Pumpkin Puppy Chow

Hi! Remember me? It’s been a while, but I’m thinking this Pumpkin Puppy Chow will make up for my lengthy absence. Today was the first day it felt cold and fall-ish down here, so I took advantage of it! Originally I was planning on baking Pumpkin Snicker Doodles, or Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread (both of which will probably happen at some point this fall), but I decided to go for something much easier. Pumpkin Puppy Chow doesn’t require anything other than a bowl and a spoon. Don’t get me wrong, I love baking, but sometimes its nice to make something that doesn’t take as much time and effort. This stuff is delicious, easy, and most importantly… its fally. Which should totally be a word, by the way.

photo 1

Tasty…

photo 5

And pretty!

Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of Chex Cereal
  • 12 oz. of Almond Bark
  • 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1 (heaping) tablespoon of pumpkin spice
  • 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Some Autumn Mix candy corn

Directions:

Add the Chex to a large bowl and set aside. In a medium microwavable bowl, microwave the Almond Bark in 30 second increments until it is smooth. Add the pumpkin puree and the pumpkin spice. Stir until everything is combined and smooth. Pour this over the Chex and gently fold it, making sure not to crush the cereal, until all the individual Chex are evenly coated. Add the powdered sugar in thirds, mixing after each addition. Stir in how ever much of the Autumn Mix candy corn you want (I used about 1 cup), and serve!

Tip: This stuff loses its crunchy texture fast considering it is coated with liquids. To make sure it stays crunchy keep it in a sealed container or bag and eat it as quick as possible! I usually don’t have a problem getting rid of this within the first couple of days because it is so good though!

Enjoy the fally weather with this fally treat!

Much love,

MT

The PERFECT Pie Crust

Flaky but moist. Crunchy but soft. Light but fulfilling. This pie crust is the perfect contradiction. I use it for every pie, quiche, and tart I make and it has never let me down. Old-school simplicity is the key for a lot of things in life, but especially for pie crust. No fancy tools. No fancy ingredients. Just perfect crust every time.

204

Dry ingredients + COLD butter. We are off to a good start.

207

Once the butter has been cut in with the pastry cutter.

208

Once the shortening has been cut into the mixture. It starts to hold its shape here if you squeeze it.

212

Add the water and you’ve got a perfect pie dough my friend!

225

Do you know that song called “Roll On” by Alabama? That’s what I think of when I see this picture… Ha…

241

Beautimous!

 

Recipe for the Pie Crust:

3 cups of all purpose flour

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of white granulated sugar

1 teaspoon on salt

3/4 a cup of cold unsalted butter, cubed

1/4 a cup of vegetable shortening

4 tablespoons of ice cold water

 

In a large bow combine the dry ingredients then add the cold pieces of butter. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until the butter is the size of peas. Add the Crisco and cut that in as well until the dough is firm enough to hold its shape when you squeeze it. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, cutting it in after each addition. Roll the dough into a ball and put it in the fridge until needed. Or just eat it raw. No shame in your pie crust game.

Pecan Pie

Everyone can pretty much agree that pie is a quintessential American dessert, I mean there’s a movie called American Pie for goodness sake! But pecan pie specifically seems to be especially patriotic to me, so on this Independence Day I made just that! Pecan pie is nostalgic. Its usually associated with fond memories, holidays with family, or the “good ‘ole days” in general. To me, if a recipe taste good that’s great, but if a recipe has the ability to take you back in time and allow you to reminisce, then THAT is an amazing recipe. The feeling of indulging in enjoyable memories is the majority of what makes this classic comfort food so delicious. Although, the butter and sugar might help some too. ;)

Last year for July 4th I made an apple pie that is to die for, but this year I was feeling a bit nutty…

 

photo 2

Before it bakes andddddddd….

photo 3

After it bakes. Mmmmmm.

photo 4

Perfection.

photo 1

And then there’s the not-so- fun part of baking: The messes I make… Whoops.

