Thursday, June 28, 2012

Apple Hand Pies

Apparently, there are some people on this earth who do not care for cake.  They prefer, of all things, pie.  I am married to one of these individuals.  Every year for his birthday, it's pie.  Probably apple.  This year, we were having dinner out with friends to celebrate and when one doesn't like cake, he typically doesn't like cupcakes, the most portable celebratory dessert, either.  So I was left with only one option.  Make pie portable.  Hand pies it is.  The cupcake of the pie world.  Turns out, these were easier than cupcakes anyway, and no frosting got smudged or squished anywhere during transport.

Apple Hand Pies
2 Granny Smith Apples
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 box pie crust
dab of butter

Peel and dice the apples.  Mix with lemon juice, brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, and cloves.  Allow to sit at least 30 minutes or covered overnight.

Unroll the pie crust.  Using a round (or really and shape you desire) cookie cutter, cut out an even number of circles.  I found that without rerolling the dough, I was able to get 8 cicles out of each piece of crust.

Spoon a tablespoon of filling onto half of the crust circles, leaving a little room all the way around the edge.  Brush a bit of beaten egg around the edge of the circle.  Lay the other circle on top of the filing.  Using a fork, press around the edges of the pie, sealing it.  Brush additional egg wash over the top crust.  Poke a few steam vents.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Waffle Awesomeness

We went to Portland over the weekend.  It was an amazing weekend of friends and fun, but the only thing that I took photos of was this incredible waffle I had at The Gaufre Gourmet.  They had brioche style waffles that I HAVE to figure out how to make.  

Mine was a caramel apple waffle.  Caramel sauce, peanut butter sauce, sliced Granny Smith apples, and salty peanuts all on top of a buttery waffle.  Heaven.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Interesting Things

Here are some interesting things I bookmarked this week:

I love love love fried pickles.  I order them pretty much whenever I see them on the menu.  Skinny Taste's Oven Fried Pickles, made with panko and baked in the oven, look like just the thing to get my fried pickle fix without so much...well, fried.
Chocolate chip cookie dough billionaire bars.  Need I say more?

Louise always makes the most beautiful cakes and fondant toppers.  Her tutorial for how to make a flower fairy cake topper is no different.  Gorgeous photos and great directions.

Ice cream season is here!  The Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce looks like just the thing for a perfect sundae.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Quick and Easy Fauxfetti

As I mentioned yesterday, my sister loves Funfetti cake.  It is all she asks for.  She actually only likes cake from a box, she thinks cake from scratch is too dry and a bit heavy.

When I went to make her cake the other day, I could have sworn that I had a Funfetti mix in the cupboard, but alas, only white cake mix was to be found.

The solution: mix in my own sprinkles.  I happened to have a jar full of the multicolored jimmies floating around, but any sprinkle will do.

How much do you add?  I just poured some in until I thought it looked right.  Bake cake as usual. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pink Ombre Cake

My baby sister is smart and funny.  She is kind and loving and I couldn't ask for a more wonderful sister.  She also LOVES pink.  So for her birthday cake last week, I had no choice but to make a pink cake.  I have actually made her many pink cakes, so I had to find some way to switch it up.  Enter ombre.  What a fun and relatively simple way to switch up plain pink.  And it's everywhere right now.

 Many people have the various colors on the inside of the cake, which is really cool if you sis didn't insist that her cake had to be funfetti :)  So to the outside I went.

American Buttercream
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature (room temperature being about 70 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar (about 8 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch (very small pinch) of kosher salt
  • 6-10 tablespoons water or milk, depending on how thick you like your icing
Beat butter on high speed until smooth.  Add in vanilla and salt and beat to combine.  Slowly add in powdered sugar.  Beat on low speed until combined.  Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

To frost:
  • Make your favorite buttercream.  I used the above regular ole' American buttercream.  The above cake is a 6" 3 layer cake and I needed 1 full recipe of the American buttercream.
  • Tint buttercream 4 shades of the same color.  Word to the wise, start with the lightest color (light pink, 1 drop of food coloring) and remove a portion from the bowl into a separate bowl, then continue to deepen the color.  This way you can use your mixer to beat in the color for a consistent color all over
  • Fill 4 piping bags with the 4 shades of buttercream, reserving some of the lightest shade for the top of the cake.
  • Cut the tips off of the piping bags
  • Frost the top of the cake with lightest shade of buttercream
  • Pipe thick bands of icing around the cake, starting with the lightest shade on top
  • Use offset spatula or pastry cutter to smooth the icing.  Having a turntable helps immensely.  You may have to smooth icing a couple of times. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

Makes My Life Easier-Freezing Frosting

For some reason, it took me far to long to realize that you can freeze your leftover frosting.

Just stick it into a freezer safe container and pop it into the freezer.  The next time you make some cupcakes or need a dab of a certain color, dig out all of your little containers of frosting. 

Allow frozen frosting a couple of hours to come to room temperature.  If the butter separates out, beat it for a couple of minutes.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Peanut Butter Pizza

I don't know when my family first started making peanut butter pizza.  This dish became my signature dessert when I was in grade school.  I would take it to every family gathering and it would always be demolished.  It is really just a peanut butter cookie with chocolate chips on top, but since peanut butter and chocolate are such an amazing combination, this works every time.  Originally the recipe called for marshmallows on top with semi sweet chocolate chips, but over the years my family's preference for milk chocolate and no marshmallows prevailed. 

Peanut Butter Pizza
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package milk chocolate chips

Melt margarine, shortening, and peanut butter in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds.  Stir in brown sugar and granulated sugar.  (This is a good time to sample a little batter because butter, peanut butter and sugar mixed together taste awesome and we haven't put the egg in yet :)  Stir in egg and vanilla.  Stir in baking soda and all purpose flour.  The dough should be fairly thick.

Plop dough on ungreased pizza pan or cookie sheet.  Spread to the edges of the pan.  I often find it easier to push the dough to the edges with my hands.  The dough may not fill up your pizza pan. The pan I had growing up was perfect, but the one I have now, the dough does not quite reach the edges.  That is ok.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Don't go a lot longer.  You want a soft cookie base.  Immediately after removing from the oven pour chocolate chips.  Do not move them around if you can help it, they will be kind of melty.  If you accidentally pour them all on one spot, just spread them across the top like frosting.  It will be a different look, but taste the same.  

If you want to get crazy and put marshmallows on top, add 1/2 cup mini marshmallows immediately after the chocolate chips.  Place back in the oven on the top rack for a few minutes to brown the marshmallows.  (Or use a kitchen torch.)  


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