Friday, December 14, 2012

Apple Pie Cookies

Apple Pie Cookies

For this recipe I got my inspiration from the unopened bottle of apple pie spice in my cupboard.  I knew there had to be another use for it besides just apple pie.  So I thought to myself, sugar cookies, plus spice, plus real apples equals one delicious cookie!  And I was right. 

2/3 C shortening
2/3 C butter
1 1/2 C white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking bowder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp apple pie spice
1 apple  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and sugar.  Stir in the eggs and vanilla.

In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

Stir flour mixture into the creamed mixture until fully combined. 

Add in the apple pie spice and stir well.  
Peel and chop the apple into small bits and fold into cookie dough.

Bake cookies for about 10-12 minutes, cool on racks. Enjoy!

You can also make up a quick powdered sugar and milk glaze to top the cookies.  I thought it made a nice addition.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cookie Dough Brownie Bites

Cookie Dough Brownie Bites

This recipe was inspired by a pin on Pinterest that showed a brownie bottom and a cookie top.  I'm thinking you have to have the perfect cookie and brownie recipes to make this work.  While mine did not turn out like the pin, they still turned out to be delicious little desserts!

First, prepare the brownie and cookie dough mix.  I cheated and used a mix for the cookies but you can use whatever recipes you want!

Next, fill sprayed muffin tins with enough brownie batter to just cover the bottom about 1/4 of an inch thick.  Place a cookie dough ball about the size of large grape, maybe a little bigger, on top of the brownie batter.
 These bake at 350 for about 19-20 minutes.  Let them sit in the pan for about two minutes after you take them out of the oven so they don't fall apart.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chocolate Reeses Pieces Cake

My friend Haley recently had a birthday.  Not just any birthday though, her 18th!  So in celebration I decided to bake her a cake (as if I need another excuse to bake).  Her favorite kind of cake was chocolate and she loves Reese's Pieces!  So I decided to put the two together!  The recipe I used was relatively simple, but it tasted oh so good!

Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water 

Cake Directions

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. (Make sure you cover the entire pan so nothing gets stuck to it!)

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with your own frosting or the frosting recipe I will provide below!

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup Cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting Directions (Super easy!)

  Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.

Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

 This was the final result for the frosting recipe!

 This was my bottom cake, I put some candies on top for a little surprise in the middle!

 The finished product!  It was well received.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Almond Macarons

This time around I attempted the delicate and temperamental macaron. For those of you who don't know what a macaron is, it's like two light wafers sandwiched together with delicious buttercream frosting.
I would not suggest attempting to make these unless you have an entire evening set aside. Even if everything goes the way it should it takes a considerable amount of time to complete these tiny little creations.

First, we'll start with the wafers.

2/3 cup almond meal or ground almonds
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 large egg whites at room temperature and preferably aged up to 3 days
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 280ยบ and position two racks in the lower section of the oven. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. If you have time, draw 1-inch circles on the back of each sheet, spacing the circles at least 1/2-inch apart. (I did not do this but if you are an anal baker it could make things easier.)

If your almond meal is very coarse, grind it with the powdered sugar in a food processor until fine. (You can also use a blender. I would not suggest using elbow grease and trying to smash them yourself.)  Sift the almond meal-powdered sugar mixture twice through a mesh sieve.

Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) and begin to beat on medium-high. When the eggs are frothy, gradually add granulated sugar one tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated. Continue to beat the egg white mixture until glossy and stiff peaks form when you lift the beaters. (Be patient! It will take a few minutes.) Gently stir in the vanilla extract. Be careful to not overbeat the meringue (e.g., the meringue takes on a clumpy texture).

Add half of the sifted almond mixture and gently fold it into the meringue using a flexible spatula. Lift from the bottom, up around the sides, and toward the middle, being careful to not over-agitate the meringue and lose too much air. Once the almond mixture is mostly incorporated, add the second half and repeat the folding motion.

 When the almond mixture is just incorporated, you will need to transform the batter into the appropriate texture. Using the flat of the spatula, "punch" down into the center of the batter, then scrape more batter from the sides to the center, and punch again. (This is when you can add food coloring if you wish!) You will need to repeat this 10-15 times (or more, depending on your arm strength and the beginning texture of your batter) until the batter slowly and continuously drips back into the bowl when you scoop it up with the spatula. Think of the consistency of molten lava. For the best results, check the consistency frequently! Do not make the batter too runny or the macarons won't rise like they should, and you could end up with oil stains on the tops.

