Category Archives: Dessert

Like carrot cake (& cream cheese)? This is the best!

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Like carrot cake (& cream cheese)?  This is the best!

The tradition at my place of employment is sorta strange — the person having the birthday brings the treats for everyone else.  Weird, huh?  Well, anyway, my big day is Tuesday, and I’ll be traveling to D.C. for work.  So, I’m thinking better brew up something for tomorrow, AND I realized I had never shared this amazing recipe.  This won’t feed the everyone, but my team is going to be in cream cheese heaven!

Some might say that the frosting is what it’s all about.  Frankly, I’m not sure, but it’s easy peasy, quick and delish!

Also, my Easter Sunday has involved changing out all the batteries in our smoke detectors – I encourage you to do the same!

Enjoy!

~Connie Kaye

Easy Carrot Cake

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Ingredients:

3 cups shredded carrots
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, well drained
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
4 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon

Frosting
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened(
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
3 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar

  1.  In a large bowl, beat the first 5 ingredients until well blended.  In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and cinnamon; gradually beat into carrot mixture.
  2. Spoon batter into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan completely in wire rack
  3. Frosting:  Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a large bowl until blended.  Gradually beat in the confectioner’s sugar until smooth.  Spread on cake, and refrigerate any leftovers.

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Boston Creme Pie Cupcakes???

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Boston Creme Pie Cupcakes???

I am a fan of Boston Creme Pie, although I don’t eat a lot of sweets.  However, I am not a baker (even though that’s my maiden name).  I cannot even make decent chocolate chip cookies, but my roommate (a.k.a. Mike) kicks it to the moon with his!  I ran across this recipe posted by Life, Love & Sugar, and thought I’d give it a whirl.

I actually made everything from scratch, although while I had the hubs whisking for a second, he (possibly sarcastically) said, you know, you could just use a yellow cake mix.  Yep, I had already thought of that, and actually looked at the options in my cupboard.  But I figured I was going to do this the recommended way.  I did read some of the comments, and one person suggested that instead of making the filling, use a 50/50 ratio of whipped cream and vanilla pudding.  I figured it was just as much trouble to make the pudding as it is to make the filling, so what the heck, just go for it!  As far as the cake mix idea, you could certainly use the shortcut of a butter yellow cake mix.

The only other recommendation that I have would be on the ganache frosting — make it FIRST!  I was doing all of this in anticipation of watching the KSU Wildcats play (eek out a win, and make it to the Elite 8) and I got to the last step which is the ganache frosting and it has to chill for an hour or two.  Therefore, I ended up hurrying around to get the cupcakes iced.  I admit that I tried to use my pastry bag to pipe the icing, but remember, I’m NOT a baker, and I ended up with ganache on anything within reach on my kitchen counter (even my salt shaker).  Therefore, I iced the little devils!  Took them to work, and wow, what a great way to start a Friday.

So, if you like Boston Creme Pie, I encourage you to make these, and if you have tips or suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!  Happy Weekend!

~Connie Kaye

Boston Creme Pie Cupcakes

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Ingredients:

Vanilla Cupcakes
6 tbsp, unsalted butter
3/4 cups sugar
6 tbsp sour cream, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
6 tbsp milk
2 tbsp water

Pastry Creme Filling
2 egg yolks
6 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup + 2 tbsp  milk
1 tbsp salted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache
12 oz  semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp light corn syrup
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream

Let’s Do This

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare cupcake pan with liners
  2. Make ganache:   Put the chocolate chips and corn syrup in a large bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a boil, then pour over the chocolate chips. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Place the chocolate ganache in the fridge until completely cool and firm, 1-2 hours.
  3. Make cupcakes:  In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the amount of creaming time.  Add sour cream and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.  Add egg whites in two batches, mixing until well combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine the milk and water in a small measuring cup.
    Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the milk mixture and mix until well combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. Fill the cupcake liners about halfway. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
  5. Make filling:  Put the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl and gently beat them together. Set aside.  Add the sugar, cornstarch and milk to a large saucepan and mix until smooth.  Cook, stirring continuously, over medium-high heat until mixture begins to thicken and bubble.   Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.   Add a little bit of milk mixture to the egg yolks and whisk together, then add egg mixture to milk mixture. This process ensures that you don’t cook the egg yolks.  Place the pan back on the heat and bring to a light boil. Allow to boil for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.   Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth, then set aside to cool to room temperature.
  6. Once everything is cooled and ready, cut out the centers of the cupcakes. I used an empty pill bottle, but apparently there’s a cupcake corer on the market; you could also use a knife.
  7. Divide the pastry cream between the cupcakes and fill in the centers.
  8. Frosting  If you want to get fancy, pipe it on (once it’s hung out and chilled), or just ice as usual.  Either way, delish!
  9. Store in fridge, and are good for 2-3 days.  Be sure to cover so as not to dry out!

 

While the berries are fresh…..

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While the berries are fresh…..

try this cheesecake on for size!  I made it to celebrate a colleague’s completion of her master’s degree, and it was a huge hit.  Turns out the toughest thing about it is not gobbling up the berries as you are making the cheesecake – they are sooo delicious now!

A pic of this delish final product:

cheesecake

As we were snarfing it up, she mentioned being able to now just read a magazine, surf the web, and watch TV, instead of homework.  Man, I remember how great that feeling was!  So Charmine, here’s to you – enjoy and congrats again!