 

Pecan Pie: 

1 pie crust (store bought or my recipe!)

1 1/4 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark, doesn’t matter. I also do dark though.)

6 tablespoons butter, melted

3 eggs

1 teaspoon cinnamon (just trust me)

1 cup light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Then prepare your pie dish with your crust and spread the pecans evenly on the bottom of the crust. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, melted butter, eggs, cinnamon, corn syrup, and vanilla. Pour that mixture over the pecans and bake for 50 minutes at 375. If you stick a knife in the pie and none of the filling drips off the knife, it is done. You can thank my Mimi for that tip!

And its that easy!

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

Much love,

MT

 

German Chocolate Pie

This pie… This is hands-down the best pie I have ever eaten in my entire life and I have tasted my fair share of pie. If you like German chocolate cake you will love this pie. If you like chocolate in general you will love this pie. If you like coconut you will love this pie. Even if you don’t like coconut (like me) you will love this pie (again, like me). Basically if you are a living, breathing being, you will love this pie.

How did I decide to make German chocolate pie? Wellllllllll my dad and I go to Lake Fork every year to fish, but also (and equally) to eat at Tiffany’s, which is a great little restaurant attached to the Lake Fork Marina. It is old fashion, home cooked goodness and they have the BEST pies. I always get the peanut butter pie that stares at me through the glass fridge from the point I enter the place until the point I leave. Last year I got my usual chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes with gravy, and green beans finished off with a big slice of peanut butter pie. (No they don’t have cardiologist on deck, but it couldn’t hurt. At least I got green beans, right?). Well when we were checking out and telling ourselves we are never going to eat again, I saw a German chocolate pie behind the counter that somehow escaped my sight when I was picking my pie. The next morning before heading back home my dad went into the Marina to pay our room bill and came back out to the car with a slice of that beautiful German chocolate pie. He knows the way to my heart. As soon as I had a bite (which was like 10 minutes into the car ride, even though I swore I would never eat again) I knew I had to make my own version of it. So that is exactly what I did and it turned out fantastic. Better than fantastic. It is simply perfect. And I know you will think so too!

 

204

Add COLD butter pieces to the flower, sugar, salt mixture. Room temperature butter makes chewy, not flaky pie crust. Ew.

207

This ^ is what your dough should look like after cutting in the butter into pea-size pieces. It should still look dry, because it is dry…

208

Then, when you add the Crisco it will start taking shape. At this point it will be able to hold a shape when you squeeze it, but won’t be able to spread out into a pie pan without making you insane. This is what you want.

212

And the magic happens when you add water! After each tablespoon it will look more doughy until it is perfect. This is when I have to start hiding the dough from my mom. She is a pie crust monster and I’m pretty sure she is proud of that title. At this point, just throw some foil or plastic wrap (that annoying stuff that sticks to everything except the bowl) and put it in the fridge until the filling is made!

214

When you melt the butter, sugar, chocolate chips, and cocoa powder together it will look nasty like that. Do not fear. It is supposed to look this bad.

217

It will get ungross (I can make up words. I have a blog. Ha…) once you add the eggs. But first you have to temper the eggs! What does it mean to temper eggs? Easy, just add some of the hot mixture you’re about to pour the eggs into to get the eggs to a warmer temperature. If you put them in the hot chocolate mixture before tempering them you will get chocolate scrambled eggs. And that is not a good combo. Trust me.

221

Once the eggs are tempered and added to the gross looking chocolate mixture, it will look creamy and smooth like this! ^

225

Now its time for my favorite part, rolling the dough! It makes me feel like such a fancy shmancy baker.

226

After you rolled you dough, sit your pie pan in the middle of it and lightly press down on the pan.

227

The result should look a lot like this. ^

228

Then cut a circle about 3 inches bigger than the pan indention and remove the excess dough. This is when the pie crust monster (AKA my mom) starts making her way into the kitchen to eat the scraps. Monster. Seriously.

