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Author Archives: Ruthanne

Happy Flower Cookies

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Flower cookies3

These delicious cookies will make you smile anytime of the year! With a touch of coffee in the cookies, and crunchy chocolate-covered sunflower seeds on top, they are also really delicious! 

Flower cookies2

Confession: I made these last spring jotted down the recipe as I created, brought them to a party where they got rave reviews, and then got so busy with summer that I never sat down to share the recipe with you all! So here (finally!) you go! 

I absolutely love these cookies. In March, I tweaked my favorite chocolate cut-out cookie to make Bailey’s Irish Cream Cookies. They were soooo yummy that I wanted to keep tweaking them and try a variety without the Baileys. This is the result, and they are such a soft, delicious cut-out cookie. Goodness. They are exceptional at keeping their shape when cut (I just did circles, but you could make these in any shape). I just iced them with royal icing, but the sky is the limit with flavor combinations you could use. This recipe is a keeper in our house! 🙂 

Here is the recipe (printable version): 

INGREDIENTS: (makes about 20 medium cookies)

Cookies:

  • 1 (1/2 cup)stick of butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon of half and half
  • 1 Tablespoon of vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons of instant coffee granules
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

Icing:

DIRECTIONS:

Cookies: 

  • Cream together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix in eggs.
  • Place half and half and instant coffee granules together in a small cup. Mix until coffee dissolves.  Add this mixture to the batter and combine well.
  • Gradually add dry ingredients and mix until smooth (use clean hands at the end, to knead into a soft ball of dough).
  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • Roll out cookie dough on floured counter.  
  • Cut into circles (or whatever shape you want!)and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 8 to 11 minutes until the edges are firm.
  • Gently slide parchment paper off of cookie sheet and onto a flat surface.  Cool completely before removing cookies from paper.

Icing: 

  • Beat together all ingredients and add powdered sugar until it becomes a thick glaze consistency. 
  • Place about 1/3 of icing in a zip-top bag fitted with a small round piping tip. 
  • Pipe icing around edges of cookie and allow this to harden.
  • Add water to remaining icing until it is a little thinner than the edge icing. Place it into a second zip-top bag fitted with a small round piping tip. 
  • Fill center of cookie with icing, spreading it to the edges that have hardened. 
  • Before icing is completely hard, set sunflower seeds and pearl in the shape of a flower.
  • Allow icing to harden completely.
  • Enjoy!!!

Flower cookies6

Aren’t they fun??? Once the icing fully hardens on these, you can stack them up without worrying that the icing will get messed up (the joy of royal icing). As you can see… I am no professional at piping a perfect circle… so no worries if you are not experienced- they will still be beautiful!  Flower Cookies 1

My thoughts: I’m glad to finally be sharing this with you all! I figured I’d better get this out to you before fall hits and all things are pumpkin and leaves 🙂 I hope you get a chance to try these cookies- I really think you will love them! Enjoy! ~r

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Since I am so late in sharing this… how about some fun back-to-school/ make your kids smile ideas? Just click a photo to see the recipe! 

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April Fool’s!!! (a collection of our best “fooled-ya” recipes!)

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I love April Fool’s! I remember getting some pretty crazy stuff in my lunchbox at school on this day every year. Green milk, raisins stuck in my apple, “moldy” bread…  🙂 Food is a fun way to trick someone- or maybe just to make them smile- on April Fool’s Day. We have shared many “tricky” recipes here on Easybaked, and I wanted to put them all in one place for you. 

First up: Eggs and Bacon anyone? 

fried-egg3

When your kids sit down for breakfast, they will be delighted to find that these eggs are actually cookies! The toast is toasted pound cake and the bacon is, well, bacon… because salty and sweet. 🙂

If you want a funny, sweet way to kick off April 1, find the recipe here. 

Breakfast not your thing? How about dinner on a cupcake?

Next up are our Spaghetti and Meatball Cupcakes!

spagetti-and-meatballs-cucpakes1

The first time I made these, I set them down on the table and the kids were all like, “Ewwww!!!” because they thought I’d put actual spaghetti on a cupcake. Which is a *win* on April Fools 🙂 

If you want a dinner laugh, find the recipe here

And then there are the gross foods (like green milk- thanks mom!)

How about worms? You could add these to any food plate. We put them on cupcakes, but how fun would they be on a sandwich? Or in a salad? They are pretty realistic. These are no gummy worm. 

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You need to prepare ahead for these (they have Jello-O as an ingredient), but if you want to gross out your family, coworkers or friends, click here for the recipe. 

