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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If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you may have noticed that I was out of town the past couple days. I was actually in New York City again, hanging out with my friends from Better Homes & Gardens and dozens of fabulous bloggers. I will put together a recap for you on Monday.

Candy Corn Cream Wafers | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

Anywho, back to Fall Cookie Week. It’s hard to believe it’s already Saturday and there are only two cookies left. Have no fear though, I saved a couple extra-special cookies to close out the week. To be honest, today’s cookie is pretty much my favorite cookie in the whole wide world. I kid you not. I make them every Christmas and eat them for breakfast for weeks. It’s like a little piece of heaven.

Candy Corn Cream Wafers | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

This year I decided to make them early and give them a fall twist. While the flavor is the same, I jazzed up the dough and frosting with a little food coloring to make them resemble candy corn.

Candy Corn Cream Wafers | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

Now, before anyone says anything, I realize I messed up the color order. Traditional candy corn has orange in the center. I guess over the past year I’ve had ombre so deeply ingrained in my brain that I wasn’t thinking correctly. I’m just going to say that this color order is my creative expression of candy corn. Hope that’s okay with everyone.

Candy Corn Cream Wafers | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

You’ll notice that these cookies are primarily flour, butter, and sugar … but mostly butter and sugar. I think this explains why they are so amazingly delicious. My BFF and older brother will also attest to their awesomeness.

Candy Corn Cream Wafers | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

I’ve seen various ways to make these. My recipe is from my mom and I think it’s perfection. Usually the dough is kept its natural color and the filling is dyed green and red for the holidays, but as I said above, I’ve changed things up a bit for fall.

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Anyway, on to the recipe (which, by the way, I usually double.)

Candy Corn Cream Wafers

Here’s what you will need:
Wafers:
1 cup butter, unsalted and softened
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar for dusting
Optional: food coloring

Filling
1/2 cup butter, unsalted and softened
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 – 4 teaspoons heavy cream
Optional: food coloring

In a bowl of a stand mixer (can also be done with a hand mixer), beat the butter until pale yellow. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour, then the cream. Mix until just combined. At this point, you can divide the dough in half and add yellow and red food to half of the dough to make it orange in color. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass. I recommend something about 1 1/2- to 2- inches in diameter.

Add sugar to a small bowl. Lightly coat cut dough pieces with sugar. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Prick twice with a fork.

Bake at 375 degree F for 7-9 minutes or until just barely starting to brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

For the filling, in a bowl of a stand mixer (can also be done with a hand mixer), cream the butter until pale. On low, add the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and 2 teaspoons of heavy cream. At this point, you can also add the food coloring. In this case, I used yellow.

Once the wafers are cool, carefully spread filling on one wafer and then top with another.

IMG_3540

IMG_3514

I seriously can’t explain how much I adore these cookies.

While they are a little bit time consuming, they are completely worth the effort. The resulting wafers are flaky discs that literally fall apart and melt in your mouth. The filling just brings it all together with sweet and buttery goodness.

Candy Corn Cream Wafers | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

So what do you think of my Candy Corn Cream Wafers? Will you be giving them a try?

Have a fabulous weekend, my friends!

Inspired By Charm

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the sweet treats 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 – ???

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you may have noticed that I was out of town the past couple days. I was actually in New York City again, hanging out with my friends from Better Homes & Gardens and dozens of fabulous bloggers. I will put together a recap for you on Monday. […]




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In case you are wondering, I’m not sitting at home surrounded by cookies and holding a big glass of milk. I wish. I estimate that during the past five days I have made about 27 dozen cookies. That’s a lot of freakin’ cookies.

Butter Pecan Maple Crisps | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

I actually ended up giving almost all of them away. Most went to my BFF and her family; the rest are being enjoyed by my mom, dad and grandparents. I did keep a handful of personal favorites for myself. There’s nothing wrong with that, right?.

