Wow!. It seems as though I’ve been baking up a storm around here lately. From pies to cookies to popcorn – apparently I have a big sweet tooth these days. Anyway, I came up with this idea late last week and couldn’t get it out of my head. I just had to give it a try as soon as possible.

 Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Pies with Chocolate Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

I know that I was thinking about making a savory pie for the next recipe in my year of pie series, but when something comes along that involves peanut butter and chocolate, it takes precedence.

 Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Pies with Chocolate Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

Now, I’ve made a lot of recipes here on Inspired by Charm, but I can say with certainty that these Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Pies are officially in my top five. The combination of chocolate and peanut butter is probably my all-time favorite, so it’s not a surprise that I love these so much.

 Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Pies with Chocolate Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

I was also super excited to try out this crust recipe. First, it’s made in a food processor. I’ve always wanted to try this approach ever since I saw Ina Garten do it on the Barefoot Contessa. Secondly, it involves chocolate.

 Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Pies with Chocolate Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

I was actually surprised how wonderfully easy this dough came together. Other than paying attention to how much water (or in this case coffee) you are adding, it pretty much mixes itself. I may be convinced that a food processor is the way to go when it comes to making pie dough.

 Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Pies with Chocolate Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

You’ll notice the dough recipe calls for iced coffee. (This is yet another tip I learned from my friend, Ina. [She’s not really my friend, I just like saying that. However, I think we would be friends if we met some day. But then again, I think everyone assumes that.]) I think she made brownies once, or maybe it was chocolate cupcakes, and used coffee instead of plain water. Apparently coffee enhances the chocolate flavor. Now anytime I’m making something with chocolate, I try to incorporate a little coffee flavor. Honestly, it really seems to help. If you’re not a fan of coffee, or don’t have any on hand, I assume plain ice water will work fine in this recipe.

 Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Pies with Chocolate Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

For the filling, I simply followed a standard recipe for peanut butter pie filling. I used a plastic baggie to pipe it into the little shells. (I really need to invest in some proper piping bags and tips at some point.) However, it worked beautifully. I did the same thing for the chocolate drizzle.

IMG_0051

I also added a few chopped peanuts to about half of my bite-sized pies for a little garnish and a little crunch. Depending on your crowd, you can add these or leave them off.

 Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Pies with Chocolate Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

And if these photos haven’t given you enough encouragement, I really must insist you try this recipe. I was able to pass a few of these out to family and friends yesterday afternoon. Everyone gave them rave reviews.

 Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Pies with Chocolate Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

So, without further ado, let me show you how to make them.

Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Pies with Chocolate Crust

Here's what you will need:

Chocolate Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cold
4 tablespoons Crisco
Yolk from 2 large eggs
6 - 8 tablespoons iced coffee (ice water will work as well.)

Peanut Butter Filling:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 package (8 ounce) Cool Whip, thawed

Chocolate Drizzle:

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon Crisco
Chopped peanuts (optional)

Let's begin with the crust.

In a food processor (you can also do this by hand if needed), combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, and salt on low until blended. Add the butter and Crisco and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbles. Add the egg yolks and iced coffee and process with slow pulses until the dough forms a ball. Start with about 5 tablespoons of iced coffee and add more until the mixture comes together.

Press the dough into two flatten discs. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Then, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

On a floured surface, roll out your dough until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Then cut out the dough using a flour shaped cookie cutter. My cookie cutter is 3-inches in diameter petal tip to petal tip. Once your first set of flowers are cut, you can ball up the dough and roll it out again. Repeat until you have used as much of the dough as possible.

Gently press the flowers into an ungreased mini muffin pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 -15 minutes.

Allow the mini pie shells to cool completely in the pan before removing. This will ensure they keep their shape.

While they are cooling, mix up the peanut butter pie filling. Beat the peanut butter with the cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Then add the powdered sugar, beating again until smooth. Add in the Cool Whip and beat the mixture one final time until smooth.

Add this filling into a piping bag or large plastic bag. Pipe into your cooled chocolate pie shells.

For the drizzle, melt the chocolate chips and shortening in a microwavable bowl (or in a double broiler). Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then transfer to a plastic bag. Snip off a tiny portion of one corner of the bag and drizzle the chocolate onto the filled pie shells. Top with chopped peanut for a garnish.

