Homemade Apple Fritters

Homemade Apple Fritters.

Last Sunday, Hubby had to get up very early – really the middle of the night – to work during a winter weather event in our area.

Missing Sunday breakfast, I wanted to make him a special treat for when he returned home.

With some wonderful Misfits Market apples in the crisper, I thought I’d try my hand at homemade apple fritters.

Who can resist a fresh apple fritter??!!

A couple tips from a first-time apple fritter maker:

  • Don’t heat the oil too hot.  Be patient and use a medium heat.  Better to fry them a little longer and get a golden brown than to overcook the outside and undercook the inside with high heat.  (Which, by the way, is what I did with the first batch of three, resulting in us only having three total!)
  • Spread them a little flatter than I did so you get more icing in each bite as the dough itself only contains a small amount of sugar. (This was hubby’s suggestion!)
  • Use a sweeter, less firm apple for best results.  I would not recommend Granny Smith.  The recipe calls for 3 medium apples, but you could really add another apple, which I will do next time.

Let me know if you try and/or if you have made and have any of your own tips.  We sure enjoyed these on a cold, snowy, comfort food, stay-in kind of day.

Here is the recipe I very slightly adapted from I am Baker‘s blog.

Homemade Apple Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Canola or Vegetable Oil  for frying
  • Glaze
    • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
    • 4 tsp. water (or enough for best consistency)

Directions:

In a small bowl, drizzle lemon juice over diced apples.  Stir to coat.  Set aside.

In electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs on medium-high speed until combined.  Reduce speed to low, and add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix until combined.  Add milk, and mix until incorporated.  Fold in apples with spatula.

Fill a frying pan halfway full with oil.  Heat over medium heat to 375 degrees F.

Drop three 1/4-1/3 cup portions of batter into the oil.  Let fry for a few minutes until golden brown.  Flip and fry until other side is golden brown.  Test for doneness by inserting a small knife in center.  If uncooked batter remains, fry longer.

Remove fritters from oil with slotted spoon to wire rack layered with paper towels or napkins to drain.  Allow to cool.

Repeat with remaining three portions of batter.

Prepare glaze by combining powdered sugar, vanilla, and water.  Drizzle over cooled fritters on cooling rack.  When glaze has set, turn to coat other side with glaze that dripped through, if desired.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies.

It’s that time of year…

Time for baking things with pumpkin and spice and everything nice!

Though I almost always have my “almost-famous” chocolate chip cookies in the freezer,
these cookies just suit this time of year so perfectly.

Our gang loved them!  Hope you will too.

Here is the recipe as I very slightly adapted from the beautiful blog:  A Family Feast:

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • Dash salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar in the Raw Turbinado Cane Sugar

Directions:

Cream butter, sugar, and molasses with electric mixer 3-4 minutes until fluffy.  Add egg, followed by pumpkin, beating until mixed.

Slowly add in salt, baking powder and flour on low speed just until incorporated.

Divide dough into four logs, approximately 8 inches long.  Wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Pour Turbinado cane sugar into a shallow dish or pie plate.

Unwrap one log of dough at a time.

Roll log into sugar to coat.

Cut log into quarters.  Then cut each quarter into thirds.

Put cookie slices in sugar, coating both sides.

Place sugared cookie slices on baking stone or cookie sheet, and bake for approximately 12 minutes.

Remove from oven, and allow cookies to cool on baking stones/cookie sheets for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling racks to cool completely. 

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Chocolate Chip & Dried Tart Cherry Cookies

Chocolate Chip and Dried Tart Cherry Cookies.

I have shared many versions of cookies here at The CreativeLifeinBetween.

In fact, in some homes (very few indeed), I am known as the Cookie Queen.

And it seems no matter what kind I make, the all-time favorite is the Chocolate Chip Cookie.

I often change it up a little, but when I add dried tart cherries, I know I am going to make at least one guy smile ( who happens to be my youngest son).

So this week, I made a batch that I hope will bring a smile to our busy family as we prepare for exciting days and years ahead.

