Apple and Sweet Potato Pastry Braids

Try Apple and Sweet Potato Pastry Braids

This pretty dessert, Apple and Sweet Potato Pastry Braids, ties together an apple pie-like filling with sweet potatoes in flaky puff pastry. The result is a delightful dessert perfect to serve this season.

Mine is a family of dessert lovers. We don’t have to wait until after dinner to enjoy a sweet treat – pretty much any time will do – especially if coffee is involved.

My mom probably has the biggest sweet tooth in the family (which I definitely inherited), and since she’s in town visiting, I must have goodies at the ready.

Dig in to a few slices of Apple and Sweet Potato Pastry Braids

We were flipping through some cookbooks and found a recipe from the Anyone Can Cook Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. This recipe for Apple and Sweet Potato Pastry Braids is adapted from the Almond-Cherry Pastry Braids recipe from the book. We had apple pie on the brain and sweet potatoes on hand, so we changed the filling for this recipe and included both… apples and sweet potatoes.

Follow these steps to help prep Apple and Sweet Potato Pastry Braids

What can I say? We love this dessert and thought up about four additional options to use as filling for another time. Think seasonal and go to town. Our sweet potato and apple pie-like filling are perfect mates for this pretty (yet easy to make) pastry. Use prepared puff pastry to keep prep effort down, and to create a flaky treat.

Apple and Sweet Potato Pastry Braids are a delight

If you’re set on apple pie, try my recipe for Apple Crostata with Oat Crumble Topping. It’s a little like apple pie and a little like a tart. And the topping? Delicious!

One of our braids was eaten, pretty much immediately, while the other made the trek to the freezer. We’re going to bust it out for Thanksgiving.

There’s still time for you to make a few Apple and Sweet Potato Pastry Braids for the holiday. Or consider another filling that would make your family and friends smile.

Apple Crostata with Oat Crumble Topping
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Anyone Can Cook

Makes 2 braids

Cinnamon Pretzel Crunch Sugar Cookies

 

Cinnamon Pretzel Crunch Sugar Cookies a plate with a glass of milk

Cookies are my downfall. I could eat a bunch in one sitting. I don’t, but I could. These Cinnamon Pretzel Crunch Sugar Cookies are seriously tempting and seriously delicious. They’re chewy and crunchy, sweet, and cinnamon-spiced.

These cookies are reminiscent of Snickerdoodles – my husband’s favorite. Me? I’d pick a chocolate cookie any day of the week (along the lines of these Dark Chocolate Brownie Drop Cookies), but these have won me over. They’ve definitely won over my hubs. He can’t keep his hand off them!

Cinnamon Pretzel Crunch Sugar Cookies on two green plates

I usually try to give away the treats I make to neighbors and friends, but my husband decided to be a little greedy with these cookies. “I think we need to keep these to ourselves,” he said, not really wondering.

I came across Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips at the grocery store recently, so instead of making the traditional cinnamon-sugar favorites, I decided to do something a little different. I’d use the chips instead of ground cinnamon, and add a salty, crunchy component to the mix using crushed pretzel nuggets. And there you have Cinnamon Pretzel Crunch Sugar Cookies.

a single Cinnamon Pretzel Crunch Sugar Cookie

After putting the dough together and refrigerating it for an hour, I rolled each ball of cookie dough in sugar. I also added a few chips and pretzel pieces to the surface of the balls to be sure to carry the taste and texture from the inside of the cookies, out.

These cookies are a textural treasure and they taste amazing, too. They’re a delight any time of year, but the cinnamon chips melting inside them make them perfect for the fall.

Give these cookies a try, but you might want to make an extra batch to share.

Cinnamon Pretzel Crunch Sugar Cookies piled high

Cinnamon Pretzel Crunch Sugar Cookies
Yields 2 dozen

Frosted Mint Julep Black Bean Brownies (dairy free)

Frosted Mint Julep Black Bean Brownies (dairy free)My sister made me do it. She made me make (and eat, of course) these decadent Frosted Mint Julep Black Bean Brownies. Okay so she didn’t make me, but once she started sending me texts of a bunch of ideas for tasty treats, I couldn’t stop thinking of brownies. And mint juleps. I decided that Frosted Mint Julep Black Bean Brownies would be the bomb. They are!

Dairy-free frosted mint julep and black bean browniesThese goodies are flourless and dairy free, too. I hesitate to say they’re gluten free, only because I’m not 100 percent positive that Maker’s Mark bourbon is gluten free. I’ve read that it is, and have sent a note to the company to get a definitive answer, but haven’t yet heard back from them.

They’re dairy free because I didn’t have any eggs on hand when I started to put these together, and didn’t feel like running to the store. So I used a mixture of ground chia seeds and water to replace the eggs, and vegetable shortening instead of butter for both the brownies and the frosting. The baking chocolate is dairy free, too.

