Thursday, August 15, 2013

Peach Hand Pies

Pie! Pie! Me oh my! I love me some pie- especially fruit ones! While eating pie pleasures my palate ,the simplicity of baking a pie nourishes my soul. The rolling of the dough and the chopping of the fruit for the filling comforts me.  I forget that I'm in the modern world. I escape to a more down-home, rustic existence. A few years back, I discovered hand pies. Oh, what a delight! If you never have had one, a hand pie is a pastry wrapped, fruit-filled, just the right size for a snack treat that can be eaten anywhere- a mini pie! Recently, on the most gorgeous summer day, I followed this recipe from Smitten Kitchen: Peach Hand Pies. Preparing these mini pies are a bit more work than a regular pie, but I don't mind. I can stay in my  imaginary homespun world a little longer!

Start with some sweet peaches.

To peel the peaches, cut an X on the bottom, immerse in boiling water for about 45 seconds, and then place in an ice bath for 1 minute. Pat dry and peel.
Easy Peasy!

 Slice in half and pit the peaches.
Make sure you chop the peaches smaller than you would for a regular pie!
 The recipe called for 1 teaspoon of bourbon which I used but I couldn't taste it.
Maybe next time, I will use more! ;)
Ready for the oven!

Fresh out of the oven!

Doesn't that look scrumptious?

Oh yum! Flaky crust and sweet peach filling!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Cookies


Anyone who bakes knows that you use a cup of this and a cup of that and before too long, you find that you have a lot of "this" and lot of "that" left over.  You wonder what shall you do with "this and that"?  In my house, I make "Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies". I don't have a written recipe for these babies; I just throw the ingredients all together and hope for the best.
Here let me explain:
I started with all of the "this and that"- which was about a cup each of shredded coconut, M&Ms, dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, chopped bittersweet chocolate, walnuts, and chopped up pretzel chips.
I whipped up a basic cookie batter which consisted of two sticks of butter (softened), a half cup each of white sugar and brown sugar, two eggs, and two teaspoons vanilla. After that was beat together, I added the standard mix of two cups of flour with one teaspoon of baking soda, one half teaspoon of baking powder, and one teaspoon of salt.
To make it even more exciting, I added two cups of oatmeal!
 WOW! Aren't you excited too?
The final ingredients... that's right! "This and that"!

I baked big scoops of the batter on cookie sheets in a preheated 350 degree (F) oven for about 12 minutes. (Uh, duh, I forgot to take a picture. You'll have to use your imagination.) I then let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for a minute or two to set. After that, onto the wire rack to cool.
Luckily, I was able to take a few photos of the finished product before my kids ate them all up!!

I also was able to eat one before they disappeared. I think the cookies tasted pretty darn good for just winging it! So next time you are in the mood for a sweet treat, take a look in your cabinet and throw all the sweets you have along with a little bit of a salty treat together to make these cookies, but remember- don't throw in the kitchen sink!