Easter

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This carrot cake is the only recipe I have ever used. It is perfectly moist and surrounded by cream cheese frosting, proving it’s relevance beyond Easter.

Carrot Cake 1

Easter may have been yesterday but it’s never too late to share a carrot cake recipe. Especially when it’s my favorite carrot cake recipe and have already managed to go 3.5 years without sharing it with the masses. The original recipe called for just white granulated sugar but I use half white and half brown sugar while also reducing the oil a little bit and find that it is perfectly moist. From there you can mix in walnuts, pecans or raisins if you so desire. But don’t forget the cream cheese frosting! I even added halved baby carrots on top for decoration.

Carrot Cake 2

Three years ago: Peanut Butter, Banana & Nutella Bars
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Rice Krispies Easter Bunny Cake

Looking for an Easter dessert? This cute Easter bunny cake is easily constructed with two round cakes. The best part is that it’s a no-bake cake made out of rice krispies treats.

Rice Krispies Easter Bunny Cake

Baking for the holidays is always a lot of fun. Beyond an excuse to use festive sprinkles, there are so many creative  ideas. Take this cake for example – two round cakes magically transform into this cute little guy. Unfortunately my photo-shoot for this Easter creation was not conducive to great pictures, but the execution is what’s important here. It’s an Easter bunny cake!

First things first, this is a no-bake cake. I made a cake out of rice krispies treats which were formed in cake pans. Using a simple template I cut up one of the cakes into the ears and bowtie to create the bunny. From there all that remained was to frost and decorate! You can use any assortment of candy, sprinkles, and frosting that you prefer. I made the eyes out of leftover cakeball fondant and white and black frosting, the cheeks are pink sprinkles, the nose is more cakeball fondant, the mouth is black frosting, and finally the bowtie consists of a chocolate chip cookie, cakeball fondant and sprinkles. Coconut would also be a great way to make a “fluffy” bunny but I made this cake for a non-coconut lover.

One year ago: Apple Pie
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Peepsters Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

My favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies get dressed up for Easter on the inside with PEEPS Peepsters stuffing.

Peepsters Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies 1

Yesterday I returned a couple unopened bags of candy melts thinking it wouldn’t be a big deal, it’s just sugar. There was nothing wrong, just didn’t end up needing them for a recipe, to which she replied, “Doesn’t matter I have to throw them out anyway.” Now I thought she was joking so I laughed, but after her unchanged facial expression I realized she was not. Apparently returned food items (even unopened, packaged sugar/chocolate) cannot be resold. It makes sense for fresh food or anything requiring refrigeration, but candy?? Upon discovering this I felt bad for returning them and voiced this to her. However, she shot back that I did not in fact feel bad or else I wouldn’t be returning them. She said it so matter-of-fact, again without any humor, that I felt like I should be offended. True I could have snatched them up saying I changed my mind and if I had a job right now I would have. Unfortunately I do not and keeping them is less important than being able to pay for things such as bills. In the end, Walmart can handle the loss a lot easier than I can right now.

Just in case you still think I am a bad person, how about some cookies? I used my favorite chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe using both semisweet and milk chocolate chips this time and then stuffed them with PEEPS Peepsters – fun chocolate Easter candies with marshmallow centers. These cookies are basically PEEPS stuffed chocolate chip cookies without the mess of an exploding marshmallow, which commonly happens if you stuff a regular marshmallow into the center of a cookie. 

Peepsters Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies 2

Three years ago: Double Cake Batter Truffle Ice Cream
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Easter Recipe Roundup

Complete Easter recipe roundup with recipes for Brunch, appetizers, sides, dinner and dessert!

Easter Recipe Roundup 2014
With Easter just a little over a week away I thought it was a good time to gather up some recipes to help you plan your Easter Brunch and/or dinner. Many of these have appeared at Easter events I attended in the past and I know they will be a hit with your friends and family too. Do you have a favorite recipe that you have to make every year? Somehow my favorite carrot cake recipe has not made it onto the blog yet but there are a few carrot cake-inspired treats on this list – Carrot Cake Batter Dip, Carrot Cake Waffles and Carrot Cake Oatmeal!

Check back as I will be adding new recipes as we get closer to Easter!

