Archive of ‘Recipes’ category

roasted strawberries and cream popsicles

It’s popsicle week!!! Every year for the past four years, Billy over at Wit and Vinegar has hosted popsicle week. During popsicle week, bloggers from all over the web send links to fun popsicle recipes they have created especially for this web-wide event.

Roasted Strawberries and Cream Popsicles for Popsicle Week!| passthecookies.com

Last year I made berry granola popsicles and roasted apricot Greek yogurt and strawberry popsicles, in 2015 I made watermelon lime mint popsicles, and this year we have roasted strawberries and cream popsicles! Let me just tell you, roasted strawberries are my new favorite ingredient. They are more complex than fresh strawberries but still have that wonderful sweetness that you get from a fresh-from-the-vine strawberry. The two popsicles I made last year used Greek yogurt, but we’re switching things up a bit this year with coconut milk for a dairy free popsicle option.

Roasted Strawberries and Cream Popsicles-2

Roasted Strawberries and Cream Popsicles for Popsicle Week!| passthecookies.com

One of the great things about popsicles is that as long as they freeze, it is really hard to mess up when you make them. In testing these I had some popsicles that were mostly strawberry mixture, some that were mostly coconut milk mixture, and some that were an even mix. The beauty of this recipe is that it is up to you how you want to mix them! You can mix the strawberry mixture with the coconut mixture for a homogeneous pink popsicle, layer the roasted strawberries and the coconut milk as shown in these photos, or forget the coconut milk altogether if it’s not your thing for a deliciously red roasted strawberry popsicle. There are so many delicious options!

Roasted Strawberries and Cream Popsicles for Popsicle Week!| passthecookies.com

Roasted Strawberries and Cream Popsicles for Popsicle Week!| passthecookies.com

I’m so excited to see the great popsicle ideas everyone else comes up with throughout this fun week. The blogging community is so creative and I’m so grateful for the opportunities like these to participate and contribute to such a wonderful group and fun idea that brings so many people together. Let’s start freezing!

Roasted Strawberries and Cream Popsicles
1 pound strawberries, hulled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup honey, divided
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the strawberries on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until fragrant and soft. Place the roasted strawberries in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add 2 tablespoons of honey and blend until smooth.

In a small bowl, stir the coconut milk, remaining 2 tablespoons honey and vanilla extract.

Layer the strawberry and coconut mixtures. Cover the popsicles, add sticks, and freeze for 6 hours or overnight.

memorial day brunch

A few years ago, our family started a tradition of making a big brunch together in Memorial Day. As many traditions do, it started out as just an easy day to get together and make brunch because we were all off of work or home from school, not as something we intended to be an annual event. But, the next year we got together for brunch again, this time branching out with our dishes. From then on Memorial Day brunch became an assumed tradition and we love it!

Memorial Day Weekend Brunch 2017 | www.passthecookies.com

Memorial Day Weekend Brunch 2017 | www.passthecookies.com

We have a few go-to brunch recipes for any time of the year, including coffee cake (heavy on the crumb topping), scones (chocolate chip and/or berry), fruit salad, and the typical eggs and bacon. We try to switch up the breads from time to time so we don’t get in a rut. This year, we suggested different breakfast items beforehand and voted to narrow down which ones we ultimately made. After many heated debates about whether cinnamon rolls or sticky buns are better, and if we should put blueberries in the scones if we also put them in the lemon loaf, we decided on our Memorial Day brunch menu.

Memorial Day Weekend Brunch 2017 | www.passthecookies.com

Memorial Day Weekend Brunch 2017 | www.passthecookies.com

I am sharing our menu below, with comments, so you can prepare for your own great brunch. Some of our favorites would be a great to include on Father’s Day!

Lemon Lemon Loaf – We adapted the recipe from Baked cookbook. Every recipe we have tried from this cookbook has been good (the pumpkin chocolate chip loaf is our go-to in the fall!). Note that one recipe makes two loaves, but it is easily halved. We skipped the glaze and added 1½ cups of blueberries to the flour mixture before mixing it with the wet ingredients. I would definitely recommend adding blueberries if you make this – they break up the texture and add a great flavor. The loaf was very dense and extremely moist, but tasty.

Ultimate Cinnamon Buns – This recipe was from Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book. These cinnamon buns took a lot of time to make and the result was only okay. The filling was too sweet for our taste and overpowered the flavor of the buns themselves and the glaze. For the amount of time it took to make them (we started the night before), I expected the result to be amazing. I admit that I’m not a wizard with yeasted dough, but I think I did it right this time. It could have still been a mistake on our end with kneading or mixing, but they weren’t that wonderful. I am still willing to make homemade yeasted cinnamon buns, but I wouldn’t spend my time on this recipe again.

