Delectably Creative Treats

 

Graciously-Sweet-TalkI LOVE baking, I LOVE being a wife, and most of all, I LOVE being a mommy. This blog shares my passion for all things sweet combined with a bit of mommy and wife humor. At the end of my hectic day, instead of a cocktail, I prefer to stuff my face with a gooey brownie or super moist, old-fashion piece of cake. To survive my life, a sense of humor and at least a cup of sugar is a must!

Southern Charm Cake

Posted by on 5:03 pm in cake, Recipes | Comments Off on Southern Charm Cake

Southern Charm Cake

    I found my fruit basket left with only 4 Georgia peaches left. That made yesterday’s dessert feature very easy, but what to make? I had a couple of my 4 inch Big Boy Vanilla Cakes left from a couple of days ago (don’t despair, the were wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and tucked away in the freezer). I have mentioned before that my cake bases freeze extremely well and taste just as fresh when thawed. I hate having a bunch of left overs that end up in the trash so, I have learned to portion correctly. Ok, back on track-Southern Charm Cake….   I wanted to make my dessert warm and spicy. I, again, wanted a light whipped cream to sweeten up my peaches just a bit. I love taking vintage, southern recipes and giving them a new twist. That is basically the idea behind my Southern Charm Cake. The base, as stated earlier, is a vanilla sponge cake. I am actually really digging my “open faced” cakes lately (as if you couldn’t tell). Then I chose to liven things up a bit with a peachy pecan pie filling. Trust me, this is no ordinary pecan pie filling!  This peachy pecan pie filling is made with chopped fresh Georgia peaches and dark rum! Oh my it is a nut lover’s delight. It has a nice soft peach flavor and leaves a rum-cinnamon taste on the back of your palate. My Southern Charm Cake was smothered in my delicious stabilized vanilla whipped cream. Then I topped that pretty southern belle with a couple of slices of fresh peach and whole pecans.   My mini Southern Charm Cake is sure to charm the pants off of any dinner guest. Her looks are undeniably beautiful and packs a punch of flavor that the most traditional southerner couldn’t argue against. Let’s get baking     Southern Charm Cake Yields: 4-4″ circular cakes       Ingredients: For the cake: 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 1 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding (half the box) 2 eggs 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 cup buttermilk 3/4 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 2 cups cake flour (presifted at least 4 times BEFORE measured)   Directions: For Big Boy Vanilla Cakes you can refer to this previous post for pictures.   BEFORE STARTING THIS RECIPE: PLACE A MIXING BOWL AND BEATER IN THE FREEZER SO IT WILL BE VERY COLD FOR MAKING THE STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM. 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare cake pans with nonstick baking spray. 2. Presift your cake flour at least for times in a separate bowl. This is CRUCIAL that you ONLY use CAKE FLOUR!!!!! Otherwise your cake will be dense and dry. Measure 2 cups of cake flour after you have sifted at least 4 times and it becomes very airy and silky. (There is a huge difference between self-rise flour and cake flour. Please be sure your box says “cake flour”). 3. With the measured cake flour in a sifter, add baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift together in a bowl and set aside for later use. 4. Using an electric mixer, beat butter on high until smooth and creamy. 5. Add sugar mix on medium-high to high...

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Mini Mason Jar S’mores Shakes…That Makes Me The Most Awesome Mommy!

Posted by on 3:32 pm in Other Desserts, Recipes | Comments Off on Mini Mason Jar S’mores Shakes…That Makes Me The Most Awesome Mommy!

Mini Mason Jar S’mores Shakes…That Makes Me The Most Awesome Mommy!

    Three of my sweet little ladies are attending gymnastics summer camp this week and they are loving it! I won’t lie, I am actually loving it too because they come home at 3:30 and are pretty much exhausted. After I dropped the gymnasts at camp, I stopped in to browse Old Time Pottery. I LOVE this store. It is extremely dangerous for my wallet, especially with the isles of glassware, tableware, and let’s not even talk about the unique bakeware!  Anyway, I came across these tiny mason jar mugs for only $0.89! They are too cute. The mini mason jars are made of glass, have handles, and only hold 4 ounces of liquid! They make the perfect, fancy mug for my little ladies. And I knew just what to fill them with. I wanted the girls to know that momma missed them even though they are gone for only 6 hours. I also thought these ice cold shakes would be a nice treat in this 100+ degree weather.   These are the most amazing and creamy mini sweet shakes you can imagine! My recipe for the perfect Ghirardelli chocolate s’mores shake is the perfect mini treat. Mini S’mores Shake has the perfect ratio of creamy vanilla ice cream, crushed graham crackers, and Ghirardelli Mini Chocolate Chips blended together. I then pour in a little melted Ghirardelli chocolate on top of the shake, which gives my Mini S’mores Shake an even richer flavor! Next smash in a marshmallow and toast it with a kitchen torch. Drizzle some more of that melted Ghirardelli chocolate and break apart a graham cracker for that eye catching garnish. Tah-dah!       Mini Mason Jar S’mores Shake Yields: about 2 1/2 cups of shake Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream 1 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs 1 cup Ghirardelli Mini Chocolate chips 1/2 cup of milk plus 1 tbsp marshmallows     Directions: 1. In a blender, liquefy ice cream, graham crackers, mini Ghirardelli chips, and milk (reserve the 1 tbsp of milk for later use).     2. Stop when it is a consistency you like. You may add more milk for a thinner shake. Pour in mini mason jars.     3. Melts about a half cup of mini Ghirardelli chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl about 30 seconds. Stir and repeat microwaving 30 seconds until smooth. 4. Add tbsp of milk to melted chips and stir until thin. 5. Spoon chocolate on top of shake in mini jars.     6. Smash in a marshmallow and toast it with a kitchen torch. 7. Drizzle melted chocolate on top of marshmallow and break a whole graham cracker into pieces. Place in mini jar as garnish. 8. Don’t forget to place a cute Ghirardelli Mini Square at the base for that serving appeal! Enjoy!    ...

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Drunken Peaches N Cream Cake, My Guilty Pleasure

Posted by on 5:31 pm in cake, Recipes | 1 comment

Drunken Peaches N Cream Cake, My Guilty Pleasure

    This invention of mine is epic! I would like to declare myself insane after I tell you about my newest dessert. Drunken Peaches N Cream Cake! Ohhhh, just the name rolling off my tongue makes me drool for this sweet, tart, buttered-rum goodness. My new cake will make people who don’t like peaches rethink their tastebuds. I am one of those people! I am not really a peach fan, but I am a fan of this cake. The peachy taste is not overbearing and is complimented by my butter rum glaze I poached them in. I had 8 fresh peaches in my house and I wanted to venture into a fruit topped dessert tonight. I am in LOVE with dark rum, it just gives a warm and inviting flavor to my palate. In my middle age, I have grown fond of this adult beverage and it is always in my cocktail of choice. Now, this cake will be for the adults only in my house because the littles detest peaches and definitely don’t do “rum” flavored anything.   I wanted this cake to represent a dessert from the old south, but couldn’t decide if I wanted peaches and cream or peach cobbler. So, I actually combined the two ideas and then made a sick twist of incorporating dark rum. I was so tickled at the idea, I couldn’t peel my fresh peaches fast enough! In fact, I was trying to peel them so quickly, I ended up slicing the skin off of the top of my pinkie finger (and I wish I could say I was lying, but it is the unfortunate truth). After 3 of my lovely ladies helped tend to my gushing wound with many cartoon band-aids, I finished up cleaning, peeling, and slicing my ripe peaches. Now all my girls can talk about is how they saved mommy and planting the peach pits to see if a stalk will grow (I guess that will be our weekend fun).     The idea of this cake was to have a summer lightness to each bite. I didn’t want a thick glaze or a heavy buttercream overpowering the natural flavor of the fresh peaches. My plan was to make my simple, vanilla, stabilized whipped cream that I could scoop a dollop on top of the cake and not worry about it drooping over time. I think this cake is super duper pretty and deserves to be in the spotlight on the kitchen table a bit before it is devoured. Drunken Peaches N Cream starts with my Big Boy Vanilla Cake, which is moist and airy. The top of the cake is then dipped into the peach, butter rum glaze to soak in that amazing flavor.  Followed by a generous topping of the cooked peaches and a heaping scoop of my vanilla whipped cream. Top that pretty cake off with a single peach, drizzle a bit more glaze and finish up with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar and you are good to go! The aroma, alone, is enough to make you drool. Let’s start baking.         Drunken Peaches N Cream Cake Yields: 4-4″ circular cakes   Ingredients: For the cake: 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 1 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding...

