Category Archives: Desserts

Coconut Key Lime Bars

Most of the time, I bake from scratch.  But there are those times when you need a quick dessert.  I always keep a couple of cake box mixes in my pantry and tada…we have super simple dessert bars!  The marshmallow crème makes a tasty and easy topping – a bit of sweet to complement the tart lime flavor.

PartyKitchen Coconut Key Lime Bars

Coconut Key Lime Bars

  • 1 box of Pillsbury Key Lime Cake Mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of butter, melted
  • 2 cups of sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup of marshmallow crème *

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 9 x 13″ pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, butter and 1 ½ cups of coconut.  Spread evenly in pan and bake for 19-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges turn golden brown.  Let cool.

Sprinkle remaining ½ cup of coconut on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 6 minutes, watching carefully until it is lightly toasted.

Spread marshmallow crème in a thin layer over the dessert bars and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

*note:  could use fresh whip cream or Cool Whip as a topping

Sweet Stackers KLB Squeeze Risers  SweetStackers risers squeezed between dessert

Layer baked goods in one container using Sweet Stackers!  This stackable food storage system insert into major brand food storage containers.  The trays are available in 4 sizes and the risers come in two sizes for either cookies or dessert bars.  They can even be squeezed flat in between bars or brownies.  Why not layer cookies and brownies in the same container?!

SweetStackers dessert storage solution

Stack the dessert tray over the bottom layer and they are ready to go!

sweetstackers.com

SweetStackers layer bakery

Promising Ice Cream….Sandwiches!

The first week of school is coming to an end.  My little one has started Kindergarten and had a rough morning.  Day 1, excited, but clung to Dad as she was getting on the bus.  Day 2, tearing up, got in line to get on the bus, then made a quick turn to run back to me.  Day 3, crying most of the morning, crying to the bus stop and needed me to hold her hand onto the bus.  Of course, she has a great day and is super smiley when she gets off of the bus!  But with all of the tears this morning, we promised her ice cream when she gets home.  Hoping to distract her from her anxiety.

But I have really, really wanted to make homemade chocolate chip cookies and tada – I had a great idea!  Ice Cream Sandwiches.

PK Ice Cream Sandwiches

Actually tried a new chocolate chip cookie recipe from Allrecipes and they were delicious!  They turned out to be the perfectly shaped, with a thin crispy outside and soft chewy middle.  I baked these an extra 2 minutes, but followed the recipe exactly.  They made 45 cookies using a 1 inch cookie scoop.

SS Cookie Rack

Love the versatility of the Sweet Stackers risers.  They elevate cookie racks at the perfect height to save space on the kitchen counter tops!

Once cooled, I transferred the cookies to a staging container to keep them extra fresh.  Sweet Stackers neatly organizes the cookies in tiers.

Sweet Stackers Cookie Container

Time to fill the cookies!  Place a good round scoop of ice cream in between two chocolate chip cookies (they bottom of the cookies touching the ice cream).  I used a smaller container to store 12 ice cream sandwiches separated using a Sweet Stackers tray.

Even though I was in a cool room, the ice cream melted quickly.  I suggest placing the container in the freezer and adding one or two sandwiches at a time.  But even is some ice cream dripped, the container and trays wipe down easily.  The trays also made a nice surface to work on.

SS Ice Cream Sandwiches

There were extra cookies for a later treat!

The kids had a great day at school and were very excited about this yummy summertime treat!
Sweet Stackers convert your food containers to multi-level using stackable trays.  Available in 4 sizes and designed to fit major brand food storage containers. Visit the Sweet Stackers Etsy Shop today.  

 

Rollo Turtles

These are just way too cute using the holiday shaped pretzels.  The combination of salt, caramel and sweet chocolate = yum!  Perfect for a gluten-free recipe too.   Rollo Turtles were brought to our 2013 cookie exchange party.

Gluten Free Rollo Turtles

Rollo Turtles

Rollo Turtles

20 small mini pretzels

20 chocolate covered caramel candies (Rollo)

20 pecan halves

Preheat oven to 300°.

Arrange the pretzels in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Place one chocolate covered caramel candy on each pretzel.

Bake for 4 minutes.  While the candy is warm, press a pecan half onto each candy covered pretzel.  Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Halloween Brownie Bites

Happy Halloween!  It was a fun and festive day to spite it raining…all….day…long!  A backup plan was needed just in case we couldn’t go trick-or-treating.  I wanted to make a quick festive treat that my kids could enjoy if they weren’t going to bring home a huge bag full of treats.  There was only one hour until the school bus would arrive home.

