Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies

September → Apples → Caramel Apples → Salted Caramel → Ice Cream → Pie → I Hate Sharing Dessert → Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies.

And there you have it—a glimpse into the thought process behind this recipe. The critical link in the above chain is “I Hate Sharing Dessert,” which is what inspired me to transform a pie for 10 people into 10 personal pies. While sharing may be caring, it also happens to be impairing … to satisfying my sweet tooth.

The dough enveloping this mix of tart apples and sweet, salted caramel is part puff pastry, part pie dough. So while there’s just enough butter to form flaky layers of pastry, there’s also a bit of sour cream to guarantee moisture.

FOR THE DOUGH

  • 2 cups
  • all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon
  • salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon
  • baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup
  • cold sour cream

FOR THE FILLING

  • 2 cups small diced (peeled) Granny Smith apples (See Kelly’s Notes)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 8 store-bought soft caramels, roughly chopped

FINISHING TOUCHES

  • Egg wash (1 egg lightly whisked with 1 Tablespoon water)
  • Large flake sea salt (See Kelly’s Notes)
  • Crystal sanding sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Make the dough:

  1. Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
  2. Add the cubed butter to the bowl and use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.
  3. Stir in the sour cream (the dough will be very wet), and then turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.
  4. Knead the dough a few times until it comes together, adding more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky to handle. Roll the dough into an 8×10-inch rectangle and dust both sides with flour before folding it into thirds as if you were folding a letter.
  5. Rotate the dough 90º and roll it out again into an 8×10-inch rectangle. Fold the dough again into thirds then wrap it securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes while you make the filling.

Make the filling:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar and flour, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

You can find complete recipes of this Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies in justataste.com

HEARTY WINTER VEGETABLE SOUP

Hearty Winter Vegetable Soup, brimming with seasonal root vegetables, makes a filling vegan meal for the cooler weather. The pearl barley adds a creaminess & richness to the broth without the use of dairy.

I’ve never been very fond of vegetable soup, usually finding it thin and insipid. However, add a little barley to the soup pot, and it is a completely different story. Barley thickens a simmering broth, turning it creamy and luscious; perfect for winter. Toss in lots of finely chopped winter vegetables, and you have this Hearty Winter Vegetable Soup.

I have a bad habit of using the same small range of winter vegetables at every meal. This soup takes me outside that comfort zone, and uses some of the vegetables I rarely cook with, like turnips, swedes and parsnips. By chopping the vegetables into small cubes, about the same size as the swollen barley grains, I can pass them by The Princess (who is always suspicious of something new) with minimal moaning.

It is at this point I must issue a warning.  When buying your vegetables, do not be swayed by the purple carrots.  The first time I made this soup, I had visions of finely chopped purple carrot providing flecks of colour and interest in the soup pot.  In reality, the deep purple colour of the heirloom carrot seeped into the broth, turning everything a weird purple/grey colour.  The carrot itself turned a pale orange colour, and the whole dish looked extremely unappetising.  Thankfully it tasted good enough to be repeated.  This time with plain old orange carrots.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 carrot peeled and finely diced
  • 2 sticks celery finely diced
  • 1 swede peeled and finely diced
  • 1 turnip peeled and finely diced
  • 1 parsnip peeled and finely diced
  • 1 Tablespoon rosemary finely chopped
  • 10 sage leaves finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 205 g (1 cup) pearled barley soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 1/2 Litres (6 cups) vegetable stock
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley.

Instructions

  1. Place a large pot on a medium heat.
  2. Add the olive oil and onion.
  3. Saute the onion for about 5 minutes, or until it has softened and started to brown.
  4. Add the remainder of the vegetables, and saute for a further 5 minute or until the vegetables have softened slightly.
  5. Stir in the rosemary, sage, bay leaves and barley.
  6. Add the vegetable stock, season with salt & pepper, and bring to the boil.

You can find complete recipes of this HEARTY WINTER VEGETABLE SOUP in thecookspyjamas.com

LEMON CUPCAKES WITH FRESH BLUEBERRY BUTTERCREAM

These Lemon Cupcakes with Fresh Blueberry Buttercream are a MUST bake this Summer!

