Upside Down Apple Pie

When I was asked to bring a dessert to our Thanksgiving dinner, I knew immediately that I wanted to do an apple pie. I started looking through tons of apple pie recipes online, but I couldn’t find just the right one so I decided to combine several recipes to make just the right one!

The ‘upside-down’ nature of this pie makes it unique to other apple pies out there and a mixture of Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples provides a tasty combination of sweet and tart. I’d highly recommend serving it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some Biscoff Caramel sauce!

Upside Down Apple Pie


  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbl. brown sugar
  • 2 tbl. butter, melted
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cups cold butter
  • 6-8 tbl. ice water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 8 cups sliced apples, half Granny Smith, half Pink Lady or other variety of your choice
  • 1/2 tbl. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbl. sugar
  • 2 tbl. water
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a deep dish pie pan. Combine melted butter, brown sugar and chopped walnuts, spread evenly in the bottom of the pie pan.
  2. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt and butter. Pulse until combined. Add the water and egg yolk and pulse until just combined. Pat the dough into two evenly shaped disks, wrap is plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  3. Combine the sliced apples with the remaining ingredients and stir until combined and all the apples are thoroughly coated.
  4. Roll the pie dough out to slightly less than 1/4 inch thick and place the bottom layer in the pan over the walnut mixture. Fill with the apples and then top with the second layer of crust. Pinch the edges together tightly and cut a small slit in the top crust. Place the pie pan in a cookie sheet before putting it in the oven to prevent spillage.
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes until crust is golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before inverting onto a platter for serving. Some juices from the pie may leak out when it’s turned upside-down. Let the pie sit for about 30 minutes before serving. The pie also re-heats well if you want to make it ahead of time.
Adapted from a McCormick & Schmidts cookbook, AllRecipes, and others

Biscoff Caramel

As you all have probably noticed, I’m kind of hooked on Biscoff Spread. I’ve made several cookies and brownies this fall using Biscoff and they’ve all been great. The cinnamony spread adds a wonderful flavor that goes well with so many different desserts. If you can’t find the spread locally, try ordering it from Amazon. It’s a pain to order it through the mail- but I promise you won’t be sorry when you find out how delicious it is!

Adding some Biscoff to a batch of home-made caramel really ups the deliciousness of the creamy sauce. I originally made this caramel to go over an apple pie (recipe coming soon!) and the leftover caramel has been wonderful over ice cream too!

In other exciting news, Annie’s Cooking Lab now has a Facebook page, be sure to check it out when you have a chance!

Biscoff Caramel 


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup Biscoff Spread
  1. Spread the sugar evenly on the bottom of large, heavy-duty saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Keep a close eye on it, when the sugar around the edges begins to liquefy, use a wooden spoon to gently stir it to the middle.
  2. Continue to carefully stir until the sugar has completely melted and the caramel has reached an amber color. If you’re using a dark-colored pot, it’s helpful to color test the caramel on a white plate or paper towel so you get an accurate view of the color.
  3. Once it has reached an amber color, remove from heat and slowly stir in the heavy cream and salt. As the sugar and cream combine it will steam and bubble profusely, so be careful. The sugar may harden and seize together, if that happens return the pot to medium-low heat and stir until the sugar has melted again and is incorporated with the cream then remove from heat.
  4. Stir the Biscoff Spread into the hot caramel until smooth and combined. Allow the sauce to cool and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Makes: About 2 1/2 cups

Source: An Annie Original

Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake

If you’re still figuring out what to make for dessert for Thanksgiving dinner, or if you’re looking for a dessert that’s a little different for your upcoming holiday dinners, this Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake is a great choice.  The rich cheesecake is smooth, creamy and has a great, subtle cappuccino flavor that isn’t too overwhelming. The flavor intensifies over time, so make the cheesecake a day before you need it to allow the flavors to meld.

