Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs

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These are a perfect special occasion (ahem, Valentine’s Day), treat that any chocolate lover would appreciate. My husband was pretty excited about these because the original is one of his favorites, so how bad could the addition of brownie be? The brownie bakes up thin, chewy and fudgy and it sticks really well to the frozen dough ball. As I rolled the brownies around the cookie dough I decided that these win the prize for messiest dessert ever – my hands were coated in sticky brownie, but in the end these were worth the effort. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs – adapted from Handle the Heat

For the cookie dough:
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 – 3 tablespoon milk (any kind)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

For the brownies:
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

For the chocolate coating:
16 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 teaspoons coconut oil (or more if needed )

Directions –

For the brownies:

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Meanwhile, make the brownies. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with foil, leaving an overhang.

In a large bowl combine the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir until well combined, mixture will be thick. Let cool if the butter is still hot. Stir in the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, stirring very well after each addition. Stir until the batter is very well blended. Add the flour and stir again until very well blended. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through but still very moist and fudgy. Let cool.

For the cookie dough:

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In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until very well combined and fluffy. Add in the milk and vanilla. On low speed gradually add the flour and salt. Stir in the miniature chocolate chips.

Scoop the dough into 2 teaspoon-sized balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze for an hour, or until firm.

To assemble:

Cut the brownies into 1-inch squares. Flatten a square with the palm of your hand. Place a cookie dough ball into the middle of the flattened brownie and wrap the brownie around the cookie dough ball. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, just try to get as much of a round shape as possible, rolling the ball between your palms. Repeat with the remaining brownie and cookie pieces. Freeze the balls for 30 minutes.

For the chocolate coating:

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Combine the chopped chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir, and continue heating in 30-second bursts, stirring between bursts, until the chocolate is melted.

Dip each brownie ball into the chocolate to coat completely. Allow the excess to drip off then return to the baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, or until set. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Mushroom, Caramelized Onion Macaroni and Cheese

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This isn’t something that I get many chances to make, so as soon as I saw it I sent a text to my vegetarian food-loving friend. As expected, she was all in for this fancy mac and cheese! It was so good – full of savory flavors from the caramelized onions and meaty mushrooms. Don’t substitute any of the cheeses; they’re worth every penny – besides, when I make her lunch I get a date night 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Mushroom, Onion Macaroni and Cheese – adapted from Joy the Baker

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, for cooking the onions and mushrooms
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced in semi-circles
  • half a pound of button or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 scant teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyère
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound pasta shells, boiled until just undercooked
  • 1/3 cup panko crumbs

Directions –

In a medium skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.  When heated, add the sliced onions and saute until translucent, stirring occasionally.  Add a pinch of salt, a pinch of black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, and reduce the heat to low.  Continue to cook until the onions are completely browned and thoroughly cooked, about 10-15 minutes. Spoon caramelized onions into a small bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the quartered mushrooms and stir to coat in fat. Allow the mushrooms to soften and brown, about 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt, a pinch of black pepper , and remaining thyme and reduce the heat to low. Cook until mushrooms are browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until mixture is combined. Add the milk and whisk together until mixture has thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Add scant teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Stir to combine.

In a small bowl, beat the egg. Add a few tablespoons of the warm cream sauce to the egg and whisk together. Once the egg is warmed, add it back to the cream sauce and whisk well to combine. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheeses. Stir until melted and combined. Add the cooked pasta, onions and mushrooms and stir until all is coated in cheese sauce.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a  a 9×13-inch pan, and scoop the pasta mixture into the greased pan then top with panko crumbs. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the bread crumbs are browned and the pasta is sizzling. Remove from the oven and serve warm.
**Pasta can be made a day ahead and left in the fridge unbaked. Just add the bread crumbs just before baking.

Orange Glazed Chicken Thighs and Coconut Rice

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Quick Post: It doesn’t look like much, but my family enjoyed it. I really loved the coconut rice – it doesn’t taste like coconut, but the coconut milk makes the rice rich and creamy. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Orange Glazed Chicken Thighs – adapted from The Stay at Home Chef

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 cup orange juice (about 4 oranges)
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
 Directions –
1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan with non stick cooking spray. If you want to be fancy, line the bottom of the pan with orange slices (optional).
2. In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, orange zest, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes.
3. Place your chicken thighs skin-side up in the prepared baking dish. Pour half of the glaze over the chicken thighs.
4. Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes. Take the remaining glaze and pour it over the chicken.
5. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. The skin will get nice and crisp and browned.

