Sweet Potato Bunt Cake w/ Maple Cream Sauce

This Sweet Potato Bunt Cake w/ Maple Cream Sauce is filled with fall flavors. This cake is dense and moist and topped with a delicious maple cream sauce. If anything, just make this recipe for the maple cream sauce. It’s so good you can drink it.

Whether you’re looking to make a cake for dessert for the week, or bring something to a dinner party or make a new dessert for your thanksgiving table, this sweet potato cake recipe is an absolute winner! Additionally, this cake makes a great breakfast cake. It’s not overly sweet, its just the right amount.

How to make the Sweet Potato Bunt Cake.

The first step in making this cake is creaming the butter and the sugars (granulated sugar as well as maple sugar). Once the butter and sugar are fluffy and eggs one at a time. Next, you’ll add the mashed sweet potatoes along with vanilla extract. Finally, you’ll add the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well, but do not over mix. The batter will be thick, that’s ok. Pour the batter into a lightly greased bunt pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 45 – 55 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Sweet Potato Bunt Cake With Maple Cream Sauce

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins

Ingredients

Sweet Potato Bunt Cake

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1-2 cups mashed sweet potato cooled
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg

Maple Cream Sauce

  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 5 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Sweet Potato Bunt Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 350 F.
    2. Oil a bunt pan. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until fluffy. 
    3. Add eggs one at a time. Once the eggs have incorporated into the butter and sugar mixture, add mashed sweet potatoes and vanilla. 
    4. Add dry ingredients to the mixing bowl (flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt) Slowly start the mixer to incorporate the flour, and then turn the speed up on the mixer a bit until the flour is completely mixed in. 
    5. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and transfer to the oven.

    6. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a crumb or two attached.

Maple Cream Sauce

  • Combine heavy cream, maple syrup and corn syrup in a sauce pan. 
    2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 15 minutes or until
    sauce is reduced and thick. 
    3. The sauce will bubble as it cooks. 
    4. When sauce has thickened, add vanilla extract, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Sauce will thicken more as it cools.

Spiced Ginger Pear Preserves

When I was younger, my family and I looked forward to apple picking every year. We would drive about 2 hours upstate New York, and spend the day, and had so much fun. The orchard we used to go to sold preserves and other food products they made with the apples or other fruit they grew.
Every year my mom would buy either pear or apple preserves from the orchard. I loved the Ginger Pear preserves. I found myself recently reminiscing about those ginger pear preserves, and decided to make my own batch.
I used some fall spices in these pear preserves. I started this recipe by boiling some nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves in one cup of water. I allowed the spiced water to reduce by half and added about 1/2 cup more. Next, I added diced pears, some sugar, crystallized ginger, and grated about 1 inch of ginger into the pot. I allowed the pears to boil, then I reduced the heat and let the pears to simmer for about 2 hours until the preserves thickened a bit.

Spiced Ginger Pear Preserves

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs

Ingredients

  • 1 nutmeg whole
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 cloves
  • 2 lbs Bosch or Asian Pears – peeled, seeded, and diced small
  • 2 lbs Bartlett Pears – peeled, seeded, and diced small
  • 5 oz crystalized ginger diced small
  • 1 inch grated ginger
  • 1 cup sugar

Instructions

  • In a 5 quart pot bring nutmeg, cinnamon stick, and cloves to a boil in 1 cup of water.  Water should reduce by half. 
    2. Add 1/2 cup more water, diced pears, crystallized ginger, sugar and grated ginger. 
    3. Allow pear mixture to come to a boil. After 15 minutes of boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer pears for 2 hours until the preserves have thickened. 
    4. Remove spices from the preserves. 





Lobster Mac and Cheese

Lobster Ma & Cheese is rich and decadent as Mac and Cheese except there are tender bits of buttery lobster mixed in.  This recipe is the perfect combination of cheesy, creamy, and gooey goodness.  When I decided to create this recipe I instantly thought about the delicious creamy lobster sauce from my Shrimp and Grits recipe (side note, if you haven’t tried it its definitely a must try 😉 ).  This Lobster Mac and Cheese essentially is a combination of my Shrimp and Grits recipe with my Mac and Cheese recipe.  I started this recipe by broiling 1 pound of lobster tails. I simply seasoned the lobster with Old Bay and butter.  If you don’t want to buy lobster tails, you can for sure buy lobster meat. If you buy the lobster meat, it will be cooked already so it will save you the step of broiling the lobster. However if you are broiling the lobster tails, it’s important to watch them so they don’t over cook. The last thing you want is dry tough lobster. Once the lobster tails are finished cooking allow them to cool to room temperature, so you can chop it.  While the lobster is in the broiler grate and dice the cheddar cheese.  It’s very important to grate the cheese by hand instead of using shredded cheese from a bag, it is not the same, Trust Me!! Shredded cheese that comes in a bag is actually coated in an anti-caking agent so the cheese won’t stick together in the bag, which is the reason why it won’t melt that great in a sauce.

Next I created a cheese sauce.  While you’re making your cheese sauce, boil your pasta.  The creamy cheese sauce is made with milk, shredded cheddar cheese, and lobster base.  I start the cheese sauce with butter and flour, to create a roux.  (Read more about what a roux is from The Best Mac and Cheese post. Add Old Bay seasoning and lobster base to your roux. Once the roux has cooked, you will add your milk.  Continue to mix the milk mixture until smooth, add shredded cheese, and whisk until the cheese has melted completely.

When the macaroni is cooked, I drain the macaroni and dump it into a big bowl. I mix in the lobster cheese sauce, and season to taste with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and granulated onion. Next, I mix in the chopped lobster, and the diced cheddar cheese.  I pour the mac and cheese into a baking pan and bake on 350 degrees for about 30 – 35 minutes. When I take the mac and cheese out of the oven, I like to add another handful or two of shredded cheese on top, and put the pan back in the oven just long enough for the cheese to melt.

