Pavlova

Meringue is possibly the easiest dessert to make. At its core, it’s just beaten egg whites and sugar. When you can take that to the next level by adding whipped cream, you have a Pavlova. I had this famous New Zealand dessert last summer while in Canada. It wasn’t until I saw photos of it on Instagram until I remembered the name of it.

 

I can safely say when my three friends and I ate all of this in one sitting that it’s delicious.

 

Ingredients

  • 5 Egg Whites
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp White Vinegar
  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ¾ Powder Sugar
  • 2 packages Rolos
  • 3 tablespoon Butter
  • ¼ cup Pecans, chopped
  • 2 Bananas
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg

Directions

Preheat oven 250°F

Begin by whisking the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. From there, add in the sugar and continue mixing until combined.

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Then combine in the vanilla extract, cornstarch, and vinegar.

Cut out a sheet of parchment paper the size of your baking sheet. Take a bowl about the same width of the sheet (about 10 inches) and trace the outline of the bowl onto the paper with a pen. Then flip it over so it’s ink side down and you can see the traced circle.

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Pour the pavlova meringue into the circle on the parchment paper. With a spatula, evenly spread out the meringue so that it fills the circle.

Bake for an hour and 20 minutes in the oven. When done, remove and allow to cool for an hour.

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In a skillet, melt two tablespoons of butter. Once melted, add the brown sugar. Stir and allow it to combine.

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Chop up the bananas into slices. Add the bananas to the sugar syrup into the skillet. Let this cook on medium heat for five minutes. Afterward, remove from heat to let them cool down a bit.

In a bowl, whisk the heavy whipping cream until peaks form, then fold in the powdered sugar.

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Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter on medium heat in a small saucepan. Then add in the Rolos and nutmeg. Slowly stir until melted. Next, add in the chopped pecans. When this is completed, lower the heat to low and stir regularly.

Finally, assemble the pavlova. Layer on the whipped cream onto the base cooked meringue. Spread it evenly over it. On top of that, place on the caramelized bananas. Finish it off by spooning on the pecan caramel sauce.

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Cream Puffs

O Valentine’s Day! The one day of the year that couples make sure you know they are couples. Once again, I’m single. Luckily, I have my best friends and a dog to show my affection to.

Whenever I’d have a school party back in elementary school, my mom would bring a tub of cream puffs. It wasn’t until I was 10 or 11 that I realized they were just from the freezer section. I took my mother’s sarcasm for the truth when someone would compliment them, and she’d say “I worked all day on them” followed by a laugh.

Though I’m sometimes critical of America’s reliance on GMOs, I’m happy that I can get ripe strawberries in the winter. If you can’t get your hand on fresh strawberries, or if you don’t like them, this recipe can be made without them or with a different fruit.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup Water
  • 1/3 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2/3 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Eggs
  • ¾ cup Whipping Cream
  • ⅓ cup Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 2 cups Fresh Strawberries, sliced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring to boil water, butter, and vanilla. In order to get the hollow-ish inside and hard outside shell, we have to make this puff pastry on the stove top.
  3. Then in the pan, add the flour and salt. Keep stirring with a spoon until a ball forms.
  4. Remove from heat and beat in the eggs until smooth.
  5. On a baking sheet or silicon sheet, make 8 equal mounds of the dough.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes. Next, take them out of the oven and remove them from the sheet. With a toothpick, cut a small hole on the bottom so the steam can escape. Then, put them back on the sheet and cook for an extra 5 minutes. After they’re done baking, let them cool for about 2 hours.
  7. Normally, you would pipe in the cream, but I want to stuff them with strawberries. Now, cut the puffs in half, and with a spoon scrape out the inside.
  8. In a large bowl, beat the whipping cream. Once foamy, add the confectioners’ sugar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
  9. Fold in about 3/4 of the sliced strawberries.
  10. Fill the puff with the cream, then layer the remaining of the strawberries. Then add more cream on top of the strawberries. Finally, add the other half of the puff on top.

Banana Bread

I applaud everyone who is trying to eat healthier in the new year. With that, I recommend trying out a different recipe because this isn’t even close to healthy.

