Coffee Caramel Ice Cream & Cotton Candy Cupcakes

With summer officially here, I think it’s only fitting that we pivot to hot weather recipes. Ice cream isn’t one of those things that I eat often, but when I do, I love it homemade. And the cupcakes? Both fun and delicious. In case you missed June’s recipes, catch up below!

Continue reading “Coffee Caramel Ice Cream & Cotton Candy Cupcakes”

Lemon Blueberry Cookies

Looking for a cookie that’s soft, refreshing, and full of lemon? Then boy do I have a treat for you! Similar in taste to a scone, these lemon blueberry cookies are their lighter, fluffier cousin. Not only that, but they have lemon throughout all three parts: lemon zest in the cookies, fresh lemon juice in the glaze, and lemon sugar. Plus, using fresh blueberries provides a burst of flavor with every bite.

Not a big fan of lemon glaze? Feel free to omit it. I promise they’ll taste just as great.

A quick note about storage: these are best kept in the fridge, or at least stored in a cool room. Otherwise, because they’re so moist, they won’t keep as long.

What You NeedBlog Ingredients.jpg

Cookies

  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Zest of 1 lemon (approx. 1 ½ teaspoons)

Glaze

  • 2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Lemon sugar (enough to sprinkle–not even a ¼ cup)

 

How You Do It
Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and zest lemon.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder and set aside.
  3. Wash and thorough dry blueberries. Coat with cornstarch. This will prevent the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the cookies.Blog Blueberries.jpg
  4. Mix together the butter and cream cheese.Blog Cream Cheese Butter.jpg
  5. When combined, add in the sugar and eggs.Blog Sugar Eggs
  6. Pour in the milk, vanilla, and lemon zest.Blog Milk
  7. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches (1 cup, 1 cup, ¼ cup), making sure to stir between each. Batter will be thick and shouldn’t stick to your finger when touched.Blog Dry Ingredients
  8. Dump the blueberries in, and using a spoon, fold them into the dough. Be as gentle as possible, but if you break a few of them, that’s okay. When done, stick in the fridge for 10 minutes.Blog Adding Blueberries
  9. When ready, remove from fridge and begin shaping. Spooning out one (generous) tablespoon at a time, place cookie dough on an ungreased cookie sheet. You can either roll the dough into a ball or leave it as it is. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  10. Let cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.Blog Cooling

Glaze

  1. When cookies have cooked, combine all ingredients. Because powdered sugar dissolves fairly easily, you can mix by hand if you’d like, simply use a fork. Note: try not make this too far ahead of time. If you do, the glaze will harden, making it difficult to dip the cookies.Blog Glaze
  2. Dip the cookies into the glaze, allowing excess to drip off.Blog Dipping
  3. Wait a couple of seconds before sprinkling on the lemon sugar. I like to dip 4 cookies and then put on the sugar. This gives the glaze a just enough time to firm up on the cookies and prevent sliding, but not so long that the sugar won’t adhere.Blog Sprinkle Sugar
  4. Continue to glaze, and, when done, enjoy!

Blog finished 1And look at the centers! Absolutely full of fruit.Blog CenterIf you’d like, you can even omit the glaze–they still look and taste amazing.Blog Unfrosted.jpg

The choice is completely yours.20180707_182954

Until next time,
Danielle

Red, White, and Blue Brownie Pops

Happy 4th of July! If you’re looking for something last-minute that has a huge wow factor, this recipe’s for you!

Cake pops (in this case, brownie pops!) do take some time and there’s a bit of technique involved with dipping them in the chocolate, but, overall, these are a lot easier than you think. Not only are we using an easy-peasy brownie recipe, but because all of these are hand-dipped, you don’t have to worry about uniformity, meaning there’s no stress if they don’t all look the same. After all, that’s part of their charm!

