Toffee Almond Bark

Your entire life depends on whether or not you foil and grease the pan you’re using to make this liquid gold/drug of a dessert. Don’t learn the hard way. Also, if you’re as impatient as me when it comes to waiting, the bark a few minutes fresh from the oven is equally good spooned over ice cream as it is when it’s solidified in bark form.

IMG_8557

IMG_8546

IMG_8548

IMG_8550

IMG_8551

IMG_8554

IMG_8555

IMG_8556

Make the Bark:

Ingredients

  • 20-30 saltine crackers
  • 2 sticks of salted butter (1 cup)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup of whole almonds, roughly chopped
  1. Line a baking pan with foil and grease it. Cover the bottom of the pan with saltines and sprinkle a handful of almonds over the crackers.
  2. In a small saucepan, stir together the butter and sugar until boiling. Reduce the heat and let the toffee simmer for a couple minutes, stirring frequently. Once it’s thickened, stir in the rest of the almonds and pour the mixture over the saltines.
  3. Let the bark cool before cutting, or just wait a few minutes and spoon the toffee over ice cream.

Enjoy! <3, B

Advertisements

Lavender Lemon Glazed Donuts

As much as it pains me to say it, simply because I draw a line for how cheesy my content on here can get before exceeding the clichéd and generic white mom style of blogging boundary, spring has sprung (cringe!!).

But despite this awful phrase that needs to die right now immediately, spring is actually here again, which calls for spring flavors and colors. When it comes to April, I’m down for all things floral and light (i.e lavender, lemon, and honey)! Therefore, these glazed donuts are a perfect teatime dessert or springtime breakfast, and really taste like April.

IMG_3218IMG_3200

IMG_3202

IMG_3205

IMG_3206

IMG_3210

IMG_3213

IMG_3215

IMG_3219

tumblr_nlsdejON8T1qj4315o1_500

Make the donuts:

Ingredients

  •  3 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup milk, heated
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lavender sugar (divided)
  • 3 1/2 cups of flour
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • Oil, for frying
  • 1 stick of softened butter
  1. In a Kitchen Aid bowl, stir together the warm milk and yeast with the dough hook attachment and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in whisked eggs and 3/4 cup of lavender sugar, then add in the butter, lemon zest, and honey. Mix in flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rise for an hour.
  4. On a floured surface, roll out the dough and cut into rounds with a cookie cutter or glass. Punch a hole in the middle with the end of a wide, round frosting tip or small cookie cutter.
  5. Fry the donuts in hot oil (about 350 degrees) until golden brown, for about 1 minute on each side. Let cool, then coat in lavender glaze (3 cups powdered sugar + 5 tbsp. milk + 1/4 cup lavender sugar, all whisked together) and let them sit on a rack until firm.

Enjoy! <3, B

St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Jello

Here’s another holiday DIY recipe that’s perfect for either St. Paddy’s Day or your next LGBT meeting/coming out party :)!

When my mom was little, her mom would use this method of color-blocking jello by tilting parfait glasses in the fridge, alternating between red and green, to jellify each layer of jello before adding the next. This gives the jello a colorful pattern, perfect for what my grandma considered a “fancy” dessert.

This is my updated version, made with only three colors of jello and green tinted whipped cream. They’re adorable in individual mason jars for Tuesday, and so simple to make!

IMG_2828

IMG_2761

IMG_2766

IMG_2767

IMG_2820

IMG_2823

IMG_2825

IMG_2826

IMG_2829

Make the Rainbow

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet yellow jello
  • 1 packet red jello
  • 1 packet blue jello
  • Heavy cream
  • Green food coloring
  1. Make each jello mixture according to the directions on the box (2 cups boiling water, 2 cups cold water).
  2. Set a small mason jar or juice glass, tilted, in a muffin tin. Pour in red jello about 1/4 of the way up.
  3. Chill the muffin tin to set the red jello. Then add yellow jello with the glasses tilted the other way. Lastly, after the yellow has chilled, add the blue jello.
  4. Whip the heavy cream and tint with a couple drops of green food coloring (optional). Pipe a little decoration:)

Enjoy! <3, B

Golden Carmelitas

(Also referred to as “please end my suffering” bars and “I cried harder eating these than I did watching Bridge to Terabithia” bars.)

