Sunday, July 23, 2017

Weekend Baking - Dickens in July #ChristmasinJuly

When I think of Christmas, I always think of my most favorite Christmas story, Dickens' A Christmas Carol. I usually manage a reread (or relisten on audio) every year. Of course, I also watch all the movie versions, my favorites being the Patrick Stewart version, and Scrooge, starring Albert Finney.

My favorite passage from the book:

“Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did -NOT- die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.”

In honor of my favorite story, I thought I'd share a very Dickens treat I found on Taste of Home. 

Image Credit - Taste of Home


MAKES:12 servings
TOTAL TIME:Prep: 35 min. Bake: 35 min.

2-1/4 cups pecan halves
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, cubed

2 eggs
1-1/4 cups 2% milk
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 slices white bread, crusts removed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Whipped cream

  1. In a small bowl, toss pecans with brown sugar. In a small heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Heat 5-7 minutes or until golden brown, stirring constantly; stir into pecan mixture.
  2. Remove 12 of the pecans; place on foil to cool. Transfer half of the remaining pecan mixture to a food processor; process until smooth. Add remaining pecan mixture; pulse until chopped.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, sugars, vanilla, cinnamon and salt until blended. Stir in bread; let stand about 15 minutes or until bread is softened. Add pecan mixture, stirring gently to swirl (do not combine completely).
  4. For topping, divide butter among 12 ungreased muffin cups; sprinkle with brown sugar. Spoon bread mixture into cups. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a knife near center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cups; invert onto dessert plates. Serve warm; top with whipped cream and reserved pecans. Yield: 12 servings.

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