Apple Tart

I have been wanting to make one of these.  An Apple Tart.  Basically an Apple pie with one crust and no pan.   Just put the crust rolled out on your pan, fill the center with thinly sliced apples that have been tossed with lemon zest, (which I didn’t have so it was left out), cinnamon, brown sugar, a pinch of salt.  Fold the crust rustic like up around the edges and bake.  Sure smelled great!   And I used Splenda Brown Sugar!  I did learn that next time I will add a tablespoon or two of flour to the sugar/cinnamon mix before tossing with the apples so that all that self-made juice stays “in” the crust and doesn’t seep out of the crust!

Here’s the tart all ready to go in the oven.  Brush the outside with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar and bake!

pie-1

Here’s the finished product!   Can’t wait to cut this and have a slice.  Eat hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or at room temperature.   So easy.   And so rustic looking.  Love the look.

pie-2

And here’s my recipe:   Feel free to jazz it up all you want.   Add some craisins, or regular raisins to the apples if you so desire:

Apple Tart

1 pie crust

6 granny smith apples (I used the small ones) peeled, and sliced thin (If the large granny smith I would probably use only 4-and you can use any kind you want)

1/2 cup brown sugar (can use Splenda Brown Sugar or regular light brown sugar)

1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon (depends on your tastes)

pinch of salt

lemon zest (or orange zest)

1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water added for egg wash

sugar or sanding sugar to sprinkle on outside crust

(feel free to add some raisins in with the apples if you are so inclined)

Heat oven to 400 degrees.   On a baking sheet, line with parchment paper.  Peel, core and slice apples -add to bowl with brown sugar, cinnamon,k pinch of salt, and zest if using zest.  Mix well to coat.  (and if you are using flour add a tablespoon or two to the bowl and mix at same time-this will help to hold the juices in the crust).

Pile apples in center of crust, leaving about 2 inches to fold up around apples.  Fold crust up around the edge and pleat as you go.   Brush outside of crust with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.  cover top with a tent of foil (this helps to form a “lid” for the pie to help it cook the apples).

Bake pie for 30 min at 400 degrees.  Reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30 more minutes and then take the aluminum foil tent off and bake for another 10 minutes to brown crust and take out of oven.

And then enjoy!!!

 

 

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Praline Christmas Cookies

Need an easy peasy good cookie for your cookie jar for Christmas? While scouring the blogs I follow,  I came across this one and since my kiddos love a pecan pie,  I thought I would give it a “bake and taste try.”   And let me tell you for the ones who have tasted tried these, they say it is definitely a keeper!  These are easy to make and easy to eat! Just watch out as they are addictive!

Praline Cookies

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsps. vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

powdered sugar (about 1/4 cup, maybe a little less)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Melt butter in microwave for about 30-40 seconds or until melted.  Add to the sugar, brown sugar egg, and vanilla and mix well.   Add pecans, and mix well.  using a small cookie scoop, drop dough 2 inches apart on cookie sheet (I did grease mine first). Bake 8-10 minutes or until the edges are lightly brown.  Cool on the pan for 2 minutes and remove to a cooling rack.  Once completely cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

oookies

Here’s mine on the cooling rack and all dusted!  They don’t last long, I promise!   I will be making a double batch for Christmas!  Have a great week!

Buttermilk Chess Pie – made the healthy way

I know you get tired of all these healthy recipes… so for those who want the original recipe I will include it.  But since hubby is diabetic I do have to keep that in mind when cooking.  And he does like something sweet occasionally that is both low carb and that I can make up using sugar substitute.

I decided to remake a classic – Buttermilk Chess Pie and try it “his way”.  And it worked!  He ate the whole pie!  (not in one sitting although he probably could).  It was so good according to him.  I am not a custard pie eater so he was definitely safe with this one.   I just wanted to make sure it would work (1) without a crust and (2) with Splenda sugar and (3) still be good!

He said I could make it again for him!  So I guess it worked!

Here’s the handy dandy recipe I made and then below it the original for those who wish to make it with a crust.

Crustless Buttermilk Chess Pie using Splenda

1/2 cup butter, melted (plus about a tsp of butter not melted to grease the pie plate)

1 1/4 cups Splenda sugar

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup buttermilk

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

t tsp vanilla extract

dash ground nutmeg

dash salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly butter a pie plate.  Mix the Splenda sugar and flour in a large bowl.  Ad the beaten eggs and mix well.  Add the melted butter and buttermilk and mix well again (I mixed everything by hand).  Stir in the lemon juice, vanilla, pinch of nutmeg and salt.  Pour into the prepared pie plate.  Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.  Reduce the oven to 350 degrees and bake for between 25 and 35 minutes or until the pie is set and golden.  A butter knife stuck in center should come out clean.  Let cool before serving

chess pie

See how it bubbles from all that bubbly butter?  (hopefully you can see – I think my picture came out a bit on the dark side!) Hubby loved it! We will be making this again for him.

