Category Archives: Sweets & Treats

Ultimate Apple Crisp

So…what do you whip up when it’s supposed to be spring, but feels and looks like winter?

UltimateAppleCrisp

Something that tastes like fall.

Seriously. This solution makes perfect sense to me.

Mother Nature is (still) messing with us, so I might as well make the most of it.

With this post, I am officially bestowing upon myself the worst food blogger award. Everyone else online has their menu synched up to the seasons. Me? I go with my gut, which wanted apple crisp. Not just any apple crisp would do though.

I needed Ultimate Apple Crisp.

Apples

Peeled

Ironically enough, what takes this treat from ordinary to ultimate isn’t the apples. No offense to the ones pictured above. You guys were great.

These aren’t some fancy schmance apples you can only find in some specialty store.

Don’t tell anyone, but they’re not even organic.

All apples used in this dessert were regular, ol’ run of the mill granny smiths. About those everyday, ordinary apples. Peel, chop and get ready to jazz ’em up!

ApplesOomph

Seriously, guys. This is where things start to get really good.

After adding some fresh cranberries for a punch of color and pop of flavor, give everything a good a douse of lemon juice. Use fresh if you’re feeling fancy or bottled if you’re lazy like me.

Then comes a dusting of deliciousness. Pretty much the epitome of sugar, spice and everything nice.

We’re not done yet though. Here comes the crisp.

Bowl

This crisp? I can’t even. I know everything in that bowl above is awesome on its own, but see that butter sitting back there?

After some of it is browned and beautiful, it’s going to bring the booyah.

As always, you’ll have to taste this to see what I’m talking about. The only way to describe it is ultimate.

Ultimate Apple Crisp

adapted from allrecipes.com

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
Filling
5 large granny smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced
1/3 cup fresh cranberries (optional)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tablespoon white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
Topping
3/4 cup oats
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
3/4 dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons browned butter
pinch of salt

ice cream or fro yo (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the sliced apples – and cranberries, if using – in an 8×8 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and pinch of salt together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour lemon juice evenly over everything.

Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.

Bake for 40-45 minutes – glass pans may need more time than metal. Consider yourself warned.

Serve with ice cream or fro yo of your choice. I used Edy’s Slow Churned Caramel Delight and didn’t hate it. At all.

AppleCrisp

How ’bout them apples?

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Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate Chips, Walnuts & Dried Cranberries

This is perfection in cookie form, friends. The cream of the cookie crop.

CookiesIf you haven’t already put the pieces of the puzzle together, please allow me to spell it out for you: I am extremely motivated by food. I think I inherited this trait, kind of like how I got my mom’s thirst for good gossip and my dad’s attention to detail. Both of my parents are pretty into eating, so that’s where my theory comes from. It couldn’t help but be passed down and embedded into my genetic makeup.

Since I assume everyone else shares my passion for all things food, I tend to make goodies for others as edible thank yous for things they’ve done; kind gestures shown.

Food. It’s one of those universal languages everyone understands. I just happen to be fluent.

The cookies I’m blogging about today were made for Eric’s parents as a form of repayment for being so nice to my new sous-chef. My kitchen has gotten a heck of a lot cuter since Iggy came around.

Iggy

Eric’s dad has swung by the house each and every day around lunch just to check in on Iggy. While we’ve told him we don’t expect him to do this all the time, we really appreciate having his help while the little guy adjusts to his new home. My father-in-law always seems to know when I’m missing Iggy the most, too. That’s when he tends to send me sweet pics of the pup with captions that read something like, “Iggy is just fine!”

Eric’s mom? She’s given Iggy more treats and toys than I can count – and in turn – saved all of my shoes, I’m sure. She also is there for me when I have concerns about pet parenting or Iggy’s general well being…which is…um, every day.

Hashtag hypochondriac.

All joking aside, our Iggy’s got a good life going on – and Eric and I only play a small part in that. Therefore, it was high time we did some thank you baking.

Butter4

Remember that brown butter tutorial from the other day? There was a reason I was browning up such a big batch. I alluded to these cookies, but you had no idea what you were in for. You’re welcome.

