Apple Pie

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and boy do I have a recipe for you: apple pie. Now, I know what you’re thinking: but what about pumpkin pie? Well, if you’re anything like me and were obsessed with anything pumpkin flavored throughout the entire month of October, you might just be looking for a break from pumpkin.

And if you show up with this at Thanksgiving, literally everyone will be impressed. Pies aren’t difficult assuming you get the crust right (pro-tip: the butter needs to be cold!) and adding the decorative top crust makes this even more impressive. Don’t worry; you don’t have to do the leaf design, and, and, if you’d like to, it’s easier than you could imagine.

What You Need

Crust

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup (16 tablespoons) salted butter, cold
  • ¼ cup cold water

Filling

  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) salted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ white sugar
  • 7 medium-to-large apples of your choice (I used cortland and gala)

Other

  • 1 egg (to brush over crust)

How You Do It

Crust

  1. Combine the flour, salt, and cinnamon.20180926_190624
  2. Cut butter into small cubes.20180926_191245.jpg
  3. Going 1-2 cubes at a time, cut the butter into the flour mixture using either a pastry cutter or fork. Mixture should be crumbly.20180926_191901.jpg
  4. Add in the water. If there are still chunks of butter, that’s okay.
  5. Divide the dough into two equal balls and roll into 1-inch thick disks. Cover, and put in fridge for at least 2 hours.20180926_193049.jpg

Filling

  1. While crust is in the fridge, begin to make the filling. In a small pan, melt the butter on medium heat, stirring until fully melted.20180926_204123.jpg
  2. Add in the vanilla.20180926_204318
  3. With the butter still on the stove, mix in the flour.20180926_204531.jpg
  4. Add in the brown and white sugars and the water.20180926_205204
  5. Remove from stove and stir in the cinnamon. Set aside to cool.
  6. Slice the apples. I prefer thinner slices (see below), but if you prefer chunks, go with that (note that it might affect cook time, though).20180926_211324.jpg
  7. Preheat the oven to 425F. Take crust from the fridge and roll out. If the crust gets too warm and the butter begins to melt, pop back in fridge to cool down.20180926_212206.jpg
  8. Roll one layer of crush over an ungreased pie tin.
  9. Layer apples one row at a time. This ensures that you have a packed pack instead of one with “gaps” or missing filling.20180926_212555.jpg
  10. Once you’ve layered about half the apples, pour over half the filling and repeat.20180926_213727.jpg
  11. Decorate for the top crust! If you want to be extra fancy, you can make a lattice design, or, if you’re like me and want to be lazy fancy, use a tool that will help create the design for you. The one I have cuts the dough into a leaf design. If you prefer to leave the crust as is, make sure you slice a cuts to allow the pie to “vent.”

    20180926_215859

  12. Whisk the egg and brush over crust. This will give the pie a slight shine.
  13. Bake for 15 minutes then turn down to 350F and bake for 25-35 minutes.20180926_2255251.jpg

When cooled, cut and eat!imagejpeg_2

My favorite part about this pie is that it looks like you really tried–it looks super impressive without being too difficult. Absolutely gorgeous!IMG_5544

What about you: what’s the one food you’re looking forward to this Thanksgiving? Non-dessert wise, it has to be the mac n cheese. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Until next time,
Danielle

Dracula’s Decadent Chocolate Cupcakes

It’s here–it’s officially Halloween! Today’s cupcakes, last in my Halloween series, are so rich in flavor that it has to be a sin.

So what makes them so decadent? Well, for starters, there’s the chocolate cupcake. Followed by a chocolate frosting. Completed with bittersweet chocolate shards. It’s chocolate on top of chocolate on top of chocolate.

The Dracula part? They’re filled with a gooey raspberry filling that just looks like something the OG vampire would serve you.

