Cookie Dough Pie Recipe

Cookie Dough Pie Recipe

Cookie Dough Pie Recipe

Cookie Dough Pie Recipe

Cookie Dough Pie Recipe

So… if you haven’t figured it out be now, I should tell you the obvious. I love cookie dough and cream cheese. Anything with those two, for me, is bound to be wonderful. This jolly ol’ recipe happens to have BOTH. I know, it’s evil wonderful!!! It is also good for anyone who likes ice cream. It has a bit of a similarity in that it is cold and creamy :) at any rate, as I already mentioned, this pie is creamy, chocolatey, cookie doughy, has a nice Oreo crunchy crust, and is an overall winner. It is also quite rich and, I must admit, a little difficult to get a clean cut piece because the crust is tricky to cut neatly.

I cannot believe that summer is almost over. I feel as if it has just begun! Recently someone asked me if  my summer felt long (because it was also quite busy). I shook my head vigorously and said “noooooo!!!” A little while ago, I was leafing through my planner where I, throughout the school year, I had written down due dates, homework, and tests that I needed to study for. Not to sound snobby or anything, but I am amazed at what I managed to fit into a twenty-four hour day without going insane or dying! That being said, I really loved my freshman year and am looking forward to my sophomore year, which will start in eleven days. Crazy. It is strange how time works. During the school year, it seems slow. At times when it is at a crawl, I think to myself, “At some point, I won’t care what the heck I am doing right now. I won’t care about this upcoming history test when I turn 20. Or 30. Or 40. Or 90.” Well, I realize how much time files when I recognize that the time I was thinking of arrives hand in hand with summer. Already, I could care less about the test over the industrial revolution, the quiz over photosynthesis and cellular respiration, and the 44 slide presentation about Mark Twain that was 200 points (to put this in perspective, my exam was worth 100 points. Anything wrong with that picture???). At one point, I also had a quiz over a quiz. Again: anything wrong with that picture???

Seriously, though, I am super excited for this year! I am going to be in a musical, and continuing with the Astronomy Club that I created. I will also be continuing in a number of other clubs I was in last year. I’ll continue taking piano lessons, and I have many weddings to look forward to in my family! <3 :) I also love to anticipate and guess who will be my teachers this year. I have not gotten my schedule yet, but I am pretty sure I know who my teachers will be. The only thing I am not sure of is homeroom, and I have one that I hope to be put in. If I get into that one, I think I will scream out loud. If I don’t, I will still scream out loud.

P.S. I promise that I don’t talk about school 24/7… It just that, well… It’s immanent. Beware.

Cookie Dough Pie Recipe (from Life, Love and Sugar):

For the Crust:

20-25 oreos

5 Tbsp. butter, melted

For the Cookie Dough:

6 tbsp butter

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

1/8 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup flour

1 tsp milk

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the Filling:

8 oz cream cheese

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

8 oz cool whip

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
Directions:

For the pie crust:

1. Crush the oreos into a fine crumb and mix the oreo crumbs with the melted butter.

2. Press into the bottom of a greased 8 or 9 inch pie pan. Set in the freezer while you make the cookie dough.

For the Cookie Dough:

1. Cream the butter, sugar and dark brown sugar. Mix in the vanilla extract. Add the flour and milk and mix thoroughly. The dough will be thick. Last but not least, mix in the chocolate chips.

2. Roll the dough into little balls that are similar in diameter to a nickel.  Freeze the balls of dough while making the filling.

For the Filling:

1. Mix the cream cheese, sugar and brown sugar together with a mixer. Mix until smooth. Carefully and thoroughly fold in the Cool Whip. Stir in a 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and about 3/4 of the frozen cookie dough balls.

2. Pour the filling into the pie crust and top with remaining cookie dough balls and 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.

3. Allow to freeze completely. Set the pie on the counter 5 min before serving (it may be tricky to get the first piece out, but after that, it’s easy as pie :)

4. Enjoy the major comfort food!

Pear Crescent Cookies (Rugalach) Recipe

Pear Crescents (Rugalach) Recipe

Pear Crescents (Rugalach) Recipe

Pear Crescents (Rugalach) Recipe

Pear Crescents (Rugalach) Recipe

Pear Crescents (Rugalach) Recipe

Pear Crescents (Rugalach) Recipe

Pear Crescents (Rugalach) Recipe

Pear Crescents (Rugalach) Recipe

When my sister tasted these she said “Oh, wow. They’re like little pies! Geez, they’re so good!” She was eating them before dinner, as was I (naughty, naughty). She was spot on with her comment, except for when she added that they looked somewhat like caterpillars :) Anyway, these cookies really are like miniature pies. The actual crescent is  very pastry-like and the cream cheese in it is another interesting addition that makes it softer. I don’t quite know how to put it, but the cream cheese adds somewhat of a “gentleness” to the taste of the cookie. Maybe it’s just that hint of creaminess that makes it to pleasant to me. :) At any rate, the filling is good too. There is also cream cheese in the filling, along with pears, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE (etc.) pears!!!!

These are not as hard as they look. I’m just putting that out there. There is no cutting butter in for the crescents or weird things that need to be this temperature or dough that needs to be refrigerated. NO. This was one of those recipes that I saw and laughed at when I read the directions. It had all these things that were so complicated, and I knew that it wouldn’t affect the outcome (a.k.a. the cookies’ appearance or taste). Sometimes I get a good kick out of the things that recipes will direct you to do. Needless to say, I wouldn’t usually recommend skipping directions.

Ah. Do you ever wish that days were actually 36 hours long instead of 24 hours long? That’s me right now. I wrote most of this post at 1:30 a.m., so I was desperate for a longer day. It’s not uncommon for me to be up until one or two o’clock in the morning. Of course, then I sleep late, too. I’m no early bird, noooooo sireeeeeeeeeeee… I’m a late owl. My sister is usually my partner in crime in this department. Last summer, we stayed up until 2 o’clock almost every night. When I was really young (imagine me around age 6), I used to wonder how on earth my siblings could sleep for all eternity and HOW, OF ALL THINGS, could they ever want to got to bed?!?!?!?!?!? I understand now… all too well, I think. I’ve had some times this year when the only “equation” I could think of in math class was this: sleep+ infinity number of hours= heaven x life completion. I cannot tell you how many times I have told my sister that I wish I was Sleeping Beauty; not because I would be a princess (although it would be a plus), but because then I could sleep for 100 years on end. I still hold the records in my class for least amount of sleep and waking up the earliest… it’s a bittersweet accomplishment.

Pear c Cookies (Rugalach) Recipe (Adapted from Taste of Home):

(Makes one dozen)

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, divided

1 cups all-purpose flour

one dash of salt

1/2 cup finely diced pear (about one medium)

2 Tbsp. white sugar

1 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and set out one ungreased cookie sheet.

2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and 4 oz. cream cheese until light and fluffy. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

3. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle. Cut it into 12 wedges. In a small bowl, microwave the other 4 oz. cream cheese until it is easy to spread.Then, spread the cream cheese evenly on each wide end of the crescents. Sprinkle the prepared cinnamon sugar over each crescent evenly. Next, top each crescent with 1 teaspoon of pear (you won’t use the entire 1/2 cup diced pear, just FYI).

4. Roll up, beginning at wide end. Place pointed side down 2 inches apart on baking sheet; curve ends to form a crescent.

5. Bake for 12  minutes, no more. They might not look any different than when you put them in, but trust me… take them out after 12 minutes. If you flip one over, the bottom should be golden brown, or even a tad lighter is fine. Immediately remove to cool.

6. Enjoy! <3

Muffins Recipe (with variations for 20 different flavors)

Blueberry Muffins Recipe

Blueberry Muffins Recipe

Peach Muffins Recipe

Peach Muffins Recipe

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe (my brother was amusing himself with Scrabble pieces, if you didn’t notice…)

What with school and all, I kept the baking pretty brief. Short and sweet. Literally, sweet. Anyway, muffins are always reliably easy, right? So that’s what I have been making for the past year of my life. Muffins. Oh, the adventures (note the sarcasm). It’s not that I don’t enjoy making muffins, it’s just that I need some time consuming projects every once in a while to quench my constant desire to bake something, ANYTHING. For example, the gingerbread house that I made at Christmas… That put me out of commission for a while!

Anyway, as you can imagine, eating blueberry muffins everyday can get kind of boring. One advantage of that boredom, though, is that I discovered a million different combos and flavors, as well as tweeked the recipe so that the muffins are always very moist, but not simultaneously dry and gooey. There’s a fine line, and I could never seem to find that line until I changed the recipe for the more awesome. :) But like I said, I have the base of the muffin recipe below and you can look under the Note: at the bottom of the post to find the flavor(s) that are a calling your name. Abut the actual muffin base, though… After my modifications, I feel confidant that it is a great one! As I already mentioned, it is perfectly moist (neither gooey nor dry), soft, fluffy, light, and pleasantly sweet (but not sweet to the point of becoming a cupcake).

I’m going through summertime guilt right now. I have summer homework to do, but I keep procrastinating, which is new for me. It just sits on my bedside table, reminding me that I should be doing it, and me stubbornly not wanting to do it. To be honest, there are many things that I want to do (like blog more often!!! I hadn’t realized that my last post was at the beginning of the summer- it feels like I just posted it a week ago!). However, I keep just enjoying, well… stuff. Mostly I’ve been playing the piano (I’m trying to make up for all the lack of practice throughout the school year), reading, training, helping around the homestead, and baking. Also, my brother reminded me to start practicing Mario Kart before he came home so that he would have a good competitor, so I’ve been doing a little bit of that too. :) I hope you all are having a great summer so far, too. More to come, I promise! I just need to put my “butt-eth to the seat-eth” as my sister once told me.

Muffins Recipe (adapted from Betty Crocker):

2 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

12 oz. vanilla yogurt

1/4 cup milk

2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

turbinado sugar for sprinkling (Optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out two muffins tins (each holding six) or one muffins tin (that holds twelve). Line the tins with paper cups.

2. Mix all of the dry ingredients together. Add all of the wet ingredients together, and then mix. (Do not add some dry and then some wet ingredients. You may think that it won’t make a difference, but it does. Unless you want lumpy muffins, of course, be my guest.)

3. See the note below if you want a unique flavor! Change the recipe according to the directions given below for the flavor you want. Then simply fill the paper cups 3/4 way full and sprinkle them with turbinado sugar.  and bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

4. Take the muffins out of the pan immediately!!! Allow them to cool a little before serving warm.

5. Go, fight, win!

Note:

Flavors (alphabetical order):

1. Apple cider- substitute apple cider for the milk and add 1/3 cup applesauce. Mix these two ingredients into the muffins with the wet ingredients. Continue as instructed.

2. Apple cinnamon-Add 1 tsp. of cinnamon with the dry ingredients. Next, add 1/2 cup applesauce and 1/2 cup chopped applesauce with the wet ingredients. Continue as instructed.

3. Blueberry- add 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries after all of the ingredients have been mixed together. Continue as instructed.

4. Blueberry lemon/orange-substitute the milk for 1/4 cup orange juice or lemon juice. Add the latter juice with the wet ingredients. Add 1 cup blueberries after all of the ingredients have been mixed. Continue as instructed.

5. Blueberry/Strawberry cinnamon- add 1 tsp. of cinnamon with the dry ingredients. After all of the ingredients have been mixed, add 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries or 1 cup of chopped, fresh strawberries. Continue as instructed.

6. Butter pecan- after all of the ingredients have been mixed, add 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Bake as instructed. Immediately remove the muffins from the pan and roll them in melted butter. Allow to cool and eat!

7. Cherry almond- add 1/2 tsp. almond extract with the wt ingredients and add 1 cup dried cherries. Continue as instructed.

8. Chocolate chip- after all of the ingredient been mixed, add 1 cup chocolate chips. Continue as instructed.

9. Cinnamon chip- after all of the ingredients have been mixed, add 1 cup cinnamon chips (Hershey’s is the brand). Continue as instructed.

10. Coconut pineapple- substitute the milk for pineapple juice (mix it in with the wet ingredients). After all of the ingredients have been mixed, add 1 cup coconut. Continue as instructed.

11. Eggnog- substitute the yogurt and milk for 3/4 cup eggnog. Continue as instructed.

12. Lemon poppyseed- substitute the milk for 1/4 cup lemon juice. Add 1 tbsp. poppy seeds. Continue as instructed.

13. Oatmeal raisin- add 1 cup oatmeal and 1/2 cup raisins with the dry ingredients. Continue as instructed.

14.  Orange chocolate chip- add 2 tbsp. orange extract or substitute the milk for orange juice (mix with the wet ingredients). Next, mix in 1 cup chocolate chips. Continue as instructed.

15. Peach- add 1 cup chopped peaches with the wet ingredients… Before baking, sprinkle the tops of the muffins batter with cinnamon along with the turbinado sugar. Bake as instructed.

16. Pumpkin- (click here for recipe)

17. Raspberry (lemon)- for raspberry lemon, add 2 tbsp. lemon juice with the wet ingredients. Increase the sugar to 1/2 cup. After all of the ingredients have been mixed, GENTLY fold 1 cup of raspberries into the batter (this is important, otherwise you will end up with purple muffins. This is a voice of experience talking… ).  Continue as instructed.

18. Rhubarb- increase the sugar to 1/2 cup. Add 1 cup chopped rhubarb. Continue as instructed.

19. Strawberry- add 1 cup fresh, chopped strawberries. Continue as instructed.

20. Strawberry Pretzel- add 1 cup fresh, chopped strawberries. Spoon the batter into the cups as instructed and set aside (do not bake, yet). In a separate bowl, melt 1/4 cup butter and mix in 2 tbsp. sugar. Add 1/2 cup crushed pretzels. Sprinkle this topping over the batter in the cups. Gently press it into the muffin, but don’t mix it in. It should still be on the top. Bake as instructed.

Lemon Chiffon Cake Recipe

Lemon Chiffon Cake Recipe

Lemon Chiffon Cake Recipe

Lemon Chiffon Cake Recipe

Lemon Chiffon Cake Recipe

At last I post a recipe. On summer break, too!!! (I am 25% of the way done with high school!) I would have posted something over spring break, but I had just about had enough writing for my taste. And that is saying something, since I love to write. The Thursday before spring break started, I was already pretty revved up. I was doing everything that I usually do when I get home from school and then I saw my brother outside, flying a make-shift kite. I decided to do homework later. If you know me, you’ll have a laugh when you picture the scene that I am about to describe. I went outside in my pajama pants  and baggy grey t-shirt to play basketball and fly a kite made out of computer paper. Not to mention that I am horrible at basketball and probably couldn’t make a basket if my life depended on it. Alright, that’s a lie, but don’t ever get it in your head that I actually get the ball in the basket when I say that I played basketball. It’s more like steal the ball and keep it. Don’t let anyone else steal it. Dribble. Miss the hoop. Get the ball before the other person does. That’s how I play basketball. But I needed it at any rate. It was a beautiful day, and I could not let one more go to waste as I sit cooped up inside, doing homework. I love high school, but I despise homework. Story of every teen’s life.

So, my review of freshman year. Loved it. I really did. As I mentioned, I did not like the homework, but the things is… when I look back at the past year, I think about my friends and my teachers a whole lot more than the homework (although, when I came across some to-do lists from throughout the year, I cringe, thinking “Yeah, I remember that…”). I had some good laughs and embarrassing moments, like getting a pencil stuck in my hair in math class. I couldn’t get it out so I had to ask someone to get it out for me. At that point, math class had stopped, watching me struggle to get this pencil out of my hair.  I’m a graceful person like that. :) Other times, people have found that I am fun to tease. One of my teachers especially found it hilarious when he asked me if I was ready for a quiz that he had never mentioned. He would say that he was joking after I freaked out and panicked. But enough about school, I want to talk about SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am trying to get back into the groove of blogging and baking, but there are so many things that I want to do, now that I have the time. I just can’t get over it.

