A Barn Wedding and Cotton Candy Cupcakes

Over the next four weeks, Jeremy and I will be attending three weddings…THREE.  However, I don’t mind too much because next to desserts, weddings are one of my most favorite things.  I’ve helped many friends and family with their own weddings and love seeing all the details that go into someone’s big day.  Last night we had the privilege of attending the wedding of one of Jeremy’s friends from high school, Brandon.  He married a sweet girl named Morgan and they had a very cute, very simple wedding on a farm.  Yes, farm.  A very nice farm.

The ceremony was held outside and for awhile it seemed like it was going to pour rain, but thankfully it just thundered the entire time.  And the clouds were nice for some relief from the heat.  The reception was held in the upper loft part of the barn.  It was a fun night with good music, yummy food and a dessert table with cotton candy cupcakes, heart-shaped brownies, gumballs and rock candy.  Here are some shots from the night that Jeremy got with the camera on his phone…

 

Hope everyone has had a great weekend–enjoy what’s left!

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Shopping for Sweets

Every now and then I like to wander over to Etsy and see what kind of deliciously evil treats people are coming up with in the Edibles section.  I love the creativity that goes into some of the sweet confections and it’s inspiring to see how many of these people make a living doing what they love.

These were some dark and decadent desserts that were calling my name and I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share them with you all.  Take a couple of minutes and check out these fun shops and most importantly, buy something!

Have a lovely day!

Rocky Road Cookies by cookietown

XXX Rated Dark Chocolate Bliss Brownies by cupcakesinjars

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes by thetinykitchen

Artisan Candy Bars by BeesandBeans

Mayan Dark Chocolat Caramel Bars by haveitconfections

 

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Birthday Cake Disaster

The other day I had a request for a birthday cake.  No problem, I thought, I can totally rock this…I’ll just do a cute little three-layer, 6-inch round cake like I’ve made before.  Done and done.  Or so I thought.

As I started to assemble the cake, the layers began slipping and sliding everywhere.  I freaked.  Why is this happening??!  Crap!  And then I started noticing how hot is was in my house…INSANELY HOT.  I looked at the thermostat–80 freakin’ degrees!!  I promptly turned the thermostat down to 75 but it was too little, too late…there was no recovering this cake.  What to do???  A trifle was my only option and thankfully the person who requested the cake was more than happy to go that route.  Whew!  So I made a decent recovery and still ended up with something that tasted amazing and looked pretty.  Gotta love baking in the heat of summer.  Lesson learned!

P.S. The trifle consists of white cake, homemade raspberry filling and white chocolate almond cream cheese frosting.  YUM.

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Emack and Bolio’s

This past Sunday Jeremy and I went out for a very special anniversary dinner…pizza and ice cream.  We’re classy like that.  We went to a place called Chicago Gyros and Pizzeria for some delicious Chicago style thin crust pizza.  It was half Greek and half Gypsy (gyro type toppings) and it was delicious!  We also split a gyro because we love theirs so much.  Yeah, we got full.

Now, because it was getting late and I wanted pictures of the ice cream place while it was still light out, we actually went to get dessert first.  We’re adults now, we can do stuff like that right?  So we headed just down the road to Emack and Bolio’s, a little ice cream parlor that is a teeny, tiny building across from a park.  They are only open during the summer months and since I pass them everyday on my way to work and always see people sitting outside eating massive waffle cones with like five scoops of ice cream, I had to try them.  Plus, my mother had just informed me a couple of weeks earlier that they had rum raisin ice cream which is one of my all-time favorites!

So we stopped in a decided to get what’s called a 3-scoop sampler for $3.95.  It’s supposed to be smaller scoops than normal but dear Lord, if they had been any bigger I would have been sick.  It was plenty of ice cream!  Jeremy chose White Pistachio which was an amaretto ice cream with pistachio pieces, Chocolate Addiction which was dark chocolate with dark chocolate chunks and Cookie Monster which was vanilla with Oreo pieces and cookie dough.

I choose Myers Rum Raisin (of course!), Bean Town Buzz which was espresso ice cream with chocolate covered espresso beans and fuge and Black-N-Tan which was vanilla with chocolate covered toffee beans, fudge and cookie crumble.  All of the flavors were sooooo good.  We decided our top three picks were the White Pistachio, Myers Rum Raisin and Chocolate Addiction.   I haven’t had such delicious hand-scooped ice cream in quite a while.  Our usual ice cream run is either a blizzard from Dairy Queen or a frozen custard concrete from Andy’s so it was nice to get something different.

