Category Archives: Dessert

Sweet and Simple Sugar Cookies

ssscHello, my adoring friends and fans! I have been busy with work and family and haven’t had a lot of time for blogging. What better way to come back to you on a lovely summer day than with a recipe for some sweet and simple sugar cookies that will be perfect accompaniment to iced tea, lemonade, or, even a nice crisp summer wine.

Do you know what is especially great about these cookies? They can be ready FAST!!! Unlike many other sugar cookies, there is no rolling required. Nope. None at all. So you don’t have to chill your dough, roll, cut and repeat until you are out of dough or out of your mind. You can literally have 2-3 dozen fresh sugar cookies in 30 minutes. That’s right. 30 minutes from start to finish. How’s that for a summer treat?

Sweet and Simple Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Cream the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Scoop a teaspoon full of  dough and roll it into a ball and place it on a baking sheet covered with parchment or a silicone baking pad.
  5. Dip a flat bottomed glass in white sugar and press balls to flatten.
  6. Bake 9-11 minutes.

We have honestly never baked such lovely cookies. I couldn’t believe I took them out of my oven. If I had one of those sites that featured 600 pictures before you could actually see a recipe, I would post pics of these beauties over and over again.

And let me tell you, they are as tasty as they are lovely. They are creamy and soft and pretty much melt in your mouth. I honestly cannot be happier with my first blog recipe in months!

I hope you will stay around and look at some of my previous cookie recipes. There’s a lot of good stuff on this page! Over 300 recipes in all.

Enjoy!

Lemon Berry Tart

lbtOriginally published March 22, 2015

It has come to my attention that not everyone loves to bake and that easy holiday dessert recipes are something that many people really appreciate to get them through Easter. I saw a video for some lemon tarts yesterday on YouTube on the Simple Cooking Channel. Lots of fun videos to watch!

I decided to try my hand at the Lemon Tarts. I did make two modifications to the very simple recipe.

Lemon Berry Tart
6 mini graham cracker crusts or one regular size one
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp of Knox plain gelatine – not in the original
Fresh or frozen berries of your choice – also not in the original

1. Combine the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and plain gelatine and beat until a little fluffy.
2. Spoon into crusts.
3. Refrigerate for a few hours until set.
4. Top with berries of your choice and serve!

The original recipe didn’t call for the gelatine but I decided to add it because I was skeptical that the tarts would set. I knew that if I added a tiny bit of gelatine they would. Of course, this addition makes them unsuitable for Passover. But have no fear! My Mini Pavlova are perfect for Passover!

Holidays can be such a blessing. Gathering with family and friends to celebrate your faith is a gift, even though it is often fraught with stress and angst. I hope this simple recipe can help relieve you of some of that stress.

Enjoy!

Opening Day Cookies

odcThe 2017 Major League baseball season opens this week. I am not a baseball fan at all but baseball’s opening day does signal the official beginning of spring so I like it.

But, as we inch towards opening day, we are enduring another dreary day in Central Maryland. It’s windy and a little cool and very cloudy. Sounds like a good day to make cookies! I wanted to make something from the Betty Crocker Cooky Book that I got My Faithful Assistant for his birthday. I didn’t think he’d jump for joy when he opened it. I just wanted a copy in our house.

I paged through and settled on the Best Cooky of 1950-1955, the Salted Peanut Crisp. You can find the original recipe on Food.com.  I ended up changing it up a bit.

Opening Day Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar (white or brown or somewhere in between)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups Prince and Spring Peanut Lovers’ Trail Mix (available from Boxed.com)

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Beat in the eggs, and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour, salt and baking soda and mix until combined.
  5. Stir in the trail mix with a spoon. If you use an electric mixer, you will destroy the tiny little pretzel bites in this particular variety of trail mix.
  6. Drop by the spoonful onto a baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes.

I honestly can’t remember the last time I made such an attractive cookie. Slightly brown around the edge yet still soft. I’m really proud of myself. And I will probably never meet with such cookie baking success again.

We have a busy week at work which includes a few extra hours tomorrow. Won’t my coworkers be happy when I show up with a little treat for them!

