Category Archives: Dessert

Chocolate and Amaretto Mousse Cake

This is the perfect dessert when you want to serve something decadent, but you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. This dessert has layers of chocolate fudge cake, chocolate mousse and white chocolate mousse with Amaretto. Topped off with some whipped cream and raspberries to make a dessert every chocolate lover will go crazy for!

So I know that it’s sort of cheating, but honestly I just use a box cake mix. I usually go for a Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge or Devils Food. They are rich and moist while maintaining a fluffy texture. It’s good to make a cake that doesn’t crumble too much because you want the rounds to stay in shape.

We went with 3 layers of cake on this one because we were feeling particularly naughty. That ended up being a bit much, I would stick with just 2 layers of cake. It was a fun stay-cation with some special visitors. My very good friend and her son stopped into town for a few days and stayed with us. It is so crazy how fast life passes you by. I remember when her son was just starting school and we used to all hang out and watch The Incredibles and other fun movies with the kids. Now he is just starting to drive and doing all sorts of great activities in high school. Where does all the time go? I miss those guys so much. They were our favorite couple to hang out with! Never found friends quite like that.

So while we had a few of them here we really went all out in food department. It was so much fun to just cook for 3 days in a row and have great drinks and play some fun games and watch a scary movie!!!

The very first time we made this cake we were inspired by the mousse cakes at our local Kneaders. The most difficult part of the conceptual process for us was trying to find plastic sheets to create the mold. After like an hour wandering around Hobby Lobby we stumbled on some computer printable transparent plastic sheets in the school supplies area. They worked perfectly!! If you can’t find something like this then you can definitely free pipe your mousse, just make sure that you have let it set for a few hours first.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake Mix, prepared according to directions in a 9×13 pan. Cool to room temperature.

Chocolate Mousse

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 1/2 Cups Whipping Cream
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

White Chocolate Amaretto Mousse

  • 4 oz Cream Cheese
  • 4 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
  • 4 oz Ghiradelli White Chocolate
  • 1/4 Cup Amaretto
  • 3/4 Cup Whipping Cream

To prepare the Chocolate Mousse:

Using a stand mixer or a hand held mixer beat the eggs and sugar on a low speed for about 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of cream into a medium sauce pan. Over medium heat bring the cream to just warm enough that you can still touch it, this should only take 1-2 minutes.
With your mixer on low slowly add the warm cream to the eggs and sugar until all the ingredients are combined. Now add the mixture back into the saucepan and put it back on the stovetop over a low heat. Stir consistently for about 5 minutes, do not let it boil!
Once it done it will be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Remove from heat and stir in  chocolate chips until completely melted. Cover and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours stirring occasionally.

Whip the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cream with the vanilla using the whisk attachment for 5-8 minutes until stiff peaks form. Switch over to the paddle attachment and on a low speed add the chilled chocolate spoonfuls at a time until it completely mixed.

Spoon into a large piping bag, secure the top with a rubberband and place in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the cake.

To prepare White Chocolate Amaretto Mousse:

In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer until it’s light and fluffy. In a large bowl beat the whipping cream, powdered sugar and amaretto for about 5-7 minutes until stiff peaks form.

Using a spatula take 1/4 of the whipping cream and fold it into the cream cheese. Repeat with the remaining whipping cream until you have a smooth mousse. Transfer the mousse into a piping bag, secure the top with a rubberband and place in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the cake.

Assemble:
Using a 3-4 inch round cookie cutter cut 1 piece of cake per person. Using a thin knife, cake leveler or a cutting wire slice each cake piece into 2 even disks. Create molds by wrapping the plastic around the circumference of the cookie cutter and taping the edge down. Place the molds on a flat plate or a cookie sheet and start to layer with cake-mousse-cake-mousse and pop it in the fridge for at least 20-30 minutes or a few hours until you’re ready to serve!

Top it with whipped cream and fresh fruit and remove the mold and let the good times roll!

Orange and White Chocolate Chip Drop Cookies

These cookies are the perfect summer treat! The tangy orange with the sweet white chocolate is almost like a creamsicle! One of the best things about this recipe is that the orange flavor is all natural so you don’t have any of that funky extract after taste.

These cookies are also so soft and chewy, some people fall either into the crunchy cookie lover category or the chewy lovers. Which one are you? I can go either way!