And then we have the black beans. Yes, black beans. I swear you don’t taste them in the brownies and they help add moisture and some fiber to these goodies. The chocolate frosting? Well, it literally tops off these brownies beautifully, but if you don’t want the added sweetness, give them a dusting of powdered sugar for a pretty presentation.

Dairy-free Frosted Mint Julep BrowniesSince it’s almost time for the Kentucky Derby, why not enjoy the classic flavors of a mint julep paired up with the chocolaty goodness of brownies? Frosted Mint Julep Black Bean Brownies are a winner in my book.

Frosted Mint Julep Black Bean Brownies (Dairy Free)
Yields 9 brownies

Recipe inspired by Whole Foods Market

Chocolate Beet Donuts with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

Let's hear it for Chocolate Beet Donuts with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

Here’s to good health

I’m back with my latest post after being sick for two weeks with the plague flu that’s been making its way slowly across the country, finally finding its way into my house. Get the flu shot, people. That’s what I have to say about things!

My husband and I got sick at the exact same time. Not even two or three days apart. It was basically the same day. Which meant neither of us felt like cooking or even fixing anything to eat. And for some reason, when I did want to eat, all I wanted was junk food. He finally made his way to the grocery store for us and I was like, “Bring back some chips. And donuts. And ice cream.” Weird, right?

A pile of Chocolate Beet Donuts with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

What’s it gonna be

After a while of being sick, I thought I’d be making a nice healthy salad for my next post. But I was torn (still craving sweets), and took the question my Facebook page (you should follow along if you don’t already!): “Would you like to see a salad or cake as my next post?” Cake seemed to be the winner, and who am I to deny people what they want?

Up close: Chocolate Beet Donuts with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

You can’t beat beets

While this isn’t really a cake recipe, it’s for cake-style donuts, which is close enough in my book. This recipe for chocolate beet donuts with peppermint cream cheese frosting is something to write home about. Yes, you read that right – chocolate beet donuts with peppermint cream cheese frosting (with beets added to the frosting, too).

Yummy Chocolate Beet Donuts with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ve been seeing a lot of cake recipes with beets in them, and given my recent craving for donuts, I thought I’d give these a try. The beets keep these donuts moist without making them taste like a serving of veggies (but isn’t it nice to get some extra in with your dessert?). The frosting (I adapted Joy the Baker’s recipe slightly) is speckled with beets, and comes with a nice pink tint (perfect for Valentine’s Day). It’s sweet and fluffy, and makes a great topping to these cake donuts.

Special treats

I’m sure I’ve mentioned that my dad was a fantastic baker. His donuts were amazing! They were the kind that were fried and that turned out light and airy on the inside with the sweet, crackly lemon glaze over the tops. He’d make them around the winter holidays, or for graduations or confirmations. They were special occasion donuts. I can’t help but wonder what he would think about my chocolate beet donuts with peppermint cream cheese frosting?  They’re pretty special, too!

A bowl of frosting: for Chocolate Beet Donuts with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe for Chocolate Beet Donuts with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting
Yields a baker’s dozen

 

Pumpkin-oatmeal Cookies with Creamy Goat Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin-oatmeal cookiesThis time of year, pumpkin-oatmeal cookies with creamy goat cheese frosting hit the seasonal spot! These drop cookies with their creamy topping are perfect paired with coffee, tea, or a tall glass of milk.

If you’ve been eagerly waiting for the fall so you can whip up batches of anything-and-everything pumpkin, you should add this recipe for pumpkin-oatmeal cookies with creamy goat cheese frosting to your list.

Pumpkin-oatmeal cookies with creamy goat cheese frosting

I realize that this is my third dessert recipe in a row on the blog, and that I’ve been missing for a bit. I was enjoying time in Italy (food heaven!) where I seem to have built up my sweet tooth even more. Don’t get me wrong. There was plenty of other wonderful food to enjoy, which I’ll try to recreate soon, but the “dolci” were amazing. So upon return, I’ve been indulging in goodies like pumpkin-oatmeal cookies with cream goat cheese frosting!

The frosting may sound strange but, trust me, it’s not. The goat cheese added to the mix gives these drop cookies a slight tanginess that goes perfectly with the sweetness and spices of the cookies.

Pumpkin cookies

Both the cookies and frosting are simple to make, and if you’d like, you can add dried cranberries or raisins, and even chopped nuts to the pumpkin-oatmeal cookies with creamy goat cheese frosting. I even thought of adding grated carrot, which I might try next time.

So here’s to sweets, and sweets of the season. Whip up your pumpkin goodies while we’re still enjoying the fall!

Recipe for Pumpkin-oatmeal Cookies with Creamy Goat Cheese Frosting
Makes 4 dozen