Pour batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 0.4-inch tip. You can also use a gallon size Ziploc bag: just snip a teeny bit from one of the bottom corners. Twist and make sure to tightly seal the top of the bag to avoid overflow. On your prepared baking sheets, pipe out 1-inch rounds in the circles you drew. (I just held the bag in the middle and let the batter billow out around it!)

Holding the baking sheet in both hands, rap each baking sheet firmly on the counter two or three times. This smooths out the tops and helps form the frilly foot on the bottoms of the macarons. Allow the piped macarons to dry, uncovered. The macarons should form a very thin, smooth crust where, if you tap it lightly with your finger, the batter will not stick to your finger. If the batter is still sticky, let it dry longer. This may take up to an hour on humid days. (I found it only took a few minutes)

Place baking sheets in the oven (I did one at a time) and bake for 15-18 minutes. After the first 2 minutes, open the oven to allow any excess humidity to escape. Halfway through, swap oven racks and rotate the sheets for even baking. The macarons are done when they are baked all the way through and the shells are just hard. Take care to not underbake (insides will still be mushy) or over-bake (tops will begin to brown). Remove them from the oven, and cool on baking sheet placed on a wire rack.

When fully cooled, assemble the macarons with your choice of filling. The macarons can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Now on to the frosting!  I used a buttercream frosting and boy was it delicious!


7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cut butter into pieces and mash with a spatula until the consistency resembles mayonnaise.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then add the granulated sugar and whisk until the mixture lightens to an off-white and you can no longer see the granules of sugar. Add the milk, and whisk to combine.

Pour the egg mixture into a small saucepan and heat over low heat, whisking frequently to ensure that the mixture does not curdle or scorch. Cook until the mixture becomes thick and custardy, like pudding. (could take awhile!)

Pour the egg mixture back into its bowl and whisk constantly until it returns to room temperature. Whisk in the butter in three batches, add the vanilla, and stir until smooth and all ingredients are fully combined. (Add food coloring to increase cuteness!) Pipe or spread onto one macaron half and sandwich between the other. (Piping results in a prettier product!)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sherbet Roll

Today I'm going to be attempting to make a Rainbow Sherbet Roll.  I've never made anything like this before so here goes nothing!

1 package of Angel Food Cake mix
1 1/4 C Cold Water
Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 C each of three sherbet flavors of your choice (I used Raspberry, Orange, and Lime)
Large Mixing Bowl
Jelly Roll Pan (or cookie sheet)
Tin Foil
Wax Paper

Preheat your Oven to 350 Degrees
Make sure you line the Jelly Roll Pan with wax paper!  If you don't the cake will burn and stick!

Mix the cake mix and the cold water together in a large mixing bowl.  Beat on low for 30 seconds, then medium for 1 minute.  Pour half of the batter onto the Jelly Pan and use the other half for whatever you want.  (Maybe a backup, I sure wish I had done that)  Bake this for 20-25 minutes.  If you are using a dark pan either lower the temp to 325 or check at about 15  minutes. 


When the cake is done let it cool for about ten minutes.  Spread a towel out and sprinkle it with powdered sugar.  When the cake is cooled carefully take the wax paper off.  If you over cook the cake it will stick to the wax paper.  (I made this mistake)  If you are having trouble I found that using a knife to separate the two helps.  After the wax paper is off roll up the cake in the towel and let completely cool for about an hour. 


Set out your sherbet so that it is easily spreadable, but make sure it isn't too melted or you'll have a mess!  When the cake is cooled lay out sugared side down on a piece of aluminum foil.  Spread the Sherbet over the cake in thirds.  (First flavor over the first third, second over the second third, etc...)

 After you are finished spreading the sherbert (you want to do this as quickly as possible or you'll have a mess!) roll up the cake and wrap it in tin foil.  Place it seam down for a more secure hold.

 Leave it in the freezer for about six hours before you eat it.  It works best to set it out just a few minutes before you intend to serve it.  Now let's see the finished product!

 Not only does this dessert look good but it tastes good too!  A decently healthy dessert that is a refreshing cherry on top of your meal!  Enjoy!