Samoa Bundt Cake

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that this is the greatest cake I have ever made. Not only does it look like a hilariously over-sized Girl Scout Cookie, it also tastes insanely amazing. Practically the same as said cookie. Continue reading “Samoa Bundt Cake” »

Thanksgiving recap and a Caramel Cream Pie

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! We hosted our friends, and this year’s crowd was one of our smallest yet. Only 9 adults and Miss Leila

We did our usual potluck style. The Hubs deep fried a turkey, and smoked another turkey, and I made my award winning stuffing, a red velvet cake for Courtney’s birthday, and the caramel cream pie shown below. We kept the decor classy

Oh yes, that is candlelight and the “good” silver salt and pepper shakers. The company was equally classy

Leila kept us entertained with her new “trick”. Which is titled, “show us your cute face!” and she does this

Hahahahahaha! Love her.

Friday we gals went out for brunch to celebrate Courtney’s birthday, and Val and Stefan came over on Saturday to help us decorate the Christmas tree.

Seriously though, I know I’m getting old because I still think the best part of the weekend was just being able to sleep! I’m feeling relaxed, but totally not ready to go back to work! I’ve got all sorts of great stuff planned for the ‘ol blog for December, so I guess I’d better get to it.

Caramel Cream Pie with Crispy Rice Topping recipe from Food and Wine

Crust

  1. 3 ounces blanched hazelnuts (3/4 cup)
  2. 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  3. 2 tablespoons sugar
  4. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Caramel Pudding

  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 1/4 cup water
  3. 4 cups whole milk
  4. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  5. 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  6. 1/2 cup cornstarch
  7. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  8. 4 large egg yolks

Crispy Rice

  1. 1/2 cup sugar
  2. 1 tablespoon water
  3. 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  4. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. 1 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal
  6. Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving
  1. MAKE THE CRUST Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the hazelnuts in a glass pie plate and toast for about 8 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant; let cool. Transfer the nuts to a mini food processor and coarsely grind. Pour the ground nuts into a medium bowl and add the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter; mix until evenly moistened. Press the crumbs over the bottom and up the side of the pie plate in an even layer. Bake the crust for 8 minutes, until barely set. Transfer the pie plate to a rack to cool.
  2. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE CARAMEL PUDDING In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil over moderately high heat, gently swirling the pan until the sugar dissolves. Cook over moderate heat, undisturbed, until a deep-amber caramel forms, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat. Carefully add 1 cup of the milk, then cook over moderately low heat, whisking gently, until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  3. In a small glass bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the milk with the vanilla; sprinkle the gelatin on top and let stand until softened. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk the remaining 2 3/4 cups milk with the cornstarch and kosher salt. Pour the milk mixture into the caramel and bring to a boil over moderately high heat, whisking constantly until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. Return the mixture to a boil and cook until thickened once again, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the gelatin mixture.
  4. With a rubber spatula, gently spread the caramel pudding in the cooled crust. Tap the pie plate gently on a work surface to settle the pudding. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pie and refrigerate overnight.
  5. MAKE THE RICE TOPPING Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with vegetable spray. In a small, heavy saucepan, bring the sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil over moderately high heat. Lower the heat to moderate and simmer undisturbed until a deep-amber caramel forms, about 5 minutes. Remove the caramel from the heat and stir in the salt and rice cereal. Scrape the caramelized cereal onto the prepared baking sheet and let cool for 30 minutes, until it is hardened.
  6. Break the crispy rice into shards; transfer to a sturdy plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, crush the topping into small pieces.
  7. Spread the whipped cream on top of the chilled pie, making deep swirls. Top the pie with the crispy rice and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The rice topping can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The pie can be refrigerated for up to 6 hours.

Ok, this one was a doozy. Lots of steps, but hey, that’s what the holidays is all about. Busting out the big guns. It was so good, The Hubs and I ate the rest of it with a fork straight out of the pie plate on Friday. I forgot to snap a picture of a slice. Whoops.
One more pic of Leila………
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Seasonal Potluck: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I went all out this weekend making these cinnamon rolls. This is the classic example of a food I DO NOT eat. I like sweet stuff, but never for breakfast. I’m totally savory food gal when it comes to breakfast, but every once in a while, I make an exception. The Hubs, being a true southerner, loves stuff like this, and he was thrilled to see me busting out the sugar before noon.