New homes – growing families – lots of love.


Here is how I make them.

Chocolate Chip and Dried Tart Cherry Cookies

Ingredients:

4 sticks (1 lb.) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
5 cups all purpose flour
1 12-oz bags Nestle Chocolate Chunk Morsels (or your favorite)
8-oz  Dried Tart Cherries (I used Trader Joe’s)

Directions:

With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until completely incorporated. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until light and fluffy. Add baking soda and salt, and mix another minute. Gradually add flour and beat until well incorporated, but do not overbeat.

Fold in chocolate chunk morsels and dried cherries.  Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. With your hands, form a cookie dough ball about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.  Place on baking stone. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake. Allow to cool on baking stone for 5-6 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Cheers  & Hugs,
Jodi

Raspberry-filled Vanilla Cupcakes

Raspberry-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes.

If you are looking for a super special, absolutely rock-your-world delicious treat to bake for your special Valentine(s), look no further thank these amazing Raspberry-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes!

I have always admired beautiful cupcakes and love those special gourmet ones that have surprise fillings and are extravagantly decorated, but I have never had much success making them.

I had the urge to give it another try yesterday after purchasing some fun sprinkles I was dying to use somehow.

Disclaimer – I have a weird “thing” for sprinkles and buy way more than I ever use!  I bought three different kinds of red/pink Valentiney ones and one big container of regular ones.  My granddaughter had fun shaking them in the cart while we were shopping!

I found a recipe at RockRecipes.com that I tweaked up a bit.  I was so excited with how beautiful and YUMMY they turned out.

When I handed one to Hubby to taste test, I said,  “Are you ready to have your world rocked by this?”

He loved it!

Here is how I made them.  Hope you give them a try.

Raspberry Filled Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcake Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk

Raspberry Filling:

  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 oz. water

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) cream cheese
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 Tbsp milk

Directions:

To make cupcakes, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated.  Stir in vanilla.  Add baking powder and salt, then fold in flour.  Finally stir in milk to create batter.

Pour into paper-lined cupcake/muffin pan.  Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

While cupcakes are baking, prepare raspberry filling by stirring 1 cup raspberries and 1/4 cup sugar in small saucepan.  Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.

Dissolve cornstarch in water, and slowly pour into boiling berries.  Stir constantly until thickened.  Allow to cool.

Prepare frosting by blending together butter, cream cheese, and vanilla.  Add powdered sugar and enough milk to make a smooth, creamy consistency.

When cupcakes are cooled, use an apple corer to remove a small section from center of cupcake.  Fill with raspberry filling.

Decorate with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles and fresh raspberries if desired.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Butterscotch Haystacks

Butterscotch Haystacks

Butterscotch Haystacks.

It’s a cookie?
It’s a candy?
Not quite sure what you call it….
but it is a scrumptious little treat!

Does anyone remember these little gems from their childhood?

A simple mixture of crunchy chow mein noodles, butterscotch chips, peanut butter, and dry roasted peanuts make a treat that looks like a tiny little haystack and is just the right mixture of sweet and salty, crunchy and creamy.

I made these for a “Wizard of Oz” party, thinking they were just the thing to do with the leftover “straw” that fell out of Scarecrow.

There are a variety of ways people have made them through the generations…

With our without the peanuts… with or without the peanut butter.
Some add a bit of vegetable oil.
Some add a a mixture of chocolate and butterscotch chips.

How about you?

Here is how I made them.

And if you haven’t tried them, they are definitely worth a try!  Super easy and super yummy!

Butterscotch Haystacks

  • Servings: approx. 3 dozen
  • Print

Ingredients:

Directions:

Melt butterscotch chips in a large microwavable bowl in microwave on high for 1 minute.  Stir.  Microwave an additional 30 seconds.  Stir again.  Add peanut butter.  Microwave 30 more seconds, and stir well.  At this point, mine is completely melted.  Add 30 second increments if necessary according to your microwave’s power until all is melted and smooth.  (If necessary, you can add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to create a smoother texture, but do not overcook or it will create a thick, gunky texture that will not work.)

