Pumpkin Spice Chai Hot Chocolate

Pumpkin Chai Hot Chocolate

We finally made our way up the mountain last weekend to pick a few apples. We took the Hubs ‘rents with us because they just so happened to be in town for the annual trip. After we walked around the orchards for a bit, we grabbed our apples and apple-cinnamon doughnuts{because you can’t leave Skytop without doughnuts, obvi..}, and made our way into town. A friend of mine had recommended the infamous French Broad Chocolate Lounge in the heart of Asheville, so after a quick lunch at Farm Burger, we stopped in for a bit of chocolate-y goodness.

The place reminds me of an edgy, little coffeehouse I used to go to in high school. It had local artwork on the walls, a giant chalkboard outlining all of its daily specials, and a very large case of truffles, cakes, cookies, and chocolate bars. Everything is handmade in-store and total amazeballs.

My friend said I just had to order a liquid truffle…yes, you heard me right, I said liquid truffle and it is exactly what is sounds like. It comes in a little espresso cup with an itty-bitty spoon. I ordered their masala chai, while the hubs ordered their maple with sea salt. It was so creamy and rich, that I almost couldn’t finish it…yeah, as if. I think if it had been up to me, I would have switched with the Hubs, but both were very good. His Dad ordered a masala chai hot chocolate and that got me thinking..

I love chai.

Even more so, I love the Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte that Tazo has available for the fall season.

And who doesn’t love hot chocolate.

So when we got home, I combined my love of pumpkin spice chai and hot chocolate.

Pumpkin Chai Hot Chocolate

I choose to make my hot chocolate creamy like the liquid truffle by using heavy cream and 3 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate and then adding 1/4 cup of Tazo Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte concentrate. Then I whipped up a batch of Pumpkin Spice Chai whipped cream to top my hot chocolate with. Who could ask for more? And if you could, why would you?

Pumpkin Chai Hot ChocolateExcept maybe if you wanted a small box of Pumpkin Spice Truffles courtesy of French Broad Chocolate Lounge to go along with your Pumpkin Spice Chai Hot Chocolate. Which I totally do..

Pumpkin Chai Hot Chocolate

Pumpkin Spice Chai Hot Chocolate

Yield: 4 8-oz. servings

Recipe by Carrie

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • dash salt
  • 1/4 cup Tazo Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte

Instructions

  1. In a double boiler, on medium-heat, add your semi-sweet chocolate and heavy cream.
  2. Stirring constantly, allow it to melt into a ganache.
  3. Slowly add your sugar, salt, and vanilla; mix well.
  4. Whisk in your milk and pumpkin spice chai concentrate; stirring constantly, heat to serving temperature.
  5. Top with whip cream or marshmallows.
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Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies

I have been spending all my free time lately catching up on Breaking Bad. I was never a fan when it was on because, well,  I am not a big T.V. person. But all the hubbub about the season finale a few weeks back caught my eye and I have been watching it on Netflix ever since. I mean, it is ridiculous. The other night I stayed up until midnight with an early wake up time of 5 am just to make sure if Hank, one of the characters, survived. Like I said, total crazy obsessed.

If you have never seen the show, it is about a high school chemistry teacher who finds out that he has stage 3 lung cancer. The doctors basically tell him to start making funeral arrangements and it is then that he realizes that he needs to find some way to provide for his family after he his gone. So he becomes a meth “cook” with a former student, Jesse Pinkman. After he goes to treatment and then into remission, he finds himself deep in the drug cartel and unable to escape. Gripping, isn’t it??

Anyway, it has totally taken over all of my free time.  Well that, and a 14-hour Raleigh field trip and oh, preparing for first term conferences. Thus preventing me from making a post since the Monday before last.

But the wait is over, my friends. I have discovered the cookie of all cookies. The perfect fall treat. May I introduce you to…

Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies

This recipe makes 3-3 1/2 dozen and let me tell you, they were gone in days. And it wasn’t just me. I swear.

I think it’s the combination of white chocolate chips, spices, and pecans that take this ordinary oatmeal pumpkin cookie to the extreme.

