raspberry almond sugar cookie pie

I’m getting this post up later than I had originally wanted, but sick kiddos and mama puts everything behind schedule, right?  At least they look like they are returning to health.  If I could kick this sore throat, things would be golden!  I know the last thing you need when you’re feeling under-the-weather is sugar, BUT this pie is delicious.  I’ll blame pregnancy hormones.  I go to my pantry these days and think, “What unhealthy thing do I have in here??”  Pudding – check.  Sugar – check.  Sweetened condensed milk – check.  Okay, let’s find them some friends…  And I go to the refrigerator and the wheels start turning…  I see cream cheese and immediately think of Pioneer Woman’s mock cheesecake.  Yum.  Then, I see fresh raspberries.  Natural sweetness and would be AMAZING with these other things.  Then, I start thinking about my friend Jill’s out-of-this-world almond torte and remember that I have almond extract.  Crust…  Crust…  This thing is gonna need a crust…  SUGAR COOKIE!  Bingo.  Done.  And thus, an unhealthy but wildly good recipe is born.

Here it is, friends!  It’s not quite a cheesecake, not quite a pudding, kind of has the consistency of a custard (even though it’s not one).  It’s just special.  Thick, rich, sweet, and special.  I hope you like it.  I have admittedly eaten it for breakfast.  It’s so rich that you will only need a sliver to satisfy your sweet tooth.  It goes perfectly with coffee, and it’s pretty.  We like pretty.  Don’t skimp on the berries either.  They are insanely good in this pie.  Enjoy!

For crust:

  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temp.
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
Prepare crust:

  • chill dough for about 30 mins
  • roll flat on floured surface
  • spray pie dish with cooking spray (i use coconut oil spray) 
  • place dish upside down on crust and quickly flip over (i flipped my entire cutting board over.  it was messy, but better than trying to pick up the dough and move it by hand.  dough will want to fall apart, since it’s cookie dough and not a typical crust.)
  • press dough into shape in dish (aka make it pretty)
  • bake at 350 for 20 mins.  
  • press down immediately to recreate a well for the filling (crust will rise significantly while baking)

For filling:

  • single 3.4 oz package of instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 4 tbsp. milk (more if desired for a less dense filling)
  • at least pint of fresh raspberries, chopped (more if desired)
Prepare pie:

  • spread with chopped berries
  • fill with mixture
  • chill overnight for best results / flavor

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Deliciously Sweet and Cream Pumpkin Pie

Well, the hubs thought that I was nutso for baking a pumpkin pie in January, but truth be told:


1) It’s my all-time favorite pie.
2) I still have 2 cans of Trader Joe’s Organic Pumpkin (15 oz) in the pantry.
3) It’s my favorite pie.
4) I had the other ingredients.
5) I’m very pregnant and it’s my favorite pie.

None of the recipes that I came across really struck me as perfect (and I didn’t have any evaporated milk or whipping cream), so I decided to just skim over a few trusted sites and kind of make things up on my own.

I am happy to report: It turned out perfectly!

Here’s the very simple recipe. (It took literally 5 minutes to whip up in the KitchenAid mixer.)


Deliciously Sweet and Creamy Pumpkin Pie

1 15 oz can of TJ’s Organic Pumpkin
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c. half n half
1 c. soy milk (or coconut or almond)
1 tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (I use TJ’s)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. corn starch
1/2 c. brown sugar

Mix well. Pour into prepared pie crust. (I had a pre-made one on-hand and thawed out.)

Bake at 375 for 65 minutes. I covered the crust edge with a pie shield for the final 15 minutes.

Check for doneness by inserting a kitchen butterknife into the center. (It will still wobble, but if it comes out clean, it’s done.)

Chill in refrigerator overnight, and devour way too much with your kids during breakfast.  😉


my go-to list for a get-together (over a dozen yummies)

my go-to list for a get-together:

