Wednesday, November 21, 2012

pumpkin dulce de leche pie


I made this for a friend's Pie Party last week, and remembered how much love I this particular combination of ingredients. It adds and extra-special twist and uniqueness to this classic holiday confection.This recipe is adapted from my mom's Pumpkin Pie recipe (my all-time favorite) and Recipe Girl's Dulce De Leche Pumpkin Toffee Pie. Combining the two makes for an incredible dessert. Just in time for Thanksgiving!

1 unbaked pie crust that fits in a deep pie dish
3/4 can of dulce de leche (microwaved for about 20 seconds to soften)
1 1/4 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon flour
2 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400° and move the rack to the second-to-bottom position (this is important—it will bubble over too much if you don't move the rack down). Scoop the softened dulce de leche in unbaked pie shell and set aside. Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices and flour in a mixing bowl. Add eggs; mix well. Add evaporated milk, water and vanilla. Mix well. Pour mixture into shell, on top of dulce de leche. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until center jiggles only slightly. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

guest post: overnight french toast with orange gala syrup



A little while ago—totally out of the blue—I was asked by Appliances Online (out of the UK) to do a guest post for their blog. They asked if I could do something related to family traditions and I immediately knew what I wanted to make, eat and gush about. If you want the recipe for something that has the words "Orange" and "Gala" in the title, I suggest you go to this link.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

candy bar cookies

This cookie is one of my family favorites. I mean, "Candy Bar" is in the title. We typically only had them around the holidays, because they are a bit of work, and therefore saved for special occasions. Well this week, I decided that a special occasion was going to be Saturday, and I needed to make and eat these dudes. Really good decision, I tell you. Maybe you should do the same?



Candy Bar Cookies

Shortbread:
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons canned milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour

Caramel Filling:
30 caramels
1/4 cup canned milk
1/4 butter
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans

Chocolate Topping:
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 canned milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar

Cream butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and blend well. Mix in vanilla, canned milk and salt. Blend in flour. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes. Cover with plastic and roll out into a rectangle about 1/8" thick. Cut dough into squares or rectangles (trim off uneven edges and roll out and cut again until you run out of dough. Bake at 325° for 12-16 minute until lightly brown. Cool.

In the meantime, melt chocolate chips in the canned milk. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Set aside to cool.

Melt caramels with canned milk in double boiler. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.

Spread 1 caramel filling on each piece of shortbread. Top with 1/2 teaspoon chocolate, then top with a pecan. (I found that it was easier to top with all the caramel first, then all the chocolate, then the pecans—rather than fully assembling each cookie, one at a time.)



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gooey Butter Cake

Three words: Gooey, Butter and Cake.

So you are paying attention now, right? Cause yeah, it's as rich and amazing as it sounds. I have a few friends from what they call, "The Lou" (St. Louis) and this is a classic dessert from that region. One of my best girls Emily gave me a killer awesome Christmas present a few years back, in the form of a binder full of her family's favorite recipes. So she and her mom get all the accolades that this cake deserves. There are quite a few recipes out there for this dish, but I can't imagine anything being more gooey, more buttery and more ridiculously awesome than this particular cake. So, go make this happen in your life, too—it's just necessary. Trust me and the Hintze family.


Crust:
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup butter

Filling:
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup flour
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar

To make the crust, combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling. Pat into the bottom and sides of a greased 9x9 pan. To make the filling, beat sugar and butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg. Then add flour and evaporated milk alternately, mixing after each addition. Add corn syrup and vanilla. Mix at medium speed until well blended. Pour batter on the top of crust. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Bake at 350° for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the cake is nearly set. Do not overcook. Serve after cooled in pan till room temperature (after more powdered sugar is sprinkled on top for garnish). 

