Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pecan Pie

Need a quick, easy last minute recipe?!? Make this is the Pioneer Woman's Pecan Pie recipe. So yummy!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! Hope you have a wonderful time with your family this week.

Pecan Pie

1 unbaked pie crust
1 cup white sugar
2 tbsp. brown sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup corn syrup (i used light)
1/3 cup melted butter
3 eggs, beaten
¼ tsp. vanilla
1 heaping cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lay pie crust in a 9-inch pie plate. Trim and decoratively fold the edges. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs and vanilla. Whisk until well-combined.

Pour chopped pecans in an even layer on the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. Pour the syrup mixture over the top of the pecans. Allow to stand about 20 seconds to let pecans float to the top.

Bake for 50 minutes, being careful not to burn pecans or crust. (if you need to, lay some foil over the top to prevent burning) Allow to cool for several hours or overnight before serving.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


If you love peanut will really like these! They taste very similar to the packaged girl scout cookies...which are wonderful, but not always available. Enjoy!



  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream


  1. In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 1/2 cup peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
  2. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir. Add oatmeal and stir.
  3. Drop by teaspoons onto greased baking sheet, and press the top of each mound down with the bottom of a glass (dipped in sugar) to form 1/4 inch thick cookies. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes (8 for a softer cookie), until cookies are a light brown.
  4. To Make Filling: Cream 3 tablespoons butter or margarine with the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, and the cream. Spread filling onto half of the cooled cookies, then top with the other half to form sandwiches.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Peppermint "Mocha" Cake

This last weekend I made a cake for our family Christmas party. I wanted it to taste like a peppermint mocha from starbucks. The Mocha flavor got lost behind the it was more like a chocolate peppermint cake (which is still great!) This is a great ONE BOWL chocolate cake easy, moist and best of all....tasty! I think next time I will make a mocha frosting. FIVE days until Christmas?!? I can't believe it! HAPPY BAKING!

Peppermint "Mocha" Cake

for the cake:
2 c flour
2 c sugar
3/4 c cocoa powder
2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
pinch of salt
1 c milk
1/2 c canola oil (or vegetable)
1 t vanilla extract (I replaced this with 3/4 peppermint extract)
1 c hot, strongly brewed coffee
2 eggs

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, b. powder, b. soda, and salt

Add the oil, milk, vanilla, coffee and eggs. Beat (or stir) very well. The batter will be pretty thin. Pour into two 9 inch greased pans (you can also just change baking times if you want to bake it in cupcakes, or one larger pan).

Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes...until the top springs back when you press it.

If you are going to frost this cake, you might want to freeze the layers is very moist!

I used cream cheese icing with a little peppermint extract in it. Use the recipe HERE.

For the snowflakes and swirls, I piped melted chocolate onto wax paper. Once they hardened, I placed them on the freshly iced cake. It was a fun project!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Homemade Candies - Sea Salt Caramels & Reese's Cups

I have been baking up a storm this week! I don't have much time, but I wanted to post about these two homemade candy recipes. They are both WONDERFUL! The Sea Salt Caramel recipe can be found here from O Magazine. I will post the recipe to the Reese's cups below! Hope you enjoy them...have a great rest of the week!

Homemade Reese's Cups

1/2 c peanut butter
a little less (scant) than 1/2 c powdered sugar
1 1/2 T Butter, softened
1/2 t vanilla
1 1/2 - 2 t salt, to taste (you want it to be salty...this is what makes a Reese's cup...that salty flavor of the PB and the sweet chocolate)
1 bag chocolate chips (i used a mix of Ghiradelli milk and semi-sweet)

Beat the pb, sugar, butter, vanilla and salt until creamy.

