Vanilla Bean Latte Cupcakes

I love birthdays. We have already discussed birthdays on this little blog in fact (here!). Birthdays mean presents, time with friends, happiness, candles, milestones, and of course cake.

You don’t even have to give me permission to make you a cake, or at least something sweet, for your birthday. I will just do it. As was the case with my friend Becky’s birthday yesterday. I knew her birthday was coming up and pondered for a week what to make for her. This girl loves coffee. A lot. I have been dying to make peach cupcakes for a while ever since I pinned a recipe but opted instead to scour the internet for the perfect vanilla latte cupcakes. Do you know how many latte cupcakes are out there!?! Somehow I stumbled upon one recipe that called for filling the cupcakes. Um. Yes please. Although it meant more steps I couldn’t pass up the idea.

Unfortunately my hands were full with Little yesterday so I couldn’t personally deliver them. Becky’s husband, Halsey, was my partner in crime and came to pick them up at my house mid afternoon so they would be waiting at home for her when she returned from work. Yey for birthday cupcakes AND surprises!

Happy happy birthday Becky. I hope you enjoyed them.

Vanilla bean latte cupcakes

Vanilla Bean Latte Cupcakes (makes 12)

1/2 vanilla bean
3/4 cup milk
6 Tbs unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350° F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Scrape the vanilla bean and add with the pod and milk in a small pot. Heat the mixture and let it simmer for a few a minutes. Allow the vanilla to steep in the milk as it cools. Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Sift together the dry ingredients. Remove the pod from the milk mixture. (You can wash and dry the pod for some other use.) Alternate adding the milk mixture and dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Mix each addition until combined. Fill the cupcake liners to half way. Bake at 350 °F for 15-18 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Vanilla bean latte cupcakes

For the espresso filling:
1 cup heavy cream
2 yolks
3 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp instant espresso

Heat half the cream and 2 Tbs of sugar and the espresso in a small pot until just boiling. Whisk together the yolks and remaining sugar. Add half the hot cream mix to the egg mixture while whisking. Return the egg mixture to the pot with the remaining cream and and bring it to a boil while continually whisking. Allow it to boil for several minutes while it thickens. Strain the mixture and let it cool in another bowl. Whip the remaining cream to medium peaks and fold it into the cooked cream.

For the vanilla espresso frosting:
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Dissolve the espresso powder in a tablespoon or two of water and add it to mixture along with the vanilla extract. Mix until combined.

Assembly:
Using a small paring knife, cut out the center of each cupcake at about a 45 degree angle so that you have cut out a cone shape with the wide part being the top of the cupcake. Fill each cupcake with a spoonful of the espresso cream. Now cut off the narrow part of the cupcake cone and replace the circular top of the cupcake. Frost each cupcake with a star shaped tip or any tip of your liking.

Vanilla bean latte trifles- made with leftovers from making the cupcakes

Notes- This frosting is out of this world good. I am going to remake it and use it to fill chocolate macaroons. Also this is an amazing vanilla cake recipe. These cupcakes are best after being refrigerated for a couple of hours. When you are finished coring, filling, and frosting the cupcakes you might find yourself with leftover cake bits, filling and frosting. Don’t toss them! Make tiny trifles by layering the leftovers in shot glasses and save for a late night treat for you and someone special.

Vanilla bean latte trifles- made with leftovers from making the cupcakes

Fruit Crumble Bars – Revisited

Last week I posted this wonderful cherry crumble bar recipe. These bars got better by the day but overall seemed to be missing something. Everyone who tasted them gave them rave reviews so I figured we were just too picky, spoiled, or sophisticated.