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Wake Up Your Tastebuds With My Ricotta Orange Marmalade Buttermilk Cakes

Posted by on 10:32 am in cake, Recipes | 2 comments

Wake Up Your Tastebuds With My Ricotta Orange Marmalade Buttermilk Cakes

    Allow me to introduce you to my newest, little sweet-tart, Ricotta Orange Marmalade Buttermilk Cake. Yeh, the name is quite a mouthful, but this mini cake has too many features and I didn’t want to leave the exciting ones out. Y’all know I’m not a big fruit dessert person, but I know many people who are. I have had tons of requests for fruity cake and cupcake recipes. Once again, I found myself searching the pantry hoping for a unique or overabundant ingredient to jump out at me. Why do I have so many flavors of jam, jellies, and marmalades in my cupboards, I will never know, but I decided today would be a great day to showcase orange marmalade. It hasn’t been too sunny in Orlando, lately. Seems as if the rain is coming earlier and staying for longer periods of time each day. I can only say that living in the “orange state” has inspired me to feature a summery fruit on this rainy, Sunday evening. I wanted to have my simple, yet big on flavor, Big Boy Vanilla Cake as a base to these mini cakes. My Big Boy Cake is a buttermilk cake and only seems fit when representing a southern state in this dessert. I had a container of ricotta cheese and wanted to incorporate it into a glaze of some sort. I also wanted this cake to feel light and summer-ish, something you would find at a southern ladies’ luncheon, which made me realize covering this petite cake in buttercream wasn’t an option. My Ricotta Orange Marmalade Buttermilk Cake is very moist because of all the buttermilk. There is just a bit of tartness to each bite from the pure orange marmalade layered between the sweet cakey layers  The mini cakes feature a little ring of ricotta and cream cheese frosting, just enough to hold the orange marmalade in tight.  And finally, this fruity dessert is coated in a ricotta based orange marmalade glaze, which has a hint of cinnamon for the “wow” factor. Hopefully, this recipe will get some on-lookers and respect from the judges of The World Food Championships. I will be submitting this tiny baby later this week. Wish me luck!       First, we will start with the buttermilk cake of this recipe. You can always refer to my Big Boy Vanilla Cake post for more thorough baking instructions.   Ricotta Orange Marmalade Buttermilk Cake Yields: 36 standard cupcakes or 8-4″ circular cakes     For the cake Ingredients: 1 cup unsalted butter, softened 2 cups granulated sugar 1/2 cup instant vanilla pudding (half the box) 4 eggs 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 2 cups buttermilk 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 4 cups cake flour (presifted at least 4 times BEFORE measured)     Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 36 standard size cupcake tins. Or prepare cake pans by using nonstick baking spray. 2. Presift your cake flour at least for times in a separate bowl. This is CRUCIAL that you ONLY use CAKE FLOUR!!!!! Otherwise your cake will be dense and dry. Measure 2 cups of cake flour after you have sifted at least 4 times and it becomes very airy and silky. (There is a huge...

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Bittersweet Pumpkin Caramel Cream Brownies

Posted by on 5:14 pm in Brownies, Recipes | Comments Off on Bittersweet Pumpkin Caramel Cream Brownies

Bittersweet Pumpkin Caramel Cream Brownies

    Pumpkin and chocolate are a great combination in my little head! Today, the littles were requesting my brownies as an afternoon delight. I had to oblige because who can turn down a perfectly moist, rich brownie? Ahh, but for the adults in the family, I felt the need to make it a little more special. I have been really craving pumpkin after cleaning out my baking cabinets and finding a ton of Jello’s instant pudding pumpkin spice mix. I had the strong urge to make a pumpkin cream cheese filling and turn my brownies into a sandwich. Then to further jazz this thing of beauty up, I broke out my hidden stash of pumpkin caramel. This brownie stack is really quite dreamy. The bittersweet chocolate compliments the mildly, sweet and thin pumpkin cream cheese filling. My pumpkin filling is very mousse like, but much thinner. I feel that even though this should be featured in fall, it still makes for a delightfully, sophisticated treat at the end of a lovely soiree.               Bittersweet Pumpkin Cream & Caramel Brownies Yields: 10-2″ brownie circles   Ingredients: 10 Tbsp unsalted butter 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 3/4 cup good cocoa powder (I love Ghirardelli brand) 1/4 tsp salt (heaping) 1/2 tsp instant coffee (I prefer Starbucks VIA) 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 2 eggs 1/2 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips (I love Ghirardelli as well) 1/2 cup all purpose flour   1. Preheat oven 325 degrees. Line a 8×8 pan with tin foil for easy removal after baked and cooled. I also like to spray the foil with nonstick spray.   2. Put about 2 inches of water in the pot and place on burner using a medium to medium-high heat. Place pyrex bowl on top. You are using a double boiler method for these brownies, trust me it makes a huge difference!   3. Place butter in the pyrex bowl and melt thoroughly using a whisk to stir out lumps. Add both sugars, cocoa powder, instant coffee, and salt. Mix on double boiler until mixture is completely wet looking and well combined. Remove bowl from heat and set aside for about 5 minutes until just warm.   4. Add 2 eggs when the mixture is not hot enough to cook the eggs (yuck, can you imagine?). Mix eggs well and add vanilla.   5. Mix in flour and finally add the mini chocolate chips. Batter will be thick. Using a spatula, pour into prepared pan.   6. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes. Toothpick will be mostly clean and edges will definitely look done. Allow to cool completely before removing the tin foil from pan.   7. When thoroughly cooled, cut 10 2″circle brownies and set on tray or plates for serving. Prepare pumpkin cream.     Pumpkin Cream Ingredients: 1 cup softened cream cheese 1 box Pumpkin Spice instant Jello* pudding 1 cup sweetened condensed milk 1 container of whipped topping, thawed 1 tsp cinnamon   Directions: 1. In an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. 2. Add in instant pudding and mix well.     3. Stir condensed milk and cinnamon.     4. Fold in whipped topping.     This stuff is so tasty...

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“Give Me Samoa That Cake” An Ode To My Favorite Girl Scout Cookie

Posted by on 5:55 pm in cake, Recipes | Comments Off on “Give Me Samoa That Cake” An Ode To My Favorite Girl Scout Cookie

“Give Me Samoa That Cake” An Ode To My Favorite Girl Scout Cookie

      There is nothing more exciting than having those cute little Girl Scouts ring your doorbell or chase you down in the grocery parking lot to sell you a box of their scrumptious cookies. I am always sad when our freezer stash of these crunchy, treats disappear. I was craving the famous “Caramel Delites” AKA “Samoa” cookies (that’s how old I’ve become, they changed their names?) and figured that would make the perfect dessert for tonight. Instead of cookies, I wanted to use the Samoa’s flavors and make them into a mini cake.     My dilemma lately are leftovers! I LOVE to bake and eat sweets, but now that I am older my body just can’t handle all that good stuff. So yes, I have had to limit my sweet intake. All in moderation, right?  You see, my problem is that I have new, freshly, baked goods sitting and looking at me all day long. They talk to me and say “go ahead Juli, just one more bite” and I simply just can’t resist. So, I have decided that bringing a left over box of my goodies to playdates, local employees, and my daughters’ teachers and coaches was a good solution. But, it is definitely forming a bit of a habit. And if there is a day where I attend an event without a bakery box in hand, there are frowns all around. I have become known as the “cupcake lady”. That’s right, the people in my local community and family activities may not know my exact name, but they certainly know I am usually covered in sugar, flour, or some other type of baking ingredient! And having 4 young children, I am pleased when my clothes are covered in something edible .       This pretty cake is big on flavor but mini in size! I baked my decadent coconut chocolate cake in 2-4″ circle pans. It can feed 4 people a good size piece or 6 people a nice sized sliver. This will probably be my new go to size for our nightly desserts. It is really a thing of beauty and you can’t appreciate the itty bitty cuteness from the pictures. My mini Samoa cake features a moist, chocolate-coconut cake with coconut-almond cream cheese frosting. Then I coated it with toasted coconut, homemade caramel sauce and semi-sweet ganache. Double drool! Let’s get baking!       Give Me Samoa That Cake Yields: 28 standard cupcakes or 6-4″ circle cakes   For the cake Ingredients: 2 cups of granulated sugar 3/4 cup cocoa powder 1/2 cup oil 1/2 cup instant coconut pudding (1 box) 1 cup chocolate milk 2 eggs 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 cup coffee 2 cups all purpose flour 2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt     Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. If making cupcakes line pan or prepare cake pans with nonstick baking spray. 2. In a sifter over the dry ingredients bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Place aside. 3. Make coffee ( I heat 1 cup of water in microwave and add 1/2 tsp instant coffee grounds). 4. In an electric mixer combine sugar, cocoa, and pudding.     5. Add in oil. Then chocolate milk and...

