Glazed Double Berry Sugar Cookie Bars

 

Glazed Double Berry Sugar Cookie Bars

Glazed Double Berry Sugar Cookie Bars

Russ saw me making these bars the other day, grinned and said, “I LOVE baking season!”. Lol. He certainly does. Him, the boys, and I admit to a fondness for it myself. It’s funny; the rest of the year, I’m not as big on making cookies. I’m more of a quick bread, yeast bread sort of baker The whole plopping cookie dough down, or cutting, shaping, etc, drives me nuts. I shamefully confess that my attention span is that of a four year old in many ways and standing or sitting still to get something repetitive done isn’t a favored pastime. But at Christmas I’m all about the cookies.

The standing long enough to shape or roll though is exactly why I love bar cookies 😀 I get the dough in a pan, top with whatever if that is part of it, bake, cut, eat. What could be easier, right? These are delicious. Not really the type you’d put on a cookie tray though, so don’t use them for that. These are the ones you put out with the rest of the desserts. They are large, hearty bars, meant to be eaten with a fork.

Kind of still on topic, do you have your tree up yet? This is the first time in my life I’ve ever had a real tree. I grew up with fakes ones, used them my whole life, but Russ decided this year that he wanted a  real one. I’m not sure how I feel about it. I think I had this vague expectation that the house would suddenly smell all Christmasy and piney. But *sobs* it doesn’t. It’s like having a fake tree in the house, but we have to keep it watered. It IS prettier than the fake tree we had, though. That one had seen better days and I’m pretty sure the mice had attacked it when it was stored in the garage.

Back to the cookies *as she rushes from one topic to the next like a crazed caffeine fueled toddler*, these are fantastic and as I said, perfect for the holiday dessert mix. The crust and topping are similar to a cakey sugar cookie, filled with a sweet and tangy mixture of berry pie filling and chocolate chips. Sugar cookie, fruit, chocolate. Do I even NEED to say more? Seriously; make these. They are wonderful, plus the fact that they use canned pie filling pushes them into the easy category as well, which is always a plus, especially this time of year. *I adapted this from a recipe on the BHG site*

Glazed Double Berry Sugar Cookie Bars

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup shortening, room temp
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract, divided
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 21 ounce cans of your favorite pie filling- I used cherry and strawberry (you won’t use all of the second can)
  • 1 cup semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • Glaze-
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond (or vanilla) extract mixed with
  • 2 teaspoons half and half or milk (you may need a touch more cream to get the consistency glaze you like; start with this)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, on low speed, beat together the butter and shortening. Add in the sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of the almond extract and beat well.
  3. Still using the mixer on low *unless you enjoy being covered with flying flour*, carefully beat in 2 cups of the flour. Get a heavy wooden spoon and use that to mix in that last cup of flour.
  4. Scoop out and set aside 1 1/2 cups of the dough. Press the rest into the bottom of a 15×10 inch baking pan. I find the easiest way to do this with sticky dough is to dump it all in the pan, then lightly flour my fingers to press the dough in, repeating the flouring as needed.
  5. Bake the dough at 350 for 12 minutes. it will be just starting to turn a pale brown at the edges.
  6. While it bakes, stir the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract into the pie filling.
  7. After taking the crust out, carefully spread with desired amount of pie filling. I used about 1 1/2 cans. One can isn’t enough; two is a bit too much. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top, then dollop spoonfuls of the remaining cookie dough evenly over the fruit filling.
  8. Continue baking at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown.
  9. Let cool for an hour, then glaze. The glaze is easy peasy. Just whisk together the glaze ingredients, adding more milk if you want it thinner and drizzle desired amount over the pan of bars. When totally cool, slice into squares.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Glazed Double Berry Sugar Cookie Bars

Glazed Double Berry Sugar Cookie Bars

 

Save

28 Delicious Thanksgiving (and Thanksgiving Leftovers) Recipes for 2016

Thanksgiving 2016 2

It’s that time again; time for the annual Thanksgiving post. After almost 6 years of blogging, I have accumulated quite a few recipes that work in this category, so I have to cull some out so as to not end up with a post with 50 different additions. 😛

Let’s start with entrees. Because…turkey…ham. Yummy. 😀

This Orange Marmalade Brown Sugar Glazed Ham is my absolute favorite way to make a ham. The ham turns out so moist and tender with such a delicious sweet/salty flavor you’ll keep coming back for.Orange Marmalade Brown Sugar Ham-001This Sesame Soy Turkey Breast is fantastic if you’re a cook who’s willing to leave the traditional box a bit on Thanksgiving. This glaze can also be used on a whole turkey, a chicken, game hen, you name it.