234

Wrap the edges in foil before you prebake it. This step is really important. Without the foil you could end up with a burned crust.

241

So pretty after the prebake!

230

It may be scary, but you haveeeeee to let the butter and brown sugar mixture boil pretty heavily while stirring it. This creates a delicious caramel flavor that will only develop through boiling. Put your big girl panties on and let it boil!

231

Rather than just adding cornstarch to the bowl and having to whisk out all those pesky little clumps, make a paste! This will thicken the butter and sugar mixture.

233

The cornstarch will create this! ^ Then you will add powdered sugar, coconuts, and pecans for the most delicious German chocolate icing you will ever eat.

*Drool here*

251

Baked chocolate perfection! If you aren’t about that coconut pecan life, the pie would be a fantastic traditional fudge pie that your grandma used to make. Add some fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream you you’re set.

253

But for my fellow sweet-toothers, spread that glorious topping over the pie as soon as it gets out of the oven.

254

Sprinkle coconut and pecans over the top to make it look even prettier.

261

And then eat a piece. Over and over again. And then go run. Over and over again.

 

Recipe for the Pie Crust:

3 cups of all purpose flour

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of white granulated sugar

1 teaspoon on salt

3/4 a cup of cold unsalted butter, cubed

1/4 a cup of vegetable shortening

4 tablespoons of ice cold water

 

Recipe for the Pie Filling:

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter

3 (heaping) tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa

1/2 a cup of semi sweet chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar

2 teaspoons of instant espresso

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

2/3 cup of all-purpose flour

 

Recipe for the Pie Topping: 

1 stick of unsalted butter

1/2 cup of light brown sugar

4 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream

1 (heaping) tablespoon of cornstarch +  2 teaspoons of water to make a paste

1 teaspoon of vanilla

pinch of salt

1 cup of powdered sugar

2-3 cups of sweetened coconut shavings

1 cup of chopped pecans

 

Directions:

For the pie crust, in a large bow combine the dry ingredients then add the cold pieces of butter. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until the butter is the size of peas. Add the Crisco and cut that in as well until the dough is firm enough to hold its shape when you squeeze it. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, cutting it in after each addition. Roll the dough into a ball and put it in the fridge until needed. Roll the pie crust out into a circle, cut it to fit your pan, wrap the edges in foil, then set your oven to 350 degrees and put the crust in immediately (you do not want to preheat your oven for a pie crust). Bake it for 10 minutes.

For the pie filling, in a medium pan (a metal bottom is better than a telfon bottom pan here) melt the butter. Add the cocoa, chocolate chips, sugar, espresso, and salt. Stir until combined. Crack 2 eggs into a bowl, separate 1 saving the yolk and adding it to the bowl of the other 2. Lightly beat these and temper them with the hot chocolate mixture from the pan. Add the eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth and combined. Add the flour and whisk until there are no clumps, but do not over beat. Pour the filling into the prebaked pie crust and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The toothpick trick will not work here to see if it is cooked because you want it to still be gooey inside.

For the pie topping, melt the butter and brown sugar in a small pan with a metal bottom. Bring this to a pretty heavy boil on medium heat while stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and let it boil while constantly stirring for another 3 minutes. Create a paste with the cornstarch and water, then add to the sugar and butter mixture. Take it off the heat and add the vanilla and salt. Add the powdered sugar and whisk until there are no clumps. Lastly, add the shaved coconut and pecans and stir until combined. Spread this topping over the pie after it has come out of the oven. Sprinkle some more shaved coconut and pecans over the top to make it look even prettier. Let it all cook slightly, then enjoy!

This is the best pie in the entire world. And that is saying a lot from a dessert loving, horrible decision making individual.

