I think back to last year at this time and I was so ahead of the game. Tree was up, as well as all holiday decor. All the gifts were bought and wrapped. All the Christmas cards were done and addressed, stamped and ready to go.
This year I do have some holiday decor up but no tree yet. That was suppose to be done Friday night, then Saturday night, then tonight (yeah, not happening somehow we got the tree up, I think this post nudged me a little to do it). I have one gift bought. I think I have wrapping paper somewhere. Christmas cards? Not purchased. Have no idea where my address book is (it’s been missing for months). Stamps? Do I even have those?
To top it off I have 9 holiday parties I have been invited to. Five of which of course are on the same night. 🙁 Boo. I hate to tell people no, I don’t want them to think we don’t want to come. But I have done the spreading yourself thin and go to all five party thing before and it is no fun. You don’t get to enjoy any of the parties because you are too busy starring at your watch to make sure you have enough time to get to the next one. So this year I have told myself, no more than two parties in a day.
Most of these are potlucks of some sort. Which means I am frantically trying to figure out what I want to make. I always over analyze what to make. I also tend to bring more than the average person. I need to work on that habit. Especially with all the food based parties we are going to this season.
One of my parties is a progressive dinner party. I’ll be going to that one as I am the co-host for the dessert portion of the meal (surprise…I’m doing dessert!). So I have been working on desserts to see what I want to serve for the party. I want to make one chocolate based dessert and “other”.
This falls into the other category. Orange says holiday to me. Not really sure why though it could have to do with those chocolate oranges that you have to crack open and it breaks into segments. We especially enjoyed opening them by smashing them on each other’s heads. Ah, siblings, if it were not for them who would torture us and vice versa? 😛 So when I saw this caramel pecan tart I decided it needed to be a orange caramel pecan tart. So glad I did, it went so nicely with it.
Orange-Caramel Pecan Tart
For the Tart Dough:
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp table salt
zest of one medium orange
Coat a 9” tart pan with removable bottom with nonstick spray; line baking sheet with foil. (I used 4 3-inch diameter tart pans instead).
Cream together butter and sugar for the dough in a bowl with a mixer until light. Add egg yolk and vanilla, beat until combined, then add flour, salt, and zest.
Mix just until dough forms.
Press dough evenly into tart pan, trimming excess from the edges. Chill until firm, 30 minutes; preheat oven to 350F.
Place tart on prepared sheet and bake until crust is dry to the touch but hasn’t begun to brown, 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven (leave oven on) and cool slightly.
For the Filling:
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cubed
¾ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
3 TBSP granulated sugar
3 TBSP heavy whipping cream
½ tsp table salt
1 ½ TBSP orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier)
1 ½ cups pecan halves, toasted
Bring butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, granulated sugar, cream and salt for the filling to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook to 240F on an instant read thermometer. Off heat, stir in the orange liqueur (it will bubble furiously), then fold in the pecans.
Pour mixture into tart shell(s), return to oven, and bake until filling is bubbly and crust is brown, about 20 minutes (about 15 for the smaller ones). Let tart cool on the baking sheet 15-20 minutes, then carefully remove the side ring. Cool tart completely before slicing.
Adapted from Cuisine at Home Magazine Holiday Menus