Roasted Tomato Cobbler with Gruyere Biscuits

Tomato Cobbler ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

I’m not a huge fan of tomatoes, so I was a bit skeptical of this recipe, but after seeing it posted on so many blogs with nothing but rave reviews I had to give it a try and I’m so glad I did. The tomatoes are baked with caramelized onions and thyme until some of the tomatoes burst and release their juices. On top is a quick and easy drop biscuit with gruyere cheese in the biscuit and baked on top. The ingredients are fairly simple, but the end result is delicious. Definitely my favorite way to eat tomatoes!

Tomato Cobbler ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

Roasted Tomato Cobbler


  • 2 tbl. olive oil
  • 2 tbl. unsalted butter
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 3 lbs. cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tbl. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 1/3 cup grated gruyere cheese, separated
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  1. Add the oil and butter to a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onions and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have caramelized. Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes, remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, flour, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir in the caramelized onions and spread the mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Use a pastry cutter to add the butter and mix until it resembles coarse meal. Add 1 cup of cheese and the heavy cream and mix until it comes together.
  5. Use about 1/2 cup of dough in each biscuit. Drop them across the tomato mixture then top with the remaining 1/3 cup of shredded cheese.
  6. Bake for about 60-70 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown and the tomatoes are bubbling. Transfer to a rack and allow to cool for about 20 minutes before serving.
Makes: About 6-8 servings
Adapted from Tracy’s Culinary Adventures

Southern Comfort Apple Pie

Southern Comfort Apple Pie ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

We had an apple pie contest at work a few weeks ago. I tried a couple of different recipes that were good but not great before I remembered bookmarking this recipe last year. I did a couple of test runs and made a few minor modifications to the original recipe and ended up with a pretty amazing pie all thanks to a caramel sauce made from Southern Comfort. This is a little more time-consuming than your average pie, but it also doesn’t taste like your average pie, so I think it’s time well spent!

The crust is flaky and buttery, just like a good crust should be, the apples retain their texture and have that amazing spiced caramel sauce and the topping bakes into something that is like a mix between a streusel and a praline. I’d highly recommend serving the pie warm with a scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream or some whipped cream. Despite being served to the judges without whipped cream or ice cream, this pie was still awarded the best apple pie made with a homemade crust!

Southern Comfort Apple Pie

Pie Crust*

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbl. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 tbl. cold, unsalted butter cut into tablespoon sized pieces
  • 3 tbl. very cold water

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment. Stir briefly to blend the ingredients. Add in the butter and mix on medium-low speed until the mixture resembles coarse sand and the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas. Mix in the cold water until the dough just comes together.

Shape the dough into a disk and cover in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the pie.


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tbl. packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup chilled, unsalted butter, cut in tablespoon sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves, chopped

Use a food processor or a pastry cutter to combine the sugars, cinnamon, salt and flour. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Stir in the chopped pecans and refrigerate until ready to use.

Apple Filling

  • 5-6 apples ( I used 3 Granny Smith and 2 Honeycrisp), peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 tbl. apple pie spice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup Southern Comfort liqueur
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted and started to foam, add the apples and sauté for 5-8 minutes until the apples are slightly softened and have released some of their juices. Add the sugar and apple pie spice and cook for another minute. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the apples to a baking sheet or cutting board, leave as much of the liquid in the pan as possible. Arrange the apples in a single layer so they won’t get soggy.

Pour the Southern Comfort into the butter-sugar mixture in the skillet and simmer over medium heat until all the alcohol burns off, around 5-10 minutes (smell the mixture at a close range, if it burns your nostrils the alcohols is still cooking off). Add the cream and simmer until the mixture is very thick, but still pourable, about 5-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Roll out your pie crust on a floured surface and place it in a deep dish 9-inch pie pan. Add the apples back into the skillet with the sauce and stir to coat. Pour the apples and sauce into the pie pan (do not fill more than 1/2 inch below the top of the crust). Sprinkle evenly with the topping. Place a cookie sheet under the pie pan to catch any liquid that bubbles over and bake for 50-60 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the topping is brown. Cool before slicing.