One year ago: Speculoos Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Granola Bars

Two years ago: Flavor-Injected Glazed Ham

BRUNCH

Mini Razzle Dazzle Peanut Butter Cinnamon Rolls

APPETIZERS

Deviled Strawberries

SIDE DISHES

Individual Scalloped Potatoes

ENTREES

 Crockpot Turkey Tenderloin

DESSERTS

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies 1

Previous Roundups: Easter Recipe Roundup 2012

Signature

Rainbow Guacamole Deviled Eggs

Happy belated Easter! I hope you all had a splendid weekend. On Sunday, I went to a friend’s for Easter brunch with other friends who were spending the holiday away from family and I brought along these fun deviled eggs. Not only are they festively colored, but they are stuffed with guacamole instead of traditional deviled eggs yolks.

In other news, my March Madness bracket completely imploded over the weekend. I’m not really a basketball fan aside from always cheering for any Ohio State sport’s team, but I always enjoy making a bracket and seeing how it all plays out. Not a single of my final four made it and of course the most disappointing one was Ohio State. Figures that the one Big Ten team that made it was Michigan. Boo. I guess I should cheer for Syracuse now since it’s close to Rochester where I grew up.

Rainbow Guacamole Deviled Eggs

Two years ago: Baked Funfetti Doughnuts
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Strawberry Stuffed Cupcakes

Just in time for Easter weekend, I present to you this fun and easy cupcake. You all know how much I love stuffing cookies and cupcakes with various truffles and what not, but this time I went with something more natural – a whole strawberry! It is a basic white cupcake that gets a small part of it cored after baking in order to fit the strawberry inside. Then top it off with some fresh strawberry buttercream and you’ve got one heck of a spring-time cupcake.

Strawberry Stuffed Cupcakes 1

After celebrating Passover with my brother’s in-laws this past weekend, I don’t have much planned for Easter this weekend. I am working a regular day in the lab today, and am going to a Circa Survive concert tonight. Not exactly festive, but still fun! I will be attending my friend’s annual Easter brunch on Sunday so maybe I can bust out some bunny ears for that ;-).

Strawberry Stuffed Cupcakes 2

Two years ago: Eggplant Parmesan
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Carrot Cake Batter Dip

In case you were unaware, Lauren of Keep It Sweet Desserts has been chosen as a finalist for the Martha Stewart American Made Awards. The winner will be selected based on votes and will be honored at the American Made event in New York City and appear in Martha Stewart Living magazine.  On top of that, Keep It Sweet Desserts would get $10,000 to help grow the business.

Even though I have not purchased any of her cookies since she started her business (shame on me), I have tried a couple of her recipes and they are delicious and worthy of recognition! You can help by voting EVERY DAY between now and September 24th! Vote here: http://americanmade.marthastewart.com/profiles/lauren-lilling-1436. Spread the word and tell your friends!

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I’ve done it again – another dip using dry cake batter mix and Greek yogurt. But I added back in some of the cream cheese from my first take on cake batter dip because what’s carrot cake without cream cheese? This dip is also practically health food with the addition of carrots and walnuts to complete the carrot cake batter ensemble. Serve with graham crackers or baby carrots!

Would you believe me if I said I had another cake batter dip idea? I feel like the possibilities are endless!

One year ago: Strawberry Mojito
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Cheesy Potato Casserole

Last night I finished the final book in The Hunger Games Series, The Mockingjay. Oh and I stayed up until 1:30am in order to do so. As you can imagine my brain isn’t firing at 100% today which is probably good for anyone who hasn’t finished the books because otherwise I would jabber away about it. Instead, enjoy the cheesy goodness I am about to present to you.

The first time I had this potato dish was at a potluck at work. Emma brought it in and I immediately needed the recipe. It was so creamy, rich, and satisfying. But when I finally got around to making it on Sunday to go along with the ham, I decided to use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. I love substituting sour cream, mayo and other similar ingredients with Greek yogurt! And no one else even noticed that it was a bit healthier :-).

Stay turned tomorrow for a fabulous bake sale featuring many of your favorite food bloggers, with all proceeds going towards The House of Mews Annual Food Drive! Get your bidding faces on.

CHEESY POTATO CASSEROLE

Makes 10-12 side servings

Ingredients:

POTATO MIXTURE

1 pkg. frozen hashbrowns (cubes), thawed

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 can cream of chicken soup

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Minced onion to taste

TOPPING

2 cups crushed corn flakes

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the potato mixture together and pour into prepared pan. Combine topping and sprinkle over the potato mixture.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly and the topping is golden.

Source: Adapted from Emma.