 

Much love,

MT

 

Peanut Butter Kissed Brownies

I think brownies are my favorite dessert. I seem to make a lot of varieties of them, but for good reason. They’re so delicious and almost impossible to mess up! Especially this recipe, because it started with a boxed brownie mix. If you’ve read any of my brownie posts before, you know I love a good boxed brownie mix. Unlike cake and cookie mixes (which tend to be dry and lack flavor), I feel like there is absolutely nothing wrong with good ole’ store bought brownie mix, especially if its Ghirardelli. Although I have finally perfected a brownie recipe better than a boxed mix, I still can’t resist the ease of emptying the ingredients from a bag and having delicious brownies just minutes later.

Today was one of those days I just didn’t really feel like getting chocolate down the front of my shirt, flour all over my face, and butter in my hair. So I used a trusty box mix for these lip smackin’ good brownies. Oh, and I also used peanut butter. Lots and lots of peanut butter. How can you go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter? You can’t. Not possible. Nothing goes together better than these two. Not  Barbie and Ken. Not Brad and Angelina. Not me and Chris Hemsworth. Chocolate and peanut butter is currently and will forever be the best couple on earth, although Chris Hemsworth and I are obviously a close second. Just don’t tell his wife. Or his three children. Or him….

ANYWAYS. Do you get it? Chocolate and peanut butter are great together. This recipe puts peanut butter chips inside the brownies, a peanut butter glaze over the brownies, and Reese’s sprinkled on top of it all. It. Is. Glorious.

 

Image

 

 

Here what you’ll need:

1 boxed brownie mix and the ingredients that box calls for (I always use Ghirardelli)

1 bag of peanut butter chips, divided (I used Reeses’ brand)

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup milk

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 bag of unwrapped, mini Reese’s, chopped

 

Here’s how you make it:

Preheat your oven to whatever your brownie box recommends and spray a baking dish with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, add the contents of your brownie mix and the ingredients it requires. Add 3/4 a cup of of the peanut butter chips into the bowl and combine everything. Pour this batter into your prepared baking dish and bake as the directions on the box suggest. While the brownies are baking, in a small pan add the rest of the peanut butter chips, 1/2 cup of peanut butter, 1/2 a cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of butter and melt together. Once this is melted add the cup of powdered sugar and the tablespoon of cornstarch. Beat with a whisk until the lumps are all out and it is a smooth, creamy mixture. Pour this glaze over the brownies when they have cooled for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the chopped Reese’s over the top and enjoy!

 

P.S. Rob, if you’re reading this, I love you more than Chris Hemsworth. Promise.

Image

Country Music is Dying

WARNING: If  you like Luke Bryan you may want to avoid this article. Most of my examples are about him because he happens to be the most annoying of them all. Sorry. Not sorry.

Sooooooooo I’ve had a little problem with country music the past couple of years. “Artists” (if I should even call them that…) are singing songs about beer, trucks, and tight blue jeans instead of something that attracts the deeper, more intellectual mind. These one-dimensional songs about drinking a beer in the mud while your KC lights light up your easy girlfriend’s face are getting old. How many times can someone rewrite the same song? Too many.

Country music has evolved from singing songs about family, hard work, morals, cheating, God, and small towns that they actually came from… to big trucks, hot girls in bikinis, having lots of money, small towns they wish they were from, and most importantly… BEER. It has gone from just a guitar, fiddle, or banjo and a voice… to every rock instrument you can think of with some computer generated sounds thrown in as well.  From wrangler jeans for the men and classy dresses for women, to skin tight overpriced leather pants, and body hugging mini dresses, emphasis on mini… I wouldn’t be shocked if on next year’s CMAs or ACMs Luke Bryan walks on stage in a dress. I’m pretty sure he and I share a few of the same statement pieces.

Sadly, there are dozens of contributors to the pop country genre in today’s society who win awards for and boast about their 100% pop and 0% country mega-hits. Then there are those who started out as country as can be but are crossing over to pop country in the blink of an eye. Blake Shelton with his new rap infused single, Luke Bryan with his painted on designer jeans and repetitive lyrics (beer and trucks beer and trucks beer and trucks), and Tim McGraw, who actually wrote a song in the 90’s called “Back When” with lyrics that say “I’m readin’ street slang for dummies cause they put pop in my country, I want more for my money the way it was back then…” and is now one of the main contributors to the pop country industry. Come on Tim!

