Apple Pie with Buttermilk Crust

Today is Veteran’s Day.

I couldn’t think of a better way to show my appreciation than to bake an apple pie.

apple pie leavesI have made this apple pie before many, many times. But I have added my favorite ingredient as of late into the crust: buttermilk.

This is also one of the easiest pies to make. Make the dough, mix the apples and sugar together, roll out the dough, put the apples in. Done.

Well.. maybe there are a few more steps but that is essentially it.

Another thing I thought about when thinking of Veteran’s Day was what these veterans bring back with them as they obtain the veteran status.

soldier ptsd

For veterans, some great resources that are available can be found here. For those of you that are not veterans, but would like to help listening is always my first option when offering help. Some of the things they may say may be horrifying to you, but its really not about you. The biggest thing you can do is be accepting of what they have to say.

Maybe even chat with them as you are baking this pie. Using your hands while chatting can really help the words flow.

apple pie crustMaking the dough and rolling it out.

dough wrappedGiving it time to chill can give you a moment to let them talk with you with your undivided attention.

apple peelPeeling the apples can be such mindless work that can put there mind at ease.

apples

Mixing up the apples and sugar. Pouring it in to the crust.

apple pie crust before

Covering up the apples with one whole sheet of pie crust is an option. Or you can cut it up into strips and have fun with it.

This is just one excuse to get in the kitchen, get your hands dirty, and chat with someone. Find something that works better for you or the other person.

Apple Pie with Buttermilk Crust

For the crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening, chilled

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, cut and chilled

4 to 5 tablespoons iced buttermilk

To make the crust:

Combine flour and salt in food processor. Add shortening in chunks and pulse 2 or 3 times. Add butter and pulse until small chunks of dough form. Pour in tablespoons of iced buttermilk until dough barely comes together. Cover in plastic wrap and put dough in refrigerator to chill.

For the pie:

6 cups peeled, sliced apples

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons butter

To make pie:

Roll half of pastry to 1/8- inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Place in a 9-inch pieplate; set aside.

Combine apple and lemon juice in a large bowl. Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar and next 4 ingredients. Spoon over apple mixture, tossing gently. Spoon filling evenly into pastry shell, and dot with butter.

Roll remaining pastry to 1/8-inch thickness, cut into strips and place over pie (you can also put whole pastry over pie and put slits in the top).

Bake at 450 F for 15 minutes, and reduce heat to 350 F, and bake 50 more minutes.

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Halloween Leftovers, Part Two – Candy Corn Cookies

So I know that this post has the implications that I am making something out of leftovers.

But that’s not true. I bought these candy corn explicitly for these cookies.

candy corn

They were earmarked for these cookies and the leftovers were actually a bonus because I got to eat them all. I am lucky enough to not know anyone that likes candy corn.

Well if they do then its not really around long enough for me to find out.

However, these candy corn cookies did not turn out like the pictures on this blog. It was actually quite unfortunate how badly these cookies turned out aesthetically.

IMG_2277

I am not going to edit this picture because I want to show how truly pitiful they came out. I tried multiple times to make these cookies. I even put the candy corn in the center of the dough ball like the previous blog mentioned to do.

But they came out like the above picture with blobs of melted candy corn oozing from the sides of the cookies. The one good thing that came from these little guys is that I found out that I love melted candy corn. Chewy, melty goodness.

Candy Corn and White Chocolate Cookies

Attempted reproduction of this recipe here

1/2 cup unsalted butter, soften

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons half-and-half

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons corn starch

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups candy corn

1 cup white chocolate chips

To make the cookies:

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large bowl and electric hand mixer), cream together the first 5 ingredients (through vanilla) on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the next 5 ingredients (through optional salt), and mix on low speed until just incorporated, about 1 minute; don’t overmix.

Add the candy corn, white chocolate chips, and mix until just incorporated.

Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping two-tablespoon mounds (I made 20). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter. Important note – Strategically place candy corn so that it’s not baking directly on cookie sheet because it will melt, burn, or turn runny if it is. The candy corn pieces need to be in the interior of the cookies, shielded and buffered by dough.

Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray. Place mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet) and bake for about 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if slightly undercooked, pale and glossy in the center.

Halloween Leftovers, Part One – Candy Bar Brownies

I had a jam packed Halloween weekend.brownie batter candies

I hosted a party with costumes, friends, and, of course, food.

Leading up to the party I baked, decorated, and costumed myself.eggs

Also, I passed out candy to one child. One. I bought candy for at least 50 children.

So needless to say I had leftovers.

This month there is one important mental health awareness day. International Survivors of Suicide Day.

international-survivors-of-suicide-day_medium_small

When I first think of this day I think of those that tried to commit suicide but did not die. Instead this day is intended for those who were left behind after a loved one committed suicide.

What is left behind after someone takes their life? Questions with no answers.

Where do you begin? Can there be anyone who understands the complicated emotions? Is there anything to help? There are so many resources for those that have been left after a loved one has ended their life. There is support specifically for you.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a tremendous resource for those who need this specialized type of support and resource.

Brownie dry ingredients

So I am not sure if your trick or treaters were as sparse as mine, but I ended up with a lot of candy. Lots of leftovers. So what do you do when life hands you way too much candy and no one to give it away to?

Make brownies!

So that is exactly what I did…

snickers candy

I chopped those little guys up and scattered them across the top of some delicious triple chocolate brownies. That’s right.. Triple. Chocolate. Cocoa. Semisweet chips. White chocolate morsels.

chocolate chips

Candy Bar Brownies

Yield 24 brownies

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

3/4 cup butter, melted

1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate morsels

1 cup white chocolate morsels

12 fun size Snickers bars, chopped – or as many as you need!

To make the brownies:

Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add eggs and butter, stirring well. Stir in morsels. Pour batter into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle evenly with candy pieces; gently press candy into batter.

Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting into bars.