Category Archives: Easter

Double-Lemon Cheesecake Bars

There is something about spring that brings on a cravings for lemon!

These Double-Lemon Cheesecake Bars were perfect for an adult Easter dessert.  Double lemon because the cheesecake had a hint of lemon and topped with a lemon glaze.  Delish!  Cut into individual portions, stacked, stored and ready to transport to a party without a mess using Sweet Stackers.

Hope you had a nice Easter and enjoy this recipe!

SweetStackers Double Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Double-Lemon Cheesecake Bars

  • 2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 – 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice, divided
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs, 1 separated
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup water

Preheat oven to 325° and line a 9×13 inch pan with foil.  Mix wafer crumbs and butter.  Press into the bottom of the pan and bake 10 minutes.

With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour, lemon zest, 2 TB lemon juice and vanilla with mixer until blended.  Add 1 egg white (reserve the egg yolk for later use) and 3 whole eggs, adding one at a time while beating.

Pour batter over crust.  Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set.  Cool 1 hour.  Refrigerate for 4 hours.

Glaze:  Mix cornstarch and remaining sugar in saucepan, gradually stir in water and remaining lemon juice.  Bring just to boil, stirring constantly.  Cook and stir until clear and thickened.  Lightly beat reserved egg yolk and stir in 2 TB hot cornstarch mixture.  Return to remaining  mixture in saucepan.  Cook and stir 1 minute or until thickened.  Cool.

Spoon glaze over cheesecake.  Refrigerate 1 hour.  Use foil handles to remove cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve.

 

 

 

Lime Butterfly Cupcakes

A few days before Easter, I stopped at the Wilton Store and was able to sample a couple limited edition Candy Melts.  I was totally blown away by the lime flavored melting wafers, so I purchased a bag even though I wasn’t sure what I would do with them (and I wasn’t sure if I could resist eating them on the way home!).  Since I had extra pound cake batter when I made my Easter Lamb Cake, I made a dozen cupcakes.  Now to figure out how to use the lime flavored Candy Melts.

Melting Wafer Butterfly Cupcakes

The butterflies were so simple to make!  I spread a large sheet of wax paper on my counter and piped the melted wafers into the shape of butterfly wings.  Once the outline of the butterfly wings were piped onto the paper, I used a toothpick to drag some of the chocolate from the inside of the wing to the outside to make the design.  Make a few extra matching wings in case a few break.  Once the chocolate has set completely, then can gently be peeled off of the wax paper and carefully placed in the icing on an angle.

Beautiful!

Lime Butterfly Cupcakes

You must try the lime flavored Candy Melts, but hurry since they are a limited edition!

Easter Lamb Cake

Happy Easter!  Easter is a holiday that brings back a lot of memories from my childhood.  One of my favorite memories is the Polish tradition of baking the Lamb Cake, then placing it in a basket to take to church on Holy Saturday to be blessed with samples of the food we would eat for Easter dinner.   The basket would even include decorated hard-boiled eggs, lamb molded butter, salt and pepper shakers and a small carafe of wine.

Easter Lamb Cake

I borrowed my Mom’s cast iron lamb cake mold.  It is very important to grease the pan and every nook and cranny very good, then dust with flour!

Cast Iron Lamb Cake Mold

Close your eyes, take a deep breath and say “I only eat this cake once a year”.

My Grandma’s Pound Cake

yields two lamb cakes (or one lamb cake and 12 cupcakes)

1 lb. butter, softened

2 cups sugar

9 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 cups flour, sifted

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease both sides of the cast iron lamb mold, then dust with flour.

Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla extract, the gradually add one egg at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl.  Once combined, reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour and baking powder.

Place the batter into the bottom of the mold.  Cover and bake for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake 10 more minutes until browned.

I also made 12 cupcakes with the remaining batter.  Bake in the same oven for 25 – 30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Grandma's Pound Cake

Gently unmold the cake and let cool completely before decorating.  For this cake, I used cream cheese icing and piped it in swirls.  Raisen eyes are very traditional.

Lamb Pound Cake

What are you traditions for Easter?

