Christmas Pavlova

Christmas Pavlova

This basic Pavlova recipe is easy! It gets its Christmas feel from the berries and fruit I selected to top it. A perfect sweet treat for a special celebration.

Christmas Pavlova

Category: Cakes & Pies, DESSERTS

Christmas Pavlova

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 TBS cornstarch
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • Whipped heavy cream for garnish
  • Fruit for the topping

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw an 8 inch circle on the paper, ink side down. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixer with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar & salt while continuing to beat on medium high.
  4. Now add the sugar/cornstarch mixture one tablespoon at a time while continuing to beat on medium high. Beat the egg whites until hard peaks form. The mixture will look smooth and shiny.
  5. Add the vanilla extract & vinegar while continuing to beat. Once incorporated stop mixing.
  6. Transfer the prepared egg white mixture to your parchment paper. Carefully place inside the circle & make a shallow well in the center.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes at 300 degrees. Turn off the oven. Leave the Pavlova in the oven with the door ajar for 1 1/2 to 2 hours to finish. While in the oven the cake will collapse & crack a bit. You don’t want it to crack too much, because then you won’t be able to pick up the Pavlova for plating, later.
  8. Move your baked meringue very carefully to a serving dish. Top with whipped cream & fruit. Keep refrigerated.
http://michellesipsandsavors.com/christmas-pavlova/

Chocolate Mousse Ice Box Cake

Chocolate Mousse Ice Box Cake

My mom made this dessert every year for Christmas as far back as I can remember. According to her notes, it’s a Betty Crocker recipe from the 1970s. The title of the recipe talks about it being a “make ahead dazzler.” Don’t you just love that?! Believe or not, I’ve never made it. Until, this year… When I served it the other night, both my son & my husband said it was just like they remember it from when my mom would make it. I hope you try it and make your own memories.

Chocolate Mousse Ice Box Cake

Category: Cakes & Pies, DESSERTS

Servings: 8-10 Servings

Chocolate Mousse Ice Box Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups regular Oreo cookies (1 1/2 have sleeves of cookies)
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened (I used low fat)
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup chocolate morsels, melted
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped until stiff peaks are formed
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • Whipped cream & crushed peppermint for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-inch spring form pan.
  2. Combine Oreo cookies and melted butter in a food processor. Pulse until finely crushed. Press onto the bottom of the spring form pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press into the bottom of the pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool completely.
  3. Combine softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup of the sugar and vanilla using a beater. Whip until fluffy.
  4. Whisk the egg yolks into the melted chocolate. Immediately add the chocolate and egg mixture to the cream cheese mixture. Whip until smooth.
  5. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Slowly add the other 1/4 cup of sugar to the egg whites until thoroughly incorporated. Fold into cream cheese & chocolate mixture.
  6. Now fold in the whipped cream and pecans.
  7. Pour the chocolate mousse evenly over the crumbs. Cover with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap is touching the top of the mousse. Freeze for several hours.
  8. Serve slices with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of crushed peppermint.
  9. Cake will keep in the freezer for several days, as long as you keep it tightly covered with plastic wrap.
http://michellesipsandsavors.com/chocolate-mousse-ice-box-cake/

German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake

I’ve been making this cake ever since my mom gave me Pillsbury’s Kitchen Family Cookbook (1979), when I moved into my first apartment. I have even tripled the recipe to make the groom’s cake for our backyard wedding in August of 1991. Don’t try and calculate my age; you’ll just hurt my feelings. My real point is that this cake is money, and you have got to try it. My hubs asks for this darn thing all the time.

German Chocolate Cake

Category: Cakes & Pies, DESSERTS

Servings: 12 Servings

German Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  • Cake:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 oz bar sweet cooking chocolate
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Coconut Pecan Frosting:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Cake:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 nine inch pans. I also put a parchment paper circle on the bottom.
  3. In a small sauce pan, melt the chocolate and water together. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each.
  6. Add remaining ingredients and beat until combined.
  7. Divide mix into the 3 pans.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes until tester comes out clean in the center.
  9. Remove from and oven and cool completely.
  10. Frosting:
  11. In medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter and eggs. Cook over medium heat until mixture starts to bubble. You must stir constantly, so the eggs do not overcook. Once mixture starts to bubble, remove from heat.
  12. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cool until of spreading consistency.
  13. Assembly:
  14. Spread frosting between each layer and on top.

