Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Lemon Crinkle Cookies by Brownie Mischief
Click here to watch the video.

Crinkle cookies, also known as crackle cookies, have been around for a very long time. The pretty, crispy, cracked exterior and the soft, moist interior are what we love about them! There’s definitely no shortage of recipes for crinkles out there, everything from chocolate to red velvet. I noticed a new wave of interest in lemon crinkles on social media. I even saw an audacious cookie company selling lemon crinkles for twelve dollars each, more money than it will cost for this entire batch! So many of the recipes I tried were disappointing, especially the ones made with cake mix. So I created my own version and I’m sharing it with you. Here’s to making sure delicious lemon crinkle cookies are available for all to enjoy, not just a select few.

This recipe requires a bit of chilling, which I know many people don’t like because they’re impatient. I happen to be one of those people. Old fashioned crinkle cookies require about 3 hours of chilling. My recipe has the addition of cornstarch, which helps prevent spreading and allows for a shorter chilling time. As an added bonus, cornstarch makes the cookies more tender. Win win!

Fresh lemon zest and lemon juice in these cookies is crucial to the best lemon flavor. A bit of pure lemon extract is added to enhance that flavor. Don’t be tempted to use imitation extracts. The flavor will disappoint you. I added two drops of lemon yellow food color, which made them so pretty they look like pure sunshine!

Print Recipe
Lemon Crinkle Cookies
Lemon cookies with a crackled, crispy exterior and a soft, tender interior
Course Dessert
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and lemon zest together until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in egg until well combined.
  4. Mix in lemon juice and extracts until well combined.
  5. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
  6. Add food color, if using, and stir to combine.
  7. Refrigerate cookie dough for 30 minutes to one hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  9. Roll cookies into balls, about 2 tablespoons each. **I used a #30 cookie scoop.
  10. Roll balls dough balls generously in powdered sugar.
  11. Place two inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.
  12. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for one minute then transfer to cooling rack.
Recipe Notes

*To find Americolor lemon yellow gel food color, click here.

**To find a #30 cookie scoop, click here.

To find the striped wax paper pictured above, click here.

 

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Lilac Vanilla Mini Cakes

Lilac Vanilla Mini Cakes

Once upon a time, there was a little black bear who woke up from a long nap. As she stretched, she felt her tummy growl. She ventured into the morning sunshine and smelled something sweet. She sniffed the air, following the sweet fragrance until she came upon a beautiful purple tree. She climbed up to a comfy branch and ate the tender, purple blossoms to her heart’s content.

Bears, butterflies and bees know something good when they see it. We humans can also enjoy lilacs. I knew lilacs were edible, but I hadn’t tasted them until recently. The flavor reminds me of beets, slightly sweet with a vegetable aftertaste. I really wanted to try lilac syrup after seeing so many photos of pretty purple syrup online. I discovered that lilac syrup is not purple. It’s more of a dull, brownish blue-green. Many people use food coloring or blueberries to color their syrup. I decided to skip that step since I would be using my lilac syrup inside of cake layers. I made a simple syrup with lilac blossoms and let them steep for a couple of hours. It was just long enough to give a subtle lilac flavor without being too floral. If you want a stronger lilac flavor, I suggest using more lilac blossoms rather than steeping longer to avoid bitterness.

I paired the lilac syrup with this soft, fluffy vanilla cake and silky Swiss meringue buttercream. If you aren’t a fan of lilac syrup, feel free to use vanilla simple syrup instead and just use the lilac blossoms to decorate your cakes. They look stunning on any cake or cupcakes.