What You Need
Chocolate Shards

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

Cupcakes

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cups cocoa
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon espresso coffee

Raspberry Filling

  • 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Frosting

  • 1/2 salted butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

How You Do It
Chocolate Shards

  1. Melt chocolate in microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until smooth.
  2. On a parchment-lined cookie sheet, spread chocolate in a thin layer. Put in freezer until ready to use.20181021_161640.jpg

Cupcake Batter

  1. Preheat over to 350 F and line cupcake tin. Brew coffee and set aside to cool.
  2. Combine sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla.
  3. Add in dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. When combined, add in the cocoa.
  5. Pour in the oil and coffee and blend just until combined, careful not to overmix.
  6. Pour batter into cupcake tin, filling each liner 2/3 full. Bake 18-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting

  1. Combine the butter, milk, and vanilla, and cocoa.
  2. Going a half a cup at a time, add in the powdered sugar.

Filling

  1. Combine the powdered sugar and raspberry jam until no lumps remain.
  2. Core the center of each cupcake, careful not to go all the way down to the bottom. Keep the tops.20181021_152557.jpg
  3. Fill with the raspberry filling and place the tops back on.20181021_153053.jpg20181021_153154.jpg

Decorating

  1. Remove the cookie sheet from the fridge. Lift chocolate and break into desired size.
  2. Using tip of choice, pipe the cupcakes with the frosting.20181021_163745.jpg
  3. Carefully, press 3-4 shards of chocolate into the frosting. If your hands are too warm, the chocolate will begin to soften and bend. If that happens, return shards to freezer for 2-3 minutes.

Look how scrumptious!

20181021_164846.jpg And the raspberry filling? Truly worthy of Dracula himself.

And the chocolate decorations make them look extra fancy.

I hope you have a wonderful Halloween! Eat at much chocolate as you can stomach, watch scary movies until you scream, and may the spirits look kindly upon you today. Until next time,

-Danielle

Peanut Butter Bars

Looking for a Halloween treat that’s easy to make, not super scary, and reminiscent of those peanut butter cups that you can get at the store? If that’s the case, these are perfect for you! They look more complicated than they actually are, and the most difficult part is waiting for them to free, and the only thing that difficult about that is that you’ll want want to eat them the moment you start putting them together. Trust me, though–it’ll be worth the wait!

What You Need

  • 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cupsalted butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 4 graham cracker sheets
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup peanut butter chips
  • Chocolate mold to create bars

How You Do It

  1. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until chocolate is smooth.20181027_154246.jpg
  2. Pour melted chocolate into molds, paying special attention to sides. Make sure there are no holes. When finished, stick in freezer for at least 15 minutes.
  3. While chocolate is freezing, crush graham crackers and set aside.
  4. Begin to make the filling by melting butter on the stove.
  5. Once melted, keep pot on stove and add in the peanut butter. Stir until smooth.
  6. Remove pot from stove. Add the sugar and graham cracker crumbs.
  7. Pull mold out of the freezer and fill with peanut butter filling, making sure that edges are filled. When finished, return to freezer for at least 15 minutes.20181027_164225.jpg
  8. While bars are in freezer, melt peanut butter chips.
  9. Pour over bars, making sure to fill all the way. When done, place back in freezer for at least 15 minutes.
  10. When the bars are set, remove from freezer and pop out of mold. Flip over so that the chocolate is on the top and drizzle with the remaining peanut butter.20181027_172654.jpg

That’s it! These are so simple but taste amazing.

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Not to mention, look at how beautiful. I love the contrast of the peanut butter against the chocolate.

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Seriously. If I wasn’t busy eating all of these in one sitting, I’d be busy admiring how nice they look.

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That’s all for now. As I mentioned in my previous post, this isn’t going be my last Halloween/fall inspired treat. One more post is coming your way tomorrow, and, hint, it involves cupcakes. Until then,

Danielle

Pumpkin Truffles

If you’re like me, you have an abundance of pumpkin bread lying around this time of year. Perhaps you made a lot of it, want to do something different with it, and are wondering exactly what to do.

