Cooking with Katie


Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Sweet Treats category.

Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

I know I haven’t posted in a while, but now that I’m back in school, I have been so incredibly busy with homework, drill team practices, and school events that I’ve barely had time to cook! I’m finally on Thanksgiving break, though, and I want to post some recipes that may be fun alternatives to the classic Thanksgiving dishes. Like these little pies; they’re a perfect alternative to pumpkin or pecan pie. And don’t be fooled by their stereotype, these are NOT just for summertime! They make a refreshing, delicious little treat anytime of year, especially on your holiday table. Plus, what relative won’t be impressed by mini pies!?

Mini Lemon Meringue Pies (Pie Crust recipe by Paula Dean, Lemon Curd recipe by Anne Burrell)

Pie Crust:

  • 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Lemon curd:

See the recipe on one of my past posts.

Meringue:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place all of the crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour. Form the pastry into 24 small balls; press with fingers into the bottom and up the sides of ungreased miniature muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, zest, sugar, eggs and salt and whisk to a homogeneous consistency. Place in saucepan and bring to a medium heat. Cook, whisking, constantly until the mixture has thickened, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter, 2 pats at a time until it’s incorporated and has a silky consistency.

Pour the lemon curd into the pie shells and bake for 10-15 minutes or until it’s set. Let them cool.

Whisk the egg whites with the salt and cream of tartar in an electric mixer until they’re frothy. On the lowest speed, slowly add in the sugar a couple tablespoons at a time until the egg whites are thick, shiny, and stiff. Put the meringue in a pastry bag and pipe it onto the pies. Put the pies under the broiler until the meringue is browned and toasty. Happy Holidays!


Peach Blueberry Crumb Pie

Okay, so this is defiantely not the prettiest picture I’ve ever posted, but it shows you every great componet of this pie. The crispy crumb topping, juicy peaches and blueberries, and flaky crust make this so irresistable, and it’s a huge crowd pleaser! It’s the perfect dish to have at a summer barbeque or pot-luck, and kids love it! I loved how great it was for summer time and how easy it was to throw together, and I’m sure that you’ll love it too!

Peach Blueberry Crumb Pie (Giada de Laurentiis)

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup quick cooking tapioca pearls, such as Minute Tapioca
  • 1 pound frozen blueberries, thawed and drained, or 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 pound frozen peaches, thawed, or 3 large fresh peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • One 9-inch unroll-and-bake refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, chilled
  • 1/2 cup quick cook oats
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch ceramic or glass pie dish.

For the filling: Finely grind the tapioca in a food processor or spice grinder, about 1 minute. Combine the blueberries, peaches, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon zest and tapioca in a medium bowl.

Unroll the pie crust and place in the pie dish. Brush the inside with the egg white.

For the topping: Pulse the almonds, butter, oats, flour and sugar until small chunks form in a food processor.

Pour the filling into the crust. Crumble the topping over the filling and bake until the top is golden brown, about 55 minutes. If after 30 minutes of baking the edges of the crust begin to brown too quickly, cover the edges of the pie dish with strips of foil. Cool the pie for 30 to 40 minutes before slicing.


S’mores Truffles

Talk about a decadent dessert! These little chocolate truffles melt in your mouth and are a super fun way to get your kids involved in the kitchen. They’re as fun to make as they are to eat!


Truffles are really easy to make and, obviously, so delicious! You can make so many different type of truffles using this basic recipe from Pioneer Woman, and then stuff, dip, or roll them in whatever you want. The possibilities are endless!

S’mores Truffles (Truffle Recipe by The Pioneer Woman)

  • 8 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 8 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2-1 c Marshmallow Fluff
  • 1/4 c Graham Cracker Crumbs 

Combine the chocolate and condensed milk in a double boiler.

Melt it until it’s just combined.

Before you put the bowl in the fridge, put it in a bigger bowl full of ice to cool down the bowl, otherwise it’ll crack in the fridge. Once the bowl is cool, put it in the fridge to let it harden.


Then, once the chocolate has hardened, scoop out little balls with a mini ice cream scoop and roll them between your hands. Put them back in the fridge until you’re ready to dip them.

Then combine the marshmallow fluff and a tbsp. of butter in a double boiler and melt it over medium heat until….

…it’s nice and smooth. Then take the truffles out of the fridge, and dip them in the marshmallow mixture. Dip the marshmallow part into a plate of graham cracker crumbs to coat them after. Enjoy!


Lemon Cranberry Cake

I made this cake to use up the sad little cranberries that have been sitting in our fridge since Christmas. I know, it’s pitiful isn’t it?!?!?! But, look at what a beautiful and TASTY cake they turned into! They really livend up with all the lemon and the sugar and became this tangy-sweet-tart-scrumptious bundt cake that reminded every one of the holidays!

