Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Buttermilk Pudding and Pecan Shortbread

Buttermilk is not ever a beverage that I personally want to drink straight from the glass, but I love the flavor it gives when it is blended with other ingredients. This pudding brings out the wonderful essence of buttermilk, while adding cream, sugar, and vanilla to create a rich and refreshingly different dessert. I found this recipe, along with the accompanying Pecan Shortbread recipe, in this month's edition of Better Homes and Gardens. I altered them a bit to suit my personal taste, which I do to almost all recipes. They both turned out wonderfully, each greatly complementing the other.

Buttermilk Pudding

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup milk
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups buttermilk
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
chopped Heath candy bars

In a bowl, combine gelatin with milk and set aside. In a saucepan, combine whipping cream and sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved and cream just comes to a simmer. Remove immediately from heat; stir in softened gelatin until completely dissolved. Set aside; let cool 5 minutes.

Transfer cream mixture to a bowl. Add sour cream; whisk until blended. Whisk in buttermilk, salt, and vanilla. Spoon into 8 serving dishes. Cover with plastic. Chill for at least 2 hours. Top with chopped Heath candy bars.

Pecan Shortbread

2 cups flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

In a mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, and flour until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Squeeze mixture with hands to form a smooth dough. Divide dough into 36 portions and press into greased mini-muffin tins. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool in pans for about 5 minutes. Remove and finish cooling on wire racks.

Blend gelatin and milk and set aside:

Whisk all ingredients until well-blended. Pour into serving dishes and chill.

Combine shortbread ingredients :

Press into mini-muffin tins:

Bake until lightly browned. I baked some of them in my square pan, but I ended up liking the small round ones better.

Top the pudding with chopped Heath bar and serve with Pecan Shortbread:

Both of these recipes have simple ingredients and can be prepared quickly and easily.
This dessert can be used in a casual or a dressy setting, or anything in between, all depending on your serving dish.

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