Cakes, Cookies & Pies

Pina Colada Cake

Pina Colada Cake

I BAKED!! I know what you’re all saying…(But you don’t bake!) But I tried yet again, I refuse to give in on this. And it’s not really from scratch, it’s semi-homemade. I added my own touches and it worked! It came out amazing! So moist, rich and tropical! Oh and I even made the frosting from scratch! It was so easy! Go figure!

Rum/Vanilla Frosting

I had this cake mix in my cabinet for months, I bought it online for like a dollar and it was past it’s “best if used by date” by a few weeks so I figured I’d be adventurous. Originally I was going to make cupcakes but I thought I better just stick with a sheet cake this time. I toasted up some sweetened coconut flakes I had in the pantry also (they came out a little darker than I wanted but they taste great so all is well), and topped the cake with them.

Toasted coconut

Toasted Coconut

After tasting a small piece I wanted to eat the whole cake! WOW! Success!! I can bake I can bake I can bake!!!!

 

So without anymore self-praise here is how I did it.

Cake Ingredients:

1 box pineapple cake mix (I used Pillsbury Moist Supreme Pineapple)

1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained (I used about 8 ounces of fresh crushed pineapple I had in the freezer and thawed)

1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)

1/4 cup coconut syrup (or you can just use water or even coconut water)

3 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon rum extract

Frosting Ingredients:

2 cups confectioners sugar

4 oz butter (1 stick), softened

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon rum extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Extra Ingredients:

1/2-3/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes

Cake Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom of 13 x 9 pan with cooking spray or butter with a dusting of flour.
  2. Beat cake mix, pineapple, butter, coconut syrup and eggs in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. (didn’t realize how long 2 minutes can be when you’re timing something!)
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 34-38 minutes. (Check after 30 minutes as all ovens can be different. I took mine out at 32 minutes)IMG_5193
  5. Let cool completely before frosting.
  6. Once cool, frost the cake.

Frosting Directions: (this recipe will frost the entire cake)

  1. In a large bowl beat(cream) the butter and cream cheese.
  2. With the mixer on low-speed add the sugar a little at a time until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the extracts.

Toasted Coconut Directions:

Place the coconut on a cookie sheet in a 350°F oven for about 2-5 minutes. Check after 2 minutes so it doesn’t burn. It goes quick once it starts to toast. Cool before putting on cake.

Pina Colada Sheet Cake

 

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No-Bake Cannoli Pie

cannolie pie

Everyone who knows me knows I don’t bake. Or I should say, I don’t bake very well. So when I saw this recipe one day for a NO BAKE pie I was determined. I had bought a few containers of Marscapone cheese that I had been making a cannoli dip with and their “best by” dates were coming up soon so I was very happy when I found this recipe. Plus I had all of the ingredients! Well sort of anyway. The crust calls for ground-up cannoli shells. I had a box of sugar cones that we used as dippers when I made the dip so I thought, why not use them instead! And I added some almonds to the mix as well.

I brought the pie to a friend for dessert and it was a hit. Tasted like cannoli!  So how can that be a bad thing! I would definitely make this again. The original recipe, No Bake Cannoli Cheesecake had the ingredients being put into 4 mini tart pans (4″). I don’t have mini tart pans because I don’t bake! But I do have many pie dishes so that is what I used. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 cannoli shells ground fine (or 8 sugar cones ground fine)
  • handful whole almonds ground fine with the cannoli shells/cones
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 15 oz. whole milk ricotta
  • 8 oz. Marscapone cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/8 cup chopped pistachios
  • Fresh whipped cream, Cool Whip or Reddi-Wip

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl combine the shells/cones/almonds and the melted butter until mixed. Press firmly into bottom and on sides of pie plate. Freeze about 30 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl cream the Marscapone and ricotta cheese. Add in the vanilla and powdered sugar, mix well.
  3. Add the chocolate chips and stir in by hand.
  4. Get the pie plate out of the freezer and carefully fill with the mixture.
  5. If using whipped cream you can decorate the edges, otherwise, add the cool whip etc. when serving.
  6. Sprinkle the pistachio nuts over the top.
  7. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. 

