Tag Archives: easy recipes

Berry Whipped Cream

Berry Whipped Cream

I’m sure you’ve had berries with whipped cream, but have you ever had berries in whipped cream?

It’s as simple as taking one of my favorite ingredients, freeze dried berries, pulverizing them into a powder and then whipping them into fluffy pastel clouds of cream.

Berry Whipped Cream

So simple. So dreamy. So good. So perfect for piling onto a slice of Ricotta Cake and then shoveling into your mouth mostly with your fingers even though there are forks right there.

Berry Whipped Cream

I clearly made this with batch with all raspberries, but the recipe will work with any freeze dried berry (or other fruit) you like. Get colorful with it! Go pink with strawberries, indigo with blueberries, or maybe try the mixed berries I’ve been eyeing recently at Trader Joe’s! I don’t know what color they’d make exactly—some sort of purple—but I do know it would be delicious.

Berry Whipped Cream
(Any) Berry Whipped Cream
makes about 1 1/2 cups

~1/2 cup freeze dried berries of choice
1 cup heavy cream, very cold
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

Place freeze dried berries in a food processor and process until they are powder, about 45-60 seconds. Alternatively, place the berries in a sealed zip-top bag and crush well with a rolling pin or other heavy object.

Measure out 2 tablespoons of pulverized berry powder, and reserve any remaining powder for another use.

In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream, vanilla, confectioner’s sugar, and pulverized berries. Use an electric mixer to whip cream until stiff peaks form. Do not over whip (but if you do, just add a little more cream).

Load whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a tip or scoop with a spoon and use as desired.

Leftover Berry Whipped Cream should be covered and refrigerated. It’s pretty stable, but may need to be lightly re-whipped before serving.
Berry Whipped Cream
Berry Whipped Cream
Berry Whipped Cream

Espresso Milkshakes

Espresso Milkshakes

I moved away from my hometown of Fort Worth, Texas, half my lifetime ago at 18. First it was to Sherman, Texas, where I went to college, and then straight to New York, where I’ve been for almost 14 years. The longest period of time I’ve spent “at home” in all those intervening years was three weeks between Christmas and a mid-January family wedding in 2017. While I will never (could never!) sever ties with the land of my birth, it’s always evident during my visits that it’s moved on just fine without me.

Espresso Milkshakes

In a lot of ways, it’s great. I don’t see the day-to-day, but I always show up to some new something. There’s excellent vintage shopping now. Magnolia is hoppin’. Many of my very favorite people (and one perfect miniature schnauzer) are there and keep me apprised of everything important. But for all the new stuff happening, old things have to change.

Espresso Milkshakes

Take the demise of my former favorite coffee shop, Four Star Coffee Bar, for instance. It was tucked into a strip mall on the west side until shortly after I moved to New York. I don’t remember exactly when it closed for good, but I do remember the last coffee I had there in August of 2007 and a whole lot of Saturday nights spent there with friends, listening to someone’s terrible ex-boyfriend play bad music and sipping espresso milkshakes. They were nothing more than shots of espresso and vanilla ice cream whirled together—basically smooth affogatos—but I think about them all the time. They’ve been on my to-make list for years! All it took was walking by the old storefront with my little sister a few weeks ago to finally get me to pull my blender off the shelf and get to it.

Now, I should say that this recipe isn’t a carbon copy of the original. For one thing, I don’t have an espresso machine, and for another, I’m basing this recipe entirely on a 14 year old memory. Still, the combination of dissolved instant espresso and vanilla ice cream is pretty dang good. These shakes are cold, smooth and creamy with plenty of espresso flavor, even if you use decaf.

Espresso Milkshakes
Espresso Milkshakes

I suppose you could class these up by buying/using an espresso machine to pull shots or alternatively, going to a coffee shop, getting espresso to-go, coming home, letting it cool and then blitzing it with ice cream…but that seems like a lot of work for something that can be made just as well with some stuff in a jar and warm tap water. Plus, if you make these the easy way at home, I can guarantee you won’t have to listen to anyone’s ex-boyfriend’s terrible band for even a second.

Sometimes change is a good thing.

