Grandma’s Pumpkin Snack Cake

This Pumpkin Snack Cake is packed full of fall flavors, and topped with a easy cream cheese cinnamon-dusted frosting!

Pumpkin-Cake

Is it fall weather in your neck of the woods yet?  Here in the midwest, we’re finally getting some cooler days – while we were still in the 90’s at the beginning of the week, the high tomorrow is forecasted to be 58 degrees, with rain.  That’s perfect fall baking weather, if you ask me.  Especially when that baking involves pumpkin.

I swiped this pumpkin snack cake recipe from my grandma’s recipe box, although I think it’s a pretty standard/popular pumpkin cake recipe.  Popular because it’s super easy to make and so soft and cinnamon-spicy good.  Topped with an cream cheese frosting and dusted with just a bit more cinnamon, fall doesn’t get much better than this.

This Pumpkin Snack Cake is packed full of fall flavors, and topped with a easy cream cheese cinnamon-dusted frosting!

I always know a recipe is a winner when Doodle scarfs it down and asks for more – although who wouldn’t want more pumpkin snack cake is beyond me. ;-)

Bonus?  It’s a super easy recipe that mixes up in just a few minutes – it really doesn’t take much more work than opening a box mix.  I love homemade recipes that don’t require a lot of extra elbow grease on my part.  I don’t have a lot of extra time for baking and I’d really rather be eating cake than making it.  With this recipe, I have the best of both worlds.

This Pumpkin Snack Cake is packed full of fall flavors, and topped with a easy cream cheese cinnamon-dusted frosting!

And when you spread an easy cream cheese frosting over the top of this, well…all seems right with the world. ;-)

Tell me: what’s your favorite fall flavor?

Grandma’s Pumpkin Snack Cake

Grandma’s Pumpkin Snack Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • For the Frosting:
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, and beat at low speed until combined and the batter is smooth.
  4. Spread batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.
  5. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in the sugar and milk and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread over cooled bars. Dust lightly with cinnamon, if desired.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/grandmas-pumpkin-snack-cake/

 

XO, Ashley

 

 

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Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars

With a thick layer of caramel sandwiched between a snickerdoodle and white chocolate, these Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars are no friend of skinny jeans.  But oh my goodness, how they’re worth it.

With a thick layer of caramel sandwiched between a snickerdoodle and white chocolate, these Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars are no friend of skinny jeans.  But oh my goodness, how they're worth it.

Earlier this summer, a new Sam’s Club opened not far from our house. I have this love/hate relationship with Sam’s – somehow I’m convinced every time I go that I need 2 jumbo containers of pretzels, 48 jalapeño poppers, 3 pounds of buffalo tenders, a giant container of hummus, and 96 taquitos {I don’t even like taquitos}.

I’m also drawn to the book and magazine aisle.  The absolute very last thing I need is another cooking magazine, but when the Fall Taste of Home Slow Cooker issue beckoned me from an end cap I was powerless to resist.

I spotted these caramel snickerdoodle bars in the back of the issue, and I was just as powerless to resist them.

With a thick layer of caramel sandwiched between a snickerdoodle and white chocolate, these Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars are no friend of skinny jeans.  But oh my goodness, how they're worth it.

You’ll want to cut these bars into very small squares – they are super sweet.  Even for me, a little goes a {very} long way.  These are the perfect treat to take to a church or work function – somewhere where you can grab a small bite and allow other people to gobble up the rest.

Or eat ‘em all yourself, I won’t judge.

With a thick layer of caramel sandwiched between a snickerdoodle and white chocolate, these Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars are no friend of skinny jeans.  But oh my goodness, how they're worth it.

If you’re not familiar with dulce de leche, you can find it in the baking aisle or in the international foods aisle of your local grocery store.

Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars

Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 cans (13.4 ounce each) dulce de leche
  • 12 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray. Allow the parchment or foil to hang over the sides of the pan, about one inch.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until they are light and fully. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined. Press mixture into the prepared pan.
  4. In a small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the mixture on top of the batter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the edges are light brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. Spread both cans of dulce de leche over the cooled crust. In a medium saucepan, combine white chocolate, cream and corn syrup. Stir over medium heat until melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly and then spread over the caramel layer. Sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture.
  6. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour.
  7. Use the foil or parchment paper to remove the bars from the pan. Cut into bars. Keep leftovers refrigerated.

recipe from Taste of Home

http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/caramel-snickerdoodle-bars/

 

XO, Ashley

 

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Strawberry Cheesecake Fruit Dip

This Strawberry Cheesecake Fruit Dip takes just three ingredients, and mixes up in less than five minutes.  Send it in lunchboxes, serve as an after-school snack, or just munch on it anytime, like we do!

