Ople Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 8 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.

Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.

Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk

Directions

Cream butter in mixer until smooth and lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. After each addition has been incorporated, turn the mixer to high for 10 seconds. Add vanilla and a pinch of salt and combine until well incorporated. Add milk. Add additional powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time and/or milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the frosting reaches the preferred  consistency.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • Approx. 5 cups confectioner’s sugar (1 to 1.5 pounds)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

Cream together butter and cream cheese until well combined. Add cocoa powder and continue to cream together until well combined.

Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.

Add vanilla extract and combine well.

If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears to wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.

Great on German Chocolate Cake with sweetened coconut flakes sprinkled on top.

Sugar Cookie M&M Bars

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup shortening or butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup holiday M&Ms
  • 1 cup white vanilla baking chips

Directions

Preheat over to 350°. Spray bottom only of 13×9 inch pan with cooking spray.

Cream together butter (or shortening) and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture slowly and thoroughly. Stir in the white vanilla baking chips and 1/2 cup M&Ms. Press dough in bottom of pan. Sprinkle remaining M&Ms on top.

Bake 22-24 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack, about 1 hour. Cut into small squares.

Peppermint Meltaways

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 & 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

* these are supposed to be little ball shaped cookies. Mine were flat, but still delicious. Next time try refrigerating longer and keeping cool until just before popping them in the oven. Or try 1 C powdered sugar, 1 cup butter, 1/4 t peppermint extract, 2 cups flour, 1/8 t salt)

Frosting

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 drops red food coloring, optional
  • 1 & 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in extract. In another bowl, whisk flour and cornstarch; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes or until firm enough to handle.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Shape dough into 1 inch balls; place 2 in apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 9-11 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. In a small bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in milk, extract and food coloring (optional). Gradually beat in confectioners sugar until smooth. Spread over cookies; sprinkle with crushed candies.

Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups butter (3 sticks), softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder (optional)

Directions

Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.

Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.

Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.

Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.

If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears to wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.

Mom’s Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients

  • 3/8 cup softened butter
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 5 1/4 cups powdered sugar

Directions

Cream butter, salt, cocoa.

Original Recipe: Add milk and vanilla. Beat in sugar. If needed, thin with more milk or stiffen with more sugar.

New Recipe: Add sugar and milk by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added. Then add vanilla.

Top-Secret Mousse

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • Whipped cream or creme fraiche, for serving (optional)

Directions

Gently melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water or in a microwave oven on medium power. If necessary, transfer the chocolate to a bowl that can hold all the ingredients. Using a whisk, stir the egg yolks into the chocolate one at a time.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the salt until they start to form peaks. Beating all the while, gradually add the sugar. Continue to beat until the whites are shiny and hold medium-firm peaks.

Spoon about one-quarter of the whites over the melted chocolate and stir with the whisk until the mixture is almost smooth. (Stirring in a bit of the whites lightens the chocolate and makes the next step easier.) Spoon the rest of the whites over the chocolate and, using the whisk or a large rubber spatula, very carefully fold in the whites. Be as thorough as you can without overworking the mixture — it’s better to have a few white streaks than to beat the bubbles out of the mousse by overmixing.

Spoon the mousse into a serving bowl or individual bowls or serve it now, or cover it and keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready for dessert. Covered well, the mousse will keep overnight in the refrigerator, although it will get denser as it stands.

Extraordinary Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 24 ounces chocolate chips

Directions

Heat oven to 350.

In large bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt.

In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars on high speed.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Slowly add flour mixture and beat on low until combined.  Mix in chocolate chips.

Bake for 11-13 minutes.

Red White and Blue Star Cookies

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for dusting surfaces
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more for brushing
  • 3/4 cup raspberry jam
  • 3/4 cup blueberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons sanding sugar (red, white and blue if you can find it)

Directions

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Cream butter and granulated sugar, with a mixer on medium speed, until pale and fluffy. Beat in yolks and vanilla until well combined. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with cream and beating well after each addition. Shape dough into 4 disks, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or up to 3 days).

On floured parchment, roll 1 disk of dough into a 1/8-inch-thick rectangle. Repeat with remaining disks. Stack sheets of dough and parchment, and refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes.

Spread raspberry jam on 1 sheet of dough, blueberry jam on another. Top each with a plain sheet of dough. Refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut out cookies using a 2 1/2-inch star-shaped cutter, and space 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush with cream, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes.

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden, 16 to 20 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool completely. If desired, bake dough scraps.