Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Holiday Ice Cream Pecan Ball

 Karri Perry’s Holiday Ice Cream Pecan Ball

This is a great make-ahead dessert! Make the nuts ahead and assemble each pecan ball in advance of your event.  

Vanilla ice cream covered in chopped pralines, and toasted salted, buttery pecans… floating on a pool of caramel, topped with chocolate fudge, whipped cream, a mint sprig and a cherry.

For this recipe, make sure you have ample freezer space.  The prepared ice cream pecan balls will be made ahead and wait in the freezer until ready to serve.


4 cups of chopped pecans -divided

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon 

1/8 tsp apple pie or pumpkin pie spice 

1/8 tsp salt

1 large egg (using the white only)


3 Tbs butter

1/2 tsp sea salt


Good Vanilla Ice Cream (I used Kroger Private Selection Country Vanilla-it’s my favorite)

Hershey’s Hot Fudge 

Hershey’s Caramel Sauce

Whipped Cream

Maraschino Cherries 

Fresh Mint Sprigs

For the Pralines (make ahead):

Use 2 cups of the chopped pecans

Using 1 large egg white-froth with a fork. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Mix together 1/4 cup light brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon apple or pumpkin pie spice, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.


Froth the egg white for about 30 seconds with a fork, add the vanilla. Add the 2 cups of chopped pecans to coat in the frothy egg white mixture. 

Add the brown sugar, spices and salt to the nuts.  Coat the nuts and pour the coated nuts onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  

Spread the nuts out, evenly into one layer.  Bake on the middle rack of a preheated 300 degree oven for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, carefully stir nuts around on the baking sheet, this will help to dry them out. Again, make sure they are in one layer. Return the nuts to the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes until they look dry, and the nuts a fragrant.  Do not allow the nuts to over darken or burn.

Let the pralines cool to room temperature.  Store in a covered air-tight container until ready to use. If any nuts are clumped together, simply crumble or break them apart.

For the Toasted Buttery-Salted Pecans (make ahead)

Use 2 cups of chopped nuts

3 Tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon sea salt

In a small bowl, pour melted butter over the chopped pecans. Stir to coat.  On a parchment lined baking sheet, spread the nuts, sprinkle with the salt. Bake for 20-30 minutes on the middle rack of a preheated 300 degree oven. Allow nuts to cool to room temperature, before storing in an air-tight container.


Use a freezer safe plate or deep plastic container to place finished pecan balls upon after making.  Again, be sure to have freezer space to store the prepared pecan balls.

Mix 1 cup each of the chopped pralines and buttery salted chopped pecans together and place on a rimmed baking sheet in one even layer.  Set aside.

Using a large scoop (1-per serving), scoop 6 ice cream balls. Roll each scoop of vanilla ice cream in the chopped nuts.  Working quickly. press gently to adhere the nuts to the ice cream.  Replenish nuts as necessary.

Place the prepared ice cream pecan balls into the freezer right away to firm up-leave pecan balls in the freezer-covered, until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, on a plate or shallow bowl, add 2 Tablespoons of caramel onto the plate. Place the pecan ball on the caramel. Top pecan ball with 2-3 Tablespoons of hot fudge (gently warm chocolate in microwave if desired) top with whipped cream, mint and cherry.. 


Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Holiday Appetizer: Warm Bacon with Spiced Apple and Pear over Whipped Goat Cheese


Holiday Appetizer: Warm Bacon with Spiced Apple & Pear with Rosemary over Whipped Goat Cheese

1 8-ounce cream cheese block-softened

1 6-ounce goat cheese log or crumbles

1 Honeycrisp Apple-peeled and diced

1 medium ripe Pear-peeled and diced

3 slices applewood-thick cut bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice

1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder

1-2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary plus extra for garnish

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

In a mixing bowl, whip the softened cream cheese until light and fluffy, add the goat cheese and continue to whip for 1 minute or until smooth and creamy.  Place whipped cheese onto a serving platter-set aside, or place back in refrigerator-covered, if making ahead.