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Coconut Rice –

  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
  • 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk, plus enough water to make 2 cups
  • 1 cup water
  • salt to taste (optional)

Directions –

In a medium saucepan, add water and coconut milk and rice. Cover and bring to a boil, then add salt – stir to dissolve, reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 15-18 minutes.

 

Honey Buttermilk Bread

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Quick Post: Plush interior, nice chew, light, with a dark crust; and great for egg sandwiches! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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…and look: toasty perfection 🙂

Honey Buttermilk Bread – adapted from Restless Chipotle

** makes two – 8 x 4 inch loaves **

  • 2 1/4 tsp. yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups warm buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 – 5 1/2 cups white bread flour ( 635 grams – 698 grams)

Directions –

Combine 5 cups of bread flour along with the other dry ingredients inside your standing mixer bowl. Pour the liquids over top and mix until it forms a shaggy dough. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, adding remaining flour 1 tablespoon at a time if needed. When dough pulls from the sides of the bowl remove it from the mixer to a floured surface and knead until elastic and smooth.

Place in greased bowl, turn to grease the top, cover and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours. Punch down and form into two loaves. Place in prepared loaf pans, lightly cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400F. Bake for 30 minutes, covering tops with foil if they brown too fast. Remove loaves from oven and brush with melted butter. Turn out and cool completely on a rack. Cover the loaves if you want soft crusts.

Buttermilk Baked Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Homemade Creamed Corn

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I’m all for eating healthier in January to sort of make up for all the rich foods that I made during the holidays…but sometimes it’s hard to quit the comfort. All of these recipes were delicious, but the cream corn had me swooning and will definitely be a repeat offender in this house! Thanks for reading, enjoy 🙂

Buttermilk Baked Chicken – adapted from Food Republic

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed (*I used garlic powder*)
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 cups panko (Japanese-style) breadcrumbs
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
Directions –
To prepare the marinade, in a large mixing bowl whisk the buttermilk, mustard, hot sauce, paprika, salt, onion and garlic together to combine. Put the chicken in a plastic storage bag, add the buttermilk mixture and smoosh the chicken around to thoroughly coat in the marinade. Press out the air, seal the bag and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, preferably up to 2 days.
When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the marinade, wiping off any excess buttermilk, and discard. Season both sides of the chicken breasts lightly with salt and pepper. Spread the breadcrumbs out on a flat plate. Press the chicken breasts into the breadcrumbs to completely coat all sides, shaking off the excess.
Put a cast-iron or ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is shimmering, lay the chicken in the pan – you may have to do this in batches. Sear for 3 minutes on each side. Nestle the seared chicken breasts side by side in the skillet. Transfer the skillet (and chicken) to the oven and bake for roughly 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the crust is golden.

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Home-Style Mashed Potatoes – adapted from Pass the Sushi

      • 2 pounds potatoes (I had Russett)
      • 2 TBSP butter
      • 1/2  cup heavy cream
      • salt

Directions –

Scrub and peel the potatoes. Dice into even 1/2″ cubes to even out cooking time. Place in a large Dutch oven with just enough water to cover. Salt the water and bring to a boil. Cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes, or until a fork pierces the potatoes easily.

Drain the potatoes and return to the Dutch oven. Add the cream and using a blender or a masher, mash the potatoes. Add 2 tablespoons butter and mix until incorporated. Add more cream if needed (starch may very from potato to potato). Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to entice friends and family into extra big spoonfuls.

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Homemade Creamed Corn – adapted from Fabulously Fugal

      • 20 ounces frozen corn thawed
      • 1 cup heavy cream
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 2 T sugar
      • 1/4 tsp pepper
      • 2 T butter
      • 1/2 cup milk
      • 2 TBS flour
      • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

Directions –

Heat first 6 ingredients together in a large pot. In a separate small bowl, wisk separately  the 1/2 cup milk and 2 TBS of flour (this is what will help thicken the cream).