I was heading to work Monday, and I remember that everyone was out watching a presentation. This meant I had about 25 minutes to kill before I had to be back. My school’s student union got a new Starbucks this semester, so I went to buy myself a hot chocolate. That’s where I saw the thickest piece of banana bread in my life. I knew after that moment that I had to make some banana bread that weekend. I’m not going to lie; I’m probably going to sneak this into the movie theater tonight.

By far, I’m a better baker than my mom. Don’t worry, she will admit it too. Growing up whenever my mom would try to make banana bread, it would always come out raw in the middle. Even though she is trying to be healthy right now, I dedicate this banana bread to my mother.
Ingredients

  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup soft margarine or butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1-1/2 cups ripe bananas, about 4-5 small
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Spray down a loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.
  2. Start by mashing the banana into a small bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and butter. Then add in the eggs and continue to beat. After that, stir in the bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla extract.
  4. After this, mix the flour 1/2 cup at a time until incorporated. Finally, combine in the baking soda and cinnamon.
  5. Pour this into the loaf pan and bake for an hour. Once this is done, test the middle with a toothpick to check if it’s cooked.

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

During the holiday season, there is nothing I like more than having a large slice of pecan pie. I get it if you want to use your own crust recipe, but just to make my life a little easier I used a frozen crust.

Ingredients

  • 1 Pre-Made Frozen Pie Crust
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Light Corn Syrup
  • ½ cup Butter
  • 3 large Eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup Bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup Pecans, chopped

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Lay out the pie crust on the freezer.
  2. In a saucepan, melt down the stick of butter. Then combine sugar and corn syrup. Constantly stirring, mix the sugar and corn syrup into the butter until the sugar completely dissolves. Remove from heat and add in the chocolate chips.
  3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, bourbon, vanilla, and salt. Pour the cooled sugar mixture into the bowl. Whisk this constantly so the egg doesn’t cook. Then stir in the pecans.
  4. Pour mixture into pie crust. Bake for 50 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies

Every spring my local museum would have a tea party. I’ve kind of outgrown that now, but I still think about these chocolate chip meringue cookies. Ever since I’ve started my blog one and a half years ago, I have been wanting to make meringue cookies. The issue was that the cookies always stuck to the pan because I didn’t have a silicone baking mat. Thanks to Amazon Prime two day shipping, I’ve learned to make my favorite cookie from my childhood just in time for the holidays.

Ingredients 

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 12-ounce package mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

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Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 °F. Lay a silicone baking mat on a cookie sheet.
  2. In a clean bowl, add the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat this until it’s thick.
  3. Adding only about ¼ at a time, slowly add the sugar into this gradually. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  4. Carefully fold in the mini chocolate chips with a spatula.
  5. Using a spoon, drop little circles about the size of a quarter onto the mat.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, then turn off the oven. Allow the cookies to cool in the oven for 30 extra minutes.

 

Cinnamon Peanut Butter Bars

I didn’t want to call this recipe a rice crispy treat because we are using cinnamon square cereal. I had something similar a few weeks back and wanted to see if I could make it at home. It’s one of those recipes where you don’t have to measure things out for say; you just have to eyeball what you are putting in..

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Ingredients

  • 6 Cups Cinnamon Squares
  • 4 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 5 Cups Mini Marshmallows
  • ½ Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a large pot meltdown the butter on a low heat. With a nonstick spoon or spatula, stir in the marshmallows. Continue to stir this until it’s smooth. Then add the peanut butter and cinnamon.
  2. Now that everything is combined, carefully fold in the cinnamon squares. Don’t be too rough on them so the cereal doesn’t break.
  3. In a 9×13 pan, spray down the edges with nonstick spray. Pour in the gooey mixture, and pat down the cereal to compact it.
  4. Allow them to cool down and sit for at least five hours.

Pecan Pumpkin Cake

I might have gone too far on this recipe. Pumpkin is a staple in the majority of my desserts in the fall. Instead of going the easy route for this, I decided to make my own pumpkin purée. As long as it takes to make it, it’s probably not worth it for the time you put in. But hey, you’ve got to try everything at least once! Plus, I guess now I have enough pumpkin to last me for two years. Anyways, this cake is rich and moist and doesn’t take too long to make (unless you make your own pumpkin purée like me).

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 Can Pumpkin purée (about a five-pound pumpkin)
  • 1 Can Evaporated Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 Yellow Cake mix
  • 1/2 Pecans

Topping

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter, melted

 

Directions

1.) To make the pumpkin purée from scratch, first preheat the oven to 450* F.