I wrote a Summer Baking Bucket list waaaaay back in June and I’m finally starting to check some things off! What can I say…? With distractions like beach weekends, best friend reunions, birthday parties, ice cold beers and baseball games, it’s easy for a girl to fall into the rabbit hole of procrastination.

But August? August is all about making things happen. August is all about making making magic happen. In our kitchens and on our tables!

… and maybe just a few more beach days. But first: CUPCAKES!

These Lemon Cupcakes with Fresh Blueberry Buttercream are a MUST bake this Summer!

These Lemon Cupcakes with Fresh Blueberry Buttercream have been a dream of mine for months now. They’re lucky #7 on my baking bucket list, and they’re EVERYTHING a blueberry loving gal (or guy) could ask for. The fluffy cupcakes are bright and perky thanks to fresh lemon juice, zest, and lemon extract… and the blueberry frosting?! It’s amazing AF. It’s sweet, beautiful, and colored 100% naturally with fresh blueberries. No food coloring here, thank you very much!

If you really wanna get fancy double the blueberry puree and drizzle some ON the frosting. It’s pretty, tasty, and super impressive. Top with a few fresh blueberries to make them a triple threat.

Ingredients

For the Lemon Cupcakes:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 large egg plus one egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the Fresh Blueberry Buttercream:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, if using frozen don’t thaw
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, VERY soft
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (more if needed), sifted
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream (more if needed)
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries, for decorating (optional)

Instructions

For the Lemon Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line a 12 mold cupcake tin with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; whisk well and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds. Add in the sugar, lemon extract and lemon zest and beat until well combined. Add in the egg and egg yolk and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add in 1/2 of the flour mixture and mix until just combined (this should take about 5 seconds). Add 1/2 of the sour cream and mix until just combined. Repeat with remaining flour and sour cream, being sure to mix on low until just combined. Turn mixer off. Using a rubber spatula, quickly fold in the lemon juice.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling them 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cupcakes are cool, frost and decorate. The cupcakes may also be frozen, unfrosted, and stored in a freezer safe bag, for up to 2 months.

You can find complete recipes of this LEMON CUPCAKES WITH FRESH BLUEBERRY BUTTERCREAM in bakerbynature.com

Turtle Cookies

For some reason, it seems that when the holidays roll around and I start to have recipe failures. I thought these Turtle Cookies were going to be a quick and easy recipe success. The first time I made them, I used dulce de leche from a can. They were easy to make, they tasted delicious and the pictures turned out great. But the next morning when I saw the cookies, the chocolate coating had cracked on all of them! So, I tried again and again until I thought about moving on from this recipe idea, but decided I was going to find a way to make it work…no.matter.what. And I succeeded, so today I am finally sharing my recipe for Turtle Sandwich Cookies using Ritz crackers.

To make about 1/4 cup of caramel sauce, use 12 caramels (I used Kraft Caramels) and 2 teaspoons of whipping cream. Microwave for 30 seconds and then stir. Microwave for an additional 15 seconds and stir. Continue heating and stirring at 15 second intervals until smooth. Watch carefully so that the caramel sauce doesn’t boil over or burn.

Before putting the caramel sauce on the crackers, you need to to cool and thicken. So, allow the sauce to cool at room temperature for about 8-10 minutes, stirring often to keep it smooth.

Plop about 1 teaspoon of the caramel in the center of a Ritz cracker. This made enough for me to make 11 turtle sandwich cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 12 caramels (I used Kraft)
  • 2 tsp heavy whipping cream
  • 22 Ritz crackers
  • 4 squares chocolate almond bark
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans
  • Optional: whole pecans, sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Place caramels and whipping cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and then stir.
  2. Microwave for an additional 15 seconds and stir. Continue heating and stirring at 15 second intervals until smooth. Watch carefully so that the caramel sauce doesn’t boil over or burn.
  3. Allow the sauce to cool and thicken, at room temperature, for about 8-10 minutes, stirring often to keep it smooth.
  4. Plop about 1 teaspoon of the caramel in the center of 11 Ritz crackers.
  5. Top each with another cracker and squish the caramel so that it spreads out.

