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Category Archives: Desserts

Fresh Rhubarb Pie Recipe

Fresh Rhubarb PieMr.Picky was in need of a rhubarb pie, so I went to my favorite recipe Fresh Rhubarb Pie Recipe – Allrecipes.com.  This tastes like a million bucks and always turns out perfect.  If you have crust already made it takes maybe 10 minutes to put together.

I love the tartness of rhubarb against a flaky crust and a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Ice cream is not my favorite but some dessert require ice cream and this is one of them.  Rhubarb is one of my favorite vegetables and I can’t wait to try a bunch of new savory recipes I came across.

Rhubarb Pie:

  • 1 recipe of a 9 inch double crust, I would recommend my never fail pie crust recipe
  • 4-5 cups rhubarb, chopped
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbs flour
  • 1 Tbs butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Roll out first pie crust and place in a 9 inch pie plate.

Combine sugar and flour, and sprinkle the bottom crust with 1/4 of the mixture.

Add the chopped rhubarb and sprinkle evenly with the remaining sugar and flour mixture.

Dot the pie with small pieces of butter and cover with top crust.  Slice a few 2-3 inch marks on top of crust for steam to escape.

Place pie on lowest rack of oven, and bake for 15 minutes.

Reduce heat on oven to 350 degrees and continue baking for 40-45 minutes.

Serve warm or cold with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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Sweet Potato Casserole

My Grandmother started making this Sweet Potato Casserole recipe at least 5 years ago for Thanksgiving.  It has turned into such a favorite the pan is almost licked clean.  My daughter will usually eat as much as I will give and then a second helping.  We no longer prepare the sweet potatoes any other way for the holidays.

I find myself making it throughout the year as dessert for my kids.  I have yet to get Mr.Picky to like sweet potatoes of any kind.  We were headed to my family’s for dinner where I was preparing a somewhat Thanksgiving flavored dinner.  I had extra sweet potatoes to use up and thought this would be the perfect side dish to the meal.  Although we serve it as a side it has enough sugar and butter to be a dessert, this is probably why it is the best.

In my pictures I made the recipe just as my Grandmother wrote the recipe.  When I got to her and said how come mine doesn’t look like yours?  She stated that she had increased the flour amount in the topping which makes it more of a crumb and better.  I have revised the recipe to the correct flour amount so if your picture looks different it is ok.

Sweet Potato CasseroleSweet Potato Casserole:

  • 6 large sweet potatoes or yams- peel after steaming and mash well
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Topping:

  • 5 Tbs melted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 5 Tbs flour
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

After steaming the sweet potatoes until tender, remove the peel and mash well.  Add in the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla.  Continue to mash until well combined and almost completely smooth.

Spread potatoes in a 9×13″ glass baking dish.

Combine topping ingredients and spread over the sweet potatoes.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until topping is caramelized and potatoes are heated through.


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Peanut Butter Candy

Peanut Butter CandyGrowing up my mom made peanut butter candy all the time.  It was simple to throw together anytime a sweet craving hit you.  We would find bowls of it in the kitchen and walk by and snag a bite or two.

I haven’t thought about this recipe in a long time.  Looking through the good old recipe box I found the recipe.  We had my nieces over to play and I thought it would be fun to make.  This no cook recipe is great to do with kids.  Although it takes a lot of muscle to mix it.  The kids loved it and had plenty to take home to share.  I can’t wait for Mr.Picky to get home and try it because his favorite candy is peanut butter cups.

The texture of this candy is almost like a chewy caramel but more dense.  It has a wonderful peanut butter flavor.  If you are feeling extra naughty you can cover it with melted chocolate like we did.  Sometimes my mom would just roll it into balls and then into chocolate chips.  Or if you are feeling fancy roll it into balls and dip it into melted chocolate.

Peanut Butter Candy:

  • 1/3 cup karo syrup
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar

Stir together karo syrup and peanut butter until well combined.

In a separate bowl sift together dry milk and powdered sugar so there are no lumps.

Peanut Butter Candy

Combine the two together.  This is a slow process of mixing slowly and sometimes works best with your hands.  Eventually you can knead the candy on the counter to get it smooth.

Peanut Butter Candy

Shape into a roll on wax paper.