On a parchment lined baking sheet, add chopped bacon, chopped rosemary, peeled and diced apples and pears.  Sprinkle on brown sugar, next sprinkle apple pie spice and chipotle powder.  Gently mix together and then spread apple, pears and bacon out evenly in the pan.  Drizzle with honey.  Bake on a 400 degree oven on the middle rack for about 10 minutes-or until bacon is crisp.  Begin checking at 8 minutes.  Once bacon is crisp and fruit is softened, pour mixture over the prepared whipped cheese.  Sprinkle with a tiny pinch is sea salt. Serve with warm baguette slices or crackers.

Kentucky Bourbon Balls


Bourbon Balls

1 12-ounce bag pecan halves

1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted softened butter

4 cups confectioner’s sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 Tablespoons good bourbon

1 10-ounce bag bittersweet chocolate chips (Ghiradelli)

1 10-ounce bag milk chocolate chips (Ghiradelli)

1 teaspoon butter flavored shortening.

Toast the pecans on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes.  Pecans will smell fragrant-but don’t brown them.   Toasting nuts can be done in the microwave-on a microwave safe plate in 30 second intervals for about 1-1.5 minutes-until just fragrant.  

Let toasted nuts cool.

Select about 30 whole pecan halves that look pretty-with no blemishes-set aside.

Finely chop one cup of the remaining pecans.

In a small bowl add the chopped pecans and 6 Tablespoons of bourbon. Stir the nuts and bourbon together.  The chopped pecans should be almost be covered in bourbon.  Cover the chopped pecans and bourbon with plastic wrap.  Let sit 1-24 hours.  The longer the nuts soak, the more flavor they will absorb.

In a mixing bowl, cream the softened butter for 2-3 minutes. Add the confectioner’s sugar, and cream together, scraping the sides of the bowl. Add 1 cup of the bourbon soaked chopped pecans.  Add salt and vanilla.  Mix well.  Mixture will be similar to a soft cookie dough. 

(If mixture is too stiff, add a teaspoon of bourbon.  If mixture is too loose, add a few Tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar.

On a parchment lined baking sheet, using a 1 inch cookie scoop, portion the bourbon ball filling onto the tray.  Using clean hands, lightly wet fingers and gently roll each scoop into a ball shape-as if you were making small meatballs.

Chill rolled bourbon balls in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In a double boiler-combine 1 cup of bittersweet and 1 cup of milk chocolate chips.  Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable shortening.  On low heat-slowly melt the chocolate and shortening-stirring and scraping the sides often.

Using a fork, lower each bourbon ball into the melted chocolate, coat each bourbon ball and then place on a parchment line baking sheet.  While chocolate is still wet, affix a toasted pecan half on top of each candy.

Refrigerate the chocolate covered bourbon balls for 30 minutes or until chocolate has set-up.

Store refrigerated bourbon balls in an air tight tin or container for 2-3 weeks or freeze for longer storage.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Crust-less Pumpkin Pie and Pie Jars

Crust-less Pumpkin Pie & Mini Pie Jars

Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Favorites

Baking temp: 375 degree oven 30 minutes

Yields: 9-inch pie or 8-12 mini Ball jars.


1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

2 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

2 large eggs

Pinch of salt

Step 1: Spray 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate with non-stick cooking spray.  If using mini Ball jars, set jars on a rimmed baking sheet.  

Step 2: Mix together the pumpkin, the sweetened condensed milk, the pumpkin pie spice, salt and the eggs, blend well.

Step 3: Fill the prepared pie plate evenly with the pumpkin mixture. Fill to just below the rim of the pie plate.  (Pumpkin filling will expand slightly while baking—then contract once it begins to cool) Do not overfill the pie plate, or the filling will bubble over the edges while baking.

If using mini Ball jars, ladle or pour pumpkin mixture into each jar—Be sure to leave one inch at the top of each jar.  Pumpkin filling will rise up during baking—and then contract when cooling.  Do not overfill the jars, or filling will bubble over.  

Wipe any drips away with a wet paper towel before baking. Cleaning the jar edges will make a pretty finished dessert.

Step 4: Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 30-35 minutes on the middle rack until pie filling is set. A knife will come out cleanly from the center.

Step 5: Remove pie from the oven. Allow pie to cool before refrigerating the pie.  

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours-overnight is best for good flavor.

Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with a dusting of cinnamon if desired.

Focaccia Turkey Art

Thanksgiving Turkey 


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup warm water (110 degrees)

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

2 teaspoons honey

1/4 cup olive oil + 2 Tablespoons for pan

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon flake sea salt for top of bread

Herbed Oil:

4 Tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves chopped garlic

1/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

Pinch salt

In a medium bowl, mix together the warm water, honey and yeast.  Set aside for 5 minutes.

