{No-Bake} Eggnog Pudding Pie With A Rum Drizzle

Eggnog Pudding Pie

So,

I don’t know exactly what to say.

I don’t even know how it happened, really.

It just did.

Christmas miracle?

Maybe.

This is the second year that I’m posting an eggnog themed dessert to kick off the holiday season. And, yes, I know I’m about two weeks late for the kick off. It’s been busy for me. Very, very busy.

Eggnog Pudding Pie

Two things I need to point out here.

ONE. This is the second holiday season we are spending together. Awhhhh guys, have I told you lately that I love you? Cause, I totally do. And, I’m really happy you’re all apart of my life. Seriously. Thank you.

TWO. For those of you that didn’t know, I don’t like eggnog. I know, how ridiculous. Or, not really, because I’ve met quite a few anti-eggnoggers over the years. It’s just not my thing. And yet, here I am, making another eggnog related dessert. What can I say? I’m complicated like that.

Eggnog Pudding Pie

What I really wanted to make was something with gingerbread. I had been dreaming of gingerbread filled desserts—cronuts, mini pies, candies, truffles—but for some reason I kept circling back to eggnog pudding pie. It could be that I love pudding or even that I’m a huge fan of pie. But, I really think it comes down to this: there are currently three containers of eggnog sitting on the top shelf of my fridge. It’s the first thing I see any time I open the door. Those cartons, just staring at me, giving me the stink eye.

I was over it.

So, naturally, I made eggnog pudding pie.

Eggnog Pudding Pie

Each glass (aren’t these glasses the cutest things?) has a generous layer of graham cracker crust that is topped with a creamy, nutmegy (have I told you I constantly have the desire to add two g’s to nutmeg every time I write it?) eggnog flavored pudding, which is then topped with an excessive amount of whipped cream and drizzled with a rum sauce. I repeat, rum sauce.

Eggnog Pudding Pie

Basically it’s a party in glass. A really, really, festively tasty party.

You know, I may knock on eggnog by itself, but it seems eggnog desserts aren’t half bad. It may have something to do with the rum.

Okay, fine, you got me, it has a lot to do with the rum.

And, come on, is there really anything wrong with that?

Eggnog Pudding Pie

No-Bake Eggnog Pudding Pie with a Rum Drizzle
Yields: About 3 cups

Ingredients:
Eggnog Pudding Pie
2 cups light (or, regular) eggnog
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs

Rum Drizzle & Topping
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup dark rum
1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
whipped cream, optional

Directions:
Eggnog Pudding Pie
In a small bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and butter until moistened. Spoon crumbs into the bottom of the glasses (or, the container of choice) and set aside.
Combine the eggnog, cornstarch, sugar, and nutmeg in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a bubble and whisk constantly. When the mixture thickens–it’ll be the consistency of country gravy–remove it from the heat and transfer pudding into a bowl.
Cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap and let chill for about 35-40 minutes or until set.
Once set, spoon or pipe the pudding on top of the graham cracker crumbs.

Rum Drizzle & Assembly
While the pudding is setting, make the rum drizzle. In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, rum, and butter. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, and boil for 1-2 minutes, or until the brown sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
Once cooled, pipe whipped cream on the pudding and then drizzle generously with the rum sauce.

*Eggnog pudding slightly adapted from Sprinkle Bakes

 

Eggnog Pudding Pie

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Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Fries with Marshmallows

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Fries

That title doesn’t do these bad boys justice.

I mean, seriously. I can’t even right now.

Homemade Sweet Potato Fries.

Bathed in a brown sugar mixture.

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Fries

Baked to perfection.

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Fries

Smothered and covered with toasted marshmallows.

Ooey, gooey, crunchy, sugary.

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Fries

Swoooon.

Guys, I may have just fallen in love.

Just look at this gooeyness. Doesn’t it just make you happy?

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Fries

This is how I spend the day before Thanksgiving. Prepping. Baking pies (deep dish pecan pie, anyone?). Making muffins (breakfast on Thanksgiving is important too, you know). And, eating way too many (not enough) of these fries.

