It happens once a year, and it’s a real slice of life. National Pie Day puts the spotlight on home bakers across America and their award winning originals. National Pie Day has come and gone, but the American Pie Council sent me the recipe for the First Place Winner in the Classic Chocolate Category. To say that it got thumbs up in my test kitchen this week is an understatement. The Double Chocolate Raspberry Dream Pie was a runaway favorite. The original recipe gives the ingredients for a homemade pie crust, but I used store bought deep dish pie shells to save time. (*Note: I had plenty of filling ingredients for two 8-inch pies.) Fresh raspberries are coming on the market right now and if you’re a chocolate lover, this fruit and chocolate combination is rich, luscious, smooth and creamy. You’ll dive into this dreamy pie!
Many things will be different this Memorial Day as we celebrate the official launch of summer while honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. But some things will always remain the same, namely our obsession with the perfect campout treat—S’Mores! This year, if you’re opting to stay home instead of heading for the campgrounds, I’ve got the perfect solution for your “campfireless” sweet tooth. It’s a delicious recipe for S’mores Bars that can be devoured right out of the oven! To be perfectly honest, I love these even more than the originals. They aren’t as messy and they’re a cinch to make! S’Mores Bars have all of the same ingredients, just assembled a little differently. These bars start with a graham cracker crust which you can make with either store bought graham cracker crumbs, or with ground up graham crackers. (My suggestion is to grind your own crumbs. Much tastier!) Once you bake your cookie base, you’ll add the chocolate bars, then the Marshmallow Fluff and top with more cookie crumbs! You can use melted marshmallows for the filling, but the marshmallow cream is a lot easier to spread. Then, all that’s left is to bake them up and then cut them into beautiful yummy bars! This Memorial Day weekend, make this fun treat that’s easier to eat… without the fire!
Watch my How To Video for S’Mores Bars here!
It’s one of those miracle desserts that goes into the oven as a cake batter and comes out baked with two distinct layers. The bottom layer becomes a luscious, lemony pudding and the top becomes a light and delicate cake! How does that happen? I’m assuming it has something to do with the amount of liquid this recipe has. Since liquids like milk and whipping cream are heavy, they settle down into the bottom of the dish, which creates the pudding. But I’m no scientist, just a lemon dessert addict and think a lot of you are too! One of the most popular lemon desserts are Lemon Bars (or Lemon Squares.) Well, this Lemon Pudding Cake will give them a run for their money! I employed a technique that allows the zest of three large lemons to steep in a simmering milk and heavy cream mixture. After it sits for about 15 minutes, you strain the lemon zest and what you have left is delicious milk with lemon essence! Then, the juice from the lemons is what gives it the punch! A little topping of whipped cream and you have a fabulous dessert served in individual ramekins that have baked in a water bath. I love this recipe and I hope you will too!
Watch my How To Video for Lemon Pudding Cake here!
After Halloween, when our carved-out pumpkin jack-o-lanterns start to shrivel, we usually toss them into the trash or compost pile and then head to the pantry for the canned pumpkin puree to make our holiday pies, cakes and cookies. But in the Early New England settlements, colonists considered the pumpkin a staple and culinary treasure:
“For pottage and puddings and custards and pies, Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon; If it were not for pumpkins, we should be undoon.”
Now that trick-or-treating is over, all things pumpkin leads the way to Thanksgiving and our holiday baked goodies. Here to kick things off is a deliciously moist and delicate fall favorite, The Pumpkin Roll. This tasty spice cake rolled around a sweet cream cheese filling is a lovely way to not only satisfy our sweet tooth, but to pay tribute to the pumpkin, one of the first wild plants cultivated for human consumption in America.