tag: dessert

vegan chocolate chip cookie icing sandwiches

what do you get when you cross the world’s best chocolate chip cookie recipe with a scrumptious, light and creamy icing recipe?

the most delicious vegan chocolate chip cookie icing sandwich, of course!

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edible sugar doilies

May 15, 2012

Posted by in handmade

sugar doilies

speaking of tea, i am absolutely in love with these sugar doilies from sweet de ja vu. they are a flexible, edible lace that have a sweet, melt on your tongue, creamy taste. though i would be happy to simply have them on hand for cups of tea, hot cocoa and coffee, you could use these sweets just about anywhere. on desserts, cakes and cookies, oh my!

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Posted by in dinner ideas

for us, valentine’s day tends to be all about eating some really great food. and since there’s no better way to get to a man’s heart than through his stomach, i thought a few dinner ideas might be in need!


these recipes are all plant based, therefore you can serve up some dairy free, meat free goodness to your loved ones. bet you didn’t know desserts could still look so good, huh?!

1. mediterranean pasta with artichokes

2. asparagus with shittake, shallots and peas

3. ‘hearty’ ravioli (hehe!)

4. pink cauliflower soup

5. crispy tofu hearts

6. four berry salad

7. roasted red pepper and walnut dip with pomegranate


1. chocolate dipped strawberries

2. mini coconut blood orange bundt cakes

3. lemon cream with blackberries

4. layered chocolate raspberry mousse

5. candied clementines

6. poached pears with dark chocolate

what are you cooking for valentine’s day?

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Diy Cake Decor Lettering

August 8, 2011

Posted by in cooking ideas


One of the easiest ways to decorate a cake is with stylized lettering and text, but store-bought sugar letters can be tacky, while icing-piped text can look messy. An easy solution is to make custom edible letters all of your own!


– chocolate morsels (white, milk, or semi-sweet)

– a glass container for melting chocolate

– a Ziploc bag

– wax paper

- optional: a computer, paper and printer

– dessert

I used white chocolate letters on this pan of chocolate raspberry brownies I made this weekend – the combination was amazing!

This project can be done freehand, but if you’re nervous about creating evenly-sized letters, you can create your own stencil.

Making the Stencil

Print your desired text from a word document. Make sure you use a large enough font that is easy to cut and trace, and looks proportional on your dessert. I printed mine in Arial Black, 80 point font.

Next, cut your letters out with a craft knife. Layer your stencil over wax paper on a flat, solid surface. When your stencil is ready to go, you can start melting the chocolate.


Melting the Chocolate

I placed about 1/4 cup of white chocolate in a glass measuring cup, and microwaved it on high in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until it was melted smoothly.

Spoon the melted chocolate into a Ziploc bag, and press all of the air out of the bag before zipping it shut. Let cool a couple of minutes, or else the melted chocolate could burn your hands through the bag. When it doesn’t burn to touch the bag, snip a small corner off the tip of one side of the bag.

Trace along the sides of the letter stencils with a steady stream of melted chocolate, and gently squeeze more out to fill the letters in. For any mess-ups, a tooth pick can be used to shape the chocolate the way you want it before it hardens.

The stencil is not totally necessary – you can free-hand your text on the wax paper, or even draw shapes with the chocolate.

Your letters should be hardened enough to transfer onto your frosted dessert within 20 minutes. Gently – and I mean very gently – peel the letters off the wax paper. If you used a stencil, the letters should easily pop of the paper if it is touching it along the edges at all. Next, carefully arrange the letters on the frosting.

If you have leftover letters, you can place them in sealed containers, separated with wax paper, in the freezer for a month or more.

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

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Posted by in handmade

One thing that I have always wanted to make is homemade ice cream. I have always wondered – how would my own, fresh, homemade ice cream taste? Would the difference be detectable? Would it be worth the time?

Despite not having an ice cream maker, a simple Google search provided me with a recipe: homemade ice cream that can be made without an ice cream maker! Additionally, it is easy to flavor it to your liking, or add custom mix-ins. I like that you can control all of the ingredients – even make them completely organic.

This recipe comes from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt on SeriousEats.com. I chose this basic recipe because of the amount of testing the recipe author conducted. J. Kenji understands that the purpose of the ice cream maker is to provide continuous churning, which prevents icy crystals from forming; so, the secret to producing creamy, non-crystallized ice cream is to initially freeze the mixture in small compartments.

First comes the ice cream, followed by my custom mix-in: edible cookie dough with chopped peanut butter cups.

ice cream ingredients

8 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp kosher salt

12 oz can condensed milk

2 cups whipping cream


cookie dough ingredients

1/2 cup flour

6 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons softened butter

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tablespoons water

mini chocolate chips, mini M&Ms, or chopped peanut butter cups (optional)



Begin with the ice cream. Separate 8 large egg yolks into a bowl, and whisk in sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk on medium-high for about 5 minutes, and then set aside.

Bring evaporated milk to a simmer in a saucepan. Pour the heated milk into the egg/sugar mixture, mixing well. Return the milk/egg/sugar mixture to the saucepan, and heat until 180 degrees F – any hotter than this could cause the eggs to scramble. Whisk the mixture constantly. Once the mixture has thickened and reached 180 degrees, remove from heat, and chill completely.