You thought worms were gross?

How about poop? especially if you have a dog or cat, you *might* convince your kids that an accident happened right on their plate! Ewww…. 😂

emojipoo2

These are actually delicious chocolate cookies… but when you pick one up to try it, you will add even more to the gross factor!

Want to add poo to dinner? The recipe is here

If you are serving poo, you might want to add this fun little cake to the table too:

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I made this TP cake in the height of the TP shortage of COVID, and it was deliciously funny 😂 If you want to give it a try, click here

One last “gross” recipe 🙂 Imagine you accidentally cut yourself making these cupcakes- but decided to serve them anyway? 

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You’d have these Broken Glass Cupcakes! Get this gross, yet super tasty recipe here.

Finally, I leave you with a collection of “mini” treats. They won’t trick anyone, but they are so fun, I just had to add them to this post. Click on a picture to see the recipe! Hope you have a SUPER fun day playing tricks! 😊 ENJOY! ~r

burger3 bobber-cupcakes1 bbq-cupcakes1 lemonade-cups3 baseball-brownies6 mug-cupcakes4-1

No-Bake Easter Nest Cookies

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Easter nest 4-1These crunchy little nest cookies are filled with the (seriously addictive!) Cadbury mini eggs and a pinch of coconut. A perfect Easter treat! 

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I just want you to know… I am the owner of the perfect no-bake cookie recipe. It’s my mom’s recipe, and it is perfect because it was the recipe we grew up enjoying. My mom passed away about 6 years ago, and I cherish every recipe I have of hers. When I was thinking about making Easter nest cookies, this recipe was the 1st to pop into my head. For sure I could have made it with the traditional oatmeal, but that’s not very nest-y, is it? So I used shredded wheat (the big ones!) I had to look a little bit to find the full-size shredded wheat (there are like a million flavors of mini!), but I found it- and it worked perfectly. I see you, chow-mien nest-makers- but I just could not bring myself to cover chow mien noodles in chocolate. Ewww. Sorry. Sticking with cereal here 🙂

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Want to know how to make these little nest cookies? Here is the recipe: (printable version)

Ingredients: (makes 24 mini nest cookies)

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup margarine (or one stick of butter)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups of broken up shredded wheat (this was 9 big pieces, broken up)
  • 1/2 cup coconut (optional) with a tiny bit of green food coloring
  • 72 mini Cadbury eggs (just get a big bag- you’ll want the rest- I promise!)

Directions: 

  • Crunch up the shredded wheat until you have 4 cups.
  • If you use coconut, place it in a zip-top bag with the food coloring and shake until green.
  • Spray a mini-muffin tin with non-stick spray and set aside. 
  • Measure sugar, milk, margarine, and cocoa into a large saucepan. 
  • Heat until boiling (stirring constantly) and then boil for 2 minutes. 
  • Add peanut butter and vanilla. Stir until smooth. 
  • Take off heat, and add Shredded wheat, stirring until it is completely coated. I recommend adding it one cup at a time and using a little less if it gets too thick to stir well.
  • Working quickly, spoon or scoop into mini-muffin tin. 
  • Use a tart shaper or a rounded measuring spoon to press the center in (spray this item with cooking spray between each nest to keep it from sticking). 
  • Sprinkle a little coconut over each nest. 
  • Press three eggs into each nest. 

Nest process1Process3Process2

  • Allow nests to cool and harden.
  • Use a small knife to pop nests out of pan. 
  • Enjoy! 

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My thoughts: I love how interesting these cookies taste with a different cereal added! For sure the shredded wheat gives these a more nest-like appearance. I really wanted to get the Cadbury eggs that are shimmery, but I couldn’t find them at my grocery, so I sprinkled a few edible sparkles over the top. 

If you want to try these with the oatmeal (and experience one of my favorite cookies from childhood), I will leave you with my mom’s original recipe (in her handwriting :)). I actually remember her writing this out for me (from memory). I’d just gotten my 1st apartment out of college and was craving these and she pulled out her notepad and jotted this down for me.

Just a note though- she NEVER used butter (even though the recipe says butter). Butter translated to her was always Country Crock. I use margarine as well- just to be true to her recipe- but I’m sure butter works fine too. Enjoy! ~r

Mom's recipe

Looking for other fun recipe ideas for Easter? We have lots of them! Just click a photo to see the recipe!

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Bailey’s Irish Coffee Cookies

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These cute little cookies are packed with flavor! A combination of Bailey’s, coffee, and a little chocolate on top? You can’t go wrong with these little St. Patrick’s Day treats! 

