Wednesday, March 5, 2014

King Cake Cookies

mardi gras cookies2

Laissez les bon temps rouler, y’all!!

It’s Cajun for “Let the good times roll!”

I’m not a Cajun, nor French, nor a Louisiana native, but something in that bayou stung me like a bee, and I never wanted to leave.

If my mother is reading this, she will attest to the fact that I feel this way about many places.

But really, come on, they have ranking order:

1. Texas. DUH.
2. Louisiana. Specifically New Orleans, or a bayou.
3. I don’t know. Maybe the Pacific Northwest.

Like, I need to have houses in all these places. Who wants to go in?

So, my childhood best friend and I went to New Orleans for our thirtieth birthdays, and had a blast.
(Seriously, check out my Instagram.)
(Great, now I’m currently craving beignets.)
And I never wanted to leave.
Except to come home to Texas.

Guh, I’m torn.

Anyhooooooo…… I love all things Louisiana, and love me some King Cake, but really, it’s a whole lot of work.

Cookies are so much easier.

So my little take on a King Cake Cookie encompasses pralines and caramel as well.
The Ol’ Bayou is known for their pralines.

But cookie form just makes everything so, so much better.
And, a friendly little tip. In order to avoid spending mucho moola on lots of sprinkles, just buy clear, and dye them like Christina did, on Dessert for Two.
Plus King Cake Cookies are simply based on my regular cookie dough, which you can use to make Salted Caramel Cookies.


And hey, Fat Tuesday was yesterday. But ain’t NOBODY gonna give you a hard time for having a Mardi Gras party late.

Trust me.

mardi gras cookies1

~Peace, Love, and Let the good times roll, y’all

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King Cake Cookies


1 stick butter (1/2 cup), softened
1 stick butter flavored Crisco (1 cup)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 oz. caramel chips
3 cups candied pecans, chopped
5 cups flour

1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk


In a large bowl, begin by creaming butters and sugars. Once thoroughly mixed, add vanilla and eggs one a time, mixing well after each addition. Add dry ingredients one cup at a time. By the end, the dough will be thick, and it may be necessary to mix by hand. Add in the chopped pecans and caramel chips. Scoop cookie dough into balls, and freeze all dough balls, or bake as desired. Bake at 350 for approximately 12 minutes, until golden.

To make icing:
Stir one cup of powdered sugar with 3 tablespoons milk, or enough to reach desired consistency.

Garnish your cookies with icing and purple, green, and yellow sprinkles.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sawdust Pie


Are you like me?

Always wanting to try food with intriguing names?

In my last post, I joined blogging friends in Brenham, TX for a day of antique shopping and pie eating at Must Be Heaven.
They serve SAWDUST PIE!

I first ate here ONE YEAR AGO with Jeanne and Kirsten, when I initially tried their fantastic pie.

I’ve been wanting to  make this for a YEAR for you people! Holy moly, what is WRONG with me?!

It is what it is y’all, but the long awaited, here by popular demand, delicious and intriguing SAWDUST PIE IS HERE.


Sawdust pie is simply equal parts sugar, pecans, graham cracker, and coconut with a million egg whites.

What to do with the egg yolks? Make a custard! Or creme brûlée!

So, I took my pecans out of the freezer. Somehow in Texas you always end up with a plethora of pecans, but I’m on my last bag of vintage ’08 pecans. Somebody better send me some, STAT.

Chop those suckers up.


Then you take a whopping seven minutes and throw coconut, pecans, graham cracker crumbs (I had to search forEVER for my rolling pin) and sugar into a bowl.

Add in your seven egg whites and stir!


GORGEOUS and so easy!

Pour this batter of deliciousness into an unbaked pie shell, throw plenty more graham cracker crumbs on top to create a sawdust look, and bake that puppy.

Bake for roughly 30 minutes, you’ll want the center definitely set, but do not over bake.

Traditionally this pie is only served in the Southeastern U.S., so guard this recipe close! It’s served with whipped cream and sliced bananas.

Ready? The texture is reminiscent of pecan pie, but with a graham and coconut flavor – so addicting with those fresh bananas.

I’m hooked y’all.

Find yourself a potluck, and get to baking.


~ Peace, Love, and Sawdust Y’all

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Sawdust Pie


7 egg whites
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs, save 1 cup for topping
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 9 inch pie shell, unbaked
2 cups whipped cream
1 banana, sliced


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients, saving 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs for the topping. Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie shell, and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of graham crumbs on top, creating a sawdust look. Create a foil collar, covering the crust and bake 25-30 minutes. Remove the collar and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until set, making sure not to over bake. Let cool, slice and serve with whipped cream and sliced banana.

Monday, February 24, 2014

One Kitchen, Many Hearts: Houston Edition


Good Morning Y’all!


You see, these 7 gorgeous ladies, otherwise known as One Kitchen, Many Hearts – yeah, I italicized that, they’re like a persona – flew in from all over!

