Monday, October 31, 2011

No-Bake Nutella Cream Pie


I am sucker for a good no-bake dessert.  Unfortunately I have had to go without an oven for long periods of time.  During those times I learned how important an oven is in baking.  You are very limited to the styles and types of desserts that you can make.  You learn to stretch your imagination and create desserts that you can make on the stove, or even without any heat source at all.


Here is a no-bake dessert that I am very proud of.  The recipe is extremely simple.  It requires no oven, no stove, and no microwave.  And the best part of all is that it takes such little time to put together.

This pie consists of a basic graham cracker crust.  The filling is made up of equal parts of nutella, powdered sugar, and cream.  Then the pie is topped off with a homemade whipped cream.


Don’t be deceived by the simplicity of the pie, the flavors are truly outstanding.  The ingredients work together perfectly to create a creamy, flavorful, slightly crunchy, and sweet pie.  


This nutella cream pie would be a great option for a holiday dessert.  With all the cooking that goes on during the holidays, sometimes you only have a little bit of time to a create a dessert.  This pie allows you to create a stunning dessert in no time.  


I have a couple more no bake pies coming within the next couple weeks.  They are all super simple and incredibly delicious.  Keep your eyes out for those!  But for now, enjoy this lovely pie :).


I created this Nutella Cream Pie recipe for Celebrations.com.
For the recipe, CLICK HERE!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Homemade Butterscotch Candy

 
I’m sure many of you are Halloween fanatics.  You love everything about Halloween – The treats, the dressing up, the spooky decorations.  I’m sorry to say that I am not one of them.  It’s just never been my thing.  Don’t make a weird face, or look at me differently, please, please, pretty please :).  It’s just how I have always been.  No biggie!


Don’t think I’m one of those people that shut off the lights, block the door of our house, and act like were not home on Halloween.  This is not the case.  We pass out candy to the kids and have a fun night in.  That is how we celebrate :).


But for all those Holloween fans, I still wanted to create something for you.  Holloween is surrounded around candy.  It wouldn’t be the same if you went to a house and instead of candy you received a piece a fruit, or a ruler, or something totally weird.  Kids want candy.  Let’s just give it to them!


I made you homemade butterscotch candy.  Yum!  Candy making could be intimidating so I wanted to make a candy that was easy and anyone could do it at home.  Butterscotch was the answer.  


It really is much easier than I thought it would be.  All you do is combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, water, and a couple more smaller ingredients into a saucepan.  Heat the mixture until it reaches 280 degrees Fahrenheit, add baking soda, and then pour the mixture into a baking sheet.  After it hardens, break it up into small pieces and your done!  See not that bad.  Pretty simple.


If you’re looking for a homemade candy treat, look no further!  I loved the butterscotch candy so much, I made toffee candy the next night.  It was just as tasty!  I will show you that treat soon :).




Thursday, October 27, 2011

Povitica Bread



After making the Challah bread I didn’t think I could make prettier bread than that.  The challah bread just has such a lovely appearance with its braided design; it truly is a show- stopper.  Well, you know what, I was wrong.  THIS is the prettiest bread I have made… to date!


The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk.  Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!



I am sure like many of you, I have never heard of Povitica bread.  So when I saw that it was this month’s Daring Bakers Challenge, I was truly excited!  I love making bread, especially when they are more involved.  Getting in the kitchen and getting my hands dirty (and clothes… I have like 10 aprons and never seem to put any on when baking… dumb!) is so much fun for me.  And this bread took just enough time and was just enough involved to satisfy my bread baking needs. 


What makes Povitica bread so special is its beautiful circular design.  Thin dough is stuffed with a delicious sweet Walnut filling that is then rolled up into a long rope.  The rope is wrapped around itself in a bread pan, which allows the bread to bake together and create separate circular designs in the bread.  


The process of making this bread seems long and complicated but it isn’t as hard at it looks.  At first look, it seems like creating that beautiful design would take forever and be super complicated, however I am here to tell you that it’s not!  After creating the dough, which starts out just like any other bread recipe, the hardest part of the recipe is rolling out the dough very thin.  You use your hands to stretch out the dough to get it so thin that you can see your hand through it.  Then you spread the filling over the entire surface of the dough and roll the dough into a long rope.  After that it’s clear sailing. 

See not that hard!


This recipe makes 2 loaves.  It may seem like a lot, and you may be tempted to cut the recipe in half and make 2, but don’t!  This bread goes fast… Trust me.  I did want to add a small variation on tone of the loaves, so I filled one loaf with the sweet walnut filling, and then the other with a cinnamon sugar mixture.   Both were amazing!  Feel free to make any variation of filling that you create, sweet or savory.


This recipe isn’t just stunning looking, its delicious too.  It’s sweet and moist and really packs a lot of flavor.  For sweet bread it has just enough sweetness to be enjoyed at anytime of the day, not just for desert.   It would great in the morning with your cup of tea or coffee, or as an afternoon snack.