I brought these to both jobs and only had a few leftover for us to enjoy! My favorite part was opening the tupperware and getting a burst of orange right in the olfactory sense! I just love making treats to share with my friends at work. I have one co-worker who doesn’t really like desserts and now whenever he hears I have treats is right at my desk curiously peeking in the box!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Sticks Salted Butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg
  • Zest of 2 Oranges
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 16 oz White Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350.

In a stand mixer or large bowl beat the butter and sugars together until you have a grainy paste. Add the vanilla, egg, zest, juice, salt and baking soda. Mix until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Slowly add flour, mix until well combined. Finally add the white chocolate chips and mix for about 30 seconds until well distributed.

On a large baking sheet drop small spoonfuls of cookies I did 5 rows of 4 cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Do not over bake or else the citrus will burn the bottom of the cookie.

Cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and finish cooling. Store in a covered container if they last long enough ­čśë

Feel free to comment below and let me know how yours turned out or if you have any questions.

S’mores Cupcakes


It is certainly s’mores season! I love all the outdoor mountain summer activities. Camping, hiking, hanging out by the lake, campfires, tinfoil dinners and of course S’MORES!! I am not usually one for marshmallow, but when you toast it up and it gets all gooey and the perfect golden brown color. And then you add melty chocolate and crispy graham crackers and you have the perfect summer treat!

My first foray into s’mores baked goods were a few pans of s’mores brownies. This hit 2 birds with one stone. I have never made homemade brownies before so I wanted to give it a shot. And of course I had to elevate it and add some s’more elements. And as I was attempting to lightly toast them in the oven under the broiler they caught on FIRE……god I have never been so scared! Thankfully they were incredibly easy to extinguish.

Needless to say when I decided to make a cupcake version I went with a meringue frosting and lightly torched them with a handheld kitchen torch. I’ve had this torch for several years and I have only just barely mastered using it!


Once again I am back at it with my all time favorite cupcake recipe! If you haven’t tried this one yet you are missing out. They are both light and fluffy and incredibly moist! The filling for the cupcakes is the perfect Hershey Chocolate filling you would need to have a genuine s’more experience. I decided to go with a graham cracker crust instead of just crumbling some on top. Make sure that you don’t add too much butter otherwise you will end up with a greasy mess.

Well here we go!

Makes 24 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

  • 1 Box Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
  • 1 Package Hersheys Instant Chocolate Pudding
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 6 oz Mini Chocolate Chips

Crust:

  • 1 sleeve Graham Crackers (8 full crackers), crushed into fine crumbs
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Butter, softened

Filling:

  • 3 oz Hershey’s Milk Chocolate
  • 8 Tbsp Salted Butter

Frosting:

  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1 Cup Granulate Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Make the filling first. In a small sauce pan melt the butter and chocolate over medium heat. As soon as all the chocolate has melted remove from heat. Mix well and let chill in the fridge while you prepare the cupcakes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together until you have well incorporated the butter and the crumbs slightly stick together when pressed.

Line your cupcake pan with paper liners. Press the graham crackers in the bottom of the liners. Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool while mixing the cupcake batter.

To make the cupcakes add the cake mix and pudding into a stand mixer and mix on low. Add oil and milk. Mix well. Add eggs, vanilla and sour cream. Mix well for 2 minutes scraping down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the chocolate chips. It’s very important to make sure that the sides of the bowl are scraped down because if the batter isn’t evenly mixed your cupcakes will have inconsistent texture and bake.

Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely before filling and frosting.

Remove the filling from the fridge and scrape it out into a medium mixing bowl. Use an electric hand mixer to beat it for about 2 minutes until it has become light and creamy. Use a piping bag and filling tip to fill the cupcakes with the chocolate mixture.

To make the frosting.

In a double boiler or place your metal stand mixer bowl over a medium pot with a few inches of water. Add eggs, sugar, salt and cream of tartar into the bowl. Over a medium heat whisk together the ingredients. It will start to turn syrupy. Once your mixture reaches between 120 and 140 degrees remove from heat. Using a hand mixer or your stand mixer beat the frosting for 7-10 minutes until stiff peaks form. Make sure that your peaks donÔÇÖt move at all. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and beat for an extra 30 seconds.