This Strawberry Cheesecake Fruit Dip takes just three ingredients, and mixes up in less than five minutes.  Send it in lunchboxes, serve as an after-school snack, or just munch on it anytime!

We’re huge fruit eaters at my house.  And while we typically eat it plain, every now and then we like to get wild and crazy and make fruit dip.  I especially enjoy making it at the beginning of the school year, when packing lunches is still exciting and fun to Doodle.  At this point in the school year {i.e., the first full week}, he’s still really involved in choosing what he eats for lunch and likes to help out in the kitchen.

And if sending fruit dip in his lunch box gets him to eat his entire lunch, I’m all for it.

This Strawberry Cheesecake Fruit Dip takes just three ingredients, and mixes up in less than five minutes.  Send it in lunchboxes, serve as an after-school snack, or just munch on it anytime!

This Strawberry Cheesecake Fruit Dip is soooo easy to make, and is super kid-friendly {it’s adult-friendly, too, judging by the serving I ate after photographing it}.  I just mixed an 8-ounce container of strawberry cream cheese with a tablespoon of cheesecake pudding mix, and then folded in a 7-ounce jar of marshmallow cream.  Easy-peasy.

And since I just send a small dollop in Doodle’s lunch container, I figure the marshmallow cream is offset by the large handful of berries I send along with it.

Strawberry Cheesecake Fruit Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 8-ounce container strawberry cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cheesecake pudding mix (just the dry mix)
  • 1 7-ounce container marshmallow cream

Instructions

  1. Mix together the cream cheese and pudding mix until smooth. Fold in marshmallow cream. Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. Stir before serving.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/strawberry-cheesecake-fruit-dip/

What are your kiddos favorite lunch box items?  Let me know – I’m always looking for easy things to pack for my picky kiddo!

This Strawberry Cheesecake Fruit Dip takes just three ingredients, and mixes up in less than five minutes.  Send it in lunchboxes, serve as an after-school snack, or just munch on it anytime!

XO, Ashley

 

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Blueberry Coconut Popsicles

It’s summertime, and that means cooling off with icy treats!  With a blend of Greek yogurt, Silk Almond-Coconut Blend, and roasted berries, these Blueberry Coconut Popsicles are a guilt-free treat the whole family can enjoy!

It's summertime, and that means cooling off with icy treats!  With a blend of Greek yogurt, Silk Almond-Coconut Blend, and roasted berries, these Blueberry Coconut Popsicles are a guilt-free treat the whole family can enjoy!

This summer I’ve been eating a lot of popsicles – specifically, a Blueberry Greek Yogurt Popsicle.  And while they are awesome, the high-priced boxes are about to send me to the poor house.  So, I’ve been on a mission to create a copycat version that won’t break my pocketbook – or the calorie bank.

I’ve been using Silk’s new Almond-Coconut Blend all summer long.  I can add it to my oatmeal and smoothies with absolutely no guilt.  The unsweetened blend has only 35 calories per cup!  On top of that, it’s the perfect balance of almond and coconut flavors with no added sugar and it has 50 percent more calcium than dairy milk.

Score.

It's summertime, and that means cooling off with icy treats!  With a blend of Greek yogurt, Silk Almond-Coconut Blend, and roasted berries, these Blueberry Coconut Popsicles are a guilt-free treat the whole family can enjoy!

One of my favorite things about the popsicles I’ve been eating this summer is the swirled blueberries throughout.  I wanted the same effect in my popsicles, so I roasted ‘em first.  I simply dumped a pint of berries onto my baking sheet, drizzled them with honey, and put them in the oven until the berries burst and the juices started to run out.

 While my berries were cooling, I mixed together some Silk Almond-Coconut Blend, Greek Yogurt (I used a honey-vanilla blend, but plain vanilla would work just fine), and a bit more honey to taste.  Then I carefully swirled the blueberries and their juices throughout, poured the mixture into my molds, and froze them for four hours.

