Dessert

Apfelkuchen…aka apple torte

The finished product!

On a cold Saturday afternoon we decided to give Sunny Anderson’s Apfelkuchen, that was featured on Food Networks-The Kitchen, a try. My German roots from the Schreck and Meyer familie came out to bake. And the real reason, we knew my Mom would love this recipe.

Look at the layers!
Great pattern with the apples.

For the past couple of years we would buy her a tin of real German Lepkucken from Germany for Christmas. She has always told me the story of her having to stir the batter of these dense molasses cookies. We knew the Apfelkuchen world be a hit.

Ingredients

Apples:

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/8-inch wedges 

Batter:

One 15.25-ounce box white cake mix

1 1/4 cups apple cider 

1/3 cup sour cream 

3 large eggs, whisked

Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan

Streusel:

2 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour 

1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar, plus more for dusting

2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, frozen for 20 minutes

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. For the apples: Add the lemon juice and 2 cups of water to a large bowl and stir. Add the apple wedges. Set aside.
  3. For the batter: Add the cake mix to a large bowl. Whisk together the cider, sour cream and eggs in a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the cake mix and stir until combined.
  4. For the streusel: Add the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon sugar to a large bowl. Stir to combine. Using a box grater, shred the chilled butter into the bowl. Use a pastry cutter or fork to mix and toss the mixture until crumbly. Place back in the refrigerator if needed while preparing to bake.
  5. To assemble: Spray the bottoms and sides of a 9-inch springform cake pan with cooking spray. Place a circle of parchment paper on the bottom and spray again. Pour half of the cake batter in the pan. Sprinkle the top with half of the streusel mixture, then add half of the apple slices in a circular fanning pattern. Repeat the layers and dust the top with cinnamon sugar.
  6. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes before releasing the spring form.
  7. For serving: Serve the cake slices with Whipped Cream.
Cookies, Dessert

Molasses Cookies

This recipe brings back many childhood memories. My mom would make these Molasses cookies a couple times a year. I remember coming home from school and finding these on the counter fresh from the oven.

So this morning I found her recipe in my collection. Now when you look at this you can see how special having family recipes and memories passed down. She wrote this down on medical notepaper she had in the drawer. Lol!

When you find something like this, cherish it. Mom is soon going to be 92 years old. She still cooks now and then. Macaroni and cheese is a staple and loved by her Grandchildren. She does love her sweets. Last week I took over the apple pie. When I asked her how it was She said it was delicious and was quickly gone, but next time she would like pumpkin.

So this morning our kids were planning a visit so I decided to make some of mom’s Molasses cookies. As you can see from the recipe, not much detail. But they go together pretty quickly.

As soon as I started to put together the wet ingredients I was in love with the flavor. Just opening up the Molasses jar and smelling brought back memories. Adding the cinnamon and the ginger pushed it over the edge.

Now to push these over the edge you have to try them with butter. Just spread a little on the bottom and savor the flavor.

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 well beaten eggs
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup strong cold brewed coffee
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger

Mix together shortening and sugar.  Add eggs and mix well.  Next add Molasses and coffee.

In a separate bowl sift together dry ingredients. Then slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Once combined drop by teaspoon full on greased cookie sheet at bake at 350 degree oven for 12 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Enjoy the as I suggested….with a little butter!

Cookies

White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies

Do you ever get a hankering to bake cookies? Well I did this morning. I looked through the dessert binder and found our recipe for While Chocolate and Cranberry cookies and then checked the pantry. I was in luck. We had all the ingredients.

So my baking process began. I took a stick of butter out of the refrigerator to soften, grabbed a couple of eggs and then got the mixer out. After a couple of hours I was ready to go.

Measuring out the flour

I thought with this recipe I would get some shots of the process. Here you can see the recipe on the counter. When we find a recipe online we print it out. After preparing it we make notes on how it tasted, anything we would tweak and sometimes we will not if it is.ffodie friends worthy. This recipe had some note to turn the cookies into something similar to Starbuck’s Cranberry Bliss bars. But not today… the process continued.

My helper is always close by.

The next step is adding the baking powder, salt and baking soda. These are stored in our lazy Susan in the corner of the kitchen. Generally this.is my favorite stop to mix things up. It is also Mr. Magoo’s favorite stop to sit and watch. He is always looking to see what will fall down in his area.