Stir into corn mixture and cook over medium heat (stir often so the cream doesn’t burn) until mixture is thickened and corn cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting

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I decided this holiday season to start some new traditions for my family. Before Christmas, the kids and I attempted to make a gingerbread house from scratch…next year we’ll work out all the kinks and I’ll post those results 😉 We never do anything for the New Year, so I decided it would be fun foods for dinner (the kid’s choice) and a cake to celebrate and make a “wish” on (actually, we’re going to announce what goals we’d like to meet for the New Year).

Verdict: Yum! The cake itself is fairly lean, but the three sticks of butter and cup of mascarpone cheese more than makes up for that! 😉 This cake is a new favorite and I love that it makes a double layer 8-inch, cute, little cake 😉 Oh, and the frosting! It’s fluffy, rich, but not too sweet. It makes a huge batch (about 4 cups) so I used about half and froze the rest. Oh, and I piped “2014”  with melted white chocolate with some coconut oil mixed in to make it thin it out and make it smooth. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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One-Bowl Chocolate Cake – adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached cake flour (150 grams) or AP flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup water + 3/4 tsp espresso powder (*espresso optional*)
  • 3 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions –

Preheat oven to 3o0 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans (2 inches deep); grease and line each cake pan with parchment paper. Sift cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a mixer. Beat on low speed until just combined. Raise speed to medium, and add eggs, buttermilk, water/espresso powder, oil, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Divide batter between pans (my portions weighed 1 pound 2 ounces). Bake until set and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 40 – 45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Turn out from pans. Transfer, face-up, to wire racks. Let cool completely. Wrap and freeze layers if desired.

 

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Dark Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting – adapted from Not So Humble Pie
*frosts a 8-inch two or three layer cake 

  • 1 pound semisweet chocolate, finelly chopped
  • 6 tablespoons dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons boiling water
  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups or 339g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese (or in a pinch, cream cheese)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • pinch salt

Directions –

Combine the boiling water and dutch processed cocoa. Mix well to remove any lumps and then set aside to cool.

Melt the chocolate over a double-boiler and then set aside to cool. Allow the melted chocolate to come to room temperature before using (otherwise it will melt your butter and that’s bad), this should take 25-30 minutes.

Once the chocolate is cool, beat the butter and powdered sugar in your stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy (roughly 4 minutes).  While it is mixing, combine the mascarpone cheese with the cocoa powder slurry.

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Once the butter is light and fluffy, add the cooled melted chocolate to the butter and beat until uniform, scraping down the sides as needed.  Then add the mascarpone cocoa mixer and beat until well combined.  The frosting should be ready to use, however if it seems too soft you can place it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes and it will firm up.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

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Yeah – definitely not something you would want to make more than once a year! The crust starts out with 24 Oreo cookies and a half stick of butter  – not to mention the roasted peanuts!  There are also 16 Reese’s cups in and on this cake, 2 pounds of cream cheese, 1 cup of peanut butter…Thankfully, there will be at least 10 people who might be willing to try this. I don’t know many people who would turn down a Reese’s 😉

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Verdict: It’s a little too sweet for my taste, but no one else complained 😉 We have half a cake left, but I have several people in mind to share this with 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Ruggles Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake – adapted from Food.com **Plan ahead–cheesecake needs to chill for at least 4 hours**

For the Crust:

  • 4 1/2 cups crushed Oreo cookies
  • 1 cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 2 lbs cream cheese, softened
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter ( not natural-style)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, broken into small pieces

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup Reese’s Peanut Butter chips
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 Reese’s Cups, chopped

Directions –  

To Make The Crust: Combine crushed Oreo cookies and peanuts that have been ground in a food processor with the melted butter. Pat the crust mixture onto bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan.

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To Make The Filling: Beat cream cheese in bowl of electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sugar, peanut butter and cream; mix until smooth. Stir in vanilla, then fold in peanut butter cup pieces with a rubber spatula.

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Pour filling into prepared crust. Place springform pan into a larger baking pan. Pour hot water into the larger pan so that the water comes 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan.

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Bake at 275°F 1-1/2 hours, or until firm and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for one hour. You may run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan somewhat. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

For the Topping: Pour the cream into a microwave safe cup for about 45 seconds. Pour the hot cream over the peanut butter and chocolate chips and don’t stir for about three minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth and shiny to break up any pieces and emulsify cream and chocolate. Add more hot cream to thin out the ganache if needed. Add chopped Reese’s to the cheesecake and then drizzle the ganache over all.

