Icebox Cake

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Or Zebra Cake as my son and I call it. I got a recipe card for this in our last Hello Fresh delivery and of course I had to try it. Only 2 ingredients?! Come on! So easy, and a no bake dessert at that. Awesome!

Oh and Hello Fresh is a food delivery service just like Blue Apron (which we also use). They send you pre-portioned ingredients for 3 meals for you + 1 or 3 depending on family size. It’s great! Definitely check them out 🙂

Back to this cake… it really is so delicious and so easy to make but also very filling! I made my own whipped cream which is way better than Cool Whip in my opinion. And that’s also so easy. I will share the recipe in this blog post. So, before going in there are 2 things you need to know: first is that it needs to be refrigerated for at least 8 hours or overnight before serving. A great dessert to make the day before. Second is that you need a springform pan. So before attempting this recipe, make sure you have time and the correct pan.

Let’s get to it…

What you will need:

8 or 9 inch springform pan

3 cups cold heavy cream
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
(2) 9 oz packages of chocolate wafter cookies

I used these

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To make your own whipped cream, in a cold metal (or glass) bowl, whisk all first 3 ingredients until stiff peaks form. It took me literally 5 or 6 minutes, my arm was hurting! It takes a while but it’s so worth it.

Once your whipped cream is made, evenly spread 1/2 cup on the bottom of the pan. Next, evenly place the wafer cookies on top of the whipped cream layer. Continue making layers like this making sure you end with whipped cream. I did 4 layers of cookies but could have probably done another one. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Tip: Feel free to break cookies the fill in any gaps.

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When ready to serve, carefully remove sides of pan. Use a warm knife to cut and rinse off after every slice for smooth edges. Enjoy!

Store covered, in the fridge.

Fresh Cherry Cobbler

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Summer is the season for farmers markets here in Chicago and my oh my! I’m in love! I was surprisingly a market virgin (gasp!) until this year. Can you believe it? There are literally 3 walking distance from my house so now I’m obsessed! Yes, the items/products are more expensive, but you get it straight from the source and meet some really cool people all at the same time. When the farmers tell you their crops were picked just 2 hours ago, how can you say no? So, here I am with my market cherry popped with a fantastic cherry recipe 😉

I made a tiny cherry cobbler because I only had 2 cups of cherries. If you have more, you can easily double the recipe. The recipe I have given here is double what I actually made. So, this is for an 8 x 8 inch pan but you can double it to make a  9 x 13.

Oh and just a quick tip; investing in a cherry pitter would be a smart thing to do. I do not have one and holy mess! Just look below…

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I felt like I was committing murder, Dexter style. But, all is good, cherry juice is delicious and doesn’t stain. So…

Let’s get this cherry party started!

What you will need:

8 x 8 inch square bake dish

For the filling:

3 cups fresh cherries, washed and pitted
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1/8 cup cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 TBSP butter, cold and sliced
1/4 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. In a pot, stir all the ingredients for the filling. Over medium-high heat on the stove, stir until it simmers. Once simmering, stir for 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and pour into bake dish.

Start the topping. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, both sugars, baking powder and cinnamon until combined. Cut the butter into the mixture either using your fingers, or with a pastry cutter until it resembles wet sand. Add the boiling water and mix with a spoon until well combined.

Drop the topping over the cherry filling until it is completely covered. Bake for about 15-22 minutes, depending on pan size. Topping will be lightly browned and filling hot and bubbly.

Allow to cool for 20 minutes before digging in! Enjoy 🙂 Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Store covered in the fridge.

Banana Bread Muffins with Crumb Topping


I love me some crumb topping and I always have bananas in my freezer so… the perfect recipe is here! These are SO good! The perfect breakfast or snack packed with flavor, carbs and sugar! 

I needed a recipe not only to use up the bananas in my freezer, but one that I could use a jumbo size egg. Why they even sell those at the store RIGHT NEXT to the large ones is beyond me. But yes, I accidentally bought jumbo eggs. They are perfect for scrambling eggs for breakfast. Baking with them is another story. 2 jumbo eggs is more like 3 large ones. I used 1 jumbo in this recipe and it was perfect! Now that doesn’t mean you have to run to the store and get jumbo eggs. You might just need to use the whites of an additional egg for this recipe.

Ok… enough about jumbo eggs, let’s get to baking!

What you will need:

Cupcake tin lined with liners

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Egg
3 bananas, mashed

For the Crumb Topping:

2 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside. In another bowl, beat melted butter and sugar. Beat in egg until combined. Beat in mashed bananas until everything is nice and smooth and blended. Slowly beat in flour mixture until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan, just above halfway full. Then, make the topping. In a bowl, mix all ingredients with your fingers until it resembles sand or coarse crumbs, pinching the butter with your fingertips. Evenly distribute on the tops of the cupcakes. Bake for 14-15 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack before digging in.

Store at room temperature in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Makes 10 muffins

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Blue Cupcakes

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When we’re bored, we bake! And of course Liam wanted something blue so he got EVERYTHING blue 🙂 He actually did most of the preparing for these blue cupcakes besides pouring the batter into the pan and piping the frosting. I know, I know… it looks like a 4 year old did it but I don’t have anymore piping bags and the ziplock bag I was using sprung a leak!

