Category Archives: Dessert

Breaking the Silence

WOW that was a long time of no communication, and for that, I really must apologize. I can only speak for myself here, I totally  got absorbed in the craziness of last semester, and then decided to be lazy during Christmas break. And then continued being lazy about the blog, so I’m really sorry. That’s the last time I will apologize, however, because my next story will make you wonder how I got this far in school, let alone in making desserts. I’m breaking the silence with a K-Shaming post.

In my internship, my unit was responsible for hosting a potluck this month and I chose to do dessert! Mainly because I force myself to do something from scratch, desserts are easier than making lasagna (my other option), and- honestly?- I thought I might be able to convince my hubby to make it for me. No go on that last one though, so I asked for suggestions  and chose Famous Wafer Dessert. It’s so delightfully delicious, as well as low in ingredients so it was a perfect solution.

Here’s the recipe quick, so you can understand my mistake later:

Famous Wafer Dessert:

-Two boxes Famous Wafers (a chocolatey wafer)

-One Quart of Heavy Whipping Cream

– Your choice of fruit as a garnish (I recommend berries of any kind, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)

That’s it.

Whip the heavy cream in the blender until it turns to whipped cream, and then one by one using a knife, gently spread about a quarter inch of the whip on the wafers.  Put them together on a platter so they are standing up, perpendicular to the platter. The way I prefer to do it is in a circular shape around the edge of a round plate, and then I serve the fruit in the middle of the dessert. Don’t use all the whipped cream for this! Once you’ve got all the cookies ‘glued’ together by the whipped cream, use what’s left to do a final coat all over the wafers, completely covering them. Once you’ve done this, cover it with Saran Wrap (use toothpicks to hold up the Saran Wrap and protect the frosting) and let it set in the fridge for a minimum of two hours, adding the fruit right before you serve it. The way it works is the hard wafer absorbs some of the moisture in the whipped cream and expands into a cake-like texture by the time it’s ready to serve, and just melts in your mouth. It’s light, fresh, and a huuuuuge crowd pleaser.

My problem happened when I realized I had no toothpicks to stick in the cake to keep the saran wrap off the whipped cream- I searched high and low and found none, even though I swear we had a whole jar in the cabinet. Since I was sure I had some somewhere, I decided not to go to the store because, well, that’s just silly! I knew I’d find them as soon as I get home from the store anyways, so I decided to use uncooked spaghetti instead. Genius! Who needs toothpicks when you have uncooked spaghetti? Perfect. Let’s do that.

In the morning, when I got up (late, I might add), I went to put my dessert in the car only to discover that the moisture in the cake had also done its work on the spaghetti. Every piece was totally limp and the saran wrap was resting nicely over every inch of my gorgeous cake.

Curtis got a kick out of my muttering while I started yanking out the spaghetti thinking I’d just have to re-frost the top of the cake before serving. But that was before the spaghetti broke apart in my hands, leaving pieces of noodle in the stupid cake. By this point, I was hyperventilating with frustration, and started cutting the cake into slices to try and neatly dig out each individual noodle left in it.

After ten minutes, I was pretty sure I had it spaghetti-free, but it was no longer my pretty masterpiece….nevertheless I brought it to the potluck, and decided to be grateful that it was an Italian themed potluck. That way, if anyone found spaghetti in their dessert they’d assume that it somehow found its way from another plate, not that the baker had spent twenty minutes playing ‘Operation’ that morning.
And…….everyone loved it! Thank goodness. It was not the relaxing potluck I thought it would be, as I was peering at everyone’s plate hoping to not see a noodle sticking out.
Success….?
Maybe, maybe not. But I bought some toothpicks and started blogging again, so maybe it wasn’t all bad 🙂
-K

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Filed under Baking, Dessert, School, Work

Weekend Faves

Thank you, thank you, THANK you for all your responses and encouragement regarding my last post! I’m touched and encouraged that there are others right alongside me- so encouraged, in fact, that waking up early is starting to almost be funny.