It was a fun night and we made some good memories just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company.  And we’ll definitely be going back for more ice cream before summer is over….

 

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Peanut Butter Cup S’more Bars

After seeing all the awesome recipes last week in honor of National S’mores Day, I was inspired to make my own variation of the classic campfire treat.  But what to do?  There are so many creative recipes out there!  I finally decided I wanted it in bar form and peanut butter was going to be incorporated one way or the other.

So, I found this recipe from Taste of Home that had great reviews.  And I now know why!  These might actually be one of my favorite things I’ve made thus far and I think it’s the marshmallow creme that really does it for me.  I absolutely abhor store bought marshmallows but marshmallow creme…that’s a different story.  I might have at one time or another sat down with a jar of peanut butter, a jar of marshmallow creme, a spoon and….well…you can imagine what happened next.  Not pretty.  Needless to say, this is a little more dignified way to eat all of those yummy ingredients.

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cup S'mores Bars
Author: 
18
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1½ c. Packed Brown Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2⅔ c. AP Flour
  • 1½ c. Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 2 t. Baking Powder
  • ¼ t. Salt
  • 35 Regular Size Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
  • 1 (13 oz) Jar Marshmallow Cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking pan.
  2. In an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time and then the vanilla. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to the creamed mixture. Set aside 1 cup for topping.
  3. Press remaining mixture into the 9x13 baking pan. Place peanut butter cups wide side down on the crust. Spray a large spoon with cooking spray and spread the marshmallow creme gently onto the peanut butter cups. Crumble the remaining graham cracker mixture over top.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown (mine were a little dark around the edges at 45 minutes). Cool on a wire rack and store in an air-tight container.

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Going to the Chapel…

Two years ago today I married my best friend.  It went by so quickly (just like everyone said it would) and I am so thankful we have great pictures to look back at and remember everything by.  We had an outside wedding at an old historic, brick firehouse.  The ceremony was actually outside in a courtyard and the reception took place inside.  There was lots of food and punch and a fun jazz band that played all night.

And of course we had cake!  It was simply vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream along with vanilla cupcakes with chocolate and vanilla buttercream and an awesome candy buffet.  It was a great night and I love looking at these pics and reliving it.  Oh, and I should mention our photos were done by Cary Bates and Sarah Carter, both amazing photographers.  Definitely check out their work.

Here are some of our sweetest memories from that night.

 

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Bring On The Weekend: Saturday Morning Breakfast

Needing some inspiration for breakfast tomorrow morning?  Me too!  As I was researching some seriously sweet breakfast recipes, I came across so many I couldn’t decide which ones I wanted to share, they all looked so good!  So I thought, why not share them all?  For me, there is nothing better than actually having time to cook or bake on a Saturday morning and filling your whole house with delicious smells of a homemade breakfast.  And since Saturday is usually our “cheat” day around our house, it’s a great time to try one of these not-so-healthy, but oh-so-delicious recipes.  Yay!

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Banana Bread by Whipped

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes by Recipe Girl

Homemade Pop-Tarts by Smitten Kitchen

Apple Cinnamon Buns by What Katie Ate

Monkey Bread by Gimme Some Oven

Chocolate Chip Waffles by Tasty Kitchen

Overnight French Toast Casserole by The Girl Who Ate Everything

Red Velvet Donuts by Taste and Tell

 

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Lola’s Pastries and Eatery

Jeremy and I recently had the chance to visit a restaurant, Lola’s Pastries and Eatery, in Nixa that I’ve been meaning to try out for awhile. I had heard that they have delicious, made-from-scratch desserts and that the food is quite good too so I was curious. On our way back from Branson a couple of weekends ago, we finally stopped in to see if the desserts lived up to expectations.