Sure, you could skip the step of browning your butter if you’re in a time crunch, but I’m begging you not to. I don’t want to question your life decisions, but I can’t help but at least do so silently. What I’m saying is: I’d judge you secretly from afar.

Brown that butter and we’ll be juuuust fine.

SugahSugah

Speaking of brown, let’s keep the theme going with some brown sugar. Add in an equal amount of good old fashioned granulated for some extra sweetness and whip both sugars with your brown butter until everything’s light and fluffy.

FluffyThe lightness and fluffiness of which I speak is going to take a couple minutes to achieve, but look for something that’s along these lines right here. Basically, you’ll know you’re there when the contents of your bowl become the confectionery equivalent of a cumulus cloud.

I could have taken a spatula to the bowl and gone to town at this point, but I somehow found the strength to continue the cookie making process.

It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it.

Dry

Once we’ve got our brown butter and sugars whipped up, it’s time to turn our attention to the dry ingredients. After the photo op, I combined everything you see above and added it into my mixing bowl. As you see, there’s nothing fancy here, folks. Just some pantry staples that – when they join forces – make cookie magic.

Each element plays an equally important role.

Okay. Cinnamon’s the shining star, but shhh…don’t let the other stuff in on that secret.

Whip

To save yourself from a mess of dry ingredient dust, it’s best to incorporate everything in two small batches instead of one big one. Don’t forget to only use the first or second speed on your mixer, too. Jumping up to anything else will result in an instant explosion.

Regardless of the advice I give, I always end up with everything…everywhere. I’ll never learn.

Oats

Here’s where these cookies get their long name from. All those words? Well worth it. The contents in that bowl are what makes these cookies so bomb.

If my little brother actually read this blog, he’d make fun of me so hard for writing that, but these are my cookies and I’ll describe them however I want to. Even if it makes me sound like I’m stuck in the nineties.

Bomb is only dated when you preface it with “the” or “da.”

Duh.

Yeah, I did that. I officially one upped outdated myself.
PreBake

If you get past my poor attempt at humor and make these cookies, I promise you will forgive me. Uh huh. Just one bite and I’ll be absolved.

Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate Chips, Walnuts & Dried Cranberries

adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
Yield: 36 normal cookies, or 20 giant ones
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 11-12 minutes for normal cookies, 22-24 minutes for giant ones

Ingredients:
1 cup brown butter, cooled (if it’s been refrigerated, allow to soften)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups oats (old fashioned, quick or instant)
1 bag white chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts (omit if there’s a nut allergy and add in an extra cup of cranberries instead)
1 cup dried cranberries
Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream brown butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in two batches. In another bowl combine oats, white chocolate chips, walnuts and dried cranberries. Add to dough and combine.
Drop dough on greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheets and bake normal-sized cookies for 11-12 minutes and giant-sized ones for 22-24. Allow to cool, if you can 🙂

Baked

My father-in-law sent me a text, that succinctly summed up his thoughts on these cookies.

Deliciousness

It read: “they didn’t stand a chance.”

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

Alternative title for this post? Trouble Pie.

NBPBPie

Something this good shouldn’t be so easy to make. It seems wrong. The fact that I can go from craving to consuming pure peanut butter bliss in no time, is frightening.

I swear to you – dear invisible internet friends – that I’ve been getting enough fresh fruits and vegetables. They just come in between servings of luscious, creamy, ever-so-dreamy peanut butter pie.

PB

Seriously though, ’tis the holiday season…the only appropriate time of year to use ’tis…and to cook with reckless abandon. Why not bombard you with all the business I’ve been tempted with lately? This stuff is far more exciting than any legitimate meal or food group anyway. Plus, you’ll be able to make these recipes to share with your family and friends this holiday season!

Or, if you’re like me – you can give away a small slice or two…aaaaand then eat the rest all by yourself, straight from the pie dish – as you watch Long Island Medium.

I promise you that although I have terrible taste in TV, when it comes to pie – I know what’s up.