I used my Norpro Ice Pop Maker – but whatever you have on hand will work.

It's summertime, and that means cooling off with icy treats!  With a blend of Greek yogurt, Silk Almond-Coconut Blend, and roasted berries, these Blueberry Coconut Popsicles are a guilt-free treat the whole family can enjoy!

We devoured these Blueberry Coconut Popsicles in no time flat – and I didn’t feel guilty about allowing Doodle to eat them as a sweet treat!

It's summertime, and that means cooling off with icy treats!  With a blend of Greek yogurt, Silk Almond-Coconut Blend, and roasted berries, these Blueberry Coconut Popsicles are a guilt-free treat the whole family can enjoy!

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Blueberry Coconut Popsicles

makes 8

Blueberry Coconut Popsicles

Ingredients

  • 1 pint blueberries, rinsed and picked through
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, optional
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup Silk Almond-Coconut Milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, gently toss berries with honey and sugar. Pour the berries onto your prepared baking sheet and roast for approximately 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Allow berries to cool before adding to the popsicle mixture.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups vanilla Greek yogurt, 1 cup Silk Almond-Coconut blend, and honey to taste. I like my popsicles sweet, so I added in 2 tablespoons honey. You may choose more or less based on your preference.
  3. Once your berries are cool, gently add them and their juices to the yogurt mixture. Use a large spatula to fold together.
  4. Transfer the mixture into your popsicle molds and freeze for at least 4 hours. To remove from the molds, run warm water on the outside of the molds for 15 to 20 seconds, or until the popsicles can be easily removed.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/blueberry-coconut-popsicles/

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

XO, Ashley

 

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Soft-Baked M&M Cookies

These Soft-Baked M&M Cookies are super soft and chewy, and taste just like the ones you get from the bakery!

These Soft-Baked M&M Cookies are super soft and chewy, and taste just like the ones you get from the bakery!
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to see my favorite singer in concert: James Taylor (yep, apparently I’m 60 years old). This was my sixth JT concert ever and my second in just over three weeks. I told my good friend and concert buddy that my grandest wish was to follow JT around on his concert tour for the rest of the summer.

But since that’s not going to happen, I got the next best thing: to take Doodle to his first concert and introduce him to some live JT. Not only that, but we ended up with box seats, complete with a wait staff serving us concert-themed beverages while we jammed along to pretty much the best music evah.

You can imagine the crowd in Wichita, Kansas going a little crazy during a live version of Wichita Lineman. And even if you’re not a JT fan, Arnold McCuller’s feature on Shower the People will blow you away.

These Soft-Baked M&M Cookies are super soft and chewy, and taste just like the ones you get from the bakery!

Anyway, I made these cookies as a thank-you to my husband’s boss, who was kind enough to pass along the box seats when he found out that I might be the craziest, most die-hard JT fan alive. ;-)

You know these have to be good when my husband, a non-dessert eater, scarfs one down in less than five seconds.

These Soft-Baked M&M Cookies are super soft and chewy, and taste just like the ones you get from the bakery!

As soon as I photographed these bad boys, they were boxed up and ready to send off with the Tall Boy to work. Thank goodness his coworker like sweet treats, or I’d be in some real trouble. My co-workers usually get the shaft on my baked goodies, since I typically do most baking on the weekend, and I work from home Mondays through Wednesdays. So…if I don’t send them out the door on Monday mornings, guess what I’m doing on my lunch breaks?

Yep, sneaking cookies.

These Soft-Baked M&M Cookies are super soft and chewy, and taste just like the ones you get from the bakery!

Soft-Baked M&M Cookies

24 cookies

Soft-Baked M&M Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups M&Ms (I used mini, but any flavor or size will do)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together both sugars, the shortening , eggs, and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda, salt and cornstarch to the butter mixture and blend well. Add in 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the M&M's.
  3. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Press a few more M&Ms onto the tops of the cookies, if desired.
  4. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/soft-baked-mm-cookies/

From AllRecipes

XO, Ashley

 

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Chocolate Lush

Chocolate, cream cheese, Cool Whip, and pecans are the perfect combination in this easy to make Chocolate Lush.

