December 30, 2012

Homemade Gummies & The Year in Review

2012 is almost at it's close. I can't say that I'm going to miss it. It's been a rough year for me, for my family, for my neighbors, and for the world, I think. There were a lot of tragedies this year, too many to think on. And no series 3 of Sherlock. Exactly how much to you expect me to endure, Steven Moffat? There are only so many Reichenbach theories I can handle.

But the world didn't end, proving that the Mayans just got tired of making their calendar (although we did have some epic storming on Dec. 21st, proving that Mother Nature is the ultimate troll), so here's to hoping that 2013 is a much better year. And I do not want to hear anything about 13 being an unlucky number. Because it's not. It's a baker's dozen. Which is 1+ a dozen. Which is like getting one extra. Which is awesome.
I made a collage. Because collages are cool
Here are your top 10 favorite posts from my first full year of blogging:

  1. Green Tubular Peyote Bracelet
  2. White Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
  3. Dark Chocolate Dreams Cupcakes
  4. Mush Pie (Cookies & Cream Mousse Pie)
  5. Peanut Butter Chiffon Pie
  6. S'mores Icebox Cake
  7. Cookie Dough Truffles
  8. Vampire Fang Cupcakes
  9. Pumpkin Pie Icebox Cake
  10. Cherry Limeade and Lemon Lime Ice Pops
The most pinned on Pinterest was Cookie Dough Truffles.

You guys with your mad Google skills never failed to keep me entertained with your search terms. Here are some of my favorites:
  • "Why does the Doctor love bananas?" Because of my banana strawberry milkshake muffins, apparently
  • "What is a Whedonite?" Thaaaaaaat's me!
  • "Cheesy jokes" This searcher and I should be friends
  • "Homemade gifts for Whovians" Cookie Bouquets?
  • "Can a grandma wear steampunk?" Yes. Obviously.
  • "Banana Muffin Terrorist" I will now refer to myself as such. Because I terrorize with wholesome breakfast foods.
2012 was not a great year, but having this blog and the wonderful foodie community to turn to made it a little bit easier to bear. Here's hoping for lots more food and friends in the new year.
But you don't care about that. You're here for my super awesome, semi-geeky, homemade gummies. I had actually meant to post these before Christmas, but I ended up being way too busy. Still, they were too cool not to share. And so super easy. Three ingredients, and they take about 10-20 minutes hands-on cooking time. Then 8 hours to chill and set. Then 24 hours to crystallize. But it's not like you have to do anything while they chill, set, and crystallize. Unless you're like me and check on them obsessively. But I have a neurosis, so don't follow my example there.

And yes, those are R2-D2 and Batman gummies you see there. Because I have the silicone ice-cube molds from ThinkGeek, and they ended up working great as candy molds. I also made a bunch of Christmas trees for presents, cut some into squares, and cut some into strips to make gummy worms. Because I could.
But Batman came out the best. Because Batman is awesome. Just make sure to spray your molds with non-stick cooking spray, and the gummies pop out easy-peasy. And you can make them any flavors you want, so long as you have the extracts. And with all the recipes for homemade extracts out there, the sky is really the limit.

Homemade Gummies {Printable Version}
Yield: About 3 dozen gummies

3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1¼ cups cold water, divided
2 cups sugar
Food coloring
Flavored extract (such as lemon, peppermint, raspberry, etc.)
Approx. 1/3 cup additional sugar

Lightly spray your candy molds* with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over ½
cup of cold water and allow to soften. Add the remaining water and sugar to a small saucepan and heat
on high until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and the
mixture is thickened slightly. Whisk the sugar syrup into the softened gelatin and continue to stir until
the gelatin is completely dissolved.

Divide evenly into 4 (or more) small bowls. Tint each bowl with 4-5 drops food coloring, and ¾ -1 tsp.
extract, and stir until well mixed. Carefully spoon into the prepared molds and refrigerate about 8 hours,
or until set.

Carefully remove the gummies from the molds and toss in the additional sugar. Place on waxed paper
and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours to crystallize. Store tightly covered at room

*Silicone ice cube molds work well. Or use mini loaf pans and cut the gummies into even squares.