2.) Cut the pumpkin into four equal pieces and scrape out the guts. Then remove the stem. From there, cut the four large slices into smaller pieces. Doing this will make sure they cook faster.

3.) Bake for an hour on a foil-lined baking sheet.

4.) Let the pumpkin cool for ten minutes before handling. Reduce the oven to 350*. Using a large spoon, scoop out the meat of the pumpkin. Leave the outside skin.

5.) In a food processor, purée the pumpkin until there are no more chucks. Allow this to cool for at least 30 minutes before cooking with it.

6.) In a large bowl combine 2 cups of the pumpkin purée or one 16 oz can. Combine it with the remaining cake ingredients of the evaporated milk, eggs, brown sugar, salt, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, cake mix, and pecans. Pour this into a greased 9×13 pan.

7.) In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and butter to make a crumb topping.

8.) Evenly lay the crumbs on top of the cake, and bake for 35 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies

I’ve never claimed to be a professional cook, but I think I have a good grab on the culinary arts. Sometimes when I’m testing out new recipes, things don’t always turn out like they are supposed to. With every failure comes an opportunity for something better. For instance, the recipe originally began as an attempt to make scones. I’ve concluded that my mistake in the recipe came from me not having cold enough butter and not using wheat flour. Still, I was left with a delicious cookie dough that might be better than what the scones could have come out as.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cup Oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 6 tablespoons Butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 cup Mini Chocolate Chips

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Using a food processor on a high-speed, blend the oats for four minutes. Sift the oat powder into a bowl to remove any large pieces. Measure out 2 1/2 cups of the oat flour, and put it into a large bowl.
  3. Now combine the salt and baking powder with the oat flour. Then take the unsalted butter and cut it into the flour with your hands.
  4. In the same bowl, add the wet ingredients of heavy cream, eggs, and vanilla extract. Once well mixed, combine in the chocolate chips.
  5. On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, bake golf ball sized cookies for 16 minutes.

Pumpkin Spice Twisted Log

The dog days of summer have ended, and the weather has officially declared it to be fall. I couldn’t be happier to trade in my shorts and t-shirts for jeans and flannel. As simple as this recipe is, it will leave your guests impressed with your baking skills.

Ingredients

Log

  • 1 can Pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 (17.3-oz.) Package Frozen Puff Pastry (2 sheets), thawed but cold
  • 1 Egg

Icing

  • 2 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Powder Sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Unwrap and roll out a sheet of puff pastry onto a floured surface. Spread out half of the pumpkin mixture onto the pastry. Make sure to leave an inch border around the edges.
  4. Roll up the pastry into a log starting from the longest end. Down the center, carefully cut the log halfway. Twist the two halves together, and pinch the ends close. Repeat steps 3 & 4 with the second sheet of puff pastry and the remaining pumpkin mixture.
  5. In another small bowl, whisk together the egg. Brush this on top of the two twists, and finish it off by sprinkling some sugar on top.
  6. Bake this for 20 to 25 minutes or until the outside is golden brown.
  7. While this is baking, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
  8. After the logs have cooled for five minutes, drizzle the icing on top.

 

Baked Apples

If you ever want to impress someone with your cooking skills but don’t want to put in the effort, you should make this. It’s warm, and it’s the perfect comfort food for fall.

Ingredients

Filling

  • 4 Medium Apples
  • 1/3 cup Pecans Half
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter

Crumble

  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 1/4 cup Oats
  • 1/8 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/8 cup Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons Butter, chilled
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.

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Directions

  1. Begin by washing and cleaning the four apples. Chop one of the apples into small pieces. This will be the main part of the filling of the other three apples.
  2. In a small skillet, melt four tablespoons of butter on a medium-high heat. Once that is finished, add in the apple pieces, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir this for six minutes with a nonstick spatula so that it caramelizes.
  3. Carve out bowls out of the remaining apples; it doesn’t have to be perfect. During my test run of this recipe, we got good results using a sturdy spoon.
  4. In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and butter. If your butter is still hard, it would probably work best if you used your hands for this. With this, make three equal sized balls and smash them into 1/2 inch thick disks.
  5. Fill the carved out apple bowls with the caramelized filling, and top them off with a crumble disk.
  6. Place the apples onto a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.