Butter Pecan Maple Crisps | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

Today’s cookie is what I consider an adult cookie. That simply means that as a kid I would have turned my nose up at it because it’s basically a nut-based cookie, As an adult I think it’s pretty darn fabulous, but unfortunately that also makes me feel old.

Butter Pecan Maple Crisps | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

Anyway, this cookie has some of the quintessential flavors of fall. The pecan, almond, and maple work together so nicely to create a little flavor party in your mouth.

Butter Pecan Maple Crisps | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

This cookies are finished off with a glaze of pure maple syrup right when they come out of the oven. The syrup is such a genius and delicious idea. It adds a great depth of flavor.

Are you salivating yet? Good. Let me show you how to make these.

Butter Pecan Maple Crisps

Here’s what you will need:
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Let’s get baking:

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.

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

In another bowl, using the paddle attachment on your mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until pale. (A hand mixer and a bowl would work just fine.)

Into the mixer bowl, add the vanilla and almond extract and beat until smooth. Add the pecans and beat until blended.

With the mixer going at low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until a stiff dough is formed.

Using a cookie scoop, shape dough into 1” balls. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and while hot, brush them with the pure maple syrup.

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

Butter Pecan Maple Crisps | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

And that’s a wrap for Butter Pecan Maple Crisps!

I absolutely love any baked goods that use almond extract. There is something about that flavor that is just so comforting.

Butter Pecan Maple Crisps | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

These are another great cookie for tea or coffee dunking. A few of these and a big cup of coffee could be my breakfast any fall day!

Butter Pecan Maple Crisps | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

Be sure to stop back tomorrow for an extra special Fall Cookie Week treat!

Inspired By Charm

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

In case you are wondering, I’m not sitting at home surrounded by cookies and holding a big glass of milk. I wish. I estimate that during the past five days I have made about 27 dozen cookies. That’s a lot of freakin’ cookies. I actually ended up giving almost all of them away. Most went […]




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Join the conversation.






I’m so glad you enjoyed yesterday’s Caramel Gingersnap Cookies. I think that Fall Cookie Week is off to a great start!

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cookies | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

Today’s cookie is a little invention of mine. My mom gave me a recipe for pudding cookies last week and I wanted to give them a try. I also did some online searching and found a few other pudding cookie recipes.

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cookies | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

I combined elements from several of the recipes to create my own version. Since I also had a bag of Pumpkin Spice Hershey’s Kisses on hand (which are amazingly delicious), I decided to wrap the dough around the kisses.

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cookies | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

The resulting creation is what I like to call Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cookies.

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cookies | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

They are soft, chewy, and have a delightfully pumpkin-y surprise in the middle. That’s pretty much everything a cookie needs to have, right?

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cookies | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Here’s what you will need:
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 (3.4 oz) package instant chocolate pudding
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag of pumpkin spice Hershey Kisses, unwrapped

Let’s get baking:
In a large bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

Then in a bowl of a stand mixer (you can also use a hand mixer here), cream butter and sugars together.
 Add the dry pudding mix and beat until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth.

Slowly incorporate flour mixture, being careful not to over mix.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Take a tablespoon of dough, roll it into a 1” ball, then flatten it with your hand. Place a Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kiss in the middle and form the dough around the kiss. Re-roll the dough into a uniform ball and place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 8-12 minutes. Remove cookies from the baking sheet and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cookies | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

Not too bad for my first pudding cookie! I was actually expecting them to spread out a little more, but was pleased they held their shape.

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cookies | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

That wraps up Day 2 of Fall Cookie Week on IBC. Another delicious reason to celebrate the season!

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cookies | Inspired by Charm #IBCFallCookieWeek

Will you be whipping up a batch of these cookies? Do you love those Pumpkin Spice Kisses as much as I do?

Inspired By Charm

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

I’m so glad you enjoyed yesterday’s Caramel Gingersnap Cookies. I think that Fall Cookie Week is off to a great start! Today’s cookie is a little invention of mine. My mom gave me a recipe for pudding cookies last week and I wanted to give them a try. I also did some online searching and found […]




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Join the conversation.