My dad was the first person to teach me how to bake. I’ve already blogged about my him as an expert pie maker and all-around awesome person a few times. On Thanksgiving, he made pumpkin pie for breakfast and proudly displays the “evil pie” print I purchased for him in our family’s living room. He also sent me a surprise package of baking supplies to celebrate Spring!
Last year, when I sent him photo evidence of my Apple Pie Cookies, he lightly scoffed at my use of canned apples. :-P At my parent’s house, we have apple trees in the backyard. One year, my dad went into uber-pie mode and made more than ten apple pies, not wanting the fruit to go to waste. After we’d had our fill, he shared some with his coworkers, our cousins and the neighbors, too. It’s no surprise that he earned a new sense of respect from those who hadn’t ever tried one of his pies before.
So when my dad was in town, I was determined to have him bake with me. :) We already had an ambitious schedule of activities for my parents’ visit, so I forced him…(err, I mean asked him nicely) to retry a quick recipe. We followed my Apple Pie Cookies recipe using cherry filling, instead. Cherry pie always makes me think of my dad because (1) any pie makes me think of my dad, (2) he loves cherries and cherry-flavored foods and (3) he tells a funny story about a girl he once met named Cherry. As the story goes, he was working as a substitute teacher and saw the name “Cherry Pie” on his roll call sheet. Wanting to avoid embarrassing her, he pronounced her name “Sherry,” thinking that “Cherry Pie” was just too unlikely a name. He quickly learned he was wrong when she shot back a harsh, “It’s Ch-erry Pie” response. Ah well, he had the best of intentions! (He always, always does.)
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! I’m sending out lots of love to my dad for being my mentor in so many ways.
- Frozen pie crusts – 1 box
- Cherry pie filling – 1 can
- Circle cookie cutter (I used a 2.5″ cookie cutter from Sur La Table which yielded ~18 cookies.)
- Egg – 1
- Parchment paper
- Flour – just enough to sprinkle on the crusts to keep them from sticking to the parchment paper
1. Sprinkle flour on 1 pie crust and roll it out on a piece of parchment paper. (I also rolled out my 2nd pie crust at the same time on a separate sheet of parchment paper, to ensure it was the same size. You’ll need it later to top your pie cookies!)
2. Pour out pie filling on cutting board and chop it into bite-size pieces. Spread topping on crust.
3. Cut 2nd pie crust into strips and weave into a lattice pattern.
4. Dip circle cookie cutter in egg wash and cut out pie cookies. Arrange on cookie sheet. Brush some extra egg wash on cookie tops.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes and then allow time to cool. Enjoy!
Last week, I celebrated my half birthday. While I’m not exactly sure where I’ll be for my birthday in December, I’m determined to make it somewhere warm! (So obviously, Chicago isn’t going to cut it. :-P) In honor of the half and to celebrate the start of warmer temps, I hosted a tropical-themed dinner party for a some close friends. It only seemed fitting to recap a couple recipes from the event for my first Fiesta Friday Blog Party. (Thanks for the invite to participate, Jhuls!)
The full dinner party spread looked like this:
- Appetizers: watermelon, chips & salsa, drunk gummies and fruit glazed meatballs
- Main course: pineapple & ham fried rice, BBQ pulled chicken on Hawaiian rolls and ginger & garlic green beans
- Dessert: double coconut cupcakes and watermelon cookie “slices”
- Drink: tropical ginger punch
I also had a few fun and tropical wearables – leis and party glasses, courtesy of Oriental Trading. (I had to practice restraint when browsing through the Luau section — so many cute and appropriately themed things!)
OK, time to skip to the desserts. The watermelon cookie slices really DID taste like watermelon! (Several friends were convinced I’d melted watermelon Jolly Ranchers into the batter, as they swore that’s what they were reminded of when sampling the cookies.) But the solution to make these cookies was a lot simpler. I turned a box of Betty Crocker Watermelon Cupcake Mix into cake mix cookies, and added some icing and green sugar to create the rind. I used my roommate’s “muffin tops” pan to create the larger cookies, and cut them in half once they’d baked (and had time to cool) to create the slices. (Want to learn how to create cake mix cookies? See my recipe for Strawberry White Chocolate Cookies.)
The Double Coconut Cupcakes were a bit more involved, though I still used a box of cake mix for the base batter. (Hey, I had three other courses to worry about! :-P) Once out of the oven, these cupcakes were super light and spongy. The condensed milk and coconut on top makes them look pretty even without the frosting.
- 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 box white cake mix
- 1 1/4 cups almond coconut milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 4 egg whites
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons almond coconut milk
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small frying pan, cook sweetened coconut flakes over low-medium heat for a few minutes. Stir often and watch carefully, as the flakes will easily burn if left unattended.
2. Mix toasted coconut with condensed milk. In a separate bowl, combine cake mix, milk, vegetable oil and egg whites together using a mixer on low for the first minute and at medium speed for another 2 minutes.
3. Insert liners in muffin tins and fill liners about 3/4ths full with batter. Scoop condensed milk/coconut mixture atop batter on each cupcake.
4. Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
5. While cupcakes are cooling, create frosting by beating butter smooth with a hand mixer. Gradually blend in powdered sugar to form a crumbly mix. Next, add in milk and mix until desired consistency.
6. Frost cupcakes and sprinkle tops with toasted coconut.
This recipe was adapted from Crazy for Crust.
I was seeking a bright, sunny burst of sweetness in my kitchen. These Lemon Strawberry Cookie Cakes pack quite a lemony punch, but not in a super sour way, at all! They’re baked in a pan, and then cut to make single servings. I used my circle cookie cutter as a mold (and ate the scraps in the process). :) I paired my cookie cakes with a glass of sparkling water, topped with strawberry slices. If you’re still craving more lemon love, you could serve these with a glass of lemonade.
- Flour – 2 1/4 cups
- Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
- Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
- Sugar – 3/4 cup
- Butter or margarine – 1 cup
- Egg – 1
- Lemon zest – 3 tablespoons
- Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
- Diced strawberries – 3/4 cup
- Lemon juice – 3 tablespoons
- Powdered sugar – 1/2 cup
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking pan with tin foil.
2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
3. Cream butter and sugar together in a separate bowl. Add in lemon juice, lemon zest and egg. Then mix in dry ingredients.
4. Fold in strawberries.
5. Add mixture to lined baking pan, lightly pressing dough down into bottom of pan.
6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. To create glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Use whisk to drizzle glaze atop cookie cakes.
This recipe was adapted from Bakeaholic Mama.
Happy New Year! Right now, it’s ridiculously cold here in Chicago. I mean, it’s Fuh-REE-Zing. In fact, we have sub zero temps outside today. Some locals have dubbed it the land of “CHIberia.” To avoid cabin fever syndrome, I ventured out last night to a birthday party, but aside from that event and a few errands I ran yesterday, I’ve been cooped up inside all weekend. I’ve got my slow cooker simmering away with Chipotle Chicken Soup and a fresh mug of Raspberry Pomegranate tea by my side.
I also made a batch of Cool Whip Cookies, or as I like to call them, “cloud cookies,” because of their light and fluffy taste and texture. This time I opted for the power of PINK. (Click to see the Lemon Cool Whip Cookies here, inspired by this summer’s sunshine. Man, we could use some of that sun now!)
The Makings: (1 batch yields ~2 dozen cookies)
1. In a medium sized bowl, beat together eggs and entire contents of the Cool Whip container. Slowly add in cake mix, until it’s folded into the batter. Chill mixture for 1 hour in the fridge.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and remove chilled dough.
3. Scoop balls of dough – about 1 tablespoon per ball – and roll them in powdered sugar. Place powdered dough balls on a cookie sheet. (Here, I also sprinkled on some pink sugar for an extra pinch of PINK.)
4. Bake cookies for 9 to 12 minutes, or until the bottom and the tops of the cookies are lightly golden.