Pecan Praline Cheesecake

Here we go y’all.

I’m back and I’m motivated.

The reason I started this blog was out of sure passion.

Passion for food, passion for writing, passion for story-telling, passion for life, passion for family…I guess you could say I’m a passionate person 😉

This past year has been kind of crazy/interesting/a roller coaster ride is how I would describe it.

Earlier in the year, I had my heart ripped out of my chest, stomped on, and broken by a guy whose name doesn’t even matter to me now.

Typical.

I started dating someone a few weeks ago.

This past Sunday wasn’t the best day if ya know what I mean.

I’m not going to go into details.

I really, really, really like this guy.

I mean, EXTREMELY.

See those all caps? Mhhhhm I don’t mess around 😉

And no, I don’t fall fast and hard for every guy I meet.

In fact, it was super hard for me to open up to anyone for the longest time.

This time though…this time was different.

I’ve never felt so comfortable with someone in my life…dating wise.

I know, i know, dating can be scary, nerve-wrecking, especially when you start to really like someone.

But not for me. I get super excited.

I truly have to say, I am sooooooooo proud of the woman that I have become.

I have a huge heart.

Especially when it comes to respecting another person’s life situation/feelings/what they have been or are going through.

I’ve learned that sometimes someone may be going through something in their life that they are struggling with.

So, I don’t judge. I’ve been through my hell.

Not to say it doesn’t hurt when things crumble, I mean…I’m human.

Butttttttttttt I can’t fault that person.

Unfortunately, I spent my time chasing the wrong guy last time and now I don’t have the energy left to chase the absolutely, without a doubt, right one. It’s also my turn for someone to come after me.

I deserve it. I’m worth it. I can also make a killer cheesecake 😉

Anyway, y’all know I’m a dessert person and one date night, we shared this amazing pecan praline cheesecake.

Y’all…pralines are my fave and let me tell you…there were chunks of sweet pecans inside of this cheesecake.

I died.

Project!

Y’all know I’m a crust type of gal.

Y’all…this crust. Well…this crust is 100!

I just can’t even begin to tell you.

And then there is this perfect creamy cheesecake filling.

 Now, I didn’t put pecans inside this cheesecake but….the topping.

Oh my TEXAS!

It’s over the top…basically everything you love about a chewy pecan praline.

I mean, I have absolutely no words.

I believe this is what dreams are made of.

I’m also pretty sure this is what heaven tastes like.

I think I really channeled all of my emotions into this damn cheesecake.

I don’t have any regrets about this cheesecake…none at all.

I think I’m in love.

I’m also 100% positive that if someone were to marry me based on my ability to make cheesecake…I’m a shoe in. 😉

Pecan Praline Cheesecake
Author: 
Recipe type: cheesecake
Cuisine: dessert, sweets
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A perfectly crispy honey graham cracker crust with a sweet, smooth cream cheese filling, topped with a pecan praline sauce that is out of this world!
Ingredients
  • For the crust:
  • 2 c. honey graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ c. melted coconut oil
  • For the filling:
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ c. coconut milk (or regular milk, coconut milk is all I had on hand)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 T. mexican vanilla extract
  • For the pecan praline topping:
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • ½ c. heavy whipping cream
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1¼ c. pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 2 t. mexican vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large pie pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the crust ingredients together until full moistened and combined.
  3. Press the crust mixture into the pie plate.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until set and golden brown around the edges.
  5. Remove the crust from the oven and let cool. Lower the temperature to 300 degrees F.
  6. For the filling, beat together the brown sugar and cream cheese until smooth.
  7. Add in the milk, eggs, and vanilla and mix well. Spread the filling evenly into the baked crust.
  8. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the middle is no long jiggly. Let the cheesecake cool completely.
  9. For the pecan praline topping, combine the butter, brown sugar, heavy whipping cream, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
  10. Bring the mixture to a slow boil and cook for 3 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and a smooth caramel sauce forms.
  11. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the toasted pecans and vanilla.
  12. Let cool for about 10 minutes and then pour the warm pecan praline mixture over the cooled cheesecake.
  13. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight if preferred before cutting slices with a sharp knife.
  14. Enjoy!