Now for the original one with the crust.

1/2 cup unsalted butter melted plus about a tsp to butter the pie plate

1/2 recipe of a home made double crust for pie or one purchased pie crust pastry placed in pie plate and edges crimped.

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

4 larg eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup buttermilk

t Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

dash ground nutmeg

dash salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly butter a 9-inch pie pan.  Roll out the pastry dough and fit in pie pan.  Mix the sugar and fjour together in a large bowl.  Add the beaten eggs and mix well.  Add the butter and buttermilk and mix well.  stir in the lemon juice, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt.  Pour in to the unbaked pie shell and bake for 15 minutes at the 400 degrees, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for another 30-40 minutes or until browned on top and set.  Remove the pie from oven and completely cool before serving.

So there you go- same pie – two ways.   Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cookies

I made these this morning for hubby…xoxoxo…he deserves them!
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And what’s best about these are they are diabetic friendly, weight management friendly, and oh so good!  And oh so easy!

The secret to these is leave them on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes after removing from the oven to finish crisping up.  These are addictive, I promise and if you are a peanut butter fan you will love these!

Miracle Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy

1 1/3 cup Splenda sugar substitute

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the above together in a mixing bowl.  Form into balls and place on greased cookie sheet.(I use a small cookie scoop) and flatten with a criss cross pattern using the back of a fork dipped in a little bit of Splenda to prevent sticking to dough.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  You can sprinkle them with a smidgen of Splenda once they come out of the oven if you wish.  Don’t forget to let cool a couple of minutes before removing from cookie sheet to finish cooling!

Happy weekend!

Pea…can or Pah..kahn..

However you say it a pecan pie is still a pecan pie and a southern tradition that everyone loves.   This take on a pecan pie is one that one of my peeps found and sent me – I knew I would have to try making these…Deep Fried Pecan Pies!

These did not disappoint.  Ask those who taste tested them.   The best of both worlds.  Pecan Pie…fried…and, well, portable!  One said they liked it even better than the traditional pie.  So go fry some pies and see how you like them.

Don’t they look yummylicious?

pies

Deep Fried Pecan Pies

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

2 large eggs

5 Tbsp butter

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups chopped pecans

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 (14.1 oz.) packages Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts (there should be two pie crusts to each package)

Vegetable oil for frying

powdered sugar for sprinkling on pies after frying

1. Set crusts out on counter to bring to room temperature.

2. In a medium sized heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, eggs, butter and salt.  Bring to a light boil over medium heat, reduce heat to a simmer and stir in pecans.  Simmer for about 8 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

3. Unroll one crust at a time on a lightly floured surface and cut circles using a 4 inch circle cutter (I found a top that was 4 inches wide and used it). Don’t forget to dip the cutter in flour!  I got 5 circles out of each of the 4 rolls – Then re-roll all the scraps and roll out with your rolling pin to same thickness as the others and cut 4 more.  You may be able to roll and get one or two more.   I say this as I had enough filling to make at least 26 pies.

4.  Place a tablespoon (I used a level tablespoon amount and not a heaping tablespoon so as not to overfill) of the pecan mixture in the center of a pie circle.  Lightly moisten the circle edges and fold over to a half moon shape.  Press down and use a fork to crimp the edges to completely seal the edges down and the filling in.  Do all the circles.

Heat the oil(about an inch) in a dutch oven to no more than 325-350 degrees (watch the temp of the oil so it doesn’t go over 350 degrees or it will cook the pie too quickly and the dough on the inside will be, well, doughy!)  If the oil starts to rise higher, just cut the fire down and wait a minute or two before putting in the next batch in.  Make sure you don’t overcrowd -I fried three at a time – If you use a skillet you may be able to fry four – fry for 1 to 2 minutes on each side till golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  When all have been fried, dust with powdered sugar.

Try this new take on pecan pie.   I think it will be a crowd pleaser!

Pecan Praline Poke Cake

Oldest daughter found this cake recipe floating around somewhere and sent it to me.  Although the original was not a poke cake, and the sauce can be made to spoon over individual slices, I thought it much easier to poke holes while cake was hot and pour over cake and serve that way, letting the whole cake soak up that yumminess of the sauce.

