I don’t know how it is where you live, but in Colorado, it looks like we’re about to swing right out of winter! Today it’s 70 degrees, sunny, and totally perfect. 

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That being said, I’m starting to crave those summery treats that I’ve been missing out on all winter, and you probably are too! Enter berry lemon crumb bars. 

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I used to work a coffee shop for several years through college, and we served a lemon bar with a a layer of tart berries, and a delicate crumb topping, which is where I got the inspiration for these! Now, I have no idea how those ones at my coffee shop were made- we had them shipped in frozen every week- but I do know how I’ve always made traditional lemon bars, so that’s where I’ve started. 

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These sweet and tart little gems start off with a super easy shortbread crust. BTW, this same crust recipe can make the most amazing shortbread cookies! Just chill the dough for 30 minutes after mixing it up, and then roll, cut, and bake them until just golden!

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In the meantime, make a full batch of these lemon bars with sweet and tart berries, and a light crumb topping to hold you over until summer comes full on! The berries add a whole other dimension of flavor that traditional lemon bars have never known, and you’ll love this variation on the classic!

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Enjoy!

Berry Crumb Lemon Bars

Ingredients

  • For the Crust:
  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • For the berries:
  • 2 cups mixed berries (I used blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries)
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • 1 tbs. cornstarch
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • For the Lemon filling:
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups sugar
  • Zest of 3-4 lemons
  • 1 cup lemon juice (5-6 lemons)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • For the crumb topping:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tbs. melted butter

Instructions

  • For the crust:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a 9x13 pan with foil, and grease the foil.
  • Beat together the butter and powdered sugar, then add in the salt and vanilla. Then slowly add the flour until a dough comes together
  • Dump the dough into your lined pan, and press down until the dough evenly coats the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, and then pull out and cool.
  • For the berries:
  • While the crust is cooking and cooling, place the berries, cornstarch, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Cook until the berries have softened. Puree the mixture in a food processor or blender until just chunky, not completely smooth.
  • Pour the berry mixture over the crust and spread evenly.
  • For the Lemon filling:
  • Simply whisk everything together until completely smooth!
  • Pour the lemon filling over the crust and berries, and place in the same 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
  • For the crumb topping:
  • Mix together the flour and both sugars. Pour the melted butter in, and stir with a fork until crumbs form.
  • After the bars have baked for 10 minutes, pull them out of the oven, and sprinkle the crumb topping all over the top.
  • Return to the oven, and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the lemon filling has set.
  • Cool completely before cutting and eating!
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Sometimes you just need something easy. 

This weekend I made fish tacos for some friends, with a bunch of homemade sauces and toppings, and I was cooking for several hours during the day. So when it came to dessert, I wanted something simple.

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This pie is about as easy as it gets, and you can actually make it in a bunch of flavors. It’s no-bake, but if you prefer a traditional pie crust you can definitely pre-bake one and use the same filling.

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I’ve personally made a peanut butter version, but you could also do vanilla, or a citrus flavor, which would be awesome. Today though, it’s all about chocolate. Because guys, everyone likes it, and if you don’t want a big ol’ slice of chocolate pie after stuffing your face with fish tacos, I just don’t feel like I know you!

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Basically, there’s only a few ingredients, and it only takes a few minutes to whip up. I threw it together just before serving dinner, and it was perfect. If you want to make another flavor variation, like peanut butter, replace the melted chocolate, or omit it and add fruit zest and extract. 

Enjoy!

No Bake Chocolate Silk Pie

Ingredients

  • 16-20 graham crackers, completely crumbled
  • 2 tbs. sugar
  • 4 tbs. melted butter
  • 1 block softened cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whipped cream (homemade or store-bought)
  • Chocolate shavings to sprinkle on top (optional)

Instructions

  • Mix together the graham crackers and sugar, and add the melted butter. Mix until completely incorporated.
  • Pour the graham cracker mixture into a 9 inch pie pan and press to the bottom and up the sides, and set aside.
  • Beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add in the melted chocolate and vanilla.
  • Fold in the whipped cream in parts until completely incorporated. Pour into your pie crust, top with chocolate shavings, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • Enjoy!
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Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you all had an awesome and spooky Halloween!

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Is it healthy? No. Is it fantastic? Absolutely. 