Here is my review of this recipe: Summer on a plate. I imagine that you probably have had angel food cake. If so, you know what the texture of this cake is like. Very light and fluffy. In addition to its light texture, it is the perfect balance between sweet and tangy. The frosting adds a nice buttery touch as well. The fresh lemon has a nice strong flavor and is, as lemon tends to be, very… well, let us just say that I think lemon starts fireworks in the mouth when it is fresh. If it’s from a bottle, then it tends to have a weird aftertaste, so I don’t recommend bottled lemon juice for this recipe. Lemon is the main event, don’t spoil it! Putting bottled lemon juice in this cake is equivalent to putting brown wax into your cookies rather than chocolate chips. Technically, it works. But it certainly does not taste the same.

Lemon Chiffon Cake Recipe (adapted from Taste of Home):

For the Cake:

7 eggs, separated

2 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup canola oil

4 teaspoons grated lemon peel

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

For the Frosting:

1/3 cup butter, softened

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

4-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Dash salt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325° and set out an ungreased 10 inch tube pan.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, water, oil, lemon peel and vanilla; add to dry ingredients and beat until well blended. Add cream of tartar to egg whites; beat on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

3. Carefully spoon the batter into the tube pan and cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Make sure that the batter is evenly distributed and smooth on the surface, otherwise you will have a deformed cake on your hands, and it will be more difficult to frost nicely.

4. Bake 50-55 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Run a knife around the edges and center of the tube pan before immediately inverting the pan to cool completely on a serving plate/platter/whatever.

4. In a small bowl, combine frosting ingredients; beat until smooth. Spread over top of cake, allowing frosting to drip down the sides.

5. ¿Que pasa, calabaza? Nada, nada, limonada!

Gingerbread House Bonus Post

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is my Christmas Bonus Post in which I do not type a recipe (you can find a gingerbread house recipe anywhere, especially at this time of year. You can pretty much use whichever recipe you want). Anyway, this gingerbread house of mine was a several day long project. I knew when I started this, that despite any blood-sweat-and-tears, this house would be one for the books. I don’t even know what to say about it because I am sooo happy that it is done!!!!!! Cut me some slack if this is a boring post… You have no idea how  tedious this was to make the dough, bake all of  the little and big parts, make frosting, buy candy, and decorate it.

Another fun little detail is that I modeled this gingerbread house after the house that I call home. My dad got the blueprints that were used when the house was built. I felt very official to be using blueprints for a baking project. :)

in the making

in the making

in the making

in the making

my sister helping me

my sister helping me

my brother joking around

my brother joking around

the front final result

the front final result

the back final result

the back final result

chimney side final result

chimney side final result

the entryway side final result

the entryway side final result

my brother's gingerbread house that he sarcastically claimed was more grand... :)

my brother’s gingerbread house that he sarcastically claimed was more grand… :)

Pumpkin Pie Spiced White Hot Chocolate

Pumpkin Pie Spiced White Hot Chocolate Recipe

Pumpkin Pie Spiced White Hot Chocolate Recipe

Just kidding, of course :)

Just kidding, of course :)

Before I continue, I just have to say that I thought you might enjoy seeing the results of my fiddling around with the photos that I took of this fabulous recipe :) And I’m just kidding of course… don’t worry, when you make this one, it won’t look all weirdly contrasted, tinted, saturated, and brightened. Yeah… I had a good time with this photo.

Pumpkin Pie Spiced White Hot Chocolate: (n) a delicious, creamy beverage that sends one to heaven because it is so tasty, amazing, and unhealthy. Synonyms: none. Antonyms:  everything that is not Pumpkin Pie Spiced White Hot Chocolate. Okay, so that definition really condenses the meaning of this drink… it is the stairway to heaven. Alright, not literally, but you know what I mean. This drink really is so tasty, though. It is rich, creamy, sweet, white chocolate-y, and a total comfort food (I’ll warn you though, don’t drink too much of it, because it is heavy). Be sure that when you make this (yes, you WILL make this), you top it off with whipped cream and a sprinkle of Pumpkin Pie Spice. It adds a lot and is a very nice accent! If you need further convincing, then I will tell you that this is officially my mom’s favorite winter-time drink. Questions? NO? Of course not. I have taught you well. :D

WOW it feels great not to be writing a paper/essay i can do whatever i want to i can make any grammatical mistakes i want 2 mwahahaha!!!! No grading, nothing. You have no idea how happy that makes me. :) I mean, I love writing, but I usually like to write about adventure, action, romance, fiction in general, and, of course, recipes. Sorry for all the random comments, but I haven’t blogged for SOOO long and it feels great! I really miss blogging (not like I’ve been in school for very long, either… that’s the sad thing. But at least I’m only a few days away from 1/8 of the way done with high school!). I had no idea what I was going to say when I sat down to type this post (well, I confess, I sat down to write a paper), but my fingers just kind of took care of that part for me. “Yes, these are Katy’s fingers speaking. Hello. We’ve always wanted to say that. :) Hope to chat again later, but Katy’s brain is going to posses us again in a few seconds.”

Pumpkin Pie Spiced White Hot Chocolate Recipe (adapted from tatertots & jello):

1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream

2 1/2  cups of milk

1 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin spice

Whipped cream and additional pumpkin spice to sprinkle on top.

Directions:

1. Heat cream and milk in a pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until very hot, but DO NOT boil it.

2. In a medium sized bowl, pour heated cream and milk over the white chocolate chips. Stir until chips are melted.

3. Add vanilla extract and pumpkin spice.

4. Pour into a mug for yourself and a friend. Top it with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin spice.

Note:

I’ve found that usually they melt most of the way but not completely. If that happens, just pour the milk/chocolate mixture back into the pot and heat it until the chocolate is done melting. Just be careful not to boil the drink or burn any of the chocolate to the bottom of the pan.

Blackberry Cream Pie Recipe

Blackberry Cream Pie Recipe

Blackberry Cream Pie Recipe

Blackberry Cream Pie Recipe

Blackberry Cream Pie Recipe

Blackberry Cream Pie Recipe

Blackberry Cream Pie Recipe

Who is lucky enough to have fresh blackberries? Anyone? I’m not counting Kroger’s blackberries or any blackberries from a store. Road side fruit, okay… well I have got to be the luckiest person of all. Wild blackberries are everywhere on my farm and this year we had a bumper crop of them. My family (excluding all of the lazy lumps:) goes blackberry picking annually and this year, more than ever,  we were completely decked out for whatever might come our way.  We’ve found that the bigger the berries, the bigger the thorns. So, we had over-sized carhart coats, carhart pants, boots, baseball caps, bug spray, leather gloves in case of poison ivy… you name it. :) I thought that it was exceedingly gratifying to tromp through the thorns and not be bothered by them in the least. Anyway, you might be wondering why my family and I make such a strategical strike when it comes to blackberry picking. The simple answer is this: often we use them to make wine or jam and any other sweet edible treats. So we want a lot of them.

I guess I should  apologize to those of you who have blackberry bushes as well, though, because I was late to get this recipe out. I meant to publish it during the blackberry season so that it could be used, but now the season is looooooong gone… oh well. Maybe you can just keep this recipe in in mind (I know what you’re thinking right now: “For a year? Sure, Katy… whatever.”) or you can experiment with other berries. Raspberries would probably work well. :)

As for how this recipe tastes… well isn’t the selling point that there are blackberries? Come on, that alone pretty much guarantees that it’s a good recipe! Okay so the berries give this pie SO MUCH FLAVOR! I love it! The custard is a very nice creamy complement to the berries and a crumb top is always a nice touch. Not to mention the crust that I usually use is, as always, flakey and buttery. So over all, this pie is bursting with the essence of summer!

Blackberry Cream Pie Recipe (from Rockin’ Robin’s Cooking Mexican Recipes):

For the Crust (from Betty Crocker):

1/3 cup butter

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2-3 tbsp. water

For the Filling:

3 cups fresh blackberries

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 eggs beaten

1/2 cup commercial sour cream

For the Topping:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out one ungreased pie plate.

2. For the Crust: I sometimes cheat on this part and you can too if you want. I just throw the ingredients for the pie crust in my electric mixer and pulse the mixer, so as not to lose the flakiness of the crust (add the water 1 tbsp. at a time between pulses). If you don’t want to cheat, continue reading this step. Cut butter into flour and salt until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans the sides of the bowl.

3. Gather dough into a ball and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until the pastry is about two inches larger than inverted pie plate. Fold the pastry into quarters; ease into the plate and unfold. Then press it firmly against the bottom and side. Cut off any excess dough, leaving about one inch of dough hanging off of the pie plate’s lip. Fold the dough under and flute. Place 3 cups blackberries in pastry shell. Set aside.

4. For the Filling: Combine sugar, flour, and salt in medium bowl. In a separate bowl, stir the sour cream and egg together until smooth. Combine the flour mixture and the egg mixture and mix until smooth. Pour all of the filling over the blackberries in the pie plate.

5. For the Topping: Stir the flour and sugar together before cutting the butter into the flour sugar mixture. Using your (washed) hands or a pastry blender, mix until the topping is crumbly and coarse looking. Sprinkle the mixture over the filling and bake the pie for 50-55 minutes, until lightly browned.

6. Enjoy warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! (The ice cream complements the flavor of the berries really nicely for this recipe.)

Beer Bread Recipe

Beer Bread Recipe

Beer Bread Recipe

Beer Bread Recipe

Beer Bread Recipe

My sister stabbing the bread...

My sister stabbing the bread…

Whenever I think of beer bread, I think of a beautiful fall evening when my dad made a fire in our living room and my family sat down and watched the movie Mulan as we snarfed down some beer bread that my sister had made (I specifically remember her forgetting to put in the sugar). How’s that for a cozy memory? It seems both classic and comical to me. I have to say, though, the beer bread was still fabulous. :)

You’ll probably never see an easier bread recipe. This one is about as good as it gets!  The bread is very moist, flavorful, and unusual in that it.. well… has beer in it.  So (at least to me) it has a unique taste and I cannot imagine drinking something that has such a strong flavor that you can flavor a whole recipe with it. That must be one strong tasting beverage… anyway, it sounds odd doesn’t it? Beer bread? Well let me reassure you. IT IS NOT. It’s probably one of my favorite quick breads ever in existence (spare me from the teasing that I’ll get from that comment!!!).  Not only is it all that I said above, but the turbinado sugar makes the bread even better  when it adds its sweet crunch. It makes my mouth water just to think of it!

Beer Bread Recipe (from Lial Family Cookbook):

(makes one loaf)

3 cups flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup sugar

1 (12 oz.) can warm bud light beer

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out one greased 9x5x3 or 8 1/2×4 1/2×2 1/2 inch bread pan.

2. In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together. Pour in the beer and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle well with turbinado sugar. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Allow to cool to prefered temperature (I like mine warm).

3. Serve for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and to the cows that come home. :)

Apple Butter Whoopie Pies Recipe

Apple Butter Whoopie Pies Recipe

Apple Butter Whoopie Pies Recipe

Apple Butter Whoopie Pies Recipe

Apple Butter Whoopie Pies Recipe

Apple Butter Whoopie Pies Recipe

Apple Butter Whoopie Pies Recipe

You have to  trust me on this one- they’re not the prettiest cookies on the planer but they are SO GOOD! The apple butter gives the cookies their great and unusual (for a cookie) flavor. The apple flavor is gently and sweetly complemented by the butter-y brown sugar taste of the actual cookies. Oh yeah- this recipe has cream cheese!  I realized just a moment ago, after a quick calculation, that about 20% of my blog posts contain cream cheese. Sorry about that… I guess I just love cream cheese too much. :)

Anyway, my cousin came for a visit this weekend and she was very enthusiastic about making some things that I could post on my blog. So, she, my sister, and I baked three things to take pictures of and post and made one thing already on my blog. It was a baking frenzy and so much fun! And it just felt good to make something fall-ish. I’m SOOO excited for fall! Don’t get me wrong, I love summer, but fall is a good time of year too. The air is cool and crisp and the landscape seems to be bursting with color! That’s my personal heaven.  I’m not one for the heat. In the summer, I seem to become a nocturnal creature if it means avoiding heat.

Apple Butter Whoopie Pies (adapted from Mrs. Fields):

For the Cookies:

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

For the Filling:

1 1/2 pkgs. (12 oz.) cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup apple butter

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out two ungreased cookie sheets.

2. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream the butter, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs together until smooth. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix together on a low speed until just combined.  Be sure not to over mix the dough.

3.  Roll the dough into marble sized balls (or regular sized if you want. I do a mix) and bake for 10-12 minutes. DO NOT BROWN THE COOKIES. Allow them to cool for several minutes until they have firmed up and can be removed with a spatula.

4. In a medium bowl, beat all of the filling ingredients together until smooth. Refrigerate for 10 minutes if you think the filling is too runny.  Spread filling on the bottom of one cooled cookie and top with another cookie to create a sandwich. Repeat with the rest of the cookies. Refrigerate until served.

5. Serve on a nice fall day… or, in my case, any day of the year. :)

Yum Yum Cake Recipe

Yum Yum Cake Recipe

Yum Yum Cake Recipe

Yum Yum Cake Recipe

Yum Yum Cake Recipe

Yum Yum Cake Recipe

Yum Yum Cake Recipe

First off is the explanation of the vague name… my Mom re-named this cake many years ago when she had her arms full with toddlers. I remember looking through a cookbook and I saw the recipe. “Hey!” I thought. “This recipe looks the same as Yum Yum Cake.” Come to find out, I had discovered the cake’s original title. My eyes just about fell out of my head when I realized what it was really  called. WHAT???  I still much prefer to call it Yum Yum Cake and I’m sure that I always will. :)

Anyway… let me just say that this is not an unusual birthday cake request in my household. :) As soon as you look at the ingredients, you’ll know why too. Maybe it’s because this cake is decadent, gooey, crunchy, fluffy, and it hits you hard (all at the same time!).  Oh, and did I mention that it’s probably the easiest thing that you’ll ever make (yes, I’m ordering you to make it!)? There’s not a single thing that you have to measure because it’s all prepackaged. :)

I entered this recipe in the county fair this year. I’ve never done anything in the fair, really… so this year is a first. I wasn’t completely sure what to do, so I just kind of had to go with the flow. But I was feeling pretty confident that this cake would do well. I was happy when I found out that it got second place. :) My mom and I stayed for the auction and I had to laugh at her very uneconomical decision to buy the cake back. Apparently she wanted to hoard the glorious-ness of the cake for our family and she didn’t have the patience to wait for me to make a new one when we got home. :) You have to believe me when I say that I gave her a good tease about that!

Yum Yum Cake Recipe( from the Devil’s Food Cookbook):

1 box German Chocolate cake mix

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (17 oz.) jar Mrs. Richardson’s Butterscotch Caramel Sauce

1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip

1 (8 oz.) bag of Heath candy bits

Directions:

1. Prepare the German chocolate cake as directed on the box (bake in a 13×9 inch pan, not two round pans). After it has finished baking and cooled for a little while, use the end of a wooden spoon to poke many holes all over the cake (don’t be shy. No one will ever see the holes but you!) and pour the caramel sauce and sweetened condensed milk over the cake.

2. When you’re sure that the cake is COMPLETELY cooled, frost it with the Cool Whip. Sprinkle as much or as little of the Heath bits on top of the cake as you wish.

3. “We have a volunteer to serve the cake. Let  the yums begin… and may the calories be ever in your favor.”

