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Fumi Salad

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This unique salad and “Pot Luck Favorite” is very easy to make using most pantry items and will become a favorite to your family and friends. Its a unique dish that most people will ask for a copy of it as it’s so delicious and kid friendly. One recipe will feed an ARMY of people. A great go-to dish in the summer!

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Ingredients:

 

1/4 c slivered almonds, toasted

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1/4 c plain sunflower seeds, toasted

3 Tbsp plain sesame seeds, toasted

3 Tbsp black sesame seeds, toasted

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1/2 medium head green cabbage, shredded

1/2 medium napa cabbage, shredded

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1/4 red cabbage, shredded

1 c carrots, shredded

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6 green onions, sliced

1 pkg. Ramen noodles, uncooked

3 tbsp. fine sugar

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

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3/4 cup vegetable oil

3 tbsp rice vinegar

 

Directions

 

In a small nonstick skillet over low-med heat, toast sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds separately,

stirring constantly. Set aside.

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In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrot and green onion. Set a side.

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Break Ramen noodles up and set aside.

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In a small bowl or lidded jar, combine sugar, seasoning, oil and vinegar.

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Just before serving,

add almonds and sesame seeds to cabbage mix and top with crushed noodles.

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Add dressing and toss until coated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours

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Serve cold or room temperature.

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Makes 8 to 10 servings. Recipe can be halved

 

Note: if the salad will not be served right away, take the various ingredients in separate baggies and assemble on sight. The noodles and cabbage gets soggy if salad is allowed to sit overnight.

 

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Mediterranean Tapenade

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With summer in full swing you maybe pondering what to serve on a nice and warm summer night or when having friends over for wine tasting, well I’ve got an appetizer for you that has a Mediterranean feel that is quick to make and is also super delicious and very inexpensive to make.

This is probably one of the easiest appetizers one can learn how to make. You can also make this a day or two in advance, using a couple of amazing ingredients that pack great flavors, and is better than a jar of processed dip. Now if you are not a fan of Kalamata olives you can use regular black pitted olives, but you won’t have that same mediterranean taste

 

Ingredients:

16 oz  Kalamata olives 
16 oz pitted green olives
2 red bell peppers, roasted and peeled
1 bulb garlic roasted, and garlic removed
1 Tbsp capers
2 tsp crushed red peppers flakes
2-4 Tbsp of classic or extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

Directions:

Wash red bell peppers and place on sheet tray, slice whole bulb of garlic in half and place on same sheet tray and roast.

Click here for guide to roasting peppers

Drain olives well and add to food processor or high-speed blender.

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Add capers and red pepper flakes.

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Once red peppers and garlic have roasted and cooled, peel peppers and add to food processor, along with garlic.

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Pulse five times, then remove lid and using a rubber spatula scrap down the sides and pulse another five times, and scrape sides.

Turn processor on and pour slowly about two tablespoons of the olive oil into the top opening. Stop and check for desired consistency, if you like your tapenade thick and chunky than salt to taste, if you want a smoother texture add more olive oil repeating last steps.
Again salt to taste, as the olives and capers contain fairly large amounts of sodium.

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Remove and serve with warm pita chips, a nice crusty baguette, or water crackers.

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Heavenly Chocolate Angel Food Cake With Fresh Berries and Cream

There’s a reason angel food cake is a favorite dessert among many — it’s tender, light as air, and tastes, well, heavenly.

The Divine Angel food cake is known for being a delicious, light and fluffy cake, made with almost no fat or cholesterol.

Angel food cake is made with just six ingredients, and none of those six are butter, oil or egg yolks. which makes it low in cholesterol and fat-free. Now lets put a spin on this classic dessert, by adding just a little unsweetened cocoa powder and you really can satisfy your chocolate craving with no extra calories, grams of fat or guilt. 

This recipe calls for cake flour now before you go pick up a rather small box for around five bucks, I’ll tell you how to make your own and its as easy as 1-2-3

To make cake flour:

Simply take 1 cup all-purpose flour leveled, then remove 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and replace with 2 tablespoons corn starch. Sift both flour and corn starch through a sieve five to six times to make sure the two are well blended together. And that’s it!