A baking essential

Any good cook will have a great mixer. Ours is our kitchen aid. Hubby got it as a work Anniversary gift years ago. You know, one of those catalogs you get and have to pick out a gift. At the time he didn’t need the company watch or general jewelry gifts. The mixer seemed to be the best gift as we were really picking up our baking and kitchen aids are so expensive.

This one worked out great with this recipe for mixing up the softened butter and then adding the sugar and the 2 eggs.

Next up was blending in the flour mixture and adding the white chips and cranberries. Everything came together so quickly.

Time for the flour
Ready to go

Another great kitchen baking help is a cookie scoop. Ours is a Pampered Chef small scoop that I got years ago when I hosted a party. Pampered Chef has some great products especially for baking. My favorites are the chopper for nuts, the cookie press for Christmas cookies and the scraper for clearing the baking surface. A little flour fell out on the counter and with the scraper it was quickly back in the bowl.

Ready for the oven

Every thing came together quickly and using the parchment paper was great for clean up. But one thing did happen….my assistant fell asleep on the job.

So, here is the final outcome from my hankering for some cookies.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/3 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups white chocolate morsels

1 (6-ounce) package sweetened dried cranberries

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; set aside.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture gradually, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in white chocolate morsels and cranberries.

Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets.

Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Dessert, Dinner

Butterscotch Blondies

Are you looking for a quick and easy dessert? I found these on the Inspired by Charm blog post. I love to follow this blog for recipes and design ideas. Michael has great eye for decorating and great recipes to try.

Butterscotch Blondies

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups butterscotch chips divided
  • Flake sea salt to garnish
  • Optional: ice cream and butterscotch sauce

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking pan with baking spray, line it with parchment paper, and then spray the parchment paper with baking spray.
  2. Tip: You can use two metal butterfly clips to hold the parchment paper in place. Clipping them to the long sides of the pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and kosher salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until combined. Add the vanilla and eggs and then stir to combine. Fold in the flour mixture and stir until almost combined. Gently fold in one cup of the butterscotch chips.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Scatter the remaining butterscotch chips over the top. (I also saved a few chips to add to the top once the blondies come out of the oven.)
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is light brown. You can also check for doneness by inserting a toothpick near the center. The toothpick should come out clean.
  7. Allow the blondies to cool in the pan. Remove from the pan and sprinkle with a little flake sea salt. Then slice and serve.

RECIPE NOTES

I served the blondie warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of butterscotch sauce.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman and Inspired by Charm
This Butterscotch Blondie Recipe is one of my favorites! You're going to love it too! #blondie #recipe #butterscotch #dessert #bars
This Butterscotch Blondie Recipe is one of my favorites! You're going to love it too! #blondie #recipe #butterscotch #dessert #bars

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POSTED BY MICHAEL WURM, JR. AT 4:01 PM
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comments

  • LEAH AT 11 AM ON AUGUST 21, 2019I am making these for our next girls’ night. Your additions make this a sublime blondie! Hats off to you.Reply
  • PAT WEST AT 9 AM ON AUGUST 24, 2019Michael…..what size pan?Reply
  • PAT AT 9 AM ON AUGUST 24, 2019Couple of other questions…why spray bottom of pan when you put down parchment? And, I always second guess myself about when to use light or dark brown sugar…any helpful hints?Reply
  • JOHN R. HUFF JR. AT 12 AM ON AUGUST 25, 2019Almost as good looking as you, Michael.Reply

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Dessert, Dinner

Chocolate Cake for two

Being “empty-nesters” with our son at school now makes meal planning a little less stressful as we don’t have to make sure dinner is something he would like.  It also makes us think twice about a dessert because there is only the two of us at home.  And like every other person at the beginning of the year, we are trying to cut back.  Christmas desserts have been finally removed and we aren’t really interested in making anything that is going to last for two long. Finding this recipe was perfect.  A quick dessert that is meant for two.  So, no leftovers that linger and tempt us. Note – coffee is a great liquid for this recipe.  You can substitute milk.