When I sliced into this bread I was in awe, truly in awe.  Bake this bread and you will feel the same way.  It’s such a great feeling when you put love and hard work into creating something and the outcome is even more wonderful and perfect then you could have hoped for!  Enjoy :)




Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pink Velvet Cake Lollipops

 
I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about cake lollipops until JUST now.  What is wrong with me?!  These are one of my favorite and most requested items.  I make them for parties and birthdays and they are always a huge hit!  


About a month I was making some cake lollipops and my husband said, “You know you haven’t put cake lollipops up on the blog yet.”  Really?  I haven’t?!  What was I thinking?  I make them so much for events that it slips my mind every time to take pictures and put them up on the blog.  But now things have changed.  I am going to make it a point to showcase all the different styles and flavors of cake lollipops that I make.  I promise!


Before I keep talking about these lovely treats, does everyone know what cake lollipops are?  They are small, round balls that are made up of cake and frosting.  A lollipop stick is placed into the cake balls and then the cake balls are dipped into melted candy coating (or chocolate).  The whole process does take some time, however the method is fairly simple.


These small treats are always so fun to make and even more fun to eat!  What’s better than being able to eat a delicious dessert that is easily portable and on a stick?  I don’t know about you, but there’s not much better that that :).  I love small desserts.  They are one of my favorites to make (and eat!).  So it only makes sense that these cake lollipops are one my favorite things to make.   And I know that once you get in the kitchen and make these, you will feel the same :).


I wanted to show you these cake lollipops for a many different reasons.  Some being that it’s overdue of me showing you my “specialty” dessert, and that they are just so tasty and fun!  But another reason is because this month is Breast Cancer Awareness month and the national color recognition is pink.  I haven’t had any close family members that have been affected by Breast Cancer (or at least that I know of), but it’s still important to celebrate this month.  Not for me, or my family, but for everyone who has been affected.  


I hope you enjoy, making and eating, these cake lollipops as much I do!





Monday, October 24, 2011

Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Glaze


Pumpkin is slowly invading my kitchen.  Remember when I told you earlier this month that I completely stocked up on pumpkin?  I bought almost 20 cans.  Some people might have thought, “Why do you need that much pumpkin?”  Well, I’ve been using the pumpkin and haven’t stopped (and won’t stop anytime soon).    I need all that pumpkin to create delicious treats for you :).


One pumpkin dessert that I knew I wanted to create this season was a pumpkin cookie.  There is something about cookies that appeal to me.  They are fairly quick to put together, and can be easily eaten and transported.  I have a few different styles of pumpkin cookies I want to show, and here is my first of the season!


This cookie is different than any other cookie I have made.  It is not crunchy, or gooey, or crispy, but instead is pillowy and soft.  And I mean incredible pillowy and soft.  Borderline cake-like.  Almost like a cake in cookie shape.


I absolutely loved this soft texture of the cookies.  I had a revelation.  I can make cookies that taste and feel like a cake.  It combines the easy grab-and-go cookie and the moist and soft cake into one lovely treat!  Almost like a whoppie pie. 

I topped the cookies with a brown butter glaze.  This glaze added a nutty and buttery flavor that went perfectly with the pumpkin.  It also adds an extra moistness to the cookie.


I have more cookies that I want to show you over the fall and holiday season, so stay tuned!



Friday, October 21, 2011

Blackberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake


Did you catch the alliteration in the title?  Blackberry Buttermilk Bundt cake… B - B - B.  Pretty cool, right?!

I didn't even notice this until I started writing up the recipe.  It's funny how those things happen.  



At the end of summer I had these beautiful blackberries on hand.  I knew I wanted to bake with them right away.  One of the things I dislike about blackberries is that they go bad so fast.  They begin to mold just after a few days.  Because of this, whenever I purchase them I use them right away.


While looking around online I found this beautiful "upside down" blackberry cake on Bon Appetit.  Much like a pineapple upside pineapple cake, the fruit it placed on the bottom of the pan and then the cake is baked on top.  Then when finished, you invert the cake and reveal the fruit on top of the cake.


For this cake, I thought it would be fun to bake the cake in a bundt pan.  I love the shape that bundt pans create, and I thought it would add a great design element to this cake.  What i did was place the ripe, juicy blackberries on the bottom of the bundt pan. I sprinkled sugar on top and then poured a buttermilk cake batter on top.  The outcome was a moist cake with a slight tart flavor from the blackberries.  Delicious.


Because the blackberries are so beautiful on top you don't want to cover up the cake with frosting.  A light sprinkling of powdered sugar highlights the blackberries and adds a light and airy element to the cake.

Light, moist, beautiful, flavorful - This is what you get from this lovely cake.  Enjoy :)!



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