What’s Baking November Round-Up- Oh My, It’s Pie!

I am so excited to be hosting November’s round-up for What’s Baking.   I was trying to think up a theme and decided it would be a good idea to try to incorporate Thanksgiving.  When I think of Thanksgiving, besides spending time with family, the turkey and all the fixings, I can’t help but think of dessert.  And, dessert for Thanksgiving always seems to include pumpkin pie.  But it doesn’t have to be pumpkin, does it?  There are so many different delicious kinds of pie. So, let’s ditch the pumpkin and make pie the theme!

My good friend, Eva of Eva Bakes, recreated the old-fashioned Southern sweet potato pie that was the perfect ending to a real barbecue meal on a recent trip back to her Southern college town.  For this pie to be authentic, a recipe with pumpkin pie spice would just not do.  It was not easy, but Eva found the perfect recipe, without the spice, that allowed the sweetness of the potato to come through.  My husband is crazy about sweet potatoes.  He would totally love this pie!

sweet potato pie

After scoring a bunch of peaches at the farmer’s market this summer, Heather Lynn at Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks, made and jarred peach jam.  Luckily she had enough fruit to make this delicious peach pie filling too.  Heather Lynn had a mini-Thanksgiving dinner with some friends and all she had to do for dessert was make a pie crust for the sweet, spicy and juicy peach filling she already made.  Now, that’s easy entertaining. Ina would be proud!

peach pie1

Part of what Jenna from Jenna’s Cooking Journey likes about What’s Baking is that she spends a lot of time reading through blogs, looking for the perfect recipe.  She has found some great new blogs this way, including Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. where this blueberry cheesecake pie caught her eye.  Mel’s is one of my favorite blogs, too.  Mmmm…cheesecake with fresh blueberry topping? Sign me up!

blueberry cheesecake pie

Yudith, from Blissfully Delicious, didn’t really like coconut cream pie until she tasted this one that she made special for her mother’s visit.  This pie sounds delicious with a chocolate wafer crust, coconut pudding, sweetened whipped cream and toasted coconut.  And, congratulations to Yudith and her family on a new addition due this May. How exciting!

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Ange, from The Tiny Tyrant’s Kitchen, likes to steer clear of pumpkin pie for the holidays and do something different. This time she decided to give sugar cream pie a try. Although it smelled good while it baked, Ange was disappointed with the consistency and sweetness.  I’m sorry Ange, I have had more than my share of baking disappointments.

Sugar Cream Pie

Joanna, from Kosher Kitchen, decided to make chocolate pecan pie with homemade pie crust.  Although she was nervous at first, thankfully, it was easier than she thought.  The pie was well received at her Thanksgiving dinner.  After eating it, her second cousin declared Joanna’s husband a lucky man.  Her husband couldn’t help but agree, for this pie and a list of many other things. 😀

chocolate pecan pie

Sandra, of She Cooks and Bakes, just had a baby (congratulations) and was hosting Thanksgiving, so she needed a quick and easy dessert.  This peanut butter icebox pie fit the bill.  Peanut butter and chocolate just happens to be my favorite flavor combination.  In fact, I am eating mini peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s as I type this. They are so good and I am now sad that they are almost gone.  Now, I have to buy more and make this pie!

Peanut butter icebox pie

Cookie Dough Cream Pie, say what?  Carrie from Carrie’s Sweet Life made this pie from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook, which I own. I have made several recipes from the book and they have all been wonderful. Honestly, I don’t know how I missed this recipe because it looks and sounds delicious.

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Stephanie, at Brownies and Blondies, was talking to her fiancée about his mom’s coconut cream pie recently and decided to make it for What’s Baking.  But, it seemed too summery, so she decided to add cranberries.  And then what the heck, throw in some white chocolate because it goes so well with cranberries.  And that is how this white chocolate coconut cranberry pie was born!

pie

Nicole, from Seven Ate Nine, decided to make Paleo Pie because her husband and his dad are on the Whole 30 Program, which doesn’t allow for anything in a dessert pie. So, she made an egg “crust” and filled it with eggs, sausage, peppers and onions to make a quiche of sorts.  I never think of savory pies, but we love eggs in my house.

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And, I made French silk pie. It has always been a favorite of mine and apparently it is now Jack’s and Sammie’s favorite too. Of course baby Alex loved it, but really that is no feat, he eats everything.  The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t have to worry about raw eggs.  ATK found a way around it and the filling is actually cooked. So now it is safe for small children and it is still delicious.  Really, crazy delicious!

ATK French silk pie pie

Carrie, from Carrie’s Sweet Life, is the December hostess for What’s Baking.  So, at the end of next month, make sure to head over to her blog for a round-up of some delicious peppermint recipes!