- Katy’s adapted quote from The Hunger Games

Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

This one was a package deal. Not only did I get to make some fun cookies, but I also got to enjoy a fun afternoon of going to a convenience store a few times. Literally, I went twice and I had fun both times. Alright, so here’s how it started off… when I decided to make these cookies  the other day and the time came for me to fill the cookies, I realized that I had no powdered sugar. So, I persuaded my sister to drive me to a convenience store roughly two minutes away. Let me tell you that that store has anything and everything. It has, many times, been a life saver for me because an essential or two ingredient ran out during the making of a new recipe. Many times, my family will debate if they carry something and resolve to calling them and finding out that, yes… of course they carry it. Anyway, my sister and I got some powdered sugar and brought it up to the register. The woman there was very friendly and asked me what I was making. I told her about the cookies. She laughed and jokingly asked us to drop a few off as she would be there for a little while yet.  When I got home, I finished making the cookies and smiled. My sister loaded a few cookies on a plate and we went back to the store to give her some cookies. :) Unfortunately, she wasn’t there anymore, but we asked someone to give them to her, along with one of my business cards. My sister and I were smiling for the rest of the afternoon. Some things just make me feel happy. :)

One thing that I had to laugh about with these cookies is that the directions said to drizzle the chocolate over the cookies. True, yes… but in the picture they had obviously piped the chocolate on. It was totally a “Hey look at this! This drizzle is perfectly round and beautiful! You can do it too!” Not without piping it on, no! No way! So instead I followed the directions that the picture gave me… I piped the chocolate on instead of drizzling it on. The other thing was that the directions were way way WAY overly complicated (it was really funny, actually). Anyway, the cookies were very good. The cookie is a butter-y shortbread base and the filling is… well… it’s cream cheese filling(!!!). If you’ve read any of my posts, then you know that that is an instant love for me! The chocolate was an excellent complement to the creamy filling and the cookies were, over-all, excellent treats. They were the perfect sweetness for a cookie and were very snack-able and snitch-able. :)

Cream Cheese Thumb Print Cookies (from TasteofHome Cookies):

For the Cookies:

2/3 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

For the Filling:

6 oz. cream cheese

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 tbsp. flour

1 tsp. vanilla

For the Drizzle/Piping:

3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

3 tbsp. butter, softened or melted

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and set out two greased cookie sheets.

2. For the Cookies: In abowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well until smooth. Slowly mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt until thoroughly combined. Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls and flatten the balls slightly with the palm of your hand to make a fat disc. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies just start to turn golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately make a large indent in the cookies with your thumb or make a thumb-sized indentation with the end of a wooden spoon handle.

3. For the Filling: In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and flour together until smooth. Fill the cookies with about 1 or 2 tsp. of filling each.

4. For the Drizzle/Piping: In the microwave, melt the chocolate and stir until smooth. Add the butter and microwave a little bit more if it has to melt some more. Stir until well combined and drizzle or pipe the topping over the cookies.

5. Serve with a smile.

Rhubarb Custard Bars Recipe

Rhubarb Custard Bars Recipe

Rhubarb Custard Bars Recipe

Rhubarb Custard Bars Recipe

Rhubarb Custard Bars Recipe

Rhubarb Custard Bars Recipe

Rhubarb Custard Bars Recipe

I think that the past two days (July 24th and 25th) were the nicest summer days yet (at least in my area). There was a cool breeze, but  it was still pleasantly warm… the perfect combo! It was nice not to have one of those beastly hot days where I go outside and instantly feel like I was poached in my own sweat. Ick!!! We’ve also had plenty of rain, and let me tell you that I’m absolutely loving that! I think that one of my favorite things to do is to sit and watch a thunderstorm. They’re just so awesome!!! My favorite kind of thunderstorms are the ones where I look up toward the sky and I see those big, puffy, periwinkle-blue storm clouds ahead; then there’s a breeze, and best of all, the smell of rain. It’s probably the best smell ever to be in existence.

Alright, so I guess at this point you’re wondering if the weather talk ties in at all. Well, originally, I was going to say that the perfect summer day calls for the perfect summer dessert. :) I was never really looking for a recipe with rhubarb until I had a ton of leftover rhubarb from making pie. I literally had enough to make another  pie, but, of course, I didn’t want to wear out the eaters on rhubarb pie. :) So, I poked around and found this recipe in a cookbook that my Mom gave me last year. I had to give my mom a good tease because when I told her that I wanted to make these bars, she was very hesitant. She thought that no one would be able to taste the rhubarb, but she didn’t know that the recipe called for four cups of rhubarb… with that, everyone would be able to distinguish it’s great flavor! Well, when everyone dug in, she was the first one to say that the bars were fabulous. I totally agree with that statement. The crust is a butter-y shortbread and the creamy, flavorful, custard filling makes the whole thing delightfully gooey. The cream cheese frosting tasted great (how could it not? It has cream cheese!!!)  and was nice and fluffy. It was a nice finish to a perfect summer day!

Rhubarb Custard Bars Recipe (adapted from TasteofHome Cookies):

For the Crust:

2 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup cold butter

For the Custard Filling:

2 cups sugar

7 tbsp. flour

1 cup vanilla yogurt

3 eggs

4 cups chopped rhubarb (about 1/2 inch pieces)

1 cup chopped strawberries

For the Frosting:

6 oz. cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out one greased 13×9 inch pan.

2. For the Crust: Mix the flour and sugar together in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter and mix it with your hands until it is a course, crumbly mixture. Press the dough into the prepared 13×9 inch pan and bake it for 15 minutes before removing it from the oven. The dough will not appear golden brown or done baking at all, but definitely take it out after 15 minutes because it will bake some more later. :) There is no need to cool the crust.

3. For the Custard Filling: In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, yogurt, and eggs until smooth. Add the chopped rhubarb and strawberries and mix well. Gently pour it into the 13×9 inch pan, on top of the baked crust. Continue to bake the bars for 45 minutes or until the custard has set and the edges turn golden brown. Allow the pan to cool for half an hour before moving it to the refrigerator to cool completely.

4. For the Frosting: Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. When the bars are fully cooled, spread the frosting over the top of the bars.

5. Serve and enjoy the taste of summer!

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Rhubarb Pie Recipe

SUMMER!!! RHUBARB!!! BALING HAY!!! For me, rhubarb pie and baling are directly linked. You can’t have one and not have the other! If you haven’t gathered, I’m a farm girl. Baling hay is probably one of the hottest summer chores ever invented and everyone is always starving by the time they finish. Most of the time I stay back at the house, make rhubarb pie, and watch my little brother while my Dad, brothers, and some hired help do the actual baling. Occasionally I drive the tractor, but it’s not as easy as it sounds to steer a tractor, a baler, and a wagon all at once. I have to look back often to make sure that everything is on course and it makes me wish that I had eyes in the back of my head. Anyway, our tradition is this: after baling, everyone flocks to our pond and dunks in. Then we eat pizza and rhubarb pie and ice cream. :)

Sometimes the people who come to help bale seem puzzled about rhubarb pie. Rhubarb pie? Isn’t rhubarb a vegetable? The answer is yes. Rhubarb is a vegetable but it tastes very much like fruit. It is tart and sour, but that is why the pie has so much more zing than other pie recipes. It is my one of my family’s favorite pies and it always disappears quickly. In fact, this morning one of my brothers wandered into my bedroom and told me something that I simply had to share! “Hey Katy… I had a nightmare last night. I dreamed that our dog ate the last slice of rhubarb pie.” I had a good laugh over that!  That might just go to show you how much my family loves rhubarb pie. The filling is sweet and tangy, and the crust is always promisingly buttery, flaky, and crisp. There is always the perfect amount of goo but it’s never too messy to present well! If you have any doubts about this recipe (simply because of the fact that rhubarb is a vegetable) then I dare you to make it. IT IS SO GOOD!!! (If you have never seen nor heard of rhubarb, I’ve attached a picture of it at the bottom of the post.)

Rhubarb Pie Recipe:

(From Betty Crocker)

For Crust:

2/3 cup butter

2 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

4-5 Tbsp water

For the Filling:

4 cups chopped rhubarb

1 2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp. orange peel

2 tbsp. butter

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and set out an ungreased 9 inch pie plate.

2. For the crust: I sometimes cheat on this part and you can too if you want. What I do, is I just throw the ingredients in my electric mixer and pulse it, so as not to lose the flakiness of the crust (add the water 1 tbsp. at a time between pulses). If you don’t want to cheat, keep on reading this step. Cut butter into flour and salt until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans the sides of the bowl.

 3. Gather dough into a ball and cut it in half.  Roll out one of the halves of dough on a lightly floured surface until the pastry is about two inches larger than inverted pie plate. Fold the pastry into quarters; ease into plate and unfold. Then press it firmly against the bottom and side.

4.  For the filling: Mix the flour, sugar, orange peel, and rhubarb together in a large bowl until rhubarb is thoroughly coated. Dump the filling into the pie plate, making sure that it is evenly spread, and dot the butter on top.

5. Roll out the other half of the dough on a lightly floured surface until the pastry is about two inches larger than pie plate. Fold the pastry into quarters; ease it onto the filling and carefully unfold it. Cut off any excess dough, leaving about an inch of dough hanging off of the pie plate’s edge. Fold the dough under and flute.

6. Cover the fluted edge with aluminum foil so that it will not burn and place the pie plate on a cookie sheet. Cut slits in the  crust top and sprinkle the crust generously with sugar. (DO NOT SKIP OR SKIMP ON THE SUGAR! It bakes on very well and makes the crust 100% even more delicious!)

7. Bake the pie for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10-15 more minutes. When you take it out, it should be a rich golden brown (as pictured above) and thick syrupy goo should be bubbling out of the slits.

8. Enjoy warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a happy heart!

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Ah! It feels so good to be back on the blog after being on vacation for two weeks. Before I left I was baking like crazy so that I would have some recipes to post as soon as I got back; however, typing two blog posts at once seemed a lot harder to write when I wrote them consecutively. Oh well. So here I am, sitting in front of the computer typing about typing. I guess I’ll stop boring you with such dull matters now. :)

It used to be that I despised almonds on top of my strawberry shortcake, but this time was different. I find it oddly amusing to observe how my tastes in food change over time… it seems like everything I love now I couldn’t stand then. Anyway, the almonds- they added such a nice crunch to the soft, moist  shortcake! It was a lovely contrast and only got better when I added some fresh strawberries for zing, ice cream to repel the heat of summer, and cream because it was simply too healthy (note the sarcasm:)… oh, and maybe some whipped cream would be nice, too. My mom makes this recipe (from my aunt), at the very least, once every summer when the strawberries come into season, and it is always a much anticipated treat!

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe:

For the Cake:

3/4 cup white sugar

2 1/3 cup Bisquick

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. vanilla

For the Crumble Topping:

1 tbsp. butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup almonds

For the Garnish:

strawberries

whipped cream

half and half cream

vanilla ice cream

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out a greased 8×8 inch pan.

2. For the cake: In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together by hand. Pour the batter into the prepared 8×8 pan. Bake for 15 minutes before adding the  topping (directions below).

3. For the crumble topping: In a small bowl, mix the almonds and the brown sugar together. Cut the butter into the bowl and mix the mixture with your hands until the butter is thoroughly crumbled into the topping. Sprinkle the topping on (after the cake has been baking for 15 minutes) and bake the cake for an additional 15 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

4. Serve each piece of cake with the suggested garnishes. This dessert will totally get you into the summer mood! Enjoy!!!

Sprite Cake Recipe

Sprite Cake Recipe

Sprite Cake Recipe

Sprite Cake Recipe

Sprite Cake Recipe

Sprite Cake Recipe

Sprite Cake Recipe

Sprite cake has got to be one of the easiest recipes to make on the planet. This cake is a perfect summer treat! It’s light, fluffy, has a sweet zing from the fruit, and it is well loved by all. It’s perfect when you don’t want to fuss over a dessert for guests, because you can just whip this one off in no time and it has high marks in presentation as well as taste. :)

Sprite Cake Recipe (by katydidbakeit):

1 (18.25 oz.) box Pillsbury white cake mix

1(12 oz.) pop can sprite

1 (12 oz.) container cool whip

fruit for garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. For the cake: Follow the directions on the back of the cake mix box, except substitute the sprite for the water. Allow the cake to cool completely before spreading the cool whip over the top. Garnish the cake with fruit (in the picture there are just strawberries and blueberries, although I’m sure it would be good with just about anything… peaches, kiwis, or toasted shredded coconut). Refrigerate until served.

2. Enjoy!

Creamy Caramels Recipe

Creamy Caramels Recipe

Creamy Caramels Recipe

Creamy Caramels Recipe

Creamy Caramels Recipe

Creamy Caramels Recipe

Creamy Caramels Recipe

“Oh, caramel! Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” My sister and I use that phrase for anything that we love… and my sister adores caramels! My sister was desperately wanting this recipe to be put to use, so we made the candies when we were pressed for time and ended up finishing the caramel 2 1/2 minutes before we had to leave for a graduation party. At this point, I hadn’t even gotten out of my pajamas yet and my dad gave me a quizzical look. “You are I coming with us, right?” he asked. Of course I was! Thus, I set my record speed for getting my makeup, hair, and outfit presentable and polished in the course of two minutes. I was (and obviously still am) very proud of that time. :)

As for the caramels, they tasted horrible. Kidding!!! They were great!!! I love the taste of caramels and these ones were very creamy (hence the name) and deliciously soft, making the perfect caramel recipe. As for the bonus: these caramels are very easy to make if you just have a good candy thermometer. If you’re not sure that your thermometer is accurate, see my Note: at the bottom of the recipe. :)

Creamy Caramels Recipe:

4 cups sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter + some for greasing the pan

4 cups (1 qt.) half-and-half
3/4 cup light corn syrup
 Directions:
1. Grease bottom and sides of a 13×9 inch pan with butter.
2. In a large saucepan and over medium heat, heat the sugar, corn syrup, butter, and two cups of half-and-half over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining half-and-half to boiling. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring all the while, until the caramel mixture is 245 degrees (if you would like to see pictures of the boiling process, see below) Immediately pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
3. Allow the caramel to cool for several hours to room temperature. Cut the caramel into squares or rectangles and, if you like, wrap them in wax paper .
4. Time to know the true glory…. OF CANDY!
Note:
If you aren’t sure that your thermometer is accurate, boil some water and see what the thermometer reads the temperature as. If it reads as 212 degrees, it is accurate. If it does not, (say it read 214 degrees) then you know that it is two degrees too hot; therefore, you should heat the caramel mixture to 243 degrees (according to your inaccurate thermometer) in order for it actually to be 245 degrees on an accurate thermometer. I hope that I explained that clearly. :)
Stage one of the boil

Stage one of the boil

Stage two of the boil

Stage two of the boil

The last stage of the boil- ready for the pan

The last stage of the boil- ready for the pan

Butterhorns Recipe

Butterhorns Recipe

Butterhorns Recipe

Butterhorns Recipe

Butterhorns Recipe

Butterhorns Recipe

Butterhorns Recipe

I think my dad was very happy when I made these butterhorns. In his family, they were a much anticipated thanksgiving treat that his mom and sisters made. When I found this recipe in one of our cookbooks, I could hardly read the writing on it… I’m assuming that’s because it was a well-used recipe. My mom actually had to re-write it for me because I had such a hard time trying to decipher the writing or, rather, the Morse Code. :D Besides, I want to be able to make these for my dad next thanksgiving!

These horns were great! They had a nice fluffy inside and a delectable buttery flavor. They are a very good accompaniment to any dinner and are satisfyingly… perfect. They are the type of rolls that you might see in movies, where the actor scoops up a roll and hungrily devours it. That’s about how people are in real life when they see these rolls. :)

Butterhorns Recipe:

4- 41/2 cups flour

2 1/4 tsp. yeast

1 cup milk

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter + some for brushing

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs, room temperature

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. In a small bowl, combine 2 cups of flour and yeast. Set aside.

