iBake – Southern Apple Dumplings and a Lesson About Cast Iron Skillets

I must confess. I have never eaten southern apple dumplings. I cannot tell you if they taste like these as the recipe title claims. I hope the originator of this recipe did not falsely advertise these golden, buttery, sweet morsels.


These are a crowd pleaser to be sure, and another great family project. All three of my kids thoroughly enjoyed making them with me. Hey, the snow around here is taller than some of us and it turned really cold the day we made them so it was a good indoor activity.

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iBake – Gluten-free Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

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This cookie has chew. It has texture. It has gooey chocolate goodness. The one thing it doesn’t have is gluten. I’m not gluten intolerant, but as a baker I’m always looking for sweets that will really satisfy those that are. This cookie pie gets 10 gluten-free satisfaction points.

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Best Four Ingredient Sweet Potatoes

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Vegetables and I get along. Colorful, flavorful, versatile, easy to prepare, healthful and delicious, oh yes, they are dear friends of mine. Don’t get me wrong. I am a girl who appreciates a juicy steak, but I have yet to master the skills required to make protein the star of a memorable meal. There, I said what at least two of you were thinking, right? Sweet potatoes are kind of a Sunday lunch staple in our family and this simple preparation is always a big hit. The benefit to this method is that you can make them in advance and then quickly reheat them in the oven as is or mash and reheat them. You could even purée them into a soup or make sweet potato pancakes with any leftovers.

I’m sure it would be no surprise that when I ate these I had one thought, “These would make a delicious pie!”

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iBake – Focaccia Crust Pizza Pie with a Banana Milk-“shake”

I like to involve my kids in cooking and baking whenever possible.  I have found that the more they touch, smell and interact with the food they eat, the more they enjoy what they eat.  When they enjoy what they are eating, they eat more of what they are eating.  Since I primarily make homemade food using healthful and fresh ingredients I like it when they eat age appropriate portions.  I also like not having a fridge full of leftovers.  I am all about the win-win.  This is a great, kid-friendly recipe in that your kids can easily help make it and will likely devour it as well.  You can pile it up with veggies underneath the cheese and serve it with a delicious frozen fruit and milk-“shake”, like this banana one we enjoy.  Boom!  Homemade, family friendly, nutritious, delicious, need I say more?  20140213-173110.jpg

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iBake – Moist Vanilla Coconut Flour Cupcakes

Moist and coconut flour are not too often synonymous terms.

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Let’s be real for a moment. These are not bakery style or even boutique-cakery cupcakes, but they are a lower gluten, lower carb, somewhat healthified version that is moist and delicate and have a delightful vanilla essence. It’s seems unbelievable to have a tasty, guilt-free dessert, but take a bite in honor of being able to believe it!

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iBake – Chocolate Double Peanut Butter Caramel Layer Cake

Please, don’t be frightened by the title.  While Chocolate Double Peanut Butter Caramel Layer cake is a three process dessert, there are times when a multistage dessert can actually simplify your life.  I promise!



As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been in a peanut butter chocolate mood for several weeks.  Maybe it’s all these below 30 days we’ve had lately here in Minnesota.   Maybe it’s that I didn’t eat quite enough of the Red Velvet Peanut Butter Blossom’s I made for Christmas and then too quickly gave away.  You did see those sparkling gems from I Am Baker, right?  No?  Okay, take a minute to go to Amanda’s website and look at them, Pin them, write the ingredients on your grocery list, look all over the place for those bright red sanding sugar sprinkles and never find them because you didn’t think to look the one place that actually had them even though your were only a few blocks away from Williams-Sonoma, duh – and then make them for next Valentine’s Day.  Oh, sorry, I was thinking of myself the week before Christmas.  You would never do anything so silly, would you?  Getting back to the cookies, they are doubly delicious (meaning more rich and chewy) if you add an additional egg yolk to the original recipe.

There you are!  I thought you would stay on Amanda’s addictive sight all day and forget about this fantastic cake.  Now that you’re finally back, I’ll show you how to make your life easier by separating your dessert recipes into more than one day, and give you the recipes you’ll need to assemble this highly satisfying layered cake.

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iBake – Chocolate Bottom Peanut Butter Pie

I have had a seriously unquenchable craving for chocolate and peanut butter.  It all started when I made a batch of “healthier” chocolate peanut butter cups.  More about that recipe later.  Let’s move on to the reason for this pie post.  Three triple batches of peanut butter cups later and I was on the hunt for more chocolate-peanut butter combinations.  Technically – iDon’tBake for this pie.  That’s right, no baking!  Wait for it:   it’s also Paleo, gluten-free and some might say, healthy.  I don’t say it’s healthy.  I would say it’s healthier.  “Healthier than what?” you might ask.  Well, thank you.  I’m glad you asked!  Healthier than a lot of things that don’t even taste this good.

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iBake – Buffalo Chicken Hand Pies

Last week my hubs took me to one of my favorite local restaurants – Birchwood Cafe. I was particularly hungry for something hot (BTW – what’s up with the total failure of global warming to transform Minnesota into a tropical paradise by now?) and filling, like a juicy steak! This place caters to vegans so no steak, as a matter of fact there was no beef at all on the menu that day. I took a leap of faith and ordered, then cheerfully devoured, a squash hand pie. Continue reading

iBake – Double Chocolate Cookies

I like chocolate almost more than anything else. I also really enjoy
cookies. So when I saw these cookies on Pinterest a bit ago, I knew we were destined for each other.


First of all let me tell you, you can do this. These double chocolate cookies are delicious AND simple. As a matter of fact, I’m confident you can nail them and will end up making them over and over again. They are perfect as is or they can be used as a base for something a little fancier or more decadent. Consider using them as a Valentine’s Day treat. In just two days they’ve earned me a thank you from my dad and a kiss from my hubs – chocolate scented no less. Mmmm.
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