Friday, September 28, 2012

Honey Glazed Fig & Mascarpone Tart

There is just something so beautiful about figs. Maybe it's their deep dark purple or pop of green color, or  maybe it's their sweet ripe taste, but when you combine this intriguing fruit with the sweet and creamy taste of mascarpone cheese and honey in a buttery flaky crust, the results are phenomenal. Yes, this Honey Glazed Fig & Mascarpone Tart just so happens to be a pure dream in the form of a dessert. I have to admit, I used a pre-made crust for this tart, and you could of course make your own, but part of the beauty behind this dessert is that it's so simple and easy to throw together!


1 pre-made pie crust, thawed
1 cup mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12-15 sliced fresh figs, purple or green or both!
extra honey for drizzling


Place the dough into the tart pan and use your fingers to lightly press it along the bottom, sides, and edges of the pan. Cut any excess dough by pressing it on the edge of the tart pan. Refrigerate dough for 20 minutes while the oven preheats to 350 degrees.

Remove the tart pan from the refrigerator. Line the unbaked crust with a sheet of foil or parchment paper, covering all sides. Fill the pan with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans from the pan and bake for another 6 minutes, or until crust looks dry and is a pale golden yellow color. Remove the pie from the oven and let the shell cool completely.

In a medium bowl combine mascarpone cheese and sour cream. Beat together with a spatula. Add the honey and vanilla extract and stir to combine.

Once the crust is completely cool, spread the filling evenly across the bottom of the tart. Arrange the sliced figs in a circular pattern on top of the filling. Drizzle with honey just before serving.

Recipe Adapted from Joy the Baker

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Spiced Caramel Apple Pie for #SundaySupper

Yesterday marked the first day of Fall. My absolute favorite season. I love the crisp morning air, the changing color of the leaves, cozy sweaters, scarves, and boots. But most of all I love the food! The month of September marks the beginning of apple season, so we took a trip to the apple orchard. When I got home I had so many ideas for what to make with all of our fresh picked apples. Lucky for me, this weeks #SundaySupper theme just so happens to be an Autumn Apple Party!

So what did I decide to make? This pie...

Not just any ordinary apple pie, but a Spiced Caramel Apple Pie with all of the tastes of Fall!


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 sticks cold butter, diced
1 large egg
3 to 4 tablespoons very cold water

1/2 lemon
3 pounds baking apples (about 6 apples), such as Golden Delicious
2/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the pie
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup soft caramels, cut into pieces


Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Rub 1/4 cup of the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers until completely absorbed. Then rub in the remaining butter until it looks like cornmeal mixed with pea-size bits of butter. If it gets warm and sticky, refrigerate it to chill.

Beat the egg with 3 tablespoons of the water, then drizzle it evenly over the dough. Lightly stir the dough together with a fork. The dough should just hold together with some dry crumbly bits. If the dough is really dry sprinkle it with 1 tablespoon of water.

Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap and shape into disks. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Finely grate the lemon zest, and set aside. Peel, core and slice the apples into 1/2-inch slices. Squeeze the lemon juice over the fruit (this will help it from getting brown), then toss with the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fruit and cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the juices simmer, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and cook uncovered until the fruit softens and the juices evaporate some, about 10 minutes. Evenly mix the flour into the fruit, then cook about a minute more till the juices thicken slightly. Stir in the vanilla and lemon zest, and remove from the heat. The filling should look similar to a tight compote. Cool completely.

Assemble the pie:
Lightly dust the work surface with flour. Roll a disk of dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie pan, trimming so it hangs about a 1/2-inch over the edge of the pan. Fill the crust with the prepared fruit so that it mounds slightly in the center. Top the fruit evenly with the pieces of caramel. Roll the remaining dough into a 12-inch circle. Brush the rim of the crust with some egg.

Roll the dough onto the rolling pin and unroll it over the fruit so it hangs over the edge of the pie pan by about 1/2-inch. Trim the crust if needed. Fold the top crust edge under the bottom one, then press the edges together to seal. Flute the crust by pressing a finger into the crust against the other hands finger and thumb to make an impression. Repeat around every 1/2 inch of the pie to create a ruffled edge. Refrigerate the pie for about 20 minutes.

Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.

Brush the pie with egg and sprinkle with sugar. Cut 6 to 8 small steam vents into the top of the dough. Place the pie on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375 degrees. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 50 minutes more. If the edges begin to brown too quickly, cut a pie shield out of a piece of aluminum foil and cover the edges.

Allow the pie to cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Adapted from BHG

Check out the rest of the Autumn Apple Party menu for even more ideas for how to use up your fresh apples!

Soups, Salads, Starters and Breads
Cinnamon Apple Chips- Shockingly Delicious
Apple Celery Salad- In the Kitchen with Audrey and Maurene
Mini Apple Pumpkin Pancakes – The Daily Dish Recipes
Overnight Apple Cinnamon French Toast- In the Kitchen with KP
Curried Apple and Leek Soup-Soni’s Food for Thought
Endive Spears Topped With Apple, Blue Cheese and Hazelnut Salad- The Hand That Rocks the Ladle
Homemade Apple Jam – My Trials in the Kitchen
Caramel Apple Butter Cheesecake Dip- Chocolate Moosey
Caramel Apple Bread – famfriendsfood
Apple Pie Bread Baker Street
Apple, Bacon & Brie Popovers- I Run for Wine
Apple and Almond Brie Puff Pastry- Family Foodie
Apple, Leek and Gruyere Tarts- There and Back Again
Main Meals
Slow Cooker Honey Apple Pork Loin- The Meltaways
Apple-Glazed Meatballs- The Messy Baker
Apples & Buttons (Ham, Apples and Dumplings)- Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Skillet Pork with Sweet Spiced Apples- Mama Mommy Mom
Chicken Apple Meatloaf with Tarragon Tomato Sauce – Diabetic Foodie
Baked Tilapia Apple Crisp- Daddy Knows Less
Pork Tenderloin with Calvados Cream Sauce Sustainable Dad
#SundaySupper Pulled Pork Sandwich With Pickled Red Onions Kwistin’s Favorites
Harvest Rice- Webicurean
Wild Rice with Apples, Dried Cranberries, and Walnuts – Ruffles and Truffles
Apple Topped Sweet Potato Mash- Momma’s Meals
Warm Spice Pecan Raisin Apple Chutney- Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
Double Apple Pot Pie- What Smells So Good?
Apple Walnut Coffee Cake- The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
Apple Streusel Cobbler- Big Bear’s Wife
Apple & Moroccan Cinnamon Gooey Sticky Buns- Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends
Spiced Caramel Apple Pie-Chelsea’s Culinary Indulgence
Apple Pear Kuchen for #SundaySupper (Apfel Birnen Kuchen)- Galactosemia in PDX
Apple Strudel - Magnolia Days
Old Fashioned Apple Crisp with Caramel Sauce-Noshing with the Nolands
Apple Cheesecake- Vintage Kitchen
Caramel Apple Crumble Bars- Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks
Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting- From Fast Food to Fresh Food
Cinnamon Apple Dessert Chimichangas- Juanita’s Cocina
Nutella Apple Quesadilla- Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
Apple Crisp Ice Cream- Cravings of a Lunatic
Bavarian Apple Torte- The Lovely Pantry
Streusel Apple Crumb Pie + Pie Freezer Kits- Meal Planning Magic
French Apple Cobbler with Cinnamon-Maple Whipped Cream Weekend Gourmet
Chunky Apple-Apricot Bread Pudding- Comfy Cuisine
Apple Butter Spice Cake – Home Cooking Memories
Apple Pie and Custard- Happy Baking Days
#GlutenFree Deep Dish Carmel Apple Pie- Cooking Underwriter
Apple Brownies That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Country Apple Dumplings- Mom’s Test Kitchen
Apple-Gingersnap Cookies- Tora’s Real Food
Apple and Cranberry Turnovers- Flour on my Face
Applesauce Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze- Hip Foodie Mom
Caramel Frosted Apple Cookies- No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
Apple and Pecans Cake- Basic N Delicious
Apple Pull Apart Monkey Bread- Gotta Get Baked
Spiced Apple Ale Small Wallet Big Appetite
Apple Chia Tea- Pippi’s in the Kitchen Again

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Guest Post - Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hi guys! I'm so sorry I haven't had the chance to stop in and say hello! What's been keeping me away from you all is my adjustment to going back to work after some time off. I am so happy to be back to doing what I love, and while I'm getting used to my new schedule, I thought I would introduce you to one of my newest foodie friends, Kayle from The Cooking Actress! Not only is this girl so funny and sweet, but with one look at her blog you'll instantly be drooling over all of her fabulous recipes! Like these cookies for example...

