Dont forget to enter our Ella’s Kitchen Giveway to win an assortment of gourmet baby food pouches! See this post for more info.
I almost dont want to give this recipe away, it’s that easy! Whenever I serve it for dessert, my guests always seem to think I’ve patchked for hours making gourmet fudge. But the secret is out. This “fake-it-gourmet” ice cream pie is as easy as, well, pie :) If you like peanut butter, you’re in for a real treat!
Since the fudge topping is super rich, I like to use Double Rainbow Vanilla Bean Ice Cream as the filling. I’ve also used their cookie dough ice cream, as well as others. I find that simple vanilla is the best way to go, but if you really want to indulge, you can also use chocolate. To really up the ante on this recipe, use dairy ice cream, but if you are serving it after a fleishig meal, I recommend So Delicious or Double Rainbow ice creams.
I use chopped viennese crunch for this recipe, but feel free to use any topping you’d like. Sprinkles, toasted coconut, chocolate or peanut butter chips and nut crunch or brittle are all good choices.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie
1 graham cracker crust
1 pint Double Rainbow Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, softened
1/3 cup chocolate syrup
1/3 cup corn syrup (light or dark)
1/3 cup peanut butter
5 viennese crunch chocolates, chopped
Spread softened ice cream into crust and freeze until firm. Mix chocolate syrup, corn syrup and peanut butter and pour over pie. Top with chopped viennese crunch. Serve with strawberries.
Having two daughters born in the spring and summer, this time of year just feels like birthday season to me. Well that, and the fact that my kids seem to be coming home with birthday bags every other day. I’ve mentioned before how I’m not the biggest baker, and most definitely not a cake decorator either. Birthday cakes, however, are the exception. I feel like it’s that one momentous day when I get to make something special for the ones that I love. So depending on the day, week, or how hectic life is at the time, I decide on how much of a patchke that cake will be :)
Recently, we celebrated my daughters third birthday. She absolutely adores strawberries, so the kind of cake was a no-brainer. I wasn’t even planning on blogging about it, until my sister-in-law called me for the recipe. I decided if it was good enough to want to make again, I might as well share it with you guys :)
This cake recipe has become a favorite of mine because it uses oil as opposed to margarine, and it is super quick and easy. It’s a one bowl recipe that does not require a mixer. The batter works well in cupcakes, a sheet cake, or a round birthday cake. The orange juice adds a nice, mellow citrus flavor as well.
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients besides for whip and strawberries. Pour into 2 greased 9″ round pans. Bake at 350 degrees until toothpick inserted comes out clean (about 50 minutes – 1 hour).
For whip topping, thaw the topping in the refrigerator overnight. It is best to whip topping when it is cold (some people actually put the bowl and beaters in the freezer for 15 minutes before whipping as well). Pour topping into a large mixing bowl. Beat on low until small bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase to medium and beat until beaters have a trail, about 30 seconds. Increase to high and move beaters around the sides of the bowl, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides as you go. Stop beating when the whip has doubled in volume and forms stiff peaks.
For the strawberries, remove the leaves and slice lengthwise.
To prepare the cake, make sure it has cooled completely. Place one of the cakes on your cake stand, and check to make sure it is leveled. If needed, trim with a bread knife until you have a perfectly flat surface. Spread whip topping over cake. Top with strawberries (use the ends for this part and save the pretty pieces for the top of the cake). Add second cake, and check to make sure it is leveled. Trim if needed. With an icing spatula, spread whip around the top and sides of the cake. Decorate the top of the cake with strawberries.
We don’t have an eiruv in my community, which means that once you have a baby, you are stuck at home for Shabbos until your baby can walk! So getting invited out for Shabbos (to sleep over) is a real treat! A few weeks ago, my good friend Rivka, a shlucha in Long Island City, invited us, and we were more than happy to accept. Rivka’s mother is Moroccan and her family is in the restaurant business, so it is no surprise that she knows how to cook! She make some traditional Moroccan foods, but her table is a kaleidoscope of different cuisines.
Rivka is not only a good cook, but a very practical one. Instead of three courses on a late Friday night, she serves one. She made mini pumpkin muffins which she served at breakfast, for snack, and in a cupcake tree along with the Shabbos meal. Pumpkin cake is moist and dense, so it lends itself well to be served as a kugel. I myself have served it that way many times.
My kids were head over heels for the mini cupcakes (kids love anything mini, don’t they? maybe because it’s more their size!) so last week, I purchased a mini muffin pan, and went to work on some muffins for the kids. I’ve mentioned before how I’m not the biggest baker, and it has a lot to do with the fact that cake is just so unhealthy. When I see myself throwing white flour, sugar and oil into a bowl, I think to myself, “Am I really going to put THAT into my mouth?” Not that it tastes bad, cake is delicious. And I do buy it on occasion. It’s easier when I don’t see how it’s made (even though I know it’s full of junk). So, I justify this recipe by reminding myself that it’s filled with zucchini, a vegetable :)
Feel free to make this cake in a bundt pan, it is absolutely delicious any way you bake it. You can make a zucchini bread in loaf pans, or larger cupcakes which you are free to frost with a maple cream cheese frosting!
NOTE: When I make these, I like to shred double the amount of zucchini and freeze half for the next time. Just thaw the zucchini in a strainer and press down with a paper towel to squeeze out excess water.
