Cheesey Pecan Pie is the BEST Cheesecake

One of my favorite cheesecake recipes is the Cheesey Pecan Pie that I shared back in 2016. You can go directly to that post by clicking on the link highlighted in red. I have made it several times, but I always made it in a pre-made crust; however, this time I made my own crust and baked it in a springform pan, which made this turn out so much better than any of the times I baked it before. It was thick, creamy and delicious. I highly recommend buying one of these pans as you will not be disappointed. I bought the 9 inch size, but you can find them in smaller and larger sizes as well.

I also think it turned out better this time, not only because of the pan I used, but because I was baking in a full-size oven as compared to the oven in the RV. It is very hard to regulate the temperature in an RV oven. Although I baked many items in my RV oven, I am seeing a lot of my stuff turning out much better now that I am cooking in a regular size one.

Baking Pastry Like My Momma

Yesterday I spent a lot of time baking up some of my favorite desserts and pastries that I want to share with my readers. Baking has always been one of my favorite things. I’m sorry I can’t share this family recipe, but I can share how I made this and hope that I can entice you to want to bake something. Maybe something your mother or grandmother taught you to make years ago that you forgot about. I wish we could bring back more of these “traditions” from long ago years.

Growing up I saw my Mom bake a pastry dessert many times that was given to her by my paternal grandmother who died before I was born. This pastry originated from Austria where my grandmother was born many years ago. Baking like this is becoming a thing of the past, but I hope to keep doing this for as long as my hands will work. This time treasured pastry brings back so many memories of my childhood. I will never give the actual recipe out, but will share the steps involved and how it comes about. There may be recipes out there similar in one way or another to this pastry, but my family will never be able to accuse me of passing this one down to anyone outside the family.

There is only two recipes that I make that contain yeast, one is a biscuit recipe and the other is this one. I have always used the packets of yeast, but my Mom has started using the yeast from a jar and measuring out the amount needed. To begin you pour the yeast in a big bowl to which you will add water to dissolve. The key to dissolving the yeast is to not have the water too hot or too cold, but lukewarm to the touch. I do all of my mixing by hand as I like to feel the mixture.

In a pot on the stove, I added my butter, milk and sugar and heat until butter melts. You don’t want it to boil as it will scald the yeast and it will not do what it is supposed to do. As I removed this mixture from the stove, I added my beaten eggs.

When my mixture on the stove is just about ready to remove, I add my lukewarm water to my yeast and dissolve.

Once my yeast was dissolved, I added my mixture from the stove. This is hot and some people might prefer to use a spoon, but I still mix this by hand with my dissolved yeast.

Once I mixed it a little, I then started adding sifted flour. I continue to add flour until the mixture can be poured out onto a floured surface. At which point I kneaded the dough several times before adding to a bowl to rise.

When I poured the dough onto the counter I kneaded it a few times and then placed back into my mixing bowl that I cleaned out and placed a small amount of oil in. This is to keep it from sticking to the bowl as it rises.

When I added the dough to the greased bowl, I spread it around to get grease all over the dough.

At this point, I covered the bowl and put in a corner out of any drafts and let rise to at least twice its size. This process took several hours so I spent that in-between time baking cookies. Recipes that I will actually share in later posts.

A pastry always has a filling and this one is no different. The filling is made using beaten eggs whites, sugar, cinnamon and pecans that have either been put through a meat grinder or purchased as pecan meal from your local store. I have done both. This time I bought the pecan meal from the store.

Below is the separated eggs. I will share in a later post what I done with all those egg yolks. There was no way I was going to throw away good food.

To make egg whites stiff like a meringue on a pie, you have to beat them for a long time. Once they are beat to the desired stiffness I added sugar, mixed a little longer and then added my pecan meal. I ended up having to split my batch up as I had so many egg whites they were spilling over the side of my mixing bowl. An easy remedy was to mix half and then the other half, pouring all the mixed egg whites into a bigger bowl before adding the pecan meal.

 

Once the dough had risen to the desired height I was looking for, I floured my counter so I could roll the dough out to complete the pastry I was making.

In order to better work with dough I poured it onto the floured surface and then cut it in half. I put one half back into the bowl, covered it back up and placed to the side.

