Monday, November 24, 2014

Life Doesn't Truly Begin until That First Taste of Cake

Is there anything greater than your very first taste of cake? I mean, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and venture a yes, because before that occurs, most of us are eating flavorless mush for the majority of our existence. But then, something magical happens. A first birthday, full of presents and a whole bunch of other stuff you won't remember until you're old enough for your parents to embarrass you with the video of said party. But I can guarantee the look on your face when you're given that first bite of cake is spectacular. So when my sister asked me to bake and decorate my niece's first birthday cake, I couldn't deny her that moment. I saw Aurie get to try a lot of firsts over the weekend, like eggs, cow milk, and ham. She was not a fan of ham. I think if she had been offered ham's gateway drug--bacon--things would've gone down a little differently. I'm happy to report that she was, however, a fan of her red velvet sock monkey birthday cake.
Oh the places you'll go..wait..that's not right. I was looking for a Curious George reference.
Aurie's party was a sock monkey party. Somewhere along the way, my mom started associating sock monkeys with my sister, Sarah. No one is really sure why, so, in turn, Sarah decided sock monkeys were going to start being Aurie's thing. The perks of motherhood, right? I, for one, find monkeys absolutely terrifying, so I had to remind myself a few times that I was completely in control of this sock monkey, and at no point was it going to come to life and try to chew my face off. Maybe its just the Great Ape family I'm scared of...I would totally keep a Lemur on my shoulder at all times if it was 1. Appropriate and 2. Cost effective. Instead, let me show you how to bake a sock monkey red velvet cake this actually is 1. Appropriate and 2.Cost effective.
I was cooking in someone else's kitchen, and forgot to take pictures before this while I was looking for stuff.
Since I was driving in from Clovis to Dallas, I did not have enough days to make a red velvet from scratch, which is a shame, because my mother has a sinfully delish recipe. So this is just from the box, but I used milk instead of water, an extra egg, and butter instead of oil, with the amount doubled. This yields an absolutely radiant red color that water and oil simply could not.  I baked- at sea level, thankyouverymuch- at 350 for about 35 minutes. Other people's ovens...I've mastered my own oven's temper tantrums, so cooking in another kitchen is always both a little exciting and terrifying. If the cake had sucked, I totally could've just blamed it on this conundrum.
I never claimed to be a master drawer, but a plan of attack is always helpful.
For most of my cakes, I draw a really simple sketch of what's bouncing around in my head. I tell my students never to start an essay without doing prewriting to figure out what's going where, so I think this is life imitating art. I actually bough map pencils for this sketch. Map pencils were arguably my favorite school supply of all time, aside from the super fat crayons you had in kindergarten.  I made my classic white frosting with almond extract while the cakes cooled. 
So red. So slightly overcooked. So not my oven.
Make sure to put a thick layer of frosting between your rounds, and do a heavier crumb coat. This is a red cake, and red will show through layer upon layer of white frosting. I forgot to take a picture of my crumb coat because I was distracted by gift opening in the other room. When I hear the sound of rustling wrapping paper, its like a moth to a flame.
Get back in the kitchen and make my cake, Aunt Kate.
While my crumb coat was freezing for a half an hour (or longer would be even better to settle the red crumbs), I made my dyed decorator frostings. I used open-star tips for the decoration- Wilton 18 and 21 tips. For the writing, I used a Wilton 6, which is just a large, open round tip.
Mixing dyed frosting is the bane of my existence.
Once my crumb coat was done, I slathered on a hearty amount of frosting to try to cover all the red crumbs. I wish I could tell you this was a complete success, but there were still a few crumbs here and there. Thankfully one year olds aren't the world's toughest critics. I mean, everything she eats gets pureed and looks like cat puke. I froze my cake again for thirty minutes. Then I used the paper towel trick to smooth out my frosting. I brought my trusty Viva paper towels all the way from home. I can't live without the paper towel trick. I finally got to show my mom the witchcraft that is the paper towel trick. It is so easy, I'm pretty sure I will always refuse to learn fondant. Smooth and it tastes like a dream? Done and done! Now, let's get to that funky monkey. Sock monkey. Whatever.
