Strawberry Snow Ice Cream

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During the last two winters, I’ve shared my recipes for snow ice cream and the chocolate version after snowstorms. It usually takes me a few storms to get the recipe right. This winter, though, I’ve been getting lots of time to play with new flavors. Strawberry seemed like the obvious next choice. It’s one of my favorite ice cream flavors  and if  you make all three flavors and you can have Neapolitan snow ice cream! This would be excellent with diced strawberries mixed in too.

In other news, what are your favorite ice cream flavors? We’re getting another snow storm today so I’m looking to experiment with even more variations!

Strawberry Snow Ice Cream

1/4 c. sugar
1 c. strawberry milk
Large bowl of snow

In a large bowl, mix together sugar and strawberry milk. Stir in enough snow to make an ice cream consistency. Enjoy immediately!


Crunchy Peppermint Bark Blondies

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Are you guys finished with Christmas yet? Because I’m not. We’ve still got the decorations up. The freezer is still full of Christmas cookies. I’ve got all my new toys strewn around the house. And, I’m just getting around to blogging my holiday recipes.

Maybe next week I’ll be ready for the new year?

I made these blondies for a cookie swap. I had intended them to be cookies, but as things evolved they ended up being bars instead. I actually think they came out even better than the cookies would have and they were a lot easier, since I only had one pan to bake instead of multiple cookie pans. You could also make these a bit less holiday-oriented by swapping the peppermint bark for chocolate chips.

Crunchy Peppermint Bark Blondies
(adapted from Christina Tosi via Glamour)
Makes 1 9×13″ pan of blondies

2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
2/3 c. light brown sugar, tightly packed
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 c. frosted flakes
1 lb. of peppermint bark, roughly chopped
1 1/4 c. mini marshmallows

Using a mixer, cream together the butter sugars for 2-3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, scrape down sides and beat for an additional 7-8 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together.

Stir in frosted flakes peppermint bark and marshmallows  just until incorporated. Refrigerate dough for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375F degrees. Line a 9×13″ baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Press dough into the lined pan, spreading to the edges. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until set in the center. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. Slice and store in an airtight container.


Black Forest Stuffed Cupcakes

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When I was taking a picture of these, my husband was like, “You haven’t blogged these yet?!”

I’ve been making them since we were in college. It’s one of those quick and easy desserts that everyone seems to like, so I keep going back to them. They look like standard cupcakes, but when you bite into them, you find a fun center of cheesecake and cherries.

They got made, again, as part of this year’s holiday treats binge – and were gobbled up by the end of the family party.

Black Forest Cupcakes
(from Kraft Recipes)
Makes 2 Dozen

1 box chocolate cake mix + ingredients to prepare
1 (8 oz. ) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 (20 oz.) can cherry pie filling
1 (8 oz.) pkg. frozen whipped topping

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and line cupcake pans with liners.

Prepare the cake mix according to package directions and set aside.  In another bowl, beat together the cream cheese, egg and sugar until well combined.

In each cupcake cup, spoon in about 2 Tbsp. of the prepared cake mix. Top with 1 Tbsp. of the cream cheese mixture and 1-2 tsp. of cherry pie filling. Use remaining to cake mix to cover fillings evenly.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Once cool, top with whipped topping and additional cherry pie filling.


What’s Baking: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This month’s What’s Baking theme, hosted by Sandra from She Cooks and Bakes, is favorite childhood treats with a modern twist. My favorite childhood treat, hands down, was chocolate chip cookies. I loved coming home from school to find fresh baked chocolate chip cookies for snack. Sometimes, Mom would even make them before school and we’d get them in our lunches. Cookie days were always awesome days.

Making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies seemed like the perfect twist, considering the season and how popular everything pumpkin is now. It also seemed appropriate since I wouldn’t touch pumpkin as a kid, but as an adult I’m loving the flavor. These are a perfect, more grown-up version of one of my childhood favorites.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
(from Cooks.com)
Makes about 2 dozen

1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line two cookie sheets.

Dissolve the baking soda in milk. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the pumpkin, sugar, oil and egg until well combined. Add in flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, baking soda mixture and mix well. Stir in vanilla until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoon-full onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and let cook for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container. These are best enjoyed the next day.


What’s Baking: Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake

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This month’s What’s Baking theme was Chow Ciao Italiano, chosen by Nicole from Seven Ate Nine. We do a lot of Italian baking around here, but instead of sharing something that is a favorite, I wanted to make something that was different from our usual rotation. And I’d had this cake bookmarked forever and needed an excuse to make it.

I love the Italian rainbow cookies. Whenever we get cookies from the local Italian bakery, they’re my first choice – and the first I grab off of cookie platters. The idea of those cookies in a cake was just too exciting to pass up. Much to my delight, this was pretty spot-on. It was delicious and had all the flavors of my beloved cookies. It also looks gorgeous – perfect for a special occasion.

To see what everyone else made for Chow Ciao Italiano, check out Nicole’s blog later this month!

 

Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake
(from Always Order Dessert)
Makes 1 9″ cake

3 sticks of butter, softened
1 1/2 c. granulated white sugar
6 large eggs
12 oz. almond paste, grated with a box grater
1 T. pure almond extract
1 c. milk
3 c. all-purpose flour, sifted
3 t. baking powder
Red, green and yellow food coloring
1/4 c. seedless raspberry jam
1/4 c. apricot preserves
For the ganache:
1 c. heavy cream
12 oz. semisweet chocolate

Butter and flour three 9″ cake pans and place a circle of parchment paper on the bottom of each. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat for 3 more minutes. Add the grated almond paste, almond extract and milk, and beat until well combined.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the almond paste batter and mix until combined. Separate the mixture evenly into three bowls and dye each bowl a different shade (one green, one yellow, one red). Pour each into individual pans, making sure to smooth out the top.

Bakefor approximately 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. Remove the parchment paper and let cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, prepare the ganache by heating 1 cup of heavy cream in a small saucepan just until bubbles start to form around the edge. Turn off the heat and pour over the chocolate in a large bowl. Stir continuously until melted completely and smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

To assemble the cake, start with the pink layer of the cake  on the bottom and spread the raspberry jam over the top until it nearly reaches the edges of the cake. Top with the yellow cake and spread the top of the yellow cake with the apricot preserves. Top with the final green layer. Use a spoon to pour the ganache over the cake, using an offset spatula to even the sides and make sure the cake is completely covered. Use as much ganache as you need. Let sit at room temperature in a cool spot for 1-2 hours until completely set.


PB Pretzel M&M Rice Krispie Treats

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I’m pretty sure these could be considered a health food. Marshmallows and pretzels are low-fat. Chocolate has antioxidants. Peanut butter is a good source of protein. Mix it all together and it’s practically a superfood.

No? Not buying it?

Well, these are worth making anyway: quick, easy and a crowd pleaser.

PB Pretzel M&M Rice Krispie Treats
(from Cait’s Plate)
Makes one 9×13″ pan

1 bag of regular marshmallows
3 T. butter
6 c. rice cereal
1/2 cup peanut butter, melted
1 medium bag of pretzel M&Ms

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until melted. Stir in the melted peanut butter.

Add the melted marshmallow mixture to the rice cereal in a large bowl. Stir until well combined. Add the pretzel m&ms and stir to combine.

Press the mixture into a lightly greased 9×13″ baking dish. Let cool before slicing.


Cake Batter Popsicles

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Its nearly August – AUGUST! – and I haven’t made any popsicles or ice cream yet this summer. It’s tragic. Especially considering I bought a whole bunch of popsicle molds to start off the season. As soon as I realized this unfortunate fact, I started browsing for a batch to kick off what will undoubtedly be a rest-of-the-summer popsicle binge.

I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, so I combined a few recipes to create these Cake Batter Popsicles. These came out amazing. They totally taste like you’re slurping down the last of the cake better from the bowl. My only regret is that I didn’t make these sooner!