Monday, October 1, 2012

re-post: flourless peanut butter cookies

(photo via Instagram)

I made these cookies last night and posted them on my Instagram and had a few of my gluten-free friends ask me for the recipe. I've made them before, but I thought I'd re-post, with a few changes and tips that I've added since then. You have to follow the recipe pretty darn exactly, or they just don't turn out quite right. I'm not gluten free, but I would still choose this over a recipe with flour in it. They have the perfect texture I'm looking for in a PB cookie. Chewy and soft, but still a little bit crumbly. Plus, they are crazy easy to make and even easier to shove in your mouth. 

1 cup smooth peanut butter (I've tried natural PB and it doesn't work as well, unless you use Skippy Natural Creamy PB. This recipe is all about the right textures, and you have to use the right type of PB)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°. In a mixer combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg, vanilla and baking soda and mix for 1 1/2 minutes (before, it called for two, and it seemed too greasy and didn't crumble a little bit, which I like). Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop out the dough, then roll into a compact ball (This size is just right for getting the perfect cookie - however, this makes less cookies than a normal batch, approximately 16, so you may want to double your batch, depending on your needs/self control). Use a fork dipped in sugar to make a criss cross pattern on the top of the cookie. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Rest the cookies for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack—this is important! Let cookies sit on wire rack at least 5 minutes before consuming to your heart's content. 

***I can't stress enough how you have to follow this recipe exactly to get the perfect PB cookie. 


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

grandpa's favorite butterscotch brownies


A few weeks ago, we had an impromptu family reunion on my dad's side to celebrate a large milestone in my Aunt's life. All of my cousins on that side, except four came out to celebrate with her. My sister was kind enough to put together a luncheon for everyone and she had asked my Aunt Donna what desserts she would like. Aunt Donna's first response was, "My dad's favorite Butterscotch brownies." My Gramps used to LOVE these. He loved most treats, but these were his all-time favorite. So, they have a special place in my family history (which of course is food related—we may have a problem—but we don't care—you don't know our life!) These guys are addicting. So when you make them, which I suggest you do immediately, make sure there are people to share with—or you may wake up in a haze with an empty pan of brownies next to you.

Grandpa's Favorite Butterscotch Brownies

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Frosting:
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 325°. Grease an 8x8 pan. Combine the dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl; set aside. Mix the eggs, butter and vanilla together until combined. Stir in dry ingredients. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes. While brownies are baking, make the frosting.

Combine brown sugar and butter and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add milk and powdered sugar, and beat until thick. If you overbeat, the frosting will be too dry, so stop when it becomes thick. Spread frosting onto hot brownies and cool to room temperature before slicing and stuffing your face.

Monday, September 10, 2012

streusel coffee cake



When I was in New York last year, I finally got to try the Clinton Street Baking Company for breakfast. I wanted to eat every single item on the menu. My Mom has had the cookbook for a while, so I knew I needed to go to the real thing while I was there. It was a crazy wait, but like all good things—worth it. My parents gave me the cookbook this year for my birthday and I couldn't have been more pleased. I am so excited to make everything from this book! I found this recipe for Buttermilk Streusel Coffee Cake and I knew I had to make it. I didn't have buttermilk, which was a problem, but I did have greek yogurt and some left over half and half from another recipe and decided to take the gamble and substitute this concoction for buttermilk. The gamble paid off, everyone loved the cake, and now I have a new favorite in the arsenal of breakfast coffee cakes.

Streusel Coffee Cake, adapted from Clinton Street Baking Company

Streusel Topping

3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup graham-cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Cake

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups greek yogurt mixed with 1/2 cup half and half or milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt or tube pan. Mix all the Streusel Topping ingredients together in a mixing bowl and set aside.

For the cake, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, two at a time, mixing until well blended. Mix in the greek yogurt mixture and vanilla extract. Sift together and sir in the remaining dry ingredients. (Mixture will be very thick, almost like cookie batter)

Fill the pan halfway with the batter. Sprinkle with two-thirds of the Streusel Topping. Add the rest of the batter. Top with remaining on-third streusel.

Bake for 60-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. (My bundt pan may have been a little small, cause some of the batter spilled over while baking, so make sure you have the right size pan and put foil on the bottom of your oven, just in case.)

