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Pumpkin Guts!

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Pumpkin Guts Dessert!

This delicious coconut cream pie dip is disguised as gooey pumpkin guts (with sliced almond “seeds”)~ a perfect Halloween treat!!

I love carving pumpkins. The smell is my favorite part, it reminds me of being very small and in a homemade costume anxiously awaiting trick-or-treat time. We always carved pumpkins several days earlier, but we lit them on Halloween and all evening the lids would quietly cook in the candle flame, filling the house with an indescribably wonderful scent that still reminds me of childhood whenever I smell it.

I carved a pumpkin for this recipe.

1. To serve this dip in.

2. To use as a reference in coloring this dessert!

Pumpkin Guts!!!!Isn’t it fun?  I savored the smell and enjoyed the squishy guts between my fingers…I even roasted a few seeds and ate them with salt as a reward for getting my pictures taken!

Want to know how to make this yummy fall treat?  It is SUPER easy!  (Printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups of shredded sweet coconut (to desired consistency)
  • 1 cup of sliced almonds
  • 1 box (3.3 oz.) Jello Brand White Chocolate Pudding (instant)
  • Milk (to make pudding according to package)
  • Orange and yellow food coloring
  • Chocolate cookies for dipping!

DIRECTIONS:

  • Make pudding as directed on package and color to desired shade with food colors
  • Place coconut in a large zip-top bag and add the same food colors to the bag. Toss and mix coconut until colored as well.
  • Mix pudding with enough coconut to make a gooey pumpkin consistency.
  • Mix about half of the almonds in, and use the rest to sprinkle on top.
  • Serve with chocolate cookies or graham crackers for that “Almond Joy” taste!
  • Enjoy! 

Halloween dessert!My thoughts:  Well, I love coconut, almonds and chocolate- so this was a given “perfect” dessert for me!  I think it would be fun to serve this with a “murdered” pumpkin, I just didn’t have time to draw a dramatic face and stick a big knife in mine! Serve it up classy, or make it into a funny Halloween treat- either way, it is easy and soooooo yummy!  ~Enjoy!!!!! ~r

Pumpkin Guts!Other fun fall desserts here on Easybaked (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Halloween Swirl Cookies!!!Frosty Candy Corn Dessert!Ginger Maple CookiesSpider Cupcakes!

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Shamrock Parfaits…the unplanned dessert.

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Shamrock Parfaits!!!!These lovely layered St. Patty’s Day treats were supposed to be a cake…but ended up even better!

I am in the middle of the Navajo Nation without a Bundt cake pan.  That is how this tale begins.  I am almost 3 hours from a store that sells Bundt pans.  In my mind, I wanted to make a lovely bundt cake full of swirls of various shades of green, topped with melted Key Lime frosting.  SO- I did what any enterprising blogging girl would do- I ordered a pan on ebay, with free shipping.  It took a week, but once I got it I was ready to go!  I divided my cake mix into 4 parts and colored each part an increasingly darker shade of green and swirled the colors together in the pan.  After it baked, I tipped it out on a cake rack and…..Bundt Cake disaster!

Sadness.

I let the disaster cool and re-thought my recipe.  I brought my favorite little Weck jars with me, and I had some heavy cream to whip… how about parfaits!!

Shamrock Parfaits!!!Here’s the recipe: (printable version)

INGREDIENTS: (makes 10-12 small parfaits)

  • One boxed white cake mix (Plus water, oil and eggs to make according to box)
  • Green food coloring gel
  • One tub of Pillsbury Key Lime Frosting
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tablespoons of powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS:

  • Make cake according to boxed mix, adding green food color to make batter green (you can make several shades of green if you want, but you don’t have to).
  • Bake as directed in any cake pan you want (lol!)
  • Allow cake to cool completely.
  • Put heavy cream and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until cream is whipped and light, holding stiff peaks.
  • Take the lid and foil wrap off the tub of frosting, and heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.  Stir until it is a nice smooth liquid.
  • Assemble your parfaits by spooning a bit of frosting into each glass, followed by a bit of crumbled cake, followed by a dollop of whipped cream.  Repeat these layers until you are at the top.
  • End with a swirl of whipped cream and some sprinkles.
  • Enjoy!

Shamrock Parfait!!!My thoughts:  These ended up being the yummiest dessert!  I had a family over to visit that night and they gobbled up every last bit of it and loved it.  That key lime frosting is the BOMB!  Yum!  Anyway, thanks for joining me on my latest Navajo kitchen adventure!  Happy St. Patricks Day!!  ~rShamrock Parfaits!!!!Usually I give you another four recipes related to this one.  But today I leave you with one. These are seriously some of the best cupcakes I’ve ever made, and they are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day….just click on the photo and you’ll be magically transported to the yummy recipe.  I present:  Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes….Enjoy!!!! ~r

Baileys Irish Cream Cupcakes

Cookie Dough Whoopie Pies

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Cookie Dough Whoopie Pies!