Again, I found myself with fruit in fridge looking a little worse for the wear. I saved some raspberries after making jam this week and there were some blueberries lurking in the back of the fridge from the last time I visited my mom’s house (she has a huge blueberry patch in her backyard). I wanted to remake the bars as a “real food.” Real food to me means omitting all refined ingredients. I substitute whole wheat flour for the all purpose flour and sucanat for the sugar. What is sucanat? You can check the wikipedia entry but basically it is an unrefined, whole cane sugar. It is still sugar and, contrary to what this blog may suggest, I do try to limit how much sugar we have in our diets but when I cook for just us,I use sucanat.

fruit crumble bars

These bars are infinitely better. I have considered deleting the original cherry bars but figured they have their place. I just much prefer these amendments. Here is the updated recipe:

Fruit Crumble Bars

1 cup sucanat
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups fresh fruit (I used 2 cups of blueberries and 2 cups of raspberries)
1/2 cup sucanat
4 teaspoons cornstarch

Fruit crumble bars

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch (or two 8×8) pan and line with parchment.  In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sucanat, 3 cups flour, salt, and baking powder. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan (if using two pans put 1/4 of the dough in each pan).  In another bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch . Gently mix in the fruit. If doing two pans mix fruit with 2 tsp cornstarch and 1/4 cup sucanat each. Sprinkle the fruit mixture evenly over the crust (or crusts). Crumble remaining dough over the fruit layer. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown.

Fruit crumble bars- easy and use whatever fruit you have on hand!

Cheese crackers

I love cheese. So much. Especially cheddar. I grew up abroad and our every day cheese was gouda. To this day I could take it or leave it. Every once in while when I was little, either as a splurge or because we were stateside, I had cheddar cheese. I am confident I could eat it by the brick, and I often do.

Cheese crackers ingredients

String cheese, Gruyere, Parmesan, mozzarella, cheddar (sharp and regular), and Monterrey jack can all be currently found in my fridge. Little loves cheese too and tugs on my leg whenever he sees me eating it. We sit on the floor facing each other sharing bites. It warms my heart he shares my obsession with it.

I also love all things with cheese in them- crackers, bread, casseroles. And again so does Little. However, I am trying to feed him only whole foods (no refined sugar, white flour, processed crap I can’t pronounce). I fail on the white flour and sugar but when he does get it he doesn’t get much. Rarely does he get anything that comes out of a package and has a long list of ingredients.  Goldfish crackers, it would seem, are supposed to be part of childhood but I can’t stand giving them to him. So when I stumbled on a recipe for homemade cheesy crackers I couldn’t resist. I just swapped out and used local whole wheat flour.

Little in a cupboard

Little wolfed down three before they were completely cool. That is after I pulled him out of the cupboard he had crawled in to while I was cooking.

And the best part? They couldn’t be easier. I was shocked at how quickly they came together. The finished cracker was a bit nutty, very cheesy, and addictive. They are rich and I don’t recommend eating more than 5-6 in one sitting. Put them away as soon as they are cool or you will eat too many at once.

Cheese crackers

Cheese crackers

1 1/2 cups cheddar (about 6 oz.)
4 T butter
3/4 cup  whole wheat flour
1/4 t salt
sea salt, for sprinkling
 Cheese crackers
In a food processor, pulse all of the ingredients together until it forms a ball.  Place the ball between two pieces of wax paper, and roll it out to about 1/8″ thick.  Using a pastry wheel or small cookie cutters, cut into shapes.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Poke each cracker with a fork or skewer so that they don’t puff too much.  Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. Bake at 350ºF for 10-14 minutes until lightly browned on the edges (I liked them crispy).  Cool on the baking sheet, and store in an airtight container. Devour.
Cheese crackers

Lemon Blueberry Scones

There are only 18 recipes (counting this one) on this little blog.

Four of those feature blueberries.

Ingredients for lemon blueberry scones

If you had asked me 5 years ago if I liked blueberries I would have said no. Yesterday I found myself waist deep in my mom’s blueberry patch stuffing my face. They have won me over.

One of the reasons I gravitate towards blueberry recipes is that every summer for the past I-don’t-know-how-many I go out to a local blueberry farm and pick till I am suffering from heat exhaustion. The minute the berries make it in to the house I immediately put them, single layer, on cookie sheets and in to the freezer. Blueberry recipes are always calling my name because the blueberries I stashed away in my freezer are always begging to be used up.