I started by drawing my monkey's face and Aurie's name into the top with a toothpick. Be sure to clean it after each line so things don't get boogered've got plenty of time to ruin things later.
I started on the outside, and worked on outlining the monkey. Open star tips are so easy to use, just place straight up and down and pipe little stars onto the cake in your monkey outline. Make monkey noises where appropriate.
At this point, the face, mouth, and hat have been outlined...daily observations by Kate Fox.
Then I just tried not to let my left-handedness screw everything up. My brother-in-law mentioned that my cakes are even more impressive considering my physical handicap. Right-handed people...
At this point, he kinda looks like someone in Daft Punk.
The beauty about this type of tip is that you can go back in and fill in any white space by burying the tip in it and making another star. This really helps make the monkey look more like a sock/cloth anyway.
I missed a couple photos in here because my hand was close to falling off. Chocolate decorator frosting is a real a-hole. I used the #6 tip, buried it in his face, and made eye balls. Then I wrote Aurie's name using the same tip. I added "button pupils" to his eyes to make them pop, as the black was hard to see against the dark brown. I just put the cleaned 6 tip on my bag of cream frosting.
I took a snack break and finished my Chick-fil-a lemonade (product plug- they should pay me with all the free advertising I give them) before I worked on my border. This was surprisingly not because of my wimpy, dainty girl hand, but because my red frosting had gotten so warm thanks to the Dallas humidity that it would not pipe correctly. So if you happen to live in a tropical jungle, too, just stick it in the fridge for ten to fifteen minutes and try again. I have no advice for how to tame your hair in that jungle though..sorry.
I used the number 21 tip to create my rope border, and a number 18 tip to create small shells on top. I thought about doing rope on top, too, but didn't want the focus to pull from the sock monkey himself. I would've named him, if I knew I wasn't going to be eating him later. Never name the things you plan on eating.
Looking back on this, he looks like he knows he's going to be eaten.
I'm pretty proud of this cute little guy, as he fit in delightfully with the rest of the decorations:
Like a circus tent! Complete with sock monkey centerpiece!
And kick ass, grammatically incorrect banner! Get it together, Party need a comma!!
Hank was clearly on the move in that photo trying to find the next person to drop food on the floor while preparing for the party. He never leaves Aurie's side for that reason. He absolutely loves the way that baby's face tastes...always food on her somewhere! I am happy to report that my tiny namesake Aurie Kate found cake to be as delightful as I do. 
What form of pure magic is this? Is it..solid?
I'm fairly certain she would've eaten that whole piece if her father hadn't saved her from herself. Cake addiction is a slippery slope, after all. I knew she would like the frosting since she was my official taste tester, but the cake itself was anyone's guess. About thirty seconds after this photo was taken, she went from being a clean baby to a cake baby. I honestly wish I could go at a cake with that much fervor and have it be socially acceptable, but alas.
Even the dog had a party hangover.
