Sunday, August 16, 2015

Luscious Lemon Creams


I have a wonderfully light and easy lemon mousse recipe to
 share with you today! These Lemon Creams only take a few
minutes to prepare and are the perfect ending to a light meal!

All you have to do is heat the cream, sugar and lemon zest for
about 5 minutes then strain it into some pretty glasses or even
you favorite tea cups! The Lemon Creams do need a couple of
hours to chill and set. That's the hard part!! 


LEMON CREAMS 

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup minus 1 tbsp sugar
zest and juice of 2 lemons
extra zest to garnish if desired

Method:

Heat the cream, sugar and lemon zest in a pan
over medium heat until it almost boils. Reduce
the heat to low and cook gently for 3 minutes,
until the sugar dissolves.

Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Pour
through a strainer into a pourable container, then
pour into pretty glasses or tea cups. Cool, then chill
for a couple of hours or overnight. Decorate with
lemon zest. Wonderful served with Lemon 
Shortbread.


The recipe says that it serves 4, but I only had enough 
to fill 3 small glass bowls. I suggest that you double
the recipe if you need more.

So easy!! So delicious!! Thanks for visiting!!




Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Magical Marbled Fairy Meringues


I have a fun recipe for you today, especially if you have kids!
I call these Magical Marbled Fairy Meringues. The writer of the 
blog Lick The Spoon called it Forbidden Fairy Foam! The name
 alone draws you in and when you see how crazy easy the recipe is, 
you have to try it!!

Are you curious? Magical Marbled Fairy Meringues are actually a 
sort of microwaveable meringue! The magical thing about these 
faux meringues is that within seconds a marble sized ball of this 
mixture puffs up into billowy clouds of sweetness!  It's like,  and
I quote,  "a scrumptious science experiment!!"

These sweet puffs are much easier to prepare than
regular meringues because you don't whip the egg whites
to stiff peaks, you just stir the mixture together and you're
ready to go!

So let's make some magical marbled fairy meringues!!
First, you beat vanilla extract and one egg white together
just enough to break up the egg white.  I was afraid
that my dark colored vanilla extract would color the mixture 
too much and I was out of the clear vanilla extract so I used 
some coconut extract that I had on hand. I loved the flavor!!

In another bowl, place 3 cups of powdered sugar and make a
well in the center. (I sifted my powdered sugar to make sure that 
there were no lumps.) Pour the egg white mixture into the well and
gradually incorporate it with the powdered sugar. (I actually just 
used my hands!) The recipe said that you may not have to use all the 
egg white mixture, but I did. One (large) egg white worked perfectly 
for me and I made this recipe twice. If you find that your mixture 
is too dry, just grab another egg white and add a bit more.

What you end up with is a stiff dough that you add a bit of
food coloring to for the marbled effect.  What I did was flatten
my dough and using a toothpick, I placed lines of food coloring.
Then I folded the dough in half and pressed down, then folded
in half again and pressed down. I did this until the mixture got
a pretty pink marbled look. 

Then I pinched off marble sized pieces of dough, rolled
them into a ball and placed them in a mini muffin/cupcake cup.
Now we're ready to microwave!! Remember that everyone's
microwave is different, so this part may take a couple of
tries to get it right! The first time I made these I burnt them!
Next time I tried my microwave on 50% power and that
did the trick.  Within a few seconds, the ball of dough
started rising..r i s i n g...R I S I N G! Then it stabilized,
then it rose a bit more and stayed there. At this point I
let the microwave continue for a few more seconds, then
I stopped it. The total time was no more than one minute,
thirty seconds. 
The "meringues" puff up into lots of unusual shapes! Like snowflakes,
no two are alike!! In order to get more uniform shapes, make sure that
you microwave at least 6 at a time.


These are perfect for a girl's tea party and pretty enough for a
ladies tea!  Another great thing about these "meringues" is that
you can keep them out, uncovered for up to 12 hours and they
stay nice and crisp!


MAGICAL MARBLED FAIRY MERINGUES

Ingredients:

1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract (or any other extract you prefer)
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
pink food coloring
edible glitter or edible gold dust (optional)
mini cupcake cups

Place the egg white and extract in a small bowl and
beat briefly just to break up the egg white. Place the
powdered sugar into a medium sized bowl and make
a well in the center.  Pour the egg white mixture into 
the well and gradually work into the powdered sugar.
At this point you can use your hands to finish working the
mixture until it forms a thick dough. If the mixture is too
dry, add a bit more egg white; if too wet, add more
powdered sugar.

