It’s officially spring, who else is excited? I’m sharing one of our favorite family springtime treats that we make every year around the Easter season: birds nest no bake cookies! One year when my girls were little I made these adorable treats and ever since then they can’t have an Easter without them. They are now 17 and 19 and still ask for them and get excited when I make them, and they still have fun helping me shape each nest.
These springtime treats are the perfect festive treat and they’re so easy to make! Just 4 ingredients, a microwave, and some wax or parchment paper. It’s that easy and really fun making each nest!
In a large microwave safe bowl melt chocolate chips and butterscotch chips every 30 seconds, stirring in between until they’re completely melted. Take care not to microwave them too long so they don’t burn. Once melted stir until smooth, toss in the chow mein noodles, and mix until blended. Spoon onto wax or parchment paper and shape into a nest. Top with candy, let them firm up, and you have the cutest treats!
Place the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in a large microwave safe bowl.
Microwave in 30 second increments, stirrring each time until melted.
Stir until smooth and add chow main noodles, stirring until blended.
Spoon onto wax or parchment paper, shaping the nest, creating a slight low spot in the center to hold the eggs.
Add candy eggs to the center and let set until firm.
Our favorite candies to use are Cadberry candy coated mini eggs, Robin eggs, jelly beans, and Peep marshmallow birds. Not only are these Easter time treats easy and fun to make, they taste delicious too! Be sure to follow me on Instagram for my latest seasonal content! Wishing you a Happy Easter blog friends!
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching I thought I would share my favorite, most scrumptious old fashioned apple crisp recipe. Honestly I can’t think of anything better than being curled up on the sofa with a warm bowl of apple crisp topped with vanilla ice cream. It’s true happiness!
I love a good apple pie but let’s face it, pie crust isn’t exactly fun to make or work with. To me, apple crisp will hands down always win because of how easy it is to throw together and the delicious crunchy chewy topping. It’s happiness in a bowl. Warm melty good happiness and so worth the calories.
When it comes to baking with apples it’s crucial to use the right kind. You’ll want to choose an apple that holds its texture in the oven and one that isn’t too sweet. Many apples are great for baking, such as granny smith, braeburn, gala, and honey crisp to name a few. I’m partial to honey crisp because of their crisp, juicy texture and versatility. They cost more at the grocery store but they taste delicious, fresh or baked.
For easy sliced apples start by peeling them and slice into four quarters. Slice each quarter into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Sometimes I’ll cut my apples a little thinner or thicker but 1/4 inch is a good rule of thumb.
Slicing all the apples can feel tedious but once you’ve sliced all your apples everything comes together fast. From there I mix the apples in a bowl with a little flour, sugar, and spices. The crumb topping is also oh so easy because we add melted butter. Yep, no cutting in cold butter. Just melt it, pour it into the crumb mixture, and stir until combined. You’ll know it’s done when the butter starts to clump together with the mixture. Those clumpy bits taste so good out of the oven.
If you’re wondering why no baking powder or soda that’s a great question. Many apple crisp recipes will call for baking soda or powder even though there is nothing to rise. This has always baffled me, so I leave it out. As I’ve researched why this is done it seems that baking powder or soda can raise the pH level of the topping which can enhance browning, but even that’s debatable. So I’ve never used it.
Peel apples and slice into 4 quarters. Slice each quarter into thin slices.
In a bowl large enough to hold the apples, mix together white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the apples and mix until the apples are coated in the mixture.
Place the apple mixture into a greased 4-quart baking dish or a deep 9x15 casserole dish.
In a seperate bowl combine 2 cups flour, brown sugar, and melted butter. Crumble evenly over the apple slices.
Bake for about 45 minutes and cool slightly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
You can store the leftovers covered at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. If you do refrigerate your crisp you can reheat it in the oven, however you may loose a little crispness. Cover with foil so the top won’t burn and reheat it for 15 minutes at 350.
Funny story, a few months ago we had some perfect fall days, so of course I had to make the family an apple crisp. Not long after the crisp was in the oven I started smelling something that reminded me of enchiladas. As the apple crisp cooked the smell kept getting stronger and stronger. To my horror I realized I had accidentally used cumin instead of cinnamon!
My husband the trooper ate a lot of it, but the rest of use couldn’t get past the strong cumin flavor. So I guess I should say there isn’t anything better than a bowl of warm apple crisp topped with ice cream… unless you put cumin in it!
