Saturday, January 29, 2011

Valentines Cookie Pie

  • Need a yummy valentines dessert? How about a Pookie? Yup, a cookie pie! And fully customizable! If your hunny is a peanut butter person, throw in some peanut butter chips. Health nut? Add some granola, nuts, and coconut (ok so that doesn't make it healthy but still, at least you get more protein). As you can see, you've got options. I baked mine in a heart shaped pie pan to make it extra festive. The crust I used was super easy too, you basically just press it into your pie pan, pour the delicious cookie filling into/over it and bake it up. Plenty of time left over to cook up a spectacular V-Day dinner. Here are some delicious looking options for your valentines dinner: some Pad Thai from Wives With Knives (a really fantastic Oregon based blog, AND I met the author at a farmers market and she is lovely). Maybe a Vegetable Cobbler from Indigo's Sugar Spectrum (one of my favorite blogs, hilarious writing AND awesome recipes), or my big sis's go to recipe for Chicken Parmesan (check out her blog for updates on my precious nephew and her adventures dog sledding in Canada with her Canadian hockey playing hubby). Maybe you should just try all three, it IS a holiday after all!

Cookie Pie
Adapted from
1 pastry for a single-crust 9-inch pie, at room temperature (see the recipe I used below)
3/4 cup melted butter or margarine, cooled *Note if you use the crust recipe I used use just 3/4 cup melted butter. If you use your own recipe or a store bought crust, use 1 cup.
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
Line a 9-inch pie pan with pie dough, set aside. In a bowl, beat butter, eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until well blended.
Add flour and mix well.
Stir in chocolate and white chocolate chips (at this point you could add nuts, butterscotch chips, whatever strikes your fancy).
Pour filling into pastry. Bake on the lowest rack in a 325° oven until top is a rich golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes (about 30 minutes in a convection oven).
Cool on rack at least 20 minutes.
Flip pan over on a baking tray or plate to remove pie. Drizzle with melted white chocolate if desired.
Serve warm or cool, cut into wedges, with ice cream.

Now for the crust, thanks to allrecipes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons milk
Place all ingredients in 9 inch pie pan. Stir together with fork. Pat mixture into bottom and up the sides of the pan. Poke holes in bottom and side of crust.
I doubled this recipe and stored the extra in the fridge to use in another pie.
Happy weekend!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cheddar Veggie Pot Pie in a Jar

My little sister was the first one to introduce me to the pie in a jar concept. She made me a batch of pot pies. She didn't cook them but gave them to me frozen in their little jars (so cute!). The instructions were just pop in the oven at 325 and a little over a half hour later, steaming hot, single serving pot pie. It is so comforting to come home after a long day at work and know that I can have a delicious home cooked pot pie in a flash. No work involved (well I do have to move it from the freezer to the oven, but that I can handle!) This weekend I made a batch of these yummy little treats to freeze (and a few to eat right away). I am anticipating a busy week at work, and having these on hand will be a life saver! I didn't have my sisters original recipe, so I used a cheddar chicken pot pie recipe from taste of home's website (I changed it a bit and made it vegetarian). For the pie in a jar part, I used tips from Our Best Bites. The cheese in the filling makes it extra creamy, and you could really use any variety of veggies you like. I did forget to season with salt and pepper so my filling was a bit more bland than I would have liked, but if you follow the directions, something I apparently can't do, your filling will be more flavorful. I was very happy with the crust, it turned out flakey and crisp. Just the way a good pot pie crust should be. Great comfort food!

Cheddar Veggie Pot Pie in a Jar
Adapted from Taste of Home's Cheddar Chicken Pot Pie
Pie Crust (I used this recipe) for double crust pie.

1-1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1.5 cups peeled cubed potatoes
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup peas
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups milk (I used rice milk)
3/4 shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

For filling, Place broth in a pot; bring to a boil.
Add vegetables. Reduce heat; simmer 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stirring occasionaly. While this is simmering, start prepping the jars.
Cut circles out of dough using the jar ring. Set aside.
Using the rest of the dough, line jars. You can just take pieces and press them into the jar until it reaches the top. Set jars aside.
In a small bowl, combine flour and milk; stir into broth mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly.
Stir in cheese, salt and pepper. Heat until cheese melts.
Spoon filling into jars, filling 3/4 full. Top with crust circles.
Make several slits in center of crust for steam to escape, I used my nifty pie crust cutters. At this point you need to decide if you want to bake and eat right away or freeze for later. To freeze, just let cool, put the lid on, and stick in the freezer. When ready to bake (or if you choose not to freeze), bake at 325° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool and dig in!
It is cute, no?
Pie in a jar tips click here
Side note! If you are worried about the glass baking if you are baking them after freezing, put them in a cold oven and let them sit in there while it preheats, that way there is no chance of the glass breaking due to temperature change.
Another good tip from the Baking Bites web site: Line your baking tray with a slip pat so the jars don't slide around as you are trying to remove them from the oven.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Easy No Bake Oatmeal Cookies