I’d never made cinnamon rolls from scratch before, but The Hubs worked at Cinnabon in high school, so his two cents were helpful. Honestly though, I really hate rolling out dough. Whether it’s for cookies, cinnamon rolls, pie, anything…..it’s really something I despise. I can never get it to roll in the shape I want, and I always either get a rip in the dough, or its too thick. Maybe I just need more practice, but I really dread it.

It took a couple tries to get this rolled into a nice rectangle, but I managed, and these turned out great. A wonderful brunch option for a gorgeous fall day in SoCal.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything

1/3 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast
2 cups bread flour (you can use regular all purpose flour but bread flour makes them lighter)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter
CARAMEL FROSTING
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 dash salt
3/4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
FOR THE FULL RECIPE CLICK HERE

 

 

 

 

 

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Seasonal Potluck: Caramel Apple Crunch Pie

Caramel Apple Crunch Pie |Betsylife.com

I promised you another pie this week, and here it is! Another fabulous find from Pinterest! That site is just chock full of so-bad-for-you yummy deliciousness. This pie was described as “containing frosting crack”, “off the hizzy”, and “quite possibly the best pie I have ever had”. People went absolutely crazy over it. I personally really preferred the limoncello pie, but I’m not a super sweet tooth, and not so much into cheesecake, which this pie has an element of.

Caramel Apple Crunch Pie  recipe from Doughmesstic.net 

Crust:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs **Bonus! Got to use some of my graham crackers in the pantry!
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1 cup chopped pecans
Apple Filling:
5 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored, sliced very thin)
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cream Cheese Topping:
8 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
Topping:
3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/4 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Mix well and press into a 10-inch pie plate and up the sides. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes until golden in color. Remove pie shell from oven and cool completely. Pour caramel into pie shell and sprinkle with 1 cup of chopped pecans. Refrigerate pie shell while making apple filling.

3. In a large (12-inch) skilet over medium heat, melt butter and add brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Stir with a wooden spoon. Add apples and stir. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 15 to 20 minutes until apples are softened and tender. Let cool for 10 minutes and pour into pie shell. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F.

Caramel Apple Crunch Pie |Betsylife.com
4. In a medium bowl, using a hand-held mixer on low speed, combine cream cheese and sugar for about 1 minute until smooth. Add egg, lemon juice and vanilla and beat for 1 minute or until fully blended. Pour over apple filling in pie shell. Bake for 30 minutes until an inserted knife comes out clean. Remove pie from oven and let cool. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Let stand outside the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
5. Top with whipped cream, caramel and pecans, and swirl with a knife. Slice and serve.

Caramel Apple Crunch Pie |Betsylife.com

People often ask me how I can eat all these desserts and still be so skinny. Here’s the story. A. one small slice of pie per day does not a fatty make. Everything in moderation. 2. I work out. A lot. Plus, I’m just active in general. Living in SoCal allows for a lot of outdoor time. C. Besides the baked goods, and an occasional man-approved football snack, most of the stuff I make and eat on this blog is pretty darn healthy. I really try to avoid fast food and junk food (most of the time. Hey, I love me a cheeto)

And there you have it! Don’t eat crap all the time and move around a bit! You too can have a your caramel apple crunch pie and eat it too.

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Turtle Cupcakes….sort of

I’m no stranger to baking semi-successes on this blog, and these cupcakes were no exception. By semi-success I mean that they didn’t turn out exactly the way I hoped they would, but they still taste good, so its not a total failure. I saved this TURTLE CUPCAKE recipe when I first saw it posted on Sweetopia. I had no intention of making her too-cute-for-words turtle shaped decorations, but I was interested in making a cupcake with a caramel center! I couldn’t find small turtle candies, so I settled for chocolate Reisen and a candied pecan center.

As soon as I made the batter, I knew this wasn’t going to work out the way I hoped, but I pressed on with my fingers crossed. I’ve made enough cupcakes in my day to know what the consistency of cupcake batter is supposed to look like, and this batter was very runny. I’m not exactly sure where I went wrong. In all honesty, I’ve been a total zombie lately, so I’m sure I just measured something incorrectly. I went ahead and  baked them according to instructions, but when I pulled them out at 25 minutes to insert the candies, they had not risen AT ALL. There was no going back at this point, so I just shoved the candies and pecans in (they stuck out the top) and continued baking.