(all of these recipes have been personally tested and publicly praised!  you can’t go wrong!)
1 – pioneer woman caesar salad {link here} (see video)
2- pioneer woman greek salad {link here}
3 – sausage and cream cheese pinwheels (we LOVE these. i personally use italian sausage and pioneer woman’s cinnamon roll dough recipe. i like how the savory is balanced with the sweet bread.) {link here}
4 – cheese ball (see video)
5 – caramelized ham and cheese sandwiches {link here}
6 – asian chicken salad (my aunt’s delicious recipe)
7 – meyer lemon tarts (what i’m making for tonight’s get-together) 
{photo and link coming soon}
8 – cookies or gobs (making peppermint gobs, aka whoopie pies, for tomorrow’s get-together) {link coming soon}
9 – truffles (easy-to-make-ones like my ‘salted caramel oreo truffles’) {link here}
10 – grape salad {link here} or snickers caramel apple salad {link here}
11 – buffalo chicken ring {link here}
12 – amazing fruit dip (perfect with apples, grapes, or berries) 
recipe:  simply mix one can of sweetened condensed milk with one 8oz block of softened cream cheese. done. amazing. add to it or don’t; it’s perfection.

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salted caramel oreo truffles

ok. this is simply simple and divine…
i love oreo truffles. love ’em. any flavor. any kind of chocolate. any kind of decoration. love ’em. i’ll eat them ALL!!! so, of course i bought the ingredients to make them this year. i had a bag of caramels staring at me from the pantry, and it occurred to me that this bag of caramels would like to make-friends with my favorite ‘cookie’. so, the girls and i kindly introduced them! guess what! they hit it off and are now madly in love! woo hoo! hubby came home and devoured the few i had sitting out, commenting between happy groans that they were gooooood.

so here’s how easy it is…

1. slowly pulverize a bag of chocolate oreos (or imitators) in your food processor. once it’s a fine powder – stop.

2. add in an entire 8 oz block of cream cheese in manageable chunks, blending until it’s all one happy gooey family.

3. melt caramels (according to package suggestions – aka add the 2 tbsp of milk and heat in microwave til creamy. stir often and well.)

my little caramel fairies…  they took their duties so seriously.  it was adorable.  even eden grace was focused.  haha

4. pour about 1/2 c. of melted caramel into mixture and about THREE PINCHES of kosher salt. blend until the caramel and salt is incorporated well.

5. transfer to a glass dish and cover with plastic wrap.

6. let it hang out in the freezer for at least an hour. the caramel makes this mixture extremely difficult to work with – impossible to work with, unless it’s very firm. it will also warm up and turn all gooey on you quickly, so freeze between rolling/dipping.

7.  using a spoon, scoop out a tablespoon at a time, and roll into a ball between your clean, dry palms.  

8. melt chocolate of choice.

9. dip each frozen ball into the chocolate (i like to roll it around between two spoons). place it on wax paper and decorate. i used clear sugar crystals b/c it reminded me of salt. my next batch may have drizzled caramel and crystals.

update…my next batch did in fact get the caramel drizzle treatment, and whoa, buddy!  they are yummy!!!

10. eat them. 😉

11.  share them?

the creamy texture of this recipe is unbelievable! you would never guess that they were made with cookies! seriously. these truffles are smoother, richer, and more ganache-like than any truffle i have ever eaten. they are awesome. and easy. and yummy. and a cinch. and deliciously rich. and awesome. did i say that already? 😉

i mean, look at that!

long live the truffle. amen.
what’s your holiday weakness?

feel free to share the love and pin!

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my ‘why not’ cookie (hazel/coco-nutty cookies)

just a quick little ditty about a cookie, b/c i’m sitting here eating the whole bag. :/

the mister and i wanted a ‘snack’ for saturday’s in-house movie night, and i remembered that i had a bag of oatmeal cookie mix from aldi’s sitting in the pantry. problem: i was out of chocolate chips and needed a fix. enter the not-so-good-for-me-but-it’s-a-cookie-so-you’ve-already-blown-it ingredient: nutella. the mix called for EIGHT tablespoons of butter. that’d be an entire stick, friends. i feel my waistline expanding just thinking about it (b/c i know me and i know me and cookies. they don’t stand a chance.) enter the i’m-trying-to-redeem-myself-and-make-myself-feel-better-about-eating-sixteen-of-these-tonight ingredient: coconut oil.

yep. instead of EIGHT tablespoons of butter, i used three tbsps of nutella, three tbsps of coconut oil and two tbsps of butter. there. total = eight tbsps of something.

baked them up and yup, there good. just as good, if not better than anything out of a box. i’d take ’em over a bag of vanilla wafers or oreos…

so, the point is, if you’re going to eat sixteen cookies that you are too lazy to make from scratch on movie night, at least turn it into an experiment! haha

off to eat hazel/coco-nutty oatmeal cookies…

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