Lola’s is actually a former house that was converted into a restaurant and has a nice tea room feel to it. They have a pretty good breakfast and lunch menu and of course lots of desserts to choose from. We hadn’t had hardly anything to eat that day so we decided to split a BLT sandwich in hopes of curbing the inevitable sugar rush. The sandwich wasn’t bad but it was shockingly void of key BLT players…one half of the sandwich had ZERO bacon and the other had maybe 1 1/2 pieces. Like they forgot to put it on! It came with chips and we added a side salad which was small but tasty. We probably should have said something about the sandwich since it wasn’t cheap (about $7) but didn’t want to mess with it. I will say that the other sandwiches everyone else had looked quite “meaty” and tasty so I’m not sure what happened with ours. Anyway, enough of that, on to the main event–dessert!

There were alot of choices…strawberry cake, chocolate cake, coconut cream cake, key lime pie, carrot cake, Oreo cheesecake, no-bake cookies, monster cookies, cupcakes and more! It all looked mouth-watering but I knew for sure I wanted to try the strawberry cake since that’s kind of what they’re known for. Jeremy chose the carrot cake and we also got a piece of the Oreo cheesecake.

The Oreo cheesecake was really good, very smooth and creamy and not an overly sweet cheesecake at all. I didn’t think the Oreos were that noticeable though. The graham cracker crust was probably my favorite part, it was a little on the thicker side and had the perfect amount of saltiness to it to contrast with the cheesecake.

The strawberry cake was also very good and definitely made from scratch–no nasty strawberry Jell-O in this cake, just real strawberries! It was three (yes, three!) layers high with strawberry buttercream sandwiched between each layer and all over the top and sides. It was indeed delicious, just as people said. However, the strawberry buttercream was a tad too sweet for our taste. I think we prefer cream cheese frosting on our strawberry cake. But still a seriously delicious strawberry cake!

Jeremy’s choice, the carrot cake, ended up being our favorite. It was a massive three layer cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting between each layer and on the top and sides. The cake was super moist and very straightforward, no pineapple pieces or chunks of pecans or walnuts in the batter, just a moist, dense, perfectly spiced carrot cake. It did have chopped walnuts sprinkled on top which I thought were a nice touch. We loved it and will definitely be going back for more.

If you are in or around Nixa, check this place out!  The desserts do not disappoint!

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Cherry Crumble Cake

Every time I walk into the grocery store lately, the piles upon piles of dark red, sweet Bing cherries call my name. And I ignore them. Not that I don’t like them. Oh, I love them. But they are too dang expensive! Until a couple of days ago that is. I walked in and behold, they were half the normal cost! Hello! I immediately bagged some up and high-tailed it home to bake. Naturally.

I already had a recipe in mind:  Cherry Crumble Cake.  Does that not sound divine?  Sweet, juicy cherries mixed into a moist cake, topped with a brown sugar and butter crumb topping…mmmm mmm mmm!  And it was very, very good.  There were cherries in every bite and their flavor really came through the mild and not overly-sweet cake.  Reminded me of my mom’s apple cake that I absolutely love.  One thing I didn’t care for was how crumbly the crumble topping was.  It just kind of fell off the cake whenever it was cut so next time I think I’ll do a whole stick of butter instead of a half and that should take care of it.  I also whipped up some almond whipped cream to go with it, but some good quality vanilla ice cream would be just as good.

If you’ve been wanting to bake with some of those beautiful cherries but not sure what to do, give this recipe a try.  Delicious!

(See original recipe here.)

Cherry Crumble Cake
Author: 
Category: Dessert
12-15
 
Ingredients
  • Crumble Topping
  • 1 c. AP Flour
  • 2 T. Dark Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 T. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 t. Cinnamon
  • ¼ t. Salt
  • ½ Stick Unsalted Butter, chilled and diced
  • 1 c. Chopped Pecans, toasted
  • Cake
  • 1 c. AP Flour
  • 1 t. Baking Powder
  • ¼ t. Baking Soda
  • ½ t. Salt
  • ½ c. Sour Cream, room temperature
  • 2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 t. Almond Extract
  • ½ Stick Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • ¾ c. Granulated Sugar
  • 2 T. Packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg, room termperature
  • 1¼ lb. Whole Bing Cherries, stemmed, pitted and quartered
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9-inch round, springform pan (or 9-inch square).
  3. For the crumble topping, in a small bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. With a pastry blender or fork (or your fingers--that's what I find easiest), blend in butter until it has the consistency of crumbs. Set aside.
  4. For the cake, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  5. In another small bowl, combine the sour cream, vanilla extract and almond extract. Set aside.
  6. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and both sugars on high speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat just until combined.
  7. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  8. Gently fold cherries into the batter.
  9. Spoon batter into the pan and smooth the top. Spread half of the crumble topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 25 minutes.
  10. Stir pecans into remaining crumble topping and spread over the cake. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes more.
  11. Allow to cool 20-30 minutes and serve.

