Tuesday, June 3, 2014

blackberry oregano pie

There is really something about pie that screams summertime, sitting on the porch, chatting with friends, trying to peel an apple in one long strand... too far? So when the man shyly asked me to make a pie I quickly flashed him a handful of recipes. In a matter of seconds he pointed at a lovely Martha Stewart creation. If you have ever made something from Martha Stewart you know they typically take a bit of time, but usually turn out lovely! I did modify a few procedures to fit past experiences and gave our pie a different look, and let me say this blackberry oregano pie did not disappoint! It has the perfect crust, is so very fresh, and cuts PERFECTLY! I mean when does that happen?

Bit of advice: This will take time! It is not difficult, but it needs time to set up. Make this the morning of or day before you want to serve it. Trust me. Happy baking!

Blackberry oregano pie modified from martha stewart living


  • 4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup ice water


  • 7 cups blackberries (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Sugar in the raw or sanding sugar, for sprinkling
  • Whipped cream, for serving

Crust: Place flour, salt, and butter into a large mixing bowl. Cut with a pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs about the size of peas. Add ice water stir until dough just starts to come together. Divide dough into thirds, pat into disks, and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. This is a very important step! If you do not do this the butter will melt while you are rolling it out.

Let dough stand at room temperature until pliable. Roll out 1 disk on a lightly floured piece of waxed paper to an 11-inch round, about 1/4 inch thick. Flip your waxed paper into a 9-inch pie plate. Pull away waxed paper and work the dough carefully into the corners. Trim overhang to just beyond rim of pie plate; tuck under to create a neat edge all around. Place in the refrigerater.

Meanwhile, roll out remaining 2 disks of dough on waxed paper to just under 1/4 inch thick; freeze on 2 baking sheets until firm, about 30 minutes. It may not take this long though. Using a 1-inch fluted cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds as possible from sheets of dough (rerolling and cutting out scraps once). Return cutouts to freezer.

Filling: Toss blackberries with lemon juice, granulated sugar, oregano, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. Transfer to piecrust. Brush edge of piecrust with beaten egg. Taking one round of dough from the freezer carefully flip the round onto the pie filling. Press gently to seal the edges, and trip any extra dough. The dough will be stiff so let it settle on its own. 
Using a decorative cutter, cut out as many pieces as possible from the remaining sheet of dough from the freezer. Add beaten egg to pie crust and place cut-outs as desired. Place pie in freezer for one hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with a rack in lower third and a baking sheet on rack below. Brush entire top of pie with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar in the raw. I love the beautifully sandy color, but if you prepare a cleaner look use sanding sugar. Bake 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and continue to bake until juices are bubbling near center (if browning too quickly, tent top or edge with foil), about 1 hour more. Let cool completely, at least 6 hours or overnight. Serve with whipped cream.

Monday, June 2, 2014


I did nothing bad... I didn't share. A LOT. I was so very lazy! But guess what!? I have some really yummy things to share with you... Tomorrow.

See you then!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

day of the dead cake

With butter in hand hubby went to work on the very important task of greasing and flouring our skull cake mold from Williams and Sonoma. Paying careful attention to the eyes and nose he quietly worked while I completed the cake batter. After about fifteen minutes he was satisfied. Coming to my side he handed me the red food dye he had gotten from the cabinet, "Let's make it red!" Well, how could I say no to that! Throughout the making of this cake he followed closely behind, cleaning up my messes, finding my lost frosting tips, and giving advice the moment I asked for it. Funny how a skull cake can make me love my hubby even more! 

For the cake:

I used the recipe that came with the cake mold with the addition of red food coloring. However, you could really use any cake batter you like! To keep the cake from sliding apart I used three wooden skewers and a thin layer of black buttercream frosting. For the design I used Day of the Dead masks as a model finishing off with a black buttercream rose (my very first buttercream rose ever!).

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

caramel pumpkin spice layer cake

So I'm typically not someone who plays with my food too frequently... but I may fall victim to talking to my food. You know "Well, don't you look tasty," or "something smells nice." But this saucy little number caused a "Well hello gorgeous!" to escape my lips... What can I say, I like food and this Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Homemade caramel is too tasty for words... except maybe, "Well hello gorgeous!" 

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake Recipe via Taste Spotting:

butter for pans and parchment liners
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 stick butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (about 1½ cups)
Cream Cheese Frosting
Caramel Sauce (this recipe by Rose Levy Berenbaum)

1. Preheat to 350°F.

2.Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottom with rounds of parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper, as well, then flour the parchment paper bottom and sides of the pan.

3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl, using a hand mixer), beat on medium speed granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in pumpkin and vanilla until just combined (low speed on the mixer).

