Tag Archives: brown sugar

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Pie

23 Dec

Two days till Christmas! Are you ready? I’m not. Working on it though. I am so excited to have the next two weeks off work. After last-minute Christmas prep and then holiday celebrations with family, I’m going to enjoy a nice staycation through the new year. I don’t usually get this much time off, so my holiday spirits are pretty high right now.

I finished my Christmas shopping pretty early this year — that was the one thing I was on top of. (We don’t even have a tree!) This last minute, I think I’m just going to skip the decorating this year. So all that’s left is baking, which is happening all day today, so look forward to some post-Christmas blog posts with delicious treats! Oh, and I’m going to put on my favorite Christmas music and wrap presents today — I’ve been putting it off only because wrapping presents is my favorite, and I wanted to keep looking forward to it!

IMG_2984

Need some last-minute inspiration for holiday baking? Try a sweet potato pie! I’m not sure I had ever eaten sweet potato pie before, much less made one. But one of the BF’s friends gave him a whole bag of sweet potatoes from her family’s farm, so we added sweet potato pie to our traditional apple pie for Thanksgiving. This pie, topped with a little whipped cream, would make a great dessert any night or would be delicious enough for a classic Thanksgiving or Christmas spread.

IMG_2989

Classic and tasty, give this a try! Making the sweet potatoes from scratch really wasn’t so hard. I made my pie in a tart pan, which I thought was super cute. I had some extra filling, so I whipped up a little bit of graham cracker crust, pressed it into the bottoms of a mini muffin pan with my dough tamper (the small end fits perfectly in a mini muffin cup), and used the extra filling to make mini pie bites.

IMG_2995

Oh, and a little update:

1) All the recipes for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap are live! There were 555 submissions of delicious holiday cookies. Check out the Recipe Roundup, part 1 and part 2.

2) Congrats to Elly on winning the Clinique giveaway!

Happy Christmas!

Sweet Potato Pie adapted from Joy the Baker

Crust:

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temp
2 tablespoons cold milk
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Filling:

2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes, from 2 medium sweet potatoes
1 cup + 4 teaspoons packed brown sugar, divided
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs

For the crust: Mix together crust ingredients: flour, melted butter, milk, teaspoons sugar, and salt. Blend evenly. Spread mixture into a 9″ pie pan, pushing dough evenly across the bottom and up the sides.

For the filling:

Peel the sweet potatoes and dice into small 1/2″ chunks. Place potato pieces in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until potatoes are tender throughout, about 20 minutes. Test the doneness of the potatoes using a knife. If the knife meets any resistance, simmer the potatoes a bit longer. Once finished, drain into a colander.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In the same large pot place cooked  potato pieces, half the packed brown sugar, all of the spices, salt, butter, and heavy cream. Cook on low, using a potato masher to mash the potatoes as they cook. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Make sure that the mixture is as smooth as possible. Once mixture is smooth and fragrant, remove from fire and let cool in pot.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, the rest of the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk well. Pour the egg mixture into the warm sweet potato mixture.

Pour the prepared filling into the pie crust. Place on a baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 45 to 50 minutes.

To test the pie for doneness, lightly shake the baking sheet. If the center of the pie has a wavy jiggle, it needs more time in the oven. If the center of the pie has a lighter, more structured jiggle, it’s done!

IMG_2987

Linking Up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Inspiration Monday from Twelve O Eight

Advertisements

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

3 Dec

Whew! I am exhausted. Last night was our huge annual fundraiser at work — our Holiday Auction. As the fundraising person, I’m in charge of planning and executing the whole thing. With 250 people, 250 items, dinner, and more, it’s quite a task. With mostly 10- and 12-hour workdays for the past couple weeks, let’s just say that things at home have been a little… neglected.

My closet is about two feet deep in clothes and random detritus right now. (I wish I were exaggerating.) The dirty clothes basket has been re-appropriated to serve as a second clean clothes basket, with those and another load in the dryer waiting to be folded and put away. The kitchen and fridge are full of take-out boxes that need to be thrown away and the trash taken out. And I think the BF misses me, since I’ve mostly been working or sleeping.

So… hello, December! The month for me to get back into the swing of things. I’m planning on doing a little less working, which will leave a more time for other verbs, like celebrating, relaxing, cooking, cleaning, and yoga-ing. And with the holidays coming up, I’m of course looking forward to baking. I’m already brainstorming what I can make!

