Melted Snowman Cookies

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I think it’s fair to say that global warming does exist based on the cute little evidence I’ve placed before you.  In all seriousness though, I’ve baked you melted snowman cookies to kick off the most delightful baking season of all.  I’m very excited about these cookies, because I developed my own cookie recipe!  I’m not talking about the snowmen themselves.  I’ve seen cookies decorated like this for years.  It is the plain cookie that the snowman rests on that has me all jazzed up.  I have just recently purchased the book Ratio, and it’s been a revelation.  In this book, Michael Ruhlman has given the ratio for all sorts of baked goods.  For instance, the ratio for a basic cookie is 3 parts flour, 2 parts fat, and 1 part sugar.  That’s it. From there, though, you can add on and create any type of cookie you want.  I started with this basic recipe and loved it.  Then I made it again and added an egg yolk, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.  It was even better.  Then I tried it again, but this time I added a whole egg, along with the egg yolk, vanilla, and salt.  I continued to add and subtract certain ingredients until I got the flavor and texture that I wanted.  Now, I am well aware that I’m not inventing the wheel.  I ‘m just so excited to springboard from these ratios and let my imagination fly. It’s only the beginning. Continue reading →


Pecan Rum Tart

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We are getting close to the big feast.  Only a week away. My sister’s family is coming to town on Wednesday, and we are so excited.  My mom, my sister, and I keep talking about how wonderful Thanksgiving week will be. We’ve got big plans. On Wednesday, we expect the kids to play nicely in the backyard while we ladies drink wine and roll out pie pastry.  On Thanksgiving day, we plan on cooking the turkey while drinking Bloody Marys.  Simultaneously, the boys will happily be watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade in the living room.  After the kids set the table, they’ll make decorative, little turkeys out of apples, toothpicks, raisins, and olives.   On Friday, we’ll take the boys to the movies where they will be completely quiet and content for two solid hours.  Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?  Well, it’s not going to go that way. It never does. We’ve got four boys under the age of 6, and they are going to create a big, old-fashioned shit show.  We’ll be drinking early not because everything is wonderful, but because we’ll be handling a melt down every half hour.  Just take a look at the photo below.


This was last Thanksgiving. My son and my nephew were fighting over a kids Mickey Mouse spoon.  A spoon.  It was just a spoon.  Oh, and by the way, that damn spoon accidentally fell down the drain and was demolished by the garbage disposal.  Accidentally.  

Alcohol is our only chance to survive the week.  Well, alcohol and a really good pecan rum tart. Continue reading →

Apple Stack Cake

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I’m trying out different options for the Thanksgiving dessert menu.  I love a good apple pie.  Heck, I love any kind of pie.  For the holidays last year I baked the famous Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie.  It was a perfect dessert.  In fact, I intend on making it again this year.  However, I’m well aware that there are those of you who find pie not as appealing as I do (that’s crazy talk).  I decided to try this apple stack cake, and now, I think you should make it for Thanksgiving (make pie too), and here’s why;  it looks impressive in all its tall glory; it’s filled with soft, sugary apple slices; the six cake layers are made from a delectable apple, pecan cake batter; it is is drizzled with a caramel-like apple glaze; and… it’s not pie (pie is the best dessert ever).  It’s basically an apple pie in cake form (it’s really delicious). The only thing missing when I tried a slice was some really good vanilla ice cream (and a slice of pie). Continue reading →

Double-Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

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My mom, sister, and I are starting to plan for the most glorious meal of the year.  I naturally gravitate towards desserts, so I’m trying out a few sweet options these next two weeks.  Today I made a double-chocolate peanut butter pie. This pie is luxurious.  It begins with a chocolate cookie crust that is filled with a sweet peanut butter cream, and then covered in a semi-sweet chocolate ganache.  I found Vitaly Paley’s recipe  for it in a 2007 issue of Food & Wine Magazine. The practically-no-bake pie is reminiscent of a peanut butter cup.  Needless to say, this has made the cut for my Thanksgiving dessert table. Continue reading →