Herbed Oil: In a saucepan on low heat, warm  4 Tablespoons of olive oil, add garlic, and herbs. Let garlic and herbs gently sizzle for 3-4 minutes and then turn off heat.  Let cool while making the bread.

To the activated yeast/water/honey mixture, add the 1/4 cup olive oil, and salt.

Add the flour to the bowl.  Mix to combine.

Cover dough and let rise for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, put 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a rimmed baking sheet.  Place the dough onto the prepared pan, spread out the dough to roughly a 9x13 shape.

Decorate bread, creating a design using thinly sliced vegetables: bell peppers, onion, scallion, mushroom, cherry tomatoes, black olives.  

Create a design, make sure to not fully cover bread in vegetables—allowing half of the bread surface to be undecorated, that allows the bread to brown and crisp up.

After decorated, allow bread to rest and rise for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, poke the bread all over with lightly oiled finger tips.

Drizzle 1-2 Tablespoons of the cooled herbed oil-over the bread.  Sprinkle with flake sea salt. Bake on the middle rack of a 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, until golden and crisp around edges.

Use any leftover herbed-oil to dip bread.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Apple Cider Doughnut Cake with Buttered Rum Sauce

Just like those scrumptious farm stand apple cider doughnuts— but in the form of a cake!!

Guess what?? This cake begins as a boxed cake mix! How fabulous.

If you are a little short on time-this beauty comes together in minutes.

Apple Cider Doughnut Cake with Buttered Rum Sauce | Blue Ribbon Favorites 


1 box yellow (butter) cake mix.

2 Tablespoons apple pie spice

3 large eggs

1 cup apple cider 

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup grated apple (about 2 medium apples) (I used honey-crisp apples)

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 

3 Tablespoons melted and cooled butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a Bundt pan, set aside.

Peel apples. Using a grater, grate the apples into a small bowl. Discard seeds and apple core. Set aside.

Empty cake mix into a medium bowl.  Stir in the apple-pie spice, apple cider, eggs, oil, mix to combine. Fold in the grated apple.

Fill the prepared Bundt pan evenly with batter.

Bake on the middle rack of a preheated 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes, or until the cake is set.  Test with a wooden skewer, to see that there in no wet batter in the center.

Remove cake from oven and let rest in the pan for 5-10 minutes.

Invert cake onto a cooling rack, removing pan.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

Transfer cake to a large plate. Brush with melted and  slightly cooled butter, then sprinkle cake with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Serve with sweetened whipped cream or a Buttered Rum Sauce:

Buttered Rum Sauce:

Heat in a saucepan over medium heat:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup cream

2 Tablespoons water

bring to a boil, and boil for 1 minute while stirring.  Turn off heat and add 2 Tablespoons spiced rum and 1 teaspoon vanilla and stir well.  Cool, serve as a drizzle along side a slice of cake. If making ahead, store sauce in refrigerator and warm just before serving.

This gorgeous cake is good enough for a Thanksgiving dessert!! The perfect make-ahead cake, it stays moist for days.  The Buttered Rum Sauce can be made ahead too—just warm it up before serving.  Yum. 


Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup


Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup


1 medium yellow onion-chopped

(about 1/2 cup)

3 garlic cloves chopped

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro-chopped (may replace cilantro with flat leaf parsley if desired)

10-ounce can diced tomatoes with peppers (Ro-Tel)

28-ounce can crushed tomatoes 

7-ounce can Chipotle peppers-in adobo sauce:

For Mild Spice: 1 Tablespoon chopped pepper/sauce

For Medium Spice: 2-3 Tablespoons chopped pepper/sauce

For Hot Spice: 4 Tablespoons chopped pepper/sauce 

3-ounce can pickled jalapeños 

(Use 1/2 can and it’s juice, reserve the second half for garnishing soup.)

15-ounce (un-drained) black beans

15-ounce (un-drained) chili beans in mild chili sauce

2 cups corn-frozen (1 small 10-ounce bag)

4 cups chicken broth (1 large 32-ounce can)

1 cup heavy cream or half and half

1-2 cups cooked shredded chicken

In a large pot, over medium heat add olive oil, and chopped onions.  Let onions soften and become translucent, about 3-5 minutes.  