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp Better Than Bullion Lobster Base
  • 1/2 tbsp Old Bay
  • 25 oz white cheddar cheese divided shred 12 oz, and dice the other 12
  • 1 lb lobster meat cooked

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. 
    2.Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package, 8 to 10 minutes. 
    3.Meanwhile melt butter in a large skillet, whisk in flour until smooth.
    4.Gradually whisk in warm milk, old bay, and lobster base.  Cook, whisking constantly, 5
    minutes or until thickened.
    5.Whisk in the shredded cheese.  
    6.Place cooked macaroni in a large bowl, mix in cheese sauce, season with granulated onion, granulated garlic. 
    7.Mix in lobster meat and cubed cheese.  
    8.Spoon pasta mixture into a lightly greased 9×12 inch baking dish.
    9. Bake for 30 minutes






Slow Cooker Chicken Soup

What is more comforting than a warm bowl of chicken soup. The weather in Charlotte is finally transitioning from summer to fall, and we are getting some cool weather. Soup is just the perfect thing to eat when the weather is chilly.

When it comes to chicken soup, my recipe is pretty simple. I simply put carrots, celery, caramelized onions, and of course, chicken. I allow the chicken to cook in the soup. I usually remove the chicken skin before adding the chicken to the soup. I personally don’t like the texture of the chicken skin after it’s been boiled in the soup, plus it makes the soup oily. If you leave the skin on the chicken when cooking it in the soup, there is more fat to skim off the top of the soup when the soup has cooled.

I usually make my soup on the stove, but for the first time, I decided to make the soup in the slow cooker. It was nice to just “set it and forget it.” To make this chicken soup, I caramelized onions, sauteed carrots, and celery, and added the vegetables to the slow cooker. Cooking the vegetables isn’t necessary because they will cook in the soup, but I just love 😍 the flavor of caramelized onions. The next step is adding a whole chicken to the slow cooker, and adding enough water to cover the chicken, about 8 – 10 cups of water. I also add 2 bay leaves, about 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and season my soup with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and granulated onion. The soup cooks on high for about 4-6 hours in the slow cooker. However, if you want to put the soup while you’re at work, you can sautee your vegetables the day before and refrigerate them overnight. Before you go to work, you can put your vegetables in the pot and add your chicken. You can set your slow cooker to low, and it will be ready in about 6-8 hours.

After about 5 hours (on high temperature), I turned the slow cooker off. Next, I removed the chicken from the slow cooker. I placed the chicken on a cutting board and allowed it to cool a bit. Once the chicken was cool to touch, I removed the meat from the bones, cut the chicken, and added it back to the pot.

Slow Cooker Chicken Soup

This homemade chicken soup is made in the slow cooker.  Just set it and forget it. Its loaded with
vegetables and broth is made as the chicken cooks in the soup. 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time6 hrs

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, sautee onions, When the onions are done, sautee the carrots, and then the celery. 
    2. Remove skin from chicken
    3. Put sauteed vegetables in a large slow cooker (I have a 10 quart slow cooker)
    4. Place chicken in the slow cooker, and cover with 8-10 cups of water. 
    5. Add bay leaves, lemon juice, and season to taste with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and granulated onion. Set slow cooker to high.
    6. After about 6 hours, remove chicken from the slow cooker.  Turn slow cooker off.  Allow chicken to cool, cut up chicken and add it back to soup.

Thanksgiving Menu – Step by Step

I love having people over for dinner; however, planning and prepping is a lot of work. From the grocery shopping to cleaning the house, to prepping the meal and cooking it, it’s not always easy. Don’t even get me started on the cleanup, before and afterward. Just that list of things to do alone may deter someone from throwing a dinner party.

The most valuable bit of information I learned in Culinary School was the importance of knowing the cook times of the various items on the menu. That way, I know what to cook when. When it’s time for the dinner party to start, everything should be cooked and prepared so I can enjoy the party with my guests.

My mom is a schedule person, and I’m a list person. Every year for Thanksgiving, my mom and my aunt would alternate having Thanksgiving dinner. The year I finished culinary school, my mom and I hosted a Thanksgiving dinner. That was the year she took what I learned about scheduling to the next level. She created this extensive schedule that was color-coded and everything. My mother, brother, sister, and I each had our colors on the chart. BJ’s, Costco, and Stop and Shop each had their own individual colors on the chart.

I will never forget the story my mom always tells about the time she went shopping with her Thanksgiving checklist; it must have been about 3-4 pages. She ran into our next-door neighbor, and he asked her what she was holding, and she said it was her Thanksgiving chart. She explained to him how it kept us all organized. She pointed out her shopping list for each store and showed him the jobs she delegated to the family. He was shocked at how detailed it was.

I am going to share with you the Thanksgiving guide from start to finish. Everything from grocery shopping to dinner on the table. This menu includes the classic Thanksgiving favorites, mac and cheese, stuffing (or dressing), collard greens, candied sweet potatoes, cornbread, ham, and of course, turkey and gravy.

