Thursday, May 18, 2017

GF Amaretti Tray in 30 minutes


Need a yummy Hostess Gift or a special tray of sweets to
bring to a Tea or Shower? I gotcha covered! If you have 
30 minutes I can show you how to create this beautiful
 tray of Amaretti and they're naturally gluten free!

These Amaretti are soft on the inside and chewy 
on the outside. To me, they're better the next day
because they become chewier the longer they sit! 
(Which isn't long in my house!!) Each different 
"topping" you roll them in gives them their own 
special flavor. I just adore these cookies!

 The cookie dough only takes 5 minutes to prepare, 
then all you have to do is form the dough into balls 
and roll in your favorite nuts, coconut (I used shredded 
unsweetened), sprinkles or sugars etc. 

So first, organize your "toppings." You need one 
small bowl for each "topping" that you want to 
use, then add them to the bowls.

To make the cookie dough, whip the egg whites to 
stiff peaks then fold in the rest of the ingredients. 
Thats it!! Using a small cookie scoop,  place mounds 
of dough onto a parchment covered baking sheet. 
You should get 24 cookies. 
Next, roll each mound into a smooth ball, then roll into 
your "topping" of choice. Place on another parchment 
lined baking sheet 1" apart and bake for 15-17 minutes. 
Let cool on baking sheet.

AMARETTI

2 egg whites, room temperature
1 3/4 cup (190g) ground almonds
3/4 cup (150g) extra fine granulated (caster) sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract (or more - to taste)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Rolling in:

1/4 cup each of your choice of:
chopped sliced almonds,  sprinkles, nonpareils, 
coconut, powdered (icing) sugar, granulated sugar.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Line a baking pan with parchment paper, 
set aside.

In a mixer with whisk attachment beat egg
whites to firm peaks. Fold in the rest of the ingredients.
Using a small cookie scoop (1 1/2"across) or your hands,
form into balls then roll into desired toppings.

Place 1" apart on a parchment lined baking sheet and 
bake for 15-17 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet.
To serve, place cookies in mini cupcake liners,
then arrange on a pretty plate or Afternoon
Tea Stand. Makes 24 cookies.

For an extra special look, I like to serve Amaretti 
in mini cupcake liners. Makes them look so fancy!!

These are perfect in the morning with Coffee
or in the afternoon with Tea!!



Afternoon Tea in 30 minutes? You got this!! xo!!




Friday, May 12, 2017

Tart Lemonade Mini Pavlovas


Today's recipe is super cute and super fun - Mini 
Lemonade Pavlovas!! The shell is tart, the filling is
sweet, and it's topped with an pretty sugar daisy!

My secret ingredient in the lemonade meringue
shells is lemonade Kool-Aid. It gives these 
meringues a wonderful tartness. They are so
good!! You've gotta try these! They'll make 
you smile!! šŸ˜ƒ

Isn't my vintage egg cup the sweetest?!!! I thought
it looked so cute with the miniature teacup! squee!!!

I loved how these turned out, but I did have to add 
a bit of food coloring in order to get a pretty bright 
yellow. The Lemonade Mix added flavor, but not a lot 
of color so I added enough powdered food coloring 
until I got the shade that I liked.  If you don't have 
powdered food coloring I recommend 
gel (paste) food color.

Here is a quick video that will show you 
how to pipe the shells!

LEMONADE PAVLOVAS

Ingredients:

4 egg whites at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
*1 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
powdered yellow food coloring (or use gel/paste color)
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 225 degreesF.

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk 
attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy.
Add the cream of tartar and whisk until you
get soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar, one
tablespoon at a time followed by the lemonade
mix and food coloring. Increase speed to medium
high and beat to stiff peaks.

Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a
star tip and pipe meringue shells onto a baking
sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 
hours or until crisp. Remove from the oven, let
 cool for 5 minutes and place in an airtight 
container until ready to serve.

Right before serving whip the cream and sugar
 in a chilled bowl with chilled beaters until you
get stiff peaks. Place into a piping bag fitted
with a round tip and swirl into meringue shells.
Top with a sugar daisy or edible flower.

*This a great tip for measuring powdered sugar. As always, 
with baking, everything is precise! Here's a great post 
about measuring ingredients.

These Pavlovas would be perfect for any Spring or 
Summer Tea Party! Really cute for a Baby Shower! 
So fun for a Birthday Party! 

Just remember that meringues do not like humidity, 
so keep the shells in a ziplock bag until serving 
time, then pipe in the whipped cream and enjoy!!