We’re less than a week away from July 4th and I wanted to share my delicious red, white, and blue trifle dessert with you. This trifle is an absolute favorite dessert of ours all through the summer but especially for our 4th of July celebrations. Years ago, and I mean years, I bought this gorgeous trifle bowl at a Southern Living Home party. I’d never made a trifle before but I was mesmerized by this cute little dish.
Sadly after receiving it my trifle journey didn’t start. Nope, I tucked it away and completely forgot all about it until one day I found it buried in the back of a cabinet. Feeling sad for my poor little trifle bowl, I made it a mission to fulfill its destiny by making as many different trifle desserts as possible. We’ve made every combination you can think of, but this stunning red, white, and blue trifle is a true summer favorite.
It’s light and fresh, making it perfect for a hot summer day. Made with a store bought angel food cake it’s also a breeze to assemble! You may think this is just a basic angel food and whipped cream dessert with strawberries and blueberries but it is not. Adding just a few more simple ingredients takes this trifle dessert from good to WOW! It’s like magic.
If you’ve ever eaten a store bought angel food cake you probably know they don’t taste the best. Brushing the store bought angel food cake with an easy-to-make lemon sugar syrup transforms it into something magical. Yes, you can absolutely make your own angel food cake if time allows, just don’t skimp on the lemon sugar syrup!
Besides the delicious syrup the other secret to this amazing dessert is the cream cheese. The cream cheese takes this fruit trifle to a new level with its rich creaminess, plus the cream cheese stabilizes the whipped cream so it won’t turn runny. When preparing sliced strawberry desserts consider using a strawberry slicer, it’s a great timesaver!
1pre-made angel food cake, sliced into 1 inch slices
28 ozcontainers of cream cheese, softened
2cupsheavy cream, room temperature
2pintsstrawberries, rinsed and sliced
2 pintsbluberries, rinsed
To Prepare the Lemon Syrup
Heat 1/4 cup of sugar, water, and lemon juice in a small sauce pan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond extract. Let cool.
To Prepare the Trifle
Brush both sides of the pound cake with the lemon syrup. Then cut the slices in into 1 inch cubes.
With an electric mixer beat the cream cheese with 2/3 cup of sugar on medium speed until light and smooth. Add the cream and beat on medium-high until it's the consistency of whipped cream.
Arrange half of the cake cubes into a trifle dish, then layer half of the blueberries, spoon half of the cream mixture, followed by half of the strawberries. Repeat the layers one more time, ending with the strawberries and adding extra blueberries for garnish if desired.
Up on a pedestal a pretty trifle demands attention. It’s such a pretty dessert isn’t it? Not only is it pretty but it’s so easy to make and looks amazing on my blue and white tablecloth – and it’s under $10! My trifle dish is pretty ancient and no longer sold but below I’ve found some gorgeous affordable trifle dishes below and all are under $40.
Don’t hide your trifle bowl in a cabinet and forget all about it like I did. It’s too pretty and versatile to stash it away! Use it to serve salads, salsa, and other dips… you can even decorate with it. Use it as a fruit bowl or to hold candy, potpourri, or other decorative items! Take care and have a happy safe 4th of July!
When life gives you lemons head to the kitchen! You can turn it around by making these yummy lemon white chocolate scones! Yep… I’m still on my lemon kick. This self isolation is making me a bit loopy, and the best therapy for me is cooking or baking. Since our house is still overflowing with lemons I decided we should bake some lemony treats. Recently while going through my old recipe box I said “Hey Ash, let’s bake some lemon scones”. “What are scones?” she asked. Suddenly guilt ran through my body. I had failed in my job as a mother, my 16 year old daughter who loves food, baking, has been in countless bakeries, and traveled throughout England and Ireland doesn’t know what a scone is? What kind of Mother am I? Ok… see, this isolation is making me lose it!
Scones remind me of a cross between a biscuit and soft cookie. They are moist and soft on the inside, and the outside has delicious crumbly edges. Scones might seem a little fussy to make but honestly they aren’t. The key to making successful scones is to keep the ingredients as cold as possible, especially the butter, and to not overwork the dough. If this is your first time making scones or you haven’t been successful in the past, have no fear I’ve got a few easy tips to share.