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A Successful Experiment! Creamy Celery & Almond Cupcakes

Posted by on 10:35 am in Cupcakes, Recipes | Comments Off on A Successful Experiment! Creamy Celery & Almond Cupcakes

A Successful Experiment! Creamy Celery & Almond Cupcakes

        Creamy Celery & Almond Cupcakes The challenge of my baking today takes on celery! Yes, people, celery. It is perfect timing to tie this concoction into my baking with veggies recipes. I had a fresh stalk of celery just awaiting me in the refrigerator. Off to work I go, disguising more vegetables in a delightfully sweet treat for my little girls. This cupcake recipe combines the flavors of bold celery, almond, and cinnamon. It’s really quite a combination. The celery comes through strong after you swallowed the last bite! It is reminiscent of a zucchini or carrot cake but definitely shows pizazz with an almond-celery cream cheese frosting! Let’s get chopping!         Creamy Celery & Almond Cupcakes Yields: 15 standard size cupcakes For the cake Ingredients: 2 eggs 3/4 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1 tsp pure almond extract 1 cup all purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tbsp cinnamon 1 cup shredded fresh celery (dry slightly with paper towel) 1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix (half box)     Directions:   1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line 15 standard cupcake cups. 2. With a food processor, shred fresh celery stalks including the leaves. Place the shredded celery on a paper towel to soak up a lot of the water. Then place shredded celery in a dry ingredients measuring cup.     3. In a sifter, over a dry ingredients bowl, measure and place the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Place aside. 4. In an electric mixer, place oil and both sugars. 5. Mix and then add eggs one at a time. 6. Next mix in instant vanilla pudding mix, cinnamon, and almond extract. 7. Then add in celery. Batter will be watery.     8. Slowly, on the lowest setting, stir in sifted dry ingredients. Once most of the dry ingredients are combined, turn off mixer and mix thoroughly by hand. Be sure to scrap sides and bottom. 9. With a 2 tbsp disher (ice cream scooper), place batter into lined pans 2/3rds way full. Bake 10-12 minutes until tops spring back or toothpick inserted into top center comes out clean. 10. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Then move to a cooling rack. Meanwhile start your frosting.           Celery & Almond Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients: 1/2 cup salted butter, softened 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup vegetable shortening 1 tsp pure almond extract 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/3 cup shredded fresh celery, dried thoroughly 4 cups powdered sugar   Directions:   1. In an electric mixer, beat butter, cream cheese, and shortening until smooth. 2. Press the 1/3 cup shredded celery in a paper towel until completely dry. Set aside.     3. Add almond extract and cinnamon to butter mixture. 4. Slowly mix in powdered sugar. 5. Finally add celery. 6. Place frosting in a piping bag with frosting tip. Pipe cooled cupcakes with 2 turns of the frosting bag finishing in the center.     Enjoy your celery in this new and fun...

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Biscoff Cookie Spread Transformed Into…Cookie Butter Lover’s Cake

Posted by on 5:38 pm in cake, Recipes | 5 comments

Biscoff Cookie Spread Transformed Into…Cookie Butter Lover’s Cake

    HEELLLLOOOOOO BEEEAAAAUUUUTIFUL! This cake is a thing of beauty! I can’t believe how happy everyone is with my new Cookie Butter Lover’s Cake. But, in all fairness, how can you look at this sweet goodness and NOT grab a fork?! My entire family and I are COMPLETELY head over heels for Biscoff’s Cookie Spread. It is heaven on a spoon. Seriously, don’t tell on me, but, I just bought 4 jars and I’m 100% sure they will disappear in a few days. Biscoff’s Cookie Spread is my new sweet tooth addiction. I crave this stuff something awful and my little girlies think it’s an acceptable breakfast item on toast. Ugh, just like their momma!     Biscoff’s Cookie Spread has been described as “Nectar From The God’s” and I certainly can’t disagree! The light and creamy flavors of cinnamon and Biscoff cookies gets my bells and whistles blowin. It’s no wonder I can’t stop thinking about the assortment of desserts I can create. I want to feature this spread in an array of desserts. But first, my heart must hold true to an old-fashion layer cake. The idea of reconstructing my peanut butter cake recipe and using Biscoff’s Cookie Spread, got me super excited. My plan was to not make the batter of this cake super sweet because I was planning on drenching this sponge in cookie spread! Plus, there was no doubt, I was going to top this cake with the most amazing, not overly sweet, super creamy, Biscoff Cookie Spread Buttercream! Can’t just stop there! I must further my Biscoff cookie and cookie spread obsession by crushing Biscoff cookies and smooshing them into the sides and top of the cake. Then top that purty-baby-cake off with melted Biscoff Cookie Spread! Are you drooling yet? It’s ashame it’s already gone because I would be taking a very unlady like bite right about now. So enough chit-chat let’s bake!       Cookie Butter Lover’s Cake Yields: 24 standard cupcakes or 1-3 layer 6″ cake (feeds 10-12)   For The Cake Ingredients: 1 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup instant vanilla pudding (1 box) 2 eggs 1 tbsp cinnamon 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1/3 cup Biscoff* cookie spread 1 1/4 cups buttermilk 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (no presifting, just measure out of bag) 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt     FOR THIS CAKE YOU WILL NEED 2 JARS OF BISCOFF COOKIE SPREAD AND 1 PACKAGE OF BISCOFF COOKIES       Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375 for cupcakes or 350 for cake. For cupcakes line pan with paper liners or for a cake, prep pan with nonstick baking spray. 2. Sift over a dry ingredient bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 3. In an electric mixer combine oil and sugar. 4. Add in eggs, then instant pudding. 5. Next add cinnamon and vanilla extract. 6. Mix in cookie butter and beat medium to medium high about 30 seconds. Be sure to scrap sides of bowl. 7. Stir in buttermilk.     8. On lowest mixer setting, slowly stir in flour. When dry ingredients are mostly mixed in, turn off mixer and finish combining thoroughly by hand. Be sure to...

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Caramel Infused Sweet Potato & Carrot Cake, Time To Eat Your Veggies

Posted by on 9:27 pm in cake, Recipes | Comments Off on Caramel Infused Sweet Potato & Carrot Cake, Time To Eat Your Veggies

Caramel Infused Sweet Potato & Carrot Cake, Time To Eat Your Veggies

    There is nothing more comforting to me than a home that smells of warm cinnamon. Yes, it may be summer, but I want a warm spice cake! I also wanted to incorporate some veggies into dessert today. I am determined to get these girlies to eat some of nature’s goodness. I had a can of sweet potatoes hiding in my pantry and a freshly shredded bag of carrots. These make a perfect pair, especially when covered in cream cheese frosting. Yea, maybe this isn’t the “healthiest” way to eat your vegetables, but it certainly couldn’t hurt. I am really into making homemade caramel these days. Super simple and super easy. My sneak attack for disguising these orange vegetables was to infuse the cakes with my homemade caramel sauce. The plan sounded great, now to bake it up quickly, before those little eyeballs spot the vegetables going in the batter!   Caramel Infused Sweet Potato & Carrot Cake Yields: 1-6 inch 4 layer cake or 28 standard cupcakes           Ingredients: For the cake 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil 1 cup granulated sugar 1 cup light brown sugar, packed 4 eggs 1/2 cup instant vanilla pudding (one box) 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1 cup shredded carrots 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour 2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt     For the cream cheese frosting 1 cup salted butter, softened 1 cup cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup vegetable shortening 1 tbsp clear imitation vanilla extract ( I LOVE McCormicks) 7 cups powdered sugar   For the caramel sauce 1/2 cup salted butter 1 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup half and half 1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp vanilla extract   For the garnish 1 bag of pecans, chopped ( about 2 1/2 cups)         Directions: For the cake 1. Preheat oven 375 degrees and prep 4-6 inch pans with nonstick baking spray. 2. Shred carrots and measure, place aside. Smash cooked sweet potatoes (I used canned) and measure, place aside. 3. In a sifter over the dry ingredients bowl, place flour, soda, powder, and salt. Sift and set aside.       4. In an electric mixer, mix oil and sugars. 5. Add eggs and mix until thick batter forms.     6. Mix in vanilla pudding, then cinnamon and nutmeg. 7. Then add vanilla and sweet potatoes. 8. Add in carrots.     9. Slowly stir in dry ingredients. ALWAYS use lowest setting when incorporating flour. When mostly mixed in, turn off mixer and thoroughly mix by hand to ensure batter is mixed well. 10. Pour 1 1/4 cups of batter into every 6 inch round pan (you will have a little batter left to make a couple of cupcakes). 11. Bake for 24-28 minutes until tops spring back or toothpick comes out mostly clean.       12. Allow cakes to cool in pans for 5-10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Place in freezer so it will be easier to level off and crumb coat. Begin caramel sauce.     Caramel Sauce Directions: 1. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter, brown sugar, and salt over medium high heat. 2....

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Awaken Those Tastebuds With Creamy Blueberry Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes

Posted by on 5:56 pm in Cupcakes, Recipes | Comments Off on Awaken Those Tastebuds With Creamy Blueberry Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes

Awaken Those Tastebuds With Creamy Blueberry Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes

    It’s time to lighten things up and bring a little fruitiness into the mix. Today, I am feeling like we need to change the dessert from rich and gooey to bright, light, and tangy! Then the thought of refreshing lemons popped into my little brain! I have had many people enjoy my Blueberry-Lemon Cupcakes for quite sometime. Granted, fruity flavors are not MY go to choice for dessert but, on occasion, it is definitely nice to awaken your senses after a good dinner with a sweet and slightly sour treat. Last night, I was totally into making these lemon cupcakes, yet my picky little ladies turned their noses up at the idea. Looks like I will be the only one eating dessert tonight! Yea, more for Momma! This cake is SUPER moist and airy. Really, it feels as if you are holding a cotton ball when they come out of the oven. The lemony cake is a chiffon, which is made up of vegetable oil instead of butter. Add a couple of zested lemons, instant lemon pudding, and lemon extract and you get a very delightful lemon flavor. It is not overpowering at all! I like the contrast of the blueberry flavor that highlights the cream cheese frosting. Then I drizzle a store bought blueberry syrup on top and garnish with a sugared lemon slice for that added pizazz! It is an eye capturing dessert at many parties and bbq’s, the colors just grab everyones attention. But it’s that amazing flavor and texture that will really get your crowd coming back for seconds. Ready, set, go!       Creamy Blueberry Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes Yields: 24 standard cupcakes Ingredients: For The Cake: 2 cups all purpose flour (don’t presift) 1 tbsp baking powder 3/4 tsp salt 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar 3/4 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup instant lemon pudding (one box) 2 whole eggs (room temp) 1 1/2 cup milk (I use whole) 2 tsp lemon extract 2 lemons zested   Creamy Blueberry Frosting: 1 cup salted butter, softened 1 cup blueberry cream cheese spread, softened 1/2 cup vegetable shortening 1/2 tbsp of imitation clear vanilla extract ( I like McCormicks) 7 cups powdered sugar   For The Garnish: Sliced lemons Blueberry syrup (found in the breakfast syrup isle of grocer)         Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line 24 standard size cupcake tins. 2. In a dry ingredients bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.       3. In an electric mixer, mix vegetable oil, instant pudding and sugar.     4. Add in eggs and whip medium high to high for 2 minutes (be sure eggs are room temperature).       5. Mix in lemon extract and lemon zest. 6. Alternate slowly, mixing in dry ingredients with the milk. When milk is just about completely incorporated, turn off mixer and stir by hand thoroughly. Be sure to scrap bottom well.           7. Using a 2 tbsp disher, fill each cupcake liner 2/3rd way full. Bake for 10-12 minutes until top springs back to touch or toothpick comes out of center clean.     8. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove from pan and allow to finish...

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Southern Red Velvet Cake

Posted by on 7:02 pm in cake, Recipes | Comments Off on Southern Red Velvet Cake

Southern Red Velvet Cake

    We had a wonderfully relaxing July 4th. No running around, no hosting parties, and no huge catering events, just the Evans’ family hanging out. I, of course, had a few, patriotic desserts planned throughout the day which included my Red Velvet layered cake. My girls LOVE this bright red beauty! Watching those little fingers become covered in red cake only seems fit on this holiday. But my Red Velvet cake is perfect all year round. It is not overly heavy and can very easily be summer-ized by adding some coconut or almond flavoring. The littles have grown up on this cake. After all, it has taken me their lifespan to perfect. It seems that this vintage, southern cake has come back around in it’s popularity and has become quite trendy in the younger generations.     I always get requests for my Red Velvet cake recipe whenever I showcase this beauty. It is a classic flavor, but Red Velvet has to hold true to it’s old-fashion ways. I’ve had many Red Velvet cakes and there were only a few that made me say “wow”.  This recipe has taken years to perfect and sometimes, I like to add mini chocolate chips to the batter to give a bit more of that chocolate flavor. Your best friends for this recipe are liquid red food coloring, buttermilk, vinegar, and a little bit of cocoa powder. Yes, the red food coloring wasn’t in the early Red Velvet cakes, but it does give this vintage cake it’s distinct flavor. And a lot of people really can’t even tell that there is chocolate in the batter, but yes there definitely is very little in every Red Velvet recipe. A little history on Red Velvet cake according to Wikipedia: All used red food coloring, but the reaction of acidic vinegar and buttermilk tends to better reveal the red anthocyanin in cocoa and keeps the cake moist, light and fluffy. This natural tinting may have been the source for the name “red velvet” as well as “Devil’s food” and similar names for chocolate cakes.[2][3] When foods were rationed during World War II, bakers used boiled beet juices to enhance the color of their cakes. Beets are found in some red velvet cake recipes, where they also serve to retain moisture. Let’s get started. This is my super secret, never given away, Red Velvet Cake recipe         My Southern Red Velvet Cake Yields: 28 standard cupcakes, 2 6″cakes or 8″ 2 layer cake Ingredients: For The Cake 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 1/4 cup cocoa powder 2 cups vegetable oil 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 2 eggs (must be room temp) 1/4 cup liquid red food coloring 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 tsp distilled vinegar 1 cup buttermilk   For The Cream Cheese Frosting: 1 cup salted butter, softened 1 cup cream cheese, softened (8 oz block) 1/2 cup vegetable shortening 1 tbsp of imitation clear vanilla extract ( I like McCormicks) 7 cups powdered sugar         Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees for cupcakes, 350 for cakes. If baking cakes, prepare pans with non stick baking spray with flour or line cupcake pans with paper liners. 2. In a sifter over...

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Pumpkin Caramel Oatmeal Cakes, Could Breakfast Get Any Better?

Posted by on 8:13 pm in breakfast, Recipes | Comments Off on Pumpkin Caramel Oatmeal Cakes, Could Breakfast Get Any Better?

Pumpkin Caramel Oatmeal Cakes, Could Breakfast Get Any Better?

  What? Me make breakfast? LOL. Yes, believe it or not I, 100%, suck at making breakfast items and cooking dinners. My husband won’t let me near his usual breakfast plate or let me assist in his weekend waffle makings. I am really not quite sure why I can’t shake a good breakfast recipe or two out of my arsenal. And preparing dinner? Ugh, it’s usually burned, over cooked, or way over sauced. Seriously, I belong on that show on Food Network, “Worst Cooks In America”. How I am able to dream up successful, dessert recipes and combinations, but not figure out what flavors go well together to dress up a chicken breast?  I’ll never understand!  I fantasize over sweet treats in my head and have visions of different cupcakes, cookies, and brownies all day long. But when it comes time to plan breakfast or dinner, I draw a blank and I grow quite intimidated. Anyhow, my sweet little ladies have enjoyed a few of my breakfast trials the past few weeks. I’m becoming so irritated with my breakfast and dinner issues, it’s truly absurd.     Here’s the funny part, I saw that Bob’s Red Mill is hosting a contest “Spar For The Spurtle”, which is a contest for the best steel cut oats recipe! You can probably tell by now, I have become majorly addicted to baking and recipe contests. It has been a lot of fun creating and actually writing down recipes, instead of keeping them all in my head and selfishly to myself! I seem to be entering a contest at least once a week. I’m giggling inside when I pull up web addresses and see my deliciously, beautiful dessert sitting on the line up to be judged! Now do you see my frustration with being breakfastly impaired? I wanted in on the Bob’s Red Mill contest, so to the drawing board I go. The catch to this Spar For The Spurtle contest is that you are only allowed to use 2 stove-top burners as equipment, no oven, no blenders, no microwave, etc. Umm, wow, that’s a hard one for me because ALL I do is bake and I always want to turn things into cake or cookies. Without the use of an oven my idea of cookies flew out the window (just as quickly as some of my dinners go in the trashcan).  A few days and batches, of what I thought were good ideas, passed and then as I’m waiting for the oats to cook, BAM! Homemade caramel sounds good on top of oatmeal! I get out my pot and start making the base of my simple homemade caramel sauce. Again, I’m thinking hard about what would be a warm, comforting food in the morning to eat? I went through a few flavor combinations the day before, so I am scavenging the baking pantry for a gleam of hope in what is left on my barren shelves…I literally jump up and down when I move a can to the side and happily see canned 100% pumpkin! YES!!!! That is it!!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE pumpkin on and in any dessert. What if I take this pumpkin and turn it into a caramel sauce on top of my cooked oats? Then add a little...

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Hooray For Cotton Candy Sandwich Cookies!

Posted by on 12:14 pm in cookies, Recipes | Comments Off on Hooray For Cotton Candy Sandwich Cookies!

Hooray For Cotton Candy Sandwich Cookies!

    Nothing puts a smile on my babies’ faces more than a heaping handful of cotton candy! I know, nothing but pure spun sugar, but there’s something magical about that airy, sweet stuff. Maybe it’s the pure sugar high that causes us to get the case of the giggles whenever we melt that blue and pink candy int our mouths. To us, it is a happy reminder to be a kid again. Cotton candy just puts summer fun, carnivals, and circuses on the map. I even know some adults who adore this stuff more than my girls.       It only seems fit that the popular flavor is now sold in the isles of many grocery stores as frosting, boxed mixes, ice cream, lollipops, and flavored lip gloss. But a cookie? Oh no, I’ve never seen a cookie flavored as cotton candy! These are the perfect match for my pink princesses. Bright pink, soft and chewy cotton candy flavored cookies with a fluffy helping of real cotton candy smashed in between, how could these NOT catch your eye?!     Circus and carnival parties are a big theme for birthdays, I did one myself for the eldest little. I think these would look absolutely adorable on the perfectly dressed kid’s party table, don’t you? And let’s not forget they are pretty simple to make.       This recipe calls for Cotton Candy Extract. It is available online and in many specialty cake supply stores, I have yet to see this stuff at the big chain grocers. However, one bottle will last you a life time! Cotton candy extract is strong so a little goes a long way. If you are dying to make these but can’t wait to get your hands on the cotton candy extract, you can substitute the extract with a 1/2 tsp of raspberry extract and 1/2 tsp of strawberry extract. It gives a very similar flavor to cotton candy because most are a light, berry based flavor. In addition to the extract, I like to use strawberry creme instant pudding mix by Jello. I find this flavor at my local Walmart stores. You can’t substitute this for gelatin, it has a completely different make up and will change the texture and baking of the cookies. If you don’t have access to this flavor pudding, you can substitute it with an instant vanilla pudding mix.       Cotton Candy Sandwich Cookies         Ingredients: 2 sticks margarine (must be 80% vegetable shortening), softened 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1/2 cup strawberry creme instant pudding(1 box and NOT gelatin, must be pudding!) 2 eggs 1 tsp imitation cotton candy extract ( this is available online and in cake supply stores, but if you don’t have it you may substitute 1/2 tsp raspberry extract and 1/2 tsp strawberry extract). 1/4 tsp pink food coloring gel 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda 2 1/3 cup all purpose flour (not sifted) 2 containers of cotton candy   Equipment: Electric Mixer Non-stick baking pans 1 tbsp disher (ice cream scoop)     Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 2. Beat margarine until smooth. Cream in sugar. 3. Mix in instant pudding. Add in whole eggs one at a time. 4. Then add extract,...

