Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fun connections and more recipe tweaking!

This past week I made two pies for a birthday celebration for one of my co-workers. I had made a cranberry pie several months ago and took it to work for the "guinea pig test". I do this to them often when I am trying, or developing, a new recipe. I did not like the pie, so I discarded the recipe. But, lo and behold, she liked the pie and requested it for her birthday. I relocated the recipe and made it, to her delight. Since I needed two pies to be sure every employee got some, the second pie I made was a cranberry pecan pie, which I like a lot!

Our newest employee is a young Russian immigrant whom we have enjoyed having as a part of our office. When he saw the cranberry pecan pie, he was so impressed, he got out his phone and took a picture of it! (I really like this young man!) A few moments after he ate a piece of the pie, he was at my desk telling me I needed to open a bakery. I told him the story of The Almond Branch, and he bought both of my cookbooks on the spot!

One of the other women in the office and I decided that if he bought the books, he needed to use them and bring the results into the office. We told him this, but he said, "No, I bought the books for someone else to use to cook for ME!"

Before I give you the update on tweaking the White Chocolate Cherry Berry recipe, here is the recipe for the cranberry pecan pie I made. I think it came from a magazine of some sort years ago.

Cranberry Pecan Pie

3 eggs, beaten
1 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tbs butter, melted
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1 Tbs grated orange zest

Prepare your pie shell.

Combine the eggs, sugar, syrup and butter. Stir in the cranberries, pecan and orange peel. Pour into the pie shell and bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour or until the mixture is firm in the center. Cool completely before serving. If the crust edges are browning too much before the pie is finished, cover the edges only with aluminum foil.

Now, on to the tweaking!

I played some more with the white chocolate cherry berry cookies and this is what I did for Christmas (cookies are in the freezer!) I used:

8 oz of white chocolate (not vanilla flavored chips, but either Baker's white chocolate or Ghiradelli), chopped coarsely

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans

6 oz. dried cranberries

2 tsp. grated orange zest

1 Tbs. water

Also, decrease the oats from 2 1/2 cups to 2 1/4 cups.

I baked them at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes. I used a 1 oz disher (a small ice cream scoop you can find in restaurant supply stores). One oz is equal to 2 Tbs.

As I said in the original recipe, it is fun to paly around with your added ingredients and see what YOUR taste buds come up with!

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