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KETO STRAWBERRY LIME MINI CHEESECAKES

KETO STRAWBERRY LIME MINI CHEESECAKES

Keto Strawberry Lime Cheesecake

Happy Summer!  Yesterday was a strawberry moon did you see it?  Unfortunately I didn’t get to see it, but yesterday I celebrated the strawberry moon by creating this delicious no bake keto Strawberry Lime Mini Cheesecake.  You know I love posting strawberry desserts… they’re my jam, but this year I’m switching things up with a keto recipe.  I’ve been able to lose some of my 2020 weight gain doing keto and I thought it was time to celebrate with a summer dessert.  These mini cheesecakes are a perfect way to celebrate summer barbecues and the Fourth of July… plus it gave me a reason to use my Le Creuset mini cocottes that I love!

If you’re wondering what makes this recipe keto friendly, that would be the almond flour crust, powdered erythritol sweetener, and high fat content.  Part of the reason why I thrive so well on the keto diet is because I find fat so satiating.

Now let’s talk a little bit about powdered erythritol.  Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that comes in granulated and powdered form but it has 0 net carbs and is considered keto friendly. The best non-nutritive sweeteners are natural ones like stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol.  These natural sugar substitutes contain few or no calories, meaning they won’t raise your blood sugar or impact ketosis.  Having said that I truly believe all keto desserts should be eaten in moderation or on special occasions. 

For this recipe I’m using a powdered blend of erythritol that is blended with monkfruit.  I was able to pick it up at my grocery store, you can purchase the exact brand I’m using HERE.  Although it’s a blend of monkfruit it’s 99% erythritol.

Keto Strawberry Lime Cheesecake

For this recipe you’ll need a hand mixer or a stand mixer.  The majority of the filling is a mixture of softened cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, and of course erythritol.  To make sure this recipe is successful you’ll need to make sure your heavy cream is nice and cold.  Once all the filling ingredients are blended you’ll need to whip the mixture on high until it’s nice and stiff.  I want to stress that if the mixture is runny it will not firm up in the refrigerator.  The firm texture comes from whipping, so make sure it’s nice and thick like the above photo.

To get that great strawberry flavor we blend fresh strawberries together in a mini food processor or a blender.  If you don’t have one you can probably mash them with a fork.  I just love the combo of strawberry and lime, it’s so summery and fresh!  To get that great lime flavor we zest an entire lime and add it to the mixture.  Be sure to save the lime and you can drizzle a squeeze of lime before you eat this delicious dessert!

Keto Strawberry Lime Cheesecake

These delicious treats are just over 4 carbs and so satisfying!  A word about the serving size, the nutrition info is based off dividing this mixture into 10 equal portions and since these are no bake you can easily use any small dish you like… if you don’t have ramekins, little tea cups could work!  Keep in mind if you split the dish up into less than 10 portions the carb count per portion will go up a little and if you make more than 10 portions the carb count goes down.

When it comes to calculating sugar alcohols it can be a little confusing.  Generally speaking, half of the carbs from sugar alcohols can be subtracted from the total carbs listed on the nutrition label.

However, erythritol is an exception. If it’s the only sugar alcohol in the ingredient list, its carbs can be completely subtracted from the total carbs.  

Keto Strawberry Lime Mini Cheesecakes

Servings: 10
Calories: 237kcal

Equipment

  • Mixer

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered erythritol
  • 5 medium sized strawberries
  • 1 lime, zested
  • Optional - extra strawberries & lime zest for garnishing

Instructions

  • In a medium sized bowl mix together melted butter and almond flour with a fork.
  • Divide almond flour mixture into 10 small serving ramekins.
  • Wash strawberries and trim tops off, using a blender or mini food chopper puree the strawberries.
  • With a high speed mixer and whisk attachment, whip the heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, powdered erythritol, strawberries, and lime zest together on low speed until blended.
  • Increase the mixer speed to high and mix until the mixture has thickened. Do not add the mixture to the ramekins unless it has thickened.
  • Spoon the filling evenely on top of the crust and chill at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  • Add extra strawberries, lime zest, and lime juice for garnish if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 10g | Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 76mg | Fiber: 1.36g | Sugar: 2g

Le Creuset mini cocottes

I hope you love these delicious keto treats as much as I do, it’s strawberry lime love!

4 INGREDIENT NO BAKE BIRDS NEST COOKIES

4 INGREDIENT NO BAKE BIRDS NEST COOKIES

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!

Easy to make Easter treats

4 Ingredient NO BAKE Birds Nest Cookies

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 12 ounces butterscotch chips
  • 12 ounces chow mein noodles
  • small candy eggs for decorating
  • wax or parchment paper

Instructions

  • 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!

OLD FASHIONED APPLE CRISP

OLD FASHIONED APPLE CRISP

Old fashioned apple crisp

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.

the best apple crisp recipe

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.

How to slice apples

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.

the best apple crisp recipe

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.

Old fashioned apple crisp

Apple Crisp

Ingredients

For the apple filling:

  • 6-7 baking apples, I use honey crisp
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water

For the topping:

  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 2 cups flour
  • cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • a pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • 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.

Old fashioned apple crisp

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.

the best apple crisp recipe

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!

RED, WHITE, & BLUE TRIFLE

RED, WHITE, & BLUE TRIFLE

4th of July Desserts

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.

Strawberry summer desserts

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.

Strawberry Blueberry Trifle Dessert

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!

4th of July Desserts

Red, White, & Blue Trifle

Servings: 10

Equipment

  • Electric mixer

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 pre-made angel food cake, sliced into 1 inch slices
  • 2 8 oz containers of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups heavy cream, room temperature
  • 2 pints strawberries, rinsed and sliced
  • 2 pints bluberries, rinsed

Instructions

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.
  • Chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator, then serve.
  • Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.

 

My strawberry shortcake poke cake is also another popular summer dessert that’s quite easy to make, and perfect for the 4th.

red, white and blue patriotic trifle

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!

LEMON WHITE CHOCOLATE SCONES

LEMON WHITE CHOCOLATE SCONES

lemon white chocolate scones

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!

lemon white chocolate scones

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.

lemon white chocolate scones

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!

How to make scones

Pulling the scones apart before baking helps create a crumbly edge, if you prefer softer edges keep them closer together.

How to make scones

lemon white chocolate scones

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!

lemon white chocolate scones

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.

Lemon White Chocolate Scones

Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1 tbs lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbs unsalted butter, cubed & COLD
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs lemon juice

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbs lemon juice

Instructions

  • 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.

lemon white chocolate scones

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!

BIRTHDAY CAKE COOKIE DOUGH

BIRTHDAY CAKE COOKIE DOUGH

Edible Birthday Cake Cookie Dough Recipe

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.

Edible Birthday Cake Cookie Dough Recipe

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.

Edible Birthday Cake Cookie Dough Recipe

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.

Edible Birthday Cake Cookie Dough Recipe

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.

Edible Birthday Cake Cookie Dough Recipe

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??

Edible Birthday Cake Cookie Dough Recipe

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.

Edible Birthday Cake Cookie Dough Recipe

Birthday Cake Cookie Dough

Servings: 3 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tbs) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  • 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.

Edible Birthday Cake Cookie Dough Recipe

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.