Do you put fruit and veggies up in the summer? So far this summer I have made strawberry jam and frozen some strawberry puree. Raspberry jam, frozen cherries, canned peaches, canned beans, frozen corn, and tomatoes will all find their way in to my pantry and freezer before fall sets in. Take advantage of it! Then in the dead of winter you can make these scones, close your eyes, and imagine it is July again.

Lemon blueberry scones

Lemon Blueberry Scones (makes 8)

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, chilled
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into 6-8 chunks and add to flour mixture, tossing to coat. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until mixture is sandy and butter is well distributed, with no pieces larger than a big pea.

Add in milk, lemon juice and lemon zest and stir until dough comes together. If dough is too wet, add an additional tablespoon of flour to the dough.

 

Either keeping the dough in your mixing bowl, or turning it out onto a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 1 minute. Flatten dough and add blueberries. Knead gently for 30-60 seconds to distribute them. Divide dough into two balls and press each into a disc about 3/4-inch thick. Use a knife to divide each disc into quarters and place scones on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 17-22 minutes, until scones are golden brown.

Lemon blueberry scones

Lemon Glaze (optional)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Whisk glaze ingredients together until smooth, then drizzle over still-warm scones before serving.

Ps. Whatever you do DO NOT use bottled lemon juice for the scones or the glaze. Please trust me on this one. Only fresh squeezed juice will do. Anything else will only disappoint you.

Lemon blueberry scones

My favorites- #3

This week flew by. Also who said it could nearly be the middle of July! Where is summer going?

With the whirlwind this week has been I haven’t had as much time to peruse recipes as I would like. In all reality it is probably for the best. It means I am out there living my life, enjoying Little, spoiling my husband, rather than sitting in front of my computer or being glued to my phone. However here are a couple of little gems I found:

-There are never enough cupcake recipes in this world. Restless Chipotle was kind enough to gather her version of the top 50 all in one place. Go check it out. Super awesome. Thanks a million.

-While this is not a recipe it made me tear up just looking at it- recipes made in to tea towels. She used Spoonflower to print her grandma’s recipes on to fabric. I want to have my mom and both grandmas write out recipes for me so I can do this too. Incredible.

-Lastly- can you eat a box of cheeze-its in one sitting? I could if I would let myself. Which I wont. Cooking a la Mel has a homemade version. While she admits that they are not healthy, they are at least not packed full of chemical and preservatives and things I can’t pronounce. I want to try these next week (perhaps even today if I can find the time!) and substitute whole wheat flour.

Have a lovely weekend!

Cherry crumble bars

Confessions:

I drink too much coffee.

Often clothes will sit in my dryer for three to four days before being folded and sitting in the basket for another week. Thankfully Little has too many clothes.

I am addicted to my iPhone (not good).

Cake is my kryptonite. I cannot resist it.

Yard work and vacuuming are my least favorite chores. Hence why my yard is a mess.

There are clothes in my closet that still have the tags on them and have never been worn (anyone else do this!?!). In my defense they are work type clothes and a button down dress shirt isn’t really appropriate for a day at home with a messy baby.

Unitaskers have no place in my kitchen. Unless it is a cherry pitter. Which somehow I decided I needed and bought this week.

Sometimes fruit and veggies wallow in my fridge till they go bad. This makes me sad.

pitted cherries

I had way too many cherries,  had already eaten more than one person should, and I had my brand new super cool cherry pitter to use. So in an effort to avoid feeling sad I came up with this recipe.

Cutting in the butter

I actually knew what I wanted to make but couldn’t find a recipe to save my life. I found lots of cookie bar type recipes that called for cherry pie filling (YUCK!) and the ones I found that called for fresh cherries just weren’t right. So I pieced this together and it was perfect.