Once they were cooled, I frosted over the poking out candies so you couldn’t even tell, but when you bit into them, the center wasn’t as gooey as I was hoping for. Listen, you can’t go wrong with chocolate, stuffed with caramel, topped with frosting. They still tasted delish, but I’m going to do some things differently when I try these again (which I will definitely do). First, I’m going to use my best-ever, fail-proof cupcake batter recipe from my Key Lime Pie Cupcakes (obviously substitute chocolate). I’m also going to use a similar “filling” technique from the Key Lime cupcakes where I hollow out the middle of the fully baked cupcakes and fill them that way. I think I’ll use a caramel syrup and a pecan this time, instead of a whole candy.

I’ve learned from years of being an artist that things almost never turn out the way you envision them in your head. You just have to observe and adapt. The same is true for baking and cooking. I’ll be sure to post my revised version and let you know how they turn out!

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Caramel Stuffed Sugar Cookies

I’m back from my work conference in Vegas, and back to regular life today. This wasn’t even the usual, up-all-night-drunk-for-days-straight trip to Vegas that I usually take, but I’m still kind of in a daze today. I’m really looking forward to the long weekend! I’m hoping that its sunny the whole time so I can lay out and work on my tan. My dermatologist would kill me if she read this, but I’ve got a wedding to go to in a month and my teal dress really would look better with tan limbs. Besides, I wear sunscreen. I’m no fool.

For your reading pleasure today, check out these cookies that I found at the oh so cute website My Kitchen Addiction. I totally relate to Jen and her “double life”, and gosh darn it if this isn’t the awesomest idea ever! Talk about pumped up sugar cookies! Click on over to her site for the full recipe.

Anyway, The Hubs was out of town too, so the cupboards are bare. I’m going to hit the grocery store today and hopefully be back with some great Memorial day/summery in general ideas in the near future!

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Broiled Pineapple with Rum Caramel over Coconut Ice Cream

I can start off the week with dessert right? Or is everyone trying to be “good” again because its Monday? I definitely treated myself to this over the weekend. I’d ripped the recipe out of Cooking Light a while ago, but had yet to actually make it. With the weather sub-par and The Hubs out of town, I decided this weekend was just the time to try it out. Of course I ate it while drinking a bloody mary and watching Dazed and Confused on Saturday night. Wooooooo! Watch out world, party Betsy is on the loose!

Despite The Hubs being gone, I had a pretty good weekend. I got some sad news that one of my Dad’s closest friends, who had been sick for many years, finally passed away on Friday. This, of course, made me count all my blessings, ie. fantastic friendships in my life that I often take for granted. Fortunately, I did get to spend some great time with my two besties, the Pekar sisters, over the weekend, which was a great antidote to sadness. I also received a giant shipment of my Grandma’s china on Friday, which came with a whole nother bag of mixed happy/sad emotions. I’m so grateful to have such a beautiful part of our family’s history, but it is now a constant visual reminder that Grandma is no longer here.

Anyway, sadness aside, this recipe is true happiness! I’m a pineapple fanatic AND a caramel fanatic! I’d never made my own caramel before, but after making this, I don’t think I’ll ever get store bought again! It was so easy and tasty. The recipe originally called for bourbon caramel, but I only had rum so I figured that would have to do. What is it about ice cream treats like this that seem to make everything ok? I think I may need another dose after my dental appointment today!

Broiled Pineapple with Rum Caramel Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons dark rum, divided
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pineapple, peeled and cored
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 cups coconut ice cream

  • 1. Combine granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons rum, 3 tablespoons water, and juice in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; cook 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and cook, without stirring, 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from heat. Carefully add cream, stirring constantly (mixture will bubble vigorously). Cool slightly. Stir in remaining 2 teaspoons rum and vanilla.
  • 2. Preheat broiler to high.
  • 3. Cut pineapple lengthwise into 12 slices; cut each slice in half crosswise. Arrange pineapple on a foil-lined broiler pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Broil 5 inches from heat for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

  • 4. Scoop 1/3 cup ice cream into each of 6 bowls. Arrange 4 pineapple slices in each bowl; top each serving with 2 1/2 tablespoons caramel sauce. Serve immediately.


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