Whew! What a busy couple of weeks it's been as we hit the end of another school year. These bouts of real "hustle-and-bustle-busy" usually comes in waves for me, I find. (I imagine it does for most people.) I'll be coasting along in my upbeat "ok, I can do this" mode and then suddenly my to-do list whams into the "CAN I do this??" mode. Now, I will admit that much of the "list" and stress is completely self-induced and TOTALLY not necessary, but I still feel compelled to get it all done anyway. That's me. Luckily, most of the to-do list this time around consists of things I really love doing...so really, it's not THAT bad. Ok, it's not bad at all. On occasion, I've been known to outwardly moan and groan about them, but like I said, I really just enjoy it. Some of the things on the list have been baking...baking for one holiday/occasion or another. I've been whipping up some really yummy stuff thanks to some recipe gems I've found in various places. Let's start at Easter, shall we?
"The Ultimate Chocolate Layered Reese's Peanut Butter Birthday Cake"
The "Ultimate" is right!! AMAZING cake!! I made this for our Easter get-together with the in-laws(we're all chocolate people) and it was superb. Now, I will say that I know there are lots of folks out there who speak of things being "too rich"..."oh, it was just so rich"....it ain't me. My taste buds just don't register such things. I love chocolate, no matter how "rich". So, if you shy away from so much goodness in one dessert, this may not be the one for you. BUT, if you aren't afraid of a real chocolate dessert, you and this cake will definitely hit it off! I'm not certain he wasn't lying to me, but my husband mentioned to me that my mother-in-law froze the last piece because she couldn't bear to let the goodness go to waste.(Ok, I added the "couldn't bear" but that's how I like to imagine it going down) My mother-in-law is not a left-over "freezer"-type person, folks. So, in short(or really, really long), this cake will knock your socks off. Give it a try. You will be very happy, as will all of your friends and family. Be nice and share with them.
Yes, hunting for Easter eggs was nice, but this pool was where the real fun was at for all the kids on Easter.
Good, clean, cheap fun. Isn't it the best? But I digress. Back to the baking.
Sugar Cookie Truffles
I did these for a Girl's Night Out Bunco Party last week along with a Hot Chicken Dip(YUM!). When I stumbled on this recipe a while back, I knew I had to give it a try. I had done many of the popular truffle(AKA cake balls) recipes out there. I liked the idea of it. Sugar Cookie Truffles. Sounds good, right? A little different. They were really good! Like I mentioned before, I'm a chocolate person, but it was nice to change it up a bit with these. I loved the pastel sprinkles and white coating. Really, really pretty.
Key Lime Pie Dessert Shooters
So, I went to a fun girl's get-together this past weekend(two in one week! Yes!) and amid the goodies there were these cute little chocolate parfaits. Super cute and it reminded me of that fun trend sweeping the baking blogs right now for desserts served in little shot-type glasses. I couldn't help myself. I had to finally give them a try. My monthly MOPS meeting with the ladies was as good a excuse as any to whip them up for! I was in the mood for Lemon....no, Lime....no, KEY Lime...Key Lime Pie to be exact. Simple, simple. This is what I came up with.
4 egg yolks
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice
Beat egg yolks on high speed in a medium bowl for 2 to 3 minutes or until light yellow. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat again for another 30 seconds.
Put mixture into a medium saucepan over med/low heat and stir in 1/2 cup key lime juice. Continue heating for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat and cool. I put my saucepan over some ice water in a large bowl and stirred it until it was room temp. Didn't take long.
Now, I just made it real easy for time's sake and just used crushed up graham crackers and layered them in the cup as is. I'm sure you could add a bit of melted butter to them to make more of a "crust-like" consistency. I didn't think it was missing anything by leaving out the extra calories though.
I made the whip cream using the regular stuff...whipping cream, sugar and my kitchen-aid mixer. Depending on your energy level, you could make from scratch as well, or you could certainly go lower maintenance with a Dream Whip or plain ol' Cool Whip if that works for you.
Then it's just a simple layering process topped off with some pretty little key lime wedges. Cute as pie, these things were...and really, really tasty!!
Ok, this last one got added to my To-Do list at the last minute this afternoon. Teacher Appreciation Party cupcakes for my little niece's class. She asked for white cupcakes, but that just wasn't gonna cut it for me. Back in February I made her this cake here for her birthday:
It was delicious and everyone loved it. So, today I thought we'd bring a little bit of that fun to some cupcakes!
For this one, I went with a Buttercreme Dream Frosting. Good stuff, people. Holds up beautifully on cakes and cupcakes, alike. I just tinted the cake batter and layered in my baking cups then frosted them up. Easy peasy.
Anywho, speaking of all this baking reminds me that there is lots of new stuff "baking up" in the shop and blog as well! I'm so excited and can't wait to share all the fun stuff with you all! Won't be long!
I hope you had a wonderful Easter and are surviving the end-of-the-school-year rush starting to happen for lots of parents out there right now. I have exactly one more school day left of
freedom solitude useable time to get a few things done before our summer begins. I can already smell the back to school candy apple treats I'll be making...in THREE months. Can that be right?? Three months in the south Louisiana heat with two little ones to entertain all day everyday is a reallllly long time.
ahhhh....Summer, ready or not, here we come!!