You can make this in a springform pan, or in a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake


  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 6 tbl. butter, melted
  • 3 tbl. sugar
  • 3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tbl. whipping cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. instant coffee granules dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup coffee flavored liqueur, like Kahlua
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbl. coffee flavored liquor
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 or 10 inch springform pan (or 9 x 13 inch pan).
  2. Combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, butter and sugar. Mix well and press into the prepared pan.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth, add 1 cup sugar and mix until blended. Add the eggs one at a time on low speed until smooth.
  4. Use a double boiler set over simmering (not boiling) water to melt 8 oz. semisweet chocolate with 2 tbl. whipping cream.
  5. Add the melted chocolate mixture to the cream cheese and slowly mix until blended. Add the sour cream, salt, coffee, coffee liqueur and vanilla. Mix until combined. Pour into prepared pan.
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes until the center just slightly jiggles. While the cheesecake is baking, combine the sour cream, sugar and coffee flavored liquor. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and carefully spread the sour cream mixture over the top. Return to oven and bake for 5 more minutes.
  7. Leave the cheesecake in the oven with the heat turned off and the door ajar for about an hour. Remove cheesecake from the oven and refrigerate for at least 12 hours before eating.
Adapted from AllRecipes

Biscoff White Chocolate Chip Blondies

I’m totally hooked on Biscoff Spread. If you haven’t had it before, it tastes a bit like a combination of cinnamon and ginger snap, basically, it’s delicious. A few months ago I made some Chocolate Biscoff Brownies, which were a big hit. This time, I wanted some blondies that really highlighted the Biscoff flavor.

Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of cake-like blondies or brownies, I like mine chewy and these Biscoff Blondies definitely hit the mark on texture. They have a nice cinnamony flavor which pairs great with the white chocolate chips.

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Chicago Metallic

Biscoff White Chocolate Chip Blondies


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Biscoff Spread
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 8 x 8 inch pan with tin foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave using a microwave safe bowl, add 3/4 cup white chocolate chips. Let sit for a minute to allow the chips to soften and then stir until smooth. If necessary, place the bowl back in the microwave for a few seconds.
  3. Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the melted butter/white chocolate chip mixture, eggs and Biscoff. Stir to combine and then add 1/2 cup white chocolate chips.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool and then cut into squares.
Makes: 12 blondies
Source: Picky Palate

Eggnog Cream Cheese Dessert

Eggnog has to be my favorite flavor of the season. I love pumpkin too, but eggnog is always the thing I look forward to most around Christmas time. This no-bake dessert is full of eggnog flavor, and the crunchy Pirouette cookies add some great texture.

Thoughts about this recipe

I made this in a spring form pan like a true cheesecake, but even after it had plenty of time to set, it was never firm enough to slice cleanly. The texture is more similar to a pudding than a cheesecake. You could definitely still go the spring form pan route if you’re not too concerned with how neatly it slices, but next time I make this I think I’ll spoon the filling into chocolate tart cups or pastry shells. Or you could make it in a 9 x 13 pan and scooped out with a spoon. If you decide to go with the 9 x 13 pan, I’d recommend coarsely chopping the Pirouette cookies and putting them on top after the mixture has been able to set.

Eggnog Cream Cheese Dessert


  • 1 can Pirouette cookies
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 3 1/3 cups cold eggnog
  • 2 packages (3.4 oz. each) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  1. If you’re using a spring form pan, cut each cookie into two 2 1/2 inch sections and set aside. Crush the remaining 1-inch pieces and combine them with the graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into the bottom of a greased 9-in. spring form pan.
  2. Use a mixer to beat the cream cheese until smooth, slowly add in the eggnog, dry pudding mixes and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form and then fold into the cream cheese mixture. Spoon the mixture into the pan or tart shells you’re using and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
  3. Arrange the cookies around the dessert, or crumble them over the top.
Adapted from Taste of Home

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Last weekend a friend I decided to neglect our school work and go for a hike in the snow followed by dinner and a movie at my house. I had all the ingredients on hand for some tasty Corn and Cheese Chowder which was perfect way to warm up after a cold hike. My friend said she’d be in charge of bringing ingredients for us to make dessert and I was so excited to see that she’d picked out these truffles!