Chocolate, cream cheese, Cool Whip, and pecans are the perfect combination in this easy to make Chocolate Lush.

Last week I posted a recipe for Strawberry Cheesecake Lush; a variation of the original Chocolate Lush – neither of which I’d made or heard of before.  I fell in love with the Strawberry Cheesecake version – and many of you did, too.  It’s an easy, simple {no bake!} dessert, perfect for summer potlucks.

I’ve had so many requests for the original version – which boasts a quick and easy nut crust – that I decided to make it and share it with you today.  It’s a tough job, but I’m willing to make the sacrifice. ;-)

Chocolate, cream cheese, Cool Whip, and pecans are the perfect combination in this easy to make Chocolate Lush.

To make the nut crust, you’ll simply combine 1 cup of flour, 8 tablespoons of melted butter, and 1/2 cup of pecans.  Press the mixture into a 9×13 pan and bake for 15 minutes.  While it’s cooling, make your layers of chocolate and creamy yumminess!

I used my Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Stand Mixer for the cream cheese layer: quite honestly, you can’t go wrong with a mixture of cream cheese, powdered sugar, and Cool Whip.

I don’t know what it’s like in your house, but it seems like the minute I turn on my mixer is the precise moment Doodle “needs” something or wants to show me something.  I love that I can walk in the other room and leave it running while I check to see what’s up {usually some new karate move or a make-shift pinpall machine he’s fashioned out of cardboard and bottlecaps}.

Anyhoo, the Hamilton Beach stand mixer boasts a powerful 300-watt motor, and six speeds with a special fold setting.  It’s comparable to Kitchen-Aid, but for just a fraction of the price!  It includes all of the same features, including a stainless steel bowl, flat beater, whisk, and dough hook.  The mixing head spins as it rotates completely in the bowl, ensuring even consistency, and with non-slip feet, your mixer won’t be shaking around all over your counter top.

Chocolate, cream cheese, Cool Whip, and pecans are the perfect combination in this easy to make Chocolate Lush.

After spreading on the cream cheese layer, I whipped up the chocolate pudding layer: it’s just milk, pudding mix, and Cool Whip.  Super easy and light!  For this, I used my Hamilton Beach SoftScrape Hand Mixer – with this mixer, I’m able to mix quickly and without having to constantly stop to scrape the bowl {huge pet peeve}.

While I love, love, love stand mixers, a hand mixer is a super important small kitchen appliance to have.  I love using my hand mixer when I just need to mix something up quickly – less fuss, hassle, and clean up!  This mixer comes with soft scrape beaters – these specially coated stainless steel beaters won’t scratch your bowls or nonstick pots, and they mix your ingredients thoroughly to reduce manual scraping with a spatula.

The hand mixer also comes with a wire whisk, as well as regular beaters.  I have to admit, one of my favorite things about this mixer is that it comes with its own little storage container for the beaters and whisk.

Chocolate, cream cheese, Cool Whip, and pecans are the perfect combination in this easy to make Chocolate Lush.

Top your dessert with mini-chocolate chips {or more chopped pecans} and you’re good to go!

 I bribed Doodle with a square of this Chocolate Lush by serving as my plate holder, above.  When it comes to desserts, he often eats just a few bites {why can’t that be me??}, but in this case, he ate the whole darn serving!  So this was a definite winner of a dessert at my house.

Chocolate Lush

Chocolate Lush

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 (16-ounce) container Cool Whip, divided
  • 2 packages (3.4 ounce each) instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup mini-chocolate chips (or chopped pecans), for topping

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a medium microwave safe bowl. Stir in 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Press the mixture into a 9x13 pan and bake at 350 F for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely
  2. Next, beat together 1 cup of powdered sugar, the cream cheese, and 1 cup of Cool Whip. Spread over your cooled crust.
  3. For the next layer, mix together the pudding mix, milk, and another 1 cup of Cool Whip. Spread over the cream cheese layer.
  4. Spread the remaining Cool Whip on top and sprinkle on mini-chocolate chips or nuts.
  5. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/chocolate-lush/

 

XO, Ashley

Hamilton Beach provided me with a stand mixer and a hand mixer to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.

 

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Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

You probably already have all of the ingredients on hand to make these Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.  With just a few simple ingredients, you’ll never miss the flour – or butter – in these easy to make cookies. 