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I feel like I am always looking for new ways to use already-perfected flavor combinations. Like coffee and Bailey’s. For these cookies, I used my all-time favorite chocolate cut-out cookie recipe and tweaked it a bit to make these. I have to say, you will *love* how these roll out- they are so smooth! I also have to say that after trying them, I think you could add chocolate chips, roll the dough into balls, and cook them like that too. If you want to avoid cookie cutters 🙂 But for today, we have these delicious little cut-outs. 

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Anyone curious about the recipe?? Here you go! (Printable version)

INGREDIENTS: (makes 36 medium cookies)

Cookies:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons of Bailey Irish Cream (get the little individual serving bottle, if you (like us!) don’t keep this in your house. This recipe will use one little 100mL bottle almost up. 
  • 3 teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Icing:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons meringue powder
  • 4 Tablespoons of Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 2 teaspoons of instant coffee granules
  • (optional) Wilton’s Candy Melts in light cocoa for design on top. 

DIRECTIONS:

Cookies: 

  • Cream together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix in eggs.
  • Place Bailey’s and instant coffee granules together in a small cup until coffee dissolves.  Add this mixture to the batter and mix until completely incorporated.
  • Gradually add dry ingredients and mix until smooth (use clean hands at the end, to knead into a soft ball of dough).
  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • Roll out cookie dough on floured counter.  
  • Cut into circles and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 8 to 11 minutes until the edges are firm.
  • Gently slide parchment paper off of cookie sheet and onto a flat surface.  Cool completely before removing cookies from paper.

Icing: 

  • Again, place Bailey’s and instant coffee granules together in a small cup until coffee dissolves.  
  • Beat together all ingredients and add powdered sugar until it becomes a thick glaze consistency. 
  • Place about 1/3 of icing in a zip-top bag fitted with a small round piping tip. 
  • Pipe icing around edges of cookie and allow this to harden.
  • Add water to remaining icing until it is a little thinner than the edge icing. Place it into a second zip-top bag fitted with a small round piping tip. 
  • Fill center of cookie with icing, spreading it to the edges that have hardened. 
  • You can decorate as desired. I used a chocolate mold to make little coffee beans (I would have used *actual* chocolate- covered coffee beans, but I hate them!) Be sure to place it on the icing before it hardens. I also drizzled a little of the same chocolate on the cookies. Be creative! Sprinkles, icing designs, chocolate transfers… decorate as you wish, and ENJOY!!!!

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My thoughts: I find it hard to be objective about my own baking (anyone else feel that way??) I am super critical of the flavors. Are they strong enough? Too strong? Too sweet? Too bitter? So I give you the words of my sweet hubby (who is unfailingly honest, and my best taste-tester), “These are better than Starbucks cookies.” Then he ate another one. He says these are just the right balance of coffee and the flavor of Bailey’s, but the best part is the cookie texture- crunchy on the outside and so soft inside. However you end up making these, I hope you love them! ~r

Looking for other fun St. Patrick’s Day recipes? Click on the photo to see the recipe (I *highly* recommend the 1st one- epic cupcakes plus a funny story!)

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Leprechaun Lime Mousse

This refreshing lime mousse tastes a little like whipped key lime pie, but has a secret ingredient you’d never guess…. PEARS! A sneaky way to get fruit into a meal. I promise that you can’t taste them… I hate pears and absolutely love this mousse!Lime Mousse 5

This is a family recipe, and we *always* had it at Christmas- just cut into squares. I was craving it, and because it is almost March, I cut some into squares and used a cookie cutter to make some into shamrocks 🙂 Either way you serve it, this is a REALLY yummy treat in any season!Lime Mousse 3

Want the recipe? Here it is (printable version):

INGREDIENTS:

  • One box (3 oz) Lime Jello
  • One box (3 oz) Lemon Jello
  • Two (15 oz) cans of pears
  • One (8 oz) block of Philadelphia cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 (8 oz) tub of Cool Whip (thawed in fridge)

DIRECTIONS: (make ahead one day, to allow it to fully set)

  • Drain pear juice from pears into a measuring cup (add water to bring the total to 2 cups)
  • Bring 2 cups pear juice to a boil on the stove. 
  • Place both Jello packets into a large bowl and add boiling pear juice, stirring until completely dissolved. 
  • Allow Jello mixture to cool to room temp (place in freezer to speed this up)
  • While Jello cools, cut pears up into small chunks and cream cheese into squares.
  • Add pears and cream cheese to a blender. Pour in cooled (but NOT set!) Jello mixture. 
  • Blend until very, very smooth. You should not have a gritty texture from the pears- keep blending. 
  • Add thawed Cool whip, and Jello/pear mixture, together in a large bowl. Beat until smooth. 
  • Pour into a 9×13 dish and refrigerate until it sets (overnight is best).
  • To serve, cut into squares. Or shamrocks- just know you will have more waste with the shamrocks, although I just put the extra in a bowl with a spoon and we were all good 🙂 
  • Enjoy! Keeps well in the fridge for several days.