Pick your favorite piping tip and move frosting into a piping bag. Pipe onto the cupcakes. Lightly toast with a kitchen torch.

Angelic Lemon Meringue Cupcakes


What is your favorite pie? I’ve been on a kick lately that I want to make my favorite pies or cakes into cupcakes so that I can easily share them. Lemon Meringue is absolutely my favorite pie. I mean basically any dessert with lemon in it and I am sold!

During the summer my favorite dessert is a slice of Angel Food cake topped with fresh raspberries, strawberries and blackberries and whipped cream. Yum! So naturally I decided to combine these two and make a super delicious cupcake to share with all my friends at work!


When you try this recipe get ready to whip some eggs! Whipped egg whites will give you that light, fluffy, airy and fun dessert! One of my favorite things about this recipe was that I could make parts of it and then assemble it all on a different day.  The lemon curd can be made and stored days in advance. I usually like to use Meyer lemons when I bake, but this time I had to use regular lemons because they were big and beautiful and the Meyer lemons were looking kinda sad.

Makes 30 cupcakes.

Ingredients:

Lemon Curd

  • 4 Large Meyer Lemons, juiced (should be about 1/2 cup) and zested
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, cubed

Angel Food Cupcake:

  • 12 Egg Whites, room temperature (they will whip faster)
  • 1 1/2 Cup Sugar, split
  • 1 Cup Cake Flour, sifted. This will help you really get that light and fluffy perfect angel food texture.
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Lemon Emulsion or 1/2 tsp extract

Meringue Topping:

  • 5 Egg Whites
  • 1 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar

To make the curd:

In a small dish stir together the sugar and lemon zest. Let it macerate for about 5 minutes, this will help release some of those fragrant oils from the zest. In a small saucepan add the sugar, zest, butter, juice and yolks. Over medium heat cook for 12-15 minutes gently stirring constantly. The butter will melt and the  sauce will start to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. If you are looking for a very smooth jelly consistency then push the curd through a mesh sieve.

Transfer to a glass jar. Cover with plastic wrap so that it touches the top of the curd. Let it come to room temperature.

Store in the fridge.

To make the cupcake:

Preheat oven to 375.

In a stand mixer whip your egg whites on a medium speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add 3/4 cup sugar. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form. When you can remove the whisk and the peaks will stay in place you know that you are there. Beat in the cream of tartar, salt and the vanilla and lemon. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour and 3/4 cup sugar.

Using a spatula gently fold in the dry mix. I saw a technique that shows in a cingular motion running the spatula all around the edge of the bowl and then directly through the center. This helps keep the eggs light and airy and full incorporate the dry ingredients.

Fill  cupcake liners with the batter until they are almost full. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the cake bounces back when you lightly press on it. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

To make the meringue:

In a double boiler or place your metal stand mixer bowl over a pan with a few inches of water. Add all ingredients into the bowl. Over a medium heat whisk together the ingredients. It will start to turn syrupy. Once your mixture reaches between 120 and 140 degrees remove from heat. Using a hand mixer or your stand mixer beat the frosting for 7-10 minutes until stiff peaks form. Make sure that your peaks don’t move at all. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Pick your favorite piping tip and move frosting into a piping bag.

To assemble cupcakes:

Using a filling tip add the lemon curd into a piping bag. Gently fill each cupcake with the lemon curd. Generously pipe frosting onto each cupcake. Using a kitchen torch gently brown the meringue. It is so fun to watch it slightly puff up and get that perfect golden brown!

I hope you give these a try….they are amazing and your friends and family will definitely appreciate it!

Spring Marbled Cake Balls


I wanted to make something bright and fun for spring. What is better than spring colored cake balls?!? The first few times I made cake balls were with my sister. I had never really heard of them before, but we made some pumpkin cake rolls several years ago and I was hooked! I’ve tried several different kinds of truffles and dipped balls. This is my very first solo cake ball though. I am still working on my ball rolling technique.