Print

And that’s it, friends!

 Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Pies with Chocolate Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

I know it may sound a little complicated, but they come together quickly. And I promise, they are worth the time.

 Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Pies with Chocolate Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

The filling is obviously delicious and, as I mentioned above, I absolutely love this pie crust! It’s flaky, light, and the perfect amount of chocolately goodness.

Plus, the cuteness factor of this bite-sized pies is clearly off the scale. Based on how they look, you know they are going to be dynamite before they even cross your lips. Right?

 Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Pies with Chocolate Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and I really hope you are loving A Year of Pie as much as I am. Have a fab day, everyone!

Do you think you’ll give this recipe a try?

More tasty A Year of Pie recipes:

IBC’s Go-To Pie Crust
Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust
Mixed Berry Slab Pie
Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Crust (You are here!)
Double Cherry Bullseye Pie
Blackberry Crostata
Strawberry Hand Pies
Blueberry Cream Pie
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Peach and Blueberry Slab Pie

Wow!. It seems as though I’ve been baking up a storm around here lately. From pies to cookies to popcorn – apparently I have a big sweet tooth these days. Anyway, I came up with this idea late last week and couldn’t get it out of my head. I just had to give it a […]




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Well, I did it. A Year of Pie has officially begun and I’m officially obsessed. I want to make pies all day, every day. Despite being a little nervous since it was my first attempt at pie baking, I found the whole process very soothing and cathartic. You know … like the scene from Bridesmaids when Kristin Wiig’s character makes the cupcake. Something like that.

As you can tell from the title of this post, I decided to start with a pretty traditional pie – apple.

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

Surprisingly, apple pie isn’t among my favorites. However, a warm slice with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream is not something I would turn down.

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

I originally intended to make this a caramel apple pie. Basically, that would involve topping the apples with caramel sauce before adding the top crust. However, I got so excited when placing on the top crust that I completely forgot about the caramel. These things happen.

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

While my mom has a fabulous pie crust recipe, I have decided to try a few others before tackling the family favorite. To make this pie I ended up two different recipes. For the crust, I used the All-Butter Crust recipe from The Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book. For the pie filling, I used the recipe from Honeysuckle Catering. She recently did two YouTube videos with Margo True of Sunset Magazine showiing how to make pie dough and apple pie. After watching both of those videos, I was a little more confident about tackling this recipe. Be sure to check them out.

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

Throughout this year I plan to experiment with different pie dough recipes until I find the one I like best. However, I do realize that pie dough is kind of a personal thing and people have their favorites. Be it thin, thick, flaky, buttery, etc. – I recommend testing different recipes to find your own preferred variety. Kind of like what I’m doing.

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

And, since I am documenting this for my own reference, I will leave a few notes at the end of the post detailing my thoughts about flavors, etc. So if you are curious about my personal taste notes, you can find those there.

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust

Here’s what you will need:

All-Butter Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup cold water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup ice

Apple Filling

3 1/2 pounds apples (6 large or 7 medium), peeled and sliced (1/8th inch thick) I used a mix of Granny Smith and Honey Crisp
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons of flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
1/4 cup milk and sanding sugar for garnish

Let’s get baking:

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and sugar. Then add the cold butter pieces. Use a spatula to coat the butter with the flour mixture. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Be careful not to over mix.

Then in a small bowl combine the water, ice, and cider vinegar. Sprinkle about 4 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour and butter mixture and incorporate with a spatula. Continue to add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, using the spatula and / or your hand until the dough comes together into a ball. If necessary, add small drops of the water mixture to any remaining dry bits.

Split the dough in half and shape each piece into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. (This dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.)

Next, we want to make our apple filling.

Place your peeled and sliced apples in a large bowl. In a medium-sized bow whisk together sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Sprinkle this mixture over the apples and mix with your hands or a large spoon to combine. Add the lemon juice and mix again.

Remove your chilled dough from the fridge. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface. (To make this process a bit easier, I rolled mine out between two sheets of waxed paper.) Roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. The dough should be two inches wider in circumference than the size of your pie pan. Use the wax paper or your hands to transfer the dough to your pie pan. Trim the dough leaving about 1/2 inch overhang. Chill the bottom crust while you roll out the top.