Shopping List

Meats

1 (12lb) Turkey
1 (9lb) Spiral Ham
1 large ham hock (or 2-3 medium sized ham hocks)

Dairy

2-1/2 lbs butter
1 cup buttermilk
4 cup whole milk
7 large eggs
25 oz cheddar cheese (divided)

Produce

7-1/2 lbs Sweet Potatoes (about 9 medium – large sweet potatoes)
2 – 1/2 quarts Apple Cider
2 (.5oz) packages of sage
3 onions
1 bunch celery
5 carrots
2 medium sized apple
3 lbs collard greens
About 24 lemons (4 cups lemon juice)

Other

2 cups Cornmeal
2 cups Bread Flour
1 – 1/2 cups cake flour
2 cups + 3 tbsp All purpose flour
1 lb box of macaroni
1 12oz bag herbed stuffing mix
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cups honey
2 (8.5 oz) cans of Sweet cream style corn
6 cups sugar
1 cup plus 3 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp bourbon
1/4 cup Shortening (cold)
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup hot sauce
About 8 large chicken bullion cubes
1 750 ml bottle of white wine
1/4 cup of brandy
1/4 cup Amaretto Liquor

Spices

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
4 cinnamon sticks
2 inches ginger sliced
10 cloves
2 nutmeg smashed
1 box of Bells Poultry Seasoning

Menu

Sage Apple Turkey
Spiral Ham
Baked Mac & Cheese
Sage & Apple Stuffing
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Collard greens
Sage Apple Lemonade
Pumpkin Spice Sangria
Sweet Potato Bourbon Pecan Pie

** Side note, in this menu I used many chicken bullion cubes to make liquid for basting the turkey, the stuffing, and the injection liquid. If you have the time feel free to make a large pot of turkey stock ahead of time to use in place of chicken bullion. 

Schedule

Saturday or Sunday before Thanksgiving – Do your grocery shopping

Sunday before Thanksgiving

• Slice 1 medium apple
• Make simple syrup for Sage Apple Lemonade & Pumpkin Spice Sangria
• Make Pie Dough
• Grate cheddar cheese, & cut cheddar cheese in cubes

Monday

• Boil Ham hock – cut up ham hock and reserve the liquid
• Cut and clean collard greens while ham hock is cooking.
• Set up buffet set up.  Meaning set up where your plates, forks, knives, spoons, napkins, cups and napkins will go.  At this time you should also set up chafing dishes.  Count how many dishes you have.  For this menu there are 6 items, plus cornbread and gravy.  You would need 3 double chafing dishes, sterno racks, or 6 individual dishes for your buffet. 
• As part of your buffet set up, make sure you put the sternos out, as well as lighters to light them. That way on Thanksgiving day everything is all set up, and that is a job you can ask someone to do.

Tuesday

• Make Sangria
• Make Sage Apple Lemonade
• Peel and slice sweet potatoes. Reserve 2 sweet potatoes to dice and boil for Sweet Potato Bourbon Pecan Pie.
• Prepare Sweet Potato Bourbon Pecan Pie
• Bake Sweet Potato Bourbon Pecan Pie
While pie is in the oven
• Large dice 2 onions, 5 carrots, 5 stalks of celery (Mirepoix) – place vegetables in ziploc bag
• Mince 1 onion, 3 stalks celery, 1 medium size apple – place vegetables in ziploc bag

Day before Thanksgiving

• Clean and Brine Turkey
• Cook Turkey necks, liver and giblets (this will be your liquid for injecting the turkey and basting the turkey and stuffing)
• Make 2 recipes corn bread (reserve one recipe to serve with dinner)
• Cook collard greens
• Prepare and bake Mac & Cheese
• Set table
• Put water in chafing dishes

Thursday – Day of Schedule: For a 5:30 Dinner

• 8:30 am – Take turkey out of refrigerator.
Allow turkey to reach room temperature. 

• 9:30 am –  Heat the injection liquid
Inject Turkey
Season Turkey

• 10:00 – Turkey goes in the oven – Turkey should be ready between 1:00 & 1:30
• Straighten up kitchen, do dishes.
• When Turkey comes out of the oven put ham in. 
• A 9 lb ham needs to be in the oven about 2 hours and 15 mins. 
• 1:00 Put ham in the oven when turkey comes out. 
• Ham should come out of the oven between 3:15 & 3:45 depending on what time you take the turkey out. 
• 3:00 – Make Candied Sweet Potatoes, and warm up the collard greens.
• When ham comes out of the oven, put Mac and cheese, and stuffing in the oven. 
• Allow to cook for 30 minutes. 
• While the Mac & Cheese and stuffing are in the oven make gravy, slice ham and carve turkey. 
• At this time if anything else needs to be cleaned up in your kitchen do it now. If you have dishes in the dishwasher put them away. When dinner is over, your dishwasher will be ready for dirty dishes. 
• Take a break, and clean yourself up before your guests arrive at 5:30.
• Around 5:00 begin lighting the sternos in your chaffing dishes. Start setting up the buffet with hot food. 

Apple Sage Lemonade

Ingredients
Cinnamon Sage Apple Simple Syrup
(1) .5 oz package of sage
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 apple sliced (gala)
2 cinnamon sticks
Follow the directions for How to Make Simple Syrup for the Cinnamon Sage Apple Simple Syrup

Directions
Follow the recipe for Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
Add 2-1/2 cups of Apple Cider
Substitute 2 cups of simple syrup for 2-1/2 cups of Cinnamon Sage Apple Simple Syrup

For the Pumpkin Spice Sangria click here

Sweet Potato Bourbon Pecan Pie

Ingredients

1 stick butter (melted)
2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp bourbon
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs beaten
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup of chopped Candied Pecans

Directions
1.If making your own pie dough, follow the recipe for How to make Pie Dough
2. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
3. Combine butter, brown sugar, mashed sweet potatoes in a bowl.  Whisk until combined. 
4. Add eggs, whisk well. 
5. Add evaporated milk, bourbon, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. 
6. Pour sweet potato mixture into a prepared pan. 
7. Bake for 35 minutes. 
8. Remove pie from the oven, and top with candied pecans. Continue to bake about another 10 – 15 minutes. 
Allow the pie to cool. 

Candied Pecans

Ingredients
1 cups pecans 
1/4 cup brown sugar 
2 tbsp melted butter 
1 tbsp bourbon

Directions
1. Place your pecans in a food processor and pulse until your pecans are coarsely chopped. 
2. Place chopped pecans, brown sugar, butter, and bourbon on a sheet pan.
3. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. 
 