It did not take long to make these little guys. They are mini cupcakes (not sure if you can tell by the pictures) and I used a box of Pillsbury cake mix. Half a box of cake mix actually. I needed to use it up and you know I LOVE cake so here we are! Super BLUE cupcakes. I will give the recipe I used below, but you can also just use an entire cake mix and add food coloring. Same with the frosting.

So… here we go! Start those ovens…

What you will need: 

Cupcake tin lined with cupcake liners

Half a box of Pillsbury Yellow Cake Mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1 egg
Food coloring
Note: White cake mix would be better, obviously. Ours came out a little on the green side since the batter was yellow.

For the frosting

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Food coloring

Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, beat all ingredients for the cake until well blended. Pour into prepared cups about halfway full. Bake for about 12-13 minutes for mini cupcakes, longer for regular size.

Allow to cool on a wire rack before removing the cupcakes from the pan. Cool completely out of the pan while you make the frosting.

For the frosting, beat butter and 1 cup of sugar until smooth. Add in milk and vanilla and beat until combined. Add in food coloring and more powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency.

Frost cupcakes, decorate and enjoy! Store covered at room temperature.

Kolachki?

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Yes, the question mark should be there because I’m not sure if I should even call these cookies Kolachki. They are supposed to be like little blankets but they came apart within 2 minutes in the oven. I’m not a perfectionist so when my baking goes wrong, I still want to post about it and give tips on how to not make the same mistakes.

These cookies are very easy and super yummy. Typically, you will see them around Christmastime but I never made them before so here I am! In May (my favorite month by the way because my birthday is next week). 😉 I will definitely make them again and do it right. I felt rushed when making these for some reason. So I will tell you what I did wrong and I can count 2 major things; 1. I rolled out the dough too thick. Always a problem for me, I’m not a pro at rolling out dough. 2. I used too small of a cookie cutter. It should be more like a 3 inch square and I used a circle that is 2 inches. So I guess that is really 3 things.

Here is the recipe! Literally 5 ingredients. So easy, just don’t make the same mistakes I did. Go turn on your oven.

What you will need:

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
3 oz. cream cheese at room temp
1 cup all-purpose flour
Fruit preserves for filling
Powdered sugar for dusting

Note: This recipe can easily be doubled if you need more than 15 cookies. Also, use preserves and not jelly. Jelly has a different consistency that just doesn’t work when baked.

Here are the preserves that I used:

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In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese until nice and smooth. Add flour and beat until just combined. This is your dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for an hour or 2.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. On a lightly floured surface, roll out chilled dough to 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut out with 3 inch (preferably square) cookie cutters. Place cookies on prepared cookie sheet. Drop 1/2 teaspoon of preserves on each cookie. Tightly wrap the end corners around the filling:

I was hoping my cookies were going to stay like that but alas, they did not. They look so cute! Like little baby Jesus’ wrapped up 🙂

Bake for about 12 minutes. Cool on wire rack completely. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy! Store covered.

 

Mini Reece’s Pieces Chocolate Chip Cookies 

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These may be my favorite cookie. Peanut butter and chocolate, a match made in heaven. The dough is so amazing and the finished bake is a chewy, peanut buttery goodness! Reece’s is my husbands favorite candy so when I bake, I try to please him as much as possible so he’ll eat what I make. Otherwise, I end up eating it all! Or I have to give some to friends/neighbors.

Anyway, these were a hit in our house! The recipe makes a lot of cookies but can easily be halved if you don’t want to make so much. So, go put on those aprons and let’s BAKE!

What you will need:

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup crushed mini Reece’s Pieces
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
More mini Reece’s Pieces for the tops of the cookies

Tip: To crush the Reece’s, just put in a ziplock bag and bang away with a rolling pin or the smooth side of a meat mallet.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, beat together the butter, oil and both sugars until you reach a nice, smooth consistency. Beat in both eggs until combined. Beat in vanilla. Slowly add in flour mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in crushed Reece’s and chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheet. Press about 10 mini Reece’s pieces onto the tops of each cookie. Bake for about 8 minutes. I made pretty big cookies so I needed more like 9 minutes. Allow to cool for a minute on bake sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store covered. Enjoy!

 

Simple Butter Cake 

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Yum! Yum! Yum! Ate way too much in my tum tum tum! This butter cake is so simple to make and it is so delish! Very similar to a pound cake but not as dry or dense. I had to use up some strawberries and had these ingredients on hand so here I am, sharing this gorgeous cake recipe with you. It’s perfect for the first day of spring! Top it with powdered sugar and fresh fruit and you are good to go! Have a slice for breakfast even, with a cup of coffee and you are ready to tackle the day.

What you will need:

9 inch round cake pan sprayed with non-stick spray and lined with parchment paper

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup granulated  sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk (preferably 2% or whole)
Powdered sugar (for dusting)
Fresh fruit for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Slowly beat in flour mixture, alternating with the milk until everything is combined.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before inverting to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with fresh fruit. Enjoy!