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

I know that a lot of families like to serve a pasta dish as one of the main dishes so I’m including our favorite, this Cheesy Sausage And Meatball Pasta Bake. This makes a LOT, so it’s perfect for Thanksgiving, when a lot of people are there, with everyone getting as little bit of each dish.Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta BakeLet’s move on to appetizers; those little bits you put out to keep everyone from storming the kitchen begging for food. 😛  One of my favorite easy dips (and when I say easy, I mean it) is my White Trash Dip. I know; such a classy name, lol. But it is great for appeasing the hungry mongrel hordes and quick to throw together, which is always a plus on Thanksgiving.
White Trash Dip
I have adored Boursin Cheese for years, but man, that stuff is expensive for the small amount you get. So I started making my own years ago. This is soooo good and always a hit. It’s creamy, great with veggies like celery sticks as well as crackers. If you have any left over, it also makes a great stuffing for chicken breasts.

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Ahhhh, side dishes. What would Thanksgiving be without 50 side dishes to serve with the turkey and ham? One of my all time most popular posts here at From Cupcakes To Caviar is my Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac And Cheese. This makes a HUGE pan of mac and cheese, so it’s perfect for the holidays.Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & CheeseYou can’t have turkey without mashed potatoes, right?
I was never a mashed potato fan until I made up these Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes. I totally love these. They are creamy, buttery (boy, are they buttery) and with a subtle tang from the cream cheese.

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

If you want to go a little different, you can’t beat these Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables. The potatoes and veggies get all crispy on the outside and all soft and tender inside. So, so good.

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

I was never a cold pasta salad sort of a person until I made up this Chilled Caprese Tortellini Salad a few years ago. It’s great during the holidays for people who may want something a little lighter (and with no meat in it, lol) but still full of flavor.Chilled Caprese Tortellini Salad
I have a major thing for Winter squashes. To me, they stand so far above the ubiquitous Summer squashes. I took one of my favorites here and stuffed it to come up with Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries. This is a fantastic addition to the holiday meal or a great light entree on it’s own.

Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries

Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries

You can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without cranberry sauce, right? While I admit to a secret love for the kind that slithers out of the can with a loud plop, I also love homemade cranberry sauce and make a large batch every year. My Spiced Spiked Cranberry Sauce is a perfect foil for all the rich dishes you’ll be serving. The brandy is completely optional so don’t let that turn you away from it. Spiced Spiked Cranberry Sauce

Now we come to the breads. I’m not normally a big one for breads, but hot and fresh on the holidays? I tend to go for them more at that time. And these Angel Biscuits have become a family favorite. Since they have baking powder in them as well as yeast, they are fairly foolproof, which is great for the less experienced cooks out there.

Angel Biscuits

Angel Biscuits

The rolls I have been making for years are these Oatmeal Yeast Rolls. They are so fluffy and soft; perfect hot spread with butter or later as a mini turkey sandwich (Yes, I know this is a bad photo. The post is an old one, when my photography skills were sub-par, to say the least. The rolls however, are amazingly good)

Oatmeal Rolls

Oatmeal Rolls

I love to make a few loaves of bread for Thanksgiving as well as rolls. They are so good with dinner and make fantastic sandwiches the next day. I particularly love to make my Loaded Baked Potato Bread, The flavors in it go wonderfully with a turkey sandwich!

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Here in the south, a lot of people like to make cornbread to go with dinner, even on the holidays. My Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread is a favorite. It’s fluffy, not at all dry like so many cornbreads can be, with just a touch of sweetness.

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

Then, of course, we have the part of dinner that everyone looks forward to; dessert! And man, you know I have some desserts to share with you! I have to start with the classics, of course, so here is my favorite- my Decadent Extra Creamy Pumpkin Pie. This one is posted with a really good cornmeal crust, but you can use your favorite crust. Just make sure it’s a deep dish one. Decadent Extra Creamy Pumpkin Pie In A Cornmeal Crust
That pumpkin pie tends to be my husbands favorite. Mine however will always be Pecan Pie. I love it slightly warmed with heavy cream poured over it. So bad for me, but so delicious!Deep Dish Pecan Pie

The last few years, my favorite pecan pie has had to vie with this Cranberry Apple Cake. I can’t say enough good things about this cake. It’s absolutely delicious and I can’t imagine the Thanksgiving meal without it now. It’s sweet, tangy, crispy, just a wonderful dessert that I look forward to all year.

Cranberry Apple Cake

Cranberry Apple Cake

If you want a classic (not to mention, heavenly chocolate goodness 😀 ) you’ll want to make this wonderful Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing This is a favorite with pretty much all age groups, and even those people who say Thanksgiving should be all about the pies. I’m not even normally a cake person and I love it!

