Blueberry Cobbler with Homemade Cinnamon Ice Cream

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One of my absolute FAVORITE summer desserts is my mom’s blueberry cobbler! I get so excited when it is blueberry season and my mom whips up some of this cobbler for dessert. The smell of it baking in the oven is so amazing that you just cannot wait for it to be cool enough to eat! For my family graduation party, I picked blueberry cobbler for dessert and decided to add a new twist by topping it with homemade cinnamon ice cream!! If you do not have an ice cream maker, or the time to make homemade ice cream, you can find cinnamon ice cream in your grocery store (ben and Jerry’s cinnamon buns is one of my personal favorites) or just plain vanilla is great too!!

Blueberry Filling Ingredients:

  • 4 pints of blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp of cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp of sugar

Blueberry Filling Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook the above ingredients on the stove and cook until the ingredients dissolve together. (The blueberries will not totally dissolve but they will burst so their juice will mix with the cornstarch and sugar.)
  3. Put the filling into the pans or individual ramekins.

Crumble Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 stick of butter (at room temp)

Crumble Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients together. I think the best way to do this is by just using your hands!
  2. Spread Crumble on top of the filling that is already in the ramekins.
  3. Put the ramekins in the oven (at 350) and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and the the topping is browned.

*TWIST* Add homemade cinnamon ice cream!!

recipe from Ree Drummond’s Book “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays”

Ice Cream Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of half and half
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 3 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 whole vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
  • 9 whole egg yolks
  • 3 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon

Ice Cream Instructions:

  1. Over medium/low heat, combine the half and half and sugar. Stir it to combine and then add the cinnamon sticks, the caviar from the vanilla bean, and then the rest of the vanilla bean pod.
  2. Put the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk together.
  3. Remove the cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean pod from the saucepan.
  4. Ladle a scoop of the hot liquid into the egg yolks. Combine very slowly, constantly whisking. Do this two times.
  5. Pour the egg mixture to the half and half mixture and stir. Cook for about two minutes or until the mixture thickens enough to coat the spoon.
  6. Remove the saucepan from the stove and in a bowl, strain the liquid into the bowl using a fine mesh strainer. (It will still be slightly lumpy)
  7. Add the heavy cream and ground cinnamon and stir.
  8. Chill the mixture for about an hour and then add it to your ice cream maker.
  9. Follow the instructions on your ice cream maker and when it is finished, store it in the freezer overnight for it to set up!
  10. Then, top your blueberry cobbler with the ice cream.

If you have extra cinnamon ice cream, eat it by itself or top a bowl with caramel sauce and crushed cinnamon pita chips… YUMMY!

 

St. Patrick’s Day Rice Krispie Treats

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Looking for a festive dessert to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Well look no further! Here is a simple recipe that makes a lasting impact on every person who takes a bite. These sugary sweet treats are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. I made these with my best friend Laurel last St. Patricks Day for a bake sale at our dance school, and they were such a hit that I decided to share the recipe with you. I elevated simple rice krispie treats to the next level by adding food coloring, chocolate, sprinkles, and shamrock sugar candies. These are a perfect treat for kids and the kids at heart! Definitely give this recipe a try this St. Patrick’s Day!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 packages (10 oz) regular marshmallows and 4 cups of mini marshmallows (*TWIST* I use marshmallow fluff to make the treats softer and more flavorful)
  • 6 cups of rice krispies
  • *TWIST* white chocolate and milk chocolate
  • *TWIST* green food dye
  • *TWIST* shamrock cookie cutter or mold
  • *TWIST* green or shamrock sprinkles
  • *TWIST* shamrock sugar candy (usually in the baking aisle with Wilton products

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add in the marshmallows (or fluff) and stir until completely melted. 
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Add in green food dye and rice krispies, stirring until well coated and combined.
  4. Press the mixture into a 13 by 9 by 2 inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool.
  5. *TWIST* Once cooled, use the shamrock cookie cutter to make shamrock-shaped treats. 
  6. *TWIST* Melt the white chocolate and the milk chocolate in the microwave.
  7. *TWIST* Dip the treats in the chocolate, alternating between white and milk. While the chocolate is still wet, top with the sprinkles and shamrock shaped candy.

This is an easy way to make rice krispie treats more gourmet and with the perfect Irish flare for St. Patricks day. Enjoy this green treat that will surely satisfy your inner leprechaun! 

 

 

Bourbon Pecan Pie with Butter Pecan Ice Cream and Butterscotch Drizzle

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Happy Mardi Gras! Tonight, my family had a New Orleans inspired Fat Tuesday feast that was totally amazing. The jumbalaya and corn bread was delicious, but my favorite part of the meal what this amazing dessert. If this dessert does not just make you want to die with happiness than I won’t know what will! We decided to make this version of a traditional southern pecan pie because we thought that adding bourbon was a reference to our New Orleans theme because of the famous Bourbon Street. The bourbon is the perfect addition to the sweet, caramelly pecan pie. My favorite way to serve it is nice and warm with a scoop of your favorite butter pecan ice cream on top (we had Haagen Dazs) and a drizzle of homemade butterscotch sauce. Definitely do NOT be stingy on the butterscotch drizzle… it is delicious and makes the dessert!! The recipe is from the Delicious Disney Desserts cookbook and is a recipe from the Disney Cruise Line.

