Thursday, November 28, 2013

Crumb Topped Apple Slab pie

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I hope your Turkey day has been a great one and that you are overflowing with good food, wonderful family, and not too many dishes in the sink....

And if you are, cover them with a giant towel and pour yourself a glass of wine. Life is too short to be spent doing dishes... And I've found if you sigh heavily and say "I'm so tired" 100 times over the course of 15 minutes, someone might feel sorry enough to do them for you!

I know it is too late to add this delicious dessert to your Thanksgiving table, and most likely if you look at another food item you might pop, but trust me, this dessert is worth extra elastic on your pants. It is THAT good.

Also, Fall isn't over quite yet. So for those unwilling to dive knee deep into peppermint, candy canes, and Elves on Shelves... This dessert is for you.

For the Crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, very cold and cut into 1" pieces
1/2-1 cup cold water

For the Filling:
3 1/2 lbs granny smith apples, peeled and cored and cut into 1/4 inch slices (about 10 cups)
2/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Crumb Topping:
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Start by making the crust: Fill a one cup measure with ice cold water, set side. In a large bowl whisk together four, sugar, and salt. Sprinkle the cold butter over the top of the flour mixture and either using a pastry cutter or your hands, mix in the butter until crumbs form about the size of peas. Start with a 1/2 cup of cold water and pour into your flour/butter mixture. Stir with a spatula until the dough starts to form. You are looking for large clumps. If the dough still looks dry, add more water one teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
When the time is up, place the unwrapped dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out into a slightly-bigger-than 9x13" rectangle.
Lightly grease a 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray and place dough inside to fit the pan, allowing one inch to hang of the sides. Set aside while you work on the filling.

For the Filling: Peel, core, and slice 8-10 apples. Place the apples in a large bowl and sprinkle with the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Carefully toss the apples, making sure they are completely coated. Pour filling into the prepared crust. Set aside while you make the topping.

For the Crumb Topping: In a medium bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, and flour. Use a pastry cutter to add in the butter until topping mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chopped pecans and sprinkle crumb topping over the apples.

Trim the hanging crust so that is is even and flute in your desired style.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and bake the slab pie for 40-45 minutes or until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden.

Cool slightly, slice, and serve! This slab pie is the perfect hand-held treat and is even better topped with ice cream or whipped cream... YUM!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Texas Roadhouse Rolls (in the bread maker)

Looking for a delicious (and easy) roll recipe for your Thanksgiving table?

These Texas Roadhouse Rolls made in your bread machine are the perfect addition to any table... Plus, the leftovers make for amazing sandwich rolls!

Typically these roadhouse rolls are served with cinnamon butter, but I made a cranberry honey butter for mine!

I apologize the photos aren't the best as I took some quick shots to make sure you could all have the recipe before tomorrow! And when I say these rolls are buttery and soft... I'm not lying.

Trust me... You want, no, you NEED these rolls!

You will need:
(makes 24 rolls)

1/4 cup warm water
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, slightly whisked
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

extra 2 Tablespoons melted butter for brushing

Place the ingredients into your bread machine according to package instructions. Set on the dough cycle.

Remove dough from machine and place on a lightly floured surface. Punch down and roll the dough out into a rectangle that is about 1 inch thick. Fold in half horizontally and let rest for 15 minutes. Roll out again into the same sized rectangle and cut the dough into 24 (2-inch) squares. Place on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Let the rolls rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Bake the rolls in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown. Brush rolls will melted butter and enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Snowman Tea-light Holders

Well folks, the Holiday season is upon us! Winter and Christmas are right around the corner... And for those who celebrate Hanukkah it will be in the coming week!

With gifts to shop for and give, I love the satisfaction of not feeding into commercialism by making something special... Especially when it's something chocolate and delicious!

But for the person who has everything, the boss who doesn't eat chocolate, or the neighbor who helped shovel your drive way... These little Snowman Tea-light Holders would be perfect!

Plus they are super easy to make! (Just please don't drink out of them!)

You will need:
Snow spray (for a longer lasting effect, use Snow Tex paint)
Black fabric paint
Orange puff paint
Ribbon (for his scarf)
Wine Glasses


Evenly cover your wine glass with a coat of snow spray and allow it to dry for 1 hour.

Holding the stem of your wine glass, make 2 dots in the upper middle portion of your glass for the eyes and multiple dots in the bottom center for the mouth.

Create the carrot shape using the orange paint and a small paint brush in the center of your wine glass. Allow the paint to dry completely.