And that’s when they basically became my favorite cookies ever.

Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies

They are so addicting. It sorta reminds me of Heisenberg’s infamous blue ice. They are 99.1% pure awesomeness.

Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Yield: 3-31/2 dozen

Recipe by Carrie

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon baking spice or cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1 cup, brown butter, cooled to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat the bottom of a medium saucepan on medium heat and slice 3 sticks of butter into tablespoon-sized slices.
  2. Add your butter to your pan and whisk continuously until butter has melted.
  3. Your butter will foam up a bit, but continue whisking frequently until lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan. Smell the butter; it should have a nutty aroma.
  4. Remove from heat and place on a cool surface to help stop the butter from cooking further and perhaps burning.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.
  6. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  7. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together. Fold in the oats.
  8. Once your butter has cooled to room temperature, pour into your standing mixer bowl.
  9. Mix on low until light and fluffy; about 2 minutes.
  10. Add brown sugar and granulated sugar.
  11. Once combined, whisk in the egg.
  12. Add the pumpkin and vanilla and mix until thick and completely combined.
  13. Pour in your dry ingredients a little at a time and gently mix until combined.
  14. Fold in your pecans and white chocolate chips.
  15. Scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets; about 2 or 3 Tablespoons of dough per cookie.
  16. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes until very lightly browned on the edges, and still appearing soft in the centers.
  17. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
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Autumn Wreath Tutorial

My Mom is a bonafide crafting genius.

When I was 3, she cut out tons of paper Mickey Mouses, just so that she could glue them altogether to make a 3D Mickey Mouse bow for my birthday. See, even then I was obsessed with the Disney.

When the Hubs and I got married, she painted over a hundred glass candle votives with intricate flowers and then attached a hand-cut paper heart that read our names and our wedding date.

And over the years, I have had the opportunity to con, snag, or plead for one of her beautiful handmade, hand-painted wreaths that encompassed a season or holiday. I mean, really, you outta see these things. There like magical.

This year, I thought I could channel my inner crafty and create my own Autumn wreath. I came up with three basic requirements for my wreath. One, I knew it had to be simple, because well, I like simple. Two, it had to have a little glitter. And three, it had to be inexpensive, because the Hubs said so.

So this is what I came up with…

Autumn Wreath Tutorial

 Simple. Glittery. Inexpensive.

Autumn Wreath Tutorial What made this wreath so inexpensive was that I made all of the flowers out of shimmery ribbon. I mean, the total cost was around $21 for the wreath, ribbon, black letter, and one large box of fall potpourri.

Autumn Wreath Tutorial So today, I am going to show you how to make easy ribbon flowers.

Autumn Wreath Tutorial Start by cutting your ribbon anywhere between 12-18 inches in length. Just remember, the longer the ribbon, the bigger the flower.

Autumn Wreath Tutorial Fold your ribbon in half.

Autumn Wreath Tutorial

Then start rolling it into a little bud. This will be the center of your flower and it should be about the size of your thumb nail. Go ahead and secure it with a little dollop of hot glue.

Autumn Wreath Tutorial

To get that rose look, you will want to start folding over the ribbon, securing it with hot glue every few folds.  The hot glue will prevent it from unraveling or coming apart.

Autumn Wreath Tutorial After a few folds, you will begin to see the flower coming together.

Autumn Wreath Tutorial Keep folding and hot gluing.

Autumn Wreath Tutorial Glue the remaining part of the ribbon towards the back of the flower. When you glue it onto the wreath, no one will see it anyway.

Autumn Wreath Tutorial This large box of potpourri was around $4 and made perfect accents for my autumn wreath.

Autumn Wreath Tutorial The black H came already painted and ready to go. The Hubster secured it on with wire and I reinforced it with hot glue.

Autumn Wreath Tutorial

Place your new ribbon flowers, fall potpourri accents, and letter where ever you’d like. You can’t go wrong. Most of all, have fun with it.  I would love to see what you come up with! Send your photos to my Bake No Prisoners Facebook page and I will post them in the next few weeks.

