Friday, June 6, 2008

Samantha's Chocolate Cupcakes

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350* F. 

Line muffin pan or cupcake pan with paper cups. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  Set aside. Cream the butter and add the sugar a little at a time until well blended.

Add egg and the vanilla extract together and alternately add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) a little at a time. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.  Test with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes.  Put icing and sprinkles on top if desired. 

Edited by author 05/14/2011

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Apple Pie

This apple pie's crust is Pate Brisee, a quick and easy crust to make, which I prefer for apple pies. You can also make it from other kinds of pastry like the Puff Pastry, if you prefer.


5 Granny Smith apples and 4 delicious apples
1/2 cup dark brown sugar plus 1 tablespoon
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 Pate Brisee pastry, made beforehand and stored in the refrigerator

Bring one pastry out of the refrigerator and let stand for 10 minutes. Roll out into a 12" diameter and set into a pie pan. Fold up excess pastry hanging on the side of pan and arrange evenly around edge of pan.Cover with parchment paper and put back in the refrigerator while you work on the other pastry.

Once again, roll out the other pastry into a 12" diameter. Put on a cookie sheet lined with a parchment paper. Again, cover with parchment paper and store in the refrigerator while you work on your filling.

In a bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground black pepper together.

Peel, core, and slice all apples into about 1/4" thick. Add the sugar mixture. Mix well. 

Drain juice from apples and put in a glass measuring cup and add the butter. Microwave for 6 minutes until mixture caramelizes. Let cool.

Add cornstarch to apples and mix well. Meantime, bring out pie pan with set pastry, then poke holes on the bottom of pastry. 
Add all the sliced apples. Pour the caramel made earlier and distribute evenly on the apples.

Bring out the other pastry from the refrigerator and lay on top of the apples. folding down the excess pastry. 
With a little water, wet the top edge of the pastry at the bottom of the pan where the apples are and crimp to join pastry together. With your fingers, crimp both pastry sides together and form a wavy edge design.

Brush top of pie with egg wash and cut four 2" slits in the middle of the pie for vents. Keep in refrigerator for 1/2 hour or in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Bake at 425 degrees F for 55 minutes until golden brown or until syrup boils at the slit in the center of pie. Make sure you cover the sides (edges) of pie when baking to avoid brown crust.

*Kitchen tested by author June 4, 2008

*Edited by author 05/14/2011

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