Summer Fruit Salad – This one is self-explanatory. We combined berries and melons and added a few sprigs of mint to the top. It was fresh and delicious, as always.

Mixed Berry Scones – As I mentioned in the cinnamon swirl scone bread post, brunch is not complete in our house without some type of scones. The flavors can vary, and chocolate chip scones are a staple, but in the summertime mixed berry scones are just as delicious. We used our favorite recipe from Foster’s Market and added blueberries and chopped strawberries to the flour mixture. If you haven’t had a good scone, these will change your mind. The Foster’s Market Cookbook is another one of our favorite sources for recipes. Foster’s Market is a local cafe and market and we love trying to make recipes in the book to replicate the delicious items in the shop.

Scrambled Eggs and Bacon – You can’t have brunch without some sort of eggs or breakfast protein (at least not in our house!). This is one of the easiest parts of brunch, but is so tasty!

Brunch is my favorite meal and I’m always looking for great new dishes! What is your favorite brunch item?!

cinnamon swirl scone bread

This loaf of cinnamon swirl scone bread is one of my favorite things to come out of our kitchen this year and I’m so excited to share the recipe with you!

Cinnamon Swirl Scone Bread | www.passthecookies.com

Cinnamon Swirl Scone Bread | www.passthecookies.com

Scones of some variety are a staple at any family brunch we have, and have become a staple at brunches I host on my own. They are one of my favorite items to contribute to brunches and showers, and we love giving the dough as a hostess gift when we stay with friends and family. They make a wonderful, delicious, quick treat. Since scones are one of those breakfast items that you don’t have often, they always impress people, even though they aren’t difficult to make.

Cinnamon Swirl Scone Bread | www.passthecookies.com

My love for scones is apparent here on the blog. I have shared a few types of scones throughout the years, including carrot cake scones with cream cheese glaze, gingerbread scones, and lavender Earl Grey scones, but in my opinion, this loaf is even better! It is everything I love about scones in easy-to-cut loaf form. It pairs perfectly with coffee or a lovely pot of tea and if you make it over the weekend you can cut slices to snack on throughout the week.

Cinnamon Swirl Scone Bread | www.passthecookies.com

Cinnamon Swirl Scone Bread | www.passthecookies.com

This cinnamon swirl scone bread has a crunchy exterior, a soft pillow interior and is studded with ribbons of cinnamon streusel. A combination of coffee cake, pull-apart bread and scones, it is the best of so many worlds. It is quick to throw together, and the leftovers (if you are lucky enough to have any) save better than individual scones, which I find to dry out after a day. Next-day slices make a wonderful breakfast, and a great snack for that 3pm slump (you know what I’m talking about). I always feel so fancy when I have fresh breakfast breads on a workday :)

Cinnamon Swirl Scone Bread | www.passthecookies.com

Cinnamon Swirl Scone Bread | www.passthecookies.com

Cinnamon swirl scone bread is absolutely amazing, and will transform your brunches. Whip it up and watch people swoon. I can’t get enough!

Find the recipe for cinnamon swirl scone bread over on Glitter Inc!

memorial day food ideas

The long weekend and unofficial start to summer is just around the corner! I pulled together some great Memorial Day food ideas for your brunch, cookout, or sweet tooth.

Brunch:

While many families spend the weekend at the beach, our family has a tradition of staying home and making an elaborate Memorial Day brunch together. It is one of the only days of the year when we all have the day off and can take our time cooking an early meal together, without the pressure of impressing guests, like we would have on other holidays. We like to try new dishes each year, so I’m excited to use some of these recipes in our brunch spread.

Memorial Day Recipe Ideas | www.passthecookies.com

(more…)

coconut cake with earl grey buttercream

If places could be a love language, cute local coffee shops would be one of mine. I think it is safe to say the same about my tea-loving parents. Last year, their New Years resolution was to go to their local coffee shop every Saturday they were in town, and they did! They know most of the baristas by name and the baristas know their order when they walk in the door. Even if they don’t see my parents, the baristas behind the coffee counter know my parents are in the shop when they hear the order called. It is the same order every week: two Earl Grey tea lattes with two pumps of vanilla, otherwise known as London fog.

Coconut Cake with Earl Grey Buttercream | www.passthecookies.com

Coconut Cake with Earl Grey Buttercream | www.passthecookies.com

Their love for Earl Grey tea is not unfounded. They have always been tea drinkers and, amidst other types of tea, we had Earl Grey on hand at all times when I was growing up. So, when it came time to think of a good Mother’s Day dessert, incorporating their favorite coffee shop order seemed like a the perfect solution. Enter: coconut cake with Earl Grey buttercream.

