Category: butter

A Rustic Apple Tarte Tatin

Even though the weather might say otherwise, apple season is in full bloom! Never having been a traditional apple pie kind of girl, I’ve always enjoyed showcasing my freshly picked apples in something slightly out-of-the-ordinary. Whether it is my go-to German apple cake, or cinnamon and spice apple sauce, apple desserts are the epitome of fall comfort food. When I saw that Canadian Living’s October issue was going to feature the “Ultimate Tarte Tatin”, I knew that I had to try it out!

This exquisite tart combines warm skillet apples with a buttery, salty caramel and a melt-in-your-mouth flaky pastry shell. Oh, even writing this description makes my mouth water! A word of warning: make sure to invite someone over when you make this, because you will eat the entire thing in one sitting.

Some tips from the pastry kitchen:

Do NOT overwork your dough. It will come together crumbly, and that’s good! If you work it too much, you may end up making a dough that is tough and chewy, missing out on the flaky, delicate texture that it is meant to have.

DO chill your dough before rolling it out.

DO flour your work surface. And your rolling pin.

DO use granny smith apples as suggested. I made the mistake of using another variety and they nearly turned into apple sauce. While it will still be tasty, you won’t end up with the prettiest of tarts.

DO make this recipe, and do enjoy yourself! Though it takes a little while to complete, it is very, very worth it.

Oh, and a nifty bonus: your kitchen will smell divine!
To get the full recipe, visit Canadian Living’s website here.

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Crunch Time (Toffee Cookie Bars)

I’ve gone and done it.
I’ve made the most addictive dessert in the world.

Are you familiar with the crispy perimeter of a home-baked chocolate chip cookie? You know, I’m talking about that little crunchy bit that surrounds the cookie, the part that kinda taste like toffee? Alright, well even if you don’t know what I’m going on about, you should know that it’s some extremely delicious stuff. So, what if I told you that you can (easily) make this crunchy toffee deliciousness into it’s very own thing? Yeah, well you can. And I’m going to show you how!

This dessert is a gigantic winner in my books for a handful of reasons. For one, it’s super fast to prepare, and even faster to clean up. Second, this treat satisfies my cookie craving without the whole lengthy rolling-dough-into-balls part of the process. Third, this sweet stuff tastes like heaven! This recipe yields a large quantity but requires little effort, making it a great option for a bakesale, or to give as an edible gift to someone special. 

Disclaimer: this recipe is not recommended for those with weak self-control.

Toffee Cookie Bars
an original recipe, inspired by piece of cake blog

what you’ll need
1 cup white sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup desiccated coconut (very finely shredded)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp coarse ground sea salt
1/2 cup add-ins (chocolate chips or nuts of your choice)

how to do it
Preheat your oven to 350F. (My oven is hardcore, so I heat mine to only 340. Adjust yours as necessary. These burn easily.)

Melt butter with sugar in microwave, for about one minute. Stir until well blended. Mixture should be shiny and smooth. Stir in vanilla and coconut. Slowly stir in flour and salt. Toss with your add-ins.
Pour onto parchment-lined 9×13 cookie sheet and spread out evenly. (The mixture should be spread quite thin, that’s the idea!) Bake for 20 minutes, or until top begins to be golden brown.

Remove from oven, and slice into rectangles while still hot – this is important, as once these cool, they are no longer easy to slice!

Let cool completely (this will allow them to harden and become even more delicious!)
Enjoy… over and over and over again.

Unusual Happenings (Butternut Squash Cake)

I have a serious disability: I am completely unable to go into a grocery store and buy only one item. Even if I only go there with the intention of buying one thing – I won’t take a cart, and won’t even grab a basket… I just can’t help myself! The bright fresh produce, the meal ideas racing though my mind as I stroll down the aisles… It’s all too good. Tonight, it started with flour. I needed flour. Simple. Quick. Flour. I know what aisle it’s in. I could have gone straight there. But it was all over when I saw the strategically placed peaches. On sale. I could use some fruit! You know, I should probably look at what else is on sale, just out of curiosity… what’s this big red flashy sign? 99 cents a pound for butternut squash? Well, I have always wanted to try it. But what would I do with it? I’d figure that out later.

And then, I had a gourd epiphany.

Butternut squash cake. Don’t wince. Don’t cringe. Don’t question. Just try it. Love it. And never doubt me.


Butternut Squash Cake
an original recipe by Allison Sklar

what you’ll need
• 1 cup cooked butternut squash, mashed
• (see instructions below)
• ½ cup butter
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1 tbsp vanilla
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• ¼ tsp baking soda
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• Other spices optional

how to do it
Squash prep: Microwave half of a medium sized butternut squash, wrapped in a paper towel, for about 4 minutes, until rind begins to soften. Remove from microwave, peel off rind, cut squash into cubes and return to microwave for another 7 minutes or until tender enough to mash. Return to microwave for 2 more minutes with 2 tbsp water and a pat of butter or margarine. Measure out 1 cup of the mash, and cool in freezer for about 10 minutes.
Cake: Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well. Add squash and oil. Combine dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour, 10 minutes.

(pictures may or may not come later… there isn’t much of this deliciousness left.)