Collard Greens


Ingredients
3 lbs collard greens washed, and cut (Its ok to use the collard greens that are precut in the bag) However the stems aren’t removed.
1 large ham hock (or 2-3 medium sized ham hocks)
1/4 cup Hot Sauce
8 cups water
2 tbsp granulated onion
1 tbsp  granulated garlic
1 tbsp salt
3 large chicken bullion cubes

Directions
1. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil, and add ham hocks. 
2. Allow ham hocks to cook for about 2 – 2-1/2 hours until fork tender.
3. Add bullion cubes, hot sauce, season the water with, granulated onion, granulated garlic and salt
4. Add collard greens to the pot.  If needed add additional seasoning to taste. 5. Lower heat to a simmer.  Allow collard greens to simmer about 40 minutes or until tender.
6. Remove ham hock, and remove meat from bones, and add the meat back to the pot. 

Candied Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients
6 large sweet potatoes
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
Salt to taste

Directions
1. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into slices.
2. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet and add the sliced sweet potatoes.
3. Combine sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. 
4. Pour sugar mixture over the sweet potatoes and stir.  Cover pot, and reduce heat to low. Cook for about an hour or until potatoes are tender. 

Sage Apple Turkey

Ingredients

1 stick softened butter
Brining Liquid
Injection Liquid
Granulated garlic
Granulated Onion
Poultry Seasoning
Salt
Pepper
If you are following the Thanksgiving dinner menu I’ve prepared you should have two onions that you large diced, 5 large diced carrots, and 5 stalks of celery that were large diced in a ziploc bag

The first step to making the turkey is cleaning it. It is important to clean your sink before putting your turkey in it. If you purchased a turkey from the grocery store remove turkey from the bag.  Remove the bag from the center cavity of the turkey.  Lift up the skin on the opposite side od the turkey by the breast there will be another bag to remove from inside of the turkey. 

The bags inside of the turkey contain the neck and the giblets. Place turkey giblets and turkey neck in a small pot.  Add 1 cup apple cider, 2 sprigs of sage, 2 cups water and 1 large chicken bullion cube.  Bring to a boil.  Allow turkey necks to cook for about 2 hours.  After the turkey necks have cooked allow to cool to room temperature and refrigerate over night. 

Prepare Brining liquid while the turkey necks are cooking. 

For the Brine

Ingredients

2 cups apple cider
2 cups brown sugar 
1 cup coarse kosher salt 
3 tablespoons peppercorns 
5 whole bay leaves 
1 onion
4 sprigs sage
3 sliced apples

Directions

Bring apple cider to a simmer, add brown sugar and salt.
Stir until dissolved. Once dissolved remove from heat. 
Add ice to the brining liquid to allow it to cool to room temperature. 
Pour over your turkey. 
Pour enough water in the container to submerge your turkey. 

Refrigerate over night. 


The next Day
When you remove the turkey from the brine, and rinse the turkey off, allow the turkey to come to room temperature. 

Allow butter to reach room temperature

Heat the injection liquid, season with granulated onion, granulated garlic, pepper and poultry seasoning.  The injection liquid reduced while I was cooking it yesterday.  As I heated the injection liquid I added 1 cup of apple cider, 1 cup of water, and 1 large chicken bullion cube. 

Taste the injection liquid.  Make sure you are happy with how it taste. The liquid will not only be used to inject into the turkey, it will also be used to baste your turkey and your stuffing.

Place the diced vegetables (onion, carrots, and celery) in the bottom of a roasting pan.  If you have a roasting pan with a rack put the turkey on the rack above the vegetables. If you don’t have a rack it is perfectly fine to put the turkey right on top of the vegetables. 

Inject turkey with injection liquid.  Inject turkey in the breasts, and the legs.

Rub softened butter on the skin of the turkey, and under the turkey breast skin.  Season turkey with poultry seasoning, granulated garlic, granulated onion, salt and pepper.

Roast Turkey on 400 degrees until brown about 30 – 40 minutes.  Cover turkey with aluminum foil, and reduce heat to 325 and continue to roast until the turkey is done. 

Baste turkey several times with the injection liquid while the turkey is roasting. 

Allow Turkey to rest about an hour or two before slicing it. 

To make gravy
Once the turkey has cooled down, pour the turkey drippings into a measuring cup.
For every cup of liquid make a roux with the corresponding amount of butter and flour. (For example if there are 3 cups of liquid use 3 tbsp butter and 3 tbsp of flour to make a roux)
Cook roux in a pot, once combined slowly pour turkey dripping in the pot. Bring to a boil. The gravy will thicken as it boils. Remove from heat once the gravy reaches a boil.

Sage Apple Stuffing (Dressing)

Ingredients

If you are following the Thanksgiving dinner menu I’ve prepared you should have 1 minced onion, 3 stalks of celery minced, 1 apple diced small in a ziploc bag. 
1 9×9 prepared pan of cornbread
1 12oz bag herbed stuffing mix
poultry seasoning
salt and pepper

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Spray a 9 x 12 inch baking pan with cooking pray. 
3. Melt 4 tbsp butter in a skillet.  Sautee minced onion, celery and diced apple until soft.   
4. Break cornbread up in a bowl. 
5. Add the vegetables to the bowl.  Mix the cornbread and vegetables all together. 
6. Add about 1/2 cup of the injection liquid to the bowl.  Stir in about 1/2 bag of the herbed stuffing mix.  Season to taste with poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.  If needed moisten the cornbread mixture more with some of the injection liquid until desired. 
7. Transfer the cornbread mixture to the baking pan, and bake about 30 minutes.

I prepared the ham according to the directions on the package.  I purchased Smithfield ham that came with a ready made glaze. 

Click here for mac and cheese recipe.