Hank looks like we all felt after that party, full, tired, and in need of a long sugar coma. I was quite  honored by everyone's matter how many cakes I make, I am always super critical of my work, so being reminded that I don't suck at this is always nice! That's what happens when you're the Cake Kate Boss. I am happy to report that I get to go see my husband for Thanksgiving, so this concludes blogging for the MONTH of NOVEMBER, as I will be spending time enjoying civilization and not baking because his lodging has no oven. Its an honest to God vacation! Thank you all for continuing to believe in November and Thanksgiving like I do. I can only imagine how unbelievably obnoxious TV commercials are going to be once it is officially December and the Christmas monster is breathing down everyone's neck like an IRS auditor or, well, a Yeti. If I hear "Frosty the Snowman" ONE TIME....'Til next time, my fellow eaters!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mini Apple Pies Are Here to Save Your Thanksgiving

Is there anything worse than having to feign idle chit chat with relatives you're not even sure how you're related to over Thanksgiving dinner? Yeah, to me, that is a pure form of torture. While my go-to move is usually the post-turkey Tryptophan nap in the recliner (use it- no one will blame you), I'm here to help rescue you by bringing you a simple recipe for mini pies. Great Aunt Judy or third cousin Doug (twice removed) interrupting your football viewing with inane questions like, "Who are you again?" or "What do you do for a living?" ...simply pop one of the mini pies in your mouth and you've taken an automatic timeout to any and all conversations. Dessert game goes hard on Thanksgiving, so no one will come between a person and their pie. You're welcome.
You've saved me time and time again, pie.
I suppose you could go the extremely simple route and just make the pies using canned apple or cherry pie filling and premade crust, but I feel like when making an apple pie, you're really only going to get the best pie if you make it from fresh apples. The one exception to this rule is a McDonald's apple pie because those are sprinkled with crack.
Any kind of apple will do ya, but Granny Smith owns my taste buds.
It should come as literally no surprise that you're going to need apples (and butter) for this recipe. Since I'm baking for one while Derek is gone, I only wanted to have a few of these mini pies on hand and not an entire bushel. Three apples will make enough filling for ten mini pies, so it would be extremely easy to double the recipe and make 20 for your turkey day. Here is how the recipe breaks down:
  • Three apples of your choice
  • One box of Pilsbury pie crust (comes with two premade crusts)
  • Three tablespoons of flour
  • Six tablespoons of sugar (this is 1/4 cup plus two TBS)
  • Teaspoon of cinnamon
  • A few tablespoons of butter
  • Optional: Mini cookie cutters in the shapes of leaves to top your pies
This part makes your kitchen smell AH-mazing.
Start by peeling your apples and then chop them into smaller than bite-sized pieces. Congratulate yourself if you can do this without accidentally skinning a knuckle or two. I know my way around a potato peeler, but what usually happens to me is I somehow manage to get a fingernail caught in there and da svidaniya, fingernail! Fortunately, this did not happen to me this time as I was alone and without adult supervision when making my mini pies. I don't care how old I am, I am constantly in need of an adult. You can ask my best friend, Manders...our relationship is forged from the fact that neither of us can properly function without some form of guidance from the other.
The makings of your Thanksgiving miracle.
Dump your apples into a bowl with the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Mix together until the apples are all nicely coated. Now, onto the crust! You're going to need to let the crust sit out for at least 15 minutes to thaw out from being in the fridge. Then unroll it, and start looking for circular objects to help you cut your crusts.
Keeping it really classy.
I found you want a crust that is about 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter, so true to my OCD, I busted out my mini measuring tape and dug through my kitchen cabinets until I found a small bowl and that fantastically snazzy pink cup. The bowl was too large, but this was just right...proving that sometimes the second time is a charm- eat it, Goldilocks. I am queen of efficiency!
Up for a round of mini Frisbee, anyone?
From one crust, you can yield ten of these little bad boys. I had to reroll the dough and flatten it out once to get the last two...waste not, want not, people. Grease your muffin tin and start preheating the oven to 425. You'll have to mold these into a bit of a bowl shape and then press them gently into your muffin tin. The edges should come up just to the top of the tin.
This was before I made the extra two pies with the leftover filling and crust.
I SWEAR I did not eat two of these raw.
Take a spoon, and fill each of your pie crusts up so the filling is slightly less than brimming from the edges. I found two scoops per pie worked out perfectly. Then dot each pie with butter. You could simply cover the mini pies with the other roll of crust and slit the tops to vent, but that is so not this kind of blog. I bet if you do it that way, you're probably using the canned pie filling, too, you lazy glutton. I made half of my pies with lattice tops, so let me show you how to do that in an installment of shitty photos because the lighting in my kitchen is SHAMEFUL. I've got a bulb out, and for the life of me I cannot ever remember to change it...I really need an adult. A tall one.
