Thursday, June 16, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

One of my favorite summer desserts is strawberry shortcake!  You’ll love this easy version and the glaze is ah-may-zing!! 
WARNING: not a low-fat dessert, get your exercise in 1st, then enjoy!! J
INGREDIENTS:
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 ½ cups of sliced fresh strawberries
½ cup water
2 tablespoons of orange juice
1 (8-oz.) can Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 egg white, slightly beaten
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
Fresh mint leaves for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
In a small saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons sugar and cornstarch. In a blender container or food processor bowl with metal blade, combine 1/2 cup of the strawberries and the water; puree until smooth. If desired, strain to remove seeds.
Stir pureed strawberries into sugar mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in orange juice. Cool 10 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 cups strawberries.  Refrigerate until serving time.
Lightly grease cookie sheet. Separate dough into 8 triangles. For each roll, place 2 triangles together, one on top of the other; press all edges together to seal. Roll up, starting at shortest side of triangle and rolling to opposite point. Place point side down on greased cookie sheet. Brush each roll with egg white. Sprinkle evenly with 2 teaspoons sugar.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until rolls are golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet; cool 15 minutes. Split rolls horizontally; place on individual dessert plates. Fill and top each with strawberry mixture and whipped topping, garnish with fresh mint – oh yea!!
Recipe modified from Pillsbury

Monday, June 13, 2011

No Bake Flag Cheesecake

Calling all cheesecake lovers!!!  So here’s an early recipe for the 4th of July!  If you love cheesecake, you’ll love this one! Plus, it’s a no bake one, so you won’t have to heat up your kitchen in the summer months to make this one! This is always a hit for any patriotic party – and you can switch out the berries and add seasonal fruit – either way, you’ll love this cheesecake!

Ingredients:              
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) low-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla (I use pure vanilla but you can use vanilla extract)
2 cups thawed low-fat cool whip
1 low-fat Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.)  
2 cups fresh strawberries, halved  or raspberries
1/3 cup blueberries (berries can be switched or omitted)

Directions:
1.     Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended, then  wisk in the cool whip.
2.    Spoon into crust ( you will be tempted to lick the spoon, go ahead..its so yummy)
3.    Place in refrigerator for 3 hours or until set. 
4.    Arrange berries on cheesecake to resemble a flag (if you’re doing this for the 4th)
5.    ENJOY!!!  And pretend that you slaved all day in the kitchen for this one!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cupcakes in a Cone!


These are the sweetest cupcakes ever! My daughter just turned 7 and wanted to celebrate her birthday with cupcakes at school, so I decided to make these and they were a hit! The kids were surprised to bite in and taste cake! SO YUMMY and easy to make and decorate!

Here's what you'll need:

Ingredients:

- 1 (18.25) ounce package cake mix (your favorite) I used strawberry since Maddie likes pink! :)
- 24 flat bottomed ice cream cones
- 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (you can use your favorite chips as well)
- 1 ounce of candy colored sprinkles
- 1 tub of your favorite icing

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Prepare the cake mix according to directions on the box. Place 10 chocolate chips on the bottom of each cone (this is optional, but makes a great surprise for the last bite!)

3. Fill each cone about 3/4 full of batter, up to the first ridge. Place cones in the cups of a cupcake pan - I used my mini muffin pan and it worked great!


4. Bake for 15 minutes (over-baking will make the cone taste rubbery)

5. Let the cones cool, then frost and decorate with candies or sprinkles!  I am telling ya, they will be a HIT!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Top 10 Cookie-Baking Tips~

Secrets to perfectly delicious cookies!
  • Use the best quality ingredients. They'll produce the tastiest cookies.
  • Always use large-sized eggs, unsalted butter and nuts, and pure extracts of vanilla or almond.
  • Successful baking relies on the correct ratio of ingredients, so be sure to measure accurately.
  • Most cookie recipes call for all-purpose flour. For the best results, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife. Do not sift unless the recipe specifically says to do so.
  • Unless you are baking with non-stick pans and cookie sheets, use parchment paper for stick-free baking and easy clean-up.
  • Chill dough for cut-out cookies. Soften it up at room temperature for a few minutes before rolling out.
  • Leave two inches of space between cookies so they don't spread into each other.
  • Adjust baking times to achieve the cookie texture you crave. A little less time produces chewier cookies; a little more time makes them crispy.
  • Bake bar cookies in the pan size indicated in the recipe.
  • Cool cookies completely before decorating.
Article used from Allrecipes.com

Fabulous Banana Nilla Pudding

My family LOVES pudding and bananas – then topped with Nilla wafers, and they are in heaven, and so am I! J  This is an oldie by goodie, so yummy and perfect for summer!  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup of flour
Pinch of salt
3 eggs, separated
2 cups fat free milk
1/2 tsp.of vanilla extract
45 Nilla Wafers
6 bananas, sliced

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. 
Meanwhile, mix 1/2 cup of sugar, flour and salt in top of double boiler. Blend in 3 egg yolks and milk. Cook, uncovered, over boiling water for 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla extract.

Set aside 12 wafers and 1 banana (this will be your garnish topping). Spread small amount of custard onto bottom of 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Cover with layers of 1/3 each of the remaining wafers, bananas and remaining custard. Repeat layers 2 times (like a lasagna)

Then, beat egg whites on high speed in mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread over custard, sealing well to edge of dish.

Bake for 15 to 20 min. or until lightly browned. Cool slightly. Top with reserved 12 wafers just before serving.

Recipe revised from Kraft

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade Homemade Donuts


This past weekend, my daughter had a friend come and spend the night, and as girls do, they came up with an idea… donuts!  Since it was late, I decided that I would make them myself and having left-over icing from the Strawberry Lemonade cupcakes (see my blog for that recipe) that I had made the kids earlier that morning, the plan to make donuts became a reality!  Here’s how easy it is to make homemade donuts!  Trust me, your family will devour them!
Ingredients:
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 can of large biscuits
Frosting Ingredients: - used from my Strawberry Lemonade cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup pureed strawberries (made from fresh or frozen strawberries)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 – 4 cups powdered sugar (adjust to achieve desired consistency)
Directions:
Heat 2 inches vegetable oil in a large frying pan.
To Make Frosting:
Cream butter in an electric mixer on medium-speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Then add in the strawberries, vanilla and lemon juice, and mix on low-speed until combined.  Gradually add in the powdered sugar and mix until combined.  Then beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, another 3-5 minutes.  (Add in more powdered sugar if consistency is too thin.)
Then, lay out the biscuits on a cutting board and with a children’s medicine cup, cut out a hole from the middle of each biscuit, I didn’t have a small cookie cutter, so I used a medicine cup… worked wonderfully and was the perfect size!
Fry the donuts and the hoes in the oil until golden and then flip with tongs to fry the other side.  You need to watch them closely as they cook very quickly!   Drain on paper towels and then coat with icing while they are still warm... the frosting will melt and you will love the taste of freshly made donuts.  I rolled the donut holes in cinnamon-sugar!  The possibilities are endless on toppings – you could toss in cinnamon-sugar, powdered sugar or ice and decorate with sprinkles, as desired.  Either way, you will enjoy each and every bite!