Now, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Position your two oven racks on the two lowest levels. On the bottom rack, place a cooke sheet to catch any drips from your pie.

Next, pour your prepared apples into the pie shell. Then, scatter the thinly sliced butter on the top. Next, add the top crust to your pie. I decided to try a lattice top. Instead of explaining how to do that here, check out this awesome tutorial via YouTube.

For a standard top crust, carefully center it on your filled pie. Fold the edge of your top crust over the edge of the bottom crust so it’s flush with the pan. Crimp the edge to seal with your fingers or a fork.

Slash a few decorative steam vents in the top crust. Brush the top crust with milk and sprinkle with sanding sugar.

Set the pie onto the second to lowest rack in your oven. Bake at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. Bake until the pie is a medium golden brown. You can test the doneness of your apples by sticking a knife into a vent hold. They should feel tender. Let the pie cool at least an hour before serving.

And that my friends is one awesomely delicious pie.

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

Served with a heaping scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, this really is perfection.

I’ve never knowingly had a crust with cider vinegar in it. It does add a really unique and tangy flavor. I liked it! However, I will cut back a bit on the amount next time I make this crust. Maybe 1/6th of a cup instead of 1/4th. With that being said though, this dough is bananas! (Bananas = super good). It’s flaky, flavorful, thick, and all around wonderful. I could have just eaten the dough with the ice cream.

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

My apples were still a little crisp, so I assume I didn’t cut them quite thin enough or didn’t bake it long enough. It wasn’t enough to bother me, but something I’ll keep in mind next time. My mom also suggested a different apple. She prefers Cortland.

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

My pie also had a fair amount of liquid. I did cut into it a little bitter sooner than I should have. (I was in a bit of a hurry as the sun was setting and I needed to photograph this bad boy. (You may be surprised to learn that I took most of the cut pie pictures in an almost completely dark kitchen. The magic of a good camera and a tripod!) As the pie continued to set, I noticed things thickened up. So, a lesson to you – patience is a virtue. Also, the Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book talked a little bit about using apples in pies. Apparently, there is a way to release some the the liquid in the apples before baking. I may also give that a try next time around.

With all that being said though, the flavors of the pie were still wonderfully delicious and enjoyable. I’m calling this pie a winner!

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

For not being a big Apple Pie fan, I was really pleased with my first attempt at pie. Not only did it turn out beautifully, but it tasted equally delicious.

One down, many more to go! What type of pie would you like to see me tackle next?

Well, I did it. A Year of Pie has officially begun and I’m officially obsessed. I want to make pies all day, every day. Despite being a little nervous since it was my first attempt at pie baking, I found the whole process very soothing and cathartic. You know … like the scene from Bridesmaids […]




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Join the conversation.






First things first. My sincere apologies for disappearing from IBC this week. As you may or may not know, I’ve been on the road for the past nine days. Last Wednesday I was in NYC for three days with my friends from Better Homes and Gardens (more on that tomorrow). Then, from Saturday through Thursday I was in Las Vegas for a family vacation (more on that next week). While I managed to keep things moving for Fall Cookie Week, I clearly dropped the ball while in Las Vegas. Anyway, I’m back. And, as I mentioned, I will fill you in on all of that stuff soon plus share some exciting news about the month of October.

In the meantime, I’ve been dying to tell you about this recipe for Blue Cheese-Stuffed Buffalo Meatballs. They are insanely delicious. I actually made them a few weeks ago and knew I had to put the recipe on IBC.

Blue Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Meatballs | Inspired by Charm

The inspiration for this recipe comes from the always fabulous, drool-worthy Iowa Girl Eats. She created a recipe for Feta-Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatballs. Since buffalo sauce and blue cheese are like peanut butter and jelly to me, I decided to give her recipe a little twist.

Blue Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Meatballs | Inspired by Charm

Blue Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Meatballs | Inspired by Charm

I also couldn’t find ground chicken at my grocery store (Limited shopping is a disadvantage of living in a small town.), so I substituted turkey. To be honest, when it’s ground up and covered in buffalo sauce, I’m not sure I could tell the difference.

