Goo Goo Cluster nachos

Here in the South we love our Goo Goos. They’re made right here in Nashville, and lots of local folks have done lots of amazing things with them: Goo Goo Pie, anyone? I wanted to try my own hand at coming up with a recipe for them (although, good heavens they’re amazing just plain), and this is what I came up with! Goo Goo Cluster nachos are easy to make, and can be scaled up or down on the homemade scale as far as you want; I landed somewhere in the middle.

What else would you top these with? Any ideas?

For the record, this post is not in any way sponsored by Goo Goo; I just think they’re fabulous.

Goo Goo Cluster nachos

Ingredients

  • 1/2 package puff pastry sheets, thawed
  • 4 Goo Goo Clusters (I used original, but any would be great!)
  • Caramel sauce (I used homemade; any will do)
  • Whipped cream
  • Optional colored sugar or sprinkles for topping

Instructions

  1. Slice puff pastry sheets into triangles and bake at 400F for 12-15 minutes until golden brown
  2. While the pastry is cooking, chop the Goo Goos and have them ready
  3. As soon as the pastry is done pull each one partially open and drop in a few pieces of chopped Goo Goo (this will make the Goo Goos melty and even more awesome), and put them all on a plate
  4. Drizzle with caramel sauce, then sprinkle with any remaining Goo Goo pieces
  5. Serve with whipped cream in a bowl for dipping

Thai peanut noodles

This is, no kidding, Peanut’s new favorite lunch. And mine too! It’s one I found on Rumble in the Kitchen a while back, and I can’t believe how long it took me to try it! I’m on my third batch of it in as many weeks.

I doubled the spice level of mine because my heat tolerance is certifiable; otherwise I didn’t adapt it much. Any suggestions for other things to add to this to get some variety going?

Thai peanut noodles

Ingredients

  • 1 box spaghetti noodles
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter*
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp Thai Red Curry Paste (this makes it SPICY; use more like 1/2 tsp. if you don’t want a lot of heat, or substitute with cayenne pepper to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions
  2. While the pasta cooks, measure everything but the pasta water into a large serving bowl; mix till well combined (this will make a very thick sauce)
  3. When the pasta is done, add it along with 1/2 cup of the cooking water to the bowl and stir it all around till everything is well mixed and the noodles are coated
  4. Serve warm, or store in the fridge and eat it cold!

Notes

*That’s 128 grams of peanut butter, if you’re interested; scooping it into a bowl on a scale is easier than smooshing it into a measuring cup!

Add-in suggestions welcome! :)

Baked brie

Due to the great camera debacle of 2010 I’m afraid I don’t have a picture of this. You’ll just have to trust me on its deliciousness. Or, you know, make it. It is the yum.

There are a thousand variations of this recipe floating around, but this is how we do it — always Christmas morning breakfast, and sometimes New Year’s morning breakfast as well (because, hey — more cheese!)

Baked brie

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (I use Pepperidge Farm; no they do not know I exist)
  • One 8 ounce wheel brie cheese
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cranberries, pecans or walnuts, optional
  • Platter of crackers and or apple slices
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp water

Instructions

  1. THAW THE PUFF PASTRY (what? I may have forgotten this once or twice). When I remember I do it overnight in the fridge so it is ready to go in the morning

  2. Lay the pastry sheet flat and slice the brie in half so you have two wheels of roughly equal thickness

  3. Put one half-thick wheel on the sheet of pastry and top with brown sugar and any nuts or cranberries you want to use, then top with the other half of brie. Fold the pastry up around the brie and pinch the seams closed. If you feel so inclined you can tie it shut with a bow of cooking twine; pretty and helpful

  4. Whisk the egg and water together and brush over the pastry; this will help the seams seal and give the whole thing a lovely shine

  5. Bake on a cookie sheet (the cheese could overflow a little) at 375 for 20-30 minutes or until pastry is browned and brie is all melty. Serve with crackers and or apple slices

Go make it! Let me know how you love it. And, uh, take a picture for me. ;)

Pioneer Woman chocolate sheet cake

It’s time to speak the truth about the Pioneer Woman:

She is out to make us all overdose on chocolate.

And I love her for it.

The Yankee bought me her cookbook for Christmas and it’s fantastic. This chocolate sheet cake (also on her site here) was the first recipe I tried out of the book and it certainly didn’t disappoint! Try it yourself.

Pioneer Woman chocolate sheet cake

Ingredients

For the cake:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 heaping Tbsp cocoa
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the icing:
  • ½ cups finely chopped pecans (I omitted; Yankee is not a fan)
  • 1 ¾ sticks butter
  • 4 heaping Tbsp. cocoa
  • 6 Tbsp milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) powdered sugar

Instructions

Make the cake:
    1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl
    2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add cocoa and stir
    3. Add boiling water to saucepan and boil mixture for 30 seconds, then remove from heat. Pour this mixture over the flour mixture and gently stir to cool it off.
    4. In a separate boil, mix together buttermilk, beaten eggs, baking soda and vanilla; stir this mixture into the chocolate mixture
    5. Pour batter into a jelly roll pan (I used a 9×13 Pyrex for thicker layers) and bake at 350F; a jelly roll pan will take about 20 minutes; add about ten minutes onto that for a 9×13
While the cake is in the oven, make the icing:
  1. Finely chop pecans, if using
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan (same pan from earlier is fine) and add cocoa, stirring to combine
  3. Turn off heat, then add milk, vanilla and powdered sugar. Stir, and then stir in pecans if using

Nutritional information: one bazillion calories (roughly) per serving. And worth it.

Sugar spice Craisin nuts

Let’s just run into the mall real quick. It’ll take five minutes. I need black pumps, a white shirt for your dad and…. um… a white…. um… nope, now I’m hungry. Are you hungry? What smells so good?

A hint: it’s these.

You know how it works. They pipe the smell of this stuff through the mall at the height of Christmas shopping season. And they offer free samples. You know, the first one’s free. Mm hmm. Well now you can just say no. Well, you don’t have to. You could actually buy some to eat while you’re shopping until you can come home and make more, which will have Craisins, making them even better.

I found this recipe at Buns in my Oven and went to the grocery store about an hour later. I had no idea these were so easy! Crazy good, crazy easy. Speakin’ my language.

So gather this (I roughly halved her recipe and added Craisins)

  • 1 pound nuts, any kind – I used the 1.4 lb jar of mixed nuts
  • 1 egg white, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (this will not light you up. I promise)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 – 1 cup Craisins, depending on your level of love for them

Now do this:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F
  2. Pour nuts (not Craisins) into a large bowl — bigger than you think you need so you have room to stir
  3. In a small bowl whisk together egg white and water until frothy, then pour over nuts, stirring to coat
  4. In another small bowl mix together sugars, salt, cayenne pepper and cinnamon, then sprinkle over nuts, stirring to coat
  5. Spread nuts onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet; we’re going to bake for a total of 30 minutes
  6. Bake for ten minutes and stir, then bake another ten minutes
  7. Fold/stir in Craisins and bake another ten minutes
  8. Move the sheet of parchment to a cooling rack, breaking up any giant clumps (little clumps are yummy) and allow nuts to cool completely before storing in an airtight container
  9. Eat for breakfast, lunch, and supper. And snack
  10. Put in Mason jars and give as tasty Christmas gifts. Try not to eat them in the car on the way to deliver them