Always Room for S’more

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Having a sweet tooth makes it tough to say no to chocolate, cupcakes, candy, marshmallows, donuts, ice cream, cookies…and the list goes on. Lucky for you, it’s a known fact that if the cupcake is this tiny, calories don’t count. In fact, you might as well have s’more! Here’s a quick and easy recipe that will have you celebrating National S’mores Day in no time!

Ingredients

  • 12 mini cupcakes
  • 1 tub of chocolate frosting
  • 3 Hershey’s milk chocolate bars (you won’t really need that many, but sometimes they don’t break along the line the right way and you can always find room in your tummy for leftovers)
  • 2 graham crackers
  • 12 mini marshmallows

Directions

  • Break the Hershey’s bars into the individual rectangles as shown in the picture above (you’ll need 12)
  • Break each graham cracker into 6 pieces
  • Cover the top of the cupcake with chocolate frosting
  • Place one piece of graham cracker, one chocolate rectangle and one marshmallow on top of the cupcake

Who wants  s’more?

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PEACHY KEEN DONUTS

peach donuts1

Peach season is going full blast. With a kitchen full of peaches, it was time to make some donuts! Of course, we couldn’t leave them unadorned so a crumb topping was a must.

The recipe follows:

PEACHY KEEN DONUTS

Makes 12 donuts

Ingredients for Donuts

  • Spray on oil
  • 2 cups diced peaches
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 ½ cups unsifted flour for donuts
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup of toffee bits (optional)

 

Ingredients for Crumb Topping

  • ½ cup unsifted flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of softened butter 

     

    INSTRUCTIONS

    Spray the donut pan with oil. Wipe off the excess spray from the top of the pan.

    Combine peaches and sugar in bowl and let stand for 10 minutes.

    Blend oil, egg, and water into peach mixture.

    Add the 1 ½ cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and optional toffee bits. Stir everything together.

    Fill each donut mold 7/8 full with the batter.

    Make the topping by combining the butter, brown sugar and ½ cup of flour

    Crumble the topping over the donuts (½ of mix for 6 donuts).

    Bake in the oven for 16 minutes.

    Remove from oven and let cool about 30 minutes. Remove donuts from pan.

 

Store in the refrigerator for best flavor. This dessert is just peachy. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Barnyard Beauties

Adorable Cupcakes

Adorable Cupcakes

These adorable cupcakes can put a smile on anyone’s face. They were served at a child’s birthday party but would  work just as well for a picnic at a farm or a rustic barnyard wedding . Children of all ages were horsing around and tweeting for more!

Red, White and Blueberry Cupcakes

patriotic cupcake

When it comes to holidays, my childhood was filled with holiday themed desserts,
appetizers and party decorations. With July 4th right around the corner, here is
an easy and patriotic dessert for you to bring to the dinner table.

RED, WHITE AND BLUEBERRY CUPCAKES

 

Ingredients
12 Cupcakes
Container of vanilla frosting
12 blueberries
1/2 cup of coconut
Red food coloring

Directions
Ice all 12 cupcakes with vanilla frosting
In a small bowl, mix the coconut and red food coloring
Carefully line the cupcakes with rows of red coconut for the stripes (you can
also replace the coconut with red Twizzlers Pull & Peels)
Place a blueberry in the corner
Dot a few dabs of icing on the blueberry to form the stars

We guarantee there won’t be any leftovers…it just wouldn’t be patriotic!

Linzer Torte : Torte-ally Delicious

With a little whipped cream and caramel sauce, what could be bad?

With a little whipped cream and caramel sauce, what could be bad?