Blue Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Meatballs | Inspired by Charm

Blue Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Meatballs | Inspired by Charm

I doubled this recipe and I’m so glad I did. These are incredibly delicious meat balls They have a nice spicy-kick to them as well, so be warned. This recipe may also be somewhat healthier due to the lean meat and egg white instead of a whole egg. (To cut even more calories and fat, you could use less butter in the final steps.)

Blue Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Meatballs | Inspired by Charm

Okay, let me tell you how to whip these up.

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Buffalo Meatballs

Here’s what you will need:
1 lb. ground turkey
1/4 small red onion, grated
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 egg white
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon powdered Ranch Dip mix
4 ounce block blue cheese cheese, cut into 1/2” cubes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup buffalo wing sauce

Let’s get cooking:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. With a fork, stir together turkey, onion, garlic, egg white, bread crumbs, and ranch dip mix in a large bowl. Mix until just combined. This recipe will make 16 meatballs. Divide mixture into quarters, then make each quarter into 4 balls.

Press a cube of blue cheese into the center of each ball then form the mixture around cheese to seal. Roll into a ball.

Place meatballs on a non-stick sprayed cooling rack set on top of a baking sheet and then bake for 16-18 minutes or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Then add buffalo wing sauce and stir to combine. Add cooked meatballs to skillet using a spoon to coat them with sauce. Place a lid on the skillet and turn heat to low to keep the meatballs warm.

Alternatively. you can finish the meatballs in a slow cooker like I did. Simply put the butter, buffalo wing sauce, and meatballs into a slow cooker and set on high for about 20 minutes or until warm.

Blue Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Meatballs | Inspired by Charm

Let me tell you these are amazing.

If you are a blue cheese lover like I am, that little pocket of cheese goodness is kind of magical.

Blue Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Meatballs | Inspired by Charm

Thanks again to Iowa Girl Eats for the incredible inspiration. I’m off to unpack and catch up on some work. What do you have planned for the weekend?

First things first. My sincere apologies for disappearing from IBC this week. As you may or may not know, I’ve been on the road for the past nine days. Last Wednesday I was in NYC for three days with my friends from Better Homes and Gardens (more on that tomorrow). Then, from Saturday through Thursday […]




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Surprise! You’re in luck. Fall Cookie Week is starting a day early. I actually began baking all of the cookies this weekend and it looks like I’m going to have one extra variety. That means there will be eight recipes instead of seven. Beginning with this post, I’ll be sharing one recipe every day this week.

I’m also trying to coordinate some sort of giveaway into this week, but I haven’t finalized those details yet. Stay tuned. If there is a giveaway, I’m pushing to have it on Hump Day.

Caramel Gingersnaps | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

For our first cookie of the week, I made Caramel Gingersnaps.This recipe combines the spices of fall with sweet gooey caramel for a winning combination.

To pull this off, I took a recipe I had for gingersnap cookies and just added caramel bits.

Caramel Gingersnaps | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

Caramel Gingersnaps | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

The resulting cookie is super soft and bursting with flavor. I’ve actually always been a fan of gingersnaps. My mom made them, so I guess I find some sort of comfortin them. As crazy as it sounds, their flavor reminds me of home and family.

IMG_3865

These are also one of my favorite cookies for dunking in tea. The heat warms and softens both the cookie and the caramel. It’s magic!

Caramel Gingersnaps | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

Okay, it’s time to get Fall Cookie Week officially started by telling you how these are made.

Caramel Gingersnaps

Here’s what you will need:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup dark molasses
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup granulated sugar, for rolling
1 11-ounce bag caramel bits

Let’s get baking:

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the softened butter. Add the brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides, if needed. Add the molasses, egg, and vanilla. Beat well, scraping down the sides as needed again.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet on low speed. Mix until just combined. Then gently fold in the caramel bits. Cover mixed dough with foil and chill for 3-4 hours .

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with asilicone mat or parchment paper as some of the caramel may run.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place balls one inch apart. Flatten slightly with your hand or the bottom of a glass. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are just turning brown. Be careful not to overcook these, which would result in a harder cookies.

Remove cookie from the baking sheet and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Caramel Gingersnaps | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

Delicious, soft, and caramel-filled gingersnaps. You really can’t go wrong with these. Not only are they great for the fall, they are perfect for the holidays, too.

Caramel Gingersnaps | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

So what do you think? Will you be giving these cookies a try!