Add bag of chow mein noodles and peanuts and stir gently until all noodles and peanuts are coated and ingredients are well combined.

Working relatively quickly before mixture cools, drop by tablespoonfuls onto wax paper or parchment paper.  Allow to set for several hours.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature or serve.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Homemade Dark Sweet Cherry & Basil Sorbet

Homemade Dark Sweet Cherry and Basil Sorbet.

What could be more refreshing on a hot August day than deliciously creamy sorbet?!

And who knew how easy it is to make?

No special equipment needed.
Simple ingredients.
Gourmet flavor!

You simply make a simple syrup from water and sugar and blend with fresh fruit (and herbs if you like).

I made mine yesterday with fresh sweet dark cherries and a hint of fresh basil, but imagine all the possibilities!  Cantaloupe, Raspberry, Blackberry, Blueberry, Pear, Watermelon, Honeydew, Pineapple, Kiwi, Mango…….  Maybe a  leaf or two of mint instead of basil.  Maybe a sprig of rosemary.  Maybe no herbs.  A dash of fresh lemon or lime juice would add a lovely kick.

Here is the recipe for this simple, refreshing, indulgence.

Homemade Dark Sweet Cherry and Basil Sorbet

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cups pitted dark sweet cherries

Directions:

Make simple syrup by boiling water and sugar for 2-3 minutes in small saucepan until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat, and add basil leaves.  Pour syrup into a small glass bowl or measuring cup and refrigerate approximately 1 hour until cooled.  Remove and discard basil leaves.

Place cherries in a blender.  Pour simple syrup over cherries.  Blend on high until cherries are fully blended into syrup and no chunks remain.  Pour into glass 9×13 dish and place in freezer.  After one hour, stir with spoon from outside edges to center and mash together.  Repeat after two hours.

Remove from freezer and place sorbet in blender again.  Blend on high until consistency is creamy.  Pour back into glass dish and place in freezer for another 2 hours or until ready to serve.  Scoop out with ice cream scoop or spoon.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Homemade Old-Fashioned Glazed Donuts

Homemade Old-Fashioned Glazed Donuts!

Seriously…….
could anything be more decadently delish?!

A tender ring of fried sweet dough
drenched in a glorious glaze?

I couldn’t resist making these,
and they did not disappoint.

Every once in a great while,
I allow myself to be treated to a donut….
a wickedly wonderful waste of calories.

But since it is only Hubby and me at home,
a dozen donuts AND holes
are way too much sugary goodness!

So after enjoying one each
(and a few holes – which are completely calorie free  – right?)
I shared the rest.

That really is my joy in baking…
giving it away.

Hopefully creating a brief smile…
a tiny treat or surprise for a loved one or friend.

These are soooooo worth making!
They are easy and quick to make.

I hope you will treat yourself and those you love!

Homemade Old-Fashioned Glazed Donuts

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cup  cake flour  (no cake flour?  no problem!  make it easily by the cupful – take one level cup of all-purpose flour, remove two tablespoons, and then add two tablespoons of cornstarch back in)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup  sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup  sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Canola oil, for frying

For the glaze:

  • 3 1/2 cup  powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup hot water

Directions:

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until sandy. Add egg yolks, and mix until light and thick. Add dry ingredients to the mixing bowl in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream, ending with the flour.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

On a floured surface, roll dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Use a donut cutter to cut out approximately 12 donuts and holes.

Pour 2 inches of canola oil into a heavy bottomed pot with a thermometer attached. Heat to 325°F.  Fry donuts a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry on each side about 2 minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Let drain on a paper bag to soak up the excess grease.

For the glaze:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk until smooth.  Dip each donut into the glaze. Place on a wire rack above a sheet of waxed paper to catch any excess glaze. Let sit for 20 minutes until glaze is set.

Best served the day they are made, but may be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for a few days.

Cheers & Sugary Sweet Hugs,
Jodi

Recipe found at:  Huffington Post’s “The Greatest Homemade Doughnut Recipes You’ll Ever Find.

