Friday, June 29, 2012

Lesson #146: Raspberry Sorbet

WHEW! It's been hot the last few days. So hot in fact that it was TOO hot to walk to the nearest local ice cream place. It's a good thing I had this sorbet in my freezer. :)

It's the time of year that raspberries are just starting to come in season and they taste amazing. Once you get tired of eating raspberries straight from the bush (or container!), I would suggest this recipe. It embodies all the magnificent attributes of raspberries - sweet, yet tart - into a cool summer dessert.

 LESSON LEARNED: This recipe calls for a tiny amount of pectin to help the sorbet hold it's shape once it's scooped into bowls. If you don't mind melty sorbet, you could leave it out.

Recipe for Raspberry Sorbet

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lesson #145: Cookie Dough Pretzel Bites

What is better than chocolate chip cookie dough frosting sandwiched between two salty pretzels dipped in milk chocolate and covered with sprinkles? Nothing, I'd say!

This is the perfect summer dessert because it doesn't need to bake and can be whipped up with very little time & effort. I love the combination of sweet and salty and I've been OBSESSED with sprinkles lately.

In fact, I made these treats for my summer intro to psychology class after they took their first exam. I think I said something like "Sprinkles make everything better, so don't stress about how you did on the exam". My students probably like I'm crazy! :)

LESSON LEARNED: Don't want to mess with the hassle of sandwiches? Make the cookie dough frosting and use it as a dip for the pretzels. I took some to my family and it was a big hit with kids!

Recipe for Cookie Dough Pretzel Bites

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lesson #144: Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Nothing brightens my day more than making homemade bread. Especially GREAT homemade bread. Trust me - I've made some pretty bad loaves over the years. I've made this recipe a few times now and it's ABSOLUTELY AMAZING every time I make it.

The bread dough is part whole wheat flour and part white flour. A little honey, an egg, and canola oil are mixed in to create a soft and squishy baked over-sized loaf. Swirled inside is a mixture of butter, brown sugar, and lots of cinnamon. Don't be shy with using a lot of cinnamon - it makes this bread stand out from typical loaves! Enjoy!

LESSON LEARNED: The leftover bread is great for French Toast the next day!

Recipe for Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lesson #143: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Last week at the farmer's market, both strawberries and rhubarb were readily available. It wasn't too warm in Ohio, so I had the perfect excuse to make this SUMMERY pie.

I love the combination of tart rhubarb and super-sweet strawberries along with a touch of cinnamon. Combined with a perfectly golden, flaky, and uber-buttery crust, this pie is DELICIOUS!

LESSON LEARNED: Place your pie plate on top of a baking sheet in the oven. If you happen to over-fill your pie (like I do!), the bubbling fruit filling won't make a mess in your oven!

Recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lesson #142: Funfetti Cookies

I started teaching a summer class of Introduction to Psychology last week and I wanted to make my students a treat to bring into class. I decided on these cute cookies because they are DELICIOUS and look like a lot of fun. Really, how could you go wrong with adding sprinkles to cookies?

They are basically a sugar cookie with almond extract and sprinkles in the batter. I made them into teaspoon sized balls so they were the perfect snack size. I bought in a few dozen to class and the container was empty by the end of class. That's the way to spice up lectures on research methods in psychology! :)

LESSON LEARNED: Bake these cookies a little underdone and they will firm up as they set. The result is a cakey, soft cookie.

Recipe for Funfetti Cookies

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lesson #141: Lemon White Chocolate Mousse with Fresh Berries

I was looking for a dessert that was nice enough to serve at a dinner party that I could prepare ahead of time and didn't require me to turn on the oven. This is it!

You begin by making two different flavors of mousse. I made a quick lemon curd for one flavor and melted white chocolate for the other flavor. Then, you whip cream and fold in whatever you choose to flavor the dessert with and let it hang out in the refrigerator for a while. A few hours before serving, you slice fresh fruit and layer it in a pretty glass with the two types of mousse. It was super simple, yet really elegant. I'll definitely keep this in mind the next time I need to make a dinner party dessert.

LESSON LEARNED: You can easily switch up the fruit and mousse depending on when you serve this dessert. A mint and chocolate mousse layered with Oreos would be awesome during the winter!

Recipe for Lemon White Chocolate Mousse with Fresh Berries

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lesson #140: S'mores Caramel Corn

I made this caramel corn for a snack at a Memorial Day picnic. Yikes! I've gotten really behind in posting my recipes :)

I love the versatility of this base recipe for caramel corn. You can easily add toppings to switch up the flavors and texture. I was in a sitting around the campfire kinda mood, so I decided to make this s'mores version by adding pieces of graham crackers, mini chocolate chips, and marshmallow bits. My family loved it!

LESSON LEARNED: Be warned that this recipe yields A LOT of caramel corn. I gave away a few bags to a few lucky people!

Recipe for S'mores Caramel Corn

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lesson #139: Icebox Strawberry Pie

This fruit-filled pie takes advantage of all the WONDERFUL strawberries which are now in season. My grocery store had containers of strawberries on sale, so I bought a few to try out this recipe.

The first step is to bake a single pie crust and let it cool. Then, whole strawberries are cooked down until the become "jam-like" and you add a mixture of sugar, lemon juice, water, and unflavored gelatin. After cooking the mixture on the stove top for a few minutes, you transfer it to another bowl and let it cool for about 30 minutes. Once the mixture cools, mix in sliced strawberries and pour into the baked pie shell. The whole thing is then refrigerated until set. It's a easy as that!

LESSON LEARNED: Keep this pie stored in the refrigerator!

Recipe for Icebox Strawberry Pie

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lesson #138: Funfetti Cupcakes

Last weekend I was asked by my cousin to make birthday cupcakes for her son's second birthday party. She didn't have any requests besides baking some of the cupcakes in ice cream cones so it was easier for the little kids at the party to grab-and-go with their dessert.  That was such a great idea!

I adapted my favorite vanilla cake recipe by adding a ton of sprinkles to make "Funfetti Cupcakes". For half of the cupcakes, I baked the batter in regular cupcake liners and added an edible image on top (which I purchased on Etsy). For the other cupcakes, I baked the cake in ice cream cones, topped them with a swirl of frosting, and garnished with sprinkles. They were super fun and the kids absolutely loved them!

I only had my cell phone camera when I set up the cake, but you'll get the general idea. The birthday boy is the one driving his birthday present Jeep!

 LESSON LEARNED: Sometimes cupcakes baked in the ice cream cones will sink after they come out of the oven. Don't worry - just cover the top with a swirl of frosting and no one will ever know!

Recipe for Funfetti Cupcakes

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