I started thinking about blueberries after my 6th friend posted on Facebook that they were blueberry picking. No joke. Who knew that all the cool kids go blueberry picking in August? Actually, come to think of it, a few weeks ago when my sister watched my munchkins, she took them out to harvest some blueberries from a local farm. I totally should have though of doing that! Man! When did I become such an un-fun mom? Gotta work on that! It seems to me that with all this berry picking going on, folks might appreciate a recipe (or seven) to use up some of that abundant fruit. So here’s the great big Bakerlady’s Best of Blueberries post!
This week I had the tremendous privilege of making the topper for a wedding tower. The bride and groom wanted a giant cupcake, so that’s what they got. I tested out several buttercream recipes and absolutely loved this one. It tastes delicious and crusts up beautifully but is still soft enough to cut thru.
Did you hear? It’s today! Whoever thought up such a holiday should be sainted. What a brilliant idea. I absolutely adore cheesecake. I usually reserve it for very special occasions because I cannot resist it. Can NOT. I’ll eat enough to make myself totally sick. It’s just too delicious. Maybe you don’t have the cheesecake sickness like I do and can make it more often without weighing 1000 pounds. I’m so jealous of your self control. I dug into the Bakerlady vault and found few of my favorite recipes to help you celebrate! Enjoy!
My favorite to make for Thanksgiving with my family. A perfect pumpkin pie-y taste with a cool creamy topping and a gingersnap crust.
The most delicious cheesecake ever. Straight out of Bon Appetit magazine (circa 1989). Light lemon cheesecake with a gorgeous lemon curd swirled thru the top!
A no bake cheesecake with a chocolate cookie crust and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on top.
Perfect for parties, and having a little bite of my favorite dessert. Adorable mini cheesecakes with all your favorite flavor including a mini graham cracker crust, topped with your favorite pie filling.
I can honestly tell you that this recipe was a present for me. From God. No joke. Let me explain. Some lovely people I know just got married. A few days before the wedding I agreed to help out by making a giant cupcake for them to cut into for the smash-cake-in-your-face moment at the wedding. The bride wanted a strawberry cake, but every single recipe I could find used strawberry flavored Jello in it. I’m sure the Jello cakes would have been fine, but the color just seemed too fakey pink given that the bottom of the cake wasn’t going to be frosted.
I searched for several hours and couldn’t find anything that looked good enough for me to use. Frustrated, I went to bed. The next morning in my Twitter feed was a post from America’s Test Kitchen that said “Yes, strawberry cake without Jello is possible with our Strawberry Dream Cake”. (pick my jaw up off the floor) Are you kidding me? I made the recipe that day as a test. It was very good, but a little denser than I wanted. I decided I could make life a lot easier on myself by bumping up the strawberry portion and using a white boxed cake mix as the base. The result was a light deliciously strawberry cake that took only a little more effort than a basic boxed mix. I’ve included both recipes for you. The resulting color is very pale pink and lovely. Since I was taking this to a wedding, you only get photos of the outside.
The cake mix variety I turned into cupcakes to taste test before the wedding and thought I’d share a very important tip with you. Do not frost cupcakes when they are still warm. Do. Not. Do. Not! It does not matter how good you are at frosting techniques, you will fail if the cupcakes are even a little bit still warm. Blame it on the delicious smell, I couldn’t wait. I wanted to try them! I used a new crusting buttercream frosting, added the pressed out strawberry solids from the cake instead of the water called for & adjusted with powdered sugar to get the right consistency. It tasted like strawberry ice cream. Delicious. You can just add the pressed strawberry solids to your favorite buttercream (or cream cheese) frosting. Pat them dry first though, moisture and frosting don’t go well together. Warm cupcakes and frosting don’t go together either. See?
Strawberry Dream Cake
a Bakerlady Original
1 box of white (or vanilla, french vanilla) cake mix
3 cups frozen whole strawberries
eggs & oil called for on back of boxed mix
1/2 cup of whole milk
1. Transfer strawberries to bowl, cover, and microwave until strawberries are soft and have released their juice, about 5 minutes. Place in fine-mesh strainer set over small saucepan. Firmly press fruit dry (juice should measure at least 1 cup); reserve strawberry solids. Bring juice to boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to 1/2 cup, 6 to 8 minutes. Whisk milk into juice until combined.