Double Chocolate Deep Dish Cookies

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Quick Post: I decided to change-up my usual deep dish cookie recipe and kick it up a notch with some extra chocolate. How bad could that be? These were so rich, and I could only eat about half of it! It didn’t help that I added hot fudge sauce to the already sweet vanilla ice cream…

Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Double Chocolate Deep Dish Cookies – adapted from Lavain Bakery via Annie’s Eats

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup +2 TBSP AP Flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare 4 – 6 ounce ramekins for batter. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Blend in the egg, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended, add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low speed until well incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula. Divide the dough into four equal parts and lightly press down into buttered ramekins. Bake for 18-20 minutes, remove from oven and cool slightly. Top with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Turkey Tetrazzini

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This was a great use for the leftover turkey breast  from Thanksgiving and it was so good! I might have to roast another turkey to make this again soon 🙂 This recipe makes at least 8 to 10 servings, but it reheats really well. Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

Turkey Tetrazzini – adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

  • 12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 11 tablespoons (5½ ounces) unsalted butter, divided
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces egg noodles
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups turkey stock (can substitute chicken stock/broth)
  • ¼ cup white wine (can substitute stock or broth)
  • 3 cups chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (about ¾ cup shredded), divided
  • 3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about ⅔ cup), divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish; set aside. Fill a large pot with water and put it over high heat to boil.

2. In a large, 12-inch skillet with sides, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.

3. In the same skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking occasionally, until the flour is browned and has a nutty aroma, about 3 minutes.

4. While the flour cooks, add the noodles to the boiling water and cook to al dente. While the noodles are cooking, continue on with the recipe.

5. Slowly whisk the milk, cream, turkey stock and wine into the butter/flour mixture. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.

6. Drain the pasta when it is finished, then add the cooked pasta, mushrooms, turkey and peas to the sauce in the skillet, tossing everything together until it is evenly coated. Add half of the Gruyere and half of the Parmesan cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

7. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons unsalted butter. In a small bowl, toss together the bread crumbs, remaining Gruyere, remaining Parmesan and the melted butter. Toss with a fork until the bread crumbs and Parmesan are evenly moistened. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the tetrazzini.

8. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Apple Crumble Pie II

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Instead of my preffered pumpkin pie, I decided to make something that we could all enjoy since my husband doesn’t like pumpkin anything. This reminds me of when we were dating and we would often go to Marie Callender’s to have their Dutch apple pie.

Verdict: Yum! I used Fuji and Gala apples for this and the crust recipe below was flaky, buttery and crisp where it needed to be. I have another disk of pie dough in my fridge that I can’t wait to use for more of this pie. 🙂 Follow the link for a video tutorial if you’re a visual learner like me – I rarely read through directions cause I’m lazy like that 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Apple Crumble Pie – adapted from Let’s Dish Recipes

  • Prepared crust for single crust pie
  • 5-6 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (*I think I’ll use less next time*)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter

Directions –

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, toss peeled and sliced apples with lemon juice.
  3. Mix together white sugar, cornstarch, 3 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle over apples and toss to coat.
  4. Spread apple mixture evenly in unbaked pie shell.
  5. Using a pastry cutter (or your hands), mix together 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar and the butter until evenly distributed and crumbly in texture. Sprinkle over apples.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour, until apples are tender and topping is golden brown.

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**Flaky Pie Crust – adapted from Inspired Taste

  • 2 1/2 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, optional
  • 1 cup (227 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 sticks)
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
Directions –
1. Add 1 1/2 cups flour, salt and sugar (optional) to a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times until combined.

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2. Scatter butter cubes over flour and process until a dough or paste begins to form, about 15 seconds. (There should be no uncoated flour).

3. Scrape bowl, redistribute the flour-butter mixture then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Pulse 4 to 5 times until flour is evenly distributed. (Dough should look broken up and a little crumbly).

4. Transfer to a medium bowl then sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water over mixture. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra water and continue to press until dough comes together.

5. Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Work the dough just enough to form a ball. Cut ball in half then form each half into discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months (just thaw it overnight in the fridge before using).