Sunday, March 22, 2015

Strawberry Shortcake Meringue Sandwiches


Meringues are so much fun! There are endless ways to
serve them! I was just going to make some meringue 
shapes while trying out my Ateco 846 piping tip, and
ended up creating these beautiful little pastries!

I had just watched a cooking show where the chef
made eclairs and he inspired me to create these.
Similar to my Lemon Meringue Stacks, these pastries
consist of meringues, whipped cream and strawberries.
I piped the meringue fingers as you would pipe an eclair.
Starting at the left side, squeeze the piping bag and make 
a horizontal line 3 1/2" long.  End by making a star shape.

Bake at 225F for 1 1/2 hours, then cool completely.

Pipe some whipped cream on all the meringue fingers.
I don't recommend adding sugar to the whipped cream 
because it would just be too sweet!

Top with a few sliced strawberries.
I started by just piping the whipped cream on the bottom
meringue, but decided to go ahead and pipe some on the
top meringue as well.
I think the best way to serve these is on their side
because they weren't really stable standing upright.

I finished with a light dusting of powdered sugar and
served them in some pretty eclair papers. You could
also use cupcake papers. So pretty!!


STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE MERINGUES

4 egg whites, room temperature
pinch salt 
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup superfine sugar (superfine sugar
has a smaller grain and dissolves easier)
pink food coloring
small container of Strawberries, sliced
1 cup heavy cream
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 225F degrees.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk
attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy.
Add salt and cream of tartar and beat until
soft peaks. Start adding your superfine sugar
one tablespoon at a time until sugar is completely
dissolved and the meringue is glossy and has
firm peaks. Add food coloring if desired.

Place some of the meringue mixture into a
piping bag fitted with a star tip. On a 
baking sheet lined with parchment paper
pipe 3 1/2" fingers.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove from oven and let cool. This shouldn't
take but a few minutes. Immediately place in an
airtight container until you're ready to serve.

Place heavy cream into a chilled bowl and
with chilled beaters whip until you get stiff
peaks. Put whipped cream in a piping bag
with your tip of choice.

TO SERVE:

Place your meringue fingers onto a baking
sheet - flat sides up - and pipe some whipped
cream on all. Top half of your fingers with
sliced strawberries, and top those with
the other meringue half. Lightly dust tops
with powdered sugar. Place pastries on their 
sides in eclair or cupcake papers and arrange
on a pretty plate.  Serve immediately.

Makes approximately 40 meringues or
20 meringue sandwiches.

I just loved the way they turned out! They look like a 
pastry from a fancy Bakery Boutique! Perfect for a fancy 
tea party and so yummy!!  Hope this recipe gives you
some inspiration too!! xo!!








Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lemon Meringue Stacks - An Easy Spring Dessert


If you need a delicious and easy dessert for your Easter buffet, 
look no further! I have a light and lemony dessert that can be
put together at the last minute and it's so pretty that your guests 
will think you've bought them at a Bakery!

Lemon Meringue Stacks are 3 crispy meringue discs that
have a wonderful light lemon whipped cream sandwiched
in between.  The dessert is basically just meringue discs,
ready made lemon curd and whipped heavy cream.

You just need to make your meringues the day before you
need them. The lemon whipped cream can be made in no
time so you just make that right before serving. If you wanted
to add some fruit to these,  just top the lemon whipped cream 
with some raspberries or sliced strawberries.



LEMON MERINGUE STACKS

Ingredients:
4 large egg whites (120g)
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup superfine sugar (115g)
1 cup sifted powdered sugar (115g)
3/4 cup prepared Lemon Curd (chilled)
(I recommend this brand)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream 
Yellow food coloring if desired

For the Meringues:

Preheat oven to 225F. Line a baking sheet
with parchment paper. Whisk egg whites in
a bowl until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat
until soft peaks form. Slowly add the superfine 
sugar and whisk until the meringue reaches stiff
peaks. Fold in powdered sugar.

Place meringue into piping bag fitted with a 1M
or 2D tip and pipe 2 1/2" circles.  Bake for 1 1/2
hours or until meringues become crisp when
removed from the oven.  Cool and 
immediately place into an airtight container.

For the Filling:

Place 3/4 cup prepared lemon curd into a small
bowl and stir to soften. Into another bowl (using a 
hand held mixer or a mixer fitted with a whisk 
attachment), whip heavy cream to stiff peaks. (It's 
better if your bowl & beaters/whisk have been chilled)
If you want a pretty yellow color, add a little bit of
yellow food coloring and whip to incorporate.
Fold the lemon curd into the whipped cream.

To serve:

Place 1/3 of your meringues onto a baking sheet.
Pipe or spoon some lemon whipped cream on them.
Top with another meringue disc, then add more 
of the lemon whipped cream.  Top again with a final 
meringue disc, pipe or spoon a pretty dollop of lemon 
whipped cream on the top.  Decorate with a sugar 
flower or an edible flower if desired. Transfer to
a pretty serving plate and decorate the plate with
pretty flowers. Makes approximately 12 stacks.