TIPS TO GET THE BEST SCONES
You want all your ingredients cold. With a lot of baking it’s good to let your ingredients warm to room temperature, but not with scones.
Place the amount of cold butter you need on a small plate, chop it into pieces, and place it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. You can also measure out the dry ingredients and place them into the freezer as well, this ensures everything stays cold.
Blend the flour and butter mixture until it resembles sand. When you pick it up and squeeze it between your fingers it should be cohesive, a little like moon sand, if you know what that is.
Scone dough is delicate so it’s very important not to overwork the dough, just pat it together into a ball, then a circle, and stop.
Altitude, humidity, and temperature can affect baked goods, sometimes I need to add a little extra milk. Should your scone dough be too dry to form into a ball, add a few extra teaspoons at a time of COLD milk until the dough comes together. Take care not to over-wet the dough, it should look a bit crumbly.
Rest the dough 20 minutes in the refrigerator so the butter pockets stay nice and cold.
To make this recipe easier I use a food processor, I use it for everything! You can go old school and blend the ingredients with a pastry blender or even two forks, just be aware it will take longer.
Follow these easy tips and you’ll have delicious scones in no time!
Pulling the scones apart before baking helps create a crumbly edge, if you prefer softer edges keep them closer together.
I like to finish with a simple glaze made of powdered sugar and lemon juice. Don’t skimp on the glaze, it’s the best part. A bit tart on it’s own, but it’s bursting with fresh lemon flavor and makes for an incredible scone!
WHY USE PARCHMENT PAPER?
I love the ease of using parchment paper, it protects my baking sheets and makes clean up a breeze. You can go without, but be aware scones tend to brown a bit more on the bottom when not using parchment paper.
CAN YOU FREEZE SCONES?
Yes you can! I recommend that if you plan to freeze them, do it before before baking, not after. Follow the steps by slicing the scone circle into equal slices on the baking sheet. Pull the slices apart and freeze on the baking sheet 4-5 hours until frozen solid. Then place the scones in a freezer bag, or you can individually wrap them and freeze. If you bake them from frozen, increase the cooking time 5-10 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk milk, lemon juice, eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon zest in small bowl.
In a food processer combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse several times to blend.
Add cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles sand.
Transfer the butter mixture to a seperate bowl and add the wet ingredients, stir just until the dough comes together. Then stir in the white chocolate chips.
Gently form the dough into a ball. The dough will be crumbly, if it's too dry to form a ball add a few teaspoons of cold milk until the dough comes together. Take care not to overwork the dough. Stop once you can form a ball.
Place the dough on the parchment-lined baking sheet and with your fingers press the dough into a 1 inch thick circle.
Place the baking sheet with the dough into the refrigerator to chill 20 minutes.
With a knife, cut the dough circle into triangles. Then seperate the triangles until they're about 1 inch apart.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until the scones rise and are golden. Remove the scones from the oven and place on a wire rack until cool.
While the scones are cooling, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
Drizzle the glaze over the scones and serve.
I have redeemed myself. I’m so glad to share that Ashley now knows the importance of a proper scone and how to make them.
The scones are best served fresh, they tend to dry out a little the next day but they’re still delicious. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. These scones taste so light and refreshing, lemons and white chocolate just go so good together, ya know? YUM!
Any cookie dough addicts out there? I thought so. In honor of my littlest – who’s not so little anymore, turning 16 this Leap Day – we’re making birthday cake themed cookie dough! I’m always looking for cute new ways to celebrate and this cookie dough is a perfect way to celebrate. It’s rich, delicious, and best of all FOOD SAFE! As with all edible cookie doughs, though, you can’t actually bake cookies with this recipe. It’s missing the crucial ingredients needed to bake, but it is ideal for all those cookie dough fanatics out there.
We’ve all known that eating raw eggs is a big no no, but did you know eating raw flour is also not safe? Eating raw flour puts you at risk for E.Coli, that’s why it’s so important to make special edible cookie dough. So now you can enjoy all the glorious cookie dough goodness without the risk.
The trick to safe cookie dough (besides leaving the eggs out) is to first toast the flour in the oven. I place the flour on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 12 minutes, you’ll notice the flour turns a bit golden. Then you can pick up the parchment paper and simply pour it into your mixing bowl. Not only does this make the flour safe to eat, the heat cooks off some of the overwhelming flour flavor and this creates a great cookie dough.
