Every time there’s a get together in my neighborhood the first thing that comes to mind, “I hope Linda brings her baked beans!” That’s how good these baked beans are! My friend and neighbor, Linda, graciously offered up her recipe so that I may share it with all of you. Linda titles the recipe “Sue’s Baked Beans” because she got the recipe from her sister Sue who got the recipe from their mom! No matter what the title it’s one great family recipe.
Just the thought of bacon, sauteéd onions and creamy beans and you’ve got my attention. These are a few of the ingredients that go into this Best Baked Beans recipe. Other key ingredients are brown sugar, honey mustard, garlic granules, and to balance out the whole dish apple cider vinegar, of course.
It’s really fairly simple especially since the recipe calls for canned beans. Shhhh …no one has to know that, lol! These beans, in my opinion, taste like they are made from scratch. Our time is very valuable and if you can make baked beans that taste like this you’re one step ahead of the game. These best beaked beans are creamy, flavorful, and a wonderful balance between sweet and tangy making a great addition to grilled fish, chicken, pulled pork or sausages. These will become your go to baked bean recipe once you taste them!
Drunk blondies are a dessert that will have you and your guest’s reminiscing for days! These drunk blondies are a buttery, chewy cookie bar made with bourbon, butter, toasted coconut, pecans and semi-sweet chocolate chips…could it get any better then that! They get even more decadent when you serve them with vanilla ice cream, homemade bourbon caramel sauce, whipped cream and extra toasted coconut to top it off. In fact, I wouldn’t serve them any other way. You will feel like you are in dessert ecstasy!
The recipe for these mouth watering cookie bars actually originates from the Back in the Day Bakery CookBook by Cheryl and Griffith Day. I Found this recipe on a fellow food blogger, Adam Robert’s website, called Amateur Gourmet. I haven’t had a chance myself to buy this cookbook but it’s high on my list! Adam serves up these drunk blondies with a bourbon caramel sauce from Food and Wine but I have my own which I love that I share below.
The Drunk Blondie bars couldn’t get any easier to make. You don’t even need a kitchen aid or electric mixer to make these just a large bowl and spatula or wooden spoon! It literally take’s all of a few minutes to combine the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, bourbon, toasted coconut, pecans, chocolate chips and flour mixture. Then off into a baking dish lined with parchment for easy removal.
This is a great dessert if you entertain a lot because is it’s a total make ahead project. You can make the drunk blondies up to 3 days ahead and the bourbon caramel sauce up to a week ahead. The toasted coconut you want to make the same day or night before. You may burn the toasted coconut on your first try because that cooks faster then you think and you only have 6 minutes of toasting time. Don’t worry, just toss out the first round and throw in a second batch. You will be that much more knowledgeable and ready for the toasty quickness in the next round! Be sure to toast up extra coconut too, because it makes for an incredible addition at the end to sprinkle on top of your drunk blondie sundae’s!
As for my bourbon caramel sauce I have you heat up the heavy cream. This is a necessary step that some recipes don’t even mention. It’s important to do this because adding cold cream into a boiling sugar mixture will most likely seize up and get temporarily lumpy. There’s no worries here though. If this does happen just put the pan back on the stove, keep whisking and it will become a smooth caramel sauce in a matter of seconds!
Ingredients for Drunk Blondies – Makes 12 – 24 bars
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 sticks unsalted butter – melted
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs room temp
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons Bourbon
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup (1/2 cup is for sprinkling over the dessert at the end) sweetened flaked coconut, toasted in a 350º oven on a cookie sheet until fragrant and golden brown – about 5 minutes…NOTE: you need to stir every 2 minutes with a spatula and then shake the tray to distribute evenly ….watch it carefully- it burns easily
1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
Directions – Pre-Heat Oven to 350º:
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan and line with parchment, allowing the ends of the paper to hang over two opposite edges of the pan
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside
Put the butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir with a spoon until smooth
Add the eggs, vanilla, and bourbon, and mix until thoroughly combined
Stir in the flour mixture, followed by the pecans, coconut, and chocolate chips
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden brown
Remove the pan from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack
Cut the blondies into bars
The blondies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Tip: The easiest way to toast coconut is in the oven. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350º. Spread the coconut on a baking tray and bake for 6 minutes, tossing every couple of minutes. Keep a close eye on the coconut, because it can burn easily.
Ingredients for Bourbon Caramel Sauce:
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup bourbon
1 1/2 cups heavy cream HEATED – If you don’t warm up the cream the temperature change will temporarily seize up the boiling water-sugar mixture…BUT don’t fret because all you need to do if this happens is put the pan back on the stove while whisking CONTINUOUSLY and it will all come back to a nice smooth sauce!
Directions for Bourbon Caramel Sauce:
In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil over high heat
You can stir the sugar-water mixture at first just to combine then DO NOT STIR after
Cook until the sugar is dissolved washing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush…just once
Continue cooking without stirring until an amber caramel forms – from 5-8 minutes
When it turns the pretty light amber color add in the butter and keep whisking
BE CAREFUL NOT TO GET BURNED HERE because the mixture will rise up a little here at the butter/cream stages
Remove from the heat and carefully stir in 1/2 the cream while STILL WHISKING – it will foam up here quite a bit so whisk it down slightly, then add in the rest of the cream and butter
if it seizes up NO WORRIES all you need to do if this happens is put the pan back on the stove while whisking CONTINUOUSLY and it will all come back to a nice smooth sauce!
