Dessert

Apple Cider Funnel Cake Sundaes

by Jennifer Wieland
Apple Cider Funnel Cake Sundae

With fall in full swing the last of the years festivals, carnivals and such are happening now. I don’t know about the rest of the country but here in the Midwest funnel cakes are always a part of these things. There is just something about sharing a funnel cake with friends or family. The fried dough coated with powdered sugar is such a simple yet yummy treat. Who can resist? Some places even make them into sundaes. Topping the already heavenly treats with ice cream and toppings.

I decided that I wanted to make something different from the standard funnel cake though. I wanted it to be fully fall in flavoring. I decided to go make it an apple cider funnel cake seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg to give that full fall flavor. Then instead of just topping it simple powdered sugar, I opted to top it with that and cinnamon sugar. Now these were good just like that but I really wanted to take it to a whole other place and I did with an apple pie sundae on top. Oh goodness, but that was some really good stuff!

Apple Cider Funnel Cake Sundae

Apple Cider Funnel Cake Sundae

Apple Cider Funnel Cake Sundaes
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2033 calories
423 g
406 g
23 g
40 g
9 g
1294 g
1110 g
175 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1294g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 2033
Calories from Fat 201
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g
35%
Saturated Fat 9g
45%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 406mg
135%
Sodium 1110mg
46%
Total Carbohydrates 423g
141%
Dietary Fiber 14g
54%
Sugars 175g
Protein 40g
Vitamin A
22%
Vitamin C
21%
Calcium
52%
Iron
38%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 eggs
  2. 2 tbsp. sugar
  3. 3/4 c. apple cider
  4. 1/4 c. milk
  5. 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  6. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  7. 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  8. 1/4 tsp. salt
  9. 1 tsp. baking powder
  10. oil for frying
  11. powdered sugar
  12. cinnamon sugar
  13. vanilla ice cream
  14. apple pie filling, warmed
Instructions
  1. Beat the eggs and sugar with a whisk. Slowly pour in and whisk the milk and apple cider. Add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
  2. Heat about one inch of oil to 300° in a heavy bottom pot. Using a funnel, pastry bag or baggie that has been filled with the batter and the end or corner snipped, create a circular pattern overlapping the batter. Fry for a minute or two on each side. Remove to paper towels do drain and then top with powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar.
  3. To assemble place a funnel cake on a plate. Top with ice cream, warm apple pie filling and some more cinnamon sugar and whipped cream.
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calories
2033
fat
23g
protein
40g
carbs
423g
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Passion Fruit Shortbread

by Jennifer Wieland

I recently found Williams-Sonoma Ground Tahitian Vanilla Bean and I just had to have it. I mean, some girls see a pair of shoes, an outfit or a purse and have to have it. Not me. Nope. You show me some good food items or new kitchen gadget though and I will ooh and ahh with the best of them. I completely love vanilla beans. The seeds add such pretty little specks to food. It’s like the food has freckles. Then you go ahead and make a Ground Tahitian Vanilla Bean and come on now! This girl just flips her lid!

For those of you that don’t know, there are different types of vanilla beans. The most common one is Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans and they have a fruity, sweet cream flavor. Next you have Mexican Vanilla Beans. These are rarer and have a woody, spicy flavor that is more subtle. Last but not least, there is Tahitian Vanilla Beans. They have more water and oil in them than the others and have a fruity, floral taste to them.

So once I got my hands on the Williams-Sonoma Ground Tahitian Vanilla Bean I knew I had to pair it with a tropical flavor to compliment it properly. I also wanted the lovely little vanilla bean flecks to be on display in what I made. I decided to make a Passion Fruit Shortbread Cookie with a white chocolate drizzle. They came out lovely. They have a nice light tropical flavor paired with the buttery goodness of the shortbread.

Passion Fruit Shortbread

See the lovely vanilla bean flecks?

Passion Fruit Shortbread

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. Williams-Sonoma Ground Tahitian Vanilla Bean
5 tbsp. passion fruit juice (I used Goya)
2 oz. white chocolate, melted

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter. Add in the sugar and vanilla bean and mix until well combined. Slowly add the passion fruit juice 1 tbsp. at a time. Stir in the flour on low-speed and mix until just combined.

Form the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 325° at this time.

Roll the dough out to 1/8″ thickness and then cut out into desired shape. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes. These should not brown.

Cool the cookies on the pan for a few minutes and then finish cooling on a wire rack. Once completely cool drizzle with the melted white chocolate.