It’s weird to do ‘daytime activities’ in the middle of the night, but weird in a fun, ‘I might as well’ sort of way. Like, bake doughnuts at 3:30 am. And fold laundry. Clean the kitchen. Give Gabby a sink bath. Drink copious amounts of quarter-caff coffee. I could do this for a while! Yeah, probably not.

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Anyways, it’s the weeeekend!! In order to celebrate, I’ve rounded up a couple favorite things for ya’ll to check out in your free time.

1. I could make these at home, but Fatty Sundays just packages them so dang cute. They’d make a great gift!

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2. Old Navy just had their 40% off everything sale= new favorite//affordable//stylin’ clothes for Gabby (or your kid).

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3. Searching for pretty free fonts? Stumbled across these and am in love.

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4. Need. This. Cake.

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5. Favorite run of 2012– time to do it again.

 

6. Can happiness be ‘found’, or is it an attitude? 

7. And my favorite, favorite weekend thing?
Liverpool games with these two goobs.
 

 

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~M

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Filed under Dessert, Family, Favorite Things, fitness, Uncategorized

Espresso Meringues

This one is going to be short and sweet. I just had to share this recipe I made a bit ago and it is such an easy one! You probably have all the stuff to make it in your pantry right now!

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I made some just to nibble on and I brought the rest to work to share with the girls- they were gone in a heartbeat. Which is always a compliment 🙂
Make these, and have a coffee date with someone.
~K

**Espresso Meringues**
6 large egg whites
1 1/2 TBSP corn starch
A pinch of fine salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 packets VIA or 2 TBSP instant coffee (plus a little extra for dusting the tops)
1 TBSP vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 285 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In your stand mixer (or using electric whisks) whisk the egg whites and salt on high speed until frothy.

Add corn starch and sugar (1-2 TBSP at a time) gradually and continue whisking.

Add the sugar in small quantities until the end of the process- about 15 minutes.

At about 13 minutes add the VIA or instant coffee and vanilla. Taste the mixture and add more vanilla if you like.

When the egg whites form stuff peaks, spoon into a frosting bag (or my fancy way- into a large ziplock Baggie with a very small part of a corner cut off) and swirl into small dollops- about 2 inches wide and high- with an nice between. They will expand a little in the oven. Now, with a sifter, dust the tips with a little instant coffee/VIA for prettiness.

Bake about 30 minutes and check often throughout. When done, open oven door and let cool in oven for 15 minutes.

The instant coffee/VIA and vanilla addition is optional- another idea is pomegranate juice (fresh, straight from the pomegranate) or any kind of flavorful juice like that. Play with it!
Enjoy with friends.

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Filed under Coffee, Cookies/Bars, Dessert, Food Stuffs.

Goat Cheese Brie Stuffed Mushrooms

Goat cheese Brie, bacon, and rosemary. These flavors belong together. Ill begin with that. The mushrooms were so delish. and Girls Wine Night was so fun 🙂 there was so much good food, good wine, and good conversation so I would definitely call it a success.
We had a wonderful range of yummy-ness to choose from: fruit pavlova, ‘crimp’ salad, chocolate covered strawberries, avocado/salsa bruschetta, pasta salad, and crackers and cheese.
Even though I’ve just had dinner, writing this makes my mouth water. I also now want to try my hand at making meringues! If you’ve never had pavlova, try it. I don’t know if the recipes vary, but this one began with meringue made into a bowl with fruit fruit and whipped cream in it. Delectable! All of us girls had a hard time not snooping all evening until we decided that snooping is totally okay and calories don’t count on wine nights. So next time I think I’ll recruit M to make me some of those cookies….
Wow. I have got to stop thinking about food now. Girls night is over- so calories count again. 😥
Make these mushrooms!!!!
~K

Goat Cheese Brie Stuffed Mushrooms
-two boxes whole button mushrooms
– 1 small wheel goat cheese Brie
– a couple (6/7) strips of thinly sliced bacon
– about a tablespoon of rosemary
– about 2 tablespoons minced garlic

Preheat oven to 350. To prepare mushrooms, pull out the stems and arrange in a baking dish upside down. In each of the mushrooms, put a bit of the garlic in the bottom. Then, on top of the garlic, put a good pinch of the cheese. Then sprinkle some rosemary on top! Once this part is done, set the mushrooms aside to start the bacon. Fry the bacon so it’s good and crispy. Then break the bacon apart into about dime size pieces and stick into the cheesy center of the mushroom. Bake until the juice is seeping a little from the mushrooms into the pan… And enjoy!

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Filed under Dessert, Family, Food Stuffs.

Cookie Butter White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Remember how my Internet was getting fixed this weekend? Turns out my idiot darling dogs chewed through the cable outside again- so we had the Internet guys come rewire it. After they fixed it, I duct taped over the cord AND painted it the color of our house to avoid that happening again. THE NEXT DAY THE CORD WAS RIPPED OUT AGAIN!! $210 later, we decided to wait to reinstall the cable until we have an indestructible pipe to cover the wire. Therefore, my blogging will continue to be sparse and from my phone & most likely riddled with grammatical errors. Dogs, you are standing on thin ice, I tell ya.
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Onto sweeter, much happier things.
First though, a warning. If you are one of many getting ready for bikini season, this post will be cruel to read. I’m in the process of shopping for a bathing suit for my post-pregnancy bod and these cookies just set back my shopping date another month! Just kidding.. But seriously.

I made these cookies in a weak moment, er, half hour last night when Joey and I were talking about this past Sunday’s sermon which involved an analogy using chocolate chip cookies- I tried hard to concentrate on the message despite my watering mouth.

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Anyways, we were talking about it tonight and ten minutes later we were clawing through the cupboards looking for chocolate chips and flour!

No chocolate chips! but when has that ever stopped me? All we could find was white chocolate almond bark so thats what we used. White chocolate chips would have been better, but when a cookie craving hits, you just surrender to the contents of your baking cupboard.

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My sister-in-law sent me a care package just before Gabby was born that was full of all sorts of goodies, including apple strudel coffee (swoon) and speculoos cookie butter. Into the batter it went! (Not the coffee, although apple coffee is my love.)

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Speculoos are Dutch cookies best eaten with coffee, and are a special treat. Some genius decided to make a sort of peanut butter-like spread out of them, thus completing my life. And these cookies!

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Speculoos + white chocolate= bikini season can wait.

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Gabs really wanted one, but her little fingers were apparently tasty enough for her liking!
Make these tonight 🙂

~M

White chocolate Speculoos butter cookies

Adapted from original tollhouse recipe

Ingredients
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cookie butter
2 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a mixer, beat sugars, eggs, butter and vanilla until combined. Slowly incorporate the dry mixture until combined. Add cookie butter until incorporated. Stir in white chocolate.

Chill dough for 30-45 minutes in fridge, then arrange into balls and bake for 9-11 minutes. Serve warm and melty!

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Filed under Coffee, Cookies/Bars, Dessert, Food Stuffs.

Brown Sugar Chocolate & Butterscotch Chip Cookies

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Well, I was already back at my pre-pregnancy weight. Until I made these. Dangit.

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It is currently 3:18 am and I’m wishing I had another one of these cookies to munch on right now. Problem is, I’ve already had 5 today (not kidding) and I’m slightly scared of the dark and not willing to risk a hike all the way to the kitchen to get another one.

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As I’m writing this, I’m rocking my darlin’ little daughter in her little hammock bed- lately her most ‘awake’ time is in the early afternoon and then again at around 2 a.m.- which means I’ve become a big fan of midnight snacks. Mostly I rely on apples and granola bars, but sometimes ya just need a cookie. Or five… don’t judge.

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Now that I think of it… I had er, 3 of the 5 cookies today technically at 1 a.m. and the other 2 were at lunch yesterday – so I should probably have 2 more now because I already typed that I had 5 today so I may as well make that true. Just let it happen.

Cookie party in the nursery, ya’ll.