Flavor-Injected Glazed Ham

Hope everyone had as great of weather as we did over the weekend. First my dad and I took care of a few odd things around my apartment, such as hanging my newest work of art (check it out). We were super crafty too because I didn’t have a level, just used a straight piece of wood and a tape measure. Then my dad and I took advantage of the weather and spent some time walking around the Lichtnerman Nature Center on Saturday followed by a movie and some great frozen custard eaten on a bench outside. On Sunday we enjoyed brunch on a friend of mine’s roof-patio, followed by cooking our holiday dinner with all the windows open in my apt, while the wonderful aromas were filling my kitchen.

Now that we are on the subject of food, have you ever flavor injected your meat? If you haven’t you really should. It results in serious flavor saturation. And with this ham recipe, you also get a nice sweet glaze on the outside, locking in all of that flavor. Of course, since this was a pre-spiral cut ham some of the injected juices leaked out, but having it seep through the layers was good enough for me. This recipe made way too much for the number of people who were eating it, but leftovers are not frowned upon!

GLAZED HAM

Serves approximately 20

Ingredients:

1-10 lb. fully cooked, spiral-cut smoked ham, on the bone

1 cup mango chutney

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup pineapple juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the ham on a rack in a heavy roasting pan, cut-side down.
  2. In a pot over medium heat, add chutney, sugar, syrup and juice. Stir until sugar is dissolved and then bring to a simmer. Continue to cook until it begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Using a flavor injector, inject ham with some of the cooled glaze mixture all over, inserting the needle in various directions (use as much as desired). Pour the remainder of the glaze over the ham and cover completely with foil.
  4. Bake for 2 hours until the ham is fully heated. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Source: The Spiffy Cookie original

Pretzel Crusted Peanut Butter Blondies with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting & Easter Recipe Roundup

Happy Good Friday/Spring Holiday! Yes spring holiday is what the university I attend for my PhD calls today. Not much of a holiday for me since I will be working a regular day, but then my dad comes in town tonight to visit for the weekend! And it looks like we will be having perfect weather in the low 70s. I love spring-time, just wish it lasted a bit longer here before the summer heat invades.

In the spirit of everything green and in bloom right now, I made these blondies which are stuffed with pastel white chocolate M&Ms and Reese’s pieces peanut butter mini eggs. With a crust made of pretzels and a blue colored white chocolate cream cheese frosting, these bars are perfect for your Easter/Spring festivities. And they just so happen to be smashingly delicious. Don’t forget to check out my roundup of several other Easter food items following this recipe.

One year ago: Spicy Mac and Cheese

PRETZEL CRUSTED PEANUT BUTTER BLONDIES WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Makes 24 bars

Ingredients:

CRUST

4 cups pretzels

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

PEANUT BUTTER BLONDIES

8 Tbsp of unsalted butter

6 Tbsp of creamy peanut butter

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup of old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup white chocolate M&Ms (or white chocolate morsels), plus more for garnish

1/2 cup Reese’s pieces peanut butter eggs (or peanut butter morsels)

WHITE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

8 oz. Philadelphia Indulgence white chocolate cream cheese

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp blue food coloring gel

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with foil, letting some hang over the edges. Spray with cooking spray or grease with butter and flour.
  2. Process pretzels in a food processor until chopped small, but not too finely. Meanwhile melt the butter in the microwave. Transfer the pretzels to a mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar. Mix in the melted butter. Press into a the baking pan and bake for 10 minutes or until the crust has set. Cool crust in the refrigerator while you make the batter.
  3. Change oven temperature to 325 degrees. Add butter and peanut butter to a microwave safe bowl, and heat in 30 second increments until melted. Let cool completely.
  4. Mix the flour, oats, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the cooled butter/peanut butter and sugars until they are combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until mixed. Gradually add dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms – it will look crumbly at first, but it will come together. I even used my hands to bring it all together. If necessary, add 1-2 teaspoons of milk. Fold in white chocolate M&Ms and Reese’s pieces peanut butter eggs.
  5. Scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared crust and gently spread to cover. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  6. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese on high speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add butter and beat until light and creamy; scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and beat for another minute. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and food coloring and mix on low speed until combined; scrape the sides of the bowl again and beat on high speed until icing is light and fluffy.
  7. Spread frosting on top of cooled brownies. Top with additional white chocolate M&Ms. Refrigerate before cutting into bars.

Source: Crust from The Avid Appetite, blondie layer adapted from How Sweet It Is, and frosting adapted from Keep It Sweet Desserts.

EASTER RECIPE ROUNDUP

Brunch

 

Appetizers & Side Dishes

Desserts

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