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

If you want to do a different apple dessert, my Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce would be a great choice. It’s easy to throw together the day before you need it and then just warm up the sauce when ready to cut and serve. Again, I’m not huge on cakes, which is why if you see me posting one, you know it MUST be good.

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Or maybe you prefer a classic apple dessert? I find myself going for this Old Fashioned Apple Crisp all year round, but it’s a delicious choice on Thanksgiving!Old Fashioned Apple Crisp 2

I have a couple of desserts for you that are a bit more elegant, plus not as heavy. The first is one I love; my Elegant And Easy Lemon Almond Cake. This cake is light and filled with the flavor of almond and lemon; perfect for the family members who want a little something for dessert, but don’t want the heavier sweets.

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

The other one is one of my more recent creations- these Skillet Pears With Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce. These are wonderful if you have a smaller gathering. The pears end up tender and juicy and the caramel sauce is fantastic.Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce 9

So, what to do with leftovers once Thanksgiving is over? When you tire of just making a plate of leftovers, I have some things you can do with some of them. If the title says chicken, obviously you can sub in that leftover turkey staring you in the face.

We love Mexican food in my house. Yes, I know that much of what we all call Mexican food has been totally Americanized, but it’s still delicious, so who cares? One of my family’s favorites are these Cheesy Chicken (Turkey) And Chorizo Enchiladas. They have the perfect mix of creamy, spicy and cheesy. I make them all year round, but they are a perfect way to use up leftovers.Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas 2

Everyone makes soup after Thanksgiving. But I have one here that doesn’t need to have you simmering stock for hours on end. I can eat a boatload of my Quick And Easy Turkey, Bacon And Cheese Chowder. This is comfort food at its best and it doesn’t have to cook for hours.Quick & Easy Turkey, Bacon & Cheese Chowder

Along the Mexican lines again, I almost always make a pan of White Chicken (Turkey) Enchiladas in the week after Thanksgiving. These are soooo darn good and everyone scarfs them down.

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas

You may still have some turkey left even after those (I know I will; I always buy too much!) so my Cheaters Easy Chicken (Turkey) And Dumplings never fails me. It’s warming, comforting and filling and tastes great!

Cheaters Easy, Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

Cheaters Easy, Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

If you have leftover cranberry sauce (and you know you will), make a loaf of my Pumpkin Cranberry Bread. It’s an easy way to use up some of those leftovers and it makes a yummy breakfast or light snack.Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Breadthanksgiving

Save

Save

Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce

Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce 9

Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce

Every year, I look forward to this season. Fall and I are good friends. It allows me to breathe like a relatively normal person and I…well, other than gush its praises, I’m not sure what I do for it, but we’re BFF’s nonetheless. I THINK *I say this with fingers crossed and a furtive prayer that I’m not proved wrong* that Summer is finally over here in Kentucky. And that, my friends, makes me oh so happy. We live on ten acres of land and my asthma makes outdoor time difficult for me in the Summer. So, I stay inside and look longingly at our woods and imagine myself sitting in the front yard, under our at least one hundred year old maple tree with a book. Now, I can go outside and see what my Fig tree is doing, see if the pecan tree has grown at all and just go into the woods and breathe deep. There is nothing like the scents in the woods during Autumn.

I also love the foods of Autumn, in case you’ve missed that in the last five and a half years 😛 One that I feel doesn’t get enough Autumn love is pears. They are wonderful most of the year, but right now, they lean more towards fantastic. So when I saw the base for this recipe in a C.I. cookbook, I had to make it. BUT… and here is where it is no surprise because I have said these words about 900 times in the last years, I had to change it up. I wanted it to have more of a Fall-ish (yes, that is now a word. I said so.) flavor. Plus, I like a bit of butter in my caramel which theirs didn’t have. So, what did I do? Besides adding butter, I added some warm Autumn spices and some orange zest to the caramel. Those changes, plus some vanilla extract, took this from good but ordinary to outstanding. The tender pears covered in caramel, that is itself sweet, creamy and with the subtle flavors of Fall, was wonderful. I added a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the it, because ice cream, and it took this completely over the top.

Don’t be nervous over the idea of caramel sauce. This one is quite easy and the whole dish takes just one pan.

