Thanksgiving is right around the corner. At my house this means baking, lots of baking. I have to make the family’s favorite pies like sweet potato, pecan, and of course pumpkin. But in a family that has a child who’s allergic to eggs, nuts, and dairy none of these pies will do. So for my grandson Jett we make a special Vegan Pumpkin Pie. He loves it!
This Vegan Pumpkin Pie is super easy to make, it contains no dairy or eggs. We have been making it for Jett every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s something he totally looks forward too. By the way it’s tasty enough to serve to the whole family so if you don’t want to make 2 types of Pumpkin Pie go ahead and just make this Vegan Pumpkin Pie. If you don’t tell anyone it’s vegan they might not even notice. Yes it’s that good!
Do you get confused between macarons and macaroons? You’re not alone! Many people use the two names interchangeably, when in fact, they refer to very different sweet delights. So read on to find out the differences between these two exquisite confections.
Differences in Ingredients
The main difference between macarons and macaroons is their ingredient list. Macarons are meringue-based and consist of almond flour, egg whites, and sugar. Macaroons, on the other hand, are coconut-based and comprise of grated coconut alongside powdered sugar and egg whites.
Looking at the history of macarons, they are single recipe cookies that were brought from Italy and introduced to France by the famous chef, Catherine de Medici. When macarons got to France, they were upgraded and a new sandwich cookie recipe was created. The method that was created is not the recipe most pastry chefs use today. If you’re looking for a recipe for the kind of macarons you’ve probably sampled at high-end patisseries, see here for a guide to how to make macarons for beginners.
There seems to be some confusion about the origin of macaroons because there are numerous stories. The most famous tale told about the history of the macaroon is that it was an American version of the French macaron. With an increased import of coconut into the Americans in the 1800s, Americans quickly re-invented the original macaron recipe which was later referred to as the macaroon. Or so the story goes.
Main Differences in Characteristics
Macarons are characterized by their delicate egg-shell like crust with an inner meringue texture while macaroons are characterized by their dense and lumpy texture that creates that delectable chewy experience in the mouth.
Macarons come with a delicious filling of fruit jam, ganache or buttercream, and the ratio of cookie to filling must be 2:1 respectively. On the other hand, macaroons’ shredded coconut gives them their signature texture and taste.
Another characteristic difference between macarons and macaroons is that macarons are moderately sweet while macaroons are extremely sweet. Macarons come in a wider variety of colors while macaroons are only known for three popular variations which are; chocolate-dipped, lemon-flavored and original coconut.
Preparation Differences Between Macarons and Macaroons
Macarons are the more challenging and fiddly to make of the two, especially for beginners. They require significant practice and patience to get right. The key step is the “macaronage” process, where ground almonds and sugar must be carefully folded into the meringue before being piped onto baking sheets. The macaroon, on the other hand, can be prepared in under 20 minutes, and there is even one variation that requires no baking at all.
Macarons are best enjoyed within a few hours of baking, and will last a couple of days when kept in the fridge, whilst macaroons can last for more than two months when frozen. The average cost per macaron cookie is almost double the average cost of the macaroon cookie. Whilst the macaron and the macaroon are very different confections, they are both sweet treats worth making the effort for!
Sure, classic cheesecake is delicious. But PUMPKIN cheesecake? Now that’s a dessert worthy of your Thanksgiving table. The gingersnap and graham cracker crust are actually genius, and that shimmering layer of caramel is the literal icing on the [cheese]cake. It’s one of our all time favorite pumpkin desserts—and that’s saying something, considering we have over 80 recipes.
3/4 c. graham crackers, crushed
3/4 c. gingersnaps, crushed
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp. granulated sugar kosher salt
3 (8-oz.) bars cream cheese, softened
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1 c. pumpkin puree
1/4 c. sour cream, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice, plus more for garnish
Warm caramel, for garnish
whipped cream, for garnish
Chopped, toasted pecans, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 325° with a rack in the middle position. Grease an 8” springform pan with cooking spray.
2. Make crust: In a large bowl, add cookie and graham cracker crumbs. Stir in butter, granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt and mix until well combined. Press crust into bottom of pan.
3. Meanwhile, make cheesecake batter: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin puree, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Add eggs, 1 at a time, until well combined, then beat in flour, pumpkin spice, and ¼ tsp. salt. Pour cheesecake mixture over crust.
4. Double-wrap outside of pan in aluminum foil, making sure to cover the bottom. Place pan in a large baking dish, place the baking dish in the oven, and pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the pan. Bake until only slightly jiggly in center, 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes.
5. With oven door propped open, turn oven off and let cool 1 hour in the oven. Remove from water bath and discard foil, then refrigerate cheesecake until cooled completely, at least 3 hours or overnight.
6. Garnish with a layer of caramel and a few dollops of whipped cream around the edge of the cheesecake. Sprinkle all over with pecans and more pumpkin pie spice.
