Tag Archives: Real Simple

Praline-Topped Blondies

I am in love with Real Simple recipes.  I have not made one that was not just over the top. Here is another winner just in time for the holidays.  You are going to love it especially if you a lover of pralines.   They are so easy to make, too!  I was a little skeptical when I was reading the recipe and I saw 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, but with the really sweet topping the balance is perfect.  The recipe calls for an 8 inch square pan, but I used a 9 inch pan with no problem.  I did feel the need to double the topping recipe.  Great idea!  If you don’t want to make a thick topping just make one recipe for the praline topping.  I even put a second recipe on after the first one cooled and it worked fine.
With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner if you are like me you are frantically making out your menu and shopping list so  you can get started.  My family will be at my house on Sunday.   This year I am not cooking the traditional turkey and dressing that I usually make because we are traveling to a very special wedding in Greenville, South Carolina on Saturday.  My menu so far is Artichoke Dip that I will be posting next week, baked ham, roasted turkey breast, deviled eggs, Tami’s everything Salad, fresh peas and butterbeans from my freezer, hashbrown casserole, the old green bean casserole, buttermilk biscuits,  pumpkin cheesecake, and a new pecan pie from Marilyn.   I am looking forward to seeing everyone and enjoying our family.   What are your plans?
Here is a step-by-step:
  • Line pan with parchment paper
  • Measure salt, baking powder and flour
  • Melt 1 stick of butter and add 1 cup brown sugar
  • Add 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Add 2 eggs one at a time
  • Add dry ingredients
  • Pour in pan
For the topping:
  • Cook over medium heat 3 tablespoon brown sugar and 2 tablespoons butter until it bubbles
  • Remove from heat.  Add 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water.  Stir.
  • Spread over cooled blondies.
  • Sprinkle with 1/2 cup chopped pecans.

Praline-Topped Blondies   from Real Simple  
Yield: 16 blondies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • Topping:  I doubled the topping recipe for a 9 inch pan
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.  I used a 9 inch pan.
  2. Line the pan with 2 crisscrossed pieces of parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.
  5. Remove from heat and mix in the brown sugar and vanilla.
  6. One at a time, mix in the eggs; mix in the flour mixture until just combined (do not overmix).
  7. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, 20 minutes in a 9 in pan, but longer 25 minutes for an 8 inch pan. Cool completely in the pan.  I put mine in the freezer for quick cooling.
  8. Make the praline topping: In a small saucepan, heat the brown sugar and butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbling, about 2 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla, 1 tablespoon of water, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
  10. Spread over the cooled blondies and sprinkle with the pecans.
  11. Let the topping set, 10 to 15 minutes.
  12. Holding both sides of the paper overhang, lift the cake out of the pan, transfer to a cutting board, and cut into 16 squares. Store the blondies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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Filed under Bar Cookies, Cookies

Pork Ramen Soup

I made this soup two days in a row.  One day I had it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  It is that good!  I love Real Simple recipes and this one is a big hit!  Don’t change one thing until you make it at least once then you can substitute tofu, chicken, or shrimp for the pork.  I love it!  The ingredients are fresh and full of flavor.  The fresh ginger is unbelievable!  Once you and your family discover this fresh flavored dish  you will go back to it again and again.  It is one of the best soups that I have ever had!

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Filed under Main dish

Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

This has been one of my favorite salads since discovering it about six years ago.  With corn and tomatoes at their peak the salad will be fantastic, but it is great in the winter using frozen corn and grape tomatoes.  To me grape tomatoes are pretty good most anytime during the year.  In fact that is what the original recipe calls for.  I just like using some of the home-grown tomatoes from Waldrop’s that I truly love.   All of these flavors just melt together corn, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, lime juice and cilantro.  They  just go together for a sumptuous salad that you will never forget.  Don’t think just salad because it  will go with most any main dish or I love it with fish tacos.  YUM!  Now pull out some of summer’s fresh corn and enjoy a real treat.

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Filed under side dish

Shrimp and Corn Chowder with Fennel

Soup and chowder are a favorite of mine for several reasons.  A bowl of soup on a cold day just feels good.  A thick creamy chowder is so satisfying.  Best of all they are better the next day. This one is no exception.  It’s easy and great for a weeknight.  Those of you that have never cooked with fennel should try it.  And another thing leeks are so good.  I never knew they were so good.  Where have I been?  Deb an English teacher at my school gave me the lowdown on leeks.  I’m sold now.   Just trust me on this, try the leeks and the fennel. You can thank me later. Then add to the pot potatoes, shrimp and corn.  What else would you need?  Just a little fresh parsley and the juice of a lemon to make the flavors pop.

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Filed under Main dish, Soup

Sausage, spinach and provolone pizza

Here at our house pizza is a favorite.  I love pizza, but only if it is made at home.  Ordering pizza out is way too expensive, laden with lots of calories and just plain not good to me.  Now there  is one place  I would go for pizza and for the life of me I cannot remember the name of the restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina. It  has the best pizza and greek salad.  If you know the one I am trying to think of let me know and I will link to them.  When we were there the line was way out the door, but worth the wait. 

I have been making pizza since high school.  My favorite was a pizza made in an electric skillet with a  biscuit dough crust. It was a treat! Now I will make pizza dough in the food processor, bread machine, mixer or use refrigerated or frozen dough that I pick up at the store. 

Making your own dough is very easy.  You just measure and let the machine do the work.  But, that will have to be another post.  It is way too much information for now!  

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Filed under Pizza, Provolone Cheesse, Real Simple, spinach