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Summertime S’mores Cream Pops

Posted by on 3:03 am in Other Desserts, Recipes | Comments Off on Summertime S’mores Cream Pops

Summertime S’mores Cream Pops

    By now ya’ll know my family really digs s’mores! And my husband, REALLY digs Ghirardelli Chocolate, actually it’s more like ANYTHING made with or by Ghirardelli. It’s been SO hot, the last thing on our minds is sitting by the campfire. Our dilemma though? We LOVE S’mores, especially made with Ghirardelli Chocolate. No joke, whenever a recipe or craving calls for chocolate,  the ONLY kind the Evans’ grab is Ghirardelli! I quickly brainstormed after the kids were asking to have s’mores for dessert later tonight. We’ve seen and had s’mores ice cream, but it wasn’t that strong s’mores flavor I love. Why couldn’t I turn those yummy ingredients into a creamy, cold pop? The recipe that follows is a fun and absolutely, unique s’mores idea. Perfect for sitting out on lawn chairs or lounging by the pool enjoying family time and making memories. Afterall, that’s what I feel food is all about! Then come to find out through Twitter and Facebook this week, Ghirardelli announced their Ultimate S’mores Contest. Each week consists of a different theme around the Ultimate S’mores Idea! So much fun! And ever since Gracie received her winnings from Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Creative Kids Contest, she has been begging to enter another.           Summertime S’mores CreamPops             Ingredients: Yields: 6 full size pops 1. Half of a 1.5 quart vanilla ice cream (we will only use half so chose a brand you will eat later!). 2. 2 cups graham cracker crumbs ( 2 full sleeves,crushed). 3. 1/2 tsp cinnamon 4. One bag of Ghirardelli semi sweet chips 5. One cup of mini marshmallows 6. 6 mini Ghirardelli dark chocolate squares (or which ever flavor you love!).   Equipment: One large piping bag or large spoon to scoop ice cream into cups Large spoon to scoop chocolate mixture 6 clear plastic disposable cups 6 Popsicle sticks   Preparation: 1. Allow ice cream to soften and divide in half. Place half of vanilla ice cream in a microwaveable bowl and freeze other half for future use.           2. Microwave ice cream about 45 seconds until soft and mixable. Pour in graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon. Using electric hand mixer, combine thoroughly on lowest setting.         3. In another microwaveable bowl, empty Ghirardelli semi sweet chips and microwave 45 seconds then stir. Place back in microwave continue heating and stirring in 30 second intervals until melted smooth. 4. When melted chocolate is warm mix in marshmallows.           5. Open mini Ghirardelli mini chocolate squares and place each one in the bottom of the cup with the chocolate emblem facing down.             6. With graham cracker ice cream mixture in a piping bag, squeeze 2.5 turns of ice cream on top of chocolate square. Or scoop the ice cream using a spoon.         7. Next, use a spoon and scoop marshmallow chocolate mixture on top of ice cream. Spread out to cover the ice cream layer.         8. Use the over cream mixture again. Squeeze or scoop another good size layer on top of chocolate marshmallow layer.         9. Place Popsicle sticks in center and push down all the way to bottom. 10. Put...

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Please Give Me A Simple Chocolate Cupcake

Posted by on 10:42 am in Cupcakes, Recipes | Comments Off on Please Give Me A Simple Chocolate Cupcake

Please Give Me A Simple Chocolate Cupcake

  It is a day where Mommy’s shower awaits on the back burner while everything else takes priority. Have you had those days? I mean, the kind of day where you look at the clock and think OMG it’s almost dinner time and I haven’t even washed my body yet? With 4 littles running around and not to mention, our youngest is literally into EVERYTHING, it’s no wonder I look as if I just rolled out of bed at 6:30 p.m. most of the time. This weekend has been in the high 90’s to low 100’s, which is miserably humid and hot! So it only seems fit that the air conditioners decided to break and can only be fixed by fully replacing them! Yes, can you imagine how hot our house has been? My poor babies all red and sweaty with little understanding of why they can’t sleep comfortably! The girls were troopers. We made it fun by allowing a camp out in our master bedroom underneath all of the fans, I must say it helped the breakdowns. It was the longest 2 days in history, no baking because it was 90 degrees in our house and there was no way, in heck, I was turning that oven on! My withdrawal from mixing up butters and sugars were so bad, that I consumed a half jar of Cookie Butter with a spoon in one sitting. That stuff is SO dangerous! Now that the Evans’ house is cool and actually functioning to the best of our abilities, my oven is back on and I’m craving chocolate cupcakes.     My chocolate cupcakes are a pure dream for any chocolate lover. You see, I am a firm believer that chocolate fixes EVERYTHING (sort of like people and Windex). But today, I didn’t want chocolate overload. I wanted my classic, moist, chocolate cake with my creamy, luscious vanilla buttercream. Oh yes! I can’t seem to bake them up fast enough. I’m salivating excessively at this point. The chocolate bases are an easy recipe and they actually become more moist the longer they sit in an airtight container! Yup, if you want a super moist devil-dog like chocolate cake, pop these babies in a container on the counter until tomorrow morning (of course after they have cooled completely). If you put warm cupcake bases in an airtight container, the humidity will make the liners fall off (trust me, been-there-done-that)! This chocolate cake recipe is a dream for a chocolate cake lover! It has cocoa, instant pudding, chocolate milk and a hint of coffee to bring out that chocolatey goodness. And yes, you will be licking every ounce of batter out of the bowl.       Now, let’s get started. This is an important recipe to get comfortable with because I will be using it as a base for other cupcake flavors in future blog posts. Plus you will be requested to bake them ALL the time, no joke!   Chocolate Dream Cupcakes     Yields: 32 standard size cupcakes Ingredients: For the cake: 2 cups granulated sugar 3/4 cup cocoa powder 1/2 cup instant chocolate pudding mix (one box) 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 cup chocolate milk 2 eggs 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 2 cups all purpose flour 2 tsp baking...

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My “Big Boy” Vanilla Cupcakes

Posted by on 5:53 pm in Cupcakes, Recipes | Comments Off on My “Big Boy” Vanilla Cupcakes

My “Big Boy” Vanilla Cupcakes

  These beauties deserve the highest respect. I decided to photograph them in the “nude” just so you can see the light-airiness. Let’s just consider this a “boudoir” photo shoot for my delicate cupcakes. My Big Boy Vanilla Cupcakes got their name because when I make them in mass quantities, I must use my “big boy” mixer. Ya know, that mixing bowl that holds up to 14 cups of flour? Well, I have 3 wonderful mixers that I hold just as close to my heart as my daughters. No joke. Mishandle one of those bad boys and there will be hell to pay! Can you see all of those wonderful little holes, resembling a sponge? My Big Boy Vanilla Cupcakes are extremely moist and feel like you are holding feathers in your hands. This recipe has gone through many alterations, until I finally created the perfect chemistry. Vanilla cupcakes have made me cry for years, too flat, too dense, too dry, sunk in the middle, etc. But now when it comes time to prepare a vanilla cupcake for any occasion, I find comfort in my Big Boys. This recipe is the base to many flavors I have created. The base can easily be altered to an array of flavors. My Big Boy cupcakes are so good, my little love-bugs actually consume the entire thing (not just the frosting)! Pair this very vanilla cake with my Luscious Vanilla Buttercream and you will be everyone’s best friend! As you all probably know, I have a passion for all things cupcake. Yes, I jumped on the band-wagon of those pretty little cakes. Most of my future blogs will be on my wide variety of flavors, from common to unique! But first, we must learn one of my basic recipes before we dive into my sick baking ideas (and by sick, I mean awesome!!).         Big Boy Vanilla Cupcakes     Yields: 18 standard size cupcakes Ingredients: For the cake: 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 1 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding (half the box) 2 eggs 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 cup buttermilk 3/4 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 2 cups cake flour (presifted at least 4 times BEFORE measured)   Equipment: Standard cupcake pan Standard cupcake liners Electric mixer   Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 18 standard size cupcake tins. 2. Presift your cake flour at least for times in a separate bowl. This is CRUCIAL that you ONLY use CAKE FLOUR!!!!! Otherwise your cake will be dense and dry. Measure 2 cups of cake flour after you have sifted at least 4 times and it becomes very airy and silky. (There is a huge difference between self-rise flour and cake flour. Please be sure your box says “cake flour”).     3. With the measured cake flour in a sifter, add baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift together in a bowl and set aside for later use. 4. Using an electric mixer, beat butter on high until smooth and creamy. 5. Add sugar mix on medium-high to high for at least 2 minutes until fluffy and light in color. (This is critical to making your cake fluffy with lots of tiny holes). Scrap sides.  ...