Lime Mousse 1

 

Lime Mousse 2

My thoughts: Well, I love this recipe, and I make it quite often during all times of the year. It is a quick and easy *kinda* healthy treat (PEARS! There are PEARS!). I really do hope you get a chance to make this, and that you love it as much as we do! ~r

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Want to try some other fun St. Patrick’s Day recipes? Just click on the photo to see the recipe! 🙂 

Grasshopper Mint Cupcakes Rainbow Oreo Pops!!!  Lucky Charm Truffle3  baileys-cupcakes5

Coconut Cupcakes with Passionfruit Icing

These deliciously dense coconut cupcakes are infused with passionfruit syrup and topped with passionfruit icing and a coconut meringue.

Anyone ready for sunshine?? Goodness, winter in Indiana always seems to last forever. I was craving tropical, sunshiny flavors, and that is what inspired these treats. I did two versions… the confetti version (above) and the classier silver sprinkle version:

I first fell in love with passionfruit in the country of Peru. I was visiting my friend Deb, and we had an incredible visit to both Machu Picchu and the jungles of the Amazon. In both places, we had maracuya juice and delicious desserts made with the same fruit. I later learned that maracuya is passionfruit and I began to search for it in every possible place in the US. Paired with coconut, it creates just the *best* tropical dessert.

I’ve been wanting to add little meringues to the top of cupcakes for awhile now, and these seemed like the perfect opportunity. For sure, they are decorative, and you would not *have* to do these, but they add a little bit of coconut crunch on the top, and make the cupcakes soooo cute!

Want the recipe?

Let’s start with the meringues. Feel free to skip these, if you want- you can simply add sprinkles to the frosting to save time! (Printable recipe)

Meringue Ingredients: (makes 24-30 meringues)

  • 4 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • fun sprinkles

Meringue Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 225F and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Use an electric mixer and mix on low speed until mixture becomes foamy.
  • Increase speed to high, and gradually add sugar, about 1 Tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until sugar is dissolved (about 15-20 seconds between each addition).
  • Beat until mixture is thick, shiny, and has increased in volume. Mixture should have stiff peaks and sugar should be completely dissolved.
  • Add coconut extract and mix until combined.
  • Fit a piping tip (I used a large star tip) into a piping bag or a large zip-top bag, and pipe meringues on parchment paper (close- they do not expand). Sprinkle with confetti sprinkles or silver balls.
  • Bake on 225F for 1 hour. Turn off the oven once the baking time is over, and do not open the oven. Leave the oven door closed and allow cookies to cool completely in the oven (1-2 hours) before removing. Once cooled, these can be stored in an airtight container for a few days before using.

Ready for that cupcake recipe? Here it is: (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

Cupcakes: (makes 24 cupcakes)

  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut (finely chopped)plus a little to sprinkle on cupcakes at the end
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 egg whites and 1 egg yolk at room temp
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut, plus about 1/4 cup to brush over tops of cupcakes.
  • 2 tablespoons water

Icing:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter
  • 1 stick (1/2 c) unsalted butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup of passionfruit syrup

DIRECTIONS:

Cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 325F
  • Add flour, sugar, baking powder, chopped coconut, and salt to a large mixing bowl and using an electric mixer combine these dry ingredients well.
  • Melt butter in microwave and add to dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
  • In a smaller bowl, whisk together the rest of ingredients.
  • Slowly add half of liquid mixture to dry, while mixing on medium.  Mix until completely combined.
  • Slowly add the rest of the liquid and mix on high for about a minute until well combined.
  • Divide batter into 24 cupcake liners in cupcake tins.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.
  • Allow cupcakes to cool in pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Poke holes into tops of each cupcake and use a pastry brush to brush coconut cream on top of each cupcake. Be generous- this will make your cupcake nice and moist.
  • Allow coconut cream to soak in while you make icing.

