Happy First Day of Summer!!! What better way to celebrate than with a fun new recipe? No Churn Blackberry Cheesecake Ice Cream is the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer’s day. This recipe is amazing for so many reasons. It starts off […]
Tag: dessert recipes
If you’re in need of a little comfort right now, grab a whisk and whip up a batch of Lemon Raspberry Streusel Muffins. Now you can enjoy light and fluffy, bakery-style muffins at home. These delicious muffins are lightly flavored with lemon, chock-full of sweet […]
One bite of our Toffee Cookies will leave you thinking OMG!! Where have you been all my life? Seriously I’ve been reflecting how truly delicious these little nuggets are and I’m feeling a little guilty for not sharing them sooner. Toffee Cookies are the absolute perfect indulgence. These chewy, buttery cookies are jam-packed with chunks of toffee and just melt right in your mouth. I mean who doesn’t love that?!? I love to bake them most in the Fall because English Toffee bits fit in perfectly with all my favorite Fall flavors. This cookie dough is simple, but I promise if you add them to a cookie platter or bring them to a cookie exchange they’ll be the star of the show!
Here’s all you’ll need: butter, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, egg, vanilla, flour, and toffee bits.
If you learn one thing from this blog, my hope is that you’ll be able to make a darn good cookie! And this recipe is a great place to start. In a large bowl, beat 1 cup of softened butter until it’s light and fluffy. You can soften the butter by leaving it out on a counter top or you can “cheat” a little if you need to and nuke it in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds. We’re going for softened not melted.
Next add the brown sugar, baking powder and salt to the bowl and beat with a hand mixer. Now if you’re really serious about cookie baking then I highly recommend investing in a kitchen aid mixer. I absolutely love mine but only break it out for cookie baking marathons! It’s really nice to have.
Beat in the egg and the vanilla until well combined. Mix in as much flour as you can with the hand mixer and stir in the rest by hand. I’d shoot for about 1-1/2 to 2 cups with the hand mixer. Then it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get a little more hands on!
Stir in the toffee pieces by hand as well. We used Heath Bits of Brickle which can be found in the baking aisle alongside the chocolate chips and all those goodies. There’s actually two kinds of Heath baking bits: Heath Bits of Brickle (which we used in this recipe) are just plain toffee pieces while Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits are covered in chocolate. I will never say no to chocolate so if you can’t find the plain toffee or just wanna get a little wild, then by all means use the chocolate covered pieces. All roads lead to deliciousness!
Shape the dough into 1-1/2 inch balls and place them about 2 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. I find that I get my best baking results with parchment paper as opposed to cooking spray. If you want to elevate your cookie game, I highly recommend trying it! A cookie scoop is another great tool to have handy. I typically use the 1 or 1.5″ size for cookie baking (unless I’m making some giant, monster sized cookies). This one simple tool will keep your cookies uniform in size, which means they’ll all bake at the same rate.
Bake the cookies in a 300 degree preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until the tops are cracked and the sides are set. Keep a close eye on them so the edges don’t brown. For perfect cookies every time I always rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking. Use the top and middle racks in the oven, never the bottom. And then about halfway through baking time swap positions. So the cookies that were baking on the top rack get bumped down to the middle rack and the cookies that were baking on the middle rack get moved up to the top. I also rotate the baking sheets so that the cookies that were in the front of the oven are now in the back and vice versa. This helps all the cookies to bake evenly and will give you the very best results. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool as soon as you get them out of the oven and can safely lift them off the cookie sheet with a spatula.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup toffee pieces
- Step 1 In a large bowl, beat 1 cup of softened butter until it’s light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the brown sugar, baking powder and salt to the bowl and beat with a hand mixer.
- Step 2 Beat in the egg and the vanilla until well combined. Mix in as much flour as you can with the hand mixer (about 1-1/2 cups) and stir in the rest by hand. Stir in the toffee pieces.
- Step 3 Shape the dough into 1-1/2 inch balls and place them about 2 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Step 4 Bake the cookies in a 300 degree preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until the tops are cracked and the sides are set. Do not let the edges brown.
- Step 5 Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool. Enjoy!
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Happy Fall Y’all! I wanted to share this quick and easy Rustic Apple Tart with you before you get bombarded with all things pumpkin (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But this one’s gonna be for team apple. The delicious little Fall dessert starts […]
If you like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain…..then you’ll LOVE this cake!!! Pina Colada Cake is moist, delicious, and loaded with the same tropical goodness as the popular summer drink. Now you can sip your favorite drink and eat it too. This […]
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons 2% milk
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies
- Step 1 In a large bowl, cream together 1 cup of butter, 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract and 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy.
- Step 2 Whisk together the flour and cornstarch in a medium sized bowl. Gradually add the flour mixture (about 1/2 cup at a time) into the creamed butter mixture until well blended. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm enough to handle.
- Step 3 Remove the cookie dough from the fridge. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and space them about 2-inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Step 4 Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 9-11 minutes or until the bottoms are light brown. Remove the cookies to wire racks to cool.
- Step 5 FOR THE FROSTING: Melt 2 tablespoon butter in a small microwave safe bowl. Beat in the milk and 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract.
- Step 6 Gradually beat in 1-1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar. Mix until smooth.
