Posts Tagged 'easy'



Oreo Pudding, An Experiment

oreo pudding 1

I baked up a storm (literally) for my sister’s grad party this year. Here is a sneak peek of one of the desserts I made.

I first tried something like this pudding at a wedding I attended this year. It was like eating cookies n’ cream pudding frosting wonderfulness. I was intrigued and started looking up recipes, and came across a lot of these icebox cakes, which basically involve layering Oreos and whipped cream and letting them sit in the fridge overnight. The Oreos soften up from the cream and the cream thickens up, making a scoopable cake/pudding thing.

oreo pudding 4

oreo pudding 3

It seems incredible to me that you could make such a gloriously delicious dessert with only two main ingredients. I thought it couldn’t be so simple–there had to be something else–so I decided to mess with the original recipe a little. I used cream cheese/whipped cream mixture because I thought it might hold up better in the heat, but next time, I am going to stick with the straight whipped cream, just to see. I didn’t use enough of the cream mixture to really replicate the wedding pudding, so I have to give this a second shot sometime soon.

oreo pudding 2

Good thing it was so rainy that day–the party turnout was less than expected, so we have menny, menny Oreos still lying around. Incidentally, this is a great recipe for a crowd, or for any Fourth of July shenanigans you may have planned. Make ahead, mass quantity and Oreos are always a crowd-pleaser.

Less than pleased,

L

Oreo Pudding

Lots of Oreos

This stabilized whipped cream

Layer the Oreos with the cream cheese/whipped cream mixture in a serving dish of your choice. Refrigerate overnight. Garnish with crumbled Oreos and serve chilled.

 

 

 

Pipe Dream #202: To Stop the Show – Lemon Mousse Crepe Cake

crepe cake 5

Did you know that lemons are always in season? This means two things: 1) This is technically a light “spring” crepe cake, but 2) you can make it any time you are feeling like a perfectly light, undeniably easy and downright show-stopping little number of a cake.

It is my joy to provide you with light, easy, show-stopping little numbers. Especially when you may be planning on hosting a brunch. Stay tuned for my handy guide to brunching, coming up later this week. (It likely won’t be helpful; don’t hold ya breath, Doris.)

crepe cake 2

And it is my particular joy that I didn’t make the crepes from scratch, meaning this cake was actually enjoyable for me to eat.

Well, who am I kidding? Most cake is enjoyable for me to eat, but I mean, after slaving away for hours, sometimes I feel the emotion of tired a little more than if I buy a slice of cake. Thus, this cake is two things: 1) the semi-homemade but 2) a treat for whoever makes it.

crepe cake 3

This is the second-best shot I took of the entire brunch. I love it.

It’s essential (read: freaking sweet) that you make this cake ahead of time. The paper-thin layers of crepe need time to meld with the creamy lemon mousse in the fridge. What goes into the fridge a delicate pile of smooshed crepes, comes out a sliceable masterpiece.

crepe cake 1

If I were to do this cake again, I would maybe double the mousse recipe and put more than a heaping 1/4 cup in between the layers. It would make the cake taller, and then I could eat more mousse.

And SIDENOTE OF IMPORTANCE:

Throwing a brunch might not be a complete cinch, but this lemon curd recipe that I used in the lemon mousse sure is. You make it in the microwave. It takes five minutes. Could life get better?

(Once I posted a recipe for lemon curd. It is a great recipe. No microwave, but no sieving, either, so you can make your choice, I guess.)

crepe cake 6

Like I said, a sliceable masterpiece. Who knew show-stopping could be so easy. Stop the show. Start the applause. I’ll be making one of these babies again soon.

crepe cake 4

Bravissim-ink,

L

Lemon Mousse Crepe Cake

Inspired by Martha Stewart

30 8-inch crepes (I used storebought ones for convenience, but they didn’t taste great)

2 cups prepared lemon curd (I doubled this recipe.)

2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold

3 tablespoons powdered sugar.

2 teaspoons powdered gelatin

2 tablespoons cold water

powdered sugar and blackberries, for garnish

Whip the cream in the stainless steel bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form.

Put the two tablespoons of cold water into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over top. Let this stand for a couple minutes until the water is absorbed. Place the  bowl in the microwave and heat on high power for 30 seconds, until the gelatin has liquefied. Beat this into the whipped cream until just combined.