We’ve taste tested this recipe several times and I think we created just the right flavor balance with a mix of regular and brown sugar. Add vanilla and a generous dose of sprinkles and white chocolate chips and your left with a heavenly birthday cake tasting cookie dough! Sprinkles just make everything fun… and yummy.
While the flour is toasting you can use this time to gather your ingredients.
Where is the butter? Oh yes… I left it in the mixing bowl. I’m sure you’ve all seen butter before right? A quick tip, your butter must be at room temperature to properly cream with the sugar. If you’re like me and always forget to soften the butter try slicing it up in small pieces. This will help bring the butter to room temperature much faster.
In the recipe I call for unsalted butter but we add salt to the dough. A chef once told me you get a higher quality of butter when you purchase unsalted, so now it’s ingrained in my brain. Feel free so use salted butter if that’s all you have and omit the salt. Am I still talking about butter??
Most of the time we just immediately dig into our cookie dough goodness, but if you prefer a stiffer, chilled dough then be sure to chill it a few hours. This recipe makes a generous 3 cups and you can freeze any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
1 1/2sticks (12 tbs)unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cupsflour
1/4 cupwhite chocolate chips
Place flour in a mound on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until reaches 160°. Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes.
Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a bowl with a mixer on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium and beat until fluffy about 3 minutes.
Reduce speed to low, add the toasted flour, and mix until just combined, add the milk and beat until creamy. Add the sprinkles and chocolate chips and mix until combined.
Serve immediately or refrigerate a few hours if you prefer the dough chilled.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Dough can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
We’ll be visiting Steamboat Springs for Ashley’s birthday so a fresh batch of this birthday cake cookie dough will be traveling along with us! I’ll also be sharing some of our birthday decorations next on the blog.
We’re big poke cake fans around here. If you aren’t familiar with poke cake let me tell you exactly what that is. You bake a basic cake, poke holes in it, and simply drown it in delicious toppings that seep down into the cake. It creates a moist, rich, gooey, delicious cake that you serve right out of the pan. They’re simple to make and pretty much foolproof!
This time of year all I want is a good rich cup of cocoa, but hey why not make a hot cocoa cake? Cake good. Cocoa good. Put it together and pass me a fork!
I’ve always had a lot of fun coming up with different combinations, and since yesterday was Brian’s birthday it gave me an excuse to make a hot cocoa flavored poke cake. Gotta love those Christmas birthdays, they keep us on our toes! The first cake I made didn’t make the cut, but the second hot cocoa poke cake certainly did! It got the birthday boy’s seal of approval.
Why do I love poke cakes so much? Poking holes in a cake just feels fun… almost naughty, and pouring on a bunch of delicious toppings is just fun. Plus poke cakes are messy, imperfect, and served right out of the pan. No stress getting the cake out of the pan and no drama trying to get the frosting perfect.
You always want to give your poke cake at least an hour to chill in the refrigerator but I recommend a little longer if possible. I like my poke cakes nice and cold. So hmm… I guess it’s more of a cold cocoa cake huh?
When making this recipe whatever you do don’t skip the cream! It’s essential in giving the chocolate a rich creamy flavor and adding moisture to the cake. To finish off the cake top with whipped topping, a little leftover chocolate syrup, and a grated chocolate. I like to grate up a Hershey’s chocolate bar for a little extra pizazz just like a fancy cup of indulgent hot cocoa. You can also use mini chocolate chips if that’s easier.
Once cake comes out of the oven, poke holes all over the top of the cake using the end of a wooden spoon.
Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top of cake and spread to fill in the holes.
In a small bowl whisk together 8 oz chocolate syrup with heavy cream. Pour over the top of the cake and spread to fill in holes.
Let cake cool to room temperature and then refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Top with whipped topping and garnish with grated chocolate bar and chocolate syrup.
Once you’ve been bitten by the poke cake bug it’s hard to stop making them. The girls and I come up with crazy combinations all the time, it’s so fun. If you have strawberry love try my strawberry shortcake poke cake recipe too! I’ve already got another poke recipe in my head I want to try. Just maybe that will make it on the blog one day too. Need more cocoa love? Try my slow cooker hot chocolate pudding, it’s so rich and delicious with the slow cooker and also stress free.