Recipe found via
If you eat a Batman gummy on midnight on New Year's Eve, the new year will be awesome. Truth.

December 19, 2012

Skinny Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa with Sweet'N Low® Brand

I have to tell you guys something that you may find shocking:

I have a massive sweet tooth.

I know, I know, I hide it well. But I know I'm not alone in this, because if you're reading my blog, I'm guessing you have a massive sweet tooth as well. So right now I'm offering you the chance to indulge that sweet tooth totally guilt free.
I recently received some free samples of Sweet'N Low® Brand Sweetener. Like most of us, I've seen those bright pink packets on nearly every restaurant table and in nearly every coffee shop I've ever been in.

Sweet'N Low is made up of saccharin (sweetener) and dextrose (a carbohydrate derived from corn). Like the rest of you, I've heard the rumors that saccharin is not safe, so I did my research. Recent studies have shown no clear evidence that saccharin causes health concerns in humans and is no longer listed as a possible carcinogen ( So yes, saccharin is perfectly safe for human consumption.

Sweet'N Low, like most artificial sweeteners, is much sweeter than sugar, so a little goes a long way. I use it to sweeten my tea, and rarely do I have to use an entire packet. It dissolves quickly and easily which makes it perfect for making drinks.
'Tis the season for sweets and hot, wholesome drinks that warm you from your belly to your toes. This cocoa is no exception. Smooth and chocolatey, flavored with caramel, a hint of coffee, and a touch of sea salt for decadence. It satisfies almost all your sweet tooth cravings, and is almost completely guilt free. That's right, I said it. Guilt free salted caramel hot cocoa. Skim milk, sugar free caramel syrup, and Sweet'N Low. I will now accept your thanks. Preferably in monetary form.
Of course, the marshmallows aren't guilt free, but that just means you can afford to add extra. And some decorating sugar on top. And maybe some whipped cream...

Skinny Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa {Printable Version}

Yield: 1 serving

1 cup nonfat (skim) milk
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar-free caramel flavoring syrup
1 tsp. instant coffee granules
1 packet Sweet’N Low® Brand Sweetener
½ tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
Pinch sea salt

In a small saucepan over low heat, heat milk to boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and
whisk in all remaining ingredients, except the salt, until smooth. Transfer to a mug and stir in the salt.
Top with marshmallows or whipped topping, if desired, and serve hot.

Recipe by Kim
*Disclaimer: I received free samples of Sweet'N Low® Brand Sweetener as part of the DailyBuzz Food Tastemaker program. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

December 14, 2012

Chocolate Peppermint Icebox Cake

Urgh, you guys. I should know better by now. Me and planning, we will never get along. Ever. We will be mortal enemies. One day there will be an epic battle, and only one of us will survive. With light sabers.

Can you tell I had a bout of insomnia last night?

I think planning is gunning for me. Loading the deck. Everyone tells me, try it out, it'll make things easier on you, you won't have to do everything last minute. But then I try. And it's not easier. It's never easier. It just screws me up and ends up taking more time, and now I'm frustrated because it didn't work and I hate myself and I just make another icebox cake. Because icebox cakes are cool. And next to impossible to screw up. I know. I've tried.
This isn't exactly the prettiest icebox cake I've ever made. And it's a bit...tilty. You see, I screwed up making the ganache, and I tried (read: planned) to do something funky with the graham crackers and it didn't work. No more planning for this girl, nuh-uh. So I came out with a cake that's a bit wonky because I had to manhandle it out of one container into another, and I didn't have enough whipped cream, because I screwed up the ganache. So it's not quite right, doesn't have that half-melted ice cream cake texture.

And while I was making it, I realized I totally screwed up when giving you the recipe for red velvet graham crackers. I never put down the cocoa powder. D'oh. So I fixed that up and tweaked it a little bit further for you. Because I never make a recipe the same way twice. That would be boring.
For some reason unknown to man, I had Reddi whip in my fridge, so I tried to distract you by doing a cute swirl on top, with a peppermint kiss and some Christmas-y sprinkles. But the Reddi whip started melting 30 seconds out of the can. The one time I actually want to use that fake stuff, and it completely lets me down. My life is this.

But, it's all Christmas-y and yummy and (if you do as I say and not as I did) pretty. So, I guess we can call it a success?