Icing:

  • Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine with a mixer on low.  Then whip on high until light and fluffy.
  • Frosting will be a pale yellow color. If you want it to be more vivid, add a little yellow food coloring.
  • Pipe icing on top of each cupcake using large star tip in a piping bag.  Evenly divide icing among the 24 cupcakes.
  • Place a meringue on the top of each cupcake, and sprinkle a little chopped coconut on the frosting.
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: These are a little fussy with the meringues, but aren’t they SO cute??? We kept these covered in a cupcake container, and even almost a week later, the meringues were still crisp and delicious. I thought they might get a little soggy, but they really stored well. We also love the passion fruit syrup in lots of other things besides these cupcakes! It’s delicious in tea, we added some to our orange juice at breakfast, and I’m already thinking of other ways I can use this amazing flavor in other desserts! I hope you get a chance to try these delicious, tropical cupcakes soon! Enjoy! ~r

Looking for other tropical/ summery recipes to brighten your cold winter days? Here are a few we love (click on the title to see the recipe):

Love Bug Cupcakes

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These cute little bugs are filled with berry cream and jam. They sit on top of a dense, not-too-sweet brownie base, and are the *perfect* treat for your Valentine!

I feel like I am always on the lookout for something creative to make for Valentine’s Day. January is such a blah, grey month, and I miss having something to celebrate with colors and sprinkles. And along comes Valentine’s Day! Even as a single person (for WAY to many years!) I celebrated the day- just because you need SOMETHING in February to make you smile. In fact, if you are single and these love bugs make you want to roll your eyes, try my cute Frog Prince Oreo Pops instead! 🙂

These treats are a little on the fussy side. Obviously. Anything cute requires a little time. If you want a simple, delicious dessert- without the fuss- you can just pipe some topping on, add some sprinkles, and call it a day.

Want to know how to make these fun treats? Here is the recipe: (printable version)

Ingredients: (makes 24 love bug cupcakes)

Love Bugs: (make these 1st)- you will need a silicone chocolate bomb mold to make these:

  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons strawberry or raspberry extract
  • 1 cup of raspberry jam
  • Food color in pink
  • One bag of Wilton’s Candy melts in pink
  • About 1/2 cup of Wilton’s Candy melts in black
  • 48 candy eyes
  • Candy heart sprinkles

Brownie cups:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk

Chocolate Glaze:

  • 6oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons butter (do not substitute margarine here!)
  • Green jimmies for grass!

DIRECTIONS:

Berry Love Bugs:

  • Melt pink candy melts in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until smooth.
  • Use a clean paint brush to brush melts into a chocolate bomb mold and freeze for a couple minutes until hard.
  • Make berry filling  by adding melted butter to sugar and extract.
  • Mix well, using water to bring it to a thick but spreadable consistency.
  • Add pink food coloring to make it a fun pink color.
  • Place filling into a large zip-top bag and seal tightly.
  • Cut a corner off bag and pipe berry filling into each pink shell- filling them about 1/4 full.
  • Place jam into a small zip-top bag, clip corner and pipe a little bit in the center of each pink shell.
  • Pipe more berry filling over the top until it is level .
  • Use a knife to spread berry filling to edges of shell.
  • Refreeze these for a few minutes before gently popping them out and setting them on a plate. 
  • Repeat this process until you have 24 berry bombs ready.

Brownie cups:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Cream butter and sugar together. 
  • Beat in eggs, cocoa, vanilla and salt.
  • Add flour and milk (alternating them and mixing well in between)
  • Spoon evenly into 24 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.
  • Bake at 350F degrees for 15-18 minutes (don’t over bake- they will start to pull away from the liner)
  • Cool.  

Chocolate Glaze:

  • Melt butter and chocolate together in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until completely melted and smooth.
  • Set aside until cupcakes are ready to assemble.
  • Assemble the cupcakes by spooning a little chocolate glaze on top of a brownie and spreading to all edges.
  • Place a berry bomb in the center and sprinkle green jimmies around edge.
  • Allow this all to harden up (refrigerate to speed process up).
  • Melt black candy melts in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between until smooth.
  • Use a clean paint brush to paint a black face on the front of each bomb, and immediately place eyes before candy melts harden. Place the rest of the melts in a plastic zip-top bag, cut a corner and pipe the center line down the bug’s back.
  • Melt just a few pink candy melts, and use a paint brush to stick each little candy heart “dot” in place.
  • Enjoy!