I’ve made cheesecake plenty of times, but this has been the most successful one yet, with no cracks! I’ve had no luck with water baths for cheesecakes- even when I wrap the pan in tons of layers of foil, somehow the water still boils over and gets into the cheesecake. It’s a huge bummer really, because cheesecakes take so many ingredients that once it’s ruined, who wants to do it again?

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So this time I skipped the water bath, and I added a little flour to the mix to stabilize everything a bit more. It turned out beautifully, and it’s actually the only cheesecake I’ve ever made without a crack in it!

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Plus, it’s pumpkin. If you aren’t craving pumpkin by now, I’d say it’s about time!  We had a Halloween party with pumpkin carving, scary movies, and tons of comfort food, so this baby fit right in.

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I really love cheesecake, so I’m super excited that this one turned out so beautifully! The truth is though, even with a giant crack down the center, it’s still cheesecake guys, and it still tastes awesome. Just cover it up with some whipped cream, and pretend it never happened!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 20 crispy gingersnap cookies, crushed
  • 3 tbs. melted butter
  • 4 8oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 cup flour

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a springform pan with parchment, and grease it.
  • Mix the crumbled gingersnaps and melted butter until it has an even consistency.
  • Pour the gingersnap mix into your pan, and push with the bottom of a glass to the bottom of the pan, and up the sides about half-way.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy.
  • Add in the pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, and heavy cream, and beat until smooth.
  • In a small bowl, stir the salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and flour. Whisk it into the cheesecake mixture.
  • Pour batter into your pan, over the prepared crust, and bake for 1 hour.
  • After the hour, turn off the oven, and leave the door closed. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven for about 4-5 hours.
  • Remove the cheesecake, cover, and refrigerate for at least 5 hours.
  • Top with whipped cream, or eat it plain!
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Hi guys! Who doesn’t love a good combo of different kinds of chocolate? It’s really undeniable, these things are pretty fantastic. 

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I just got my wisdom teeth removed this weekend, so my ability to eat normal food has been temporarily suspended, so a dessert like this is exactly what I needed. The great thing about parfaits, or their larger counter-part, trifles, is that you can really put whatever the heck you want in there. I basically always like to have several different textures, with at least one solid item like cake, brownies, or fruit. 

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My original plan was actually to make a full on trifle, but I couldn’t locate my trifle dish. It’s cool, mason jars are cute, amiright? Plus it makes a bunch of single-serve desserts, generous single servings at that. I don’t know about you, but I love it when I don’t have to share my dessert. 

Basically, this particular parfait recipe is made up of some of my favorite staple recipes; chocolate pudding, brownies, whipped cream, plus Oreo cookies. If you’ve never made your own chocolate pudding, today’s the day to start- it’s really quite easy, and it tastes amazing. If you’ve never made homemade whipped cream, you may have never known real love. 

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Here’s the breakdown of my favorite recipes that I put together in these pretty parfaits- layer in some chocolate pudding, a little whipped cream, brownie chunks, Oreo chunks, and repeat the whole thing until your jars are full. Share them with your friends, or hoard them in your fridge for your own enjoyment!

Oreo Brownie Parfaits

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Pudding

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tbs. butter

For the Brownies

  • 8 tbs. butter
  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbs. flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

For the Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tbs. instant vanilla pudding
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar

For the Parfaits

  • 6 mason jars
  • 15 Oreo cookies broken into chunks

Instructions

For the Chocolate Pudding

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, milk, cream, and vanilla.
  3. Whisk the milk mixture into the sugar mixture. Cook on medium heat until thick, whisking constantly.
  4. Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate and butter until smooth. Pour pudding through a mesh siv to remove any lumps, and refrigerate immediately.

For the Brownies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 8 x 8 pan.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt together the butter and the unsweetened chocolate. Remove from heat, and cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Add in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Then add the flour, salt, and chocolate chips.
  4. Pour into the baking sheet, and bake for 35 minutes or until set. Cool completely.

For the Whipped Cream

  1. Whip the heavy cream in a large bowl until you have very soft peaks.
  2. Add in the vanilla pudding and the powdered sugar, and whip together until you've got stiff peaks.

For the Parfaits

  1. Layer your mason jars with chocolate pudding, whipped cream, brownies, and oreos as you see fit- no judgement here!

Hate to be that girl, (#sorrynotsorry) but my favorite cake, and probably dessert all together, is a good ol’ vanilla cake. 

