January 22, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup Pie

If you follow food blogs I hope you've discovered Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice. This blog is my new obsession. I saw a post on Pinterest and when I went to the site (the author's name is Reeni) I went through almost every recipe posted! I decided to start with the recipe I saw on Pinterest and so here it is.....

This pie is seriously rich. I say not for the faint of heart, and I mean it. I cut a piece to try (about 1/12 of the pie) and honestly I could only eat half of it. It's really, really good. Super intense peanut butter flavor! If you are craving peanut butter and chocolate... make this pie. But beware, start with a small piece, you wouldn't want to waste any of this gem!!

Picture from www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com



2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs*
6 tablespoons salted butter, melted

12 ounces cream cheese (light or neufchatel is ok), at room temperature
1 + 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips or bar, chopped
4 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
14 Reese's peanut butter cups, rough chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add the cookie crumbs and butter to a food processor and process until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed.

Press evenly into a 9" pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes then allow to cool completely before filling.

Beat the cream cheese and peanut butter together on medium speed until light and fluffy about 5 minutes.

Add sugar and vanilla; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy about 5 more minutes.

In a separate bowl beat heavy cream until stiff; when the beater is lifted it shouldn't drip off.

Add the cream to the peanut butter mixture and fold in until well blended. Spoon into the crust. Refrigerate 1-2 hours.

To make the topping combine sugar and cream in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil; remove from heat and immediately add the chocolate, butter and vanilla. Whisk until smooth and all the chocolate is melted. Cool the mixture until it is lukewarm but still liquidy.

Carefully pour over the pie (you can leave a few spoonfuls for drizzling over the PB cups) and evenly spread from edge to edge. Sprinkle peanut butter cups evenly over top and gently press them into the chocolate. Drizzle lightly all over with remaining chocolate.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.

Cut with a sharp knife dipped in hot water then dried; wipe clean and dip again after each cut.
- Make sure to refrigerate this pie properly. I didn't because I was/am impatient and I think it would've held up much better if I'd followed the instructions.
- 14 Reese's cups was way too much for me. FYI. It's a lot.
- I recommend a deep dish pie plate or springform pan. I used a normal/old-fashioned pie pan and I had way too much left over.  
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January 7, 2013

Vanilla Sugar Cutout Cookies and Royal Icing

My friend Jessica makes the most BEAUTIFUL cookies! She makes the most beautiful everything in the kitchen, but her cookies are unbelievable. I, not so secretly, stalk her Facebook pictures and wish I could make cookies as beautiful as hers.

Finally I asked her for the recipe and this is where she sent me here: here for the cookies and here for the royal icing. This blog is amazing and her cookies are amazing. This recipe is amazing! I HIGHLY recommend reading through her posts before starting because she answers every possible question you could ever have!

Mine will definitely get better with practice, but I'm not too disappointed in my first shot!
These are a copy cat of a design I saw on Pinterest.

Shout out to Texas!


Vanilla Sugar Cutout Cookies
This made 10 cookies (appx 5" each)

3 c. unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. granulated sugar
2 sticks (salted) butter, cold and cut into chunks
1 egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and cold butter. Add the egg and vanilla and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.

The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling.

Roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets (I recommend freezing the cut out shapes on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before baking) and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the very bottom of the cookies are just starting to brown. You don't want the tops of the cookies to brown (but they'll still be delicious if they do). Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Royal Icing
(This covered 10 cookies the size of my hand and I still had plenty left over.)

4 TBSP meringue powder
scant 1/2 c. water
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp light corn syrup
3/4 tsp clear vanilla extract (optional)
you can use any clear extract you want!

Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy.

Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)

Add in the corn syrup and extract if desired. ( I think the corn syrup helps keep the icing shiny.)

Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form.

(You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.

Cover with plastic wrap touching the icing or divide and color using gel paste food colorings.

This "stiff" icing is perfect for outlining and even for building gingerbread houses and monogramming. To fill in your cookies, add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup. This technique of filling a cookie with thinned icing is called "flooding."
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January 1, 2013

Tomato and Red Lentil Soup

How often to I post savory recipes? Rarely. Except when I really, really, really love them and think other people should know how good these dishes are! This one is also super simple! My mom gave me this recipe years ago and my resolution this year is to be the healthiest me by the big 3-0 birthday. A little less than 9 months to go!
This soup is so good and simple and healthy!!!! You can add or subtract anything you like. The recipe my mom gave me had celery and tomato paste in it, but I didn't have those so I changed it a little. I used vegetable broth because I couldn't find stock in the store. I also used a lot of garlic (4 cloves, maybe 5, I lost count)!  I hope you love this as much as I do!!! This soup freezes really well too!  

Tomato and Red Lentil Soup


1 large onion, chopped
2 T. olive oil
2 large carrots, chopped
2-3 gloves garlic, minced (I grated mine using my Microplane)
2 14-oz diced tomatoes, with juice
4 cups vegetable stock/broth
1/2 pound red lentils
salt and pepper to taste
juice of half a lemon


In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Gently cook the onion until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the carrots and cook until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, lentils and enough stock to cover the lentils by about an inch. You can use water if you run out of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Serve warm.
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