Cherry Crumble Bars (makes 24 or more depending on how you slice them)

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups fresh pitted cherries
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch

Cherry crumble bars
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.  In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, salt, and baking powder. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.  In another bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch . Gently mix in the cherries. Sprinkle the cherry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the fruit layer. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown.

Cherry crumble bars

Ps. Substitute strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and lemon zest, cranberries and orange zest, or peaches for the cherries. This recipe is very flexible. Also, these cookies taste best after a night in the fridge. If you can resist them that long.

Cherry crumble bars

PPS. Remember how I mentioned I was officially (sorta) in business. Check these out- wrapped and tagged! Pro looking right? So much fun to deliver these little yummy samples to people yesterday!

Cherry crumble bars samples

Spaghetti with arugula and cherry tomatoes

One of my favorite things about trying new recipes is that, when I discover something I love, it changes the ingredients I keep in my kitchen.

Let me explain.

some of the ingredients for spaghetti with arugula and cherry tomatoes

The first time I made this recipe I had to buy pretty much everything on the ingredient list except the pasta. When I made this yesterday the only thing I had to buy was the arugula. Seriously. Ok, I should add that I bought the arugula because I knew I had everything else on hand, and some cherry tomatoes threatening to become inedible, but still- I’m proud of my well stocked kitchen. At least well stocked for my favorite recipes.

Lets talk arugula. If you find baby arugula the leaves are sweet with a slight hint of pepper and lemon. Later in the season, or at your farmers markets, you are likely to find bigger ticker leaves that are downright spicy (yey!) with a big bite and a slap-you-in-your-face lemon finish. In case you can’t tell I prefer the latter. But it took a while to get there. Unsure? Start with the baby arugula. You can find it in most megamarts in a clamshell. Once you fall in love venture into the big spicy leaves. Or heck, plant your own and harvest it when the flavor is perfect.

Either way I am telling you to make this. Basil? Lime? Arugula AND feta AND Parmesan? Just trust me. It all works together and is amazing.

Spaghetti with arugula and cherry tomatoes

Spaghetti with arugula and cherry tomatoes

12 ounces spaghetti
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
Grated rind and juice of 1 lime
3 cloves garlic
4 packed cups arugula
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped basil
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Extra Parmesan and feta (for serving)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until it is tender but still has some bite.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, lime rind, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, 4 minutes, or until onions soften.

When the spaghetti is cooked, drain it and transfer to a large bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss gently. Tip the spaghetti into the skillet. Toss again.

Remove the pan from the heat. Add the arugula, lime juice, and salt. Toss gently and cover the pan for a few minutes. The heat of the spaghetti will cook the arugula. Add the tomatoes, basil, feta, and Parmesan. Toss again. Serve with more Parmesan and feta.

Spaghetti with arugula and cherry tomatoes

Peppermint pattie cake

In the process of making this cake I got covered in chocolate. C.O.V.E.R.E.D. Oh and it was 7:30 am. I have mentioned before that Little gets up earlier than anyone should be up. Hence why I was impatiently messing with ganache early one morning.

Mike eating cake

Word to the wise- wait for the ganache to get thick before pouring it on the cake. When I say thick I mean thick. Be patient. Unless you prefer to be covered in chocolate in which case have at it. I don’t judge. Just don’t do it first thing in the morning. I ate more chocolate than was prudent before finishing my first cup of coffee. It happens sometimes.

I made this cake for my dear friend Mike. He and his lovely better half Bev joined our family of friends a few years back and are two of the kindest, most thoughtful, generous people I have ever met. Mike works in Afghanistan roughly six months out of every year and is heading back soon. We threw a big barbeque at our house so we all had a chance to say “we love you and come back safe!”

In trying to decide what to make for dessert I remembered Mike’s favorite candies are York peppermint patties. Like devour 40 in day kind of favorite. So what better way to send him off but with a cake studded with his very favorite. It was a hit. He devoured a double sized slice in under 5 minutes. The lucky guy even took the leftovers home. Mostly to save me from eating more chocolate than than anyone should first thing the next morning. I appreciated the gesture. Way to take one for the team.

