Easy Apple Tart
Serves 3-4 Time: 40-60 Minutes
This tart is a simple fix for dessert! With minimal ingredients, it lets the fresh apples shine through! Not too sweet and just elegant enough to serve at a holiday dinner! Top with vanilla ice cream or caramel sauce for an extra touch of goodness.
1 package of puff pastry, keep frozen until ready to use
4 large apples, Granny Smith or Gala work best, any tart apple will do
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
Sprinkle of salt
Sprinkle of fresh lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash and core apples, leaving the skin on. Slice in half and then slice thin pieces, less than a quarter of an inch thick.
- Unwrap puff pastry and cut into three long pieces, should be along the fold.
- Layer apple slices directly on the pastry, overlapping each so they lay on top of each other by half. Distribute the apples evenly on all three sheets of pastry
- Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly on all the pastry, followed by the brown sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Top each pastry with a dotting of butter, evenly distributed along the top.
- Bake about 40 minutes, juice will start to bubble along the bottom of the pastry, bake until this evaporate. Check the bottom of the pastry at the 30-minute mark for over-browning. Move to a higher rack if this occurs.
- When brown and puffed, cool on a wire-rack and serve immediately.
- Refrigerate leftover and reheat in oven.
Candied Pecans and Cranberries
Makes 5 cups Time: 2 Hours
These candied pecans are a childhood favorite of mine! I have such good memories of making these with my mom at Christmas time, packing them up, and delivering them to neighbors and friends. They keep forever if sealed tight, but I guarantee they won’t last long. They are addicting!
3 ½ to 4 cups of pecan halves
1 ½ cups of dried cranberries
¼ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon baking soda
- Combine all ingredients except for pecans and cranberries in a microwave-safe bowl
- Heat to a boil in the microwave for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds
- Add the pecans to the mixture and toss until evenly coated
- Spread out the mixture on a greased 9 by 13 baking sheet
- Bake pecans at 250 degrees F for 1 hour, stirring halfway through bake time
- Cool the mixture completely and toss in cranberries
- Store in an air-tight container, lasts several weeks on the counter
Makes about 40 Prep Time: 20 minutes Chill Time: 1 Hour
Another childhood favorite of mine! There is nothing more decadent and delicious than Oreos and cream cheese. Great for an easy gift or a treat for Santa!
1, 16-ounce package of regular Oreos
1, 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
2, 8-ounce packages of semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
- Crush cookies to a fine crumb, use a zip-tight bag and a rolling pin or a food processor. Add softened cream cheese and mix until thoroughly combined. Scoop mixture into tablespoon servings and roll into balls.
- Dip each truffle into the melted chocolate, which can be easily done with two forks. Place on a wax-paper-covered baking sheet.
- Store in the refrigerator to chill for about an hour. Keep cold until ready to serve and refrigerate leftovers.
Pecan Pie Bark
Serves 18 Time: 20 minutes
This bark is an addictive, simple candy that makes a great gift! Buttery, crunchy, and reminiscent of the fan-favorite pecan pie!
12 sheets of graham crackers
1 cup of unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups pecans, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with tin-foil sprayed with oil.
- Line up the graham crackers tightly on the baking sheet, try to not leave any gaps
- Combine butter, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Add the pecans to the boiling mixture and stir constantly for 30 more seconds. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Pour the pecan mixture onto the graham crackers.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until bubbly.
- Let cool completely and break up into pieces.
- Keep in an air-tight container on the counter for up to a week.