And don't forget to enter my giveaway! Only 2 days left to enter to win the cutest apron in the entirety of existence or a surprise box of awesome.

Planning, you better watch your back. Because I been training up my light saber skills. Zwong! (That's kind of like the noise it makes, right? Zwong, zwong. You can totally hear it, can't you? Maybe I should just stick to laser guns. Pew pew pew!)

Chocolate Peppermint Icebox Cake {Printable Version}
Yield: 8-10 servings

2 cups heavy cream, divided
3 oz. white chocolate, chopped
½ tsp. peppermint extract
1 recipe Red Velvet Graham Crackers (or 1 box chocolate graham crackers/wafer cookies)

In a small saucepan over low heat, heat ½ cup heavy cream just until the edges start to bubble. Remove
from heat, add the chocolate, and stir until completely melted. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Add the remaining cream and the peppermint extract to the bowl of a stand mixer. With the whisk
attachment, beat the cream at high speed until soft peaks begin to form. Add in the chocolate mixture
and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.

Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap. Spread some of the whipped cream evenly in the bottom of the loaf
pan, about ¼ inch thick. Place a row of graham crackers over the whipped cream, filling as much space
as possible. Spread more of the whipped cream, and top with more graham crackers. Repeat until the
top of the loaf pan is reached, ending with the whipped cream. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

To serve: invert the loaf pan over a serving dish to release the cake (it should pop right out). Frost the
sides with the remaining whipped cream. Serve chilled.

Recipe by Kim

December 8, 2012

Apple Cheddar Scone Mix & 1 Year Blogiversary Giveaway!{Closed}

The Giveaway is now Closed
Do you guys know what today is? It's my one year blogiversary!!!

Well, technically, it was November 28th. But I don't know what I was thinking starting a blog in November. Dec. 8th 2011 was my first recipe post, and from now on, we're going to pretend that it's my actual blogiversary. Okay? Okay.

Since one of my first posts to gain any real traction was my homemade gift sets, I thought it was fitting to celebrate with something along the same vein. Homemade scone mix.
Since this is apple cheddar scone mix, there are really 2 options for making it. Which one you choose will really depend on your recipient and how lazy you are. The first way, the way I made it, is just the dry ingredients. Flour, powdered buttermilk, dried thyme, sugar, and leavenings. Then when making them, you add some fresh apple, cheese, butter, and water.

While I was making it, however, I was thinking, that's really not much of a mix. Chopping the apple is the hardest part. So I thought, why not add in some dried apples as a part of the mix? Then, if you're going to go that far, you might as well add some powdered cheddar cheese, too.

Now, I don't have dried apples or powdered cheese in my pantry. But if I were giving this mix to, say a new mom, or someone who doesn't have too much time to spend in the kitchen, I might go out and get some. Then it'll be butter, water, done. But I'm too lazy to go out and get those specialty ingredients, so I won't be giving it to anyone like that.

And if you're going to go the powdered cheese route, make sure to get quality stuff, like this. No sense in making a homemade mix if you just plan on adding in the junky stuff.
Then just put it in a holiday themed bag or jar, print out some baking instructions, and you're all set. You could add a cute little spatula, or a pastry cutter, or give it with a holiday mug and some good coffee, the possibilities are endless.

For your convenience, I've linked 2 different sets of baking instructions. One with the dried apples and cheese powder, and one with fresh. I've also put them two to a page, because this is super easy to make multiple batches of. Then you make presents for ALL the people.
The scones themselves are pretty darn tasty, with the peppery thyme and the salty cheddar and the sweet apples. Goooood stuff.

But wait, there's more!

My buddy Tracy of Sassy Apron Creations made a special apron just for one lucky Treats & Trinkets reader.
It's cute. It's pink. It has ruffles. And polka dots. I am so super tempted to keep it for myself. I'll have to content myself with the epic awesomeness of the ruffled Batman apron Tracy made for me.

And a second lucky reader will get a surprise box of awesome.

What's in the surprise box of awesome? It's a surprise. Why is it a surprise? Because it's my blog's birthday and I want it to be and surprises are cool.

Leave a comment on this post answering one of the following two questions:

What's the best gift you've ever gotten?
What is your favorite holiday treat?