2. In a medium sauce pan, heat the milk, sugar, butter, and salt together until it is 115-120 degrees, stirring constantly. Add the wamr milk/butter mixture to the flour/yeast mixture.

3. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer with a dough hook attatchment, add the eggs and beat the dough on a low speed for 1/2 minute. Then beat the dough on high for three minutes. Stir in remaining flour. Transfer the dough to a large, greased bowl. Cover it with a clean towel and set it in the preheated oven to rise until double, about one hour. (do not turn the oven off when you remove the bowl. You will need it again).

The dough for the butterhorns before it rises

The dough for the butterhorns before it rises

4. Grease two large baking sheets. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a 12 inch circle. Cut the dough into twelve wedges  and brush some melted butter onto each wedge.

Cut the circle into twelve wedges

Cut the circle into twelve wedges

Then roll up each wedge (start from the wide end and roll towards the pointy end) and set them on the greased baking sheets. Set them in the preheated oven to rise until double, about 30-45 minutes.

The butterhorns are done rising

The butterhorns are done rising

5. When the “horns” are done rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake them for 12-15 minutes.

6. Serve warm and snarf!

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

I have been looking for a good peanut butter pie recipe for ever. No matter what recipe I found or looked at, none of the pies seemed quite right… even this one (adapted from LoveThatFood.com) had to be tweeked a little by some random teenager called Katy. :) Anyway, other than some fixed proportions, I didn’t have to change much. I just thought that… hm… perhaps it would be best if the crust covered the bottom and the sides of the pie plate instead of sparsely coating the bottom.

For me, this recipe hits two birds with one stone. Cream cheese and peanut butter! Could it get much better??? I’ve been craving peanut butter lately and ever since my uncle mentioned peanut butter pie to me I knew that I had to get my hands on a recipe! I have found that I’ve been getting better at finding good recipes online whereas when I first started, I came across many bum recipes. The key is not to focus on the presentation of the dessert… look for goo. Look for messy. And make sure you like the taste of the ingredients. :)

This pie was a hit. My family devoured all but one tiny slice of pie which no one could manage to squeeze in. My sister, after one bite, said “Put this pie on the favorites list.” So, I guess I should respect by elders and obey… what a bummer (NOT!!!!!!!!!). Anyway, the peanut butter pie was very soft, creamy, flavorful, and the oreos added a great crunch to contrast the fluffy, pudding-y filling.

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe:

For the Crust:

2 1/4 cups double stuf oreo cookies crumbs (about 20 cookies)

7 tbsp. white sugar

7 tbsp. butter, melted

For the Filling:

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup heavy whipping cream

For the Topping (optional):

1/4 (12 oz.) bags milk chocolate chips (melted), grated chocolate, or oreo cookie crumbs

Directions:

1. For the Crust: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and set out one pie plate. In a small mixing bowl, mix the crushed oreos, butter, and sugar together until well combined. Press the mixture into the pie plate and bake it for ten minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and, if the crust has sunken to the bottom of the plate, use a spoon to re-press the crust (while it’s hot) to the pan. Allow it to cool completely.

2. For the Filling: In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients (except the whipping cream) together by hand until smooth. In a separate bowl fitted to an electric mixer, whip the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture until well combined. Pour the filling into the cooled pie plate and place the pie in the freezer (no worries, the pie does not get hard in the slightest… it gets chilled but remains soft. That’s how mine was even after I left mine in the freezer for several hours!).

3. For the Topping (optional): Melt the chocolate chips and use a fork to drizzle the melted chocolate over the pie; return the pie to the freezer until it is served. OR sprinkle the grated chocolate over the pie before returning it to the freezer. OR sprinkle the oreo crumbs over the pie before returning it to the freezer.

4. For the Eating: This part is fairly self-explanatory, I think… :)

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

This recipe was another one of my tests. The first time I made it I used a different filling and it turned out super runny. Of course, everyone was saying “Katy this is so good! It’s not a good pie if it isn’t gooey!” I had a hard time trying to explain to them that there is a fine line between gooey and runny. I just didn’t think that I should have to serve pie in a bowl… :) And, as usual, I have my summer-time pie fever. Something about making pies is just so fun to me… they are, by far, my favorite baked goods to make.

This recipe is based off of a family favorite (apple crumble pie. See my post on it!) from the Devil’s Food Cookbook, but I switched out the apple pie filling for a blueberry pie filling by Betty Crocker. The pie got rave reviews and the best thing is that, for all you people out there who hate rolling out pie crusts, this crust recipe is a piece of cake or, more literally, easy as pie. Anyway, the crust has almost a creamy flavor (hence the cream cheese I guess…) and is matched well by the crumb topping. The filling complements both, of course, and knowing that it’s a blueberry filling, I don’t suppose that much could go wrong with it. :) The lemon frosting is a nice touch of zing (but not at all overpowering) and is the perfect finishing touch to the decadence.

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe:

For the Crust:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

4 0z. (1/2 package) cream cheese

For Filling:

4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup white sugar

1/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. butter

 For Crumb Topping:

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup flour

1/2 cup (1 stick)  butter

For Glaze:

1/2 cup powder

2-3  tsp. lemon juice

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and grease a 9 inch pie plate.

2. For crust: In a medium bowl, cut the butter into the flour with a knife . Using your hands or a pastry cutter, mix the butter-flour mixture to a coarse mixture. Add the cream cheese and continue mixing with your hands until a soft dough forms. Press the dough into the prepared pie plate.

3. For the Filling: Combine all of the filling ingredients except for the lemon juice and butter. Pour the filling into the pie plate and dot the butter on top before sprinkling the lemon juice over the filling.

5. For the Crumb Topping: Mix all of the ingredients except for the butter together in a small bowl. Cut the butter in and use a pastry cutter to make a crumbly mixture. Spread all of the crumble mixture over the pie and make sure that you cover all of the pie’s edges. You should not be able to see any filling.

6. Place the pie plate on a cookie sheet and bake for ten minutes. Then reduce the oven’s heat to 325 degrees and bake for 50-60 more minutes or until the crumble topping starts to turn a light golden brown. Allow the pie to cool.

7. Mix the powdered sugar and the lemon juice. Start off adding less lemon juice than suggested. Keep adding juice until the frosting is thin enough to drizzle. Be careful not to make it too thin, however, or the frosting will just soak in and the pie will not look as pretty.

8. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream… on a plate, not in a bowl. :)

Sugar Cream Pie Recipe

Sugar Cream Pie Recipe

Sugar Cream Pie Recipe

Sugar Cream Pie Recipe

Sugar Cream Pie Recipe

Not too many people have heard of sugar cream pie (it’s an Amish recipe and very popular in Indiana, I guess) and I hadn’t either until my sister’s boyfriend requested a post on it at the beginning of the year. From what I hear, he’s been religiously checking my blog for a post on sugar cream pie, so here it is, several months later. :) My sister told me that she would probably have to make the pie for her boyfriend as soon as he saw the post, so… time to get baking, Sis!

It took me FOREVER to get this recipe. There was some trial and error, but I managed to stumble across this recipe (adapted from Kismet, Art & Life). When I made sugar cream pie for the first time, it turned out that the recipe I made needed to be baked for two hours… and it still wasn’t quite done when I took it out. I made a mental note never to use that recipe again.

I made the pie on Memorial Day, so I got plenty of feedback… what was the feedback? Great! The pie had a pudding-like, creamy filling and a crisp, sweet top to complement it. The crust was flaky and the whole thing put together was quite a treat! It was actually a bit like Creme Brulee, in terms of the pudding-like consistency and crisp top. It’s no wonder it was such a hit!

Sugar Cream Pie Recipe:

For the Crust (by Betty Crocker):

1/3 cup butter

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2-3 tbsp. water

For the Filling:

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tbsp. butter

For the Topping:

1 tsp. cinnamon

3 tbsp. white sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out an ungreased pie plate.

2. For the Crust: I sometimes cheat on this part and you can too if you want. I just throw the ingredients for the pie crust in my electric mixer and pulse the mixer, so as not to lose the flakiness of the crust (add the water 1 tbsp. at a time between pulses). If you don’t want to cheat, continue reading this step. Cut butter into flour and salt until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans the sides of the bowl.

3. Gather dough into a ball and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until the pastry is about two inches larger than inverted pie plate. Fold the pastry into quarters; ease into plate and unfold. Then press it firmly against the bottom and side. Cut off any excess dough, leaving about one inch of dough hanging off of the pie plate’s lip. Fold the dough under and flute.

4. For the Filling: Cut the butter onto the unbaked pie shell. In a medium bowl, mix all of the ingredients together with a wire whisk. Pour the creamy mixture into the prepared pie plate. For the Topping: Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle all of the mixture over the cream filling.

5. Cover the fluted edge with aluminum foil so that it will not burn and place the pie plate on a cookie sheet. Bake the pie for 1 hour before removing the aluminum foil… then bake for 15 more minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool.

6. Served warm or chilled anytime of the day or night. :)

Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe

Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe

Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe

Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe

Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe

Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe

Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe

This recipe is my dad’s classic birthday request- he loves it and so does everyone else! It is very easy to whip up and what I love about making it is that you don’t have to wait for the cake to cool before adding the frosting. It always seems like I have to wait forever before frosting each cake and so this one was a nice breather. :) Some nice, consolidated baking. Anyway, the cake is absolutely to die for. It is soft and gooey and… hits you like a brick. It is a very dense cake, but it is totally worth every bite!

And what is it with me and coconut? Ever since I finished my recent coconut obsession, the stuff seems to be gravitating into the recipes that I’ve been making. Oh well… such a pity (not). While I am reminded of coconut, I will suggest you to use Angel Flake Coconut for all or at least most recipes calling for coconut. Never ever use Kroger brand! It is too dry and not very flavorful. I often laugh at how Kroger claims “Kroger quality guaranteed!” because they never specify what quality they guarantee… high quality or low quality? :)

Mississippi Mud Cake Recipe:

For the Cake:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups flour

4 eggs

1/3 cup cocoa

1 cup coconut

1/2 cup pecans

For the Filling:

1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme

For the Frosting:

6 tbsp. butter

1 square (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate

1/4 cup milk

3 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13×9 inch pan.

2. For the Cake: In a large bowl, hand stir the butter, sugar, and flour together. Add the eggs and mix until you are sure that they are well incorporated. Add the chocolate, coconut, and pecans and mix thoroughly. Pour the cake batter (it will be thick) into the prepared 13×9 inch pan. and bake it for 40 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

3. For the Filling: Immediately spread the marshmallow creme over the hot cake. I found that it is best to spoon it on in globs, wait for it to melt a bit, and then spread it… otherwise the creme starts ripping up the cake. Set the cake aside to let it cool a little while you make the frosting.

4. For the Frosting: In a medium sauce pan, heat the butter, chocolate, and milk over medium heat until the chocolate and butter have both melted. Add the powdered sugar and then the vanilla (the frosting should be running at first but sets up to be fudgy). Immediately and carefully spread the runny frosting over the marshmallow creme and allow it to cool to room temperature.

5. Serve the cake with ice cream if you really want, but it’s a pretty stand-alone cake in my opinion. Enjoy!

Butterbeer Recipe

Butterbeer Recipe

Butterbeer Recipe

Are you a Harry Potter fan? Who isn’t, right??? Of course everyone’s mouth waters at the mention of all of the decadent foods in the Harry Potter Series, including butterbeer, the famous and well-loved beverage of the wizards and witches. I fortunately stumbled across this recipe on Bakeat350 and it is by Feast of Fiction. There are three types of butterbeer, so check out the video that I attatched if you like! http://youtu.be/WTn5SJLTnek

The butterbeer was very good. I thought that the butterbeer and the whipped cream nicely complemented each other. A nice, refreshing gulp of  chilly “beer” was accented by the pleasantly sweet (but not too sweet) whipped cream and caramel drizzle. It was an excellent introduction to summer! I remember having a similar version of butterbeer at my aunt’s house when I was at a Harry Potter party with my cousins. We wore Harry Potter costumes or waved our wands around as we ran around drinking butterbeer, taking pictures, watching people spray each other with temporary red hair dye, and piling into the car (or rather, the fleet of cars) to go to the movie theater and watch the second part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Butterbeer seems to have a fun spell surrounding it… :)

Butterbeer Recipe:

For the Beer:

1 tbsp. butterscotch caramel plus some for garnish

1 cup ice cubes

1 (12 oz.) can cream soda

2 tsp. artificial butter flavoring

For the Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

6 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. vanilla

2 tsp. artificial butter flavoring

Directions:

1. For the Whipped Cream: In a large bowl fitted to an electric mixer, beat all of the ingredients together until the cream is stiff and fluffy. Set aside.

2. For the Beer: In a blender, combine all of the ingredients together and blend until there are no large chunks of ice and the butterbeer is foamy. Pour the butterbeer into some glasses and top the beer with the whipped cream. Drizzle butterscotch caramel over the whipped cream with a fork.

3. Slurp!

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies Recipe

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies Recipe

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies Recipe

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies Recipe

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies Recipe

Cookies! Cookiescookiescookiescookiescookies!!! I’ve found that quite often I get caught up in the baking world and forget about the simple stuff, the foundation of baking. You can get tired of having such large, filling, and fattening desserts sitting around and that’s when I decided to make a batch of cookies. Sometimes, it’s time for a semi-break. As for the cookies, they are soft, flavorful, and very addicting- the perfect recipe for a quick and easy dessert!

After this recipe, my hunger for coconut has (almost) been quenched. I’m not sure what it is with me, but I go in phases in not only baking, but in everything. I can often find entertainment in my own ridiculous obsessions. :) I’m also enjoying the fact that my brothers are home from college. That means that desserts don’t stay for long. Most of the time it’ll take us almost a week to go through just one batch of oatmeal cookies but this time… they were gone before dinner. :)

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies Recipe:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla

3/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/4 cups oatmeal

1/2 cup coconut

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out two ungreased cookie sheets.

2. In a large bowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla together until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix them together until everything is well incorporated.

3. Roll the cookie dough into balls and place them on the ungreased cookie sheets. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until the very edges start turning golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool on the pans (they will be too soft to remove at first but they firm up as they cool.) Repeat with the remaining dough.

4. Bon appetite!

Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

This recipe (adapted from Glorious Treats) is reeeeeeeeeeeally good! When I saw it, I thought that it was just going to be a sort of cheesecake that someone opted to call a pie. Not so! Here’s where the difference comes in: it isn’t baked at all. It has no eggs, less cream cheese, and it actually is a cream cheese pie.  In fact, the pie has more sweetened condensed milk than cream cheese. Anyway,  back to the taste. This recipe is summer-y, sweet, savory, gooey, creamy, crunchy, butter-y… and just about everything else. The crust is what adds the nice crunchy, butter-y flavor and the filling is creamy, gooey, and has some zing from the lemon. The strawberry sauce adds the summer-y factor. Is there any better way to be reminded of summer than to eat a strawberry garnished slice of cream cheese pie?

When I finished taking pictures of the pie, everyone dug in… except for my brothers, who were in their bedroom playing a well-loved game called The Settlers of Catan. So, my sister and I took the opportunity to play a prank (it was especially fun since one of my brothers is absolutely crazy about strawberries). We left two slices for our brothers and hid them. When they finished their game and came to get a serving of pie, I told them that it was gone. “What?!?” my strawberry-loving brother exclaimed. My sister and I exchanged a grin and I went to retrieve their pie slices. Oh the fun of baking!

Cream Cheese Pie Recipe:

For the Crust:

2 cups finely crushed graham crackers

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

3 tbsp. sugar

For the Filling:

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, room temperature

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1/3 (about 1 lemon) cup fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla

For the Strawberry Sauce:

1 pint strawberries, divided

4 tbsp. sugar

2 1/2 tsp. corn starch

3 tbsp. water

Directions:

1. For the Crust: Set out an ungreased 9 inch pie plate and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the graham crackers, butter, and sugar together until well combined. Then press the mixture into the pie plate and bake the crust for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow the crust to cool completely.