Finally, real country artists are starting to speak out. Collin Raye recently said in an interview with Fox that he is “really depressed at how it has dumbed down to basically just a one dimensional ‘lets party in the truck, gonna drink some cold beer.’”

I couldn’t agree more Collin. If Luke Bryan sings (whoops I almost typed “writes” there. That would’ve been a good one!) one more song about beer I’m going to lose my mind. You like beer, trucks, and slutty girls. We get it. Write about something meaningful. And get a new stylist while you’re at it. (The link for Collin’s interview is posted at the very bottom of the page)

As you all know, I am from Texas and am very proud of that. One of the many perks of living in Texas is having red dirt or “Texas Country” radio stations. If you are in the DFW area I recommend 95.9 The Ranch. They play songs by artists who actually write their music, sing about more meaningful topics than beer, and I’m pretty sure none of them wear black sparkly skinny jeans. Ackhmm… Luke… As a general rule, their songs have country roots and do not incorporate anything that distracts from the lyrics. But if your lyrics are as surface-level as “country girl shake it for me,”  “little Conway, little T-Pain. Might just make it rain,” or my personal favorite… “Girl hand me another beer!” I can understand why you might need a deterrent…

Over the years, some red dirt artists have released some pretty funny pop-country hating, Nashville producer bashing, real country music. I could provide for you the music videos of my favorite deep, meaningful, and heartfelt red dirt songs, but I thought these were even better for this post…

(I did not make any of these videos! All the credit goes to the video creator.)

“Cause you had to say something for people to listen, but now they just do what they’re told. Well it’s all about idols, pretty blonde hair and how many trucks you can sell out here in AM country heaven and FM country hell.”

He’s all about image cause image pays the bucks, but if he’s country, well then country really sucks. What happened to the outlaws who weren’t afraid to cross the line? What happened to the workin’ man who sang the truth about their troubled lives?”

They call god-all-mighty Nashville ‘Music City USA,’ but get out of the city to where the farmers play, you’re into real music country without them city ways.” 

George Strait is from Texas and gives all the credit to his success to it. He is one of the few to stay true, and stay popular in the “country” world. “For the steel guitars no longer cry and the fiddles barely play, but drums and rock ‘n’ roll guitars are mixed up in your face. Ol’ Hank wouldn’t have a chance on today’s radio since they committed murder down on music row.”

 

So there you have it. Country music is dying and I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Enjoy the rest of your Monday! Sorry Luke Bryan fans!

 

Much love,

MT

 

Thanks for the videos, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCrWp1kPHtw, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNEniwpNmU0, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xI_WohVAnU, and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny3K9irFC5k

 

Read More: Collin Raye Latest to Speak on ‘Dumbed Down’ Country Music | http://tasteofcountry.com/collin-raye-dumbed-down-country-music/?trackback=tsmclip

Caramel Cookie Bars

I’m not sure why, but I’m on this “bar” kick. I made Raspberry Crisp Bars, then I made these Caramel Cookie Bars, then Pioneer Woman’s Knock You Naked Brownies Bars (which are super good and highly recommended). There is something about a good dessert in the shape of a bar that makes it even better, and these Caramel Cookie Bars are no exception. Imagine the best chocolate chip cookie you’ve ever eaten, combined with the best caramel you’ve ever had and WHAM! You’ve got Caramel Cookie Bars. Caramel usually scares the neat-freak inside of me, but since it is tucked away in the middle of two cookie layers there is no mess, just pure indulgence!

Try them for yourself!