Easy Banoffee Pie

I think the Hubs purposely doesn’t eat the bananas I bring home from the market.

Let me tell you the story.

Once upon a time, an amazing baking princess decided that her prince needed more potassium in his diet. She felt it was part of her royal duties to make sure he ate a somewhat nutritious breakfast, so she brought home a bunch of delectable  bananas. For days, they sat on the royal counter, turning brown by every minute that passed by. At the last moment, to save the bananas from impending doom, the princess decided to use them to make his favorite dessert –Banana Pudding –but alas, she did not have what she needed to make it and the carriage was out at Best Buy.

Instead, she made him a traditional English dessert, well, sorta….

Easy Banoffee Pie

The original Banoffee Pie has a crust made of crumbled biscuits and butter. I decided to use a graham cracker crust because you know, I didn’t have any crumbled biscuits lying around the castle.

Easy Banoffee Pie

The key to the whipped topping is to make your own. If you try to use a canned whip cream, then it will deflate and make a mess. It is super duper easy, cheaper than store-bought, and tastes sooo light and fluffy that you might never go back to the can again.

Easy Banoffee Pie

Once the pie was presented to the prince, all order was restored in the kingdom, and all the townspeople rejoiced. The End.

Easy Banoffee Pie

Easy Banoffee Pie

Yield: 1 9-in. pie

Recipe by Carrie

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 9 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 14-oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 medium bananas, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioner sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cinnamon, for dusting
  • chocolate sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F {177°C}.
  2. In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and softened butter.
  3. Press firmly into a 9 in. pie plate and bake for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Let your crust cool on a wire rack while you prepare the toffee pudding.
  5. In a medium, non-stick saucepan, pour the contents of both cans of sweetened condensed milk.
  6. Heat on low, stirring frequently, for about 30-45 minutes.
  7. Once it starts to thicken, take it off the heat and pour it over your graham cracker crust.
  8. Top with sliced bananas.
  9. Whip your heavy cream, confectioner sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy; about 3-5 minutes.
  10. Top your bananas and toffee pudding with your whip cream.
  11. Dust your pie with cinnamon and chocolate sprinkles.
  12. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.
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Easy Banoffee Pie

 

Butter Beer Pound Cake

Living in a small town has its ups and downs.

For example, I can go anywhere in town and it is almost certain that I will run into someone I know. We might grab a coffee or just catch up for a few minutes, but it’s nice to see a familiar face when I am out and about. That’s also a bad example because if you are au natural and in your sweats, then you are almost guaranteeing that you are going to run into someone you know. It has totally happened. On several occasions.

Another example is the festivals. We almost always have some sorta block party or festival going on. I love all the one-of-a-kind crafts, food vendors, and the classic rock bands you find at a small town festival. And they come up with all sortsa reasons to get together. It could be an art walk or a fall festival or even a party to celebrate the woolly worm. That’s happened too.

One of the worst things about living in a small town is that when you are a baker/girly geek/collector of all things nerdy, it is hard to find what you are looking for. A few weeks ago, I thought I would get a heads start on my Halloween baking. I wanted to buy a 4-pack of Butter Beer at my local grocery store. Before I even step foot in the store, I looked it up to make sure they would/could carry it. It is a bit of a hike to get to a good grocery store, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t go for nothing. I did. Go for nothing. They didn’t have it nor could they order it.

So I went home, did a bit more research, thought about ordering it online for a gazillion dollars, and then headed to my small town specialty grocer. As it turns out, they didn’t have it either, but they could order it. So I ordered two 4-packs…or so I thought. When they called me a few weeks later, they said my two cases were ready. Cases. As in six 4-packs in each case. A total of 48 bottles of Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer. As in more Butter Beer than the Hubs and I put together could drink in a month.

With all that Butter Beer, I thought about throwing a HP party. And I still just may, but for now I made you pound cake…with Butter Beer.

Butter beer pound cakeThis pound cake reminds me of all the Sprite and 7-Up pound cake recipes that are out there. I have never made one with soda before, so I just took my ole trusty pound cake recipe and altered it a bit. You know. With Butter Beer. Because I have so many.