2. Prepare cake mix as directed on box. Substitute milk and strawberry mixture for water called for. The boxed mix I used called for 1 cup of water. So I used 1/2 cup strawberry puree and 1/2 cup of milk. Adjust these amounts based on your box mix directions. Bake according to box directions and size of pan you’re using.
3. Top with your favorite buttercream (or cream cheese) frosting – add the reserved strawberry solids after patting them dry for an extra burst of strawberry.
Strawberry Dream Cake
from America’s Test Kitchen
- 10 ounces frozen whole strawberries (2 cups)
- 3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 6 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups (9 ounces) cake flour
- 1 3/4 cups (12 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened
1. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment, grease parchment, and flour.
2. Transfer strawberries to bowl, cover, and microwave until strawberries are soft and have released their juice, about 5 minutes. Place in fine-mesh strainer set over small saucepan. Firmly press fruit dry (juice should measure at least 3/4 cup); reserve strawberry solids. Bring juice to boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup, 6 to 8 minutes. Whisk milk into juice until combined.
3. Whisk strawberry milk, egg whites, and vanilla in bowl. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until combined. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and mix until only pea-size pieces remain, about 1 minute. Add half of milk mixture, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low, add remaining milk mixture, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Give batter final stir by hand.
4. Scrape equal amounts of batter into prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discarding parchment, and cool completely, about 2 hours. (Cooled cakes can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.)
A few years ago I went to Disneyland on a mission. That mission was food. Glorious, delicious food. You see, I’ve been enjoying Disneyland pretty much my whole life. I went several times as an adult with my sisters and cousin. No kids, just four 20-somethings having a blast. I took a trip after the birth of each of my children. A mommy break sometimes is absolutely essential to keeping your sanity. In all these trips however, I’d never truly realized the fabulousness of Disneyland food. Obviously there are things that are overpriced and a little bland (it is a theme park after all), but there are unexpected delights as well. I started reading Disneyland forums a few months before this particular trip. I was doing research (yes, it’s a sickness…I know) and compiling a list of all the great things people recommended consuming while at the Happiest Place on Earth. The list got very long very fast. Over 5 blissful days of appetite stretching, gluttonous eating I managed to taste everything on my list. Most items met or exceeded my expectations. One cookie blew me away. The forums just called it “the cookie”.
This cookie. A light sweet dough with white and chocolate chips swirled with raspberry. Bliss. Usually when something is overhyped as being simply divine, the real thing doesn’t measure up. I cannot express to you how excited I was when at first bite I realized Disneyland’s White Chocolate Raspberry Cookie was everything I wanted it to be and more. It is beyond delicious. You can find it at Pooh Corner and at some of the shops on Main Street. Can you sense my joy at finally having one in my hands??
I’d heard that Disneyland will give you the recipe for things if you ask. Not true. At least, not true with this cookie. Perhaps because they don’t actually make it in the park. It’s made by a company called Selma’s. And they aren’t about to hand out their recipe (I can’t really blame them). Thankfully, my cousin Shannon (also a baker and a Disney freak) managed to piece together a close copy using Selma’s snickerdoodle dough as a springboard. I tweaked her recipe a little, using almond extract instead of raspberry. I also used a trick I learned from America’s Test Kitchen and added an egg yolk for a super soft and chewy cookie. The result is pretty near a perfect match. Big and chewy, swirled with raspberry and the sweetness of two kinds of chocolate.
The only trick in making these is the swirl of raspberry. It is VERY easy to mix it too much and end up with a bright pink cookie instead of dancing raspberry swirls. Working 1/4 of the dough at a time is the key to getting the proper twirly action.
Dollup about 1 tablespoon of jam over the top of one quarter of the dough.
Then use a knife to sort of cut it in.
Don’t stir! There should still be clumps of obvious jam.