 

cannoli pie

 

 

 

Popcorn Bars

This is a repost from 5 years ago! Wow, time flies! Still loved making these and they were oh so good!!

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Popcorn, popcorn, popcorn! I LOVE popcorn. If there was a popcorn diet I’d be on it for sure. The smell of freshly popped buttery goodness has to be the best smell in the world. I can’t walk past a movie theater without taking a huge deep inhaling breath! Aaahhh….The only type of popcorn I don’t usually like is popcorn balls. I don’t know why but for some reason they just don’t appeal to me at all. But these popcorn bars are something entirely different. They have salty peanuts, pretzels chocolate chips and candy! What’s not to like!  The candy-coated pieces can be in red and green for Christmas! Kids large and small will love them! I know I do!

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 package microwave popcorn, popped (about 9-10 cups)

1 cup salted peanuts

1 cup coarsely crumbled pretzels

1 cup light corn syrup

¼ cup butter or margarine

1 package (11 ounces) butterscotch OR white chocolate chips

1 cup candy-coated chocolate pieces (like M&Ms)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Add the popcorn, peanuts, and pretzels.


2. Cook the corn syrup and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, bring to a full boil for 1 minute.


3. Remove from the heat and add butterscotch chips, stirring until melted. Pour over popcorn mixture and mix well. Stir in candy-coated chocolate pieces.


4. Press into a greased 13×9-inch pan. Cool at least one hour. Cool in the refrigerator also. It makes cutting them into bars much easier. Cut into bars.


Makes about 24 bars

Brownie Holi-Pops

Well tomorrow is Christmas Eve! Wow where did the time go to? As a kid Christmas could not get here fast enough and now many years later, ok decades later, Christmas appears as if out of nowhere! It was just Halloween! My house is decked out, inside and out, and it is certainly festive looking! The weather is cooler, in the 50s and 60s so it’s not so hot that we do forget it’s winter here in south Florida. And I am still sticking with my no dieting till after the New Year. Weight Watchers can wait a little longer for me!

So here I am putting together the last “cookie” blog for the  year. These cookies are actually brownies, but also a lollipop. But hey, I’m using it anyway. I am not really a big brownie fan. Never was. Love making them but not eating them. The only ones I truly LOVE are my friend Debbie’s. They are little bitty ones and she puts frosting on them! I swear they must also have some kind of booze in them or something. They are so moist and just down right addicting! I could eat a dozen no problem! But these are not those. Sorry. I will have to get her recipe another time! These are just too cute not to include them and the kids will love them also. I have not actually made these as of yet but I think I will soon!

I actually got this recipe from Land-o-Lakes. Aren’t they just adorable!

BROWNIE MIXTURE:
¾ cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, divided

3 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, divided

1 cup sugar

¾ cup all-purpose flour

2  eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup powdered sugar
COATING:
16 ounces vanilla or chocolate flavored candy coating (almond bark)
40 lollipop sticks
DECORATIONS:
Holiday nonpareils, jimmies, sprinkles and/or decorator candies. Your choice!

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat oven to 350°F.

2. Combine ½ cup butter and 2 ounces chocolate in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until melted (3 to 5 minutes). Add sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla and salt; mix well.

3. Spread batter evenly into greased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake for 23 to 27 minutes or until brownies just begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely.

4. Melt remaining ¼ cup butter and 1 ounce chocolate as above.

5. Finely crumble cooled brownie into large bowl. Add butter mixture and powdered sugar; mix well.

6. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls; place onto waxed paper-lined jelly roll pan. Cover with plastic food wrap; refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours or overnight).

7. Melt candy coating according to package directions; keep warm.

8. Remove 1/3 of balls from refrigerator; insert lollipop sticks. Dip balls into melted coating, swirling or tapping off excess; press coated balls into desired decorations. Push lollipop stick into craft foam or place coated balls onto waxed paper. Repeat with remaining balls. Let stand until coating is set.

