Monday, December 15, 2014

candy apple pie

the goods:

1 and 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs (from 13 graham cracker sheets)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping

apple filling:
5 granny smith apples (peeled, cored, and sliced very thin)
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

cream cheese top:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar

whipped cream topping:
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor, process graham crackers, sugar, and cinnamon until no large chunks remain. Add melted butter and pulse to combine. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Bake for 6-8 minutes until golden and set. Remove from oven and cool completely. Pour caramel into pie shell and refrigerate while preparing the apple layer.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Stir to combine with a wooden spoon. Add apples and stir. Cook over medium for 15-20 minutes until apples are softened and tender. Let cool 10 minutes, the pour into pie shell. Reduce oven to 350 degrees.
In a stand mixer on low speed, combine cream cheese and sugar for 1 minute until smooth. Add egg, lemon juice, and vanilla and beat for 1 minute until fully blended. Pour over apple layer in pie shell. Bake for 30 minutes until an inserted knife comes out clean. Remove pie from oven and let cool. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Remove from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature while you make the whipped topping.
Whip cream and sugar in a stand mixer with whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Pile on top of pie. Drizzle with caramel topping and swirl together using a small paring knife.

Monday, December 1, 2014

reese's peanut butter cookie cake

the goods:

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 3/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounce bag of Reese's miniature peanut butter cups, chopped
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
chocolate sauce (optional)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, Mix in peanut butter, egg, and vanilla extract. Add flour and baking soda and stir to combine. Stir in chocolate chunks and 1/2 cup of the chopped Reese's.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper and lightly grease pan sides and corner. Press dough evenly into the cake pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 15-20 minutes in the pan. Carefully remove from pan and allow to cool completely. When cookie is cooled, drizzle lightly with chocolate sauce (I used some leftover ganache I had lying around) so peanut butter cups will stick. Then pile top with remaining peanut butter cups and drizzle with additional chocolate sauce if desired.

Monday, October 27, 2014

candy corn cookies

the goods:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
11 ounces candy corn (1 and 1/2 cups)
1 cup white chocolate chips

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add cream, flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Add the candy corn and white chocolate chips and gently stir to combine. Using a s-inch cookie scoop, form mounds and place on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly and freeze for 15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and place cold cookies about 2-inches apart. Bake for 9 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, October 20, 2014

monster peanut butter cookies

the goods:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 and 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 bag Reese's pieces

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat to combine. Slowly ad dry ingredients and beat just until combined. Stir in oats, peanut butter chips, and chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for 15 minutes, meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour Reese's pieces onto a plate or into a wide bowl. Using a large cookie scoop (about 3 tablespoons) drop cookie dough into the bowl of Reese's pieces. Gently use your hand to press the dough down into the candies and flatten the dough into a disc, then transfer to the cookie sheet. Bake, six at a time, for 12-13 minutes or until the edges are just beginning to darken. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, October 6, 2014

peanut butter oatmeal bars

the goods:

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 bag (11 ounces) milk chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons brown sugar over medium-low heat. When melted, stir in the sweetened condensed milk and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. To make the crust, combine the flour, oatmeal, and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar in a large bowl. Melt the remaining 1 and 1/2 cups butter and stir into the oatmeal mixture. Press half the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the hot oatmeal crust, spread the peanut butter mixture over the chocolate chips, then crumble the remaining oatmeal crust over the top. Return to oven and continue baking for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into squares. Serve with milk!

Monday, September 22, 2014

salted caramel bars

the goods:

2 cups (4 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 cups flour

1 bag (14 ounces) caramels, unwrapped (about 40-50)
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9-by-13 inch pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.
Make crust: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and sugars. Beat until creamy. Add in vanilla and beat until combined. Mix in flour until a soft dough forms. Press half the dough into the prepared pan. bake for 15 minutes. Refrigerate remaining dough.
Prepare caramel: Place caramels in a microwave safe bowl. Add the cream and vanilla, and microwave for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir. Continue to microwave in 20 second increments, stirring between each one until you reach a smooth consistency.
Pour the caramel filling over the baked crust. Sprinkle salt over the top. Remove the remaining dough from the fridge and crumble it evenly over the caramel. Bake until the caramel is bubbly and the top is golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into squares. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

no bake cheesecake bars with fresh blueberry sauce

the goods:

12 graham cracker sheets
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick unsalted butter, melted

2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

blueberry sauce:
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla

Make the crust: using a food processor, blend graham cracker sheets until they turn into crumbs. Add sugar and melted butter, and pulse until well combined. Press into the bottom of an 8-by-8-inch pan. 
Make filling: using a mixer with the whisk attachment, combine cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Add heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix on high for 2-3 minutes until thickened. Pour filling over crust. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Make sauce: Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high and simmer for about 5 minutes. The blueberries will break down and become thick. Let cool and refrigerate until you're ready to serve the cheesecake.
To serve: Cut cheesecake into squares and gently remove from the pan. Arrange on a platter and spoon blueberry filling over top of each square.