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Eggnog Snickerdoodles

3 Jan

The tastiest way to use up that left over eggnog from the holidays! These snickerdoodles are so fluffy and moist, and bake up so pretty. 🙂

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Ingredients:

1 cup butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup eggnog

4 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cream of tartar

1/3 cup sugar + 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350^F. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time; then add vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, alternating with the eggnog. The dough will be thick and slightly sticky.

Mix together 1/3 cup sugar and ground nutmeg in a small bowl. Shape the dough into rounded tablespoon size balls and roll in sugar and nutmeg mixture. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies are just set and starting to crack.

 

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Snickers Caramel Apple Dip

30 Dec

I wish my picture did this dessert better service. I had to make do with the remnants of the bottom of the bowl because it got eaten so fast. Remnants don’t ever make for wonderful pictures, but they do say a lot about how well people like your dish! So, I’ll count the fact that I didn’t have much to work with, a definite win. Make this. Hide in a closet. Don’t share. 🙂

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Ingredients:

6 regular sized Snickers candy bars

4 medium apples (I suggest a crispy, more tart apple – I used Granny Smith)

1 (5.1 oz) pkg vanilla instant pudding mix

1/2 cup milk

1 (16 oz) tub of cool whip, thawed to room temperature

1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping

Whisk pudding packet, 1/2 cup milk, and cool whip together until well combined. Chop up apples and Snickers into bite size pieces, and combine with pudding mixture. Place in large serving bowl, and drizzle with caramel topping. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

 

 

Pistachio Cake

29 Dec

We made this cake for my daughter’s birthday this past May. Pretty sad that I am only just now getting the recipe posted. But…you guessed it…I lost it. 🙂 We decided to make brownies with the kids tonight, which sent me digging through my recipe box for my favorite gooey brownie recipe which I have, apparently, also lost. But, as luck would have it, I stumbled upon this random list of ingredients written on the back of a birthday card envelope, and I did a little happy dance. My pistachio cake!!! Better late than never. This cake (and frosting…they must, must be served together) is to die for. One of those ridiculous desserts that make your eyes roll back into your head after each bite. So good.

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Ingredients:

Cake-

1 white or vanilla cake mix

1/3 cup oil

1/2 cup water

1 cup club soda

1 (3.4oz) pkg pistachio pudding mix

Frosting-

1 cup powdered sugar

1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese

1 (3.4oz) pkg pistachio pudding mix

1 cup milk

4 oz (about half a tub) cool whip

For cake: Preheat oven to 350^F. Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Bake according to box instructions (cupcake: 21-24 min, bundt: 43-48 min, 13×9: 32-35 min, 2 9″: 28-31 min, 2 8″: 32-35 min). Allow to fully cool before frosting.

For frosting: Cream together powdered sugar and cream cheese. Add pudding, milk, and cool whip (add more milk if frosting is too thick for your liking).

 

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Frosted Zucchini Bars

9 Oct

I will never be a truly successful blogger. Want to know why? Because I get all excited about my blog for about 6 months…then I get lazy. Or busy. Or both. And my poor blog suffers. However! If you stick with me, I promise that I will get to the ever-growing list of recipes. Promise.

Anyone else have zucchini coming out their ears from their over-successful garden? Yeah…me either. We actually have a ton of tomatoes this year (the ironic thing being, I’m the only one in my entire house that eats them) but our zucchini never made it. I think there’s something wrong with us. All of our neighbors got a ton! I’ll trade a few of my tomatoes so I can make these. 🙂 My sister passed this batch along and they look so good!!! (it’s times like these that you curse the fact that your sibling lives clear across the country and you can’t skip over to have a taste)

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Ingredients

    • 1 1/4 c. butter, softened
    • 3/4 c. sugar
    • 3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
    • 3 eggs
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 2 1/2 c. flour
    • 1 Tbsp baking powder
    • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 2 c. zucchini, grated
Frosting
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Blend in zucchini.
  2. Pour into greased jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool.
  3. Prepare frosting. Add more milk if necessary to get right consistency. Spread over cooled bars.