Makes 40 pops

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

I really love lemon cookies. You don’t usually see too many out there either and this recipe was too good not to include. I think most people may have these around Easter or springtime but who says you must have certain cookies certain times of the year? The cookie police? I don’t think so. These little delights are just so tasty and very addicting! I rationalize that cookies are better than cake because they are smaller. 🙂 This way I can eat more! These are also a sort of drop cookie so they are pretty simple. No cutting or pressing involved. They are also topped with a wonderful lemon glaze to make them even more enticing! Like I need an excuse as it is!

INGREDIENTS:

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 (15 oz) container whole milk ricotta cheese

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 lemon, zested (this is probably the hardest part of the recipe and it’s not even that hard!)

GLAZE:

1½ cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 lemon, zested

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.

2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl combine the butter and sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until mixed in. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice and lemon zest. Beat till combined and stir in the dry ingredients.

4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. (Trust me, using parchment paper will make your cookie experience so much better!) Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets.

5. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden on edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the cookie sheets for about 20 minutes. (Don’t get anxious and try to take them off earlier! You’ll be sorry! :P)

6. GLAZE: Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about ½ teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread it. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. NOW you can take them off the cookie sheets and pack them in decorative containers. Enjoy!

Makes about 44 cookies

Christmas Baking Humor

Ok so it’s after midnight and I forgot to get the blog done for Monday. So now I am early for Tuesday! A friend just sent me this Holiday Cake recipe that I’ve gotten pretty much every year. I chuckled and then thought “Why don’t I put it on the blog as a nice stress reliever for the week!” So here it is. I know many of you have probably heard this but it’s a good one either way. And yes I know it’s straying from my cookie recipes but I promise to add one later today!  Enjoy!


INGREDIENTS:
2 cups flour                                            1 stick butter
1 cup water                                            1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar                                            1 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar                                 Lemon juice
4 large eggs
Nuts
2 bottles wine
2 cups dried fruit


DIRECTIONS:

Sample the wine to check quality.  Take a large bowl, check the wine again – to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.  Repeat.  Turn on the electric mixer.  Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.  Add one teaspoon of sugar.  Beat again.  At this point it is best to make sure the wine is still OK.  Try another cup ….. just in case.  Turn off the mixerer thingy.  Break 2 eggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the frigging fruit up off the floor.  Mix on the turner …. if the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver …. Sample the wine to check for tonsisticity.  Next sift two cups of salt …. or something.  Check the wine.  Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.  Add one table.  Add a spoon of sugar or some fink.  Whatever you can find.  Greash the oven.  Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.  Don’t forget to beat off the turner.  Finally throw the bowl through the window.  Finish the wine and wipe the counter with the cat.  Go to Walmart and buy a frigging cake.
Bingle Jells !!!!!!

Festive Cherry Drops

I found another really tasty cookie from the great people at Land O Lakes. This recipe uses maraschino cherries, and yes, I can hear some of you saying how bad they are for us. Yes I know. But we’re not eating the whole jar and it just makes these cookies burst with flavor! For one time of the year just enjoy them. Sometimes I think we’d all be better off not knowing “what is bad for us”. Life is short. Enjoy!

This recipe also has a chocolate drizzle on it. So cool looking! If you prefer you can change the chocolate morsels for the drizzle to white chocolate and make it a white drizzle instead. Still really delicious! Remember no calorie counting till next year!! (Though I did look at the calorie content for one of these delicious bites and it’s a scary 160 calories PER COOKIE!) Like I said, no calorie counting till next year. This is also a pretty easy recipe to make. Drop cookies are always pretty simple.

Photo is courtesy of Land O Lakes.

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup sugar

½ cup butter, softened

1 egg

½ teaspoon vanilla

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 (6 ounce) jar (½ cup) maraschino cherries, well-drained, chopped

DRIZZLE:

2/3 cup real semi-sweet chocolate chips (or white chocolate)

2 teaspoons shortening

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350º.

2. Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add egg and vanilla, continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low, add flour and baking powder. Beat, scraping the bowl often, until well mixed. Add the cherries and stir into dough.

3. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls (use a regular teaspoon not a measuring spoon) onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire cooling rack. Cool completely.

4. Place chocolate chips and shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH, stirring occasionally, until melted. (30-45 seconds). Drizzle cooled cookies with melted chocolate. Let stand until chocolate is set.

Makes about 3½ dozen cookies

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