Espresso Milkshakes
Espresso Milkshakes
makes 1 large or 2 small milkshakes

1 tablespoon instant espresso granules (decaf is fine)
1 tablespoon warm tap water
1 pint (2 cups) vanilla ice cream
4 tablespoons milk of choice (I used whole)
whipped cream, for garnish (optional)
chocolate covered espresso beans, for garnish (optional)

In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together espresso granules and water until granules are dissolved. Combine espresso mixture, ice cream and milk in a high-powered blender. Blitz until smooth. If needed, add more milk by the tablespoon until the desired consistency is reached. Pour into glasses and garnish with whipped cream and/or chocolate-covered espresso beans, if desired. Serve immediately.
Espresso Milkshakes
Espresso Milkshakes
Espresso Milkshakes

Black & Blueberry Crisp

Black & Blueberry Crisp

After a whole bunch of scheduling mayhem, we finally booked our annual vacation to Swan’s Island, Maine, this week, so that is low-key all I’m going to talk about for the next 72 days or so. Sorry, not sorry.

Black & Blueberry Crisp

Oh yes, I have Maine on the brain, which for me means allll the summer berries. What better time to break out my favorite thrifted dishes from Iverstudio and make a Black & Blueberry Crisp? This will surely tide me over until I can pack up a vehicle and escape New York City. Right? Riiiight???

Anyway…

Crisps are one of the simplest desserts out there. Easier than pie in every way and just as good, they are perfect for beginner bakers and seasoned pros alike. Just mix up a simple pie filling, put it in a buttered pan, bury it in oaty, nutty crumbles, and bake until…well, crisp.

Black & Blueberry Crisp

Scoop the warm crisp into cute dishes, and finish with vanilla ice cream and more berries. Devour while determining how many vintage Maine sweatshirts is a reasonable number to have in your Etsy check-out cart. Is it four? I hope it’s four.

Black & Blueberry Crisp
Black & Blueberry Crisp
makes about 6 servings

Filling:
2 cups fresh blackberries (about 12 ounces)
2 cups fresh blueberries (about 12 ounces)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
juice of 1/2 lime

Topping:
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup chopped nuts of choice (I used hazelnuts), optional
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For Serving:
vanilla ice cream, optional
more blackberries & blueberries, optional

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8- or 9-inch casserole dish with butter. Set aside.

Make the filling. Combine blackberries and blueberries in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, salt, and lime juice. Stir together with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon and let sit while you prepare the topping.

Make the topping. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together oats, flour, light brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon, and salt. Add melted butter and stir until everything is saturated and clumps form.

Transfer berry filling into the prepared casserole dish. Scatter topping onto the berries.

Bake 28-30 minutes, until topping is browned and berries are tender & bursting. Let cool 10 minutes before serving in bowls with vanilla ice cream and more berries, if desired.

Cover and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving.
Black & Blueberry Crisp
Black & Blueberry Crisp

Homemade Peanut Butter Shell

Homemade Peanut Butter Shell​

My favorite thing about having a baking blog during the summer is not baking at all: it’s making ice cream toppings. I’ve tackled all the major ones—hot fudge, caramel sauce, butterscotch—you name it, I’ve made it. Of all of them, Homemade Chocolate Shell is the one I go back to over and over. It’s a quick two-ingredient recipe and, when poured over ice cream, results in the thin & thwackable topping we all love. It’s impossible to improve upon, so I won’t try…but did you know you can make a peanut butter version?

Homemade Peanut Butter Shell​

Oh yes, Homemade Peanut Butter Shell is a thing, and it is indeed magical. Made with just creamy peanut butter and coconut oil, it has all the salty, creamy flavor you love, but hardens within a minute of meeting a scoop (or three) of ice cream.

I’ll admit that I didn’t quite get the “thwack” photos I’d hoped for with this recipe, mostly because I shot them in the throes of a heatwave. Still, you can see the definition and how the shell is, in fact, a shell. Once hardened, it can easily be lifted off the ice cream (or other cold thing) it’s molded over. 97 degree weather, be damned.

