You guys, seriously. If this video doesn’t make you fall in love with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams even MORE and practically run to the store to gladly fork over the $10+ for a pint, I don’t know what will.
You guys, seriously. If this video doesn’t make you fall in love with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams even MORE and practically run to the store to gladly fork over the $10+ for a pint, I don’t know what will.
Last week I had the privilege of giving a brief presentation to our local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group in Springfield, MO. I shared two recipes with them, one healthy and one definitely not healthy. I was a little nervous because I have never tried doing a cooking demonstration AND talking at the same time, but everyone was very nice and made me feel very comfortable!
The first recipe I shared was this one for my No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites (chocolate version). I actually made this one in front of the group with a little help from two lovely assistants. They were passed around so everyone could try them and the general consensus was “yum!”. Everyone seemed to love the fact that these were healthy, easy to make and tasted delicious (I describe them as tasting just like a no-bake cookie!). I was sooo relieved that everyone liked them!
The second goodie I shared were my Cappuccino Truffles. There are a few candy recipes that I have made many times in the past and NEVER shared and this was one o them. When I find recipes that people rave over and are willing to pay me to make, it’s hard for me to let go of them, but it was time! I had these done ahead of time and did a few with coffee bean decor and some with gold luster dust. It was so fun to pass these out and watch while people tasted them…the look of sheer pleasure on their faces was priceless. Yep, they’re good.
I make mine with bittersweet chocolate ganache that has a hint of cinnamon and coffee and has been enrobed in a yummy white chocolate. They are absolutely divine. If you are looking at candy recipes for this holiday season and just don’t know which one to choose (there are MANY out there) I would highly encourage you to make this one! They will be gone in seconds wherever you take them.
Needless to say, I had a fantastic time with the MOPS group of girls. They were so fun and had lots of questions which I actually really enjoyed answering! I’m definitely thinking I might be ready for my own cooking show….
A few weeks ago I was asked to do a dessert table for a little boy’s firetruck/firehouse birthday party. Of course I said yes! It sounded like so much fun. But then I realized…what kind of desserts do I do for a firetruck theme?! I have done plenty of dessert tables for weddings, baby showers and bridal showers but a boy’s firetruck birthday party? Ummm, no.
I immediately turned to Google for ideas and was able to come up with some fun stuff! I honestly am not a big decorator/detail person when it comes to desserts. I like to make stuff that tastes amazing and just looks good. Fondant and decorated sugar cookies have never been my thing. So it was challenging to find desserts that I could do that didn’t require crazy decorating skills. But I came up with a great spread! If I do say so myself.
We had Twizzlers to represent a firehose, fire hydrant sugar cookies, “flaming” yellow and red swirled marshmallows, red and yellow Jelly Belly’s and of course, cupcakes! I was SO happy with how everything turned out and so was the client (which of course is the MOST important thing). It was a fun challenge and more importantly everything was delicious!
I am officially obsessed, OBSESSED, with this recipe for pear (or apple!) butter. It was insanely easy and produced the most delicious pear butter I have ever had. Fortunately, my grandparents have a pear tree in their backyard and were generous enough to share their bounty with me! The only downside is that now that I know how awesome this stuff is, I can’t get my hand on any more free pears! They seem to have gotten to their peak and are no more. I am so, so sad about this. I’m still thinking about just hitting up a local apple orchard because I’d REALLY love to make apple butter from this recipe. We shall see.
Thus far, I’ve been spreading this yumminess on my bagels in the morning. Or eating with a spoon from the jar. I’m not proud of that but I can’t help myself. You could put it on waffles, pancakes, crepes…so many possibilities. The spices in it are perfection and the texture is so buttery smooth. I love that I was able to throw everything in the crockpot overnight and it was practically done! It does take a little time to peel and core all the pears (about 45 minutes) but it is so worth it. I also used Sucanat which is a great alternative to processed, refined sugar…much better for your body. Also used pink himalayan sea salt instead of overly processed table salt that’s been stripped of all nutrients. I wondered how it would work with the alternative sugar and honestly, I couldn’t tell a difference in texture and taste-wise, I thought it was better!