 MANGIA!!!

Coffee Date Coffee Cake

 I appear to have my crap together most of the time.

But seriously, life has been throwing baseballs at my face lately and I have been left deciding which one to knock out of the park.

Let’s switch to a lighter subject.

T.V.

I pretty much cannot stand when I see someone with a boat load of plastic surgery.

I mean, for me, it’s like, why would I want to change what God created? Right?

As a child, I used to hate my nose.

It’s an Italian nose. Ya know, super definitive with a little bump in the middle.

However, as I grew older, I learned to love my nose because it made me unique.

Plus, I also got a ton of compliments on how I looked just like my beautiful mother, or my handsome father and I thought…I got these features from these two amazing people so I should appreciate them.

Why I don’t understand people that get plastic surgery, that doesn’t mean that I don’t like watching people get plastic surgery.

Enter the television show, Botched.

It’s basically a reality t.v. show about plastic surgery nightmares.

It’s okay, the super hero duo, Dr. Terry Dubrow and Dr. Paul Nassif have it under control.

Plus, they are hilarious.

I just want to feed these doctors…I mean, they do pretty amazing stuff.

So, today, I made them and y’all some coffee cake.

Because hello, cake.

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It’s also date sweetened.

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Plus, it’s actually got coffee grounds in it.

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 So, this is an actual real coffee cake.

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Oh, and the coconut pecan topping

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 is off tha hook.

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Plus, this cake is totally paleo.

IMG_0833That’s an automatic 10 point lead.

IMG_0834You know this.

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I mean, you just can’t say no

IMG_0839to this stuff.

IMG_0840But ya can say no to plastic surgery.

You’re beautiful.

For reaaaalz.

😉

 

Coffee Date Coffee Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Fluffy, thick, squares of coffee cake, spiked w/ actual coffee grounds and sweetened w/ date puree. This all gets topped off with a pecan coconut streusel and glazed w/ coconut butter. Gluten-free, paleo, refined sugar-free.
Ingredients
  • For the cake:
  • 12 large Medjool dates, pitted, and soaked in a bowl of water overnight, drained
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ c. granulated stevia
  • ½ c. walnut butter (or other nut/seed butter)
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ c. +1 T. coconut flour
  • 1 t. ground coffee
  • ½ t. baking soda
  • ½ t. baking powder
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ t. salt
  • For the topping:
  • ½ c. chopped pecans
  • ½ c. unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 2 t. slightly melted coconut butter, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 packet of Truvia sweetener
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. For the coffee cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a small baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Place the drained dates in a large food processor and puree until a thick paste forms.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine ¾ c. of the date puree, eggs, stevia, walnut butter, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Stir in the coconut flour, baking soda, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. For the topping, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl until combined.
  7. Sprinkle the topping over the batter evenly.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden or a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Let cool slightly and cut into 6 even squares.
  10. Drizzle with coconut butter.

MANGIA!!!

Sand Tarts

From as early as I can remember, Christmas has always been a holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus around the table with family.

One of my most cherished memories is learning how to make Christmas cookies with my grandma, my “Mamaw.”

She has a bullet list of Christmas cookies that she makes each year, including Rum Balls, Spritz Cookies, and my all time favorite….Sand Tarts.

Or wait….Sand Tarts can also be called Italian Wedding Cookies, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Butterballs and/or Snow Balls.

Whatever the name you prefer, don’t worry…the cookie is exactly the same.

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Basically, it’s a crisp cookie shaped into a little ball, made w/ powdered sugar & pecans, baked, and covered in more powdered sugar.

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They are absolutely sinful.

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Plus, they are a perfect addition to your Christmas dessert table.

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Go make them now!