Oreos! I think just about everyone loves Oreos, those chocolate cookies with the creamy filled centers. Of course everyone has their own preference when it comes to eating those yummy cookies. Do you bite into the whole sandwich or do you twist one side off and eat the creamy filling first? Personally I’m the bite the sandwich kind of gal! Now as much as we love oreos we also love funnel cake, that oily sweet crunchy treat you find at fairs, carnivals, and theme parks. Well have you ever had Deep Fried Oreos?
The only way I can describe Deep Fried Oreos is to say they’re a marriage of Oreo cookies and funnel cake. Yes it’s a battered and fried treat that has recently been added to the fried treats found at the state fairs and carnivals across the country. But it’s so easy to make at home so you don’t have to wait until the fair comes to town!
All you need is pancake batter, eggs, milk, oil, and of course the oreos. It’s so easy you can make a batch of about 2 dozen in less than an hour. I fry mine in coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, the coconut oil gives it that little bitty taste of coconut, yummy! But you can fry it in any oil you normally use. So with out further delay here’s the recipe. Hope you love these treats as much as we do!
Deep Fried Oreos
1 Cup Milk
1 1/2 cups Bisquick mix
1 Tsp. Vanilla
About 2″ oil for deep frying
Beat Eggs and milk together in a small bowl.
Mix in Bisquick until the batter is smooth not lumpy.
Stir in Vanilla
Heat oil over medium high heat.
Dip each oreo in dough and drop into hot oil.
Fry until golden brown.
Drain fried oreos on paper towel
Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
Some folks like them hot, they’re crunchier when served hot. But others like them cooled. I’m not sure how well they keep as we never have any left over that needs storing!
Everyone loves Chocolate Chip Cookies. It’s the world’s most popular cookie! Last week I shared the recipe for The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie. It is one of my favorites! But sometimes I get a craving for more chocolate and that’s when the Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies come in handy. They are simply delicious!
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I’m sure you’ve seen them at Starbuck’s and other retail bakeries. I think there are even some packaged ones by Pepperidge Farms. But nothing comes close to my Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re definitely chocolaty but the white chocolate morsels I add give it that extra yum! They like crunchy brownies with a kick of delicious white chocolate. They go great with a cold glass of milk!
Another tip for making bakery quality cookies is to have the proper tools. In this case to make really good looking (and tasting) cookies you’ll need a measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, an electric mixer (a standing mixer is easier but costlier so a hand mixer works too), a 1 Oz. Scoop (they make the cookies all the same size) and a Silicone Baking Mat (or you can use parchment paper, either one works well, but the mat ends up cheaper in the long run and is definitely more eco-friendly). I know it seems frivolous to buy these things specially if you don’t bake often. I remember back in the day when we really didn’t have the extra money to spend on them (they were much more expensive then) I used to make do with whatever I had. But these days with online shops and big box stores baking equipment has become much more affordable!
But you don’t have to rush out and buy mats, scoops, and whatever. Use what you have or borrow from a baking friend or your mom! Just make sure you use the best ingredients that you can find, that’s the most important thing!
We love Chocolate Cake! It’s one of my favorites! I mean seriously what’s not to love?
So whenever I get hungry for a quick fix of chocolate cake I grab a box of my favorite mix, add a few extras, and bake an almost homemade chocolate cake. Of course I could make it from scratch, but sometimes I just don’t have the time. When I’m pressed for time it’s either box mix or make a run to the store and many times it’s just easier to use the cake mix.
But just because I use a cake mix that doesn’t mean my cake has to taste like it came out of a box. By adding and substituting a few things anyone can make a box mix cake taste like it was made from scratch!
Here’s how I make my almost homemade chocolate cake. I’m pretty sure you’ll have the ingredients in your kitchen. I usually have a box or two of cake mix, one yellow and one chocolate, and a couple of cans of frosting in my pantry; I like to stock up on them when they’re on sale.
What you’ll need:
1 Box Devil’s Food Cake Mix – or any type of chocolate – any brand will work
1 Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Butter, melted
5 Large Eggs
2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 Tsp. Instant Espresso Powder
2 9″ Round Pans
1 Can Chocolate Frosting
Here’s what to do:
Heat oven to 350º
Grease the 2 pans
Substitute the water the box mix calls for with milk, and use melted butter instead of the oil
Use 5 eggs instead of however many the box mix calls for
Place the mix, milk, butter, and eggs in a bowl and mix on medium speed with electric mixer
Stir in vanilla extract and espresso powder
Pour equal amounts of batter into the 2 pans
Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean
Remove from oven and let cool about 10 minutes
Flip cakes onto a rack and cool completely
When cakes are completely cooled use a wire or sharp knife to level the tops and make them flat
Dust off any crumbs
Place 1 layer on cake plate, bottom side on the plate
Spread a thin layer of raspberry preserve on top to seal the crumbs
Spread a thin layer of raspberry preserve to the top of the second layer
Spread a layer of chocolate icing on the first layer
Flip the second layer over and place it on top of the first layer – your cake should be top sides together
Spread a thin layer of raspberry preserve on the top and sides of your cake – this seals in any crumbs
Frost the top and side of your cake
Garnish with fresh fruit or whatever you like before serving.
This cake is really great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a cold glass of milk!