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Soft Sugar Cookies with Cookie Dough Frosting

I have to admit that I love those Lofthouse cookies at the grocery store.   You know the ones.  The soft sugar cookies with thick frosting and sprinkles to coordinate with each holiday.  So delicious.  Even with all the baking I do, I have a hard time resisting them.  But, I think next time it will be a little bit easier.  Why?  Because I have found some cookies that blow those out of the water.  I came across a recipe for sugar cookies in The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook that were described as tasting like the grocery store cookies only better with the addition of chocolate chip cookie dough frosting.  How could they not be better?

I must warn you that these cookies are a bit time consuming because of all the steps: making the dough, refrigeration, roll and cut the dough, bake them, make the frosting and frost them.  But, each step is easy and the end result is oh so very worth it.   Upon tasting them, both my son and husband exclaimed oh my god, which was barely discernible with their mouths stuffed with cookies.  My daughter said they were the best thing I ever made.  Now, these three are some very tough critics.  If they say they are good, you can believe it.  But really, what’s not to like?  This is a super soft, not too sweet sugar cookie, smeared with cookie dough frosting and generously topped with chocolate chips.  Sounds (and tastes) pretty perfect to me. 😀

Soft Sugar Cookies with Cookie Dough Frosting

Yield: 24 cookies

For the cookies:

1/2 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature  Use the sticks- easier to measure and less messy

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

4 cups all-purpose flour (or more as needed)

For the frosting:

3/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 cups powdered sugar, or more as needed

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, beat together shortening and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add heavy cream and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add salt, baking soda, and baking powder, followed by the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing until dough comes together. Dough should be soft but not sticky.  If it is sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time as needed. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.  I put the dough on Saran wrap and shaped it into a disk to make it easier to roll later.

Preheat oven to 350F. Roll out dough to 3/8 inch thick. I had to use a small bit of flour.  Cut it into 3-inch circles (I used a biscuit cutter) and transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until tops are puffed and no longer shiny and bottoms are just barely golden brown. Do not overbake. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare frosting, beat together butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in flour and salt, followed by vanilla. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add heavy cream and beat until fluffy. Add more powdered sugar as necessary, 1/4 cup at a time, until frosting is thick yet spreadable.  I had to add more cream to thin it out a bit. 

With an offset spatula, spread 1 heaping tablespoon of frosting onto each cookie. You can be generous with the frosting. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, pressing lightly so chips adhere to frosting. Refrigerated in an airtight container, frosted cookies will keep for up to 3 days.

Source:  The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sandwich Cookies

A few days ago, my sister-in-law was wonderful enough to take all three of my children so my husband and I could spend a day in the city kid-free!  I ♥ her.  We went to Bleeding Heart Bakery for a late breakfast and after looking at cases upon cases of delicious looking cupcakes, cookies and other sweets, I chose a broccoli quiche.  My husband couldn’t believe it.  But, with all the desserts that I bake, I really wanted something savory and it was delicious.   My husband chose a giant whoopie pie, but was disappointed that it wasn’t nearly as good as mine.   I tasted a bite and couldn’t help but agree.  😀 After breakfast, we had time before the movie, so we decided to browse some at Barnes and Noble.  Of course, I made a beeline straight for the cookbook section.  It is there that I came across the book The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook, flipped through a few pages and decided that I needed it.  But, it is so hard for me to buy books at the bookstore, when I know I am able to get them so much cheaper on Amazon.  So, somehow I restrained myself and noted the title so I could order it that night.

When the book arrived, I was flipping through it and  I knew that I had to make the chocolate chip cookie dough filled sandwich cookies immediately.  I mean, are you kidding me?  My favorite cookie, sandwiched together with cookie dough filling, which I may like even more than the cookie itself?  Now, that is genius!  The cookie batter comes together easily, just like any other chocolate chip cookie dough.  The cookies bake up flat, and a bit crispy on the edges and chewy in the middle.  The cookie dough frosting tastes so much like cookie dough, I had a hard time not eating it all right out of the bowl.  Okay, I admit it.  I ate some.  But, I still had enough to fill the cookies…well, most of them anyways.   Filled or not, these cookies are simply delicious.  As if there was any doubt.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sandwich Cookies

Yield: 20 to 24 sandwich cookies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips

For Cookie Dough Filling:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugars until no lumps remain, 1-2 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract, scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and mix until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll chilled dough into smooth, tablespoon-size balls, about 1 inch in diameter. Flatten balls slightly into 3/4-inch disks.  Arrange about 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets. These flatten and spread quite a bit.  I suggest baking 9 cookies/sheet for your first batch so you can gauge size and spacing.  Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until cookie edges are lightly golden. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare the cookie dough filling, beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in flour, powdered sugar, and salt on low speed until incorporated. Slowly add heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stir in mini chocolate chips.

To assemble, sandwich 1 heaping tablespoon of filling between two cookies. Press cookies lightly until filling spreads to the edges. Repeat with remaining cookies.  Sandwiches can be stored refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.  Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Source:  The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

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