That was pretty much my thought process a couple of weeks ago when I made this pumpkin bread. Simplistic on its own but delicious when warmed up and slathered with butter, I knew that I wasn’t going to eat it all on it’s own, so I decided to save half of it for these amazing pumpkin balls. Now, you’re more than welcome to use a full loaf of the pumpkin bread (just double the recipe for the truffles) or swing by the store and get some, but if you’re looking for variety, nothing beats this.

What You Need
Truffles

  • ½ loaf of pumpkin bread (can be store bought)
  • ¼ block cream cheese (2 ounces), softened
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla

Coating

  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • ½ tablespoon milk
  • Decorations (sprinkles, pumpkin seeds, etc).

How You Do It

  1. Combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla.20181021_113653
  2. Add the milk to the cream cheese mixture.20181021_113847.jpg
  3. Add in the powdered sugar. When finished, set aside.20181021_114302.jpg
  4. In a separate bowl, crumble the pumpkin bread until you have approximately 2 cups.20181021_111222.jpg
  5. Going ¼ cup at a time, add the cream cheese mixture into the crumbled pumpkin bread. Mix until you can form the mixture into a ball that will hold its shape. Note: I used about half of the cream cheese mixture but you might require more if you’re using store bought. Either way, don’t feel that you have to use all of the cream cheese mixture.20181021_11431920181021_114826(1)
  6. Roll into tablespoon-sized balls and place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.20181021_115504.jpg
  7. When ready to decorate, melt chocolate in the microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between. If you overcook and the chocolate solidifies , add in a small amount of vegetable oil.20181021_142040.jpg
  8. Dip the balls into the white chocolate and decorate and desired. When finished, pop back in the fridge for at least 10 minutes.20181021_142103.jpg
  9. Afterwards, break off any excess chocolate that might have pooled around the pumpkin truffles.

When you’re all done, enjoy!20181021_165720

These are so full of pumpkin filling. According to my boyfriend, they taste even more pumpkin spice-y that the actual pumpkin bread.20181021_165857

Either way, I just think they’re adorable. Excellent for Halloween without being too over the top.20181021_165723.jpg

Speak of Halloween, I have a surprise!

This isn’t going to be the last recipe of the month. That’s right, in honor of my favorite holiday, I have two more seasonal recipes that will come out over the next few days. If you’re not following, I suggest you do. Otherwise, be on the lookout! Any ideas on what they could be? You’ll have to wait and see. Until next time,

Danielle

Caramel Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

Did you ever want chocolate chip cookies but wanted to make something a little different than plain ol’ chocolate chip cookies? If so, this recipe is perfect for you! Taking the base of original chocolate chip cookies, this caramel chocolate chip skillet cookie combines a thin ribbon of caramel sauce and is so much harder to burn (I’m not the only one who routinely burns chocolate chip cookies, right?).

What You Need

  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce + extra to drizzle

How You Do It

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. While oven is heating, combine the butter, sugars, and vanilla
  3. Add in the egg.
  4. Going 1/3 cup at a time, add the flour and baking soda.
  5. Add in the chocolate chips. If you’ve been using a hand or stand mixer a up until the point, stir in the chocolate chips by hand to prevent them from breaking.
  6. Separate the dough in half. Press one half into the bottom of an ungreased, 10-inch cast iron skillet. It’s okay if the bottom isn’t completely covered; the dough will expand as it bakes. Pressing the dough into a 6 or 7-inch disk will work
  7. Avoiding the edges, pour over the caramel sauce.
  8. Heavily flour your hands and shape the second half into a disk (saving a little). When it’s roughly the same diameter as the first half, place it on top and press together the edged.20180826_140409.jpg20180826_140816.jpg
  9. If there are any cracks, or caramel seeping through, fix them with any dough that you’ve saved.20180826_140606.jpg
  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Note: it’s incredibly easy to overtake this. Because there might be air pockets inside, the cookie might jiggle a little, making it seem like it’s undercooked. If you’re unsure, simply take it out, wait five minutes, and cut open slightly.
  11. When done, drizzle over as much caramel sauce as you’d like, slice, and enjoy!