Butter Beer Pound Cake

I even put some in my icing. Although it could totally stand alone.

Butter Beer Pound Cake

Butter Beer Pound Cake

Ingredients

    Butter Beer Pound Cake:
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup {2 sticks} unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon imitation butter flavoring
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • Butter Beer Icing:
  • 2 cups confectioner sugar
  • 2-2 1/2 tablespoonsFlying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer
  • 4 teaspoons heavy cream

Instructions

    Butter Beer Pound Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and spray desired pan with flour baking spray.
  2. In your stand mixer bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add sugar and mix well; scraping the sides of the bowl and mixing again.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time until combined.
  5. Add milk, vanilla, imitation butter flavoring, and butter beer.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
  7. Slowly add your flour mixture to your wet ingredients until blended.
  8. Spoon into greased pan; level with a spatula to smooth out the top.
  9. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean.
  10. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before removing your pan.
  11. Let cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
  12. Butter Beer Icing:
  13. Combine confectioner sugar, butter beer, and heavy cream in your stand mixer bowl until desired consistency.
  14. Spoon over pound cake and smooth over top.
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Butter Beer Pound Cake

Pumpkin Biscoff Bread

It is no surprise to anyone who knows me, even a little bit, that the next three months are my favorite time of the whole year. All good things happen in the months of September, October, and November. Even Christmas couldn’t top all the wonderful things I am anticipating in the upcoming months.

September is when the Hubster and I head up to the mountains and pick apples for our annual apple pies. We drive on up to Flat Rock and spend the day at family run, Sky Top Orchards. It is literally on top of Mt. McAlpine and we go through fields and fields of orchards, picking our favorite gala, rome, and cameo apples. We also make sure to stop by inside where we can pick up 2 or 3 dozen of their freshly made apple cinnamon donuts, apple butter, and fresh apple cider. Then we take them all home and spend the day coring, peeling and preparing them for apple pies that I will freeze for the upcoming holidays.

October has not only Halloween, but also the Carolina Renaissance Festival. I had never been until last year and now the Hubs and I are considering buying season tickets. Well, not considering….we are. I love the food fare, shows and demonstrations, and the overall atmosphere of the whimsical and carefree lifestyle that makes up the Carolina Renaissance Fair. I even have my very own pair of elfish ears that I got last year. I swear it. And I will wear them this year. Because.

And November has the best holiday ever, Thanksgiving. In years past, the family has gotten together to have the traditional Thanksgiving feast. Mom and I get up early to get the turkey prepared and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This year, we are putting away those pots and pans and Mom, the Hubs, and I are heading down to Savannah to celebrate.

But my absolute favorite thing about all three months is that it gives me an excuse to bake with pumpkins. I could totally go ona Forest Gump rant about pumpkins. You can bake it, broil it, saute it. There’s pumpkin cookies. Pumpkin cupcakes. Pumpkin Lattes. Get the idea?

How about one more? Like this Pumpkin Biscoff Bread.

Pumpkin Biscoff Bread

I have not one, but two pumpkin bread pans. I tried to tell ya. Obsessed. I like this one best because of the baby pumpkins that are just beginning to grow. Cuteness in a pan.

Pumpkin Biscoff BreadIn addition to adding creamy Biscoff spread to the batter, I also crumbled Biscoff cookies into my steusel. It was totally worth it. I love the flavor of pumpkim with biscoff. If you have never tried biscoff cookies or creamy spread, try your specialty stores, like World Market or Williams Sonoma.

Pumpkin Biscoff BreadI also drizzled a simple icing made from milk or cream, corn syrup, vanilla, and confectioners sugar. Although it would be perfectly delightful without it.