Now it was time to roll it out. I have had my wooden rolling pin for a very long time. To me it is the better type to roll dough out with. There is no certain way to roll out the dough. I just roll until it gets to the thickness I think is good.

Once the dough was rolled out, I added my filling and sprinkled sugar and cinnamon on top of it. At this point, you can either cut into strips, roll them up and bake OR you can roll the entire thing up like a jelly roll and put in loaf pans to rise again before baking. If you bake in loaf pans, you can slice it like bread once its baked. The down side to doing it like this is you have to wait for it to rise again which takes longer. However, if you cut into strips and roll them you can bake them right away.

This is what they looked like rolled up before I baked them.

Fill up a cookie sheet and place in the oven.

Fresh from the oven!

Once they come out of the oven, I sprinkle confectioners sugar over them. I also stored these in the freezer at which point when they come out I will sprinkle additional confectioner sugar as it just makes them better.

The more filling you add the more moist the inside is. This is what one looks like cut in half. Look at all that gooiness.

I hope to pass this “tradition” on to my girls, but in order to do that they will have to start showing some initiative that they want to learn how to do this as it is not a quick dessert to make, but it is so worth all the effort it takes.

Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies

I couldn’t think of a better way to finish 2020 off than spending the day baking. Something I didn’t do much of in the RV due to space limitations, but now that I am in a big kitchen with a regular oven, I feel like I’m in heaven, so today I baked up quiet a few things. One of them was some chocolate chip cookies. This recipe has been shared before, but it is one that is worth sharing over and over because the cookies are so good. I think one of the reasons they always turn out so well is because I use butter-flavored Crisco instead of just butter as the original recipe called for. I like tweaking recipes to add my own flavor sometimes depending on what it is I’m cooking/baking.

To get started I pulled all my ingredients out including sugar, brown sugar, flour, eggs, salt, baking soda, vanilla flavoring and most importantly chocolate chips.

The first step is beating the two sugars and Crisco together until smooth.

Once the sugar and Crisco is smooth, add your eggs one at a time mixing well after each one.

After the eggs, you will add the flour, salt and soda that were sifted together. (I forgot to get a pic of that step) And last you add the chocolate chips….the more the merrier!

Once you have it all mixed up, drop by the teaspoon or tablespoon on your cookie sheet. I done something new this time by adding parchment paper instead of my silicone mats and was very pleased with how the cookies baked up and slide right off the pan. I prepared two sheets at once and cooked them both at the same time on the same rack. Did I say how much I am loving this bigger oven? If not, believe me when I say this bigger oven is a blessing.

Look at that delicious dough. I love eating it raw too. It is so good.

Both pans baked up wonderfully.

 

Four dozen cookies later. I’ll share some of the other stuff I baked today in other posts.

Hope everyone has a Happy New Year and that 2021 brings you peace, joy and love!

Air Fryer – Pumpkin Spice Cake

I have made this particular Pumpkin Spice cakes several times as the recipe is one of the easiest I have ever found, but until today I had always cooked them in my oven. Today I tried it in the air fryer. It tasted just like it came out of the oven and was delicious. I love this recipe because it only takes 3 or 4 ingredients. Some recipes I find for this says to add two eggs and other say it is not needed. I have done it both ways. It is more moist when you add the eggs.

All you have to do is add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix together, then pour into a pan.

I cooked this one in a 9 inch round cake pan that fit right into my air fryer.

This is what it looked like coming out of the air fryer.

After it cooled, I dusted it with confectioners sugar.

The middle was a little more moist than I like in a cake, but no different than the texture you would get in  a pumpkin pie. It was still delicious and the hubby loved it so to me that was a success!

Air Fryer – Cinnamon Rolls

Another food item I discovered that turns out very good in the air fryer is cinnamon rolls. I buy the Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls in a can, arrange on the grill plate, then cook at 360 degrees for 10 minutes. If you use the smaller size cinnamon rolls, you only need to cook for 8 minutes. When the timer is down to 2 minutes I flip them over to brown the other side as well. I discovered pre-cut parchment paper that fits perfectly in my air fryer that I use when I fix these so as to avoid them sticking to the grill plate and makes it less mess to clean up.

The big can only has 5 in it!

This is at the point where I flipped them over

Ready to add icing!

Served up nicely with my eggs and bacon! A complete breakfast!