One thing I’ve decided: I’m definitely making this apple cinnamon baked oatmeal for Christmas morning. In hindsight, since I’ve eaten take-out and fast food at my desk for the majority of my meals the past two weeks, I really wish I had made up a batch of this last weekend to munch throughout the week.

Baked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

This baked oatmeal is amazing. I’m not a big fan of goopy, thick oatmeal — the texture grosses me out. So instant, microwaveable oatmeal really isn’t for me. But this bakes into a more cake-like texture, a little more solid. Much more my speed. And the apples are the best part — cooked in cinnamon sugar before baking, they are so sweet and delicious. But the oatmeal is pretty healthy, so overall, is comes out to a pretty balanced breakfast.

The best part? It’s just as delicious re-heated. So you can bake some up on the weekend and then have breakfast ready for those busy work mornings. Or… I can bake some up a couple days early, and then warm it in the oven on Christmas morning. Mmm… I’m already looking forward to it.

Mmm... Breakfast!


Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod and Annie’s Eats

For the cooked apples:
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
5 small or 3 large apples, peeled and diced into small 1/4″ pieces
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar

For the oatmeal:
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk*
1/2 cup skim milk*
1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8 by 8 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the apples with 2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons brown sugar for about 15 min or until soft. Layer in bottom of greased pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, applesauce, butter, egg whites, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until combined. Pour oatmeal mixture over top apples.

Bake for 20 minutes or until oatmeal is golden brown and set. Remove from oven and serve warm. Add additional toppings to baked oatmeal, if desired.

* You can use any milk you want to reach 1 1/2 cups total. I used a mix of the two since that’s what I had in the fridge. You could use skim, 1%, 2%, whole, or any mix of those. I’d imagine soy or rice alternatives would also be successful, but I don’t know for sure. If you try those, let me know how it goes!

Linking up for:
YOLO Mondays from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Monday Meet Ups from Covered in Grace
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Linky Party with Fine Craft Guild

Brownie Pecan Pie

14 Aug

I listed ‘brownie’ in the title first because that is way more important. Obvi.

This super delicious pie comes from Bakerella. I have been wanting to make it ever since she posted it years ago, and I finally got around to it. My family loved it! I took it to my sister’s “last supper” — she had corrective jaw surgery, so we had a big meal of her choice the night before since she won’t be able to eat for a while. Coincidentally enough, my brother had a motorcycle accident and ended up being scheduled for surgery to fix his smashed-up hand on the same day, so we were all together for a nice family meal full of anxiety and brownie pecan pie. (Good news: they’re both okay, just drugged up and cranky.)

Pecan pie is one of my favorite Southern dishes, but of course chocolate is my all-time favorite. So mixing the two sounded like a no-duh move. And being semi-homemade, it was super easy too.

Bakerella gives instructions for how to make either a thicker brownie version or a gooier fudge version. Both sounded delicious to me, and I couldn’t decide, so I split the difference. My mom cut into it and said, “Uh oh, it didn’t bake in the middle.” And I said, “Nope, it’s supposed to be gooey and delicious like that!”

I started off preheating the oven to 350 F. I put 1/4 cup packed brown sugar and 1/2 tablespoon flour in a big mixing bowl. I stirred that together until there were no lumps and the flour had disappeared. Then I added 1/4 cup corn syrup and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, stirring that until combined. Next, 1/4 cup melted butter, stirring that in until combined. And then in a separate bowl, I beat 1 egg and then added that to the mixture, stirring until combined. Last I stirred in 1 cup pecans and set the bowl aside.

Pecan Goo

In a separate bowl, I prepared brownie mix according to the package directions. I used Ghiradelli dark chocolate with chocolate chips – YUM.

Brownie Layer

I rolled out 1 refrigerated pie crust into my pie pan and then poured half the brownie batter into it. Then I gently poured the pecan mixture on top of that.

I baked the leftover brownie batter in a loaf pan to make a mini batch of brownies for my brother, who prefers his chocolate unmarred by nuts.

Pecan Layer

I baked it for about 40 minutes, and that was that.

Gooey Deliciousness

Sooo good. I totally should have added a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Mmmm

Lemon-Glazed Ginger Cookies

19 Mar

I haven’t been baking much lately, even though I’m supposedly a “Bake-aholic,” so I decided to stop being lazy and try something new. The original recipe for these delicious cookies was in one of my Martha Stewart holiday cookie magazines. I edited it slightly, using fresh ginger rather than candied ginger, and I thought they came out great. They’re more of a cake-like cookie, and the cookie itself isn’t very sweet, but it meshes perfectly with the super-sweet lemon glaze.

First, I prepared my ginger, because I used fresh ginger, and I figured it would take a while. But trust me, fresh ginger is worth it! It’s not that it even tastes way better than ground ginger spice, it’s just totally different. I used a flat grater to grate about 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger. Tip: Freeze your ginger first!! It will grate sooooo much more easily, it won’t be as messy, and you won’t lose any of the flavorful juice.

I whisked to combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt, and set it aside.

In a separate bowl, I combined 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter and 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar. Then I beat it with the hand mixer on medium for about 3 minutes, until it was a bit fluffy. I added in all that ginger I grated up and beat the mixture for another 2 minutes. Then I beat in 1 egg and 2 tablespoons vanilla until well combined.

I Need 3 Hands
I reduced the speed of the mixer to low and added the flour mixture a little at a time, beating until just combined.

Cookie Batter
The dough was much stickier than I expected, so I divided into two sections, wrapped it in plastic wrap, and left it in the fridge overnight.

So the next day, I came back, set the oven to 350 F, and got to work on the dough. I wasn’t going to try to roll the dough out and use cookie cutters, because we all know what happens when I try that alone, so instead I rolled it into a log and sliced it into rounds. To do it this way, it actually works better to be almost frozen because then the knife doesn’t mush it while you’re trying to cut it. And I’ll be honest here: one of the dough sections wasn’t cold enough, it mushed like crazy, and I ended up molding little flattened balls of dough onto the parchment paper with very sticky hands. This dough is sticky enough that if I had one, I would probably use a mini ice cream scooper or a melon baller to drop rounds instead.

Cookie Dough Rounds
So once they were all lined up on a pan lined with parchment paper, I put them in the oven for about 14 minutes, rotating once halfway through. Once they were slightly golden around the edges, I pulled them out and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

Looking at cookies through the grimy window of my oven.Cooling the Cookies
While they were cooling, I mixed up the lemon glaze. This was so delicious that I followed it exactly like the original Martha Stewart recipe. First I cut a lemon in half and juiced one half of it to get about 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Then I took that same half and grated the peel on the flat grater — just like I did for the ginger — to get about 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest.

Zesting a Lemon
I whisked to combine 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, the lemon juice and zest, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 1/2 tablespoons water, and a pinch of salt. It was pretty easy to get this nice and smooth, and ohmygosh it was so good. I was dipping my fingers in it the entire time I was baking. I will be putting this lemon glaze on everything.

Glaze IngredientsLemon Glaze
Then I just took my lemon glaze and put it on top of my cooled ginger cookies. The whole drizzling thing was just not working for me.

Drizzling Was Not Working
So instead I just spooned it on top in big blobs and let it run to cover the whole top of the cookie.

Glazing a CookieGlazing
For the second half of the batch, I set up a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and then rested a wire rack on top of it. I set the cookies on the wire rack and glazed them there, so that the excess glaze could run off the sides and be caught by the pan below, instead of pooling unattractively around the cookie. This gave the cookie a really nice look. I was in a hurry (when am I not?), so I popped the cookies in the fridge so the glaze would set more quickly. But it would harden enough to be transportable in probably half an hour.

Lemon-Glazed Ginger Cookies

 

How Sue Sees It:
– I suggest storing these in an airtight container with wax paper between layers of cookies. Martha says they can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 days. I think throwing away cookies after only 2 days is ridiculous.
– I ran a little short on the lemon glaze near the end, and I tried to quickly whip up a second batch with some of that lemon juice that’s in the plastic lemon bottle. DO NOT DO THIS. It was disgusting and I threw it away.
– Line anything going into the oven with parchment paper and everything else with either parchment or wax paper. Then you can just throw away the mess.
– You can add food coloring to the glaze if you want. It looks kind of freakish and a bit less appetizing, but I dyed some of it green for St. Patrick’s Day.