 

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Blueberry Muffin Ice Cream by Claire Thomas

I’ve recently discovered these super short, super adorable videos by Claire Thomas of L.A. who describes herself as “a food writer, photographer, enthusiast, personal chef and all round nerd”.  More of them will definitely be showing up every now and then on my blog.  She also has her own tasty little blog over at http://thekitchykitchen.blogspot.com/.  Go check it out!  But watch the video first…and prepare to drool.

Happy Friday!

Blueberry Muffin Ice Cream from Claire Thomas on Vimeo.

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Fair Food

Jeremy and I went to the fair this past weekend.  We basically had one thing on our agenda while we were there:  FRIED OREOS.  Ok, so maybe it was more MY agenda but after getting a taste of those delicious fried chocolatey puffs last year, I’d been dreaming about them ever since.  And really, what is there to do at the fair besides eat?  I mean, you’ve got fried twinkies, funnel cakes, caramel apples, ice cream, fried Oreos, cheesecake wontons, cotton candy, fried peanut butter and jelly, chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick and even fried Kool-Aid!  And that’s just the sweet stuff!

So after a little searching, we found the fried Oreos and also decided on a fried PB&J.  We grabbed a spot near the karaoke stage to listen to the up-and-coming Springfield musical talent and do a little people watching while we munched down.

First, the fried PB&J.  Absolutely NOT good.  Jeremy and I both agreed that while in concept the idea is great, it just didn’t work this time.  The peanut butter tasted disgusting (perhaps because all I ever eat is natural peanut butter?) and it wasn’t really a peanut butter sandwich, it was one of those Uncrustable things that you get in the freezer section at the grocery store, fried in funnel cake batter.  So disappointing.  I’ve actually been wanting to purchase a deep fryer for home, so once I do, we are trying this again…with a REAL PB&J sandwich!

Now the fried Oreos on the other hand…absolute. fried. genius.  I just love these little things.  The Oreo is dunked in funnel cake batter which fries up nice and golden while the Oreo gets soft on the inside.  Finished with a touch of powdered sugar, these are Oreo HEAVEN.  They are fresh and warm and oh so delicious.  My only complaint is that they don’t serve them with milk!  Other than that, magic.

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Key Lime Cookie Truffles

It’s the start of a new month which means a new “flavor of the month” for most of the cupcake and cake pop places around here (uh, yeah, we have a few).  Apparently the flavor star of August is…drumroll please….Key Lime!  Can’t say I’m upset about this at all as I heart me some key lime pie.  As a matter of fact, I had planned to do some sort of key lime recipe for the last couple of weeks and never could decide if I wanted to do a traditional key lime pie recipe that I have and LOVE or stray from the typical and do something crazy different.  Well, I decided on the latter and ended up making some Key Lime Cookie Truffles.  These are based off of that famous Oreo truffle recipe…the one people go nuts over that is basically Oreos and cream cheese.  Yeah, that one.

Anyway, I used the vanilla Oreos and key lime juice, not fresh squeezed (oh the horror, I know) but Nellie and Joe’s Key West Lime Juice, which in my opinion is just as good.  I also threw in some raspberry jam, hoping to get the perfect mixture of sweet raspberry and tart lime but the jam kind of got lost in the mix and the flavor wasn’t too distinct, which was a bummer.  I also think I’ll throw in some lime zest next time for even more of a tart factor.  These were pretty delish but I think with a couple of tweaks, they’d be out of this world.

P.S. This recipe makes a TON of truffles, like, 80!  I’d suggest halfing the recipe.