*Ideally this pie should be made in a deep dish pie pan, if you don’t have a deep dish pan it can be made in a regular pie pan, just make sure you don’t fill it too full. I ended up having some leftover apples at the end, but,I certainly didn’t let them go to waste. Leftover caramel-y apples are delicious warmed up and served over ice cream!

Adapted from: Williams Sonoma and 20 Something Cupcakes

S’Mores Bars

S'mores Bars ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

Making homemade marshmallows was on the list of things I wanted to try this summer, I can’t imagine how amazing s’mores would be with some homemade marshmallows, but the summer passed before I got around to it. I’m thinking the marshmallows might happen this winter when it’s cold enough for hot cocoa, but until hot cocoa season comes around, these S’mores Bars were an excellent fix for my need to try making marshmallow! It’s a surprisingly easy process and it tastes so much better than the store-bought ones.

These bars combine all the good things from a s’more made around the campfire into a bar cookie. A thick, slightly salty graham cracker bar on the bottom is a great balance to the chocolate filling and marshmallow topping. I used a combination of semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate in the middle to help cut the sweetness. If you’re going for the true campfire s’more flavor feel free to use some Hersey’s bars instead!

S’Mores Bars


  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet or bittersweet)
  • 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tarter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 9 pan with foil and set aside.
  2. Mix all the crust ingredients (graham cracker crumbs through salt) together and press evenly into the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and set aside. Turn off the oven.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk over medium-low heat. Stir until melted and combined, then pour over the crust.
  4. Make the marshmallow by combing the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Boil until a candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees.
  5. While the syrup is heating up, beat 2 egg whites and the cream of tarter together until stiff peaks form.
  6. When the syrup is ready, turn the mixer on low and drizzle the syrup down the side of the bowl into the egg white mixture. When all the syrup has been added, increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for about 7 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat one more minute. Spread about 1 1/2-2 cups of the fluff over the chocolate layer. Store the remaining marshmallow fluff in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  7. Plan the pan under the broiler for around 1 minute until the marshmallow layer is golden brown. Cool completely before cutting.
Makes: About 9-12 bars
Adapted from Cookies & Cups

Stacked Enchiladas

Stacked Enchiladas ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

Earlier this month I signed up on a meal train to bring dinner to some friends who recently had a baby. They’re also vegetarians which made it easy for me- I always stress about what to prepare for meat eaters! I made these staked enchiladas for myself first to test them out and was so pleased with how tasty and flavorful they were. Homemade enchilada sauce is perfect in here, but if you’re tight on time you can certainly use the canned stuff.

These stacked enchiladas have all the awesome flavor of regular enchiladas, but take a fraction of the time to put together since there’s no need to tediously roll each tortilla. This dish also refrigerates well if you want to make it ahead of time. It might take a few extra minutes in the oven, but the flavor and texture will still be great.

Stacked Enchiladas


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 cup red enchilada sauce (or more as you prefer)
  • 8-10 small corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onions and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the red pepper and continue cooking until the onion is soft and translucent. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked onion and red pepper with the black beans, corn, cumin, chili powder, garlic and jalapeno.
  4. Spread a very thin layer of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a baking pan, I used a 9 x 9 inch pan. Add a layer of tortillas, cutting them as necessary to achieve an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Top with 1/2 of the bean mixture and 1/3 of the cheese. Add another layer of tortillas and spread the tortillas with enchilada sauce. Add the remaining bean mixture and another 1/3 of the cheese. Top with more tortillas, enchilada sauce, and the remaining cheese.
  5. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 10 minutes until the cheese melts. Allow the enchiladas to cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.
Makes: About 4 servings
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy PB Chocolate Chip Cookies ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

Earlier this summer I attended a potluck with some coworkers. I had planned to make a tart, but my defective oven turned the tart crust to charcoal and I had to quickly improvise a new dessert plan that didn’t involve an extra trip to the store. Luckily I had everything I needed to make these tasty cookies and they were a total hit at the potluck.

I love all things peanut butter, and peanut butter cookies are certainly no exception. Some chocolate chips and a sprinkle of sea salt tops these chewy cookies off perfectly!

