Sunday, February 22, 2015

Apple Pie Cookies

I love coffee cake...well, I love crumb topping.  I found a recipe for coffee cake cookies and knew I had to try them.  My only problem was that my husband really didn't want me to make them.  I couldn't figure it out....they were crumbly, they had sugar....they looked good.  Finally I realized he thought coffee cake and therefore coffee cake cookies had coffee in it.  In my church we follow the word of wisdom which includes, among other things, not drinking coffee.  My husband couldn't figure out why I was okay making desserts with coffee in them if we didn't drink it.  Once I explained you are just suppose to eat them with coffee and the dessert was coffee free he was a little more on board, especially after I told him I would call them crumb cookies instead.  :)

The original recipe was so much fun to make and I just had to put my own little twist on it.  I added pie filling and viola!  Apple pie cookies were born!  The pie filling was just what the cookie needed.  An awesome punch of flavor, with the buttery cookie and touch of cinnamon.   It is just like a bite size pie but better since it is a cookie!  Once again, sorry for the awful pics....someday I will get a better camera and learn how to make food look as good as it tastes!!

Apple Pie Cookies
Makes about 20 large cookies

Crumb Topping:
1/2 Cup butter, softened
1/3 Cup brown sugar
1/3 Cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp salt
1 Cup flour

Mix all ingredients and set aside in fridge

1 Cup butter, softened
1 Cup brown sugar
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 Cups flour

Pie filling - Any type of pie will work
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to  350 degrees.  Use a non stick cookie sheet or spray your cookie sheet pan.

For the cookies:
Mix together butter and sugars until smooth.  Add cinnamon, eggs, and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy.  Then mix in baking soda, salt, and flour until just combined.
Scoop out cookies using a cookie scoop (3 Tbsp) size or use a large spoon.  Make sure the dough is in a ball if you use a normal spoon.  I put 8 cookies per sheet.  Make a fairly deep indent into each cookie.  I use a smaller cookie scoop to do this but a small spoon or your fingers would work great too.  Make the hole big enough to get all that delicious filling and crumb top on there.  For any chunky pie fillings cut up into smaller pieces before you fill the cookie.  Spoon the pie filling into the cookie and top with about 1 Tbsp of crumb topping.  Press the crumb topping down into the pie filling and don't be afraid to pack it in there!
Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the edges start to get golden.
Let cookies cool for a few minutes and dust with powdered sugar.  Transfer to a cooling rack or your counter.   They taste the best slightly warm....mmmm... enjoy!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Bunco Brownies

I have a confession to make.  I am not the best at following recipes.  I either change the ingredients or I just don't read what the instructions tell me to do.  Sometimes, this is that one time I made lasagna with avocado filling...gross.  Sometimes wonderful food is born.  Below is a prime example of this. I added more peanut butter than I was supposed to and the struesel filling turned into a peanut butter cookie topping instead.  I hope you like these as much as I did! 

These brownies went so fast I didn't have time to get a good pic

Bunco Brownies
Recipe Source: Modified from A Cook's Quest
These brownies make a 9x13 pan.  If you want to do a 9x9 pan, just half the recipe.  

2 brownie boxes, prepared according to the box.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup  peanut butter
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 tsp. salt until blended and crumbly. 

Combine the above ingredients until a soft dough forms.

Pour brownie batter into greased 9x13 pan.  Take pieces of the peanut butter dough and cover brownie batter with it. (It is okay if all the brownie isn't covered.  The brownie that seeps through has a really good texture!)  Bake at 350 degrees 45-50 minutes.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

For some reason chicken noodle soup has always intimidated me to make.  Maybe because it screams, "I will heal you if you are sick".  Or maybe because I thought I had to make my own noodles, kill my own chicken, and sell my soul for it to taste perfect.  Who knows?!  I finally got over my fear once I saw this gem of a recipe and Waah was awesome.  Hence, I am now awesome.

It is creamy, easy, loaded with veggies, and you don't have to defrost your chicken!.  So try it out....and become awesome.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup


2 cups egg noodles (I just eye this one...I like mine a little more noodley)
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (I use 6-8 tenders, they cook faster)
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 1/3 cups chopped carrots (3-4 carrots)
1 1/3 cups chopped celery (3-4 stalks)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
3 Tbsp parsley
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup heavy cream (or 1/2 cup if you want it really creamy or if you just use normal whipping cream)

Cook noodles, drain, and set aside
While noodles are cooking, in a large pot, heat 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil over med heat.  Add onion, carrot, celery and saute until tender.  Then add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.  Add chicken broth, parsley, bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper.  Add chicken and bring soup to boil over med-high heat.  Reduce to med heat, cover with lid and allow soup to cook until chicken is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.  Remove chicken and shred.

Melt butter in medium saucepan over med heat.  Add flour and cook, stirring constantly about 1 1/2 minutes.  Slowly add milk and whisk until all lumps are gone.  Whisk in cream and bring mixture to a boil while still stirring constantly.    

Pour noodles, milk mixture, and chicken into soup and stir.


Recipe Adaptation from: Cooking Classy

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Overnight French Toast

This little breakfast gem is delicious and I love the quick prep.  It is a favorite at our family Christmas parties and I love how the brown sugar topping caramelizes.  My husband loves french toast but whoever gets stuck cooking the french toast doesn't get to eat with the family.  Enter overnight french toast.  You can prep it the night before and eat it as a family.  If you love french toast then you will really like this.  Enjoy!

Overnight French Toast

Butter or spray for the pan
1 loaf french bread cut into 1 inch pieces
6-8 eggs (6 eggs is well, less eggy :))
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups half and half or flavored coffee creamer (I like the coffee creamer, especially hazelnut flavor)
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

For the topping:
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 Tbsp light corn syrup

Butter or spray a 9x13 pan and place bread in the pan.  Beat eggs, milk, half and half (or creamer), vanilla, and cinnamon.  Pour over bread.  Cover and put in fridge over night.

In small saucepan, mix butter, sugar and corn syrup over medium heat.  Mix until bubbly and pour over bread/egg mixture.  (I have done this the night before or right before I put it in the oven.  I don't really notice a difference in taste so it is up to you!)

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Top with strawberries, whip cream, or syrup!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Taco Pasta Bake

I have seen this recipe floating around the internet for awhile but wasn't sure how I would like the taco taste in pasta.   I am glad I finally tried it.  This meal is perfect for nights you are running behind and want to throw something together fast.   

My son has never eaten so fast or so much in one sitting.  He ate 3 huge helpings and then talked about the awesome pasta the rest of the night.  I felt like a world class mom!  :)  

I like that the taco seasoning isn't too overpowering; just enough to add some good flavor.  I also like that it is creamy.  I wasn't sure it would be with the lack of ingredients but I was impressed.  Try it out if you are looking for something filling, great, and fast!

Taco Pasta Bake

1 lb noodles like penne or bow tie
1 lb  ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning or 1/4 cup taco seasoning
1 cup water
1 package cream cheese
2-3 cups cheese (I used mild cheddar)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta in one pot and beef in another.  Drain excess fat out of the meat and add the taco seasoning, water and cream cheese.  Add 1/2 of the cheese and salt and pepper to mixture and stir until everything is creamy and delicious.  Stir in noodles and pour into a 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Up the oven to broil for another 2-3 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

To spice up your life try adding diced onions, corn, beans, or whatever else your heart desires to this pasta beauty.  :)