Monday, July 21, 2014

Blueberry Biscuits

After making our Crock Pot Blueberry Coconut Crumble I had a handful of blueberries leftover.
Not enough to really make anything with but I still wanted to bake something with them. 
I decided to take a plain ol' baking powder biscuit and fancy it up a bit.
But then I noticed I didn't have any shortening or butter. 
I gave it a go with sour cream and *tah dah* these light and fluffy yet still crumbly and chewy biscuits evolved.
Gotta love it when the experiments turn out!
Oh, yeah, I should mention that these are not only super de duper easy but also ridiculously quick to whip up. In fact, I had the biscuits cut out and on the cookie tray before the oven even had time to preheat.

Blueberry Biscuits

3 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
pinch salt
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
In a small bowl, whisk together milk and sour cream.
Using a fork, stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat out into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle your hands with flour if you find the dough too sticky.

Sprinkle the blueberries evenly on half of the rectangle.

Carefully fold the dough over to cover the blueberries.

Cut out with a sharp-edged cutter or simply cut into squares. Place on prepared cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 for 15 - 25 minutes. Until bottoms and tops of biscuits are light golden brown.

Remove from heat and serve warm or room temp. They look pretty non-nonchalant until you cut them open...

Maybe a close up might convince you that you need these...

But wait.... these are worth a trip to the store to buy butter. I mean.... we all know that biscuits with melty butter are the best...

There it is.
From start to finish in about half an hour. 
It doesn't get too much easier than that.

Be sure to visit these great sites for tons of fun links - Feeding Big, Memories By The Mile, Anyonita Nibbles, Table For Seven

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Crock Pot Blueberry Coconut Crumble

Oh. My. Goodness.
This is my new favorite dessert ever.
It is sooooo easy. The prep is about 2 minutes. That's it. 
And the taste...
*cue angels singing*
I don't even know where to begin with the taste. All that blueberry sweetness, crispy buttery crumble, and chewy coconut is over the top amazing. 
You need this in your face.
Right now.

Crock Pot Blueberry Coconut Crumble
(Adapted from Sugar Dish Me)

5 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup Betty Crocker White Cake Mix 
3/4 cup Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch salt
1/4 cup butter, cold
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Toss the blueberries with 1/4 of the cake mix. Place in crock pot.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the remaining cake mix, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 butter knives, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Sprinkle this mixture over the blueberries.

Evenly sprinkle the coconut flakes on top.

Cover crock pot and cook on high for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Mixture should be bubbling.

Serve hot/warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. 

Avoid the temptation to crawl into the crock pot and live there forever. It's hot hot hot!

A few notes - I used Betty Crocker white cake mix but I would think any brand would work. You could try a vanilla, french vanilla, or maybe even a lemon cake for something different. 
As for the oats - try to use old fashioned oats. Quick oats will change the texture and not be nearly as crunchy. They will probably work if you are desperate but keep in mind it won't be quite as delicious.

Be sure to visit these fun linky parties (We're sharing there, you should too!) - The Chicken Chick, Ms. enPlace, The Mandatory Mooch, The New Mrs Adventures

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Jo is usually the one in charge of desserts when we have family dinners but I decided to take a turn this time. 
We were having a BBQ for some visiting family and I figured a pretty, layered cake would be perfect. 
I got the idea to make a two layered upside down cake from At The Picket Fence
I pretty much followed their version except for a few small changes. Pop over to their site (HERE) to see the original. 
This was super easy and turns out looking pretty fancy schmancy. It definitely looks like it takes more time than it actually does. 

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
(Adapted from At The Picket Fence)

1/4 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 jar maraschino cherries
1 can pineapple rings

2 2/3 cup flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 Tbsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup reserved pineapple juice

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray 2, 9 inch pans with cooking spray, set aside.
Divide the 1/4 cup melted butter between the two pans. 
Sprinkle each pan evenly with 1/3 cup brown sugar.
Slice pineapple rings in half and place the rings around the edge of the pan. Place one whole ring in the center of the pan. Place a maraschino cherry into the center of each ring. 

In a medium bowl, beat together remaining ingredients with a mixer, scraping sides as necessary, until well mixed. (About 3 minutes)
Divide batter between the two pans.

Bake 40 - 50 minutes, until toothpick stuck near the center comes out clean and tops of cakes are golden brown.

Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen.
Place a heat proof serving plate on top of the cake and invert cake onto the plate. Carefully remove the pan.
Repeat with second cake.

Let cakes cool.
When they are room temp, use a large spatula to lift one cake and place on top of the other cake.

Chill until ready to serve.

You could cover in whipped cream, if you like, but then you cover up the pretty pineapple and cherries.
We served our with a dollop of whipped cream on top.