Whenever I’m on Pinterest, like the white mom I am, I see beautiful things. There’s always photos of promising recipes and DIY ideas, and I always pin stuff hoping one day I’ll get around to recreating all the mouthwatering projects I come across. This morning, since it actually is, in fact, a rainy day, I decided to turn the tables a bit and not let gloomy day laziness get the best of me:)

Whilst scrolling through the food tag on my pinterest, (still not positive how the site works in general btw), I was reminded of a pin I pinned a phile pack. (That sounded so much funnier in my head I’m so sorry..) There was a recipe for “carmelitas” with a short description, “Chocolate and caramel sandwiched in an oatmeal cookie crust. No mixer needed!” Almost immediately, with only 12 words to guide me, I knew exactly what had to be done.

Make them as soon as you can. You will cry yourself to sleep, trust me.IMG_1690

IMG_1683

IMG_1685

IMG_1686

IMG_1687

IMG_1689

Make the Carmelitas

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • Chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup white sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8×8 glass pan.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat white sugar and 5 tablespoons of water and swirl over medium heat until golden. Add 1/2 stick of butter and heavy cream, stir until smooth. Whisk in flour and baking powder, then set aside.
  3. Melt butter until brown in another saucepan, then remove from heat and stir in brown sugar. Add rolled oats and stir until combined. Press the mixture into the pan in an even layer, then bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Pour caramel into oat crust and add a layer of chocolate chips. Sprinkle more oats on top, then bake until golden for about 15 minutes. Let sit for a few hours before cutting into squares!

Enjoy! <3, B

Rosemary Caramel Ice Cream

For me, ice cream is a year-round commitment. To the people who stop eating ice cream in the winter: you are weak and natural selection is coming for you. However, it does feel slightly wrong to be cuddled next to the fire with a bowl of lemon sorbet. So instead of stopping ice cream consumption altogether because it feels “wrong,” I thought it would be best to just adjust the flavor so it feels more winter-y.

Here’s my recipe for rosemary (infused) caramel ice cream. It’s almost like warm ice cream because of the flavor (don’t actually eat it warm). This recipe is for one pint, but I won’t judge you if you double/triple/quadruple the serving size. Enjoy!

DSC_0339

DSC_0336

DSC_0344

DSC_0348

Make the ice cream

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup caramel sauce (recipe below)
  • 2 c heavy cream
  1. In a small saucepan, heat milk until it begins to bubble at the edges. Add rosemary and let simmer for a minute. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 10-15 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan, whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Slowly whisk in the milk and stir constantly over low heat until the mixture can coat a wooden spoon.
  3. Stir in caramel. Chill the mixture until cold (1-2 hours).
  4. Add heavy cream and churn in an ice cream maker. Transfer to a container and freeze until firm.

Caramel sauce: dissolve 1 cup of sugar in 5 tbsp of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let cook, swirling the pot occasionally, until the caramel is amber. Remove from heat and add 1/3 cup cold butter. Stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream. Refrigerate until cool.

Enjoy! <3, B

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while..I actually meant to post this the other day I just got really busy and completely forgot. I wanted to make something nutella-ish and chocolate-ish, so here it is.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Make the mousse

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups semi sweet orr dark chocolate chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. cup cocoa powder
  • 2 giant heaping tbsp. of nutella
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the cream until it begins to bubble around the edges. Pour in the chocolate and make sure all of the morsels are under the cream. Turn off the heat, let it sit for a minute, then stir until smooth.
  2. Add the cocoa powder and nutella and make sure the mixture in combined well.
  3. Put the saucepan in a bowl/tray of ice and begin to beat it with a hand-held mixer. At almost full speed it should take about 7-10 minutes before the mousse is thick. Beat just until you can flip over the saucepan and it stays inside.

Enjoy! <3, B

Coconut Cream Pie Cups

Maybe you haven’t noticed, but I’ve sort of been on a coconut kick lately. I guess you really wouldn’t have noticed since I’ve only expressed my love in the fluffy coconut cupcakes recipe I posted a while back. In any case, I really really really love coconut. My first attempt at this invention/creation was a failure. During the simmering phase it jellified and became meringuey. My second attempt, however, turned out pretty well. The filling was smooth and pudding-like. These are simple and delicious, much like coconut itself.

