Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


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Cherry Slab Pie

Tradition with a twist; sweet cherries surrounded by flaky pie crust, baked in a sheet pan and drizzled with a lemony glaze becomes a tasty Cherry Slab Pie – perfect for any summertime celebration.

Cherry Slab Pie @ SweetBakedLife

As I drive through the streets in my neighborhood, American flags are proudly swaying in the ever so gentle breeze. Families are preparing to celebrate our great nation by coming together with food, festivities and fun!

Kids will be jumping in pools while parents and friends will be chatting with ease. Hot dogs, hamburgers and the like will be prepared outside on a hot grill as the sun beats down on everyone.

Visions of cherry pie, apple pie and s’mores swirl in the imagination of the cooks. Will they go the traditional route, or will they surprise their guests with a new variation of the favored treat?

Cherry Slab Pie @ SweetBakedLife

The sound of the hard-working air conditioner will hum in the background as lively music floats through the air. Some will dance, some will swim and all will have a good time.

And every once in a while, one may seek shelter in the cool comfort inside, where sweet treats and freshly prepared side dishes sit happily on the counter tops waiting to be devoured.

The warmth of the day will spill into the evening. Some will attend perfectly timed displays of fireworks where large crowds come together and partake in the celebration, while others will find comfort in making memories of their own by lighting up the night sky with sparkles, loud sounds, and beautiful visions.

Cherry Slab Pie @ SweetBakedLife

Memories of red-white and blue decorations, clothing, food and parades dance in my mind.

It seems like only yesterday that we painstakingly wrapped our bikes with streamers and took part in the community’s annual parade. There were floats, bikes, dogs, and people walking. There was even a beauty queen wearing a sparkly crown and waiving to the spectators as she sat a top a glimmering convertible car.

This is home. This is family. This is old memories being rekindled and new memories being made. This is life. Share and treasure it.

Cherry Slab Pie @ SweetBakedLife

CHERRY SLAB PIE

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

by: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Cherry Slab Pie @SweetBakedLife

Ingredients:

For the Pie
2 packages Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened
6 cups frozen cherries, thawed and drained
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons heavy cream

For the Glaze
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons milk

Instructions:

Heat your oven to 375 degrees.

After the cherries are thawed and drained, add them to a large bowl along with the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Gently stir to combine and set aside.

Open one package of pie crust and unroll the two crusts; placing one on top of the other. Roll them out together on a lightly floured surface to create a rectangle that is slightly larger than your sheet pan. Transfer to a 15×10-inch rimmed baking sheet and gently press down into pan. Then pour the cherry mixture on top of the crust.

Repeat the process for the second package of pie crust. Gently place over the cherries. Pinch the edges of the bottom crust and the top crust together. With a fork, use the tines to crimp the edges, as well prick the top of the crust all over. Brush with heavy cream.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool – about 1 hour.

For the glaze, add the confectioner’s sugar, lemon juice, and milk. Stir until smooth. You may need to add a bit more lemon or milk until you get the consistency you like. With a spoon drizzle the glaze over the top of the pie. Slice into squares and enjoy!

Cherry Slab Pie @ SweetBakedLife

Now, as this homemade Cherry Slab Pie is eaten with glee, good times will be remembered.

Happy 4th of July! Happy Summer!

Sheila

 

{Recipe inspired by Martha Stewart}

 

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Key Lime Pie

Take a break from the summertime heat with this cool and refreshing Key Lime Pie!

Cool and refreshing Key Lime Pie | Sweet Baked Life

Many years ago, my husband and I were watching Oprah. Ok, let me say, this did not happen much — I think I was home sick and we were flipping through the channels.

We stumbled upon The Oprah Winfrey Show where a chef was just about to make his famous Key Lime Pie. My eyes were glued to the TV as he quickly whipped together this beautiful pie.

With my mouth still watering, I clicked onto Oprah’s website and printed out the recipe. I stuck it in my recipe binder and there it stayed.

Cool and refreshing Key Lime Pie | Sweet Baked Life

For some reason, I never made the pie. Not sure why.

I always knew I wanted to make it. Maybe it was because I had never seen fresh Key limes before. Or maybe I was just not looking. Does this ever happen to you — you find a great recipe and never make it?