Homemade Peanut Butter Shell​

I enjoy Homemade Peanut Butter Shell over vanilla ice cream (and some peanut butter cups), but I know it would be perfect paired with chocolate, No-Churn Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream, or pretty much any flavor that goes well with peanut butter…which, I think we can agree, is basically all of them.

Do yourself a favor a make a little jar of Homemade Peanut Butter Shell this summer. While it absolutely can be too hot to bake, it’s never too hot for a salty-sweet bowl of ice cream.

Homemade Peanut Butter Shell​
Homemade Peanut Butter Shell
makes about 2/3 cup

1/3 cup creamy-style peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil (preferably refined)

While any coconut oil will work in this recipe, refined coconut oil will have the least noticeable flavor.

Combine peanut butter and coconut oil in a small bowl. Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring in between, until melted. Let cool a few minutes for optimal pouring consistency (so it doesn’t melt off whatever it’s coating). Pour or drizzle over ice cream or use as a dip for other frozen treats.

Leftover peanut butter shell will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for at least two weeks. Reheat by microwaving in 10 second increments, stirring in between, until pourable.
Homemade Peanut Butter Shell​
Homemade Peanut Butter Shell​
Homemade Peanut Butter Shell​

Friday Favorites: No-Bake Recipes II

Every year I consider doing a “No-Bake Summer,” wherein I only make desserts (and other things) that don’t require cranking the oven in my already-too-hot apartment. I’ve never gone through with it though, mostly because I just really love to bake (regardless of the potential for heatstroke). That said, I have a whole new appreciation for no-bake desserts after the searing hot temperatures we had in NYC this week.

I’ve done a no-bake round-up before, but it’s been a few years. In the intervening time, I’ve added to my repertoire of creamy pies, non-traditional s’mores, puddings, and mason jar desserts. Instead of relying on ambient 350F (or so) heat to provide structure and flavor, all of these recipes rely on things like stovetop cooking (double boilers!), stiff peaks of whipped cream, coconut oil, and long chills for their deliciousness. There’s no wrong way to get your no-bake on! Here are a few of my oven-free favorites from the archives.

Friday Favorites: No-Bake Recipes II​

Chocolate Pudding

Homemade Chocolate Pudding is simpler than you may think, and takes all of fifteen minutes to whisk up. Made rich with whole milk and egg yolks and flavored with both cocoa powder and dark chocolate, this classic stovetop dessert is not to be missed!

Friday Favorites: No-Bake Recipes II​

Vegan Cheesecake (3 ways!)

Vegan cheesecakes require a bit more planning ahead than your average no-bake dessert, but they are so worth the minimal effort. These concoctions of soaked cashews, coconut oil, coconut cream, maple syrup and other delicious things come together in a blender, then firm up in the fridge. Their texture is as luxurious as any dairy cheesecake, and they are sooo delicious. Try a plain & peachy version, a decadent chocolate one, or the new chocolate hazelnut variation I posted on Wednesday. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Friday Favorites: No-Bake Recipes II​

Lazy Lemon Curd & Lemon Meringue S’mores

You’ve almost certainly had classic lemon curd, but have you tried my Lazy Lemon Curd? It couldn’t be simpler—just whisk together lemon juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk, then simmer the mixture over a double boiler until it’s luscious and lemony. My all time favorite way to use it is stacked with toasted marshmallows and graham crackers for Lemon Meringue S’mores…

Friday Favorites: No-Bake Recipes II​

Little Lemon Pie Jars

…but I also love it whirled with cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar, lightened with whipped cream and nestled onto loosely-packed graham cracker crusts.

Friday Favorites: No-Bake Recipes II​

No-Bake Strawberry Cream Pie

Creamy pies are a classic no-bake treat. Here, billowy whipped strawberry filling is layered over fresh strawberries and a puddle of ganache, all nestled in a crumbly Oreo crust. Yum!

Chocolate Mousse Pie

If berries aren’t your bag, by all means, make this No-Bake Chocolate Mousse Pie. I don’t even think I need to talk you into it, except to say “make this.” Make this.

Have you made these or any of my other no-bake recipes? Let me know in the comments or on social media!