Key Lime Cookie Truffles
Author: 
Category: Dessert
80
 
Ingredients
  • 1, 8 oz. Pkg Cream Cheese, softened
  • 4 c. (1 lb, 2 oz pkg) Golden Oreos, crushed (I used my food processor)
  • 3 c. Graham Cracker Crumbs (I used my food processor)
  • ¾ c. AP Flour
  • ¾ c. Key Lime Juice
  • ½ c. Raspberry Jam (optional)
  • 2 lbs. White Chocolate Candy Discs, melted
Instructions
  1. In an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the Oreo and graham cracker crumbs, lime juice and flour. Beat in the raspberry jam (if using). Let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Roll dough into balls with the palm of your hands and place on the cookie sheet. Put in the freezer for 30-45 minutes.
  3. Dip into white chocolate and decorate with green sugar, white chocolate, graham cracker crumbs, etc.

 

 

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Some Sweet Birthday Gifts

Oh I know what you’re thinking, “here she goes talking about her birthday again, how long can she drag this out, no one cares, yada, yada”.  Well as long as I want!  I mean, I turned 30 after all.  Plus, I thought it would be fun to share some of the gifts I got with you!  They are all too cute not to share.

First up, a gift from me, to me.  I fell in love with this dainty little vintage tea cup when I was out yard saling a couple weeks ago.  I mean, does it not scream “sip something yummy from me with your little  pinkie in the air whilst noshing on scones and crumpets”?!  Yes, it does.

Second, an adorable serving tray from my friend Stevie.  She pretty much has my taste down to a tee.  I tried to contain my excitement upon receiving it but I love this thing SO much.  It definitely will be showing up on the blog ALOT.

Third, a gift from Sephora.  Vanilla Birthday Cake body wash by philosophy.  This stuff is amazing.  It seriously smells like cake.  I could eat it.  But I won’t, that would be weird…and possibly toxic.

Fourth, something I had asked for on my birthday wish list that my husband surprised me with by actually ordering it for me…an apron!  Cutest thing ever.  Will I ever bake in it?  Probably not.  It’s too cute for that mess.  But I do love it so. (And yes, I AM wearing clothes underneath it.  Swear.)

Have a wonderful Friday and glorious weekend!

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Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Ok, confession time.  See, I have this feeling that I give off the impression on my blog that everything that emerges from my oven is perfect and beautiful and rainbows and puppies and all that cute stuff.  But the truth is, it’s not.  Every now and then I have some serious baking failures and not-so-perfect baking days.  Usually when it happens, I can immediately look back and realize what I’ve done wrong or need to do differently.  I didn’t go to a fancy, schmancy pastry school (I wish!) or get trained by some world renowned pastry chef; I’m just learning as I go.  So, in light of this revelation, I’d like to start off this post for a most delicious chocolate zucchini bread (more like cake, who are we kidding) with a short list of things I did “wrong”:

1.  Forgot an egg.

2.  Took it out of the oven prematurely, thus causing the middle to collapse upon itself.  Lovely.

3.  Didn’t line the pan with parchment or foil, thereby making the removal of the bread to a serving plate in one piece, a feat worthy of Houdini himself.

So, there it is.  Now, I can’t say that forgetting the egg made any difference and I did manage to throw the bread back in the oven and get it on the more cooked side as opposed to raw and inedible and getting it out of the pan only took one VERY large spatula and some sideways tipping maneuvering.  All in all, a good time in the kitchen.  Just ask my husband who has to listen to the choice words coming from that part of the house.

Needless to say, this cake…err, bread is one of the most delicious things I have every tasted.  It was incredibly moist and dense and formed a beautiful crust on the top.  And I loved the hint of cinnamon blended into the chocolate.  Also, I used mini semi-sweet chocolate chips both in the batter and on top and they kind of disappeared into the batter so next time I’ll use regular size or maybe chocolate chunks.  And there WILL be a next time.  Cause it was that good.

Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Author: 
Category: Snack, Dessert
10-12
 
Ingredients
  • 1⅓ c. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 c. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 c. Dark Brown Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 c. Grated Zuchinni, squeezed dry (I processed mine in a food processor; just be sure and remove any large seeds first)
  • ½ c. Cocoa
  • 2 c. AP Flour
  • 1 t. Baking Soda
  • 1 t. Salt
  • 2 t. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 c. Sour Cream
  • 1, 12 oz. pkg Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5x4½" baking pan or, if removing from pan, line with foil or parchment paper and grease well.
  2. In an electric mixer, beat oil and sugars on medium speed until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time and then the vanilla. Beat in the zucchini.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.
  4. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream to the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry. Fold in one cup of the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour batter into pan and sprinkle the remainder of the chocolate chips over the batter and press down lightly.
  6. Bake for 1½ hours or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

 

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Pie Is The New Cupcake?