Peanut Butter Candy

Sprinkle with powdered sugar, nuts, chocolate chips, or spread with melted chocolate.  Then slice and serve.

Peanut Butter Candy

Store at room temperature but away from heat so you chocolate does not melt.


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New York Cheesecake Recipe

So good I can't get a picture before they dig in.

So good I can’t get a picture before they dig in.

Mr.Picky would never pick birthday cake or regular cake for his birthday dessert.  Instead he could sit down to a great slice of plain New York style cheesecake.  I have made numerous recipes to perfect the cheesecake of his dreams.  Chantal’s New York Cheesecake Recipe – Allrecipes.com was the closest to perfect as far a New York style cheesecakes.

Although I find cheesecake to be too rich for me this was a great recipe.  Mr.Picky thought it was by far the best recipe for cheesecake and will be the recipe I will make from now on.  By the way cheesecake freezes and thaws great, easy to make ahead and keep in the freezer for dessert down the road.

It was not Mr.Picky’s birthday but he was hankering for some cheesecake the week before.  I happened to have a large brick of cream cheese to use up and the remaining ingredients were on hand.  I put together a cheesecake while he was out of town and surprised him with a big slice when he got home.

This is the first time I have had a cheesecake crack, but it is also a new oven to me.  It this bothers you cover with a sour cream topping.

This is the first time I have had a cheesecake crack, but it is also a new oven to me. It this bothers you cover with a sour cream topping.

New York Cheesecake:

Crust:

  • 15 graham crackers, crushed
  • 2 Tbs butter, melted

Filling:

  • 4 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 1/4 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Press crust into a 9″ or 10″ springform pan.

Mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Blend in milk.

Add eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate.

Mix in sour cream, vanilla, and flour until smooth.

Pour filling into the crust.

New York Cheesecake

Bake 1 hour with a water bath below.  Turn off oven and cool 6 hours in oven.

Place to age in refrigerator at least overnight.

If there is any remaining cheesecake freeze the cake whole.  Slice and wrap the pieces and place in a freezer bag for storage.  Just pull out a piece as needed, unwrap while frozen and it will thaw within an hour on a plate.

Frozen New York Cheesecake

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Blackberry Pie Bars Recipe

Blackberry Pie BarBlackberry Pie Bars Recipe | Key Ingredient was a new recipe I decided to try out for Christmas dessert.  At this point I had made fudge and all sorts of chocolates and needed a chocolate break.  I had all the ingredients on hand, thanks to my summer berry picking.  This dessert was just what I wanted.  Although it is awfully rich and only a small piece is needed.  It tasted like pie but in a less mess bar form, with a bit of flavor of a shortbread cookie. I doubled the  recipe produces a large 9×13″ pan full.  It made more than enough for the thirty of us to eat dessert at Christmas.  I then took the remaining half a pan to a group of 10 for dessert.  Some how I managed to still end up with a few pieces to bring home.  Next time I will follow the recipe if going to a smaller group. This recipe is simple but does use a lot of product and has some steps.  I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t turn out and I was going to waste all that butter and fruit.  Don’t worry it turned out amazing and was worth any effort needed to put it together.  I did alter the recipe even though it was the first time I made this, the sugar amount was a bit much and I was very glad I reduced the sugar.  I also substituted some butter for shortening because when I make pie crust I use shortening.  I hope you enjoy it, if you would like to try the original use the link above.

Blackberry Pie Bars:

Blackberry pie comes together with a crumble to produce a moist and wonderful pie bar.

Blackberry pie comes together with a crumble to produce a moist and wonderful pie bar.

crust and topping:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, chilled
  • 1/4 cup shortening

filling:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • pinch of salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen thawed and drained)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9×9″ baking pan. Combine flour, sugar, and salt.  Cut in the butter and shortening until you form a crumb. Reserve 3/4 cup of this mixture for the topping (set aside).  Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for 8-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool for at least 10 minutes. While the crust is baking whisk together eggs and sugar. Add in sour cream, flour,salt, lemon zest and vanilla whisking until smooth. Gently fold in berries and spoon the mixture evenly onto the crust. Sprinkle evenly with the reserved crust. Bake 45-55 minutes. Cool before cutting and serving.

