Monday, May 28, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Should have made this long ago.

























This pie is delicious.  It literally is a chocolate chip cookie in a pie crust.  I saw it in my Nestle Tollhouse Cookbook years ago and never really gave it much thought.  I was flipping through that same cookbook several weeks ago and this recipe really jumped out.  I wondered why I had never made it considering how much Zack and I both love chocolate chip cookies and pie.  I was going to make it that very day...only to realize I was out of butter and sugar.  Hard to believe somebody who bakes as much as I do would run out of those crucial baking building blocks, but I was indeed out.  So I put this recipe on the back burner a couple more weeks.  When I finally made this pie last weekend I honestly asked myself "Why didn't I made this sooner?"  This pie is so tasty.  If you ask me, I think it is best served warm with either a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a glass of milk.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
 recipe slightly adapted from Nestle

1 unbaked 9-in pie shell (recipe to follow)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, dusted in 1 tablespoon flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Beat eggs in a large bowl on hugh speed until foamy.  Beat in flour, both sugars, and salt.  Beat vanilla extract and butter. Stir in chocolate chips.  Spoon in to unbaked pie shell.  Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes our clean.


Vodka Pie Crust
recipe from Cook's Illustrated

recipe makes two 9-inch pie crusts

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening , cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup vodka , cold
1/4 cup cold water

Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.

Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.


Baker's Notes:

  • I used my homemade pie crust and I highly suggest you do as well, because store bought frozen crust is just not the same.  I have prepared the pie dough recipe in the food processor and by hand using a pastry cutter. It is definitely easier with the food processor, but tastes just as great doing it by hand.
  • I did not dust the chocolate chips in flour before mixing them into the batter, hence why it looks like there is a chocolate layer in this pie.  To prevent your chocolate chips from sinking, just dust them in a tablespoon of flour before mixing them in the rest of the batter.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Overnight Nutella French Toast

You can thank Zack for this one.

























Although I am not quite a mother yet, I am a mother-to-be (only 3 months left until Baby is here). Zack being the loving husband he is, wanted to do something me on Mother's Day.  I am not sure how he came across this recipe, but  knowing I love french toast, nutella, and breakfast in general he thought this would be the perfect thing to make for me and man was he right!  I helped him a little with the preparation, not because it is difficult, but because I like to be in the kitchen.   You prepare the french toast the night before you want to make it, then just pop it in the oven in the morning.  Zack let me sleep in while this was baking; such a thoughtful guy.  This french toast is incredibly delicious.  I loved it so much that I asked if it could be a Mother's Day tradition.  

Overnight Nutella French Toast
original recipe found on mint.com

served 6 -8 depending on how large your slices

6 eggs
two cups whole milk or heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 loaf Challah or Brioche, sliced into 10 slices 
Nutella
Butter

Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour a half-cup maple syrup on bottom.


In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk or cream, and vanilla extract until somewhat frothy and set aside. 


Smear five slices of bread generously with Nutella and top with another slice each to make five sandwiches.  Cut each diagonally into quarters. Soak each quarter in custard mixture for one to two minutes, flipping to coat evenly. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Pour the rest of the custardover the top and dot the top with butter.  Refrigerate overnight. 


Bake at 365 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sweet Peach Tea Cupcakes

I am from Georgia after all.

























It is true, I grew up in Georgia and to this day love the smell and taste of ripe peaches.  Last summer when I was trying to come up with flavors for a friends bridal shower I thought a sweet tea cupcake with be a fun addition to accompany the Mint Julep Cupcakes and Luscious Lemon Cupcakes.  Coming up with this recipe was a bit of a gamble, since I was not sure of the best way to develop the flavor, but in the end I was more than pleased with the results.  I ended up using Crystal Light Peach flavored Iced Tea powder to flavor these cupcakes and could not believe how well it worked.  They are delicious and perfect for summer


Sweet Peach Tea Cupcakes
recipe from Baked Perfection


recipe makes approximately 30 cupcakes

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 packets Crystal Light in Peach Iced Tea Flavor (each packet makes 2 Quarts of Crystal Light)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

In a medium bowl combine the flour, crystal light mix, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well. Add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (batter will be thick). Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 

Sweet Peach Tea Frosting
recipe by Baked Perfection

2 sticks of butter, softened
6 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 packet Crystal Light in Peach Iced Tea Flavor (each packet makes 2 Quarts of Crystal Light)
1/2 cup milk

Beat butter and salt until smooth.  Mix half the packet of Crystal Light with the milk.  Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time to the butter, beating until combined. Add milk/ Crystal Light mixture 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.  If the peach flavor is not strong enough for your tastes, just sprinkle in a little bit of the remaining Crystal Light packet and mix until combined.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mint Julep Cupcakes

It's Derby Time

























In honor of the Kentucky Derby this upcoming weekend, I decided to share with you my recipe for mint julep cupcakes.  To tell you the truth, I have never been to the Kentucky Derby nor have I tried a Mint Julep.  I am not going to lie, I am allured by the sun dresses and large hats, but could honestly do without a horse race.  I suppose for now I will stick to baking.  I made these cupcakes in miniature version for a friends bridal shower last summer and have been saving them just for this occasion.  The mint and bourbon are very delicate and add just a little something special to these cupcakes.  I was surprised by how much I enjoyed them and I think you will too.  I think they would be great garnished with a mint leave and a drinking straw.  The recipe below is for the full sized version.

Mint Julep Cupcakes
recipe by Baked Perfection

recipe makes approximately 30 cupcakes

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
6 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon mint extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the bourbon, vanilla and mint; mix well. Add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (batter will be thick). Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 

Mint Julep Frosting
recipe by Baked Perfection

2 sticks of butter, softened
6 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon mint extract
4 tablespoons bourbon
2 - 4 tablespoons milk
green food coloring

Beat butter, bourbon, mint, and salt until smooth.  Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until combined. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.  Add drops of green food coloring until you reach desired color.

























(Also pictured: Luscious Lemon Cupcakes and Sweet Peach Tea Cupcakes)