Eating the cookie dough is usually one of the best parts of making cookies, but then you feel bad because you’re supposed to be making cookies- not snacking on the dough! These cute little truffles taste just like cookie dough and since they don’t have any eggs, they’re totally safe to eat. These can be decorated in all sorts of creative ways and they’ll look like a suitable ‘grown up’ dessert, even though you’re eating cookie dough!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • Chocolate bark for melting (milk, semi-sweet, dark, or white chocolate)
  • Chocolate chips, sprinkles, etc for decoration (optional)
  1. Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and brown sugar , add the vanilla. Slowly add in the flour and mix until incorporated. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and beat until thoroughly combined, then  miniature chocolate chips.
  2. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour or until the dough is very firm (don’t freeze). Use a small cookie scoop to make tablespoon-sized balls and place them on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.
  3. Melt the chocolate bark in a glass bowl. Dip the chilled cookie dough balls into the chocolate and scoop them out with a fork to allow the extra chocolate to drip off. Place on the waxed paper and decorate with extra chocolate, sprinkles, etc.
  4. Serve at room temperature or chilled

Makes: 3-4 dozen

Source: Recipe Girl

Corn and Cheese Chowder

This soup is… amazing. It’s definitely one of the best soups I’ve had in a while. The pepper jack and Monterrey jack cheeses give the perfect level of spice and add a very unique, and delicious flavor. This recipe makes about six servings, I ate it for lunch and dinner three days in a row if that gives you any idea about the awesomeness of this soup!

Corn and Cheese Chowder 


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cups frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Pepper Jack cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup green onions, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  1. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes until slightly translucent. Add the bell peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the frozen corn and cook for a minute.
  2. Sprinkle flour over the top of the vegetables and stir to combine. Slowly pour in broth and stir to combine. Allow to cook and thicken for about 4 minutes. Reduce the head to medium and stir in the milk. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the cheeses and green onions, stirring until the cheese is melted. Salt and pepper to taste.

Makes: About 6 Servings

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Split Pea Soup

This fast and easy soup is delicious on a cool fall day, it’s loaded with hearty vegetables and is filling without being heavy. Most split pea soups don’t include cloves which are a delicious addition and make this soup a little more unique.
I like to cut my vegetables so they are on the chunky side, if you like them finer cut then add them later in the cooking process so they don’t get too soft. This freezes really well, so consider doubling the recipe and freezing individual sized servings for later use!
Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Pacific Natural Foods

Split Pea Soup


  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 2 tbl. olive oil
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup potatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 cups dried split peas, rinsed
  • 48 oz. vegetable broth
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot, saute the onion until barely translucent. Add broth and split peas. Tie the cloves in a bit of cheesecloth, and add them and the other spices.
  2. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add vegetables and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes until split peas are fully softened. Remove cloves from the soup.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!
Makes: 6-8 servings
Source: Family Recipe

Caramelized Onion and Herb Risotto

I’ve always enjoyed having risotto in restaurants, but it seemed complicated and intimidating, so I never got around to trying it at home. When I found this recipe I was really surprised at how straight forward it was, and it turned out great! It was smooth and creamy and full of great flavor. I decided to keep it simple, but you could certainly throw in some more vegetables if you want.

I’m participating in a holiday recipe exchanged hosted by  My Baking Addiction and Good Life Eats. This week is sponsored by  Shenandoah Growers Organic Fresh Herbs

Recipe Title


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbl. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio (medium grain) rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated; about 1 cup
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli (optional)
  • 2 tbl. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbl. fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 tbl. fresh chives, minced
  • Pepper
  1. Add olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are brown and caramelized, then set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the broth and water; heat to a simmer.
  3. Add 2 tbl. of butter to a large pot over medium heat. Once it’s melted, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until it’s fragrant. Add the rice and stir to coat. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the grains are translucent around the edges.
  4. Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2-3 minutes until the liquid is fully absorbed. Add 5 cups of the hot broth mixture to the rice. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for about 16-19 minutes, stirring twice, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente.
  5. Add 3/4 cup of the hot broth mixture to the rice and gently stir for about 3 minutes until the risotto is creamy. Add the Parmesan and stir until combined. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  6. If you’re using broccoli, steam it briefly and then set aside.
  7. Add the caramelized onions, 2 tbl. butter, lemon juice, parsley and chives to the risotto. Season with salt and pepper. You can add up to an additional 1/2 cup of the remaining broth mixture to loosen the texture if desired. Top with steamed broccoli prior to serving.
Makes: 6 servings
Adapted from Annie’s Eats