2. For the Filling: In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the filling together with a whisk or a fork until smooth. Pour the filling into the cooled graham cracker crust and refrigerate the pie for about 3 hours or until it has set up.

3. For the Strawberry Sauce: In a blender, blend the water and half of the strawberries. Strain the strawberry-water mixture. Next, in a small saucepan, mix the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk the mixture as you slowly add add the strained strawberry juice so that there are no lumps. Heat mixture to a boil and boil about 1 minute.  Remove the sauce from the stove. Slice the rest of the strawberries into pea sized pieces and add it to the strawberry sauce. Allow the sauce to cool in the refrigerator until it is ready to be used.

4. Top your slice with the strawberry sauce and yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum! Ah, the taste of summer!

Cinnamon Raisin Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Raisin Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Raisin Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Raisin Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Raisin Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Raisin Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Raisin Bread Recipe

All that I have to say about this recipe (adapted from Betty Crocker) is this: “YUM!!!” I must say that the combination of the soft cinnamon swirled bread with raisins and frosting is extremely scrumptious! (The frosting was my own addition to the recipe.) The inside is nice and soft with more of a crisp crust. And no, it’s not just a dessert that happens to be called “bread.” It’s pleasantly sweet, but not too sweet to be served with a dinner. It’s very versatile. It’s great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert!

My brother (the same one that called the Coconut Custard Cake “popcorn salad cake”) nicknamed this recipe “bread cake.” He certainly comes up with names worth keeping. :) He loves it when I make cakes. Whenever he sees that I’m baking something he asks if it going to be a cake. Unfortunately, most of the time it’s not.

As for the first time I made this recipe- it was disastrous. This recipe was the first yeast bread that I ever made. It was dense and looked uncannily like a whale. Yesterday I decided to give it another try since I have now had much more experience and also I have an often-used thermometer in my grasp to help me along. :)

Cinnamon-Raisin Bread Recipe:

(Makes two loaves)

For the Bread:

4 1/2 tsp. or two packages active dry yeast

3/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)

2 cups lukewarm milk (same temp. as water)

3 Tbsp. sugar

3 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. salt

7  to 8 cups flour

1 1/2 cups raisins

For the Cinnamon Swirl:

1/2 cup sugar

4 tsp. cinnamon

2 tbsp. butter

For the Frosting:

powdered sugar

milk

vanilla

a dash or two of cinnamon

Directions:

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl fitted to an electric mixer. Stir in milk, sugar, butter, salt and four cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in the remaining flour and the raisins.

2. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes or use a dough hook attatchment on an electric mixer and “knead” the dough for about seven minutes on medium speed or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl. Put the dough in the preheated oven and cover it… then let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour. Note: I preheated the oven for 2 minutes before turning it off and putting the dough in there. A lot of the time, your house isn’t warm enough to allow the dough to properly rise.

Nice. And. Big.

Nice. And. Big.

3. Punch the dough down; divide it into halves. Roll each half into a rectangle about 18×9 inches. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and the cinnamon. Spread half of the cinnamon-sugar on each rectangle and brush 1 Tbsp. of butter on each rectangle of dough.  Roll up tightly, starting at the narrow end (9 inch end). Press each end of the dough with the side of your hands to seal; fold the ends under.

Roll it up starting at the narrow (9 inch) end

Roll it up starting at the narrow (9 inch) end

Seal the ends with your hands

Seal the ends with your hands

Put the bread seam-side down in the pan

Put the bread seam-side down in the pan

4. Place the loaves seam-sides down in the greased bread pans. Brush lightly with butter. Put the loaves in the oven (preheated to 170 degrees) once more, uncovered, and let them rise until double, about 1 hour.

It's ready to be baked!

It’s ready to be baked!

5. Place loaves on low rack so that the tops of the loaves are in the center of the oven. Pans should not touch each other or the sides of the oven. Bake until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, about 20-25 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and immediately remove the loaves from the pans.

The bread hath been bake-ed

The bread hath been bake-ed

6. Mix the ingredients for the frosting together with a fork until smooth and be sure that it is your preferred consistency for drizzling it on. Then, using a fork, drizzle the frosting on the loaves.

6. And now… eat it before anyone else can get to it!

Hello Dollies (Magic Cookie Bars) Recipe

Hello Dollies (Magic Cookie Bars) Recipe

Hello Dollies (Magic Cookie Bars) Recipe

Hello Dollies (Magic Cookie Bars) Recipe

Hello Dollies (Magic Cookie Bars) Recipe

I had never had Hello Dollies before today (I adapted this recipe from a cookbook loaned to me by my piano teacher, so I don’t know who to source). Anyway, as always, I was really in the mood for baking… and using a recipe that included coconut. :) This recipe is definitely a keeper. I love the gooiness! It’s a wonderful combiniation of a soft and  buttery crust with sweetened condensed milk (which you can never go wrong with!), a crunch from the pecans, flavor from that fabulous coconut, and a final melty touch of chocolate. Not to mention that theses bars are super super easy to make. My mom told to hide them from her. I know I’ve done a good job when she gives me that verdict!

Hello Dollies (Magic Cookie Bars) Recipe:

2 cups crushed graham crackers

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 cups coconut

1 cup pecans (or nuts of your choice)

3/4 cup (6 oz.) milk chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees if you are using a glass pan) and set out an ungreased 13×9 inch pan.

2. Put the stick of butter in the pan; place the pan in the oven until the butter has melted completely. Remove the pan from the oven and stir the graham cracker crumbs into it. Press the crust firmly down and pour the sweetened condensed milk over it. Next, sprinkle all of the coconut over the milk… then sprinkle the nuts on. Last but not least, sprinkle the chocolate chips on.

3. Bake the bars for 25-30 minutes or until the edges of the bars start to turn golden brown.  Allow the bars to cool in the pan coompletely. Note: They will make a mess if you don’t cool them completely! :)

4. “Mmm, these are good. MMMM! Oh, mmm! Mmmm!

Coconut Cream (Evaporated Coconut Milk) Recipe

Coconut Cream (Evaporated Coconut Milk) Recipe

Coconut Cream (Evaporated Coconut Milk) Recipe

This one is simple… extremely simple. All you have to do is wait. Literally, all you do is stick some coconut and milk on the stove and stir it a few times. It’s one of those recipes that might seem long if you sit there and stare at it, but it really depends on how you choose to spend your time while you wait for it to boil down. :) Anyway, this recipe is invented by me. Of course it only takes a milk lover and a coconut lover to come up with this… or a coconut milk lover! Fortunately, I am all of the above. The day after I made the Coconut Custard Cake (see my post on it!), I thought “Hey! Why on earth can’t I find evaporated coconut milk in the store? I guess I’ll make my own coconut cream!” So that’s how it began. I looked up how to make evaporated milk and all I did was boil the milk and the coconut together to make a smooth, coconut flavored cream to go in coffee, tea, over oatmeal, porridge, or whatever you think it would be good on or in. Anyway, the coconut cream tasted great! Everyone who has tasted it has loved it. It has a consistency that lies somewhere between evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk.

One concern that I had about it at first was whether or not 1% milk would be creamy enough to use in the recipe. All of the recipes for evaporated milk that I looked up called for 2% or Vitamin D milk. So, I decided to give 1% milk a try, and it turned out very rich and creamy! :)

Coconut Cream (Evaporated Coconut Milk):

Makes 1/2 to 1 cup coconut cream

3 cups 1% or more% milk

1 cup shredded coconut

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, mix the coconut and milk together. Over high heat, bring the milk mixture just to a boil before reducing the heat to medium. Allow the milk/coconut mixture to simmer for about one hour. Be sure to stir it every five to ten minutes so that a “skin” does not form on the milk’s surface. It’s no big deal if it does (just stir it back in), but the skin forms to prevent the milk from evaporating, which is a bit contradictory to the goal here. :)

2. When the hour is up, remove the cream from the heat and strain it into a bowl. Then pour it into a jar and store it in the refrigerator. You’re all done! Enjoy!

Straining out the Coconut

Straining out the Coconut

To the Jar!

To the Jar!

Coconut Custard Cake Recipe

Coconut Custard Cake Recipe

Coconut Custard Cake Recipe

Coconut Custard Cake Recipe

Coconut Custard Cake Recipe

Hm… what should I say about this recipe (from the Gooey Desserts cookbook)? Maybe it’s just one of my new favorite cake recipes ever!!! It is SUPER moist  because of the custard filling and it is also SUPER soft and  gooey, a total comfort food.  I would only recommend making this cake, however, if you have an accurate thermometer and some time on your hands. If you don’t have an accurate thermometer, GO GET ONE NOW. It is that good! The frosting is very fluffy and is hugely complemented by the toasted coconut, an absolute must! The cake is very soft and the custard filling makes it wonderfully gooey. Not to mention that coconut is just a great flavor in my opinion.  It used to be that I couldn’t stand coconut. Even just a month ago, I only liked coconut. I think when that really changed for me was when I went on a trip to Saint Lucia. I had fresh coconut there and I think that made me go coconut crazy. I find it hilarious to go to my recipe index page because then I can see all of my latest ingredient obsessions… strawberries, cream cheese… now coconut. :)

I finished making this cake at ten o’clock one night and my brother clambered out of bed to see it. What was his name for it?  Popcorn-Salad Cake! I loved that. Well then, I guess I’ll get on to the Popcorn-Salad Cake Recipe… I’m sure you’re dying to know what the ingredients are!

Coconut Custard Cake Recipe:

For the Cake:

2 2/3 cups flour

1 3/4 cups white sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

4 egg yolks (save the egg whites)

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup coconut milk (see the note at the end of the post)

1/2 cup shredded coconut

4 egg whites

For the Coconut Drizzle:

1 cup coconut milk

1 tsp. white

For the Coconut Custard Filling:

1 1/4 cups milk

1 1/4 cups coconut milk

5 eggs yolks (save 3 egg whites for the fluffy frosting)

1/2 cup sugar

3 tbsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/3 cups shredded coconut

For the Fluffy Frosting:

1/2 cup water

1 cup light corn syrup

1 1/2 cups white sugar

3 eggs whites

Directions:

1. For the Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 round 9 inch cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with waxpaper and grease again (waxpaper is very essential. Greasing alone does not work, trust me!!!!) At the end of the post, I can show you what happens to a cake when you don’t use waxpaper. I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the yolks one at a time and beat until well incorporated. Add vanilla and altetnately add thecoconut milk and the flour. Foild in coconut.  Using an electirc mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff… then gently fold them into the batter.

3. Pour the batter into the preparexd cake pans. Bake for about 25 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Wait for the cakes to coll for a few minutes before running a knife around the edges of the pans and flipping the cakes onto  wire racks to cool them completely. When cooled, cut each cake horizontally.

4. For the Custard: In a medium saucepan, heat the two milks. In a seperate bowl, beat the yolks, cornstarch, and sugar together until smooth. Whisk half of the hot milk intu the yolks, then pour  the mixture back into the remaining milk in the pot and slowly bring the yolk/milk mixture to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for one minute. The custard will thicken quickly. Immediately remove the custard from the heat and add the  coconut and the vanilla. Pour the custard into a bowl and place it in the freezer to cool for 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes.

5. For the Coconut Drizzle: Mix the milk and the sugar. Using a brush, brush it onto the  layers before putting the fully cooled custard filling on.

6. For the Fluffy Frosting: Here’s where a thermometer comes in handy… bring the water, corn syrup, and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until until the mixture is clear (230- 234 degrees). Remove the mixture from the heat. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until stiff.

Stiff Egg Whites

Stiff Egg Whites

With the whisk attatchment on an electric mixer, beat the egg whites again as you add the hot mixture. Continue beating the mixture for 5 minutes.

7. Follow the directions on your bag of shredded coconut on how to toast the coconut. Toast as much coconut as desired, enough to top the cake’s frosting (better to toast more than not enough).

8. To assemble: Spread the custard over each cake layer and  frost with the fluffy frosting. Sprinkle the toasted coconut generously over the cake.

9. My brother is the king of the song that I have linked here. He sometimes goes around the house, belting out the refrain in an absolutely perfect voice and making it exeptionally dramatic: http://youtu.be/VLz5fSWq_jY

The Refrain’s Lyrics:

Someone left the cake out in the rain!

And I don’t think I can take it…

’cause it took so long to bake it!

And I’ll never have that recipe AGAIN!

Note:

1. If you don’t have any coconut milk on hand, it takes literally 30 seconds to make! All you have to do is blend 1 cup of milk and 1/2 cup coconut together in a blender for 30 seconds. Next, strain it, and you now have one cup of coconut milk!!! Simple as that. :)

2. This is what a cake looks like if you forget to put waxpaper on the bottom of the pan. That’s right. Yep. Lesson learned? Good!

Oops! Forgot the waxpaper for the chocolate cake!!!

Oops! Forgot the waxpaper for the chocolate cake!!!

Ooey Gooey Bars Recipe

Ooey-Gooey Bars Recipe

Ooey-Gooey Bars Recipe

Ooey-Gooey Bars Recipe

Ooey-Gooey Bars Recipe

This is my family’s go-to classic. Whenever a guest comes to our house and we can’t decide what they would like, we end up making this recipe (bingo!).  You can never go wrong with something called “Ooey-Gooey Bars” . :) This recipe is super easy to whip up as well as tasty. The crust is nice and buttery and tastes like (actually it literally is) a cake and I love the cream cheese top that makes it ooey and gooey… these bars are sweet, savory, and simple. :)

Ooey-Gooey Bars Recipe:

For the Crust:

1 box yellow cake mix

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 egg

For the Filling:

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

2 eggs

1 lb. ( 3 1/2 cups) powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out a greased 13×9 inch pan.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, hand (litterally… use your hands) mix the butter, cake mix, and egg until the butter and egg is well incorporated and the cake mix it like a dough. Pat the dough into the prepared pan and set aside.

3. For the filling: With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and SLOWLY mix so you don’t get a mushroom cloud of sugar in your kitchen. (This may have happened to me one time, so I’m kind of speaking from experience:) Pour the mixture over the unbaked crust.

4. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the cream cheese just starts to turn a golden brown. A knife will never come out clean, so don’t even think about using it… there’s a reason that they’re called Ooey-Gooey Bars. Allow them to cool.

5. Gobble up (and horizontally as well, I guess)!

Patriotic Perfection Pudding Recipe

Patriotic Perfection Pudding Recipe

Patriotic Perfection Pudding Recipe

Patriotic Perfection Pudding Recipe

Patriotic Perfection Pudding Recipe

This recipe, Patriotic Perfection Pudding (by katydidbakeit, adapted from a recipe from a cookbook that I borrowed, so I don’t know who to cite), was a huge hit in my family and my Dad said that it’s one of his favorites. I love the crunchy, nutty, buttery crust and the creamy, pudding-like cream cheese filling and the final touch of home-made blueberry pie filling and cherry pie filling. The recipe calls for canned cherry pie filling, but I thought that the blueberry pie filling was SO good on the top layer that it made the canned cherry pie filling taste home-made as well… so you can get great taste the cheaters way!

The original recipe calls for just canned blueberry pie filling, but here’s how it got patriotic: I had only half of the amount of blueberries I needed for the home-made pie filling, which was not nearly enough to cover a 9×13 inch pan. At this point, I remembered a can of cherry pie filling that had been in our cupboard for over a year and had still not met it’s expiration date. Bingo! So that’s what I used. After I finished making the pudding, I remarked on the red and blue top with the white filling… hence, the patriotic in the name that my sister suggested. Also the original recipe called itself blueberry pie. What a ridiculous name! It’s not pie! I had almost passed over the ultimate recipe, thinking: “Not another blueberry pie recipe!” So that’s why I re-named it. :) Anyway, enjoy!