Print Recipe
Lilac Vanilla Mini Cakes
Soft, fluffy mini white vanilla cakes with lilac syrup and vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream, topped with lilac blossoms
Course Dessert
Servings
mini cakes
Ingredients
Lilac Syrup
White Vanilla Cake
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Course Dessert
Servings
mini cakes
Ingredients
Lilac Syrup
White Vanilla Cake
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Instructions
Lilac Syrup
  1. Combine lilac blossoms, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring gently to dissolve sugar.
  2. Turn down heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and allow lilac blossoms to steep for 2 hours. Pass lilac syrup through a mesh sieve.
White Vanilla Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, oil and vanilla bean paste with an electric mixer at medium speed, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. On medium speed, beat in egg whites in two additions, then beat in egg until well combined.
  5. On low speed, beat in one third of the flour mixture, then beat in sour cream just until combined.
  6. Beat in the remaining flour in two additions, alternating with milk. Beat just until combined.
  7. Transfer batter to prepared cake pans. Bake for 28-33 minutes, or until top is light golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not over bake.
  8. Allow cakes to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and continue cooling on a wire rack.
  9. Cut cakes into twelve 2 3/4-inch rounds using a cookie or biscuit cutter.
  10. Using a pastry brush, brush mini cakes generously with lilac syrup or vanilla simple syrup.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Set over a pan of simmering water.
  2. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and temperature of 160ºF is reached.
  3. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whisk on low speed, gradually increasing to medium-high speed. Whisk until glossy, stiff peaks form and mixture reaches room temperature.
  4. Turn mixer to medium-low speed. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, allowing butter to fully incorporate before adding more. If mixture looks curdled, keep mixing and it will correct itself.
  5. Switch to a paddle attachment. On low speed, mix in vanilla bean paste and salt. Continue mixing on low speed for a few minutes until smooth.
  6. Remove about 3/4 cup of frosting and transfer to a small bowl. Using a toothpick, place two tiny drops of lilac gel food color and one tiny drop of violet gel food color into the bowl. Mix with a spatula until well combined.
Assembly
  1. Smear a bit of frosting on each mini cake board. Top with a cake round, frosting, then a second cake round. Frost with a crumb coat if desired. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Frost mini cakes with white Swiss meringue buttercream, then smear small amounts of lilac Swiss meringue buttercream around the sides and top. Smooth frosting with a bench scraper and smooth the tops with a small offset spatula. Decorate with lilac blossoms.
Vanilla Simple Syrup (optional)
  1. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. When sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract.
Recipe Notes

*If you can't find ultra fine granulated sugar, it's ok to substitute with regular granulated sugar.

**To find the lilac gel food color I used, click here.

***To find the violet gel food color I used, click here.

****To find 3-inch mini cake boards, click here.

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Strawberries and Cream Profiteroles

Strawberries & Cream Profiteroles

Hear me out. Imagine you’re in a beautiful room, reclining on a plush velvet chaise lounge. There’s a dainty table nearby. On the table is a cake pedestal with a little pyramid of small, perfectly plump, pink pastries. They’re filled with sweet, luscious strawberry cream. And they’re all yours. This Strawberries & Cream Profiteroles recipe can make that dream come true. Maybe not the velvet chaise lounge, but really any comfortable chair will do while you indulge in these delicious little gems. Profiteroles have a way of making you feel regal and indulgent. I think princesses and princes snack on them. Most of us don’t have a personal pastry chef or the budget to order from French bakeries every day, but we can certainly follow a recipe and make one of the easiest pastry doughs there is. Choux pastry or pate à choux is used to make profiteroles, cream puffs, eclairs, churros and other pastries. Once you get the hang of it, the possibilities are endless.

This recipe features fresh strawberries, but frozen strawberries will work too. You can also substitute raspberries or peaches. To find the recipe for Peaches & Cream Profiteroles, click here. The strawberry purée can be made a day or two ahead and stored in the refrigerator. To make it easy on myself, I like to make the strawberry purée on day one, the pastry cream on day two, then make the profiteroles and strawberry icing and assemble on day three. It’s also helpful to practice the French culinary style of prep, mise en place, which means to have all of your ingredients and equipment in place before you begin. Everything will go much smoother and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.