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Blueberry Upside Down Cake

Once again I needed a dessert to bring to a dinner, Thibeault’s Table: Blueberry Upside Down Cake was the recipe of choice that day.  Two reasons it was on my list of recipes to try and I had all the ingredients on hand.  I selected the right dessert because this turned out great.

This cake could pass as a coffee cake and I would probably serve for brunch.  The berries were a great combo with the somewhat cinnamon flavored cake.  The cake was not to sweet and not dry.  When I left the event I took the first few slices home and left the remaining.  I received a call to say my tray was clean and every bit of dessert was gone.

All those berries I so diligently picked and froze all summer are finally paying off.  I have made some great desserts lately with frozen berries.  I am so glad to enjoy a bit of summer in the dead of winter.  Berries just make me happy!

Blueberry Upside Down CakeBlueberry Upside Down Cake:

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder

In a 9″ square cake pan prepare by lightly greasing or spraying with baking spray.

Combine melted butter and brown sugar.  Spread evenly on the bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle the sugar layer with the berries and sprinkle those with the lemon juice.

Blueberry Upside Down Cake

Meanwhile for the cake:

Cream butter and sugar until light.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Sift together the salt, cinnamon, flour, and baking powder.

Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk to the butter mixture.  Mix until smooth.

Spread the cake batter over the blueberries evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Blueberry Upside Down Cake

Let cool completely and turn out onto a platter or plate.

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Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

For my birthday I wanted to have some close family and friends over for games.  My birthday is also New Years Eve so we decided to celebrate with an evening of junk food and hot fudge sundaes.  I came across Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce Recipe and decided to try it out as well as caramel sauce made from sweetened condensed milk.

I had the additional fixings for sundaes along with a variety of ice creams.  This was such an easy way to serve dessert on my birthday.  Both toppings could be made ahead and just reheated.   To reheat I kept them on “keep warm” in a water bath in my slow cooker.  The lid did not shut completely but kept both sauces perfect.  When we reheated the fudge later we just removed the lid and microwaved it for no more than 30 seconds or so.

Keep hot fudge and caramel warm in the slow cooker.

Keep hot fudge and caramel warm in the slow cooker.

We have an extra jar of hot fudge in the freezer still for a later date.  This recipe produced about 2 pint jars of hot fudge.

Homemade Hot Fudge SauceHomemade Hot Fudge Sauce:

  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla

In at least a 2 quart heavy sauce pan melt chocolate on low heat.

Stir in sugar and milk, continue to cook over medium heat stirring constantly.

Cook for about 20 minutes (the sauce will start boiling around 8 minutes), continue to stir.

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

After the 20 minutes continue to cook until desired thickness.  I stopped at this point.

Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.

Pour into a few pint jars for easy reheat and storage.

Keep refrigerated or frozen for future use.
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Candied Cinnamon Sugar Almonds

candied sugar cinnamon almonds in the slow cookerLast year my sister turned me on to Dimples and Tangles: CANDIED CINNAMON SUGAR ALMONDS.  This year for the holidays I got around to making them myself.  I enjoyed just about the whole batch myself.  I was inspired by their recipe but reduced the sugar and salt amount.

I can’t control myself around these delicious candied nuts. They make a great alternative to cookies to give away during the holidays.  I did share a few but was more than guilty of eating most of them myself over a few weeks time.

The best part of this recipe is they are made in the slow cooker or crockpot.  You do have to stir them often so they are not to be forgotten in the pot.  Another plus would be the wonderful fragrance your home is filled with as these cook.  You will be ready to steal a few before too long.

My kids also love these almonds which is good because almonds are healthy.  Okay, maybe not when covered in sugar but I am not one to nit pick.  In fact my 2-year-old was caught up on the counter numerous times eating them out of the plastic bag.  He couldn’t help himself they are that good!

Candied Cinnamon Sugar Almonds:

  •  1 egg white
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3 1/2-4 cups raw almonds
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs butter, in chunks

Whisk together egg white, vanilla, and sea salt in a large bowl.

Add the almonds and stir until coated.

Candied Sugar and Cinnamon Nuts in Slow cooker

Turn the slow cooker to high heat and add in the chunks of butter.