Apple Cider Doughnuts

When I was younger, my family went apple picking every year. One of the best things about the apple orchard is the fresh apple cider donuts. The smell of the doughnuts just stops you in your tracks, and you feel like you MUST have one. Well, that’s how I feel anyway. The apple orchard I used to go to would always have a line wrapped around the building for the amazing apple cider donuts. As I stood in line I would always contemplate should I buy a half dozen or a buy a dozen doughnuts? I mean a dozen doesn’t even seem like enough because I only get them once a year when I go apple picking.

After years of visiting the apple orchard, I finally decided to try to make these apple cider donuts on my own. I tried the Cider Spiced Doughnuts recipe from the 2018 October/ November Fine Cooking Magazine. I followed the recipe precisely since it was my first time making doughnuts like these. They were delicious, especially warm.  

This recipe was relatively easy to make. The first thing I did was bring apple cider to a boil until it reduced to a half cup. Once the apple cider reduced, I cooled it down in the refrigerator. Cooling down the apple cider is vital because if you put the hot cider in the bowl with the butter and eggs, it will just melt your butter, and cook your eggs. While the apple cider was cooling, I measured my dry ingredients to get them ready for mixing. Next, I creamed the butter with the sugar, and I added eggs one at a time. The next thing I did was pour in the buttermilk, vanilla, and reduced apple cider. I slowly added my dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. The dough was thick and a bit sticky. I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkled it with flour. Next, I pressed the dough evenly into the pan, covered the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerated it overnight, (however the recipe says you can refrigerate it for 2 hours at minimum)

I used a 3 inch circle cutter to make the doughnuts, and a 1 inch circle cutter to make doughnut holes. Using the 3 inch circle, I was able to get about 9 doughnuts out of the dough. I filled a pot about 2/3 of the way with oil to fry the doughnuts. I used a candy thermometer to heat the oil to 350 degrees. It is important to measure the temperature of the oil because if your oil isn’t hot enough your doughnuts will be too oily, and if your oil is too hot your doughnuts the outside of your doughnuts may cook too fast and the inside my be raw. I cooked the doughnuts about 2-3 minutes per side.  When I took the doughnuts out of the oil, I tossed them in a cinnamon sugar mixture.

These doughnuts are definitely a must try. There is absolutely nothing better than biting into a warm, fresh doughnut that’s been tossed in cinnamon sugar.

Apple Cider Doughnuts

These doughnuts are definitely a must try. There is absolutely nothing better than biting into a warm, fresh doughnut that’s been tossed in cinnamon sugar.
Makes about 12 Doughnuts
Course: Dessert

Ingredients

For the Dough

  • 2-1/2 cups Apple Cider
  • 4 oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • Zest from 1 Lemon
  • 16 oz All Purpose Flour (about 3-1/2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice

For Frying

  • 14 cups Canola Oil

Cinnamon Sugar

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon

Instructions

Make Dough

  • Cook the cider in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 30 minutes; the texture should be thick and will become almost syrupy as it cools. Remove from the heat, and let cool to room temperature.
    2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a handheld mixer and a large bowl), beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as necessary, about 3 minutes. While blending on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, mixing just to incorporate before adding the next, and then add the cider reduction, buttermilk, vanilla, and zest.
    3. In another large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the cider mixture 1 cup at a time until a wet, sticky dough forms, about 3 minutes total. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment, and sprinkle generously with about 1/3 cup flour. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet, dust the top generously with flour, and press into an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
    4. When ready to cook, use a 3-1/2-inch doughnut cutter (or 3-1/2-inch and 1-inch round cutters) to punch the doughnuts out 4 and a thin metal spatula to lift them 5 ; reserve the inner pieces (the holes). Punch additional holes out of the scraps (rerolling the dough to cut more doughnuts will make it tough).

Fry the doughnuts

  • Fill a fryer or large Dutch oven fitted with a candy thermometer with 2-1/2 to 3 inches of oil. Heat to 350°F. In a large bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon.
    2. Once the oil has reached temperature, carefully drop 3 doughnuts into the oil, and cook, flipping with a fork after about 1-1/2 minutes, until lightly brown all over, about 3 minutes total.
    3. Transfer the doughnuts to a large rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels and then, while still warm, to the bowl of cinnamon sugar. Toss to coat the doughnuts completely, and then set on cooling racks. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts, and then fry the holes. Serve warm.

Mini Pumpkin Pies

Pumpkin Pie is a custard pie made with pumpkin puree.  It is a Thanksgiving staple for most.   I shared a post about how to puree a pumpkin, so I figured what better to make with pumpkin puree than pumpkin pie. 

I decided to switch it up from a normal 9 inch pie to mini 3 inch pies.  When I have company over I like to have “easy” dessert options. I think individual desserts are no fuss dessert options lol.  I don’t have to be concerned with cutting slices for guests, They can just choose their mini dessert and hold it. 

For this recipe I used the 3 inch frozen pie shells.  However if you want to make your own pie crust I’ve ordered 3 inch tart pans from this site many times. 

How To Make These Mini Pies

I started these pies by putting 2 cups of homemade pumpkin puree in a bowl.  Don’t worry if you don’t want to make your own pumpkin puree, you can absolutely use pumpkin puree from a can.  Next I add brown sugar to the pumpkin puree.  I add melted butter, evaporated milk, and beat 3 eggs and poured that into the pumpkin mixture.  I finished the pie batter with vanilla  extract and pumpkin pie spice. I baked the pie in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  If you decided you don’t want to bake mini pies, a 9 inch pie will bake for about 45- 50 minutes, when the pie is done the center should jiggle slightly.  The pie will look a little puffed up when it comes out of the oven, however as the pie cools the pie begins to settle. 

