Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Apple Pie

Normally I follow recipes, or at the very least the skeleton of a recipe. I might add my own little extra into a recipe, but I never go into the kitchen without some idea of where I am headed, but yesterday I took the leap. Apple pie seemed like a good start for this- it's pretty hard to mess up and we just went apple picking on Sunday, so we have an abundance of apples!

The recipe I ended up creating is pretty similar to lots of recipes out there.

For the crust, I used, once again, Martha Stewart's recipe found here: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/our-favorite-pie-crust
Be sure to double the recipe for apple pie. But don't double the butter, use about a stick and half.

My Apple Pie Recipe:

Oven: 375 degrees
2 9" pie crusts (See above link)
Peel and thinly slice apples (I used 1 pretty large and 4 smaller sized apples)
Lemon Juice
1 cup Flour
1 cup White sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar (I used dark)
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Cinnamon (plus additional for sprinkling)
a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar
Walnuts (optional)
1 tbsp Butter

1- Once apples are cut, add a splash of lemon juice to prevent browning.
2- In the same bowl, add the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and splash of cider vinegar (enough to coat the apples). Mix everything together. The mixture should coat the apples with a little leftover on the bottom of the bowl.
3- Add in the walnuts, if you choose.
4- Put the apple mixture into the pie crust
5- Cut butter into thin slices and place around apples in crust
6- Put top crust on pie
7- Brush milk on top of crust
8- Sprinkle cinnamon on top

To bake: Put foil around the crust to prevent burning. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, take the foil off and bake for another 20-25 minutes. Crust should be a golden brown color.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I baked a LOT of cupcakes yesterday. I originally wanted to try piping a rose on each cupcake, but realized later that the cream cheese frosting does not have enough powdered sugar for the frosting to fully harden. So I did swirls on the small cupcakes and just spread the icing on with a knife for the bigger cupcakes. These cupcakes have a very smooth taste, probably due the massive amounts of butter in them (2 sticks). The recipe also calls for ground ginger and ground allspice, which I don't have, so I just added some extra cinnamon and nutmeg. This is something I do all the time. Both the cream cheese frosting and the cupcake recipe comes from Martha Stewart's website (http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/pumpkin-cupcakes)


2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
(If not using all of the above spices, increase the ones you are using by a little bit. And you don't have to measure spices out, just eyeball them)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 sticks butter (1 cup) melted and cooled (Always use unsalted)
4 eggs lightly beaten
1 15 ounce can pumpkin


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Line cupcake tins with papers or spray them with non-stick spray
In a bowl, whisk together first 8 ingredients (flour, soda, powder, salt, spices)
In a bowl that's a bit larger, whisk together brown sugar, sugar, butter, eggs)
Add the dry ingredients to the moist and whisk until smooth
Stir in the pumpkin puree
Fill muffin containers about halfway. Tap down to ensure even distribution.
Bake 20-25 mins or until knife inserted in center comes out clean
Cool on a wire rack. Once cooled completely, you may frost.


I use Martha Stewart's cream cheese frosting recipe found here: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/perfect-cream-cheese-frosting
There's nothing too special about it, so any recipe will really do. I actually add a bit of maple syrup to the frosting. The flavor goes nicely with both the cream cheese and the pumpkin.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Wet Bottom Shoo Fly Pie

Who ever knows why I decided to make this pie last night. I have never had it nor did I have a craving for a molasses based dessert. I guess I just liked the name. Shoo Fly pie is of Pennsylvania Amish and Dutch origin. It is very very very sweet with the two main ingredients being molasses and (dark) brown sugar (While either light or dark brown sugar can be used, dark has more molasses in it). Since the settlers came to America by boat, they brought lots of non-perishable ingredients. These ingredients became the ingredients found in Shoo Fly pie. Nobody knows the exact origin of the name of this pie, but it is thought that the name comes from the fact that, if eaten outside, you will probably have to shoo away the flies. The term "wet bottom" comes from the fact that the filling soaks into the crust while baking, leaving it nice and gooey.

I would recommend eating the pie with ice cream. We had it with coffee ice cream.

