Easter Dessert Round Up

I don’t know about you all but when I think of Easter dessert, I always think of fruit and citrus. Those flavors just scream Spring to me. So today I’m bringing you some of my favorite desserts that would be perfect to finish off your Easter feast.

One of my all-time favorite desserts is Lemon Hush and it always, always graces the Easter table.  I mean, a shortbread crust, layers of sweetened cream cheese, lemon pudding and Cool Whip. There isn’t anything wrong with that.
lemon hush
Keeping with the lemon theme, these Lemon Bars would be another refreshing choice. Lemon Cheesecake Pie is another creamy, dreamy dessert that has the perfect pucker.
Lemon Cheesecake Pie 2
A perfect make ahead dessert would be Strawberry Lemon Sorbet. It’s bright, zingy and very light. Can’t ask for much more after gorging yourself on ham and potatoes.
Strawberry Lemon Sorbet
Everybody loves a theme-y dessert, am I right? Easter Sugar Cookies are so tasty and fun to make. Definitely my favorite cookie hands down.
Easter Sugar Cookies
Brownie Nests are another easy option that would be fun to make with the kiddos. You could even use a brownie mix to make it even easier. Aren’t they cute?
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I made these Almond Joy Eggs a few years back and Joel’s co-workers still talk about them. I have to admit, I haven’t made them in quite awhile because I really despise dipping in chocolate. I just don’t have the patience for it and if I haven’t mentioned, I have a little problem with perfection so it usually doesn’t end well. But they are just so stinking adorable that they are worth it for Easter.
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Speaking of delicious things in the shape of eggs, there is always these Peanut Butter Eggs. Reese’s Eggs are pretty much the best candy ever and something I look forward to as soon as Valentine’s Day is over and the stores switch over to Easter candy.
peanut butter eggs
I know this isn’t dessert but this citrusy, Spring Sangria would be another perfect way to end your meal this Sunday. Or start it. I don’t judge.
Spring Sangria 4

I hope you guys enjoyed this round up of dessert deliciousness. Would you be interested in one featuring side dishes?

National Peanut Butter Lovers Day {Celebrate with Unilever Ice Cream}

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Did you know today is National Peanut Butter Lovers Day? That is definitely something worth celebrating! My favorite way to indulge in peanut butter is with chocolate of course. I know I have expressed my deep love of the combination a many a time around here. I mean, there’s peanut butter bars (one of my all time favorite desserts), peanut butter eggs, cookie dough bites, Elvis ice cream, need I go on? I really have an undeniable love. So when I was contacted to try Unilever’s peanut butter ice cream products I knew I couldn’t say no. I’m calling it research. I can’t let those products sit on the shelf and not let my loyal readers know how they are, it’s for the good of the people. That’s how I justify the calories at least.

And what better way to celebrate National Peanut Butter Lovers Day then with ice cream! I don’t care if it’s cold outside, it’s always ice cream time.

I was provided the opportunity to try Breyers Blast! Reese’s Chocolate, Klondike Reese’s and Magnum Double Peanut Butter. Well, I was a fan of the Klondike Reese’s Bars before I was contacted so they have been gladly consumed many times around here. I love the bits of Reese’s cups throughout the ice cream and of course, the chocolate coating. I went to Klondike’s website and they suggested making a shake with one. What kind of food blogger would I be if I didn’t try that out? I did, just for you. And it was good. Do it, do it now.
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I definitely enjoyed the Magnum Double Peanut Butter Bars the most. I’ve never tried any of the Magnum Ice Creams Bars before so I can’t compare them but I’m pretty sure the chocolate coating was made by sweet, sweet angels.  It’s so rich and tastes like pure, real chocolate unlike lots of coatings out there that taste weird and waxy. I love the peanut butter layer between the chocolate. It adds an extra creamy richness that just puts these over the top. I see the almond, dark and gold varieties in my future. The Double Peanut Butter variety are only available at select retailers, such as Target, but will be released nationwide in April. Like we needed another reason to go to Target? Just add these to the list, or don’t…because you know you don’t just buy what’s on your list when at Target anyway. I did that once and I was super disappointed in myself as I walked out of the store. Felt like a serious failure at life.
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Last, and least for me, was the Breyers Blast! Reese’s Chocolate. This ice cream wasn’t bad by any means, but it was chocolate. Those that have been following me for awhile know that I like my chocolate in small doses. Chocolate chip cookies? Yes. Chocolate cookies? No. Chocolate cake or ice cream are not my thing. It’s just too rich for me. I have to say though, I liked the big chunks of Reese’s throughout the ice cream. I just would have enjoyed it more in vanilla. When we go out for ice cream at places that blend toppings into your custard, I always choose peanut butter cups in vanilla ice cream. ALWAYS. I ordered a limited time flavor once and immediately regretted it. Some may say I’m a creature of habit but I like to think I know what I like.
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So if you need a little peanut butter pick me up to celebrate National Peanut Butter Lovers Day, make sure to go check out one (or all) of these delicious ice cream treats. Or come on over to my house so I don’t eat ALL THE ICE CREAM.