Mini Pumpkin Pies

Pumpkin Pie is a custard pie made with pumpkin puree. It is a Thanksgiving staple for most.This delicious pumpkin pie recipe is a must try and easy to make.
Makes 18 Mini Pies
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 10

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 stick butter melted
  • 1-1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. In a mixing bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, melted butter, evaporated milk, and brown sugar.
    3. Whisk 3 eggs, and add them to the pumpkin mixture. Add pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract.
    4. Pour pumpkin pie batter into mini pie shells.
    5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the center of the pie jiggles slightly.

How To Make Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin season is among us, and that means pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin brownies 🤔, pumpkin blondies 🤯… Pumpkin everything. The one ingredient that you need for all of these recipes is pumpkin puree. Of course, it’s easy enough to go to the sore to buy a can of pumpkin puree, but homemade pumpkin puree is 1,000% times better.

The number one reason why you should puree your own pumpkin is you know exactly what your getting. Canned pumpkin may not just be pumpkin, some canned pumpkin is a mixture of pumpkin and a variety of winter squash. Reason number two to puree your own pumpkin is to get the exact flavor your looking for. And the number three reason to puree your own pumpkin is that its super easy.

First, you need to find a pumpkin to puree. Pumpkin on the small to medium size is best to use. The bigger pumpkins that are often used to make Jack – O- Lanterns may not taste as good as a smaller pumpkin. Of course, they could still be used, but a smaller one would taste better.

How To Make Pumpkin Puree

Cut the top of the pumpkin off, near the stem. Next, turn the pumpkin over to its flat side and cut the pumpkin in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp from the pumpkin. Set the pumpkin seeds aside so they could be roasted if you choose. Slice the pumpkin into wedged pieces, and place on a baking sheet face up, spray with cooking oil (I used canola oil). Roast the pumpkin on 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes until the pumpkin is fork-tender. When you remove the pumpkin from the oven, allow the pumpkin to cool. Once cooled, use a knife to remove the meat of the pumpkin from the skin. Next puree your pumpkin in a blender or food processor until smooth. Depending on the amount of natural water in your pumpkin, you may or may not need to add a little bit of water to smooth out your pumpkin puree. If you find that your puree is too watery, you can strain it in cheesecloth to squeeze out some of that extra liquid.

At this point, your pumpkin puree is ready to use. If you are not going to use your puree right away, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container. Or it can be frozen until you are ready to use it.

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

Prep Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 small – medium Pumpkin (about 5-7 lbs)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    2. Cut the stem off of the pumpkin.
    3. Cut pumpkin in half.
    4. Using a metal spoon, scrape out the seeds and pulp from the center of the pumpkin.
    5. Place seeds in a bowl. (reserve for another use)
    6. Slice pumpkin into about 8 – 10 wedges
    7. Place pumpkin wedges on a baking sheet face up. Spray with oil. (If this pumpkin will be used for a savory dish, feel free to sprinkle a little salt on the pumpkin)
    8. Roast for 45-50 minutes until pumpkin is fork tender.
    9. Peel skin from the pumpkin wedges. Puree roasted pumpkin in a food processor, or blender until smooth. (If the pumpkin doesn't puree easily, add a little water to help smooth it out)
    10. Pumpkin puree will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 4-6 days. If you do not plan to use the puree right away store it in the freezer in 1 cup servings for easy use.

Caramel Apple Pie

Apple Pie… To me, apple pie just screams fall. Apple pie is just the warmth of fall in a bowl. Apple pie is like the perfect dessert, the crispness of the apples, paired with a buttery, flaky pie crust, what could be better? Well, one thing!! A scoop of ice cream alongside it would definitely make it better.

Which Apples Should Be Used in an Apple Pie?

When making apple pie, it is essential to choose the right apples, not all apples are great for baking. Some apples are way to sweet, soft, mealy or just too tart. Some apples have a lot of water in them, so when baking a pie, you end up with mushy apples and mushy pie crust. When making apple pie, you want to choose an apple that has the right balance of firmness, sweetness, and a little tart. If you use a super sweet apple and add sugar to your pie, your pie will be really sweet.

In my apple pies, I like to use an equal amount of granny smith apples and gala apples. These two apples are firm, the granny smith are on the tarter side, and the gala are on the sweeter side, and I think they complement each other very well in a pie. 

The first step to making this pie is to roll out your pie dough on a floured surface to a 1/8 of an inch thick. Carefully place your dough in your pie dish, and trim the excess dough.

Is Blind Baking Necessary?

I think it is. Usually, pie dough is blind baked when you’re making a no-bake pie. You would normally blind bake the crust and then fill your pie with a custard filling. However, I think blind baking is also necessary when you’re making a pie that tends to have a lot of liquid. Blind baking will help the bottom crust crisp up nicely while the natural juices are extracted from the apples. For this recipe, I partially bake the crust, and it’s a pretty simple process. However, there are a few steps to take before you put the pie dough in the oven. The first step is to dock the dough. Docking the dough means prickling holes in the pie crust with a fork. Docking the dough is important because it allows air to escape, so the pie dough doesn’t rise up. The next step is weighing the pie dough down. Because of the butter in the dough, the pie dough will shrink in the oven if the pie dough is not weighed down. To blind bake the pie dough place a piece of parchment paper (some people like to use aluminum foil) on top of the pie dough and use pie weights to weigh it down (dry beans or uncooked rice could also be used if you don’t have pie weights). The final part of blind baking is baking the pie dough. I blind baked the pie dough for 12 minutes on 350 degrees and raise the temperature of the oven to 400 degrees.

Finally, the fun part. When the pie crust comes out of the oven its time to fill the pie to get it ready for baking. I prefer to slice my apples rather than dicing them for apple pie. Its easier to fit more apples in your pie dish when your apples are sliced thin. Once the apples are all sliced, I put all of the apples in a bowl with cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, lemon juice, corn starch, a little flour and mix it all together until the apples are completely coated in the seasoning. Next, I pour the pie filling into the pie dish, and pour a prepared caramel sauce on top of the apples. At this point, you can decide if you want to drape your pie crust over your pie, or if you want a lattice pie crust. I whisk an egg with some milk to make an egg wash and brush it on the top of the pie and sprinkle some turbinado sugar. I bake the pie for 20 minutes on 400 degrees and lower the temperature to 375 and allow the pie to continue to bake for an additional 20 – 25 minutes.