Then, using a cookie scoop, drop the dough on your prepared cookie sheet.
And flatten slightly.
Repeat with the remaining dough, working with one quarter of it at a time.
Depending on the size of your cookies, your bake time can vary from 8 minutes all the way to 17. I wanted mine to resemble the big bakery sized cookies they serve at the park. Only bake until the edges are faint golden and set. The middles will still be soft and puffy.
I can almost hear the faint screams of people going down Splash Mountain and the buzz of the pretend bees outside Pooh Corner as I eat these cookies. It was a vacation in my kitchen as the aroma of chocolate and raspberry started wafting out. At first bite I knew I was in deep trouble if I didn’t find someone to “gift” the batch to. They were so soft and chewy and the flavor of the dough and the mixed in jam & chocolate was exactly right!
If you’ve ever tried this treat in Disneyland and love it as I do, make sure you have people to help you eat these before making a batch. The temptation to sing Zip-a-dee-doo-dah while you consume the entire tray will probably be too great if you are by yourself with these. Partly because having another one isn’t going to cost you four bucks like it does at the Magic Kingdom! Without any monetary ramifications holding you back, there’s no telling what you might do. Seriously.
Disneyland’s White Chocolate Raspberry Cookie
adapted from Rumbly In My Tumbly
2 1/2 C Flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 C butter, room temperature
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
Raspberry Jam (I used about 4 TBSP)
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Cream the butter & sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg/yolk, vanilla and almond extracts. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add white & semi-sweet chocolate chips.
2. Scoop out about 1/4 of the dough into a smaller bowl. Add about 1 T of jam and cut it in using a butter knife. Be careful not to MIX it, or your dough will turn pink, you want more of a swirl.
3. Take the jam swirled dough and scoop by spoonfuls (I used a large melon baller/ice cream scoop) onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon or spatula and place in a 350° oven for 12-17 minutes. *Your bake time may be less depending on the size of cookie you make. I wanted mine big and bakery sized, so they took a little longer. Take them out when the edges are set but the center is still puffy and soft. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 until all the dough is used.
Are you a crust or filling person? Pie eaters (I’ve found) fall into one of these two distinct categories. Those who tolerate the crust as a means for getting gorgeous amazing delicious filling into their mouths. And those who believe a flaky light crust absolutely is the best thing about pie. That the filling is plays second fiddle and is really only there because you can’t just eat pie crust on its own.
The fact that you need something else to go with crust is one of the reasons I am a filling girl. You can totally gobble fruity (or custardy) filling with a spoon. It needs no other accoutrement to make it delicious. My husband is all about the crust.
Personally I’ll take a crumble or a cobbler any day over pie. More filling, less crust. Thankfully this blueberries and cream pie gives us both a little something we love. And that makes everyone happy.
On the bottom, a flaky buttery crust.
Filled with blueberries. You know what’s awesome about blueberries? No chopping, cutting seeds out, coring, or peeling. Give em’ a rinse and in they go. Perfect.
Topped with an amazing creamy custard.
The custard is just divine.
Finished with a crumb streusel.
Seriously delicious food here people. All those bright fresh berries swimming in sweet rich custard? Yeah. The crust is bomb too. But the filling…ooooooh the filling. It’s the perfect blend of a cream pie and a succulent fruity cobbler. Glorious summer goodness.
As a side note. When I served this up for dessert I discovered the mystery of genetics explained on my children’s plates. Madison ate her crust first and after a few bites of the filling declared she was full. Donovan devoured the fruity custard and left his crust untouched. When he proclaimed he was stuffed Madison lept at the opportunity to eat his abandoned crust. Go figure.
Blueberries and Cream Pie
adapted from Gingerbread Bagels
Pie Crust (from America’s Test Kitchen)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 1/4-inch
pieces and chilled
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4-6 tablespoons ice water
1 large egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon water (for egg wash)
3 cups blueberries
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg (about 1/16th teaspoon)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
Process flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined. Add chilled shortening and pulse until coarsely ground. Add chilled butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer to large bowl.
Sprinkle 4 tablespoons water over flour mixture. Using rubber spatula, stir mixture until dough forms. If dough remains crumbly, add remaining 1 tablespoon water. Form dough into 4-inch disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. (Dough can be frozen, wrapped tightly in plastic and aluminum foil, for up to 2 months. Thaw completely at room temperature before using.)
Let chilled dough soften slightly at room temperature, about 10 minutes. Working on lightly floured work surface, roll dough into 12-inch circle. Transfer dough to pie plate. Trim, fold, and crimp edges. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
While crust is firming up, work on the filling. In a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and flour. Add in the sour cream, eggs and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Take the pie out of the freezer and put the blueberries on the bottom of the crust. Pour the filling over the blueberries and spread it out.
Now make the crumb topping. Mix together the sugar, brown sugar, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Pour the melted unsalted butter into the bowl and mix everything together. Add in the flour and mix until the ingredients form a crumble topping. Crumble the crumb topping over the pie.
Mix together 1 large egg and a Tablespoon of water and brush over the edge of the crust.
Bake the pie at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes. Let the pie cool before cutting into slices. Then enjoy!
Seattle Chocolates used to make an incredible white chocolate orange truffle. They had a gold wrapper with a creamy white chocolate truffle inside. When I was a teenager who didn’t have to worry about things like love handles, cellulite and flab, I would eat them by the handful. My first job was at a Hallmark shop (best job ever!) and we had a bin of loose Seattle’s Chocolates in various flavors. Those bins of golden wrapped deliciousness were one of my favorite things to restock because I’d sift thru them as I went, pulling out all the white chocolate orange flavored truffles.
As I searched online I discovered that the orange truffles are no longer made. Sad day. But all is not lost! They have a lemon version now. And I love love love all things lemon. So what did I do? I made some.
Teenage Tonya would have just purchased a bag. It’s only money right? Single income, two kids and bills to pay Tonya has too much frugality flowing thru her veins to spend $42 on truffles. I also would rather not figure out how to keep from eating two-and-a-half pounds of chocolate.
These truffles are exactly the same consistency I remember. A little firm, a little soft. Perfectly creamy and rich. The lemon flavor is just enough to give you a hint of tart flowing thru silken white chocolate. The dusting of lemony sugar on the outside makes these refreshing little truffles simply stunning.
White Chocolate Lemon Truffles
adapted from Wit & Whistle
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
grated zest of 1 lemon
9 ounces good quality white chocolate, finely chopped
pinch of salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
2 tsp. freshly-squeezed, strained lemon juice
superfine granulated Sugar, for coating
grated zest of 1 lemon, for coating
In small, heavy, non-aluminum saucepan, combine the heavy cream and lemon zest. Over low heat, heat until cream comes to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cover tightly and let sit for 20 minutes.
Combine the white chocolate, salt, and butter in medium heatproof bowl. Remove the cover from the cream and reheat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a simmer. Remove from heat. Strain through fine-meshed strainer into white chocolate mixture. Press down on the lemon zest left in the strainer to extract all the liquid from it.
Place white chocolate mixture over a pot of warm water on low heat* (water should not touch bottom of bowl). Stir the chocolate frequently just until almost melted. Remove the bowl from the warm pot. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in lemon juice. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl. Chill at least 4 hours, covering tightly when cold. While truffle mixture is cooling, zest one lemon into 1/2 cup of superfine granulated sugar and cover.
To make truffles: Using a small cookie scoop or a spoon, form balls of about 1 inch diameter from the cold truffle base. Roll in lemon sugar until well-coated. Store truffles airtight in refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for longer storage. To serve, remove from refrigerator 15 to 20 minutes prior to serving time. Let stand at room temperature, covered, until serving time.
Cookie Monster is a classic. A friend of mine shared this video with me saying this is how she feels every time I post a new recipe. She’s so sweet. Enjoy a good laugh by watching this:
A while back, this same friend gave me a cookbook full of deliciousness. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever baked out of it. Especially the Razz-ma-tazz bars. Oh yum. I decided to let my hubby choose something for me to bake in honor of Sabrina. I’ll bet you think shared with her too huh? No. I’m totally lame and didn’t realize until after I’d sent them to work with the hubster that I should have saved some for Bri. I’m such a spaz. I know, it’s not as nice a story now. Sorry.
