Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sweet Potato Pie 2 (Candied Yam Pie)

Have leftover sweet potatoes after your Thanksgiving dinner that you're looking to be rid of? Look no further! 


2 cups leftover sweet potatoes, mashed/pureed (CANDIED YAMS FOR THE WIN!)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14oz)
1/2 stick melted butter, cooled (4 tbsp)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
2 prepared pie crusts (frozen or your favorite recipe)
Marshmallows (optional)


Preheat oven to 350º. 

Combine all ingredients except crusts and marshmallows in a large mixing bowl until well blended. Divide evenly between the two crusts. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Top the pies immediately with marshmallows, return to the oven on your broil setting, juts until marshmallows are toasted. (optional) 

Cut yourself a large slice.

Then, top with whipped cream. If you're cool enough, that is. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cranberry Sauce

Well, it's that time of year. Food, food and more food! Thanksgiving for me though is all about turkey, stuffing and cranberries. My usual cranberry dish is a cranberry orange relish, which is super easy and pretty tasty. It's just cranberries (washed and drained), an orange (cut into small-ish chunks, skin and all), and sugar (to taste). All above goes into the food processor until it gets to where you want it to be. It's all really a matter of taste. This year though, I opted to go another route. I've had cranberry orange relish every year of my life I think. I'm almost a quarter century old, it's time to branch out! 


1 bag of fresh cranberries, washed and drained
1 medium apple, peeled and chopped**
1 medium pear, peeled and chopped**
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp lemon extract (or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2-3/4 cup white sugar or splenda (to taste)
3/4 cup water


Combine all ingredients in a medium to large sauce pan. Start with the 1/2 cup sugar, and if you need more after it's done, stir it in. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all ingredients are soft and cooked down into a sauce. 

Here comes my note:

**When you're chopping your apple and pear, think ahead. If you want a "rustic" style cranberry sauce (chunky), chop them into smaller pieces. I'd say probably 1/4-1/2" dice. For my sauce, I used an immersion blender once everything was done cooking, so I made a bigger dice (about 1"). 

Another note: When selecting your apples, use a red one! The sweet will offset the tart of the cranberry and reduce the amount of sugar you'll need. Also, try to buy a good looking local breed! I used a Pacific Rose apple. Same goes for pears. Try to buy a sweeter variety, and buy local! It will be fresher, better tasting, and better for your local economy! 

/end preaching

This is what mine looked like when everything was cooked down, just before I took my immersion blender to it:

And just after:

I purposely left some chunks in mine, so that it wouldn't be like a cranberry butter. I wanted a bit of substance to it still. In the future, I think that I'll just dice the apples and pears a bit smaller and leave it as is. I like the chunks! 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sweet Potato Pie

I <3 sweet potato and pumpkin pie. I've tried my hand before at pumpkin pie, and it turned out mediocre at best. I figured I'd give it one last shot. I'm just not a pie person, really. I fail pretty much every time I try to make a pie or snickerdoodles. I'm just incapable. This time though? Oh yeah. BIG win! 


2 cups cooked/peeled red garnet yams
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla 
2 eggs
1/2 stick melted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger 
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk 
2 prepared pie crusts


Preheat oven to 350º. 

Mash your yams or put them through a food processor until mostly smooth. Mix together with all ingredients except milk (and pie crust, obviously). I used a wooden spoon, in hindsight, I'd use my hand mixer to give it a bit more volume. Next time, my friends. Add the milk, mix well.

Now, place the two pie shells on a baking sheet, and distribute evenly between the two shells. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick/knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it settle for a few minutes before you cut it open. Top with whipped cream. Whip it yourself, use the canned stuff, whatever. Just do it. And sprinkle with cinnamon, or maybe a drizzle of salted caramel. YUM! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Nutella Cookies

Yes, you read that right. Nutella. Cookies. *SQUEE!* 

That's all the introduction these need. Really! 


1 cup of nutella
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg
1/4-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp flour
coarse sea salt for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 375º.