While the pie is baking the flour and the corn starch will help the natural juices from the apple create a sauce. It will be challenging, but when your pie comes out of the oven, allow it to rest, and cool at least three hours. If you cut into your pie too soon, your pie will be very liquidly. As the pie cools the sauce in your pie thickens up.

Apple pie is one of those classic desserts that could be a lot of work to prepare, but its oh so worth it.

Caramel Apple Pie

This apple pie is the perfect dessert, the crispness of the apples, paired with a buttery, flaky pie crust, what could be better?
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs Apples (6-7 medium) Gala & Granny Smith Apples
  • 2 tbsp Corn Starch
  • 2 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Prepared Caramel
  • egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk
  • Coarse Sugar to sprinkle on the pie crust

Instructions

  • The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe
    2. While the pie crust is chilling, make apple pie filling. Place sliced apples in a large bowl. Add sugar, lemon juice, corn starch, all purpose flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gently Toss.
    3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    4. Rollout 1 disk of chilled pie dough to 1/8 inch thick on a floured surface. Carefully place dough into a 9×2 inch pie dish. Use your fingers to crimp the dough, and trim the excess dough with a knife.
    5. Blind bake pie dough for 15 minutes. (Place parchment paper on the pie dough, and use pie weights, raw beans or raw rice to keep the pie dough weighed down)
    6. After 15 minutes remove pie dough from the oven. Fill pie dough with apple mixture. Drizzle 1/2 cup prepared caramel over the apples.
    7. Raise the temperature of the oven to 400 degrees
    8. Roll out the other disk of chilled pie dough. At this point you can drape the pie crust over your pie, make a lattice pie crust. (If you drape the pie dough over the pie, use a knife to make some slits in the pie dough to allow air to escape) Crimp the edges of the pie, and use a knife to cut off the excess dough.
    9. Lightly brush pie with egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
    10. Bake pie for 20 minutes on 400 degrees.
    11. Lower oven temp to 375 degrees and bake an additional 20 – 25 mins
    Allow the pie to cool for at least 3 hours before serving.

How To Make Pie Crust

“Good pastry is flaky, tender, delicate, and evenly browned. It is not crumbly, but when broken shows layers of flat flakes, piled one about the other with air spaces between. To achieve this result, the cook must be quick and “lighthanded,” since pastry cannot be good if handled roughly or slowly. – The Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cook Book, Wartime Edition 1942.

In my opinion, this is the description of a perfect pie crust. Store bought pie crust is great, and of course, its easier to roll out some store bought pie crust, or fill a frozen pie shell. But its sooo much better when you make it yourself. Besides, when you make your own pie crust, you can use whatever flour you’d like, and make it taste like whatever you want it to taste like. For example, my piecrust recipe I use for my delicious Apple Dumplings I use a combination of All Purpose Flour and Almond Flour.

I prefer to use my hands when making the pie dough because I can feel the consistency of the dough. When using a food processor, I feel that in an instant your butter can go from cold to slightly melted and there is nothing you can do about it. The machine spins so fast and adds heat to your dough.          

Why is it Important to Use Chilled Butter?

When making pie dough from scratch, I like to use shortening and butter. Usually, the rule of thumb for baking is to use room temperature butter. Not in the case of pie dough. The shortening and the butter must be chilled otherwise the butter, and the shortening will melt in your dough. Chilled butter and shortening allow for a flakier crust; however, if your butter melts while mixing your dough, it will result in a less flaky and a tougher crust.

What is the Importance of Water in Pie Dough?

Water is another crucial ingredient when making pie dough. Again the water must be cold. In fact, many recipes would say to use ice water, and this recipe is no different. The ice water binds the butter and the flour together while helping the butter remain solid.

How to Make the Pie Dough

The first thing I do when making the dough it to put the shortening in the freezer until its thoroughly chilled. Next, I measure the flour, sugar, and salt cut the butter and shortening in small cubes and drop them into the flour. I use a pastry blender to coat the butter with flour. The pastry blender cuts the butter into the flour. Once the dough resembles a crumbly mealy consistency, I pour the ice water into the flour mixture and begin mixing by hand. If after adding the water and the dough still feels very dry, add a little more water. Do not knead the dough; you want to gently toss the dough until you feel the texture of the dough change from a dry to a tacky texture. Once the dough comes together, gently press it into a ball, and flatten to a disk shape. If the dough keeps its shape, it is done. If the dough feels too wet, you’ve added too much water.

Once the dough has been shaped into a disk, you’ll use a bench scraper to cut your dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. You’ll need to chill the dough for at least an hour or two after its wrapped. The dough should be chilled because its easier to handle when chilled. After working the dough, your at risk of melting the butter if you go straight to rolling out your dough, so don’t skip the step of chilling the dough. Before rolling out the pie dough, you want it to feel cold like a stick of butter. The dough could be refrigerated for up to three days, any longer and the dough begins to dry out. The pie dough could also be frozen. If you think you want to freeze your dough, you would still need to refrigerate it for at least an hour first, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and seal it in a freezer bag. When you’re ready to make a pie, be sure to defrost your dough in the refrigerator before rolling it out.

How to Make Pie Crust

Prep Time15 mins
Course: Dessert

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups Cake Flour
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1-1/2 stick Butter Cold
  • 1/4 cup Shortening Cold
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Ice Water

Instructions

  • In a bowl combine Cake Flour, All Purpose Flour, Sugar, and Salt. Add butter. Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal (or pulse using a food processor). Drizzle water into the mixture 2 tbsp at a time until the mixture begins to hold together.
    2. Divide dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap.
    3. Refrigerate an hour or until firm.