Pumpkin Biscoff Bread

Pumpkin Biscoff Bread

Serving Size: Makes one 9-inch loaf

Recipe by Carrie

Ingredients

    For the bread:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking spice, or 1 teaspoon cinnamon & 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup biscoff creamy spread
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons{3/4 stick} butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the streusel:
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup biscoff cookies, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons baking spice {cinnamon & nutmeg}
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cold

Instructions

    For the streusel:
  1. Combine the flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and baking spice in a food processor and combine.
  2. Add the butter and biscoff cookies to the dry ingredients in the food processor bowl.
  3. Process the mixture until the butter and cookies have broken down into small pebble pieces.
  4. Set aside.
  5. For the bread:
  6. Adjust your oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat oven to 350°.
  7. Spray the bottom and sides of your loaf pan with flour spray and set aside.
  8. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking spice, and salt; set aside.
  9. In your stand mixer bowl, combine utter, pumpkin, biscoff spread, and sour cream.
  10. Add eggs, one at a time.
  11. Add vanilla extract.
  12. Slowly add your dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  13. Assembly:
  14. Lightly dust the bottom and sides of your prepared pan with the streusel.
  15. Scrape the batter into the pan.
  16. Sprinkle the top with additional steusel. {You will most likely have extra streusel.}
  17. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 55 minutes.
  18. Cool in the pan for about 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
  19. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Pumpkin Biscoff Bread

 

 

 

White Chocolate Pecan Cupcakes

White Chocolate Pecan Cupcakes

I love sugared pecans, but in all my years of baking on this planet, I have never had the opportunity to make them. I usually pick them up at a state fair or at a theme park, but it didn’t occur to me to make them myself.

Well…that is until these cupcakes.

White Chocolate Pecan Cupcakes

Now, awhile ago, the Hubs and I had picked up a bag of whole pecans somewhere passing through Georgia, I think. I honestly can’t remember where or when because I am notorious for picking up random yummy things when we travel. You should see how many jars of jams and jellies I have in my pantry. It is ridiculous.

Anyway, seeing as how I have never made sugared pecans, I honestly didn’t know how to shell them either. So I asked my super-southern-grew-up-crackin-nuts Hubs to help me out. Well, that was a big mistake. He thinks that I am just crazy for never having the opportunity to crack me open some pecans{best southern accent}. And he has told everyone so for the past week.

Well now I know and I can check that off my baking bucket list.

Ok….time for the cupcakes.

White Chocolate Pecan Cupcakes

This girl likes a thick layer of ganache, so I choose to dip each cupcake 2-3 times, letting them cool on a wire rack for a few minutes in between each layer.

White Chocolate Pecan Cupcakes

White Chocolate Pecan Cupcakes

Yield: 1-1/2 dozen

Recipe by Carrie

Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking spice or cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 8 tablespoons {1 stick} unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg, plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • For the white chocolate ganache:
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions

    For the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and adjust an oven rack to the middle position.
  2. Line standard muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking spice/cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
  4. In your stand mixer bowl, cream butter, sugar, eggs, and vanillas.
  5. On low speed, slowly add 1/2 of your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients until just combined.
  6. Add your sour cream and then add remaining dry ingredients.
  7. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and mix again on medium speed for 30 seconds or so.
  8. Fold in your pecans.
  9. Divide the batter evenly among the cups of your prepared tin using a ice cream scoop or spoon.
  10. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  11. Let cool completely on a wire rack before adding the white chocolate ganache.
  12. For the white chocolate ganache:
  13. In a double boiler or if not accessible, use a glass bowl atop a saucepan filled with 2-3 inches of boiling water, add your chocolate chips and heavy cream.
  14. Stir until melted and smooth.
  15. Carefully dip your cupcakes 2-3 times into your warm ganache and top with sugared pecan.
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White Chocolate Pecan Cupcakes

Turtle cookies

Turtle Cookies

Last night, the Hubs and I went to go see “The World’s End” with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. We are both pretty big fans of “Hot Fuzz” and “Shaun of the Dead”, {although undoubtedly he is a bigger fan than I} so this was a total no brainer. We decided to go to my favorite movie theatre in town because Terrapin Beer Co. was there hosting a beer tasting for opening night of the film.