Put aside your disappointment and make some of these cookies. They are full of crunchy nutty goodness and rich chocolate. It’s a basic peanut butter cookie, kicked up with chopped peanuts and chocolate chips. You’ll love them.
Next time Sabrina. I’ll share some cookies maybe.
Chunky Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies
From NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (12-oz pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
COMBINE flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and peanut butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and peanuts.
DROP dough by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets. Press down slightly to flatten into 2-inch circles. I used a glass dipped in a little granulated sugar.
BAKE for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are set but centers are still soft. Cool on baking sheets for 4 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
You heard that right. Trix. Krispies. No I am not kidding. Yes, they are as incredible as they sound.
Now, I have to admit, I have not tried the various other krispie recipes I’ve seen around lately. Making them anyway. I’ve certainly consumed my fair share. It is all the rage to do outrageous things to rice krispie treats and several of my friends have brought different batches around for me to taste. I haven’t gotten in on that action for two main reasons.
First, I love my recipe for the original rice krispie treats. They are incredibly gooey, perfectly rich and delicious. I cannot imagine a more perfectly easy treat. Second (and the “real” reason for not branching out), every alteration to the original seems to add gluten into the mix. Cake batter treats are delicious, but my Celiac sister and her gluten intolerant family cannot eat them. I’ve even seen a recipe for Lucky Charms treats that look very yummy, but again, it makes it hands-off for lots of my family members. With so many things already off-limits, I just didn’t feel right taking away the stand by good-for-everyone dessert.
Then I saw this genius idea for using Trix. Did you know that Trix are made from corn? Yes. Corn. Not wheat. Delicious, fruity corn. Non gluten, beautiful, colorful corn. Silly rabbit! These Trix are for everyone! I adapted this recipe to use a whole box of Trix and one bag of marshmallows. Why waste the little extra bits of either bag? Trust me, once they are combined into these amazing krispies not one little fruity ball will be left over.
I cannot begin to tell you the deliciousness of these. Truly. Like a bar version of fruit with a marshmallow dip. And, just looking at them makes you happy. That rainbow of colors winking out at your from beneath a layer of gooey butter marshmallow. Yuuuuuuuum.
adapted from Cravings of a Lunatic
1 (16 ounce) bag mini marshmallows
1 (10.7 ounce) box of Trix cereal (about 8 cups)
1/4 cup of butter
- Melt butter slowly in the microwave (I do this on half power). Once butter is just melted, add marshmallows and continue microwaving about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently until mallows are melted.
- Stir well.
- Mix in your trix and stir.
- Pour into a large greased pan (9 x 13 or 11 x 11) and press down with a spoon.
- Cut into squares.
I use the empty butter wrapper to press my krispies into the pan. It’s already greased and won’t stick. You could also spray your spoon with non stick spray before using it.
In addition to being a bar version of one of my most favorite cookies, these are SUPER easy to make. Just slap it all in a pan, sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar and drop more dough on top.
I’ve decided Betty Crocker is an evil woman. That decision has been a long time coming – she’s been on my radar a while. Pure. Amazing. Evil. I love that lady.
As if ribbons of cinnamony delight weren’t enough, these blondies also have a drizzled glaze. Happiness is anything with a sweet sugar dribbling off the edges.
If you have a snickerdoodle lover in your life, make these immediately. If you don’t, go find one – they are the best kind of people and your life really isn’t complete until you know someone who goes ga-ga over cinnamon and sugar.
from Betty Crocker
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- Heat oven to 350° F. Spray or grease bottom only of a 13×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- In large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on high speed until creamy. Beat in sugars. Gradually beat in eggs and vanilla into sugar mixture until combined. On low speed, beat in dry ingredients until combined.
- Spoon half the batter into pan; spread evenly. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over batter.
- Dollop teaspoon size amounts of remaining batter evenly over cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
- In small bowl, stir glaze ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over bars. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.