Friday, May 5, 2017

Lemon Buttercream Cakes from Teatime Magazine


What could be more lovely for a Spring Tea Party than
scrumptious flower adorned Lemon Buttercream Cakes?!
Today's recipe is one of my favorite little cake recipes
 from TeaTime Magazine. 

It's an easy cake recipe that uses a lemon cake mix and
an equally easy lemon buttercream frosting that you can
throw together in 5 minutes! 

These sweet little cakes graced the cover of TeaTime
Magazine's 2017 March/April issue, and were topped 
with pretty little white Begonias

My cakes are adorned with little pink begonias from
my garden. The flowers are actually edible, very 
easy to grow, and make your cakes look so lovely!!
I wanted to decorate my cakes with both pink and 
yellow buttercream so I made the buttercream, 
then transferred half of it to another bowl and 
tinted one half pink and one half yellow.

 Then I placed the buttercream into 2 piping bags
fitted with a Wilton 2D or 1M tip, and just swirled
the buttercream onto the cake rounds.
I love the ruffles that the buttercream makes! So pretty!

I used a smaller cookie cutter than the recipe suggested
and would NOT recommend this to you because the
smaller size of the cakes made them unstable. Teatime
Magazine suggests using a 2 1/4" cutter.



LEMON BUTTERCREAM CAKES
adapted from TeaTime Magazine

Ingredients:

1 (18.25-ounce) lemon cake mix, such as 
Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme
3 large eggs
1 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sour cream
1 recipe Lemon Buttercream (recipe follows)
Garnish: fresh primroses, begonias or other
edible blossoms


Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 17x11 inch rimmed
baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray with non-
stick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, water, oil, and
sour cream. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer until
moistened, approximately 30 seconds. Increase speed to 
medium, and beat for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as
necessary. Pour batter into prepared pan, and level with a
spatula. Rap pan on the countertop sharply several times
to reduce air bubbles.

Bake until cake is golden brown and a wooden pick inserted 
in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cake cool
completely in pan. (I found it easier to cut the cakes out after
chilling the cake in the freezer.)

When cake has cooled, cut 24 rounds from cake, using a 
2 1/4-inch round cutter. (I used a smaller cookie cutter,
which I don't recommend because it was difficult to get
the cakes to stand straight.)

Place Lemon Buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a
large open-star tip (Wilton #1M).  Pipe a circle of
buttercream onto 12 cake rounds. Top each with another
round of cake, pressing lightly to adhere. Pipe a
decorative rosette of buttercream onto top of each
cake round. Garnish each cake with an edible flower,
if desired.

**Cake may be baked in advance, cut into rounds, and
frozen in an airtight container, with layers separated by
waxed paper, for up to a week. Let come to room 
temperature before frosting. Store, covered, in the 
refrigerator until ready to serve.


LEMON BUTTERCREAM
Yield: 3 1/2 cups ~ Prep: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup salted butter, softened
6 cups confectioners' (icing) sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
Yellow paste food coloring, such as Wilton lemon yellow

Instructions:

In a large bowl, combine butter, confectioners' sugar, 
lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon extract.  Beat at low
speed with an electric mixer until combined, scraping
down sides of bowl as necessary. Increase speed to high, 
and beat until light and fluffy. Add food coloring until
desired shade of yellow is achieved.

Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container
until needed. Let buttercream come to room temperature
before using, and beat at high speed with an electric
mixer for 1 minute.

Mini Pink loves to make mini treats for her Barbie Teas
with whatever recipe I'm making that day and I thought
that these tiny frosted cakes turned out really pretty!!

Thanks so much for stopping by!! Happy Baking!!



Friday, April 21, 2017

Lemon Mousse Teatime Parfaits


I have a light and lemony Mousse recipe to share today, that
when piped into a beautiful parfait glass, swirled with homemade
whipped cream, and topped with an edible pansy, becomes a
gorgeous teatime treat!

It's one of my favorite teatime desserts, and is a perfect addition
 to any Spring or Summer Tea Party. It requires a few more steps
 than my Lemon Creams, but it's so worth it!!
I made these for a tea party of about 150 ladies, and got
rave reviews! I found the recipe in Southern Living
Magazine, which described this dessert as "Tangy,
cold and bursting with flavor, this delightful dessert
is definitely a winner." I agree!!
I piped my mixture into some small glasses that I
bought at an antique shop. Small glasses for a 
tea party are best because you don't want to fill
up on just one dessert when you'll also be having
other lovely things such as scones, cakes and 
sandwiches!
I had these beautiful pansies growing in the garden and
used them to adorn my desserts! Love the color!!

If you don't have any edible flowers blooming, you could
decorate your parfaits with a sprig of mint and/or some
lemon zest curls.

