Meet Little Strawberry Charlotte. She understands summer. She knows it’s hot outside and you don’t want to turn on your oven. She knows you don’t need to feed a crowd, because smaller gatherings make more sense in this uncertain world. You’ll gaze at her beauty and sigh. You’ll take one bite and realize that her simple, non-traditional methods made you love her even more.
May is when I get to pull out all of my summery recipes. These pretty little Strawberries & Cream Tarts remind me of a summer day. The kind of day when you’re outside enjoying the sunshine and you’re craving a cool, refreshing dessert. This strawberry cream filling alone is so delicious that I could just eat the entire bowl with a spoon. But since I’m extra, I had to create an aesthetic dessert with it.
I used my favorite tart shells for this recipe, but this would also be delicious with those little pre-made graham cracker pie crusts if you want to take a shortcut. The reason I love this tart crust recipe so much though, is that it actually tastes delicious. Once, a few years ago, I purchased a beautiful, small fruit tart from a famous bakery. The fruit was vibrant and glistening and the pastry cream filling was sweet and silky. Now we need the sound of a mic drop, because the tart crust was hard and flavorless, like cardboard! Ever since then, I knew I would settle for nothing less than a delicious tart crust.
Have you ever had mudslide cake? It’s a deliciously messy chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and marshmallows, also known as Mississippi mud cake. I saw one covered in a layer of marshmallow fluff and it made its way into my dreams. I woke up with the inspiration to make a cookie version of the gooey mudslide cake.
I saw a few mudslide cookie recipes out there that used standard size marshmallows and chocolate chips mixed into the cookie dough. If you’ve ever baked with marshmallows, you know that they nearly disappear during the baking process. Chocolate chips melt beautifully into little pools of chocolate, but then harden once cooled to room temperature. I happily volunteered to address these challenges! After some trial and error, I created a satisfying cookie with plenty of gooey marshmallow goodness and a rich fudge filling that stays soft at room temperature. Dreams do come true!
This delightful melt-in-your-mouth cookie recipe has been in my family for decades. We call them Snowballs, but they’re also known as Mexican Wedding Cakes or Greek Kourabiedes. I make them every year for Christmas, but they would also be perfect for Easter, Mother’s Day, birthday parties, tea parties, weddings, bridal showers, and baby showers.
Pecans are my favorite nuts to use in this recipe, but you can use almost any nuts you have on hand. The original snowy white version is a classic but you can take them up a notch with pretty pastels and fruit flavors. You can use crushed, freeze-dried fruit for color and subtle flavor. Spirulina is a nutritious, vibrant powder you can use to make beautiful blue cookies. You can also dress up your snowballs with edible glitter or luster dust used for cake decorating. There are endless ways to be creative with these cute cookies!
It’s Fall 2020. We need chocolate! We need pumpkin spice! And we need it drenched with caramel! These satisfying brownies check all of the boxes with multiple layers of comfort. A rich chocolate brownie is the base. The next layer is heavenly pumpkin cheesecake. The topping is a buttery crumble that rivals the best crumb cake. Finally, as if that isn’t enough, it’s drizzled with caramel sauce!
If it sounds complicated, don’t worry, it’s not. Each layer is super easy to make. You can use your favorite store bought caramel sauce to top it with. Vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream are optional, but highly recommended toppings also. Just saying.
The layers go unexpectedly well together and make the perfect dessert for Halloween or Thanksgiving. I’m even going to add these beauties to my Christmas dessert table this year. Enjoy! You deserve it.
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.
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.
I’ve been dying to try one of those over-the-top milkshakes that have been catching my eye on social media for some time now. Also known as freakshakes, some magnificently indulgent ones can be found in Australia, the UK and New York City. It’s certainly on my bucket list to go meet up with one of those glorious creations in person and dig in! In the meantime, I decided to concoct my humble version here at home, in honor of National Unicorn Day. Yup, unicorns have their own day! Whoever invented celebrating national days, I thank you. It gives me a great excuse to indulge in a delicious treat…not that I need an excuse.