I realize this looks like shredded mozzarella, but it will make sense in a minute. Start by layering three strips of pie crust on top of your pie. These can be thin or thick depending on your style preference.
Then, take your middle strip and fold it back. Place another strip of pie crust down the middle, then fold the middle strip back over on top.
Now it looks like string cheese! Take and fold back the top and bottom strips. Then lay down another thin strip of cheese crust on the left-hand side of the pie. Fold the top and bottom strips back over this portion.
Take the top and bottom strip again, and this time fold back the other sides of the crust. Put a strip of crust down on the right-hand side of the pie, and fold the top and bottom pieces back over this portion.
At this point, you can just smoosh the edges of the lattice onto the edge of the bottom pie crust. Walla!
I had to do a practice pie, and hated the way it looked, so I scrapped it and made the strips thin like they are above. I gotta be able to see that gorgeous apple, baby. For the rest of my pies, I took my mini cookie cutters from Hank's pumpkin treats and cut out leaves. Prepare yourself for another craptacular photo tutorial in 3, 2, 1...
I pressed down my trusty pink cup on the dough so I could see how many leaves would nicely fit on a pie. Turns out the third time is the charm in this instance. Tie game for me and Goldilocks.
I then used a toothpick to etch veins into my leaves.
And topped my remaining pies with the leaves in a nice, slightly overlapping cluster.
 You're good to bake at this point, but I wanted to take the pies up a notch and add an egg wash to nicely tan my top crust and to give me a glue to adhere more cinnamon and sugar to the top of my pies.
Mix one egg and a tablespoon of milk together, and some sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
Brush the pies with the egg wash, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Pop them in the oven for 20-22 minutes until a nice golden-brown and your house smells like the thing dreams are made of.
Droooollliiinnnnngggg....but not in the pies. Just near them.
Once cooked, give these little pieces of pure happiness plenty of time to cool. If you're overzealous and try to remove them from the tin before totally cool, they will completely fall apart on you, and there goes your excuse to get out of talking to people on Thanksgiving. I'm just trying to help you live up to your full antisocial potential. I waited a full hour until my pan was completely cool, and then used a knife to remove them after tracing around the outside edge of each pie to ensure it wasn't stuck to the pan. These are spectacular on their own, but I recommend heating them up in the microwave for 30 seconds before eating, and topping with Bluebell's homemade vanilla, as it is the best vanilla, and if you live somewhere that doesn't have Bluebell, you've got way bigger problems than trying to up your dessert game on turkey day.
Yeah, this was my dinner yesterday. See why I need an adult?
I've taken to calling them ice cream apple boats in this form, and the name sticks. They are simply decadent a la mode, and will also take you longer to savor this way which means less talky, more eaty for you. Now that I've supplied you with two really awesome apple-based desserts for Thanksgiving, use the power wisely! If there's never enough booze to get you through the holiday, go for the hard cider cupcakes. If its your talking game you want to avoid, go for these bite-sized pies. In either case, your taste buds will be quite pleased with you. So reward yourself after a hard day of marathon eating and take a nap, you crazy, food-obsessed American. God speed! 'Til next time, my fellow eaters!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Booze: Not Just for Beverages!

Yesterday I walked the dog in shorts and a tee. Over the course of one evening, we experienced a shitstorm windstorm that took us from summer, to fall, to full on winter. Today I walked the dog in an outfit befitting Nanook of the North: Three (yes, three) layers on top, the thickest pants I own, fuzzy socks (always with the fuzzy socks), leather gloves, a beanie, and a scarf wrapped around my neck and half of my face (Mortal Kombat style). What changed, you ask? Well, remember back in May when I told you every time Derek deploys during summer, it rains almost the entire time he's gone? Yeah, guess who just left for training for the next several weeks and apparently also controls the weather. As Derek crossed state lines into Alabama (I assume "Dueling Banjos" start up the second that occurs), he told me it was a balmy 73 degrees there. I might have died right then if I hadn't had the wherewithal to make some boozy hard cider cupcakes this past weekend to keep me warm on these cold winter nights. Good job thinking ahead and checking the forecast, past're so smart...and bt-dubs, your hair looked great last week.