Coconut Cake with Earl Grey Buttercream | www.passthecookies.com

Coconut Cake with Earl Grey Buttercream | www.passthecookies.com

I am so excited about every part of this cake. The coconut cake is delicious on it’s own and the browned butter takes the flavor to another level of amazing! It is slightly dense, perfectly moist, and filled with coconut. I don’t know which part of this cake I love more, the cake or the frosting. As much as I love the coconut cake base, I could eat the Earl Grey buttercream by the spoonful it is so good. The Earl Grey tea flavor comes through so clearly and is perfect when paired with a little vanilla buttercream and a bite of coconut cake. The flavors complement each other so well, and make for a pretty cake to boot!

Coconut Cake with Earl Grey Buttercream | www.passthecookies.com

Coconut Cake with Earl Grey Buttercream | www.passthecookies.com

Coconut Cake with Earl Grey Buttercream | www.passthecookies.com

I have always thought of coconut cake as a great spring dessert, but it is so versatile that it could work just as well after Mother’s Day too. Dress it up with coconut covering the entire outside, or stick with a more subtle approach. Add jam or lemon curd between the layers and it is a whole new cake! If you are looking for something more simple than a layer cake, bake the coconut cake in a loaf pan and call it brunch. I won’t tell ;) This recipe makes a small 6-inch cake, perfect for small Mother’s Day gatherings, however, if you want a larger cake double everything and bake the layers in 8-inch cake pans.

Coconut Cake with Earl Grey Buttercream

Coconut Cake
2 large eggs
1 ¼ cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
5 ounces sweetened flaked coconut (about 1 ½ cups)
6 tablespoons butter, browned (see this post for how to brown butter)
Nonstick cooking spray for baking pan

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 6-inch cake pans with nonstick baking spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper circles, then spray with nonstick spray again.

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir in the sugar and coconut. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in egg mixture. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Add the browned butter, and stir until just smooth. Be careful not to overmix. The batter will be very thick.

Distribute the batter evenly between the pans, and spread it out to smooth the cakes. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan five minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Earl Grey Buttercream
1 ¼ cups butter, divided
2 tablespoons Earl Grey tea (loose tea from about 8 teabags)
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place ½ cup butter in a small saucepan with the loose tea. Heat over medium heat until the butter melts, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let the tea steep for 5 more minutes. Strain the butter through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Refrigerate until the tea-steeped butter is the consistency of softened butter (about 20-30 minutes). It is okay to have some small bits of tea in the butter.

After the butter has cooled, place the remaining ¾ cup butter and the tea-steeped butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and blend on medium until fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add in vanilla and blend on medium-high until fluffy.

Vanilla Buttercream
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until creamy. Reduce the speed to low, gradually add the powdered sugar, and beat to combine. Beat in the salt and vanilla until fluffy.

Assembly
After the cakes are completely cool, cut off the domed tops of the cakes with a large serrated knife. Place one cake layer on the cake plate, top with Earl Grey buttercream and another cake layer. Cover with a thin, smooth layer of Earl Grey buttercream and refrigerate fro 10-15 minutes. This is your crumb coat. Cover the entire cake with vanilla buttercream then add Earl Grey buttercream around the bottom of the cake.

Notes:
If you just want Earl Grey frosting, double the Earl Grey buttercream recipe and omit the vanilla buttercream recipe. Do the opposite if you just want vanilla frosting (though the Earl Grey buttercream is one of my favorite frostings).

You can cover the cake with coconut or create an ombré effect with the Earl Grey buttercream and the vanilla buttercream (shown here).

You can also make this into three layers by distributing the batter evenly between three 6-inch cake pans.

Coconut cake adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen.

lemon ricotta pancakes

Pancakes just feel like a weekend food, don’t they? I feel like we’re swinging into the weekend early with these delicious lemon ricotta pancakes!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes | www.passthecookies.com

Ever since I tried the lemon ricotta pancakes at Sarabeth’s in New York last summer, I have been on the hunt to find something similar here. I am not exaggerating when I say that they were the best pancakes I have ever had! I’m so excited to have these homemade lemon ricotta pancakes in my arsenal now :)

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes | www.passthecookies.com

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes | www.passthecookies.com

There is just something fun about pancakes. Growing up, we had pancakes on Friday nights. We would pour pancake batter into our Mickey Mouse pancake mold and excitedly sit at the counter with our stack of warm pancakes. Nowadays, with early weekday schedules, we don’t make pancakes a lot around here. Even on the weekends we often get caught up in getting our projects and cleaning started and don’t make time for a slow pancake breakfast. These lemon ricotta pancakes are game changers. They are easily my favorite homemade pancake recipe, and on top of amazing flavor and texture, they are easy!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes | www.passthecookies.com

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes | www.passthecookies.com

The combination of the lemon and ricotta makes for a delicious, slightly tangy and subtly sweet pancake. They are thick and fluffy with a tender crumb and would make the perfect addition to your Mother’s Day brunch! Add poppy seeds or blueberries, or top them with maple syrup or lemon curd to make them your own!

