Apple Cream & Crumb Pie

FALL!!!  It is here and in full force at our house.

Mums, pumpkins and gourds, bushels of apples, boozy apple cider, crisp air, sweaters, warm colors speckling the trees, and pumpkin spice everything!  EEK!  I love it all!

But what better way to get in the Fall spirit than by making your house feel warm and cozy with the aroma of a warm apple pie cooling on your counter? Lighting that Autumnal scented candle just won't hold a flame (pun fully intended) next to this beauty of a pie.

Go put on your boots, crunch through those fallen leaves, and pick up some apples for the pie that your friends and family will be talking about for days.

Apple Cream & Crumb Pie
adapted from The Baker Chick

Preheat oven to 375º

Apple Mix:
- 5 cups tart apples (I used a combination of Cortland, Jonagold, & Mutsu)
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 tsp. apple pie spice

Peel and slice your apples.  Cut slices into large chunks.  In a light bottom pan, melt and brown your butter over a medium heat.  Stir constantly and remove from heat once butter gives off a nutty aroma and you have brown butter bits.  Stir in your pie spice and then add apples.  Return to heat and coat your apples with spice and butter mix, cooking for 5-7 minutes until apples soften slightly.

Set aside.

Cream Mix:
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla paste (vanilla extract can be substituted)

In a large bowl, combine sugars, flour, and salt.  Be sure to break up any lumps.  In another bowl, whisk together cream, egg, and vanilla bean paste.  Slowly whisk cream mixture into your flour/sugar mix and whisk until smooth.

Set aside.

Crumb mix:
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 4 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cubed

In a food processor, pulse the dry ingredients until combined.  Add cold, cubed butter and pulse until you have a sandy mix with pea-size pieces of butter.  Transfer to bowl and use fingers to create larger crumb pieces.  Place in fridge while you start to assemble your pie...

Using your favorite pie crust recipe, roll out crust into a 9 inch pie plate, trim, and crimp your edges.  Add your apple mix.  Slowly pour cream mix over apples.  Top evenly with crumb mix.

Place pie in your preheated oven, and if desired, place a cookie sheet on the rack directly below your pie to prevent an oven mess if your cream mix boils over.

Bake for approx. 45 minutes.  You should have a nice brown crust and crumb with your filling bubbling.

Place pie on a cooling rack.  Serve warm and a la mode if you desire!

Valentines Day Recipe Round-up

Hello Dear Friends!

As I was searching for a Valentines Day themed dessert to make for my son's preschool class, I quickly realized I've made plenty of those treats here on my own blog.  So I thought I'd put them all together in one place so they're easier for you and me to find.  Easier, that is, if you put yourself in the "I volunteered to make something, and not sure why" boat (like me).

This is one of the first cookies I made on the blog, they are Chocolate Espresso Cookies with Kahlua Buttercream.  And like a lot of the treats featured today, they can be made and enjoyed year-round i.e., no "holiday" required. 

Chocolate Espresso Cookies with Kahlua Buttercream

Now this one is a lot of people's favorite.  It's my Chocolate Covered Cherry Whoopie Pie.  I love chocolate covered cherries, so it only seemed logical I make a whoopie pie in their honor.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Whoopie Pies

If you like the combination of chocolate and raspberry together, this one is for you! Try these Chocolate Raspberry Cookie Bars. I'm not a big fan of the combo usually, but when you use fresh raspberries and no artificial flavoring or dyes in the buttercream, it's a winner!

Chocolate Raspberry Cookie Bars

If you're not in the mood for cookies, whoopies, or bars then try this Love Bark.  The bottom layer is Double Stuf Oreo.  It has a rich, creamy filling, and topped with chocolate and more crushed Oreo.  This is all kinds of sweet!

Love Bark

It may not be Valentines Day for some without Red Velvet making a presence.  This Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip is easy and super fun to eat.  The combinations of dippers are endless!  Be creative! 

Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip

These Raspberry Cream Wafers almost melt in your mouth.  The wafer is buttery and light and the cream in the middle is just right; flavored with raspberry preserves and almond extract.  They're dangerous to have around when they're this tiny!

Raspberry Cream Wafers

How about a brownie?  Would you like it more if it were topped with Strawberry Buttercream?  And what if you decided to splash some Kahlua in the ganache and batter?  Now we're talking!  Make me up a batch of these Strawberry Kahlua Brownies, please!

Strawberry Kahlua Brownies

And last, but certainly not least...Whether you're not big into sharing or you're enjoying the night to yourself, the Strawberry Nutella Mug Cake is right up your alley!  Dig in and pair with a large glass of milk or red wine.  No judgements here!!!

Strawberry Nutella Mug Cake

I hope you found something that looks yummy to you or something that will help you decide what to make this Valentines Day.  Thanks for stopping by!  Now excuse me while I do some last minute shopping for a billion Valentines that my kids can pass out.  Something Star Wars related, I'm sure.


Cookie Crazed Mama

Pumpkin Muffins with Brown Butter Glaze

Y'all, I don't wait for the leaves to fall and the air to turn crisp before I start making pumpkin goodies.  In fact, I started making pumpkin whoopie pies weeks ago.  Because you know what?  People are like me and they eat the stuff up no matter what the thermometer says.  It's delicious, so why wait?  I mean, unless you're waiting for your pumpkins to grow and ripen on the vine of course.  Otherwise grab a giant can of Libby's Pumpkin Purée and join me!

*These muffins are super moist, taste like pumpkin pie, and are great with or without glaze.  You can store them for a few days in a container (if they last that long!) and are perfect heated up in the microwave for just a few seconds.

Pumpkin Muffins
adapted from King Arthur Flour
makes approx. 24 large standard muffins

-1 c. canola oil
-6 eggs
-3 c. granulated sugar
-3 c. pumpkin purée
-1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
-2 1/2 tsp. salt
-1 Tbsp. baking powder
-3 3/4 c. all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350º.  Line muffin tins with tulip parchment cups if you have them, I ordered mine on Amazon, but I've also found them at Krogers.  Otherwise, use standard cupcake liners.  If you do, the recipe will make more than 24-feel free to cut the recipe in half!

Beat together oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, salt, & baking powder until smooth.  Slowly add flour and mix until flour is just blended in and no flour streaks remain.

For standard muffin liner, fill 3/4 full.  If you're using tulip cups like mine, fill to the top of muffin pan-the tulip cups support the extra rise.

Bake standard muffins for 20-25 minutes; ones in tulip cups 25-30 minutes.  Toothpick should come out clean.

As muffins cool slightly make your glaze...

Brown Butter Cinnamon Glaze
adapted from Martha Stewart

-1 stick unsalted butter
-2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
-1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
-1/4 tsp. cinnamon
-2-4 Tbsp. heavy cream (can use whole milk or such)

Over medium heat, melt butter in a light colored pan on stove.  Butter will melt, bubble and foam.  Stir as sediment collects at bottom to prevent scorching.  After 5-10 minutes, sediment and butter will start to darken and give off a nutty aroma.  Remove from heat once medium-light in color.

Transfer butter and brown butter sediment to mixing bowl.  Add sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and whisk.  Slowly pour in heavy cream and whisk until you've reached your desired consistency.

Pour, scoop, or drizzle over warm muffins.  These would also be great brushed with butter and topped with cinnamon sugar.

Enjoy and join the rest of us pumpkin eating/drinking maniacs...

Found on a friend's Facebook.  Can't tell if he was poking fun at over zealous pumpkin lovers like myself.  Hmm.