Star Shaped Raspberry Hand Pies

As I write this, I’m on day 20 of a whole 30. I figured that with quarantine, it was kind of the perfect time to complete a whole 30 for the year since I didn’t finish the one I attempted in January. Without the usual temptations from work, social gatherings, networking events, etc. it’s been nice and easy so far!

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With that being said, I made sure to make a festive Memorial Day themed treat before I started the 30 days. Would you expect anything less of me?

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These star-shaped hand pies have the most delicious raspberry jam filling and super flakey, buttery crust. They’re drizzled with white icing (an allusion to the “stripes” part of “stars and stripes”!) They’re the perfect size to curb your sweet tooth without overloading on pie (although, is that even possible?) and the best part is you don’t have to use anything other than your hands to eat them. Wahoo!

Star Shaped Raspberry Jam Hand Pies

ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1/3 cup butter, chilled and cubed

1/3 cup crisco, chilled cubed

~ 7 tablespoons ice water

raspberry jam

1 egg, for egg wash

2 tablespoons of powdered sugar

a few drops of water (or lemon juice)

directions:

Process the flour, sugar, and salt together. Add the cold butter and the shortening. Gradually add the water to the mixture, tablespoon by tablespoon, until the crust holds together.

Flatten the crust into two rounds, wrap them in parchment paper, and let them rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400 F.

When ready, roll out the dough disks and, using a cookie cutter, cut out the star shapes. Place whatever dough you’re not working with in the refrigerator, to keep cool. Assemble half the stars on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the other half of the stars in the fridge.

Add a 1/2 tablespoon of jam to the center of each star. Cover these with the remaining star cut-outs. Use the back of a fork to press down all around the perimeter of each hand pie, this will seal the edges to prevent seepage, as well as create the crimping effect.

Use a small, sharp knife to cut a little cross in the center of each star so as to allow for venting.

Brush each assembled hand pie with the egg wash. Place all of the assembled hand pies in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Transfer the hand pies to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.

While the hand pies cool, make the icing drizzle by combining the powdered sugar and a few drops of water (more or less, depending on desired consistency.) 

Once the hand pies are cooled, quickly drizzle the icing over the hand pies. The icing will harden quickly, then your pies are ready to enjoy!

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So, Memorial Day 2020. No real plans as of yet except I demand to be outside, weather permitting. I got some new kindle books delivered so at the very least, you can find me in the park on a picnic blanket. Have a good one, friends!

 

 

Eggs Nest Macaroons

With all that’s been happening in the world, I’ve almost forgotten that Easter is right around the corner.

I’ve been quarantining for about 3 weeks now, but it feels like a LOT longer. I miss my friends, I miss over-paying for coffee, I miss my yoga studio, and with Raleigh having 70-80 degree weather, I am really sad that the pool in my apartment building isn’t open.

With that being said, I know I’m so so lucky. I’m still working and my family is healthy. While quarantining alone can be lonely at times, I’m grateful that I’m able to exist in my space however I want (and I’m happy I spent so much time making sure my home was cute and cozy). Quarantine has prompted some good changes, too: It’s forced me to find new ways to stay connected with my friends, like collaborating on playlists, working out together over FaceTime, doing Zoom happy hours, etc. It’s helped me get back into running outdoors and prompted me to try the Peloton streaming workouts, which I’ve discovered I love! I’m not putting a ton of pressure on myself to accomplish SO much during this time – this is a collective traumatic experience and I’m cool with taking it easy. But I am happy with the opportunity to read a little more, learn procreate, watch some movies, and bake!

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Which brings me to these Eggs Nest Macarons. Ugh, I love these guys. I made them a few years ago (seen in this embarrassing post) and just adored how simple, delicious, and festive they are. Keep in mind, they are so freakin’ sweetBut if you’re like me and have a sweet tooth, they’re perfect. 

They incorporate three of my favorite things to satisfy my sweet tooth with: shredded coconut, chocolate hazelnut spread, and mini Cadbury eggs. I’m impressed that this year I’ve only purchased one bag of eggs. One year I think I totaled more like 10. No regrets.

Also – this was my first time using the Good & Gather brand from Target. It’s more affordable than brand name products and honestly I’m really impressed. Nutella is one of my favorite things, and this version was just as good as the real stuff. Not sponsored (omg can you imagine?!), but just thought it was worth sharing!

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Eggs Nest Macaroons

ingredients:

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 large egg white

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 cups sweetened coconut

chocolate hazelnut spread

mini cadbury eggs

directions:

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir the sweetened condensed milk, egg white, vanilla extract, and salt together until combined. Add in the coconut and mix.

Scoop up about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and place it onto the prepared baking sheet. Shape the cookie into that of a bird’s nest. It’s okay if it’s a little imperfect, most nests are! With your thumb, press down into the center of the cookie to make an indent. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Bake the cookies for 17 to 20 minutes, or until slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and press your thumb down in the center of the nests again. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets until they are firm and set. Then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool completely.
Place some chocolate hazelnut spread in the center of each nest. Place 2-3 egg candies in the center of each nest, then enjoy!

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Coffee Milkshakes with Lucky Charms

Alright you guys, St. Patrick’s Day was two days ago but amidst all of this COVID-19 stuff, things have been…off.

I’m fine. I’m working remotely as much as possible and feeling pretty lucky to be able to do so. We have a couple of photoshoots that we can’t reschedule, but otherwise I’ve been staying home. Living alone is kind of the best/kind of the worst right now. One one hand, nobody is around to drive me crazy and I can do whatever and be as weird as I want. On the other hand, things are getting really weird.

Ultimately, I’m trying to keep things as normal as possible (read: not doing work from my bed and showering daily) and use the time at home to my advantage. I’m trying to make time to draw, read, learn how to adequately paint my own nails, do live-streaming workouts, FaceTime my people, cook, watch all the movies on my must-see list, and avoid feeling too down about not being able to exercise my extroversion. Pretty shitty that I went on a great date with someone right before we all went into quarantine, right?!

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Annnyway, as you can imagine St. Patrick’s Day looked a little different around here. Instead of the grand plans I had to go out with friends and drink green beers at a block party in Raleigh and then a hockey game, I was left to my own devices. I still wore green, I listened to my entire St. Patrick’s Day playlist, I watched Brave & P.S I Love You, and I drank one of these instead. I developed this recipe for one of the products I’m doing content creation & marketing for (BOSS Coffee, it’s good y’all!) — it’s a coffee-flavored milkshake topped off with fresh whipped cream and Lucky Charms marshmallows. I know, right?!

So here’s what you do:

Coffee Milkshakes with Lucky Charms

ingredients:

½ cup cold black coffee
½ cup whole milk
3 cups vanilla ice cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
green food coloring
whipped cream
Lucky Charms marshmallows

directions:

add the coffee, milk, ice cream, vanilla extract, and food coloring to a blender and combine until you get a thick, smooth consistency.

Divide into two glasses, top with whipped cream (you can use canned or make your own), and sprinkle the Lucky Charms marshmallows on top. Enjoy IMMEDIATELY!💚

Couldn’t be easier, right? And look, I’m sorry I didn’t get this out to you sooner… but look on the bright side: use a different color of food dye and swap out the Lucky Charms marshmallows for crushed mini cadbury eggs and you’ve got yourself an Easter treat!

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