Mini Apple Pies (for Pi Day!)

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Pie for pi day!

I halved a chowhound recipe to make just enough dough for two small pies + extra dough for cutouts to decorate the top with (using a cookie cutter).

Pie crust:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 2-4 tablespoons ice water
  • lemon zest, optional

Instructions: Combine flour, salt, and sugar, (and lemon zest if using) in food processor and pulse a few times. Add in butter and pulse again until butter is about pea-sized. Remove blade from food processor. Drizzle 2 tablespoons ice water and mix using spoon. Add another 1-2 tablespoons of ice water, if necessary for dough to come together– try not to add more than you really need.

 

Filling:

  • Two apples, diced: one Granny Smith, one red one (for a balance of sweet and tart)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or regular sugar if that’s all you have)
  • zest from half a lemon
  • juice from half a lemon
  • spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or ginger

Instructions: Melt butter in pan on medium, then add diced apples to pan. Add salt, brown sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and spices. Continue to cook until apples are soft. Remove from heat and let cool in the fridge.

 

Pie:

Roll out pie dough and then place into small pie pans– or just into circles to make a galette if you don’t have small pie pans. Add cooled filling, and then top with some more rolled out pie dough. You can make fun shapes here, or just do something standard/boring, it doesn’t matter because either way it will be delicious. Allow to cool/firm up in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Bake pies until dough is crispy and golden brown.

Banana Frozen Yogurt

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This recipe requires just a bit of planning ahead, because you have to put a banana in the freezer at least a day before.  Or, just freeze a whole bunch of peeled/ cut bananas to have ready whenever you need them!

My version today turned out a bit liquidy, and was more of an ice cream- smoothie hybrid.  Next time, I might add less almond milk to have a thicker consistency. It was still delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana, cut into 3 pieces
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (I used lactose-free yogurt from Whole Foods)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or another kind of milk that you have around)
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Garnish with a dash of cinnamon and enjoy.

Chocolate Cake & Vegan Ganache

ganache

birthday cake

I made this cake for Paul’s 21st birthday, and then again yesterday for his 24th! This time around we are both lactose-intolerant so I made a few adjustments in the recipe for that.

Cake

Ingredients
-1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-2/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa
-1 1/2 cup sugar
-1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 eggs
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-2 teaspoons vanilla
-3/4 cup milk (I used almond milk this time)
-2/3 cup hot water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease the bottom of two 9-inch cake pans. Then place parchment paper cut to size on the bottom of each pan and grease paper. Dust pans with cocoa.
  3. Sift dry ingredients together and place in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add eggs, oil, milk and vanilla and beat for a couple of minutes until combined.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add hot water and mix together.
  6. Pour into prepared pans and bake for about 28-30 minutes. Batter will be very liquid.
  7. Cool for about 5 minutes in the pan. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Ganache- Recipe from here

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz. semisweet chocolate (Chopped or whole chocolate bar– NOT chips!- they won’t melt as well.)
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk

Directions:

  1. Chop the chocolate into ¼ inch pieces. Place these pieces into a double boiler or a medium saucepan.
  2. Add the non-dairy milk. Stir constantly on low heat until all the chocolate pieces are melted. Once all the pieces are melted, remove from heat and whisk in any flavoring liquids if desired.
  3. Use the mixture while it’s warm or wait for it to cool depending on your application.
    This recipe makes about 1 ¼ cups of Easy Vegan Ganache depending on the ratio of non-dairy milk.

pumpkin pie

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pie filling from sally’s baking addiction and crust recipe from chow 

CRUST

ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 5-6 tablespoons ice water
  • (plastic wrap)

directions:

  1. add flour, salt, and sugar to a food processor and pulse twice to mix/aerate
  2. cut butter into chunks and add to food processor. pulse a few times until butter is pebble-size
  3. add 5 tablespoons of ice water to food processor and pulse a few times. push gently (avoiding the blade!) to see if dough sticks together. if it’s too loose, add one more tablespoon ice water and pulse a couple more times.
  4. lay out a large piece of plastic wrap on a surface. dump contents of food processor carefully onto the middle of the plastic wrap. gather dough together into a disk, and then fold plastic wrap around it.
  5. refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
  6. lay out a large piece of parchment paper on a surface. dust some flour onto paper.
  7. put dough disk onto floured parchment paper. dust more flour on top.
  8. roll our dough to 1/8″ thick, continuously dusting with flour as needed.
  9. fold dough into thirds gently, and then lift dough into pie pan. unfold dough and press into pan. cut off extra dough.
  10. crimp edges of pie crust, or roll out extra dough and use a cookie cutter to cut into desired shapes for decorative edges. gently place decorative pieces on the pie crust to save for later. cover with plastic wrap.
  11. put pie pan with dough back in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
  12. in the mean time, start on pie filling!