Fold the whipped cream into the lemon curd until just combined, and refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble to cake, place a crepe on a serving platter. Top with a heaping spoonful (maybe 1/4 cup) of the lemon mousse and spread in a thin layer to about 1/2 inch away from the edge of the crepe. Top with a crepe and repeat until all the crepes have been used. Once the final crepe is placed on the top of the cake, refrigerate until firm, about an hour.

Just before serving, garnish the cake with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, fresh berries, or any reserved whipped cream or lemon curd. Or top with all of the above.

So Totally Creative: A Lion King Skit + South African Fruit Pizza

IMG_20130421_203701

We had this thing for work. It was a wine and cheese tasting event, and each department had a theme. I’d like to say it was this cookie cake that won us the ‘Most Creative’ award, but actually, it was likely the giant, homemade elephant that poured wine out of its trunk and the artful rendition of the christening of Simba that did it. I mean, it was complete with theme music.

It was kind of difficult to come up with truly South African things with which to theme our table. I mean, do you know anything that defines South Africa? Besides the innumerable spoiled princesses who live there vacationing off their diamond-mining fortunes (a fact I know because of five years of Alias storylines, no doubt). So we resorted to a Lion King skit (the most authentically African thing Americans know about) + a cookie pizza decorated with the South African flag.

Here’s the thing: If you’re going to make a South African flag, you might as well make it in the form of a classic Midwestern dessert. I mean, why not? The “fruit pizza” is an old classic in these parts due to its simple preparation and delicious consumption. It is highly transportable and a cinch to do for a crowd, so it shows up at grad parties and potlucks more often than Lil’ Smokies.

Here’s the procedure:

IMAG0592

 

Slice up ya dough and press it into the bottom of a lined 9 x 13″ pan. Bake according to package directions. I didn’t even make my own sugar cookie dough. Woops. Nope, actually I feel fine about that.

IMAG0593

 

Whip up your cream cheese with some sugar. This is the reason this dessert is so heart-stealing. Spread this on the cooled cookie just prior to serving.

 

IMG_20130421_203857

 

Then, fruitify. You can use any fruit you want, and I would . Berries work nicely, kiwis add color. For some reason, I feel like people only use kiwis on this dessert. Where else do you see people use them? Maybe they do in South Africa.

IMG_20130421_203614

May you be the winner of every creativity contest you enter into with every unoriginal idea you’ve ever had. This is dramatic. Go forth and enjoy!

L

Midwest Fruit Pizza

A word of mouth classic

1 16.5 ounce roll of refrigerated sugar cookie dough (though you could make your own, or use a box mix too)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

assorted fruit (berries, mandarin oranges, kiwi, etc.)

Line a 9×13″ pan or a 12″ pizza pan with parchment paper. Slice up the sugar cookie dough, and press it into the pan, covering the bottom with an even layer of dough. Bake according to package directions, something like 11-13 minutes at 350 degrees F. Let cool.

While the cookie layer bakes, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together until well-blended. Spread the cream cheese over the cooled cookie layer and top with the desired fruit just before serving.

Pipe Dream # 184: To Use All The Blubber -Spicy Curry Squash Seeds

IMAG0300

I know I post out of season things a lot. It’s a problem. And this post is a little off too, but just listen! I actually did eat this in March. I just felt like some squash, ok? It doesn’t have to be October for a girl to desire a squash. Probably A Vitamin-deficient.

IMG_20130313_193901

Anyway, enough of my excuses. This trick is one of my favorite efficient-life tricks. You can use the whole squash, like Native Americans used to use every part of the buffalo or every part of a washed-up whale. You know, boiling down the blubber for leather tanner or something. No? I may have read too many books as a child.

Ok, step one. Remove the seeds from your squash. Set aside. Roast squash and eat  it with a glass of Sauv Blanc.

IMAG0296

Step Two: Rinse the seeds and pick off all the stringy bits. Blot with a paper towel.

IMAG0299

Step Three: Spread the seeds in an even layer on an aluminum-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil and desired spices.  I used salt, pepper, cumin, curry and cayenne. You could go sweet though! Sugar and cinnamon would be nice.