Print Recipe
Strawberries and Cream Profiteroles
Bite sized choux pastry puffs filled with fresh strawberries and cream filling and topped with fresh strawberry icing
Course Dessert
Servings
profiteroles
Ingredients
Strawberry Pureé
Strawberries and Cream Filling
Profiteroles
Strawberry Icing
Course Dessert
Servings
profiteroles
Ingredients
Strawberry Pureé
Strawberries and Cream Filling
Profiteroles
Strawberry Icing
Instructions
Strawberry Purée
  1. Purée strawberries in a blender or food processor. Strain puréed strawberries through a sieve.
  2. Transfer strawberry purée to a small saucepan. Stir in lemon juice.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until strawberry purée is reduced by half.
  4. Remove from heat. Stir in strawberry extract. Set aside to cool completey.
Strawberries and Cream Filling
  1. Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the egg and whisk until smooth.
  3. When milk starts to boil, remove from heat and pour 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture and whisk to combine.
  4. Pour the egg mixture back into the remaining hot milk and cook over medium heat, whisking continuously, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.
  5. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla extract.
  6. Pour mixture through a sieve placed over a bowl. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and let cool completely.
  7. Set aside 2 tablespoons of strawberry purée. Add remaining strawberry purée to cooled pastry cream and stir to combine. Cover strawberry pastry cream and chill in refrigerator.
  8. In a medium bowl, whip heavy cream to stiff peaks with an electric mixer at high speed. Fold whipped cream into cooled strawberry pastry cream. Set aside in refrigerator.
Profiteroles
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper,
  2. Combine water, butter and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Reduce heat. Add flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture pulls away from sides of pan and forms a ball.
  4. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed until steam dissipates and mixture cools to lukewarm.
  5. Add eggs one at a time and beat on medium speed until smooth, stopping to scrape down bowl.
  6. Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. (I used *Ateco tip 808)
  7. Pipe 1 1/4-inch mounds, about 2 inches apart, on prepared baking sheets. Smooth tops with a wet finger.
  8. Bake 15 minutes, then turn down the oven heat to 350ºF and continue baking until golden brown, about 8-10 more minutes. Using a toothpick or skewer, prick a small hole in each profiterole to allow steam to escape. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Use the tip of a paring knife to make a pilot hole in the bottom of each profiterole.
  10. Place strawberries and cream filling into a piping bag fitted with a medium round piping tip. (I used **Wilton tip 12)
  11. Place tip into the pilot holes and fill each profiterole with filling.
Strawberry Icing
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk all icing ingredients together until smooth. Spoon over filled profiteroles. Refrigerate profiteroles until ready to serve.
Recipe Notes

*To find Ateco tip 808 click here.

**To find Wilton tip 12 click here.

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Vintage Chocolate Cake with the Best Chocolate Frosting

Dark Chocolate Cake with the Best Chocolate Frosting

If you love chocolate cake, this is the post for you! Chocolate cake is one of the best comfort foods there is. I’ve tasted many over the years, but my all time favorite was one I had growing up. I’ve spent years trying to duplicate it. Most cookbook recipes were either too dry, too dense or too spongey. Some books have some velvety, butter based recipes that use the reverse creaming method, but they don’t have the moist, nostalgic texture I was looking for. I noticed that nearly every chocolate cake recipe on the internet is a variation of the century-old recipe from the Hershey’s Cocoa tin. I think many people have passed it down as a family recipe, each grandmother adding her own personal touch. Even some celebrity chefs have claimed it as their own. It’s an easy, delicious, moist recipe and its popularity is well deserved. You can tweak the flavor additions a bit to make it your own too. It’s a recipe that’s hard to mess up.

The recipe I’m sharing here is my version of the vintage original, adapted over time by my family. I like to use dark or black cocoa powder in this recipe, which makes a rich, dark chocolate cake. The chocolate frosting recipe is one I developed, mostly because I couldn’t find a chocolate frosting recipe that didn’t taste gritty and/or look speckled from the cocoa powder. Swiss meringue buttercream with melted chocolate added is one alternative, but, while it is smooth, silky and perfect for piping, it’s missing that deep chocolate richness. Another option is chocolate ganache. It looks rich and creamy in those viral videos, but it’s a little too rich and overpowering to use as frosting in my opinion.

I think this frosting recipe is the one! it has the best of both worlds and is perfect for a classic chocolate cake. You’ll notice this frosting contains maple syrup. It gives a subtle maple note in the background, but mostly, it helps make the frosting silky and gives it shine.

Print Recipe
Vintage Chocolate Cake with the Best Chocolate Frosting
Course Dessert
Keyword cake, chocolate
Servings
2 layer 6-inch cake
Ingredients
Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Frosting
Course Dessert
Keyword cake, chocolate
Servings
2 layer 6-inch cake
Ingredients
Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Frosting
Instructions
Chocolate Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease two 6-inch cake pans and dust with cocoa powder. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Add sugar and stir to combine.
  3. Combine egg, egg yolk, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Whisk lightly to combine.
  4. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and mix on low speed with a handheld electric mixer, until combined. Stop mixer. Scrape sides of bowl with spatula. Turn mixer up to medium speed and beat for 1 minute.
  5. Add hot coffee and stir to combine.
  6. Pour batter into prepared cake pans, dividing batter evenly between the pans. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Chocolate Frosting
  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together maple syrup, water, cocoa powder and espresso powder until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter, powdered sugar and salt until smooth with an electric mixer
  3. Gradually add cooled maple syrup mixture and beat until combined.
  4. Stir in melted chocolate until well combined.
Recipe Notes