We made sure to show up early so that we could see for ourselves what Terrapin Beer Co. had to offer. They are based out of Athens, Georgia and up until now, I had just barely heard of them. But by the time our theatre was being seated, we were huge fans. They had 4 very different types of beer for the tasting: Rye Pale Ale, which is their original, signature taste, the Hopsecutioner IPA, brewed with six different hops, the Tree Hugger, which is more of your amber ale, and my favorite, Pumpkin Fest, their seasonal and perfectly balanced pumpkin ale.

So we ordered our favorite brews, mine with a sweet, brown-sugared rim around the glass, and sat down at our table and lounge chairs….yes, lounge chairs, and happily waited for the movie to start. At one point, one of the ushers came in and announced they would be holding a trivia contest focusing on the Cornetto Trilogy. They had “The World’s End” posters and T-shirts to giveaway and so I told the Hubs I just had to have one. Thanks to his mad trivia skills, he was able to win me both. If you are at all a Simon Pegg fan or into SciFi or enjoy a little British humor, then you must go see “The World’s End”. It is totally worth it.

After the movie, my excitement for Terrapin Beer Co. got me thinking…

You have all heard of turtle brownies, right?

Ooey, gooey brownies filled with nuts and caramel?

Well I decided that to celebrate my new found love for Terrapin Beer Co., a batch or two of Turtle Cookies were in order.Turtle Cookies

Terrapin actually means turtle, so I thought these cookies were only fitting.

Turtle Cookies

So I took my old fashioned recipe for the ordinary chocolate chip cookie and razzle, dazzled it up with chopped pecans, fleur de sel, and my homemade Salted Caramel Sauce.

Turtle Cookies

Turtle Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup {2 sticks} butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • Salted Caramel Sauce
  • fleur de sel, for dusting

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° and line your cookie sheet with a silapat or parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In your stand mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar on medium speed.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well until incorporated.
  5. Add vanilla extract and paste.
  6. On low speed, gradually beat in your flour mixture, a little at a time.
  7. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in 1 cup of chocolate chips and your chopped pecans.
  8. Drop rounded tablespoon dollops onto ungreased baking sheet.
  9. Use the additional 1/4 cup of chocolate chips to sprinkle the tops of the cookie dough.
  10. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. When cool, drizzle Salted Caramel Sauce and dust with fleur de sel.
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Turtle Cookies

 

 

S’mores Coffeecake

It’s that time of year again.

The time of year where students all over the globe are picking out new backpacks, trying on new shoes, and getting back into the school routine. They begin wondering whose going to be in their class, what their new teacher will be, and most importantly, what are they going to wear on the first day of school.

I don’t have any children going off to school, but I can tell you what it’s like from the other side…

I am a teacher and I love the beginning of the school year. I too, get excited about new school clothes and finding the perfect lunch box. I love getting to see old friends and co-workers and making new ones. We spend an entire week learning new concepts and programs, planning curriculum, and setting up our classrooms before the children arrive.

We wonder what our new class will be like. Whether our new students will like us or not {because it does matter, even if we say it doesn’t}. And we hope everything will be perfect for the first day of school.

So to wrap up the end of summer and kick off the start of yet another school year, I made you coffeecake…

Smores Coffeecake

 More importantly, S’mores Coffeecake.

I took your everyday coffeecake and added a layer of ooey gooey marshmallow and graham cracker streusel with a chocolatey S’mores syrup drizzle. I found the most amazing S’mores Pancake and Ice Cream syrup at World Market the other day and thought it would go perfect for my coffeecake. It totally did.

It also did on my ice cream that night.

And my waffles the next morning.

Smores CoffeecakeThe great thing about this coffeecake is that not only is it yummy delicious on the first day, but the syrup soaks into the cake and makes it even better the second day. That is not normally the case when we are talking about coffeecake.