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the cookies in IBC’s Second Annual Fall Cookie Week:

Sunday – Caramel Gingersnaps
Monday – Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Tuesday – Butter Pecan Maple Crisps
Wednesday – Frosted Pumpkin Cookies // KitchenAid Stand Mixer Giveaway
Thursday – Autumn Apple Cookie Bar
Friday – Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Saturday – Candy Corn Cream Wafers
Sunday – Peanut Butter Cup Cookies // Fall Baking Link Party

Surprise! You’re in luck. Fall Cookie Week is starting a day early. I actually began baking all of the cookies this weekend and it looks like I’m going to have one extra variety. That means there will be eight recipes instead of seven. Beginning with this post, I’ll be sharing one recipe every day this […]




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I can’t believe it’s been over a month since the last Year of Yeast post. Clearly, I’m getting more comfortable with my yeast-bread skills and I don’t need to practice as much anymore. (Or it could be that it was too hot to do much baking in August.)

Over the past couple weeks I’ve been craving something with apples and cinnamon. I blame it on the fact that fall is just around the corner. I hate to admit it, but I’m totally crazy excited for fall to come. Like many folks, fall is my favorite season and I plan to live it up this year. As a bed and breakfast owner, fall was always my busiest time so I was never able to fully enjoy it. I blinked and it was over. This year I’m taking full advantage of the season and planning lots of cooking, baking, and crafting. You’re in for a treat – and maybe a trick or two!

Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze | Inspired by Charm

Anyway, back to this craving for something apple-y and my overwhelming need to do a little baking, I did some research and found this awesome recipe via Treat & Trick. Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze looked like a winner to me!

Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze | Inspired by Charm

While the bread sounded fantabulous, I felt it needed a little something more. In other words, it needed another layer of sugar and butter to take it over the top. So I continued my search and found a recipe for a Caramel Apple Glaze from Culinary Concoctions. I was pretty sure that together the bread and glaze would be epic.

Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze | Inspired by Charm

I did make a few adjustments to the Spiral Apple Bread recipe. I thought the dough and the topping could benefit from a little cinnamon. I mean, you really can’t have baked apples without cinnamon, right? I was glad I made this addition.

Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze | Inspired by Charm

Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze | Inspired by Charm

Oh, and you’ll be happy to know that this recipe comes together very quickly. As with most yeast recipes, you need to factor in some rising time, but other than that, it’s a piece of cake.

Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze | Inspired by Charm

I’ve actually learned to enjoy the rising process. The world moves too quickly these days. Today, I took the time to really enjoy every step of the process. How the dough felt in my hands, how it smelled when it was rising, the flavor of the apples. It was like a bit of baking therapy.

Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze | Inspired by Charm

Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze | Inspired by Charm

And honestly, with very little effort, the resulting loaf looks pretty gorgeous. It’s like a mini-work of art.

Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze | Inspired by Charm

Believe me, if I can do this, so can you. Let me show you how.

Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze

Here’s what you'll need:

Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cinnamon, ground
3 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (I used Granny Smith.)

Topping
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar

Glaze
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Let’s get baking!

Place flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and yeast in a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Stir to combine.

In a small bowl add your melted butter into your warm milk. Then, with the mixer on low, add this mixture to the flour mixture until it forms a soft dough ball.

Knead with the mixer for about 4 minutes. Then transfer dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area for 1.1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Punch dough down then divide into 2 balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball into an approximately 8 x 11-inch rectangle. Cut into 9 strips.

Lightly grease an 8- or 9-inch round pan. Starting at the center of pan, coil apple slices with dough strips into a spiral, pinching ends securely as strips are added.

Repeat the same steps for the other half of the dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes. Toward the end of rising time, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

For the topping, mix cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Once the bread is removed from the oven, brush each loaf with melted butter and then sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

While the bread cools, melt butter in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; reduce heat to low. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Stir in cider. Heat to boiling; remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm, about 30 minutes.

Gradually stir powdered sugar into glaze mixture. If the glaze becomes too stiff, stir in additional cider, 1/2 teaspoon at a time. If the glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar. Drizzle glaze over the bread.

Print

IMG_2742-2Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze | Inspired by Charm

Cut into wedges to serve.