You can find complete recipes of this Turtle Cookies in thegunnysack.com

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

This trifle was sooo good. Perfect for an Easter or spring dessert.

Strawberry Shortcake TrifleINGREDIENTS:

  • 1 angel food cake ( store bought less than one pound), cubed or torn
  • 1 package sugar-free strawberry jello
  • 2 c. boiling water
  • 16 oz. package frozen strawberries
  • 2 packages sugar-free vanilla instant pudding
  • 3 c. skim milk
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip Free
  • fresh strawberries

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Dissolve jello in boiling water. Remove from heat and stir in frozen berries. Refrigerate 15-20 minutes or until partially gelled. Meanwhile, whisk together the pudding with the milk until thickened. Fold in Cool Whip. Place ⅓ of the cake pieces in the bottom of a trifle dish, top with ⅓ of the jello mixture, top that with ⅓ of the pudding mixture. Repeat two more times. Garnish the top with fresh, sliced strawberries.

You can find complete recipes of this Strawberry Shortcake Trifle in pointlessmeals.blogspot.co.id

Burst Tomato and Zucchini Spaghetti with Avocado Sauce

We are living in the deep of winter.

Deep, dark, frozen winter. We’re talking multiples of ten below zero where your hands get frostbite within like two seconds of being exposed to the air. Why/how/why? This is exactly why I am channeling the warm vibes by bringing avocado, zucchini, and tomatoes into my life in the ultimate cozy form of PASTA. If there was ever a category of food to bring me back to life, it would most definitely be my old friend, my first love, the sustainer of my winter days – p-a-s-t-a.

This recipe is two things: we’re embracing that healthy trend of spiralized vegetables that makes it *FEEL LIKE* we’re eating pasta when we’re actually eating zucchini, while also, like, ACTUALLY eating real pasta. As in spaghetti. As in get in my belly now because it’s thirty degrees below zero.

Are you down?

I mean, if you’re completely honest with yourself, straight up zucchini noodles can really be just HARD TO DEAL WITH sometimes. They’re delicious for as long as you don’t think about them too much, and then all of a sudden, halfway through what started as a really delicious meal, you remember you’re eating zucchini instead of carbs and just, ugh, NO. You’ve betrayed your inner food self in the worst sort of way.

And if you’ve ever tried to re-visit them the next day as leftovers? Not so much, healthy self. Not. So. Much.

So with the open-mineded-to-spiralized-zucchini approach in half of your brain (we are so there, I know we are), and the loyalist-to-carbs in the other half of you brain (equally as powerful a force around here), you will now find yourself staring at a heaping bowl of this zucchini noodle + real spaghetti combo, and all is right in the zucchini noodle world.

We’ve got whole wheat spaghetti establishing the base, spiralized zucchini bulking up the whole thing and adding color + nutrition + just enough tender-crispy crunch, and creamy avocado sauce to bring them both together in sticky, saucy pasta harmony. And don’t even think for one second about skipping the sweet wrinkled roasty tomatoes on top of the whole thing because they’re adorable little bursts of vegetable candy, and who doesn’t need that sort of positivity in their life?

Also – I realize that this is yet another green food processor sauce and I’m not sorry one bit. You’re gonna love this one. SIMPLE CREAMY DELICIOUS.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups yellow and red cherry tomatoes
  • 2 zucchini, spiralized
  • 4 ounces whole wheat spaghetti (optional – see notes)
  • Parmesan for topping (but skip this if you’re vegan, obvs)

Avocado Sauce:

  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 3-4 green onions (green parts)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pulse all sauce ingredients together until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat the cherry tomatoes in a large skillet over medium high heat with a very quick drizzle of olive oil. Gently shake the pan to get them moving (you might want to grab a lid for this – they really start to spatter when the juices hit the hot oil). Continue cooking until tomatoes are roasty-looking and the skins are split or loosened. Remove from heat and set aside.