CreamCheese

Speaking of my fascination with all things bad on the television, I must tell you that I didn’t have cable for a couple of years. For a little bit – and Eric can back me on this – I didn’t even own a TV. I am shaming the previous, TV-less version of myself though, because I have made up for any and all time lost.

Either that, or you could say I’ve gotten really awesome at watching TV.

I prefer the latter.

Sugar

Mind you, I don’t have time to watch a ton of TV. I just make sure that when I do watch, it’s pretty much the worst thing you’ve ever seen. It just dawned on me: I am like the Dos Equis man of television.

“I don’t always watch TV, but when I do, I prefer total trash.”

In an attempt at an intervention, Eric even had me say some of the names of the TV shows I’ve enjoyed – out loud – to his mother. I couldn’t get through most without laughing, but it hasn’t stop me from tuning back in every time I’m home alone.

PbCCPaddle

So, what’s on my list, you ask? Let’s see…yes, Long Island Medium makes the cut every Sunday. I’ve actually been told that’s the most normal thing I watch. Honestly though, I don’t really see what’s wrong with a little Alaskan Women Looking for Love. Who can’t relate to that? We’re all, after all, just looking for love…no, I’m not from a small fishing or mining town in a state we purchased from Russia, but I get you guys. Go ahead and gimme some Gypsy Sisters…because clearly, I have no taste…and I will apparently watch anything on TLC.

What I lack in judgment, I make up for in self-restraint. How so, you ask? Well, TLC has other shows…shows I haven’t even seen (yet)! Shows like Best Funeral Ever (trying not to judge, but isn’t this something that’s suuuuuper subjective?) and Buying Naked (um, excuse me?) and Sister Wives (which, of course – is not to be confused with Gypsy Sisters).

Too much bad TV…too little time.

WhipIt

Now that I’m on a total tangent and might as well continue, if I worked at TLC, the first project I’d assign myself would be coming up with something else that T, L and C can stand for because The Learning Channel, it is not.

That, my friends, is false advertising at its finest.

I appreciate that TLC allows their viewers – like me – to watch their programs under the guise that we’re all actually learning something when all we’re really doing is wasting our time, one half hour at a time.

There are worse things I could do, right? Who’s with me here?

CookieCrustI would turn TLC off forever in exchange for unlimited slices of this Peanut Butter Pie. Believe it or not, it’s even more irresistible than all those shows – combined. Making it takes less time than watching one episode anyway and what you get – your ROI – is so much more.

Sorry to turn on you, TLC. I had to get back to the task at hand.

FilledPieNever was there ever so tasty a task. You could eat that pie as is, right there – without any bells or whistles – because believe you me, it definitely does not suck. But – if you have the extra time and candy hanging around, I recommend chopping it up and sprinkling it over the top before stuffing your face.

Candy

What you see right there is a pumpkin peanut butter cup I had been stashing away in my freezer since Halloween. Maybe that’s weird, maybe that’s willpower and resourcefulness…I really don’t know. All I am certain of is that once chopped up, it looked less like Halloween and tasted more like heaven.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

slightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
Yield: 1 pie
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: None

Ingredients:
1 pre-made Oreo cookie pie crust*
1 cup creamy peanut butter
8 oz. cream cheese (I use low fat), softened
1/2 cup sugar
4-1/2 cups (12 oz. container) cool whip (I use lite), divided
a couple of Reese’s cups, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Beat together peanut butter, cream cheese and sugar until well combined. Gently mix in 2 cups cool whip and spread mixture evenly into pie crust.

Spread remaining cool whip on top of your peanut buttery mixture and then top with chopped candy pieces, if you want to roll that way.

Refrigerate until ready to devour.

*To make your own oreo cookie pie crust, add 20 oreo cookies into your food processor and process until you have fine crumbs. Mix with 3 Tablespoons melted butter, and press evenly into a greased pie plate. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

WholePie

Now’s the time to invite all your friends and family members with nut allergies over. No…not so you can give them an opportunity to use their EpiPen.

It’s so you can keep this pie all to yourself…obviously.

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