Ingredients

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 (heaping) tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon warm coffee

For the frosting: 1/4 cup powdered sugar + more as needed for frosting consistency 1 (heaping) tablespoon cocoa powder coffee, as needed sprinkles, optional

Instructions

First, spray 2 6-ounce ramekins very well with cooking spray, and set them on a mini baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 350.  In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and pinch of salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, milk, oil, vanilla, and coffee. Add the dry ingredients in two batches to the wet ingredients, and stir gently to combine. Divide the mixture between the two ramekins. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. While the cakes cool, make the frosting: whisk together all ingredients, adding more coffee to thin it out to a pourable consistency. Sprinkles!
Uncategorized

Lemon Pie

Another refreshing dessert choice for the warm summer days we are experiencing.  This one is a Lemon Pie inspired by the Magnolia Cookbook. We were invited to dinner at our foodie friends house last night and asked to bring a dessert.  This was a great addition to the Fried Chicken and Champagne dinner they made.
Hubby added lemon zest to the crust from another recipe we made this year.  I finished the recipe off by making the whipped cream and piping it in the pie.  (Love my Pampered Chef easy accentor).  
    
INGREDIENTS
Crust:
 1 ½ cups crushed graham crackers
 6 tablespoons butter , melted
 ⅓ cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Pie Filling:
 2 (14 ounce) cans Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk (about 2 3/4 cup)
 3 egg yolks
 ⅔ cup lemon juice
 1 dash salt
Whipped Cream:
 1 cup heavy cream
 1/3 cup powdered sugar
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the Crust: Spray a pie dish with non-stick spray. Combine crushed graham crackers, butter,lemon zest and sugar. Press into prepared pie plate. Bake for 8 minutes.
For the Pie Filling: Using a mixer, mix the condensed milk, egg yolks, lemon juice ans salt together. Beat on medium speed for 4-5 minutes. Pour into pie crust and bake for 10 minutes at 350. Little bubbles will start to surface. Cover the crust if it starts to brown too much towards the end.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.
For the Whipped Cream: Mix the vream, sugar, and vanilla. Whip until fluffy, and add to cooled lemon pie.
Uncategorized

Frozen Key Lime Pie

This recipe could not have come at a better time. With the temperatures in the high 90’s a frozen dessert is one of the best refreshers after a long hot day of either working around the house and garden, tart and cold from the freezer. This happened to be our contribution to our dinner club last Saturday. I loved how this came out. One tip: lightly grease the pan and use a pie plate without ridges.

Easy Frozen Key Lime Pie

For the Crust:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling:
6 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 to 5 limes)

For the Decoration:
1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Thin lime wedges⁹

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Press into a 9-inch pie pan, making sure the sides and the bottom are an even thickness. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

For the filling, beat the egg yolks and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 5 minutes, until thick. With the mixer on medium speed, add the condensed milk, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour into the baked pie shell and freeze.

For the decoration, beat the heavy cream on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until firm. Spoon or pipe decoratively onto the pie and decorate with lime. Freeze for several hours or overnight.

Note: Remove the pie from the freezer fifteen minutes before serving.

Uncategorized

Aunt Jen’s Sugar Cookies

Last year when my sister Pat and I visited our sister Mary Ann in Florida,  we were reminiscing with our Uncle and cousins about our Grandma Gray and her sister Jen.  The two of them together were quite a pair. Every one of us remembers spending weekends with Grandma and visiting Aunt Jen’s house.  Pat talked about stopping by after church and Aunt Jen would have a pan of homemade sugar cookies fresh from the oven.    She said they were so good and she wished she had the recipe.  
I have my  Grandma Schreck’s recipe box from my mom.  Looking through these old recipes I found a recipe for sugar cookies with Aunt Jen’s name on it.  Typical of all these old recipes they just list the  ingredients, the temperature and the cooking time.   I called my mom to check on a pan size and she told me to use a cookie sheet with about an inch rim. She said Aunt Jen never measured anything.  So  I started out by mixing the wet ingredients together and then the dry.  Once that was done I combined them both and pressed the dough into a cookie sheet. I baked them at 375 for 15 minutes.  Once they cooled I cut them into cookie size pieces. As soon as I tasted one I remembered the flavor.  The nutmeg makes these cookies and the cake like texture is a hit!  A taste of the past!
Bottom (L to R): Grandma, Aunt Jen
Top: Aunt Maggie, Aunt Martha