Notes

Adapted from Pillsbury Kitchen’s Family Cookbook, 1979.

http://michellesipsandsavors.com/german-chocolate-cake/

French Apricot Cake

French Apricot Cake

The hubs loves this light, yet decadent cake! It’s not too sweet and is moist in the middle. I found this cake recipe written in French, and had to experiment until I got the correct amounts for each ingredient. I feel like I got it just right. Try it and let me know what you think!

French Apricot Cake

Category: Cakes & Pies, DESSERTS

Servings: 9 Servings

French Apricot Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 3/4 cup riccota
  • 4-5 apricots, halved

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line an 8 x 8 glass baking dish w/parchment paper
  3. Beat the butter & sugar, until creamy. Then add the egg yolks one at a time, beating between each. Add the lemon juice and zest, until incorporated. Add both flours & mix in.
  4. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into the flour mixture, carefully. Now, add in the ricotta, delicately.
  5. Put the dough into the prepared dish. Lightly press in the apricot halves, skin side down. Sprinkle a little sugar on top.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool, before removing the parchment paper from the cake. Cut into squares.
http://michellesipsandsavors.com/french-apricot-cake/

Vegan Almond Cream Cake w/Apricot Coulis

Vegan Almond Cream Cake w/Apricot Coulis

I have seen so many recipes for vegan cheesecake and other items that typically call for eggs or cream cheese. These recipes intrigue me. After successfully making vegan waffles by substituting flax seeds and water for eggs, I decided to try something a bit more challenging. I have to say the texture of this cake was excellent. The only change I would make is to maybe use a smaller springform pan, so that the cake is taller and thicker.

Vegan Almond Cream Cake w/Apricot Coulis

Category: Cakes & Pies, DESSERTS

Servings: 8-10 Servings

Vegan Almond Cream Cake w/Apricot Coulis

Ingredients

  • Chocolate Crumb Base (Choose your fav – I used Nutsola Cacao Almond)
  • Almond Cream Filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup agave sweetener
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup plant based milk
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Dash of salt
  • 4 apricots, cut into chunks
  • 3 TBS sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Crust:
  2. I used a 9 inch springform pan & baked the crust according to package directions. Cool and set aside.
  3. Almond Cream Filling:
  4. Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Put the filling on the prepared crust and chill for at least 2 hours.
  5. Apricot Coulis:
  6. In a small sauce pan, bring the apricots, sugar and water to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  8. Reserve 3 TBS of the poaching liquid. Drain the apricots.
  9. Add the apricots and reserved liquid to a blender and purée, until smooth. Cool until ready to serve.
  10. Assembly:
  11. Serve slices of the almond cream cake with a drizzle of apricot coulis and a few blueberries.

Notes

For a taller, thicker cake use a 6-8 inch springform pan.

http://michellesipsandsavors.com/vegan-almond-cream-cake-w-apricot-coulis/

Lemon Meringue Mini Tarts

Lemon Meringue Mini Tarts

Today is National Lemon Meringue Pie Day and Julia Child’s birthday. So, I channeled my inner Julia Child and prepared scratch-made lemon curd and meringue for these little beauties. Admittedly, I used store bought tart shells, but I think Julia would be fine with it. These shells are from a local bakery, and are as close to homemade as you can get for the frozen section. Anyway, I feel good about it. I was, however, worried about making the lemon curd because it was my first stab at it. I persevered, because as Julia would say, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”

Lemon Meringue Mini Tarts

Category: Cakes & Pies, DESSERTS

Servings: 6-8 Servings

Lemon Meringue Mini Tarts

Ingredients

  • 6-8 tart shells (I used store bought shells – depending on the size you will make anywhere for 6 to 8 tarts with this recipe)
  • Lemon Curd:
  • 6 egg yolks (reserve 4 egg whites for your meringue)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 TBS lemon zest
  • Meringue:
  • 4 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 TBS sugar

Instructions

  1. Prepare tart shells according to package directions and let cool.
  2. Lemon Curd:
  3. In a small sauce pan combine egg yolks, sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Whisk constantly. This will take about 5 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil. You will know it is done when the mixture sticks to the back of a spoon.
  4. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and lemon zest. Set aside.
  5. Meringue:
  6. Place egg whites, cream of tartar & vanilla in a mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk until soft peaks form.
  7. Continue whipping the egg white mixture, while adding 1 TBS of the sugar at a time, until it is all added. When stiff peaks have formed the meringue is done.
  8. Place meringue in a piping bag.
  9. Assembly:
  10. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  11. Place 2-3 spoonfuls of lemon curd in each tart. Pipe a swirl of meringue on top of the lemon curd.
  12. Bake for 2-3 minutes, until top of meringue begins to lightly brown. Watch carefully, as this can happen quickly. Remove from oven and let cool. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

