Tuscaloosa Tollhouse Pie

I have fond memories of my mom making chocolate chip pie when I was a kid, and this recipe is a delicious and easy version of it. Delightful!

My local Trader Joe’s was out of chocolate chips, so I just bought chocolate bars and chopped them up, which may have even worked out better.  I would definitley make this one again. I’ve made two strawberry pies in the past few weeks, and while tasty, both of them were a bit of a juicy, sticky mess. So bonus points for The Tuscaloosa pie being easy to transport and serve. 

Baked Sunday Mornings

Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Pastry Cream

Overall I thought that these banana cupcakes were just alright. They were easy to make, and have a delightful moist texture and the banana and vanilla flavors are nice. But I kept thinking of ways to make it better-add walnuts, cinnamon, banana flavor in the frosting as well as the cake, add a splash of whiskey, use cream cheese frosting instead of the vanilla cream. There are a lot of options for customization. Not sure of I would make them again but if you love banana they’re worth a try!

Derby Cookies

It’s that time of year again, when ladies break out the ridiculous head gear, bars serve mint juleps in frosted pewter mugs, and Baked Sunday Mornings tries out Derby Cookies. They are walnut butter cookies, rolled in sugar, and flavored with whiskey and vanilla.  I honestly don’t think that combination could turn out poorly.

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This is the second time I’ve made them and I loved them both times.  The exterior is delightfully crunchy after being rolled in demerara sugar, while the inside remained soft and buttery. I also like that it makes a lot of cookies so it’s great if you’re taking it to a party or to share with coworkers.

On a side note, I accidently watched the Kentucky Derby yesterday. We went out to watch the Capitals/Penguins game, and the Derby was dominating NBC coverage before the game.  The bar was disappointingly light on derby hats, though I can understand why people would find it clashing with their hockey jerseys.

 

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Whipped Shortbread

0123688e9443f4e8b86b4a1be60add7e7a2962c286This recipe for Whipped Shortbread was super easy and the results delicious. While the recipe called for adding chopped pecans, I decided to go with some festive sugar sprinkles. A drizzle or dip into melted chocolate would also be a great addition. While the base recipe highlights the simple pleasures of butter, sugar and salt, you could easily add other flavors like lemon, vanilla, almond or herbs.
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I cut the recipe in half (since Thanksgiving wiped out my stock of butter, I was amazingly down to my last two sticks) and I still had more than enough cookies to share.

Baked Sunday Mornings

Peanut Butter and Jelly Crumb Morning Muffins

Peanut Butter MuffinsI made these back in May, but I liked them so much I decided to make them again. This time I added a banana to the mix in place of the sour cream. They came out really well! However, I think when I make them again I will add a second banana and maybe cut back on the peanut butter a bit just to change the flavors around. I also wanted to try a pumpkin, apple butter, pecan version, but I ran out of time this week. I’m hoping to get to it soon. Peanut Butter Muffins
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Sweet Potato Tart with Gingersnap Crust and Heavenly Meringue

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My wonderful friend Sarah is visiting this weekend from Vancouver. So far we have done a dessert tour through Georgetown, met Dave Grohl, rescued a lost dog in my neighborhood, saw The US Constitution, Julia Child’s kitchen and the Hope Diamond, and have basically eaten our way through many delicious spots around DC. Sarah is one of my oldest friends, and she’s also makes some of the best cakes I have ever had.  She was very excited about checking out my copy of Baked Occasions, and immediately zeroed in on the Sweet Potato Tart with Gingersnap Crust and Heavenly Meringue.

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I am so glad she picked that recipe, because it is incredibly delicious. We still have half of it in the fridge and I am already thinking of making it again. I’m also brainstorming other recipes I can put the Heavenly Meringue topping on, because we were just eating it by the spoonful. Toasting it was a bit of a challenge. I used my husband’s new butane cigar lighter until it ran out of fuel, and a regular lighter really doesn’t cut it. I think I might actually have to buy a real blow torch.

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I had to bake my tart for quite a bit longer than the recipe called for, but other than that it was easy to make. And it is very easy to microwave sweet potatoes, and will save you a lot of time over roasting them.

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This tart would make a really excellent Thanksgiving dessert, because it is a great twist on sweet potatoes with mini marshmallows that is such a weird staple at many Thanksgiving meals.

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Whiskey Peach Upside-Down Cake

CakeWhat a wonderful recipe this week, a Whiskey Peach Upside Down Cake. I love single layer cakes, especially ones where I don’t have to make a complicated frosting. Despite that, I don’t think I’ve ever made an upside down cake before. It was really easy to put together, with a guaranteed delicious moist result thanks to the batter baking in a fruity, caramelizing sauce. The whiskey flavor was pronounced, but not overpowering. If you’re not a fan of whiskey I would suggest cutting back on the amount, or just substituting vanilla.  I also threw in a handful of pecans with the peach topping, which I think added a nice crunch. If I made this again I might try substituting different fruits, like plums, pineapple, or pears. I’d also add a bit of salt to the caramel sauce, since it called for unsalted butter I think that the flavor was just a smidge bland.

CakeI served this at a get together we threw for my husbands flag football team.  I usually just make chocolate chip cookies, but I thought that this would be a great no fuss party cake.  Despite an abundance of chips, hot dogs, stuffed jalapenos, beer, and my cousin’s killer guacamole, the cake was gobbled up before the night was over.  It makes for a great, easy, summer cake.

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Baked Sunday Mornings