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http://www.julieseatsandtreats.com/2011/07/cinnamon-frosted-zucchini-bars/

 

S’more Brownies

29 Sep

Just spent the last 2 weeks slaving over nine, rather complicated, Shakespearean costumes. Loved it…but I almost went insane. As did my puppy, who was abandoned outside the whole time because I simply could not sew and watch his every move at the same time (he’s a chewer). But don’t you worry, he was able to find ample entertainment. Our drip system will have to be replaced and a few plants have now been replanted about 10 times each. Not sure my husband is happy that I sacrificed the back yard :), but hopefully he’ll forgive the dog…and me.

Here’s my peace offering:

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Ingredients:

  • 14 full graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • one batch of your favorite brownie recipe (boxed or homemade, make as directed but do not bake)
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

First make the graham cracker crust. Put 10 of the graham cracker and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs.  Add butter and mix until combined. Press into the bottom of a 9×12 pan and bake at 350  for 9-10 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from over and let cool for 10 minutes.

Pour on the brownie batter and cook for another 20-25 minutes until almost set.

While baking, crush the remaining graham crackers by hand and combine with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Scatter mix over the brownies and cook for 5-8 minutes until marshmallows are melted and slightly toasted.

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http://bloomdesignsonline.com/2014/01/make-it-monday-brownie-smores.html

Lemon-Lover’s Cupcakes

10 Aug

School starts in 2 weeks. I am in denial. I’ll have two of my kiddos going this year – excited, but sad too! We are squeezing every last drop out of our summer  break and trying to cram in all the last bits of fun and freedom – including doing a little cupcake decorating. Does it count as decorating if you eat most of the toppings before they make it to the actual cupcake? If you love lemon (hence the name) you will love, love these babies. photo 1

 

Ingredients:

1 medium sized lemon

1 pkg plain yellow or vanilla cake mix

1 (3.4 oz) pkg lemon instant pudding

1 (6 oz, 3/4 cup) container lemon yogurt

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 large eggs

Grease and dust two 9″ round cake pans, or line cupcake cups with paper liners.

Rinse lemon and pat dry. Grate enough zest to measure 2 tsp. Set 1 tsp of zest aside for frosting. Cut lemon in half and squeeze out the juice – you will need 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp. Set 2 tsp of lemon juice aside for frosting.

Place cake mix, pudding mix, yogurt, water, oil, eggs, 1 tsp lemon zest, and 1 Tbsp lemon juice in a large mixing bowl and beat until well blended. Divide the batter between cake pan, or fill cupcake liners with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350^F for 25-30 minutes for cakes or 20-25 minutes for cupcakes. Bake until golden brown and the top springs back when lightly pressed with a finger. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

8 Tbsp butter, at room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 tsp lemon zest

2 tsp lemon juice

Place the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl and beat until creamy. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1 tsp lemon zest, and 2 tsp lemon juice. Beat until will combined. Add 1 1/2 cups of the remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Continue to add powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.

 

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Mango Sticky Rice

21 Jul

I love mango sticky rice. Let me rephrase that…I LOVE MANGO STICKY RICE!!!

I’ve got 2 versions of this scrumptious dessert (I use the term ‘dessert’ very loosely, because I eat it for every meal until its gone). One is a little more complex and takes a few extra ingredients – but it’s totally worth it. However, there are days where I just don’t have half of that stuff 🙂 so I have the cheater version too. But the cheater version is almost just as good! Only the teeniest, tiniest of difference (which means that I make the cheater version more often :)). If mangoes are out of season, you can substitute with bananas and/or pineapples.

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Ingredients:

1 cup Jasmine or Glutenous Rice (found in Asian aisle in the grocery store)

1 3/4 cup water

1 ripe mango

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 can coconut milk

1/4 + pinch of salt

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp coconut flavoring

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp water

Soak the sweet rice in 1 cup of water for 20 minutes, up to 1 hour. When done soaking, add 3/4 cup more water, plus 1/4 can coconut milk, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp coconut flavoring, and 1 Tbsp brown sugar. Stir this into the rice. Cook in rice cooker or over stove top.

