Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fall Pie Time - Apple Pie w/ a Twist

And... I'm back.  I could make excuses, but really, who cares?  I'm glad I'm back doing something I love and thankful that one of my favorite followers (and people) encouraged me to end my hiatus from baking and bloggery.  Specials thanks to Leslie for that.

Starting slow with an easy pie that always tastes good.  Or at least, it's hard to mess up and usually pleases a crowd: Apple Pie (with a twist of course).  Leslie and I stopped by the local market for some ingredients. With not much time before our scheduled dinner party, we opted for the pre-made Pillsbury Crust.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Pie Filling:
8 Apples (assorted: fuji & green apple)
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Organic Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Flour
1 Egg

Instructions:

  1. Wash, peel and cut the Apples into cubes.  Place in a large bowl. 
  2. Stir in the Cinnamon, Honey, and Vanilla.
  3. Rub a stick of Butter on a glass pie dish, coating the bottom and sides.   Take a tablespoon of Flour and cover the butter with it.  Discard the excess. 
  4. Put the bottom Pie Crust into a glass pie dish. 
  5. Pour contents into the pie dish, on top of the dough.
  6. Chop the Butter into little cubes and scatter them over the contents.  
  7. Put the top Pie Crust on.  Ventilate with a neat design of your choice.  
  8. Scramble an Egg in a small bowl.  Coat the top of the crust with the egg batter.  
  9. Cover the edges of the Pie with aluminum foil to prevent burning.  
  10. Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes; decrease heat to 350 and bake for another 35 to 45 minutes (until golden brown and contents are bubbling out).  
Done! Enjoy. 


















Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dirty Blondies

No Eggs? No Problem. 
Yesterday was a very unexpected Snow Day.  I awoke at 8:30 a.m. geared up for the ensuing week of school and work, dutifully checked my email, and found out school was closed due the previous night's onslaught of ice and snow.   Yes!  A day of rest and recovery on top of an amazing weekend was just what the doctor ordered.  So, I decided to try a new recipe.  Plagued by the treacherous roads and desire to be a homebody for the day, I decided to see what my kitchen stocks could offer in the way of a dessert.   Here's what I came up with:


Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup hot cocoa mix
  • 1 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup toffee bits (optional)

  • Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan. In a heavy saucepan combine the 1/3 cup of flour and water. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thick. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside to cool.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt butter. When butter has melted, add the hot cocoa mix and mix until smooth; set aside to cool. Beat the sugar (brown and white) and vanilla into the cooled flour mixture. Stir in the cocoa mixture until well blended. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, stir into the batter until just blended. Fold in walnuts if desired. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out (relatively) clean. Cool before cutting into bars.

Enjoy Your Blondies!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Peanut Butter Excursion Cookies


After a night of debauchery, it was time to bake peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  Around 11 p.m. last night, my friend Mike (aka Skeeter) suggested we bake.  Bake??? Yes, bake.  "What should we bake?" I asked. Chocolate chip cookies was the reply.  The problem: there was no brown sugar at Skeeter's house.  The solution: peanut butter.  On a side note, peanut butter is the solution in a lot of problem situations (including emotional meltdowns--it always helps).

Here is how it happened:

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
1 3/4 Sticks of Butter
2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Eggs
1 BAG of Tiny Chocolate Chips

Directions:


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Dennis licking the peanut butter spoon.  He also got into some flour .
2.  Combine Flour, Baking Soda, Salt in a medium bowl.  Make sure to "sift" the Flour. Skeeter was baffled by this concept.  Basically, just spoon the flour into the cup lightly to allow for some air to get in there.  Level off and dump in the bowl.  

Me and Dennis (Skeeter's Cat) putting the baking soda in.
3. Mix melted Butter & Peanut Butter, Sugar and Eggs in a large bowl.
I <3 Boys in the Kitchen
4.  Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture gradually using an electric mixer (luckily Skeeter had one of these -- PS anyone who has an extra or wants to buy me one, I would LOVE IT).


5.  Stir in the Chocolate Chips.  This was my first time using baby chips and will not be the last.  They were perfect for this cookie.

6.  Bake on the center rack for about 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from oven when they are browning.


7. Enjoy with some milk.  They might taste better if you play some Zelda too.

Special Thanks to Dennis and Skeeter for
the use of their home in this baking endeavor.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Boston Cream Pie.

One of Pat's favorite donuts are Boston Cream donuts.  So I thought, why not bake a whole pie for him to come home to after a few days away at Gore Mountain.  Turns out Boston Cream Pies are actually cakes.  They are very fun to make and with the following recipe, quite easy too. 

I should mention, so I don't get yelled at later, that MOST of my motivation for posting this blog tonight comes from my lovely and devoted follower, Mom.  Love you!


Ingredients
  • CAKE:
  • Yellow Cake Mix (see box for directions)
  • Oil
  • Water
  • Eggs

  • FILLING:
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • FROSTING
  • 4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate (Giradelli)
  • 2.5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup light cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

Directions


Step 1: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (or whatever the box tells you to do based on what type of pan you are using—I used non-stick pans I picked up at the grocery store on my 6:30 am ingredients run today).  Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans. 

Step 2: Open box, combine all ingredients (mix, oil, water, eggs) stir with a mixer (or just really fast) for about 2 minutes or until the mixture is completely blended.  Pour cake mix into the greased pans and place in the oven on the middle rack evenly.


Step 3: Bake at 325 degrees F for 25 minutes or until cakes begin to shrink away from the sides of the pans and centers are turning a nicely brownish tan color.  Turn the cakes onto wire racks or parchment paper to cool.

Step 4: In the meantime . . . To Make The Filling: Combine the 1/2 cup light cream with 1/4 cup of the milk and cook over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan.  Immediately add 1/4 cup of the sugar and the salt, stirring until dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat.  I have to tell you I felt like a real baker doing all this. 

Step 5: In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the milk with the cornstarch and whisk to remove lumps.  Whisk in the 2 eggs.  Add the hot cream mixture in a thin stream slowly, whisking constantly (this takes some skill and would probably be easier with a partner).  Return to the mixture to the saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly (much importante), until the custard thickens and is smooth (about 5 minutes--it happens all of a sudden so WHAT OUT!!!).  Remove from heat and stir in the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and allow to cool to room temperature.

Step 6: Next . . . To Make The Chocolate Frosting: In a saucepan over low-medium heat, stir the chocolate pieces and 2.5 tablespoons butter until they are completely melted.  Remove from the heat and, stirring constantly, add the 1/4 cup light cream in a thin steady stream.  When mixture is smooth, stir in the confectioners' sugar and beat vigorously.  Stir in the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.


 Step 7: To Assemble Cake: Spread the cooled filling over one the cooled cakes and place the second cake on top. Pour the chocolate frosting evenly over the top allowing it to spill down the sides.  Take some pictures and share!