Cool. To unmold, place a plate firmly on top of the pan and flip, being carful to preserve the streusel.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

peanut butter-chocolate chip pie

Whenever my 2.0 comes into town, her family is nice enough to invite me to Sunday dinner. I always like to bring a dessert, because that's how I do. This family is a chocolate loving family. Like, for serious rich, decadent, chocolate insanity loving. I mean—the grandkids eat dark chocolate squares for dessert snacks—if that tells you anything. It took me to get to my 30's before I was down for the dark side like that. So, I always feel like I have to bring my chocolate A-game to these events. This time I brought my favorite combo, peanut butter and chocolate. My offering was a success, and it's safe to say that I will be invited again in the future. Phew!


Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Pie, adapted from one of my very favorite food blogs, Bake or Break.

Crust:
1 package Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 & 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup chocolate chips, pulsed a few times in a food processor (I like the mixture of big pieces and fine pieces that come from doing this step)

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine all crust ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until moistened. Press mixture on bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Mix cream cheese, peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until combined. Whip cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Fold in already processed chocolate chips. Pour filling into baked crust. Refrigerate for about 4 hours, or until set, before serving. Keep pie refrigerated.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

blueberry peach crumble


So... peach season... it is upon us with all of it's glory. If there was one perfect thing that Mother Nature ever put forth on this earth, it is the glorious peach. It's like happiness, sunshine and summer—all in one place. It makes everything that accompanies that much better. Waffles? Check. Sweetened Condensed Milk? Check. Check. My face? Triple check. For these peaches however, I chose blueberries. In my humble opinion, crumbles and crisps are the best way to devour these amazing summer fruits. I adapted this recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod and shared their splendor with the Summer Olympics (let's take a moment and pour some out for the hole that has been left in my life since they ended) and some friends. Good times were had.

Blueberry Peach Crumble

Ingredients:
3 cups blueberries
4 cups peeled and sliced peaches
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose Gold Medal Flour

For the crumble topping:
1 cup all-purpose Gold Medal Flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
10 tablespoons cold butter, diced

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, combine blueberries, sliced peaches, lemon juice, vanilla extract, granulated sugar, and flour. Gently toss until fruit is well coated. Let the fruit mixture sit while you prepare the crumble topping.

3. For the crumble topping: in a large bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir together with a whisk. Mix in the butter with your fingers until the mixture comes together and you have big crumbles.

4. Place the fruit mixture in a 3 quart ceramic or glass baking dish. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the fruit. Place the pan on a baking sheet pan lined with a Silpat or parchment paper and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the tops are browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

raspberry peach jam


(photo via Instagram)

Ya'll know I love jam. Ya'll know I love peaches. So when I saw this recipe for Raspberry Peach Jam, I knew I had to make that happen. It's super simple to make, and even easier to eat. I want to eat it all day, every day. You should try it. Let's eat jam together, yeah?

Homemade Raspberry Peach Jam adapted from America'sTestKitchenFeed.com

2/3 cup sugar
1 pint of raspberries
3 fresh peaches, peeled, halved, pitted, sliced ¼ inch thick, and each slice halved crosswise
3 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Place metal spoon in freezer to chill. Heat sugar in large saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 1 minute. Add raspberries and continue to stir until raspberries release their juices, about 1 minute more. Stir in peaches, increase heat to medium-high, bring to boil, and cook until peaches are just tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and mash fruit with potato masher.

2. Return fruit mixture to boil and cook until mixture thickens to jam-like consistency, 8 to 10 minutes. To test for set point, remove saucepan from heat. Dip chilled spoon into jam, and allow jam to run off spoon; jam should slowly fall off spoon in one thickened clump. If it is runny, return jam to medium heat and simmer 2 to 4 minutes before re-testing. Using large spoon, skim foam from top of jam. Stir in lemon juice.

3. Transfer jam to jars with tight-fitting lids, let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. Jam can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.