Melt your chocolate down (either using a double broiler or the microwave). Spoon a little of the chocolate into a foil cupcake liner. Roll about a teaspoon of the PB mixture into a ball and pat it down. Gently place the PB patty on top of the chocolate. Cover with more melted chocolate. Let these harden at Room temperature. Remove the foil wrapper and store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lemon No-Bake Cheesecake

Here is one of the recipes I used for my last catering job. I catered a lunch for a sweet woman's 80th birthday party. Her favorite flavors....lemon, peach and mango! So we had Peaches & Cream Cupcakes, Lemon Cheesecake, and Mango Tea. I searched for the perfect lemon cheesecake recipe. I wanted a light and airy cheesecake. Since I had to make 7 Cheesecakes, this recipe was perfect because it is no-bake (except for the crust). It looks pretty too...excuse the horrible picture quality. I didn't even get a chance to take great pictures of all the food. Hope you enjoy!

Lemon No-Bake Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 T Butter, melted
3 T Sugar

Lemon Curd:
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 c sugar
pinch salt
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T butter
1 T heavy cream

1/3 c fresh lemon juice
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3 blocks (24 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 t grated lemon zest
3/4 c sugar
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 c heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the 3 ingredients completely and press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake for about 8 minutes until the crust is lightly golden brown. Cool.

Lemon Curd
Whisk the egg, yolk, sugar and salt together in a small sauce pan. Whisk in the lemon juice and cook over medium heat. Stir CONSTANTLY (you don't want the eggs to scramble), until the mixture is thick like pudding....about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and cream. Put it in a bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Put the 1/3 c lemon juice in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and let it stand about 5 minutes. Microwave the mixture for 30 seconds and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, zest, sugar and salt until smooth and creamy. Slowly add the cream and beat until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the gelatin mixture and 1/4 c of the lemon curd you prepared earlier. Beat until smooth and airy, about 3 minutes. Pour into the cooled crust and smooth the top over.

For the topping:
You can use a teaspoon and dollop the remaining curd on top of the cheesecake, or you can use a ziploc bag with the end snipped off to create lines. Drag a knife through the curd to create your desired effect.

Refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cranberry Orange Quick Bread

Here is a quick post for you! This week is out of control as I will be catering for 100+ people on this is probably my only post for now. Hope everyone is doing well...I'll be back with some cookie recipes next week!

Cranberry Orange Quick Bread
2 c flour
1 c sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
dash of cinnamon
1 egg
3/4 c. orange juice
grated peel of 1 orange
2 T melted butter
2 T hot water
1 c fresh cranberries
1/2 c walnuts (optional)
raw sugar for sprinkling

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg and add the orange juice, peel, butter and hot water. Add to the flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Fold in cranberries and nuts. Spoon into a greased loaf pan, 3 mini loaf pans, or muffin tins. The batter will be thick! Sprinkle raw sugar on top. Bake at 325 degrees for 60 minutes (45 for minis and 20-25 for muffins) or until toothpick comes out clean.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Candy Cane Oreo Truffles

Here is a quick and easy recipe that is super tasty! I'm sure most of you know how to make Oreo balls. Right now oreo has a candy cane version out...SUPER YUMMY! If you can't find these oreos...just throw some crushed peppermint in with regular oreos. These are always a favorite...and so festive with crushed peppermint on top!

Candy Cane Oreo Truffles
1 package Candy Cane Oreos, crushed
1/2 block Cream Cheese, softened (you use less because there aren't as many oreos in the package)
Choice of Chocolate for coating

Blend the two ingredients together...roll into little balls...freeze!

When the oreo balls are frozen, dip them into melted chocolate and sprinkle some crushed peppermint on top.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mini Peanut Butter Blossoms

Little bites!

Here is an all time favorite cookie recipe....Peanut Butter Blossoms. I saw the little mini kisses on sale in the baking aisle, and couldn't resist making some mini blossoms! This is a recipe for cookies made with butter, NOT shortening. I try to avoid really grosses me out. Hope y'all had a wonderful's time for Christmas baking to begin!

Peanut Butter Blossoms

1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter
1/2 c peanut butter
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 t salt
1 3/4 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/4 c sugar (for rolling)
48 kisses (or about half a bag of miniature kisses)

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine sugars, butter and peanut butter in a large bowl and mix until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Mix until well combined. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix until well combined.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls (or about half that size for the mini's!). Roll the balls in sugar and place onto cookie sheets.