Update for you all... I have started crafting.... again. When I first moved into my apartment I would craft ALL the time, I love taking something that starts out plain and ordinary and making it into something extraordinary. The only problem is, I started to run out of room for all my projects. I mean how many hurricane vases can fit in a one bedroom? (I have five) However, I really miss it. I miss the feeling of accomplishment you get after finishing a particularly tricky project, I miss the satisfaction that comes from knowing how much money you saved by making over a thrift store find instead of buying something at pottery barn (or Anthropologie, I LOVE Anthropologie!) So, the other day I had an epiphany.. why not craft stuff that I can either give as gifts or rotate in and out of my apartment decor with the different seasons?! All that being said, I may share some of my crafts on here. Don't get me wrong cooking and baking will definitely still be my main focus (nothing can take their place), I just might add a few crafty projects every once in a while.
And speaking of cooking and baking, I have a NO BAKE recipe to share with you all today. It's different from the usual no-bake cookie recipe in that it does not use chocolate OR peanut butter. I know, crazy, right?! I had some dried blueberries that my lovely mother had picked up for me on a recent grocery trip, so I decided to try and make a cookie using these. I found a basic recipe on and changed it up to make it healthier and use the ingredients I had on hand. They turned out pretty well. Really tasty, but if you don't chill them long enough they will fall apart. Make them the night before, chill them over night and you should be good to go. The oats add texture and are the basis for the cookie. I added in oat bran to up the fiber content and stirred in extra coconut in place of nuts. While you could use raisins in these cookies, I highly recommend trying them with blueberries, they give a great fruity flavor that adds to the whole cookie experience :)

No Bake Oatmeal Blueberry Cookies
Adapted from
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
3/4 cup oat bran
3/4 cup dried blueberries (or raisins)
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk (I used rice milk, if you haven't tried it, you should, it's AMAZING)
1 stick butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together first five ingredients.
Cook sugar, milk and butter over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Add the vanilla.
Pour over all other ingredients and stir until well mixed. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper to cool.
Happy Monday!
Linking up to Tasty Tuesdays!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Butter Toffee Marshmallow PB Cookies and some thoughts on multitasking

Does anyone else feel like they have a million and one things to do?? I have been noticing lately that I am constantly trying to accomplish multiple things at once (multitasking). I used to be proud of the fact that I am such a great multitasker, now, however, I am beginning to wonder if it is really something I should be proud of or maybe something I should try and do less. Maybe, by splitting my attention and energy into so many things, I am not really doing anything as well as I could if I gave it my full and undivided attention. So, this week I have been forcing myself to focus on accomplishing one thing at a time, and doing that thing the best that I can. Obviously this is not possible all the time, but even the bit of time I have been able to devote wholly to ONE thing has made a HUGE difference. I find myself crossing more off my to do list and feeling more competent, productive, and happy with what I accomplish. Has anyone else tried this before? I would love to know what you guys do when you feel overwhelmed!
That being said, I have made time for baking this week (of course) and this is the latest recipe I tried out. I got the idea from Cakespy who got it from the Betty Crocker Cookie Book (one of my personal favorites!) I changed it up and added marshmallows and butter toffee peanuts. The cookies are crumbly and peanut buttery and the marshmallows melt while baking creating an ooey gooey filling. The best part, though, was the addition of butter toffee peanuts, they added a delightful sugary crunch to these already over the top cookies!

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter toffee peanuts
1 cup peanut butter
ABOUT 3/4 cup mini marshmallows

Grease or line two baking sheets with parchment; put to the side.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grate cold butter into sugar. This makes it easier to incorporate, just use a cheese grater! Works well for pie crusts too by the way. Cream together butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
Sift flour and blend with soda and salt; stir in with wet ingredients.
Mix in peanuts and peanut butter.
Using a cookie or ice cream scoop, scoop the dough and release onto your prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between cookies.
Push a few marshmallows into the top of each cookie, shaping the dough around them so the dough almost covers the marshmallows.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges (if you make your cookies smaller, it may be more like 8-10 minutes).
I look forward to hearing all your great ideas on what you do when overwhelmed!
Have a lovely weekend!


Sister Sister Sunday

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pancake+ Doughnut Muffin+Coffee Cake = This

I had quite a bit of trouble figuring out what to call this recipe. The original recipe was for Muffins that Taste Like Donuts, which I changed to Donut Muffin Coffee Cake, then added syrup which reminded me of pancakes... which brought me to the dilemma... It started as a doughnut muffin recipe which then morphed to a doughnut muffin coffee cake which then became a doughnut muffin pancake coffee cake. And that is way too long of a title, so what's a girl to do? Well, I don't have an answer. All I know is it is a breakfast conglomeration of the best sort. Warm, covered in butter, then sprinkled with a crunchy cinnamon sugar topping and if your really brave, a drizzle of maple syrup. You can add nuts or dried fruit (I added dried cranberries) to mix it up a bit. This is a super easy recipe to customize... I am thinking next time I'm gonna try maple banana bread pecan doughnut muffin pancake coffee cake. Now THAT is a long name! Anyways, regardless of the fact that I still have not come up with an appropriate name for this baking experiment, it is dang good... maybe I need to make some more to get inspired to come up with a title...

Yes, I think that will be my plan, nothing like more sugar to get those creative juices flowing... I'm off to bake, enjoy!
*Side note: Sorry about the pictures it was 11:00 at night so the lighting was AWFUL! AND I somehow spaced taking a picture of the finished square cake... oops!

Recipe Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 whole eggs
1/3 cup syrup
1 1/2 cups milk (I used a combo of almond milk and rice milk cause it's what I had)

3/4 cup dried fruit (cranberrys, blueberrys, whatev)

1/2 cup Butter
2/3 cup White Sugar
2 Tablespoon Cinnamon

More syrup, for serving (optional)

Grease one 8x8 square pan and 4 muffin top tins.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Add oil, sugar, egg, syrup, and milk. Add cranberries. Stir only to combine. Fill square pan 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full.

Fill muffin top tins with leftover batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (muffin tops) and 15-20 minutes (coffee cake).

Meanwhile, combine the white sugar with the cinnamon in a bowl. Upon removal from the oven, rub the tops of the muffin tops and the coffee cake with a stick of butter (it will melt which is what you want). You are basically giving the sugar something to stick to.

Sprinkle sugar/cinnamon over the cake and muffins.
Let cool. Drizzle with syrup if desired.
Cinnamon Sugary
Dig in!