Rich cocoa whoopie pies filled with a creamy cookie dough frosting.  Yum.

One of the benefits of being a food blogger is that all of your friends see cool kitchen stuff and get it for you!  My sweet friend Danielle gave me a Whoopie Pie Pan for my birthday and I had to google what a whoopie pie was because I’d never had one.  Now, I am obsessed with this incredible dessert.  Oh. My. Word.

A few months ago I made a cupcake that is my FAVORITE recipe on this blog (yes, I have a favorite!)  It’s a cookie dough cupcake and I so wanted an excuse to make that frosting again, so I made it for these!  Perfect!  Everyone loves them….and I am eating the leftover frosting out of a bowl while I write this post…really– right out of the bowl {sigh of pure joy}

Whoopie Pies!!!

You know you want to try these….here’s how: (printer friendly recipe)

INGREDIENTS: (makes 16-18 whoopie pies)  

Whoopie Pie:

  • 2 sticks (8 oz) salted butter (softened)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Cookie Dough Filling:

  • 2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter(softened)
  • 2 sticks (8 oz.) salted butter(softened)
  • 2 cups powered sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 3 Tablespoons vanilla
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 12 oz bag of mini chocolate chips.

Directions:

Whoopie Pie:

This recipe can be made on a cookie sheet, but to get that perfectly shaped, every-one-is-the-same-size look you really should invest in a Whoopie Pie Pan.  They aren’t terribly expensive and these turn out SO much better if you use one!

  • Preheat oven to 400F degrees
  • Spray a whoopie pie pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Use a mixer to cream together butter and sugar.
  • Add milk, eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
  • Add dry ingredients (add flour last and gradually) and beat until smooth. (My mixer had a hard time with this, as it is a thick cookie-like mixture.  My mixer is 15 years old though and died the next day….so …?  I finished mixing by hand…)
  • Use a large Cookie Scoop (2-3 Tablespoons) to drop dough into each whoopie pie cavity.  Gently press dough into cavity.

Making whoopie pies

  • Bake for 8-10 minutes- don’t overbake- cake should be springy to the touch, not hard like a cookie.
  • Cool on a wire rack.

Filling:

  • Place all filling ingredients except mini chips into a large mixing bowl and beat with mixer on low until combined and then high until light and fluffy.
  • Add half of mini chips and blend in well.
  • Scoop about 2 Tablespoons of filling onto one half of a whoopie pie.  
  • Press the other half on top very gently until filling spreads to edges.
  • Pour remaining mini chips into a bowl and roll edges of filling in them to coat the sides.

Whoopie Pies!!

My thoughts:  These are just exactly right, in my book.  I love the deep cocoa flavor in the cake and that FROSTING….!

If you want to reduce the amount of filling you can certainly cut the recipe for it in half.  I was very generous with the filling and had just a little left at the end.  I hope you get a chance to try these– and if you want  a similar flavor in smaller bites hop over to the cookie dough cupcake recipe and give them a try.  Happy baking, friends!!!

Cookie Dough Whoopie Pie!

You might also like:

Cake balls filled with cream cheese frostingMango Smoothie PopsBubble Gum Cupcakes!Koolaid truffles!!

Happy Valentines Day….sharing a little blog love!

SweetheartsHappy Valentines Day!

This post is long overdue.  There’s a wonderful thing that happens in the blogging world when a fellow blogger sends you an award because they enjoy your blog so much.  These awards are a great way to say thanks to someone you admire and also a great way to highlight some of your favorite blogs for your readers.  I have met so many of my friends here because of these awards!  Usually, an award is offered and you post about it.  You post the name of the award and offer up a thanks to the blog that awarded it to you and then offer that same award to other blogs that you admire and love.

I am a failure at this.

I’m so focused on recipes and photography that I have back-burnered all awards offered to me.  This post is my (belated!) attempt to show some love back to the wonderful blogging community around me.

All that said– if you are hoping for a recipe, this post will not contain one…but I promise to be back tomorrow with some cookie dough butter cream cupcakes!! (you’re gonna love them!)  If you want to know a little more about who I am and the other baking and photography blogs I love….then keep reading.

The Liebster Award

The Leibster Award:

This award was offered to me by two blogs.

Sweet Twist of Fate and Sweets and Brains.