Mix all ingredients except sea salt together in a bowl. Chill for.. well.. I don't know really.. We'll say 30 minutes in the fridge (covered tightly) for arguments sake. Mine lasted about 3 1/2 minutes in the freezer before I decided I was far too impatient for that nonsense. Still fantastically tasty, but if you want to do it "right," chill for 30 minutes. Roll into 1" balls, put onto an ungreased baking sheet. I use parchment paper for easy clean up later. Bake 9-11 minutes then let cool for a couple minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling set up of whatever sort you choose. People who do it "right" insert "cooling rack" here. People like me, insert "wax paper on the countertop" here. People like my sister insert "just kidding, eat it off the baking sheet and burn your face off" here. Please, don't be like my sister, and let them at least cool before stuffing your face. I will not be held liable for burns from these cookies. While they're cooling, sprinkle on the sea salt. YUM. Once you're not burned by them, EAT THEM. NOW. 

Oh, and you're welcome. For your new waistline. :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Salted Caramel Brownies

Brownies? Salted Caramel? Oh yeah! I don't really have a "go-to" brownie recipe, so I decided to ask my best friend who is somewhat of a brownie connoisseur/baker. I told her I wanted an easy one, so she gave me her favorite. She called it her cocoa brownie recipe. I call it delicious. 

I'll also apologize for the (even more than usual) horrific pictures. By the time I realized that I still needed to post this, there was one lone chunk of brownie left. I had to hide it so that I could take a couple of pictures of it. Don't judge! Okay, you can, but judge by taste, not presentation on this one. 


½ C flour
½ C unsweetened cocoa
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ C butter
1/4 cup chocolate chips or semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
1 C sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

One batch of caramel as directed here.


Preheat oven to 350º. Grease/flour a 9" pan (I made a double batch and used a 13"x9" and an 8" round), or line with parchment paper. Or, if you're not on speaking terms with your parchment paper like I am, you can also use foil sprayed with cooking spray. Just don't expect it to turn out quite like it should otherwise. If you're a big fan of the harder edges, foil is your option. 

Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl, set aside. 

Melt the butter and chocolate chips in a double boiler. Once smooth, remove from heat and add sugar. Let cool until it is comfortable to stick your finger into (OH NO! Now you need to lick your finger..) and add the eggs, one at a time until smooth. Add vanilla. 

Mix in dry ingredients until just combined, spread in your prepared pan. Drizzle about 1/2 of your caramel over the top and swirl in using a knife or a toothpick. Bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Immediately drizzle more caramel over the top until you've got as much as you want on there. Come on, you know you want more! If you want the full on OH MY LORD THERE IS SALT IN MY CARAMEL experience, you can also sprinkle some coarse sea salt over top. 

Mmm.. BEHOLD THE CARAMEL! Be forever in awe of its greatness. It's super chocolatey goodness. The next time I make these, I think I'll melt something other than chocolate chips with the butter. Maybe some white chocolate? I think that would be delightful. Or better yet, butterscotch chips, and omit the caramel (maybe.. we'll see.. ). 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Oh hello, long time no see! I'm sorry for the long absence, friend. I have come back for you. With a great recipe even! I love muffins in the fall. They make the house smell AMAZING, and the by-product of a house warmer/freshener is also mighty tasty! They also make for a mighty fine contribution to the breakfast table at work on a Saturday morning when we're all there working overtime. There's nothing like getting tons of work done in peace and quiet while being able to wear your sweats and eat whatever goodies were contributed that weekend. These are SO much healthier than the donuts or bagels that usually get brought!


1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 - 3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon + 1/2 tsp 
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar + 1 tbsp
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup vegetable oil (can sub applesauce for an even healthier version!)
1 cup old fashioned oats + 1tbsp


Preheat oven to 350º. 

Combine all ingredients up to sugar in a large bowl. Set aside. Mix eggs, milk, vanilla and oil together in a small bowl (or a glass measuring cup like I did!). Add to dry ingredients, mix until mostly moistened. Add oats and stir until everything is just combined. Don't over mix it! This is not the recipe to get your aggression out on. 

Line a muffin pan with liners, put roughly 1/4 cup of the batter in each cup. Sprinkle with 1tbsp oats + 1tbsp sugar + 1/2tsp cinnamon (mixed together ahead of time of course). Bake for 18-23 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. You may need to try again if you hit a chocolate chip. Just wipe it on a towel. Or get a new one. Or, if you're going to eat that one anyways, lick it and try again. Go ahead, I won't tell. Remove to a cooling rack. Or if you're like me, a dish towel laid out on the counter. Whatever. They won't last long, I promise. 

This recipe makes 15 muffins. Yes, I'm sorry, I know it's an odd number, but that's what happens when you do your own thing with total disregard for the real world and their measurements trying to keep you down. Flour power, man! Okay, I'm done.