Oh wait not yet! Once I poured the caramel over the first cookie layer, I sprinkled some sea salt over the top before adding the next cookie layer. If you’re into the sweet and salty scene I recommend doing this. These bars are good without salt, but in my opinion they are GREAT with salt. If for some reason you’re not about the salted caramel life, go away. Just kidding, stay! Just ignore this and follow the recipe exactly as it is below. If you do want to salt the caramel, sprinkle sea salt (not regular salt. SEA SALT.) over the caramel until you think it is salty enough for you. I don’t want to give you a specific measurement because it is so personal to each individual’s pallet.

 

114

I ate that whole spoonful. Just kidding. Maybe…

115   116

First cookie layer before the oven and first cookie layer after the oven. It should be on its way to turning golden when you take it out. If only I could tan that quickly…

121

Salted caramel on top of the first cookie layer.

123

That’s the golden brown color you’re looking for!

124

Ooooooooo la laaaa!

 

Cookie Base:

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulate sugar (Plain ole’ white sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla (No that is not a typo. Do 3, I promise you won’t regret it.)
  • 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 chocolate chips

Caramel Filling:

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter (unsweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • a pinch of salt (literally just pinch some salt and throw it in there)

Directions: 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×9 baking dish lightly with non-stick spray. In a small pan on low heat add all the ingredients to the caramel. Stir until combined. Turn the heat up to medium-high and let it start to boil. As soon as you see it bubbling up begin to stir it constantly for about 3 minutes. At this point the sugar should be dissolved and the whole mixture should have turned a deep golden color. Take it off the heat and continue to stir for another 3 minutes to cool it down. Put it in the fridge to let it cool completely. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or just in a large bowl if you plan on using a handheld mixer) cream the butter, sugars, and salt together (about 1 minute of mixing). Add one egg at a time, mixing well after each. Add the vanilla and combine. Combine the flour with the sugar mixture by adding it gradually (about 1/2 cup at a time) and then add the baking soda. Put your choice of chocolate chips into the dough mixture and stir until combined. Divide the cookie dough into two parts. Press the first half in the bottom of your baking dish and bake for 13-15 minutes. Once that is done, pour the caramel over the top (this is when you would salt it if you want to!). Press the remaining cookie dough flat and lay it over the caramel layer. Put it all back into the oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let it cool and eat one! Or seven!

Raspberry Crisp Bars

IT’S SPRING BREAK!! Or should I say Spring Bake?  There will be a lotttttt of baking and cooking going on this week partially because I have time to do something other than homework, and partially because I’ve got a little something up my sleeve. ;) It’s a secret for now, but keep in touch and maybe I’ll reveal it around summer time!

As the weather warms up I find myself using more and more fruit, especially in my desserts. For some reason fruity desserts seem more summery than chocolate or any other flavor. They are light, tart, and so colorful! I made these raspberry crisp bars for a get together my mom and her close friends had. They must have been a hit because she brought the pan home empty!

The star of this dessert is the homemade raspberry preserves. It’s such a bright filling in the traditional southern crisp. When you bite into these bars you will find an impeccable balance between sweet and tart, crunchy and smooth, modern and traditional, perfect and perfect, wait… what? But really, they’re perfect. I recommend them for your next brunch, late night get together, family dinner, church potluck, or just for fun! Not only do they taste good, they can be served in a casual or formal setting. Like I said, perfect. Cell phone pictures… beware.

092

The preserves after running them through a sifter. I put back some of the seeds and as many pieces berry back into it as I could. In my mind this maintains its preserve-ness. Preserve-ity? Preserve-ausity? Whatever.

091  094  097

Before cutting in the butter; while cutting in the butter; after the butter was cut in.

100     101

Is there a better combination in the world? Yes, Brad and Angelina. But this is a close second.

105

All done and ready to eat!

Here’s the recipe!