What You NeedBlog Ingredients.jpg
Brownie Batter

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (2 bars)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup flour

Frosting

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

White Chocolate Coating

  • 4-5 cups white chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup blue chocolate (pre-colored)
  • 1 cup red chocolate (pre-colored)


How You Do It
Batter

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter a 9×13 inch or 8×8 inch pan.
  2. In a medium pot, melt butter on medium-lowBlog Butter
  3. Add water and sugar to butter. Stirring occasionally, cook until mixture starts to bubble.Blog Sugar Water
  4. Turn stove to low and add chocolate and vanilla. Stirring frequently, cook until chocolate melts. When mixture is similar in consistency to frosting, remove from stove and let cool. Note: cooling time is important. Otherwise, the eggs will begin to cook if added immediately.
  5. When cooled, add in the eggs and stir. At this point, the consistency will be similar to pudding.Blog Egg
  6. Going 1/3 a cup at a time, add in the flour and baking soda.Blog Batter
  7. Spread evenly over the pan and bake. If you used a 9×13 pan, cook time will be 10-12 minutes; if 8×8, it’ll be 25-30.Blog Unbaked

Frosting

  1. Combine butter and vanilla.Blog Butter Vanilla (2)
  2. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar. If the mixture is dry and clumpy, that’s okay!Blog Frosting 1
  3. Mix in 2 tablespoons and milk. At this point, the frosting will he on the thinner side, but still hold its shape.
  4. Add in the remaining sugar. Frosting will be thick.Blog Frosting 3
  5. Add in the rest of the milk. Depending on your desired consistency, add in either 1/2 or 1 tablespoon.Blog Frosting 4

Cake Pop Balls

  1. Using a fork, crumble the brownies. Break down as many as large chunks as possible, and pour into a large bowl.Blog CrumbleBrownie Crumbles
  2. Add in 3 dollops of frosting (there might be leftovers) and mix with a spoon. Roll some between your hands. The mixture should be moist, but not overly wet. If too dry, add in more frosting.Blog Brownie Frosting
  3. Begin to shape into balls. Roll into desired size, placing on a plate. When finished, cover, and stick in fridge until ready to assemble.

Chocolate Coating

  1. When ready to assemble, melt chocolate in separate bowls.  If you’re using a microwave, melt for 15-20 seconds at a time, stirring between each.Blog Chocolate Colors
  2. To add sticks to brownie balls, dip into white chocolate, scraping edges.
  3. Slowly push stick into the brownie balls. This will act as a glue, keeping the stick firmly in place.Blog Stick
  4. Combine colors. Using either piping bags or plastic baggies, but the red chocolate in one bag and the blue in another.
  5. Alternating between colors, drizzle over white chocolate.Blog Drizzle
  6. Swirling as you go, dip the cake pop into the chocolate. Continue to swirl as you pull up.Blog Dip
  7. If you don’t have full coverage on the first dip, use a knife to spoon out a small amount of chocolate and spread over and part that isn’t covered in chocolate.Blog Knife
  8. Stick in freezer until hardened, then move to fridge. When ready to eat, remove from fridge, wait five minutes, and enjoy!20180701_181958

Aren’t they gorgeous? I love how no two are alike.20180703_122903.jpg

Some even remind me of planets.20180703_122814.jpg

They’re absolutely perfect for lounging poolside.

20180703_122703.jpg

So what are you waiting for? Give these a go, and let me know how it goes! Until next time,

♥Danielle

Cotton Candy Cupcakes

With summer officially in swing, I can’t help but think of fair food: funnel cakes, candy apples, corn dogs, and, as you can imagine, cotton candy! Growing up, I used to LOVE cotton candy, especially the blue (actually, anything blue candy gets my vote), so it only makes sense that I made a cupcake version.
The cake itself is a pretty standard vanilla–where the cotton candy comes in is the lovely cotton candy toppings (of course) and the frosting. Yep, that’s right: there’s cotton candy in the frosting. Not only does it provide a bit of coloring (I opted to add a bit of coloring, but it’s optional), but some of the cotton candy doesn’t fully dissolve, leaving lovely little pieces.