Patriotic Perfection Pudding Recipe:

For Crust:

1 cup flour

1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter

1 cup chopped pecans

For Creamy Layer:

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

1 (8 oz.) package cool whip

1/2 cup butter

1 (16 0z.) box powdered sugar

1 tsp. lemon juice

For Pie Filling Layer:

 2 1/4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed and drained if frozen)

1/2 cup white sugar

1/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 (21 oz.) can Comstock classic cherry pie filling

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out an ungreased 13×9 inch pan. Arrange the oven wrack in the center of the oven.

2. For the Crust: In a small pot, melt the butter. Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour and the chopped pecans. Mix well and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 33-37 minutes or until golden brown and the mixture is not bubbling as much as it was before… mind you it will still be bubbling some and it might slide around in the pan a bit when you remove it from the oven. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool in the refrigerator until thoroughly cold and stiff. Meanwhile, do the next steps.

3. For the Pie Filling Layer: Mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice in a medium pot and cook over medium heat until it is about the consistency of canned pie filling (thick). Set aside and allow to cool in the refrigerator. Open the can of cherry pie filling and set aside.

4. For the Creamy Layer: In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients (except for the cool whip) until smooth. Then fold the cool whip in until thoroughly  mixed in. Spread the mixture over the cooled crust and allow to cool in the refrigerator until the cream cheese layer has stiffened, about 20 minutes.

5. Pour the blueberry pie filling over the cream cheese layer. Swirl the canned cherry pie filling with the blueberry pie filling to get pretty blue-red swirls for presentation. Refrigerate until served.

6. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm(etc.)

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Well, this is officially my first ever recipe that is MINE. MINE MINE MINE. :) Do you think I’m excited? I used a base recipe but made many changes on the first go, including the portions of the sugar, eggs, filling, frosting, and many other ingredients in the cupcakes. I also changed the flavor and texture of the frosting and the flavor of the cupcakes. Of course, I was debating about  my Lenten resolution to not eat sweets… but how would I know if I had put in too much or too little flavoring if I couldn’t even taste it? That would make things difficult. Well, I figured that God would understand… and I don’t think that he will condemn me to fry for eternity in my afterlife just because I had a snitch of cupcake batter. :)

Anyway, I thought that these little treats were very good. The cupcakes were bursting with orange  flavor and the filling was a nice contrasting surprise. The frosting was great too- it was soft and a great final fruity touch to the cupcakes. Not everyone thinks of orange and blueberry as a must-try first fruit combination but I thought that the two flavors tasted VERY good together! I would really appreciate it if you would maybe give it a try and please please give me some feedback on the first dessert that I have ever invented. :)

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe:

For Cupcakes:

2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

4 eggs plus 2 egg yolks

2 tsp. vanilla

2 tbsp. orange extract

3 cups flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1 1/4 tsp. salt

For Filling:

2 cups fresh blueberries (or 1 cup frozen, drained+thawed)

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. orange extract

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 tsp. salt

For Frosting:

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 lb (4 cups) powdered sugar

2 1/2 tsp. orange extract

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 Tbsp. milk

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper cups OR grease the muffin tins generously.

2. In an electric mixer,  cream the butter, sugar, eggs + egg yolks, cream cheese, vanilla, and orange extract until smooth. Add the other ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way full and bake for 16-19 minutes or until an inserted toothpick or knife comes out clean. (Yes, the filling doesn’t go in yet. I know it’s surprising, but you’ll see how it comes together later.) Allow to cool to room temperature.

3. In a small pan, mix all of the filling ingredients together and cook over medium heat until a thick consistency (about the consistency of canned pie filling). Allow it to cool in the refrigerator until it is thoroughly chilled. It is very important that the filling is not warm. Do the next step while the filling cools.

4. With an electric mixer, cream the shortening and butter. Add the sugar, orange extract, vanilla, and milk; beat until smooth.  Put the frosting into a piping bag with a large star tip or set the frosting aside.

5. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut cylinders out of the centers of the cooled cupcakes; save them… do not eat them. :) Spoon the filling into each empty cupcake center and “re-cap” it with the cupcake centers. Frost the cupcakes.

6. Enjoy, and be sure to let me know what you think!

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

What can you expect a kid like me to say about a recipe like this? YUM! It’s classic, easy, fun, tasty, creamy, soft, crunchy, sweet, (the list goes on and on!) and has the stamp of approval from just about every person I’ve met. Who doen’t like cookies? And cool whip? And cream-cheese-frosting-like substances? And pudding? And candy? And okay-Katy-is-getting-kinda-long-winded? The answer is NO ONE. :) This recipe is satisfyingly gooey and messy to eat, so treat someone (namely yourself) to this quick and easy wormy backyard concoction!

Dirt Pudding Recipe:

1 family sized box (30 0z.) of double stuffed Oreo Cookies, crushed

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

1 (12 oz.) package cool whip

1 tsp. vanilla

2  packages (3.4 oz. each) instant vanilla pudding

sour or regular gummie worms (however many you want for the pudding + some to snack on)

3 cups milk

Directions:

1. Set out an ungreased 13×9 inch pan.

2. Spread half of the crushed Oreos on the bottom of the pan. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth. Fold the cool whip in untiul well incorporated. Next spread the mixture carefully over the oreos so that you don’t mix them(I drop small glops of the mixture all over the oreoes so that there is little spreading to do).

3. In another bowl, stir the milk, vanilla pudding mix, and vanilla together with a whisk. Let sit for five minutes before spreading the pudding over the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the other half of the crushed Oreos over the pudding and top with sour gummy worms. Refrigerate your dirt and worms concoction for at least three hours before serving.

4. Yay! Chomp! Hearts fly everywhere!

Soft Pretzels Recipe

Soft Pretzels Recipe

Soft Pretzels Recipe

Well, I figured that -having only posted two recipes this month- I was due to post another one. This recipe (adapted from CHOW) is basically about Easter. Why? The story I heard was that, during the Lenten season, monks made pretzels hard and unpleasant to eat so that fasting would be easier (obviously the recipes have changed). The three loops in the pretzels represent the Holy Trinity. Unfortunately, I didn’t exactly get the third loop in. :) Anyway, these prezels were exactly what a soft pretzel should be: soft,  salty, and presentable.

Soft Pretzels Recipe:

1 cup warm water (110°F)

2 1/4 tsp. dry yeast

2 3/4 cups flour

1 tbsp. white sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt, plus some for sprinkling

10 cups water

2 tbsp. baking soda

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, or the lowest temperature on your oven. Grease a large mixing bowl.

2. Run hot water over a small bowl for about thirty seconds or until warm.  Pour the warm water into the bowl and sprinkle iot with yeast. Let it sit until the yeast has dissolved 5-10 minutes.

3. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, place the flour, sugar, and salt and stir using the paddle attechment. Once the yeast mixture is ready, pour it into the flour mixture. Mix on the lowest mixing setting until the dough just comes together, about 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook attechment. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium and knead until the dough is elastic and smooth, about 8 minutes.

4. Place the dough in the prepared oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a towl and let the dough rest in the preheated oven until it doubles in size, about 40 minutes. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and grease the paper.

5. Once the dough has risen, punch it down. Using a knife, divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Grease a peice of plastic wrap and cover the dough balls with it while you shape the pretzels in the next step.

6. Working with one piece at a time, roll a ball of dough into a 16 inch rope.

Soft Pretzels in the Making

Soft Pretzels in the Making

Hold one end of the rope in each hand and cross the two ends. Cross them again to form a twist. Lay the twisted end over the opposite side of the rope and press gently to adhere. Transfer the pretzel to the baking sheet. Repeat the same steps with the remaining dough pieces, fitting 8 pretzels per baking sheet.

Soft Pretzels in the Making

Soft Pretzels in the Making

7. Let the pretzels rise in the oven again until almost double in size, about 20 minutes.

The Pretzels Have Risen (Again)!

The Pretzels Have Risen (Again)!

After the pretzels are done rising, remove them from the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees (be sure to arrange a rack in the middle). Bring the water and butter to a boil in a pot over high heat and set two wire racks nearby (set a towel or a large bowl underneath the racks to catch the hot water; also, the butter will make the water look brown after a while. Don’t fret, it won’t burn:).

8. Stir the baking soda into the boiling water (the water will foam up big time) and place two pretzels in the water. Boil for one minute before using a fork or a spatula to flip them; boil the pretzels for one more minute. Remove them from the water and place on one of the wire racks. Sprinkle them with salt and repeat with the remaining pretzels.

9. Bake the pretzels one sheet at a time, rotating halfway through the baking time, until they are a deep golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Transfer immediately to a wire rack to cool.

10. Happy Lent and Happy Eater! er, I mean… Easter!

Note:

If some pretzels are golden brown and others are not, remove the golden-brown ones and allow them to cool while the others continue to bake.

Apple Pie Bread Recipe

Apple Pie Bread Recipe

Apple Pie Bread Recipe

Apple Pie Bread Recipe

Apple Pie Bread Recipe

This bread (adapted from Baked by Rachel) is, well, is it bread or dessert? I can’t decide. :) I’m just kidding, of course, but seriously… this bread is a vision of delectability! It is flavorful, moist, soft, has an excellent, not-gooey but gooey-tasting filling, and a crumb topping that bakes on to make a sort of crumbly, sweet shell. Goodness in a pan. I’m kind of not my talkative (or… writative, in this case) self today, so please excuse the winky little paragraph. Of course, you’re probably so tired of reading my essays about my baking adventures. :) But really, it is very good bread!

Apple Pie Bread Recipe:

For the Bread:

1 3/4 cup flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. apple pie spice

1 tbps. cinnamon

1 egg

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup applesauce

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups shredded apples

1 cup chopped apples

For the Filling:

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, warm

1 egg

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

For the Crumb Topping:

2 tbsp. flour

4 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. apple pie spice

2 tbsp. butter, cold

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan.

2. To make the bread, mix the egg, vegetable oil, applesauce, and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Add the shredded and chopped apples. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and apple pie spice to the applebattermixture. Stir until well incorporated. Set aside.

3. For the filling, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. For the crumb topping, mix the flour, sugar, and apple pie spice in a small bowl. Cut in the cold butter and mix with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles course, pea-sized crumbs.

4. To assemble the loaf, pour just enough of the bread batter into the pan to coat the bottom (i should be about half of the batter) then pour all of the cream cheese mixture on top of it. Pour the remaining bread batter over the cream cheese, making sure that the batter seals the edges and you cannot see any white if you look at the batter directly from above. Next evenly pour all of the crumb topping over the batter.

5. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pan until you can flip it into your hands which you can use, in turn, to flip the loaf onto a platter crumb-side up. :)

6. Enjoy the any-meal dessert at anytime!

Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Muffins Recipe

Cream Cheese Filled Muffins Recipe

Cream Cheese Filled Muffins Recipe

Cream Cheese Filled Muffins Recipe

Cream Cheese Filled Muffins Recipe

The history of this recipe: one day, I had the brilliant idea that there should be a muffin with a crumbly top and a cream cheese filling. So I went online, searched for a recipe, and hit raw gold. This recipe (by sweet escape) was, hands down, the best muffin discovery I’ve ever made. These muffins are not only moist, soft, and downright heavenly, but the cream cheese oozed out of them when they were warm and the crumb topping did not make a mess when you tried to eat it as most foods with crumb toppings do. No, it baked on and stayed on. :)

Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Muffins:

(Makes about 18 muffins)

For the Muffins:

3 cups all-purpose flour

4 eggs

2 cups white sugar

2 cups pumpkin puree

1¼ cups vegetable oil

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

For the Filling:

8 oz. (1 pkg.) slightly warm cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

For the Crumb Topping:

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. flour

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cubed

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper cups or grease lightly.

2. For the muffins,
combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Hand stir the ingredients until well mixed. Then add the rest of the muffin ingredients. Mix well. Set aside.

3. For the filling, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a bowl and
mix well by hand until smooth and thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

4.  For the topping, combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon
in a small bowl. Add the cubed butter. Next use a pastry cutter or two knives (I much prefer the pastry cutter) to mix the butter/flour mixture until the mixture resemblesx coarse crumbs. Set aside.

5. Time for the assembly! Cover the bottom of each muffin cup with just enough batter to cover the bottom. Spread some batter up the sides. Drop a sizable glop of cream cheese filling in the center of the muffin cup. Then fill the muffin cup up to the brim with batter and top with the crumb topping (don’t be shy, pile it on- it bakes down). Repeat this step for each muffin.

6. Bake for 18-23 minutes… you should be able to gently tap the muffins with a knife without making an indent. Remove them from the pan immediately.

7. Serve them warm or hot (even room temperature, but then the cream cheese doesn’t ooze as much:) and go to heaven.

Italian Easter Bread Recipe

Italian Easter Bread Recipe

Italian Easter Bread Recipe

This recipe- what can I say? It was festive and a very fun thing to make prior to Easter. It had a very classic taste: a soft yeast bread that would taste great with anything! Not to mention the great presentation that this bread pulls off. And don’t forget that it’s not just the eggs that make it an Easter-y recipe… it’s the fact that you let it rise again. :)

On a separate note, I have gotten some questions from people concerning thermometers. How do you know if your thermometer reads temperatures accurately? The answer is in the note that I included at the bottom of this post… it tells you how to find out if your thermometer is accurate or not. Anyway, have fun!

Italian Easter Bread Recipe (by Pennies on a Platter):

For Bread:

1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast

1 1/4 cups milk

a pinch of salt

1/3 cup butter

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups flour

6 dyed, uncooked eggs (the eggs will cook in the oven)

For Egg Wash and other:

1 egg

1 tsp. water

sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and grease a large bowl.

2. In a small bowl, beat eggs with a fork until well blended. Then, in a medium sauce pan, combine the milk, salt, butter, eggs, and sugar.  Heat until the butter is completely melted, stirring constantly so that the eggs do not separate from the butter/milk mixture. Let cool to 110 degrees.

3. Run hot water over a medium bowl until the bowl is nice and warm.  Using the paddle attachment, use an electric mixer to mix 2 cups of flour, yeast, and warm egg/milk mixture; beat until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, continue to slowly add the rest of the flour just until a dough forms. Switch to the dough hook attachment and mix on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. If necessary  add more flour until it is somewhat tacky and a good texture for rolling out.

Elastic Dough

Elastic Dough

Dump the dough into the prepared greased bowl and cover the bowl with a towel. Let the dough rise in the oven  until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven, but do not turn the oven off yet.

"And it shall Rise Again!"

“And it shall Rise Again!”

The Bread has Risen!

The Bread has Risen!

4. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper (I didn’t have any at the moment so I used aluminum foil instead… that’s me, Hobo Katy). Punch down the dough and cut it into pieces. On lightly floured hands, roll each piece into a 12-inch rope (you should feel similar to a kid would make making a worm out of play-dough:). Twist two ropes together to form a sort of twisted braid, then mesh the ends together and arrange the dough in a circle; then arrange the tips underneath each other, so as to give the effect of no “seems” in the dough. Place the dough rings on the prepared baking sheets.

Making the Ropes

Making the Ropes

Dough Rings before being allowed to rise

Dough Rings before being allowed to rise

5. Repeat the previous step with the rest of the dough. It should make six rings of dough. Cover the rings with a towel and let it rise in the oven again (oh, how Easter-y! The bread will rise again!) until about double in size, about 1 hour.

Dough RIngs after being allowed to rise

Dough Rings after being allowed to rise

6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. For the egg wash, beat the egg and water together and brush it onto the tops of the dough rings. Lightly decorate with the sprinkles.

