Apple Pie

Apple pie is a specialty of mine. I make it for Thanksgiving, Christmas, sometimes even 4th of July (even though apples are technically out of season in the American summer). I’m not an enormous fan of baked fruit, but apple pie is just so tasty. Especially nice and hot with a big scoop of cold vanilla ice cream.

baked

I’m pretty neurotic about my pie-making, as you’ll see below. The first time anyone not directly related to me saw me slicing up apples for pie, they expressed sincere concern for my sanity. Which is fair enough because (as, again, you’ll see below) I slice my apples in a completely insane and very time-consuming fashion. But they taste best this way. But if you chop yours a bit more coarsely, I’m sure they’ll be fine.

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Tropical Island (White Chocolate, Macadamia, & Coconut) Cookies

Hello from Australia! I still haven’t quite made it to my final destination (Byron Bay), but so far I’m having a great time here. I’ve been busy with my family and the amazing Great Barrier Reef trip we went on and I haven’t so much as stepped into a kitchen for over a week (not an exaggeration), but luckily I have a couple recipes saved up for you guys. Starting with this one.

plateful

Full disclosure: I’m not a huge fan of these cookies. Not because they aren’t delicious – I wouldn’t put them up here if they weren’t! – but because I don’t actually like shredded coconut in my baked goods. But sometimes, when you bake as much and as often as I do, you find yourself eating too much sugar, and the easiest way to counter that is by baking things you don’t like. Thus the coconut. And once I was putting in one tropical ingredient, the macadamia and white chocolate just seemed right.

ingredients

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Peanut Butter, Oatmeal, & Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I posted a recipe a while back for something called “winning hearts and minds cake.” A great name, and totally apt for what it is – a simple, classic cake that everybody completely adores. These cookies are a little less universal: some (very strange) people don’t like peanut butter, and I think oatmeal-raisin cookies have quite understandably turned people against oatmeal cookies as a species. But those caveats aside, this is a pretty winning cookie. I’ve made a lot of friends (okay, friendly new acquaintances) with this one. And on at least two occasions, used it to convince the neighbors not to call noise control during some very loud live gigs in student housing.

cookie

I’ve also been working through the last of my baking supplies here, so this was a perfect project. Got rid of heaps of my favorite Fix & Fogg peanut butter, heaps of oatmeal, and of course all the usual sugars and flour and whatnot. And now, a mere twelve or thirteen hours before I leave for the airport, I’m passing the recipe along to you guys.

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Sunbutter Cups

Sorry guys – I’m decidedly behind on my blogging. I’m down to my last couple weeks (well, single week now!) here in Wellington, which means all I’ve been doing is lazing around, going out to eat, and very vaguely considering packing. I have not been productive in the least. But, in the interest of filling spare time and using up my ingredients, I have been baking quite a bit. So I promise I will sit down, edit some photos, and get back on my weekly blogging. Starting with some nice no-bake sweets.

three

I first made these a few years ago for my college dorm’s big end-of-term party, Wine & Cheese. This is a decades-old tradition – twice a year, all the members of the house would cook a bunch of hors d’oeuvres and desserts, buy some niceish booze, and invite their favorite alumni and professors to come over and hang out. At the time, I lived with a number of people with Celiac disease, and so I decided I’d make some gluten-free sweets on their behalf. I was initially going to make classic peanut butter cups, but having recently discovered the wonders of sun(flower seed) butter, I decided to use that instead. These would be tasty with peanut butter, as well, but the sunbutter makes them extra special.

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