Lets just say I know what I'll be making this weekend...a big batch of these delicious cookies!

And here she is!

Hi all! My name is Kayle and I'm visiting from my lil' blog The Cooking Actress. I'm a 20-something actress (in case you couldn't guess) and I live in NYC with my boyfriend (and food-eater), Michael. I'm so happy to be here guest posting for Chelsea while she adjusts to her commute to work! I've only been following Chelsea for the past few months, but I immediately felt like we were friends. For one thing-we're like, around the same age. For another--hello delicious food, my name is Kayle, nice to meet you. I've already posted on my blog that Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Pie she shared. It's my boyfriend's favorite, so, you know, he loves Chelsea now too. She's just so sweet and fun and has such great food to share! You love her too, obviously, so you know. :)

Oh yeah and in case that wasn't enough, this picture shows that we're obvs. meant to be friends:

Our blog photos are so danged similar! It's cray cray! 

Anyway, on to the cookies!

 I love cookies. a borderline unhealthy level. 

These cookies are pure joy. Happiness in a baked good. I already have an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe on my site, but this one is better. It's almost exactly the same except for these are bigger (and bigger is better in the world of food), and are made with browned butter. I may have posted a few recipes before, featuring the stuff. If you're unfamiliar: brown butter is what happens when you cook butter until it turns brown. And for some reason...this makes it amazing. It adds a complex and caramel-y and extra buttery flavor to whatever you put it in. It pretty much just takes everything to another level. And I'm in love with it. And these cookies. Fall is right around the corner and, I don't know about you, but fall makes me want to curl up on the couch, watch trashy TV, and eat cookies. These cookies are perfect for just such an occasion. They're oatmeal and full of chocolate chips which makes them comfort food at it's best. And they have all the warmth and flavor from the brown butter, leaving you feeling decadent and pampered. In that I'm talking about them...I could go for a cookie...

Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 15-18 cookies.
·         ½ cup (1 stick or 8 tbsp.) unsalted butter
·         ½ cup granulated sugar
·         ½ cup loosely packed brown sugar
·         1 egg
·         2 tsp. vanilla extract
·         1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
·         ¾ cup rolled oats
·         ¼ tsp. salt
·         ½ tsp. baking powder
·         1 ½  tsp. ground cinnamon
·         ¾ chocolate chunks/chips
·         1-2 tbsp. milk, if needed (I didn't)

·         Preheat thr oven to 375 degrees. Prepare baking sheet(s) with parchment paper/silpat.
·         In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, and whisk continuously as it bubbles and foams and eventually brown bits begin to form at the bottom of the pan. (This should take around 5 minutes). Once it browns, remove from heat immediately, and allow to cool completely--not until it solidifies, but just until it is room temperature, and no longer warm.
·         In a medium bowl combine flour, oats salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.
·         Pour cooled butter into a large bowl.
·         Whisk the sugars into the butter until smooth.
·         Whisk the egg and vanilla extract into the butter mixture.
·         Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. May need to use your hands to combine. If dough is too crumbly, add milk.
·         Fold in chocolate.
·         Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
·         Form dough into 1 ½ in. balls, and place 2 in. apart on baking sheet.
·         Bake 10-12 minutes, until the bottoms are a golden brown.
·         Allow to cool. Then, stuff your face with cookies. :)

Yes...I took that bite out of that cookie.
And I don't regret it.

And thank you all so much for allowing me to talk to you on Chelsea's wonderful blog, and I'm sure you all agree with my hope that she gets back in that kitchen to whip up more yummies for us, soon! 

Thank you so much Kayle for sharing these awesome cookies with us! Please make sure you stop by Kayle's fabulous Blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest and show her some love!