My thoughts: These are delicious. Think chocolate covered strawberries. I made half of mine with the love bug domes, and half with just the berry icing and chocolate glaze- just to save time. Either way, they are delicious and sure to make YOUR Valentine smile! Enjoy! ~r

Looking for other fun baking ideas for Valentine’s Day? Click on the title to see the recipe:

A Cup of Cheer! Christmas Punch Pops.

These cute punch pops are the perfect “drop off” gift for friends and family you can’t see in person this season. Keep them in the freezer until your virtual celebration and everyone can have some Christmas punch while they open gifts.

I grew up in Michigan, and I can’t remember a Christmas celebration with our family that did not involve absolutely delicious punch- served with Christmas cookies, of course! I’m not sure where I got this punch recipe, but I’ve been making it for as long as I can remember. A few years ago, I was craving this yummy, fruity, ice cream punch in the middle of summer, but didn’t want to fill an entire punch bowl with the ingredients- or waste ingredients by only making only one cup of it. So I invented…. PUNCH POPS! Once you add a little room temp ginger ale to these, you have a perfect one-person cup of punch!

As my husband and I are trying to decide how we will celebrate Christmas in the middle of this crazy COVID season, I knew I wanted something fun, festive, and unique to deliver to friends and family we won’t be able to see in person this year.

And I thought of these punch pops.

I’ve already shared this idea on Easybaked (here), but as I was putting my cute pops in bags this morning, I decided to share the recipe with you all again 🙂

Here it is!

INGREDIENTS: (makes 20 pops)

A couple of notes before you start: This is an EASY recipe, but it takes some time and freezer space. You’ll need a day to assemble (freezing between layers) and one long overnight freeze before you can package them up. You’ll also need a freezer shelf with some height above it to allow the straws to fit while freezing.

  • 18-24 oz of pineapple juice
  • ½ gallon vanilla ice cream
  • 1 quart of fruit sherbet- any flavor (I used 2 flavors and only used 1/2 of each quart)
  • 20 mini cans of Ginger ale (or if you are giving a family gift, a two liter)
  • About 40 raspberries, or 4-5 sliced strawberries.
  • 20 (3 oz) paper cups and 20 straws
  • small cello bags and ribbon for tying them up

DIRECTIONS:

  • In 20 small (3 oz) paper cups, measure about 1/8 cup of pineapple juice and add two raspberries or a slice of strawberry.
  • Freeze until hard (4-6 hours)

Note: I did this on a small cookie sheet so that I could pop them all into and out of the freezer at once.

  • Scoop ice cream into a large zip top bag and microwave in 10 second increments until soft-serve consistency. Mix bag by squeezing. (Tip: wear gloves to keep your hands warm!)
  • Clip a corner off this bag and squeeze the softened ice cream over frozen juice, leaving room at the top for a layer of sherbet (you will add about twice as much ice cream as sherbet, and use almost all of the ½ gallon)
  • Slide a straw into the center of each cup and re-freeze until ice cream layer is hard (2-3 hours)
  • Scoop sherbet into a large zip-top bag and microwave/squeeze until a soft-serve consistency (this melts faster than ice cream, so be cautious)
  • Clip a corner off this bag and squeeze the softened sherbet over the top of the frozen ice cream. Tap each cup against the counter to flatten the sherbet out a little bit on top.
  • Re-freeze overnight (10-12 hours)
  • To remove them from the cup, snip a tiny cut into one of the cup’s edges and tear the cup away.
  • Set the pop on a small cookie sheet that has been covered with parchment paper and keep frozen until you are ready to bag them up.
  • To place them in individual bags, keep them frozen, and one at a time, slide into a bag, tie shut and refreeze.
  • To serve these cute little pops, simply place one in a glass that holds at least 12 ounces, and pour room temperature ginger ale over the top- just until the pop is covered. 
  • Stir your punch with the straw until it has melted into a cold frothy ice cream treat!

My thoughts: We all need a little extra cheer this Christmas season, and these punch pops are just a tiny way to make someone you love smile. You can make them in any flavor of sherbet you can find and add any type of fruit!

Be sure, when you hand them out, to tell the recipients to get them from their porch and freeze them right away! Then, have everyone make a cup of punch, get on Zoom, and make a toast to better days in 2021! Hugs to each of you as you navigate this Christmas season, and prayers for good health, and all the peace and joy God can fill you up with this year! ~Enjoy!

Other fun Christmas porch drop-off ideas (click on title to see recipe):

Tres Leches Cupcakes

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If you’ve ever had tres leches cake, you already know you will love these little cupcakes! Soaked in a vanilla cream sauce, the dense cupcake is a not-too sweet base for delicious dulce de leche caramel and whipped cream. Add a little fruit and you have perfection! 