Flatten the dough out and dab a little food coloring
onto the dough. Fold in half and press down, then
keep folding and pressing until you get the desired
marbled effect. Roll into marble sized balls and place
in the center of a mini cupcake cup.

If desired, sprinkle the tops of each with edible glitter 
or edible gold dust. (I didn't do this step because I
didn't have any edible glitter!) Place 6 at a time inside
the microwave on the turntable, in a circle. This ensures
that they all cook at an even rate. Set the microwave on
a medium power level and at a setting of approximately
one minute 30 seconds. Start cooking and watch carefully.
After about 20-25 seconds the balls will melt, then start to
billow at a rapid rate. They will stop briefly, then cook for
a further 25-30 seconds. Each microwave is different so 
you just have to try different settings to see which works
for your microwave. The meringues are done when crisp.
If the insides are brown, you have cooked them too long.


MAGICAL!! A perfect activity for a girl's tea party!!




Saturday, June 27, 2015

Banana Nut Bread Tea Sandwiches

Last post I shared with you my favorite Banana Bread recipe! 
Today, I'm going to give you a delicious Tea Sandwich Idea
that uses Banana Bread, Cream Cheese and cinnamon! 

This recipe is so easy and so delicious!!  First, using your hand mixer 
mix together one package softened cream cheese and 1/2 teaspoon 
cinnamon until light & fluffy.  Place the mixture into a disposable 
piping bag fitted with a small star tip.

Next, slice one loaf Banana Bread into 1/2"-3/4" slices using a 
serrated knife (if you have one!)  Cut out shapes with your favorite
cookie cutter and place on a baking sheet. Pipe half of the shapes
with cream cheese mixture then top with remaining halves.
Cover and refrigerate until needed.



BANANA NUT BREAD TEA SANDWICHES

1 loaf Banana Bread, sliced into 1/2"-3/4" slices
1 package cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Place the Banana Bread slices on a baking sheet. Using 
a cookie cutter, cut out as many shapes as possible from
the slices. (Or just trim crusts off and cut slices into
halves or quarters.)

Using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and cinnamon
together until light and fluffy. Place mixture into a
disposable piping bag fitted with a star tip (or just 
spread mixture using a butter knife.)  Pipe or
spread half the shapes with cream cheese 
mixture, then top with remaining halves. 
Cover and refrigerate until needed.


I've always loved sliced nut bread topped with cream cheese!
It's one of my fav tea treats!!
So Scrummy!!


NUM NUM NUM!! xo!!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Crazy Delicious Cream Cheese Banana Bread with Pecan Crumble


Hello dear friends!! Today I'm sharing with you my "Go To" 
Banana Nut Bread Recipe!! I've made this recipe 3 times since my 
last post!!!  My family can't get enough of it because it's so 
crazy delicious!!!!! Plus, it's a great way to use those 
over-ripe bananas!

Just look at this GORGEOUS BATTER!!!
Doesn't it make your mouth water?!!
OK! Let's Bake!!
First, grease and flour your 2 loaf pans. The recipe calls for 
8x4 inch pans. The pans I have are actually 9x5, and they
work fine!

Bonus tip of the day - Use your butter wrapper to grease
your pans! It works great and no greasy fingers!!
Make your batter, add it to the pans and sprinkle yummy crumble
topping over batter! (I always double the crumble recipe because
I like LOTS of CRUMBLE! LOL!)

Bake in a 350º oven for approximately one hour. I use light colored
loaf pans because the darker ones brown quicker.

Don't forget to wait the 30 minutes before slicing because it's
the only way to get neat slices! (I know it's hard but trust me!)




CREAM CHEESE BANANA BREAD
with PECAN CRUMBLE

Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 medium)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Pecan Crumble:
(I usually double the crumble ingredients
to make sure I have enough!)

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon melted butter 
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer 
until creamy.  Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add
eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, 
beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in bananas, pecans and
vanilla. Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 8x4-inch loaf pans.
(use light colored loaf pans if possible - dark pans may over-brown)

Stir together brown sugar, 1/2 cup pecans, 1 tablespoon flour, 1
tablespoon melted butter and cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture evenly
over batter.

Bake at 350º for one hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in
center comes out clean. (I usually just lightly press the tops and if
they spring back, then they're ready.)  If you find that the banana
bread is browning too quickly, you can shield with aluminum foil
the last 15 minutes. Cool bread in pans on wire racks 10 minutes.
Remove from pans and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before 
slicing.



This is the BEST BANANA BREAD that I've ever made!
So moist & delicious!! Hope you give it a try!!

Well, what are you waiting for?! Get your apron on, 
get in the kitchen and bake some Banana Bread!! xo!!



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 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!