There are so many versions of unicorn milkshakes out there and I love every one of them! In fact, anything that’s unicorn related sets my heart aflutter. The current unicorn craze won’t seem to go away and, as you can imagine, that is just fine by me! One of the cutest unicorn things I’ve seen is my adorable cousin Nicole, scooting around in her fluffy unicorn slippers. Unicorn slippers are a must while drinking a Unicorn Rainbow Milkshake!
To make the Unicorn Rainbow Milkshake, you’ll need:
- Unicorn Horn Cookie (Recipe below.)
- Fondant Rainbow Topper (Click here for instructions.)
- 3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) candy melts in the color of your choice
- vegetable shortening, melted (about 1 tablespoon)
- piping bag or squeeze bottle
- tall glass (24 ounce)
- rainbow sprinkles
- 8 ounces vanilla ice cream
- 1/3 cup milk (any kind)
- 6 ounces rainbow sherbet
- cotton candy
- whipped cream
- edible gold star glitter (Click here to find glitter.)
Place candy melts in a microwave safe container. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute at 50% power. Stir. Heat in the microwave for 10 second intervals until melted and smooth. If your melted candy melts are too thick, stir in melted shortening a teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Transfer the melted candy melts to a disposable piping bag or a squeeze bottle. (Alternately, you can use a plastic zip bag.) Place your glass on a rimmed plate or baking sheet. Snip off the tip of the piping bag and drizzle the melted candy along the rim of the glass. Immediately sprinkle on the rainbow sprinkles, before the melted candy sets.
Combine vanilla ice cream and milk in a blender and blend until smooth. Place 3 scoops of rainbow sherbet into your glass. Pour vanilla milkshake over the sherbet scoops in your glass. Top with cotton candy, whipped cream, a Unicorn Horn Cookie, a Fondant Rainbow Topper and a sprinkle of edible gold star glitter. Put on your unicorn slippers and enjoy your unicorn milkshake!
Dear marshmallows, why are you so sweet and fluffy? I shall call you squishy and you shall be mine! Yes, it’s true, I’m a bit crazy about marshmallows. This post is nothing short of a marshmallow fest! First, my daughter and I made some Sparkly Marshmallow Hearts that are super fun and easy to make. I literally want to put them on everything! How cute do they look on this mini cake? They also make adorable cupcake toppers! To view the Sparkly Marshmallow Hearts tutorial click here.
We also had some fun with Puffy Poles. In case you’re not marshmallow savvy, Puffy Poles are marshmallows that look like chubby barber poles. They’re very popular on dessert tables and candy buffets. We used pink ones, which have a subtle strawberry flavor. We applied them to the pictured 4-inch diameter by 2 1/4 inch tall strawberry cake, which was crumb coated with a thin layer of vanilla buttercream. We used buttercream to adhere them to the sides of the cake. To find Puffy Poles click here.
Next, I made some Billowy Sky Blue Marshmallow Frosting to share with you. One of the things you’re going to love about this frosting, besides being yummy, is it’s natural beauty. You can simply spoon it on, no piping or fancy tricks necessary. Everything it touches becomes an ethereal cloud of deliciousness! The recipe is below.
My relationship with Valentine’s Day has transformed over the years. When I was a child, I joyfully skipped home from school with my bounty of tiny Valentine cards, candy hearts and a cupcake someone’s mother baked. As I grew older, I was hot and cold towards Valentine’s Day, depending on the state of my love life at the time. After having kids, Valentine’s Day became about red construction paper, doily hearts and glue sticks. I happily cleaned up sprinkles and kissed chubby, frosting-stained cheeks. Now I think of Valentine’s Day as simply a day to celebrate love. I embrace Valentine’s Day and all the hearts, roses and chocolates that go with it! Show your loved ones that you love them on Valentine’s Day, but more importantly, show them throughout the year, by loving, respecting and accepting them for who they are every day.
If your heart beats for a chocolate lover, then this Valentine cake for two will have them swooning. It’s small in size, but grand in chocolate indulgence. It has three layers of moist chocolate cake, rich, white chocolate buttercream and a silky chocolate glaze. As if that isn’t enough, I loaded the top with chocolate candy! Some of the candy is store bought and some I made with candy melts and chocolate molds. Click here to find the cherub mold. Click here to find the heart mold.
I hope you share this Valentine cake with someone you love! However you celebrate the day and whoever you love, have a happy one!