IMG_2731Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze | Inspired by Charm

Totally scrumptious looking, right? Let me tell you … it is! That caramel apple glaze is what dreams are made of! You won’t even know what hit you.

IMG_2721Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze | Inspired by Charm

So whether you are ready to embrace fall or not, take a few minutes for some baking therapy and give this recipe a try. Be sure to stop back and let me know what you think!

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since the last Year of Yeast post. Clearly, I’m getting more comfortable with my yeast-bread skills and I don’t need to practice as much anymore. (Or it could be that it was too hot to do much baking in August.) Over the past couple weeks I’ve been […]




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Most of you clearly know this by now – I am pretty much obsessed with cheese. Way back in first grade I brought cheese and crackers for snack time at school. My favorite was that sharp cheddar cheese that came in a small plastic tub and was sandwiched between two crackers. It was heaven. I don’t recall many specifics from first grade and kindergarten, but I do remember that. I think it was because one time I forgot my snack and was very upset about it. And by upset I mean totally devastated. Thankfully, being the angel that she is, my mom brought in my snack at some point during the day. It was cheese and crackers.

Cheese Crackers | Inspired by Charm

This obsession with cheese, unlike many other things, has stayed with me into adulthood. In fact, I love just about anything with cheese. So when I came upon this recipe for ‘Sharp Cheddar Cheese Crackers’ from the fabulous Joy the Baker, I knew I had to give them a try. I mean, how cool would it be to say I actually made a cracker. Not many people can say that, right?

Cheese Crackers | Inspired by Charm

Armed with two of my favorite cheeses from Cracker Barrel, I knew I couldn’t go wrong. I decided to make two varieties of these crackers. The first would be with Sharp Cheddar Cheese and the second would be with Jalapeño Cheese (I didn’t mean to double up on the heat, but that’s how these things go sometimes.)

Cheese Crackers | Inspired by Charm

Clearly the cheese is the superstar in this recipe. The full, rich, and authentic flavor of Cracker Barrel‘s cheese shines through and packs these little bites with so much flavor you wouldn’t believe it. Plus, one package of cheese is exactly how much you’ll need to make one batch of these delights. I was actually surprised by how easily they come together. You start with butter and lots of delicious cheese. Mix in some spices, flour, and a little water and the dough just comes together beautifully. I was amazed.

Cheese Crackers | Inspired by Charm

As I mentioned above, I made two variations of this recipe. You could use any combination of cheese that you like. You could also add in different spices and ingredients to create a really unique flavor. For another option, be sure to try Joy’s Chili Cheese variety.

Cheese Crackers | Inspired by Charm

Split the dough into two equal discs and chill for thirty minutes. Once chilled, roll out thin.

Cheese Crackers | Inspired by Charm

At this point, I used a pizza slicer to cut out squares. You could also use a cookie or biscuit cutter if you prefer a different shape.

Cheese Crackers | Inspired by CharmCheese Crackers | Inspired by Charm

Prick each cracker with a wooden skewer or something similar in shape, pop into the oven, and prepare for your house to smell like cheddar cheese heaven.

Cheese Crackers | Inspired by Charm

Let’s check out the full recipe.

Cheddar and Jalapeño Cheese Crackers:

Here’s what you will need:

8 ounces Extra Sharp Cracker Barrel Cheddar Cheese, shredded
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
10 slices of jarred jalapeños, finely chopped

In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter, cheese, salt, and pepper until blended. With the mixer on low, slowly add flour. At this point, your mixture will become dry and crumbly.

Mix in chopped jalapeños. Add water, one tablespoon at a time. Beat until the mixture just comes together into a ball. At this point, the mixture should be moist. If it feels wet, simply add a touch more flour. Divide the mixture into two discs, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 25 – 30 minutes.

Once chilled, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough very thin, about an eighth of an inch thick.

Then, using a pizza slicer, cut horizontal and vertical lines into your dough to create about 1-inch square crackers. Poke each cracker with a wood skewer or fork. Place crackers on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Cool before serving. Chill in an airtight container for up to three days.

*To make the Jalapeño Cheese Crackers, simply omit the jalapeños and replace the Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese with Jalapeño cheese.