Add the garlic, salt, pepper and ground cumin, add cilantro-if using. Stir well and let cook for 1 minute.


diced tomatoes and peppers, crushed tomatoes, 

1/2 jar of pickled jalapeños and 1/2 of their juice

add the un-drained cans of beans, frozen corn, the desired spice level of chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Stir.


Next, add the chicken broth, and heavy cream.  Stir.  Bring mixture to a low boil for 2-3 minutes.  Add the shredded chicken. 

Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for at least 30 minutes—soup thickens and flavors build the longer the soup simmers. 

I like to make my soup in the late morning and let it simmer for two-three hours for amazing flavor—and just in time for an afternoon football game.

Fun garnishes:

Crispy tortilla strips

Sour cream

Chopped avocado

Chopped red onion

Pickled jalapeños 

Shredded cheeses

Lime wedges

Bread Bowls

My husband says this Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup was a 10 out of 10, although he did also mention his eyelids were sweating…

Be sure to add the right amount of spice for you… and your guests.

Here’s a visual of some of my favorite brands for this recipe:

If by chance it’s too spicy for you—feel free to add more chicken broth and cream to calm that spice down.

Happy Fall!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Elvis Pie: Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie with Salted Caramel Sauce

 The Elvis: Peanut Butter-Banana Cream Pie

Winner of the 2021 First Place: Favorite Pie Class-Butler County Fair
Blue Ribbon Favorites from Karri Perry

 Peanut Butter Cookie Crust
·         8 peanut butter cookies-crushed (I used Nabisco Nutter Butter Cookies)
·         1 tablespoon granulated sugar
·         4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter 
         1/2 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs

Crush cookies, either using a food processor or a rolling pin and a zip-top bag.  Add sugar, and the melted butter to the crushed cookies, mixture will be a little oily, add the 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs--this will absorb some of the excess peanut oil--and add body to the crust.  Fill an 8-inch pie plate with the cookie mixture.  Press crumbs into the sides and bottom of the pie, creating a uniform crust.  Bake in a 350-degree oven for 6 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let the crust cool before adding the warm cream filling.

     (Make-Ahead) Caramel Sauce:
1 cup light brown sugar
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter
4 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Flake sea salt- 1/8 teaspoon

In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter and add the brown sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Turn the heat to medium-low and let boil for 1-2 minutes, allowing the sugar to melt completely. Turn off heat and carefully add the cream and vanilla extract.  Stir well, add the salt.  Allow the sauce to cool.  

 Cream Filling:
·         2 medium-sized ripe bananas, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
·         1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
·         1 ½  teaspoons vanilla extract
·         ¾  cup granulated sugar
·         ¼ cup cornstarch
·         ¼  teaspoon salt
·         2 cups milk (whole or 2%)
·         4 large egg yolks

Cream Filling Directions:

In a medium saucepan off of the heat, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.   Add the egg yolks to the milk and lightly whisk to combine.  Add the milk/egg mixture to the sugar/cornstarch/salt and stir well.

Place the saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly.  The mixture will begin to thicken as it is heated.  Bring to a boil, whisking constantly.  Boil for one minute.  Turn off heat.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter vanilla.
Stir until all of the butter has melted and the mixture is glossy and smooth.  Let cool for 5-7 minutes.

Pour ½ of the very warm vanilla filling into the prepared pie crust.  Add the sliced bananas on top of the warm filling, making an even layer.  If necessary add a second layer of bananas.   Cover the bananas with 1/4 cup of the prepared caramel sauce. Pour the remaining ½ of the vanilla filling over the sliced bananas-try to case the bananas fully so no bananas are poking through.  If necessary smooth the filling with an offset spatula.

Chill the pie in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours, overnight is best for a well-set pie.  After the pie has been chilled well, the whipped cream topping and garnishes can be added.

Whipped Cream Topping:
·         1 ½ cup heavy cream
·         ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
·         ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Place heavy whipping cream into a medium bowl with vanilla and sugar.  Mix on low for 3 minutes, then increasing the speed to high until thickened.  Fill a piping bag with a decorative tip and pipe whipped cream onto the pie.  Use the remaining prepared caramel sauce to drizzle over the pie.  Garnish with reserved cookies, cookie crumbles, dried banana chips, and chopped peanuts.  Use any remaining caramel sauce to serve with each slice.

