw a recipe for these bars over at Southern Bite, and just had to try them. They look like blondies, but they’re much chewier…and so yummy! The buttery taste in these chewies really won me over and now they’re a new favorite treat of mine. They are easy to make and you mix the batter by hand, so no electric mixer is needed. I added extra pecans in my batter and really liked how they turned out. They’re a great snack or dessert for fall–add a scoop of ice cream on top and a drizzle of caramel if you really want to make these fancy!

PECAN CHEWIES by NancyC, adapted from Southern Bite

Makes a 9 x 13″ pan

  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar,  firmly packed
  • 2 eggs,  well beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 300˚F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13″ pan or line with parchment paper; set aside.

In large bowl, add melted butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar; blend well by hand.

Add beaten eggs and vanilla stirring well, then add flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring until all lumps are gone.

Fold in chopped pecans, stirring until blended, then spread batter evenly into prepared 9 x 13″ pan.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown and set in the middle (be careful not to over-bake–if you do, the bars will not be as chewy as they should be). Let cool completely, then cut into bars.

Brown sugar and pecans are two ingredients I use a lot in my fall baking, so no wonder I love these bars! Have you made Pecan Chewies before?

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Maple Cinnamon Raisin Granola

Maple Cinnamon Raisin Granola @ NancyC

Homemade granola is so good–I started making it a few years ago and I guess you could say I’m hooked on homemade granola! I’ve made several granola recipes, including Vanilla Almond Granola, Pumpkin Spice Granola, and Dark Chocolate Granola Bars. I like experimenting with different variations and flavors, and I decided to try a version with some fall-inspired flavors like maple syrup, cinnamon, and raisins. There’s nothing fancy about this granola, but it has that great classic cinnamon-raisin goodness. And the maple syrup makes a wonderful natural sweetener. There’s no sugar in this, just the sweetness of the maple syrup. Which is great if you’re trying to cut back on sugar. And even if you’re not, it’s still a really good granola!

MAPLE CINNAMON RAISIN GRANOLA by NancyC

Makes about 9 cups

  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (don’t use quick oats)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower kernels (if you use roasted and salted kernels, add them to the mixture after baking)
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds–if you use roasted and salted pepitas, add them to the mixture after baking)
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons non-GMO canola oil or light olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a 10 x 15″ or 13 x 18″ rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a small bowl, blend the maple syrup, oil, salt, and ground cinnamon; set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss the oats, walnuts, pecans, coconut, sunflower kernels, pepitas, and wheat germ (you’ll be adding the raisins after the granola is done baking). Mix in the maple syrup, oil, salt, and cinnamon mixture and toss again, combining and coating all ingredients well.

Spread this mixture on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 325˚F for 20 minutes; remove pan from oven to stir and toss the mixture for even baking. Return to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes, until mixture is golden.

Remove from oven and add the raisins to the mixture on the pan; toss to combine. Let mixture cool completely on pan, then store in a tightly-sealed container for up to 2 weeks.

This granola is great with milk or sprinkled over vanilla yogurt for breakfast. And it makes a great snack any time of the day. It’s not super-sweet, but everyone who tasted this for me said it was sweet enough for them.

Do you make you own granola and do you have a favorite recipe?

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Dark Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Blondies

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If you’re looking for something sweet to sink your teeth into, these blondies are exactly what you need! Some blondie recipes I’ve made before were more on the thinner side. But these are really thick and chewy. And they’re packed with dark chocolate (or semi-sweet chocolate) chips, dried cranberries, and chopped pecans…a really yummy combination of flavors!

pearson-logoI had just received a sample bag of Georgia pecans from Pearson Farm so I used them in this recipe. Pearson Farm has been growing pecans for over 100 years and they are really good! In addition to their fresh raw pecans that I received, they also sell salted, roasted, and chocolate-covered varieties. I love to much on raw pecans as a healthy snack and use them in dessert recipes when I’m baking. But pecans can also be added to healthy foods like salads, yogurt, and smoothies for a little extra nutrition. They contain vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, E, and B1, calcium, potassium, zinc, thiamin, and magnesium.

I like to think pecans make desserts a little healthier, too, so I thought they’d be great paired with dark chocolate and dried cranberries in this blondie recipe. I was so happy with the way these blondies turned out–a combination of rich, buttery taste with the chocolate-cranberry-pecan goodness mixed in!

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DARK CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY PECAN BLONDIES by NancyC, adapted from Taste of Home

Makes an 8 x 8″ pan

  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (or substitute white or milk chocolate chips)
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line an 8 x 8″ square baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease or spray with cooking spray; set aside.

In small bowl, soak dried cranberries in hot water for one minute to soften and plump them; drain well and set aside.

In medium bowl, cream butter and brown sugar together, blending well, then add in the vanilla extract and eggs, blending eggs in one at a time.

In another medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add this mixture to butter mixture and mix until all ingredients are combined.

Fold in cranberries, chocolate chips, and chopped pecans. Evenly press batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350˚F for 38 to 40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then lift out of pan with edges of parchment paper. Cool completely on wire rack, then cut into squares.

Note: when these blondies are cooling, they do sink a little in the center, but don’t worry when that happens–that’s just what they do!

I often use pecans in my baking–they go well in so many different recipes! Do you use pecans much in your recipes?

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