Head on over to Glitter, Inc. for the recipe!

carrot cake scones with cream cheese glaze

Can you believe there are only a few days until Easter?! Even though Easter is late this year, amidst everything else we had going on I feel like it snuck up on me. But one thing I always like to be prepared for, holiday or not, is brunch. Carrot cake scones with cream cheese glaze are the perfect addition to your Easter brunch, or for a quick breakfast as you are running out the door.

Carrot Cake Scones with Cream Cheese Glaze | passthecookies.com

Carrot Cake Scones with Cream Cheese Glaze | passthecookies.com

Any time cake can be disguised as breakfast I’m all in! These carrot cake scones are not overly sweet, allowing the cream cheese frosting to balance them out when the two are combined. And there are plenty of carrots, so you can get your vegetables whenever you eat one. Or three. Vegetable breakfast dessert? That sounds about right.

The cream cheese glaze is delicious and is truly what makes these scones reminiscent of carrot cake (because who has ever had carrot cake without cream cheese frosting?). The sweet creamy glaze fills in the nooks and crannies on the craggy surface of the carrot cake scones, and makes each bite a little more satisfying. I love the drizzled look, but you could also spread the glaze in one layer across the top to really make the most of it.

Carrot Cake Scones with Cream Cheese Glaze | passthecookies.com

Another great thing about these scones is that you can make the dough ahead of time and bake them on Easter morning. This is ideal for those of us who take a little extra time to get ready in our Easter best. Fresh scones without the hassle of early morning mixing and measuring? I’ll take that any day! Just wrap the pre-made dough in plastic wrap, store in the fridge, and bake according to the same directions, adding on a few minutes, if necessary. Like any scones, carrot cake scones are best warm out of the oven, or cool enough to drizzle the cream cheese glaze. Only bake as many as you need, as they dry out after a day.

Carrot Cake Scones with Cream Cheese Glaze | passthecookies.com

Carrot Cake Scones with Cream Cheese Glaze | passthecookies.com

I’m excited to be sharing a few recipes on Lexi’s blog, Glitter, Inc., over the next few months. Head over to Glitter, Inc. for the recipe for these carrot cake scones with cream cheese glaze!

cereal milk cake with lucky charms filling

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day – are you ready?! Pull out your green and whip up this fun cereal milk cake topped and filled with Lucky Charms marshmallows!

Cereal Milk Cake with Lucky Charms Filling | www.passthecookies.com

There are a few foods that remind me of St. Patrick’s Day. Shepherd’s pie, Irish soda bread, and Lucky Charms immediately come to mind (though Bailey’s, Guinness, and milk dyed with green food coloring are close behind). Though we don’t do much for St. Patrick’s Day in our home, it was always an unexpectedly fun holiday in our house growing up. From making leprechaun houses to eating an entirely green meal, it was all very whimsical. This cereal milk cake decorated with Lucky Charms would fit right in with the theme and fun-spirited mood of the day.

Cereal Milk Cake with Lucky Charms Filling | www.passthecookies.com

There are three key elements to making this cake. The first is soaking the milk with cereal (Frosted Flakes or other frosted cornflake cereals work well). The second is using imitation vanilla extract to get that nostalgic flavor from your childhood. And the third is crushing the marshmallows into the frosting between the cake layers. The marshmallows between the layers are optional, but adding them really makes the frosting reminiscent of eating a bowl of Lucky Charms. Crushed up marshmallows give you the taste of Lucky Charms cereal, without the squeaky feeling of full Lucky Charms marshmallows. You know what I’m talking about.

Cereal Milk Cake-4

The marshmallows decorating on the sides and top of the cake are totally optional, but don’t they look so fun?! If for no other reason, I’ll keep them for that. I pulled these marshmallows straight out of the cereal box, but you can also buy full bags of cereal marshmallows on Amazon! That would limit the confusion when unsuspecting family members pour a bowl of Lucky Charms and end up with only the cereal ;) Whoops.

Cereal Milk Cake with Lucky Charms Filling | www.passthecookies.com

Whichever variation you choose, I hope it brings you lots of luck and joy tomorrow!