Let cool for 1 minute and then stir in the bourbon
Put the pan back on the stove and TURN DOWN the heat to medium and simmer any where from 3-15 minutes…how ever thick you like the sauce (it won’t get any darker at this point either just thicker)
Let the caramel sauce cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature
NOTE: as the sauce cools it will thicken anyways
The caramel sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Playing at my childhood friend Karen’s house growing up and smelling her mom’s homemade applesauce simmering on the stove with aromas of apple and cinnamon in the fall air are one of those nostalgic memories that will stay with me my whole life. That’s where the inspiration for this show and recipe came from. I contacted my friend Karen about her mom’s recipe and she was happy to share.
Karen’s mom, Pat, used a food mill to pass the apples through smoothing out the consistency and removing the peels . For those of you who don’t have a food mill I am simplifying that process having you peel the apples prior to simmering. Even though the peel does offer a little extra flavor we will take the middle of the road for convenience purposes. For that smooth texture that I like I put the simmered apples in my food processor in small batches. You can skip this step completely by using a potato masher, whisk or even a fork to work out the lumps to your desired texture.
The only addition to Pat’s recipe is that I add in a couple of tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice for a subtle brightness to the sauce balancing out the sweetness. Actually, I add the fresh lemon juice while I peel, core and slice the apples into eighths so they don’t turn brown. I want those cinnamon-apple aromas to permeate the house as soon as possible so I add her spices in the beginning of the simmering. Some recipes even add in orange or lemon peel when simmering the apples but I think that’s a matter of preference and you can get as creative as you want.
Making homemade applesauce is really easy to make filling your kitchen with so many wonderful seasonal aromas you may wonder why you don’t do it more often. You may find your self starting a crackling fire to get the full effect while your apples are simmering on the stove. Be careful if a window is open you may just find a neighbor or two dropping in to “borrow” a cup of sugar.
Fall is the perfect time to make this homemade applesauce with apples in abundance at the stores and local orchards. A wonderful thing about making applesauce is it stays well for months in your freezer. One of my favorite ways to have applesauce is with grilled pork chops, caramelized onions and a little crumbled Gorgonzola. For a simple, gluten-free dessert that’s out of this world you can top vanilla ice cream with this warm homemade applesauce, whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce and a sprinkle of toasted apple crisp topping made with oats! This just may be my new favorite dessert! I buy our local Ashley’s vanilla ice cream and their caramel sauce when I make this incredible Applesauce-Caramel Sundae. So get into the holiday spirit and create those nostalgic memories for your kids, family and friends filling the house with simmering apples and cinnamon, a similar aroma to hot apple cider, that will stay with them forever. Hope you enjoy the show 🙂
4 lbs. (10 apples) – an assortment of apples for well rounded flavors
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp white sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
dash of cloves (optional)
1 1/4 cup water
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
FOR Applesauce-Caramel Sundae:
Your favorite “apple crisp topping” recipe made with oats toasted up in the oven on 400º in a bake dish until golden
1 Quart of your favorite local Ice creamery Vanilla and 1/2 pint of their caramel sauce
Whipped cream (1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 tbsp confectioners sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, bourbon or whiskey)
Toasted apple crisp topping with oats
Peel, core and slice apples into 8ths and place into large pan
Squeeze lemon juice on them slices as you go to prevent them from turning brown
Mix the brown and white sugar together
Sprinkle 1/2 the sugar on the apples
Add all of the cinnamon, nutmeg, (cloves -optional) salt and the water
Mix with a spoon and put on the stove over med/high bringing to a boil
Turn down and keep simmering for 20-25 minutes until softened
Taste and check sugar content, add the remaining sugar if you want sweeter
If you add the rest of the sugar simmer for a few more minutes til it melts
Remove from stove and let cool 5 minutes
Mash the apples with a potato masher, fork, whisk or add to food processor til you get the texture that you want – If you are using a food processor only fill 1/2 way then puree
Serve with a big grilled pork chop, topped with caramelized onions, and crumbled Gorgonzola or do up dessert with the Applesauce-Caramel Sundae…enjoy! 🙂
These grilled marinated steak strips on skewers are bursting with flavor. You can marinate them for 15 minutes and still get an amazing taste or all day for a deeper, richer taste. These little “steaks on a stick”…what my kids call them, get caramelized on the edges from the brown sugar addition in the marinade. They happen to be one of my kids favorite things to have for dinner!
I first saw this recipe on a grilling special with Paula Deen and Bobby Flay. I did add scallions and a bit more brown sugar and garlic to the recipe as always I need to tweak it to my own perfection. This recipe is unbelievably easy and so delicious once you try it you will have it as a go to marinade especially now that summer BBQ’s are here! You won’t even want to dip with these grilled-marinated steak on skewers into a sauce of sorts because you’ll love them just as they are.
1 1/2 lbs. of Sirloin Tips or ribeye
1/4 cup Tamari Sauce (it’s a darker, slightly more concentrated and thicker then soy) OR 1/2 cup of Kikkoman reduced sodium soy sauce
These bacon wrapped water chestnuts are sweet and savory. You have that slightly smokey and salty flavor from the bacon, a sweet candy-like carmelization from the brown sugar, a little kick from the dry mustard and a lovely crunch from the water chestnut. All those amazing flavors packaged up in one little morsel!
Nut or vegetable? Well I will tell you – a water chestnut is actually an equatic vegetable grown in marshes. Didn’t you always want to know that? This water chestnut recipe came about from a Trader Vic’s recipe called Rumaki . Except this original recipe was done with chicken livers and water chestnuts wrapped in bacon with a wet marinade. Now don’t get scared away . Even though I do love chicken livers sautéed with lots of chopped garlic and a crusty baguette this recipe is made without the liver or wet marinade for that matter.
It is some what comical too because your guests will think they are bacon wrapped scallops at first glance. These homemade gourmet little morsels are a must try for the holidays. Your guest’s will love them. In fact, you better grab one before the tray goes out because it’s coming back empty!