Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cookbook: Sweets

Tis the season for sweets! Here are two recipes that you should definitely try this holiday season.

Mock Apple Pie

My mother-in-law first told me about this pie. It's a pie that tastes just like an apple pie but doesn't have one single apple in it! When she first explained it to me I thought that there was no way in this world it could taste like an apple pie. Even Chris said it was good, so I decided to give it a try over Thanksgiving.

2 refrigerator pie crusts for a 9" pie pan
36 Ritz crackers coarsely broken
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place one pie crust in the pie pan. Place the crackers in the crust.

In a saucepan, over high heat, heat the water, sugar, cream of tartar to a boil.

Pour the syrup over the crackers. Dot with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Place the remaining pie crust over the pie. Trim, seal and flute the edges. Slit the top several times to allow steam to escape.

Bake at 425 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until crust is crisp and golden. Make sure you let the pie cool completely before eating.

*The top of my pie browned quickly, as you can see, so I covered with a piece of foil until it had finished baking.

The story behind the pie-

I can't explain it, but somehow, someway the combination of ingredients makes this taste just like an apple pie. The only thing you may notice missing are the actual apple slices you find in a regular pie. It is very sweet, so if you aren't a fan of super sweet sweets, then this isn't for you.

My Mom was the only one in the house that knew the recipe. We decided we would give this pie the ultimate taste test by giving a slice to my two grandmothers, possibly two of the greatest cooks ever! If this apple pie was "good" according to their standards then boy do we have a winner! So sure enough I cut them both a slice and they went to town. They both commented on how good it was and hardly made a peep as they continued to eat. Meanwhile my Mom and I were dying laughing. After a few minutes one of my grandmothers asked what was wrong with us and could immediately tell we were up to something. I asked her how the apples tasted in the pie. She looked at me for a minute or two, looked at the pie, and then said "what are you up to?" I proceeded to tell her that there wasn't a single apple in the pie. She lifted her fork a little closer and said "oh yes there is....I see the apples and I taste them too, what are you talking about?"

As you can imagine, I couldn't stop laughing. My other grandmother had completely stopped eating at this point and was just staring at her slice of pie. I explained the recipe and neither one of them believed me. They both got up and walked over to inspect the entire pie and just commented back and forth to one another about how it couldn't possibly be. So, give it a try! I promise it does taste just like apple pie and your family and friends won't believe it.

Puppy Chow

This recipe also came courtesy of my mother-in-law (can you tell that she's a great cook?) This has become one of our favorite holiday snacks and I know it will be one of yours too.


9 cups of corn Chex Mix
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
Powdered Sugar

In a saucepan, melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter.

Pour the Chex Mix into the saucepan and gently fold into the chocolate.

Spoon batches of the Chex Mix into a gallon size Ziploc bag and pour a generous amount of powdered sugar into the bag.

Shake until the Chex Mix is evenly coated in the sugar.

Place into your serving bowl. Continue this process until all of the Chex Mix has been coated in powdered sugar.


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