7. Place one raw and dyed egg in the center of ring of dough, pressing down lightly to be sure that it is secure. Bake for 15 to 23 minutes or until the bread turns golden brown.

8. Serve the “nests” warm and enjoy!  Also, in case you were wondering, the eggs get very baked in the oven and are completely safe to eat. It’s just like eating a hard-boiled egg. :) Happy Lent!

Note:

If you aren’t sure that your thermometer is accurate, boil some water and see what the thermometer reads the temperature as. If it reads as 212 degrees, it is accurate. If it does not, (say it read 214 degrees) then you know that it is two degrees too hot; therefore, you should make the egg/milk mixture 108 degrees (according to your thermometer). I hope that I explained that clearly. :)

Caramel Corn Recipe

Caramel Corn Recipe

Caramel Corn Recipe

Caramel corn- the typical buttered movie treat multiplied in yumminess by ten.  I’ve always loved the sweet, buttery caramel combined with the crisp crunch of air popped popcorn. :) Something about that combination… mmm! The nice thing about this recipe, too, is that you can make the caramel according to your preference. You can make it light, soft, and chewy or slightly darker and crunchy. I will let you know that when it’s chewy, it’s not that “stick-to-your-teeth” chewy, but a texture similar to a soft-candy; and when it’s crunchy, it’s not that “crack-your-teeth-off” crunchy… it’s a sugary, melt-in-your-mouth coating. :) 

My Lenten resolution was that I would give up sweets- something that I have obviously not gone without for a very long time. :) I am just letting you know that this Lent, I might be blogging a few more breads than I was blogging about before… but let me tell you that I have found a few bread recipes that I am absolutely bursting to try because they look so scrumptious! Anyway, munch away on the caramel corn as you watch BBC’s show Merlin (the best TV show ever directed) which I am just about to go watch right now!(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Caramel Corn Recipe:

12-14 cups air-popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup unpopped)

1 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Directions:

1. Set out an ungreased cookie sheet.

2. Pop the popcorn. :) Be sure that you sort out all of the kernels. You can do the latter by shaking the bowl for a bout fifteen seconds so that the kernels will fall to the bottom. Then transfer the popcorn by handfuls to another very large bowl, leaving the kernels in the first bowl.

3. In a medium sized saucepan, melt the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt together over medium heat. Bring the ingredients just to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pull the caramel off of the stove and stir in the baking soda.

Caramel Mixture

Caramel Mixture

Let simmer for five minutes

Let simmer for five minutes

The Caramel is Done!

The Caramel is Done!

4. Pour half of the caramel over the popcorn. Mix it thoroughly. Pour the other half over the popcorn as well and mix again. For soft caramel: spread the caramel covered popcorn onto the ungreased cookie sheet and allow it to cool.  For a sugar/crunch caramel: preheat the oven to 200 degrees and spread the caramel covered popcorn onto two ungreased cookie sheets. Bake the caramel corn  for 1 hour, stirring every fifteen minutes.

5. Mouth: Crunch crunch crunch . . . 

Heart: Burst burst burst ! ! !

Cinnamon Pull-apart Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

I saw this bread on a blog (Pennies on a Platter. Excellent blog in my opinion. I did make some modifications to the original recipe, however) and I knew. Oooooh did I know! The instant that I laid eyes on this recipe, I knew that I had to make it and I knew that it would be the perfect picture of my favorite bread in the universe. I was so excited, and I still am! My sister was making fun of me because I could not stop talking about how excited I was to make this bread. And, of course, it met and flew beyond all expectations. It was sweet, soft, buttery, sticky, gooey, authentic, easy, and AMAZING! Don’t be intimidated by the lengthy instructions for this one. It is a lot simpler than you would think, so… MAKE IT. NOW. I ORDER YOU. :)

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread: 

For the Bread:

3 cups flour

1/4 cup white sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 pkg.) yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 Tablespoons butter

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup water

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

For the filling:

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Directions:

1. Melt milk and butter together in a microwave or over medium heat on the stove until the butter is completely melted. Add the eggs, vanilla, and water and beat together with a fork until well mixed. Heat the ingredients (if you are using the microwave, heat the mixture in 15 second intervals, stirring between each interval) and allow it to cool to 110 degrees while you do the next step.

2. Take the mixing bowl that you would like to use and run hot water over it for about thirty seconds or until the bowl is warm. In the mixing bowl, use an electric mixer with the dough hook attachment  to stir the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt together. Pour the milk/egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined (you may have to stop the mixer and stir it yourself sometimes). Add more flour, as needed, until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl (the bottom will might continue to stick to the bowl).

3. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Dump the dough into a large greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel and let rise in the oven  until it is doubled in size, about 1 hour. Do not allow the dough to cool. Punch the dough down and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is about 20×12 inches. Cover the dough with a towel while you do the next step.

4. Grease a 9x5x3 inch bread pan. For the filling, melt the butter. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Do not spread it onto the dough yet.

5. Cut the dough lengthwise into six equal sliced strips. Spread some of the filling on one of the strips and top it with another. Spread more on the new strip and top it again with another strip. Repeat this process until you have put filling on all of the strips . Then cut it width-wise, so that it appears to be six equal squares of dough. :)

Dough- Sliced

Dough- Sliced

Spreading on the Filling

Spreading on the Filling

Ready for the Pan

Ready for the Pan

6. Stack the dough slices into the bread pan. Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise in the oven (preheated to 170 degrees) for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread (before allowed to rise)

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread (before allowed to rise)

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread (after allowed to rise and before baking)

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread (after allowed to rise and before baking)

7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the bread on center rack and bake it for 23-27 minutes or until the top is very golden brown. Remove from the oven. Wasting no time while the bread is hot, run a knife around the edges (I found that part to be crucial) and invert the bread onto a platter. :)

8. Serve warm or hot, and do not serve it with a knife. Instead, peel your serving off of the loaf and enjoy the decadence!

Cherry Pie Recipe

Cherry Pie Recipe

Cherry Pie Recipe

Cherry Pie Recipe

Cherry Pie Recipe

Cherry Pie Recipe- the Crust

Cherry Pie Recipe- the Crust

What’s to say? Almost everyone loves a homemade cherry pie, and  the international recognition can verify that for me. :) This is a classic cherry pie recipe that I love. I have never been a huge cherry girl, but something about  cherry pie… mmm! The first time that I made a cherry pie, it turned out super watery. It was like eating (or drinking, at any rate) a plate full of cherry flavored soup that had some blonde chunks floating in it that might have been called “the crust.” Oh, how I love to reminisce about past failures (note sarcasm)! But at least that means that I can pass this advice on to you now: Drain the cherries. It kind of helps.

The crust was crisp, buttery,  and flakey, and the middle was satisfyingly gooey but still held together, allowing it to present very nicely (unlike the first cherry pie I made).  It was sweet and tangy, a big hit, and best of all… it didn’t have red food coloring in it! That just kills me when I see a cherry pie that is unnaturally bright. Be sure that if (hopefully when) you make this pie, you do not use food coloring… or canned cherry pie filling!!! It takes two seconds to mix the ingredients for the filling together and tastes so much better! Just saying.

Please note that the slits that I cut in the pie’s crust form the Greek symbol for pi! :) Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s day!

Cherry Pie Recipe:

For Crust (by Betty Crocker):

2/3 cup butter

2 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

4-5 Tbsp water

For Filling (by katydid bake it):

3 cans tart cherries, drained

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp. almond extract

3 Tbsp. butter

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and set out an ungreased pie plate.

2. For the crust: I sometimes cheat on this part and you can too if you want. What I do, is I just throw the ingredients in my electric mixer and pulse it, so as not to lose the flakiness of the crust (add the water 1 tbsp. at a time between pulses). If you don’t want to cheat, keep on reading this step. Cut butter into flour and salt until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans the sides of the bowl.

 3. Gather dough into a ball and cut it in half.  Roll out one of the halves of dough on a lightly floured surface until the pastry is about two inches larger than inverted pie plate. Fold the pastry into quarters; ease into plate and unfold. Then press it firmly against the bottom and side.

4. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, and thoroughly drained cherries. Pour the pie filling  into the dough lined pie plate and sprinkle in the almond extract. Cut the butter in as well.

5. Roll out the other half of the dough on a lightly floured surface until the pastry is about two inches larger than pie plate. Fold the pastry into quarters; ease it onto the filling and carefully unfold it. Cut off any excess dough, leaving about an inch of dough hanging off of the pie plate’s edge. Fold the dough under and flute.

6. Cover the fluted edge with aluminum foil so that it will not burn and place the pie plate on a cookie sheet. Cut slits in the  crust top and sprinkle the crust generously with sugar. (DO NOT SKIP OR SKIMP ON THE SUGAR! It bakes on very well and makes the crust 100% even more delicious!)

7. Bake the pie for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10-15 more minutes. When you take it out, it should be a rich golden brown (as pictured above) and thick syrupy goo should be bubbling out of the slits.

8. Delicious goodness, here I come!!! Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Vanilla Flan Recipe

Vanilla Flan Recipe

Vanilla Flan Recipe

Vanilla Flan Recipe

Vanilla Flan Recipe

This Recipe is really, really easy and quick to prepare.  I will let you know, however, that it is not a last minute recipe, because it takes a little while to cool and refrigerate it. Anyway, I like this recipe quite a bit.  It has a sweet, syrupy sauce and a vanilla pudding-like consistency. Not to mention that it has the Authentic Mexican Stamp of Approval from my sister. :)

At the Epiphany, my sister and I made a bread called Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Bread)  that had a small baby Jesus doll in it. The tradition is that whoever receives the piece of bread with the Jesus doll in it has to make Tamales for everyone when the Festival of the Virgin of  Calendaria starts. My Dad found the doll in his bread, so at the start of the Festival of the Virgin of Calendaria, he made Tamales for everyone. We made an authentic Mexican night out of it  and my sister and I made this flan for dessert. What I found most hilarious, though, was that my brother who does not even like desserts (he would much rather snack on raw carrots) loved  the flan! He had two servings of it and found out the next morning , to his dismay, that the flan was almost gone.

Vanilla Flan Recipe (from Yucatecan Cuisine):

1 1/2 cups white sugar

6 Tbsp. water

8 eggs

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1 can (14 oz.) evaporated milk

1 cup regular milk

1 Tbsp. vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out an ungreased 8 inch round pan that is 3 3/4 inches deep.

2. Cook sugar and water  over medium heat until the mixture melts and turns a golden brown.  Pour the sugar/water mixture into the prepared pan and allow the sugar to cool, patting down any bubbles or uneven areas that form as it cools.

3. In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla together until well blended. Be sure that the egg/milk mixture is still thoroughly mixed before you pour it into the prepared pan, otherwise, the flan will bake unevenly. Pour the egg/milk mixture into the prepared pan and set the pan onto a cookie sheet.

4. Bake the flan for 60-65 minutes or until the top turns a golden brown. It will be a little bit like jelly when you take it out, but it should not be runny. Allow the flan to cool for 1 hour.

5. When the hour is up, flip the flan onto a platter and put it into the refrigerator until you serve it. Remember to scoop the syrup back over the flan before you serve it.

6. Bon appetit! Er, I mean… Buen  apetito!

Happy Fat Tuesday!!!

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Recipe

Sugar Cookies Recipe- Valentine's Day Edition

Sugar Cookies Recipe- Valentine’s Day Edition

The Love Silo of Sugar Cookies

The Love Silo of Sugar Cookies

Ahem… before I go into how much I like this recipe and blah-de-blah, I guess I should explain the photo of the hideously tall and stout cut-out cookie labeled as the Love Silo. Well, after I had rolled out almost all of the dough, all that I had left was a small ball of dough that I didn’t really feel was worth rolling out. So, I made it as tall as I could and cut it into the shape of a small heart and baked it. It was about as tall as my pinky finger is long. I let it cool for a while and my sister and I named it “The Love Silo” for the way it towered in it’s ominous, hearty glory. I frosted it several times so that there was an adequate cookie to frosting ratio (it was a mountain of frosting!), bedecked it with sprinkles,  and ate it after admiring all of it’s splendor. Unfortunately for me, I had made a trip to the orthodontist earlier that day to get my braces adjusted, so I was practically squealing from pain as I ate the cookie of wonder and light.

This recipe has been passed down in our family for generations. It might be because it’s a super-duper great recipe! It is a very traditional, tasty, snackable treat that will keep your hands (and everyone else’s hands) in the cookie jar. I can never get enough of these cookies. When I taste one, it doesn’t seem to last long enough, so I end up sneaking another… and another… maybe one more… just a snitch, perhaps… mmm…

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Recipe:

(Makes… a lot of cookies)

4 cups plus 4 Tbsp. flour

1 cup butter

1 cup white sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cream of tartar

Frosting:

powdered sugar

milk

vanilla

butter

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out two cookie sheets.

2. Beat the white sugar and butter together. Add the rest of the ingredients.

3. Roll dough into balls and flatten with the bottom of a sugared cup.

4. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Frost.

5. (nom-nom-nom-nom…)

Note:

1. The dough will be extremely soft.

2. For cut-out cookies: because the dough is so soft, it is a little tricky, but still easily done. If it proves to be too difficult to roll out the dough, I recommend refrigerating the dough for 30-60 minutes. Roll out gently on a lightly floured surface. The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Enjoy!

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Recipe (Flowers)

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Recipe (Flowers)

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Recipe Autumn

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Recipe Autumn

Cookie Dough Ice Cream Recipe

Cookie Dough Ice Cream Recipe

Cookie Dough Ice Cream Recipe

This ice cream (Ice Cream by Divine Dinner Party, Cookie Dough by katydidbakeit) was delicious! It was creamy, soft, and (to my delight) had chocolate chip cookie dough in it, per my addition. An automatic like for me! My Mom always wonders why I bake stuff and then eat the store-bought ice cream and I determined that I was simply longing for home-made ice cream, since I’d never had it! So I did a ton of research to find the absolute perfect recipe that didn’t use an ice cream maker and didn’t need so much fussing that you went out of your mind with impatience. I highly recommend this recipe if you like creamy, soft, cookie dough bliss!

Cookie Dough Ice Cream Recipe- made “what I like to call… ‘the right way'”

(quote from the motion picture Rocketman)

For Ice Cream:

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup milk (don’t even think about using skim!)

3 egg yolks, beaten

1 tbsp. vanilla

2 cups whipping cream

For Cookie Dough:

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp. butter

1/4 cup mini milk chocolate chips

2/3 cup + 1-2 Tbsp. flour

For other things in the ice cream:

1/4 cup mini milk chocolate chips

Directions for Ice Cream:

 1. In a saucepan, mix milk, sugar, and salt together. Add egg yolks and beat until thoroughly combined.

2.Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Small, foam-like bubbles will appear around the edge of the saucepan. Remove the egg/milk mixture from the heat. Let it for about ten minutes before adding the vanilla.

3. Pour the egg/milk mixture into a bowl and put it in the freezer overnight. There is no need to stir it.

4. Meanwhile, combine all of the cookie dough ingredients and roll the dough into small, thumb-nail sized balls. Freeze the cookie dough. If the balls freeze together, break them apart and continue letting them freeze. Let the cookie dough stay frozen until the egg/milk mixture is completely frozen.

5. In a large bowl, whip your whipping cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Scoop your frozen egg/milk mixture into a bowl. (It will be softer than you think… I froze my mixture for 11 hours and it was still easy to scoop out.) With electric mixer, beat the egg/milk mixture until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Mix in 1/4 cup mini milk chocolate chips.

6. Put the ice cream in one large container or two quart-sized containers. Cover the container(s). Freeze the ice cream for 1 1/2 hours, stirring once every ten minutes. Continue freezing the ice cream for 2-3 hours or until soft but frozen (there is no need to stir the ice cream after the first 1 1/2 of freezing time… all you will have to do  after that is wait.)