Mini Zucchini Muffins
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1-2 tsp cinnamon (depending how cinnamony you like it)
1 tsp salt
2 cups grated zucchini, unpeeled
chopped walnuts (optional)
Whisk sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla together. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold in the zucchini. For mini muffins, bake at 350 for 18 minutes. For a loaf or bundt pan, bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Rivka’s Pumpkin Cake
These work extremely well in mini muffins because they are more dense but still very moist. When I called Rivkah for the recipe, it turned out to be nearly identical to mine (hers called for just 1/2 tsp more of the baking soda and powder).
I have made these to serve as a kugel, filling muffin tins with the batter, and adding a tsp of blueberry pie filling in the center (I happen to have a picture of it because I had made them on my anniversary Shabbos, and as luck would have it, the blueberry pie filling turned out as a heart in one of them, so I served it to my husband and told him I made it that way on purpose!)
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 15oz. can pumpkin (not pie filling)
chocolate chips (optional)
Whisk sugar, oil and eggs together. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold in the pumpkin. For mini muffins, bake at 350 for 18 minutes. For a loaf or bundt pan, bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
NOTE: If you’d like to make this as a kugel, and you feel it’s too cakey, you can double the amount of pumpkin (either by using 2 cans, or by using 1 and halving the batter ingredients). Adjust baking time accordingly.
I love the look of trifles. All the neat layers and colors are a feast for the eyes. I’ve made salads, as well as desserts, in trifle bowls. The thing about it is, although it looks pretty, it’s just not that practical. When serving salads, it becomes impossible to mix, and all the vegetables start to fall over the sides. Desserts are simple enough to serve, but once you start spooning out portions, it looks less than appealing on the plate. My solution? Individual trifle bowls. I found them a few years ago at Crate and Barrel, but you can easily use margarita glasses, glass cups, or any see-through dish. You can even buy those plastic margarita glasses as an inexpensive substitute for the real thing.
There are no rules to making trifles. You can use your creativity to flavor the toppings and add exotic fruits. Brownies, chocolate cake and vanilla sponge cake are good starting points. Personally, I always fall back on the simple and classic sponge cake-vanilla pudding-whip cream-strawberry trifle.
The basic recipe for a trifle includes (in said order):
1. cake (sponge cake works well because it’s dry and can soak up the juices)
2. syrup or liquor (optional)
3. custard or pudding
4. fruit or pie filling
5. whip topping (you can flavor it with coffee, or chocolate if you’d like)
6. chopped candy bars, toasted coconut, chocolate shavings, etc. for garnish
(if you have room, repeat the layers)
A few weeks ago, I had an entire leftover French Coffee Sponge Cake (similar to a marble sponge cake but with coffee instead of chocolate) that wasn’t touched. Instead of throwing it away, I decided to whip up some mini trifles, along with a quiet game night, for just my husband and I. It took about two minutes to put together (I used ready-made pudding and the air-canister of whip topping) but it tasted like a decadent dessert.
Quick & Easy Individual Trifles
Store-bought sponge cake
ready-made whip topping
chocolate liquor or syrup
chocolate shavings or chopped candy bar, for garnish
Cut the pound cake into small pieces. Fill the bottom of the trifle bowls with 1/3 cake. Drizzle with chocolate liquor or syrup. Top with 1/3 pudding. Finish with 1/3 whip topping. Garnish with chocolate shavings or a chopped candy bar (nutty chews and viennese crunch work well).
If you’ve got loads of leftover cereal that you want to use up before Pesach, this is a great quick and easy recipe. In my house, sugary cereals are reserved as a Shabbos treat. During the week, we have moderately sweet ones like honey nut cheerios, rice krispies and raisin bran. On occasion, when my kids don’t want to eat their breakfast, I’ll mix one tablespoon of fruity pebbles into a bowl of rice krispies and they’ll eat the whole thing :)
Now since the sugary cereals are reserved for Shabbos, it’s no wonder that those make up most of my leftovers. In this recipe, I used super golden crisp, fruity pebbles, cocoa pebbles, honey nut cheerios and some healthy raisin bran (leave it to me to deguiltify the sweetest of treats…this time however, I will do no such thing…these are legitimately loaded with sugar, no qualms about it!).
Normally you would not find me hyping my kids up on this “junk” (yes, it is pure junk), but you know what? if there is any time of year to make these, it’s now. They are the perfect bartering tool for your kids at a time when you could really use their help. It goes something like this: “If you help clean this refrigerator, I’ll give you a piece”….”If you go play nicely with your sister and stop fighting, you can have a one of these”….”If you go eat your sandwich on the step outside and promise not to bring any crumbs back inside the house, you get these for dessert”…you get the drift!
So, if you are looking for a bargaining chip, or you just want to get rid of your leftover cereal, go ahead and whip up a pan of these gooey treats!
Leftover Cereal Bar Treats
4 tbsp butter or margarine (I use smartbeat light)
1 container marshmallow fluff
8-10 cups assorted cereal
In a large pot that can accomodate your cereal, melt butter. Add fluff, mixing over low heat until smooth and melted. Add cereal and mix well until all cereal is incorporated. Pour mixture into a 9×13 pan and using the back of a spoon, evenly press into the pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Cut into squares or shapes (using a cookie cutter). Alternatively, you may spoon the mixture into a cupcake pan for individual servings.
If you like your cereal treats less gooey, feel free to add more cereal until you have reached your desired consistency.
Other ways to use up leftover cereal:
Create bars using dark/white chocolate and/or peanut butter
Add to trail mix with dried fruit, m&ms and nuts
For unsweetened cereal like cornflakes/shredded wheat, crush and use on fried chicken or fish
Sprinkle on yogurt or ice cream
Add to homemade cookies or granola bars