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The Most Luscious Vanilla Buttercream You Will Ever Put In Your Mouth

Posted by on 5:06 pm in Other Desserts, Recipes | Comments Off on The Most Luscious Vanilla Buttercream You Will Ever Put In Your Mouth

The Most Luscious Vanilla Buttercream You Will Ever Put In Your Mouth

  Frosting, it is a love-hate relationship for me. I hate frosting when it is thick, overly sweet, and leaves that weird residue on your tongue. Let’s not get into the bright and artificial colors that always stain my kids teeth, tongues, and lips whenever they go to a birthday party! Ok, Ok, I have been guilty of dying my buttercreams for my kiddos, but gee-whiz, the commercial markets can sometimes over do it. You may recall me saying that I am from Chicago, ya know the place that has REAL, old-fashion bakeries. Ugh, that was one of those things that when we moved to Florida I missed the MOST. My little ladies LOVE frosting. Seriously, they would bathe in the stuff if I let them. The sweeter the better and quite honestly whenever we go for a celebration and cakes or cupcakes are involved, all they do is lick off the frosting and leave that poor cake shivering in the wind. I know my stinkers are not alone in this frosting lapping conspiracy.     It has taken me a long time to perfect my basic vanilla buttercream. Not too sweet, not to “shortening-ey” (I like to make up my own words), and definitely won’t leave that weird taste in your mouth. I like it when frosting highlights the cake, not overpowers that sweet little sponge. I mean, you put so much work into that from-scratch cake, why the heck do you want to slather it in a bag of sugar? If I may say so, my frosting is epic. This stuff leaves many people in my life running back for more. It is the base of many flavors and I have never-ever given it out!   But if you want it, you must take the oath!   I solemnly swear to never-ever call this buttercream frosting: ICING! I will hold true to it’s luscious body and ALWAYS refer to it as BUTTERCREAM. It is mandatory that our terms be correct because in NO WAY can this be confused or substituted for icing. You see, a lot of people use the terms interchangeably but they are NOT the same!! Frosting is a thick and fluffy coating of butter. Icing is a thin and sugary glaze spread that hardens on cooling. See the difference? This recipe I am giving you will not harden. It will pipe the pretty swirls but it will not make those rock hard roses we all see at the grocery stores. Ok. Now that we are all on the same page, let us begin. Once you use this fluffy lady, you will never want that canned or grocery store stuff again.   Luscious Vanilla Buttercream Ingredients:   2 sticks salted butter, softened 1 cup vegetable shortening 1 tbsp of clear imitation vanilla extract (McCormick has THE BEST vanilla flavor for this) 1-2 tbsp milk (depending on the consistency you want) 6 cups of powdered sugar   Directions:     1. Beat butter on high with an electric mixer until perfectly smooth. 2. Add in the vegetable shortening and mix on high as well.     3. When bowl is smooth, while on stir add the vanilla and milk. 4. Slowly add one cup of powdered sugar at a time. Incorporating in slowly prevents you from getting...

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Coconut Almond Bitty Bons

Posted by on 7:25 pm in Other Desserts, Recipes | Comments Off on Coconut Almond Bitty Bons

Coconut Almond Bitty Bons

        The coconut cravings are ridiculous these days. I’m thinking it has something to do with the fact that we are always in the pool, it has been at least 95 degrees everyday, and my girls look as if they are running around in permanent, nude color, bathing suits while dressing in the morning.  Ahh, to only be young again and carelessly frolic in your birthday suit while singing “Let It Go” at 7 a.m.! I love my little ladies taste for life and free-spirit shenanigans . No matter what chaos they have in store for the day, someone always makes me laugh until I almost wet my pants.       As I was cleaning out one of my many baking cabinets, I came across an entire box of lollipop sticks. I went through the cake pop craze just like everyone else, except mine were always what I considered “epic fails”. The perfectionist in me was never satisfied with my cracked shells, too large tops, or the amount of time it took to make each perfect animal head, only to watch in be masticated in one bite. They just weren’t for me. There are many patient and talented cake pop makers in the world and I give them amazing props! Looking at the plethora of naked lollipop sticks, I’m thinking, how can I start using these? And then I began to think, ” I love my cookie dough so much, why not make a cookie dough lollipop?”. But, the whole chocolate chip cookie dough thing has been played out SO much (just like “Frozen” in our house), I knew I had to change things up to make this idea something special. I told ya’ll before how obsessed I am with coconut combined with almond flavors, I’m naturally drawn to this match from Heaven. Then my cycles started spinning, Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs is hosting a “No-bake Summer Recipe Contest” at the Food And Wine Conference in Orlando, Florida, on July 18-20th 2014. These are really awesome eggs because they are pasteurized and there is no longer a “fear” of eating raw eggs. I feel confident letting my girls, especially the 1 year old, consume any type of dough or batter when it is made with pasteurized eggs.     Now, I have an even stronger drive to push my idea of a coconut almond dough bite! It is the perfect idea for entertaining in the summer. They can be served cold or room temperature. And as always, coconut immediately takes someone to their islander “happy place”. These Bitty Bons are 2 bite desserts and would be perfect with a cool glass of dark rum and pineapple juice, um, do I have your attention now? Let’s not forget that these are easy and the Bitty Bons will be covered up with toasted coconut, so I don’t have to be completely OCD about my chocolate covering cracking. Perfectionism is truly a plague sometimes, but yet, it gives me an unbelievable drive to make things the best way possible. Although, I truly believe that some would say I’m on the verge on insanity when it comes to my sweeties!       I really enjoy Girl Scout Cookie season! I especially LOVE the Caramel Delites (formerly known as...

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Not Your Grammy’s Cookies

Posted by on 4:01 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Not Your Grammy’s Cookies

Not Your Grammy’s Cookies

    My little ladies were begging for some cookies yesterday. Not just any cookies, MY famous chocolate chip cookies! Their Daddy would be gone on call for 24 hours, so dinner would be easy Chickfila drive-thru. And since my guilt of not cooking for them always gets the best of me, I must follow up with a dessert of their choice! I wasn’t satisfied with presenting my precious babes with my basic chocolate chip cookie. It had to have a wow-factor. Something that would make people say “how did you do that?”. I quickly search my vast variety of baking goods, candies, and hidden stash of goodies for a witty ingredient to add to my soft and chewy cookies. Tonight while scavenging my pantry, I came a cross an open package of Oreos. I am a fan of Oreos, simple chocolate crunch with a sweet vanilla center. The discussion of sitting with a coffee mug filled with milk and a spoon to skillfully dunk and scoop my sopping wet Oreos (guilty) will be saved for another time. Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner! Those hamsters are spinning my wheels and I’m thinking “Why have I not tried making a super-duper, cookie lover, cookie by stuffing the inside of my chocolate chip cookies with a full size Oreo?”. That is how the “Not Your Grammy’s Cookie” came to be. I couldn’t wait to try this mad idea and present these creations to the little sweet tooths awaiting in the other room.   I am EXTREMELY picky when it comes to cookies. I am 100% head-over-heals in LOVE with cookie dough. I try to sneak that stuff into every recipe just so I can eat the stuff by the spoonful as often as I can. And I’m sad to say the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, the persnickety Evans’ girls adore cookie dough just as much as I do. I am not exaggerating when I say they are like a dog drooling at the base of the mixer, awaiting that sweet moment when I say they are allowed one spoonful. Some scarf it down as quick as they can and the others savor every sweet lick of that buttery, salty-sweet dough. I can remember doing the exact same. I have been in the kitchen baking and bonding with my mom since I was 2. My passion for all things sweet (and Taco Bell) was passed to me in utero, I’m sure of it. My mom would always let me eat a scoop of dough and lick the beaters. Somedays our baking experiences were very adventurous. Chocolate cake batter spraying all over the orange counter tops and walls, to my long hair being tangled and sucked into the electric mixer were just some of my exciting baking lessons from my mom. I appreciated how much people LOVED my mom’s baked goods and would always want to hang-out at my house because we ALWAYS had the best stuff to eat. I wanted to follow in her footsteps and bake the best sweets for my family. Words of my Mom, a true sweet connoisseur, “I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like.”, it’s no wonder I live, eat, and breathe dessert. I strived for so long to perfect my chocolate...