The requirements for accepting the award were entirely different from each other on the two blogs- even though it is the same award?  So I’m winging it.

One blogger wants me to pay it forward to 5 new blogs– ones with less than 200 followers- that I enjoy.  I love this idea, as half the battle of blogging is having people know you exist!  Here are 5 blogs I LOVE with less than 200 followers.  Show them a little love today:

I Sing in the Kitchen is a blog that pairs incredible recipes with music of many genres….such a fun idea!!!

Lemon Cake is a collection of cakes (and other yummy things) created by Farheen out of England. YUM.

Yorkes Girl is a blog out of Australia full of food, travel stories and incredible photography. Love it.

Devos by Chaps is written by a friend and mentor who is also a navy chaplain.  Every post is incredible, thought provoking and encouraging to me.  This is a blog to follow!!

Happily Ever After Cakes is a combination of amazing (I could NEVER make these!) cakes and heart-warming stories of family life and the ups and downs it brings.  Love this family!!!

The other blogger asked a series of questions.

1. What are the 1st three things you think of when you see the color purple?  Grapes. Bruises. and um…Grapes.  Yeah.  That’s how I roll.

2. What instruments do you play, if you could learn any what would they be?  I play piano, flute, penny whistle and a variety of percussion instruments.  I‘d love to learn guitar.

3. If your house caught on fire and you could only grab 2 things what would they be?  My dog Casper and my laptop.

 4. Pizza or pasta?  Pizza!!!

sunshine-award

The Sunshine Award

Presented by: Miss Marzipan

The requirements for accepting are to pay it forward to 10 of my favorite blogs and to answer the following questions:

  1. Who is your favorite philosopher? I do not have a favorite.  I took this class in college and hated it passionately!
  2. What is your favorite number? 3
  3. What is your favorite animal? My puppy casper (coton de tulear)
  4. What is your favorite time of day? Morning
  5. What are your Facebook and Twitter? https://www.facebook.com/easybaked.net
  6. What is your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving (food, family, rest, football) and Easter (the very best reason to celebrate!)
  7. What is your physical favorite activity? Long distance walking.  Did a mini marathon last spring and loved it…I also like long bike rides.
  8. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink? Sweet tea!!!
  9. What is your passion? Only one?  I have so many.  Top of the list: God.  Learning about him, building a relationship with him, helping others see him clearly…. then there is baking, photography, travel, friendships, design, overseas missions…. I might be a little too passionate about too many things 😉
  10. What is your favorite flower? Daisies. They are like smiles on a stem.  I love them

My Blog nominations:

1. My Healthy ‘Ohana Maura writes this beautiful blog from her home in Hawaii and it’s a joy to read.  ‘Ohana means family in Hawaiian and these posts speak on all things family- with lots of yummy recipes!

2. Clever Muffin  Aimee is from Australia and she is one of the funniest food bloggers I have ever met.  I’ve loved her food blog since the very beginning of mine.  Beautiful food…great stories!!!

3. On Sugar Mountain  The author of this blog, Jess is creative and fun and obviously loves life- her recipes and photos are just beautiful.  I’m a recent fan and so glad I found her!

4. Inspire and Indulge  Leah, from upstate New York, is my favorite Pinterest junkie blogger.  Her wonderful blog is a collection of recipes and crafts and fun.  Love it!

5. Wandering for Good  This site will floor you.  It is one of my favorite blogs ever. Stephanie is a friend of my friend Angie (we were both in her wedding).  She is a world traveller who is convinced that if we all gave a little we could change the world.  She started the #give10 campaign.  Seriously, go check this blog out- you will love it.  It will love you.  Amazing stuff.  Not food….but amazing.

6.  Anna Shortcakes  Beautiful food….beautiful photography….beautiful blog.

7.  Cooking up a storm, dish by dish  Felicia, the writer of this blog, will steal your heart with her stories of family near and far and intrigue you with all of her international dishes.  Such a unique and heartwarming blog!

8.  Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide  There’s a special place in my heart for this blog.  They were the 1st non-friend/family members of the Easybaked family and their support and comments in those early days always made my day.  This blog is an incredible (almost daily!) collection of unique recipes.  Incredibly unique…!

9.  Just a Smidgen  A shout out to Canada and Barbara (aka “smidge”) for her elegant collection of recipes, photography and art.  Just a beautiful quiet place to settle in for a good read.

10. Hoof Beats and Foot Prints Not all of my blogging addictions are food related, I have a fair number of photography sites I love as well.  Emily, from Bella Remy Photography captures everything from international travel to simple every day items in gorgeous photos.  A picture says 1,000 words and Emilys speak volumes.

sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award

The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Given to me by: Happy Domesticity

My ten questions to answer with this award are mostly already answered in the previous award.  Here’s whats left:

1. What’s your favorite color?  Blue.

2.  What’s your favorite pattern?  The pattern of sunlight through palm trees when you lay by the beach on vacation with your eyes closed.