Fresh cranberries might be kind of hard to find in stores now, so if you don’t have any lying around, you can always use frozen, thawed cranberries. Or, you could substitute the cranberries with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or even fruit jellies. Happy Baking!

Cranberry Lemon Cake (Food Network Magazine)

  • 3 1/4 sticks butter at room temperature (I know, it’s alot and this really is an indulgence cake!)
  • 3 c cake flour, sifted
  • 12 oz cranberries
  • 2 1/2 c sugar
  • 6 tbsp. milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 c lemon juice, plus 2 tbsp.
  • 1 1/2 c powdered sugar

Cube the butter and set it in a bowl at room temperature to soften.

Put the cranberries in a saucepan with 3/4 c sugar and let them cook over medium-high heat for about 15 min., or until they look like this. Let them cool.

Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, milk, and vanilla in a bowl. Set aside.

Tip: When separating the eggs, put the egg whites in a little Tupperware container. Put a piece of tape on the lid and write “2 egg whites” on it so you know what they are, then put them in the freezer. The next time you need egg whites, just pull them out of the freezer, let them defrost and they’re ready to use! This also works for egg yolks, left over pie dough, and left over cookie dough.

Now, dump all the dry ingredients and the lemon zest in a bowl and give them a mix.

You’ll be able to see the little flecks of lemon zest in here….I love that!

Then, dump in the butter and…

…give it a mix until it looks like this.

Add in half of the wet ingredients and mix it all up.

It should look like this. Then add the rest of the wet ingredients in two parts and mix it until…

..it looks like this!

Pour 2/3 of the batter into a butter and floured bundt pan. Then spoon the cranberries on top of the batter. Make sure that the cranberries don’t touch the pan, otherwise they’ll stick! We don’t want that to happen!

Then, pour the rest of the batter on top of the cranberries and smooth it over.

Now, bake it at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes.


Then, poke it with a skewer all over the bottom. Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the 1/2 c sugar in the 1/2 c lemon juice (about 4-5 juicy lemons) in a saucepan and cook it until the sugar dissolves in the lemon juice. Pour it over the cake and let it soak in through the holes. Turn it out onto a cake stand and combine the remaining 2 tbsp. of lemon juice with the powdered sugar. Drizzle it over the cake with a fork and enjoy!


Christmas Pretzels

I promise, these are the easiest, fastest, most delicious Christmas cookies ever! They’re great to set out for your dinner guests tomorrow, and even better for a post-Christmas snack the rest of the week! Really all you have to do is melt some white chocolate almond bark (it doesn’t really have almonds in it!), drizzle it on some flat pretzel chips, and then sprinkle crushed candy canes on top. How hard was that?

You could also modify these to fit any season by using food coloring to color the white chocolate different colors for Valentine’s Day, Easter, the Fourth of July, or even Halloween. You could also add different colored sprinkles or candies to them to give them some pizzazz! Get creative and have fun with them! :) Happy Holidays everybody!


Peanut Blossoms

We love to give these cookies away as presents because they’re so easy to make and get ready, and they have a really long shelf life. And who wouldn’t want to get a good, home-made peanut butter and chocolate cookie?!?! Well, I guess if you’re allergic to peanuts, you wouldn’t like them…..Ooo….

Anyway, all of you who aren’t allergic to peanuts can enjoy these delicious cookies; and all of you who are can enjoy the peanut-free cookies I’ll post tomorrow! :) Make these with someone you love and then give them to someone you love even more! Happy Holidays!

Peanut Blossoms (Pillsbury)

  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c shortening
  • 1/2 c peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • sugar
  • Hershey kisses

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, shortening, peanut butter, milk, vanilla and egg; mix with electric mixer on low speed until stiff dough forms. 2 Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. 3 Bake at 375°F. for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately top each cookie with 1 milk chocolate candy, pressing down firmly so cookie cracks around edge; remove from cookie sheets.

Makes 36-48 cookies.


Black Bottom Cupcakes

These cupcakes are like little, choclate-y bundles of happiness! They’re so comforting and make you feel like you’re back in your grandma’s kitchen. Plus, who can resist that combination of chocolate and cream cheese? It’s so tangy and sweet at the same time and satisfies all of your holiday cravings. Happy holidays everybody! (P.S. For those of you keeping track, there’s only 5 days until Christmas. ;))

Black Bottoms

Cake:

  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 c sugar
  • 5 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c water
  • 1/3 c oil
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. vinegar

Filling:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c mini chocolate chips

Start by combining the dry ingredients for the cake.