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Dessert Is Better With Bacon

Posted by on 4:02 pm in Brownies, Recipes | Comments Off on Dessert Is Better With Bacon

Dessert Is Better With Bacon

    Yeh, my day needs something special. I’ve put this day in the bag already and it’s ONLY 8:30 a.m.! Have you ever declared a redo? Well, I do ALL the time. You see, my weekdays always start at 4:30 a.m., just so I can spend some “alone” time with my husband (and actually have a conversation with someone who is taller than me) before he hurries off to work at 6:15 a.m.. And no, I rarely ever, go back to bed. Chores pile up, dishes are always a mile high, bills to pay, blog to write, and creative recipe ideas run through my head. This past night, my average 10 p.m. bedtime somehow managed to grow to midnight. How or why, I have no idea; but in turn that meant my night would consist of 4.5 hours of sleep (that is if everyone actually stays asleep). Our 1 year old, Gwennie, was up 3 times last night. Finally waking at 6 a.m. to find her crib thoroughly soaked. The last of the 4 littles, Faith, arises and lets just say there is evidence of a “fully submerged mattress” from last night. Ugh, seriously? 2 Loads of bed laundry all before 9 a.m.? Not to mention that my 2 oldest girls have been down each others’ throats since their eyes opened. Ahh, summer break is here. Full (and I mean full) days of my little ladies “playing” together SO nicely and the wonderful sound floating down the stairs “I’m bored!”. Somedays, I think to myself, “my sweet, little babies, you are lucky you are so cute”.       To ease the painful start of the day,  after the ladies were all set with a safe activity, I headed to the kitchen. I was in one of those moods where I could’ t decide if I wanted to stuff my stressed out face with something salty or sweet. Ahh, there is the idea, my recent brownie obsession turned delightfully salty-sweet! Plus, in the back of my ever wandering mind I recalled seeing a Bacon contest. Yes folks, cookmore.com is hosting a recipe contest featuring the best bacon creations. The winner will receive a ticket to the famous World Food Championship in Las Vegas! For more details about this contest https://cookmore.com/contest/world-food-championship-bacon-contest/. And like that, I am off with my bacon inspired brownie dessert.       My girls LOVE bacon. No wait, Gracie is obsessed with bacon, every kind of bacon and bacon-ista item we see in stores. Gabby is a turkey bacon connoisseur. Faith is SO darn picky, she basically survives on turkey bacon. And Gwennie, she is like a hamster, hides the stuff in her cheeks for hours; savoring that salty smokey goodness for quite some time.     I get the bacon craze because we live it. I get the salty sweet craze because there are always moments when you just can’t decide what you want to eat. Keeping faithful to my bacon lovers and decadent brownie experts, I decided to mix that smokey treat into my Perfect Brownie recipe. But let’s not stop there because that just wouldn’t be superlicious enough! Let me entice you with my cinnamon caramel sauce. This stuff is seriously addictive. Like, “lick the bowl for every last drop” good. I take a...

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Summerlicious Coconut Almond Red Velvet Brownies

Posted by on 4:48 pm in Brownies, Recipes | Comments Off on Summerlicious Coconut Almond Red Velvet Brownies

Summerlicious Coconut Almond Red Velvet Brownies

For the past couple of days Red Velvet has been on my mommy brain. Ya’ll know what mommy brains are right? It’s basically functioning on empty (no sleep and little food) and having multiple random thoughts come across your brain faster than a speeding bullet. This tends to happen during my moments of heaviest conversation, “Gracie, you know you have homework due tomorrow, it is chapter 11-SQUIRREL!” And there you have it, a random, sometimes pointless, thought jumps into my weary brain. Perhaps this wandering squirrel thought of something interesting at that moment…Red Velvet Brownies! Yes, I’ve seen the “dump the cake mix” boxed version. But, I’m talking about converting MY Infamous Red Velvet cupcake recipe into a dense, moist brownie bite. BAM! Can you deal with that? I wasn’t just satisfied with that concept. Considering it’s been 95 degrees and hotter every day, I wanted to give these Red Velvet Brownies a light and summerlicious feel. Ya know what I’m talking about right? When I sip or eat anything with coconut, I am instantly brought to the beach or poolside. Regardless of how many whippersnappers are pulling on my skirt, wiping their boogers on my legs, or fighting their sister to-the-death, coconut puts me in a summer trance. One of my favorite flavor combinations is coconut with almond. So of course, I paired these two in my cream cheese frosting. I wasn’t introduced to Red Velvet Cake until my move to Orlando. Quite honestly, I wasn’t a big fan. Didn’t see what all the hoop-de-doo was about. Then when I began dessert catering I got the request for a wedding to make Red Velvet cupcakes. Ugh, it was such a love hate relationship. Seriously, 1/4 cup of red food coloring?! OMG, not to mention there was very little cocoa powder in the original recipes. Many days and many baking tears later (you can ask my husband; my baking struggles cause me to cry ALL the time) I developed the PERFECT Red Velvet Recipe! It quickly became one of my favorites, little ladies’ favorite, and by golly when I added some mini chocolate chips I couldn’t keep them on the serving trays!     Overlooking my battles with the dreaded Red Velvet recipe, I have learned to appreciate it. It is a very old cake and I find it funny that it was never really “RED”. But like everything else, it evolves and becomes better with time. One of my favorite memories of Gracie (our oldest, now 7) would be last year. She was trying to come up with an awesome Halloween costume and thought of dressing like a girl vampire. Gracie’s one odd, but very creative, makeup request was that I make a batch of Red Velvet Cake batter so she could smear it all over her mouth and shirt. Umm, ok; But they do sell something called facepaint in the Halloween section. And then she dressed as a Masquerade princess!     I hope you can appreciate these pretty, bite size, summery versions of a Red Velvet Brownie. They are yummy, moist, and elegant. The pickiest of eaters and snobbiest dessert critics will swoon over a fresh batch of these babies. Trust me, ours didn’t last a day!     Coconut Almond Red Velvet Brownies Yields: 16-1 inch...

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Sophisticated Smores, No More Messy Handfuls!

Posted by on 4:27 pm in Other Desserts, Recipes | Comments Off on Sophisticated Smores, No More Messy Handfuls!

Sophisticated Smores, No More Messy Handfuls!

        We LOVE Smores, especially my husband. They mark the night by the campfire and have summer fun written all over them. But 2 days ago after cleaning up my 4 girls’ (and husband’s) Smores mess I had it! I mean yes, they are good and gooey, but the marshmallow and chocolate is constantly oozing out all over the table, shirts, hands, hair and faces. And my goodness, don’t ever consider serving this crowd pleasing dessert at a cocktail party. So, my baking expedition the next day was an elegant, cleaner, bite size Smore that won’t dribble down your chin. Don’t get me wrong, I like a messy dessert as well as anyone else, but you really can’t serve it at a gathering without a container of wet wipes (even for adults).           Once again I fall back on my Perfect Brownie Recipe as the base of this masterpiece. The rich, moist, dense, fudge brownie makes the perfect sturdy bottom. Then my secret weapon, seriously,  I have never given this recipe out to anyone! We eat it out of the bowl by the spoonful, Graham Cracker Cream Cheese. Yes my friends, it’s similar to that wonderful cookie butter circulating the grocery stores, but OH so much better. You can put this stuff on anything. Shhh, a couple of my family members HATE cream cheese but eat my Graham Cracker Cream Cheese because they simple can’t tell or know that it’s in there (insert evil laugh here). Top this bite size baby off with a half marshmallow that is perfectly toasted by my friend “The Torch” and a zigzag of semi sweet ganache and you have got yourself one delicately, delicious, adult-ified dessert.       Sophisticated Smores   Ingredients: The Perfect Brownie  10 Tbsp unsalted butter 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 3/4 cup good cocoa powder (I love Ghirardelli brand) 1/4 tsp salt (heaping) 1/2 tsp instant coffee (I prefer Starbucks VIA)  2 tsp pure vanilla extract 2 eggs 1/2 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips (I love Ghirardelli as well)  1/2 cup all purpose flour Graham Cracker Cream Cheese 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick, softened)   8 ounces cream cheese (softened)   2 cups powdered sugar   1 tbsp clear imitation vanilla extract (I like McCormicks)   3 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs (3 sleeves)     Ganache 1 cup heavy cream   2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips   Garnish 9 regular size marshmallows cut in half (18 total)       Special Equipment Kitchen torch   Kitchen scissors   1 inch circle cutter   2 piping bags or ziplock bags     Directions: For The Brownies: 1.  Preheat oven 325 degrees. Line a 8×8 pan with tin foil for easy removal after baked and cooled. I also like to spray the foil with nonstick spray.   2.  Put about 2 inches of water in the pot and place on burner using a medium to medium-high heat. Place pyrex bowl on top. This is the double boiler method.   3.  Place butter in the pyrex bowl and melt thoroughly using a whisk to stir out lumps. Add both sugars, cocoa powder, instant coffee, and salt. Mix on double boiler until mixture is completely wet looking and well combined. Remove bowl from heat...