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • course ground salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Cream the putter and peanut butter on medium high for one minute. Add the sugars and beat for another minute until fluffy. Stir in the egg and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the creamed butter mixture and beat until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes. Scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet and sprinkle with course ground sea salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes: About 2 dozen
Source: Foodie Bride

Red Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada Sauce ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

I love Mexican food, partially because it’s so vegetarian friendly- lots of beans, rice, and veggies, but also because of the spices and flavors that are used. I just started making my own enchilada sauce this summer and I’m so glad I did. As with most things homemade, it’s significantly tastier than the stuff from the grocery store, and it isn’t filled with lots of weird preservatives.

Make sure you buy good quality chili powder, it provides most of the flavor in the sauce. Depending on the brand you get your sauce might turn out fairly bright red, or a more reddish-brown like mine. Either way it’ll be great for enchiladas, as a dressing over a Tex-Mex style salad, or as a dip with chips and veggies.

Red Enchilada Sauce


  • 4 tbl. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tbl. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbl. flour
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  1. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, garlic powder, salt, cumin, and oregano.
  2. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir for one minute. Add the spices and stir to combine. Gradually pour in the broth whisking constantly to keep it smooth and lump free. Simmer for about 10 minutes until thick.
  3. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Makes: About 2 cups
Source: Gimme Some Oven

Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

I know our time is limited to cook with summer fruits and I had to get in one more baking project with fresh strawberries. We had a summer picnic at work a few weeks ago and everyone contributed desserts. I brought these cupcakes and they were very well received they were all gone before I got through the dinner line!

This is quickly becoming my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe, the cake has a great chocolate flavor and a moist texture, It’s sturdy enough to handle filling and frosting without being too dense,  it’s pretty close to perfect! The strawberry filling is quick and easy to make, and you could easily do it a day or two in advance and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to prepare the cupcakes. Finishing it off is some rich and creamy Swiss meringue buttercream. An excellent combination all the way around!

Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes



  • 1 1/2 cups fresh diced organic strawberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbl. corn starch


  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbl. Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbl. hot water
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup + 1 tbl. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tbl. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sour cream


  • 2 tbl. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract



  1. Combine the diced strawberries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally until the berries soften and release their juices. Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the strawberry juice and pour it in a small bowl. Whisk in the cornstarch to create a paste, then add it back to the saucepan. Cook and stir for several minutes until bubbly and thickened. Remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder and hot water then whisk until smooth. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to blend, then set aside.
  3. Combine the butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is completely melted. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-low speed for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is cool. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and cocoa mixture. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the 24 cupcake tins. Bake for about 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


  1. Melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler*. Stir in the cocoa powder and set aside to cool slightly (when you add the chocolate to the frosting the chocolate should be mostly cool, but still soft enough to stir).
  2. In a double boiler*, whisk the egg whites and sugar together. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Remove from heat and use an electric mixer to beat the eggs for about 6 minutes until they are cool, fluffy, and hold stiff peaks.
  3. On medium-low speed, add the butter a few pieces at a time. Once all the butter is added, turn the mixer on high and beat until smooth and creamy. Add salt, vanilla extract and the chocolate mixture; mix on high speed until combined. Swiss meringue buttercream can be finicky, if at any point the frosting appears curdled just let the mixer keep beating, it will eventually come together!


  1. Use a small knife to cut a cone out of the center of the cupcake. Cut off the point of each cone, leaving a thin lid or cap. Spoon in the strawberry filling, then cover with the cap. Frost the cupcakes and enjoy!

*If you don’t have a double boiler there is a very easy workaround. Just pour about 1/2 inch of water into a small saucepan and set a metal bowl over the top, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Heat the water to a low simmer. The steam from the water will heat the metal bowl and slowly and evenly cook or melt your ingredients. I don’t have a double boiler in my kitchen either, but a bowl over a small saucepan will work perfectly!

Makes: 2 dozen cupcakes

Cake adapted from Martha Stewart via  Annie’s Eats, filling and frosting are my own

Lemon Pie Ice Cream

Lemon Pie Ice Cream ~ Annie's Eats

During a particularly hot and humid week earlier this summer so I decided to experiment with a lemon pie ice cream. Initially it was going to be lemon meringue pie ice cream, but I decided it was just too hot to have the oven on long enough to bake meringue cookies, so I scrapped the meringue and decided to just do a graham cracker crust which requires a much shorter baking time. I was so happy with how this ice cream turned out, the lemon flavor is very refreshing on a hot summer day and I love the crunch from the graham cracker crust crumble.