For the preserves:

  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 4-5 cups of berries (I used raspberries)
  • 1-3/4 cups of granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1-1/2 lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

For the crisp: (Adapted from Pioneer Woman’s – http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/02/strawberry-oatmeal-bars/)

  • 1-3/4 stick cold butter, cut unto think slices
  • 1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of slivered almonds

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 pan. In a small pan combine the water, berries, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt. Bring to a boil for 5-7 minutes stirring constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. Turn the heat down to low and add the cornstarch. After stirring the cornstarch in until there are no lumps, the preserves should be thickening to a texture tight enough to stick to the spoon when you take it out of the pan. I ran mine through a fine mesh sifter to get most of the seeds out. Turn the heat off and set it aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Cut in the cold slices of butter with a pastry cutter (or fork if you don’t have a pastry cutter). It is combined when the butter is pea sized and the flour is not quite completely mixed in. Gently stir in the almonds. Press half of this mixture into the greased 8×8 pan, cover it with the preserves (I did not use all of mine, but it is up to you), and sprinkle the rest of the flour and oat mixture evenly over the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!

PS. You can totally use store bought preserves to save time!

Much love,

MT!

Texas Tumbleweed

Three reasons you should make these right now:

1) They’re named after Texas. That should be the only  reason you need.

2) They’re super easy.

3) They’re super tasty.

Sweet and salty is the name of the game and these little bites of heaven come in first place. Texas Tumbleweeds are a bite sized treat that is perfect paired with a potluck dinner, a holiday party, or a night at home with the family. In my house they don’t last long enough for any of those options, but maybe your family doesn’t act as famished as mine… This is one of those recipes that has been floating around the kitchens of Texan’s for decades, and every generation loves them. They get their name because they resemble an actual Texas tumbleweed, and if you’ve never seen one… Well you need to get out of town more often. Keep this recipe and pass it down to your kids, grandkids, best friend, cousins, crazy fifth aunt by marriage-twice removed-brought back-removed again-lost contact-found her on Facebook-looked hungry-gave her this recipe, or whoever else you want to share it with!

024

The potato and nut mixture.

026

Butterscotch mixed with white almond bark. I recommend licking the spoon at this stage.

photo-5

This is what it looks like once you add the marshmallows. It looks ruined, but it’s supposed to look like this!

027

Once you add the milk it will turn back into something like this picture. Thin enough to stir but thick enough to stick to the spoon for a while.

028

Try to refrain from eating this whole bowl. If I can do it, you can do it.

031

Ready to be eaten! See how they resemble tumbleweeds? Love these!

Texas Tumbleweed:

3 cups of shoestring potatoes

1 cup of nuts (I used 1/2 a cup of roasted peanuts and 1/2 a cup of slivered almonds)

1 cup of butterscotch chips

4.5 ounces white almond bark (that’s 3 squares off the whole block)

1 cup of marshmallow

3 tablespoons of milk

In a medium bowl combine the shoestring potatoes and nuts. On low heat, in a medium sauce pan melt the butterscotch chips and white almond bark. Stir until combined. Add the marshmallows. Once the marshmallows combine it will turn into a dry, thick, dough-like texture. Add the milk and stir until it is back into a liquidy state. It is important to add the milk AFTER the marshmallows. Pour the butterscotch mixture over the potato and nut mixture and stir until all the potatoes and nuts are completely covered. Form it into tablespoon-sized piles and place them on a cookie sheets lined with wax paper. Put in the refrigerator to cool for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Much love,

MT

Tagged , , , ,

Chocolate Truffles

I haven’t posted since September. SEPTEMBER. School takes up too much of my life! Do my teachers not understand I have a blog to maintain? To make up for it I’m giving y’all one of the easiest, tastiest, chocolatiest recipes I know. From now until Christmas I’m going to be making simple treats to give away as gifts, to snack on while opening presents, or eat with your Christmas meal. Whatever you choose to do with them, I can assure you they’ll will be a hit!

First (and possibly best) are my truffles. I learned to cook mainly by trail and error, so one day I was trying to make a chocolate ganache and ended up with a thicker chocolate. Being the cheapskate that I am, I couldn’t bring myself to just throw it away… So while I was thinking what to do with it, it cooled and hardened slightly, turning into a delicious chocolate with a nice fudgy texture. The rest is history!