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For the Crust:

We used a pillsbury pie crust. It is really flaky and delicious and saves a lot of prep time!

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • pecan halves for decorating

Filling Instructions:

  1. Whisk the sugar and flour together in a  medium bowl. Then, add the corn syrup, eggs, and bourbon and mix until all ingredients are combined.
  2. Add the heavy cream and stir to combine. Refrigerate 1 hour. (Do not skip this step. It really makes a difference!)
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  4. Arrange the pecans in the bottom of the crust and then pour in the filling. Decorate the perimeter of the pie crust with the pecan halves.
  5. Place in the oven on the center rack and bake until the filling is set and slightly puffed, approximately 55 minutes but keep checking to make sure it does not over bake. If the edges start to get dark, cover them with aluminum foil.
  6. Remove from oven, cool for a little bit, and then serve.

*TWIST* Add butter pecan ice cream and homemade butterscotch sauce to serve!!

Hot Butterscotch Sauce Recipe (from Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of light corn syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of heavy or whipping cream

Instructions:

  1. Put the corn syrup, sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  2. Stir occasionally until the mixture is blended and smooth.
  3. Then, increase the heat to medium and heat to boiling.
  4. Remove from the heat and let stand for 3-4 minutes to cool slightly.
  5. Gradually stir in the cream
  6. Serve immediately!

Cut a slice of pie and then top with the ice cream and the hot butterscotch sauce. Dig into this delicious Mardi Gras inspired dessert!

Olympic Torch Cake Pops

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What better way is there to celebrate the Winter Olympics in Sochi than with these adorable cake pops?! My family had an olympic opening ceremonies party last night and these were the perfect addition to our dessert buffet. (I will share another olympic recipe later in the week!). Not only are these cake pops adorable, but they are delicious too and a fun twist on a popular dessert

This recipe is from duncanhines.com

Cake Pop Ingredients

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 8 oz of cream cheese frosting (I used Pillsbury vanilla icing)
  • 1 package of vanilla candyquik coating (*TWIST* I used red candy melts that they have at many craft stores.)
  • sugar ice cream cones
  • A box of red fruit roll ups (buy an extra box just in case!)

Cake Pop Recipe

  1. Bake cake mix as directed on the box. Let cool
  2. Crumble the cake into a large bowl and mix in the 8 oz of vanilla frosting (half of a normal sized frosting tub). It is easiest to do this with your hands. 
  3. Chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
  4. Chop off the top of the sugar cones so that they are about 2 1/2 inches high.
  5. Roll the cake mixture into medium sized balls. Place on a cookie sheet and chill for 30 minutes.
  6. Melt the red candy coating in the microwave. (If the chocolate is too thick to dip, stir in a little bit of vegetable oil)
  7. Press a cake ball into the cone. Dip the cone into the chocolate and shake off the excess. 
  8. While the chocolate is still melted, place strips of the fruit roll ups onto the cake pop. Bring them together in a peak at the top of the cake pop.
  9. Place the cone in a styrofoam block and let cool.

    NOTE: Keep the cake balls in the refrigerator until it is time to do them. This keeps them cold until it is time to dip them in the     chocolate because if it gets to room temp, the cake balls fall apart in the warm chocolate. 

These cake pops are perfect for kids, and kids at heart and will definitely satisfy any one’s sweet tooth! Experiment with different flavors of cake and icings to appeal to who you are baking for! I think these would be great with a red velvet cake so that they are red throughout the whole pop. Also, you could add red food dye to your vanilla cake mix and icing to make the inside red! Hope that you enjoy the Olympic games while biting into these creamy, sweet cake pop!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

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If you are snowed in this morning, like me, the first thing I dream of on a snow day are warm chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven. But, there may be something even better. Fudgy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes. Yes, that’s right. Didn’t know something so delicious and decadent existed? Well you are missing out!

I made this cupcakes for a New Years Eve party and they were a huge hit! The cookie dough inside the cupcake makes it rich and taste just like you are licking the bowl after making your favorite cookie recipe! Next, the layer of fudge before topping it with icing adds this melted chocolate element, like the gooey warm chocolate chips out of the oven. Finally, the luscious buttercream tops it all off and makes for a great cupcake that any kid (or kid at heart) will enjoy!