You know the drill… get to cooking! <3

Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce

  • 3 ripe (but not mushy) pears. I used Barlett because it’s a wonderful all around pear.
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest (you could sub about 1/2 teaspoon orange extract, in which case add it in at the same time you add the vanilla)
  1. Slice and core the three pears and set aside. In a large skillet (I used my cast iron. Just cooking in it feels rustic and Autumnish), pour the water. Add the sugar to the middle of the pan. Gently stir to make sure all of the sugar is wet, then turn the heat to medium high. Add in the vanilla extract, spices and salt and give it another gentle stir.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then lower the heat to medium and cook until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbling.
  3. Add the pears, cut side down, to the bubbling sugar (be careful not to splatter on yourself!) and cook until the pears are fork tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. While it cooks, add the butter and orange zest (if using instead of orange extract) to the heavy cream and microwave for about 90 seconds or just until barely hot to the touch.
  5. When the pears are tender, slowly pour the cream around the pears. Give the pan a gentle shake to help mix it and continue to cook until the sauce is a light golden brown color, about five minutes.
  6. Then, you can either serve the pears straight from the pan (which is what I did. I just moved some to a smaller pan for the photo, lol) or transfer them to individual plates and serve with sauce puddled around them. No matter how you serve them, sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon and grate some extra orange zest over the top.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce

Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce

 

Save

Save

Nectarine And Three Berry Crisp

Nectarine And Three Berry Crisp

Nectarine And Three Berry Crisp

The guys and I went to visit my second oldest son Cameron and his wife Tiffany last week. They live in Tennessee with a mountain view and it’s so darn pretty it will make your eyeballs bleed.  No, I’m not sure why your eyeballs would bleed. Don’t pressure me for logic here. I have a headache.

But…while we were there, Cam made a yummy dinner one night of a smoked brisket and some homemade refrigerator pickles (recipe coming soon, since I swiped it from him). For dessert that night, we had a Smores Pie my daughter in law made (also recipe coming soon. it was SO good!) and I also whipped up a three berry and nectarine crisp. I made one similar to this last Summer, but this one was much better, I have to say. It wasn’t as sweet, I’ve perfected my streusel since then (If I do say so myself) and I omitted the lime cream I served with that one and we had it with ice cream. So, so delicious and seasonal. This also doesn’t use as many nectarines, but instead I upped the berries.

If you don’t like nectarines, go ahead and use peaches. I prefer nectarines myself because they aren’t fuzzy, making it unnecessary to peel the fruit (thus saving time and also adding a bit of fiber to the crisp), plus they tend to be sweeter and juicier. But you do you.

You know the drill…. at least you SHOULD know it after five years of hearing me say it. Get to cooking! 😀

Nectarine And Three Berry Crisp

 

  • Streusel-
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, refrigerator cold and sliced thin
  • Fruit filling-
  • 3 ripe nectarines, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 6 ounce carton fresh blackberries
  • 1 6 ounce carton fresh raspberries
  • 1 dry pint fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup – 2/3 cup sugar (if the fruit is nice and sweet, go for the lower amount)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 3 quart baking dish; preferably a glass one, as metal pans can react with the fruits and leave the filling with a grayish tinge, plus metal with fruit can have an off flavor.
  2. Make your filling- In a large bowl, combine all the filling ingredients except the vanilla. Stir thoroughly but gentle so as to not mash the berries. Sprinkle the vanilla over the top and carefully stir it in. Pour the filling into the prepared pan and make the streusel
  3. In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients for the streusel. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Get it barely cut in, then it’s easier if you use your fingers to finish. Just grab the streusel and kind of rub it between your fingers and thumb to help combine the ingredients. You want to end up with pieces ranging from pea sized to quarter sized.
  4. Note- do NOT use warm butter. The butter has to be cold for streusel to work. Otherwise, it all melts when baked rather than ending up as nice crunchy chunks.
  5. Sprinkle the streusel over the top of the crisp. If you don’t want to use it all (but why not?), just freeze what you don’t use.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees until the top is golden brown and the fruit filling is thickened and bubbly, about 35 to 45 minutes.
  7. Serve warm, preferably with a big old scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!

Nectarine And Three Berry Crisp 1

 

 

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp



I obviously love baking. I mean, 90% of this blog is centered around baked goods of one type or another. I love quick breads, crisps and cobblers,, muffins, scones, biscuits, cookies, etc, etc, etc. But you notice something you don’t see in that list? Pies. I love to EAT pies, but with the exception of making both pecan and pumpkin pies on Thanksgiving and Christmas, I don’t like MAKING pies. Rolling a pie crust, crimping it, getting it in the pan, so on and so forth drives me batty. I know that relaxes some people, but I’m not one of those people. Kneading bread dough, shaping it into a perfect loaf? That, on the other hand, relaxes me, makes me feel accomplished and all that rot.

So, what does someone who doesn’t like making an apple pie do when she has a craving for apple pie? Other than going to the store and buying one from Marie Callender? 😛 She makes a crisp! What better way to get all the apple pie flavor without the hassle of a crust? Plus, there’s that whole streusel thing and Lord knows I use any excuse I can find to bake something with streusel.