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I had a stint with cheesecake being my favorite dessert, and spent many years having it as a birthday cake. I may have spent a couple years favoring banana cake. But for most of my life, and likely most of my future, vanilla birthday cake has been where it’s at for me. My husband insists chocolate cake is the best, but I’m all set. 

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Sometimes I still stray from my favorite on my own birthday, but typically I’m looking for a really tender, strongly vanilla birthday cake. This one fits the bill! I like the addition of a chocolate mousse filling to mix things up a bit- I know, call the police, we’re putting chocolate on vanilla here, it’s UNHEARD of. 

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Now, let’s talk about this French buttercream because I can’t even. I’ve made a lot of frosting recipes, and it’s honestly not my strong suit in the world of desserts. For some reason I just usually prefer that super sweet canned stuff. I’ve made traditional buttercreams. I’ve made whipped buttercreams. I’ve made Swiss buttercreams. But I’d never made a French buttercream until now, and I feel totally duped for never having known about it. It’s too good. 

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I am using the recipe from Mikey’s In My Kitchen for this cake. Basically, French buttercream takes a lot more work, like, A LOT. But the results are seriously unbelievable. It’s so amazing, I really hope you try it! I am absolutely in love!

Enjoy guys!

Best White Birthday Cake

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter room temp
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs. baking powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 batch French Buttercream recipe see link above

For the Chocolate Mousse Filling

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 3 tbs. instant vanilla pudding mix

Instructions

For the Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease two 9 inch round cake pans
  2. Beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg whites, and egg.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the heavy cream, vanilla, and almond extract.
  5. Add the flour mixture alternating with the cream mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until fully combined.
  6. Pour into cake pans, and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to fully cool before frosting.

For the Mousse

  1. Melt the chocolate chips, and let cool slightly.
  2. Whip the heavy cream and pudding mix until soft peaks form. Mix in the melted chocolate.
  3. Chill until ready to frost your cake.

For the Cake

  1. Put the chocolate mouse the center of the cake, stack, and frost with your French buttercream, or frosting of choice!

Summer just gets me in the mood for lemon. I want lemonade, lemon desserts, everything lemon is on my craving list right now. There’s just something about the sweet, sour, freshness of lemons that always gets me. 

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Lemons + Cupcakes = LOVE. 

We’ve had some family in town the last few weeks, and everyone always wants something sweet at a get-together, so I put together these triple lemon cupcakes! The cake is lightly flavored with lemon, and it’s filled with a beautiful lemon mousse. Top it off with a fluffy lemon buttercream, and you’ve got a perfect cupcake in my book. 

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For this recipe, the batter is very dense, so it’s important to separate the eggs. Folding in the whipped egg whites lightens the batter, and helps lift up the cakes while they bake. So, when you’re mixing up the batter initially, you’ll notice it’s very thick. After folding in the egg whites, you’ll still have a relatively heavy batter, but it should be smooth and silky, and much lighter. 

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Once the cupcakes are baked off, remove some of the cake from the middle to make room for the filling. If you’ve got a handy-dandy cupcake corer, it’ll be perfect. Otherwise, you can just use a knife. As for filling the cupcakes, I recommend using a piping bag, or simply cutting off the tip of a plastic bag with the filling inside- it’s much easier to use this method to actually get the filling inside. 

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The frosting is whipped up with a little heavy cream for a super light, fluffy frosting that still holds a lot of sweetness. The flavors and textures really work for this cupcake- the cake itself is dense, and with sweet, light filling and frosting, it’s a perfect bite. This recipe calls for lemon curd in every piece of the cupcake- make your own lemon curd here!

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Enjoy!

Triple Lemon Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour

For the filling

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd

For the frosting

  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup lemon curd
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions

For the cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line your muffin tin.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the egg yolks.
  3. Add in the sour cream, lemon curd, lemon extract, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix until fully combined.
  4. Add in the self-rising flour and the all purpose flour, and mix until combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  6. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter until incorporated. The batter will be thick, but very smooth.
  7. Scoop into the lined muffin tin, and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, and the cakes are slightly browned. Allow to cool completely before filling or frosting.

For the filling

  1. Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Then, add in the lemon curd, and whip until incorporated.
  2. Cut out a hole in the center of the cooled cupcakes, and pipe in the filling.

For the frosting

  1. Beat together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the lemon juice, zest, and lemon curd. Mix until incorporated.
  3. Add in the heavy cream, and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Frost your cupcakes!

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