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.