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Easy Pecan Pralines

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Easy Pecan Pralinbes

For years and years I’ve made pralines but never Easy Pecan Pralines.  You see – the recipes I used in the past required candy thermometers or microwaving with just the right bowl and a wooden spoon.  They were always finicky and didn’t always turn out right.

However, last year, after my microwave pralines recipe failed me again, I decided I had to find a recipe that was more reliable.

Pecan Pralines

I started searching and trying and I finally landed on a recipe at Tasty Kitchen.   I’ve made it 20+ times probably and it only failed me once…. it’s now the only recipe I use.

I should mention… I’m not quite sure why the recipe failed that day (the pralines wouldn’t set up) – the only difference was I made them at my Mama’s house and not mine.  I even brought all of the ingredients from my house to hers… they just didn’t work that day.

It probably had something to do with my whole family being there and I was running my mouth the entire time I was making them… I’m sure I mis-measured something or didn’t let them boil quite a full minute.  I don’t know – it’ll forever be a mystery :)

Pralines

Oh wait – but I should make it clear that the day wasn’t a total loss… every single crumb of the pralines were still eaten – we just used spoons to scoop them up!

Family

You see… this big ole family of mine wouldn’t let pralines go to waste – even if they were sticky!! Hahaha.,.. I love my family!

Anyway, I’ve been making candy/cookie trays this Christmas season and in every tray, I’ve included some pralines so I thought it was about time I shared the recipe.

You can see one of the trays I made here… along with the Christmas Crunch Recipe and here’s another I made this morning:

Candy Tray

None of my trays have been exactly the same so far… this one included Pecan Pralines, Sugar Cookies with Vanilla Buttercream, Chocolate Peanut Clusters, Peppermint Bark & Graham Cracker Nut Roll.

Anyway… back to the pralines recipe.  When I say it’s easy – I mean, really, really easy.  Are you ready?

Here’s the printable recipe:

Easy Pecan Pralines
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cups salted butter (half a stick)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1½ cups pecan halves (or chopped pecans)
Instructions
  1. Line a large cookie sheet (or two) with parchment paper.
  2. Place the brown sugar, whipping cream, butter & vanilla in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for about 1 minute, then remove it from the heat. Immediately whisk in the powdered sugar, then gently stir in the pecans.
  3. Allow the mixture to thicken and cool slightly, but it only takes a minute or two.
  4. Drop heaping spoonfuls of the praline mixture onto paper and allow it to cool and set up for at least 30 minutes. You can speed this up by popping the sheet in the frig if you're impatient like me ;)

Easy Pralines Recipe

 

Christmas Crunch Popcorn Snack Mix

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Christmas Crunch Popcorn Snack Mix

I’ve made popcorn snack mix like this about a million times and for every occasion under the sun – including Easy Easter Bunny Snack Mix and this Fall M&M’s & Popcorn Snack Mix and of course… my favorite Candy Corn Snack Mix – but for whatever reason, I can’t remember ever making it for (or around) Christmas.

But then yesterday, after talking to Amy, who was making some while we chatted… I just could.not.quit. thinking about it.  I got a “hankerin'” for it, as my Mama used to say.  When I woke up today still thinking about it, I told the kids I wanted to make some, so they helped and we mixed up some Christmas Crunch Snack Mix!

Christmas Crunch White Chocolate Popcorn Snack Mix

I already had the Christmas M&M’s on hand … because that’s a staple in everybody’s kitchen around Christmas, right?  And we always have microwave popcorn and white almond bark. Those are also staples in our house.  As a bonus, I had pretzels (not so common in our house) but Amy’s mix had pretzels which made me really want  them too!

So, that was that… about 5 minutes later we had a delicious afternoon snack ready.  Unfortunately, being the mean blogging Mommy that I am, I tortured the kids by not letting them eat any until I took pictures and checked pictures and then too more pictures… just so I could share it with YOU!    Now that I think about it – my kids should be mad at YOU, not ME, right?

Just kidding.  I think ;)

Christmas Popcorn Snack Mix

Are you ready to make some of this totally addictive snack mix?  I promise you won’t be able to put it down!!   Oooh, and if you need snack for a party, or want to bag it up for class favors – kids and adults alike love this stuff!!   To see more pics with instructions and sweet little bags I made for Easter, check out my Easter Bunny Snack Mix post here – I have step-by-steps!

Okay – here you go:

Christmas Crunch Popcorn Snack Mix
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 8-10 cups of popped popcorn (microwave or homemade)
  • 8 ounces of white candy melts or almond bark
  • 1 cup M&Ms,
  • 1 cup Pretzels
  • Christmas Sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Pop the popcorn and pour into a large bowl. I used microwave (the "extra butter" variety but you could use air popped or whatever is your favorite! Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Spread the popcorn out on the cookie sheet.
  2. Sprinkle the M&M's and pretzels evenly over the popcorn. Melt white chocolate and pour over the popcorn mix. I do this by chopping up the almond bark, then putting it in a microwave-safe measuring cup and microwaving for 1 minute. Stir and microwave again - in 30 second intervals until smooth and completely melted.
  3. Pour it over the popcorn, then gently stir it up to coat the popcorn. Sprinkle with Christmas sprinkles to make it extra festive!! :) Let it dry/harden, then break it up and enjoy!
  4. PS. If you want to speed up the drying/hardening, pop it in the frig or freezer for a couple of minutes!

Christmas Crunch Collage
 

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread 2

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Walking through the kitchen yesterday morning, I saw the brown bananas staring at me …. again.   My kids go through phases with fruit.  For weeks in a row, I can buy a bunch of bananas and they’re gone before I can blink.  Then one day I buy a bunch and nobody touches them.  That happened last week.

Same thing with apples and oranges… sometimes they can’t get enough and sometimes they won’t touch ‘em.   Does anybody else have this problem?

Broken Banana Bread

Well, I hate to waste so I decided I’d bake some Banana Bread.  I hadn’t baked any in a long time and with the cooler weather, having a warm, fresh-baked breakfast seemed like a good idea.

I pulled out my Better Homes & Garden cookbook for the recipe I always use and was heartbroken to see that page missing.  It’s one of those 3-ring binder cookbooks and my most-used pages often suffer by disappearing after I’ve used them a thousand times.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread 5

So… I needed a new recipe.  I had recently bought this Americas Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (it’s not in print right now) so I pulled it down to see if it had any banana bread recipes (you can also look for it here on Amazon if you’re interested).   I flipped through it and sure enough, there was a recipe for Banana Bread.  I changed a couple of things (based on ingredients I had on hand) and added mini chocolate chips just because… why not??

The Chocolate Chip Banana Bread was delicious!   I doubled the recipe  and baked two loaves (to use up all 6 brown bananas) and my kids scarfed down more than half of it yesterday.  My husband ate quite a few slices too and also took some to work this morning for a breakfast/snack.  Then the kids almost finished it off today (a few crumbs remain ;) )

Loaf of Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Oh, and my house smelled heavenly yesterday too… I would say it’s a HUGE hit all the way around!!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted & cooled
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup vanilla (or plain) yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips (heaping)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x5" loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray - I use the butter flavored!
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the bananas, butter, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla. Gently fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth it out level on top. Bake for approximately 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs . It will be golden brown on top!
  4. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes then flip out onto a cooling rack. I like to eat it warm, but it's easier to slice if you let it cool for about an hour.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Collage