What You NeedBlog Batter Ingredients

Cupcake Batter

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) salted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup milk

Blog Frosting Ingredients

Frosting

  • 2 ¾ cups powdered sugar (+ more, if thicker consistency is desired)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup cotton candy
  • Food coloring gel, optional

Decorations

  • Cotton candy
  • Lollipop sticks

How You Do It
Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Mix eggs and sugar until combined.Blog Eggs Sugar
  3. Add in softened butter and vanilla. Beat until lumps are minimal (about 2 minutes).Blog Butter
  4. In separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients: flour and baking powder. Alternating with the milk add into the wet ingredients, mixing for 10-15 seconds each.

½ cup flour
¼ cup milk
½ cup flour
¼ cup milk
½ cup flourBlog Batter

Blog BatterBlog Batter

5. Pour batter into the muffin tin, dividing equally.Blog Cupcakes in Pan

Blog Cupcakes in Pan
Blog Cupcakes in Pan

6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out cleanly.Frosting

  1. Starting with ½ cup powdered sugar, combine with 1 tablespoon of milk and all of the softened butter. If mixture appears stiff or dry, that’s okay! 

  2. Add in vanilla and ½ cup of cotton candy.Blog Frosting CC
  3. Add in the rest of the milk, confectioner’s sugar, and cotton candy. Not all of the cotton candy would dissolve, and, if you’re like, feel free to add in a bit more–no rules here! If the frosting is too thin, feel free to add in more powdered sugar.20180610_102517.jpg
  4. Color. Because the cotton candy turned the frosting a pale blue, I opted to use red; it turned it a light purple. Because I wanted it to remain a pretty pastel shade, I added only a tiny bit, but there’s no right or wrong amount.blog-frosting-add-color.jpg
  5. Using your desired tip, pipe on the cupcakes.Blog Frosted

Decorations

  1. Wash and dry your hands. Dry hands are crucial to this! If you’d like, either wear gloves or coat your fingers in cornstarch. Otherwise, the cotton candy will dissolve against your fingers.
  2. Tear off some cotton candy. Using as little pressure as possible, wrap it around the lollipop stick.Blog Cotton Candy
  3. Press the stick into the center of the cupcake.Blog Decorate
  4. Step back and admire your work!

Blog Finished Close Up

A quick note: if you can, hold off on decorating these. As pretty as they are, if the cotton candy is exposed to air for too long, it hardened as becomes brittle (see below).

Blog FInished Difference

Otherwise, I absolutely love these! They’re just so fun. They’re both super easy and have a huge impact. Plus, it’s a good use of leftover cotton candy that you brought home from your local fair or carnival.

Blog finished 1
What do you think? Give them a go, and share your results! Until next time,
♥Danielle

Coffee Caramel Ice Cream

Nothing screams “Summer!” quite like ice cream. And, sure, you can go with the traditional–vanilla, strawberry, chocolate–once you’ve mastered those, it’s time to move onto something something more adventurous.

Actually, “mastered” might not even be the right word. Did you know ice cream actually isn’t all that difficult to make? It’s true! Outside of the basic ingredients, all you need is a lot of patience. That’s it. No special skills or magic required.

Trust me. Give this coffee caramel ice cream a go and you’ll see what I mean. You’ll be able to “master” ice cream in no time!

What You NeedBlog Ingredients.jpg

  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 4 ½  teaspoons ground coffee + ¼ to ½ cup water (depending on how strong you’d like the coffee taste)
  • ½ – 1 cup caramel sauce (note: thicker sauce is better. Avoid anything that says “syrup” as it will dissolve into the ice cream and you won’t have thick, gooey ribbons of caramel throughout)

 