This recipe came from Ina Garten. I didn’t do a bunch to change it. I took out the orange juice and all the citrus zest; I’m just not a fan of apples with lemon and orange zest, unless, by chance, cranberries are in the mix too. I also added 1/4 cup of flour to the filling, because I didn’t want a soupy mess of liquidy apples. I added a touch more cinnamon to the topping and a third LESS brown sugar, because, well, cinnamon and with the full amount of brown sugar, it would have been way too sweet. And you know when I’M saying something would be too sweet, it would be too sweet, lol. And I used a pretty wide variety of apples; Macoun, Winesap, Granny Smith, Jonagold and Mcintosh, because I wanted a variety of flavor and texture in this. Otherwise, all Ina all the time. Or something like that.

This is a wonderful crisp. It’s NOT however, made size wise for a family of two, unless they have neighbors they can give some too. This makes a good sized pan. You can always cut it in half. You have the wonderful buttery, cinnamony, crunchy streusel on top and underneath it are tender, warm juicy apples lightly flavored with sugar and spice. Top this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a puddle of heavy cream and you’ll be in heaven.

You know the drill…. 😀

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

  • Filling-
  • 5 pounds assorted apples, peeled, cored and sliced into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (bottles is fine)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Streusel-
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and sliced thin
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl (and I mean large if you’re going to have any room to stir without flipping apples all over the counter), combine the apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir well, making sure to reach the bottom of the bowl, to make sure all the apples get coated.
  2. Dump the apple mixture into a heavily buttered 4 quart dish that you set inside of a large rimmed baking dish, or even a cookie sheet. This is just to catch any possible overflow. Also, remember, the larger the surface area the dish has, the quicker the crisp will cook plus the more streusel you can fit on top. 😀 The dish I used, while pretty, wasn’t able to fit all the streusel on it. But that’s ok; it just means I have streusel in my freezer again.
  3. Rinse and dry your bowl, then pour the flour, both sugars, the oats and the spices into it and whisk to combine.
  4. Dump the cold sliced butter into the flour mixture. Use a pastry blender to cut it in, cutting until you have pebble sized chunks. What I usually do is use the pastry cutter to start, then once it’s more or less mixed, I stick my hands in there and press it between my fingers for a minute or two. You’d be surprised at how much blended the streusel gets doing it that way.
  5. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top of the apple filling. You want a nice thick layer. If you have any left, just put it into a ziploc bag and freeze it for another use.
  6. Bake the crisp at 350 degrees until the top is golden brown and the edges show nicely bubbling juices.
  7. Let cool for about 20 minutes before serving. Trust me on this. Molten apples kinda burn.
  8. Serve with ice cream or heavy cream. Enjoy!
Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping



I can see some of you (yes, even you, my dear brother) scratching your heads and saying, “Who is this blogger? I don’t remember this blog at all. Ohhhh, wait, this is that crazy woman who hasn’t blogged in weeks, isn’t it? NOW I remember”. I also then envision you running into the night, screaming in terror. Please tell me I’m wrong on that last part? But… yes, I was gone for a couple of weeks. Reasons don’t matter; it’s just time now for you to rejoice, throw confetti and be glad I’m back. Or something like that.

Did I ever mention that my husband does NOT like peaches or nectarines? He doesn’t care for stone fruits in general, actually. Why I stay with this man with these fatal flaws he has is beyond me. he also doesn’t like sushi, mushrooms, the skin on fried chicken or any sort of fat on meat. Pray for me.

But I like nectarines, so he has to deal with it; that or just not eat any of this deliciousness. I had a bag of nectarines that I needed to use in some way other than my normal sliced in a bowl with a little bit of sugar and cream. Plus, I had berries in the fridge that were getting long in the tooth. Not that that takes very long with berries, mind you. I wish there was a fool proof way to keep them fresh for longer than three days or so.

So I decided I wanted a crisp. I think my love for streusel is well known at this point considering I have about 9,452 recipes in here that use streusel. Fine, not quite that many. But I do love streusel. Add in some of my favorite fruits and I’m in heaven. With this one though, I went a bit further. The other night, I was having my usual bowl of berries and cream, but on a whim, I mixed some homemade lime curd into the cream. It was wonderful, so I decided to make it for this crisp. It adds a nice creamy yet tart finish to this. All in all, this was quite good (if I do say so myself). Buttery crispy streusel, sweet juicy fruit, all topped with a creamy topping. What else do you need? Other than ten million dollars. I can’t help you there.