Take advantage of the pears and apples at the height of the season and make this stuff! So, so good!
Fudge. Who doesn’t love fudge?? My mom makes THE BEST chocolate and peanut butter fudge that I have ever had. I seriously have tried a LOT (more than I care to admit) both from friends, co-workers and fudge shops and I can honestly say I have found NOTHING that beats hers. She only makes it at Christmas and I am soooo ready to dig into some.
In the meantime I tried my hand at this recipe for Butterfinger Fudge. It uses lots of candy corn which is perfect since pretty soon it will all be on clearance! I was a little skeptical only because this recipe seemed so easy…no timing or waiting for a certain temperature, just mixing stuff together. And I thought my recipe for Maple-Walnut Fudge was easy, and it is, but this stuff was so easy my dog could make it. If I had a dog. Ok, let’s just say your husband could do it–YES, that easy. I was pleasantly surprised with the results! The taste is definitely yummy and I’ll be honest, once you mix the candy corn, peanut butter and sweetened condesnsed milk together it does in fact taste just like a Butterfinger candy bar. But adding the white chocolate chips dilutes the flavor a bit and it ends up (in my opinion) tasting more like peanut butter fudge. It’s still super yummy and delish, I just wish there was more of a way to retain that Butterfinger flavor…maybe using peanut butter chips instead of white?? Try it and let me know what you think!
Obsessed with cupcakes? Who isn’t?! They are cute. So cute, that they are put on pretty much anything. Seriously…you could put a picture of a cupcake on a cow patty and it would be cute. While no one will be capitalizing on cupcake cow patties anytime soon, they sure are coming up with lots of other products to keep the sweet trend going. Check out these fun items…
Food Network Magazine challenged their readers to come up with unique halloween themed cupcakes and here are the winners! My favorite is the hay and pumpkins–TOO CUTE.
Read details about how they made them here!
This recipe started off as blondies but somehow turned into cake. Not sure what I did wrong but it’s all good because this turned out to be one of the best pumpkin cakes I’ve ever made. It’s super moist and the spices are very pronounced which I love. On top of all that, the orange cream cheese frosting is THE PERFECT frosting to complement all the spices in the cake…it’s absolutely delicious. I added semi-sweet chocolate chips and dried cherries but if I did it again, I’d omit the chocolate chips. The just seemed unnecessary and didn’t really add anything. I did love the dried cherries but you could also leave those out if you prefer.
If you’re looking for a fantastic pumpkin cake recipe, try this one. You won’t be disappointed.
I really enjoy finding recipes from other blogs to share with you guys. The only problem is I find so many that it’s hard to choose which ones to include without the post being incredibly long! So I managed to narrow things down to TEN pumpkin recipes. All look drool-worthy and absolutely freakin’ delicious. See if there is one you like and make it! If you do, please tell me about it in the comments…I truly would love to know what you end up making and loving!
P.S. I guess I shouldn’t be worried about linking too many recipes–check out this blog! LOTS of pumpkin going on on this page! Wow!
My last and final post about our trip to Illinois in August! I’ve covered chocolate, pie and cupcakes and now the grand finale—the wedding!!! Jeremy and Lisa worked together at the church we went to in Rockford and when we left a mere 2.5 years ago she wasn’t even dating anyone but before we knew it she was engaged to Adam and it was wedding time! Lisa is a very detailed oriented person so I expected alot out of this wedding and I can honestly say I was not disappointed! It was totally a gorgeous, picture perfect wedding. Seriously.
The ceremony was at 1, with a dessert reception immediately following outside on the front lawn of the church. There was a white tent with the most amazing spread of mini cupcakes, cheesecakes, chocolate-dipped strawberries, hand pies, mini brownies and chocolate dipped pretzels. I LOVE mini anything, especially desserts, so it was a feast for the eyes! And her colors were some of my favorites…pink, grey, black and white. Loved it.