S'mores Coffeecake

Smores Coffeecake

Recipe by Carrie, adapted from Baking Illustrated

Ingredients

    For the streusel:
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking spice or cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cold
  • For the cake:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons {1 1/2 sticks} butter, softened
  • Bag of mini-marshmallows
  • S'mores Pancake and Ice Cream syrup

Instructions

    For the streusel:
  1. Pour the flour, sugar, brown sugar, graham cracker crumbs, baking spice, pecans, and butter in a food processor and pulse 10 times, about 1-second per pulse to combine.
  2. You should have pea sized bits and your streusel should look like wet sand.
  3. Set aside and start on the cake.
  4. For the cake:
  5. Preheat oven to 350° F and adjust your oven rack to a lower position.
  6. Grease or spray a tube pan or a bundt pan and set aside.
  7. In your stand mixer, combine eggs, sour cream, butter, and vanilla.
  8. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  9. At low speed, add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients in your mixer.
  10. Increase to medium speed and beat for about a minute.
  11. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and mix again for 30 seconds.
  12. Add 2 cups of the batter to the prepared pan.
  13. Level out the batter with an offset spatula.
  14. Sprinkle about half of your streusel over the top of your batter evenly.
  15. Add an even layer of mini-marshmallows over the top of the streusel.
  16. Drizzle S'mores Pancake and Ice Cream syrup evenly over the mini-marshmallows.
  17. Pour another 2 cups of the batter over the streusel, spreading evenly, and then add the rest of your streusel.
  18. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  19. Cool the cake in the pan for about 25 minutes.
  20. Invert the cake using a rimmed baking sheet over the top of the cake.
  21. The cake should now be upside down, with the streusel on the bottom.
  22. Place the cake on a wire rack to cool.
  23. Drizzle S'mores Pancake and Ice Cream syrup across the top of the cake.
  24. Serve immediately.
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Baby Blackberry Cobblers

Baby Blackerry Cobblers

I love when my Mom comes to visit. She lives about 700 miles away, so when we get to see each other, we try and make the most out of our short visit. She just so happened to fly up this week to help me set up my classroom for the upcoming school year. But thanks to my awesome organizational skills{surprisingly not sarcasm this time}, it only took us one day to set everything up. Which meant that left us 6 whole days to eat, shop, talk, and of course, bake.

Now I have a slight obsession with blackberries, so I already had it in my head that we were going to make a blackberry post, but it was Momma that came up with the cobbler part. We used her ole southern biscuit recipe for the top crust, and I decided to doctor it up a bit with some baking spice. And then, because I don’t like to share all that much, we used baby cobbler cups, so that we could each have our own.

Baby Blackerry Cobblers

Baby Blackberry Cobblers

Ingredients

    For the biscuit:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 heaping tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking spice
  • 1/2 cup butter shortening, cold
  • 7/8 cup milk
  • For the blackberry filling:
  • 12 oz. package fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of baking spice
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions

    For the blackberry filling:
  1. In a medium size bowl, combine blackberries, sugar, baking spice, cornstarch, and almond extract.
  2. Using a large spoon, gently mix together and then mix again every 15 minutes or so to ensure that all the ingredients have been combined.
  3. The filling will need to marinate for about 45 minutes, so now you can get started on the biscuits.
  4. For the biscuit crust:
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and like a cookie sheet with foil.
  6. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cream of tartar.
  7. Using a pastry cutter, cut in your shortening until your flour mixture looks like wet sand and has pea-sized dough bits.
  8. Add most of the milk and mix with a fork; if your dough is still very dry, add the rest of the milk.
  9. Mix only until the ingredients come together; don't overwork your dough.
  10. Pat out your dough on a well floured surface.
  11. Roll out your dough to about a 1/2 inch thickness.
  12. Using your baby-cobbler dish, flip it over and cut out your dough into a circle.
  13. Make sure to use your fork to poke holes in the dough circle before assembly.
  14. To assemble your cobbler:
  15. Fill your baby-cobbler dish all the way to the top with your blackberry filling.
  16. Carefully lay your biscuit crust on top of the filling.
  17. Brush the top of your biscuit with butter and sprinkle with sugar.
  18. Place baby-cobblers on your cookie sheet to prevent dripping.
  19. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool completely before serving.
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Baby Blackerry Cobblers