Step Four: Using the “Toast” setting on a toaster oven or 450 degrees in  the oven, toast the seeds, stirring and checking them frequently to make sure they don’t burn. Toast until golden. It might take ten minutes. I never know because I keep a close eye. I’ve burnt them too many times.

IMAG0303

Step Five: Let cool, then store in an airtight container. Snackalicious!

L

Pipe Dream #183: To Single-Serve Splurge – No Bake Nests

nests 5

Do you ever buy Mini Cadbury Eggs in single-serve packages even though you know it would be a better deal to buy them in bulk?

Ok, me neither. Phewfta.

nests 3

Ok, I can’t carry on like this.

Confession: I bought Mini Cadbury Eggs in single-serve packages. they were like 84 cents! Mini Eggs are my delight. Even more than regular Creme Eggs. Hay-eck, I can make regular Creme eggs from scratch. But I will pay someone to make Mini Eggs.

nests 1

Seeing Mini Eggs in-store means that it is Easter time. I thought it would be cute to stick little candies in a classic no bake cookie, making little nests for a themed treat. I thought this was an #lhoriginal thought, but after a quick Google search, I’d been scooped once again.

nests 4

No bake cookies are literally the easiest cookie on the earth. And they take no time (exaggeration). And they are high in fiber. And they are so chocolaty peanuty nom nom.

One thing to heed is the amount of time that you boil the sugar/cocoa mixture. Boiling for a short minute will give you soft, shiny cookies. If you boil it for longer than a minute, your cookies will be a little crumbly. I couldn’t tell if the mixture was boiling–it was kind of a slow glurg at the edges of the saucepan–so I think I boiled them for a little too long. This turned out to be good, though, because they set up a little stiffer into their nest shape.

nests 2

Happy Easter! Guys, spring is tomorrow today! And don’t forget Jesus!

L

No Bake Nests

Adapted from Food Network

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups quick oats
Cadbury Mini Eggs or other candies

In a heavy saucepan bring the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk to a boil. Let boil for 1 minute (I let mine go maybe two minutes so they held up better for the nests, but next time I would boil them for just one minute), then add the peanut butter and the vanilla, stirring well until combined. Stir in the oats. Drop the mixture by the tablespoonful onto a sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Let cool for a minute, then use the back of a spoon to make a depression in the center of each cookie so it looks like a bird’s nest. Once the cookies have cooled for about 30 minutes, fill each cookie with a Cadbury egg or two. Makes about 18 cookies.

Pipe Dream #177: To Find It Easy To Be Green – Deep Dish Tomato and Spinach Pizza

deep dish pizza 5

Oooooh-kay. I realize that this picture has been tantalizing you on the side of my blog for weeks without a link. It has been tantalizing me for weeks. Except, I had the link, and I ate this pizza, so I can’t tell if the tantalization of this savory delight was worse or better for you than it was for me.

My father made a decent deep-dish frozen pizza and asked me, “Why is this so addicting?”

I replied that it hits his fat and salt spots, and everyone in the room nodded sagely, because obviously I am sage (not). Being that your salts spots are not hit too often on this blog, and being that that is the weirdest phrase ever, I would like to present you with this deep dish pan pizza, including homemade sauce, spinach for iron and much, much cheese.

deep dish pizza 4

Oh, and speaking of being wise (not), there is fresh sage in this recipe. You just don’t see that in dessert recipes all too often. Or do you?

floured board

deep dish pizza 3

If I were to do this again, I would have used less dough. The dish was quite deep enough, when all was said and done, and let’s be real, I could have made another dessert pizza with half the dough. I also would have made the sauce a little less runny. Somehow. Maybe I would have drained the tomatoes a little better.

deep dish pizza 2

I only put spinach on half the pizza. It was for the sake of my sister, who loves pizza, but has an aversion to the green things on her life’s plate. You can have an aversion, too, I guess. I’ll judge you a little, but just a little, since most of my diet is frosting. Kidding. Except for #saturdays. Am I allowed to hashtag like that? Whatever, doing it.

deep dish pizza 1

Get your health kicks, friends. It’s all about the green.