So easy! So delicious! Enjoy!!




Thursday, March 5, 2015

DIY Sprinkle Buttons & Malted Milk Flower Cookies


I have a really cute idea for your Easter Baskets today! 2-Ingredient 
Candy Buttons! With just 2 ingredients you can make these adorable
(and easy) Candy Buttons that your kids will love you for!!

All you need is some Vanilla Candy Coating (which is what I used) 
or Candy Melts and some pretty Springtime nonpareils and you're ready 
to start! (I really liked the candy coating - Kroger brand of Candiquik -
because it tasted great and it came in a handy dandy microwaveable pan.)
The idea for these pretty candies came from one of my favorite blogs -
Passion 4 Baking. Manuela used a silicone baking mat to make her 
candy buttons.  You can make the buttons without the mat, but 
having a guide just makes it easier! If you wanted to make your 
own guide you could use a small round cookie cutter and draw
circles onto a sheet of parchment paper. Then place another 
sheet of parchment over that and pipe your circles.

So all you do is melt the candy coating in the microwave - or use a 
double boiler.  Then spoon the coating into circles onto a baking sheet 
lined with parchment paper, or do what I did and put the melted candy 
coating into a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip and pipe the 
mixture onto your silicone mat or baking sheet.

If you're going to pipe the mixture, let it cool for 5 minutes before 
putting it into the piping bag. The mixture will be runny at first, 
which will make it difficult to pipe. Gently squeeze the mixture
onto the center of each circle on the silicone mat. It will then spread 
further toward the outer edge of the circle. If it doesn't spread to the 
outer edge you can just use your finger or the back of a spoon to finish. 
Immediately sprinkle the candy circles with pretty nonpareils.
The candies harden pretty quickly. When they're set, just pop them 
out of the mat or peel off of the parchment. 

I love these pastel colored nonpareils by Wilton. They're
difficult to find right now - I order mine from here.

Wrap them up in little clear bags tied with pretty ribbon ....

or put them in a pretty container in your kitchen. 
But make sure that they don't disappear before you
make your cookies!

Now, onto the cookies! I found this recipe for Malted
Milk Flowers in a cookbook called The Australian Women's
Weekly Macaroons & Biscuits. Their cookies were decorated
with chocolate freckles and looked really cute.  I was going
to use ready made freckles with my cookies, but after ordering
several bags of different colors I ended up disappointed because
they just weren't pretty! So I made my own!

The cookies are soft and gently flavored with Malt in the cookie
dough and in the icing. If you love Malted Milk Balls like I do,
you'll love these!

The cookie dough was very easy to work with and I had
no trouble cutting out the cookies or moving them to the
baking sheet.


MALTED MILK FLOWERS

Ingredients:
125g (4 ounces) butter, softened
1/2 cup (110g) caster (superfine) sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons golden syrup or treacle
1/3 cup (40g) malted milk powder
2 1/2 cups (375g) plain (all purpose) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Sprinkle Buttons or ready made chocolate Freckles

Malt Icing:
1 1/2 cups (240g) icing (confectioners') sugar
2 tablespoons malted milk powder
2 tablespoons milk, approximately

Beat butter, sugar and egg in a small bowl with
electric mixer until combined, transfer to large bowl;
stir in golden syrup and sifted dry ingredients, in two
batches. Knead dough lightly on floured surface until
smooth. Cover, refrigerate 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 150C/300F. Line oven trays with
parchment.

Roll dough between sheets of parchment paper until
1/4 inch thick. Cut 3 inch flowers from dough; place 
flowers about 1 inch apart on trays. Bake about 18
minutes. Cool on trays.

Meanwhile, make malt icing: 
Sift icing sugar and malted milk powder into small
heatproof bowl; stir in enough milk to make a thick
paste. Stir over small saucepan of simmering water 
until icing is spreadable. Add a bit of pink food
coloring if desired.

Spread cookies with icing; top cookies with a
sprinkle button. Makes 36. Store cookies in an
airtight container for up to a week.


What a pretty and delicious way to use your Sprinkle Buttons!
Hope you enjoy these recipes and visit again soon!! xo!





Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sparkling Raspberry Cream Wafers

Today I'm revisiting a recipe that I blogged about almost 3 years
ago - Cream Wafers!  I can't believe it's been so long since I made 
these yummy cookies!  Cream Wafers are wonderful little buttery bites 
that remind me of piecrust cookies with a delicious buttercream filling.

