Archive for November, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving & Ma’s Guest Blog

November 26, 2009

Fellow thankful and grateful Americans: Are you currently unable to move from your couch, tryptophan coursing through your veins, pants unbuttoned? Have you spent most of your day watching Home Alone or football, only breaking to re-eat or nap? When you doze off do you have visions of yams and dancing green bean casseroles in your brain?

I have just the thing for you… PIE! So here’s my Ma to talk about one of the pies she made. She’s awesome, but a bit blog-shy. Take it away Ma…

Hi, I’m Carly’s Mother. I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. My memories of Thanksgiving are filled with thoughts of my own mother baking many delicious treats. My favorites were always the pies! She made everything from lemon meringue to chocolate cream. With family out of town, this year our Thanksgiving gathering was smaller than usual, but we had a great time. And great food!

Normally, for Thanksgiving we do traditional pumpkin, but this year we added a French Apple Pie. My husband “hinted” that I hadn’t baked an apple pie in a long time, so here goes…

French Apple Pie

Adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook

For Pastry:
1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon shortening
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 Tablespoons cold water

For Filling:
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash of salt
6 cups of thinly sliced tart apples (about 6 medium-sized apples)

For Topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar

Preheat your oven to 425°

Mix flour and salt (for pastry) in a medium-sized bowl. Cut in shortening until well-combined and crumbles are pea-sized. Add water, 1 Tablespoon at a time until mixture is moistened evenly.

Form a ball with your dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out—two inches larger than inverted pie plate. Fit into plate.

Prepare your Filling. Mix dry ingredients together and then stir in apples. Spoon into pie crust. In a new bowl, mix Topping ingredients together until crumbly. Sprinkle over the top of your pie. Bake for 45-50 minutes until brown and bubbly.

Easy peasy, right? And delicious. Be sure to serve with ice cream.

Thanks Ma, you’re the best! And happy holidays everyone.



November 1, 2009

How was your Halloween? Nursing a mean sugar hangover today?

Thought so.

Did you carve a pumpkin, bake with a pumpkin, and eat pumpkin seeds?


Well it might be a bit late to carve a pumpkin now, but it’s never too late to bake with pumpkin. The past couple weeks have been busy and filled with autumnal things. One of my FAVORITE cousins came to visit with her boyfriend. While boyfriend and my brother created pumpkin art (that’s their handiwork above), we all chatted and baked cookies. It was a lot of fun, and we spent the rest of their visit celebrating birthdays, eating good food, and playing rock band. Special thanks to sis J for baking these awesome cookies with me–there is nothing better than baking, surrounded by your friends and family. Also, I am totally in love with these soft & spicy cookies…

Iced Pumpkin Cookies


for cookies:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cream together the 1/2 cup butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

In a separate bowl combine the rest of the dry ingredients and spices. Gradually beat into the pumpkin mixture until combined.

Scoop batter by the tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet.  Keep cookies at least 2” apart and press the batter slightly into the pan.  Bake 15-20 minutes until cookies have browned slightly.  Cool on a wire rack placed over a piece of wax paper.

Prepare icing.  Mix all the ingredients together, adding more milk if needed to obtain a drizzling consistency.  Drizzle or dip cookies into the icing.  Let cookies dry on wire rack.  This recipe makes about 36 delicious cookies.