A few hours later there was a dinner reception at the Rockford Art Museum. The venue was awesome but even more awesome was this candy buffet! It had gummies, Jordan almonds, Circus Peanuts, lollipops, gumballs, jelly beans and taffy. So fun!
Lastly, the wedding cake! Isn’t it so sweet?? To my surprise this was a strawberry shortcake cake! The frosting on the outside looked like buttercream but was actually a whipped cream frosting and the inside was layers of yellow cake with strawberries and more whipped cream in between! Loved it. Definitely different and memorable!
We were so happy we were able to share in Lisa and Adam’s special day and wish them all the best!
Welp, it’s October. Pumpkin is everywhere. Pumpkin decor, pumpkin patches, pumpkin candy, pumpkin soup…it goes on and on. And then we have baking. The pumpkin recipes never end. You’ve got bars, cakes, ice cream, cookies, fudge, cheesecake, cupcakes and so many other things I’m not even able to think of right now! I of course want an EPIC pumpkin recipe to share with you all but it seems like so many ideas have already been done…but I’m working on it!
In the meantime, I’d like to share this super simple and healthy pumpkin muffin recipe. It’s like pumpkin pie in muffin form with a little chocolate thrown in. I LOVE the combo of pumpkin and chocolate. I first tried it a few years ago when I made pumpkin truffles and wow, the two flavors together are amazing! This recipe from Deliciously Organic was originally grain-free but I only had whole wheat pastry flour on hand so I went with that. I modified a few other things and these turned out fabulous. Super moist and full of pumpkin flavor. And the little touch of chocolate is delicious.
Apples are SO good right now. Am I right or am I right? I can’t get enough. And this past weekend I wanted to make a special dessert for a family get-together and of course, wanted to include apples. But I didn’t necessarily want to bake something. Enter the Apple Snickers Trifle. You might have seen a version of this recipe on Pinterest called an Apple & Snickers Salad, made with a pudding/Cool Whip mixture. But first, the name had to go. Salad? It just felt wrong. I mean salads have vegetables and croutons and definitely don’t involve Snickers in any way. Apples maybe but Snickers…no.
Second, I put it in a trifle dish and layered the ingredients instead of just throwing it in a bowl. I think it definitely looks prettier, don’t you? Much better for presentation!
I will warn you: this stuff is good. It seemed a little odd to me at first to mix apples with Snickers but it totally makes sense: it’s like a caramel apple with some chocolate thrown in. Yum! It is VERY rich and decadent and a nice change of pace from apple cake or apple cookies (not that those are bad…they rock as well).
I love fall. Hands down, my favorite season. Leaves turning colors, cooler temps and oh yeah, APPLES. Gorgeous apples from local orchards around town have been showing up at our farmer’s market lately. I absolutely love, love, love apple recipes. As kids, my sister and I knew that fall meant apple picking (can I just say there is nothing like a golden delicious apple right off the tree) and then of course BAKING with those apples. My mom would always make her German Apple Cake (which is still one of my favorite desserts) and an apple crisp! There was nothing like warm apple crisp right out of the oven with a big scoop of cold vanilla ice cream. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Yum.
So I wanted to do something just a little different and thought these Caramel Apple Sandwich Cookies totally fit the bill. I will say that these cookies are divine by themselves but sandwich them with caramel cream cheese frosting and wow, takes it to a whole other level! You could also sub the apples with raisins, craisins, white chocolate chips, nuts…this is just a very solid oatmeal cookie! Promise, you’ll love it!
Original recipe by Taste of Home.
Ok, I’ve already covered stop #1 at The Chocolatier, Inc. on our Illinois getaway trip. Now we come to our next sweet destination…Hoosier Mama Pie Company in Chicago. I was SO excited about this bakery because it was the first pie place I have ever had the opportunity to go to–yay! Usually it’s chocolate or cupcakes, but not this time!
Since my recent obsession with pies developed, I knew that when planning this trip, I HAD to find a pie place in Chicago for us to go to. And believe it or not there were several that seemed good but this one really stood out and had awesome reviews.
