Monday, September 17, 2012

Recipe: Gee's Apple Dumplings

I got this recipe from my then mother-in-law more than a decade ago.  It's been a family favorite since the first bite!  I've made tons of substitutions over the years and basically every sub has worked ("baking Splenda" for sugar, diet soda, light crescent rolls, half the butter, etc.), but the BEST result is from the following recipe IMHO.  No more comment needed. These things are GOOD.

Gee’s Apple Dumplings
by Peggy Does Cake

1 ½ sticks butter (170 grams)
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla
2 granny smith apples (peeled, cored, and cut into eighths)
2 cans (8 count) crescent dinner rolls
12 to 16 oz. Mountain Dew 

Core and peel apples. Wrap 1 piece thoroughly in crescent roll and arrange in baking dish.

Throw first four ingredients into a heat-safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes.  Stir well and microwave another 1 minute or so, until gravy-like consistency.  It’s fine if it’s still grainy.  Pour sugar mixture over apple dumplings.  At this point, you can cover with saran wrap and refrigerate until later.

Pre-heat over to 350 degrees.  Pour 12 to 16 oz. Mountain Dew over dumplings (it looks like a lot of liquid, but that's ok) and pop in the oven.  I usually measure out about 2 cups of soda from a 2 litre bottle, but if you can find a 12 or 16 once can or bottle, that would work great.  It doesn't have to be a perfect amount.  At about 30 minutes in, take them out and baste well.  I just use a spoon.  I stir the sauce a bit first in between the dumplings to get it a bit thicker.  Then cover each dumpling generously.  Continue baking until nicely golden brown.  I’ve been known to baste more than once.  Or more than twice.  Total cooking time at my house is about 50 minutes. 

Great served warm with homemade no-churn ice cream found here.   
Dumplings are VERY rich, so I often cut the recipe in half.  

If you try these, I'd love to hear from you!  Until then, oven's on - I'll be back soon!

~ Peggy

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Recipe: Super Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These super easy chocolate chip cookies are DELECTABLE.  Just because they're easy, doesn't mean taste will suffer.  These are our household favorites for chocolate chips.

I love my Kitchen Aid, but we make this with our Viking hand-held mixer.  Trial and error has proven that works best.  ;)

2 cups self-rising flour (*gasp*)
1 and 2/3 cups firmly packed LIGHT brown sugar
1 stick (113 grams) of room temp salted butter
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 ounces)
1.  Preheat Oven to 350 F
2. Toss butter into a large glass mixing bowl and beat with hand held mixer until it begins to lose its yellow color a bit.
3. Add brown sugar, mix briefly with mixer to incorporate – don’t overmix.
4. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well with mixer. Now put the mixer away.  The rest is done by hand. (Don’t worry, it’s easy.)
5. Add about half the flour, mix in by hand – batter is soft, so this is easy.  Don’t overmix.
6. Add remaining flour, mix in by hand – mix well, but don’t needlessly overmix.
7. Add chips, fold to incorporate.
Roll into 1" balls and bake about 10 minutes or until your desired level of “doneness.”  We like to do a batch really soft and gooey, and then we like to do a batch a bit more brown and crispy. That way we have cookies for all our moods!  
These warm up beautifully in the microwave for about 13 seconds each for that "just baked" taste.

Oven’s on – I’ll be back soon!

~ Peggy
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