I had seen Key lime juice in a bottle, but knew for sure I did not want to use that stuff. I’m sure its good, but not good enough for this pie.

Cool and refreshing Key Lime Pie | Sweet Baked Life

A couple of weeks ago my husband told me that he saw Key limes at our local grocery store.

I immediately said, “Well, that means I need to make a Key Lime Pie.”

And that is exactly what I did. I flipped through my binder, found the recipe and off to the store I went.

Cool and refreshing Key Lime Pie | Sweet Baked Life

And the outcome — a sweet and tangy flavor, a crisp delicious graham crust, and the filling — a wonderfully cool and creamy texture.

Afterwards I continued to wonder why had I never made this amazingly easy, and incredibly satisfying pie before.

Who knows. But I have made it twice and both times it turned out perfect.

I believe the fresh Key limes are the secret ingredient. They are smaller, juicier and have more distinct, intense flavor than regular limes. I hope your grocer has Key limes so you can enjoy this pie as much as me and my family did!

Cool and refreshing Key Lime Pie | Sweet Baked Life

Key Lime Pie

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:

Graham Cracker Crust
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Filling
4 egg yolks
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup fresh Key lime juice
Freshly grated zest from 1 Key lime

Instructions:

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust: Place 2 packages of graham crackers into a large zip-lock baggie, seal and crush with a rolling pin until you get coarse crumbs. Measure 1-1/2 cups and add to a large bowl. Add the melted butter, sugar and salt and stir until combined. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack while you prepare the filling.

For the filling: In a large bowl add the egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk and whisk until well combined. Add the Key lime juice and whisk until mixture becomes thick then pour into the prepared crust. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the filling has just set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours. Slice and serve.

Cool and refreshing Key Lime Pie | Sweet Baked Life

Get ready to dig into summer with a big slice or two of this sweet and creamy Key Lime Pie!

Sheila

 

{Recipe adapted from The Oprah Winfrey Show}


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Snickerdoodle Apple Crumble

Warm up on a cold and rainy day with a big serving of this satisfyingly delicious Snickerdoodle Apple Crumble.

Snickerdoodle Apple Crumble | Sweet Baked Life

Yeah…and this is much needed around here! You see, my family had been taking turns with being sick. First it was my son. Poor kiddo was sick right before his winter break and had to endure finals while feeling miserable. Then my husband got the crud about a week later. And me, well, it finally hit me after all of the holiday celebrations and I still have the darn lingering cough!

For almost four weeks our household has been sluggish and under-the-weather. What about you guys? Anyone else sick out there? It’s also been raining here off and on, at times with hard rain and strong wind — not that I really like storms, but we so need the rain in Northern California! And today is no exception; forecast is for heavy rain the entire day.

So, for me, there’s nothing better than having a warm and wonderful treat to enjoy and to take the chill off your cold and tired bones!

Snickerdoodle Apple Crumble | Sweet Baked Life

That’s where this Snickerdoodle Apple Crumble comes into play. This recipe is pretty much an apple crumble, however I decided to replace my standard crumble topping with a snickerdoodle topping that is really out-of-this-world good!

Instead of the flour I normally use for my crumble topping, I added the contents of a boxed snickerdoodle cookie. And it worked. It brought that unique cinnamon/sugar flavor to a whole new level when combined with the tart apples.

Warm. Satisfying. Easy. Addicting!

Snickerdoodle Apple Crumble | Sweet Baked Life

Snickerdoodle Apple Crumble

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Snickerdoodle Apple Crumble | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:
1 box (17.5 oz.) Krusteaz Snickerdoodle Cookie mix plus the cinnamon/sugar topping included
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
4 Granny Smith apples, pealed, cored and rough chopped

Instructions:
Turn your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl add the cookie mix and cinnamon/sugar topping, oats and brown sugar and mix to combine. Pour the melted butter on top of the mixture and using a fork, lightly fluff until blended (until soft clumps form, do not over mix).

Put the chopped apples in the bottom of a 11×17-inch baking dish. Then evenly sprinkle the cookie mixture on top. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until hot and the apples are bubbling.

Cool slightly then scoop onto plate or bowl. Can be served warm or cold.

Snickerdoodle Apple Crumble | Sweet Baked Life

So if you’re in need of a little sweet warmth to make you feel better, this Snickerdoodle Apple Crumble is the way to go!