Tie a ribbon around the stem of the glass and place a tea light in the center. Handle the wine glasses carefully as the snow spray may smear.

Place a tea-light inside of the wine glass and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cranberry Pistachio Pudding Cookies

This is seriously my first ever pudding cookie.

And um, what the heck was I waiting for!? The adding pudding makes for one yummy soft cookie.

I can't wait to try other pudding cookies in the future!

But for now, let's talk pistachio pudding cookies.

These cookies have a great hint of pistachio flavor paired with tangy cranberries.

I also love the added green color it gives!

Here's what you need:
(makes about 2 dozen cookies)
1 (1 pound 1.5 ounce) package Sugar Cookie Mix
1 (4 serving) box of instant pistachio pudding mix
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup dry roasted pistachios, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries

*You can also add 1/3 cup of white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
In a large bowl,whisk together the sugar cookie mix, pudding mix, and flour. Stir in the melted butter and eggs until a soft dough forms. Add pistachios, cranberries, and chocolate chips if using. Mix to incorporate.

Scoop 1-2 Tablespoon size scoops of dough and place on prepared cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with fingers.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms are golden.
Cool completely on a wire rack and store tightly covered at room temp.

Enjoy these festive cookies!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Oh, this dip is good, soooo good!

Football season is in full swing (Go Green Bay!) and I am always looking for a delicious recipe to munch on while screaming at the television.

This recipe does NOT disappoint (unlike the Packers this season...)

It mixes 3 different cheeses with 2 kinds of peppers and is topped with a buttery and crunchy crust.

I also think this recipe would be a fun new addition to your Thanksgiving table or as a dish at your Holiday party.

Plus, it takes about 30 minutes total and that includes bake time.


You will need:
2 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup Mexican blend cheese
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile's
1 (4 ounce) can diced pickled jalapenos (fresh if you like heat)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
4 Tablespoons butter, melted

Serve with butter crackers, tortilla chips, or a loaf of french bread

Preheat oven too 375 degrees.

In a large bowl place the first 6 ingredients and beat on medium speed with your hand mixer until smooth. You do not need to drain your cans of peppers.
Slightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish and spread prepared dip into the pan.
In a medium bowl, toss together your topping ingredients and evenly sprinkle over the top of your dip.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes.
*You do not want to overcook this dip as the mayo will separate.

Enjoy this dip and... Try not to eat the whole thing by yourself.

Just kidding, do it.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Miniature Cherry Hand Pies

This recipe is cray-cray easy...

I'm almost ashamed to post it... except that it is freaking delicious!

Tart cherries, buttery flaky crust... Fab!

Of course, your favorite fruit filling could be substituted, but who DOESN'T like cherry pie!? Oh that's right, my from-another-planet-alien husband.

Sorry hubby...

You will need:
refrigerated pie crust (I used Pillsbury)
your favorite cherry pie filling

flour for dusting
1 egg, plus 1 teaspoon water (whisked to make a wash)
1 teaspoon sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slightly roll out your pie crust and cut circles with a 6" cutter (I used a bowl, because I'm classy like that)
Place 1-2 Tablespoons of cherry pie filling in the center of your circle.
Dip finger into egg wash and run along the edges of your circle.
Fold circle in half, carefully pressing the edges together and seal with a fork.
Brush the tops of your pies with remaining egg wash and sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar.
Pierce top of pie with a fork and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the pies are golden and the filling is bubbly.

Allow the pies to cool slightly (so you don't burn your tongue, not that I would know that or anything...)
Enjoy these easy hand pies because seriously, who doesn't need a crazy-easy go to recipe?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Candy Cane Cupcakes

I hope you don't think it is too early for a Christmas post.

I know, I know, most of us bloggers bowl right over Thanksgiving and head full blast into Christmas (like, the day after Halloween).

And, I'm kind of doing that now aren't I?

But I promise over the next few weeks I will also include Thanksgiving recipes... (Oh wait, Thanksgiving IS in a couple of weeks!)

For now, let's just enjoy these fun Holiday cupcakes, shall we?

I just love the pairing of chocolate and mint, especially when THIS mint frosting includes delectable cream cheese.

Candy Canes...