Michigan, Washington, Los Angeles, Minnesota, and Arizona, every corner of our country represented as these ladies met up at Jeanne’s house. Jeanne, the ringleader. The creative cardinal. The crafty queen.

They had a whirlwind weekend of blogging fun planned, and invited me to hang out for a day! It was a great day spent in Brenham, TX.

Brenham, known as “the birthplace of Texas,” and seated right in the heart of Bluebonnet country, is chock full of cuh-YOOT antique shops, and plenty of pie to go around.

It also happens to be the home of this little tiny ice cream joint, THE BLUE BELL ICE CREAM FACTORY.
We will not speak of its existence, as we’ve missed the tours there twice.

Anyways, be sure to check out all the ladies’ posts this week, because they had a WILD RIDE getting here. I’ll just tell you it involves a power outage and a 14 passenger van. I’ll leave THAT to your imagination.

Jeanne, Inside NanaBread’s Head
Megan, Country Cleaver
Beka, Kvetchin’ Kitchen
Kirsten, Comfortably Domestic
Allison, Decadent Philistines Save the World
Mads, La Petite Pancake 
Kat, Tenaciously Yours



First store, Antique Gypsy. I need to live in here. Like – STAT, yo. It’s like the inside of my head.

I tried describing that to my mother once. She responded “Oh, like a Trix box exploded in your head?”

Exactly Mom, exactly.


Get you some chickens.

Everyone needs chickens. Quilted, or metal Beyonces, I need them all.


Plenty of creepy mannequins to go around.

Allison mistakenly asks one the whereabouts of the pie shop.

That’s right Ms. Calamity Jane. We’re all legends around here.


See? Even Kat, bringin’ the fannypack back.

Actually, she needs it for her Colt .45.



Every visitor to the Great Lone Star state needs a 6′ Longhorn painting over their mantel. Or maybe it’s a Watusi. I can never be sure.

But really, it looks good. I want.


Our favorite pearl of wisdom from the day was Kat’s quote:

“Live a life that would make your childhood self proud.”

My thoughts exactly, Kat. My thoughts exactly.

Thank you Beka, for making your (and my) childhood self proud by eating the plaster cake outside the bakery.


And Kat lives true to her own wisdom.

“Have you seen my puppy?”


Check out these demure ladies trying on their vintage hats.

I wonder who else wore them.

Hmm, maybe I don’t wonder.

Nah, I don’t wonder.

Just them.



Have you ever hung out with people THAT ARE JUST LIKE YOU?
People that understand the importance of squeezing in a bite of pie, even though you’re so full from Monte Cristo that you’ll pop?
People that ALSO trip over cowhide rugs?
People that ALSO have stringent rules over which ice cream scoop may or may not enter the dishwasher?

We’re soul sisters, y’all.

And the best part of this day? Pie. PIE Y’ALL! It represents my entire existence.

Part of a whole, and food to share.

We only ordered 17 pieces of pie, one chocolate chip cookie, and an ice cream cone.

Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

Get yourself to Must Be Heaven, now.

In fact, I’ve got a Sawdust Pie baking for you right now – only one whole year late, since I last ate here with Jeanne and Kirsten.

Like I said, I don’t always post late, but when I do, I make sure it’s six months or more late.



And my booty?

To follow in my Mother and Aunt’s tradition, I found one old, overpriced Portuguese rooster kitchen towel to hang and celebrate my whopping twenty-five percent heritage.

One pretty rose hankie, because these DELIGHTFUL Elm and Ash allergies have my eyes watering more than kitchen full of onions will do.

One cute Hawaiian girl napkin, which I’ll use as a hankie, which *actually* came in a set of four, but somehow in the 24 years it’s been sitting in this ol’ junk shop the other three walked away. *Which* I also politely tried to explained to the sweet ladies running the store, to which they did not believe me, leading them upstairs to search the bins and bins and bins and bins of linens only to discover –

Yup. Only one Hawaiian girl napkin left.  SOLD, for a $1.32.

And one neat old cookbook, because apparently someone can *never* have too many cookbooks, even though said person begs people all the time to NOT buy them cookbooks, as they may, or may not live in a small apartment and can’t stand clutter.



And one final stop. Buc-ee’s. The land of greatness. The hilarity is that while *I* was at a Buc-ee’s on my way home, the rest of the girls stopped at a Buc-ee’s on THEIR way home. WE WERE IN A BUC-EE’S AT THE SAME TIME, Y’ALL!

Does anyone see the serendipity in this moment?

Just me?

Well, find yourself a Buc-ee’s. And make it a good one. My Buc-ee’s in Bastrop has approximately 63 restroom stalls, one dedicated restroom attendant, 79 gas pumps, and 9,345,362 bags of trail mix, caramel corn, licorice, and wasabi peas.

It’s an experience. Trust me.

All about the Beaver Nuggets, baby.


~ Peace, Love, and Saluting your childhood self Y’all