DEERHILL'S LEMON MOUSSE
Recipe courtesy Chef Michael Anelli,
Deerhill Inn, West Dover, Vermont

1/2 cup water
1/2 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar

Dissolve gelatin and 1/2 cup of the sugar in the
water in a stainless steel bowl. Whisk in egg yolks. 
Place in a double boiler and heat to 175 degrees, 
whisking instantly until thickened. Remove from
heat and add lemon juice and zest. Refrigerate or
place over a large bowl of ice until mixture begins
to gel.

Meanwhile, beat egg whites with the other 1/2 cup
sugar until soft peaks form. Fold into gelling egg-
lemon mixture. Whip heavy cream to soft peaks
and fold into mixture. Spoon (or pipe) into parfait
or champagne glasses, and chill thoroughly. 
Garnish with whipped cream and an edible 
flower if desired. *Serves 6. (or more,
depending on the size of glass.)


This lemon mousse is just delicious! Hope you
give it a try!
Here's a spoon for you, and one for me! Thanks for
joining me today!!




Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Frilly Lemon Meltaways for Spring


Today I made a Spring version of my Frilly Lemon Meltaway Cookies.
This recipe is one of my all time favorites on the blog! The original recipe
made slice-n-bake cookies. My version is a roll out cookie using a pretty 
flower shaped cookie cutter and topped with a frilly lemon frosting. My
Spring version is made extra special by tinting half the frosting pink and
the other half yellow, and finishing with a lovely edible flower!
The first time I baked these cookies they cracked a little
and the second time I baked these I found out why.  I
had dried the dough out by using too much flour when
I rolled the cookies out. So be sure to use as little flour 
as you can so your cookies don't crack. You can 
use powdered sugar instead of flour too, and that 
might solve the problem altogether. 

I've decided to not include the lemon zest in
the frosting ingredients because it kept clogging
up my piping tip. If you were just going to spread
the frosting with a knife, then you can add one
teaspoon of lemon zest.
While the cookies are cooling make the frosting. 
Just throw all the frosting ingredients into a bowl
and beat until fluffy. (Don't you just love easy recipes
like these?! ) Place frosting into a piping bag fitted with
a Wilton 2D or 1M. (I use disposable piping bags. 
I buy them in bulk which is cheaper. They come in a roll.) 
Then pipe pretty frilly shapes onto the cookies holding
the bag vertically and turning a little as you pipe.


FRILLY LEMON MELTAWAY COOKIES

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup powdered (icing) sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
freshly grated zest from one lemon

Frosting

1 1/2 cups powdered (icing) sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons lemon juice
powdered sugar for dusting (if desired)

Directions

Combine all cookie ingredients in large bowl.
Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until
well mixed.  Shape dough into a disc, wrap in
plastic food wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Working with half
the dough at a time, on a very lightly floured 
surface, roll out to 1/2" thickness. Cut out 
as many shapes as you can with a flower shaped 
cookie cutter and place 1 inch apart on a 
parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. (cookies will not 
brown.) Cool completely.

Combine all frosting ingredients in a small
bowl at medium speed, scraping bowl often,
until fluffy.  Divide frosting into 2 bowls and tint
 one half pink and the other half yellow.  Put 
frosting into a piping bag fitted with a wilton 1M 
or 2D  and pipe pretty frilly shapes onto cooled 
cookies.  Dust with powdered sugar and top 
with an edible flower if desired.
These cookies are so delicious and so pretty!!! You can top
 them with any edible flower that you might have growing 
around your house. I've bought many plants this season in
order to have plenty of flowers to top my cookies and 
cakes with! 
The edible flowers I used today are Begonias. I didn't even 
know that they were edible until I baked some cakes from 
TeaTime Magazine, and they topped their mini cakes with 
white Begonias. I found these beautiful pink Begonias
with yellow centers which matched my cookies perfectly!
These pretty cookies are sure to be the hit of any Spring Party! 
Hope you try them! Please check back soon for another very
yummy Spring recipe from TeaTime Magazine! Happy
Easter!!


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Simply Perfect Vanilla Shortbread Bunnies


I have a fantastic Shortbread Recipe to share with you
from the cookbook Butter Baked Goods. I've made it
twice already! It's an easy Spring recipe that you can whip 
up at a moments notice! All you need are butter, flour, 
powdered sugar and vanilla, and you are ready to bake!!

If you're like me and look for quick and easy recipes,
 then these cookies are for you! They don't require 
any chilling time, are easy to roll out, and bake in 
15 minutes. 
The recipe does call for 2 tablespoons of vanilla,
but it's not overpowering. I loved it and when my son
walked into the kitchen he said that the house smelled
like a cake shop! mmmm!