Image

Image

Image

Make the coconut cream filling

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup half & half
  • drop of vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of corn starch
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut (plus more for topping)
  • 1 9-inch pie crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Roll out the pie crust just a little bit until it’s about 1/2 inch thick. Flour both sides of the dough, then punch out 6 circles with a wide-mouth glass and stretch each disc with your fingers. Butter a 6 cup muffin tin and press each disc into the tin. Bake for 9 minutes, or until light golden and slightly crisp.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the corn starch, yolk, sugar, half and half, and vanilla. Put the bowl over simmering water and whisk until smooth. Continue to whisk over medium heat until the mixture is thickened and has the consistency of custard or pudding. 
  3. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Wait a few minutes, then add the coconut.
  4. Drop 1-2 tbsp. of filling into each cooled pie crust cup, then refrigerate until the filling is set and firm (about 1 /2 hours.)

Enjoy! <3, B

Fresh Lemon Bars

I was looking through my posts and realized that I haven’t posted this one yet, which is surprising because I love lemon bars and everyone should know about it. Fresh zest and juice are the secret weapons in this recipe, so make sure you get real lemons. If you don’t want to juice lemons, however, you can always opt for a bottle of lemon juice and call it a day.

Image

 

 

ImageImage

Image

Make the Filling

  • Zest from two lemons
  • Juice of 2 lemons plus 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup flour

Make the Crust

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (1/2 lb, softened)
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • drop of vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. For the crust; In a kitchen aid with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar. Gradually beat in the flour and salt, then add the vanilla.
  3. Use a rubber spatula to scoop out the dough and onto a floured surface. Press the dough into a 8×15 pyrex, then bake for 10-15 or until the dough is light brown and slightly crisped around the edges. 
  4. While the dough is baking, whisk the filling ingredients in a small bowl. When the crust comes out of the oven, pour the filling over the dough and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let the bars cool before slicing them into squares.

Enjoy! <3, B

 

Macaroons vs. Macarons: There’s a Difference

Ok. I will debate with anyone any time or place about the difference between these two–very different– desserts. I find it annoying when misinformed people don’t have the first clue about the subject and convince themselves they’re French-smart.

There is a huge difference. First of all, the spelling of course. Macarons are French. Macaroons are not. Though I find it easier to pronounce them the same way (the “American” way) with emphasis on the O’s, one is a french word and the other is not.

Next, they’re two very, very different cookies. Whereas macaroons are cookies made from egg and coconut, macarons are two delicate shells encasing a ganache or cream. There IS a difference, trust me.

Seriously, if they’re colorful sandwich-like cookies, they’re macarons. And don’t let any “”””ignorant”””” person inform you otherwise.

ImageImage

(Pictures courtesy of http://mommyssweetconfessions.blogspot.com/2012/07/macarons-try-1.html & http://www.tinynewyorkkitchen.com/coconut-macaroons/ )

Chocolate Ravioli

One of my FAVORITE desserts. I learned how to make them in a cooking class one summer, and I’ve been in love ever since. It’s a real people-pleaser. A smooth chocolate ganache encased in little pockets of puff pastry. 

Image

Image

Image

Image

 

 

You can cut the raviolis out with a ravioli-punch or use a pizza wheel.

Image

It’s normal for the chocolate to spill out of the sides, just crimp the dough well before sticking them in the oven.

Image

 

Melt in your mouth(:

Here’s my mouth-watering recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Egg wash (1 egg + splash of water)
  • 1 pkg. puff pastry dough (there should be two sheets in one container)
  • Flour (for dusting)
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)

Make the ravioli:

*Before: preheat oven to 375, thaw out puff pastry.*

  1. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan. As it just begins to boil around the edges, pour the cream over the chocolate chips in a little bowl. Let it sit for a minute, then stir until the chocolate chips are melted. (If the mixture doesn’t get smooth, put it back on the heat and whisk until it’s smooth.)
  2. Put the bowl in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, then stir. Put it back for 20 minutes until the ganache is firm.
  3. Roll out the puff pastry sheets on a floured surface. Brush the egg wash on one of the sheets up until 1 inch of the edge. 
  4. Drop ganache by teaspoons about 1 1/2 inches apart on the egg-washed dough. (there should be about 15-20 spoonfuls.) Then, cover the first sheet of dough with the second sheet. Press your fingers around each, sealing the chocolate.
  5. Cut the ravs with a ravioli cutter, knife, or pizza wheel. Don’t cut too close to the chocolate!
  6. Place the raviolis on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and put in the freezer for 15 minutes. Then, bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven.

Cool before eating, dust with powdered sugar, and enjoy!

(Inspiration courtesy of Pepperidge Farm)

<3, B