This cake is rich. It is practically a brownie. The whipped cream to top it with is a must as is the mint sauce. Both cut the richness and add great depth. Only make this if you are feeding a crowd. Or want to eat more chocolate than you should. Either is a good choice.

Peppermint Pattie Cake

Peppermint Pattie Cake (16 servings)

14 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
16 tablespoons (8 ounces) butter
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream
6 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup (6 ounces) small-diced peppermint pattie candies

Ganache Topping

1 cup cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Whipped cream, for serving

Mint Syrup, recipe follows, for serving

mixing the cake

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Butter a 9 1/2 to 10-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper, and flour the pan, tapping out the excess flour.

Melt the chocolate with the butter and cream in the top of a double boiler. Reserve.

In the bowl of a mixer with a whip, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until very thick and light (about 5 minutes). Add the melted chocolate mixture to the egg yolks and mix until just blended. Add the flour, salt, and vanilla and mix until combined, scraping the bowl once or twice. Transfer the batter to a large mixing bowl and stir in the Peppermint Pattie pieces. The mixture will be quite thick.

In a clean mixing bowl, with a clean whip, beat the egg whites to medium soft peaks. Lighten the batter by stirring in about one-third of the egg whites. Fold in the remaining whites and place the batter in the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 45 to 50 minutes. The top of the cake will feel set and very fine hairline cracks will just start to form around the edges. Remove and cool in the pan on a rack.

Delicious peppermint pattie cake

To make the ganache topping:

Heat the cream in a heavy bottomed saucepan to just under a boil. Add the chopped chocolate and, over very low heat, constantly stirring, cook the mixture until it is completely smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until thickened and spreadable. This can take several hours. You can make the topping up to 3 days ahead, refrigerate it, and allow it to come to room temperature for several hours before using. You can also hasten the cooling process by placing the melted ganache over an ice bath and gently stirring it till thickened; however, the resulting texture may not be quite as smooth and creamy.

Place the cooled cake upside down on a cardboard cake circle or a service plate. Remove the sides and bottom of the springform pan. Remove the parchment liner. Using an offset spatula, decoratively spread the ganache over what is now the top of the cake, drawing the ganache all the way out to the edges of the cake. Using the offset spatula, level the edges to give the cake a finished look. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream and Mint Syrup.

blanching the mint

Mint Syrup

1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
2 cups packed fresh mint leaves

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn the heat down and simmer several minutes, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely. Reserve.

Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Have a strainer and a bowl of ice water at the ready. Working quickly, place the mint leaves in the boiling water and blanch until just wilted (about 10 seconds). Immediately strain the mint and place the leaves directly in the ice water to set their color. Strain the mint again, pressing to remove excess liquid.

Place the mint leaves and half of the reserved syrup in a blender. Puree the mint, stopping several times to scrape down the blender bowl. Add the remaining syrup and blend for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a clean storage container and allow to sit overnight, covered, at room temperature.

Strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solid mint puree. Store the syrup, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks. Shake or stir lightly before using.

Decorate peppermint pattie cake

Ps. I know this cake has what feels like 90 million steps and will most likely dirty every dish in your kitchen. It is time consuming and yes it will wreck your kitchen but trust me- it is completely worth it.

Mini blueberry pies

I have to tell you a secret- I don’t remember exactly how I made this.

It was a warm summer day. We had a lovely big pot of clams and crusty bread for dinner (recipe for another day but fear not I will give it to you). We ate on the picnic table in the backyard. There was leftover pie crust lurking in my fridge and blueberries we had picked earlier in the week were threatening to take a turn for the worse.

Fancy dinners like clams call for fancy desserts.  And wine. Lots of cold white wine. Even if it is a weeknight.