Enjoy!

Lemon Swirl No-Churn Ice Cream

lcnsicLet’s be honest. The main reason for clearing the freezer is to make room for ice cream. I am happy to have a little Ben and Jerry’s but one of my favorite treats is Homemade No Churn Ice Cream. As we shrug off sweaters and the heaviness of winter, our pallets turn towards the fresh flavors of spring and summer. Fresh fruit, asparagus, and, of course, lemon!

Lemon Swirl No-Churn Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup lemon curd

  1. Start whipping the cream with the vanilla. As peaks begin to form, slowly add the sweetened condensed milk.
  2. Continue whipping until the peaks are a little more firm.
  3. Microwave the lemon curd for 30-45 seconds so it’s slightly runny. Fold into the whipped cream mixture so the lemon is swirled through the ice cream.
  4. Freeze for 4-5 hours minimum.
  5. Serve with fresh berries or all alone.

This picture below shows the ice cream right before it was put in the freezer. It gives you an idea of how it should look when it is whipped the right amount of time.

No Churn Ice Cream - No fancy equipment required!

No Churn Ice Cream – No fancy equipment required!

Note the lovely swirls? Isn’t it inviting? Don’t you see yourself diving right in and doing the backstroke through the waves?

I love this ice cream because, as I’m sure I’ve said too often, there are so many things you can do with it! It’s great with cookie chunks, or fruit. You can swirl in chocolate or caramel. And it’s a delicious treat that doesn’t require any special equipment. And you can freeze some in popsicle molds for a lovely and properly portioned treat!

Enjoy!

12, No 6, No, 5 Layer Cake

SLCIt was not a joyous week. Work was beyond difficult. I can only hope next week is better. Thankfully, Friday ended on an upbeat note. My Faithful Assistant’s asthma has been a little out of control but after a month on a different inhaler, he is much better. And my College Boy is home for Spring Break. What better way to celebrate the weekend than with a nice cake.

I saw a video for a southern gem; an 18 layer cake. Well that clearly wasn’t going to happen. I decided that I would make as many layers as I could using one batch of batter and my two round cake pans. Let me tell you, this wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. The basic method for making a multi-layer cake is baking a bunch of thin layers. But there is a HUGE difference between making a regular thickness cake layer and a thin one. Please pay attention to what I tell you and you will meet with at least 6 Layer Cake success.

6 Layer Cake
Batter for a yellow cake made with your favorite mix – in my case that was Immaculate
Parchment paper
Round cake pans
12 oz chocolate chips
2 cups heavy cream

You will make the frosting first and then bake the cake.

  1. Heat the cream in the microwave for four minutes. Don’t allow to boil.
  2. Pour hot cream over the chocolate chips. Let sit for a couple minutes and then stir until combined. Chill for two hours and then whip. If it isn’t whipping fast enough, add a splash of cream. When it’s whipped, refrigerate it.
  3. Prepare the cake batter according to the instructions.
  4. Using your cake pan, trace six circles and cut them out.
  5. Pour 1/2 cup of batter in a round cake pan sprayed with cooking spray AND lined with a circle of parchment paper. This is key. Don’t skip this step or you will have serious issues getting the super-thin layer of cake out of the pan.
  6. Bake for 5-7 minutes until done but not browned.
  7. Remove from the pan and allow to cool and move on to the rest of the layers. With the average sized cake pan and box mix, you should be able to get 6 layers.
  8. When all the layers have been baked and cooled, place one on your cake plate, cover it with frosting, and so on until you have all the layers on the cake. Frost the top and sides.

I am often disappointed with cakes. They never have the right frosting to cake ratio. Or the cake is dry and the frosting tastes like sweetened lard. This cake solves that problem. The cake layers are balanced perfectly with basically chocolate whipped cream. Like many of my desserts, it isn’t too sweet.

Of course, this method can be used for any type of cake you like. I was thinking it would be nice as a Carrot Cake or a Red Velvet Cake. I was also wondering how it would work to make different colored layers for say, your favorite college basketball team during March Madness.

I hope my baking adventure inspires you to try something new this weekend.

Enjoy!