Friday, July 29, 2011

Boozy Apple Pie

My dad LOVES apple pie so when I heard about a recipe that used hard cider, I was very intrigued.  This recipe comes from a google search but the recipe was adapted from a recipe by Lucy Baker's The Boozy Baker.  My dad loved the end result which creates a delicious glaze to cover the apples.   I hope you'll enjoy it too.

Pie before baking

Hard Cider Apple Pie
Makes 1 pie
  • 2 1/2 pounds (about 5 medium) Granny Smith applies, peeled, cored, and cut into 3/4 inch slices
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons hard cider, divided
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Zest of 1 lemon
To glaze the crust:
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar
1. Make the crust or cheat and use premade crust like me.
2. Make the filling. In a large saucepan, combine apple slices, 2/3 cup hard cider, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; cook, stirring often, until sugar has dissolved and the apples are thickly coated, about 5 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of hard cider and cornstarch. Add cornstarch mixture to apples and boil for 1 to 2 minutes or until the liquid is thick and clear. Remove from heat, stir in lemon zest, and let cool for 30 minutes.
4. Remove both portions of the pie dough from the refrigerator. On a clean, well-floured work surface, roll one disk of dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate. Pour the apple mixture into the crust. Don't worry about getting all the glaze.  There will be plenty and if you use it all it bubbles all over your oven and makes a huge mess, trust me.
5. Roll the second half of the dough into a 12-inch circle and transfer it to the top of the pie. Pinch the edges of the top and bottom crusts together. Trim any excess dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Crimp the edges, and cut 2-inch vents in the center of the top crust. Transfer the pie to the freezer and chill for 1 hour or until it is very cold and the crust is firm to the touch.
6. Heat the oven to 425 degrees and place a rack in the lower third.
7. Glaze the crust. Brush the top crust with cream and sprinkle with raw sugar, if using.
8. Bake the pie for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. If the edges brown too quickly, cover them with foil. Cool the pie on a wire rack before serving.

Brown Sugar Cookies

Another recipe requested by another friend.  Karen, this one's posted for you!  I made these for work on Thursday and they were well recived.  Brown Sugar Cookies are a twist on the traditional sugar cookies but you replace the granulated sugar with either light (creates a mild butterscotch flavor) or dark brown (creates a more molasses-like flavor) sugar.  They have this wonderful warm taste and seem to just melt in your mouth. 

Brown Sugar Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter1 1/2 cups brown sugar (either light or dark)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp sugar, for rolling
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Gradually blend in the flour mixture until dough comes together and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
  4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar before placing on baking sheet. Space cookies about 2-inches apart to allow for spread.
  5. Bake for 11-14 minutes, until cookies are set and very lightly browned around the edges.
  6. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Bread

I made this yummy treat for the girls to eat while getting ready for our wonderful friends Dan and Danielle's wedding.  I had the honor of being a bridesmaid and was asked to bring something for the girls to snack on while getting ready the morning of the wedding.  One of the other bridesmaids asked for the recipe, so here ya go Caitlin. :)  This bread is a wonderful combo of tangy and sweet and a delicious summer breakfast treat.

Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Bread
Makes 1 5x9" loaf or 9 2x4" mini loaves
 1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (approx. 4 lemons)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 ounces blueberries (1 1/4 cups)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter nine 2 1/2-by-4-inch baking pans, and dust with flour, tapping out excess.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and syrup is thickened, about 4 minutes. Let stand.
  3. Combine heavy cream, remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and the vanilla in a bowl. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another bowl.
  4. Beat butter, lemon zest, and remaining cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low, and add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour. 
  5. Gently fold in blueberries using a rubber spatula.
  6. Divide batter evenly among pans. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 30 minutes for mini loaves and 55 minutes for 1 large loaf.
  7. Transfer pan(s) to wire rack, and brush tops of loaves with lemon syrup. Let stand for 15 minutes. Turn out loaves from pans, and brush all over with remaining syrup. Let cool completely on wire racks.

Site Make-Over

Notice my awesome new banner?  It was created for me by my best friend Christine from Memories By Christine.  She's super talented so be sure to check out her work!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I haven't made anything for the hubby to bring to his office lately, so I thought I'd send something in this week.  Mr. Sprinkles is a HUGE fan of cinnamon and brown sugar so I thought a cinnamon, brown sugar, and walnut streusel coffee cake would be nice to have for those Monday morning meetings.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Makes 12 servings
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon; set aside.
  2. Using a mixer, cream together the granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl. 
  3. Add egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  4. Beat in sour cream and vanilla.
  5. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
  6. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat well. 
  7. Spread half of batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle half of walnut streusel over batter. Spread remaining batter over streusel. Top with remaining streusel.
  8. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Have a happy birthday you will!

Today is Mr. Sprinkles's birthday.  Happy Birthday Hubby!!!  He's a huge Star Wars fan so when  I saw these cookie cutters at William Sonoma, I HAD to buy them.  As a special birthday treat I made sugar cookies and decorated them with royal icing (recipe for both here.)  I chose to make storm trooper and yoda cookies.  I added some neon green food coloring to the yoda ones and made the details on the storm trooper in dark grey to prevent any tongues from turning green/black and was pretty happy with the end result.

DFTS Original Recipe: S'mores Cookies

My boss at my summer job showed me a recipe for S'mores Bars.  While they looked super yummy, they also looked super messy.  When baking for my buddies in the box office at my summer job, I look for easy to eat cookies that could be quickly eaten without plates and without making a huge mess.  I found a recipe for s'mores cookies at Baked Perfection.   Normally I love their recipes, but my cookies were a burnt mess at 8 minutes and still needed to go back in for 3-4 minutes more according to the recipe.  Yuck!  I'm not sure what happened but I decided to toss the remaining dough after 2 tries in the oven and just make my own recipe.  I liked the end result even better than I think I would have liked the Baked Perfection version and I hope you like them too!

Don't Forget The Sprinkles S'mores Cookies
Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies
  • 11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 4 graham crackers, pulverized
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, graham crackers, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon to combine. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with white and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixer and combine on low speed.
  5. Mix in the chocolate chips and marshmallows.
  6. Place tablespoons of dough on baking sheets about 2 – 2 ½ inches apart and bake for 8-10 minutes.