In a separate bowl combine sugar and cinnamon.  Once combined add to almonds and again stir until coated.

Pour the coated nuts onto the butter and add the lid.

Cook on high for 2 hours stirring every 20-25 minutes, more often at the end so they do not burn.

Pour hot nuts on to a few sheets of wax paper to cool.  Break apart if needed.

Store in an airtight container or bag.
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Slow Cooker Caramel using Sweetened Condensed Milk

Well all I can say was making caramel using Slow Cooker Crockpot Caramel using Sweetened Condensed Milk has a learning curve to it.  I myself am not a caramel fan but this did turn out rather well.  For my birthday we decided on doing an ice cream sundae bar for guest.  I made a batch of homemade hot fudge and thought I should give one more option.  Caramel is Mr.Picky’s choice of syrup so I looked up the instructions and made us some caramel.

I went with the option of using my slow cooker.   I did not find it safe to have my stove going to two hours while I had a list of chores to do.  Don’t get me wrong this was simple to make, there are only two steps how do you go wrong?  Well apparently one of my jars did not seal tightly and after about 3 hours my water in the cooker was milky.  I dumped the water and started again after tightening the jar back down.  My timing took a bit longer but I think it was due to having to reheat the water.

Jar on left is frozen and the jar on right is from the fridge.

Jar on left is frozen and the jar on right is from the fridge.

In the end the results were worth it and now I have an extra jar frozen for future use.  I figured I might as well make two jars since I was going to have the slow cooker going all day anyway.  To reheat the caramel or soften it just microwave with the lid removed for less than 30 seconds or place the jar in a pot of hot water.

We ate the leftovers the next day with sliced apples.  It tasted better than the little tubs of caramel you can get for apples.  This recipe will serve a lot of purposes.

Caramel using Sweetened Condensed MilkCaramel using Sweetened Condensed Milk:

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 pint jar with lid and screw band

Pour the sweetened condensed milk in the jar and screw the lid tightly.

In a slow cooker place the jar(s) and cover with warm water.  Turn the temperature to low and cook about 8-8 1/2 hours, depending on how hot your slow cooker runs.

When the caramel in the jar looks the right color to you pull it out it is done.  Be careful the jar is hot, I suggest using tongs and placing the jar on a wood board or towel to cool enough to open.


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Apple Cranberry Dumplings

Cranberry Apple DumplingsFor as long as I can remember my mom has made Apple Cranberry Dumplings. I love them and they are so delicate but rich in flavor.  This is a great time of year to make apple dumplings.  I am sure we will have a pan served at Christmas dinner.

Don’t let their cinnamon roll appearance fool you. They taste more like apple pie, meets biscuit with a little spice added.  The best part of this recipe is that there is no rising time.  It takes about 15 minutes to put together and 40 to bake.  You can have a dessert in 1 hour that looks and tastes like you spent all day on it.

Apple Cranberry Dumplings:

Syrup:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ cup butter

Dough:

  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ¾ cup milk

Filling:

  • 4 cups or 4 large apples peeled and grated
  • 1 cup drained cooked cranberries or 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Make dough by sifting all dry ingredients and cut in shortening.

Gradually add milk, tossing together into a dough. Turn out on floured board to mix a soft dough.

Lightly roll dough into 18×12 rectangle.

Rolled Dough

Rolled Dough

Now that your dough is rolled out time to make the syrup.  Combine syrup ingredients except butter and boil together for five minutes. Remove from heat and add butter.

Spread the dough with apples, cranberries, and nuts evenly.

Spread the filling, feel free to use helping hands!

Spread the filling, feel free to use helping hands!

 

Roll up like a jelly roll from the 18″ side. Cut into 12 slices and place in lightly buttered 9×13″ pan.

As funny as they look, they will bake nicely.

As funny as they look, they will bake nicely.

Pour hot syrup slowly over all.

Cranberry Apple Dumplings

Pour the hot syrup carefully as not to disrupt the filling.

Bake in 425° oven for 35-40 minutes until the edges begin to brown.

Golden Brown and Ready to eat!

Golden Brown and Ready to eat!

Serve warm with cream or half and half.

Apple Cranberry Dumplings //

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