3. Do you prefer getting or giving presents?  Giving.

4.  Favorite day of the week?  Sunday….rest!

5. Why did you start to write your blog?  Because I was tired of writing out recipes for people and thought if they were all online it would make things easier.

More blogs I love:

Irena and Dots

Bake ‘n Create

Life, Love and Sugar

The Healthy Flavor

A Table in the Sun

Table of Colors

Yummy Lummy

A Pug in the Kitchen

Feed the Burn

Petit 4 Chocolatier

addictive-blog-award

Last, but certainly not least, the Addictive Blog Award.

This was awarded by my far-away friend Felicia from Cooking up a Storm, Dish by Dish

No questions this time.  I’m supposed to tell you about how I got started in blogging, but I sort-of already did that…?  I’m also supposed to share another 10 of my favorite blogs…but I’ve already shared 25 of them….so here’s what we are going to do.  We are going to break the rules….ready?

Things I love about blogging:  the people I meet, the challenge of thinking up something new and unique, the few days when my stats go through the roof, the way it is teaching me about photography, learning about other cultures and traditions.

Things I hate about blogging: when a recipe doesn’t work for someone, when people tell me cake mix is a mortal sin, when I publish a typo, when I think very long about how many of you are reading this (that is paralyzing!), when I don’t have time to post.

In the spirit of breaking the rules I am going to share with you just two more blogs.

The first is Kids Parties 1-2-3.  The writer of this blog is Kit Bennett and to her I owe many thanks.  She contacted me early on in Easybaked’s history and asked me to write for Ganz (of Webkinz fame), where she is editor.  She offered, in return, to help me with blogging.  She explained SEO to me and how to improve mine.  She explained the concept of monetizing a blog and gave me much encouragement.  She is a treasure- trove of information in all things parties and all things kids and her site is just wonderful.  Thanks Kit!!!!

The second blog is Bon Bon Break.  Kathy and Val connected with me and asked me to write some articles for them and I just fell in love with this site.  This is an incredible collection of blog posts (new each week) and I just think it is a genius idea.  The best part?  You can submit to write for them too!  Such a great way to get your blog out there and read.  This site is truly worth checking out.

We are done. (whew!)  If you made it all the way through, I’m impressed.  If your blog was mentioned I think you can consider yourself nominated for the award and you can pass the joy on to others….you ummmmm– might want to look up the rules if you want to follow them more thoroughly than I did.  Just visit the sites that nominated me and you will see exactly what to do.  My approach was a little less organized than most, but I hope you all know how much I love and appreciate you and the incredible blogs you are publishing!

Happiest of Valentines Days to each of you!  ❤  ~r

Happy heart day!

Dulce de Leche Caramel Sauce

This creamy sweet caramel sauce couldn’t be easier to make.  Ingredients?  One can of Sweetened Condensed Milk and a very brave spirit…..

 

I had heard from several people about the “boil a can of condensed milk to make caramel” idea, and I knew someday I would try it.  That “someday” arrived when I was asked to bring a birthday cheesecake for my brother this weekend.  He likes PLAIN cheesecake.  For those of you who have followed easybaked for awhile, you know I don’t do “plain” anything.  I take plain and add peanut butter, chocolate, glazes, ganache, frosting, candy….nothing plain.  But for my wonderful brother John….I present:  a plain white cheesecake…..

so…..plain.  In case you are wondering, this recipe is the basis for almost all of my cheesecakes, and you can click on one of the following pictures to get the recipe using white chocolate (plus fun toppings!!!!) Using other chip flavors gives you chocolate, peanut butter, cinnamon or even butterscotch cheesecakes.

In any case, I made the plain cheesecake, but I wanted a fun topping sauce to serve with it.  Dulce de Leche.  Now, I don’t know about you, but in my mind boiling a can of any sort sounds like a disaster….so I looked up the technique- just to be sure I did it right and didn’t explode anything.

I found a cute blog called Not Without Salt that gave instructions….scary instructions….and I quote:

“In a large pan, completely submerge the can of sweetened condensed milk in water. Make sure it is covered by at least one inch of water and remains covered throughout the entire process – this is VERY important otherwise it could explode. Cover the pan with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for three hours. Continually check to make sure the can is completely covered with water.”

Yes, it could explode.  Needless to say, I obsessively checked my water level for 3 hours.  I never needed to add any…but I imagined lovely dulce de leche covering my ceiling and walls and I obsessed.