These impressive cupcakes make the perfect work treat or star for your Holiday table! You can use your favorite Chocolate cupcake recipe for this, here is one of mine:

For the Cupcakes:
(makes 18-24 cupcakes)

3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temp
4 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sour cream, room temp

For the Frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon mint extract
2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream

Red gel food coloring, for the swirl

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth, set aside. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda/powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and sugar over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is completely melted. Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer to a large heat proof bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. 
  4. Beat on medium for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is cooled. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, being sure to scrape the sides as you go. Mix in the vanilla and then the cocoa/water mixture. 
  5. With the mixer on low, slowly add in your dry flour mixture, alternating with the sour cream (starting and ending with the flour mixture). 
  6. Pour batter into prepared cupcake tins, 2/3 of the way full, and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  7. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on your counter top or wire rack. 

To make the frosting:
In a large bowl, beat the butter on medium heat for a couple of minutes until smooth. Add in the cream cheese and beat until just combined. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until it is full combined. Add in the vanilla and mint extract and beat just until incorporated. Mix in the heavy cream, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until you have reached your desired consistency. *Milk can be substituted for the cream, but I love the thickness and richness the cream adds.

To achieve the swirl:
In your piping bag, using a toothpick, draw 2 parallel lines with your red gel coloring (on both sides).
Carefully spoon in your prepared frosting, cut a large tip on the bottom, and pipe frosting on to your cooled cupcakes. 
I like to use 2 piping bags for this, and split the frosting in half, to achieve a brighter swirl.

The mint isn't too overpowering in these cupcakes and pairs so well with the smooth cream cheese frosting and dark chocolate cupcake.
Enjoy! And Happy Holidays!

*recipe adapted from Glorious Treats

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Chocolate Mousse Brownies

So... The pictures in this blog post kind of suck. And the lighting wasn't perfect. And I rushed to get enough shots before I flew out the door to work.

But trust me on this, you NEED to make this recipe. If you like chocolate, especially the fudgy, rich and delicious kind, you will die for these brownies.

I used a snack size (that fits an 8x8 inch pan) of brownie mix for this, and it was perfect. If you want to go forward with making this recipe with your favorite brownie recipe though, or a full size box of brownies, go for it!

More power to ya, girlfriend! (Or boyfriend!)

You will need:
1 box of brownie mix
eggs, oil, and water required on the back of box
3 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and generously grease a 9" square baking dish. Set aside.

Mix brownies according to the package instructions and pour batter into the bottom of your prepared dish. Set aside.

In a medium microwave safe bowl, place 3/4 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of chocolate chips. Microwave in 30 second intervals until completely melted and smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat together the 3 eggs and 1/3 cup sugar until fluffy. Pour in melted chocolate mixture and beat until fully incorporated.

Gently pour chocolate mousse mixture over the top of the brownie batter and bake in your preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the top is set.

Cool brownies completely, about 1 hour.

In a microwave safe bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Microwave in 30 second intervals until completely melted and smooth.

Pour ganache over the top of your cooled brownie/mousse mixture and place in the fridge to set.

Remove from fridge, slice into 1 inch squares (trust me, they are rich) and enjoy this chocolate-y delight!

By the way, does fudgey have an "e" or not (fudgy)? No judgement if I spelled it wrong, ok?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lemon Icebox Cake

I know it's November now, and we are well into pumpkin EVERYTHING, but what if you don't want a pumpkin recipe? Or a mint something or other? Well, I have just the recipe for you.

This icebox cake takes a mousse-like lemon whipped cream and layers it with spicy gingersnap cookies.

It is the perfect pairing to a hearty dinner and is so very easy to make.

The best part is that you could make this cake with any pairings! Next on my list, mocha whipped cream with crisp chocolate chip cookies.

Let's learn how to make this one first, OK?

You will need:
4 cups heavy cream
1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1 box crisp gingersnap cookies

Take a 9 inch spring form pan and cross layer it with 2 long pieces of plastic wrap. Set aside.

In a large bowl, place the 4 cups of heavy cream. Start to beat on high until it begins to thicken. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest/juice and continue to beat on high until the whipped cream is very thick.

Take a 1/3 of the whipped cream mixture and spread on the bottom of your prepared spring form pan. Top the whipped cream with a layer on gingersnap cookies, making sure they touch or breaking cookies to fill in gaps as needed.

Do this once more and finish with the remaining whipped cream. You should have 3 layers of whipped cream and 2 layers of cookies.

Gently fold your extra plastic wrap over the top of the icebox cake and place in your freezer for 3 hours and up to over night.

Remove the icebox can 1 hour before serving. Top the ice box cake with remaining cookie crumbs for an added layer of crunch.

The whipped cream takes on an almost mousse like consistency and the spicy cookies give it just the added kick it needs!

Enjoy this new spin on a lemon dessert today! Happy November everyone! :)