The word on the street is that 2011 is the year that pie makes its big comeback and replaces the seemingly untouchable cupcake at the top of the dessert hierarchy.  Now I hate to be the one to point this out but we’re more than half-way through the year and I still see cupcakes EVERYWHERE.  Pie…not so much.  It does seem however, that pie sells are up quite a bit according to this L.A. Times article, so perhaps the trend is just beginning.  Either way, I have always loved pie and will be glad to indulge in the craze once it hits full force.

Some of my favorite pies are fruit pies…mostly the ones that my grandma would make when we were young with the fruit from her backyard.  My grandparents grew everything from gooseberries to strawberries to onions and green beans.  They also had pear and cherry trees.  So we’d regularly have Sunday lunch at their house and always had a pie.  Gooseberry and cherry were my favorites.  I also love chocolate cream pie, coconut cream pie, banana cream pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie…the list goes on.  I guess I really don’t discriminate when it comes to dessert–it’s all good!

Check out these pie recipes from some of my favorite bloggers.  These are some drool-worthy pictures people…I’m pretty sure I gained five pounds just looking at them!

Have a lovely evening!

Brownie Pecan Pie from Bakerella

Sour Cherry Pie with Almond Crumble from Smitten Kitchen

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie from Pioneer Woman

Pie Pops from Luxirare

 

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I’ve been staring at a recipe for Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars for a couple months now, dying to make them and yesterday I finally broke down and got busy in the kitchen mixin’ these bad boys up. Yes, I know, it’s about a million degrees outside and who would be crazy enough to turn on an oven??? That would be me! When the need for chocolate calls, one must answer!

Of course, I altered the recipe…I kept finding things in my pantry I thought would be good mixed in! I couldn’t help myself. Here is the original recipe on food.com. I did a butter/oil mix only because I didn’t have enough butter and then threw in peanut butter, oats and two different kinds of Ghirardelli chocolate. They turned out super moist, dense and rich and had a nice balance of salty and sweet to them. Eat ’em with a glass of ice cold milk, it’s a must!

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Author: 
Category: Dessert
18
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ c. (1½ sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • ½ c. Vegetable Oil
  • 1½ c. Dark Brown Sugar, packed
  • 2 T. Lite Corn Syrup
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • ½ c. Peanut Butter
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Exract
  • 2 c. AP Flour
  • 1 c. Oats
  • 1½ t. Baking Powder
  • 1 t. Salt
  • 1 c. each Semi-Sweet and Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (I used Ghirardelli brand)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan.
  2. In an electric mixer, beat the butter, oil, sugar and corn syrup on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  4. Beat in the peanut butter and then the vanilla.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to the wet mixture on low speed.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Pour into the pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack.

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DIY Ice Cream Parlour

I’ve kind of got ice cream on the brain lately.  There is no end in sight to this ridiculous heat and it’s kind of hard not to think about the best ways to stay cool or should I say what to eat to stay cool.  And if you’re having an outside birthday party or a wedding right now, you’re probably even more concerned with the best way to keep your guests cool.  I have an idea!  I came across this blog earlier today and absolutely fell in love with this DIY Ice Cream Parlour from Eat Drink Chic.  I know dessert and candy buffets have been around for awhile now and are probably a little played out but I never get tired of seeing the creativity that goes into these beautiful tables.  If you’d like to see more photos and find out how to recreate every cute little detail yourself, just click here!

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30th Birthday Video

Thought I’d share a short little video of me blowing out the candle on my surprise birthday dessert at McGuire’s Irish Pub in Destin.  This place was so neat…there was a bagpiper piping, one million dollars hanging from the ceiling (for real!) and an on-site brewery (which brewed both beer AND rootbeer-yum!).  Not to mention the seafood and steaks were phenomenal!  My family loved it…it was the perfect place to go for our last night in Florida.

P.S.  The dessert was the most amazing, warm gooey brownie loaded with chunks of whole pecans, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and smothered in hot fudge.  So good!