Additional Entries:
That's a total of FIVE possible entries! Remember to leave me a SEPARATE comment for each entry. (If you already follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest, let me know in separate comments).

This giveaway is open to US residents ONLY and will run from 11:30am EST (GMT -5) on Saturday, December 8th, 2012 until 12:00pm EST on Sunday, June 16th, 2012. The winners will be chosen randomly via RANDOM.ORG on Monday, December 17th, 2012.

Please note that all comments are moderated, and it may take some time for your comments to appear.

Apple Cheddar Scone Mix {Printable Verson}

Yield: About 2 cups mix*

1¾ cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. powdered buttermilk
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup diced dried apples (optional)
½ cup powdered cheddar cheese (optional)

In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients until well blended. Store in an airtight container up to three

*If adding the dried apples and powdered cheese, the yield will increase accordingly.

Recipe adapted slightly from Favorite Brand Name Gifts From the Kitchen

Baking Instructions:
With dried apples and powdered cheese
With fresh apples and cheese

December 5, 2012

French Butter Cookies

It just isn't the holiday season without someone getting injured, amirght?

My Aunt Ida-- who you might remember as the only person who I will make these lemon cookies for-- broke her ankle. She's okay, but she's in a rehab facility back in Brooklyn. So when I went to visit her this weekend, I had to bring her cookies. Because cookies have magical healing properties, didn't you know?

I didn't have lemons, so I couldn't make lemon cookies (and I wasn't all that upset about it. *whistles innocently*). I know she likes shortbread cookies, but my mom gets her a giant tin of shortbread cookies every year for Christmas. I didn't want to give her more of the same. So I decided on butter cookies as a similar-but-different choice.
I was a little disappointed to find that these cookies are almost exactly like shortbread cookies, except with a smoother texture and a lot less crumbly. But then I ate one that I had cut kind of thick and baked just until the dough set and it was still kind of soft in the middle and I could taste the difference a lot better. And actually, the flavor sort of matures the next few days after baking, so these would work well as presents. You don't have to bake them the morning of for the best results.
So how do they compare to shortbread? They're a little bit sweeter than regular shortbread, but as a slice and bake recipe, I think they're a lot easier to make. They're firmer and less crumbly, and take only 10 minutes to bake. Flavorwise, shortbread's the winner, but only by a nose. Holiday-baking-wise, these butter cookies win hands down.

French Butter Cookies {Printable Version}
Yield: Approx. 5 dozen cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp. salt
Approx. 1/2 cup raw or decorating sugar

Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar together at medium speed until well-combined and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, beating well after each addition. Fold in the flour and salt on low speed until well incorporated. Divide the dough into three equal parts, and roll each part into a log about 6-8 inches long. Wrap each log separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll each cookie dough log in the decorating sugar, so it is well coated. Slice into 1/4 inch rounds and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat, leaving about 1 inch between each. Sprinkle the tops with more decorating sugar, if desired, and bake 10-15 minutes, or until the dough is set and the edges just begin to turn golden brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted slightly from

December 2, 2012

Raspberry Nutella Marshmallows-- A Guest Post at Go Bake Yourself

The Christmas season is a great time for candy. It's not too hot out to be cooking sugar, and candy makes great gifts. It's also a time for the raspberry and chocolate combo. Luckily for you, I put all three together, with a little added hazelnutty goodness. Because it's the holiday season, and I'm nice like that.
Want the recipe? Don't lie to me; I can see you salivating from here. Head on over to Go Bake Yourself and say hi to my Whovian buddy Uru. I'm totally bringing these bad boys with me when we go traveling with the Doctor.


November 26, 2012

Maple Cornmeal Cupcakes with Browned Butter Frosting

Sorry for the radio silence these past two weeks. I had some personal stuff going on, and then my computer died, and then my old computer that I kept just for such an eventuality died, and then there was family stuff and hurricane stuff and nor'easter stuff, and the internets just kind of got pushed to the backburner. If it makes you feel any better, I'm also calling this year's NaNoWriMo a fail. I only got about 10k in before all the drama happened. So that got shoved to the backburner as well, and you know how much I love NaNo. It's not that I don't enjoy writing by hand, but I've had problems with my wrist since I was a kid, and I strain it enough typing 1667 words a day. Writing out 40k words would not have been fun.