The tastes of fall!
One of my favorite parts of fall when I lived in Michigan was when it became cool enough for hot apple cider and fresh cinnamon-sugar donuts from Yates Cider Mill. I die. Seriously, its the best. So I somehow managed to find a recipe that combined the cinnamon-sugary goodness from the donuts with the crisp taste of cider into one of my other favorite treats: cupcakes. You know, with the added bonus of making them boozy, too. I've never made a boozy dessert before, but if you can have booze for breakfast (looking at you, mimosas), then why not booze for dessert, too? Its this line of thinking that is sure to make me either a buttload of money one day or land me in the looney bin. It really could go either way at this point. If anyone knows of any entrepreneurs with a screw loose, send them my way.
One of these things is not like the other, one of these things is super boozy!
This recipe (originally found here) is completely from scratch, and when something from scratch turns out perfectly, I really do feel superior to just about everyone on the planet for at least a solid five minutes (seven if I thought of it myself). While most people have way more important things to do with their time than perfect gluttony, I do not. Let me have my moment in the sun! If you're a social alchy like me, you will already have everything you need on hand for these cupcakes:
  • One stick of softened butter (duh)
  • One and a half cups of hard cider. I used Angry Orchard's Cinnful Apple (get it! Hah..)
  • One cup of sugar...I realize this seems like a lot, but its sweetness tempers out, trust me.
  • Two cups of AP flour
  • Two teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (this kind isn't so cinnful...puns for days)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • One lonely egg
  • One teaspoon of vanilla extract
The way you slap these together is pretty effortless as well. Just mix the butter and sugar together until it is nicely whipped (around three minutes on medium-high), then pour in the vanilla and egg (it will no longer be lonely once you've done this). Now comes the interesting part. You know when two girls don't like each other but they're forced into a social situation where they have to spend time with one another? This is pretty much what happens when you add in the hard cider to the buttery mix. It allows itself to get close to the butter, but since they're apparently mortal enemies (she like, totally stole that chick's boyfriend), they never fully agree to mix. So don't hurt yourself (or the innocent bystander- the mixer) by trying to spend ages getting these two things to agree with one another and fully socialize. You need a buffer. And that buffer comes in the form of your remaining dry ingredients.

 In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking powder. Then, about a cup at a time, add it in to the cat fight happening in your mixing bowl. Mix well, then scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding the remaining dry mix. The dry ingredients act as a wonderful buffer between your dueling cider and butter, so everything should blend together nicely like the end of the movie Mean Girls. Once well mixed, preheat the oven to 350 and line your muffin tin with liners. I chose festive fall colors, because I still believe in a full-term fall before Christmas. Apparently the weather does not agree with me, but I will continue to fight the good fight.
See, cupcakes getting along in perfect harmony, filled 3/4 of the way full.
The original recipe called for the cupcakes to cook for 16 minutes, but mine were still super goopy at this point. I cooked my cupcakes for 22 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center came out clean. The tops will look somewhat sticky and perhaps a little undercooked, but I think this is a side effect from the booze. I mean, I know I get greasy when the stuff is seeping out of my pores, too, so there's that.
They will be a nice, tipsy golden-blonde when finished.
Did I mention the frosting also contains booze? I probably should've led with that. This recipe ends up using an entire bottle of cider, so no victory sips are allowed. Sorry.
Sugar and booze? How could this go wrong! Don't answer that, it was rhetorical.
