In the kitchen with Brian and Lisa: December Recipe Roundup

by | Dec 25, 2014


WRAL reporter Brian Shrader and our own Lisa Prince feature seasonal recipes in their Got to Be Good Cookin’ segment using ingredients grown and available right here in North Carolina. This month’s recipes are holiday favorites made with N.C.-grown pecans. Recipes include Pecan Kisses, Granny’s Icebox Fruitcake, Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding and Roasted Brown Butter Pecans with Rosemary.

Pecan Kisses is a dessert from Isabella Lambeth from Wake Forest. She took home first place at this year’s N.C. State Fair with this easy recipe.  “These are great to take to something, or enjoy at home,” Lisa said. “With only four ingredients you can’t beat it.”

Pecan Kisses

  • 1 egg white (beaten stiff)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 2 cups pecan halves


Mix together stiff egg white, brown sugar and vanilla. Drop pecan halves in the wet mixture to cover completely. Take pecans out individually and place on a greased baking sheet two inches apart. Bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn off oven and leave pecan kisses in the oven for an additional 30 minutes. Take out of oven and place in a bowl.

The next recipe is from Cindy Hertford from Archer Lodge for a no-bake fruitcake.  Customize your fruitcake by choosing how much fruit you add to the recipe. Brian prefers to leave out the candied fruit.

Granny’s Icebox Fruitcake

  • 12-ounce can PET evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed)
  • 40 large marshmallows
  • 2 cups total of fruit and nuts (Choose how much you want of each of the following: candied fruits, raisins, N.C. pecans and sweetened grated coconut. My favorite is to use only coconut, raisins and pecans)
  • 13.5oz box of graham cracker crumbs


Place marshmallows and evaporated milk in saucepan over low heat. Heat until marshmallows are melted completely. Transfer mixture to large mixing bowl. Add in graham cracker crumbs and fruit, nuts and coconut. Mix thoroughly and press mixture into a greased tube pan. Refrigerate overnight. Slice and enjoy. Store cake in refrigerator.

Gail Fuller of Raleigh won first place in the State Fair’s The Incredible Edible Egg contest with this warm and flavorful dessert that can be made ahead of time.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup half-n-half
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

Praline Sauce

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans – chopped


Cut slices of day old bread into cubes. Put bread cubes and raisins into a greased Crockpot (3.5 – 4 qt. size). Whisk together eggs, pumpkin, half-n-half, cream, brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Pour over bread cubes and raisins in Crockpot and stir gently making sure all bread cubes are covered. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Praline Sauce:

In a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together butter, cream and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer until sauce thickens, for about 5 minutes. Add chopped pecans and pour over bread pudding in Crockpot. Cook for another 30 minutes.

The next recipe is a perfect salty but slightly sweet recipe to take to a New Year’s gathering. Lisa recommends making  two batches for a large crowd.

Roasted Brown Butter Pecans with Rosemary

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 cups pecan halves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 to 5 minutes or just until butter begins to turn golden brown. Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in pecans. Arrange pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and sugar.

Bake pecans for 10 to 12 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Sprinkle with rosemary. Bake 2 more minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet (about 30 minutes). Store in an airtight container for up to three days, or freeze up to a month.