Blue Ribbon Carrot Cake Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons crushed pineapple
  • Additional confectioners’ sugar


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the eggs and extracts.
  3. Combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, ginger and nutmeg; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  4. Stir in the pecans, carrots and raisins.
  5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets.
  6. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar.
  7. Bake at 350° for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  9. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar
    and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  10. Stir in pecans and pineapple.
  11. Spread over the bottoms of half of the cookies; top with remaining
  12. Sprinkle both sides with additional confectioners’ sugar.
  13. Store in the refrigerator.

Yield: 4 dozen.

 To Make Ahead

Package cookies in an airtight container, separating layers with waxed paper and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in a single layer before filling.


  • 1 prepared single pie crust
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup semi sweet or milk chocolate chip for decorating


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large non-stick pan, combine butter, pecans, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt and eggs. Cook on the stove top over medium-low heat just until thickened. (You don’t want it dry, just slightly thickened, about the consistency of pudding). Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Unroll dough and using a 3″ cookie cutter, cut out circles. Gently fold about 1/8-1/4″ up on the edges.
  4. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the pecan mixture into each circle. Making-Pecan-Pie-Cookies
  5. Place on a parchment lined pan (it’s important to line it) and bake 8 minutes or until filling is just set. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
  6. Place chocolate chips in a small Ziploc bag (use brand name, the store brands tend to leak). Microwave about 15 seconds or until mostly melted.
  7. Snip off a tiny corner of the baggie and drizzle chocolate over the cookies.
  8. Cool until set.



  1. Follow this croissants dough recipe through step 7.
  2. Roll the dough out to about 1/3-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch cutter, cut as many rounds as you can, then roll out remaining dough and cut as much as you can, I got 8 cronuts. Place the cronuts on a floured baking sheet.
  3. Cover with large towel and place in a warm place in your kitchen. Allow doughnuts to sit for one hour.
  4. Or if using canned crescent dough, open the cans of dough and divide into sets of two triangles. Press the 2 triangles together to seal and form a rectangle, repeat with remaining triangles. Stack 2 rectangles on top of one another, press them together, and then fold widthwise. Press down. Repeat with remaining dough. Using a 3-inch cutter, cut as many rounds as you can, then roll out remaining dough and cut as much as you can, I got 8 cronuts. Place the cronuts on a floured baking sheet. Cover with large towel and place in a warm place in your kitchen. Allow doughnuts to sit for one hour.
  5. While the doughnuts rest make the caramel.
  6. Make the frosting,
  7. Make the apple pecan pie topping.
  8. Heat a pot of oil to 375 degrees. Fry the cronuts in the oil for about 30 seconds on each side, until golden brown.
  9. Place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and allow to cool before frosting.
  10. Once cool, spread on to each cronut a good dollop of the frosting and then top with the apple and pecan pie topping. Drizzle with the apple cider caramel sauce.
  11. Eat! Like IMMEDIATELY! These are best the very same day they are made, but we still enjoyed ours for a couple of days afterwards. Especially heated up in the microwave.

Apple Cider Caramel


  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Add the apple cider to a medium sauce pot and bring to a boil, boil for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the cider has reduced to about 1/3 cup and is thick and syrupy.
  2. Reduce the heat and add the brown sugar, butter, cream and cinnamon.
  3. Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes or until the the caramel is thicken and dark in color.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  5. Set aside to cool and thicken more.

Cronut Frosting


  • 1 stick butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider caramel sauce
  • 1 tablespoon milk


  1. in the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add powdered sugar and caramel sauce and beat until smooth and combined.
  3. Beat in the milk.
  4. Set aside in a cool area.

Apple Pecan Pie Topping


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups honeycrips or pink lady apples, cored and chopped
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Heat a medium size skillet over medium heat, add the butter.
  2. Add the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the pecans and cook another 5 minutes or until the pecans are toasted and the apples are caramelized.
  4. During the last minute add the vanilla and cook another minute.
  5. Remove from heat and set aside, but keep just slightly warm.

A Thanksgiving dessert and celebration ice cream dessert cake!


  • 1 pound ginger snaps
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 14-ounce can dulce de leche
  • 3 quarts pumpkin ice cream (Pumpkin pie, pumpkin swirl, you name it!)
  • 1 small bottle chocolate Magic Shell
  • 3/4 cup candied pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Trace the bottom of a 9 inch spring-form pan on parchment paper, and cut out a circle to lay in the bottom of the pan.
  3. Using a food processor or high-powered blender, pulse the gingersnaps until they reach a fine crumb. Add the melted butter and egg and pulse a few more times to combine.
  4. Press the gingersnap mixture evenly over the bottom of the spring-form pan, and up the sides approximately 2 inches.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Once out of the oven, cut a parchment paper strip 4 inches high, and a little over 2 feet long, to line the perimeter of the pan. Tuck the parchment paper strip carefully between the crust walls and the sides of the pan. Adjust the paper ring to fit snugly around the crust the secure with a paper clip. Press the crust back gently if it has slumped a little.
  7. Spread the entire can of dulce de leche over the bottom of the crust. Then place the crust in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill.
  8. Scoop the ice cream into the crust and press down using a piece of wax paper. Smooth the top with a spatula. Place back in the freezer to firm up–30-60 minutes.
  9. Then release the sides of the spring-form pan and remove the ring and parchment paper.
  10. Shake the chocolate magic shell vigorously, then drizzle around the edges. Once the edges of the cake are covered in chocolate, drizzle the magic shell in the middle of the cake.
  11. Quickly top with candied pecans, before the magic shell hardens.
  12. Place back in the freezer until ready to serve.


If you plan to wait more than 1 day to serve the cake, wrap it well with foil, followed by a layer of plastic wrap.

Caramel Apple Muffins
Any one who loves caramel apples will love these muffins. These are great served with breakfast, or with coffee.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped peeled tart apple
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 12 caramels, chopped


  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon
    and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg, milk, butter and vanilla.
    Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apple, pecans and
    Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Combine topping
    ingredients; sprinkle over batter.
    Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake portion comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing
    from pans to wire racks. Serve warm. Yield: 14 muffins.

If the name of this recipe alone doesn’t make you want to jump up and get it in the oven, I don’t know what else could convince you.


  • 1 whole wheel of Brie
  • 1 cup Kahlua
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (I left mine whole because I like they way they look)
  • Accompaniment: crackers


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Start by carefully slicing the rind off the top of the Brie wheel, but do not remove completely. Bake for 15 minutes. When the Brie is done baking, the top can be easily removed to expose the creamy cheese.
  3. While the Brie is baking, in a medium saucepan, bring Kahlua and brown sugar to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until a syrupy consistency is made. Throw the pecans in for 2 minutes at the end to warm them through and completely cover with the sauce.
  4. Remove the Brie from the oven (removing top rind) and pour Kahlua sauce over the Brie.
  5. Serve warm with crackers.