~Connie Kaye

Red, White & Blue Cheesecake Bars

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Ingredients:

Ingredients:
2 pkg crisp, sweet cookies (such as Pepperidge Farm Boardeaux)
1/4 cup salted butter, melted

1 cup each fresh or frozen raspberries and blueberries
3/4 cup plus 2 tsp granulated sugar, divided
2 tbsp water, divided

3 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 sp salt
2 lg. egg whites
1 lg. egg
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tbsp flour
2 tsp fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
2 tsp vanilla extract

Puttin’ the party together:

Preheat oven to 350.  Process cookies in a food processor until finely ground, then drizzle melted butter over cookie crumbs; pulse well a couple of times to mix.  Press crumb mixture into bottom of lightly greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake about 10 minutes, until lightly browned.  Cool completely, about 30 minutes.  Reduce oven temp to 325.

Meanwhile, combine raspberries and 2 tablespoon each of the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to mash raspberries, until thickened, about 6-8 minutes.  Place raspberry mixture in a fire wire-mesh strainer over a bowl; press mixture until there are about 3 tbsp. raspberry puree in bowl.  Discard solids in strainer.  Cool puree completely.  Repeat exact process with blueberries.

Beat softened cream cheese, salt, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Add egg whites and egg, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add sour cream, flour, lemon juice, and vanilla, and beat at low speed until smooth.  Pour batter into prepared baking dish; smooth top.

Drop level teaspoons of raspberry and blueberry purees all over the top of batter; gently swirl with a knife.

Bake at 325 until cheesecake is almost set (center will still be a little jiggly when dish is touched), 25 to 28 minutes.  Run a knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen, and cool on wire rack 1 hour.  Cover and chill 4 hours or overnight.  Cut into bars and dive into deliciousness!

 

An EASY, yet fancy dessert!

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I LOVE creme brulee — actually, I love custard-type desserts.  I don’t make them often, but dinner at a friend’s house called for a little yummo action.

I wanted to share this super easy recipe, because it’s not at all complicated, and many of them are.  Vanilla beans – pish, posh — real vanilla (mine’s from Mexico) and some Grand Marnier and you’re good to go.  I also have the little kitchen torch, but if nobody’s looking, just grab your grill lighter and it will work in a real pinch 🙂

creme brulee

Give it a try – you’ll be glad you did!  Happy Friday Friends!

~Connie Kaye

Creme Brulee

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Ingredients:

 

1 extra-large egg  (large eggs work fine)
4 extra-large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for each serving
3 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of the sugar together on low speed until just combined. Meanwhile, scald the cream in a small saucepan until it’s very hot to the touch but not boiled (be careful that you don’t end up with scrambled eggs). With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the cream to the eggs. Add the vanilla and orange liqueur and pour into ramekins or small custard dishes until almost full.

Place the ramekins in a baking pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custards are set when gently shaken (they get kinda bubbly on top). Remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until firm.

To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and heat with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar carmelizes evenly. Allow to sit at room temperature for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens.

Crockpot Crack

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Not that we all need more chocolate this time of year, but hey, it’s the holidays, and we all need some good go-to’s for family, friends, work, etc.

So here’s another drug recipe — well, not really.  A co-worker makes this and swears by it.  Super easy and no way you can mess it up.

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Photo credit keyingredient.com

Happy holidays, and thanks for stopping by!

~Connie Kaye

Crockpot Crack

  • Servings: depends
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Ingredients:

1-16 oz jar unsalted peanuts
1-16 oz. jar salted peanuts
1-12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-12 oz. bag milk chocolate chips
2-10 oz. bags peanut butter chips
2 – lb. pkg white almond bark or vanilla candy coating

layer all ingredients in a large crockpot, starting with peanuts.  (at this point I hope you are using a crockpot liner).  Turn the pot on low, cover with lid, and leave sitting for 2 hours.  Remove lid and stir to combine.  Replace lid and leave sitting for another 30 minutes.  Stir again then spoon mixture onto wax paper or non-stick aluminum foil.  Allow to harden for at least one hour.

 

 

 

A delicious, easy summer dessert!

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Pineapple Poke Bundt Cake.  Catchy name, huh?  I actually stumbled across this recipe in the Sunday coupon ads (of course I didn’t use the coupon) but the cake is delicious.  I thought I would share because it’s easy. quick, moist and delicious!

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I snapped a quick pic before it was attacked!  Enjoy as we are and thanks, Dole, for the recipe!

Pineapple Poke Bundt Cake

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Ingredients

1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple
1 box yellow layer cake mix
1 small pkg vanilla instant pudding
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 TBSP vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp butter, melted
(confectioners sugar glaze recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray.  Drain pineapple; measure 3/4 cup juice to use with cake mix, reserve remainder for soaking mixture.

Beat cake mix, pudding mix, 4 eggs, oil and 3/4 cup pineapple juice.  Add 1 tbsp vanilla, beat, and then fold in crushed pineapple.  Pour into pan and bake for 38-42 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Combine remaining pineapple juice, powdered sugar and melted butter in a small bowl while cake is baking.  Add remaining 1 tbsp vanilla.

Remove cake from oven and set on wire rack.  Poke holes at 1/2 inch intervals with a skewer while still hot and in pan.  Pour mixture over cake slowly with a spoon.  You may need to poke additional holes.  Advice:  just go crazy with the skewer the first time.    Allow to cool in pan 30-40 minutes, then flip upside down on serving platter.  Cool completely then drizzle with glaze.

Confectioner’s glaze: 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 tbsp cold milk.  Whisk completely.