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My Twisted Version Of Mud Pie

Posted by on 3:32 pm in Other Desserts, Recipes | 1 comment

My Twisted Version Of Mud Pie

      Growing up in Chicago during the 80’s was a lot of fun. We lived in a new construction neighborhood and I remember making Mud Pies with my best friend in all of the newly dug up dirt. Little did I know about the delicious chocolate dessert that I had yet to meet.     I was first introduced to Mud Pie when I moved to “The South”. I found Orlando, Florida to be my new home in the early 90’s and there were many new things for this northern girl to learn about! Who’d have thought that I would fall in love with Mud Pie, Red Velvet Cakes, and Key Lime Pie?       In my new brownie obsession mood, I decided to turn those Perfect Fudge Brownies into Mud Pie Bites. And come to find out it is perfect timing because Dixie Crystals is hosting a contest that ends June 27th! Here is the official contest page http://foodandwineconference.com/dixie-crystals-brownie-dessert-contest-2014/. #FWCON       I LOVE coffee, no wait, I’m INFATUATED with coffee. I’m one of those mommies who is absolutely, 100% dependent on coffee getting me through the day. I am a self declared coffee snob. And in all fairness, there is nothing in comparison. Then there’s Oreos, are there no other amazing, yet simple cookies that are more recognized all over the world? Mix those two absolutely wonderful things with my Perfect Fudge Brownies and there is sinful written all over that idea! OH YEH BABY! Are you ready to knock your socks, or rather tastebuds, off?       Mud Pie Bites       Ingredients:   Perfect Fudge Brownies Yields: 18- 1 inch circular bites   10 Tbsp unsalted butter 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 3/4 cup good cocoa powder (I love Ghirardelli brand) 1/4 tsp salt (heaping) 1/2 tsp instant coffee (I prefer Starbucks VIA)  2 tsp pure vanilla extract 2 eggs 1/2 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips (I love Ghirardelli as well)  1/2 cup all purpose flour Mud Pie Buttercream 1 cup salted butter (softened)   1 cup vegetable shortening (not butter flavored)   1 tbsp clear imitation vanilla extract (this is necessary and has been the secret to my creamy, not overly sweet, buttercream for years). I find that McCormicks brand has the best flavor.   7 cups powdered sugar   1 tsp instant coffee powder ( I like Starbucks VIA Italian Roast)   2 cups of crushed Oreos     Ganache 1 cup heavy cream 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips Garnish sliced almonds crushed Oreos Equipment 8×8 nonstick pan aluminum foil one medium pot one large pyrex bowl 1″ or 2″ circle cutter (what ever size you prefer)   electric mixer   2 piping bags or ziplock bag converted into a piping bag           Directions: For The Brownies: 1.  Preheat oven 325 degrees. Line a 8×8 pan with tin foil for easy removal after baked and cooled. I also like to spray the foil with nonstick spray.   2.  Put about 2 inches of water in the pot and place on burner using a medium to medium-high heat. Place pyrex bowl on top. This is the double boiler method.   3.  Place butter in the pyrex bowl and melt thoroughly using a whisk to stir...

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The Best Brownies I Have Ever Put In My Mouth!

Posted by on 3:25 pm in Other Desserts, Recipes | 1 comment

The Best Brownies I Have Ever Put In My Mouth!

    Ok, I must admit that I have a bit of an obsession lately…Yes, I am obsessed with making the perfect scratch brownie. I’m not talking about the cakey bar type “brownie” recipes. Or dumping the mix from a box into the bowl and adding oil and eggs. I wanted a rich, moist, deep chocolate brownie that a 2″X 2″square of one satisfies your craving for the day. I have tossed many experimental batches in the trash and continue scratching my head wondering what am I missing?! Well, by golly, I have done it. I made the MOST amazingly rich and delectable brownies I have ever eaten in my 35 years of life.   The little ladies agree and have been sneaking licks from the bowl and the left over scraps from my circle cookie cutter. I tell them almost daily, that I have eyes in the back of my head. They OBVIOUSLY don’t believe me, but EVERY mother develops this talent by the time their child is walking. I mean, she’s seriously cute but REALLY? Am I not supposed to know you were consuming something yummy?!         Now let’s get to the good stuff. I promise you, this recipe doesn’t disappoint and you will never ever use that boxed stuff again.       The Perfect Fudge Brownies     Yields: 12-16 pieces (depending on your portion control!) Ingredients: 10 Tbsp unsalted butter 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 3/4 cup good cocoa powder (I love Ghirardelli brand) 1/4 tsp salt (heaping) 1/2 tsp instant coffee (I prefer Starbucks VIA)  2 tsp pure vanilla extract 2 eggs 1/2 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips (I love Ghirardelli as well)  1/2 cup all purpose flour Equipment: One large pyrex bowl   One pot (We will be using a double boiler method)   8X8 nonstick pan   Tin foil         1.  Preheat oven 325 degrees. Line a 8×8 pan with tin foil for easy removal after baked and cooled. I also like to spray the foil with nonstick spray.     2.  Put about 2 inches of water in the pot and place on burner using a medium to medium-high heat. Place pyrex bowl on top. You are using a double boiler method for these brownies, trust me it makes a huge difference!           3.  Place butter in the pyrex bowl and melt thoroughly using a whisk to stir out lumps. Add both sugars, cocoa powder, instant coffee, and salt. Mix on double boiler until mixture is completely wet looking and well combined. Remove bowl from heat and set aside for about 5 minutes until just warm.         Incorporating dry ingredients on double boiler in hot melted butter.           After all ingredients are mixed on double boiler.   4.  Add 2 eggs when the mixture is not hot enough to cook the eggs (yuck, can you imagine?). Mix eggs well and add vanilla.       5.  Mix in flour and finally add the mini chocolate chips. Batter will be thick. Using a spatula, pour into prepared pan.       6.  Bake at 325 for 25 minutes. Toothpick will be mostly clean and edges will definitely look done. Allow...

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Baking Is Fun, Especially When It Involves A Contest!

Posted by on 3:15 pm in Other Desserts, Recipes, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Baking Is Fun, Especially When It Involves A Contest!

Baking Is Fun, Especially When It Involves A Contest!

  This summer has arrived so quickly here in Orlando. Our home is now a full time daycare, preschool, and elementary school. I am always looking for activities and outings for my young ladies. Of course, one of the daily to-do lists involves baking. Gracie (my 7 year old) and I have recently discovered the Rice Krispies Creative Kids Contest. This contest must be entered through Pinterest only. The requirements are no more than 10 ingredients from a chosen list provided by Rice Krispies and must include 3 mandatory ingredients of butter, marshmallows, and Rice Krispies cereal. There is still more time to enter here is the official page and rules http://www.ricekrispies.com/treatmaking-contest.  My oldest, Gracie, LOVES (more like infatuated) with all things Butterbeer. After her first sip of the slushy, cold concoction at Universal Islands Adventure, she has been requesting every dessert under the sun be turned into a delightful resemblance of Harry Potter’s Butterbeer.   Gracie’s first sip of Butterbeer With this in thought, we ventured into the idea of Butterbeer Rice Krispie Bites. How perfectly sweet they should be and tiny as well, so the littlest of fingers could grasp these witty bites. One Saturday morning, in her pajamas and all,  we dreamed and created what we call “An Ode To Harry Potter, Butterbeer Rice Krispie Bites”. That night with weary eyes and pure confusion I set up my Pinterest account, ugh it’s a long story but finally done! We received an email from Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal that WE HAD WON! Woohoo! We are the third round winners for their contest and Gracie gets to receive the 1st place gift basket worth over $460! I must confess, this has lit a huge fire under my mixer. Yes, we will now be entering all sorts of fun baking and recipe contests. I mean, hey, I already bake my heart out daily; why shouldn’t I just write down these awesome recipes and share them with the WHOLE world.    Here is our winning pin on Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/Jujebee/butterbeer-rice-krispie-bites/     Butterbeer Rice Krispie Bites    Ingredients: 6 tbsp salted butter  1 package butterscotch chips  1- 10 ounce bag mini marshmallows 4 tsp vanilla extract 6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal 1 container of vanilla frosting striped paper straws       1.  In a large pot, melt butter on medium-low heat. 2.  Add 1 cup of butterscotch chips and melt until smooth and add the entire bag of marshmallows.  3.  When there are no lumps, remove from heat and add 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Mix in cereal and stir        until all cereal is covered in the butterscotch mixture.        4.   Place on parchment. Flatten to 1/2″ thick, cut circles with 2″ circle cookie cutter. 5.   Empty vanilla frosting into mixing bowl. Add 2 tsp vanilla extract and mix well. Place in        a piping bag and snip of small corner. Pipe a zigzag pattern on each circle.       6.  Melt remaining butterscotch chips in microwave. First for 45 seconds then stir and       replace in microwave and heat and stir in 20 second intervals until smooth. Place in         piping bag and snip a small hole. Zigzag the butterscotch in the opposite direction of the       creamy vanilla frosting.    ...

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Welcome to Graciously Sweet!

Posted by on 1:13 am in About Graciously Sweet | Comments Off on Welcome to Graciously Sweet!

Welcome to Graciously Sweet!

Most Mommies can appreciate the daily adventures of little eyes staring at you while on the toilet, fingers peeking under the closed bathroom door, and always having an attentive audience in the shower with you. In a house of 6, someone’s usually calling your name every 1-2 minutes and then quickly forgetting why. Screaming your name as if there is a catastrophe, only to discover they are out of juice. Freshly cleaned shirts & skirts have turned into tissues. My makeup drawer is no longer neatly organized, instead always scattered about with little fingerprints on the colorful squares of eyeshadow. Yet, somehow, these habits are always forgotten when that small hand is placed in mine or those little arms are wrapped around my neck. I celebrate the end of our hectic days with a yummy, sweet treat. My young munchkins are involved in most of my baking, boogers and all. It’s a time to learn, create and bond together. Wifehood, Mommyhood, and Bakerhood all mixed into one crazy life. I’m inspired by my beautiful, free-spirited, playful daughters. They have taught me that cute and elegant can always be combined. I manage to channel June Cleaver with a side of Britney Spears…Yeh, I said it. And let us not forget that EVERYTHING is better with glitter and...

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