And here's the recipe, which is derived from http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/recipes/dessert_shoofly.html:

1 9" unbaked pie crust- After struggling for what feels like forever making the perfect pie crust, I finally found a wonderful recipe. It's from Martha Stewart and can be found here: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/our-favorite-pie-crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
Two-thirds cup light brown sugar, packed
1 rounded tablespoon cold butter
One-fourth teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup light molasses
Three-fourths cup cold water
One-fourth cup hot water
1 teaspoon baking soda

1- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the pie pastry and line a 9-inch pie pan; set aside.2- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, butter, and salt. Remove one-half cup of the mixture and set aside. 
3- Leave the rest in the mixing bowl. 
4- In a small bowl, beat the egg lightly. 
5- Put the molasses and cold water together and blend, but do not beat; you don’t want bubbles in the batter. Set aside.
6- In a small bowl, mix the hot water with the baking soda and blend into the molasses mixture. 
7- Add the molasses mixture to the flour mixture and mix well. 
8- Pour into the pie shell and top with the reserved crumbs. Bake for 35 minutes. The pie will appear quivery but will firm up as it cools. Transfer to a rack to cool completely before cutting.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Souffle Waits for Nobody

Souffle is a nice, airy dessert, made primarily from egg whites whipped to soft peaks. This was my first attempt at souffle. All in all it came out well, but I will make a few adjustments next time; I'll share those changes here. Since souffle must go from oven to table in less than 90 seconds, lest you risk deflation, I made only two souffles. This dessert seems easy, but takes multiple tries to master.

The recipe I used came from realsimple.com.


  • 1- Heat oven to 375° F. Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease two 8-ounce ramekins. Coat the ramekins with the cocoa, tapping out the excess.
  • 2- In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and remaining butter. Stir occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Whisk in the yolks one at a time until smooth. Set aside.
  • 3- In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with the sugar, salt, and cream of tartar until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Gently fold the egg-white mixture into the chocolate. Spoon into the ramekins. Tap mixture down to ensure there is enough in the ramekin. (The recipe can be made to this point up to 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
  • 4- Bake until puffed and set- about 14 minutes. (If baked directly from the refrigerator, add 5 to 10 minutes.) 

Have fun:)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mocha Cupcakes with Mocha Frosting

I decided to make cupcakes this past weekend, but I didn't want to make plain old chocolate cupcakes, so I made mocha chocolate cupcakes instead. The coffee intensifies the flavor of the chocolate, while adding subtle flavors making them not too sweet and kind of dangerous. 

The recipe is adapted from mybakingaddiction.com:

1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup whole milk (I used 1%)
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temp
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
I also had chocolate covered espresso beans handy, which I ground up and added to the mix as well.

1. Preheat to 350°F. Line cupcake pan with liners or spray with non-stick spray.
2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, brewed coffee and vanilla.
3. In a stand mixer at medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee mixture, ending with the flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and the ground espresso beans, if used.
4. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake for about 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool before frosting cupcakes.

3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa
3 tablespoons coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla 
1/2 cup butter, softened
3-4 tbs milk
ground espresso beans

1. Mix together sugar and cocoa
2. Mix together coffee and vanilla
3. Beat butter at medium speed until creamy. Alternate adding the sugar and coffee mixture, beginning and ending with the sugar
4. Add in ground espresso beans, if used
5. Add milk, 1 tbs at a time, until desired consistency is reached

Any unused frosting can be frozen. Remember to only frost COOL cupcakes!

Have fun:)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

For dinner, we had bowtie pasta with fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes, crushed red pepper, and basil. We had a salad, a light red wine, and these yummy whole wheat dinner rolls on the side. The rolls were a last minute addition. They were so easy to throw together, only 50 minutes rising time total. You use a muffin tin instead of forming them by hand, thus making the prep process even easier. It's important to add the all purpose flour because adding only whole wheat flour will result in a product that is too dense. Here's the recipe:

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp yeast- one package
1 cup warm water
2 tbs melted shortening
1 egg
1 cup flour

(Oven: 400 degrees)
1- Mix together whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, yeast
2- Add in warm water, melted shortening, egg
3- Mix until smooth- I had to add little more flour because the dough was too sticky.
4- Place a small amount of olive oil in the bowl, cover with a kitchen cloth and let rise in a warm, dry place for 30 mins. Should double in size
5- Punch down after 30 mins
6- Grease muffin tin then spoon dough in (should be exactly 12 rolls- eyeball how much dough to put in each)
7- Let rise another 20 mins
8- Bake until golden (15ish minutes)

(Recipe courtesy of cooksrecipes.com)

Have fun :)