November in general has just been a month of fail. I'm resigned to that fact. So no more dwelling. December is almost here, and I spent small business Saturday in one of my most favoritest places in the entire universe: Candyland Crafts. What is Candyland you ask? It's a candy making and cake decorating specialty store. They have a room full of nothing but chocolate molds. The mold room. It's awesome. And they have tons of specialty sprinkles and royal icing decorations that they make themselves and candy melts in every color of the rainbow that taste better and melt smoother than the Wilton ones. I'm convinced Candyland is magic. I bought some really cute stuff to make Christmas presents with, so yay for Candyland!
These cupcakes were for Thanksgiving, not Christmas, though. And were a lot better than I had thought they would be. I found a recipe for maple cornmeal cupcakes in the Betty Crocker Big Book of Cupcakes, and tweaked it a bit to suit my needs (no maple syrup but 2 teaspoons maple flavoring? Homie don't play that) (I'm sorry. I will never say that again.) (Maybe). My family yells at me when I do that. "You should follow the recipe at least once. It could be really good the way it is," my mother told me.

"Uh-huh," I said. "Try one."

"Oh my god," she said, mouth full. "These are really good."

"Now what was that you were saying about following the recipe?"

"Forget everything I said."

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Or cupcakes, as it were. Because these suckers were really, really good. The texture of the cornmeal was a little odd to taste in a cupcake, but the flavor more than made up for it. The cornmeal gave it a sort of earthy butteriness (is that a thing? it is now) which paired really well with the maple flavor. It's kind of like breakfast. Only not. Because it's a cupcake.
To be fancy, I topped them off with a whipped maple browned butter frosting. It was a bit sweeter than I usually like my frostings (and I put too much on the cupcakes, heh), but the smoky, nutty flavor of the browned butter went really well with the earthier flavors of the cornmeal and maple. And I think it was the first time my cousins had had browned butter anything, so I looked like a total gourmet. Let's face it: browned butter tastes fancy. And smells magnificent. Any perfume makers out there, you need to make a maple and browned butter perfume. Candle makers, you have the same task. I will buy in bulk if you can manage it.
While you're on that, can anybody recommend a good laptop? Asking for a friend....

Maple Cornmeal Cupcakes {Printable Version}
Yield: 12 cupcakes

1½ cups flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
½ tsp. salt
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. maple flavoring extract
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. maple syrup
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, cinnamon (if using), and salt. Set aside. In a mixer, beat the butter on medium speed, gradually add in the sugar, and
continue to beat until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the eggs, oil, and extracts one at a time, beating well
after each addition.

In a liquid measuring cup, or a small bowl, mix together the milk and maple syrup. On low speed, add
the flour mixture to the butter, alternating with the milk mixture. Continue to beat until well combined,
scraping down the sides as necessary. Be careful not to overmix.

Line a standard muffin tin with 12 liners, and fill about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way with batter. Bake 20-25
minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker Big Book of Cupcakes

Maple Browned Butter Frosting {Printable Version}

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup whipping cream
¾ tsp. maple flavoring

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Continue to heat, whisking constantly, until the
butter turns a light, golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Add the sugar and maple flavoring to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix together on the lowest speed.
Slowly stream in the browned butter and continue to mix until the mixture looks like small peas. Add in
the whipping cream, gradually increase the mixer speed to high, and whip until fluffy.

Recipe by Kim

November 11, 2012

Drunken Apple Pie

Me and pie, we have some issues. Well, not so much pie, as pie crust. I can't make it. I've got this mental block. I mean I make it, but then it won't roll out because it's hard, or I roll it out and it sticks to everything, or I don't roll it out thin enough, or I can't get it to roll out in a circle, and it's too long one way and too short the other, or I'm incompetent and can't manage to get it in the tin right.

And then I'll be watching a show on the cooking channel about pie and they'll be all, oh, it's so easy to make your own crust. And then when you roll it out, you just wrap it on the rolling pin and just drape it over the tin. And I'm like, that does sound easy, Kelsey. Thanks! And then I try it and it's an epic fail and I'm reduced to tears, sobbing over the mess that I was sure this time was going to be a beautifully flaky pie crust.