While the mixture is chilling, beat 1 cup of whipping cream until it has doubled in size. Once the egg mixture has chilled, stir in the whipped cream. Pour this mix into ice cube trays, and freeze until solid – about four hours.

cookie dough directions

While your ice cream mixture is freezing, start on your edible cookie dough.

Cream together brown sugar and butter in a bowl. Next, add vanilla extract, water, and flour, stirring well. Stir in the mix-ins of your choice – I went with chopped peanut butter cups. You can either roll this into a log, and chop into pieces once frozen, or if yours is a little soft, just drop small pieces like drop-cookies on wax paper and freeze.

Back to the ice cream…

Once your ice cream cubes are frozen solid, remove cubes from the tray into a food processor (I had to use a butter knife). Pour in your mix-ins and the remaining 1 cup of whipping cream (not yet whipped), and process for about 30 seconds, or until smooth. Pour the mixture into an air-tight container and place back in the freezer, at least 4 hours, or overnight.

The next day, my result was smooth, creamy, scoop-able ice cream. There were no large crystals, no crunchy ice pieces – it tasted fresh and perfect!

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

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DIY: Easy-As-Pie Crust

March 28, 2011

Posted by in cooking ideas

Making homemade pie crust is a daunting task to a lot of people – I know, because I was one of those people. It wasn’t something that I thought much about, until I received this little quote in an email forward about aprons:

“Remember: Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool.  Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.”

Ouch! True? Probably, but unnecessary? I think so. The modern generation of women are capable of anything, and that includes making our own pie crust. The fact is that I have never made my own pie crust before, but honestly, I don’t make pies. Still, it would nice to know how to make it when the occasion calls for pie, so here is my first attempt at pie crust making. Spoiler: it just might have turned out better than my own grandma’s!

Adapted from Martha Stewart, Food.com and Hillbilly Housewife.


2 sticks of unsalted butter*

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

2 1/2 cups flour

4 tablespoons of ice water

* If you are looking for vegan alternatives, try these recipes from SavvyVegetarian.com and  About.com, (which use vegan margarine in place of butter) and use the same production and assembly techniques outlined here.

Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut sticks of butter into chunks and add to dry ingredients, squeezing butter into the mixture by hand. Continue to mix thoroughly until a crumbly mix has formed.

Add three to four tablespoons of ice water to dough. Three tablespoons was enough for me – you can use more than four if your dough is especially dry. Continue to knead dough until fully soft. Roll dough into a ball, cut in half, and press into two flat discs.

Wrap discs in plastic wrap to prevent sticking, and refrigerate for one hour. In the meantime, prepare your filling mixture – I used a homemade blueberry pie filling. After one hour, remove dough from refrigerator and roll flat (1/8″ or so thin) between two sheets of floured wax paper. This trick allowed me roll the dough very flat without the dough sticking to my rolling pin and tearing.

When dough is flattened nicely, lay the dough over your pie pan, gently pressing it into the sides and bottom. Cut excess dough of the edges of the pie with kitchen shears, leaving about an inch to fold over and pinch into the outer crust.

Since this recipe is for two pie crusts, you can use the second for the top crust of the pie. I decided to give the lattice effect a try, and it was so fun! You just cut the second rolled crust into strips about 3/4″ thick. If it looks confusing, check out this photo tutorial on About.com.

For my first time baking a pie, I was pretty pleased with the end results – I believe my grandma would have approved, too.

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.


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i’m pretty sure i married the cookie monster. personally, i’m a brownie kinda gal, but one thing’s for sure- i definitely married into a cookie family. and i count that as a good thing, as i’ve grown to appreciate the scrumptious rounds tremendously.

best chocolate chip cookies

this is my mom-in-law (aka cookie queen)’s recipe, and it’s tried, true, and totally delicious. at her house, they are made at least 2-3x a week, and though it’s much less at our house (sorry, dave!) they are definitely our favorite dessert.

of course, we were a bit frightened about what our latest vegan adventure would mean for this favorite recipe, but i’m happy to say that with a few vegan substitutes they turned out just as good- honestly! i couldn’t believe it.. below, i’ll give you the original recipe as well as our vegan substitutes. yum yum!


– 1 cup butter {vegan sub: earth balance butter}
– 3/4 cup brown sugar
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla
mix above ingredients in an electric mixer.

– 2 eggs {vegan sub: 1/2 cup of apple sauce OR 2 flax eggs}
mix again!

– 2-1/4 cup whole wheat flour
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp salt

– 12 oz vegan chocolate chips and mix

spoon out onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 12-15 mins- enjoy!

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baked pears with cinnamon

January 21, 2011

i made these baked pears for dessert last night and they turned out to be scrum-dilly-icious! quick, seasonal and super healthy- i think you’ll love this recipe.

baked cinnamon pears


– bartlett pears (i used 6 for this recipe)

– 1 cup of apple cider (or apple juice)

– 1 cup of orange juice

– 1 tsp cinnamon

– 1/2 tsp cloves

– dash of nutmeg

– 1/4 cup cranberries

– 1/4 cup raisins

baked cinnamon pears


1. preheat oven to 400°F. wash the pears thoroughly and slice each of them in half, removing the seedy core from the middle. place cut side up in a large baking dish.

2. in a bowl, whisk together the juices and spices and pour over the pears.

3. sprinkle the raisins and cranberries over the top of the pears and cover with tinfoil.

4. bake until tender with a fork, about 45 minutes. serve with ice cream and enjoy!

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