Gosh, these fries.

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Fries Really, a pre-Thanksgiving snack to get you into the mood to eat. And boy, does it get you into the mood fast.

The moment they go into the oven prepare yourself because the smell is to die for. TO. DIE. FOR. It’s almost like bottling Thanksgiving into a spray can and releasing the whole bottle all at once.

Swooooon, again.

Can you tell I like Thanksgiving? And, that I’m slightly in love obsessed with marshmallow smothered sweet potato fries?

Cause I am. I totally am.

Hope that’s cool with you.

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Fries

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Fries with Marshmallows
Yields: 1 large serving

Ingredients:
1 large sweet potato
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons of melted coconut oil
7 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of sugar
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (be generous) mini marshmallows

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. I ended up using two baking sheets for one large sweet potato…you want the fries to have enough space on the tray. Set aside.
Wash and peel the potato. Using a sharp knife, cut off the ends. Cut the rest of the potato into strips that are about 1/4 inch wide. Place in a large bowl and toss with the cornstarch, it will leave a very thin coating. Pour the potatoes into a strainer to get rid of any extra cornstarch and clean out the bowl. Place potatoes back into the cleaned bowl.
In a separate small bowl combine 5 tablespoons brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
Add the melted coconut oil to the bowl with the potatoes. Using your hands, toss to coat.
Pour brown sugar mixture over the potatoes and again, toss to coat with your hands.
Arrange the coated sweet potatoes onto the baking sheet, being careful not to overcrowd them. Bake for 15-17 minutes, and then remove from the oven and flip the tray around. Bake for another 10-12 minutes. About five minutes before the fries were done, I once again removed the tray from the oven and flipped over each fry to ensure equal caramelization on each side and then put it back in.
Once done, let the fries sit, still on the tray, on top of the oven as it cools.
When the fries are a bit crispier and not too hot to handle place them in a large bowl. Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar over the fries. Toss gently to coat.
Turn the oven broiler on high.
Place the fries in a small dish and cover with marshmallows, add more if needed to ensure the fries are covered completely.
Broil for about 3-5 minutes or until the marshmallows are toasted.
Enjoy immediately!

 

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Fries

Caramel Pecan Croissants

Caramel Pecan Croissants

Let me tell you about the time I tried to make monkey bread.

I’ve always wanted to make monkey bread. Always. I mean, come on, ooey gooey pull-apart bread smothered and covered in cinnamon and caramel. Umm, yes please, sign me up for that. Am I right? Yeah, I totally am.

I should mention one itty bitty detail that may not be so obvious. In addition to never having made monkey bread, I’ve never actually eaten it. I know, the horror. It’s actually kind of embarrassing. Please don’t judge me too hard. It’s not like I’ve never had pull-apart bread, because I have…but, it was the savory kind, a cheddar bacon ranch loaf, and, I bought the bread at the market. So, no homemade dough. No caramel. No cinnamon. And really, no way to mess it up.

I decided enough was enough. It was time. I needed to cross off baking and devouring eating monkey bread from the bucket list.

Caramel Pecan Croissants

I had an idea for a pecan pie monkey bread. So, I went with it. I started playing with ingredients and came up with a solid recipe.

Or, so I thought.

There’s one more minor detail I forgot to mention. You see, Matt, my brother, is a huge pecan pie fan. Why does that matter, you ask? Because, this pecan pie monkey bread was intended to be his birthday cake. He was turning 25, and I wanted to make him something less traditional. I’ve done cheesecakes, regular cakes, cookie cakes, but this year I wanted something fun. Something a little different, but still something we could put a candle in.

Caramel Pecan Croissants

Alright, back to the kitchen. I made the dough the night before, I had the pecans chopped up, the caramel filling ready to go, and the bundt pan eagerly waiting. The bread went into the oven and I not so patiently waited for it to bake and brown on top. It was a long 45 minutes for me. Finallllllyyyy, it was done. All I had to do was let it cool.