*For smoothest results, use chopped bar chocolate and make sure chocolate is completely melted.  Do not use chocolate chips

 

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Maple Pecan Brownies

maple pecan brownies

Pecan pie was my mom’s favorite, but she didn’t bake pies, so I always used to bake her one for Thanksgiving. One year, I made a chocolate version. It was delicious, but let’s just say it wasn’t user friendly. It was gooey and hard to serve. Over the years, it eventually morphed into these Maple Pecan Brownies. The brownie version is still delicious, rich and gooey with toasty pecans, but much more user friendly.

I used an 8-inch square baking pan for the batch in the photo because I wanted the brownie squares to be thick. You can also use a 9-inch square pan and you’ll get a few more squares out of it, but they’ll have less height. Keep in mind that the baking time will be shorter for the 9-inch pan because the batter will be spread thinner.

The biggest challenge of this recipe is the baking time. The initial time in the oven is to partially bake the brownies. The top should be set before adding the pecan topping. This will take anywhere from 20-30 minutes depending on your pan and your oven. Mine took 28 minutes. The second baking time is to set the pecan topping. This will take about 20-25 minutes. You will notice that the top will be deep brown and the center will stop jiggling. Another way to test doneness is with a food thermometer. The internal temperature will be about 190ºF. Click here to find an instant read kitchen thermometer.

Enjoying Maple Pecan Brownies with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee is a must. Thinking of it brings back memories. I can practically smell my dad brewing the coffee to go with his brownie.

Print Recipe
Maple Pecan Brownies
Rich, gooey brownies topped with pecan pie filling
Instructions
Brownies
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, overlapping the sides an inch or two. Spray parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together melted butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until well combined.
  3. Stir in eggs and vanilla, one at a time, until well combined.
  4. Stir in cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until well combined.
  5. Stir in flour just until combined.
  6. Spread batter into prepared baking pan. Bake just until top is set, about 20-30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare pecan topping.
  8. When brownie top is set, remove from oven. Gently pour pecan topping around the outer perimeter of brownies, to avoid making brownies sink in the middle. Evenly distribute the pecan topping over the top gently with a spoon.
  9. Return the brownies to the oven and continue baking until the topping is set, about 20-25 minutes. Brownies will stop jiggling and topping will look deep golden brown. Internal temperature will be about 190ºF. (If your topping starts to brown too much on the edges before the inside is done, apply aluminum foil around the edges as you would with a pie.)
  10. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting, about 2- 2 1/2 hours.
  11. Cut into squares, wiping knife between cuts. Store in a covered container.
Pecan Topping
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together maple syrup, butter, brown sugar, egg, maple extract and salt until well combined.
  2. Stir in pecans until well coated with maple syrup mixture.
  3. Set aside until brownies are partially baked.
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Apple Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

apple spice cookies with brown butter icing

Any respectable autumn baking recipe needs to have the three C’s. Cozy. Comforting. And of course, cinnamon! Would pumpkin-spice-anything even exist without the three C’s? I think not! These Apple Spice Cookies understood the assignment. The combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla in this cookie dough will remind you of cinnamon rolls and apple pie.

The apples in this recipe are cooked briefly on the stovetop to bring out the flavor and create the perfect texture. Dropping raw apple chunks into cookie dough or cake batter is never a good idea. If you’ve ever baked an apple pie, you know that apples release liquid as they’re cooked and that liquid will end up in your baked cookies, creating soggy spots. So definitely don’t skip this step!

These gorgeous, golden brown cookies are perfectly delicious on their own, but extra credit goes to the Brown Butter Icing for taking them over the top!

apple spice cookies with brown butter icing

Make sure to head over to TikTok to watch the video of these Apple Spice Cookies being created.

