Snickerdoodle Pie

Growing up, my mom made a lot of pies. (And man, was she good at it. I’m STILL trying to perfect my crust to taste like hers…) But as a kid, one of my favorite parts of her pie making was when she would use the rest of the crust dough to make a cinnamon roll, basically a roll of warm, cinnamon sugar deliciousness. My sisters and I would slice piece after piece of that warm cinnamon roll once it came out of the oven, claiming that we were “just tasting it” as the roll quickly disappeared. So, when I came across a snickerdoodle pie recipe, I was interested to see if it would taste somewhat like my beloved cinnamon roll. And I was happily surprised that, yes, it did. A buttery, warm, deep dish version of one. This pie has been such a hit in this house that I’m not even ashamed to admit that this is our second pie in 2 weeks. Even Miss Leah has found love with her new word “pie!” as she happily inhaled a small piece last night (and then wanted more….)

So, for all those who have asked (and for those who didn’t, but should have) here is the recipe for the most amazing snickerdoodle pie

Snickerdoodle Pie
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
For the crust…
Stir together 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt
Using a pastry blender, cut in 1/4 cup shortening and 1/4 cup butter until pieces are about pea size. (Side note, you can get creative with crust. You can also use only butter or only shortening (so 1/2 cup of either), you can use 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup coconut oil, etc. Play around with it and see what you like best!)
Sprinkle 1 tablepoon of ice cold water over the mixture and toss with a fork (pushing moistened crust to the outside of the bowl) Repeat, using 1 tablespoon of water at a time, until flour mixture is moistened.
Gather flour mixture into a ball and knead it until it holds together.
On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to flatten the crust slightly and then roll crust from the center to the edges into a circle.
Pull flattened crust into a 9-inch pie plate and trim and crimp the edges. Do not prick the bottom of the crust!

Combine 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Melt 2 teaspoons of butter and brush it over the bottom of the pie crust. Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture evenly over the butter and set the crust aside.

For the syrup….
In a small saucepan combine 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of butter, 3 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons of corn syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil gently (on LOW) for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and set aside. (**Side note, the first time I made this pie I did not have any corn syrup so I skipped it, instead adding in a tablespoon of granulated sugar and 1 more tablespoon of water. I noticed no difference with the second pie when I did use the corn syrup…so….do what you would like…**)

For the filling…
In a large mixing bowl, beat 1/4 cup soft butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Beat in 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter. Beat in 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup of milk. Beat in 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour. Spread evenly into the pie plate. Slowly pour syrup over pie filling. Sprinkle mixture of 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon over the top.

I found to help the crust from browning too quickly, cover the edge of the pie with foil for the first 25 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
Second side note, I have two 9-inch pie plates, one that is much deeper than the other. The first time I made this pie I used my shallow dish and the syrup topping almost overflowed the sides. The second time I used my deeper dish pie plate and the filling and syrup topping fit perfectly with no spillage.




Strawberry Short Cake

image1 photo2After posting the picture above on Instagram, I got a few requests for the recipe of the delicious strawberry short cake I made Brett for Father’s Day. And I’m happy to share, because it seriously was amazing! Brett LOVES strawberry shortcake so I’ve made it a few times for his birthday in the past, but usually in more of a biscuit like form. This year hubs requested a strawberry shortcake that was more cakey so I went to work researching and perfecting the cakiest strawberry shortcake I could find. And this one was a real winner, so it needed to be shared!
Sponge Cake

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
*(Important side note: I LOVE whipped cream. A lot. So I will admit that I almost doubled this recipe and used about 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream, 1 1/2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla. If you love whipped cream, I suggest you do the same).*


1 cup strawberries, sliced
16 strawberries, halved *(This is approximate. Basically, use as many as you would like to decorate the top of the cake)*
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the cake:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 9-inch round pans then line with parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pans.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and melted butter for 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time then vanilla. Alternating between the flour mixture and milk, gradually add the flour in three parts and the milk in two parts, starting and ending with the flour.
4. Divide the batter evenly into the pans then bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes then turn out of the pans onto a wire rack and cool completely.

For the whipped cream

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream on high speed until thickened and soft peaks form (when you pull the beaters straight up, peaks form but tips fall over). Gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla then beat until stiff peaks form (tips do not fall over). Keep chilled until ready to use.