PIE FILLING

ingredients:

  • 2 cups (15oz can; 450g) pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon (15g) cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk (any is fine)
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon milk
  • coarse sugar

directions:

  1. in a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, 3 eggs, and dark brown sugar. make sure any brown sugar clumps dissolve.
  2. add in cornstarch, salt, pumpkin pie spice, pepper, heavy cream, and 1/4 cup milk. mix well.
  3. refrigerate (up to overnight is fine/ maybe even better to enhance flavor!) or use immediately
  4. preheat oven to 350F
  5. pour mixture into prepared pie crust. (remove decorative crust pieces first…). if using decorative dough cut-outs, press into the edge of pie crust after adding filling.  (note: some of my decorations slid off the edges in the oven. avoid this by not placing them too far over the edge!)
  6. in a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg with milk. brush mixture lightly over pie crust edge. sprinkle coarse sugar over crust.
  7. put foil or parchment paper on a baking pan. place pie on top.
  8. bake pie in oven for about 50 minutes, until custard is set. (middle won’t wiggle anymore)
  9. after about 20-25 minutes, check pie every 5-10 minutes. if crust starts getting too dark/burning, cover pie with foil and continue baking.
  10. after taking pie out of oven, let cool for about 3 hours on a cooling rack.
  11. eat immediately or refrigerate if making a day ahead.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

cinnamon banana muffins

banana muffins

recipe adapted from betty crocker

Muffins

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup mashed very ripe bananas (approx 2 small bananas)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Topping

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

  • Heat oven to 375°F. Grease bottoms only of 12 regular-size muffin cups with shortening or spray, or line with paper baking cups.
  • In medium bowl, beat 2/3 cup sugar, the oil and eggs with wire whisk. Stir in bananas and vanilla. Stir in remaining muffin ingredients just until moistened. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
  • In small bowl, mix 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle evenly over all the muffins.
  • Bake 17 to 21 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan to cooling rack.

pumpkin bread- mini loaves

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recipe adapted from here

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (*see alternate substitution below)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional ad-ins, such as chocolate chips and walnuts

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray, or line it with parchment paper. Set aside. (Or, use any other size/ shape baking pans you have around. I used 6 mini-loaves)
  2. Whisk together sugars, flour, spices, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Create a well in the center of the bowl, and add pumpkin, eggs, oil, water and vanilla into the well. Whisk, starting with the wet ingredients and working your way to the outside of the bowl, mixing until batter is smooth and clump-free. Do not over-mix. (Batter will be slightly lumpy.) Gently fold in chocolate chips, walnuts, etc if using.
  3. Pour batter into the loaf pan (s), and smooth the top with a spoon. Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then carefully invert the loaf and cool on a rack until it reaches room temperature. Cover in plastic wrap or store in a sealed container for up to 5 days.

*If you do not have white whole wheat flour, you can just include 1 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour, instead of doing part white whole wheat and part all-purpose.

funfetti cookies

 

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doubled from this recipe, made about 45ish cookies! paul brought them in to share at work.

recipe here is with original quantities of ingredients/ cookies:

YIELD: 15 medium cookies PREP TIME: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 8 minutes TOTAL TIME: 2+ hours, for dough chilling
INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla extract (real vanilla extract may be substituted)
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons corn starch
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
3/4 cup sprinkles (jimmies)

DIRECTIONS:

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, egg, extract, and beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use a hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes). Do not shortcut the creaming process; make sure dough is very light in color and fluff, stop to scrape down the sides of the mixer as necessary.
Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
Add the sprinkles and beat momentarily to incorporate, less than 1 minute, or fold in by hand.
Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping two tablespoon mounds (I made 15). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly with your palm, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter.
Preheat oven to 350F, line two baking sheets with Silpats, or spray with cooking spray. Place mounds on baking sheets, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet). Bake for 8 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center. These cookies should not turn golden or brown at all and should stay white. Do not bake longer than 9 minutes for soft cookies because they firm up as they cool (The cookies shown in the photos were baked with dough that had been chilled overnight, allowed to come to room temp for 15 minutes, and were baked for 8 minutes, with trays rotated at the 4-minute mark). Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
Store cookies airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.