Print Recipe
Apple Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Icing
Course Dessert
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Cooked Apples
Brown Butter Icing
Course Dessert
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Cooked Apples
Brown Butter Icing
Instructions
Cooked Apples
  1. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add apples, sugar and cinnamon to skillet.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Drain any excess liquid from cooled apples.
Apple Spice Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract, one at a time, until well combined
  5. Stir in reserved flour mixture, just until combined.
  6. Fold cooled apples into cookie dough.
  7. Divide dough into 12 equal golf ball size portions and place three inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
  8. Bake until golden brown, about 12-13 minutes. Let cool 1 minute on baking sheet, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
Brown Butter Icing
  1. In a small saucepan, cook butter over medium heat until golden brown and fragrant.
  2. Immediately transfer browned butter to a small bowl. Whisk in powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt and 1 tablespoon milk. Add more milk if necessary to reach desired consistency.
  3. Drizzle icing over cooled cookies.
Recipe Notes

NOTE:  If your cookies spread too much when baking, refrigerate dough for 15 minutes, then bake as directed.

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Fairy Puffs

Fairy Puffs sugared mini muffins wtih edible flowers

My dad used to take me on walks in the woods to look for fairy rings when I was a child. I wanted to see a real fairy so badly! I got a book about fairies, hoping to learn more about them. Fairies love little cakes, milk, honey and butter so I’m sure these Fairy Puffs would be fairy approved.

My Fairy Puffs recipe is loosely based on an old favorite mini muffin recipe. I tweaked it quite a bit, including the addition of pink dragonfruit powder. Dragonfruit has a subtle flavor, so the bright fuchsia powder is mostly for color. But oh what a beautiful color it is! You can find dragonfruit powder in healthy food stores or online. To find the dragonfruit powder , also known as pink pitaya powder, I used, click here.

fairy puff muffins

Decorating these little cuties was so entertaining! After sampling multiple variations of sparkling sugar and cinnamon sugar, I decided that dipping the bottoms of the muffins in butter and cinnamon sugar, then dipping the tops in butter and sparkling sugar gave them the perfect balance of sugar and spice. I had purchased some edible flowers a couple of days prior, and they added a pretty, magical touch. The flowers I used are called bachelor’s buttons and I got them at a local gourmet flower seller.

sugared mini muffins with edible flowers

Print Recipe
Fairy Puffs
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword cake, muffins
Servings
mini muffins
Ingredients
Fairy Puffs
Topping
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword cake, muffins
Servings
mini muffins
Ingredients
Fairy Puffs
Topping
Instructions
Fairy Puffs
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 24 serving mini muffin pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, dragonfruit powder, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and beat until smooth.
  5. Add flour mixture and milk alternately in two additions and mix just until combined.
  6. Fill wells of prepared muffin pan with batter.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Be careful not to over bake. Small muffins can dry out easily.)
  8. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove puffs from pan and transfer to cooling rack. (Loosen puffs with a small offset spatula or butter knife if necessary.)
Topping
  1. Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
  2. Place colored sparkling sugar crystals in another shallow bowl.
  3. Dip the bottoms of each puff in melted butter, then into cinnamon sugar mixture.
  4. Dip the tops of each puff in melted butter, then into sparkling sugar.
  5. Decorate with edible flowers if desired.
Recipe Notes

*To purchase dragonfruit powder, click here.

 **To purchase pink sparkling sugar crystals, click here.

 

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Happy Jam Tarts

Happy Jam Tarts

We’ve all needed a little cheering up at times, especially this past past year. These cute, happy tarts won’t take your problems away, but they can certainly make you smile, especially if you make them for someone else. They’re super easy to make and they taste better than the ones in the box we ate as kids. You can use store bought pie dough if you want to streamline the process. Any flavor of jam or preserves you have on hand works too!

Feel free to have fun decorating these little cuties. The possibilities are endless. You can use edible glitter, purchased candy eyes or even add mustaches. Happy baking!

