Sunday, June 5, 2011

Crackeroon Pie and Amaretto Cream Puffs

Conversation with the Handyman yesterday:

HM:  what are you making?
ME:  Crackeroon Pie.
HM:  What?
ME:  (laughing) Crackeroon Pie.
HM:  You always make the weirdest sh--.  (stuff, he said stuff)  (in the interest of full disclosure, he does like my cooking, but yep, sometimes I do make different stuff)
ME:  Well,  I had to make something for Cookbook Sundays and I picked this cookbook and I had all the stuff at home!  That's one more down....over 40 down in my 250 cookbooks!  (I was very excited)

The Handyman began to walk away.... I yelled after him,  "but I'm making Amaretto Cream Puffs for you!"   He walked back into the room with a calculator and said to me,  "that's only 16% of your cookbooks."
(he has no idea I just bought a new pizza cookbook yesterday)
"oh" I said. "Well."  "Hmmm."

At this cookbook a month...I'll never make it  to the cookbook finish line, so I am doing TWO cookbooks today. 

This one:

and This one:

I tired to do this one:

but I had a really bad frosting experience.    I wanted to make Boiled Frosting for some homemade chocolate cupcakes I had just made (bad experience there too...I filled them to full and they overflowed).  I've never made it and it sounded very tasty.  
I think it's similar to 7-minute frosting or Sea-Foam frosting, which is a frosting I love, more so than a butter cream frosting. 
I boiled what I needed to boil, whipped what I needed to whip and then it said to "cool" it, so I cooled it. 
I cooled it too long and it was hard.  Then I tried to soften it up in the on top of the stove over a double go. I tried to spread it anyway.  I thought I could get one good picture of a cupcake with this frosting (it's not pipe-able, because it is too sticky, like a glossy marshmallow cream), but still a no go.  I probably should have frozen the cupcakes.  Maybe it would have worked better.

So, anyway..... the Handyman and I just had one for our lunch.  (we had a sandwich too)   They taste GREAT,  but look horrible.
I will try again later this week.

But for now...... 
Crackeroon Pie.  It's not like I'm  sharing  a much beloved recipe here.  Like I told the Handyman--I had the stuff, I needed to use a cookbook, so   WAH-LA!!  Crackeroon pie.  
(I just love saying it.  Crackeroon Pie.  Crackeroon Pie)
Making it? Yeah, I'd make it again.  I like everything in it.  It had the best texture.....chewy and sweet.  It kind of made it's own meringue crust which was crispy, and then the inside was soft and chewy at the same time.
It was like this big soft cookie, with a burst full of flavors inside.    Flavors that the Handyman doesn't care for, but I took the Crackeroon pie to our friends house for dessert last night and they liked it.  They liked it a lot.
While I wouldn't make it for my family, I would make it for a potluck.  It's kind of like that old funky dessert your grandma or great aunt used to make.  I'm sure some people are thinking  "oh Crackeroon Pie... I remember that".
It was good.

Crackeroon Pie
for Cookbook Sunday  from the Great American Bake Sale Cookbook.

3 egg whites room temperature
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
1 cup sugar
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup shredded or flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates

Preheat oven to 350 degrees ( 175 c)

Beat egg whites with baking powder and cream of tarter until stiff peaks form.  Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff and glossy. Gently fold in graham cracker  crumbs, pecans, coconut and dates.

Grease a 9-inch pie pan and dust with a spoon full of graham cracker crumbs.  Spread pie mixture in pan.
Bake for 35 minutes.
Let cook at least 2 hours before cutting.

And then.....  (segue into cookbook #2)
I knew the Handyman and his friend John would love these Amaretto Cream Puffs.   We have Friday night dinners with our friends the Miltons, every Friday Night  (that's why I call them Friday night dinners.)  (  Sorry--I couldn't help myself).
Unless one of us is busy, we will get together and have dinner.  It's extremely casual, but lots of fun.   The Handyman and John play cribbage every Friday night too.  It's either 2 out of 3 games or 3 out of 5 games, depending on how long we are making dinner.  They always play the winning hand/game with dessert and they always drink Amaretto with dessert.  (Beer before, wine with dinner and Amaretto afterwards).   I saw these cream puffs and thought of them.

Cream Puffs are the easiest thing in the world to make.  Apparently they must be since I can make them, and do make them all the time, but I can't make a decent cupcake!

Cream Puffs

this is my basic cream puff recipe.

1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter  (but sometimes, I use salted and it's fine)
1 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs

Combine water and butter in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Turn off stove.  Combine flour, sugar and salt; stir well.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture all at once and stir vigorously until mixture leaves the side of the pan and forms a ball.  Remove from heat and let set for 2 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly  with a wooden spoon after each egg, until it is incorporated into the dough and is smooth.  (you think this won't happen, but it will)
Spoon cream puff mixture by 1/4 cup measures  (I use an ice-cream scoop) onto buttered baking sheets  (I use a silpat sheet)
Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40  minutes or until puffed and golden.
Let cool on a wire rack.
Cut off tops of cream puffs and fill with cream, pudding, or whatever your desire.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and a chocolate drizzle.
Yield:  10 cream puffs.

The Filling:
You could do anything for the filling. Even savory fillings.
Sometimes I use vanilla pudding if I am too lazy to make the filling from scratch.
But this day I went to the market and bought everything I needed.

Here is a recipe for the chocolate Amaretto filling:

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 T cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup Amaretto
2 T. butter
2 tsp vanilla

Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. Gradually add milk;  cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thickened and bubbly.  Add chocolate chips; cook until melted.  Remove from  heat; add amaretto, butter and vanilla, stirring  until butter melts. Cover with plastic wrap, gently pressing wrap directly onto the surface of the cream filling.
Chill at least 8 hours.
Yield: 5 cups.

Yep, I went to the market and got all the ingredients to make the filling from scratch, but I didn't notice that I had to let it chill for  8 hours.....  so I resorted to vanilla pudding which I had in my cupboard.  It said to use 3 cups of cold milk.  I substituted 1/2 cup milk for 1/2 cup Amaretto.
It was good.  VERY GOOD.  

I am linking this up to Cookbook Sundays  hosted by Melynda at Mom's Sunday Cafe   as well as  Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads.  And  Potluck Sundays at Mommy's Kitchen.

This is also cookbook #43 and #44 in my own cookbook countdown.


Gnoe (@Graasland) said...

It's all looking very yummy and I want to say The Name too:



Thanks for pointing me in the direction of Cookbook Sundays... Will check it out!

Melynda said...

Thank you for sharing these wonderful desserts with Cookbook Sundays! Now following, I can never have too many great cooks to see what they are up to!

Beth F said...

What a fun post!! I *can* make cupcakes but I've never made cream puffs (my mom made them all the time).

I will have to try the pie recipe because I love dates and pecans.

Karen said...

I *love* dates, so I know I'd love the Crackeroon Pie! Don't care for amaretto, but dang, I haven't made cream puffs in ages... I'm going to have to do that!

Brenda said...

OMG, I have that Bake Sale Cookbook!!! Somewhere. I've never made anything from it either and I already know I would love that pie. I'm going to go dig it out. And I'm impressed with your cream puffs, I've never made them, but I love to eat them. Yum!

Couscous & Consciousness said...

OMG - I have never heard of Crackeroon pie, but I can tell already that I would love it. I have this bookmarked and can't wait to try it.
Sue :-)


I gave up on cookbooks a long time ago. Instead I borrow them from the library and find tons of recipes via blogs.

Friday Friend Recipe #202 -- Greek Pasta Salad

My Friday Friend Cookbook Countdown #202 (#willreallyfinishthissomeday) ...