To assemble

1. For the filling, fold 1 cup sliced strawberries into 1/2 cup whipped cream. Set aside the rest of the whipped cream for the topping.
2. Place one cake layer onto a plate or cake stand. Top with the strawberry whipped cream filling. Place the other cake on top and gently push down. Top with remaining whipped cream and strawberry halves. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.


Birthday in review

My birthday weekend was amazing. A review in pictures:

After a week of rain my birthday dawned bright, sunny and cool, perfect birthday weather. Hubs started the festivities off right with homemade belgian waffles in bed with strawberries, whipped cream and powdered sugar. What a sweetheart. The day continued with a trip to the beach, a pizza and pastries lunch, dinner with the fam at my favorite Italian restaurant, and a homemade ice cream cake for dessert. Finish off the weekend with holding kittens at the farmers market and it just about nears perfection.

Sadly I dropped my parents off at the airport this evening, after lunch and a tour at the hospital where I work. I love family weekends, but hate how fast they fly by! Luckily we are trying to convince the fam to do this all over again next month for my mom and sister’s birthday. Everyone needs a spring trip to Florida, right?

Happy Monday!

Sister Sister and movie nights

It’s the eve before my birthday and I couldn’t be more excited. I don’t know what it is exactly about birthdays that makes me feel like a kid on Christmas, but whatever it is, I’m excited. Full on butterflies in the stomach thrilled. You get this one day that feels so special, like anything could happen and it’s just kind of magical. It doesn’t matter if you’re turning 6 or 26, birthday’s just plain rock.

End of the week recap: Thursday night Cakes and I went on a little sistah sistah date to a great Greek restaurant in town. I love spending nights with just my sister. Sisters are one of the few people you can sit can just sit back with and totally be yourself. The conversation flows and whether you’re talking about the good, the bad or the ugly, it really doesn’t matter. Because you’re family and that’s what family is for.

As you can see the place was totally hoppin. Seriously, I’m shocked we even got a seat!

Tonight the running club plus one honorary member took me out for an early birthday celebration. After stuffing our faces at a great Thai place downtown we rushed to make the 6:55 showing of The Vow. And I mean rushed. As in we didn’t even have time to stop at CVS to stock up on cheap candy because we were running that late and instead had to buy small $5 boxes of skittles at the theater. And then it turns out the theater canceled the 6:55 show and changed it instead to 7:25. So we sat there, angrily eating our expensive candy, thinking about all the good stuff we could have bought at CVS for the same price. Darn you movie theater!!!

And really, I won’t get too into the movie but I will say that I was a tad disappointed. When I watched the previews, there was Channing, passionately declaring his undying love and devotion to his wife who didn’t even remember his name and I thought, while choking back tears, “What a testament to true love!!!!” And then I went and saw the movie and came crashing back to earth, bitterly disappointed with Channing’s efforts. And that’s all I will say about that.

My parent’s come back from their cruise tomorrow and I’m so excited to spend my birthday and weekend with them! Birthday’s are the best, but they’re the total bestest with family. 🙂

Happy weekend!

What happens when the barista at Starbucks messes up your order…

They remake your drink and give you the largest possible mug they have instead of your originally ordered “tall” size. “Oh yes, don’t mind me as I sit here and drink my cereal bowl size mug of pumpkin spice latte. Oh, what’s that? My nose gets lost in the whipped cream every time I take a sip? No worries, I’ll make sure to lick it off.” I mean, really, not that I’m complaining, but drinking this much caffeine at 4 o’clock in the afternoon is probably not the smartest idea. But thanks for the upgrade Starbucks, it’s why I continue to give you my business.

Friday Fro-Yo

Welcome Friday, we are so glad you’re back.

Christine and I celebrated Friday full out, enjoying cake at work to celebrate the hospital’s therapy dog’s birthday (yeah, we do that at a children’s hospital, okay?) and frozen yogurt after work. Yes we both felt like we were slipping into a diabetic shock after we finished, but hey, that’s how we child life specialists roll. I quickly realized that Christine is no more decisive than I am as we both stood in front of the yogurt choices for a good 5 minutes before picking out our favorite fro-yo combinations. But hey, I appreciate someone who understands the seriousness that is picking the perfect yogurt combination. And the indecisive choosing was worth it because man was it good. And the Hello Kitty bowls and spoons just topped off our frozen yogurt experience.

After getting home I swore up and down to Brett that I was stuffed to the max and I would not be eating anymore tonight. Well 30 minutes later we received a call from Brett’s parents who are here to visit our their vacation condo and whoops, they stepped off the plane realizing they had forgotten the keys. So we jumped in the car and headed north, while they headed south to meet us in the middle for the key exchange.