You only need to mix together another stick of  softened butter (shock!), a teaspoon of cinnamon, and 3/4 cup of brown sugar together before adding in 3/4 cup of powdered sugar, mixing well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl (or maybe its just my mixer that sucks), and add in a tablespoon of hard cider. Repeat that last part, adding another 3/4 cup of powdered sugar and one tablespoon of hard cider. The cider will be all gone at this point, but you can totally lick the beaters if you need to.
You better believe I put a bunch of various tips on my fingers while I was trying to figure out which to use for decorating purposes, like witch's fingers.
Place your frosting into a piping bag with the tip of your choice. For a classic swirl, use a 1M. For a nice, clean rose, use a 2D tip. I wanted a French tip, so I went with Wilton's closest equivalent, the 199 tip.
I just wanted a simple swirl, so I started on the outside, and worked my way clockwise around the cupcake. I continued looping in and around...
Until I completeled my swirl by piping up a bit of excess frosting to make the tip stick up.
But nothing is ever complete without sprinkles.
This recipe yields twelve cupcakes, which is the perfect amount for two people. Or in this case, one person. Derek was able to have a fresh cupcake, and I sent one on the road with him for his journey. He made it without a "driving while intoxicated- by cupcake" citation, if you were wondering. But the other ten cupcakes are mine for the taking. It will come as no surprise that there's way less than ten left at the time of this blog. I don't care if it is so cold out I have to eat all of these in a parka in the comfort of my living room- they are just that damn tasty. I'm happy my first foray into boozecakes (possible copyright) was a success, and I'm thinking I will somehow find a way to sneak more booze into my future baking endeavors. Rum sauce apple pie? Chocolate Peppermint Schnapps cake? Yeah, the world is my drunk oyster, baby. 'Til next time, my fellow eaters!
So warm and fall-themed, I almost forgot its so cold I can't feel my face.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cookies: Perhaps the Most Versatile of Treats

Don't get me wrong- as far as I'm concerned, cake will always be the tastiest dessert to ever exist, but cookies certainly can give them a run for their money: Cookie dough truffles, ice cream sandwiches, giant skillet cookies...don't even get me started on Oreo's...we'll be here all night. It had been awhile since I made cookies, so this week I went back to an oldie but a goodie: M&M cookie pie. Yes, cookies truly are a dessert that is delectable in absolutely any form. Find me a person who doesn't like cookies, and I'll show you someone who's clearly lost their mind. But I suppose in the end that just means more cookies for us. So keep on winning with this cookie pie recipe!
Plus, cookies also pair well with sprinkles, and you all know how much I love those!
 I was obviously still coming off a colorful dessert high after that sugar skull cake from last week when I decorated my cookie pie a few days ago. True to form, I'm still finding nonpareils and star sprinkles practically all over my house. When I sprinkle, I do so with some serious gusto. It would probably behoove me to throw down a painter's tarp before ever engaging in kitchen activity. The mess was worth it though because this M&M cookie pie practically melts on the know, in your mouth, not in your hands as M&M's are supposed to. No false advertising there!
What? You don't buy your M&M's by the pound, too?
I like how they call this the "party size" bag of M&M's, like I'm ever going to share them with a damn soul. Pfft. How presumptuous. The ingredients for this pie are mostly items you probably already have stored in your pantry, minus the 35-pound bag of M&M's.  And, yes, of course there's butter. Always with the butter. It is the foundation for practically everything that has ever tasted good in the history of cooking.
I love you, butter.
Start by mixing together half a cup of brown sugar with 3/4 cup of butter at room temp, or in my case, slightly melty because I didn't want to wait that long and nuked my sticks for 30 seconds in the microwave. Make sure to scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl as it blends so you can lick your spatula after. You're welcome.
I haven't forgotten about you either, vanilla extract.
Once your glorious butter-sugar paste is mixed, throw in an egg and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix together for about a minute until things are a little frothy from the egg yolk.
