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Currently Baking {Vanilla Moons for the Holidays}

 
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Holiday Cookie Season is finally here!! They’ve been a favorite of mine since I can remember! When I was a little girl living in Germany, I would always look forward to the Holiday Season so that I could help my Mom bake our favorite recipes.

These “Vanillekipferl”, or Vanilla Moons in English, are my absolute favorites. They’re light and airy with a perfectly crumbly texture, and the buttery vanilla flavor pairs beautifully with a cup of cappuccino or a shot of espresso. These are definitely worth a try – trust me, you’ll be hooked!

XO

 
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Currently Baking {Orange Amaretti}

 
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Thanksgiving is almost here, and with it comes a wave of cooking/baking nostalgia for many of us! Do you have a favorite cake/cookie/pie/tart that always reminds you of the Holiday Season?? I’d love to hear about it!

In the meantime, let me introduce you to one of my childhood favorites – reinvented. As a kid growing up in Germany, we often vacationed in Italy during school breaks (it’s just a short drive away, afterall!) Italians love their almonds!! The traditional “Amaretti” cookie is a staple in Italy with its sweet & fragrant almond flavor and that crackly crust (hiding a deliciously chewy center.) I truly could eat these cookies by the handful! Most Americans tend to favor peanuts or pecans when baking cookies, but trust me – giving this intense almond flavor a chance will open new, delicious horizons for you!

This recipe is an easy & naturally gluten free version of the Italian staple. The addition of fresh orange zest gives the cookie a little brightness in flavor. Feel free to omit the orange zest or use lemon/lime instead. I really, really hope you try this recipe for yourself! It’s such a simple way to bring a little of the “Old World” into your house, and people are easily won over by the surprisingly new flavor.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, and I’ll see you back here on Friday.

XO

{All Photos by Miss Renaissance.}

 
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Currently Baking {Apple-Caramel Pie Pops}

 

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Miss Renaissance Recipes

Miss Renaissance does Pie Pops

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I Love Pie. I also love Lollipops. The natural progression is, of course, Pie Pops! I’ve seen these types of “mini pies” around…as party favors, or part of wedding dessert tables, so I decided to finally try them out for myself. The apple pie filling was a no-brainer – it’s perfect for Fall/Winter. But the addition of the soft & gooey salted caramels was the special touch here!

These are much simpler to make than you’d think. All you need is a batch of your favorite pie dough recipe (this one is a great option), a peeled & finely diced apple or two (I used 1 apple for 6 Pie Pops), a mix of sugar & cinnamon, some basic wooden sticks (traditional popsicle sticks will also work), and your favorite store-bough soft caramels (salted or not, that’s your choice.)

Simply roll out your dough and cut out 2 circles for each Pie Pop. The size of the circles is totally up to you. Then lay the bottom circle on your lined baking sheet, place the wooden stick on top, and fill with a little pile of the sliced apple. Sprinkle the apple with a bit of the cinnamon/sugar mix & top with 2 pieces of the caramel (I cut my caramels in half.) Then top the filling with the other pie dough circle and make sure to press the edges together very well. Use a fork to press the edges even further (and to make the pretty edge pattern.) Voila! Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes. If you’d like to get extra fancy, you can brush the top circle with a little stirred egg and sprinkle it with some more cinnamon/sugar. This will give the crust a nice golden sheen and texture.

These Pie Pops are so fun & pretty to look at, but they’re even better to eat. The apple mix cooks down to a juicy & tart filling, and the soft caramels add sweetness & an extra depth of flavor. I could see these as a perfect dessert for a fun Holiday Party! I used washi tape to give the sticks a touch of color (post-baking, of course!), but you can also add some ribbon or a fun bow to dress them up a bit.

XO

{All Photos by Miss Renaissance.}