These are suuuuuper rich. If you aren’t a big chocolate fan I have two things for you: 1) you’re weird. 2) you probably shouldn’t make these. (I will post recipes soon without chocolate, don’t worry!) But if you’re like me, you love a deep, rich, creamy chocolate. I make the actual truffle the same every time, but I occasionally change the coating on the outside. For example, today I did a truffle with a milk chocolate and peanut butter coating. Sometimes I do an all white chocolate coating, dark chocolate coating, butterscotch coating, or peanut butter coating. Sometimes I add food coloring to the white chocolate to fit the occasion (green and red would be cute right now!), sometimes I drizzle a homemade caramel over the top, and sometimes I leave them naked! You get my point… There’s a million things you can do with these.

012  013

Melt the chocolate. Taste it. Continue to melt. Then add the most important ingredient, gold. Then taste it again.

003 004 006

Roll it into little truffles and put them on wax paper. Don’t forget the wax paper. You will be angry if you don’t use wax paper. If I were you, I would use wax paper. Hey, you should probably put these on wax paper. Oh and before I forget, use some wax paper. WAX. PAPER. Wax paper. Waxxxxxxxx paperrrrrrrrr.

010 007 securedownload

Fa la la la laaaaaa la la la la. I love the white sugar flakes. They look like snow flakes! Love love love.

The actual truffle:

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (Why is it called that? Bitter is an antonym of sweet. It can’t be both…)

1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips

1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Put this all into a pan until it is melted and combined. Let it cool for up to 4 hours. I let mine cool over night usually. I’m not sure how to describe the texture the chocolate should be now… It’s hard, but not so hard you can’t scoop it out of the pan. If that helps at all. If you just let it cool at least 4 hours you’ll be fine! Now scoop out a teaspoon-ish sized chunk, roll it into a ball, and put it on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. You HAVE to use wax paper. Pop them into the freezer for 15-20 minutes to reharden. (I’m making up all kinds of words today). Then cover them in whatever coating you choose to make! You can drizzle the coating over them, dunk them completely into the coating, make fancy designs, or whatever your heart desires. Put them in the freezer again for 15-20 minutes to set. No eat one! Or twelve.

Milk chocolate peanut butter coating:

I cup of milk chocolate chips

2 tablespoons of milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1/2 cup of peanut butter (You can do more or less than 1/2 a cup. This is customizable.)

Throw it all into a small pan and melt on low heat. Easy enough, right?

White chocolate coating:

8 ounces of white almond bark

1/2 cup of white chocolate chips

2 tablespoons of milk

Melt this all together into a small pan on low heat. Add food coloring if you want!

Peanut butter coating:

8 ounces of white almond bark

1/2 cup of peanut butter

2 tablespoons of milk

Can you guess what to do with this? You got it… Melt it all together into a small pan on low heat.

Dark chocolate coffee coating: FAVORITE!

8 ounces of dark chocolate

3 tablespoons of brewed coffee

Put the dark chocolate into a bowl and pour the hot coffee over it. The coffee should melt the chocolate. For a dark chocolate coating without the coffee replace the coffee with milk and melt in a small pan on low heat.

Caramel drizzle coating:

1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup of dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream depending on how thick or thin you need it

I’m not going to lie to you, caramel is kind of hard to make. You have to put all this into a pan and stir it CONSTANLY, which makes it kind of difficult. But I promise, it is sooooo worth it. Stir it until it becomes thick enough to stick to the spoon but is still pourable. It should get a little darker in color and richer in taste. The brown sugar granulates should be dissolved and you should not be able to feel any grit in the caramel. Let it boil while still stirring it for about 3 minutes. If you stop stirring for .29743592375 of a second it will burn. Don’t. Stop. Stirring. Take it off the heat and let it cool for however long you want. It should stay in a drizzly texture.

011

Yummy.

Much love and only 10 more days!

MT

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.