However you make this, it would be the perfect Mother’s (or Father’s) Day dessert.  This cake is so easy and moist.  And yes, you do make the cake with the canned icing right in the cake batter.  What’s easier than that??!!!

Pecan Praline Poke Cake
For the cake:
1 box butter pecan cake mix

1 (16 oz) tub coconut pecan frosting

4 eggs

3/4 cup oil (canola or veg.)

1 cup water

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Sauce –

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

2 Tbsp butter

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9.13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2.  In bowl of mixer, mix all cake ingredients except 1/2 cup chopped pecans (and yes including the canned icing).

Once this is combined, stir in chopped pecans.  Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 40 minutes.  (I think mine actually took 45 minutes).

For sauce:  In small pan melt 2 Tbsp butter.  Once just melted, add sweetened condensed milk and stir until just heated.  Remove from heat and stir in the 1/2 cup chopped pecans.  Poke holes in warm cake and slowly pour the sauce over the cake – if it runs down the sides that’s ok.   Let cake cool.  Cut and enjoy.

This cake was so moist.  So delicious.  Give it a try and see what you think.  Let us know if you served your sauce on the cake or on the side as a “sauce.”  Have a wonderful and blessed Mother’s Day.

Cupcakes or Cake Pops? Why not both?

A great weekend to try a new recipe. Well, sort of. I haven’t made cake pops in forever. And being in the mood to try something different than what we learned at the Viking Cooking School Cupcake and Cake Pop cooking class, I decided to create my own cake pop recipe. With peanut butter – peanut butter frosting and chocolate cake. Can’t go wrong there! And using a box cake mix, easy peasy!

cupcake (2)

cake pop (2)

In making my cake pop recipe, you only need one layer of a cake. I knew I would have left-over batter so not to let it go to waste, I just made mini cupcakes. I also knew I would have some of that wonderful peanut butter buttercream frosting left so that would be so good on top of those cupcakes!

See the pictures above? I took mini Reeses peanut butter cups and put one on each cupcake-that gives one a hint of the flavor of the cupcake. But given who was eating them it probably didn’t matter! HA

Here’s the handy dandy recipe in case you get industrious this week:
1 box chocolate cake mix – your choice of flavor and brand
(baked according to the instructions on the back of box-for cake pops you will only use one layer of the cake – either freeze the other layer or use it to make regular size cupcakes or mini cupcakes – I got one 9-inch cake layer and 24 mini cupcakes out of one box of cake mix)

one recipe for peanut butter frosting
Your favorite recipe or this one which tasted fabulous:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
3-5 Tbsp milk
To make frosting, cream butter and peanut butter. Add powdered sugar and mix, adding milk one tablespoon at a time until smooth and creamy like frosting should be. I think I used 3 Tbsp. milk.

For the cake pops:
You will also need 2 Tbsp. Solid Vegetable Shortening (Crisco) 8 oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped

Crumble the cake layer into a large bowl. If the edges got a little crispy, you will want to cut those away. After crumbling, you should have about 4 cups of crumbles. Spoon in 1 cup of the peanut butter frosting and mix gently with a spatula or your hands (hands work better) If your cake mix is real moist, you may not need the full cup of icing. Start out with 3/4 cup of icing. Once mixed, place in refrigerator for about an hour to thoroughly chill.
Once chilled, scoop out about 1 Tbsp of the cake mixture for each ball and lightly roll between the palms of your hand to form a ball. They should hold their shape well and be solid, place them on a baking sheet (or something that will fit in your freezer) lined with either parchment paper or waxed paper – cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 30 minutes. (I like to put mine on small plates so I can work in small batches)
Fill the bottom of a double boiler -or if you are like me and don’t have one, just put about an inch of water in a saucepan and place a bowl (one that won’t touch the water) over the pan once the water comes to a boil and place the chocolate and Veg. shortening in the bowl. Stir the chocolate and the shortening until it is melted and smooth. Remove half of the cake balls and dip in melted chocolate, using a small wooden skewer, allowing excess chocolate to drip off. place back on paper lined plate. You can top each with finely chopped nuts, sprinkles, or leave plain. You can also melt small amount of white chocolate and drizzle over top. If the chocolate starts to get thick, just set the bowl back over boiling water. It will thin out again. Once the chocolate has hardened, store in an airtight container at room temperature. If kept in refrigerator, the chocolate will sweat.