Bake 8-10 minutes (7-8 for mini's) until the edges are cracked and they are lightly golden brown. Press the kiss in the middle, and cool completely on racks.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Coconut-Blueberry-Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Coconut-Blueberry-Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting....what a mouthful! This is a light and summery cake with lots of wonderful flavors that really compliment one another. While making our anniversary cake, I found I was missing ingredients for the cake I was going to originally make. I went to the pantry, fridge and freezer and came up with this..

Coconut-Blueberry-Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Your favorite Lemon Cake box mix or recipe
3/4 c Shredded Coconut

Mix the cake mix as instructed and add the shredded coconut. Bake in desired pan and cool.

2 cups blueberries (if frozen, thawed)
1/3 c sugar
3 T cornstarch
1 t lemon juice
1/4 c water

Heat, stir and smash the blueberries until the mixture boils and thickens. Cool completely before using. You can also skip this step and buy jarred preserves.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Use the recipe posted here

Put it all together! If you are frosting a cake, you will want to freeze the cake layers before assembling. This is the step I skipped, which is the reason my cake is so ugly. :O)

I wanted a mini I baked mine in a 8x11 dish, and used the leftover batter for cupcakes. You can customize this any way you would like! I left the coconut out of the cupcakes, and they were very good!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cappuccino Love Bites

Things are crazy here this afternoon...but I wanted to post a scrumptious cookie recipe. This is a nice change from the regular old peanut butter blossoms...especially if you like coffee! Enjoy!

Cappuccino Love Bites

1 cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar, divided
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 egg
1 tbsp. coffee-flavored liqueur or milk (I used 1 tsp. instant coffe dissolved in 2 tsp. of warm milk)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. instant coffee crystals
36 Hershey’s Hugs, wrappers removed

Beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add one cup of the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until the mixture is combined, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the egg, coffee liqueur, and vanilla until combined. Gradually add flour until well combined.

Preheat the oven to 350° and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Shape into 1-inch balls. Combine the remaining ½ cup of sugar and the coffee crystals in a small bowl. Roll dough balls in the sugar mixture. Place about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.

Bake about 10 minutes or until tops are cracked and sides are set (do not let edges brown). Immediately press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. When most of the kiss is melted (except for the tip) twist the top to get a swirled effect.

adapted from The Canadian Baker

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pumpkin Bread with Pecan Streusel Topping

Here is another wonderful pumpkin recipe! This is my new favorite pumpkin bread recipe. It is a very moist, flavorful bread with a crunchy pecan topping. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread with Pecan Streusel Topping

1/2 c canola oil
1 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
3/4 c canned pumpkin
1/2 c apple cider
1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c white whole wheat flour (you can substitute AP flour if you don't have wheat)
1 t baking soda
3/4 t ground nutmeg
3/4 t ground allspice
3/4 t ground cloves
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t salt
Streusel Topping
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup toasted pecan pieces
Preheat the oven to 350. Arrange the pecan pieces on a baking sheet and toast 7-9 minutes, until golden brown and aromatic. Set aside.

Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan, 3 mini loaf pans or 18 muffin tins with cooking spray.

Whisk the oil and sugars in a large bowl. Add the eggs, pumpkin, and cider and whisk to combine. Stir in the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Pour into the prepared loaf pan.

To make the topping, mix together the sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon, and pecans. Sprinkle liberally over the loaf before baking.

Bake the bread about an hour, until the top has set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. My mini loaves baked for about 45 minutes. I would guess that muffins would take 20-25 minutes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

If you have never made The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls...MAKE THEM NOW. They are WONDERFUL. I split the recipe in half, and came out with 4 pans of cinnamon rolls. I didn't have the maple extract, so I used vanilla extract in half the amount (it is a lot stronger). I also used the minimum amount of butter, and baked them at 375. Three of them are in the freezer...waiting for the perfect opportunity to be eaten (warmed up in the oven) on a cold Saturday morning with a warm cup of coffee. I will post her recipe, but go HERE for detailed instructions with pictures! Enjoy!