You know the drill…

Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

  • Streusel-
  • 3/4 cup oats, not instant
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Fruit filling-
  • 2 pounds (about 7 to 9, depending on size) ripe nectarines (could sub peaches), peeled and chopped
  • 6 ounces (one small container) fresh raspberries
  • 6 ounces (one small container) fresh blackberries
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Lime Cream Topping-
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 store bought or homemade lime (or lemon) curd
  1. Make your topping and refrigerate it. In a small bowl, combine the cream and curd. Use a whisk and beat until soft peaks form. Cover and chill until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 400; butter 6 8 ounce ramekins or a 13×9 inch baking dish (preferably glass, as metal dishes tend to discolor fruits) In a large bowl, combine all the filling ingredients. Stir well, then set aside.
  3. For the streusel, in a medium bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Stir well to break up any large lumps in the sugar.
  4. Using a pastry blender or your fingers (I usually start with the pastry blender, then go to my fingers to finish it up), cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs
  5. Divide the fruit mixture evenly among the buttered ramekins. Top with the streusel. If, by chance, you don’t use all the streusel, it freezes wonderfully.
  6. Bake at 400 until golden brown and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Serve at desired temp, topped with the lime cream.
Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

Triple Berry & Nectarine Crisp With Buttery Streusel & Lime Cream Topping

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Easy Peach And Apricot Cobbler

Yum

Easy Peach Apricot Cobbler

Easy Peach Apricot Cobbler

Years back, before the internet became the place to go to get every recipe known to man, as well as some known only to The Mirthful Mermaids of the Planet Playtex (quick! Where’s that from?!), there were lots of options to get recipes via snail mail. Although it wasn’t called snail mail back then… just mail. 😛 One of the options came from various companies hawking recipe cards. They would come in a cute little hard see through plastic case or binders. I was subscribed for a while to one called The Great American Baking Company. It was like Christmas every month as I opened up the new cards and got to look through them to find ones I wanted to make.

The fly in the ointment? Out of a year of doing this, at what I realize now was a ridiculous price (I believe it was like $9.99 a month for about 12 recipe cards), I have now about 5 of those cards that, through various moves, I felt were worth saving. The rest either got thrown out over time, colored on by children over the years or peed on by cats because cats are Satans Spawn.

One that I will always keep is this one. I’ve changed it up a little bit through the years (the vanilla and almond in the fruit are my own idea and I use extra cinnamon in the fruit plus add vanilla to the whipped cream), but not much really in the way of changes at all. This is another one of those recipes that I’ve seen in various places on the web with this person or that claiming credit, but nope… came from a mail order company 😀 I love this one because, in the middle of Winter (or the tail end, like now) I can still have a yummy fruit dessert. This uses canned fruit and couldn’t really be any easier. Plus, I absolutely adore the whipped cream topping. It uses honey and cinnamon instead of the typical sugar and that adds such a unique twist to it. So if you have like 15 minutes to throw this together and an available oven….

You know the drill… 🙂

Easy Peach And Apricot Cobbler

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 28 ounce can sliced peaches in syrup, drained, juice reserved
  • 1 15 ounce can apricot halves in syrup, juice drained and combined with the peach juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Topping-
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 egg
  • Whipped cream topping-
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons honey (depends on how sweet you like it. Start with the lower amount.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium pot, combine the sugar and the cornstarch. Stir in one cup of the combined juices from the fruit, along with the vanilla and almond extracts. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in the butter, cinnamon and nutmeg, then add in the fruits. Pour this all into a 1 1/2 to 2 quart baking dish or casserole dish.
  4. For the topping, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt butter and egg. Spoon this over the fruit. It’s a thick mixture, but it will spread as it cooks.
  5. Bake at 400 until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly, about 30 minutes. You may want to either place foil on the rack below or put the baking dish into a larger pan to catch drips. When done, let cool slightly.
  6. For the topping, simply beat together the cream, honey, cinnamon and vanilla and top each serving with a nice big dollop.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Apricot (or your favorite flavor) Almond Streusel Bars

Yum

Apricot Almond Streusel Bars

Apricot Almond Streusel Bars

I can just see some of you out there rolling your eyes, saying, “My God, woman, enough with the streusel! How many streusel baked goods can you post!?” To which I say, in response, “All of them”. I 😀 like me some streusel , what can I say? Streusel makes me happy. it also makes me have to sweep off the bed when I decide to try and eat a slice of this while laying in bed reading “The Clan Of The Cave Bear”. But I think Ayla would have liked streusel. Heck, if those books are any indication, Ayla was the one to discover streusel. Lord knows she and her “mate”, Jondolar, discovered everything else we have nowadays, from the bow and arrow to nuclear weapons and modern plane travel. I think they were also the first ones to bake twinkies :-p

Well now… that was a random tangent, even for me. But so long as I’m on it…. I just finished rereading that book. I read it back in the day when it came out and probably about 4 or five times since.  While portions of that book are rather ridiculous and tedious, Jean Auel did have one hell of a knack for describing food. The woman had me wanting Mammoth pot roast (I swear, every time I read that book, I start craving a juicy tender pot roast) and planning on hunting down acorns in the hopes that I could “leech the bitterness out of them”. And I STILL want to try the one flatcake she mentioned that was soaked in maple syrup, then dried in the sun.