Ever since the stay-at-home rules have been in place, we are looking for anything (even little things) to celebrate. So Cinco de Mayo was a fiesta- complete with these little cupcakes. I made this recipe as a cake several years ago, but my husband had never tried it, so this was his 1st time trying these, and he declared them his favorite cupcakes I’d ever made.

So… there’s that endorsement for this recipe… 🙂

These are not too fussy to make, they keep for over a week in the fridge. I made half of this recipe, or 12 cupcakes, and it still took us the whole week to eat them all! Is anyone else sad that they can’t bring extra blog baked goods in to work or over to the neighbors?!?! Slowing packing on my quarantine 15… :/

Here is how to make these sweet treats: (printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS

Cupcake

  • 9 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

Vanilla Sauce:

  • 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Topping/filling

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • fresh fruit for garnish
  • 1 (13.4 oz) can of La Lechera Dulce de Leche (or make your own here)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees and place 24 cupcake liners into baking tins.
  • Divide eggs into 2 bowls.  Put the egg whites into a large mixing bowl and the yolks into a medium bowl.
  • Beat the egg whites on medium-high until they form soft peaks.  Add sugar and beat on high until they form stiff peaks (this will take 4-5 minutes, depending on your mixer).
  • Beat the egg yolks on high for 5 to 6 minutes until they increase in volume and turn a creamy yellow.
  • Beat the vanilla into the egg yolks until combined.
  • Add the yolks to the whites and use a spatula or large spoon to gently fold them together.
  • Add flour and gently mix until completely combined.
  • Divide batter evenly between the 24 cupcake liners and bake for 15-20 minutes.  The tops should be golden and when a toothpick is inserted in the center, it should come out clean.
  • Remove from tin and cool completely on counter.
  • Make sauce by combining the 3 milks (condensed, evaporated and cream) together with the vanilla.
  • Poke (lots!) of holes in the top of each cupcake with a toothpick and use a pastry brush to spread vanilla cream over the top of each cupcake- letting it soak into the cake. I did this twice to use up the sauce and make my cupcakes super soaked and moist. 
  • Spread dulce de leche caramel over the top of each cupcake- spreading all the way to the edges.
  • Make frosting by beating together the whipping cream and powdered sugar, until stiff peaks form.
  • Pipe frosting on tops of cupcakes, and serve with fresh fruit. Refrigerate until serving, and store chilled.

My thoughts: If you like a cupcake that isn’t overly sweet, you’ll love this. The firm cake soaks up all that cream, and the dulce de leche caramel soaks into the top as these sit- so yummy! You don’t have to wait until the next Cinco de May to try them either- this is such a refreshing summer dessert! I hope you get a chance to try it!!! Enjoy ~r

Other fun and refreshing desserts for summer:

Toilet Paper Cake

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Can’t find TP at the grocery? This cake will NOT solve that problem for you, but it might make you and your family laugh- and that counts for a lot right now!

Well, here we are. About a month into this craziness called Coronavirus. First of all, for my readers and fellow bakers that have been directly affected by this pandemic- hugs to you. We all have been affected to some degree, but some of you have been ill with it, had family ill with it, and maybe even lost someone close to you. My husband and I were just talking about how numbing the numbers are each day. We keep saying things like, “oh- look only 14 deaths in our state today!” And then we remember that those 14 people were deeply loved members of families, and it hits home. This recipe is fun, and maybe even funny, but I don’t want to make light of the terrible situations that many of you are living through right now. 

Just a month ago, my husband and I celebrated our one year anniversary with a long weekend trip to Florida. We had a wonderful meal at a beach-side restaurant and walked the beach afterwards, picking up seashells. Yesterday was exactly one month later and it felt like 5 months had passed. So much has changed in one little month! I knew I wanted to make a cake for my hubby for our 13 month celebration (we celebrate everything!) and this little TP cake- celebrating a whole month of TP concern- made us both smile. 

Here’s the deal: I am NOT(!!!) a cake decorator! I cannot even frost a layer cake without it looking super homemade. Cupcakes? Yes. Cake? NO WAY. So I thought about just trying to frost the cake and adding the little cut-out for the center of the roll, but when it was all finished the frosting looked terrible. I’d made fondant for the little grey circle on top, so I rolled the rest of it out, cut it to the height and circumference of the cake, and slapped it on the outer edges. It looks messy- but in a genuinely toilet-papery kind of way 🙂 How’d I make the pattern on it? While sewing masks earlier this week, I caught a glimpse of my pattern marking wheel, and decided I could roll this over the fondant to make those little serration marks. 