My preference is to bake from scratch, but I usually keep a couple of box mixes in my pantry for a spur of the moment dessert.  I found a box of brownie mix and placed the brownie batter in a mini-muffin tin to make brownie bites.

IMG_3022

While they were baking in the oven – I whipped up a white glaze using 1 cup of confectioners sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of water.  Once the brownie bites were slightly cooled, pipe a dot in the middle surrounded by two circles.  Then using a toothpick, pull the glaze from the center to the outer circle.  This formed cute little spider webs.

But wait…the sun poked out of the clouds for just a few minutes to produce the most beautiful rainbow!  It soon got ominous out again, but we were able to make it around the block to trick-or-treat.  Then came home to a yummy treat!

Hope you had a Happy Halloween!!

Healthy Raspberry Cake? Why Yes!

My family and I had a relaxing afternoon picking raspberries at a local farm on Labor Day.  It was definitely the peak picking time for the season after the heat and rain last week.  The berries were so big and delicious!  When we got home it was about time to start planning a BBQ dinner, but I wanted to whip up a quick dessert with our fresh picked berries.  I remembered that I had received a message last week from the Meal Makeover Moms about a healthy cake with fresh fruit.  Yes, I said it…healthy cake!  Well, I was actually missing one main ingredient.  I thought I had wheat germ in my fridge, but as it turned out I didn’t.  Since I needed a 1/4 C of something, I added another whole grain – corn meal.  Which I really enjoyed the moist cake with a little added crunch.

Healthy Fresh Raspberry Cake

Raspberry Breakfast Cake

Makes 8 Servings

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ or ground flaxseed 1/4 cup corn meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 400°.  Coat a 9″ round cake pan with cooking spray.

Add the dry ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl.  In another mixing bowl, whisk the egg, sugar, canola oil, milk, lemon juice and vanilla extract until combined.  Add the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the pan and place the fresh fruit on top.  Sprinkle the top with remaining tablespoon of sugar.

Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick come out clean.

Let cake cool or serve warm.  A scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt is certainly a treat over the warm cake!

Zucchini Oatmeal Cookies

Tomorrow is going to be filled with a lot of “firsts”!  My oldest daughter is starting first grade.  For me, it is the first time that she will be away from me all day and it will be a first that I have to pack a healthy lunch for her.  So I want it to be a special one!  It is also the first time I added zucchini to a cookie recipe.

Zucchini Oatmeal Cookies Sweet Stackers

I love zucchini bread, so why not add zucchini to a cookie recipe?  This recipe is perfect because there were a couple of zucchini sitting on my countertop that I just picked yesterday and all of the other ingredients in my pantry.

Zucchini Oatmeal batter

Don’t know what to do with all of the zucchini from your garden?  Try this recipe!

Zucchini Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.

With an electric mixer, add cooled melted butter and sugars until well combined.  Add the egg, vanilla extract and zucchini to the mixture.  At low speed, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.  Then gradually add the oats, raisins and chocolate chips.

Place a spoonful of dough, two inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack.

SweetStackers - Zucchini Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies produced a chewy oatmeal cookie with melty chocolate chips on top.  SweetStackers are the solution to separate and layer your cookies without them sticking together in a container.  Visit sweetstackers.com to learn more about SweetStackers!  Mmm…I might just make another batch and freeze them like this!

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Love this recipe!  So easy, so yummy…and perfect for a play date.  I am pretty sure the kids liked it and I know the Mommies sure did!  Thank you Pioneer Woman for a great recipe.

This recipe intrigued me because the filling can changed to any fruity jam or preserves.  So depending on your mood or whatever jar of jam you have in your pantry, you most likely have all of the ingredients on hand.  Though…it sounds like the strawberry is the best if you need a comfort food.  They were hard to only eat one….perfectly sweet!

Using SweetStackers trays

Using SweetStackers trays

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

  • 1 3/4 sticks salted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 – 10 to 12-ounce jar strawberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Add the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl.  Cut in the butter (using your hands, combine the butter into the dry ingredients) until it makes course crumbs.  Spread half of the mixture into the greased pan, pushing it evenly and tightly into the corners.  Add a layer of the jam over the oatmeal crumble, carefully spreading it with a knife.  Then layer the remaining oatmeal crumble over the top of the jam.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Now for the hard part.  Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

using SweetStackers

using SweetStackers

Balsamic Strawberry-Banana Bread

This is not your ordinary banana bread, which by itself is absolutely delicious.  But I thought to give my banana bread recipe a little make-over and add a summer twist with strawberries.  The base ingredients were the same as my banana bread recipe, but I only added one banana and made a homemade balsamic strawberry sauce.  Balsamic vinegar and strawberries are a great combination because it brings out the sweetness of the berry.  I was pleasantly surprised that this bread turned out even better!

