Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I ate Strawberry Rhubarb Pie for the first time at my cousin’s Confirmation lunch when I was eight or nine. I didn’t know what it was, but I had three servings and only stopped my gluttonous endeavor because the tart rhubarb started to make my mouth hurt. For years after, I ordered it any time I spotted it on a dessert menu.

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Fresh rhubarb can generally only be found in the spring, and I’ve missed my window of opportunity the past few years. But lo and behold, the bright red stalks caught my eye at Fairway this week and I grabbed them like they were the last drops of morning dew in The Land Before Time (for those of you who don’t get that *v cool* 90’s movie reference, I snatched the rhubarb quickly and without hesitation).

This recipe is adapted from Epicurious.

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INGREDIENTS:

2 Pillsbury pie crusts, thawed according to package instructions

1 pound rhubarb, chopped into 1/2 inch slices

1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (to dot)

1 large egg yolk beaten and blended with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

1 tablespoon turbinado or granulated sugar (to sprinkle on top)

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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Press one pie crust into the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan. In a large bowl, combine the fruit, sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon, and sugar. Pour into prepared pie crust. Dot with butter.

You can either place the full second pie crust on top, crimp the edges, and cut slits for ventilation, OR cut the second pie crust into strips and create a lattice work top.

Once the second crust is on, brush it with the egg-water glaze. Sprinkle the turbinado (or 1 tbsp of granulated) sugar over the top.

Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and baked for an additional 1 hour and 15 minutes*. The filling should be thick and the crust golden when you remove it.

*I have a powerful oven, so you may need to keep it in for another 5-10 minutes.

Let cool on a rack then enjoy with vanilla ice cream!

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Jumbo Sugar Cookie

As much as I love baking, sometimes I’m not in the mood to go through all the setting up and cleaning up involved. That’s why this recipe, courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction, caught my eye– it just makes one huge sugar cookie. Meaning, it’s a much smaller project than making a full batch. It requires lower ingredient measures and therefore, smaller baking tools can be used.  I LOVE when a recipe only needs 1 or 2 small mixing bowls and teaspoon/tablespoon measures. Small bowls can be popped in the dishwasher and more of them can simultaneously fit on drying mats. Aka, quicker and easier cleanup. Oh, and did I mention the best part? If you only make one giant cookie you don’t have to worry about cookie vultures*; if there’s only one cookie, they know who it’s for.

*A cookie vulture is a person or animal that circles the kitchen while you’re baking and snags a cookie before it’s even hit the cooling rack. When I’m not the one baking, I am one hundred percent a cookie vulture.

This is the first time I’ve made a small batch version of a classic, and part of the reason I chose this recipe to be my first is that it still calls for an oven. I keep seeing recipes for single serving microwave brownies and microwave cakes, but there’s something about *baking* by *microwave* that feels wrong to me. Would it taste the same? Maybe. Would I think it tasted the same? Most likely not.

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INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

3 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons beaten egg (crack the egg, beat it, and use 2 tbsp)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 Tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 Tablespoons sprinkles — the more colorful, the better!

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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Either spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray or cover it with a piece of parchment paper.

In a small bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Stir in the 2 Tbsp of egg and the vanilla extract.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overdo it!

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Flip the cookie dough out of the bowl and onto the baking sheet so that it looks like a tall ball (if it’s too flat it will be way too thin!). Bake for approximately 15 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. I took mine out at 13 minutes because I wanted an ooey gooey center, but that’s your call! Just remember that it will continue baking for a few minutes after you take it out of the oven, so don’t overcook it.

Allow the cookie to cool completely on the cookie sheet– no cooling rack needed here.

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Triple Chocolate Fudge Cookies

I’ve been posting a lot of recipes involving classically autumnal flavor profiles (i.e. cinnamon, pumpkin, and nutmeg), so I decided to go the chocolate route for a change. The name of these cookies might seem a bit overdone, but there’s so much chocolate involved that it somehow feels appropriate. This recipe, which comes from the scrumptious food blog Baker By Nature, popped up on my Instagram feed a few days ago, and I haven’t been able to shake the memory of seeing so much chocolate enveloped in one cookie.

And now, the dilemma: I’ve been mildly attempting to eat more healthily, and I knew that making these cookies wouldn’t help in my feeble endeavors for obvious reasons. I needed to make them, eat one or two (or three or four, let’s be honest), and then get them out of the house as soon as possible. And then I remembered: my church has a coffee hour in between services, so once in a while I bring baked goods to serve there. What a perfect opportunity to get rid of these cookies! Again, after I test them.

Each batch only makes a dozen cookies, but they’re so big that it’s not chintzy to cut them up before serving them if you don’t feel like doubling it. I would have tried making them smaller, but since it’s a new recipe I decided against meddling with the cooking time.

Original Recipe: http://bakerbynature.com/soft-batch-double-chocolate-fudge-cookies/#more-19665

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INGREDIENTS:

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar (6 tbsp total)

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup milk chocolate chips, to be mixed in to the batter

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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper, and lightly grease or spray with non-stick spray (remember, these cookies are fudgey!).

Place the semi-sweet chocolate chips and butter in a small, microwave safe bowl. Heat them in the microwave for for 15 second increments of time, mixing in between each, until butter and chocolate are completely melted and can easily be whisked smooth. Be sure you don’t overcook the chocolate, as this will cause it to thicken and be harder to fold into the batter. Set aside.

In a small-medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate medium-sized bowl whisk together the sugars, eggs, heavy cream, and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and stir to combine – be wary of over-mixing, as this will make the batter too stiff.

Fold in the melted chocolate/butter and the milk chocolate chips into the batter, stirring only until everything is combined evenly.

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Scoop 1/4 cupfuls of the batter on the prepared baking sheets (do not try rolling the batter into balls with your hands… you will have a handful of melted chocolate), place pans in the oven, reduce heat to 300 degrees, and bake for 18-20 minutes. You can tell that they’re done because they will have a slight pearlescent sheen to them, due to the egg yolks.

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Allow cookies to cool for at least on hour on the baking sheets… truth be told, I snuck one before they were finished cooling, and it was totally fine, but if you have to transport them or are afraid of breaking them, I suggest waiting the full hour.

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Enjoy!

Leslie