Confetti Sprinkle Sugar Cookies

Sprinkle sugar cookies

So, yesterday, I totally had one of those panic realizations that Halloween is this month.  How did I forget something like that!?  This year has been going by so quickly, I can’t seem to keep up with the time!  Before we know it, there will be snow on the ground!  Although, I must admit, I am pretty excited to decorate our new place for Christmas.  Yes, I am weird like that.  I can’t help it, I love Christmas lights!

sprinkle sugar cookies

So, about these cookies.  Aren’t they just adorable?  What is it about sprinkles that makes everything cuter?  These sugar cookies are soft, chewy and just down-right delicious.  The rainbow sprinkles could definitely be exchanged for some holiday themed sprinkles.  Red, green and white for Christmas anyone?

Confetti Sprinkle Sugar Cookies

Yield: about 30 cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Mix in the dry ingredients with the on low speed just until incorporated.  Fold in the sprinkles with a spatula.

Scoop the dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons each.  Space them evenly on the baking sheets about 2 inches apart.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until the cookies are just set and the edges are barely browned, about 15-16 minutes.  Let cool briefly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

It’s October!  Time to embrace apple season!!  I always look forward to apple pies, among other things.  Last year, I made an apple pie with caramel sauce.  Drizzling it over the pie is great, but I thought- why not mix it in with the pie filling?  Brilliant!  And I just had to make my favorite vanilla bean caramel sauce, but I put a twist on it.  I added more salt so we’ve got the sweet and salty thing going on here.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

This pie is fabulous.  It is beyond fabulous.  The sauce just makes it over the top.  And, I couldn’t resist drizzling it over the top of the pie either.  I made the same pie recipe since it’s my favorite.  This brings a basic, delicious apple pie above and beyond.  It’s a great way to dive into apple season!

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Yield: 1 apple pie

  • dough enough for two crusts
  • 5-6 medium/large apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon cold water (for egg wash)
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce made with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more for drizzling

Directions

On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the pie dough into approximately a 12-inch round.  (Keep the other half of the pie dough chilled for now.)  Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate, trimming the excess.  Place in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sliced apples, sugars, flour, spices, lemon juice and caramel sauce.  Toss well to combine.  When the bottom crust is finished chilling, pour the apple mixture and accumulated juices into the bottom pie crust and use a spatula to even the top out slightly.  Dot the surface of the apples with the pieces of cold butter.  Roll out the remaining pie dough on a floured work surface. Roll out large enough to cover the pie. Cut out shapes in the center with a mini cookie cutter, slice to make a lattice top, or cut a few slits in the top for steam to escape. Crimp the edges from the bottom and top crust together. Brush the top and edges of the crust with the egg wash.

Place the pie on a baking sheet (to catch the overflow. Trust me, you don’t want that on the bottom of your oven) and bake until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, about 50 minutes. If the edges are browning too quickly, make a ring of tinfoil over the edge or use a pie ring to cover the sides. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.  Serve warm or at room temperature with a drizzling of caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Source: Pie filling adapted from Annie’s Eats

Peach Pie Scones

peach pie scones

As the summer progresses, I always look forward to the certain fruits that come into season.  Berries are my favorite, but, I am slowly starting to look forward to peach season as well.  I was never a big peach fan as a kid, but as an adult, I love them!  My particular favorite thing to do with peaches is to cook them.  So, when I stumbled across a recipe for peach pie scones, I couldn’t resist.

peach pie scones

These scones are moist, flaky, buttery, sweet, and just downright delicious.  I couldn’t wait to have to these alongside my coffee for a few mornings in a row.  They are the perfect indulgence to enjoy the last of the summer flavors.  Speaking of which, I can’t believe I am already seeing pumpkin flavored drinks around and Halloween isles in the stores!  I am looking forward to comfort foods and curling up by the wood stove, but I am definitely not ready to give up fresh summer vegetables and fruits.

Peach Pie Scones

Peach Pie Scones

  • 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed and cold
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh peaches, diced
Vanilla glaze
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1-3 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Directions

Preheat oven to 400ºF.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Then, cut in the butter with a fork or pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together the heavy cream, sour cream, egg, and vanilla extract. Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined.  Gently fold in the peaches until combined.

On a well-floured surface, turn out the scone dough and pat into a small disk that’s about a 1/2″ thick. Cut into 6-8 slices, and transfer to the baking sheet. Brush each scone with just a little bit of heavy cream.

Bake for 16-18 minutes, or just until golden brown. Allow to cool.

For the glaze, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream. If the glaze is too thick, continue adding in heavy cream, one 1 tablespoon at a time, until it has reached the desired consistency. Pour over warm scones and serve.
These can be stored covered in the refrigerator for 4 days.
Source: A Latte Food

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Patriotic Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

In honor of this weekend being the 4th of July (already!?), I just had to share something appropriately themed.  The rhubarb in my backyard is just flourishing, so I have been trying to use it all before it goes by.  Strawberries are just coming into season here (it’s been a hard, cold spring), so, I knew that a strawberry rhubarb pie was in order!  After all, they are the perfect pair!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

This pie is just right.  Not too sweet, not too tart. I chose to do a “flag” crust for the pie, but you can obviously do whatever topping you’d like.  (My favorite is a lattice top, but a few slits cut into the full top crust would work great as well.)  I also used my favorite pie crust, which you totally should try if you need a really simple and easy recipe.  This pie is wonderfully paired with freshly whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  It would make a wonderful addition to any 4th of July BBQ you’re attending this weekend! (Or maybe just for yourself instead?)