Now that wasn’t too hard, was it? See? I used some skewers in mine – if you choose to do so, make sure your chocolate comes up on the skewer to hold the cake ball on the skewer. Have fun with these!

Fro Yo – yummy!

We love frozen yogurt from our local yogurt (well, local as in Montgomery) and we love healthy smoothies. Which brings me to this – Fro Yo – a sort of in between recipe. This was so good, not too sweet, and fresh!

Which brings me to this also – I have GOT to get me a new blender/food processor that is not a dinosaur! If you have one of those fancy Blendtec or Vitamix type this would take just a few seconds – with my old food processor, I worked that baby to death! HA!

Anyway, try this either way – I did have to add a squirt of water to get my processor to blend it – but you can add a bit more yogurt if you want.

Fro Yo
(feel free to change up the fruit and make what flavor you wish!)
1 pound peeled, pitted and frozen peaches (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I use the low-fat or fat-free)
3 Tbsp honey (to cut down on the honey you could use the natural agave nectar or 1 Tbsp honey and 2-3 tbsp water)
1 Tbsp lemon juice

place all in the food processor (or blender if you have a good one) and process until creamy and smooth,k about 5 minutes. Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer for about a month. You will need to set out a short while before serving once frozen.

I’m making mine with frozen strawberries next! And then blackberries, my favorite!

Have a great weekend, y’all.

I’ll take two, please

Sugar cookies, that is! If you like sugar cookies, these will become a favorite of yours. These are a little crispy on the edges and soft and chewy in the center. So good, and perfect for an afternoon snack. Or in a lunch box, or a plate full going to someone who needs their spirits lifted!

Make these today. But remember, this recipe is not the kind you roll out and make cutout cookies with. Top these with sanding sugar or with sprinkles just before you put them in the oven for decoration!

Sugar Cookies – my new go-to favorite

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3 to 4 Tbsp Buttermilk
sprinkles and/or sanding sugar to decorate (or just leave them plain)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, soda, baking powder and a pinch of salt.
In another bowl cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Then gradually add in the dry ingredients. Add enough buttermilk (i only added about 1 1/2 tbsp) buttermilk to make the dough soft but not wet.
Roll round teaspoons of dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Using the rest of buttermilk, moisten fingers and slightly flatten center of each round and sprinkle with sugar or sprinkles if you are decorating.
Bake for 8-10 minutes (depending on your oven – mine baked for 10 minutes on an insulated cookie sheet- on a regular baking sheet it may have only taken the 8 minutes) or until slightly brown – let the cookies stand about 2 minutes before removing to rack to cool.
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See? Buttery and delicious! I used sanding sugar the same color as the dough so you may not be able to see it on top of the cookies but you will be able to taste it!

Just Enough

Wedding plans are in the works and to celebrate I made “just enough” cake to have a pow wow while talking all about what is going on with this upcoming wedding. This 8×8 little yellow cake makes “just enough” for the twosome or when you just want a little “sliver” as my mother would say – “give me just a “sliva” Teri” – so I would!

And it got a thumbs up – next time I make this I will get cute with it and cut it into little squares, slice the squares in half and fill it with a jam and then pour a “petit four” icing all over it!

Try this cake and have “just enough” – it will make you happy! Oh, the icing? You will find yourself licking the beaters!

Yellow Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Cake:
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup sour cream
3 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (try splitting the vanilla with 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp almond extract – it will taste like a wedding cake!)

Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
pinch salt
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
(and if you want to tint your icing, 2 to 4 drops of your favorite color!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and set aside.
3. In another bowl, whisk the egg, buttermilk, sour cream, oil and vanilla. Add wet mix to dry mix. Lightly stir with a spoon or fold with a spatula just until combined. It will have small lumps in the batter but don’t over mix or try and stir smooth.
4. Turn batter out into the prepared pan and bake for 29-32 minutes or just until the center is set and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few cake crumbs but not with any batter. Allow to completely cool.
Frosting:
Mix butter, vanilla, salt, and confectioner’s sugar in a bowl and beat on low for about a minute to incorporate ingredients. Then turn on medium and mix for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add coloring if you desire at this point. Frost cake.

I frosted my cake with all white and left about 1/3 of the icing – tinted the 1/3 icing with a bit of yellow (one of the colors in the wedding) and then put a thin layer of the yellow on top just for some fun.
IMG_0227 (2)
See? Just enough! (ok so you really can’t tell there is yellow icing but there is) Make your little cake – better yet- let the kids help with this one!