*I was compensated for these products but all opinions are completely my own.

Klondike Reese’s Shake
recipe from Klondike
serves 1

1 Klondike Reese’s Bar
1/4 cup milk
Handful of ice

Dump all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

Peppermint Brownies

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Mint and chocolate is one of my all time favorite combinations and is a classic for the holiday season. Combine it with fudgy brownies and it’s pure perfection.

Although I do love peppermint, I enjoy it in small doses. Like peppermint patties…one bite is enough to fulfill my sweet tooth. So when I saw this recipe I decided to double the brownie base but keep the peppermint frosting at the original amounts to cut the richness a bit. I also kept the chocolate layer on the lighter side since most of us aren’t huge chocolate lovers but I know that isn’t normal so I would recommend doubling it if you want more chocolate-y goodness.
Peppermint Brownies 2
It’s the perfect ratio of peppermint and chocolate and just a small square will satisfy any sweet tooth. I hope that you all are enjoying the holiday season with all your loved ones!

Peppermint Brownies

1 family size dark chocolate brownie mix (prepared according to box directions)

for the peppermint frosting:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 Tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the chocolate layer:
4 oz. chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4-1/2 cup Andes peppermint crunch pieces, or crushed candy canes

1. Prepare brownies according to box directions. Cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar together. Add milk and extracts and whip until thick and fluffy. Spread over cooled brownies and refrigerate for at least an hour.

3. Melt chocolate and butter together in the microwave in 30 second increments. Drizzle over peppermint frosting and spread. Sprinkle with peppermint crunch pieces or candy canes.

*frosting recipe from The Galley Gourmet

Coconut and Toasted Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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Are you all getting tired of being bombarded with sweet treats from around the blogosphere yet? I hope not because I have some giant, chewy, decadent cookies to share with you. They are officially my new favorite cookie.
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I took the glorious bakery style cookie recipe I shared last summer and updated them a bit to fancy them up. But don’t worry, they are still just as simple.
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I took some inspiration from one of my favorite candy bars, Almond Joy, to create this tasty cookie with unsweetened coconut, chocolate chunks and toasted pecans. And man was that a good idea! What I love even more about these is that you can freeze the dough and have it ready for whenever the craving strikes. It’s also a nice way to control yourself at the holidays because I know if there is a whole batch of cookies laying around I have a lot less self control. This way, you can just bake one, get your fix and move on. `
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I’ve been thinking about my Christmas baking list for awhile now and these are a definite must!
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Coconut and Toasted Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 c shortening
1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

1. Cream together the butter, shortening and sugars until they are light and fluffy.

2. Add eggs, one at a time, to the sugar mixture. Add vanilla.

3. Combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture until fully incorporated. Stir in chocolate chunks, coconut and pecans.

4. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop out dough and form into balls then slightly flatten the top. Place on prepared cookie sheets. Place in freezer for 2 hours. At this point, you can either bake the cookies or place them in a freezer bag then throw them in the freezer for future use (up to 3 months).

5. To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake on a greased or parchment covered cookie sheet for about 15 minutes (mine took about 17).