But, until I come across a live mammoth or have time to pound and dry a butt ton of acorns, I will stick to streusel. Streusel for the win! Especially when they are layered with apricot preserves and chocolate chips. I love chocolate covered apricots but can never figure out whether to eat the white chocolate covered ones or the dark chocolate ones, so in these bars, I just used both. These are a simple bar… both to make and in their hominess. They are a perfect snack (just stay out of bed with them), good school or after school snack and great for a family dessert or a pot luck. Crispy, fruity, chocolatey… what more do you need?

(Originally from Better Baking)

You know the drill… 🙂

Mrs. Cupcake… who needs to go vacuum the bed again

Apricot Almond Streusel Bars

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/4 cups apricot preserves (use your favorite flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cups white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 inch square pan with foil; butter or spray the foil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, oats, almonds, both kinds of sugar, baking powder,  and salt.
  3. Use a pastry blender or your fingers (I usually start out with the pastry blender to cut the large pieces down, then use my hands to thoroughly combine the ingredients) to cut the butter into the flour mixture. You want to get it to about the size of peas and nice and crumbly looking.
  4. Take out  1 1/2 cups of the streusel and set it aside. Pour the rest into the prepared pan and pat it firmly down into the bottom of the pan for the crust.
  5. Combine the preserves with the extracts; stir well. Spoon this over the crust; spread to the edges. Top with the two types of chips, then sprinkle the rest of the streusel on top.
  6. Bake at 350 until the top is golden brown and you can see the preserves bubbling at the sides of the pan, about 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack until completely cool, then use the foil to help lift the bars out of the pan. Slice into desired sized squares, remembering that these are fairly sweet, so make them somewhat small.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Creamy Chocolate Banana Bars With A Toasted Marshmallow Meringue

Creamy Chocolate Banana Bars With A Toasted Marshmallow Meringue

Creamy Chocolate Banana Bars With A Toasted Marshmallow Meringue



 

I’ve decided to become a street mime. I’m not sure how this will work in my rural area, though. The only ones who will see me “miming” (yes, that is actually a word; go figure) would be the 7 outside cats, some hawks and vultures and maybe a coyote or two if I mime at night. Do they carry cash to tip me with or would I need to carry a credit card machine with me everywhere? These are the things one must think about when contemplating a second job… or third in my case. Should I buy the typical black outfit or go the modern route and wear pink sequined leotards and a polka dotted blouse?

In case it isn’t readily apparent, I’m in what we at our house simply call, “a mood”. A mood can mean anything form “I’m having a crappy day. Come near me, talk to me or breathe in my direction and I’m liable to bite your head off” to “maybe that second beer wasn’t such a good idea on an empty stomach since now I’m waltzing around the house singing, “I’m Soooooo hurtttt” to “I’m in a very warped mood today due to far too much caffeine and am planning to become a mime”. I’ll let you guess where we’re at today.

I vacillated on this dessert so much that I probably came across like John McCain when it comes time to decide which political party to work for. First, I wanted to do lemon; then I wanted to do chocolate, then I thought maybe butterscotch, then lemon again. I finally settled on chocolate, if only to shut up all 14 of my inner voices. The arguing was getting on my nerves.

When I made the marshmallow meringue for this, it suddenly popped into my head to turn it into toasted marshmallows. They’re one of my favorite snacks, though I don’t actually have them often.

These bars are quite good, if I do say so myself. A crisp crust, topped with banana slices and a dark, sweet chocolate pudding, then followed up with a fluffy marshmallowy meringue. They’re also fairly easy. The most time consuming parts are when you have to stir the cooking pudding and then whisk the heating meringue. Don’t let the stovetop parts scare you away from this. If you can stir, you can make this dessert.

You know the drill….

Mrs. Cupcake, who needs to give her 6 year old a bath because he got marshmallow topping in his hair.

