Sunday, June 26, 2016

flag tart for fourth of july

Last year we spent our Fourth of July at a friend's place in Truckee, and we had decided we would all bring various foods and have a BBQ there. Among other things, I wanted to bring a dessert that I could make in advance, would survive the four hour drive, and would last in the fridge until the next evening. I remembered a rectangular flag tart that I had made a couple of years back, and I thought something similar would be the perfect dessert to bring!

This time, I decided to make an Oreo cookie crust instead of my regular pie crust, so I found this recipe from Crazy for Crust (the recipe uses whole Oreos, with the cookie filling and all!)

After pulverizing my Oreos in the food processor and adding a bit of melted butter, I pressed the crumb mixture into a 9-inch tart pan, and baked it at 350F for about 10 minutes until set.

While the crust was cooling, I whipped up the no-bake filling, recipe from Martha Stewart. (Note: I only ended up using half of the filling, as the recipe is meant for a 2-inch tall springform pan)

Then I made my "flag" with fresh blueberries ...

... and fresh raspberries for the stripes on the flag. (Note: after washing the fruit, make sure to blot the fruit with paper towels, so that they don't leak water all over your pie!)

The combination of flavors was wonderful! With the chocolate crust, creamy filling, and tangy fresh fruit, it was perfect and refreshing for our Fourth of July celebration!

Hope you have a Happy Fourth! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

cookie monster cupcakes

Last year for my son Micah's birthday, I made him Elmo cupcakes because he absolutely loved Elmo at the time. This year for his third birthday, I decided to make him Cookie Monster cupcakes, because he just loves to eat!!!

I made the same chocolate cupcakes as I did last year, and piped Cookie Monsters details with cream cheese frosting. I started by using a large round tip to pipe white frosting into two eyes...

And then a #3 tip with black frosting to pipe his crazy eyeballs.

Next I used the same #3 tip to pipe the mouth (and filled it in with the same tip).

And finally, I used a #18 star tip with blue frosting to pipe Cookie Monster's fur!

Isn't he cute?!

And of course, Cookie Monster wouldn't be complete without a cookie hanging out of his mouth! (I used mini chips ahoy, instead of baking my own, just to save time!)

 Happy happy birthday, my little cookie monster!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

rum raisin pie for father's day

By Father's Day each year, we are usually all caked out. With our youngest son's birthday in February, both of our moms and my brother's birthdays in March, my birthday in April, Mother's Day in May, and my husband's birthday in May as well, that's a lot of cakes that we have eaten by June! So by the time Father's Day rolled around last year, I figured the hubby would enjoy a nice pie instead!

One of my husband's favorite ice cream flavors is rum raisin, so when I saw Martha Stewart make this rum raisin pie recipe on her show, I knew that I would make it for him. The recipe starts out with making a flakey pie crust, which is first blind baked (with parchment paper and dried beans or pie weights).

I suggest freezing or chilling your pie dough after you've rolled it out and placed it in your pie dish - I skipped this step and look how much my pie crust shrank after baking! Doh!

Anyhow, after your baked pie crust has cooled, sprinkle golden raisins in an even layer on the bottom of the pie shell. Next you will make a quick custard on the stove, with a bit of rum stirred in at the end. This custard is poured over the golden raisins in the pie shell, and then the pie is baked until the center is set.

Once out of the oven, let the pie cool.

To decorate the pie, I made a little fondant "dad" topper, which I painted gold using edible cake paint. (I had just recently made this gold fondant monogram topper for a baby's first birthday cake, and was still feeling inspired!)

The pie ended up having really good flavor, but I must not have been diligent enough while stirring my custard on the stove, because the texture of the pie was a bit on the grainy side.

Nevertheless, it was a good tasting pie, and perfect for our Father's Day celebration.

Hope you have a happy Father's Day!