INGREDIENTS

For the traditional Angel food cake.
1 cup cake flour (spooned and leveled)
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 large egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Berries and Cream, for serving

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To satisfy your chocolate craving add the following steps the recipe above.
Take out 1/4 cup of cake flour and replace with 1/4 unsweetened cocoa powder, and put cake flour and cocoa powder through a sieve several times till it’s all blended together. Also reduce the vanilla extract from 2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon.

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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl sift flour and salt in a sieve set and set aside. With a hand mixer, beat egg whites on medium-high until the whites get foamy, about 1 minute.

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Next Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. While mixing gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.

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Add in vanilla and beat to combine.

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Transfer egg-white mixture gently into a large bowl. In batches, using the sieve again, sift flour mixture over egg-white mixture.

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Use a rubber spatula and while turning the bowl fold in the mixture. Do not stir quickly, use a whisk or hand mixer.

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Carefully spoon batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan with a removable bottom.

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Using a spatula smooth the top of the batter, then using a knife or small spatula push through the batter to release any air bubbles.

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Bake until cake is golden and springs back when lightly pressed, 35 to 40 minutes. Invert pan; let cool in pan, 1 hour. 

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Use knife to release cake from bottom of pan, and remove.

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Top with fresh berries and cream and enjoy!!!

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Cool Refreshing Mango Orange Sorbet

Craving something cool and refreshing on a hot afternoon?
Well how does a mango-orange sorbet sound, made from fresh-cut mangoes and oranges.

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Ingredients:

6-7 large ripe mangos
2 large oranges, segmented, including the zest of one orange.
1-2 cups simple syrup

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Directions:

Ice cream maker
Food processor

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Using a food processor place all ingredients, and pulse 3-5 times

Simple Syrup, is equal parts water and sugar combined and heated till all sugar is dissolved.

Simple Syrup, is equal parts water and sugar combined and heated till all sugar is dissolved.

Pour in 1/2 cup simple syrup continue to pulse 3 times, then add another 1/2 cup simple syrup. Continue to add syrup till smooth or desired texture. Pour into ice cream maker set to desired settings.

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In a few hours you’ll have a freshly made fruit sorbet! Fruit Juices can be used in place of simple syrup.

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Don’t forget to enjoy! 

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Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream With Candied Orange Peel

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Do you remember having orange creamsicle ice cream bar during the summer. It was an orange popsicle on the outside with a creamy ice cream center and those flavors just married again and again.

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Well I got a wonderful easy version of the orange creamsicle that is very easy to make using only six ingredients, plus you wont need an ice cream maker to make this.

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Now I’ll admit when I made this ice cream I went a little over the top by making candied orange rinds as a garnish. If you want to make them its an added treat both visually and taste wise and really not hard to do at all, but if you don’t have the time its okay to omit this step completely, however candied orange rinds taste better than candy orange wedges and the bonus; you control the amount of sugar versus candy loaded with lots of it.

Candy orange wedges are loaded with sugar, corn syrup and even more sugar...

Candy orange wedges are loaded with sugar, corn syrup and even more sugar…

If you do not know how to segment an orange we will be doing that too. There really is no other way to make this ice cream pop without segmenting, well unless you peel the orange old school and you’re a fan of the bitter white pith and skin. In other words if you want real fresh orange flavor and you really want to push this ice cream over the top, then use some of the zest too.

So grab the kids or surprise them with this smooth citrus delight!!

Ingredients For Ice Cream

1 3/4 cup Coconut milk, full fat
4 medium Oranges, zest and segmented
4 tbsp Sugar or sweetener (honey, powdered sugar, maple syrup)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp orange extract (optional)
8 oz heavy whipping cream (optional)
1-2 tsp orange zest

Directions:

Zest one of the oranges and set zest aside.

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Peel and segment oranges.

 

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Rest the orange on your cutting board with the stem end pointing to the left or the right. Carefully slice off about 1/2 inch from the stem end. Repeat with other side.

Note: Cut deep enough so that you expose the bright orange flesh.

Using even downward strokes, slice the skin away from the flesh and discard.Make sure you take your time, and start at the top and slice downward as you work your way down the orange.