P.S. S.  It looks like I don’t have the lung capacity to blow out the candle when in reality I was just waiting for Jeremy to take a picture…little did I know he was filming.  Oooops.

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Tommy Bahamas (aka dessert overload)


Triple Chocolate Cake
Four layers of moist chocolate cake, chocolate
ganache frosting and topped with a mocha mousse
whipped cream.

In the past when we’ve vacationed in Florida, we’ve tended to eat at the same restaurants that we know and like.  I really wanted to go to some new places on this visit and looked up some restaurants that had good reviews.  One of those was Tommy Bahamas.  It had about 4.5 out of 5 stars and people couldn’t say enough good things about it, despite the fact that it was a chain.  So we tried it and wow, what amazing food!  We had a variety of things from fish tacos to coconut shrimp, chicken and cuban sandwiches to ahi tuna salad.  Of course after we had our fill of all this food, we decided to splurge on desserts (oh, I should mention that it wasn’t just me and Jeremy on this trip…there were six of us so we had plenty of people to help us pig out).


Key West Key Lime Pie
The real deal! Fresh and tart, made with real key limes.

These desserts were all made-from-scratch and absolutely delicious!  We couldn’t pick just one or two so we chose all except one, which was four desserts.  I thought my favorite would be the Key Lime Pie and while it was absolutely delicious, the Triple Chocolate Cake ended up the #1 dessert on my list and I think everyone else felt the same way.  It was divine!  The chocolate cake reminded me of wacky cake and the mousse was thick and not too sweet, just pure chocolate goodness.  Oh, you’re wondering what a wacky cake is?  Hmmm, well it’s a chocolate cake that is made a little differently than most chocolate cakes.  Not to worry, I’ll make one and do a post on it in the near future.  Purely for educational purposes, of course.


Blackbeard’s Butterscotch
Creamy, rich, vanilla & scotch whiskey flavored
pudding with chocolate ganache, “from scratch”
caramel sauce & fresh whipped cream.

The Pina Colada cake was also delicious…I loved the toasted coconut and hint of rum that had soaked into the cake layers.  And the Blackbeard’s Butterscotch was the first time I had butterscotch pudding not made from a box and wow, awesome.  I’m already looking up recipes so I can recreate it at home.


Piña Colada Cake
Moist vanilla layer cake with Myers Dark Rum,
chopped pineapple, white chocolate mousse &
toasted coconut.

They have restaurants in a few different states so click here to see if one is near you and visit immediately!  And unless you go with a group, try not to order all the desserts at once….

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Strawberry Daiquiri Pie

Holy heck it’s hot outside!  I’m interrupting this non-stop Florida dessert roundup to bring you guys a deliciously creamy, super dreamy, frozen sweet treat.  I  know there is someone out there that is dying from the heat and needs an easy dessert for supper that requires minimal oven use or none at all.  I have just the thing!  This Strawberry Daiquiri Pie has a grand total of seven ingredients (if you make everything from scratch) and the crust only bakes for 10 minutes in the oven.  Yay!

The original recipe here on Allrecipes.com calls for a store-bought graham cracker crust and Cool Whip so feel free to use those if you want but if I’m gonna indulge, I want the best possible ingredients!  Also, you could easily make this a Pina Colada pie by using a different mixer and pineapple instead of strawberry or whatever flavor suits your fancy.  Pina Colada honestly sounded really good but I went with strawberry…I’m a sucker for pretty pink desserts.

Stay cool and enjoy!

Strawberry Daiquiri Pie
Author: 
Category: Dessert
18-20
 
Ingredients
  • 9 T. Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 2 c. Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1 (10 oz.) Can Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri Mix, slightly thawed (I used Bacardi's..it was in the frozen juice section)
  • 1 c. Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 c. Heavy Whipping Cream, whipped, with ½ c.+2 T. Powdered Sugar and 2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch springform pan.
  2. Mix the graham cracker crumbs and butter together in a bowl and pat down evenly into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the strawberry daiquiri mix and sweetened condensed milk. Gently fold in 3 cups of the whipped cream. Spread evenly into the pan, on top of the crust.
  4. Cover with foil and place in the freezer for 6-7 hours. Remove from pan, slice and serve immediately.
  5. Garnish with strawberries and the remaining cup of whipped cream.

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