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IDEA ALLEY: Barbecue sauce, pie/cake for Kats

by Kelly Brant | October 6, 2021 at 1:50 a.m.

Recipes that appear in Idea Alley have not been tested by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Recipe submissions have been scarce these past several weeks. After today the column will take a break; to help keep that break short, please send recipe contributions, requests and culinary questions.

Trish Walters shares this homemade barbecue sauce recipe.

"Because of the molasses this sauce is not yellow, and most people are surprised it has no tomato products," Walters writes.

North Carolina Style Mustard BBQ Sauce

  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion bits
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (can add more to increase tartness)
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana-style hot sauce (I use Trappey's)
  • 2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, optional

In a stainless-steel saucepan mix the dry herbs and spices. Stir in vinegar, then whisk in molasses, honey, yellow mustard, oil (if using), hot sauce, liquid smoke and soy sauce. Taste; add more vinegar or some brown sugar to adjust tartness. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, continuing to stir frequently. Remove from heat; let cool, stirring occasionally. Better if refrigerated overnight before serving. Store refrigerated in a sealed jar; keeps for a long time.

Makes about 2 cups.

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Joe Riddle, a fellow Democrat-Gazette editor and frequent Idea Alley contributor, recently made this fall dessert to share with newsroom co-workers. I'm still working exclusively offsite in the test kitchen so I didn't get to taste it, but I'm told it was a big hit.

Pumpkin Pie Cake

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (29-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, allspice)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (15- to 18-ounce) box spice cake mix
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup butter, very thinly sliced
  • Whipped cream, for serving

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugars, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, salt and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan.

In a medium bowl, stir cake mix and pecans together, then sprinkle evenly over the pumpkin mixture. Place pats of butter evenly on top.

Bake until cake is set and the edges are crisp, about 1 hour and 5 minutes.

Let cool completely, then cut into squares and top with whipped cream before serving.

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