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Thanksgiving Roundup

25 Nov

Looking for some last minute additions or recipes for the big day? Here are some yummy breakfast, dessert and side dish recipes that would be perfect for Thanksgiving. I hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with family and friends. And who is going out Black Friday shopping? Some new outlets just opened last week about a half hour from our house so that’s what we are doing…wish us luck. Everyone I know that has gone so far has said it was nuts.

Perfect for starting off the day right, Pumpkin Granola. It’s light and healthy and won’t fill you up too much.
Pumpkin Granola

Pumpkin Pie Cashews would be the perfect thing to snack on throughout the day.
Pumpkin Pie Cashews

Share what you are thankful for with these Gratitude Rolls.

These slow cooker mashed potatoes free up that precious stovetop space and still create a creamy, decadent side to that juicy turkey.

Maple Glazed Carrots are a super simple yet delicious addition.
Maple Glazed Carrots

Creamy Cheesy Potatoes are so easy and amazingly delicious!
Creamy Cheesy Potatoes

Brined and Roasted Turkey results with the most juicy and succulent bird ever.

Mini Pecan Pies always grace our Thanksgiving table. They are the perfect little bite that leaves a little room for a second dessert!

Apple Streusel Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze is rustic but delicious.
Apple Streusel Cake

Looking for a rich, dense way to end Thanksgiving? Boom, French Silk Pie.
French Silk Pie

Pioneer Woman’s French Silk Pie

21 Nov

Pioneer Woman
Pioneer Woman
Guess what I did on Monday!?! I met Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman! She came to my hometown for her book tour so my friend Molly and I jumped on the chance to meet her and have our cookbooks signed!
Pioneer Woman
We waited for almost 5 1/2 hours but we finally got to meet her and she was so sweet. I’m not one to wait in line but it was definitely a fun experience and was worth it to meet her.
Pioneer Woman
While we waited, we got to meet that handsome husband of hers and her cute boys. We even got Marlboro Man to sign his picture in the newest cookbook.
Pioneer Woman
So, in honor of meeting Ree I wanted to share one of her recipes that I made recently. Joel absolutely loves French silk pie and in the past, we have always bought one from a local restaurant that he loves for the holidays. Well, I decided that would change this year. I wanted to do a test run before Thanksgiving and I knew exactly where to go for a no-fail recipe that would be delicious. And I totally made the right decision with this recipe. I don’t even like chocolate all that much and I loved this pie. I’m pretty sure I ate more of this than Joel.
French Silk Pie
It was rich, thick, dense and oh so tasty. I love the saltiness that the salted butter lent to the pie. It balanced out the richness of the chocolate and I mean, who doesn’t love the sweet and salty combo?
French Silk Pie
This is definitely gracing our Thanksgiving table and I hope it will be on yours too!
French Silk Pie
French Silk Pie
recipe from The Pioneer Woman

4 ounces, weight unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup salted butter, Softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 whole eggs
1 prebaked pie shell
Whipped cream

1. In a microwave safe bowl melt unsweetened baking chocolate (about 45 seconds on high). Set aside to cool.

2. In a stand mixer, beat  butter and sugar until fluffy (about 1 to 2 minutes).  When melted chocolate is cooled, drizzle it over the butter/sugar mixture.  Add vanilla extract.  Beat the mixture thoroughly until combined (on a Kitchen Aid mixer, you will be using the whisk attachment).

3. Turn your mixer to a medium speed and over a period of 15 to 20 minutes add in the four eggs, one at a time, leaving about 5 minutes between each egg addition.  Once the pie filling is well mixed, pour it into the baked pie shell.  Smooth out the pie filling and place pie in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours (preferably longer). Top with homemade whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies Roundup

22 Dec

Week One – Cherry Chip Cookies

Week 2 – Mint Brownie Crinkles

Week 3 – Butterscotch and Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies

Week 4 – Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

Week 5 – Chocolate Almond Pralines

Week 6 – Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Week 7 – Raspberry Ribbons

Week 8 – Pretzel Cookies

Week 9 – Mini Pecan Pies

Week 10 – Italian Christmas Cookies

Week 11 – Maple Cream Gingersnaps

Week 12 – Orange Clove Snickerdoodles

Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie

10 Dec

Ok, so I’m not a fruit for dessert kind of person. I just don’t enjoy cooked fruit, it get mushy and weird….not my thing. But Joel loves apple pie. For the past few Thanksgivings I have made this pie for him with lots of success and raves. Although I am not a fan, the crumbly streusel topping does make it much more appeal. m a total sucker for streusel. My mom took the leftovers to work and two people told her it was the best apple pie they had ever had. Score!

As I’ve said before, I struggle with crusts and dough of all kind. Pie crust is a huge frustration for me. I can never get the edge perfectly beautiful which angers me. While perusing Pinterest one day I came across some amazing decorative pie crust edges that I knew would fix my frustration. I fell in love with the braided crust and knew it was something I hopefully couldn’t mess up. And I didn’t! It turned out so cute. There was a little hiccup because I didn’t roll out the dough long enough to make one braid to fit across the whole pie. I ended up with 3 braids that didn’t match up perfectly when placed on the edge so my mom cut out several little leaves to put in those spots to cover up the imperfections.

It almost looked to good to eat….but only for a minute. In all the Thanksgiving hustle and bustle I forgot to take a picture of a slice of it but you get the gist of the crunchy, apple goodness.

Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie
recipe from food.com

For Pie:
Premade pie crust (two if you are doing a braided edge)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 cups thinly sliced peeled apples

Crumb Topping:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup butter, room temperature

Caramel topping
Pecans

1. Prepare pastry for single-crust pie, being careful not to stretch dough too much.

2. Place single crust in pie plate and trim and crimp the edge or click here for directions for braiding the crust.

3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add apple slices and gently toss until they are coated well.Transfer mixture to pie.

4. FOR CRUMB TOPPING: Stir together brown sugar, flour, and oats. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until topping resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over apple mixture in pie.

5. To prevent over-browning while baking, cover edge of pie with foil. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.

6. Remove foil and bake 25 to 30 minutes more, or until top is golden.

7. Drizzle top with caramel topping; sprinkle with pecans. Cool on wire rack and serve.

Recipe linked to Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Sweets for a Saturday, Everyday Sisters Sharing Sundays, Mangia Monday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Crazy Sweet Tuesday and 2 Maids a Baking.

Mini Pecan Pies {12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies}

30 Nov

I’ve realized that I should have dubbed this series 12 Weeks of Christmas Goodies rather than Cookies but it’s too late now. I apologize to any of you that were totally excited about pure cookie bliss. Hopefully these will make up for any disappointment. Who doesn’t love a mini treat?

Today, I bring you one of our family favorites…Mini Pecan Pies. These are a must during the holidays in our home. They are usually my brother’s requested dessert. Each person in my family has different favorites so we each get our own dessert. Yes, you heard that right. There are always about 4 desserts at the holidays (if not more) because we just can’t choose and my mom always wants each of us to have our most cherished sweet treat. A few of us usually agree on something pumpkin while the rest go on with their choices. It’s a bit excessive but it has become tradition and you just can’t mess with that.

I am a big fan of crust so these are so much better than a big, traditional pie because the crust to filling ratio is more equal. Plus, there is no rolling involved making me a very happy girl! They are pretty simple to put together and look so cute piled up on a serving tray or in a cookie tin.

Mini Pecan Pies

Crust:
1 stick butter, room temperature
3 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup flour

Filling:
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp. butter, melted
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1 tsp. vanilla

1. For the crust: cream butter and cream cheese then mix in flour. Make 24 balls from the dough and press in mini muffin tin.*
2. Stir together filling ingredients. Evenly fill dough cups. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes.

*This mini tart shaper makes this step so much simpler. All you have to do is place a ball of dough in the mini muffin cup and then press down with the tool. It pushes the dough down over the bottom and up the sides. So simple.

Recipe linked to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, What I Whipped Up Wednesday, Sweet Treats Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Potluck, Fusion Friday, Holiday Sweet Swap, Seasonal Inspiration, Strut Your Stuff Saturday,  Sweets for a Saturday and A Themed Baker’s Sunday.

Apple Hand Pies

26 Jul

Joel loves apple pie. But I am no good at making them. The crust is always all wrong, it’s sticky and ends up tough. I can never crimp the edges and it always looks like a big, hot mess. When I asked Joel what dessert sounded good, he suggested apple pie since he never has it. I cringed and then a magical thought popped into my head. Why not hand pies? I’ve been seeing them all over the blog world recently and figured this was the perfect opportunity for me to give them a whirl.

I searched online and found a recipe that sounded relatively easy. And luckily it turned out to be. The dough came together so easily in the food processor and I literally only had to knead it twice. It rolled out thinly without much effort. The only little problem I had with the dough is all the chilling time it required.

It is super important for the butter to be cold and diced into small chunks.

The pie crust should look like sand when it is ready to be kneaded.

Then simply knead the dough until it comes together then refrigerate for an hour (or overnight as I did).

I didn’t have the right size biscuit cutter (4 1/2 inches) so I used one of Noah’s baby bowls to cut the mini pie crusts which worked out perfectly. I got exactly 15 crusts out of the dough just as the recipe stated.

Fill the pies with 1 tablespoon of filling then crimp closed with a fork.

Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with coarse sugar, bake and enjoy!

Apple Hand Pies
recipe from DisneyFamily.com

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks frozen butter, cut into little cubes
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup ice-cold water
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2 large granny smith apples, peeled and cut in large dice
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar

1. Place flour, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade attachment. Pulse just until it looks like coarse sand. In another bowl, whisk together sour cream, water and lemon juice. Slowly drizzle in the liquid mixture to the flour and butter, pulsing just until a rough ball forms. Pour out onto a lightly floured board and knead until just combined. Pat dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one hour.
2. Meanwhile make apple filling. Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add apples and sauté for 3 minutes or until beginning to soften slightly. Add cinnamon and brown sugar. Cook for 2 minutes more, or until brown sugar melts. Remove from heat and cool completely.
3. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut in half. Roll each portion of dough to a thickness of about 1/8 of an inch. Using a round biscuit cutter, cut into circles, about 4 1/2 inches in diameter (the rim of a small bowl works well if you don’t have a biscuit cutter that size). Place on a baking sheet, lined with parchment. Scraps can be re-rolled and cut again. Place baking sheet in the refrigerator and repeat with the other ball of dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
5. Remove dough from refrigerator. Place about 1 tablespoon of apple filling on each round. Lightly brush edges with water, and fold over, using a fork to crimp edges together. Place back in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes. Remove from fridge. Brush the tops of each pie with an egg wash (whisk 1 egg yolk with 2 teaspoons of water), and sprinkle with sugar. Pierce each pie with the tip of a knife. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

This recipe is linked to:
Sweet as Sugar Cookies
A Well-Seasoned Life
This Week’s Craving
Holiday Sweet Swap

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