So easy being green,

L

Deep Dish Tomato and Spinach Pizza

Adapted from Girl Versus Dough and my friend, Chrissy

Boughten pizza dough (enough for a 12 inch pizza)

8 ounces (1 cup) canned crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon sugar

salt and pepper, to taste

fresh thyme, sage, oregano and bay leaf

garlic paste or crushed garlic, to taste

olive oil (or truffle oil)

8 ounces provolone cheese

5 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained

Let pizza dough rise according to package directions. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil, spreading around with a paper towel.

Combine tomatoes, salt, pepper, chopped herbs, bay leaf, sugar and garlic in a small saucepan, simmering over low heat while you prep the pizza.

When the dough has risen, press into the prepared skillet halfway up the sides of the skillet. Bake four 9-10 minutes until crust has just set. Remove from the oven and top with 4 ounces provolone cheese. Remove the bay leaf from the simmered sauce, then spread the sauce over the cheese. Top sauce with the spinach, then the other 4 ounces of cheese. Drizzle with a bit more oil.

Bake for another 15-20 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and crust is golden. In a perfect world, I would have used less dough, so that things weren’t spilling over the edge. Let cool 15 minutes before cutting.

Pipe Dream #166: To Berry Binge on a Budget – Healthful Wild Berry Cakes

wild berry 5

Hi, lovely, arty amalgamation. I remember you.

I did so mean to post this post ages and years ago. Like, back in the summer. It’s cool, though, I made these with frozen berries, which are readily-available year-round. Frozen berries are actually a super good deal, money-wise. Rather than paying $8 a carton for strawberries in midwinter reserved for special occasion, you can buy huge bags of frozen berries and eat them at will. Berry-bingeing on a budget, s’what I’m all about, obviously.

wild berry 2

I made these for our new neighbors. And heaven knows, when one gets new neighbors, one never knows how health-conscious they are, or if they have allergies. While I stopped short of making these gluten-free, I did dial back the sugar a bit. And besides the frosting, which you can omit if you want to go the muffin-route, these are dairy-free too!

I recently decided that being lactose-intolerant would be just as disruptive in my life as being gluten-intolerant. Apparently you can still develop it in your 30s and 40s. Let’s pray that doesn’t happen. I want MELK.

wild berry 3

Because I was experimenting a little with the sugar in this recipe, I think they turned out a little tough. Not awful, but not the lightest cake experience I’ve ever had, or that my neighbors have likely had. It definitely could be the general recipe though. For some reason, I have trouble trusting recipes that come out of books. I think I’ve read so many food blogs that I need 100 reviews on a recipe so I know it is the best one. Ditto on old family recipes. I trust those.

wild berry 1

wild berry 4

Worth a shot if you want a fun breakfast option. If you want a really good cupcake, though, I suggest these. Or these. I can say that, right?

L

Wild Berry Cakes

Adapted from 500 Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen mixed berries

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons berry jam

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

4 cups powdered

milk

extra berries for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place 12 cupcakes liners in a muffin tin. If you want to go mini like me, you could try 24 or more mini cupcakes.

In a food processor, puree 1 1/2 cups of the berries. Mash the reserved berries a bit with a fork, and set aside. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and eggs, then whisk in the pureed berries. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined, then fold in the reserved mashed berries.

Spoon the batter into the liners. Bake for 20 minutes, checking for doneness at 15 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

To frost, beat butter until cream. Add powered sugar, one cup at a time, beating until well-combined. Drizzle in milk, maybe a tablespoon or two, until the desired consistency is reached. Stir in the berry jam, then spread on cooled cupcakes. Top each with a berry or two.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,944 other followers

Lane Cake

Chocolate Clementine Marquise

Spicy Chai Biscotti

Red Wine Pear Trifles

Coconut Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peach Cobbler

Clementine Ginger Tequila Sunrise

S’mores Cake with Malted PB Frosting

Lemon Mousse Crepe Cake

Strawberry Shortcake

Nectarine Brown Butter Upside Down Cake

Raspberry Espresso Fudge Cake

Cherry Clafoutis

Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

Banoffee Pie

Blueberry Bourbon Bread Pudding

Pink Sprinkle Cupcakes

Grapefruit Yogurt Loaf

No-Bake Nests

Butter Pecan Shortbread

Black Garlic Herb Bread

Pumpkin Chiffon Torte

Maple Pecan Brown Butter Cupcakes