 These cookie sandwiches aren't overly sweet because the dough
doesn't have any sugar in it - just a sprinkling of pretty sugar on top.
They are a popular choice for wedding or shower teas.
I made a wonderful Raspberry Lemon Buttercream for these. 
Adding fresh lemon juice to the filling gives it that little bit of 
tartness that really complements the sweet raspberry buttercream!
The dough is very easy to work with. Roll out on a 
lightly floured surface and cut out shapes using any
cookie cutter that you like.
I love hearts - even when it's not Valentine's Day!
Use your fork to make the characteristic holes in the cookies, then
sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
I like to pipe the filling because it just goes faster, but you can
just spread with a knife. 
Bake for 12 minutes, let cool and sandwich 2 cookies together
with the Raspberry Lemon Buttercream.

RASPBERRY CREAM WAFERS

Ingredients

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups butter, softened, divided
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sparkling sugar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons raspberry jam
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Directions

Combine flour, 1 cup of the butter and cream in a
large bowl until blended. Divide dough into thirds;
shape each into a flattened ball. Wrap in plastic wrap;
chill about an hour.

Heat oven to 375F degrees. Roll one round of dough at
a time to 1/4 inch thickness on a floured counter. Cut
with 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter. Place on parchment 
lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart and sprinkle with 
sparkling sugar.  Pierce each cookie 3 or 4 times with
a fork.  Bake 9-12 minutes or until edges begin to brown. 
Cool on wire rack.

Beat remaining 1/2 cup butter, powdered sugar,
raspberry jam and lemon juice in medium bowl
with mixer until light and fluffy - about 2-3
minutes.

Just before serving, sandwich two cookies together 
with 1 teaspoon of the filling. Makes 60 wafers.




And here's what do you do with leftover frosting......
I really do love Cream Wafers!! xo!!



Saturday, February 7, 2015

How to Make LEMON TEABAG COOKIES & DIY TEA TAGS


I've been wanting to make Teabag Cookies for a while now
after seeing them on Pinterest, and since I didn't see a tutorial
for them I thought I'd make one for you.

They're really easy to make and if you were going to have
a little girl's Birthday Tea Party, this would be a fun activity!
You could have the cookies already made and have the girls
decorate them and make the tea tags.
Just roll out the dough and cut out teabag shapes. I got mine 
from cheapcookiecutters.com. I used the small end of a 
Wilton #12 tip to make the hole for the ribbon.
For the frosting I used Wilton Candy Melts! They worked really 
well for this project! Just melt them in your microwave and you're
ready to decorate!
Spread the frosting on the cookies - or dip them - whichever 
you prefer, and decorate with pretty sprinkles! To speed up the 
cooling/hardening of the chocolate I actually put my decorated 
cookies in the freezer for 5 minutes!  
(Because I just hate waiting!! LOL!)
I bought some Wilton Sprinkles that had these little lips
in them! So cute!!
These Teabag Cookies tasted as good as they looked! I used
a lemon shortbread recipe that I've used many times before.
So yummy!!

LEMON SHORTBREAD TEABAGS

Cookie Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest from 1 lemon)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Frosting Ingredients

1 bag Wilton Pink Candy Melts
Assorted sprinkles to decorate

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Cream butter & sugar in a large bowl. (I used my stand mixer)
Add lemon zest and blend well. With mixer on low speed, 
add flour a little at a time. Dough will be crumbly, so dump
it out onto a counter top or pastry board and work it
together by hand until smooth. Pat or roll dough out into
a rectangle that is about 1/2" thick. Cut into teabag shapes.
Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake 
20-25 minutes until bottom edges are just starting to
brown. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove cookies
to a wire rack to cool completely.

To Decorate

Melt pink candy melts in a microwave on 50% power
until soft, then stir to combine, (or use a water bath.)
Using a palette knife, spread some "frosting" on lower
 half of cookies. Decorate with sprinkles of choice.
Let frosting set before attaching the Tea Tag.

I thought this tutorial for DIY Teabag Cookie Cutters
was interesting!
The PDF for these sweet little Tea Tags are a free printable from
Everyday Dishes & DIY. I just printed the PDF onto some pretty 
pink polka dot paper that I had and - Instant Tea Tags!!

I've never really done a craft project on the blog, but I'm going
to attempt to show you how to attach the Tea Tag to the Cookie...
(using my daughter Abbie as a hand model! LOL!)
First, print your tags out onto some pretty paper.
Cut out the tags and punch a hole in the top
with a hole punch.
Next take a 16" length of pink ribbon, fold it in half,
and thread the loop end through the hole in the cookie -
(coming in from the back of the cookie.)
Holding the loop end of the ribbon with your left hand,
bring the loose end of the ribbon through the loop with
your right hand.
Catch the loose end of the ribbon with your left hand
and pull the ribbon up to tighten.
Thread the end of the ribbon through your tea tag and
tie a knot near the end of the ribbon!
Easy Peasy!!
I thought these turned out so pretty!
The perfect project for your next
Tea Party!!