So tasty.
Over at At The Picket Fence they made this for  an Easter celebration. 
Just wanted to let you know this also works as a great dessert for a BBQ.
I'm guessing that it will work for pretty much any time you need a fancy schamncy cake but don't want to have to work too hard. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Super Simple Summer Sweet

Yes. I like alliteration. 
It makes my ability to name recipes that much less pathetic. 
This way it sounds cute and rhyme-y. 
Well...that's what I was going for...humor me.
Anyway, what this dessert should be called is how-to-beat-the-heat-with-a-little-cheating-and-still-come-up-with-a-treat-worthy-of-a-birthday-celebration. Except that's a little wordy.
I started out wanting to make a fruit pizza type dessert and it evolved  into this. 
See... I didn't want to turn on the oven because it is a bajillion degrees and we don't have air conditioning and when I wanted to cheat and go buy a crust there was nothing in town that would work. 
I turned to my freezer reserves and found a lemon loaf. The wheels started turning and I came up with this kind-of individual fruit pizza on a loaf dessert. 
I went with lemon loaf and blueberries & blackberries because, well, everyone knows that lemon + blueberries = perfection. And then I went with a cinnamon loaf and caramelized pecans because, well, cinnamon + caramel + pecans = perfection.
(I just wanted to point out, in the photo below, that there is a bite mark in the lemon loaf. That happened when I went to get my camera. I came back and that is what it looked like. Our dad isn't claiming responsibility but I'm pretty sure he's the culprit.)

Super Simple Summer Sweet

Bottom Layer
2 loaves - your favorite flavors, sliced fairly thickly 

Middle Layer
2 - 8 oz bricks cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups whipping cream

Top Layer
approx 2 cups of blueberries & blackberries
approx 1 1/2 cups of caramelized pecans 

Caramel Pecans
1 1/2 cup pecan halves
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp whipping cream

Place slices of your favorite loaf on a serving platter (or individual serving plates).

Above is my lemon loaf.


Above is a cinnamon swirl loaf I bought at the grocery store. 
Prepare Middle Layer - Beat the cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Beat in the sugar until well combined. 
In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. 
Scrape the cream cheese into the whipping cream and beat briefly to combine.

Spread evenly on top of the loaf slices. (I got 10 slices per loaf so 20 slices in total)

Prepare the caramel pecans - In a medium frying pan, place pecans, brown sugar, butter, and cream. 

Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is bubbly and browned, about 5 minutes or so. 
Remove from heat and spread onto a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. 

Cool completely. (You can speed this process by placing in the freezer for a few minutes.)
Take out 10 pecan halves and then coarsely chop the remainder.

Sprinkle the loaf slices with either the blueberries & blackberries or the caramelized pecans.

The berries are so pretty, aren't they?

I think my favorite was the caramel pecans though.
You can serve these immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve. (I made mine the night before and they were fine the next day.)

Look at all that lemony, cheesecake-y, berry goodness.

Or, maybe you prefer some cinnamon-y, cheesecake-y, caramel pecan goodness. 
Either way - it is beat the heat amazingness. 
Imagine all the possibilities here!
Banana loaf with the cream cheese middle then topped with caramelized bananas and/or pecans.
Pumpkin loaf with cream cheese middle then topped with caramelized pecans.
Apple loaf with cream cheese middle then topped with streusel.
Chocolate chip loaf with cream cheese middle then topped with shredded chocolate.
And on and on and on....
Be sure to visit these fun sites for tons of food/craft links - Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons, My Turn (for us),

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Maple Bacon Scones

Here are some tasty scones that, while perfect for pretty much anytime, are super perfect for Canada Day.
They are just too cute when you cut them with a maple leaf cookie cutter.
Of course, making them all Canadian-y looking is completely optional.
Cut them in squares, triangles, or drop them by the spoonful. However you decide to make them look, you are going to fall in love with the maple-y bacon goodness.
And, just for good measure, we finished them off with a maple glaze because, as we all know, there is no such thing as too much maple.

Maple Bacon Scones

3 cups flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 tsp cinnamon\
1/2 cup butter, cold
6 strips bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp maple extract
1/4 cup maple syrup

2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 cup icing sugar
1 - 2 Tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 400. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender or 2 butter knives, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir in the crumbled bacon.
In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk, maple extract, and maple syrup. 
Using a fork, stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until dough starts to come together. (Add more buttermilk, a Tbsp at a time, if mixture is too dry.)
Scoop dough onto a floured work surface and knead 2 - 3 times. (Do not over work the dough or it will be tough.)
Roll out to about 1 inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut out scones. (Of course, you can simple cut them into squares or triangles if you prefer.)

Place scones on prepared cookie tray. You can re-roll the dough once and cut out more scones. (Any more than that and the dough gets too tough.)

Bake at 400 for about 15 - 20 minutes, until tops are a light golden brown and bottoms are browned.

Remove from cookie tray to a cooling rack.
Prepare glaze - In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, icing sugar, and milk to form a glaze. It should be fairly thick. (Add more icing sugar or milk to reach the desired consistency.)
Using a pastry/basting brush, brush the glaze on top of the warm scones.
Serve warm or room temp.

FYI - these are best the day they are made. They can be made in advance and frozen with good results too. 
Simply thaw at room temp for an hour or so before serving. (Or, pop in the microwave for a few seconds and they are just like fresh!)

We're sharing at these fun linky parties -- The New Mrs. Adventures,