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and quartered
  • 4 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg lightly beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
  • chilled double pie crust dough (your favorite, store bought, or my favorite)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Have ready a rimmed baking sheet.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one half of the pie crust to fit into a 9-pinch pie plate.  Trim excess and place in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients.  Gently toss until the the fruit is well coated.  Place the filling in the bottom crust in the pie plate.  Place the butter pieces over the top of the pie.  Roll out the other half of the pie crust.  Cut into strips if doing a lattice top, leave whole with just a few slits cut for steam vents, or make a flag top by using a mini star cutter and cutting out a few stars from one “corner”, then place the crust over the pie.  Cut out a square where the stars were cut out, then place the cut-out stars there.  To make the stripes, cut out strips, leaving a space between each one.  Trim excess, and crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork to seal.

Lightly brush the egg wash over the pie.  Place the pie on the baking sheet and place in the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350ºF, and bake for another 45-50 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly.  If the crust is browning too quickly, cover the edges with a tinfoil ring.

Let cool before slicing.  Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.  Store covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days, re-warming before serving.

Source: Adapted from Lily’s Cafe Cookbook Revised Edition by Kyra Alex

Rhubarb Cake

Rhubarb Cake

I have a confession to make.  I absolutely hate frosting cakes.  Gasp!  I always love looking at photographs of those gorgeous, perfectly frosted cakes, but I have never been able to replicate that look.  My cakes come out looking sad and just shy of a mess.  As many cakes as I have frosted over the years, you would think I would have figured it out by now… But, alas, not yet.  (There is always still hope though!)

Rhubarb Cake

Despite my frosting incapabilities, the cake still tastes darn delicious.  This cake definitely made it into my favorite top 3.  I MAY have had two slices a day, two days in a row. It’s that good.  It’s not overly sweet, but perfectly light, and you get the wonderful, barely tart, bite of rhubarb in every slice of cake.  Fresh rhubarb is chopped and added to a fluffy cake batter, then perfectly baked so it is moist and light, then frosted with a cinnamon-tinted whipped cream.  I mean really, need I say more?

Rhubarb Cake

Rhubarb Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups diced rhubarb

For the whipped cream frosting

  • 2 cups chilled, heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  To make the cake, grease two 9-inch cake rounds, then coat with flour, knocking out any excess.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy on medium-high speed, 3-4 minutes.  Mix in the egg and vanilla extract until combined, then the milk.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.  With the mixer on low, slowly add in the flour mixture until combined.  Gently fold in the diced rhubarb.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.  Place the cakes into the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pans onto a wire rack.  Let cool completely before frosting.

To make the whipped cream frosting, place all of the ingredients in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on high speed until stuff peaks form, 5-7 minutes.

Once the cakes are cooled, place one cake on a cake stand or plate, generously frost and smooth before placing the other cake on top.  Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.  Serve immediately.

This is best the day it is made, but will keep in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped, for 3-4 days.

Source: Lily’s Cafe Cookbook, Revised Edition by Kyra Alex

Brown Sugar Brownies

Brown Sugar Brownies

Growing up, my mom didn’t do a lot of baking.  She worked as a nurse practitioner an hour and a half away from home (the downside of living on an island in rural Maine).  In result of the very long hours and very long drive, she didn’t have time to cook a whole lot.  When she did have time bake a dessert, I always looked forward to these brownies.

Brown Sugar Brownies

These brownies are soft, sweet and amazing.  They are buttery with chocolate chips scattered in.  Oh my.  I could eat a whole pan if I didn’t have any self restraint.  They are really easy to mix up.  And, they make a great treat in a lunch!  Or midnight snack?

Brown Sugar Brownies

  • 16 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Grease a 9×13 inch pan.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and creamy on medium-high speed, about 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the vanilla extract and eggs and beat until smooth again, 1-2 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.  With the mixer on low, slowly add in the flour mixture.  Turn the mixer to medium-low speed and beat just until smooth and fully incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Scoop the mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top.  Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs.  Let cool before slicing.

Source:  My momma!

Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies

carrot cake whoopie pies

What is Easter without carrot cake?  At least, those were my thoughts for this dessert.  Yesterday was my son’s daycare easter party.  So, I thought these whoopie pies would be a fitting dessert to bring.  Bunnies like carrots after all. Ha!

carrot cake whoopie pies

These whoopie pies are moist, perfectly spiced and delicious.  And of course, you can’t forget about the cream cheese filling!  These are a simple bite-sized treat to make if you don’t feel like making an entire cake.  These make a wonderful treat, no matter what time of year!

Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies

Yield: about 14 sandwich cookies

For the cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup shredded carrots

For the filling

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, cold
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.  Whisk to combine.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the brown sugar and butter.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the egg and the vanilla extract.  With the mixer on low speed, blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Stir in the oats and grated carrot just until evenly mixed in.

Scoop a small amount of dough out onto the prepared baking sheets spacing about 2 inches apart.  Place in the preheated oven and bake until the cookies are just set and lightly browned, about 14 minutes total.  Let cool on the baking sheets a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling; combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract and mix on low speed just until incorporated.  Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 4-5 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip.  To assemble, pair the cookies up by size.  Pipe a small round of frosting onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair, and sandwich together with the remaining cookie.

Source: adapted from Annie’s Eats, original cookie adapted from Martha Stewart, frosting adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride