Apples Plus Caramels Equals Delicious

Sweets and fall afternoons go together like caramel on apples.  What’s the best way to indulge your sweet tooth this season?

One time-honored favorite is the traditional caramel apple recipe.  Simply slide craft sticks into apples and dip them in a mixture of melted caramel candies (about 14 ounces) and milk (2 tablespoons).  Place the apples on a buttered baking sheet, set and enjoy.

For a fun twist on tradition, make your caramel sauce as usual.  Then scoop out the center of the apples (brush with lemon juice to prevent browning). Fill the hole with melted caramel.  Let it set, then slice.

If you’re looking for a truly decadent brunch treat, whip of a batch of french toast and then top it off with warmed apples, caramel sauce and even some walnuts.

Cherry Pie

A classic American dessert.

For the Pie Dough (Double crust):

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 7 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 10 tablespoons ice water

Directions for the Pie Dough:

1. Process the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add the shortening and process until the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about ten 1-second pulses. Turn the mixture into a medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle 8 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. With a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix. Press down on the dough with the broad side of the spatula until the dough sticks together, adding up to 2 tablespoons more ice water if the dough will not come together. Divide the dough into 2 balls, one slightly larger than the other. (If possible, weigh the pieces; they should weigh 16 ounces and 14 ounces.) Flatten the larger piece into a rough 5-inch square and the smaller piece into a 4-inch disk; wrap separately in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or up to 2 days, before rolling.20150907_104413

3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable). Roll the larger piece of dough to a 15×11-inch rectangle, about 1/8-inch thick; transfer the dough rectangle to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With a pizza wheel, fluted pastry wheel or paring knife, trim the long sides of the rectangle to make them straight, then cut the rectangle lengthwise into 8 equal strips.

4. Next, roll the smaller piece of dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Working around the circumference of the pan, ease the dough into the pan corners by gently lifting the edge of the dough with one hand while pressing into the pan bottom with the other hand. Leave the dough that overhangs the lip of the pie plate in place. Place the baking sheet with the strips of dough in the freezer and the dough-lined pie plate in the refrigerator; chill for 30 minutes.20150907_105718

For the pie filling

  • 4 cups pitted tart red cherries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch20150907_114330

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Make the Cherry Pie Filling: Place cherries into a saucepan over medium heat, and cover the pan; heat cherries until they release their juice and come to a simmer, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir often.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the sugar with cornstarch until smooth; pour the mixture into the hot cherries and juice, and thoroughly combine. Return to low heat, bring to a simmer, and cook until the filling has thickened, about 2 minutes; remove from heat, let cool, and use as pie filling.
  4. Add the filling to the pie crust.
  5. Remove the strips of dough from the freezer (if they are too stiff to be workable, let stand at room temperature until softened slightly but still very cold) and top with a lattice design.20150907_110435
  6. Crimp the edges, brush the edges and lattice design with egg wash.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, checking on it periodically.
  7. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the cherries are bubbling. If at any time the edges get too browned, use a sheet of foil to cover any part of the crust (this will shield it from getting darker).20150907_111833
  8. Allow to cool for 2 to 3 hours for neat slices. For a mouth watering gooey warm cherry pie, serve right away.20150907_135211

Crackers, Cheese, & Marshmallows

Crackers, Cheese, & MarshmellowsNow, you may be scratching your head and asking yourself “why would anyone post this? This is disgusting!”, but I’m telling you, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  This is a comfort food multiple generations of my family have grown up with.  It’s simply delicious.

Ingredients:

• Saltine squares (4 for each piece of cheese used)

• Sliced American cheese

• Large marshmallows

Directions:

Cut your cheese into 4 squares. Place a piece of cheese on the saltines.  Yes, it’s that simple so why not give it a try.Crackers, Cheese, & Marshmellows

Lime Chiffon Dessert

We saw this in our Taste of Homes: 2001 Quick Cooking Annual Recipes cookbook.  This is a creamy and satisfying dessert with a punch of lime.

Lime Chiffon Dessert

Ingredients:

CRUST

  • 1-1/2 cups crushed graham crackers (about 24 squares)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup better or margarine, melted

FILLING

  • 1 package (3 ounces) lime gelatin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 packages (one 8 ounces, one 3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions:

CRUST

Combine the first three ingredients; set aside 2 tablespoons for topping.  Press remaining crumbs onto the bottom of an un-greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish; set aside.

FILLING

In a bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water; cool.  In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar.  Add vanilla; mix well.  Slowly add gelatin until combined.  Fold in whipped topping.  Spoon over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumbs.  Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.

Yield: 12-15 servings

Lime Chiffon Dessert

Twix Bar Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 box brownie mix
  • 1 package shortbread cookies
  • 1 jar caramel syrup
  • 1 jar chocolate syrup
  • 1 can non-stick cooking spray

Instructions:

  1. Using a boxed brownie mix, follow all instructions for making the brownie batter.  Next, layer 1/3 of the batter into the bottom of a greased baking dish (follow instructions from box for the size of the dish).
  2. Then, crush the shortbread cookies into medium to small chunks and spread half of the shortbread chunks over the first layer of brownies.
  3. After this, pour half of the caramel and half of the chocolate syrup.
  4. Follow all baking instructions for the brownies and serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream.

Snow Ice Cream

Since snow has slammed the Midwest and the East coast I thought I’d do something a little different for our weekly blog.  Snow Ice Cream is one of my family’s favorite treats when winter rolls around.  Once the snow falls it’s one of the first things we do.  So here is the recipe for yummy snow-tastic goodness, but word to the wise don’t use the yellow snow.

Snow Ice Cream Recipe:

– 1 Can of Evaporated Milk

– 1 Cup of Sugar

– 1 Tsp. of Vanilla Extract

– Fresh Snow (No yellow)

Mix the condensed milk, sugar and vanilla extract together till blended well.  Then add snow till you get the desired consistency you want.  Enjoy!