The BEST Baked Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese is pretty much the universal comfort food of the world. I don’t think there is anything more comforting than a warm bowl of Mac and Cheese. It could be enjoyed any time of the year.

This Mac and Cheese recipe is the greatest. It is the perfect combination of cheesy, creamy, and gooey goodness. Its definitely a must try. This recipe starts with a creamy cheese sauce. Quick side note about cheese. For my recipe, I use equal amounts of shredded cheese and cubed cheese. It’s very important to grate the cheese by hand instead of using shredded cheese from a bag, it is not the same, Trust Me!! Shredded cheese that comes in a bag is actually coated in an anti-caking agent so the cheese won’t stick together in the bag, which is the reason why it won’t melt that great in a sauce.

Back to the sauce. This sauce is made by making a roux (pronounced /ro͞o/). A roux is made with equal parts of fat and flour. The fat could be oil or butter, or any other preferred fat such as meat drippings. For this recipe, I use butter, or sometimes bacon fat. If I know, I’ll be mixing pork into the mac and cheese.

To start the roux you will melt butter or your fat of choice in a saucepan, and then whisk in flour until smooth. This should cook for about a minute. Once the roux has cooked, you will add your liquid; in this case, milk is added. At this point, I like to add a chicken bouillon cube for more flavor.  Continue to mix the milk mixture until smooth, add shredded cheese, and whisk until the cheese has melted completely.

Once the macaroni is cooked, I like to take a cup of pasta water and keep it in case I need it. If the cheese sauce cools a bit, the pasta water may be needed to help thin the sauce to a stirrable consistency. In the event that you need to add the pasta water, do not add it all at once, add it a little at a time, as needed. Next, I drain the macaroni and dump it into a big bowl. I mix in the cheese sauce, and season to taste. I mix in the cubed cheese, pour the macaroni into a baking pan and bake on 350 degrees for about 30 – 35 minutes. I’m not the biggest fan of adding bread crumb to my mac and cheese, but if you love a bread crumb topping on your mac and cheese, you would add breadcrumb before you bake the mac and cheese. When I take the mac and cheese out of the oven, I like to add another handful or two of shredded cheese on top, and put the pan back in the oven just long enough for the cheese to melt.

The BEST Baked Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese is pretty much the universal comfort food of the world. This Mac and Cheese is the perfect combination of cheesy, creamy, and gooey goodness.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients

  • 1 lb macaroni
  • 3 cups Milk
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 3 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 1 large Chicken Bullion Cube
  • 24 oz cheddar cheese (divided) I like to use 12 oz white cheddar and 12 oz sharp cheddar. Shred 12 oz of cheese, and cut the remaining 12 oz in cubes
  • Salt, Pepper, Granulated Garlic, Granulated Onion to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
    2. Bring water to a boil, and boil macaroni according to package directions.
    3. Melt butter in a large skillet, whisk in flour until smooth.
    4. Gradually whisk in warm milk and chicken bullion cube, and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened.
    5. Whisk in seasoning, shredded cheese.
    6. Add cooked macaroni to a large bowl, pour cheese sauce over the macaroni and stir until well combined. Stir in cubed cheese.
    7. Spoon pasta mixture into a lightly greased 2-qt. baking dish

Sweet Tea & Apple Chicken Wings

A few days ago, I mentioned how well sweet tea and BBQ go together. While testing my amazing Sweet Tea & Apple BBQ sauce recipe, I decided to use some of the sweet tea to make a brine. I used the brine for chicken wings, but it could be used for any meat.

What is Brining?

Essentially a brine is a heavily salted water, which meat gets submerged into. In the brining process, the meat absorbs extra liquid and salt. Which makes the meat very flavorful and extra juicy.

How to Make the Brine?

To make this brine I used 1 quart of Milos unsweetened Iced Tea, 1/4 cup salt, brown sugar, black pepper, 6 cloves of garlic, 1 small onion, and 2 large apples. I dissolved salt and brown sugar in two cups of unsweetened iced tea. I cut the apple, the onion and peeled the garlic and put It in the iced tea mixture. I added two cups of cold sweet tea, and placed the chicken in the brine, and refrigerated it for 24 hours.

The next day I removed the brine from the refrigerator and rinsed off the chicken wings. If you don’t rinse off the brine, the meat with be too salty. The chicken wings went in a 400 degree oven for about 50 minutes. These chicken wings were so flavorful and very moist. To top all of this off a tossed the wings in my sweet tea and apple BBQ sauce.

Sweet Tea & Apple BBQ Chicken Wings

This chicken brine recipe is made with apples, onions, brown sugar, and unsweet tea. It produces a juicy tender chicken every time!
Prep Time1 d
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 d 1 hr
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 30 chicken wings
  • 1 quart Milos Unsweet Tea
  • 1/4 cup Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Black Pepper
  • 6 cloves Garlic
  • 1 small Onion thinly sliced
  • 2 large Apples thinly sliced

Instructions

For the Brine

  • Bring 2 cups Milos Unsweet Tea to a boil. Add brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir until sugar has dissolved.
    2. Cool down the brine with ice. Add remaining 2 cups of Milos Unsweet Tea to the brine mixture.
    3. In a 1.5 gallon food storage container add sliced apples, sliced onion, and 6 cloves of garlic. Transfer cold brine to the container. Completely submerge chicken into brine. Refrigerate for 24 hours before cooking. *If you use a freezer bag, do yourself a favor and put the bag in a large bowl in case of leakage.

For the Chicken

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove chicken wings from brine, and rinse the chicken. Place chicken on a prepared baking sheet, and bake for about 1 hour or until golden brown.
    2. Remove chicken from pan and toss in Sweet Tea & Apple BBQ Sauce 😉