Cake Batter Popsicles
(inspired by Mrs. Happy Homemaker and Rachel Cooks)
Makes 6

1 (3.4 oz.) box instant vanilla pudding
1/3 c. yellow cake mix
1 3/4 c. cold milk
2 T. rainbow sprinkles

In a medium bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and cake mix. Whisk in the cold milk and stir until it starts to thicken slightly. Stir in the sprinkles.

Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for at least 6 hours before enjoying.


What’s Baking: Rum & Coke Cookies

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As soon as bake your favorite cocktail was announced as the July theme for What’s Baking, I started looking up rum and coke recipes. Rum and coke was my go-to in college and even though I’m more likely to opt for a glass of wine, I still consider it my favorite. Old habits die hard, I suppose.

When I started looking for recipes, I assumed I’d make cupcakes… and then I ran across these. These start with store-bought sugar cookie dough and then you dress them up to make them rum or cola flavored. I thought having two separate doughs would make the flavors come through more strongly, but the flavor of the cookies is on the subtle side. Knowing they’re rum and coke, I can totally pick out the flavors, but if I was just handed the cookie and told to guess, I’m not 100% sure I could.

Either way, these were delicious and a very fun baking experiment!

Rum & Coke Cookies
(from She Knows)
Makes about 3 dozen

2 tubes Pillsbury sugar cookie dough
2 c. flour
1 egg white
1/4 cup white rum (and 1 Tbsp. rum extract, if desired – I skipped this but would recommend it!)
20 oz. Coca-Cola
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

Mix one tube of the cookie dough until smooth and creamy and then mix in one cup of flour, white rum and rum extract (if using) until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Add Coca-Cola to a saucepan and over medium-high heat, reduce until only 1/4 cup remains. Cool slightly. Mix the other tube of dough until creamy and smooth. Add boiled-down Coke, remaining one cup of flour and cocoa powder and mix until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

After the dough has chilled, roll them into rectangles, approximately 1/4-inch thick. Brush egg whites on the rum-flavored dough and stack the coke flavored dough on top. Cut in half lengthwise. Brush the top of one half with egg white and stack the other half on top of it. Repeat until you have a stack the desired width. Wrap log in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Unwrap the chilled dough and slice the stacked layers approximately 1/4-inch thick. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.


Cute & Easy Minion Cupcakes

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Seriously, how cute are these guys?!

I mean, the minions from Despicable Me are fantastic, but I’d argue that they’re even more adorable in cupcake form.

This isn’t so much a recipe as a decorating tip. I don’t remember where I originally saw this idea, but it’s so cute and easy – and since Twinkies are officially back, it seemed like the best time to share!

For the cupcakes and blue icing, I used a box mix and canned icing. I warmed the icing slightly to get it to pour over smoothly, but you could totally just slather it on.

The minion bodies are Twinkie halves. The eyes are white Smarties. I used black gel icing to attach the eyes to the bodies and to outline the Smarties. The mouths, hair, and goggle bands are black licorice rope – these are all held on by the black gel icing too.

It doesn’t matter if they’re perfect since all of the movie minions are different – the differences give them personality!

If you’re planning a Despicable Me themed party – or just want to make a special post-movie treat – these would be perfect.


What’s Baking: Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

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When I saw this month’s What’s Baking theme was sweet and salty, I knew I’d be making something with a chocolate/peanut butter/pretzel combo. It’s embarrassing how many recipes I have saved with that combo – it’s clearly a favorite!

This recipe won out over the others because the cookies are portable – perfect for taking on vacation! We’re renting a house on the Outer Banks so I’ve been working on some dishes and snacks to bring with us. Even though we’ll have a kitchen, I don’t want to spend my whole vacation cooking! Having these already done will make for an awesome treat.

You can check out the rest of the sweet and salty recipes next week in a roundup on Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies
(from Keep it Sweet Desserts)
Makes about 3 dozen 2″ cookies

1 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. creamy peanut butter
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temp
1 t. vanilla extract
2/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. pretzel pieces
Sea salt for sprinkling

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Slowly mix in the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and pretzel pieces. Chill the dough for two hours.

Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons-full onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly brown around the edges. Let cool on the making sheet for 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.