Aunt Jen’s Sugar Cookies

1 cup of sugar
2 sticks of butter softened
1\2 cup milk
2 eggs
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Juice and rind of a lemon
Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add eggs and milk. Add lemon juice and rind. In another bowl mix dry ingredients. Spread into a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.  Cool and cut into cookie size pieces.
Uncategorized

Gray Family Christmas Dessert – Red Velvet Cake

Tonight is Gray Family Christmas and each family is bringing a dessert  and an appetizer. When we all get together there is now 33 of us!  Holidays are made for families!
 Hubby and our lovely daughter took on the dessert selection and just finished baking it.  I posted this about 4 years ago when it was her birthday cake request.    What does’t say Merry Christmas better than a beautiful Red Velvet Cake on a red platter.
Merry Christmas from my family to yours!  

Red Velvet Cake (Sunny Anderson – Food Network)

Ingredients

For the cake batter:

2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 ounces red food coloring
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
Pinch salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Butter, for pan

For the Frosting:

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
2 sticks butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Special Equipment: 12 by 17-inch jelly roll pan, parchment paper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar, until light and fluffy. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, make a paste out of the red food coloring, cocoa and salt. Remove bowl from stand mixer and mix in paste by hand to the creamed butter. In a measuring cup, stir eggs with buttermilk and add to batter. Mix in vinegar and vanilla, and then add flour and baking soda. Mix until combined but do not over mix.

Butter a sheet pan. Lay parchment on top. Butter the parchment. Pour batter into pan and smooth the top to even the batter out, using an offset spatula. Bake cake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan.

Meanwhile, make the frosting: Heat all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Whisk until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before using.

Invert cake onto a cutting board and slice into quarters from the longer side. To assemble cake, spread 1 of the quarters with some of the frosting to cover. Sprinkle with a quarter of the pecans. Add another layer of cake and repeat. Continue until last layer is added. Frost the top of that and sprinkle with remaining pecans.

Uncategorized

Raspberry Almond Crumb Tart for the birthday boy!

What does the Birthday Boy get for his special birthday treat?  How about a Raspberry Almond Tart!  Shame on me that I did not ask him what he wanted for his birthday cake, but I think I know him pretty well.  In the past we have had a Raspberry pie for his special day so why not try and make a Raspberry Tart on my own.  I still love to bake and make a special treat now and then even though he has taken over the kitchen quite a bit lately.  This is adapted from Eating Well and was pretty easy to make.  I prepared this the day before his birthday and because we had our last “Meet the Teacher” night to attend right after work on the actual day.  That is right – 17 years of meet the teacher if not for both of the kids, then one of them.  When we finally got home, dessert was waiting and was very tasty.  Present too!

Ingredients  for  8 servings

½ cup sliced almonds, (skins on) 
6 tablespoons granulated sugar 
1⅓ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
 ½ teaspoon salt
 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
 1 large egg yolk
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
¼ teaspoon almond extract
 4½ cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) raspberries 
1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan with cooking spray. 
Combine almonds and sugar in a food processor; pulse until the almonds are finely ground and incorporated with the sugar. Set aside ½ cup of the mixture. Add 1⅓ cups flour and salt to the remaining sugar mixture and pulse briefly to blend. With the motor running, add butter a few pieces at a time until well incorporated. Stir egg yolk, vanilla and almond extracts together in a small bowl until blended. 
With the motor running, add to the processor and pulse until the mixture begins to clump and form a dough, about 1 minute (the mixture will look like crumbly sand). Set aside ⅓ cup of the mixture for the topping. Transfer the remaining dough to the prepared tart pan; spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. 
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons flour to the reserved almond mixture; stir to blend. Gently toss raspberries with 2 tablespoons of this mixture in a medium bowl until coated. Spread the berries evenly in the tart pan. Sprinkle the remaining almond mixture over the berries. Pinch the reserved dough into small clumps to make crumbs and sprinkle the crumbs on top of the berries. 
Bake the tart for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until the crust and crumbs are golden brown, about 45 minutes more. Let cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. 
Serve warm or at room temperature. Remove the pan sides; place confectioners’ sugar in a fine sieve and dust the tart just before serving.