Print Recipe
Happy Jam Tarts
Jam-filled tarts with icing
Servings
tarts
Ingredients
Jam Tarts
Icing
Servings
tarts
Ingredients
Jam Tarts
Icing
Instructions
Jam Tarts
  1. Preheat oven to 375º.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Roll pie dough onto lightly floured surface. Cut into 8 6-inch by 4-inch rectangles, re-rolling dough as necessary.
  4. Make egg wash by beating egg together with milk in a small bowl.
  5. Spread 2 tablespoons of jam onto right half of each rectangle to within 1/2-inch of edges. Brush edges with egg wash.
  6. Fold dough in half, left side over right. Seal edges by pressing with a fork
  7. Poke several holes in the top of each tart with a toothpick.
  8. Bake until golden, about 15-20 minutes.
  9. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
Icing
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract and salt together until smooth.
  2. Using a toothpick, add food color a little at a time until desired shade is achieved.
  3. Stir in meringue powder, if using.
  4. Spoon icing onto tarts.
  5. Add sprinkles while icing is wet. When icing has set, add eyes, mouths and bows if desired.
Decorations
  1. For the eyes, make 16 1/8-inch balls of black fondant. Flatten slightly. Adhere with a bit of water.
  2. For the mouths, make 8 1/2-inch long, very thin strips of black fondant. Adhere with a tiny bit of water, using tweezers if necessary.
  3. For the bows, roll out blue fondant to 1/16th-inch thickness. Cut out bows using ***bow cutter. Adhere with a bit of water.
Recipe Notes

*To find Wilton Rose gel food color, click here

**To find meringue powder, click here

***To find bow cutter, click here

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Cherry Blossom Cookies

cherry blossom cookies

Each spring, I look forward to the sight and fragrance of beautiful botanical blooms, especially cherry blossoms. Inspired by the beautiful pink trees, I baked some cherry blossom cookies just in time for Mother’s Day. These perfectly pretty, pink cookies are easy to make and fun to decorate. You can sprinkle sparkling sugar on them before baking and call it a day or you can make some pink cherry icing and add sugar pearls or sprinkles. Either way, they look beautiful and taste delicious!

Print Recipe
Cherry Blossom Cookies
Pink cherry flavored sugar cookies with cherry icing
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Cherry Blossom Cookies
Cherry Icing
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Cherry Blossom Cookies
Cherry Icing
Instructions
Cherry Blossom Cookies
  1. In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer on medium speed, until blended.
  2. Add sugar and salt. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg and extracts. Beat on medium speed until combined.
  4. Add flour in two additions. Mix on low speed just until combined.
  5. Mix in food color on low speed, a tiny bit at a time, until desired shade is achieved.
  6. Divide dough into two discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours or up to overnight.
  7. Preheat oven to 375º.
  8. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  9. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8" thickness.
  10. Cut out cookies with 2-inch blossom cutter. ***See note below.
  11. Transfer to prepared baking sheets. (Sprinkle with sparkling sugar if using.)
  12. Bake for 7-9 minutes until bottom edges are lightly browned.
  13. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack.
  14. Cool completely then ice with cherry icing, if desired.
  15. Decorate with sugar pearls or sprinkles before icing sets.
Cherry Icing
  1. In a small bowl, whisk first four ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Mix in pink gel food color, a tiny bit at a time, until desired shade is achieved.
Recipe Notes

*Do not use imitation cherry flavoring or extract. Imitation extracts may make your cookies taste medicinal. 

** I used Wilton gel food color in shade rose. Click here to find it. 

*** Use your favorite blossom cookie cutter or click here to view the blossom cutters I used.

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Peaches & Cream Profiteroles

Peaches & Cream Profiteroles by Brownie Mischief

Summer is nearly over, and after the recent heatwave here in Southern California, I’m more than ready to welcome fall weather. But before I put on my fluffy sweater and dive into pumpkin spice everything, I want to enjoy the tail end of peach season, don’t you? Farmer’s markets and stores near my home are still brimming over with fresh peaches, so I picked up some peaches and decided to give them a proper goodbye and send them off in style.

Peaches & Cream Profiteroles by Brownie Mischief

I created some luscious peaches and cream filled, bite-size puffs of choux pastry, called profiteroles. They’re like cream puffs, only smaller. The filling is creamy, but so light and airy that I’m convinced that these profiteroles have no calories! The recipe I’m sharing with you uses fresh peaches, but feel free to substitute frozen peaches if fresh peaches aren’t available. There are a lot of steps to this recipe, but the steps are done in stages and are very easy to do.

Peaches & Cream Profiteroles by Brownie Mischief

I decorated my profiteroles with fresh, pesticide-free miniature rosebuds, also known as spray roses. If you can’t find miniature rosebuds, pesticide-free rose petals would be a good substitute. You may not get a chance to embellish these little beauties. They have a way of popping into people’s mouths even before you can decorate them!