Using even downward strokes, slice the skin away from the flesh and discard.

 

Make sure you take your time, and start at the top and slice downward as you work your way down the orange.

Make sure you take your time, and start at the top and slice downward as you work your way down the orange.

Cut between the membranes to segment the orange.

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This will release the orange segment onto your knife.

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You can set them aside on a plate or

bowl.

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Lay flat on a sheet tray lined with wax paper or parchment paper and freeze until hardened.
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In a blender or food processor, add coconut milk and frozen orange sections.

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Add the sweetener of your choice along with vanilla and orange extract.

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Blend until smooth.

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Using a hand mixer on high-speed, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form and pour into a medium freezer proof bowl.

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Fold in orange mixture with whipped cream until well incorporated

Freeze until solid.

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When ready to serve, let it sit out for a few minutes to make it easier to scoop.
Garnish with some candied orange peel and orange zest!

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Enjoy!

Candied Orange Peel

Ingredients:

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4 orange peels, cut into 1/4 inch strips

Now using a similar cutting technique your going to clean up the orange peels by removing the white pith.

Now using a similar cutting technique your going to clean up the orange peels by removing the white pith.

Make sure you are slicing away from you

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Leaving you just the top layer of the orange.

1 cups white sugar
1/2 cup water

Using a large sauce pan, bring water to a boil over high heat.

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Place cut up orange peel in large saucepan and boil for 20 minutes, drain and set aside.

In medium saucepan, combine sugar and 1/2 cup water, and orange peel

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Bring to a boil and cook until mixture reaches what is called a thread stage or 230 degrees F (108 degrees C)

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Use candy thermometer, or you can test by dropping a small amount of sugar liquid in cold water and it forms a soft thread.

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Stir in peel, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Drain.

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Roll peel pieces, a few at a time, in remaining sugar.

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Let dry on wire rack several hours. Store in airtight container.

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Garnish your homemade orange creamsicle and impress everyone!!!

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Cooking A Steak In A Cast Iron Skillet

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Looking for that restaurant quality steak? You know, the rib-eye or sirloin steak that has the gorgeous caramel colored sear and juicy taste that takes you on an immediate trip back to your favorite Steakhouse, but it is too cold to light up the grill or too far of a drive. Did you know cooking a steak using a cast iron skillet is actually easier than cleaning and lighting up your grill outside, and produces a juicer steak using less than five ingredients and four kitchen items.

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To get started on the quest for the perfect home cooked steak, you will need a smoking hot cast iron skillet. I mean a smoking hot skillet, with no surface oil. All the oil you need will be rubbed into the surface of the steak, before you season it.

How to tell if the skillet is screaming hot, well just test it with a single drop of water on it. If you see a sizzle and hear popping sounds your good to go. Make sure you have everything ready as you won’t get a chance to stop once you get started.

 

Ingredients:

Steak
Salt & Pepper
High burning oil, like vegetable or peanut

Cast Iron skillet
Long metal tongs
Heavy duty or Thick oven mitts
Meat Thermometer, Optional

popular cuts

Directions:

45 minutes before you start take steak out of fridge, trim any excess fat(optional) rub about 1/2 tsp oil on each side of meat and season with salt & pepper. Place on platter and cover with paper towel.

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Preheat oven to 450 degrees 10 minutes before you start. Put into oven on center rack your clean & dry cast iron skillet to heat up with oven.

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Using oven mitts take cast iron skillet out of oven and place on stove top burner and turn heat to high. This step is optional and it adds just a little more flavor to the steak, but I like to add about a tablespoon of unsalted butter to skillet. Once butter hits surface of skillet you should hear an immediate sizzle. Place steak on skillet and on high heat sear for 2 minutes on each side, depending on thickness and cut of beef.

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For this post I am searing a thick rib-eye steak with minimal fat marbling, and about an inch in height.

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Once both sides of the steak have been seared move hot skillet from the stove top to the oven and close the door for 3-5 minutes each side, depending on thickness, cut of beef and wellness of steak.

your-steak

Now if you love a medium rare steak then you will want to cook each side to the 2 1/2 minute mark each side. If you prefer your steak cooked to medium, then you will want to cook it a little over 3 minutes. At the 2 1/2 minute mark, you will pull the pan out of the oven, then turn the steak over, and then put it back in the oven and cook for 2 1/2 more minutes.