7. You’ll never go back to buying store-bought cookie dough ice cream again!

Jam Thumbprints Cookies Recipe

Jam Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Jam Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

This recipe (by Mrs. Fields) is pretty simple, tasty, and very presentable. When I first made them, I thought that they were going to be shortbread-y, but on the contrary, they are almost like a version of sugar cookies with a nice burst of berry flavor from my homemade jam. (I highly recommend using a homemade jam! It increases the quality of the cookies.) And no, the jam doesn’t ooze all over the place after the cookies are baked. I wondered about that when I first made them. :) Enjoy them with a cup of tea and be sure to keep your pinky finger pointed out!

Jam Thumbprint Cookies Recipe:

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 cup white sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 egg

2  tsp. vanilla

about 3/4 cup jam

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and grease a cookie sheet.

2. Combine sugar, egg. vanilla, and butter in a large bowl. Mix until smooth. Add the flour and the baking powder and mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. (It may seem like a lot of flour, but do not omit any of it.)

3. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and using your thumb, make an indent in each of the cookies. Fill each indent with roughly 1/2 tsp. jam. Be sure not to make the indent too deep or the jam with bake through the bottom of the cookie and make for a pain-in-the-neck clean up. (I may be speaking from experience…) Also, be sure that your jam is not watery, otherwise it will get all over the baking sheet. Any store bought jam works well,  but I mostly use homemade jam for my recipes, so I have to be more careful about which jam I use. Just a precaution.

4. Bake the cookies for 12-17 minutes or until preferred texture (15 is the magical number for me). Read the note below for more details.

5. Be sure to leave a few cookies for other people to enjoy!

Note:

If you would like your cookies to be nice and soft but hold together, bake them for 12 minutes. They might not look done when you take them out. Anyway, after removing the cookies from the oven, proceed to wait one minute before carefully removing the cookies from the baking sheet.  If you would like your cookie to be a little bit firmer, bake it more towards the end of the suggested time and remove them immediately from the cookie sheet.

Strawberry Cake Recipe

Strawberry Cake Recipe

Strawberry Cake Recipe

This recipe is a classic! It’s a household favorite, not to mention that I made it into a barbie cake this time. It was quite a debacle making it just right, but I’ll get to that in a moment. This cake recipe makes a nice moist, fluffy cake that has an equally scrumptious frosting! It was perfect for the barbie cake too, because the cake’s inside is pink, although you obviously can’t tell in the picture.

Me? Oh… me… I decided to take 4 1/2 hours decorating this cake, and that was with four hands. My sister came over the day before her birthday, spent the night, and the next morning started making the cake with me. I baked it and layered it, and once that was done the decorating shenanigans began. First we had to move the cake onto a cake stand with several spatulas and any available hands. We inserted a barbie, but she was too tall. So we got a second, shorter one. She didn’t fit either, and she was the shortest barbie doll we had! So we cut a hole in a cardboard box (wrapped with wrapping paper and stuffed with plastic bags) and put a layer of tin foil on the top. With many more spatulas and hands, we moved the cake from the cake stand to the prepared cake-platform. We inserted the shorter barbie in again, Ariel, but she started sinking into the cake and through the hole in the box. We had hoped that the bags inside the box would stop her from sinking too much, but they didn’t. We had to position her hands so that she was literally holding herself up. From there, my sister and I decorated for 4 1/2 hours. When we were done, we were very proud of ourselves and determined that it had been a “Cake Boss”  adventure. The cake, we joked, went on the path to the sun and back. Oh, and remember- you’re never too old for a barbie doll or a barbie cake!

Strawberry Cake Recipe:

For Cake:

1 box white cake mix

1 small (3 oz.) package strawberry jello

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup cold water

3 eggs

1 (24 oz.) package  frozen strawberries, thawed and not drained

For Frosting:

1 lb. (4 cups) powdered sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

strawberry juice

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven the to 350 degrees and grease one 13×9 inch pan or two 8 inch round baking pans.

2. Drain the strawberries and save the juice. Mix the drained strawberries, cake mix, strawberry jello,  water, and oil together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add egg one at a time, beating for one minute after each egg is added.

3. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake for about 27-33 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean. The top might be dark brown rather than the expected color of pink. Be sure that the cake is cool before you frost it.

4. Mix the powdered sugar, butter, and strawberry juice together on medium speed until smooth and frost the cake. This frosting is pink and not to be used as a decorating frosting. The frosting pictured above is a butter cream frosting recipe that I used.

5. Serve it and love it!

Note:

If you would like the recipe for the butter cream decorating frosting that I used, it will be on a separate post. I highly recommend it. I have been trying for a very long time to get my hands on the perfect butter cream recipe and this one is it.

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

This buttercream frosting recipe (from Wilton) is, by far, the best buttercream frosting recipe I’ve come across. It’s great for decorating and it gets the taste of the butter and the pure white look of the shortening. I’ve found that many recipes melt too easily or taste like you frosted your cake with wax, but this one is perfect in every way. To see other pictures of this frosting, see my Strawberry Cake Recipe post and my Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes post.

Buttercream Frosting Recipe:

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 lb (4 cups) powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

2 Tbsp. milk or water

food coloring (optional)

Directions:

1.Beat shortening and butter together on medium speed in a large bowl, until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and mix it in thoroughly (be sure not to send a plume of sugar into the air when you start the mixer- I speak from experience). Then add the vanilla, milk, and food coloring.

2. Frost onto whatever you like (even a spoon) and enjoy!

Apple Crumble Pie Recipe

Apple Crumble Pie Recipe

Apple Crumble Pie Recipe

Apple Crumble Pie Recipe

Apple Crumble Pie Recipe

This is the best apple pie recipe I have ever tasted! This is also a great recipe if you don’t like rolling pie crusts. You’re not supposed to roll this pie crust, so you get the authenticity of a homemade pie without all the fluting and rolling. It always begs for some vanilla ice cream and a second slice. :) I highly recommend making this pie. It’s one of the easier pie recipes I’ve come across, and it’s really good!

On a more amusing topic, sorry for not getting a picture of a slice of this pie so that you could see the filling, but it’s because I made this pie after I got a call one day at 3:00 p.m. from a friend requesting a pie for that night. Late notice, but I happened to have the ingredients for this recipe. I took the picture of the pie just before my Mom delivered it to him, and I thought that it might have been a little rude to have it delivered with a piece missing from it. Maybe I should have taken a piece out just to get back at him though. :)

Apple crumble Pie Recipe (from The Devil’s Food):

For the Crust:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese

For Filling:

6 cups pealed cored, thinnly sliced McIntosh apples

3/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 Tbsp. flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 Tbsp. water

1 Tbsp. butter, melted

 For Topping:

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup flour

1/2 cup (1 stick)  butter

For Glaze:

1/2 cup powder

2-3  tsp. lemon juice

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and grease a 9 inch pie plate.

2. For Filling: Peal, core and thinnly slice the apples. (This step is especially easy if you have an apple peeler/corer that does it all for you. Then you just need to chop the apple.) Mix all of the filling ingredients together (except for the apples) in large bowl. Then add the apples and make sure that you thoroughly mix them in.

3. For crust: In a medium bowl, cut the butter into the flour with a knife . Using your hands or a pastry cutter, mix the butter-flour mixture to a coarse mixture. Add the cream cheese and continue mixing with your hands until a soft dough forms. Press the dough into the prepared pie plate.

4. Put the filling in the pie plate.

5. For the crumb top, mix all ingredients except for the butter together in a small bowl. Cut the butter in and use a pastry cutter to make a crumbly mixture. Spread all of the crumble mixture over the pie and make sure that you cover all of the pie’s edges. You should not be able to see any filling.

6. Place the pie plate on a cookie sheet and bake for ten minutes. Then reduce the oven’s heat to 325 degrees and bake for 60-70 more minutes or until the crumble topping starts to turn a light golden brown. Let the pie cool for a while until it is your preferred eating temperature.

7. Mix the powdered sugar and the lemon juice. Start off adding less lemon juice than suggested. Keep adding juice until the frosting is thin enough to drizzle. Be careful not to make it too thin, however, or the frosting will just soak in and the pie will not look as pretty.

8. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream. Yum! The following poem I thought was very suitable for this recipe, plus it’s by one of my favorite poets.

Pie Problem

If I eat one more piece of pie, I’ll die!

If I can’t have one more piece of pie, I’ll die!

So since it’s all decided I must die,

I might as well have one more piece of pie.

MMMM–OOOH–MY!

Chomp–Gulp–’Bye.

-Shel Silverstein

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe

I thought that this recipe (adapted from TasteofHome Cookies)  was very good. They had a slightly crunchy bottom, crisp edges, and a chewy middle.  I actually made the cookies for an event at our church, and they were a  huge hit! If you prefer your cookies to be softer, you might not bake the cookie as long as suggested below. Even better, I got to use homemade strawberry jam that my Mom made. Yum!!!

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe:

1/2 (1 stick) butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

3/4 cup strawberry jam

Directions:

1. Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg together in a large bowl until smooth. Add flour and baking powder and mix thoroughly.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle roughly 14×10 inches.  Straighten the dough’s edges with a ruler if you want a nice clean edge to it.  Spread the jam on the dough, spreading to within 1/2 an inch of the edge. Roll up, starting with the long side so you make a nice long roll.

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe in the Making

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe in the Making

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe in the Making

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe in the Making

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe in the Making

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe in the Making

3. Wrap the roll in plastic cling-wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours. (Don’t try to weasel your way out of the time… it’s very essential that you do this if you want pretty cookies.)

4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line one cookie sheet with wax paper or grease it. (If you grease it, then you have to re-grease the pan before baking the next batch.) Sawing gently and using a sharp knife, cut the roll carefully into 1/2- 3/4 inch wide slices. These slices are the cookies that you will put on the cookie sheet.

5. Place pan on center rack and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cookies start to become a light golden brown.

6. Let them cool for a few seconds before you remove them from the tray. Do not let them cool for more than a minute on the tray, because they will continue baking, which would over-bake the cookies.

7. Eat up!

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons Recipe

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons Recipe

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons Recipe

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons Recipe

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons Recipe

 I’ve always loved the flavor of coconut… and unfortunately, I’ve almost always loathed the texture. The day that all changed was when I went out to lunch with my Mom and after the meal, I tried one of the shop’s macaroons. I’ve been obsessed about finding a good chocolate-dipped macaroon recipe ever since then, and now I love everything about coconut, including the texture.

When I saw this recipe (from BrowneyedBaker.com), I knew that I had found exactly what I had been looking for. Not to mention that sweetened condensed milk makes everything tasty! :) Anyway, the bottom was crisp and the center was soft, and the texture of the coconut was not the so-dreaded texture that people don’t like. It was the texture of yum, that’s what.  One thing that I might change about this recipe  (and this is a personal preference, since I’m not usually a huge chocolate person) is something with the chocolate to coconut ratio. I would either make the cookies bigger, or use milk chocolate, because I felt that the semi-sweet chocolate overpowered the flavor of the coconut somewhat. That was my (humble) observation. Still a great recipe, though!!! :)

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons Recipe:

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 egg white

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/8 tsp. salt

3 1/2 cups coconut

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease a cookie sheet or cover a baking sheet with wax paper.

1. Mix the  sweetened condensed milk, egg white, vanilla, and salt together in a medium sized bowl. Add the coconut and mix.

2. Drop cookies onto prepared baking sheet. I think that the size of about two tablespoons is a good starter size and you can adjust it to your preferred size from there. The smaller the cookie, the stronger the flavor of the chocolate. The bigger the cookie, the weaker the flavor of the chocolate.

3. Bake one sheet at a time for about 15-20 minutes or until the tops of the macaroons are a golden brown. You want to be careful not to under-bake them, or they will be tricky to dip in the chocolate without them falling apart on you.

4. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before you remove them with a spatula. Then, after the cookies are cooled completely (they don’t take long to cool), dip the bottoms in the chocolate and scrape off any excess chocolate before placing the cookie(s) on a sheet of wax paper. Use a fork to drizzle chocolate lightly over the top of the macaroons, for a pretty effect.

4. Refrigerate the cookies for about 10-15 minutes or until the chocolate has set. Once the chocolate has set, you won’t need to refrigerate the cookies anymore… not even for storage, unless you want them to stay fresher longer.

5.  Snrrrmf.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge Recipe

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge Recipe

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge Recipe

This recipe (by Bake at 350) was a good discovery. I don’t even know how I found it, but lucky me that I did. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a chocolate chip cookie dough hound, so when I saw this recipe, I knew that I had to try it. It was actually very easy and I got it on the first try, which I was not expecting, so yay!  I recommend that you use your most accurate thermometer for this one… I ended up using a digital meat thermometer that I found randomly sitting on the counter top one day. Don’t ask me how it got there, because I don’t know. (Oops, thanks for the thermometer, Aunt Joan!)

Anyway, the fudge turned out well. Everyone agreed that it was perfect fudge, and I know that I will be making various flavors of fudge in the future with this recipe!  It was smooth, creamy, the perfect consistency, and hit you like a brick (as fudge tends to do). On the final note, remember the three e‘s of baking: experiment, enjoy, eat.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup cream

1/4 cup milk

1 tbsp. corn syrup

3/4 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Bring the sugar, dark brown sugar, cream, milk, syrup and salt to a boil over medium heat.  Stir constantly, let the mixture boil until it is 242 degrees. (A specific temperature that seems ridiculous, but is very important.)

2. Remove from heat and stir in the butter, vanilla, and flour. Pour the mixture into an ungreased 13×9 inch pan and let sit undisturbed at room temperature until it reaches 110 degrees. You might think that you did something wrong because it will be more of a caramel consistency than a fudge consistency, but don’t worry! It’s not the final stage yet.

3. Scrape the fudge-carmel-stuff  into the bowl of a mixer. Beat on medium speed for about 4-5 minutes.  Scrape into a greased 8×8 inch pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and lightly press them into the fudge.

4. Let the fudge cool and set, about 1 1/2 hours.  Let it cool in the refrigerator if you want to speed up the process.

5. Snuff down that exceptionally-evil-egg-less-dough-in-a-pan-stuff!

Harvey Dent Brownies Recipe

Harvey Dent Brownies Recipe

Harvey Dent Brownies Recipe

You’re probably wondering about the name. Let me explain: if you have ever watched the second Batman movie (The Dark Knight), then you know that Harvey Dent is a character who seems good, but turns evil… and everyone in the movie feeds the illusion that he’s still good. The reason that I named this recipe after Harvey Dent was because these brownies are good (as in delicious!) but are truly evil in calories! And of course we all are feeding the illusion that they’re not so bad. Hee heeeee… two faced… just like Harvey Dent.  I took the liberty of re-naming these brownies due to an inappropriate name already given to them, and I would like to have a nice, clean blog.

Anyway, these brownies (by the Londoner) are super easy, delicious and total comfort food! They’re gooey, chocolaty, cookie-y, and all around delicious. (I think that it’s best served warm out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.)

Harvey dent Brownies Recipe:

1 chocolate chip cookie box mix

1 brownie box mix

20-ish Oreo cookies

1 tsp. oil

1 tsp. water

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 inch pan.

2. Follow the directions for the cookie dough on the back of the chocolate chip cookie mix and add 1 tsp. water and 1 tsp. oil to help it stay moist as it will be baked longer than the suggested time.

3. Press the dough onto the bottom of the greased pan and layer with enough whole Oreo cookies to cover the dough.

4. Follow the directions on the back of the brownie mix for batter and pour the batter over the Oreo-cookiedough arrangement.

5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until edges of the brownie have set. The center should be gooey and a knife will not come out clean if inserted.

6. COOKIE!!! NOM NOM NOM NOM!!!! (Say to yourself in cookie monster voice.)