After 3 hours of fear, I took the pan off the stove and had a debate with my friend Danielle about if I should leave it in the hot water to cool…or take it out…?  I took it out.  And I set it outside on my sunporch to cool- or explode.

It cooled beautifully and when I opened the can….oh my.

I love it.  I would do this again in a heartbeat— it is SO good.  I’m so excited to serve it with my cheesecake in a few hours.  It would be good over ice cream or apples…so many possibilities.  ENJOY!!! (and be very careful that your water doesn’t evaporate!!)    ~r

Happy Birthday!!!

Dulce de Leche in your coffee???

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other recipes you might enjoy: Click on the image to be taken to the recipe.

 

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DIY Caramel Corn and other great gift ideas from Easybaked!

I love making and getting creative edible gifts. I’m not talking just a plate of Christmas cookies here…I’m talking unique and different.  Take Caramel Corn, for example.  It is my grandmother’s favorite and I remember spending long evenings watching my parents try various caramel corn recipes in search of the perfect (yet not too messy!) one.  There was the giant brown sack method (where you shake the caramel in) and the cookie sheet one where you pour the caramel on and try to mix it on the sheet (my dog liked that method– lots of popcorn on the floor!)

A few years ago a friend handed me an adorable little Christmas package with mysterious items inside (all tied up with a cute tag and bow) and when I opened it I found ingredients for caramel corn.  All I needed was butter….. I promptly made it and YUM!!!  Quick, easy, delicious and SUCH a creative gift.  This post is dedicated to the recipes you can use this Christmas to make creative and memorable gifts for your friends and families.

CARAMEL CORN:

  • Place  1/2c. packed brown sugar in a small bag and zip or tie it tightly.
  • Place 8 large marshmallows in a small bag and zip or tie it tightly.
  • Place both of the above ingredients in a larger bag or gift box with one packet of microwave popcorn.


Close the bag or box with the following directions:

  • Pop corn in microwave according to package
  • Place brown sugar, marshmallows and 1/2 stick (4T) butter into a 2 qt. bowl
  • Microwave for 3 minutes, stirring well at 1 and 1/2 minutes.  Syrup should be smooth and bubbly.
  • Pour over popped corn and enjoy!

Click on the photo below to get free printable tags to use with this gift:

OREO POPS:

These fun chocolate-covered Oreos on a stick are great for any season.  I made them for the 1st time last spring for a baby shower.  Change up the sprinkles and tie some cute Christmas tags on and you have a great stocking stuffer- or even a holiday centerpiece bouquet!  All the how-to tips, including pictures are available if you just click HERE.  I also made up some free tags for you to tie on your pops~   Click on the picture below to get the free printable file:

HOT CHOCOLATE POPS:

I made these as gifts for SO many people last year.  I made extra for myself.  These are so easy and SO delicious~ everyone will LOVE them.  What are they?  Chocolate (in a variety of flavors and colors) hardened over a marshmallow on a stick.  You stir them into hot milk and make the most creamy, delicious hot chocolate ever.  The best part?  You can make them WAY ahead.  I made some in December and used them in March…still wonderful.  The recipe and directions can be found by clicking HERE.  If you want to print some free tags to tie on your pops click on the image below:

SPICED MOCHA MIX:

My cousin Eden made little jars of this wonderful mix for us several years ago at Christmas and I’ve used the recipe ever since.  It’s just wonderful, easy to make, keeps for months in a sealed bag or jar and makes a great gift.  Want the recipe and easy directions?  Click HERE.  Free printable tags?  Click on the picture below to get them: (I actually printed these on full-sheet labels, cut them apart and made stickers for my jars…just another idea…)

I hope that these ideas have inspired you to create your own fun and unique Christmas gifts!!!  Enjoy!  ~r

Want to try some other fun Christmas recipes by Easybaked?  Click on an image below to be taken to the recipe:

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Summer adventures…

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Yay!!!!  It is time again for English Camp!  For those of you who have followed Easybaked for at least one year, you will remember my two week break from blogging last summer to take a group of college students to Slovakia to teach English.  We are going again this year, and our trip is about to begin.  I am taking a team of 16 people over via an organization called Josiah Venture to teach English and work with a team from a local church there to teach about God.  I’m so excited to see the students I met last year and to meet new ones!

Never fear— I have created ahead for you and have yummy treats/recipes that will automatically post for me while I’m gone.  I will have very limited access to internet to approve/moderate your comments and questions though.  I just wanted to let you know that I haven’t forgotten you– and I will be excited to catch up when we are back!

Happy July to each of you!  R-

 

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