You can find complete recipes of this Burst Tomato and Zucchini Spaghetti with Avocado Sauce in pinchofyum.com

Roasted Root Vegetables with Tomatoes and Kale

Spring has arrived! Though it’s still cold in many parts of the country. Enough time perhaps to sneak in one more winter recipe? If you still have root vegetables in your fridge looking for a perfect recipe before the spring weather catches up with the calendar, try this one.
It’s a ragout of sorts, roasted root vegetables that are tossed in a chunky tomato sauce with shreds of kale. Great for a side, or a hearty meatless meal in itself.

Roasted Root Vegetables with Tomatoes and KaleIngredients

  • 3 to 4 pounds of root vegetables such as parsnips, rutabagas, carrots, potatoes, golden beets, turnips, and celery
  • root, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 head of garlic, the cloves separated and peeled
  • 6 Tbs olive oil, divided 3 Tbsp and 3 Tbsp
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 28-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 cups (packed) of chopped leafy greens such as kale or chard
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried oregano
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Tabasco sauce (optional, to taste)

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Into a large roasting pan, mix together the vegetables, garlic, 3 Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.  Roast for 45 minutes, turning the vegetables over in the pan halfway through cooking.
  2. Meanwhile in a 4 to 5 quart Dutch oven, heat 3 Tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté until the edges of the onions just begin to brown. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook a minute longer.
  3. Using your hands, tear the canned tomatoes into large pieces as you add them to the pot. Add the remaining liquid from the can into the pot. Stir well. Add the Italian seasoning. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to the lowest possible setting. Cover the pot and let cook gently while the root vegetables are roasting.

You can find complete recipes of this Roasted Root Vegetables with Tomatoes and Kale in simplyrecipes.com

Cauliflower Mock ‘Potato’ Salad Recipe

Looking for a lower-carb option for your beloved potato salad?  This Cauliflower Mock ‘Potato’ Salad recipe is for you!

Raise your hand if you love potato salad! Mmmmm, hmmmmm … I’m right there with all of you who shot your hand straight up as fast as it would possibly move.

Now … raise your hand if sometimes you just don’t want all the carbs that come along with that scrumptious potato salad! Yes, my hand is right up there, too.

Fortunately, if you’d like a lower-carb option for your beloved potato salad, this Cauliflower Mock ‘Potato’ Salad recipe works as a great alternative.

I have a tendency to totally crash if I eat a lot of carbs early in and throughout the day. My energy gets low, my get-up-and-go is gone, and I just feel all-around lethargic. So I do truly try to be mindful of my carbs, relegating the majority of my carb eating to dinner time.

That’s why I love this Cauliflower Mock ‘Potato’ Salad recipe … with the use of cauliflower instead of potatoes as the base, it’s a much lower-carb option I feel better about enjoying any time of the day.

Now, I know some of you are probably thinking “No way ~ there’s no way a mock potato salad made with cauliflower can possibly be good.”

Oh, rest assured ~ it is good!

In terms of flavor, the Cauliflower Mock ‘Potato’ Salad recipe is pretty dead-on for a match with classic egg-and-mustard potato salad. As a side alongside that perfectly grilled hot dog? Perfect.

And the look?

Cauliflower Mock ‘Potato’ Salad sure doesn’t look mock! Looks like actual-potato potato salad for sure, don’t you think?

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small bite-sized pieces
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 3 T. mayonnaise
  • 3 T. sour cream
  • 1/4 c. sweet pickle relish
  • 1 T. finely chopped onion {Vidalia onion, if available}
  • 1 T. mustard
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add chopped cauliflower; cover and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool and stop the cooking process.

You can find complete recipes of this Cauliflower Mock ‘Potato’ Salad Recipe in thekitchenismyplayground.com

 

Lemon Cheesecake Cupcakes

I could not resist to share this divine recipe from the 150 Best Cupcake Recipes cookbook. These precious miniature cheesecakes are not only cute, but they’re also amazingly tasty! Try this Lemon Cheesecake Cupcake recipe this weekend. Your whole family will love it!