Balsamic Strawberry-Banana Bread

Balsamic vinegar and Strawberry Sauce

1 Cup fresh or frozen strawberries, chopped

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

In a saucepan, stir the strawberries and sugar over medium heat for 5 minutes until the strawberries cook down into a sauce.  Add the balsamic vinegar to combine.  Remove from heat and set aside.

This sauce would even be delicious over yogurt or ice cream.  Ooh…the possibilities!

But here is the bread recipe…

Strawberry-Banana Bread with

Balsamic Strawberry-Banana Bread

2 C flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 C butter

1 C sugar

1 medium mashed bananas

balsamic strawberry sauce (recipe above)

1/3 C milk

1 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 C chopped nuts (optional)

1/2 C chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Grease pan, mix all ingredients together and place in a 9 x 5 x 3 inch pan and bake for 60-70 minutes.  I used 3 mini loaf pans and baked for 45 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Owl Sugar Cookies – Look wHoo’s 2!

Look wHoo’s 2!!

This is my first of two posts for the preparation for my daughter’s second birthday party.  My happy little girl has a fascination with owls.  She recognizes and finds them everywhere.  At her age, you would think she would throw them in the general “bird” category, but for some reason she definitely distinguishes owls as “Owls”.  So I am going with the thought that she really likes owls and I am glad that they are so popular now.  Target has a whole line of bedding with the famous bird, she spots them on kids clothes and books and we saw tons of owl paraphernalia for Valentine’s Day.  She gets so excited about them….so what a perfect theme for her second birthday!!

Birthday Girl Owl Cookies

In advance, I worked on these owl shaped sugar cookies.  Pulling out the orange and brown color because of the birthday napkins that I found for the birthday girl.  While the cookies were cooling I worked on making homemade candy eyes.

The eyes were made by piping white melting chocolate dots on wax paper.  After making about six dots, place a mini chocolate chip in the center and let the chocolates set.  They are imperfect, but they have the homemade touch and they certainly taste yummy!  Much better than paying $6 for eye-shaped decorator candies that don’t have flavor.

Owl Candy Eyes

To decorate the cookies, I used orange-colored royal icing as the base color and applied the eyes while they were still wet.  After the orange royal icing hardened, I made chocolate royal icing for the wings.  The only difference with the royal icing is from adding 1 teaspoon of Hersey’s cocoa (unsweetened).  The confectioner’s sugar does the sweetening!   For the final touch, a small batch of yellow royal icing for the beak and feet.

My little girls was so surprised at all of the owls and she ate quite a few cookies on her special day!

Is it a brownie? Is it a cookie?

It doesn’t matter because my sweet tooth had a craving for chocolate and I couldn’t decide if I wanted to make chocolate chip cookies or brownies.  Thanks to Betty Crocker, this recipe is the best of both worlds AND I didn’t even need to make a hard choice – ha!  Oh and why stop there with chocolate?  To make these even more decadent, I made a homemade chocolate ganache to top the brownies – check out my recipe below!

Now truthfully, my family and I didn’t eat the whole pan in one sitting.  I cut a few small portions for us to enjoy and froze the rest.  Next time we have a craving for chocolate chip cookie dough brownies, it is as easy as pulling a couple from our freezer.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Ganache

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

1 box Betty Crocker® Original Supreme Premium brownie mix  (Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box)

1 pouch Betty Crocker® chocolate chip cookie mix (1/2 cup butter or margarine and 1 egg called for on cookie mix pouch)

Preheat oven to 350° (325º for dark or nonstick pan) and grease a 9″ x 14″ pan.

Make brownie mix according to the directions on the box and spread in the bottom of the pan.

Make cookie dough according to the directions on the pouch and drop heaping tablespoonful of dough into the brownies mix.  Press lightly to even out.

Bake 40-45 minutes until a inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool completely before topping the brownies.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie

…and if these brownies are not decadent enough, top with Chocolate Ganache once cooled.

Chocolate Ganache

1 – 10 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate morsels

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

6 Tbsp butter

In a double boiler, heat cream and butter until just before the boiling stage.  Add the bag of chocolate morsels and stir to combine until melted and luscious.

Pour ganache over brownies and let set before cutting.