I wanted the caramel sauce to harden slightly so I popped it back in the oven for 5 minutes, but totally not mandatory.

These are perfect for dunking in milk. Maybe put some whipped cream on them. Absolutely delicious.

Plus, they’re absolutely stuffed with chocolate chips–no skimping here.

Give these a try and let me know how they turn out. If you haven’t already, make sure to follow me on Instagram. Until next time,

-Danielle

Mix It Up: Prefer butterscotch chips instead of chocolate chips? Feel free to substitute those!

S’mores Cupcakes

Picture it: it’s a warm summer night, you’re gathered around the campfire, you have nowhere to be the next morning, and you’ve spend a full day relaxing. The only thing that can make it better? S’mores, of course!

But how do you create s’mores without the campfire? And how do you make it a cupcake? Actually, its really easy! This recipe comes together with minimal effort, you can decorate it however you want, and there’s marshmallow fluff in the frosting to really amp up the flavor and texture. You know how a roasted marshmallow is gooey? Same concept here.

A quick note: this post is NOT sponsored by Hershey’s. I know their product is featured heavily in some of the photos, and while you’re more than welcome to use any chocolate you want, when I think of s’mores, I automatically think of Hershey’s. Yes, their branding is that strong.

What You Need

20180715_084101.jpgGraham Cracker Crust

  • 8 graham crackers (approximately 1 ¼ cup)
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Blog Cake Batter IngredientsCupcake Batter

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cup flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon coffee

Marshmallow Frosting

  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup marshmallow fluff
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Decorations

  • Graham crackers crumbs
  • Chocolate bars

 

How You Do It
Graham Cracker Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and place liners in cupcake pan.
  2. Using a rolling pin, crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs.
  3. Add in the sugar and butter until fully mixed. Mixture should be slightly crumbly.20180715_085538.jpg
  4. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of mixture into each liner, pressing down lightly.20180715_085828
  5. Bake for no more than five minutes. Because the crusts are prone to burning, check halfway through.
  6. When done, remove from oven and let cool. Keep oven at 350 F.

Cupcake Batter

  1. Mix together sugar and butter until combined.Blog Sugar Eggs
  2. Add in milk, oil, and vanilla. Mixture will become slightly foamy and might not fully combine. To avoid splatters, mix on low (speed 2 on stand mixer).Blog Wet Ingredients
  3. Add in flour, baking soda, and baking powder.Blog Flour
  4. When combined, add cocoa. The consistency should be that of brownie batter.Blog Cocoa
  5. Finally, stir in water and coffee.
  6. Pour batter into cupcake pan. Because the batter is fairly thin, it would rise too much during baking, so you can just about fill up the liners.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. When done, place on cooling rack until ready to frost

Frosting & Decorations

  1. Combine all ingredients. Mixture should be sticky and not overly firm. Soft peaks should form.Blog Finished Frosting
  2. Place in decorating bag and begin to pipe the cupcakes. Because frosting isn’t firm, it will level out slightly.Blog Piping
  3. After the frosting flattens out, crush graham crackers and sprinkle over cupcakes.Blog Decorate 1
  4. Lightly press pieces of chocolate into the middle of the top of the cupcake.20180715_105607.jpg

That’s it! A delicious cupcake with a no-stress decoration. These are amazing both warm and cold, but should we take a second to just admire them?

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And that graham cracker crust? Gorgeous!20180715_112851.jpg

I know I should share these, but I absolutely don’t want to.

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What do you think? Are you a huge fan of s’mores? What’s your favorite summer dessert? Let me know below. Until next time,

Danielle

Mix It Up: Don’t want to use chunks of chocolate to decorate? Try chocolate syrup instead! You can even use bigger pieces of graham crackers–it’s entirely up to you!