Lemon curd can be used for many other things. You can refrigerate the lemon curd for up to 5 days.

http://michellesipsandsavors.com/lemon-meringue-mini-tarts/

Homemade Pop Tarts w/Blueberry Filling & Galaxy Icing

Homemade Pop Tarts w/Blueberry Filling & Galaxy Icing

These homemade hand pies taste so good & just make you feel like you are wrapped in big hug. I decided to make these blueberry filled yummies to commemorate the first lunar landing. Tomorrow, July 20, 2019, is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon mission. So what better to top them with than some galaxy icing. Enjoy, and look up in the sky tomorrow night and gaze in wonder!

Homemade Pop Tarts w/Blueberry Filling & Galaxy Icing

Category: Cakes & Pies, DESSERTS

Servings: 6 Servings

Homemade Pop Tarts w/Blueberry Filling & Galaxy Icing

Ingredients

  • 2 batches of your favorite pie dough (I use Texas Pie Co. Pie Dough Pucks sold at HEB, my local grocer)
  • 1 TBS water
  • 1 TBS flour
  • 1 cup blueberry jam
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries, slightly mashed
  • 1 beaten egg for egg wash
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Black, Purple & Blue food coloring (I used Wilton)
  • Edible pearl dust
  • Edible silver stars

Instructions

  1. Pop Tarts:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and parchment paper.
  3. Mix the flour and water in a small bowl. Add the jam and mashed blueberries, and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
  4. If preparing your own pie dough, divide it, and refrigerate half while you work with the first half.
  5. Lay out parchment paper on your counter & dust with flour. Roll out first half of dough. You should be able to get 6 rectangular pieces out of each half of dough.
  6. Lay 3 of the rectangles on the prepared baking sheet. Spoon a little over 1 TBS of blueberry filling in the middle of each rectangle. Brush the edges with egg wash, and cover with the other rectangle. Press the edges together with your fingers. Using a fork, make a pattern around the edge by pressing the fork into the dough. You may notice that your pop tarts look a little uneven. Trim with a knife.
  7. Repeat this process with the other half of your dough.
  8. Brush all of the pop tarts with egg wash. Prick all of the pop tarts on the top with a fork, so steam can escape while baking.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until they are lightly golden brown. Let cool completely on a cooling rack, before icing.
  10. Galaxy Icing:
  11. Mix the powdered sugar with the milk in a medium bowl. Only add 1 TBS of milk at a time. You want the icing mixture to be thick enough to hold its shape, but not runny or too thick. It should move slowly off of a spoon, not drizzle, if that helps.
  12. Using a toothpick or skewer place 4-6 dots of each shade of food coloring, through out the top of the icing. Do not mix, you want the food coloring to stay on the top of the icing. You can use a flat knife to give it a bit of swirl, but on the top only.
  13. Using your hands, dip each pop tart in the mixture and swirl. Place on a cooling rack to drip. Lightly sprinkle with pearl dust. This gives it a “Milky Way” look. Randomly, place silver stars on top. Let set for about 30 minutes.

Notes

Naturally, you can make these without the galaxy icing. Just pipe the icing in a zig zag motion to add that hint of sweetness. These make a great breakfast or dessert. Enjoy!

http://michellesipsandsavors.com/homemade-pop-tarts-w-blueberry-filling-galaxy-icing/

Firecracker Cake

Firecracker Cake

My granddaughter named this cake and she asks for it every July 4th. I originally found the recipe on Tasty, although they provide it more through instructions than a list of ingredients, and do not include a frosting recipe. I have included my favorite vanilla frosting in the attached recipe. Either way, we love it!

Here is the Tasty link with a great demo: https://www.google.com/amp/s/tasty.co/recipe/marbled-4th-of-july-box-cake

Firecracker Cake

Category: Cakes & Pies, DESSERTS

Servings: 12 Servings

Firecracker Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 boxes of white cake mix (I make mine with the recommended oil and eggs, but I use milk, instead of water)
  • Red and blue food coloring
  • 2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 (7 oz) container of marshmallow fluff
  • Red and blue hard candy (I used Jolly Ranchers – I used 12 red and 6 blue ones)
  • 3 skewers