But you guys see that excessively ugly pie up there? Do you see it? Do you know why it's so ugly? Because I made pie crust! Successfully. Cut in cold butter, sprinkled ice cold water, rolled out with a rolling pin, crimped the edges and everything.

And of course, it had vodka in it.

Yes, you read that right. See, I was looking through the Dash magazine that comes in the Sunday paper, and they were giving Thanksgiving tips, and the last one was all, pie crust is so finicky. So they were all, we swear by this recipe and vodka is the magic ingredient! And it worked.
So I had my vodka pie crust, what should I put in it? My brother says, "How about drunken apples?"

Genius runs in the family.

And then my father wanted raisins in it, but I could only find one little box of raisins, so I decided to make mini pies. I put raisins in one, toffee bits in the other, and kept the third plain apple. This is the raisin one. Can you see the R that I carved in the crust?

And believe it or not, this is the best looking of the three pies. Well, in the tin, the plain apple one looked better, but when I took it out, well...
Dammit man, keep it together!

My drunken apples imbibed a little too heavily there. Or it could have been baked longer. Heh.

...What's that? You want to see the one with the toffee bits? No, you don't. No, you really, really don't. It looks like something out of a cheesy horror movie about baked goods.

...Okay, but don't say I didn't warn you.
Quick, get out of here! The vodka crust will only hold it back for so long. Save yourselves!

Got the patchwork top crust holding back something lurking in the depths of the apple pie filling. It looks like it's going to explode any minute now.

Yeah, this one's looking better and better, huh?
 Of course, who really cares what the outside looks like? Like any dessert, it's what's on the inside that counts.
Mmm, boozey apples....

Spiced Piecrust {Printable Version}
Yield: 2 piecrusts


2 cups flour
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. apple pie spice
1 tsp. salt
½ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small chunks
4 tbsp. solid white vegetable shortening (Crisco), chilled and cut into small chunks
2 tbsp. vodka
Approx. ¼ cup ice cold water

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, spices, and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter and shortening until the mixture looks like wet sand, and there are no pieces bigger than small peas. With a fork, mix in the vodka and just enough of the water that the dough comes together and is slightly tacky. Divide the dough in half, flatten each half into disks, wrap separately in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a minimum of 45 minutes, or up to two days. Roll out as desired on a well-floured surface.

Tip: Whenever you have to handle the dough, make sure to only use the tips of your fingers. This is the coolest part of your hand, and will help keep the butter from melting.

Recipe adapted from Dash Magazine

Drunken Apple Pie {Printable Version}
Yield: 3 mini deep dish pies (or 1 regular 9 inch pie)

6-7 apples peeled and chopped into ½ inch pieces (approximately 6 cups)
Juice of 1 orange
¼ cup flour
2 tbsp. rum
2 tbsp. brown sugar*
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. apple pie spice
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
1 recipe Spiced Piecrust
Raisins, toffee bits, or dried cranberries, if desired, 1-2 oz. per mini pie
Water, for brushing, and cinnamon sugar, or 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Toss the apples with the orange juice immediately after chopping to prevent browning. In a large mixing bowl, mix the apples with the flour, rum, sugar, cornstarch, spices, and vanilla, making sure the apples are well coated. If desired, add mix-ins, such as raisins. You can also divide the filling into 3 equal parts first and add a different mix-in to each.

Roll out the piecrust on a well-floured surface to approx. ¼ inch thickness. Cut 3 circles about 2-3 inches larger than the lip of the mini pie tins for the bottom crusts. For the top crusts, cut 3 circles about ½ an inch larger than the lip of the pie tins. Line the tins with the bottom crusts, and divide the filling equally between them. Place the top crusts over the filling and seal the two crusts together, pinching them with your fingers, or pressing the edges together with a fork dipped in flour.

Brush the tops of each pie with water and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, or brush each with the egg
wash. Score the tops with a sharp knife, place on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 30-35 minutes,
until the filling is bubbling, and the crust is golden brown.

*Depending on how sweet your apples are, this amount may need to be adjusted.

Recipe by Kim