Then add in the oil..

..and the water. The cocoa powder made the water turn brown…I don’t have dirty water. :) Stir all the ingredients together.

After the ingredients are combined, add the vanilla, baking soda, and vinegar.  The baking soda and vinegar make a cool little science experiment in your cupcakes. Mix that in as well.

Then, grab some cute Christmas cupcake liners with penguins on the bottom and line a mini muffin tin.

Fill the cupcakes up about 3/4 of the way full. Make sure to spill a little on the pan, just for good measure.

Then combine all the filling ingredients and put a little dollop on each cupcake. Bake them at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Makes 36 cupcakes.


Auntie’s Lace Cookies

I like this picture because it gives you an idea of just how big these cookies are! They’re super thin and crunchy, and spread out so much when you bake them that they end up 3x bigger than what they started as. I’m not really sure which “auntie” of mine invented these, but they’re irresistible. They’re full of brown sugar, butter, and oatmeal….which if you think about it, is good for you. So it doesn’t make you feel too bad for eating them around the holidays! Enjoy!

Auntie’s Lace Cookies

  • 2 1/4 c quick oatmeal
  • 2 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 c melted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Stir the ingredients together and bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Only put 5 or 6 on a cookie sheet because they SPREAD out! Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until desired crispness. Let cool on pan for 5-8 minutes then remove to a cooling rack. Store at room temperature.


Peppermint Chocolate Meringues

Hello everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much these past few weeks, but school has gotten pretty over-whelming these days and I haven’t had time to do much cooking! I also didn’t have time to do much recipe testing for Thanksgiving. :( But don’t worry…I’m going to make up for it with a TON of christmas cookie recipes! We always go all out with the christmas cookies every year, so you’ll be finding a lot of recipes here! The first cookie….Peppermint Chocolate Meringues! The peppermint in these cookies gets everybody ready for Christmas, and the chocolate doesn’t hurt either! Plus, who can resist that crunchy, airy, meringue-y texture?!?!?!?!?! Enjoy these and keep a look out for more cookie recipes to come!

Peppermint Chocolate Meringues

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c mini chocolate chips
  • 3-4 tbsp. crushed candy cane

Beat the egg whites until they’re foamy. Add the salt and cream of tartar and beat them until soft peaks form. Add the sugar slowly, about 1 tbsp. at a time, until they’re very stiff and shiny.

Like this!

Fold in the candy canes,

the vanilla, and the chocolate chips.

Mix it until it’s just combined, and try not to deflate the meringue.

Using a mini ice cream scoop, but them on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Put as many on a cookie sheet as possible because they don’t spread.

Bake them at 250 degrees for 40 minutes and then let them cool on a wire rack.

Makes about 36 cookies.


Chocolate and Buttercream Birthday Cake

My mom and my sister are lucky enough to share a birthday, and while they get to have the day off, I’m always very busy making their cake. :) This year, they wanted something springy…in the month of October….even though it still feels like July here….this cake was a tease! It was very delicious, though, and was alot of fun to make. So if you live in North Texas, have a mom and sister with the same birthday, HATE this heat, and are looking for a good birthday cake, make this one! Or if you have nothing in common with any of those things, then still make it to celebrate your cool weather!

Chocolate Cake (Duncan Hines)

  • 1 box Duncan Hines cake mix
  • whatever else it calls for :)

Buttercream Frosting (Wilton)

  • 1 c vegetable shortening
  • 1 c butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 8 c powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4 tbsp. milk

For the cake:

Make the cake according to the box directions. Let it cool completely on a wire rack before you start icing it.

For the frosting:

Cream the butter and shortening together. Add vanilla. Gradually add the sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl often. When all the sugar has been mixed in, it will appear dry. Add milk and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. (If you want to make chocolate buttercream, then just add 1 1/2 oz. of melted unsweetened chocolate and 1/2 tbsp. of milk.) This will make about 6 cups of frosting.

When the cakes are cool, level the them and stack them on top of each other by: Placing one cake on a cake pedestal or plate. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top and place the second cake on top of it. Ice the sides of the cake and the top and then decorate.

To decorate:

To make the purple icing, I just mixed about a cup of the white icing with Wilton red and blue food coloring. I dipped a toothpick in the food coloring three times with each color and mixed it with the icing to get the shade I wanted. I did the same for the yellow frosting, but just used Wilton Lemon Yellow food coloring instead.

For these little flowers, I used tip#133. For the dots, I used tip#4.

I used tip#12 for the big dots. I bordered the top and bottom edges of the cake with these dots.

And finally, I used tip#3 on both the top and side writing.


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