Creamy Chocolate Banana Bars With A Toasted Marshmallow Meringue

  • Crust-
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup ( a stick and a half) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chocolate filling-
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten (hold onto the whites)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 bananas, sliced (don’t slice them until you’re ready to pour the pudding in or they will get brown)
  • Marshmallow Meringue-
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch square pan with non stick foil.
  2. Prepare your crust- In a medium bowl, combine the softened 3/4 cup butter, 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla extract. Use a heavy spoon to mix them until they are smooth. Add in the flour and mix until it is a cohesive, somewhat crumbly mixture. There shouldn’t be any dry flour in the bottom of the bowl. Press the mixture onto the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake at 350 until it is golden brown around the edges, about 17 to 20 minutes.
  3. While the crust bakes, make your pudding- combine the milk, cream and chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup. Microwave for 90 seconds, stir and if the chocolate isn’t fully melted and combined with the milk, microwave for another 30 seconds.
  4. Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepot.  Whisk well. You don’t want any lumps of cornstarch in the mixture. Slowly add in the milk/ chocolate mix. Start slowly, then you can pour quicker once you get about 1/3 of it in there.
  5. Whisk a few spoonfuls of this into the beaten egg yolks, one spoon at a time. This is just to temper the yolks in case the milk is warm enough that it might scramble the eggs. Then pour the eggs into the milk mixture, whisking the whole time.
  6. Place the pot over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the pudding bubbles and thickens. Whisk in the butter and vanilla extract. Pour the pudding into a bowl and cover the top of it with plastic wrap, making sure it is touching the top of the pudding. Refrigerate and let chill until cold, at least an hour.
  7. When chilled, layer the sliced bananas over the crust. then pour the cold pudding over them. If planning to serve right away, make your marshmallow meringue. If not, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  8. Marshmallow meringue- Start a pot of water simmering. Combine the egg whites, cream of tarter and sugar in a smaller pot. Place over, but not touching, the pot of simmering water. Whisking constantly, heat the egg white up until, when you place a finger in it, it is just on the verge of uncomfortable, about 115 to 120 degrees. Stir in the vanilla extract
  9. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl (you can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment) and beat on low speed until it is very foamy, then turn the speed up to medium and beat until it stand in peaks that droop slightly but don’t drip off of the beater
  10. Spread the marshmallow meringue over the chocolate pudding, making decorative whorls in it. Using a kitchen torch, holding it close to the meringue, lightly brown the top of the meringue.  Serve immediately and refrigerate the leftovers.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

 

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce



Tomorrow night, when Downton Abbey comes on, I, along with half the United States, will be parked in front of my TV watching it. The difference is, that I will be doing so with a outrageously huge slab small piece of this cake and a cup of tea. Mrs. Patmore would be proud of this one and Lord Crawley, for all of his snobbishness, would love it. Mary would however, turn her nose up at it’s simplicity because…well, because she’s Mary.

Of course, I will have to make another one of these cakes to be able to enjoy that outrageously huge slab, erhmmm, dainty little slice because this one is about gone already.

And, yes, I just used the words “worlds best”. Would I use those words if I didn’t mean it? You all know that I like simple desserts; I’ve made more things like this than I have fancy ones. This is one of those desserts that you look at and think, “ehhh, it looks pretty boring.” Then you give it a taste. And you’re blown away. This cake is wonderful for all its simplicity. I had it fresh from the oven and it was great…room temp and it was great, room temp with the sauce and it was great and then chilled and it was great. Get the feeling I like this one? :-p

I used a mix of tart and sweet apples in this cake. I like to mix it up when I am using apples in a dessert like this. Also, feel free to cut down on the amount of spice a bit if you’d prefer. I like things to be fairly heavily spiced, but I know not everyone shares my quirks. This is beyond easy to throw together. The most time consuming part is chopping the apples. After that, wham bam, thank you apples and it’s mixed.  The sauce doesn’t take but a few minutes too and it’s so worth it. It just puts this cake over the top. Add a bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if you’re trying to totally put this into the category of decadent.

You know the drill… 🙂

Mrs. Cupcake…who is going to get the last slice of cake before the kids do

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups peeled, chopped apples
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted in a 350 oven until lightly browned
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • Creamy Sauce-
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch square pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat until thick, creamy looking and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and beat just until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and spices. Add to the butter mixture and beat until well blended, scraping bowl once to get all the mixture in there.
  5. Pour in the apples, cranberries or raisins and walnuts and stir well to combine. Make sure the apples are well coated. This will look “apple heavy”, but trust me, it works out.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 for about 40 to 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a rack for about ten minutes. Serve warm with the sauce. or cool with the sauce…or warm or cool with no sauce 😛
  7. Creamy Vanilla Sauce-
  8. In a small pot, combine the butter, cream and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Simmer for about ten minutes, until it has started to thicken somewhat. Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.