Not often do I venture into the realm of baking, not because I don’t enjoy baked goods but more because you leave too much to a recipe or a single ingredient.  Leave something out or put too much of something in you have just ruined your baking efforts and its time to start over.  You either have a piece of concrete or a massive bubble in your oven and unlike cooking you cannot rescue it at this point.  Call off the authorities this atrocity has happened and its time to move on.

Moving on, tonight’s baking ended in a much more pleasing manner.  The brownies cooked up nicely, the sauce albeit stubborn turned out and end result…a more than 1300 calorie (before the ice cream), Paula Deen would be proud…it uses nearly a half pound of butter, life shortening dessert that is worth the 10 miles it would take to run off those calories.  But I didn’t eat a whole piece, just enough to know its good and that is all I need.

Walnut blondie with ice cream and maple butter sauce

So now the details of how to make this beast of a dessert, make a double batch and you will need nearly a pound of butter and over three cups of brown sugar, this is not for the faint of heart.

1 c sifted flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 c chopped walnuts + extra
1/3 + 1/2 c butter
1 + 3/4 c packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 c white chocolate chips
3/4 c maple syrup
4 oz cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Combine flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and sift twice.  Add 1/2 c of chopped walnuts, mix well and set aside.  Melt butter, when melted add brown sugar and mix well.  Then add egg and vanilla and mix well.  Add flour mixture slowly, mixing well.  Add white chocolate chips.  Spread in a greased (with butter) 9 inch square pan.   Bake 20 to 25 minutes until done ( when a wooden tooth pick comes out clean).

While baking melt 1/2 c of butter and the cream cheese in a pan with maple syrup, stir in brown sugar until it is dissolved.  Once the brownies are done serve brownies topped with ice cream, drenched in maple butter sauce and sprinkled with walnuts.

It is important to note that real maple syrup is the key here, not the garbage you get at the store that is imitation, real stuff that was cook from sap that was drained out of trees.  That kind, its expensive and worth every penny.

Enjoy these babies and don’t tell your cardiologist about them or any other doctor for that matter, they may not approve.

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I have found the the best time to sit down and write a recipe review is while stuffing my face the result of that recipe.  And tonight is a prime instance of this, all that is missing from this late afternoon dessert is a bit of coffee.

Cranberry Apple Walnut Pie

But let me back up, yesterday was well sort of a first for me.  I had never prior to yesterday made a real pie start to finish, sure I made Key Lime pie which is a chore but just used crumbled up cracker, sugar and margarine for a crust.  So yesterday the journey began using a set of recipes I had found in Midwest Living some time ago.  (By the way thank you to the previous renters at my address for not forwarding your mail, I hope all that stuff marked urgent and last notice wasn’t important, I digress.)  One was for the pie itself and another for the crust, which is certainly not a Weight Watches approved crust.

Double Pie Crust Recipe
3 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c cold margarine (butter) cut into pieces
1/4 c butter flavored shortening
7 tbsp cold water
1 egg beaten
2 tsp lemon juice

Mix flour and salt.  Add in margarine and shortening until pea sizes pieces form.

Mix remaining ingredients in separate bowl. Combine all ingredients tell wet throughout.

Turn out onto lightly floured surface and work into a ball with hands.  Divide in half and roll out one at a time into pie crusts.

Bake as directed in pie recipe.

Apple-Cranberry-Walnut Pie
1 c cane sugar
1/3 c flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 lbs tart cooking apples, peeled cored and sliced (I used my Apple Peeler-Corer-Slicer to make the job easier)
2 c cranberries (fresh)
1/2 c chopped walnuts
2 tbsp margarine (butter)
milk, sprinkle of sugar

In a small bowl mix flour, sugar, cinnamon.  In a large  bowl mix fruit an walnuts.  Sprinkle sugar mixture over fruit tossing to combine.

Roll out first pie crust and place in pie plate, add in filling mixture and distribute evenly.

Roll out remaining pie crust and either just cover and cut a slit in to allow steam to escape of do as I did and give it a nice weave, which makes it look all the more tasty.

Brush top crust with milk, sprinkle with sugar and place in the over for 90 minutes (give or take) at 325ºF.  Remove when crust is lightly browned and fruit is tender.

Pie ready for the oven

You’ll notice the weave which was tricky but looked outstanding when it came out.


I am not gonna lie that is one fine looking pie for a rookie and while it was not the best pie I have ever had it was way better than most.  The tartness of the apples and the cranberries make this pie quite unique and the crust was pretty good as well.

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