Dessert, Pie, Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Cream Pie

easy-peanut-butter-pie-5I love peanut butter and when a colleague requested a pie I liked the simplicity of this one. It can be completely no-bake if you buy a pre-made graham cracker crust, but I prefer to make my own. Recipe and photo courtesy of dearcrissy.com.

  • 9-inch graham cracker pie crust
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 container whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter

Begin by baking your crust at 350 for 10 minutes. After the crust is baked and cooled, beat the cream cheese and the peanut butter in a bowl until well blended and smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat until well blended. Gently fold in 1 ½ cups of the whipped topping just until combined. Pour into the crust and spread evenly. Spread the remaining whipped topping over the top. To make the peanut butter crumbs, blend together the powdered sugar and peanut butter with a fork until incorporated then sprinkle on top of the pie. Chill for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.

Cookies, Dessert, Uncategorized

Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

brownbutterbourbonpecanchocolatechunkcookies-1-of-1I don’t bake with alcohol very often, mostly because I have this notion that you won’t taste the flavor of the alcohol, just the alcohol itself. Well, I’m glad that I put that aside for these cookies because they are delicious. Just be prepared to do some dishes, because while no one step is difficult, you will get a few pans dirty making the different components.

For the Buttered Pecans:

  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter

For the Cookies:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted until browned
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet OR dark chocolate chips
  • pecan halves, optional

To begin, melt your two sticks of butter in a small saucepan over medium-heat, stirring frequently until the color turns a rich brown and you have lovely brown bits on the bottom of your pan. This always takes me longer than I think, so don’t be surprised if it takes up to 10 minutes. Also, keep a close eye on it because it can go from perfect to burned very quickly. Once your butter has browned, put it in a heat safe container to solidify at room temperature. You can also rapidly cool it in the fridge. You will know it’s ready when you press on the top and it makes a small indention.

After your butter is ready, toast the pecans in a skillet on the stove. Melt the butter and add the pecans, stirring frequently til they are toasted and smell wonderful, about 5 minutes. Now you are ready to mix together the rest of the batter.

Preheat the oven to 375. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda; whisk well to combine then set aside until needed. In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine browned butter and both sugars and beat on medium-speed until light and fluffy; about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla and bourbon and beat until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating for 15 seconds after each addition. Turn mixer off. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour, stirring only until the flour begins to disappear. Fold in the chocolate chunks and buttered pecans.  Roll 3 tablespoon sized scoops of dough between your palms to form a ball (they should be big; almost a 1/4 cup), then place on prepared sheets (make sure to leave enough room in between each cookie for inevitable spreading). Continue this process until all the dough has been rolled. Press a pecan on the top of each cookie dough mound, if desired. Place baking sheets in preheated oven, one at a time, and bake for 9 to 10 minutes, or until golden at the edges but still soft in the middle. (Do not over-bake! When you pull them out of the oven they should look a little raw still. I did 9 minutes and they were perfect.) Repeat with all cookie dough. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely.

Bread, Dessert, Uncategorized

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

I made this cake yesterday to take to my firelemon-blueberry-bundt-cake-1 station for training. It was super delicious and I’m glad that I made the cream cheese frosting instead of the glaze I was originally planning on making because it just made it next level. Recipe and photo courtesy of celebratingsweets.com.

Cake:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda*
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, (if you don’t have butter milk try ⅔ cup plain or vanilla yogurt mixed with ⅓ cup milk)
  • 2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a bundt pan by greasing and flouring it. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and beat until combined. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, mix well. Beat in flour mixture in three additions, alternating with buttermilk. Beat for 2 minutes. Put ⅓ of the cake batter (batter will be thick, you will most likely need to spoon it in) in the bottom of the bundt pan, sprinkle with ⅓ cup of the blueberries. Put another ⅓ of cake batter on top of that and again, sprinkle with ⅓ cup of blueberries, finish by putting remaining cake batter on top and sprinkle with remaining blueberries. Using a butter knife or spoon, push blueberries down into the cake batter a little bit. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out of center clean. Let cake cool completely ( I like to do this by putting it (still in the pan) into the freezer for 1 hour, it helps lock in the moisture. You can cool it on a cooling rack if you prefer. When cake is completely cooled run a butter knife around the edges and gently shake cake back and forth to loosen it before inverting it onto a cake stand or plate for frosting.

For the frosting, combine all the ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until fully combined and fluffy. Spread over cooled cake and top with fresh blueberries.

*If you are baking this at altitude, leave out the baking soda and increase the flour to 3 cups.

