So what would you buy with a million bucks if it suddenly was all yours?
That’s the wonderful question I pondered pretty much the whole way from Seattle to Orlando a few years ago on my way to the Pillsbury Bake-Off. One hundred of us had been selected (from 50,000 entries!) to compete that weekend in Florida and the winner would take home a million bucks. Oh to dream on such things. (The top item on my list was “always fly business class.” Bye Bye coach! :))
A year earlier I had finally – FINALLY – after thinking about it for too many years, entered a recipe in the Pillsbury Bake-Off. I had made my entry just once, had never written a recipe and got it in on the last day. And then I completely forgot about it since it was more to complete the goal of entering the contest at last rather then being selected. Until the day months later when Pillsbury called and told me I was in!!!
Oh my goodness, you could have heard the cheering from anywhere! I couldn’t believe it. My family and friends couldn’t believe it. Heck, if you had known me then, you wouldn’t have believed it but it was so. This little ole author somehow came up with a recipe worth a shot at a million dollars.
Well you probably already figured out it wasn’t my day to win a million (it went to a dessert entry that looked marvelous!) but it was my day to make friends for life and meet incredibly talented women and men from all over the country. My kitchen neighbor, Betsy Chan, bakes us all up something special for every book to match what is happening in the book. That is a wonderful “takeaway” prize all by itself wouldn’t you say?
Anyways, today, because it is the weekend before Thanksgiving and we’ll all be out shopping, I wanted to share with you my Pillsbury Bake-Off recipe because it really is a wonderful appetizer to serve this time of year! My nephews request it every year and I present it proudly to you all to consider too. (Oh and there are loads of ways to change this recipe up with different cheese, different nuts – heck, by the sweet and spicy pecans from Trader Joes and you can streamline the recipe quick. Make it your own!) Enjoy!
Pecan-Sweet Potato Appetizers
- 1 small sweet potato (5 to 6 oz)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon Crisco® 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Pure Olive Oil
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (about 3 oz)
- 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
- 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated garlic butter crescent dinner rolls (8 rolls)
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (2 oz)
1 Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. Pierce potato with fork; place on microwavable paper towel in center of microwave. Microwave 3 to 4 minutes, turning once, until tender. Cover; let stand 10 minutes. Peel potato and cut crosswise into 8 (1/2-inch) slices. (Refrigerate any remaining potato for another use.)
2 Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat sugar, water and red pepper to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat; gently stir in pecans until coated. Spread pecans on cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet; cool completely.
3 Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, heat oil, onion and preserves over medium heat 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender. Remove from heat.
4 Unroll crescent dough; separate into 4 rectangles. Firmly press perforations to seal. Cut each rectangle in half crosswise; press each piece into 4-inch square.
5 On each dough square, place 1 potato slice, 1 rounded teaspoon onion mixture, 2 teaspoons cheese and 1 tablespoon pecans. Bring up 4 corners of dough over filling to center and twist at top. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
6 Bake 12 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack; cool 5 minutes. Serve warm.