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.”

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  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

Pumpkin Bread

I love pumpkin. Especially this time of year. I’ll put it in just about everything: smoothies, pasta, soup… So it only makes sense that I incorporate it in bread.

This pumpkin bread is delicious and perfect for breakfast. It’s full of spices, slightly sweet, and goes perfect with butter melted over it when slightly warmed. Even better? It’s easy to put together. With simplistic steps, you can easy put this together without much effort.

What You Need

  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon clove
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup milk

How You Do It

  1. Grease a loaf tin with vegetable oil. Or, for easy cleanup, line with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Combine pumpkin, egg, and sugar.20181013_095357.jpg
  3. Add in the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and pumpkin spice.20181013_095842.jpg
  4. Mix in the oil and milk.20181013_100004.jpg
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.20181013_100837.jpg

When done, slice and enjoy.20181013_143113

As I mentioned above, this is bread is best served warm, with the butter smeared over the top.

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Be on the lookout for another recipe later this month involving this pumpkin bread (!), but, until then, give this a try and let me know how it goes. Hope you’re enjoying October as much as I am.

Until next time,

Danielle

Apple Muffins

I recently went apple picking and came back with nearly fifty (!) apples. Since then, I’ve been using them in everything, including an apple pie (recipe coming soon), apple sauce, my breakfast smoothies, and of course, these apple muffins.
These muffins are dense, packed with flavor and a delicious brown sugar topping. The apples are thinly chopped, practically melting into the batter. You might not see the apple pieces when you pull them out of the batter, but boy will you taste them. Plus, by having the apples chopped thinly, you won’t have to worry about them not fully cooking. Of course, if you’d like large apple chunks, cut them according to your preference–it’s completely up to you!

What You Need
Batter

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups chopped apples of choice (2 ½-3 medium apples)

Brown Sugar Topping

  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, cold
  • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla

How You Do It
Batter

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and line muffin tin.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. Chop apples into small pieces. As mentioned above, a bulk of the apple pieces will dissolve into the batter as the muffins bake, so if you’d like bigger piece, cut apples larger. Otherwise, follow directions below, and set aside when finished.
  4. In stand mixer, combine butter and sugar.20180929_0926571.jpg
  5. Add in the eggs and vanilla.20180929_092902.jpg
  6. Add the apples. To avoid breaking the pieces into even smaller pieces, be careful not to overmix. Either stir using a spoon, or, if using a stand mixer, mix for ten seconds at most.20180929_093105.jpg
  7. Mix in the flour. Batter will be thick. If necessary, use a spoon to finish mixing.20180929_093756.jpg

Brown Sugar Topping

  1. In a small bowl cut the butter into the brown sugar using a fork. Do not fully combine; if there are small lumps, that’s okay.20180929_094501.jpg
  2. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Add in the flour and cinnamon and stir into just combined. Do not mix until you make a paste–the topping should be in small pieces, none bigger than the size of a pea.20180929_094952.jpg
  4. Fill liners ⅔ full and sprinkle brown sugar topping atop. Bake for 15-20 minutes.20180929_095952.jpg
  5. When they’re done, pull them out, give them five minutes, and enjoy!

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These are great for breakfast with a cup of tea.

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The brown sugar topping provides just the right amount of sweetness.

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Are these something you’d like to try? I hope so!
That’s all for now. If you give these a go, let me know how it goes. Also, I’d love to get your recommendations. With of of the apples I recently acquired, what should I do with all of them? What are your favorite apple recipes. Let me know below! Until next time,
♥Danielle

Spice Cupcakes with Vanilla Chai Tea Frosting

Its fall.

Okay, maybe not technically, but, yes, it’s fall. To me it has been since the beginning of August. It’s time to start baking with everything fall related, and, if you ask me, what’s the perfect food for that? Spice cupcakes.

And when I say spice, I mean spice. These cupcakes have ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove–not to mention the cinnamon in the frosting. Speaking of the frosting, it’s just a slight modification of my cream cheese frosting, yet still absolutely easy to make.

So, without further ado, let’s pull out our mixing bowls and get started!

What You Need

Cupcake Batter

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove
  • 16 tablespoons (1 cup; 2 sticks) salted butter, softened
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup milk

Frosting

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla chai tea
  • 8 ounces (1 block) cream cheese, softened
  • 8 tabespoons (1/2 cup; 1 stick) salted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups powered sugar

How You Do It

Cupcake Batter

  1. Preheat over to 350 F and line cupcake tin.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all of the dry ingredient: flour, cornstarch, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove. Set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar.
  4. Add in the eggs and vanilla.
  5. Alternating with the milk, add in the dry ingedients: 1/2 cup flour to 1/4 milk until both are fully added.
  6. Fill liners 3/4 full. Bake for 12-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting

  1. Brew a full cup of tea according to instuctions. I reccommend using loose leaf, as you can make it as strong as you would like.
  2. While tea cools, cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Along with the tea, add in the cinnamon. Its okay if the tea isn’t fully cool.
  4. One cup at a time, add in the powdered sugar. Blend until no lumps remain.
  5. Decorate cupcakes as desired. You can sprinkle over added cinnamon or keep them plain like I did. If you’re piping, the tip you use is up to you.
  6. When you’re all done, step back and admire your work!

These are absolutely perfect for fall. They make me want crunchy leaves, cool weather, and oversized sweaters.

Added bonus? They smell amazing. Somewhere out there, a candle wishes it could smell this good.

So what do you think? If you’re like me and absolutely love fall, what’s your favorite part about it? Do you love spice cupcakes, or do you have another favorite fall treat? Whatever it is, let me know below! Until next time,

-Danielle