Lemon Cheesecake CupcakesINGREDIENTS:

For the filling you will need:

  • 1⁄4 cup, 60 ml sour cream
  • 12 oz, cream cheese (package of 375 g)
  • 1⁄2 cup, 125 ml sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp, 5 ml grated lemon zest
  • 3⁄4 cup, 175 ml lemon curd, from the grocery or homemade.

For the crust, you will need:

  • 1 tbsp, 15 ml packed brown sugar
  • 3⁄4 cup, 175 ml graham cracker
  • 3 tbsp, 45 ml melted unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. Whisk brown sugar, graham crumbs, and melted butter together in a bowl. Press mixture into cups.
  2. In your food processor (metal blade preferably) start by pulsing cream cheese until it becomes smooth.
  3. Combine sugar and pulse it again. Add sour cream and also pulse until smooth. Combine zest and eggs, pulsing again.
  4. Fill the cups. Bake for about 18 -22 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool down in pan for about 10-12 minutes.
  5. Remove and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours. Before serving, place a curd over each cupcake.

You can find complete recipes of this Lemon Cheesecake Cupcakes in theflyingcouponer.com

Hot Chocolate Cake

Have you ever wanted to EAT hot chocolate? And I’m not talking about scooping powdered hot cocoa mix into your mouth.. that’s weird.. I hope you’ve never done that.

I’m talking about infusing the flavor of hot chocolate into everything, because why shouldn’t we have our hot chocolate and be able to eat it too? 🙂

And that’s how the hot chocolate cake was born in my kitchen and devoured in one day.

The stand out ingredient in this cake is International Delight’s new Dark Hot Chocolate. It gives this cake a rich hot chocolate flavor, and it helps make the cake extra moist! Whenever we have the chance to try a new product, you know it’s good when it disappears within a day or two!

Not only did we try the hot chocolate in the cake, but it was phenomenal when heated in the microwave and enjoyed like traditional hot chocolate but, here’s the kicker.. it’s also really good just cold straight out of the fridge!!

You can bake with it and you can drink it.. reminds me of the Julia Child quote, “I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food,” haha, very fitting!

Hot Chocolate CakeIngredients:
CAKE

  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 & 1/3 cup International Delight Dark Hot Chocolate
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • Chocolate cake mix

CHOCOLATE GANACHE

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

MARSHMALLOW BUTTERCREAM

  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 containers marshmallow fluff, 7oz each
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Mini marshmallows to top the cake

Directions:
CAKE

  1. Preheat the oven according to the directions on the box.
  2. Using butter, grease the bottom and sides of two 8 inch round cake pans or springform pans and line the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper. To ensure even baking, place a bake even strip around the pan. You can make your own homemade bake even strip by cutting a towel or shirt to fit the size of your pan. Get the fabric really wet, then squeeze out the dripping water but do not squeeze it too dry. Secure the fabric around the pan with a safety pin.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine the eggs, egg yolk, International Delight Hot Chocolate, and oil. Slowly add in the chocolate cake mix and beat using an electric mixer until all of the cake mix is incorporated.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pans, using a spatula to evenly spread it. Put an even amount of cake batter in each pan.
  5. Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Once the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, carefully remove the cake from the pan. If using a springform pan, remove the sides and bottom. Allow the cake to cool completely on a cooling rack. Once cool, remove the parchment paper round from the bottom of the cake. If you need to level the top of your cake, do so now using either a cake lever or knife. Make sure the cake is completely cooled, then wrap the cake in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. This cake is good for up to one week like this.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE

  1. Place chocolate chips in a medium heat-proof bowl.
  2. In a small pot over low heat, heat the heavy cream until boiling.
  3. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate chips. Allow the mixture to stand for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Use a spatula to stir the mixture until smooth.
  5. Allow the ganache to come to room temperature before adding it to the cake.

You can find complete recipes of this Hot Chocolate Cake in thefirstyearblog.com