I wanted to make plenty for all my peeps at work so I baked 4 cakes! Yowza! I also know that these are pretty large, but they aren’t very rich so you can definitely eat a full one. I made my favorite White Chocolate Buttercream and added some Meyer lemon zest and juice. So it ends up being perfectly light and fresh!┬á


You can definitely adjust this recipe based on how many you want to make. You can divide 1 box white cake mix into 2-4 different colors. You can get 12-24 cake balls out of one cake based on how big you want them.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boxes White Cake Mix
  • 1 box Blue Velvet Cake
  • 1 box Pink Velvet Cake
  • To make them you will need Butter, vegetable oil and water.
  • Yellow And Green food coloring. I prefer Wilton Icing Colors

Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 Cup Salted Butter, softened
  • 2 Meyer Lemons, zest and juiced
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cup White Chocolate, melted
  • 3-4 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • Optional: 1-2 tsp Lemon Emulsion

Coating:  2 packages Almond bark

Decorations: Sprinkles, colored candy melts, or whatever tickles your fancy!

Bake cakes according to package directions. I recommend using clear glass pans to reduce the amount of browned edges. Let cool until room temperature.

In seperate bowls break up the different colored cakes into fine crumbs. I used my hands by taking a large piece of cake and moving my hands in circles getting closer and closer. (Maybe it’s time to upgrade to a video blog). Anyways, you’re smart people. You can figure out how to take a whole cake into little crumbs. Remove any browned pieces that won’t crumble and dispose of them into your mastication receptacle. (Maybe I have had too much wine)

To make the frosting. Beat the butter until it’s smooth. Add lemon zest, juice, salt and 1 Cup powdered sugar. Beat until well mixed. Once the melted white chocolate is cooled so that it is just warm to the touch slowly drizzle it into the frosting while beating it consistently. Add the rest of the powdered sugar one cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Beat for 3-5 minutes to get your frosting nice and fluffy.

In your cake crumb bowls add 1/2 Cup frosting at a time. Use your hands to mix it in. You will know that you have enough frosting in there if you make a small ball and press your thumb down in the middle and it stays together and doesn’t break apart at the edges.

To assemble:

Take equal parts of each color cake and roll into a ball. I used about 1 Tbsp of each color. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and place the rolled balls on the cookie sheet. Place in the fridge for at least 15-20 minutes.

In a small crockpot or a large bowl melt the almond bark. Use a fork to dunk the chilled cake balls in the almond bark, gently toss around until fully coated. Place back on the wax paper. Add sprinkles or desired decorations immediately. I dunked 3 balls and then decorated them. And so on and so forth. After a few minutes they should be hard enough to be able to be moved onto your serving tray or storage container.


Key Lime Cupcakes


Look at me being on top of things! I’m getting some St. Patty’s Day recipes up on the blog so you can make an Irish feast for your friends and family! Last year I made some Lucky Leprechaun Treats Click here for the recipe! Those are pretty fun, especially if you have kids and love Lucky Charms! Yum!


Here’s what I learned making these cupcakes:

Key limes are adorable.

Key limes are a super duper pain in the ass to work with.

Do not try to juice them in a juicer. Because that rind is super bitter.

Likewise, maybe zesting them was a big mistake (also a major pain in the ass)

So I have adjusted the recipe below based on what I think will help make them better than what I ended up doing. If you have any other adjustments or suggestions please let me know!!


Also, if you know how to make a confetti cake, let me know!! I tried putting green non-pariels in the batter and they just disintegrated and that is how I ended up with green cupcakes. Totally appropriate for the holiday, but not the effect I was hoping for.

The order that you want to make things in is curd filling first, you can make this a day or two ahead if you want. Then cupcakes and then frosting.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Key Lime Curd:

  • 10 Key Limes, juiced
  • 1 Regular Lime, zested
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 3 Tbsp Butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch

Cupcakes:

  • 1 Box White Cake Mix
  • 1 Package White Chocolate
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • Add some confetti wizardry or green food coloring if desired

Frosting:

  • 1 Cup Salted Butter, room temperature
  • 6 oz White Chocolate, melted
  • 4 Key Limes, Juiced
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • Green food coloring and sprinkles if desired

To make the curd:

  • In a small dish stir together the sugar and lime zest. Let it macerate for about 5 minutes, this will help release some of those fragrant oils from the zest. In a small saucepan add the sugar, zest, butter, juice and yolks. Over medium heat cook for 12-15 minutes gently stirring constantly. The butter will melt and the ┬ásauce will start to thicken. Stir in the cornstarch. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Push the curd through a mesh sieve.Transfer to a glass jar. Cover with plastic wrap so that it touches the top of the curd. Let it come to room temperature. Chill in the fridge while you make the cupcakes.

To make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350.

In a stand mixer combine the cake mix and pudding mix. Add the milk and oil. Mix well. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the lime juice and sour cream, mix until just combined. Add in your sprinkles or food coloring. Use a cookie scoop to fill your cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Once the cupcakes have fully cooled use a filling tip and pipe in the lime curd to the center of each cupcake. If you don’t have a filling tip you can cut out a hole in the middle of the cupcake and spoon in the curd.

To make frosting:

In a medium mixing bowl beat the butter with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the lime juice. Melt the chocolate 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between each segment. Once the chocolate is fully melted let it sit for a minute or two until it’s just warm to the touch. Slowly beat in the melted chocolate. Add the salt and the rest of the powdered sugar. Beat for 3-.5 minutes until your frosting is light and fluffy.

To add the green swirl add green food dye to the side creases in your piping bag. Use a spatula to fill the bag with frosting. I used a Wilton 1 M tip to pipe the rosettes.

Chocolate Amaretto Cheesecake


I just have to start out with this statement. I don’t think that I have ever made such a beautiful cheesecake in my life. And I’ve made some pretty good cheesecakes! Guys…I am just so proud! I don’t even know what possessed me to make an amaretto cheesecake. I didn’t even have amaretto just laying around. I was trying to think about good Valentines Day dessert to share, and of course it had to be cheesecake. That is my favorite dessert! Since chocolate is the official treat of Valentine’s Day of course it had to be a chocolate cheesecake. Amaretto seems like a pretty decadent addition to chocolate. So why not?!?!

I really did have to get away from the red velvet extravaganza that happened last year. I mean I did about 5 different types of red velvet recipes. Probably because that is Levi’s favorite flavor. But he was a really big fan of this one as well!


I’m sure you can try baking this without the water bath, but from my understanding you will get the absolute best textures if you use the water. It’s really not that hard. All you need is a roasting pan.

This cheesecake is super creamy and the flavors are very subtle and delicate. The mousse on top is very light and adds just a little extra amaretto into your life. The crust has just a right amount of crumble to it. Overall I think it’s not too rich like some New York Style Cheesecakes, it’s just the perfect way to finish your special dinner with your special someone!

Click here to see more Valentine’s Day inspired recipes!

I hope you all love this cheesecake as much as we do!

Ingredients:

  • 12 Chocolate Graham Crackers, crushed
  • 5 Tbsp Butter, softened
  • 32 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Cups Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Amaretto
  • 4 Eggs and 2 Egg Yolks, room temperature

Topping:

  • 1/4 Cup Amaretto
  • ┬á3/4 Cup Whipping Cream
  • 4 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese
  • Optional- 1/2 cup sliced Almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the crushed graham crackers and the 5 Tbsp butter. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Place in the oven for 5 minutes, remove and chill in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.

In a double boiler, or a medium bowl over a saucepan melt the 1/2 cup butter. Add the chocolate chips and stir continuously until all the chocolate has just barely melted. Remove from heat immediately. Set aside.

In a large bowl use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese until it is smooth. Add sugar and sour cream, beat well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the cooled chocolate sauce, vanilla and Amaretto. Mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, beat on low until eggs are just incorporated.

Pour the batter over the prepared crust. Wrap tinfoil around the outside of the springform pan. Place in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water in until it’s halfway up the side of the cake pan. Bake the cheesecake for 60 minutes. Reduce heat to 300, bake an additional 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake rest for 60 minutes. Move cheesecake to the refrigerator overnight.

To prepare the topping:

In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer until it’s light and fluffy. In a large bowl beat the whipping cream, powdered sugar and amaretto for about 5-7 minutes until the cream can hold it’s own shape.

Using a spatula take 1/4 of the whipping cream and fold it into the cream cheese. Repeat with the remaining whipping cream until you have a smooth mousse. Transfer the mousse into a piping bag and pipe the mousse over the top of the cheesecake. Smooth with a frosting spatula. Add almonds. Place back in the fridge for 15 minutes.

If you want to be super professional when slicing the cheesecake, run a long thin knife under hot water for a minute and wipe dry with a paper towel between each cut. This is definitely my new go to for picturesque cheesecake slices!

