Saturday, December 10, 2016

Homemade Gingerbread Caramels {Recipe}

These caramel candies are a favorite in our house at the holidays. The recipe came from another parent at my kids' school. She sells vanilla caramels every year at the bake sale, and last year, I asked if she'd show me how to make them. Thankfully, she obliged.

What You Need:
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 lb dark brown sugar (2 3/4 cups) OR 1 lb light brown sugar + 1/4 cup molasses
1 cup white corn syrup
1 (14-15 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Yield: 50-60 caramels 
*Note: I often double the recipe (as you will see in the photos) because I gift them.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Charley's Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie {Recipe}

We had a bumper crop of pie pumpkins in our garden this summer. So, my son, Charley decided he wanted to learn to make pumpkin pie. This recipe is the result of lots of trial and error in using fresh pumpkins in our pie. We love it, and hope you will, too.

What You Need:
For the Crust:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. butter

For the Filling:
1- medium sized pie pumpkin (for 2 1/2 cups pumpkin puree)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Corn starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 large eggs + 2 egg yolks (beaten)
2 1/2 cups evaporated milk (about 1 1/2 cans)

For the Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

*Please note: this recipe makes a DEEP DISH pie. If you are using a regular pie plate, you will need to either cut the filling by about 1/3 or use the extra filling to make pumpkin custards (which I recommend).

Friday, September 16, 2016

Apple Pickin' Treats

It's Apple-Pickin' Time!!
Below is a round up of my favorite apple treats.

These are amazing. Make them! Today! 

(Even better if you use the Caramel Apple Cake recipe in these.)

Monday, June 27, 2016

Strawberry-Rhubarb Cream Cake {Recipe}

Every summer, my boys go to Cub Scout camp for the weekend with their dad. (I don't camp.) So, every year, I celebrate their return with a yummy treat. This year, we had just gone strawberry picking, and had a bunch of great rhubarb, so I came up with this... a Strawberry-Rhubarb Cream Cake.
(Every summer my husband also takes the camera to camp with him, so I never get many pictures.)

What You Need:
For the Cake
White Cake Mix (or favorite Vanilla Cake Recipe)
  - 3 eggs
  - 1 1/4- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  - 1 Tbsp. white vinegar (optional)

For the Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce
3 cups chopped rhubarb
1 1/2 cups strawberries (chopped if large)
2 Tbsp. corn starch
1/4-1/2 cup sugar (if necessary)

For the Whipped Cream Frosting
4 oz. cream cheese (at room temperature)
1-2 cups powdered sugar (to taste)
1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream (very cold)
1 tsp. vanilla (optional)

Yield: 1 8"x4" round cake - approx. 12-16 servings

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Rhubarb Recipes You MUST Try

The rhubarb in my garden is growing wild already this spring. I've already made a crisp and some rhubarb sauce. I'm trying some new recipes you will see soon, but in the meantime, I leave you with some of my favorite recipes from rhubarb seasons past.

My most popular rhubarb recipe... and the best way to use rhubarb, in my opinion.

Perfect for picnics!

Perfect over ice cream, or on a biscuit.

This year I added a cup of frozen raspberries to it. Soooo good!

These use strawberry Jello, and are a little sweeter.

Easy Rhubarb Cake
Using a simple white cake mix and whipped cream frosting.

And finally, if you need some basics, my Rhubarb 101 post.

If you have a rhubarb recipe you love, please share it in the comments below. I'd love to try something new!
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Monday, April 18, 2016

Divergent Dauntless Chocolate Birthday Cake

First, I admit to knowing nothing about the Divergent books or movies.
But, when a friend asked if I could make a "Dauntless Cake" for her son's birthday, I looked up many ideas online, and came up with this.

What You Need:
8-9" round Chocolate Cake
  (I used my Rich Chocolate Cake Recipe, but you could also make Cake Mix Taste Homemade)
1 recipe Chocolate "Cloud" Icing
Dark and/or Milk Chocolate Bars
1 cup Decorator's Buttercream Icing 
   (I used Yellow, Red and Orange.)
Piping Tip #3

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Blue Ribbon Cookies

My boys have a big swim meet today... so I made them, and their teammates some Blue Ribbon cookies. These cookies are pretty easy to do, though they did take a bit of time just because of all of the little extra touches.

What You Need:
1 Recipe Chocolate Roll Out Cookies
   (You could also use Vanilla Sugar Cookies)
1 Recipe Royal Icing
   (Blue and Yellow coloring)
Gold Pearl Dust
Clear Vanilla
Icing Tip #2
Optional: Fluted cutter

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Chocolate Pie with Pretzel Crust

Chocolate Pie with a Pretzel Crust and Peanut Butter swirls. My boys and I worked together to make this perfect-for-Daddy birthday pie. (Which is why I have no pictures of the process, sorry.)

What You Need:
2 cups crushed pretzels
1/2 cup melted butter
3 eggs (separated)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups heavy cream
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4-1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Make the Crust:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees (F).
Crush pretzels to small crumbs and pour into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Melt the butter. Add to the pretzel crumbs, and stir to combine.
Separate one egg. Add the egg white to the pretzel mixture. Place the egg yolk into another small mixing bowl.
Mix the egg white with the pretzel crumbs and butter (be sure to add the white after you've combined the butter and crumbs or you could heat the white too much).
Press the pretzel mixture into an 8-9" pie pan. (This is sticky business.)
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is crispy and golden.

Make the Filling:
While the crust is baking, make the chocolate filling.
Whisk the two remaining eggs, and the one yolk with the sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl until well-combined and airy.
Heat the cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges.
Slowly pour the heated cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly while pouring a thin stream of hot cream into the eggs. (Being careful not to "cook" the eggs.) When it's fully combined, pour the mixture back into the pan, and heat over medium heat until it thickens.
Remove from heat, and add the chocolate chips. Stir well to combine.

Make the Pie and Chill overnight:
Pour the filling into the pie crust.
Add the peanut butter. (I warmed the peanut butter in the microwave for 20 seconds, then poured it into a zip-top sandwich bag. Cut the corner, and squeezed it onto the top of the pie. If you want it to swirl down into the pie, use a butter knife to swirl it in.)

Refrigerate for at least 5 hours to overnight.

Note: This is very, very rich pie. Cut into small pieces and serve with milk or coffee!