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🙂

Sand Tarts
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies/Christmas Cookies
Cuisine: American/Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18-20
 
Cookies baked until crispy, made with powdered sugar & studded with pecans, and rolled into additional powdered sugar for a melt in your mouth sweet treat. Gluten-free, vegan.
Ingredients
  • ½ c. coconut oil, at room temperature
  • ⅓ c. powdered sugar, sifted, plus more for rolling
  • ½ t. pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ c. oat flour, sifted
  • 1 T. coconut flour
  • 2 T. arrowroot powder
  • a good pinch of salt
  • ½ c. pecan pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted w/ a paddle attachment, cream together the coconut oil and powdered sugar until well combined.
  3. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Add in the oat flour, coconut flour, arrowroot, and salt and mix until just combined, making sure not to over mix.
  5. Fold in the pecan pieces using a spatula.
  6. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough into small balls and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake 15-17 minutes, or until the cookie is lightly golden brown.
  8. Let the cookies cool slightly on the baking sheet for 5 minutes.
  9. Roll each cookie in sifted powdered sugar. Let the cookies sit for 20 minutes and then roll them into the powdered sugar again.
  10. Devour.

MANGIA!!!

Gingerbread Pecan Butter

 I’m all about gift-giving.

I think that’s why I love Christmas so much.

It’s the season of giving.

This is my third year to participate in the Food52 holiday swap, where two people exchange gifts.

Obviously I make my gift-ee homemade treats that he/she can enjoy.

I love to make non-perishables because they travel well and keep well for a while.

Everyone loves a good pecan butter.

If you don’t…we aren’t friends.

😉

I made this one extra special…Gingerbread Pecan Butter.

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Ummmmmm…yes, gingerbread cookie flavored pecan butter.

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Is that not absolutely divine?

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Oh yes, hunny.

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Slather this stuff on fruit, grilled veggies, muffins, or stir it in oatmeal…but you know my favorite vehicle is toast.

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That’s just classic…period. end.

Gingerbread Pecan Butter
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack, Nut Butter
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 small jar
 
A smooth, creamy, pecan nut butter with all the flavor of a traditional gingerbread cookie. Gluten-free, paleo, vegan, refined sugar-free.
Ingredients
  • 2 c. roasted, unsalted pecans
  • 2 t. blackstrap molasses
  • 1 t. pure maple syrup
  • ½ t. ground cinnamon
  • ½ t. ground ginger
  • ¼ t. ground cloves
  • ¼ t. sea salt
Instructions
  1. Place the pecans in the bowl of a food processor and process on high until the nuts begin to break down into a silky, smooth butter. You will have to periodically stop the food processor and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  2. Add in the molasses, maple syrup, spices, and salt and process again until incorporated.
  3. Pour into a mason jar.
  4. Serve with toast, crackers, or drizzled on protein pancakes (my fave!).

MANGIA!!!

Flour-less Double Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

Sometimes when life hands you chocolate chips…

you make cookies.

My sweet tooth is overwhelming.

You’d think I’d have some sense to save my sweet tooth for Christmas desserts.

But who am I kidding? I like my cookies.

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Plus, you can indulge in these babies without feeling 100% guilty.

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They are flour-less, gluten-free, paleo, and contain no refined sugars.

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Stuffed with chocolate chips and pecans?

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Mhhhhhm.

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🙂

 

Flour-less Double Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: American
 
Chewy center, with crispy edges, chock full of dark chocolate and pecans, these cookies are to die for! Gluten-free, paleo, refined sugar free.
Ingredients
  • 1½ c. dark chocolate chips, melted
  • ¼ c. pecan butter (you could also use another nut butter of your choice)
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅔ c. coconut sugar
  • 2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ t. baking powder
  • ½ t. sea salt
  • 1 c. raw, chopped pecans
  • ½ c. dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted chocolate, pecan butter, egg, and coconut sugar until smooth.
  3. Stir in the cocoa powder, baking powder, and sea salt.
  4. Fold in the pecans and chocolate chips.
  5. Chill the dough for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Use the palm of your hand to flatten the top of each cookie.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until firm.
  9. Let cool slightly, then devour.

MANGIA!!!