First, I have to say that this place literally is a hole in the wall. We drove by it the first time and I swore up and down that I didn’t see it…I mean, I was looking. So, we did another circle, this time going as slow as possible with traffic all around and sure enough, there it was! Luckily, there was a spot open almost right in front of it.
So we got in and immediately found ourselves in the teeny, tiniest space…like hard to move and not bump into people. There were a total of three tables and one just happened to be opening up so we grabbed it. And it was chaos from that moment on. People did not stop coming in the door and it was a little overwhelming trying to choose the pies I wanted with a line forming. But I managed to narrow it down to five (at $4 a slice it was not cheap!). Here’s a little pic of the ones we got. And yes, people DID look at our table like we were crazy.
Least favorite, I won’t lie, was the Chocolate Chess Pie. I had been dying to try a chess pie because it was such an old-fashioned thing and I’d never had one. But it was just..odd. Kind of cake/brownie-like and you could definitely tell there was vinegar in it so I wasn’t really a fan. Kind of non-descript to me.
Next least favorite was the Coconut Cream Pie. I just tasted like vanilla bean to me (and I’m not a huge fan of vanilla bean–tragic, I know) with coconut mixed in. So nothing special in my book.
However, things got a LOT better with the fruit pies. The Apple Pie was scrumptious. It was like apple cider in pie form. We liked it alot.
Next the Peach & Cherry Pie was also delicious. It had a pecan streusel topping that was sooooo good. I loved it.
Finally, the Chocolate Cream Pie. It was divine. You could tell it was made with high-quality chocolate and was silky smooth. Jeremy and I both thought it was the best of all of them.
We loved this little pie place and highly recommend it if you are ever in the Chicago area!
Ina Garten does not disappoint. I honestly cannot think of one recipe (dessert recipe, of course) that I have ever made of hers that hasn’t turned out absolutely fabulous. I mean the woman just knows her sweets.
And I’m happy to say that the same can be said for these Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars. Think of the most amazing peanut butter cookie you have ever had, layered in bar form with sweet, gooey jam in the middle and you get these bars. They are rich and thick and completely indulgent. And they definitely require a HUGE glass of milk. I mean HUGE. They come together in a snap and bake up fast but it’s important to let them cool completely, otherwise they will not hold their shape when cut. Just a helpful tip from the first time I ever made them.
I’m thinking these are the perfect school lunch treat for kids! Or husbands even. Or…is that the same thing?? 😉
Did you know you could bake a cake inside an orange?! Over a campfire, no less?!?! I wouldn’t have believed it myself but according to this little tidbit on lifehacker.com it’s a REAL THING. All you need is cake batter, an orange, some foil and an open flame and voila! Cake! I happen to love chocolate and orange combos so I will totally be trying this in the near future! See the full instructions here.
A couple of weeks ago Jeremy and I went on a little getaway to Illinois. Illinois? Yes, Illinois. A friend of ours who lives in Rockford, IL was getting married the same week of our anniversary so we thought we’d make a it little anniversary celebration trip too. We actually stayed in Bloomington, IL the first couple of days of our trip at a little B&B called the Vrooman Mansion (see pic above). Except there is nothing little about this place…it has 18 rooms, a massive outdoor patio, several parlors and is just gorgeous! I highly recommend this place if you are travelling through Illinois. Oh, and the breakfast is divine!
We did lots of antiquating and some other mansion tours (one being the David Davis Mansion–who knew there were so many in Illinois?) and even hit up a winery that had live music one night. Oh, and found a couple of totally fabulous restaurants. We LOVED every minute in Bloomington.
Of course part of our trek through Illinois included some carefully researched sweet stops. The first being this very unassuming chocolate shop in Bloomington, The Chocolatier, Inc. It’s located in their downtown area and when we drove up I kind of thought it didn’t look too legit. The outside was meh and inside there were ZERO frills…we’re talking bakery cases for the chocolates and then jars of bulk candy. No gimmicks, no aesthetic niceties…nothing.