- Step 7 Frost cookies and sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies. Enjoy!
Christmas is a time for family and love, a time for magic and wonder, a time for…..BAKING!!! We’ve been baking up a storm here at Happylifeblogspot this December and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon. I wanted to share with you one of my […]
Peanut Butter Cookies were my absolute favorite as a kid. So when I grew up and started baking I knew that I needed a fabulous, no fail, peanut butter cookie recipe in my arsenal ASAP!! Well guys, this is that recipe!! These cookies are rich, […]
I really, really, REALLY wanted to go apple picking this year! But it seemed like every weekend we were either traveling, or sick, or it was raining. BOO! Oh Fall I had such high expectations for you this year!! So I set my sights on some Fall baking instead. Apple Hands Pies are an easy to make dessert that’s sure to delight. These nostalgic little hand pies are sweet, comforting, and simply adorable. The tender, flaky pie crust is easy to work with and filled with delicious cinnamon-apple filling. And next year they’ll be made with hand picked apples from myself (promise!), but this time around we used the next best thing, locally grown NY State apples!
Here’s all you’ll need: cream cheese, butter, flour, salt, allspice, apples, sugar, cinnamon, egg, and water.
First in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of butter until smooth. You can nuke it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it up a bit if you need to. Just keep in mind, we want it to be soft, not melted. The addition of cream cheese makes this pie crust absolutely melt in your mouth fabulous!! So I’m not gonna lie, Apple Hand Pies are a little bit of work. But it’s all easy, I promise. And it’s totally worth it!
Next gradually add in the salt and the flour. Toss the salt in first and then using a hand blender, mix the flour in 1/2 cup at a time until well blended. The dough will be a bit sticky. Divide it in half, then shape each half into a ball and flatten slightly into a disc shape. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour to firm.
Once your dough is almost ready to use, start slicing up those apples. We don’t want to prep them too early otherwise they’ll get all brown and mushy. Peel and chop the apples and add them to a large bowl. Top with allspice, cinnamon and 1/3 cup of sugar and toss to coat. Be sure to use a good baking apple and not an eating apple. Yes, there’s a difference. Baking apples tend to be on the softer side while eating apples are more crisp and firm. Look for varieties like Granny Smith, Crispin, Cortland, 20 Ounce, Fortune, Idared, Northern Spy or Rome.
Next remove the dough from the fridge and divide each section into 12 portions. This recipe makes a pretty big batch, 2 dozen Apple Hand Pies to be exact. But trust me when I say you’ll be eating these babies two at a time. Shape each portion into a ball. Then on a lightly floured surface roll each ball into a round, 4-inch mini pie crust. Look how cute the minis are!! Or if you’re a perfectionist, roll the entire ball of dough out into one big pie crust and then cut it into circles using a 4-inch biscuit cutter. Either way will work just fine. I promise they’ll all get eaten!
Place a tablespoon of chopped apples on one side of the mini pie crust. Dot with butter. Basically that means we’re just adding a couple of teeny tiny pieces of butter on top of the apple mixture, because everything’s better with a little butter. Next in a small bowl, combine the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of water to form an egg wash. Brush one edge of the pastry with the egg wash. The egg wash basically acts as a “glue” to hold everything together. Set aside any remaining egg wash. We’re not quite done with it yet!
To finish fold over half of the pie crust to cover the apples and press down to seal. Crimp down the edges with a fork. Place the finished apple hand pies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Most of you already know that I use parchment in just about ANY baking recipe, but it’s really essential here to prevent these little mini pies from sticking to the pan. Trust it. Live it. Love it.
In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Brush the pie tops with the remaining egg wash and quickly sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Lastly cut three itty bitty slits into the top of the apple hand pies so they have some room to breathe.
Bake in a 425 degree preheated oven for 11-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Serve warm, or cold, or with caramel sauce for dipping. Apple Hand Pies will disappear quickly no matter how you serve ’em! Looking for more Fall baking ideas? Try our Over the Top Apple Pie Cheesecake!
Apple Hand Pies
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2-1/2 cups finely chopped peeled apples
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- Step 1 In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of butter until smooth. Next gradually blend in the salt and flour until well blended to form a dough.
- Step 2 Divide the dough in half, then shape each half into a ball and flatten slightly into a disc shape. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour to firm.
- Step 3 Peel and chop the apples and add them to a large bowl. Top with allspice, cinnamon and 1/3 cup of sugar and toss to coat.
- Step 4 Remove the dough from the fridge and divide each section into 12 portions. Shape each portion into a ball. On a lightly floured surface roll each ball into a round, 4-inch mini pie crust.
- Step 5 Place a tablespoon of chopped apples on one side of the mini pie crust. Dot with butter. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of water to form an egg wash. Brush one edge of the pastry with the egg wash.
- Step 6 Fold over half of the pie crust to cover the apples and press down to seal. Crimp the edges with a fork. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Step 7 In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Brush the pie tops with the remaining egg wash and quickly sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Cut slits into the top of the pastry.
- Step 8 Bake in a 425 degree preheated oven for 11-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Enjoy!!
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I love cooking and baking with whatever local produce is in season for a few reasons. It supports our local farmers, it’s usually a whole lot cheaper (who doesn’t love saving money), but most importantly, fresh food just tastes better. It really does. And since […]