Bunny Cake Pops – Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!  I wanted to make something special for the arrival of my niece and her first Easter.  I thought pink bunny cake pops would be perfect and even though she won’t be able to eat them, her Mommy really likes cake pops!

This is only my second time making cake pops and they sure take patience.  I am still totally intrigued with the concept, so I will keep practicing until I can master this art form.

The last time I made cake pops, I thought they looked super cute, but I honestly thought they were too sweet.  I KNOW!  Too sweet, is there such a thing?  I think I know exactly what made them too sweet for my liking.  The cake balls were made by mixing icing with crumbled cake.  This time I invested in a cake pop maker which bakes batter into balls.  Now, there is no need for icing to bind the cake together.

To decorate, I was inspired by Bakerella’s Cake Pop book.  I used white mint flavored melting chocolate to coat the chocolate cake balls.   Once the chocolate set and cooled, I decorated using confetti sprinkles for the eyes and nose.  Using a toothpick, apply a small dab of melted chocolate to the back of the sprinkle and hold in place.  Once they cool, I used Betty Crocker Easy Writers to color the eyes and paint the bunny mouth.  For the bunny ears, use pastel candy corns.  Cut the pointed tip of the candy corn off, apply a dab of melted chocolate and place on the head holding it in place for a few seconds until the chocolate sets.

Once they were decorated, I placed them in clear mini treat bag and tied them with pastel ribbons.  Oh…but I had to do a taste test and tried one…or two.  I thought they tasted much better than my first trial of cake pops.  A sweet treat, but not too sweet!  I really enjoyed the combination of the chocolate cake ball and white mint chocolate, they tasted just like a peppermint patty.  I really love my cake pop maker!

I took them to the hospital in a little pink Easter Basket to meet my niece!

Pierogi – Polish dumplings

The preparations for Easter dinner have begun!  Pierogi have been made for Easter dinner as one of the Polish traditions in family.  The cheese filled have been my favorite since I was a kid!  Pierogi can also be filled with potatoes, sauerkraut, ground meat and fruit.  My family would serve them along side a baked ham and Polish sausage.   I can even remember helping my grandmother stuffing the sausage by hand.

My Polish family has been in the Chicagoland area for 4 (and now 5) generations.  This is one recipe that has been handed down and I am honored to know how to make them from scratch, just like my grandma tought me.  They are actually easy to make!

Dough:

4 C flour

1/2 lb. butter

3 eggs

2 tsp. salt

1 C milk

Mix all ingredients and knead on a well floured surface.  Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 1 tsp. salt.

Cheese filling:

2 lbs. cottage cheese or ricotta cheese

1 egg yolk

1/2 stick butter, melted

1 tsp. sugar

salt & pepper

Cut the dough in half and roll out on a well floured surface.  The trick is not to roll the dough too thin because the filling could poke through.  When my grandmother tought me, we used to cut, fill and crimp the pierogi by hand.   A few years back, I found this inexpensive kitchen utensil called a dumpling crimper that makes the process a lot quicker.  Cut a piece of the dough large enough to fit over the handy dumpling crimper.  Place a teaspoon full of the cheese filling into the middle and carefully close the crimper.  Pull off the remaining dough and tada…you have a beautiful dumpling!

Once you have made a first batch of dumplings (around 8 dumplings), gently drop them into a pot of boiling water for 10-12 minutes.  At first the dumplings will sink and after a couple of minutes they will float to the surface.  Flip each dumpling over after 5 minutes.

Let the boiled dumplings cool on a plate to remove the excess water.  The steam will evaporate.  At this point I am going to freeze my dumplings in a single layer (so they don’t stick together) until the day before the dinner.  Using Sweet Stackers, I can get two trays of pierogi dumplings in one 3″ deep container – perfectly divided and condensed for storing in the refrigerator or freezer.   These pierogi were made two weeks in advance and will be served for Easter dinner.

Sweet Stackers Freeze Pierogi on stackable tray dividers

The dumplings are cooked and are edible, but traditionally they are fried in butter and sliced onion.

Oh, the pierogi smell so good, my mouth is watering!

Wishing you all a Blessed Easter with family and friends!