Wilton Tour at BlogHer ’13

by Jennifer Wieland

I wanted to take this chance to talk about my Wilton tour in more detail. For those of you unfamiliar with Wilton, they are a company that has been around since 1929. They now teach people all over the world how to decorate cakes, cupcakes and other sweet treats. They also manufacture many baking, candy and sweet making foods and tools. Many people have taken their classes and I am happy to include myself amongst them.

The welcome sign with all of our blog logos.

The welcome sign with all of our blog logos.

For many of us bloggers who were invited it was very exciting to get the invite. Many of us were very familiar with Wilton and could not be more happy (or giddy with excitement like 5 year olds) to get a sneak peek inside their test kitchen and product development areas. Let me tell you, they did not disappoint any of us. It was truly an amazing experience and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t like being in a building where every square inch smells like cake? It smelled like my idea of heaven! (Yes, my idea of heaven is a bakery that has the best of the best and it all has ZERO calories!)

Me at Wilton headquarters

Me at Wilton headquarters

Our afternoon at Wilton consisted of lunch with a history of the company and a look at current and upcoming products. My favorite current products were the fun summer flavored candy melts and the Shape-N-Amaze Edible Decorating Dough. For anyone who has ever used the candy melts it is nice that Wilton is coming out with more and more seasonal flavors. We were able to try the Raspberry Sherbert, Key Lime Pie and Orange Créme Candy Melts. They were all good but the Raspberry Sherbert Candy Melts were my favorite. The Shape-N-Amaze Edible Decorating Dough is great! If any of you have ever worked in fondant to create cake toppers you know what a pain it can be. The Shape-N-Amaze Edible Decorating Dough is very easy to use, has some great tools you can purchase to work with it and best of all they have some great instructions online already. Honestly, with this anyone could make a cake that looks like it was done by a pro! The instructions are very visual versus wordy so you know how everything should look as you are doing it.

Raspberry Sherbert Candy Melts, Shape-N-Amaze Robot & my goodie bag.

Raspberry Sherbert Candy Melts, Shape-N-Amaze Robot & my goodie bag.

After checking out the new products we went to the product development kitchen and photography area. The product development area was fascinating to see them working on stuff for later this year and next year that is either being created or being decorated to be photographed for packaging or publication. It was interesting to learn all the steps they go through to say, make a new shaped cake pan. We also got to see some of the things being photographed for publication and watch the photo shoot. As someone who photographs food regularly I can tell you I was more than a little envious of their setup.

Next we headed over to the test kitchen where again I was a little envious. I mean really, who does not want a kitchen with eight stoves in it? There are three ladies who work in the test kitchen and I have to tell you a bit of a secret…. I really want one of their jobs. They are great though and do a ton of work testing everything to make sure things work and taste like they are supposed to each and every time.

Finally, we each got to pick two classes from a list of three. Our choices were Buttercream Decorating, 3D Modeling and Shhh, It’s a Secret. Since I had already been through three of the Wilton classes and am fairly proficient in buttercream I opted for the other two. The 3D modeling class was great! We used the Shape-N-Amaze Edible Decorating Dough to make Oliver the Owl. It was utterly adorable!.

3D Modeling Class

3D Modeling Class

Oliver the Owl Not to shabby for my first attempt.

Oliver the Owl
Not to shabby for my first attempt.

 

The other class I took you will have to wait to learn more about. You will find out more about in September when the new products are released. Let me tell you though that I am ridiculously excited about this! I can’t wait to make this at home and share it with you!

Buttercream Class

Buttercream Class

To close out the day we went to the Wilton School and Store. It was amazing to see some of the cakes that the students there have done! They are utter works of art and if I had made one I would never let anyone eat it. To much work and to pretty to ever meet up with a knife or mouth.

How amazing are these cakes? They were a couple of feet tall. Beautiful!

How amazing are these cakes? They were a couple of feet tall. Beautiful!

This day was just such an honor for me to get picked to go and to be in the company of so many great bloggers. I hope that Wilton invites me back again someday. If not I will make my annual visit to their annual tent sale (held in June) and shop until my little heart is content. You can ask my husband, he can totally vouch for how much I buy there.

The whole group of BlogHer '13 bloggers who attended the Wilton BlogHer Workshop 2013.

The whole group of BlogHer ’13 bloggers who attended the Wilton BlogHer Workshop 2013.