Cream Puffs

 Cream Puffs | Karri Perry Blue Ribbon Favorites

These sweet dessert bites only take a few minutes to make and assemble.  Save time by making the cream filling ahead so it has plenty of time to chill.  Simply refrigerate the cream until ready to assemble.

Bake at 400 degrees-10 minutes AND 325 degrees for 20 minutes: Total Bake time 30 minutes.  Bake on the middle oven rack.


1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter 
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
extra egg and water for egg wash


In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, add the milk, water, sugar, salt, and butter.  Let the butter melt, and bring the mixture to a boil.  Using a wooden spoon stir in 1 cup of flour.  Stir until well combined (about 30-40 seconds) and the mixture begins to leave a haze on the bottom of the pan.  The best way I can describe the haze...is like a film of flour.

Transfer the hot flour mixture to a bowl.  Add 4 eggs, adding one at a time.  Stir well between each egg.  The mixture may look gummy-as you begin to stir in each egg--just keep stirring with the wooden spoon.  After the final egg is added and stirred in, the dough will look like a thick-sticky paste.  

In a large piping bag, fitted with a large open decorator tip, fill the bag with the prepared dough.

On a parchment-lined baking sheet, pipe the dough into 2-inch circles, slightly mounded 1/2 inch high. Space the cream puffs at least 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.  Make sure that all the cream puffs are roughly the same size, so they will bake at the same rate-- if there is a row of big puffs next to a tiny row of puffs--they won't get done baking at the same time. Decide the size and keep the whole tray the same size.  **If you choose to make slightly larger cream puffs, please adjust the baking time to accommodate the change.  Larger puffs will require a few extra minutes of baking.

If puffs have a pointy top from piping- use a wet fingertip to smooth the dough.

Before baking, mix together 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of water-mix well.  Brush each puff lightly with the egg wash.  The egg wash helps the puff to look shiny and golden when they are finished baking.  All of the egg wash will not be used.

Bake cream puffs on the middle rack of a preheated 400-degree oven for 10 minutes.  Without opening the oven door, turn down the oven to 325 and bake for 20 minutes more-- cream puffs will be a light golden brown and very light and hollow when done.  If puffs look overly brown, gently rest a piece of aluminum foil on top of the baking sheet for the last 5-7 minutes of baking.

When puffs are removed from the oven, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Cream Filling

3/4 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

·         ¼  teaspoon salt

·         2 cups milk (whole or 2%)

·         4 large egg yolks 
       1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

      2 Tablespoons butter

(Make-Ahead) Vanilla Cream Filling Directions: 

      In a medium saucepan off of the heat, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.   Add the egg yolks to the milk and lightly whisk to combine.  Add the milk/egg mixture to the sugar/cornstarch/salt and stir well.

Place the saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly.  The mixture will begin to thicken as it is heated.  Bring to a boil, whisking constantly.  Boil for one minute.  Turn off heat.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter vanilla.
Stir until all of the butter has melted and the mixture is glossy and smooth.  Let cool, refrigerate until well chilled.

Whipped Cream Topping:
·         1 ½ cups heavy cream
·         ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
·         ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Place heavy whipping cream into a medium bowl with vanilla and sugar.  Mix on low for 3 minutes, then increasing the speed to high until thickened. Reserve 1 cup of the whipped cream to add to chilled vanilla cream. Use the rest of the whipped cream for the filling and garnish.

Stir the prepared chilled vanilla cream to loosen, fold in one cup of the prepared whipped cream to lighten.  

      In a large piping bag, fill the bag with the vanilla cream-whipped cream mixture.  Using a serrated knife-cut each puff horizontally through the middle. OR to fill the puffs, use a filling tip, poke a small hole in the bottom or side and fill each puff with the filling.  Place the tops, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cream puffs can also be filled with just the sweetened whipped cream, topped with chocolate sauce, fresh fruit, or caramel sauce.

When preparing ahead, place the filled cream puffs in the refrigerator until ready to serve, add the sprinkle of confectioner's sugar or drizzle of sauces just before serving. 

      If waiting to fill the puffs, store the baked and cooled puffs in an air-tight container, until ready to assemble.