This blog focuses on food that puts a smile on your face. Linzer tortes aren’t funny, but I thought it was funny that I had a sudden craving for one! I’ve never been a fan of fruit preserves or jelly stuffed baked goods but I wanted a linzer torte now. I fondly remembered a homemade raspberry layered linzer torte that was out of this world and that’s what I tried to recreate.Most linzer tortes consist of an almond crust. Since I am more of a pecan fan, I decided to switch up the recipe. I ended up modifying /changing the Smucker ‘s recipe I found online. For my nut of choice I used pecans. For the filling I used Smuckers raspberry all fruit preserves.
For my first attempt the torte wasn’t bad. It just lacked the sweetness that I was searching for and the presentation perfection that I hoped for. Practice makes perfect so I envision more linzer tortes in my future.Please enjoy my modified Smucker’s recipe. To up the presentation level, I recommend adding whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel syrup.
Yum!
LINZER TORTE
Ingredients
Cooking spray
1 cup chopped pecans
11/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon grated lemon
1 jar of red raspberry fruit preserves (approximately 10 ounces)
Directions
– Heat oven to 350 degrees.
– Spray a 9-inch round tart pan with removable bottom with non-stick cooking spray.
– Finely chop the pecans in food processor or blender.
– in large bowl, combine pecans, flour, and sugar.
– Separate one egg and set aside egg white.
– Add egg yolk, remaining whole egg, butter, and lemon peel to flour mixture. Mix until dough
forms a ball.
– Remove 1/3 of dough. Flatten, wrap and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour or until manageable.
– Press remaining dough in bottom and 1-inch up sides of tart pan.
– Spread entire jar of preserves evenly over dough.
– Roll remaining dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper into a 9 1/2 x 5-inch rectangle. Cut
into 10 (1/2-inch wide) strips. ( A fluted pastry wheel makes pretty edges)
– To create lattice top place half the strips across center of torte in one direction. Place the
remaining strips at a 90 degree angle to create a lattice look.( Depending on the width of the
strips, you may not need all the strips to decorate top.) press strips to end of pan and trim ends
with knife or pastry wheel.
– Brush strips with egg white
– Bake 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool 10 minutes.
-To serve, remove sides of pan. Can be served warm or cool. (With or without whipped cream!)
In all its glory!

In all its glory!

Toffee Caramel Apple Donuts

3 best toffee donuts
Toffee bits and caramel sauce, what could be bad? Absolutely nothing!
I decided to convert my favorite apple cake recipe into donuts. And what better way to finish them off than by adding toffee bits for texture and caramel sauce for taste?
Voila, my standby apple cake was elevated to a special treat!

 

Toffee Caramel Apple Donuts
Makes 12 donuts

INGREDIENTS
-Spray on oil
-2 cups diced apples
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1/3 cup oil
-1 egg beaten
-1 ½ tablespoons water
-1 ½ cups unsifted flour
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon cinnamon
-½ teaspoon salt
-1 ½ cups toffee bits
-2 cups caramel sauce (store bought jar )

INSTRUCTIONS
-Spray the donut pan with oil. Wipe off the excess spray from the top of the pan.
-Combine apples and sugar in bowl and let stand for 10 minutes.
-Blend oil, egg, and water into apple mixture.
-Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and ½ cup of toffee bits. Stir everything together.
-Fill each donut mold 7/8 full with the batterapple donut batter

-Bake in the oven for 20 minutes
-Remove from oven and let cool about 15 minutes. Remove donuts from pan.
-Pour approximately 1 tablespoon of caramel sauce over each donut. Sprinkle toffee bits on
top. Press toffee bits gently on top of donut to stay in place.
-Repeat for each donut.

Over time, the caramel sauce will seep into the donut to add sweetness to each bite. Keep the donuts in the refrigerator to maximize flavor.

The old saying says an apple a day keeps the doctor away. This is one way sweet way of enjoying your apple.

Daffodil Donuts for Mom

daffodil with flowers for blog
April showers bring May flowers just in time for Mother's Day. Like real flowers,  
these daffodil donuts won't last forever. But in this case, these daffodils will 
be gone because  they were eaten so quickly!
Daffodils today come in many different shapes and colors. Traditionally the 
daffodil should have six petals and a bell shaped center. 
We chose to make a traditional yellow daffodil but displayed it two ways:
   1. In a basket with fresh-cut flowers.
   2. In a vase as part of a floral arrangement . 

Now it's your turn to get creative ! 
daffodil in vase
Daffodil Donuts
Serves 6
Ingredients
– 6 regular size donuts
– 1 container of vanilla frosting
– Yellow food coloring
– Tube of yellow Writing Icing (Cake Mate Writing Icing was used)
– 6 regular size marshmallows
– Yellow sugar sprinkles
– 18 1-inch licorice string pieces in black, yellow or orange
– 6 large lollipop sticks(optional)
Preparation
  • Cut the edges off of the donuts to form flower petals as seen below. (The daffodil should really have 6 petals)
Donut Flower Without Icing
  • Put a half a cup of frosting into a microwave safe container
  • Mix in a few drops of food coloring until you get your desired shade of yellow
  • Place in microwave for 20 seconds (or until melted)
  • Individually dip each donut into the melted frosting and let cool on a wire rack
  • Sprinkle sugar sprinkles on petals while frosting is still wet
  • Dip top and sides of each marshmallow into frosting and then cover with yellow sprinkles
  • Once the frosting has dried, use the Writing Icing tube to outline the petals and the top of the marshmallow
  • Insert 3 pieces of licorice string into the center of each marshmallow
  • Place the marshmallow onto the middle of the donut (dip the bottom of the marshmallow into frosting to make sure it adheres to the donut)
  • Optional: insert lollipop sticks into the donuts.