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Until you are a novice at cooking steak don’t feel awkward using a meat thermometer, it’s a lot better than serving an over cooked steak or worse and under cook one.

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Using a meat thermometer push through the center of the steak to the center of the meat to get as correct reading as possible. Once your steak is prepared to your liking remove from skillet place on a clean platter and cover loosely with foil to rest for 5-10 minutes.

Most steaks are preferred from rare to medium rare. Just my opinion but medium-well to well done leaves the steak dry and tough as there is no juice left inside to redistribute while resting.

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Each cut of steak has a slightly different cooking temperature for rare to well done and I included a basic chart for you to refer to.

red meat chart

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Super Decadent Bacon Blondie’s And Maple Sauce

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Yes, I said BACON!!

Now not everything goes with bacon, but this dessert  most certainly does.

In some recipes bacon can pair well with desserts, especially for those, who do not care for desserts that are “too sweet”, the use of bacon can balance the sweetness out.

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A couple of years ago for my son’s birthday we ate at Slater 50/50, Now those who are unfamiliar with this restaurant, its known for serving burgers that are 50% beef and 50% ground bacon. My son had the turkey burger, but for dessert he chose the traditional brownie baked with chopped bacon inside, and that was DELICIOUS!

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At Apple bees they serve a blonde version of brownie with candied pecans and a maple sauce that is “out-of-bounds” fantastic. I’ve come across a few recipes for the maple sauce and none came as close to the sauce I adapted from Applebees. 

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The base recipe for a Blondie is pretty much made the same, but the maple sauce was challenging to replicate till now.

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Those with a die-hard sweet tooth know nothing is better than a home-baked warm Blondie with ice cream. This recipe takes it to a whole other level for the die-hard bacon fan. I posted pictures with Bacon and without.

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Ingredients:

1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour, sifted
1/2 cup chopped walnuts; toasted and divided in half for Blondie and half for topping
1/3 cup butter or margarine; melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Optional:
1/2 cup bacon or about 8 strips of thick cut apple-wood bacon cooked and chopped; divided in half for Blondie and half for topping

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Directions For Blondie’s:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, after the bacon and walnuts are done.

Using large skillet over medium-high heat cook bacon till its nice and crispy. Do not under cook the bacon, it needs to be crisp!

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Remove and place on paper towels to dry completely.

Using a medium size skillet heat on medium-high, then add shelled walnuts. Stir often to make sure all walnuts are toasting evenly and to prevent burning, about 5 minutes.
Walnuts should smell toasted and have started to brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

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In a medium size bowl add all dry ingredients, shift together and mix well.

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In a larger bowl add melted butter and bowl sugar and mix with a hand blender till mixture is smooth.

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Then add beaten egg and vanilla extract, blend again till smooth.

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Add flour mixture, a little at a time, either using hand blender on low-speed or use a wooden spoon and blend together by hand.

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Add chopped nuts and bacon and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon, set aside.

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Stir in white chocolate chips.

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Spread out dough in a 9-inch pan.

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Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Use a toothpick to test if the center of your Blondie is done. Toothpick should come out clean.

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Serve warm with ice cream, Maple Butter Sauce, and of course don’t forget to top off with more walnuts and bacon.

Maple Butter Sauce Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/4 brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4-1/2 tsp maple extract
Pinch of salt

 

Directions For Sauce:

Using a small sauce pan melt butter over medium-low heat.

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Add brown sugar and whisk together to combine.

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Pour heavy cream, and powder sugar in a saucepan and cook, constantly stirring on medium-low for 1-2 minutes or till sauce becomes bubbly and starts to thicken. Remove from heat.

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Be careful not to burn the sugary sauce.

Add maple flavoring to desired taste by starting with 1/4 tsp and stir until combined. Taste and add another 1/4 tsp if desired.

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I baked mine with toasted walnuts, thick cut apple-wood smoked bacon bits, served warm covered with a rich, sizzling maple butter sauce along with ice cream and its topped with more chopped walnuts, and bacon.

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