Dessert, Pie, Uncategorized

Yet Another Pumpkin Pie

pumpkin pieAnother holiday season, another pumpkin pie recipe. This is an America Test Kitchen recipe and was sold as the best pumpkin pie ever. There are a couple of things that make this recipe different from the other ones on my site. First, it has canned candied yams and the second is that you have to precook the filling and then strain before baking. Because it has a more complex process I don’t know that I’ll make it as often as some of my other pumpkin pie recipes, but I will say that the result was a deliciously smooth, not-too-heavy pie.

  • 1 9″ unbaked pie crust
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup drained candied yams from 15-ounce can*
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup**
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 400° F. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, and place rimmed baking sheet on the rack. Whisk cream, milk, eggs, yolks, and vanilla together in medium bowl, and set aside. Combine pumpkin puree, yams, sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in large heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring to sputtering simmer over medium heat, 5 to 7 minutes. Continue to simmer pumpkin mixture, stirring constantly and mashing yams against sides of pot, until thick and shiny, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in cream mixture until fully incorporated. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl, using back of ladle or spatula to press solids through strainer. Re-whisk mixture. Place pie crust in pie plate and carefully place plate on the preheated baking sheet. Pour the filling into the pie crust, and bake for 10 minutes at 400° F. Without taking the pie out of the oven, reduce the heat to 300° F, and continue baking until edges of pie are set (instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 175° F), 20 to 35 minutes longer. The center 2 inches of the pie should look firm but jiggle slightly; the pie finishes cooking with residual heat. Transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature and not in the refrigerator to ensure that the filling sets, 2 to 3 hours. Cut into wedges and serve at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream.

*If you can’t find candied yams, normal canned yams can be substituted

**I used honey instead of maple syrup and it was delicious

 

Cookies, Dessert, Uncategorized

Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate-Thumbprint-CookiesThis recipe is a combination of my mom’s and Martha Stewart. The cookie is my mother’s and the chocolate is Martha Stewart. This cookie is a delicious shortbread with a buttery, chocolatey filling that you can’t eat just one of.

Cookie:

  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Filling:

  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup

For the cookies, cream the butter and sugar together. Add in egg yolks and vanilla. Incorporate dry ingredients and mix well. Chill for at least an hour. Make balls and press a well in the cookies (I like to use a tablespoon measuring cup). Bake at 300 for 20-25 minutes. If necessary, re-press the wells when the cookies come out of the oven. Allow to cool completely.

For the filling, melt the chocolate, butter and corn syrup either in a double boiler or microwave until smooth. If using the microwave, cook in 30 sec increments, stirring frequently until melted. Allow to cool slightly before filling the cookies.

Bars, Dessert, Uncategorized

Iced Zucchini Brownies

Zucchini-Brownies-1-of-6wAs I mentioned in my previous post, I was gifted two huge zucchini’s that were only fit for a delicious baked good. The first item I made was iced zucchini bread and the other recipe I made were these brownies. My youngest son could not get enough. Recipe and photo courtesy of crazyforcrust.com.

Brownies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini, 1 large or 2 small zucchinis
  • 3-5 tablespoons water

Frosting:

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  •  tablespoon  vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9×13″ baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir. Fold in the zucchini. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes so the batter can absorb the moisture from the zucchini. Then, if your mixture is still very powdery, add up to 5 tablespoons water (start with 1 tablespoon and work up from there, stirring well after each addition). The batter will be very thick but shouldn’t be powdery. (It partially depends on how wet your zucchini is!) Add walnuts, if desired. You may need to use your hands to work the water in instead of a spoon. The dough is super thick, like cookie dough. Do not add too much water! Spread in prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes until the brownies spring back when gently touched.

To make the frosting: Whisk butter, cocoa, salt, and powdered sugar. Whisk in milk and vanilla. Spread over cooled brownies. Cut into squares and chill to semi-set. The frosting hardens slightly on the top but stays wet and gooey underneath.

These brownies are best stored in an airtight container and eaten within 2 days. Chill them to make them last an extra day. They’re what I call “fork” brownies because they are so gooey. It is also key to not add too much extra water to the mixture. I had zucchini’s with enough moisture that I didn’t have to add any additional water so the batter should be very thick.

Dessert, Uncategorized

Iced Lemon Zucchini Bread

Delicious-Glazed-Lemon-Zucchini-Bread-Recipe-on-lilluna.com-I was gifted two huge zucchini’s and went on the hunt for a deliciously sweet way to use them up. After perusing Pinterest I found two good contenders, one of them being this lemon bread. The thing I liked about this was that is as different from most of the zucchini recipes out there. Recipe and photo by lilluna.com.

Bread

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 cup zucchini, grated

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Then add oil and sugar until well blended. Add lemon juice, buttermilk, lemon zest to this mixture and blend all together. Fold in zucchini until it is mixed well. Add dry mixture to the wet mixture and blend all together until well combined. Pour batter into greased 9×5 loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. While still warm, make glaze and spoon over the bread. Let the glaze set up before cutting and serving.