Enjoy!

individual daff donut

Show Me the Bunny – Take 2

Come on Bunny donut, light my fire…
bunnycandle

Looks like this bunny has an identity crisis!
eggbunny

Why am I so addicted to having fun with this little bunny donut?

Acting as a pseudo psychologist, I’m examining my childhood. Growing up, I could never have a furry pet because my father was “allergic” to animals. After numerous lazy goldfish who just floated on their backs in the fish bowl or other athletic fish who enjoyed jumping out of the bowls, my parents finally got us a cuddly pet.

To be specific, my parents broke down and came home with a cute white bunny. We called the bunny Snuffy , a compromise between Snowflake and Snowpuff. When my sister and I went to camp, my mom had the job of feeding Snuffy. However, as time went on, Snuffy began to bite my mom. When we returned from camp, we learned that Snuffy was sent to a “farm” so it could play with its friends.

Many years later we realized that Snuffy may have joined its friends at a different sort of farm. More like a farm to table destination. Perhaps Snuffy is playing with friends that were part of Wolfgang Puck’s ‘Braised Rabbit and Fava Bean Fettucine’ that was posted on Wolfgang Puck’s Twitter account earlier this week.

Whatever the reason, I’m having fun with our little white bunny donut. I hope you’re grinning along with us.

See instructions under “Show Me the Bunny” to create this donut.

Presentation, Presentation, Presentation

Those are our three most important words when it comes to food.Cotton Candy

How many times were you turned off from eating something when the plate before you was boring or unappetizing? Conversely, how impressed were you when your plate was beautiful or comical? In most cases you were so impressed with the appearance that you (almost) didn’t even care how it tasted!

We love food that makes us smile. Whether it’s a whimsical design, a unique presentation or a beautiful masterpiece, we are happy as we dive into our first bite. That pleasant feeling usually lingers as we enjoy our food and describe it to others. (Yes, we are those people who take pictures of food at restaurants.) We share photos to impress or amuse our close foodie friends and for inspiration the next time we entertain.

Making food look good can be as elaborate or as simple as you choose. Over time we have learned that confectioners sugar is a necessary pantry staple. A dusting of confectioners sugar has saved many burned and lopsided desserts, and a paper doily can make a box cake mix look like a special bakery product. And when all else fails there is always room for lots of icing and sprinkles.

Conversely, delicious food that looks bad can be a real turnoff.  After recently ordering a chicken, cheese, sundried tomato and spinach entree at an Italian restaurant, my enthusiasm for the meal deflated when I was served a white meal on a white plate. The vegetables were covered by a layer of white cheese and the accompaniment was white mashed potatoes! It looked so boring and blah. Meanwhile, my dinner companions had white fish plated with sautéed herbed vegetables. I hate fish but I was salivating over the colorful vegetables. A few veggies and pops of color on my dish could have easily changed my mindset and impression of my meal as well as the resThanksgiving Cupcakestaurant.

I’ve noticed the same phenomenon when it comes to desserts. Every Thanksgiving we have a buffet table full of desserts. My Chewy Toffee Bars (recipe below) are a hit when there is no competition. Once friends taste them they are always requested for parties. However, next to turkey cupcakes, oversized layer cakes and fresh fruit salad, my bars sit untouched.Tomato Soup Dumplings

Whether it’s Peter Callahan’s pigs in a blanket 2 ways or beautifully presented grilled cheese and tomato soup dumplings at Beauty & Essex, we love clever food. Join us for a ride as we share our tips and secrets for making food fun.

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Chewy Toffee Bars

Chewy Toffee Bars

Ingredients

  • 1-box butter recipe cake mix
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee pieces (Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits are great)
  • 1 pkg.(12 oz.) milk chocolate chips
  • 1 jar caramel sauce

Preparation

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9-inch pan with oil, butter, or cooking spray
  • In large bowl, combine cake mix, oil, and eggs; blend well.
  • Stir in white chocolate chips,toffee pieces and milk chocolate chips. (Mixture will be thick)
  • Press half of mixture in bottom of greased pan
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes
  • Remove from oven and pour 3/4 of the jar of caramel sauce over the cooked cake
  • Spread or place droplets of the remaining cake mixture as evenly as possible over the caramel sauce
  • Return to oven
  • Bake an additional 20-25 minutes until top is set and edges are golden brown
  • Cool 20 minutes
  • Run knife around edges to loosen bars
  • Let cool and refrigerate for at least 1 hour
  • Cut into bars.
  • Store in refrigerator or in freezer (so you don’t eat them up all at once!)