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Peaches & Cream Profiteroles

Bite-sized puffs of choux pastry filled with a creamy, fresh peach filling and topped with fresh peach icing.

Course Dessert
Cuisine French

Servings


Ingredients
Peach Purée

Peaches & Cream Filling

Profiteroles

Peach Icing

Course Dessert
Cuisine French

Servings


Ingredients
Peach Purée

Peaches & Cream Filling

Profiteroles

Peach Icing


Instructions
Peach Purée
  1. Purée peaches in a blender or food processor. Strain puréed peaches through a sieve. Stir in lemon juice.

  2. Place puréed peaches in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

  3. Reduce heat and simmer until peach purée is reduced by half.

  4. Remove from heat. Stir in peach flavoring and set aside to cool completely.

Peaches and Cream Filling
  1. Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.

  2. Meanwhile, whisk sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the egg and whisk until smooth.

  3. When milk starts to boil, remove from heat and pour 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture and whisk to combine.

  4. Pour the egg mixture into the remaining hot milk and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.

  5. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and extracts.

  6. Pour mixture through a sieve placed over a bowl. Cover the surface of pastry cream with plastic wrap. Let cool.

  7. Set aside 2 tablespoons of cooled peach purée. Add remaining peach purée to cooled pastry cream and stir to combine. Chill in refrigerator.

  8. In a medium bowl, whip heavy cream to stiff peaks with an electric mixer at high speed. Fold whipped cream into peach pastry cream mixture. Set aside in refrigerator.

Profiteroles
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Combine water, butter and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.

  3. Reduce heat. Add flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture pulls away from sides of the pan and forms a ball.

  4. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed until steam dissipates and mixture cools to lukewarm.

  5. Add eggs one at a time and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed, until smooth, stopping to scrape down bowl.

  6. Transfer mixture to a piping bag, fitted with a large round tip. (**I used Ateco tip 808.)

  7. Pipe 1 1/4 inch mounds, about 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Smooth tops with a wet finger.

  8. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn oven temperature down to 350ºF and continue baking until golden brown, about 8-10 more minutes. Using a toothpick or skewer poke a small hole in each profiterole to let steam escape. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

  9. Using the tip of a paring knife, poke a pilot hole in the bottom of each profiterole.

  10. Place peaches and cream filling into a piping bag fitted with a medium round piping tip. (***I used Wilton tip 12.)

  11. Place piping tip into the pilot holes and fill each profiterole with filling.

Peach Icing
  1. In a small bowl, whisk all icing ingredients together and spoon over filled profiteroles. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Recipe Notes

*To make peaches easy to peel, blanch them  in boiling water for about 45 seconds, then dunk  in ice water.

**To find Ateco tip 808, click here. ***To find Wilton tip 12, click here.


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Lemon Buttermilk Donuts with Honey Cream Cheese Icing

Lemon Buttermilk Donuts with Honey Cream Cheese Icing by Brownie Mischief

I was seriously happy when I started seeing donuts appearing at weddings, bridal showers and occasions other than work meetings. I’ve always felt those sweet, fluffy rings of dough had a higher calling. They had such potential! And honestly who doesn’t love donuts? They’re delicious, but they can also be beautiful. These Lemon Buttermilk Donuts could certainly win a beauty contest. They would make a gorgeous edition to any breakfast, brunch or dessert table. The fresh lemon zest and the earthy flavor of honey will bring springtime right into your kitchen.

Lemon Buttermilk Donuts with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting by Brownie Mischief

If you’re on the lookout for a Mother’s Day recipe, any mom will love these pretty, fragrant treats. This is a very easy recipe and the donuts bake up quickly, so you’ll have time to fix mom a cup of her favorite tea. If you don’t have a donut pan, and you’ve been reluctant to buy one, I can honestly say I love mine. It was very affordable and I’m pleased with the performance and ease of clean up with the pan I purchased. To find the donut pan click here.

In keeping with the springtime feel, I decorated my donuts with pesticide-free edible flowers. I used pansies, but if you’re unable to find them, you can substitute pesticide-free rose petals. I found these edible pansies at my local food market in the produce department, near the fresh herbs. You can also find edible flowers at farmers’ markets and online. For a list of edible flowers, click here.  Note:  The above pictured orange ranunculus flowers on the table are not edible.  

