Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cranberry Crumb Bars

If you have any leftover cranberries, please use them in this recipe!  The addition of almond meal to the crust & top crumble is a delicious addition that takes these crumb bars over the top.  The cranberries are soft, but not mushy, after almost an hour in the oven.  The bars are sweet enough to stand up to the tart cranberries, but not overly sweet.

I used my food processor as mentioned in the recipe, and this barely took 5 minutes to put together.  I also forgot to add the cinnamon, but made up for it by a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar right before I put these in the oven.

Cranberry Crumb Bars

1 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup cold butter (2 sticks)
1 egg
juice of 1/2 an orange
4 cups fresh cranberries
2/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 375 & line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper.  In your food processor bowl, mix 1 cup sugar, flour, almond meal, salt & baking powder.  Pulse to combine, then add cubed butter and pulse several times, until mixture is crumbly.  Add egg & pulse until mixed.  Pat half the dough into the bottom of the pan.

In another bowl, mix orange juice, sugar, vanilla & cornstarch until combined.  Add cranberries and stir to coat.  Pour the cranberry mixture over the bottom layer of dough, then sprinkle remaining dough on top of cranberries.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture & bake for 45-55 minutes, until top is light golden brown.

Cool completely before cutting.
Recipe from My Baking Addition

Starting tomorrow, I will be posting a "12 Days of Christmas Cookies" series, featuring all of my favorite Christmas cookies!  

Monday, November 28, 2011

50th Anniversary Cake

Vanilla bean cake with vanilla bean Swiss meringue buttercream:

Piping done with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream; teal fondant circle.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bachelorette Cookies

Another idea from Pinterest, these cookies were for a friend's bachelorette party.

I used a roll out sugar cookie recipe and cut the cookies with a heart cookie cutter, then trimmed off the point.
Bake as directed, let cool, & decorate with royal icing.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cranberry Bread with Pecans

Fresh cranberries are very deceiving.  They are a beautiful bright red color & wonderfully fragrant.  However, one bite of a fresh cranberry will pucker your mouth right up.  When mixed with some sugar, flour & buttermilk, those tart little cranberries can bake up into a delicious loaf.

The buttermilk is the key to this tender quick bread, along with the orange zest, & the toasted pecans add a nice crunch on top.

Cranberry Nut Bread
recipe from Baking Illustrated

1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
2/3 cup buttermilk
6 tablespoons butter, melted & cooled
1 egg, beaten
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup toasted pecans

Mix flour, sugar, baking power, baking soda, & salt in a large bowl and set aside.  Combine orange zest, juice, buttermilk, butter, egg, and vanilla in a small bowl.  Add dry ingredients to wet and mix with spatula just until moistened.  Add cranberries & pecans* being careful not to over mix.  Pour into a greased 9x5 pan.  Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 350 and bake for another 45 minutes.  Cool on wire rack 10 minutes, then remove from pan.

*I did not mix the pecans into the batter, but sprinkled them on top of the loaf before baking.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

In an attempt to bake at least one more pumpkin recipe this year, I came across this recipe that I had bookmarked last year.  I was slightly skeptical at first, mixing chocolate with pumpkin, but the end result is delicious!  I think the cream cheese really ties the pumpkin & chocolate together for a delicious treat.

Start with your favorite brownie recipe.  When adding a swirl to a brownie recipe, I find no shame in starting with a box mix :)

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl
for a 9x13 pan

1 cup pumpkin puree
6 oz cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Mix ingredients together with a mixer or by hand.  Pour 3/4 of the brownie batter in a parchment lined (or greased) 9x13 pan, then use a tablespoon to dollop pumpkin filling on top*.  Spoon the remaining brownie batter into the pan and use a knife to swirl together.  Bake at 325 (for a dark pan, 350 for glass) for 40 minutes.

*I didn't use all the filling, unless you like a lot, you'll probably only need about 75% of the mixture.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mini Pumpkin Pies

These little pies are perfect for when a craving hits and you don't want a whole pie sitting around your house.  The fact that they look like little pumpkins is just a bonus.  For extra cuteness, you can used melted chocolate in a piping bag to draw jack o'lantern faces after baking!

Using a large pumpkin cookie cutter, cut out a piece of your favorite pie dough (homemade or store bought - I won't tell!) & press it down into a cupcake tin (no liner or nonstick spray needed!)  Fill with pumpkin pie mixture & bake at 375 for 20 minutes.  These baby pumpkins popped right out of the pan after cooling!  Top with some fresh whipped heavy cream & enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Filling
makes 12 mini pies*

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
3/4 cup evaporated milk

Mix together sugar, cornstarch, salt, spices, pumpkin & eggs, then add milk.  Stir until well combined.  Fill muffin tin about 2/3 full (should be about 1/4 cup).  Bake 20 minutes at 375 & let cool before removing from tin.

