Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Uncle Bubba's Key Lime Pie

Every fall, Ryan requests pumpkin items.  Without fail.  I've been with him for five years now (wow.) and like clockwork, I know that once September rolls around, he'll start asking for pumpkin.  What does this have to do with key lime pie, you may find yourself asking.  Allow me to explain...  Every fall, Ryan wants pumpkin.  The rest of the year?  He wants key lime.  Key lime pie.  Key lime cookies.  Key lime bars.  It's only February (almost March but I digress) and he's already asking for key lime pie.  So I decided last Sunday, I'd make him one.

Now, take a trip down memory lane with me for just a moment.  Picture it... Savannah, GA, June 2009.   It was a second anniversary trip for me and Ryan (we had been dating for two years).  I've always wanted to visit Savannah simply because I love Paula Deen.  So off we went.  We ate at The Lady and Sons Restaurant and then we visited a little place on Whitemarsh Island called Uncle Bubba's Oyster House.  You may know Uncle Bubba - he's Paula's brother.  I hated to admit it at the time but we preferred Uncle Bubba's to Paula's restaurant.  The issue was not the food (quite the contrary - the food was delicious at both places) but it was more the atmosphere.  At Paula's, it was rather crowded, full of people.  At Uncle Bubba's, everything was relaxed and laid back.  The view was beautiful.  We ate outside, under fans, with a view of the marshes.  Ryan had crab cakes.  I had fried shrimp.  (Yeah, it was so good, I still remember what we ate.)  For dessert, we ordered the key lime pie.  The piece they brought us was huge!  It was a good thing we were going to split it anyway.  The pie was unreal, it was so good.  I normally don't like key lime pie.  But this pie was certainly one that I could have eaten every single day if you asked me too.  It was so rich and delicious.... yummy.

The point of this little story is that the recipe I used for this particular key lime pie is from Uncle Bubba's Savannah Seafood Cookbook.  The recipes in that cookbook are the same recipes he uses in his restaurant.  And I can say with complete certainty that the recipes I've made from that cookbook taste *exactly the same* as what we had at the restaurant and this pie is no exception. 

Want a taste of Savannah?  Make this pie - it's super simple and extra rich!

Uncle Bubba's Key Lime Pie
recipe from Uncle Bubba's Savannah Seafood

1/4 c. Key Lime Juice (I use Nelly and Joe's)
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
3 Egg Yolks
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Graham Cracker Crust

Preheat the oven to 325.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
Pour into your graham cracker crust (did I mention this recipe was simple?).
Bake for 20 minutes.
Let stand at room temp for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Top with whipped cream (if you like - Ryan and I do.).
Enjoy :)

(Note:  This pie tastes much better after its been chilled in the refrigerator.)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

I have made this cake for Thanksgiving the last two years.  I always try to bring something sweet to Thanksgiving anyway because, well duh, I like to bake (is it that obvious?).  This is one of those cakes that really is a once-a-year type thing.  It's so rich but man is it good!!!

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
courtesy of Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cookbook by Paula Deen

1 18.25 oz. Yellow Cake Mix
1 Egg
8 Tbsp/1 stick Butter, melted

8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla, melted
8 Tbsp/1 stick Butter
16 oz. Powdered Sugar (1 box)
15 oz can Pumpkin
1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine all ingredients for the base.
Using your hands, pat the mixture into a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 9x13 pan.
Next make the filling, starting off by beating the cream cheese until smooth.
Add your eggs and vanilla next.
Add the butter, beating well.
Mix in your pumpkin and spices.
Carefully mix the powdered sugar into your cream cheese-pumpkin mixture.
Spread over the base mixture.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes.  (I find that 40 minutes is perfect.)
The center of this cake is NOT supposed to look firm or finished!  It's called "gooey" for a reason!  So don't overbake!!!

(I'm sorry I don't have a picture of the inside of the cake to show you the layers or the gooey-ness of it all but the cake got eaten before I could take a picture!)

Peanut Butter S'mores Bars

I have something terrible to admit to everyone.  I had my first s'more when I was 25 years old.  I'm 26 now.  My best friend, Erin, was making them in her oven and gave me one.  I've been hooked ever since!  I wanted to find a s'more in bar form.  The marshmallow and chocolate were just a little too messy for me (Erin calls me the world's cleanest cook - I cannot stand a mess while I cook or eat!).  Off I went on a google search for a s'mores bar.  I found quite a few of them, some better than others.  This particular recipe intrigued me simply because I love peanut butter.  Anything with peanut butter is worth trying in my book.  Ryan wasn't too crazy about this recipe but I sure was!

Peanut Butter S'mores Bars
courtesy of myrecipes.com

1 c. Brown Sugar
1/2 c. Peanut Butter (I used creamy but you can use crunchy if that's your cup of tea)
2 T. Butter
1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 Egg Whites
1 1/2 c. Self-Rising Flour
1 Jar of Marshmallow Creme
2/3 c. Chocolate Chips (I used mini choc chips!)
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine the first five ingredients (through egg whites) in a bowl and beat until combined.
Stir in your flour.
Press into a 9x13 pan that's been coated with cooking spray.
Top with marshmallow creme and sprinkle with the chocolate chips.
Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until the base of the s'more is done!
(Note:  I had a bit of trouble with the center of these.  You may want to par-bake the peanut butter crust for a few minutes before adding the marshmallow creme.  The marshmallow creme prevented the center from cooking completely.  If you do that, remember to reduce your remaining cooking time!)

Rice Krispie Treats

Sometimes you just yearn for that nostalgic feel.  And what else but Rice Krispie Treats brings out that feeling?  Memories of bake sales galore!  My dad's RKT were specially requested at all my elementary and middle school bake sales.  His RKT always sold out, every. single. time.  The parents of the kids I went to school with only tried once to compete with Dad's RKT and they failed miserably.

Even the professional baker whom I adore, Zoe Francios {blog found here}, admits that Rice Krispies are one of her favorite things - of course, she fancies hers up quite a bit with brown butter and vanilla beans.  Me, I'm a traditionalist.  Give me the old, 3 ingredient recipe any day.  To me, this is one of those recipes that has been made for so long in the same way that it's perfect just the way it is.  It's almost sacrilege to toy around with the recipe.  Because I'm adamant about this, ladies and gents, I give you....

The Original Rice Krispie Treat
recipe courtesy of the Rice Krispie Treat box

3 Tbsp. Butter
1 jar Marshmallow Creme (I used Marshmallow Fluff) -OR- 10 oz. package Large Marshmallows
6 c. Rice Krispie Treats Cereal

Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
In a large pan, melt butter over low heat.
Add marshmallows (creme or otherwise) and stir until melted.  (This takes a long time... a loooooooong time.)
Remove from heat.
Add cereal and stir until well combined.
Using a butter spatula/parchment paper/your hands that have been coated in cooking spray, press the mixture into your 9x13 pan.
Allow the mixture to sit at room temp until cool.
Cut into squares and enjoy!