Ready for another secret? I used to be scared of pie crust. Then one day I talked myself into buying Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook from the local used bookstore. Her pate brisee (fancy name for pie crust if you ask me) is simple. Four ingredients and a food processor. I conquered my fear and could now make this in my sleep. It was in fact this very crust that was lurking behind the bowl of blueberries.

So I pulled it out, rolled it, shoved it in to some custard cups  , filled it with peak of the summer Oregon blueberries, topped it with a star, and then, as soon as it cooled, I inhaled it. My sister, brother-in-law, and husband were impressed. Both by the dessert and my speed in eating it.

Yumm.

So please make this. Use up leftover pie crust. Throw in whatever fruit you have on hand. I am sure you could make with with pitted cherries, apples, apricots, peaches, or even strawberries. Be brave. Experiment. You won’t regret it.

Loosely based on these two recipes from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook :

Pate Brisee (Makes enough for one double or two single-crust 9 inch pies)
I had already made a double crusted pie and was using up the scraps I had left in the fridge. It made 4 mini custard cup pies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small
1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed
Dump flour and salt into the food processor; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs about 10 pulses 1-2 seconds each. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender.)
Turn machine on add ice water through feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Turn out dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

single serving blueberry pies

Blueberry Pie

Pate Brisee (see above recipe)
8 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cornstarch
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out half the dough to 1/8-inch-thick circle, about 13 inches in diameter. Drape dough over a 9-inch pie pan, and transfer to refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together egg and milk to make egg wash, and set aside. Combine blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, and turn onto chilled bottom crust. Dot with butter. Roll out the remaining dough to the same size and thickness. Brush the rim of the crust with the egg wash, place the other piece of dough on top, trim to 1/2 inch over edge of pan, and crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers. Transfer the pie to the refrigerator to chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Brush with the egg wash, and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes more or until juices are bubbling. Let cool before serving.

Now that you have the recipes here is what I did- I took the leftover pie crust, rolled it out and lined my custard cups with it. Then I mixed about two cups of blueberries with roughly 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, two tablespoons of sugar and a dash of lemon juice. I divided the blueberries between my four lined mason jars. Then I rolled out the leftover dough, cut a star out of the dough with my largest star cookie cutter, placed a small dot of butter on top of each mini pie, topped with the cut out star, brushed with egg wash, then sprinkled with sugar. Baked at 400 for about 20 minutes checking frequently.

super cute single serving blueberry pies

Then stuff in your face. Preferably after a big clam dinner and loads of wine.

clam dinner

My favorites- #2

It has been an off week around here. The holiday in the middle of the week was just odd. Granted I am home every day, but somehow I kept thinking Wednesday was Saturday and yeah it has all just been a whirlwind and a mess. Here are a few things this week I wanted to make. I haven’t had time though. I did, however, make what appears to be a delicious peppermint patty cake. Pictures, post, and review next week! In the meantime…

-I have been buying zucchini from the farmers market like it is going out of style. My plants in my garden are as big as a good sized pony and the first teeny tiny zucchinis are coming on. I found this recipe for zucchini fries. It looks crispy, yummy, and an easy way to use up lots of zucchini! Also just go poke around The Lean Green Bean. She has some great posts!

-Another blog I discovered this week is Smells Like Home. I got lost in her posts for the better part of Little’s nap time earlier this week. These strawberry crumb bars look amazing. Oregon strawberries are in full force and I love finding new recipes to make with them! I have never really baked with strawberries before this year.

-My sister and I have a weakness for dipped ice cream cones from Dairy Queen. Anyone else suffer from this addiction? Well I found a way to make them at home! This post for DIY magic shell topping popped up on my pinterest feed and I was thrilled. Haven’t tried it yet but will report back when I do.

-And last but not least- brownie cookies with salted caramel creme filling. Um. Yes please. I will be making these soon and reporting back. In the meantime, if you have a few hours to kill and want to feel like a less than adequate baker, visit Bakers Royale. So many tasty treats I want to try!!!

Hugs and love. Have a great weekend!