For any of you interested in learning some decorating techniques I totally recommend taking the classes. Especially, if you have kids. Those cakes from the bakeries can cost a small fortune! Check out the Wilton website for some great recipes, videos, how-to’s and ideas. You can follow Wilton Cake Decorating on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


BlogHer’13 and Some Cannolis

by Jennifer Wieland

As I was getting everything ready to type up this post this morning I had to stop and take my husband and oldest to the train so they could head downtown for work/internship. As we head outside to leave I am leading the pack and immediately step on something (That no doubt was left outside on the sidewalk by one of the little devils angels I live with.) with one foot and have it jam into my big toe on my other foot causing me to trip because yeah, that’s usually how my luck rolls when I have something big planned that day. Come on big toe you need to hang in there for three days. My husband thought it was hilarious! He kept cracking jokes the whole ride about how I should remember not to trip when introducing myself to people this week. Ugh! Men sometimes!

So now that I have painted you a solid visual image of my clumsiness, let’s move on. With today being the kick-off of BlogHer’13 I wanted to get a recipe posted. This is a nice and easy recipe that tastes amazing! I wanted to do a recipe using one of my favorite things again. That’s right Peanut Butter & Co. Peanut Butter is my special guest again in this recipe. Honestly, I just love the flavors they have!

As you have surmised no doubt from the title it is a cannoli recipe and it is all kinds of dark chocolatey, peanut buttery goodness! If you have any filling left over like I did, feel free to use it in any way you wish. I personally used it as lunch. I know, I know, I know… Why didn’t I share, right? I fed them to my mom, dad, sister, someday sister-in-law and daughter. Everyone loved them but my dad. He only gave them an o.k. rating since he is not a fan of dark chocolate. I know what you are thinking. Who doesn’t like dark chocolate? I mean it’s chocolate and it’s good for you.

So today is the first day of BlogHer’13 and I am going to Wilton headquarters for the day and following up with the kick-off parties tonight. So looking forward to meeting all the other fabulous bloggers out there!

Dark Chocolate Dreams PB Cannolis

Dark Chocolate Dreams P.B. Cannolis
makes 12 mini cannolis

3 oz. good quality dark chocolate, 1 0z. melted, 1 oz. chopped, 1 oz. finely chopped
12 mini cannoli shells
1/2 c. drained ricotta cheese
1/2 c. Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter
1/4 tsp. espresso powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tbsp. salted peanuts, finely chopped

Take the 1 oz. of melted chocolate and dip the ends of the cannoli shells into it. Place the cannoli shells on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator to chill while making the filling and dip mixture. Take the 1 oz. of finely chopped chocolate and the chopped peanuts and mix them together in a bowl and then set aside. In another bowl mix the drained ricotta cheese, Dark Chocolate Dreams P.B. and espresso powder. Once combined well. Stir in the vanilla and 1 oz. of chopped chocolate. Put the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe into the cannoli shells. Immediately dip the ends into the chocolate and peanut mixture. Chill until ready to serve.


Cinnamon Streusel Pound Cake

by Jennifer Wieland

Every cook and baker whether they be an amateur or professional has had moments of great success and moments of utter failure when developing a new recipe. Sometimes you work on something and it turns out better than you could have imagined. Other times you want to kick yourself for wasting ingredients and botching the whole creation process so badly. Sometimes though you get a bit of a cross between the two. Say you are trying to work on a coffee cake recipe but botch it only to find out that all is not lost. You didn’t waste ingredients and time but instead came up with a good recipe for cinnamon streusel pound cake.

If you are wondering if that is what happened here, I would love to be able to say, no I was totally going for a pound cake, but that would be a lie. I was shooting for a coffee cake that really did lose its way somehow. I do now have a new cinnamon streusel pound cake recipe that the hubby and oldest boy child thought was really good.

Had I known that I was going to end up with a pound cake I would have done more. You know, macerated some berries, whipped up some cream, etc. to get that ta-da moment of presentation.

Cinnamon Streusel Pound Cake

Cinnamon Streusel Pound Cake

Streusel

3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
8 tbsp. (1 stick) butter, melted

Whisk together the dry ingredients and then stir in the melted butter. Mix thoroughly until you have a nice crumb mix.

Cake

3/4 c. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 lrg. eggs
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. whole milk
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350° and spray a bundt pan with a baking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, salt, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mixing after each until completely incorporated.

In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk and milk. In another bowl mix the flour and baking powder.

Starting with the flour mixture alternate adding the flour and milk mixture to the butter/sugar mixture on low-speed. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition.

Assembling the cake

Take 1/3 of the streusel and sprinkle it evenly into the bottom of the bundt pan. Pour in 1/3 of the batter and spread evenly into the pan. Continue to do the same until you finish adding the last of the batter.

Bake in the oven for 1.25 – 1.5 hours. It is done when you insert a toothpick and there are only a few crumbs that come out on the toothpick. Let it cool in the pan for 20 minutes and the turn out onto cake plate and finish cooling or serve warm.


Everything’s Going Bananas

by Jennifer Wieland

I was watching a food show on TV yesterday and they showed a dessert made with roasted bananas. OMG! Why was I just now discovering that you could take a perfectly ripe banana, place it on a cookie sheet and bake it in the oven right inside the peel? I had to try this and use it in something.  I mean, I knew from apples, pears, pineapple, etc. that when you cook the fruit by itself it brings out all the yummy sugars and flavors. When cooked the banana was no exception and the peel turns a very dark brown and almost looks like polished wood, in my opinion.

I had this plan to roast bananas and luckily had some lovely yellow bananas to use. To roast bananas, you want to use bananas that are yellow and free of dark spots. Just place the bananas on a foil lined baking sheet and place them in a 350° oven and bake 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and then let cool in the peels. You may notice that juice has leaked out of some of the bananas. That is fine. Once cool, carefully open the peel and squeeze the banana into a sieve above a bowl to remove any excess liquid.  Then you can mash and use.

As for what I made with the roasted bananas, I decided to go with the first idea that popped into my head and made roasted banana cupcakes. I then dipped them in milk chocolate ganache and then followed that up with dark chocolate peanut butter frosting. Finally I finished them off by sprinkling them with turbinado sugar and chocolate shavings and curls. The flavors complimented each other wonderfully and the roasted banana made the banana flavor in the cake nice and strong so that the chocolate and peanut butter did not overpower it.

Roasted Banana_Chocolate_PB

Roasted Banana Cupcakes
makes one dozen

1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. fine salt
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 lrg. eggs
2 large bananas, roasted, drained and mashed

Preheat oven to 350° and line a cupcake pan with liners.

In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together until combined and then set to the side.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl and add the buttermilk and vanilla and mix on medium speed until combined. Slowly beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the dry mix and on low-speed beat until combined. Add in the roasted bananas and mix on medium speed for a minute.

Fill each cupcake liner and bake the cupcakes 19-22 minutes. Let the cupcakes sit in the pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Milk Chocolate Ganache

4 oz. good quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

Work on this while the cupcakes are baking. Place the chopped chocolate into a heat proof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan just until it reaches a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit 3-5 minutes. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and completely smooth. Place the ganache in the refrigerator. Stir every 10 minutes until it begins to thicken. Take it out and whisk by hand until it becomes slightly thickened. (Like a thick icing.)

Dip the tops of the cooled cupcakes into the ganache and let the excess drip off before turning upright. Place the cupcakes in the refrigerator for the ganache to set up more quickly.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter
2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
3-4 tbsp. heavy whipping cream

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and dark chocolate peanut butter on medium-high speed. Add half of the powdered sugar and mix on low-speed until combined. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Add two tbsp. heavy whipping cream and mix on low until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add one more tbsp. of heavy whipping cream and mix until combined. Add the last tbsp. of cream if needed. Turn the mixer on medium-high and beat the frosting until light and creamy. This should take a few minutes.


Happy National Sugar Cookie Day!

by Jennifer Wieland

Let me start this post off by saying, I am not a fan of sugar cookies, usually. They tend to be hard and frosted with royal icing. I am a fan of neither of those things. Now there are some good sugar cookies out there. One that my kids love is the Lofthouse Sugar Cookies. You have probably seen them at the grocery store, frosted with a buttercream tinted to match whatever season/holiday is going on and sprinkles to match. I love the softness of these cookies but the amount and sweetness of the frosting can be a little much, particularly when you are letting kids have them. This recipe will give you the soft cookie frosted with buttercream but you get to control just how much frosting these cookies get.

I decided to bake these this morning since Chicago’s weather has been alternating between 100% humidity (feels like it) and severe thunderstorms. This gave me and the kids something to work on. One of the great things about a frosted sugar cookie is that they can be a great occupier of children. You don a child in an apron, give them a plate of cookies, frosting, and sprinkles and tell them to have at it and well you just became the best mom for today. The cookies will look crazy but still taste as good and the pride they take in their work is adorable. You also get some interesting conversation. For example, I learned that my four-year-old daughter’s favorite color is frosting and my six-year-old son’s is chocolate. No, you did not read that wrong. I said color when they clearly gave me flavors. 🙂 The munchkins even required that their cookies get a photo shoot as well. It all boiled down to some good quality time.

Faux Lofthouse Sugar Cookies

Faux Lofthouse Sugar Cookies
makes 3 1/2 dozen

1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
3/4 tsp. vanilla
6 tbsp. milk + 1 tbsp. white vinegar, combined
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350° and line baking sheets.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla on medium-high speed for a minute or two. Add in the soured milk mixture and beat on medium until well combined. This will take a few minutes and may still be a little lumpy. In another bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients in three batches and scrape down the bowl as needed. Mix until just combined.

Scoop dough onto lined baking pans and using the bottom of a cup dipped in flour press the dough down until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick. Bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will not even have started browning, don’t worry though they are ready to come out. Let cool for 2-3 minutes on pan and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost when completely cooled.

Basic Buttercream

1/2 c. butter , softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1-2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
food coloring (optional)

Cream the butter and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the powdered sugar in three batches and be sure to thoroughly scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition. Once combined add 1 tbsp. of the cream and mix. Add the second one if necessary. Add any food coloring at this point. Beat the finished frosting on high for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Use to frost cookies or cakes.


Fourth of July Food Ideas

by Jennifer Wieland

You have to love a holiday that starts out with parades, then heads to barbecues and ends up in the dark with drunk people blowing of explosives. Where young children are allowed to play with hot sparklers that normally would be a no-no and their older siblings get to blow off loud, obnoxious firecrackers that again, would normally be a no-no by any half way decent parent, but this is the Fourth of July and all of those usual common sense rules go out the window. Instead we have a day long, sun up to sundown and beyond party that leaves the poor souls that must work the next day in a world of hurt come tomorrow.

Now if you still don’t know what you are going to bring to the cookout or party you are attending, don’t fear! I have a new recipe and some quick and easy ideas for you.

Fourth of July

Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches, Layered Rice Krispie Treats & Very Vanilla Cookies with Almond Icing

First up the new recipe. This is an iced cookie recipe. Don’t worry this is easy icing. Nothing fancy here. You can just do a drizzle, swirl, spread or a schmear. The icing can be colored to really kick up the cookie for whatever holiday or festivity you need it for.

Very Vanilla Cookies with Almond Icing
makes 3 dozen cookies

14 tbsp. butter, softened
4 oz. of cream cheese
Seeds from half of a vanilla bean
1 c. sugar
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream the butter, cream cheese and vanilla bean seeds together in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Slowly add the sugar and mix until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk. Add the flour and vanilla and mix well. Chill for an hour.

Preheat oven to 325° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop dough onto baking sheet and bake 12-16 minutes. These cookies will not brown. While the cookies are baking make the icing. Let the cookies cool a few minutes and then ice them while still warm.

Almond Icing

4 tbsp. butter, softened
2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
4 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
1/2 tbsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Slowly add the powdered sugar on low-speed. Once incorporated completely add in the cream, vanilla and almond extract. Once combined turn the speed up to medium-high and beat for a few minutes. Pipe or spread on cookies.

I also made some Fourth of July themed treats that you can easily make. We have layered Rice Krispie Treats with each layer tinted a color. We also have chocolate chip cookies sandwiched with vanilla buttercream. You can use any cookie recipe you want, buy store-bought dough or use mine, here. I wanted the buttercream for the cookie sandwiches to be multi-colored. So I put a couple of drops of red food coloring on one side of the inside of the piping bag and then spread it vertically. I repeated the other side with blue food coloring. Then when you add the white buttercream to the bag and pipe you get a lovely swirl of all three colors.

Layered Rice Krispie Treats

These are the ingredients for each layer.

1 tbsp. butter
13 large marshmallows
2 cups of Rice Krispies
food coloring

In a microwave safe bowl add the butter and marshmallows and microwave for 1 minute. Stir until melted. If not completely melted microwave for 10 second intervals until smooth. Add the food coloring and stir until no white remains. Now stir in the Rice Krispies and mix well. Press into a buttered pan. Repeat for each layer desired. Let cool completely and then cut.