The lemon flavor comes from two sources, the first is some lemon zest that is combined in a food processor with sugar. The food processor breaks down the zest to ensure that the sugar is fully immersed in bright lemony flavor. I also made a batch of my favorite lemon curd and swirled that with the ice cream after it churned. Lemon curd doesn’t freeze solid so it’s just the right consistency for ice cream. When I’m adding a swirl to ice cream I like to use a pastry bag fit with a petal tip. A plastic bag with the corner cut out, or a spoon will also work. Doesn’t really matter how you do it, just make sure you get some yummy lemon curd in your ice cream!

Lemon Pie Ice Cream


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • zest from 2 lemons
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream, separated
  • pinch salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbl. sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  1. Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse until well combined.
  2. Combine the sugar-lemon zest mixture, milk, 1 cup of cream and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Place the egg yolks in a separate bowl. When the milk mixture is warm, pour it slowly into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 170 degrees.
  3. Pour the hot egg and cream mixture through a mesh strainer into a large bowl. Add the remaining cup of cream and vanilla. Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Pour the melted butter over the mixture and stir until combined. Press into the bottom of a 9 x 9 pan or a pie pan and bake for 5-8 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Set aside to cool completely then gently break into chunks.
  5. When the ice cream mixture is chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After churning, scoop a thin layer of ice cream into a glass or plastic container. Drizzle some lemon curd over the ice cream and sprinkle some chunks of graham cracker crust. Top with another thin layer of ice cream and continue layering the lemon curd, graham cracker crust and ice cream until all the ice cream has been used. Cover the container with a lid and freeze until firm. Enjoy!

Iced Coffee

Iced Coffee ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

The last few weeks have been very busy around here and that combined with some internet issues has resulted in a serious lack of new blog posts, sorry about that! I do have several great recipes photographed and ready to share, so I’ll be back on a regular posting schedule again.

I don’t drink coffee very frequently, but in the summer I love the occasional glass of iced coffee. It’s so refreshing and a great pick-me-up for a hot day. The cold press method for this coffee results in a smooth flavor that is perfect for iced coffee or as the base for an iced latte. This recipe is for a coffee concentrate which makes it convenient to store in the refrigerator. When you’re ready for some coffee, just add the desired amount of water or milk to achieve the strength you like.

Iced Coffee


  • 8 cups water + additional water for serving
  • 1 pound (16 oz.) freshly ground coffee
  1. Combine the coffee grounds and water in a large container and stir to wet all the grounds. Cover and steep at room temperature for 8-12 hours.
  2. Place a fine mesh strainer over another large container and line the strainer with a coffee filter. Slowly pour the coffee through the filter, changing the filter as needed. Transfer the coffee concentrate to the fridge to chill then dilute with additional water or milk when you’re ready to serve. I used about 1 cup of coffee concentrate to 1 3/4 cup of water, but you can adjust that to your taste. The concentrate can be stored in the fridge for about a week and a half.
Adapted from Cook like a Champion

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream ~ Annie's Cooking Lab


National Ice Cream Month is coming to an end. Since I started the month off with a delicious, simple chocolate ice cream, it seemed fitting to end with an equally amazing vanilla bean ice cream. This ice cream is a staple item in my freezer and is the starting point for many of the other ice cream recipes I’ve created. It’s rich, creamy and full of vanilla bean flavor. I also love the pretty black flecks of vanilla bean!

Eat it on its own or enjoy a scoop on a slice of pie or cobbler.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Heat the milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan until warm. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk and add the bean pod to the milk. Cover and remove from heat and let the vanilla bean flavor infuse for 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Re-heat the milk, then slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
  3. Pour the custard through a fine mesh sieve into another bowl. Stir in the cream, then add the vanilla and stir until smooth and well combined. Add the vanilla bean pod back to the mixture then chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Once chilled, remove the vanilla bean pod and freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Makes: 1 quart
Source: The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz