Pound cake gets a bad wrap. There are some crazies out there that think it’s bland, dense and not worth the effort. Well crazies, you’re dead wrong. Pound cake is SO worth the effort…when done right. What do I mean by “done right?” Well, it’s pretty simple. We need a tons of fat in the form of butter, sour cream and cream cheese. Why? Because fat is flavor! This fat also provides moisture to our cake. We need great flavor and I can promise you that is what you get here. There’s tanginess from the buttermilk, lemon, cream cheese and sour cream. There’s great warm flavors from the molasses, cinnamon and brown sugar. Lastly, we need great texture. For a pound cake, it should be a bit dense, yet still have some lightness and moisture to the cake. We also get wonderful texture from our streusel topping. Trust me pound cake haters, this pound cake is one you’ll want to try.
It’s Summer and it’s hot out. I really don’t do well in this weather. I’m more an Autumn girl. However, since I can’t press a fast forward button to the Fall, I’m going to have to tough this heat and humidity out. During the Summer, I want something cool and refreshing daily. These mousse cups check all the boxes. They look impressive. They are easy and quick to make. And man oh man are they good. I’m pretty much a sucker for any raspberry and chocolate combination. Lastly, the best thing is the differing textures. We have the cool creamy mousse, with the dense fudgy chocolate cake and cookie crumbs sprinkled throughout. It really doesn’t get much better.
I have a cheat that I can teach you. It’s called “healthy” desserts. See, my brothers always give me a hard time about having to eat certain desserts that I make for my posts all by myself. How do I mitigate their teasing? Well, I put fruit on my dessert. That dessert then technically becomes a “healthy” dessert at that point. So, they can’t say much and I feel less guilty. One of my favorites “healthy” desserts to eat is a tart. Some people are daunted at the thought of making tarts, but that’s something I’ve never understood. Tarts are very easy to make and man are they delectable. Normally, tarts are filled with pastry cream. However, I chose to fill this version with lemon curd filling and top it with blueberries and strawberries. Like I said….healthy! Lemon and berries just works. It’s a match made in heaven. And man oh man do the angels sing when I take a bite of this healthy dessert.
When it comes to candy, I always seem to gravitate towards one flavor combination. Peanut butter and chocolate. Wheater it’s in the form of a candy bar or a small ridged cup….it’s my go-to. Well, whenever I want that famous peanut butter cup flavor, but don’t have any on hand, this is always a great option to get my fix in. This is so easy to make and really has the taste and texture of a peanut butter cup. I make these typically in bars, but you can use a round cutter to cut out some “cups.” You can’t go wrong either way. The kicker is that this is yet another no-bake recipe. Yay! I don’t know about you, but those are two words I love to hear.
To begin, melt your butter and combine it with the graham cracker crumbs. Mix until combined.
Next, add in the peanut butter and vanilla and mix until combined.
Add in the sifted confectioners sugar and stir until combined.
Pour this filling mixture into a 9×13″ pan that has been pre-greased. Spread evenly as best as possible and refrigerate for at least an hour. It will firm up slightly.
Prepare the chocolate topping, by combining peanut butter and chocolate in a heat proof bowl. You can either melt this over a double boiler, which will take longer, or you can use a microwave in 15 second bursts. Stir at every 15 second checkpoint until completely melted.
Pour the chocolate mixture over the peanut butter filling mixture and spread evenly.
Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or up to overnight.
Use a blowtorch or the heat of the stove top flame to slightly melt the bottom of the bars to loosen it. It will be much easier to cut this way. You can also leave it at room temperature for about an hour, but the other way is much faster. Cut into bars or use a round cutter to cut out “cups.” Enjoy!! I know I sure did.
See how I do it:
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Line a 9x13" rectangular baking pan. Grease with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
Stir together the graham crackers and melted butter until combined.
Add in the peanut butter and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
Add in sifted confectioner's sugar and mix until combined.
Press the peanut butter filling into a pan and spread evenly.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Microwave the chocolate and peanut butter in 15 second bursts and stir throughout until completely melted. You can also melt over a double boiler.
Pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter filling. Spread evenly and cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.
You can use semisweet, bittersweet, milk chocolate or any combination. You can use a double boiler or microwave to melt the chocolate. Run the pan over some heat from the bottom to help loosen it if you didn't use parchment paper.
The All-American S’more is something you really can’t dislike. I’m not sure who had the first thought to combine such different items like marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate. But, I tip my cap to that genius. And now, we can’t imagine our lives without the heavenly combination. It all just works. Now you take that flavor combination and roll it into a cookie and now you’re speaking my language.
These cookies are something I first made at work. About a month ago, we needed to add something to the menu for the coffee shop. We knew we wanted either a cookie or cupcake. So, we tried this s’more cookie out and waited with anticipation to see how the customers would react. Let’s just say, they’re still on the menu today and a very highly requested item. They’re loved by customers and co-workers alike. This cookie just works. The s’more flavor, but also the texture of the cookie. The recipe produces a very soft dough, which produces a light, chewy cookie. It’s perfect. There are a few key points. First, ensure the marshmallows are stale. Yes, you read that right. Fluffy and fresh marshmallows will spread far too much. They should be stale, but not completely hard. So, if you buy the marshmallows fresh and they’re very squishy and fluffy, leave it in a container, uncovered for a couple of days and that should be perfect. Secondly, don’t over mix. That will ruin the fluffiness in the dough. Lastly, chill. Not absolutely necessary, but chilling the dough for even 10-15 minutes will make it easier to work with. Do I really have to include don’t over bake? No? Okay, good. I thought so.
To start, you want to combine the butter and sugars. Mix until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add in one egg and mix and then the yolk and mix well. Then the vanilla and mix well.
If you’re using a stand mixer, dump in the dry ingredients with the marshmallows and chocolate chips. Pulse until just combined. Then finish mixing with a rubber spatula. If you’re using a hand mixer, dump the dry ingredients in and mix slightly until crumbly. Add in the marshmallows and chocolate and mix until just combined. Finish mixing with a rubber spatula. Don’t overmix.
Cover and chill for at least 15 minutes, but up to overnight.
Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out the dough on to a greased baking sheet and round them. Press down slightly and place about 2″ apart.
Bake at 350°F for about 10-11 minutes or until the outside edges are lightly browned. Take them out of the oven and leave the cookies on the sheet for another five minutes before moving to a wire rack.
See how I do it:
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cornstrach
- 1 teaspooon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup marshmallows (stale or dehydrated)
Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Beat in the egg and yolk, one at a time and mix well after each addition.
Beat in the vanilla and mix well.
Sift together the baking soda, cornstarch, salt, flour and graham cracker crumbs.
Add in dry ingredients, chocolate chips and marshmallows and pulse until soft dough forms.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or up to overnight.
Preheat your oven 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with a silicone liner or parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray.
Scoop out rounded balls with cookie scoop and place on sheet about 2" apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden edges form.
Take out of the oven slightly under cooked and leave the cookies on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make sure the marshmallows are stale or dehydrated. You can use milk chocolate, semisweet, bittersweet or any combination.
Okay….I admit it. I’m a fiend for cookie dough. I’m the girl that will stay up all night watching The Notebook eating my cookie dough and count myself as being blissfully happy at that point. Some people, unfortunately, haven’t had the pleasure of eating cookie dough. They either can’t or won’t because of the raw eggs present in cookie dough. That’s a shame. But, I’m here to let you know your suffering is over. Cookie dough can be made and you will enjoy it’s greatness…without raw eggs! Yes, that’s right. This pudding is the perfect thing to get you right. You’ll be enjoying full cookie dough flavor without any of the risk. Now you too, can stay up watching chick flicks, crying into your cookie dough pudding. Don’t hold yourself from a real good time any longer. Try this recipe today!
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, brown sugar and salt.
Whisk in the milk and make sure it’s cold!
Turn on the heat to a medium-low setting and let this cook for about 5-7 minutes until thickened. Make sure it doesn’t boil and make sure you whisk it every now and then. Also, to indicate if it’s ready, you can test it with if it coats the back of a spoon.
Once it’s ready, take it off the heat and whisk in the room temp butter and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
Spoon the mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, ensuring the wrap is touching the surface. Cool for two hours or until set. Should be a pudding consistency.
Fold in the chocolate chips or chunks gently as to not muddy the mixture.
Serve in ramekins, glass cups or bowls with chocolate chip cookies, cookie crumbs or as is.
See how I make it:
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, (don't use if using salted butter)
- 2 cups whole milk, cold
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups mini chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
- chocolate chip cookies for serving and garnish
Whisk together the brown sugar, salt and cornstarch ins a medium saucepan until combined.
Whisk in the cold milk.
Place over medium-low heat and cook until thickened up, about 5-7 minutes. A good way to indicate if it's done is if it coats the back of a spoon. Don't allow this mixture to come to a boil.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
Spoon into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, ensuring the wrap is pressed directly into the surface of the pudding and sides of the bowl. Chill for at least two hours or until set.
Just before serving, fold in the chocolate chips or chunks. Spoon into the glasses or bowls and serve with chocolate chip cookies.
To store, cover refrigerated for up to two days. Best the day it's made.
Don't add salt if you're using salted butter. Don't allow the mixture to boil. Lasts one or two days max covered refrigerated.
You think you know what marshmallows taste like, but you have no idea. You’ve been lied to and so have I. No, I’m not talking about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. I’m talking about the lie we’ve all been told. The lie of the store-bought marshmallow.
When we think of marshmallows, we think of chewy, borderline rubbery, confections that taste like air. That’s what the marshmallows we’ve grown up on taste like. Well, little did I know, they’re not supposed to taste or feel like that.
I had my awakening when I was on a field trip in Ann Arbor. We went into the world famous, Zingerman’s. I tried one of their homemade marshmallows. It was like everything fell into place. Everything started to make sense. I understood why the sky was blue. It was all good. The texture was soft and pillowy and there was a huge burst of vanilla when I bit into it. It was so good. I knew I could never go back to the cardboard air we are sold in the supermarkets. I feel like everyone should have the chance to taste real homemade marshmallows once in their life. And believe it or not, it’s not super difficult to make.
You’ll need a few things. First, this job is much easier with a stand mixer, so I suggest you use that instead of a hand mixer. Also, you’ll need some kind of thermometer. Either a candy or digital one will do the job.
You’ll need some powdered gelatin. This is halal powdered gelatin. It’s available for those who can’t use the pork gelatin.
You’ll need some granulated sugar.
Some light corn syrup.
Cornstarch and powdered sugar.
And some extracts, whatever one is applicable. In this case, vanilla.
To get started, pour the 1/2 cup of cold water into the bowl of the stand mixer and pour the gelatin over the cold water. Attach it to the stand mixer and have it ready with the whip attachment. Let it stand.
In a saucepan, combine the corn syrup, sugar, 1/2 cup water and salt.
Place over medium high heat, covered for 3-4 minutes.
Uncover it and let it cook for 7-8 minutes or until the mixture reaches 240°F. Use a candy or digital thermometer to determine when it’s done.
Once it’s reached temperature, get the mixer going on low and slowly pour the mixture down the side of the bowl. Make sure the mixture doesn’t get poured into the whip attachment. Once the mixture is completely poured in, turn the mixer up to high and beat for 12 minutes.
In the meantime, prep your cake pan, by greasing it lightly and sifting some of the confectioner’s sugar/cornstarch mixture over the top. Shake around pan to coat the sides and take excess out.
During the last minute of whipping, add in the vanilla extract and whip for another minute. Immediately stop the machine (it will probably be hot, so be careful) and pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Use an offset to spread it out and coat the top with the sugar/cornstarch mixture. If it begins to stick to your hands or spatula, use the cornstarch/sugar mixture to help you out.
Let it rest overnight uncovered.
Turn it out onto the board and cut the pieces as you please. I’m personally using a round cutter, because I want them to look like little cotton balls. I’m in charge of a nursing grad dessert table, so these are going there. The much easier way though, is to just cut them into squares with a knife.
Place in a mason jar or storage container and store at room temperature covered for up to three weeks.
See how I do it:
- 7 1/2 teaspoons or 3 packages powdered gelatin
- 1/2 cup ice cold water (for gelatin)
- 1/2 cup ice cold water (for sugar mixture)
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Nonstick spray
Combine the gelatin with 1/2 cup of the cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Get the whip attachment attached and ready to go.
Combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, the granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt in a 2-quart saucepan. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Uncover, clip a candy thermometer or digital thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes.
When the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
Immediately, turn the mixer on to low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Make sure it doesn't get into the ship attachment.
Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes.
Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pan.
Lightly spray the 13x9" metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Sift in the confectioner's sugar/cornstarch mixture and move around to coat the bottom and sides. Return the excess to a paper plate.
Like many of you, I am also a peanut butter junkie. While some like it crunchy, I’m team smooth all the way. I love making recipes with peanut butter so that I can get my fix in. Candies with peanut butter? Yes, please! I’m also addicted to America’s favorite peanut butter cups. Like, my trash can is usually filled to the brim with those distinct orange wrappers. My name is Fatima and I have a problem. We all know my m.o. when it comes to recipes. They have to be delicious and they have to be easy. I mean, every now and then I like to experiment with the more intricate recipes. For the most part though, I prefer the quick and easy recipes. So combining that philosophy with my love of peanut butter, this recipe hits all the marks. The filling is rich, creamy and perfectly peanut buttery. I absolutely love it. It’s quick to put together and you can keep it frozen or refrigerated until you want to eat it. It really doesn’t get easier than this.
This recipe is originally intended for two 8 or 9″ pies. Well, since I’m typically eating these alone, I decided to make a mega pie instead of two. Same amount of course, but the eye test will fool my mind. Anyways, grease your pan or pans with some cooking spray.
We’ll need some softened cream cheese.
Some confectioner’s sugar.
Some peanut butter. I’m using smooth, but you can use chunky.
Lastly, some whipped cream. For a lighter option, use some whipped topping like Cool Whip.
To make the crust, combine all the ingredients including the butter and mix with your hands until it clumps together. This pie is great with both the cookie crumb crust and the graham cracker crust. Use whichever one you please.
Pour the crust into the pie pan or pans and flatten with the bottom of a measuring cup or pie pan.
Begin mixing the cream cheese until fluffy for about five minutes. Add in the confectioner’s sugar slowly and let it absorb before adding more, mix until combined.
Add in the peanut butter and mix until smooth. It will thicken up on you. Make sure to scrape the sides with a rubber spatula when you’re done mixing.
Drizzle in the milk slowly and mix until combined.
Mix in the whipped cream or whipped topping until uniform in color and creamy in texture.
Scrape down the sides again. Add in the pinch of salt. Taste to determine if the mixture needs slightly more salt or vanilla.
Pour the filling into the crust and flatten the top with an offset spatula.
Wrap in saran and freeze for a few hours or refrigerate for a few hours, depending on what texture you prefer.
Now, have some fun. Decorate as you please. I chose some rosettes.
I drizzled some chocolate, as well.
I quartered some peanut butter cups and placed them on top, because why not more peanut butter?
That’s it! Super easy, looks great and tastes better. Yum!!
See how I do it:
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 8 oz. package cream cheese
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 16 oz whipped cream or whipped topping
- pinch of salt
- 12 oz graham cracker or cookie crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (if using graham crackers)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 oz sugar
- 2 oz melted butter, leave some more out if needed.
Combine all the crust ingredients and mix together until it clumps in your hands like wet sand.
Prepare your pie pan by greasing it with cooking spray.
Beat your cream cheese for about five minutes until fluffy.
Add in the confectioner's sugar a little bit at a time, until fully absorbed by the mixture. Mix for a couple of minutes.
Scrape the sides, then add in the peanut butter and extracts and mix until uniform in color and thicker.
Drizzle in the milk slowly until fully combined and mix.
Scrape the sides again and add whipped cream or whipped topping and mix until uniform in color and it becomes creamy.
Add the pinch of salt and fold it in. Taste and decide if it needs more salt or vanilla.
Pour the filling onto the pie crust and flatten the top with the offset spatula.
Wrap in saran and freeze or refrigerate for at least three hours.
You can use graham cracker or cookie crust. You can use smooth or chunky peanut butter. Decorate as you please! For a firmer texture, freeze for a few hours, then leave out for about 20 minutes, before you eat it. If you refrigerate, you'll have a softer texture, so there's no need to let it sit out for more than five minutes before eating. Whipped topping like cool whip can be used for a lighter option.
If you know me, you know that I appreciate all things Italian. The culture, the country, the language and of course the food. The Italians are well-known for taking simple ingredients and making them shine. Simplicity is the key in Italian food and I really appreciate that. They somehow carry that mentality to desserts as well, which is hard to imagine. While many want to overcomplicate desserts, the Italians say “no way!” They want simple ingredients to shine. They want smaller portions and lighter desserts. Semifreddo is a great example of that. Semifreddo literally translates to “semi-frozen.” That’s what semifreddo is. It’s a half-frozen mousse. Much lighter than ice cream, but with the same creaminess. It’s very easy to make and very versatile. You can flavor a semifreddo pretty much anyway you’d like. You can also serve it anyway you’d like. Me, I decided to not overcomplicate it. I made a vanilla semifreddo and served it with strawberry sauce and a few fresh strawberries. The next day, I made a fresh strawberry compote. I served it slightly warm and oh my gosh was it delicious. The cold and warm contrast in desserts always works best. What I’m saying is, flavor and serve as you please! Learn the technique and have some fun with it.
Make sure you have your eggs at room temperature and your heavy cream cold. Having your ingredients at the proper temperature is always important in executing desserts. Grease a loaf pan and line the loaf pan with plastic wrap with a little overhang. Place in freezer.
Separate your eggs. You’ll only use 1/3 cup of the egg whites for this recipe. Reserve the rest for another recipe or discard the rest. In a heat-proof bowl, whisk together your egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla extract and vanilla beans if using, with a whisk or hand beater until lighter yellow and thickened. With a hand mixer, it’ll take about 2-3 minutes. With a whisk it’ll take about five minutes. Place the heat-proof bowl over simmering pot of water and continue to whisk for about 3 minutes until volume is about doubled. Take it off the heat and whisk for another minute.
Zest in the lemon zest and whisk in.
In a stand mixer, whisk the cream of tartar and egg whites on high speed. When tracks begin to form, gradually add in the other 1/4 cup sugar. Continue to whisk on high speed until a moist, shiny, firm stiff peak forms.
Fold in the meringue into the egg yolk mixture gently.
Without cleaning the bowl or whisk, pour in the heavy cream and whisk on high speed until soft peaks form.
Fold in the whipped cream into the mousse mixture.
Remove the loaf pan from the freezer and pour the mousse gently into the pan and slightly flatten the top. Wrap with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for anywhere from 4 hours to overnight.
After 4 hours.
Dip the pan in hot water for about 10 seconds and use an offset to unmold the semifreddo.
You can serve the semifreddo with any kind of berry, compote or sauce.