Pie filling adapted from Martha Stewart
*filling recipe can be doubled to fill a 9" pie

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Southern Comfort Caramel Apple Pie

The Perfect Apple Pie recipe I posted last week was a delicious and simple apple pie.  This apple pie was on a whole other level.  The apples are cooked in cinnamon, caramel & southern comfort and then topped with a brown sugar & pecan streusel.  The apples are perfectly cooked, not mushy, while the streusel is nice and crunchy.

This will be making a presence at my Thanksgiving Dinner table.  Check out my Holiday Treats ordering page to order one for yourself!

Recipe from Ezra Pound Cake

Monday, November 14, 2011

Apple Cider Caramels

Caramel & apple are two of my favorite fall flavors (if you haven't guessed by now!).  I found these yummy treats on on Pinterest & they were the perfect answer to some leftover apple cider.

These tasty little treats were bursting with favor & were thoroughly enjoyed.  Everyone was impressed with how much of the apple cider flavor came through.  They are a perfect fall treat!

Apple Cider Caramels
Recipe from Our Best Bites 

2 cup high-quality apple cider 
1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream, divided
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup real butter, cubed

- Pour cider into a medium saucepan and boil on high for about 20 minutes or until the cider is reduced to 1/3 c. Keep an eye on might try to run away. Set aside to cool.
- Line an 8" square pan with parchment paper, making sure to leave about 1" hanging over the edges for easy removal. Coat with a bit of vegetable oil and set aside. 
- In a small bowl, combine 2/3 c. cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and reduced apple cider. Set aside.
- In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, 1/3 c. whipping cream + enough water to reach the 1/2 c. line on the measuring cup, and corn syrup. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Insert the candy thermometer and simmer until the syrup reaches 234 degrees.
- Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cream mixture. Add the cubed butter and stir until the cream and butter are fully incorporated. Return the pan to heat and re-insert the candy thermometer. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the temperature reaches 248 degrees.
- Remove from heat and pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Let the mixture cool completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Cut the caramels into 1/2" squares and wrap each caramel in wax paper.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Perfect Apple Pie

I've been on the hunt for the *perfect* apple pie.  It's one of my husband's favorite desserts, and he loves being the test subject for my experiments.  This time, I turned to my newest cookbook, Baking Illustrated.  They did not disappoint.

I made this in my tart pan (another experiment) which is why it's not as thick.  That aside, it was truly the perfect apple pie!  I think what I've been missing along was the allspice!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

Don't tell anyone, but I may be hoarding cans of pumpkin.  Before making this bread, there were no less than 4 cans of pumpkin in my cupboard.  With the pumpkin shortages the past few years, I'm always afraid I'm not going to have any when I need it.  I bought enough last year that I still had 2 cans last me through to this fall ;)

Onto the bread... quick breads are a great treat to bake up because they usually require simple ingredients and are super easy to mix up.

This recipe from Bakingdom made 2 loaves, which was perfect for sharing!  I added a cinnamon streusel topping for a nice crunch, and the inside was perfectly moist.  This will be my new go-to pumpkin bread recipe!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie

If there is only room for one dessert on your holiday table, this should be it!

A graham cracker crust, filled with a layer of caramel and pecans, topped with a layer of apples sauteed with brown sugar & cinnamon, and a layer of creamy cheesecake.  Whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel & a sprinkle of pecans add the finishing touch to this delicious dessert.

Want one for Thanksgiving?  Check out my Holiday Treats page for ordering information.

Recipe from Annie's Eats

Friday, November 4, 2011

Salted Caramel Mocha Cupcakes

Next in the lineup of fall cupcakes is the Salted Caramel Mocha cupcake.  It also happens to be another favorite fall coffee drink of mine :)

This is a delicious chocolate coffee cupcake, filled with salted caramel, and topped with a salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream.  I finished it off with a drizzle of salted caramel and some chunky sugar for texture.

Recipe by Bakingdom

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

My favorite coffee drink made into a cupcake!  The oh-so-talented Annie concocted this delicious recipe & I knew I needed to make it the second I saw it.

These were easy & beyond delicious!  The only change I made was to add a little Pumpkin Spice coffee cream to the heavy cream as I was whipping it.  That ended up being a fantastic idea :)

Recipe from Annie's Eats