Lemon Buttermilk Donuts with Honey Cream Cheese Icing by Brownie Mischief

Print Recipe
Lemon Buttermilk Donuts with Honey Cream Cheese Icing
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Lemon Buttermilk Donuts
Honey Cream Cheese Icing
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Lemon Buttermilk Donuts
Honey Cream Cheese Icing
Instructions
Lemon Buttermilk Donuts
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spray the wells of a ***donut pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg, melted butter, and lemon zest together. Add to flour mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Transfer batter to a piping bag or plastic zip bag. Snip off the tip of the bag and pipe batter into prepared donut pan, filling the wells 2/3 full.
  5. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until toothpick inserted into donuts comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove donuts to a rack to cool completely.
  6. Prepare Honey Cream Cheese Icing while donuts are cooling.
  7. Dip tops of donuts into icing and decorate as desired. Serve immediately.
Honey Cream Cheese Icing
  1. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.
  2. Add vanilla extract and salt. Mix until combined.
  3. Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed until moistened. Turn mixer up to medium speed and mix until combined.
  4. Add honey and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time until desired consistency is reached. Beat until smooth.
    Lemon Buttermilk Donuts with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting by Brownie Mischief
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Mini Chocolate Hand Pies for Pi Day

Mini Chocolate Hand Pies by Brownie Mischief

Pi Day is a day to celebrate mathematics, or more specifically, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to it’s diameter. While I do appreciate math for it’s precision, I also feel a bit peeved at math for making my brain hurt! Ok, I’m sorry math. I forgive you. I do need you! How would I bake without you? So today I will celebrate math (and also my love for puns) with these tender, fudgy mini hand pies!

Mini Chocolate Hand Pies by Brownie Mischief

Since pi is all about circles, I used a 2 3/4-inch circle cutter to make round pies, but you can cut them into any shape you like. You could cut larger circles, fold them in half and call them empanadas. Rectangles are very popular with Pop Tart fans and you don’t need a special cutter, but a ruler would be helpful. I think squares would be cute, too! Whatever your shape of choice, my buddy math can hook you up!

I used a stencil to add some powdered sugar polka dots to my mini pies. I may have gone a little overboard with my circles, but who’s going to stop me? I think they look pretty cute, but If you don’t have a stencil, a sprinkle or two of powdered sugar will do just fine! Alternately, you could drizzle them with some melted white chocolate. I had a bit of white chocolate on hand, so I can confidently say, that version is yummy too!

Print Recipe
Mini Chocolate Hand Pies
Mini chocolate pies with fudgy filling and a tender chocolate crust.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 1 1/2 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Crust
Filling
Finishing Touches
Course Dessert
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 1 1/2 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Crust
Filling
Finishing Touches
Instructions
Crust
  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and baking powder.
  2. Add butter and cream cheese to the flour mixture. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to cut butter and cream cheese into the flour mixture until it resembles pea-sized crumbs.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of the cold water to the mixture. Stir gently just until the mixture begins to hold together.
  4. Turn mixture out onto work surface. Press mixture together and fold over onto itself.
  5. Form dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Filling
  1. In a small microwavable bowl, melt chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in the microwave. Heat for 10 second intervals, stirring until smooth.
  2. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Assembly
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and remaining 1 tablespoon water.
  3. On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
  4. Cut out 20 circles with a 2 3/4-inch circle cutter (or cut into desired shapes of your choice).
  5. Place 10 dough circles about 1 inch apart onto prepared baking sheet. Top each with 1 tablespoon of filling.
    Mini Chocolate Hand Pies
  6. With a small pastry brush or your finger, brush egg mixture around the perimeter of each of the filled dough circles.
  7. Top each with the 10 remaining dough circles. Crimp edges together with a fork. Brush pies with remaining egg mixture.
    Mini Chocolate Hand Pies
  8. Bake for 25 minutes or until crust is crispy and browned.
  9. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Sprinkle cooled pies with powdered sugar or drizzle with melted white chocolate.
    Mini Chocolate Hand Pies
Recipe Notes

*The chocolate chips you use depends on personal preference. Bittersweet chocolate chips give a more intense chocolate flavor, while semi-sweet chocolate chips yield a slightly sweeter finished product.

To find my favorite circle cutters click here.                                                                                  To find the polka-dot stencil click here.

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