Cereal Milk Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 egg whites
1 tablespoon clear imitation vanilla
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 ½ cups flour
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup cereal milk (recipe below)
Marshmallows from cereal (like Lucky Charms), for assembly

Cereal Milk
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ cups frosted cornflake cereal

Vanilla Frosting
2 cups (or 4 sticks) butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar (or to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon milk
¼ cup marshmallows from cereal, finely crushed, optional

To make cereal milk:
Pour the milk over the cereal and swirl it around vigorously. Let the milk and cereal soak for about 20 minutes. Strain the milk through a sieve into a small bowl. With the back of a spoon press the cereal into the sieve with the to squeeze the liquid out of the cornflakes, but not forcefully enough to push the cornflakes through the sieve. Discard the soggy cereal (we compost it, but you could also feed it to your pet ;)).

To make cereal milk cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 8-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray. Cut out 8-inch circles of parchment paper. Line the bottom of the pans and spray the parchment with non-stick cooking spray.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg whites, one at a time, mixing well after each one. Blend in the vanilla and the oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. With your mixer running on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the cereal milk. Start and end with the flour mixture.

Divide the batter evenly between the pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes, checking to make sure a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then remove them from the pans and transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. The cake layers should be completely cool before you frost them.

To make the frosting:
Beat together the butter and powdered sugar until the mixture is light and creamy. Add the vanilla and milk and beat to combine. You can add more powdered sugar for a sweeter variation, just add more milk 1 teaspoon at a time to keep the right consistency.

Optional: Separate the frosting into three equal parts. Fold the crushed cereal marshmallows into one part of the frosting. This will be used between the cake layers, while the other two parts will be used to frost the outside of the cake.

To assemble:
Place one cake layer on a cake plate or serving plate and top with the crushed cereal marshmallow frosting, if using. Top with the next cake layer and frost the entire cake with the remaining vanilla frosting. Decorate by placing cereal marshmallows along the sides and top of the cake in any arrangement you like. Only place the marshmallows on the cake if you are serving it soon, otherwise they will get soggy.

Happy (almost) St. Patrick’s Day!

Cake and frosting adapted from Molly Yeh’s funfetti cake

happy pi day!

Happy Pi Day, friends! I am celebrating with a round-up of some of pie recipes that have graced the blog in the past.

We will start with one of my very favorites, brown sugar cinnamon and raspberry almond hand pies (aka homemade poptarts!).

Happy Pi Day! Brown Sugar Cinnamon and Raspberry Almond Hand Pies | www.passthecookies.com

Next is my twist on the classic pecan pie – chocolate bourbon pecan pie. It is so delicious and always disappears at parties. This was also one of the first recipes I ever posted on the blog! Talk about a throwback!

Happy Pi Day! Chocolate Chip Bourbon Pecan Pie | www.passthecookies.com

For everyone stuck in snow today, these no-bake mini key lime pies with pretzel crusts might be able to transport you to a sunnier state of mind.

Happy Pi Day! key lime pie with pretzel crust | www.passthecookies.com

I couldn’t let a fall favorite go by without putting my spin on it. Pumpkin pie bars with chocolate chip gingerbread crust and cinnamon whipped cream is still one of my favorite fall recipes. It creates such an amazing combination of flavors that pair so wonderfully together.

Happy Pi Day! Pumpkin Pie Bars with Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Crust | www.passthecookies.com

If you are looking for a super easy, individually portioned pie, look no further than apple hand pies with bourbon sauce.

Happy Pi Day! Apple hand pies with bourbon sauce | www.passthecookies.com

Last, but definitely not least, these tips and tricks to making pie and designing pie crusts is a great place to start this Pi Day. This resource also includes many delicious pie recipes from all over the internet, so there is something for everyone!

What are some of your favorite pies? I love my mom’s chocolate chess pie and the coconut cream pie from our local cafe!

I hope this helps you celebrate Pi Day in style! :)

galette des rois

Well, better late than never, right?

Galette Des Rois | www.passthecookies.com

I don’t think many people would mind extending Mardi Gras one day for this galette des rois, or French king cake. The golden puff pastry dough rises around the cake and creates a beautiful facade. Filled with creamy almond paste and raspberry jam, the galette des rois is delicious without being too sweet, like their American counterparts.

Galette Des Rois | www.passthecookies.com

Galette Des Rois | www.passthecookies.com

And the best part? It is impressive but easy! I cheated and used store-bought puff pastry sheets so, besides assembly, all you need to do is make is the almond paste. If you are really short on time, you can even buy almond paste from the store. The goal here is impressive, delicious, and pretty, without too much work. (more…)

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