How You Do It

  1. The night before, freeze your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Having a freezing bowl is crucial; without it, your ice cream won’t properly firm up before it goes it the freezer, resulting in chunks of ice. At least 12-15 hours minimum is recommended.
  2. Brew coffee. I placed mine in empty tea bags. To prevent burning, use a medium temperature and let coffee brew as you make the rest of the ice cream.
  3. In a medium saucepan heated to low, whisk together the heavy whipping cream, milk, vanilla, and sugar. Stirring frequently, heat until small bubbles begin to form. Remove from heat and let cool at least 5 minutes.Blog Cream Sugar
  4. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and discard the egg whites. Using a fork, whisk together the egg yolks until they’re completely blended together.Blog Eggs
  5. Whisking as you go, very slowly pour the egg yolks into the heavy whipping cream mixture. Turn stove up to medium, and heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Once the mixture reaches 180 F, remove from stove.Blog AllBlog Temp
  6. Stir in brewed coffee. If you used tea bags, plop them right into the mixture–this will strengthen the flavor. Let sit for at least 20 minutes, cover, and put mixture in the fridge (not freezer) anywhere from 1-3 hours.Blog Brew Coffee
  7. Mix in ice cream maker according to manufacturer. I mixed for 20 minutes, but if it don’t begin to firm up, it’s a good indication that the bowl wasn’t cold enough.Blog Ince Cream Maker
  8. When ice cream starts to firm up but is still soft, spoon into container. Layer in the caramel sauce, finishing with a drizzle on top. Cover and freeze, preferably overnight.Blog Caramel Sauce
  9. When it’s all ready to go, spoon some out into a bowl, drizzle over more caramel sauce, and enjoy!Blog FInished 2

I absolutely love the pockets of caramel–look at that!

Blog Caramel Center

Who knew making ice cream could be so easy? Sure, it takes a bit of time, but, with results like this, why not?

Blog Finished 1

Until next time,
Danielle

Coconut Almond Bars & Classic Yellow Birthday Cake

Did you miss last month’s recipes? Now’s your chance to catch up. Not only did I make myself a birthday (apparently you aren’t supposed to make your own birthday cake, but who cares!), but I also make something that incorporates both coconut flakes and almonds (two things my boyfriend hates but managed to love this time around). Read on to learn more!

Continue reading “Coconut Almond Bars & Classic Yellow Birthday Cake”

Coconut Almond Bars

Coconut Almond Bars

When it comes to baking, these bars are as healthy as they get. Due they have a decent amount of sugar? Of course. Can we taste the butter? Absolutely. But there is also coconut and almonds, which means these are the epitome of ~healthy snacking~ right?

Okay, maybe not.

But they’re delicious, which is what counts.

Even if you’re not big on coconut or almonds, you might like these! My boyfriend, who hates both coconut and almonds found himself asking for more. These reason is that they’re more about adding texture, not so much flavor. Sure, you can taste them, but these bars produce a sweet vanilla flavor, augmented by the coconut flakes and sliced almonds. Definitely a crowd pleaser!

*A quick note: I cooked these on the shortest time possible as to end up with a gooey center. I’m talking fork-and-knife potential. If you’d like a firmer filling, simply bake for 5-10 minutes longer.

What You Need

Blog Crust Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons salted butter, softened

Blog FIlling Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ¾ cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ⅓ cups sliced almonds

 

How You Do It
Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F and butter an 8″ x 8″ glass dish.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, and salt.
  3. Add in the butter until combined. There shouldn’t be any chunks of butter, and a ball of dough should form, able to hold its shape.Blog Crust Dough
  4. Press crust into glass dish and bake for 15 minutes, or until the top begins to brown. Note: the crust doesn’t have to be fully cooked at this point because it’s going to continue to bake later on.Blog Pressed in Pan

Filling

  1. Mix together the brown sugar, eggs, and vanillas until texture resembles a thin, grainy syrupBlog Filling Wet Ingredients
  2. Add in the unsweetened coconut flakes and sliced almondsBlog Filling Almonds CoconutFilling All Ingredients
  3. Pour over crust, making sure to cover the edges. If you’d like, sprinkle on some more coconut flakes. Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on how gooey or firm you’d like the centers.Blog Glass Filled.jpg
  4. Cool for at least 20 minutes. If the bottom of the glass is still warm, don’t cut them yet! You’ll want them at least room temp–if not colder–otherwise, they’ll fall apart when you cut them. If you helps, stick them in the fridge or freezer. When they’ve finally cooled, cut and enjoy!Bars Stacked Done

Look at how deliciously gooey.Blog Bars Done

That’s all for now! If you give these coconut bars a go, let me know how they turn out. Until next time,

♥Danielle

Mix it up: Not a big fan of almonds? Try it with any other nut: walnuts, pecans… Completely up to you!