  • 1 quart Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast
  • 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
  • Plenty Of Melted Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
  • _____
  • 1 bag Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
  • ½ cups Milk
  • ¼ cups Melted Butter
  • ¼ cups Brewed Coffee
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt

Preparation Instructions

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).

When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.

Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees (see note below) until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting.

Note: My rolls don’t work for me at 400 degrees anymore. I now bake them at 375 degrees.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Candy Cane Biscotti

My sweet husband bought me a Keurig for an anniversary gift. I have been wanting one for over a year, so I was pretty excited to wake up Saturday morning to a fresh cup of coffee. Of course...I needed to make something sweet, and I have been waiting to try this biscotti recipe. This recipe makes little mini biscotti...perfect for a small sweet treat. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...can't wait! Have a great week!

Candy Cane Biscotti

2 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 t b. powder
1/4 t salt
8 T unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
3 eggs
2/3 c chopped peppermint candies or candy canes, plus extra for garnishing
1 cup white, dark or milk chocolate chips
melted chocolate (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir briefly with a fork to combine. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Fold in the 2/3 cup crushed peppermints and chocolate chips with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated.

Evenly divide the dough into 4 portions. Form each into a 9″ by 1½” log on the prepared baking sheet, spaced evenly. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown on top, about 18-20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet. Reduce the oven temperature to 325° F.

After the logs have cooled for 10 minutes, use a sharp serrated knife to cut the logs into ½-inch slices on the diagonal. Arrange the cut pieces on the baking sheet, laying on one of their cut sides so one cut side is facing up. Bake for 15 minutes more, until the cookies are light golden brown and crisp. (They may seem a bit soft, but will firm as they cool.) Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Once the biscotti have cooled, garnish with melted chocolate and crushed peppermint. Let stand at room temperature until the chocolate has set completely. Store in an airtight container.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chunky Monkey Biscotti

Here is a biscotti recipe that I really enjoyed making....and eating. I halved this recipe, and still ended up with a lot of biscotti! I froze most of it, and occasionally pull one out of the freezer to enjoy with my coffee. Hope you enjoy!

Chunky Monkey Biscotti

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (i used dark)
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
2 large eggs
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melted chocolate for drizzling, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, or coat with cooking spray.

Stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and chocolate chips until combined. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together banana, eggs, peanut butter and vanilla until well combined. Add dry ingredients and stir until combined. Divide the dough and shape it into three 9 x 3–inch logs on cookie sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes; cool 5 minutes before transferring logs to wire racks to cool an additional 15 minutes. Cut rolls diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place them back on the baking sheet, cut sides down. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees and bake 10 minutes. Turn cookies over and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet and cool completely on wire racks.

Drizzle with melted chocolate and enjoy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

S'more Please???

These S'more cookies, along with the oreo chocolate chip cookies I posted about last week, are now on my top favorite cookie list. Landon isn't a big dessert eater...but I knew he loved them when he ate 3 before dinner. Hope you enjoy them as much as he did. :O)

S'more Cookies
1 1/2 c flour
1 c graham cracker crumbs
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 c butter, softened
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups mini chocolate chips
mini marshmallows
2 hersheys chocolate bars, broken into pieces

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, salt in a bowl and whisk together. In a separate bowl beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes, and remove from the oven. Push a couple marshmallows and a few pieces of hershey bar into each cookies. Return to the oven and bake an additional 2-3 minutes until fully cooked. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookie meets Oreo explanation needed. :0) Enjoy!

Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 stick softened butter

6 Tablespoons sugar

6 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 egg

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 ¼ Cup flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

10 Oreo Cookies, broken up/chopped

1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, and sugars. Add egg and vanilla until mixed. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Fold in Oreos and chocolate chips gently.

Scoop onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet using a medium cookie scoop. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cookies will still be soft! Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes and transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or TREAT!


Make these brownies with your favorite type of kisses!