Here is the recipe I used, courtesy of Katie Swanson, form food network.com: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-recipe.html

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Cupcake Recipe

  1. Set your oven to 350 degrees F. and line a mini or regular size cupcake tin with liners. (24 for regular and 36 for minis). I like to use festive cupcake liners to go with the theme of the event I am making them for!
  2. In its own bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In an electric mixture with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the vanilla followed by the eggs (one at a time). 
  5. On the slowest mixture speed, add the flour mixture and milk, alternating between the two. 
  6. Add the chocolate chips and stir by hand. 
  7. Add the batter to the already prepared cupcake tins and bake for 15 minutes if they are minis or 24 if they are regular sized.  (I always start checking 5 minutes before just to make sure they do not over bake.)
  8. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Cookie Dough Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips

Cookie Dough Recipe

  1. Melt the butter in the microwave and set aside.
  2. Mix together the flour, baking soda, sugars, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Add the melted butter and milk. Stir.
  4. Once the mixture is combined and cooled, mix in the chocolate chips.
  5. Put cookie dough in the fridge to cool it completely.

Fudge Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk

Fudge Recipe

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
  2. Add the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk when the butter is completely melted.
  3. Whisk until everything is melted together and the mixture is silky and smooth. Cool.

Cupcake Assembly

  1. Once the cupcakes are cool, core out the center of them. (I use a Cuisipro cupcake corer that I got from William and Sonoma, but many places now sell cupcake corers. ) 
  2. Roll the cookie dough into small logs and put into the center of the cupcakes.
  3. Take the cooled fudge sauce and spread over top.
  4. Wait for the fudge to set before putting the buttercream on top.

Buttercream Icing Ingredients

  • 2 cups (1 pound) butter
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Buttercream Icing Recipe

  1. Mix together the butter and cream cheese in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment for about 10 minutes.
  2. Stop mixing to add the powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla.
  3. Mix on low speed to combine the ingredients and then mix on medium until smooth and creamy. 

Decoration

  • Put icing in a pastry bag and swirl onto the cupcakes. (start in the center and pipe around in a swirl).
  • *TWIST* Instead of putting a chocolate chip cookie on top like the recipe calls for, top with chocolate chips and use the extra cookie dough to roll into balls and top the cupcakes with!

I hope this delicious cupcakes make being snowed in a little sweeter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Southern Caramel Praline Cake

Seconds before singing happy birthday!
The best way to say happy birthday is with this heavenly cake!!

About a year ago, my mom ordered a Praline Cake from Savannah Candy Kitchen… and it was love at first bite! Ever since then, we always talk about this amazing praline cake and for my mom’s birthday last week, I thought it would be amazing to try to recreate it. I came across the following recipe from Group Recipes and decided to put my own twist on it. To elevate the “caramelly” flavor, I  folded in homemade caramel sauce to the cake batter before baking it. Also, I decorated the top with some fondant letters and sugar roses to make it an extra special birthday cake. We discovered that the cake keeps getting better and better as the days went on and lasts for about a week.

Caramel Sauce Ingredients (from Ree Drummond)

  • 1 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of half and half
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Vanilla extract

Caramel Sauce Recipe

  • Whisk to get the butter, brown sugar, half and half, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Constantly whisk for about 5-7 minutes until it starts to thicken.
  • Then, add the vanilla and whisk for another minute.
  • Turn off the heat and cool. It can be put in the refrigerator so that it cools faster.
  • Make sure it is COMPLETELY COOLED before adding to the cake batter!

Cake Ingredients

Cake Recipe (from Group Recipes)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two nine inch round cake pans.
  2.  Cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar for about 5 minutes, or until it is light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat after each addition. (I like to crack my eggs in a separate bowl to make sure there are no shells in the batter.)
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the flour and milk to the batter, alternating between them each time something is added. Begin and end with the dry mixture.
  6. Stir in Vanilla Extract.
  7. *TWIST* Fold in caramel sauce to the batter. (See above recipe) Do not worry if the caramel sauce forms small clumps when it mixes into the batter… It will all combine in the oven!
  8. Bake cake in the oven on the middle rack for 25-35 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick can be inserted and removed cleanly from the center of the cake.
  9. Cool completely before removing from the pan.

Icing Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 12 oz. can of exported milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of chopped pecans

Icing Recipe

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in both the sugar and brown sugar. The sugars won’t dissolve.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and evaporated milk.
  4. Whisk the milk mixture into the sugar mixture, and then return it to medium heat.
  5. Constantly whisk the mixture for about 15-20 minutes or until the mixture is caramelly and smooth.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in pecans and vanilla.

Let it cool for a good half hour, or until it is at a good spreading consistency.

Assembly

Spread the icing evenly between the layers and on the top and sides of the cake. Then, add your own decorations to make it special. I added fondant letters to say happy birthday and some Wilton red sugar roses that I found at my local craft store.

This cake is gooey, buttery, caramelly, and most importantly… DELICIOUS! I dare you to only have one piece (I think I have had about 5 in the past couple days). By adding the caramel sauce to the cake, it takes a praline cake to the next level by adding another depth of richness to the cake. I hope you enjoy this recipe and definitely take the time to make it. The amazing taste is worth every bit of hard work in the kitchen!