The moment of truth came. I went to invert the monkey bread onto the cake plate and it came out super easily. I lifted the bundt pan up and half of the dough balls started rolling off the cake plate in a caramel pecan slide. Only half of my monkey bread had stuck together. The other half looked like cinnamon caramel donut holes sitting in a sticky pool on the counter. Ughh. The crushing disappointment.

Caramel Pecan Croissants

Yeah, I’m not going to lie, I cried a little bit. I don’t know what went wrong. Did I add too much caramel? Was the homemade caramel too runny? Did I not let it bake enough? Did I not let it cool enough? Was the yeast bad? Did I just mess up my brother’s birthday? As you can see, it wasn’t a great day for me in the kitchen. But, I had to shake it off (yes, that is a T-Swift reference). It was Matt’s birthday, there had to be needed to be some dessert.

And, that’s exactly what I did. I found a can of the Pillsbury crescent rolls in the fridge and came up with the idea of making Caramel Pecan Croissants. I quickly made the caramel, chopped some more pecans, stuffed the rolls, and popped in the oven. In less than an hour, I had a dessert. And you know what, it was actually a pretty darn good tasting dessert too. These croissants are soft, flaky, buttery, and oozing with a caramel pecan filling that is equal amounts sweet and crunchy. The tops are drizzled with caramel, because who doesn’t want extra caramel, and sprinkled lightly with pecan crumbs. Sure, it wasn’t the exact dessert I had envisioned, but it definitely fulfilled the ooey gooey, doughy, caramely, pecan-y dreams I had for Matt’s birthday treat.

Oh, and don’t worry, I’m not giving up on this whole monkey bread thing. It’ll happen soon. And when it does, you’ll be the first to know.

Caramel Pecan Croissants

 

Caramel Pecan Croissants
Yields: 8 croissants

Ingredients:
1 (8 oz.) can Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup chopped pecans, plus extra for topping
1 large egg, beaten

Directions:
To make the caramel, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once melted add the brown sugar and heavy cream. Stir constantly, over medium heat, until the sugar has dissolved and no lumps remain. Allow the mixture to bubble for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla to taste.
In a small bowl combine about 1/2 of the caramel with the chopped pecans, add more caramel as needed–you’ll want it to be thick, but spreadable. Set aside.
Heat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Separate crescent roll dough into 8 triangles. Spoon about a teaspoon of caramel pecan filling on the wide end of the crescent triangle–use your judgment on how much you think the triangle can hold–and spread filling upwards. I wanted a lot of filling in my croissants so I spread the filling almost to the top of the dough triangle.
Roll up the croissants, starting from the wide end and ending at the opposite point. Place onto baking sheet and curve slightly into the croissant shape.Try to pinch the ends of the croissant together to keep as much of the filling inside as possible. Brush each croissant lightly with beaten egg–this will give them that nice golden brown color.
Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool for about 5 minutes. Heat the remaining caramel for 30 seconds or until of drizzling consistency in the microwave. Drizzle over croissants and lightly sprinkle with pecan crumbs, if desired.

*Caramel sauce slightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

 

Caramel Pecan Croissants

No-Bake Mocha Cheesecake

No-Bake Mocha Cheesecake

I’d like to apologize.

I don’t know where my manners went.

How could I have forgotten to wish you a Happy National Coffee Day?

How selfish of me. And rude. And mean.

Okay, I’m just being dramatic here. But, seriously, Happy Belated National Coffee Day.

How belated exactly? Fourteen days. National Coffee Day was on September 29th. Better late than never, right?

IMG_2731-4

If it makes you feel better, I didn’t really celebrate. In fact, I only had one cup of coffee that day, which is much smaller than my usual amount. Saddening, I know.

This is why we (yes, you and I…no one wants to celebrate alone) need to sit down, clink are forks together, and dig into some No-Bake Mocha Cheesecake.