Where would we be without flour...
In a rather odd measurement, add in one cup and one tablespoon of flour (the All Purpose variety, as it is the most multifaceted of the flours) and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. You've now got the cookie dough all put together, minus the piece de resistance...the one, the only, M&M's.
I had a bit of a flour mishap, don't judge me.
Finally, add in one heaping cup of M&M's. I could've just stopped myself right there and eaten the whole cup, but I persevered knowing one of the greatest parts of making this cookie pie was on the horizon: The eating of the leftover cookie dough in the mixing bowl. It has been a few days, and I never did die of salmonella, so this only furthers my belief that raw cookie dough is too pure and delicious to ever make a living soul ill. It lives to serve your taste buds.
I had not licked this particular spatula yet. Yet being the keyword there. Hank was also helping at this point.
Preheat the oven to 325 if you don't plan on eating this whole pie raw (no judgement if you do, you're my hero), and grease a pie tin. Simply plop all your dough into the pie tin and use a spatula to smooth things out. I find it easiest to start in the middle and work outward in a spiral/circle direction to flatten everything out. I love perfection and an evenly-baked cookie pie, so that's how I got mine to behave itself. Fortunately for me, this spiraling left a lovely deposit of cookie dough on the spatula. Once done licking my spatula, I moved on to "cleaning" out the inside of my mixing bowl before actually cleaning out the inside of my mixing bowl with soap and water. This pie finishes baking around the 25 minute mark. It will need some time alone to settle and cool off before you frost it. While I usually advocate shoving things into the freezer or fridge to quicken the process, this smelled way too good to place behind closed doors, so I left it to cool for about 90 minutes. Those were the longest 90 minutes of my life. Those were like, DMV minutes or something. Painfully slow and full of massive anxiety.
Nothing, not even cookies, are complete without frosting.
I suppose you could call it a day and eat the cookie pie without any icing, but we've come this far, and what dessert isn't benefited by a nice frosting layer? None, that's what. I simply used chocolate decorator frosting so my stars would retain their shape, but any of your favorite tub icing would work here, really. I loaded up a piping bag with a 1M tip and got to work.

Simply hover the tip above the pie and pipe out a mound of stars.
Yes, very technical, I realize that...
But it looks so pretty when you're done!!
Again, you could stop here and call it a day, but what dessert isn't also benefited by a nice frosting layer WITH NONPAREILS? I mean, we're actually probably about 50/50 at this point because not everything in the world actually needs sprinkles (looking at you, regular pie), but cookie pie certainly is one of those desserts that just keeps getting funner and funner with each sprinkle added.
I started with a base coat of regular nonpareils.
The dog almost lost it because tiny sprinkles were flying EVERYWHERE,
but they're so tiny he couldn't find them. Poor Hank.
And I finished off the colorful confection with some stars.
If I had hearts, clovers, horseshoes, and balloons,
I probably would've added those for good measure, too.
There you have it! This is such an easy dessert to make, and I feel like I earned it after kicking ass and taking names with my Halloween desserts, yes, plural, last week. I realize that not every dessert has to be crazy complicated, but everything about me is crazy complicated so most of my desserts reflect that as I am the struggling artist in charge. Its been awhile, but I'm fairly certain this is another one of those "red flag" moments. Roll your eyes at my crazy all you want- but you can't deny you'd be all over this cookie pie if you were in my house right now! I mean, we've already polished half of this sucker off!
Can you blame us?
As I reel in the aftermath of Halloween (I'm already bothered by the startling amount of Christmas commercials on TV), this cookie pie is helping me transition from spooky, delectable desserts back to neutral, delicious ones. I still believe in a month called "November," so you won't catch me showing you how to bake any Christmas treats until December. I mean, we've got a whole other holiday to cover first! So leave it to me to come up with something to help you survive Thanksgiving and add to the dessert table with next week's blog. 'Til next time, my fellow eaters!