Happy rainy day!

Sheila


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Chocolate Caramel Twix Tart

Caramel and chocolate — the perfect combination. Well, yes, in my mind. And if you love Twix Candy Bars like I do, you will LOVE this incredibly decadent Chocolate Caramel Twix Tart. It’s got a buttery shortbread crust layered with gooey caramel and delectable milk chocolate ganache — and it really does taste just like a Twix Candy Bar!

Chocolate Caramel Twix Tart

You see Twix Bars have been one of my all-time favorite candy bars for a long time. I adore the incredible flavor combination of chocolate and caramel. And when I came across a recipe made as a tart of this treasured sweet bar, I knew I had to make it! Even though this Chocolate Caramel Twix Tart recipe looks long and involved, once you read through it you will discover that it really quite simple to put together. So please don’t be put off by how long the recipe seems. As if you know me, I am all into quick and simple recipes! Trust me, if you give it a try, you’ll want to make it again and again!

Chocolate Caramel Twix Tart

The original recipe called for a rectangular tart pan — something I did not have. So I improvised and decided to use my 9-inch round tart pan. I was ready for my Twix candy bar tart challenge — and hoped for the best with the outcome. You start by making an easy buttery shortbread crust, while that is baking, you create some rich, hot caramel on your stove-top, this is then poured over the baked and cooled crust. The last part is not only super easy, but the milk chocolate ganache is pure delight…I could eat this stuff by the spoonful, however I refrained and poured it over the set caramel.

Can we say AMAZING! This recipe got rave reviews both at home and at my office. When I brought it into the office I actually cut it into rectangular pieces so it looked similar to Twix bars. And I was I was even praised by one guy at my office who told me this Chocolate Caramel Twix Tart was the “best thing I had ever made” and proceeded to tell me, “you can make this anytime and bring it in.” This person went for seconds and thirds — I was impressed and I guess he was too!

Chocolate Caramel Twix Tart

Chocolate Caramel Twix Tart
(recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)

For the Shortbread Crust:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the Caramel Filling:
1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon heavy cream
4-1/2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces

For the Milk Chocolate Ganache:
8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
5 tablespoons heavy cream

First, make the Shortbread crust:
In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar and salt. Then toss in the pieces of butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand (with no large pieces of butter remaining). This should take about 6-8 pulses. Add the beaten egg a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. Once you have added all of the egg, process until the dough forms large clumps (about 10 seconds).

Place the dough into an 8 or 9-inch round tart pan and using your fingers, press dough into an even layer all over the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. Place the dough-lined pan in your freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat your to 375 degrees. Remove the crust from the freezer and pierce the dough all over with a fork. Then cover the crust with aluminum foil, pressing the foil tightly against the crust and covering the sides. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Carefully remove the foil. If the tart has puffed up , press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and place the tart pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Second, make the Caramel Filling:
In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk, stirring to combine until the sweetened condensed milk is melted and incorporated into the cream. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

Place the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium saucepan and warm over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts. Increase the heat to medium and cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 250 degrees on a candy or instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, then carefully pour in the cream mixture (note, the caramel will bubble up when doing this so please be careful!). Return to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until it reaches 240 degrees. Immediately pour the caramel into the shortbread crust and allow to cool and set completely, this will take about 30-40 minutes.

Third, make the Milk Chocolate Ganache:
Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl and set aside. Place the heavy cream in a small saucepan and bring to a rapid simmer over medium heat, then pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 2 minutes, then stir until completely smooth. Pour the ganache over the caramel layer, spreading it into an even layer with an offset spatula if necessary. Refrigerate the tart for at least 30 minutes to allow the ganache to set. Allow the tart to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. Remove the tart from the pan, slice and serve.

Chocolate Caramel Twix Tart

I could hardly wait for this beauty to be ready to eat. It was defiantly calling my name. Cutting into this rich tart made my heart flutter and from the very first bite, I was hooked. Oh, the amazingly soft and flakey shortbread crust, with gobs of rich and silky caramel smothered in sweet heavenly ganache – I think I immediately went to cloud 9!

Sheila

 

Featured on #Show Stopper Saturday via Simply Gloria; 8 Caramel Recipes!