Or, should I say some No-Bake Mocha Cheesecake with a Kona Coffee Shortbread Crust topped generously with homemade whipped cream and mocha syrup.

Try saying that five times fast. It’s a mouthful. A delicious mouthful. A coffee infused mouthful. But, still, a little long. Hence the shorter name for this dessert.

Let’s break this down.

No-Bake Mocha Cheesecake

Starting from the bottom, we have a Kona Coffee Shortbread Crust. Sounds like a lot of work to make, huh? It’s not. Trader Joe’s has these amazingggg Kona Coffee Creamy Half-dipped Shortbread Cookies, which you simply have to crush up and bam snap clap (just go with it) you have a crust for your cheesecake.

Next up, we have the Mocha Cheesecake. The mocha flavoring is very subtle and doesn’t overpower the creamy taste of the cheesecake in any way. In fact, you don’t taste the mocha until you swallow your first bite. The flavor is easily adaptable too—want more mocha? Add more of the mocha coffee. Need it to be sweeter? Add more sugar. Want a hint of vanilla? Add some vanilla extract. Play with the taste of the cheesecake until you love it.

Lastly, we have the optional, but highly recommended toppings of homemade whipped cream and mocha syrup. This isn’t a very sweet dessert, so adding the whipped cream definitely kicks up the sweetness a little bit. The syrup tastes exactly like mocha—a little chocolate, a little coffee, and a little bit bitter—and adds the perfect final touch to this dessert.
No-Bake Mocha CheesecakeAs a whole, you definitely taste the coffee in this sweet treat. Which, if you think about it, is the ideal way to honor National Coffee Day…no matter how belated we may be.

No-Bake Mocha Cheesecake
Yields: 5-6 servings

Ingredients:
Kona Coffee Shortbread Crust
9 Kona Coffee Shortbread Cookies (I bought these at Trader Joe’s)

Mocha Cheesecake
1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3-1/2 cup Starbucks Bottled Mocha Frappuccino Coffee
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, optional

Mocha Syrup & Whipped Cream (optional)
1/2 cup Starbucks Bottled Mocha Frappuccino Coffee
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
whipped cream, for garnish

Directions:
Kona Coffee Shortbread Crust & Mocha Cheesecake
In a food processor, pulse the Kona Coffee Shortbread Cookies until finely crumbled–I added butter to help combine the crust, but it ended up getting a little hard (still delicious, but you had to stab it with your spoon for it to crumble) after the cheesecakes chilled in the fridge, so I suggest not to use butter, or if the crust needs help combining, add just a little bit of melted unsalted butter to help.
Divide the crumbles into each mason jar equally and press into the bottom. Set aside.
In a stand mixer with a whip attachment, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Scrape into a separate bowl (you can reserve half a cup to use as a garnish on the cheesecakes or you can make fresh whipped cream after the cheesecakes have chilled, up to you!) and set aside.
Using the same bowl you whipped the heavy cream in, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the sugar, mocha, and vanilla (if you decide to use it) until combined–the taste is up to you, if you want it to be more mocha flavored add more of the mocha coffee, if you want it to be sweeter add more sugar, or if you want a hint of vanilla add some vanilla extract. Using a spatula fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake mixture until just incorporated.
Spoon or pipe the cheesecake mixture evenly into the mason jars, make sure to smooth the tops. Let chill for two hours in the fridge.

Mocha Syrup & Whipped Cream
While the cheesecakes are chilling, make the mocha syrup. In a small saucepan, whisk together the mocha coffee, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until syrup begins to thicken.
Once thickened, remove saucepan from heat and stir in the vanilla. Let mixture cool down before pouring over the cheesecakes.
Top cheesecakes with reserved or fresh whipped cream and drizzle generously with mocha syrup.

*Mocha Syrup recipe adapted from Pastry Affair

 

No-Bake Mocha Cheesecake

Coconut Chocolate Cake Balls

Coconut Chocolate Cake Balls
Guys.

I’m embarrassed.

It’s been way too long since we chatted. Way. Too. Long.

A month too long, to be exact.