Of course the key drop off turned into going out to dinner which turned into me eating more food than I should have which now results in a massive too full stomach ache. But hey, what can you do when you happen to go to a restaurant that you happen to know makes some of the best mashed potatoes? Besides the stomach ache, the trip was beneficial because we happened along a group of 12 year old girls climbing into a party limo, all of whom were dressed in wayy too little clothes. And I am not just being prudish here. Seriously. My jaw hit the ground when I saw some of the skirts these girls were wearing. As I ranted to Brett about the girls/parents of today’s generation I exclaimed in my excitement, “I’m going to write a book about this!” And I thought of the best and most catchy title for my future book. Seriously. But I can’t share because someone might steal it. Just look for it to come out around the year 2020.

On the way home I serenaded Brett with Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me” and marveled at the fact that a song that I loved when I was 11 years old is still in my memory. And I mean like every single word. And I sang those words with vigor and passion because that made me feel better about those words taking up space in my mind. Now it’s time to relax on the couch with husband and watch a documentary about cruise ships. Which of course is making us want to take a cruise.

Happy Friday!

Best cake ever: Trust me

When Brett and I were on our honeymoon we fell in love with a traditional Costa Rican dessert that they had a few nights called Tres Leches cake. This cake seriously makes no sense. I mean, really, a cake that is soaked with milk should be gross, mushy and soggy, right? Wrong. Seriously this cake is A-Mazing. Like the best cake ever. It’s this wonderful mix of sweetness and melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness.

Here we are on our honeymoon so happy, knowing we are going to stuff our faces with deliciousness at dinner:

We loved it so much that one night we ate a huge piece for dessert at dinner and then brought another huge piece back to our room so we could eat it at 10 pm that night. Yeah, we were obsessed.

When we returned to the states we knew we had to find the recipe for this cake. However, we wanted to find the original Costa Rican version, not some American version that obviously would not be as delicious. But finally, oh happy day, Brett found it. An original recipe from a true life Costa Rican cook. And because I am so generous and kind I am going to share it with you all, because I truly believe that everyone needs to try this cake. Seriously, I don’t care if you are lactose intolerant, pop a pill and make this cake.

Oh, and PS. although this cake is pretty easy to make, it does take 2 days because the cake needs to sit in the fridge overnight. Just FYI so you can prepare accordingly.

Without further adieu I give you:

Tres Leches Cake

For Cake:
6 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
4 tbsp. ice water

For The Tres Leches Syrup:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
2 cups whole milk

For Topping:
3 tablespoons water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease and lightly flour a 9×13 inch rectangular baking dish (pyrex glass baking dish is good). Set aside.

Beat the 6 egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and self-raising flour, the 6 egg yolks and the ice water.

Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake in oven at 350ºF (180ºC) for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. (Make the Tres Leches Syrup while cake is baking). Remove cake from oven and place cake (Do NOT remove cake from baking dish) on wire cooling rack.

To Make The Tres Leches Syrup:
In a large bowl combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and the 2 cups whole milk. Mix well.

With a fork, toothpick or wooden skewer, poke holes all over top of cake and pour the Tres Leches syrup over the top of cake until completely absorbed.

Once cake has cooled sufficiently, refrigerate cake overnight.

My fingers look kind of long and creepy in this photo.

For the topping:
The next day, in a saucepan combine the water and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. **Cook until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, 235-240 degrees F (112-115 C) on a candy thermometer.** In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. While beating, add the hot syrup in a stream. Beat until all the syrup has been added, the mixture cools, and a glossy icing forms.

Spread the Meringue Topping evenly across the top of chilled cake.

**Brett and I do not own a candy thermometer so obviously we had no idea what the temp of the sugar was. And I had no idea what “soft ball stage” meant until I googled it. (FYI: It’s when you drop the sugar in a cup of cold water and it immediately forms into a soft ball). Anyways, Brett and I just winged it (wong it?) I put the sugar on high until it boiled then turned it down to low. I then stirred until the sugar was dissolved and then I dumped it into the egg whites. Not exact science, but hey, it worked great! The whole process took no more than 5 minutes.

That's my "I can't wait to eat this" smile.

There it is- a slice of deliciousness.

So there you have it. We ate our first slices tonight and they were amazing. Okay, so maybe it’s more delicious when you’re sitting on the beach on our honeymoon, but trust me, it’s up there.

Now go bake a cake.