5. Add the flour/spice mixture to the butter/sugar/eggs mixture, stirring until just combined.

6. Divide the batter between the buttered pans. Lightly tap the pans on the countertop and smooth out the tops of the batter.

7. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pan, start to barely turn golden at the edges, and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool the baked cakes for 15 minutes in their pans. Flip the cakes onto wire cooling racks and peel off the parchment paper. Let cool completely (upside down, so the rounded tops can flatten out a little).

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 ox. cream cheese, doesn’t have to be room temperature/softened
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 – 3 cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
1. Beat 8 oz. cold cream cheese (not rock solid, but it means you can use it straight out of the refrigerator) with 5 Tbsp. softened butter and 2 tsp. vanilla until combined. Gradually add 2 c. powdered sugar that has been sifted after measuring. Continue to add more sifted powdered sugar until you reach a consistency and sweetness that fits your taste.

2. Make the caramel or just buy it. Whatever your heart desires. I was just up for a little challenge. 
3. Frost cake and drizzle caramel sauce over the top of the cake... Or scoop it on like I did. I mean I really like caramel.  

Monday, September 30, 2013

pumpkin mocha cupcakes

Tomorrow is the first day of October! Ten days till my birthday, Halloween is just around the corner, and pumpkin is on every menu! Today a little treat from My Baking Addiction, Pumpkin Mocha Cupcakes. These are just lovely. The cupcakes are so moist. If you really like coffee though I would suggest substituting two cups of coffee in these treats instead of one cup of coffee and one cup of hot water. 

Recipe via My Baking Addiction


2 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons homemade pumpkin pie spice
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup coffee, hot
1 cup hot water
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Pumpkin Spice Buttercream:

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 pounds (about 7 1/2 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons homemade pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a whisk, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cocoa powder until thoroughly combined.
3. Add in oil, coffee, water, eggs and vanilla. Mix until well combined and smooth. Batter will be thin.
4. Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 36 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 10 minutes.
6. Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to fully cool on a wire rack. Once cupcakes are cool, prepare your frosting.

For the Pumpkin Buttercream:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter medium-high speed for about 6 minutes.
2. Turn the mixer down to low speed and gradually add in the confectioners' sugar until it is completely incorporated. Add in pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Turn off the mixer and check the buttercream for taste and texture - add more spice if necessary. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat the mixture for about 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy. If the buttercream is a bit too thick, you add in a bit of milk one teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
3. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and if desired.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

pumpkin brown butter cupcakes

I have a thing for fall. I love pumpkin patches and making toasted pumpkin seeds, stuffing my face with candy on Halloween, preparing and gobbling down pie on Thanksgiving, living off of cranberry/turkey/dinner roll sandwiches for days to follow... are you catching the trend? So I decided to transition into the fall season with some yummy treats. Enter pumpkin brown butter cupcakes with cinnamon frosting. These cupcakes are just delicious... even if I did get over excited to eat them and didn't wait for the frosting to cool enough. Hey, my tummy doesn't care if they are pretty or not.

Recipe via Sprinkle Bakes


¾ cup unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. allspice
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
½ cup sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake tins with papers.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, swirling the pan occasionally until the butter turns golden brown. Pour the browned butter into a small bowl and let stand until cool but not solidified.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and allspice.  Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk 1 ½ cups of pumpkin puree with the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and sour cream until well combined.  Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.  Whisk in the browned butter until well blended.  
  5. Divide batter between cupcake liners.  Fill them about half full.
  6. Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, or until they spring back when pressed in the middle.

Cinnamon Frosting 

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and heavy cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes.
  2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; beat until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and cinnamon and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, transfer the bowl to the refrigerator to chill slightly, and then beat again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is the proper consistency.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

perfect pancakes

I'm a Pioneer Woman girl. I read her book, own her cookbooks, and check her blog religiously. Maybe it's the oh so lovely story of the city girl who fell for a silver haired cowboy or perhaps the witty quips in every post. So needless to say when I suggested pancakes for breakfast her blog was the first I checked, and as always the Pioneer Woman didn't let me down. They were light and fluffy, and made the Hub's eyes roll back into his head. I lift my pancake filled fork to you, Pioneer Woman!  

Recipe via Pioneer Woman


3 cups Plus 
2 Tablespoons Cake Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Baking Powder
2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 cups Milk
2 whole Large Eggs
3 teaspoons Vanilla
4 Tablespoons Butter
Extra Butter
Maple Or Pancake Syrup

Preparation Instructions

Mix together dry ingredients in large bowl.
Mix together milk, eggs, and vanilla in a separate bowl.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring very gently until just combined.
Melt butter and add it to the batter, stirring gently to combine.
Cook on a greased skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown. Serve with an obscene amount of butter and warm syrup.