So, roll out your dough, cut out as many shapes as you can 
(using your choice of cookie cutter), place on a parchment 
lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  Let cool 
completely and add any icing decorations.
I just happened to have some pink icing from another
project, and meant to just use it as "glue" to attach my
sprinkle buttons to the cookies, but I thought that it
looked really cute by itself, so I left some of the cookies
with pink icing tails. (tip #106)

VANILLA SHORTBREAD
adapted from here

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup icing (powdered) sugar
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons pure vanilla (yes, tablespoons)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325F. In a stand mixer fitted with
a paddle attachment, cream the butter and icing
sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. 
Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Turn the mixer to low and add the flour and mix 
until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the
bowl. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface.
Use a ruling pin to roll out the dough to about 1/4
inch thick. Use a cookie cutter of your choice to cut
out as many cookies as you can from the dough.
(You can get about 24 cookies using a 2 1/2 inch 
circular cutter. I got 24 using my 4" x 2" bunny
cutter.) Carefully transfer to a parchment lined
cookie sheet and place about 1/2" apart.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or 
until the cookies are lightly golden brown around
the edges.  Remove from the oven. Transfer to 
wire racks to cool.


"Mini Pink" made these adorable cookies with the scraps
of dough that I had left. Perfect for another Barbie Tea!
So cute! Don't you think?!
Happy Baking!!



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Pink Vanilla Meringues with Cotton Candy Whipped Cream


If you're a cotton candy lover like me, you've probably 
discovered how difficult it is to find a really good tasting 
cotton candy flavoring.  I've tried several different brands as
in this post and this post. One didn't smell like cotton candy 
at all and the other, which I loved, is now discontinued! 

That said, today I made cotton candy meringues using
 Cotton Candy Pink Vanilla Sugar,  and whipped cream


I was hoping that the actual cotton candy sugar would
impart that yummy fairground flavor, but alas, the
meringues basically tasted like I had used plain sugar.
(They did, however, have a pretty pink color!)


Sooo.... I googled Cotton candy flavoring and 
noticed a brand that I hadn't tried - Bickford.
I ordered that, and used it in my whipped cream
filling. I really liked it, BUT....(LOL) it still
doesn't smell like the real thing to me. It's
more like cherry vanilla. 

Before I began, I whizzed some of the cotton candy
sugar in the food processor. I just wanted to be sure
that it would melt quickly. I ended up with sugar that
was very fine, but not quite powdered. 

The meringues baked up beautifully! I was lucky 
to have any left by the time I made the filling
because my daughter mini pink kept eating
them!! You can't blame her though...wouldn't
pretty pink bite sized meringues sandwiched
with cotton candy whipped cream be a huge
temptation to any child?! Just saying.....




PINK VANILLA COTTON CANDY MERINGUES

INGREDIENTS:

3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch of table salt (1/8 teaspoon or less)
1 cup powdered sugar or powdered 
vanilla pink flossugar, divided
drop of pink food gel (if) you don't use
vanilla pink flossugar
Wilton Spring Nonparils

1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar or 
powdered vanilla pink flossugar
1/2 teaspoon cotton candy flavoring
drop of pink food color (if) you don't use
vanilla pink flossugar

DIRECTIONS: 

Preheat oven to 200 degreesF. Whizz
1 cup vanilla pink flossugar in a food 
processor until very fine. 

In a mixing bowl with a wire whisk
attachment, beat egg whites until frothy.
Add cream of tartar and salt and beat 
until you get soft peaks. Slowly add the
sugar and beat until you get stiff peaks.

Place mixture into a piping bag (I use
disposable bags) with a star tip (I used
Ateco 848 tip) Pipe shapes onto a 
parchment lined baking sheet and bake
for 2 hours, or until meringues become
crisp.

For the whipped cream, into a chilled bowl
with chilled beaters, Beat cream, sugar, cotton
candy flavoring, (and food gel if not using 
flossugar), until you get firm peaks. 

Place filling into a piping bag fitted with
any tip (I used a small star tip) and pipe
filling on half the meringues. Sandwich with 
the remaining halves and serve immediately.

The number of meringues you get depends
on how big you pipe them. I got around
60 meringues, which is 30 meringue
sandwiches.


or....you can do what I do and sample one!!

Now I'm gonna make myself and mini pink a cup
of Earl Grey, sit back and enjoy a couple of these
beautiful meringues!! Wish you were here!! xo!

Happy Teatime!!