~M

p.s. Tomorrow I have a haircut at 2- my mom is coming over to do some nursing classes with me, and she’s going to watch Gabs for an hour while I go to my appointment. I have been going back and forth with whether or not to cancel my appt all day- it will be my first time leaving Gabs for longer than 20 minutes! I hope this haircut is worth it!

Brown Sugar Chocolate& Butterscotch Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled until warm
  • 1 c brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. Beat in egg, yolk and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in chips.
  4. Roll a scant 1/4 cup dough into ball. Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join halves back together into one ball so that the top surface is jagged. Place onto prepared cookie sheet, spacing 2 1/2 inches apart.
  5. Bake until cookies are light golden brown, outer edges start to harden, and  centers are still soft and puffy, about 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets. Remove cookies using a wide metal spatula. Store in an airtight container at room temperature

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Filed under Cookies/Bars, Dessert, Food Stuffs.

Caramel Kettlecorn

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In college, I went through a kick of snacking on popcorn like crazy. I went out and bought an air-popper with the little amount of money that I had (poor college student days) and a bag of kernels and went nuts. Back then, I was content with a little butter and salt.

No more, my friends. No more. I’m a little classier with my popcorn tastes now.

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I couldn’t decide between making caramel corn or kettlecorn (because both are sooo dang good!) so… I just combined them and made caramel kettlecorn. And… 6 hours later, it was ALL gone. Of course I shared.. A little.

I won’t lie, the caramel making part is a little complicated- you have to pay pretty close attention. It’s all totally worth it though- in fact, you’ll feel somewhat like a boss after you master caramel making! I know I did!

stage one

stage one

stage two

stage two

 

stage three- after about 18 minutes

stage three- after about 18 minutes

 

add butter & vanilla at 20 minutes

add butter & vanilla at 20 minutes

 

EQUALS CARAMEL!!

= CARAMEL!!!

You’ll definitely get some sugar crusting around the edge of your pan- and you’ll think “Holy mackerel, this is going to be SO hard to clean…” then you’ll remember that sugar dissolves like *that* when you run hot water over it. And you’ll be SO happy because that means there’s no reason you won’t make this caramel again. Right? Right.

Enjoy!!

~M

IMG_5179I wanted to post more pictures of Gabs today, but she wouldn’t have it. “No more pictures, mom!!”. Maybe she’s just cranky because she couldn’t have any of the caramel kettlecorn?

 

Caramel Kettlecorn

(you’ll need an airpopper)

makes about 6 cups

2 cups sugar

2/3 cup water

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1-1 1/2  teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn

1/4 cup canola oil

1-2 teaspoons salt, depending on how salty you like your life

 

This recipe requires that you work quickly and carefully.  I don’t want you to hurt yourself.  ok?

First, make the popcorn. Spray with cooking spray and salt well. Set popped popcorn aside.

Measure out  the butter, vanilla extract, and salt.  Set aside.  In a medium saucepan add the sugar.  Pour the water into the pan with the sugar, but pour the water towards the  side of the pan… not directly on top of the sugar.  Mark an X with your finger through the sugar and water.

Place saucepan over medium-high heat and let cook.  Swirl the pan every few minutes  Swirl, don’t stir.  The sugar and water will cook down and bubble and slowly begin to caramelize.  The process takes 20-30 minutes of cooking and swirling.  Be patient but keep an eye on it.  At the 20 minute mark, you’ll begin to smell caramelization.  When the sugar reaches a caramel color, remove from the heat.  Add the butter and vanilla extract.  The mixture will bubble up.  Give it a few good swirls.

Working quickly and carefully pour the hot caramel mixture over the popcorn.  If any hot caramel gets on your skin, immediately immerse in the bowl of ice water.  Ouch!  With two spatulas stir until most of the popcorn is covered in hot caramel.  Carefully pour out onto a silpat or foil lined sheet pan.  Break up any large clumps with the spatula, sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoon sea salt and let come to room temperature.

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Filed under Baby, Dessert, Favorite Things, Food Stuffs.