Cutest little helpers ever

Hope y'all have a safe and happy halloween! I had fun making these cute little mini ghost cakes. They are mini Chocolate Cakes filled with Raspberry Filling, Vanilla Buttercream, and topped with a Chocolate Ganache. YUM. I also made some Peanut Butter Rice Krispie "truffles". Super quick, and yummy! I also tried cookies & cream kisses in the brownie recipe I posted about last week. They were wonderful...i just love that shortbread bottom layer.

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie "Truffles"
3 T Butter
1 bag marshmallows, or 4 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
6 cups Rice Krispies

Melt butter over low low heat. Add Marshmallows and stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir in Peanut Butter until smooth. Add the Rice Krispies and stir until evenly coated.

Dump the mixture on a piece of parchment paper. Roll into little balls. (I preferred doing this while it was still warm...they were more pliable. Dip in melted chocolate and cover with sprinkles. Enjoy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Candy Corn Kissed Shortbread Brownies

Here is a fun recipe for get to enjoy brownies with little Candy Corn surprises inside and a shortbread crust. These would be especially great with the pumpkin spice kisses...I was just trying to make something WITHOUT pumpkin for once. I can't wait until the Christmas candy comes out, so I can make these with peppermint kisses. Hope y'all have a great weekend!

1 box of your favorite brownie mix
1 stick softened butter
1/4 C granulated sugar
1 Tn packed brown sugar
3/4 C plus 2 T flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 bag Candy Corn Kisses, or any flavor you like, unwrapped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions, set batter aside. In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars until creamy and light. Slowly add flour and salt until combined. Press shortbread dough into an 8 x 11 inch (or something similar) baking dish lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Top shortbread dough with about 25 kisses then pour brownie batter evenly over top of kisses. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes clean from center. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

2. Place remaining kisses in double broiler or microwave to melt. Spread melted chocolate over brownies and sprinkle for a fun topping!

3. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake

This is a recipe I made over the weekend. I have to be honest...if you have tasted the Pecan Pie or Pumpkin Cheesecakes, this is good...but it doesn't even compare. I cut the recipe in half, and made 2 mini cheesecakes. I loved the gingersnap crust, and the spices in the cheesecake. Stay posted...I am baking up a storm this week. I am sending some baked goodies with my dad to take on his hunting trip up to Wisconsin. I also baked some bread to store in the freezer, so I will post that next time I get a chance!

Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake

Gingersnap Crust
2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs {about a 14 ounce package of cookies}
2 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted

Spiced Cheesecake Filling
4 {8 ounce} packages of cream cheese; room temperature
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs; room temperature
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Apple Topping
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¾ cup apple cider
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Juice of ½ lemon
2 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Tightly wrap a 9 inch springform pan in heavy duty foil. This step prevents leaks when using a water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients {gingersnap cookie crumbs, brown sugar, salt and melted butter} and press into the bottom of the pan and about 1 ½ inches up the sides. Bake for 7 minutes and cool completely on a wire rack.

3. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

4. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and sugar; mix until smooth {about 2 minutes}. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla; combine until thoroughly incorporated and smooth in texture.

5. Pour batter into prepared crust. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan.

6. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, the edges will appear to be set, but the center will still have some jiggle to it. At this point, close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for at least one hour, but up to 3 hours. After the recommended cooling time has passed, carefully remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cake is completely cooled, place it into the refrigerator for at least 5 hours.

7. Three hours before serving, prepare the apple topping.

8. Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. In another bowl, sprinkle apples with the juice of ½ lemon and toss.

9. Melt butter over medium heat; whisk in flour and stir for about one minute. Slowly whisk in the apple cider followed by the sugar and spice mixture made in the previous step.

10. Add in the apples and cook until slightly tender {about 5-7 minutes} stirring constantly. Once apples have reached a desired texture and the sauce has thickened, remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Allow apple topping to cool completely before topping the cheesecake. Arrange apples on cheesecake and chill for at least one hour before serving.