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease three 8 inch cake pans. Put a parchment paper circle on the bottom of each pan.
  2. Prepare both boxes of cake mix, according to package directions. Divide into 3 bowls. You are going to marble the cake so that it is red, white and blue. Add red food coloring to one if the bowl and blue to another, and mix thoroughly.
  3. Scoop red, white and blue cake mix into each pan and swirl.
  4. Bake accordingly to package directions.
  5. While cake is baking, prepare your frosting.
  6. Beat the butter until fluffy. Add in half of the powdered sugar and mix. Add in the cream, vanilla and remaining powdered sugar. Mix well.
  7. Add the marshmallow fluff to the frosting and whip until fluffy. Remove two 3 TBS portions of frosting into separate bowls, and add red and blue food coloring, and mix well. Set aside.
  8. When cake is done, remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
  9. Cut tops of each cake, so that you have an even surface.
  10. Put frosting between each layer, sides and top of cake. Dab small bits of red and blue frosting on the sides of the cake, only. Using a spatula smooth the red and blue frosting around the sides.
  11. To make the firecracker (really they look like fireworks) toppers, set out a sheet of parchment paper and place 3 skewers on the paper. Melt the hard candy in microwave safe bowl for 1 minute. Drizzle the melted candy back and forth to create the shape of an exploding firework. Start with the red and then do the blue candy. Let cool to harden.
  12. Garnish cake with the candy fireworks, and serve.
http://michellesipsandsavors.com/firecracker-cake/

Mixed Berry Slab Pie

Mixed Berry Slab Pie

When I think of July 4th celebrations and summer entertaining, berry pie always comes to mind. I decided to make this pie, when my granddaughter showed up with fresh picked blackberries. It’s super simple, especially if you use pre-made pie crust. I use the Dough Puck from Texas Pie Company, which is sold at my local grocer. Adding some fun stars makes it even more festive. What are you waiting for? Start that summer baking!

Mixed Berry Slab Pie

Category: Cakes & Pies, DESSERTS

Servings: 12 Servings

Mixed Berry Slab Pie

Ingredients

  • Pie crust of your choice (You will need 2 pie crusts. I used 2 Texas Pie Company’s Pie Dough Pucks sold at my local grocer)
  • 3 pints of blackberries, washed
  • 1 pint of blueberries, washed
  • 1 pint of strawberries, washed & rough chopped
  • 1/2 pint of raspberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (use water or a different juice, if you don’t have orange juice)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Dash salt
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • Optional: Decorative sparkle sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Place washed fruit, sugar, flour, salt, juice and lemon zest in a bowl. Mix gently, and set aside.
  3. Divide pie dough – 1 1/2 for pie and the other half to make decorative shapes. I made stars.
  4. Roll out dough on parchment paper. Size to fit your pan. I used a 11×16 pan. Flip dough onto pan, press into pan and trim excess, leaving just enough dough to create a decorative border. I used a fork to make a decorative edge. I also used the fork to prick the crust and create air holes all over the crust.
  5. Place fruit mixture on top of dough, and spread evenly.
  6. Brush edges of crust with egg wash.
  7. Bake for 40 minute, or until bubbly.
  8. While pie is baking, roll out remaining dough on parchment paper. Cut out desired shapes to place on top of the baked pie. I cut out stars in various sizes.
  9. Place cut out shapes on a parchment lined pan, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with decorative sugar. Bake the shapes for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
  10. Remove pie from oven and let cool. Once cooled, place decorative pie crust shapes on top & serve.
http://michellesipsandsavors.com/mixed-berry-slab-pie/

French Strawberry Cake

French Strawberry Cake

DESSERTS

I have been making this recipe for years. Got it from my mom, who used to make a lot of strawberry desserts.  This cake is quite easy – you just mix it up and put it in your baking pan. As easy as it is, I think it is very fancy looking. It for sure tastes good – my husband asks for it often. Very moist, not too sweet. He even asks for it for Thanksgiving. Go figure!

French Strawberry Cake

Category: Cakes & Pies, DESSERTS

Servings: 8 Servings

French Strawberry Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick of softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt (I use low fat)
  • 2 cups rough chopped strawberries
  • Sugar for finishing

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch round pan. Add parchment paper to the bottom.
  2. In medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Whip butter and sugar until fluffy.
  4. Add in eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each egg.
  5. Add in vanilla and beat well.
  6. Alternately, add in the flour mixture and the sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  7. Fold in strawberries with a spatula.
  8. Spread batter in prepared pan and sprinkle top with sugar.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean.
  10. Cool and serve. Cake will come out of pan easily if you want to plate it for display.
http://michellesipsandsavors.com/french-strawberry-cake/

 

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