Meyer Lemon Curd

When I was a kid I remember that the church always had a big yard sale every year. And a woman always sold her homemade preserves there. This is the first time I had lemon curd, and every year I looked forward to buying a fresh jar.

I don’t know what exactly attracts me to lemon sweets, but especially in the dead of winter it brings happiness and brightness into my day. If I were to pick one favorite type of dessert I would have to say anything with lemon.


Lemon curd is so versatile you can put it on anything! Ice cream, toast, cake, english muffins, pancakes, waffles, or even just have a little spoonful now and then. I really like using Meyer Lemons because you get all the wonderful citrus flavor without battling the tartness of a regular lemon.

My first batch of curd first went on some citrus English muffins. So so so yummy. The rest of it went into a lemon cupcake! I wonder if I could mix it with whipped cream and pipe it into eclairs or use it as a layer in a trifle. So many possibilities, I can’t wait to make this again and again!


Ingredients:

  • 4 Large Meyer Lemons, juiced (should be about 1/2 cup) and zested
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, cubed

In a small dish stir together the sugar and lemon zest. Let it macerate for about 5 minutes, this will help release some of those fragrant oils from the zest. In a small saucepan add the sugar, zest, butter, juice and yolks. Over medium heat cook for 12-15 minutes gently stirring constantly. The butter will melt and the  sauce will start to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. If you are looking for a very smooth jelly consistency then push the curd through a mesh sieve.

Transfer to a glass jar. Cover with plastic wrap so that it touches the top of the curd. Let it come to room temperature.

Store in the fridge.

What will you use your lemon curd for?

 

Strawberry and Chocolate Cookies

I am getting a head start on my Valentines Day blogging this year! I feel like a month is a pretty good jump on things. I haven’t quite planned out everything that I will be making this year yet. What are your favorite Valentine’s treats? Let me know in the comments and I might give it a try!

Visit the Valentine’s Day Page for more ways to wow the love of your life ­čÖé

Don’t want to spend loads of money and time on making chocolate covered strawberries for Valentines Day this year? Well here is an excellent alternative! And there is no shortage of red, pink and white M&M’s on the shelves so grab a bag and have some fun with your kids whipping up a special treat!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup White Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Butter, softened
  • 1 package Jello Strawberry Creme Instant Pudding Mix
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • Pink Food Coloring
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 Cup White Cheesecake M&M’s
  • 1/2 Cup Milk Chocolate M&M’s

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer beat the white and brown sugar with the butter until you have a grainy paste. Add the vanilla, food coloring and eggs, mix until combined.

Beat in the baking soda and salt. Mix in the pudding mix. Slowly add the flour. Mix well. Using a large mixing spoon mix in the M&Ms. If your dough is really soft place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Using a cookie dough scoop get a heaping scoop of dough. Place on a large non stick cookie sheet. I did 3 cookies to a row and 5 rows.
Bake for 13-15 minutes until the edges just start to brown.

Cool on a wire rack.

White Chocolate Buttercream

I’ve made this white chocolate buttercream a few times now and it is delicious and beautiful. It is also an amazing base for a whole spectrum of flavors! The first time I made it I added Andes peppermint baking chips, and it was AMAZING! Yum! One of my girlfriends said it was the best cupcake I have ever made. The next time I made it I added 1/4 tsp of Almond extract and WOW! I think next time I will add some fresh lemon juice, I bet it will be spectacular.

This frosting is light and fluffy, almost has a whipped texture. If you like your frosting super sweet you could omit the added salt, but I definitely recommend using salted butter.

I had a night home alone one night and decided to play around with different decorating techniques. I discovered that I don’t need a coupler with my Wilton 1M Large Star piping tip. I thought for sure that frosting would just ooze out the sides, but lo and behold…..it worked like a charm! I am just obsessed with decorating with rosettes! Not sure what I will move on to next….but for now I will strive to perfect this art!

This will frost about 24 cupcakes with a medium amount of frosting. For a cake more than 2 layers I would increase the recipe by 50% or double.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Salted Butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 6 oz White Chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar

In a medium bowl beat the butter and salt with a hand mixer until it lightens in color and becomes light and fluffy. Add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar, mix well. Slowly beat in the melted white chocolate. Slowly add the rest of the powdered sugar and beat well for 3-4 minutes until it’s light and fluffy.

If you are adding extracts, add them with the first 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.