Sauce:

Warm the rest of the can of coconut milk together with 1/4 cup sugar, pinch of salt, 1 tsp coconut flavoring, and 1 tsp vanilla over medium heat. Add cornstarch mixture (dissolved in water) to the sauce and stir to thicken slightly. As it thickens, turn heat down to low. Remove from heat when thickened. Pour sauce over cooked rice and mix completely. Allow to sit for a few minutes to let the rice absorb the sauce. Serve immediately with sliced mangos.

Quick Version:

1 cup uncooked Jasmine or Glutenous Rice (found in Asian aisle in the grocery store)

1 can coconut milk

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 ripe mango

Cook rice as directed on bag/box (can cook on stove top or in a rice maker). Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine coconut milk, sugar, and salt. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add the hot coconut milk sauce to the cooked rice. Stir until mixed. Slice mangos and top rice. Serve immediately.

 

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Eskimo Bars

12 Jul

I had my doubts about these. Homemade magic shell layer? How well can that turn out…really? Turns out, pretty darn great! I opted to go for the no-dip version, because dipping them was a little tricky and a lota messy (I lack a certain coordination apparently – that and my chocolate must have been a little on the warm side because it was melting my ice cream right off the brownie).  So, I drizzled instead. I poured a layer of caramel sauce (I used a jar of caramel ice cream topping) between the brownie and the ice cream layer instead of dipping it as well. This was both good and bad. I liked having everything together without having to worry about double dipping every time I wanted my caramel fix. However, it made the ice cream a little slippery and my layers didn’t want to stay stuck together. I plan on remedying this eventually (I’ll keep you posted if it works…or you try it and let me know ;)). I’m guessing that if I use my thicker homemade caramel instead of the store bought kind, then I think it will serve as a more effective glue between the ice cream and brownies.  Darn. I hate having to remake recipes over and over again until I get them right. Especially when they involve brownies and ice cream and caramel. It’s just torture. But, someone has to do it…and eat it…every time. Darn. 🙂

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INGREDIENTS

 

Brownie Layer:
    • 10 tablespoons butter
    • 1 1/4 cups sugar
    • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Ice Cream Layer:
    • 1 quart good-quality vanilla ice cream (storebought or homemade)
Magic Shell Layer:
    • 3/4 cup coconut oil
    • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Caramel Sauce:
  • 1-2 cups good-quality storebought or homemade caramel sauce

 

DIRECTIONS

 

  1. For the brownies, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Lightly grease with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for one minute intervals, stirring in between, until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Set the mixture aside until it cools slightly (is warm to the touch not hot). It will look gritty but it will become smooth once the other ingredients are added. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack and then chill in the refrigerator or freezer until thoroughly cold – this will help the brownies hold up well to the ice cream layer that’s coming.
  4. For the ice cream layer, soften the ice cream to spreading consistency (leaving at room temperature for 15-20 minutes should do the trick), then spread an even layer across the chilled brownies. The ice cream layer should be about an inch thick. Put the pan in the freezer until very firm (1-2 hours).
  5. For the magic shell, in a microwave-safe bowl, combine the coconut oil and chocolate chips. It helps if the bowl is more tall than wide so that when you dip the bars, the chocolate mixture is deep and not super shallow. Microwave for one minute intervals at 50% power until the chocolate is melted. Stir the mixture until it is smooth. It will be fairly runny.
  6. Remove the pan of brownies from the freezer. Gently lift the foil handles and remove the ice cream layered brownies from the pan. Cut the browines in half. Then, working with one half at a time (you might want to return the other half to the freezer if your kitchen is overly warm), cut rectangle into long, thin bars, about 1-inch by 4-inches. You should end up with 8 or so bars per half. Repeat with the remaining half. It is best to put all the cut bars onto a tray or plate and keep them in the refrigerator while dipping so they stay as cold as possible.
  7. Place a baking rack over a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper or even aluminum foil (to help with cleanup). Working one-by-one, gently hold the ice cream bar at the base of the brownie and dip it quickly into the chocolate shell mixture (tilt the bowl to help deepen the chocolate for easier dipping) until completely coated and place on the baking rack. Your hands will get messy but I promise it’s worth it! Repeat the dipping process with each bar. After I dipped about 5-7 bars and the chocolate shell had hardened (it sets up very quickly, especially if your ice cream and brownie is very cold), I gently removed them from the cooling rack and put them in the freezer so the ice cream didn’t melt and kept dipping the other bars that were waiting in the freezer.
  8. Make note that the chocolate shell mixture will want to stick to the baking rack so pry the eskimo bars carefully off the baking rack so the chocolate shell doesn’t crack as you separate them from where the chocolate has hardened to the rack.
  9. When ready to serve, remove the eskimo bars from the freezer and let them sit at room temperature for 5-7 minutes. Warm the caramel sauce until it is runny and slightly warm but not overly hot (you don’t want any burned fingers).
  10. Dip the eskimo bars in the caramel and enjoy!