Eeeeek.

Would it be okay if I told you that I missed you? It’s the truth. Honest. I don’t even know where the time went. Okay, maybe I do…

Coconut Chocolate Cake Balls

It went to work. A lot of work. But, I can’t complain too much cause I actually really like my job.

And, some weekend trips away from home aka the Hint of Nutmegg Kitchen.

And, laziness. I’ll be honest, sometimes, on my days off, I just want to sleep. Or, I want to go out and tootle around. Or, I just have a ton of errands to run.

And then, there’s the real kicker, the heat. I’m so, so so, over the damn heat. I want rain. I want clouds. I want to sit on the couch wrapped up in a blanket, drinking a PSL, eating a pumpkin cream cheese muffin. I want fall and I want it now. It’s simply impossible to have the oven on in my house with the heat. Impossible.

That reminds me, I have something reallllly exciting to tell you. A few weeks ago I officially catered (well, the dessert portion of the event, that is) a baby shower! A friend of a friend saw the Baby Boy Cupcakes I made awhile back on Instagram, thought they were the cutest (I mean, they are pretty stinkin adorable), and asked if I could make them for the shower. Pretty cool, huh?

Coconut Chocolate Cake BallsNow, let’s move on to the important stuff.

Coconut Chocolate Cake Balls. Some have even called them heaven balls. No joke. That’s a direct quote from a coworker of mine.

Moist chocolate cake mixed with coconut frosting, rolled into balls, dipped in chocolate, and sprinkled with shredded coconut. I mean, does it get any better than that? I don’t think so.

Coconut Chocolate Cake Balls

Originally, my plan was to make cake pops…butttt, in my excitement, I made the cake balls a little too fat to stay upright on a lollipop stick, and there was also the fact that I didn’t have enough lollipop sticks for all the pops. Oops. So, I simply made cake balls. Problem solved. They were just as easy as making cake pops, just as yummy, and just a tad bit easier to eat because of the missing lollipop stick. Sounds like a win to me.

But, guys, seriously, let’s not go this long without talking. I don’t like it. I’ll try my best (better than my best) to be around more often.

Coconut Chocolate Cake Balls
Yields: about 40 cake balls

Ingredients:
1 chocolate cake
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut, plus extra for garnish
1-2 teaspoons coconut extract
1 15-oz package light cocoa chocolate candy melts

Directions:
Bake your cake according to the recipe or box instructions. Let cool completely.
Once cake is cooled, use a fork, your hands, or a food processor to shred the cake into small crumbs—if you want to use cake crumbs for garnish, put some in a separate bowl at this time. Set aside.
To make the frosting, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add powdered sugar, heavy cream, shredded coconut, and coconut extract—this frosting is very adaptable to taste…if you want it sweeter add more powdered sugar, if you want less coconut flavor you can either lessen the amount of coconut extract or substitute vanilla extract instead, if it’s too thick add more heavy cream…just keep playing with the taste until you love it—beat until combined.
Add ¾ of the coconut frosting to the crumbled chocolate cake mixture. Once combined, try to form about a 1-inch sized ball—the dough should be sticky enough to hold the shape of a ball, similar in consistency to cookie dough, if it’s too dry or crumbly add more frosting until it reaches the desired consistency. Place cake balls on a lined cookie sheet and let chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.
When the cake balls are almost done chilling, melt your chocolate candy melts, in intervals of fifteen seconds, stirring after each interval, until melted.
Coat each cake ball completely in melted chocolate—everyone has their own method of doing this, whether that be dipping it, spooning it on, or a combination of both (I prefer a combo of both)—and place on the lined cookie sheet. Working quickly, sprinkle coconut shreds on top of the coated cake ball and let sit to harden. Repeat until all cake balls are coated and garnished.
Alternatively, you can garnish your cake balls with a coconut candy melt (or, chocolate or white chocolate) drizzle and then sprinkle with the reserved chocolate cake crumbles.

 

Coconut Chocolate Cake Balls