Cheese Crackers | Inspired by Charm

I can’t begin to tell you how delicious these little suckers are. The taste is similar to those oh-so-familiar crackers you can buy in the store, but nothing compares to the freshness, flakiness, and super cheese-filled flavor of homemade goodies. You’ll be so glad you made them. And trust me on this one, you can do it! Now go give them a try and report back on your success!

Cheese Crackers | Inspired by Charm

$100 VISA GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY

Since my friends at BlogHer are helping out with this giveaway we are going to do things a little differently that regular IBC Giveaways.

To enter to win a $100 Visa gift card, courtesy of BlogHer, answer the following question in the comments below:

Since autumn is just around the corner, what’s your favorite cheese-inspired dish for the fall?

Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 8/22/13 – 10/31/13.

As always, good luck and happy cooking!

To learn more about Cracker Barrel Cheese you can visit their website! And if you have a free minute, take this fun survey all about cheese!

Most of you clearly know this by now – I am pretty much obsessed with cheese. Way back in first grade I brought cheese and crackers for snack time at school. My favorite was that sharp cheddar cheese that came in a small plastic tub and was sandwiched between two crackers. It was heaven. I […]




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A Year of Yeast has been trucking along for over four months. Can you believe it? I have to tell you I’ve been enjoying every minute of it. As I enter month five I can honestly say my fear of yeast has pretty much subsided. Today I wanted to try something in the sweet category.

As you may remember from one of my Weekend Wanderlust posts, I was drooling over this recipe from Martha Stewart. Little balls of dough dipped in butter, dredged with cinnamon and sugar, and drizzled with a delicious glaze. I’d say they are similar to monkey bread but a bit drier and lighter. Plus, the glaze sends these little bits over the top.

Being a huge fan of sweets, I am tempted to sit down with this pan and gobble them all up with a big glass or milk or a hot cup of jo!  Who’s with me?!

Look at the ooey, gooey goodness

Okay, I can’t take it anymore. Enough chatter, let’s get baking!

Cinnamon Bun Bites

Cinnamon Bun Bites
Here’s what you’ll need:

Bites:
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus 1/2 stick, melted, and more for coating the dish
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Vanilla Glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pour water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle yeast evenly over water, and let stand until foamy, 5 to 7 minutes. Whisk until smooth, then whisk in 1/2 cup flour to form a loose paste. Let rise in a warm place until yeast mixture has risen and fallen, about 30 minutes.

Add eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, vanilla, and remaining flour to yeast mixture. Knead dough, using dough hook attachment on mixer, until smooth, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add 1 stick butter, and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky). Turn out dough onto an unfloured work surface, and knead by hand until very smooth, about 3 minutes. Transfer dough to another bowl, and let rise in a warm place, covered with a damp cloth or plastic wrap, until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Punch down dough; press out air bubbles.

Lightly butter a 9-inch pie plate. Place melted butter in a bowl. In another bowl,stir together remaining 1 cup sugar and the cinnamon.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls (I ended up with about 55). Working with 1 at a time, dip balls into melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and place in pie plate. Stack balls to form a dome. Sprinkle with any remaining cinnamon-sugar, and drizzle with any leftover butter. Cover with plastic wrap, and let balls rise by half, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Unwrap balls, and place pie plate on a baking sheet. Bake until golden and firm (a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean), 50 to 55 minutes. Let bites cool in dish for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, let’s make the glaze. First, stir together sugar and salt in a small bowl.

Then, whisk together butter, milk, and vanilla, and stir into sugar until mixture forms a smooth paste. Keep glaze at room temperature until ready to drizzle over cinnamon-bun bites. Before using, whisk until smooth.

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Feel free to keep your Cinnamon Bun Bites in the pie pan like I did or remove the loaf and serve them up on a beautiful wood cutting board. The choice is yours. Thanks again to Martha Stewart for this fabulous recipe, which I slightly adapted.

What do you think of these Cinnamon Bun Bites? Will you be making them?

A Year of Yeast has been trucking along for over four months. Can you believe it? I have to tell you I’ve been enjoying every minute of it. As I enter month five I can honestly say my fear of yeast has pretty much subsided. Today I wanted to try something in the sweet category. […]




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Join the conversation.