 

Chocolate Dipped Sugar Wafer Cookies

chocolate-dipped-sugar-wafer-cookies-2

Chocolate Dipped Sugar Wafer Cookies.

Remember those light, crispy, sweet wafer cookies you loved as a child that came in fun colors and flavors?  Vanilla, Strawberry, Chocolate, even Peanut Butter…  Oh how I loved them!

Grandma would occasionally get them as a special treat, and we would enjoy them as a late night treat on a hot summer night while sitting outside on the swing catching a cool breeze that could not be felt sitting in the overheated non-air conditioned house.

chocolate-dipped-sugar-wafer-cookies

I hadn’t thought about these sugary treats for years, but I recently stopped in a local candy shoppe where they featured a pair of these sweet little cookies dipped in chocolate, sprinkled with colorful sprinkles, and wrapped in cellophane.   I couldn’t resist trying – even at the crazy price they were asking… several dollars for two little treats.

chocolate-dipped-sugar-wafer-cookies-3

Well – OMG – there were delish!  And I realized they would be so easy to make!  So I found them at my local grocery store, where a whole package of sugar wafer cookies cost a whopping 99 cents!

I dipped them in chocolate, sprinkled them with fun Valentine sprinkles, and I’ll be sharing them with some friends I love dearly this weekend!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

A Watercolor Ice Cream Cone

Watercolor Ice Cream Cone 5 x 7 140 lb Arches Cold Press - Raw Sienna & Permanent Rose

Watercolor Ice Cream Cone 5 x 7 140 lb Arches Cold Press – Raw Sienna & Permanent Rose

It has been HOT HOT HOT here this week!
Sweet, steamy summer time.

What better way to celebrate…
to embrace…
to bask in the gloriousness…

than with a sweet, cool, summertime treat –
an ice cream cone!

Strawberry no less!

And this Sunday, July 17 is #NationalIceCreamDay!  National Ice Cream Day is celebrated each year on the 3rd Sunday in July and is a part of National Ice Cream Month.  This day is a fun celebration enjoyed with a bowl, cup or cone filled with your favorite flavor of ice cream.

I really enjoyed painting this strawberry ice cream cone for #WorldWatercolorMonth in just two colors – raw sienna for the cone using a wet in dry technique, and wet in wet permanent rose for the sweet, creamy, juicy, ice cream.

May your hot summer days be filled with sweet, cool treats!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Chessy Caprese Tarts

caprese tarts 2

In honor of National Cheese Lovers Day today, (you knew that – right?!) I am sharing a yummy new Cheesy Caprese Tart recipe I made this past weekend for the family while we got together to watch football playoff games.

caprese tarts cut

This recipe could also be great for brunch, lunch or even a light dinner.   It would be a well-received snack to take to a Super Bowl Party too, I am certain!

caprese tarts

Does anything beat ooey, gooey, chewy fresh melted mozarella cheese?!  Especially when topped with sweet juicy tomatoes and some lovely fresh basil?!  And everything is yummy when on top of golden, flaky puff pastry – right?

This recipe is really simple, yet it turns out looking so impressive, you are going to be a Cheese Lover’s ROCK STAR when you make this!

Caprese Puff Pastry Tarts

  • Servings: depends on how hungry you are!
  • Print

Ingredients:caprese tarts 2

  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 lb fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh ripe Campari  (my favorite!) or cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

Roll out the puff pastry sheet and cut into four squares.  Top with sliced fresh mozarella and then sliced tomatoes.  Drizzle with olive oil, then salt and pepper to taste.  Bake in 375 degree F oven for approximately 15 minutes or until puff pastry begins to puff and turn golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly brown.  Remove from oven and top with freshly chopped basil.  Tastes wonderful hot or cold.

For small bite-sized tarts, you could cut into 16 squares and do same.  You could also do one large “pizza” by not cutting the pastry sheet at all.

ENJOY, and Happy Cheese Lover’s Day!

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi