Showing posts with label Fall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fall. Show all posts

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sweet Potato Hand Pies!

Everything Thanksgiving has been going through my head now for about 2 or 3 weeks. I am constantly churning over ideas like menu items, seating charts, table settings, and of course ~ dessert. When I discovered that this months Improv Cooking Challenge was all about making something great with sweet potatoes and honey, I had the perfect recipe. I have been thinking about expanding the dessert course to include a dessert bar, so everyone can munch through out the day. Later after dinner, I will fill up the dessert bar with all the traditional pies and cakes and some non traditional tastes that are fun! I think these little Sweet Potato Hand Pies are perfect, and are destined to become part of our tradition!
Sweet Potato Hand Pies
(adapted from Pillsbury)
Makes 14 pies

3/4 cup of mashed Sweet Potato
1 teaspoon Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Honey
1/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
1/8 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
1 box Pillsbury refrigerated Pie Crusts, softened
1 Egg, beaten
1 tablespoon Sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bake a fresh sweet potato in the oven
 for approx. 30-40 minutes. Let cool, and then
peel the skin off.
In a small bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, brown sugar,
honey, cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg.
It can be mixed with a spoon and spatula.
Unroll the pie crust.
Cut out 7 4" round circles. 
I used a cookie cutters.
Place a heavy teaspoon of sweet potato
 mix onto each pie crust round, just slightly off center.
Brush the crust edges with water.
Fold the crusts in half, and then seal them by crimping
the edges together with a fork.
Brush the tops of each pie with egg, 
and sprinkle sugar over the tops.
Bake in oven for 16-18 minutes.
Enjoy hot or cold!

Check out what everyone else made:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pumpkin and Cranberry Bread Pudding

I love Bread Pudding. It's such a comfort food. The first time I discovered the love of my dessert life,  I was 22 years old and I had just moved to Las Vegas. My soon to be husband and I went to eat at the Golden Nugget Buffet. I remember that at the end of a long line of desserts, sat this huge, gorgeous, barrel looking, copper chafing dish. I was so curious as to what in the world could be so incredible that it would warrant this special station at the buffet. So, I went to look.  What I found ruined me forever for all other desserts, and helped me gain 10 pounds! In this beautiful dish sat the most incredibly, delicious, gorgeous bread pudding ever. I couldn't get enough of it. Filled with moist, cream soaked bread; rich, eggs; plump golden raisins and the spicy, sweet aroma of cinnamon I was in heaven! I had to know how to make this. And so began my quest. I tried every bread pudding recipe I could get my hands on. There are a lot of them out there. I have yet to discover one as good as the bread pudding I had so many years ago. But, I keep trying. I heard that the recipe went away when the hotel was sold back in 2000. The rumor was that the old recipe belonged to the owners mother, and it was not sold with the hotel. I have seen some Golden Nugget Bread Pudding recipes floating around blog world, so I am going to have to get to work investigating and verifying their authenticity. It's the least I can do!!
     Meanwhile, I HAD to make this Pumpkin and Cranberry Bread Pudding. It's perfect for this time of year, and it is so good. Try it!
Pumpkin and Cranberry Bread Pudding
4 large eggs
1 cup packed Light Brown Sugar
3 tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
1 cup Milk
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
15 ounces Solid Pack Pumpkin
2 3/4 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
3/4 teaspoon Ground Allspice
5 1/2 cups Crusty Italian Bread
1 1/2 cups Dried Cranberries
Ice Cream
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 7" X 11" pan.
Put your 4 eggs in a bowl, and ....
whisk until they are frothy and smooth.
Add the brown sugar and....
 whisk together until the sugar dissolves.
Whisk in the milk, cream, and pumpkin.
Whisk in the cinnamon, ginger, and allspice.
Blend all together.
Start cutting your bread and...
Cut into 1/3" cubes.
I didn't remove the crust, but you could if you would like.
Pour the cubed bread into your pan.
Pour your mix into the pan on top of the bread.
Add the cranberries.
Mix completely.
If the bread wants to pop out of the mix and
float to the top, just push it down with a
spatula. It will stay under the mix as it becomes saturated.
I used gloved hands to make sure the bread
is thoroughly soaked, and everything is mixed well.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Pull from oven for a minute and
sprinkle the 3 tablespoons of light brown sugar on the top.
Pop back into the oven and
cook for an additional 20-25 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
Serve plain, or with whipped cream or how about...
topped with ice cream!
It's delicious any way you serve it.

Thanks for joining me today at The Freshman Cook.
and reading my stories!
See you tomorrow!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gingered Pear~Apple Cobbler

This Gingered Pear and Apple Cobbler is the dessert from last week. 
But this is worth waiting for. 
I used two of falls favorite fruits and they are scrumptious together.

Gingered Pear and Apple Cobbler
3/4 cup Sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons Cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted Butter, cut into chunks
2 1/2 teaspoons peeled and finely grated Gingerroot
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated Lemon Zest
6 tablespoons Apple Juice or Water
1 1/2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
3 1/2 cups of Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
6 cups of Bartlett Pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Cobbler Topping
1 1/3 cups Flour
1 tablespoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted Butter, cut into bits
1/2 cup Sour Cream, plus 1 1/2 tablespoon for top
1 tablespoon Sugar
Vanilla Ice Cream

 Peel the ginger.
Slice the ginger off into small pieces by using 
your peeler.
Take the small pieces and chop them until fine.
Zest the lemon. Do this by pulling the lemon along the 
microplane. Let the zest fall into the bowl. But don't 
zest any of the white skin. It will make your dish bitter.
Peel and core your apples.
Slice your apples.
Peel and core your pears.
Slice your pears.
Put the sugar and the cornstarch in a
pot for cooking on the stove.
Add the butter, cut into chunks.
Add the chopped ginger.
Add the lemon zest.
Turn the burner on medium high,
and mix until thickened slightly.
Add the apples. Let the mix boil, and cook stirring often
for 3 minutes.
Add the pears and vanilla. Cook, stirring often for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat.
In a food processor, place the flour...
salt and baking soda.
Pulse to mix.
Take the butter bits....
add to the flour mixture.
Pulse until mix comes together. To test it, put some on your
fingers and pinch. You want it to stick together. If it does not come
together, add small amounts of water and then pulse until it
does come together.
Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper.
Knead until smooth.
Place some flour on the parchment. 
Turn the dough over so it can be lightly floured on both sides.
Top with another piece of parchment paper.
Roll or press the dough until it is in the shape of your pan,
just slightly smaller.
This is the pan I used.
Place the dough over the fruit.
Tuck in or cut off the extra dough.
Cut a design in the top so the steam can vent.
Brush the 1 1/2 tablespoon of sour cream on the top.
Sprinkle sugar on top.
Bake on a baking sheet with sides, in a 400 degree
preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, or until brown.
Let cool for at least 30 minutes.
Add ice cream (it's required!)

Thanks for joining The Freshman Cook today!
Don't forget we are on Facebook and Twitter!

Enjoy your day!