Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Magic bars

To be honest, I think they might just be magic.  This delicious bars are so easy I think my girls could have made them all by themselves.

Magic Bars

1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c. butter (melted)
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips (I like to mix white and milk chocolate)
1 c. chopped/sliced nuts (almonds, pecans or walnuts, really anything)
1 1/2 c. flaked coconut
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Mix the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a bowl until combined then press into a 9x13 greased pan.  You can mix the dry ingredients and then evenly place them over the crust or one by one add them.  We sprinkled the chocolate chips over, then the nuts, then the coconut on top and slightly press/flatten down.  Open the can of sweetened condensed milk, and drizzle evenly over all the toppings (you can use a spoon or just pour straight out of the can).  Just make sure to keep a slow drizzle so that you evenly distribute it.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  The top and edges should start to brown.  Let cool before you cut them.  

My photo shoot buddy :)

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Monday, April 4, 2016

Blueberry Mango Pie

My new favorite, especially for spring.  

For an 8 or 9 inch pie
For a 9 inch pie I have to adjust the recipe so that I still have a full pie.  Also, for a lattice crust, or if you want extra dough for braiding or any add ons, you will need more dough.

Pie Crust Recipe:
2 c. flour
½ t. salt
¼ c. sugar
2/3 c. shortening
8-9 T. cold water

For detailed directions of my 
pie crust.

Fruit Filling:
5 c. berries/mangos (1-2 cups mango, 3-4 cups blueberries)
1 c. sugar
2 T. flour
3 T. cornstarch
1/4 t. salt

For the fruit, I use frozen, but let it sit out for a little while (maybe 30-45 minutes) before using it.   In a separate mixing bowl, mix the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Mix in the fruit.  I like to mash some of the berries (maybe ½ c.) to help absorb and mix the sugar mixture.  If you were using blackberries, which is what I originally used this recipe for, the berries break while you mix it and you don’t have to worry about it, but you want it to incorporate.   Add the berry mixture to the empty pie crust, and spread evenly to the edges.
Cover pie with top rolled out crust. Roll the edges in to seal in the berries and design the edges however you prefer. The top should have some kind of an opening to allow air to be released, use any design you prefer for that as well, with a knife, just deep enough to cut the crust.  You can use an egg wash over the crust if you would like and sprinkle it with sugar, or just leave it dry. 
Bake at 375 for about 50-60 minutes. The edges of pies have a tendency to burn, so you may need to use a pie crust saver, or just foil will work fine. You can cover almost the entire top and edges with foil, just as long as you cut a hole in the center, to allow air to flow. The pie is almost done once the filling begins to bubble through the cut made in the crust (let bake for 5-10 minutes after you notice a bubbling edge).

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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Lemon Meringue Pie

I need to give my mother credit for a majority of this recipe, as well as the pie crust. I'm not sure where she originally got it from, but she's been using it for years and I owe my love of pie making to her :)

Lemon curd:
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 T. cornstarch
3 T. flour
dash of salt
1 1/2 c. hot water

3 egg yolks
2 T. butter
1 t. lemon zest
1/3 c. lemon juice

5 egg whites
1/4 t. cream of tartar
6 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla


From my pie crust recipe (only use half because this is for one lemon meringue pie) cook the crust on 425 for 10-15 minutes, until edges are slightly golden. Before cooking you will need to fork the bottom of the crust a few times, and also either fill with pie beans or use a few pieces of foil to use as a form for the pie. The crust will collapse if there is nothing keeping it up around the edges.

For the Lemon Curd: In a saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, flour, and salt; gradually add hot water, stirring constantly, over high heat. Cook until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Slightly beat egg yolks and stir a small amount of hot mixture into them. Add spoonful at a time of the hot mixture to the egg yolks, stirring the whole time. Now mix the egg yolk mixture into the hot mixture. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Take off heat; add butter and lemon zest. Slowly add lemon juice, mixing well. Pour into cooked pastry shell.

For the Meringue: In a mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks from, about 5 minutes. Add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla and mix until completely combined, just a few more seconds. Spread meringue over filling. Use a spoon to seal the meringue to the edge of the crust and to create a wave over the top. You don't want to have a peaks to high, because they could possibly burn.

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, until the meringue is golden brown. Check about midway through and make sure the tops of the meringue peaks are not getting too brown, if so, take down the temperature of the oven to about 320.

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