Cinnamon Chip Cream Cheese Cookies

by Jennifer Wieland

Summer has finally decided to grace the Chicagoland area with its presence. This is kind of making me sad and forcing me into action. You see on one of the few hot days we have had so far, we went to turn on the central air and we got bupkis. Normally I am not a fan of super hot weather but since this spring and summer we have only had a handful of hot days I have just let it go unfixed. You see, the up side to no air means I eat less. When I am hot I do not like to cook heavy meals or eat very much. So this has been like a sort of nature induced diet plan for me. Now though we are starting to heat up and head into a heat wave. So this means today I have a HVAC guy on his way over so we aren’t a bunch of cranky pants people for the next week and so I can actually feed the family more than salads and sandwiches for lunch and dinner. (Don’t ask why I don’t just grill. That is just another headache in my life that I have to face and replace this year.)

Yesterday before we got our heat, when it was a lovely mid-seventies day I did work on a new recipe. It is a super yummy cinnamon chip cream cheese cookie and if you are a cinnamon fan you will fall in love with these. These are a soft flavorful cookie that you will want to nibble again and again.

Cinnamon Chip Cream Cheese Cookies

Cinnamon Chip Cream Cheese Cookies
makes 6 dozen

4 sticks butter, softened
8 oz. Philadelphia Snack Delights Cinnamon Cream Cheese, softened
1 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 c. sugar
1 lg. egg + 1 egg yolk
5 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. cinnamon chips
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the butter and cream cheese together. Put the brown sugar in a bowl and break it up with a fork. Slowly pour the brown sugar into the bowl with the mixer running. Once combined slowly pour the sugar in the same way and mix until fluffy. Mix in the egg and the egg yolk. Add the flour one cup at a time. Stir in the vanilla and then the cinnamon chips.

Chill the dough in the refrigerator for an hour. Once that is done line baking sheets and preheat the oven to 325°.

In a small bowl mix the 3 tbsp. of sugar and 1 tbsp. of cinnamon. Scoop the dough out and roll the top and sides in the cinnamon sugar mixture and then place on baking sheet. Bake for 16-18 minutes. Cool on pan for 5 minutes and then finish cooling on wire rack.


White Chocolate Cream Cheese “Erry” Cookies

by Jennifer Wieland

There are lots of happy events that come along throughout life but nothing compares to the birth of a child for me. I am one of those people who always wanted a ton of kids and loved being pregnant. Now with my youngest being 4.5 I am at that point where I miss having a baby around. When this would happen before I would just pop out another little demon darling angel. I was smart enough though to get myself fixed after my last one though so there will not be a number 7 for me. Last Thursday though a number 3 & 4 for my sister and brother-in-law were born.

Our family got to welcome Addison & Sean and while I was not at the hospital for the birth (My young ones were already out of school and hubby was at work.) I did work on a recipe. I mean what better way to celebrate than by feeding people? If there is a better option I have yet to find it. So that night after dinner I journeyed to the hospital to meet the twins and bring some white chocolate cream cheese “erry” cookies to the occupants of the waiting room.

I know what you are thinking… What in the sam hill is an “erry”? Well I did not want to have every single dried fruit listed in the name of the cookies that I used. So, since they all had erry at the end of their names I just used that. The dried fruits contained in the cookies is cranberry, cherry, raspberry and blueberry. See?

So what does this cookie taste like? To me it is cheesecake in a cookie form. The cookies are not baked until brown but instead are baked until they are set. They do not flatten out. They instead hold their form. They are definitely yummy and worth trying to make. You will need a large mixer for this as this makes a ton of dough.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Erry Cookies

White Chocolate Cream Cheese “Erry” Cookies

3 sticks + 6 tbsp. butter, softened
8 oz. Philadelphia snack Delights White Chocolate Cream Cheese, softened
2 c. sugar
2 lrg. egg yolks
5 c. flour minus 1 tbsp.
2 tsp. vanilla
1 5 oz. bag of Sunsweet Berry Blend Dried Fruit
1 c. white chocolate chips

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream together the butter and cream cheese. Slowly pour in the sugar and mix until it’s fluffy in appearance. Mix in the egg yolks just until combined. Add the flour one cup at a time. Stir in the vanilla and then the dried berry blend.

Preheat oven to 325° and line baking sheets. While the oven is heating up chill dough in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Scoop the dough out onto the baking sheets and bake for 15-17 minutes. Let sit on the pan to cool for a couple of minutes and then move to a cooling rack.

In a microwave safe bowl place the white chocolate chips and microwave on 50% power for 1 minute and then stir. Continue this for thirty-second intervals in the microwave until smooth. Place melted chocolate that has cooled for a minute or two into a pastry bag or baggie. Snip off very small amount of tip or corner. Squeeze onto cookies in decorative design.


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