The cake is coconut, with toasted coconut filling (YUM!!)- but you can use any flavor or type of cake with this. Here is how I did mine: 

INGREDIENTS: (cake/filling)

  • 1 white cake mix (with water, oil and eggs to make according to box)
  • 1 cup of toasted coconut
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coconut flavoring
  • About 1/2 cup cream of coconut (optional- just makes cake moist and adds more flavor)


DIRECTIONS: (cake/filling)

Make cake according to package and bake in three 6″ pans according to package. 

Remove cakes from pans and cool completely.

Place butter, powdered sugar, and coconut flavoring in a mixing bowl and beat on high until light and very fluffy (about 2 minutes). 

Fold in the toasted coconut and set aside. 

When cakes are cool, place one on serving plate and drizzle with cream of coconut.

Top this with 1/2 of the filling mixture and spread to edges. 

Repeat this with the next layer, and set cake aside.

INGREDIENTS: (frosting)

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup Crisco
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla (or any flavoring you might want!)
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of half-and half cream.

DIRECTIONS: (frosting)

Beat together butter, Crisco and vanilla with a mixer until smooth.

Add powdered sugar gradually and mix until combined and a little crumbly.

Add half and half cream and mix on low.  You might need to add a little more until frosting is a thick but smooth consistency.

INGREDIENTS: (fondant)

  • 4 cups mini marshmallows (half of a 16 oz. bag)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar- plus a little for dusting.
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of clear vanilla
  • black gel color to make center of roll
  • brown gel color if you want to add a poo or two 🙂 

DIRECTIONS: (fondant)

Place your mini marshmallows and water into a large mixing bowl and microwave on high for about one minute- until they are puffy and melted.

Stir them together with a rubber spatula until they are completely smooth (if not melted completely, put them back in the microwave on high for 5-10 seconds).

Add clear vanilla and mix well.

Add about 1/4 of the powdered sugar, stir until smooth, add another 1/4 and stir.  It will become difficult to stir and very sticky.

Pour the rest of the powdered sugar onto a clean counter or cutting board.

Scrape the sticky fondant mixture out of the bowl and onto the powdered sugar and begin to knead it together with clean (powder sugar coated!) hands.  It will gradually become like a smooth clay consistency.  Use a metal scraper to keep it from sticking to the counter/ board.

This can now be colored with gel, rolled out and cut, or stored (tightly wrapped) in the fridge for about one week.  Want a picture tutorial of this process? Check out this post

Assembly: (the fun part!)

Use the frosting to place a thin, smooth layer over the entire cake. Let this harden a bit while you prepare your fondant. 

Color a small ball of fondant a grey color. Roll this out on a clean and powder-sugared counter and use a small circle cookie cutter to cut the center of the roll out. Set aside.

Roll the remaining white fondant out into a large flat rectangle. Measure your cake height and circumference and then trim the rectangle into this size using a ruler and knife. I made mine a tiny bit longer so it would drape off the end like TP does. 

Frost the cake again with a thicker layer, making sure it is as smooth as possible. Gently fold the fondant strip a couple of times so it is easier to handle, and then carefully press it against the sides of the cake, lining the top edge up with the top of the cake. Once you are all the way around, gently lay the extra across the front and on the plate. Mine wasn’t even close to perfect- it was bumpy, and wrinkly. Normally, I would smooth this out, but I left it because it looked more like TP — all messy! 

Place the grey center on the cake’s top, and use a toothpick to draw a spiral in the frosting out from the center to the edges. 

Finally, (if you have one!) use a pattern marking wheel to make the pattern on your fondant resemble TP. You could also use a toothpick- but that seems like a lot of work? Brainstorm ideas for an item you might have lying around that could do this otherwise. 

I had extra fondant, so I colored it brown, rolled it into a little poo and added it to the side of the cake- with a little flag. Then, I stepped back and laughed. Which was good for my soul 🙂 

My thoughts: There are ways to make this easier. You could buy fondant, you could skip the fondant entirely and decorate with frosting (if you are gifted in cake decorating skills), you can skip adding the little poo… I know this cake is a little more complicated that what I usually share, but it seems like we all have a little extra time these days to fuss over a cake- especially one that makes us all smile.

Enjoy! ~r

Other fun baking ideas for your shelter-in-place time: 

 

 

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