 

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Original recipe: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/outrageous-eskimo-bars/

 

 

 

 

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

10 Jul

The little man of our house turned one last month. Most of the time, I try to pick cakes that have white frosting so that I can color it for decorating. I finally got to do a chocolate cake! I had almost as much fun eating it as I did decorating it…almost.

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Ingredients:

Cake:

1 pkg chocolate cake mix with pudding

1 cup sour cream

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

3 large eggs

Grease and dust two 9″ round cake pans. *Tip* Dust with cake mix instead of flour – you don’t get stuck with the white residue on the edges of your cake. Set pans aside.

Combine cake mix, sour cream, water, oil, vanilla, and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat until all ingredients are incorporated. Divide the cake batter evenly between the 2 prepared cake pans. Place pans in the oven, side by side, and bake at 350^F for 28-32 minutes, until they spring back when lightly pressed with a finger. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove cakes from the pans and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

8 Tbsp butter, at room temperature

4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla

Beat together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add cocoa powder and powdered sugar, a bit at a time, beating until well incorporated. Add vanilla and beat until frosting is fluffy.

 

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Apple Crisp

6 Jul

I am so behind on posting, these days. I’m in a production of Les Miserables this summer, so I’m not cooking new things as frequently (it’s a good thing my kids never get sick of mac and cheese), and when I do, I let them sit forever in my draft box because I can’t manage to upload the picture and write down the recipe in one sitting. So today I’m playing catch up! Hopefully I’ll get to the point that I can post more than one recipe a month. 🙂

This Apple Crisp is another one from my ‘there’s no way you can mess this up’ recipe collection. I like it because there is a single serving version, as well as a feed-the-crowd version.

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Apple Crisp For One:

Filling

1 medium cooking apple

2-3 drops lemon juice

1 Tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Crumb Topping

2 Tbsp flour

2 Tbsp rolled oats

2 Tbsp brown sugar

dash of cinnamon

1 Tbsp softened butter

Peel and core apple and cut into 1/4″ slices. Place in 4″ round casserole dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Add to apples and toss to coat. Combine dry ingredients for crumb topping. Cut in butter with a fork until the mixture is crumbly.

Method 1:

Cover prepared filling (no topping) loosely with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir gently, then sprinkle with crumb topping mixture and bake, uncovered, at 375^F for 15-20 minutes.

Method 2:

Sprinkle crumb topping over apple/cinnamon sugar mixture and bake at 375^F for 30-40 minutes.

Apple Crisp for 6-8

Follow directions above for filling, using 6 medium cooking apples, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Make the crumb topping as directed using 3/4 cup flour, 1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 cup softened butter.

Sprinkle topping over filling and bake at 375^F for 40-45 minutes until apples are tender.

Serve with ice cream.