You probably already have all of the ingredients on hand to make these Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.  With just a few simple ingredients, you'll never miss the flour - or butter - in these easy to make cookies.

I’m probably the last person to jump on the flourless baking train.  I just couldn’t imagine how baked goods could taste good without flour, but these cookies have shown me the way.

Not only that, but they were super simple to make, used only a few ingredients {all of which I already had in the pantry}, and took just minutes to mix up.  This is the kind of baking I like to do.

Because when I have a cookie craving, I pretty much want that cookie right now.

You probably already have all of the ingredients on hand to make these Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.  With just a few simple ingredients, you'll never miss the flour - or butter - in these easy to make cookies.

I spotted this cookie on Sunday flipping through my Cooking Light magazine during a short road trip to my in-laws house. I snapped a picture while we were there of my husband and son, along with my father-in-law and grandfather-in-law.  Grandpa Ben is {almost} 94 years old, still lives at home, drives, works part-time at his church, and plays pool like a pro.  In other words, he’s pretty darn awesome, and we’re so lucky to have him in our lives.

When we got back home, I decided to give these flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies a try.  Since they didn’t require many ingredients and very little prep time, I figured there was no major time loss involved if they didn’t turn out.

Now I’m almost wishing they were a flop, because I ended up eating one straight off of the baking sheet and two more for lunch the next day.  Whoops.

You probably already have all of the ingredients on hand to make these Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.  With just a few simple ingredients, you'll never miss the flour - or butter - in these easy to make cookies.

You guys.  I can’t tell you how soft and perfectly salty, peanut buttery and chocolate-y these are.  I used Peanut Butter and Co’s White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter in mine.  It is my all-time favorite peanut butter and I always have a jar on hand {not sponsored!  I just really love it}, but any creamy peanut butter will do.

I tweaked the recipe just a bit – the original recipe called for just an egg white.  I wanted my cookies extra soft, so I added in the entire egg, plus a teaspoon of baking soda.  And also a bit of cinnamon, because peanut butter + chocolate + cinnamon = ohemgeegood.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

yields 14 cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter & Co's White Chocolate Wonderful)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or a baking mat.
  2. Lightly whisk egg in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients, though the baking soda, stirring to combine. Fold in the chocolate chips, and then chill the dough for approximately 30 minutes.
  3. Drop the dough, by approximately 1 tablespoon each, onto prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies for 9 to 10 minutes - they'll look slightly underbaked, but that's okay. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  4. Makes 14 cookies; store covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/flourless-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies/

XO, Ashley

 

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Frozen Coconut Berry Pie

From a flaked coconut-studded graham cracker crust to a creamy coconut filling, this Frozen Coconut Berry Pie is the ultimate in simple summer desserts!

From a flaked coconut-studded graham cracker crust to a creamy coconut filling, this Frozen Coconut Berry Pie is the ultimate in simple summer desserts!

Have I ever mentioned that I hate milk?  Like, seriously hate.it.

Except for those nine months that I was pregnant and drank chocolate milk every single morning.  Chocolate milk and plain 2 percent milk?  So NOT the same thing.

I remember one weekend at my aunt’s house as a kid…when I got to the table for breakfast on Sunday morning, there was a giant glass of milk right next to my plate.  Of course, my mother raised me to just eat/drink what was presented to me, so I tried to down that milk with a smile on my face.  The smile sort of turned into an attempt not to upchuck all over the table, and fortunately my cousin rescued me by graciously offering to drink the milk for me.

I later learned that my cousin consumed so much milk in a week that my aunt and uncle started rationing it out, so it turns out I was actually the one doing him a favor.

From a flaked coconut-studded graham cracker crust to a creamy coconut filling, this Frozen Coconut Berry Pie is the ultimate in simple summer desserts!

To this day, I still can’t bring myself to drink plain milk.  However, coconut milk has become one of my favorite things.  I put it in my oatmeal, cereal, smoothies, and rice – pretty much everything I can think of.  I really kinda love it.

And lately, I’ve been putting it in pies.

Also?  Silk Coconutmilk in pies topped with fresh summer berries?  It practically screams good for you, does it not? ;-)

From a flaked coconut-studded graham cracker crust to a creamy coconut filling, this Frozen Coconut Berry Pie is the ultimate in simple summer desserts!

I found this recipe on a card in my grandmother’s old recipe box, but it’s not in her handwriting, so I don’t know who’s recipe it was originally.  Quite honestly, I’m thrilled to have found it and made it, particularly since the Tall Boy won’t eat coconut.  That means I get it all to myself.

This Frozen Coconut Berry Pie was so easy to make – and you could speed up the process even more by using a store-bought graham cracker crust.  But if you have 20 extra minutes, make your own instead.  I added some shredded coconut into the crust and it gave the pie a little extra “oomph.”  That, combined with Silk Coconutmilk in the filling, pushed this easy, tropical, summertime pie right to the edge of awesome.

From a flaked coconut-studded graham cracker crust to a creamy coconut filling, this Frozen Coconut Berry Pie is the ultimate in simple summer desserts!

coconut milk - small

Silk Coconutmilk is available in three flavors: Unsweetened, Vanilla & Original. It’s an awesome milk substitute that is dairy  free and perfect for a vegan or vegetarian diet. Visit Silk’s Website for a coupon and find more recipe inspiration.  You can find more recipe ideas on the Coconut Recipes Pinterest Board.

Frozen Coconut Berry Pie

Frozen Coconut Berry Pie

Ingredients

    For the crust:
  • 12 full-sized graham crackers (yields about 2 cups crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • For the pie:
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup Silk Coconutmilk (original or unsweetened)
  • 1 1/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions

    For the crust:
  1. Crush the graham crackers into crumbs using a food processor (or smash with a rolling pin inside of a large ziploc bag). Transfer the crumbs to a bowl, and combine with the sugar and coconut. Add in the 6 tablespoons of melted butter, and stir until the crumbs are evenly coated and look wet.
  2. Press the crumbs into a 9-inch pie plate and bake at 375 F for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the crust is dry and fragrant. Allow to cool completely before adding your filling.
  3. For the filling:
  4. Beat softened cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add 1/2 cup Silk Coconutmilk and beat until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the shredded coconut and almond extract. Gently fold in the Cool Whip.
  5. Spoon into graham cracker crust and freeze until firm, or about 4 hours. Let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes before cutting. Store any leftovers in the freezer.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/frozen-coconut-berry-pie/

From a flaked coconut-studded graham cracker crust to a creamy coconut filling, this Frozen Coconut Berry Pie is the ultimate in simple summer desserts!

XO, Ashley

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Strawberry Cheesecake Lush

With layers of cream cheese, Cool Whip, cheesecake pudding and fresh strawberries, this easy layered dessert will quickly become your new favorite summer dessert!

With layers of cream cheese, Cool Whip, cheesecake pudding and fresh strawberries, this easy layered dessert will quickly become your new favorite summer dessert!

Believe it or not, until Memorial Weekend, I’ve never had a layered dessert like this before. Now that I’ve made and photographed one, I realized this type of dessert is all over the internet in various forms.  Chocolate, pistachio and lemon seem to be the forerunners, and I’m making it my life’s mission to try every version possible before the end of summer.

This Strawberry Cheesecake Lush is that good.

I actually found the chocolate version of this recipe in my grandmother’s recipe box, but since it’s summer and I like to add fruit to my desserts, I decided to change the flavors around a bit and make mine a strawberry cheesecake version.

The problem with that is that you don’t get a great color variation in the layers, but once you start shoveling this in your mouth, you won’t miss that at all. ;-)

With layers of cream cheese, Cool Whip, cheesecake pudding and fresh strawberries, this easy layered dessert will quickly become your new favorite summer dessert!

 My grandmother’s recipe used nuts and flour for the crust, but since the guys in my house refuse to eat nuts (??), I used Golden Oreos instead.  Yep, a whole package of ‘em.  It was an awesome decision, if I do say so myself.   And this way, I didn’t have to turn on the oven at all – a definite bonus during the hot summer months.

The next layer is simply cream cheese, powdered sugar, and Cool Whip.  Just beat that goodness together, and spread it over your cookie crust.

On top of that, you’ll spread a layer of cheesecake pudding (mixed with a bit more Cool Whip), and then top that with a layer of sliced strawberries – the more, the better!  Finish it off with more Cool Whip, and you’re good to go.

How easy is that?

With layers of cream cheese, Cool Whip, cheesecake pudding and fresh strawberries, this easy layered dessert will quickly become your new favorite summer dessert!

 Doodle went crazy over this dessert, and the Tall Boy {not one to get too excited over desserts}, ate more than one serving – so that’s pretty much a double thumbs-up in my house.

We really loved this Strawberry Cheesecake Lush, and I’m so excited to try other combinations of this easy summer dessert.  If you’re a fan, what’s your favorite?  Lemon?  Chocolate?  Pistachio?  I can’t wait to make them all!

With layers of cream cheese, Cool Whip, cheesecake pudding and fresh strawberries, this easy layered dessert will quickly become your new favorite summer dessert!

Strawberry Cheesecake Lush

Strawberry Cheesecake Lush

Ingredients

  • 1 package Golden Oreos (36 cookies)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 (16-ounce) container Cool Whip, divided
  • 2 packages (3.4 ounce each) instant cheesecake pudding mix
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 1/2 cups sliced strawberries

Instructions

  1. Crush the entire package of Oreos. A food processor would work great for this - I don't have one, so I just placed my cookies in a gallon sized Ziplock bag and crushed them with a rolling pin. When the cookies are fine crumbs, transfer them to a large bowl and mix in 6 tablespoons of melted butter. Press the cookie mixture into a 9x13 pan and refrigerate while you prepare the remaining layers.
  2. Next, beat together 1 cup of powdered sugar, the cream cheese, and 1 cup of Cool Whip. Spread over your cookie layer.
  3. For the next layer, mix together the pudding mix, milk, and another 1 cup of Cool Whip. Spread over the cream cheese layer.
  4. Layer the sliced strawberries on top, and spread the remaining Cool Whip on top.
  5. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/strawberry-cheesecake-lush/

XO, Ashley

 

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Chocolate Chip Fluff Pie

This Chocolate Chip Fluff Pie is perfect for easy summer entertaining – with cream, marshmallows, and chocolate chips, you can’t go wrong!

This Chocolate Chip Fluff Pie is perfect for easy summer entertaining - with cream, marshmallows, and chocolate chips, you can't go wrong!

Lately, I’ve been going through my grandmother’s old recipes, and I spotted this quick and easy recipe for Chocolate Chip Fluff Pie. Truth be told, I’m not much of a pie-maker, but this one was so simple that I couldn’t resist trying it out.

You can certainly make your own graham cracker crust, but I went the easy route and bought the ready made crust in the baking aisle.  Since I was just making this pie for my little family of three for the long-weekend, I didn’t need to go super fancy. ;-)

This Chocolate Chip Fluff Pie is perfect for easy summer entertaining - with cream, marshmallows, and chocolate chips, you can't go wrong!

With a ready-made crust, the prep time for this pie is a meager five minutes.  Just allow for some chilling time, and you can have this pie ready to go in a flash!  Even better, this Chocolate Chip Fluff Pie uses only a handful of ingredients – and you probably already have ‘em in your kitchen.

First, melt approximately 30 mini-marshmallows in 1/2 cup of milk.  While that is cooling, beat a cup of heavy cream until it’s thick and fluffy.  Then you’ll fold in the marshmallow mixture, some vanilla extract (mint extract would be great also), and chocolate chips.  Pour it into your crust and chill.  That’s it!

This Chocolate Chip Fluff Pie is perfect for easy summer entertaining - with cream, marshmallows, and chocolate chips, you can't go wrong!

I think this pie would be fabulous frozen also, although we couldn’t wait that long to dive in. ;-)  Either way, this cold, fluffy pie is perfect for a hot summer day!

Chocolate Chip Fluff Pie

Chocolate Chip Fluff Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 graham cracker crust
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 30 mini-marshmallows
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or mint)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, plus more for garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine milk and marshmallows in a microwave safe bowl and melt, at medium power, for 30 seconds or until melted. Stir until mixture is smooth. Set aside and allow mixture to cool.
  2. Beat 1 cup heavy cream on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, or until cream becomes thick and soft peaks form.
  3. Fold marshmallow mixture, vanilla, and chocolate chips gently into the cream. Spoon into crust, and chill several hours prior to serving. Top with additional chocolate chips, if desired.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/chocolate-chip-fluff-pie/

XO, Ashley

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