But guess what? I was WRONG. This place was more then legit. It was crazy good. I didn’t get any of the bulk candy, because I wanted to focus on the chocolate that was made there. I can honestly say the chocolates at this place were perhaps the best I have ever had. I’m talking melt in your mouth, nothing artificial, amazing, deliciousness.
Here’s what we got. It was so hard to choose but I narrowed it down to six. A Coffee Buttercream, Chocolate Covered Marshmallow, Marzipan Truffle, Amaretto Truffle, a Peanut Butter Cup and a Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffle.
First of all, none of these were bad. They were all delicious. But of course we had to rank our favorites. The Coffee Buttercream came in last only because I thought it could have used a tad more coffee flavor. Next, was the Chocolate Covered Marshmallow which was actually really, really good and I have never found a homemade marshmallow I like better than mine (sorry, it’s true!). After that the Marzipan came in fourth, only because the top three were soooo good. So third was the Amaretto Truffle…amazing amaretto flavored ganache covered with a milk chocolate shell. Yum.
Second was the Peanut Butter Cup. Oh my gosh…I’ve always loved my homemade peanut butter balls but I thought this thing was way better. So good.
And lastly the star of the show was the Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. Holy cow. Amazing dark chocolate ganache middle infused with raspberry puree and covered in a dark chocolate shell. It. Was. Divine. Not to mention gorgeous.
So yeah. This place is the real deal when it comes to chocolate. Definitely go if you are ever there. Our next stop was in Chicago at a teeny, tiny pie place…can’t wait to share with you next week!
I am so, so, SO excited to introduce the very first fall recipe for 2012 on Desserted Planet–Chocolate S’mores Muffins!! Yes, I know it’s still August but here in Missouri the temperatures have drastically plunged and we’ve been seeing highs in the 70’s and low 80’s and people are more than ready to break out their scarves and throw some chili on the stove. Bring on fall! If only winter didn’t come after it…oh well.
Anyways, back to these amazing muffins. A couple of weeks ago Jeremy and I went camping with some other couples and all their cute kiddos. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a fan of camping. I didn’t grow up camping so I think that is part of the problem. I just don’t see how people enjoy being dirty and sweaty and sleeping on the ground and doing their business behind a tree…I honestly just don’t get it! However, this camping trip was a little different so I wasn’t quite a reluctant to go…but reluctant nonetheless. Everyone had a camper, including Jeremy’s brother and his wife so we had somewhere to sleep that was not that ground and it was even air-conditioned! It also meant we had a bathroom. Ok, I could do that.
So after agreeing to go, I began to think about what we should bring to eat. Since we’d only be there overnight and the next morning, I wanted something sweet and appropriate for breakfast. Of course! S’mores! In muffins! Brilliant. And yes, the recipes were already out there. Like this one from Elle’s New England Kitchen. It was pretty much a perfect recipe as is, but not very sweet so I added a bit of extra sugar and doubled the recipe, as the original stated that it only made twelve. They were a BIG hit and pretty much like eating a chocolatey, marshmallow studded cupcake for breakfast. Yes, cupcake. But we didn’t call them that…they are MUFFINS. And that makes them totally appropriate for breakfast. But if you want to eat one for dessert, that’d be ok too…
I made macaroons for the first time not once, but TWICE a couple of weeks ago. And that’s macaroons, not macarons (which I love dearly). There is sometimes confusion as to which is which, so this article might help clear things up for you if you are not sure on the differences. Not saying you don’t know because I am certain my blog readers are dessert aficianados and semi-experts on all things sweet, but just in case…
Ok. Back to the macaroons. With two o’s.
The first version of macaroon I made was the healthified Quinoa Coconut Macaroon. Totally yummy. Could eat all of them in one sitting. They are decidedly not like a regular macaroon but they are delicious nonetheless. Jeremy even liked them and he despises coconut (so sad). I like that they have protein from the quinoa. Isn’t it amazing what you can put quinoa in?! Of course, I had to add a bit of pure vanilla and almond extract. Makes all the difference, in my opinion.
Later this week I’ll have a little blog post about my sister’s baby shower and the fun, themed dessert table I got to do which included the typical macaroons, along with the recipe!