Take the Crown Cookies

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Has baseball taken over your house like it has mine? Joel grew up in Kansas City and therefore is a big Royals fan. The last time they were in the World Series, he was not yet 1 (and I wasn’t alive). He has always had “see the Royals play in the World Series” on his bucket list and last Monday night he got to mark it off. Unfortunately, they lost game 1 but he still had a blast and couldn’t get enough of the atmosphere.

So needless to say, my house has felt like a bundle of nerves as we have watched these games play out. We’re sitting watching the game as I write this. After last night’s loss, we needed a little pick me up so when we were at the grocery store, Noah and I picked up the Blue Velvet cake mix that he begs for every time we go to whip up something festive. After discussing ideas, Noah thought cookies would be best so we went to work.
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This time around we decided to mix in some quick oats and chocolate chips. White chocolate would have been great with the buttery vanilla (blue) cake mix but alas, we didn’t have any…what kind of food blogger am I? Nuts would be a great addition too but the biggest Royals fan in our house doesn’t like nuts so we skipped them this time. He got lucky.
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These are dense and seem like cookies that would dry out quickly, so eat them within a day or two. We shouldn’t have a problem with that…..

Let’s pull it together Royals and take that crown! Otherwise I might have to move out for a couple of days because it will be grump city around here.
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Take the Crown Cookies
recipe slightly adapted from All Homemade Cookies

1 cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg
2/3 cup quick oats
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (and/or nuts, raisins, white chocolate…)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients together, dough will be very thick.

2. Scoop onto greased or parchment lined cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Cook for 10-12 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet then remove to rack to cool completely.

 

Rocky Road Ice Cream

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If you all have been following me for awhile, you know that Joel and I are not big chocolate lovers. It has it’s place in cookies and such but for me, not as the main star. I’ve never been a fan of chocolate cake (except for my sister-in-laws) or chocolate ice cream but somehow Noah got the chocoholic gene. So some kind of chocolate ice cream had to be present at his party and I decided to go with Rocky Road since he also has a love affair with marshmallows and almonds.
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This chocolate ice cream is incredibly rich and decadent (thank you dutch process cocoa) so just a scoop is satisfying. Which is good considering the ingredient list. The marshmallows stay soft and the almonds add a delicious, salty crunch.
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Although this wouldn’t be the first ice cream I would reach for, it’s pretty tasty even for a non-chocolate lover. And I have to say too, my brother doesn’t care for chocolate all that much either and he said it was his favorite of all my homemade ice ventures. That’s saying a lot when you consider this, this, this, this and this.
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Rocky Road Ice Cream
recipe from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book

1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 cup roasted, salted almonds, roughly chopped

1. In a food processor, combine sugar, eggs and cocoa and blend until smooth.

2. Bring the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle the hot milk into the chocolate mixture through the feed tube. Process until well blended. Pour the entire mixture into the pan and cook over low heat. Whisk constantly until the custard thickens slightly. Pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large, clean bowl. Cool slightly then stir in the cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled.

3. Stir in the custard then freeze according to manufacturers directions. During the last 5 minutes of freezing, dump in the marshmallows and almonds. Transfer to a freezer safe container.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Waffles {Clean Recipe}

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We are leaving for the Dominican Republic tomorrow at the crack of dawn. Literally. Our plan starts boarding at 5:05 which means we have to leave the house by 3:45, with a toddler and a baby. Not sure we were thinking clearly when we booked the flight. I’m pretty sure we are going to get the stink eye from our fellow passengers. Especially since said baby is wild, crazy and her screeching may be mistaken for a pterodactyl on board (totally didn’t know pterodactyl started with a p). Ooooh well. We’re going to a tropical paradise and nothing is going to bring me down!

So I was a totally unprepared and unfit blogger and didn’t prepare posts ahead of time so I’m going to be MIA for the next week or so. I promise I planned on it but with Noah’s party last week it totally slipped my mind and just didn’t happen.  And I don’t even feel bad about it because when Noah woke up on the day of his party he told us “this is going to be the best day of my life” and he confirmed it by the end of the night. I’ll have more ice cream recipes to share from his party as well as some pictures of the fun cupcakes I made.
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Anyway, onto the waffles. And just FYI before you start, if you decide to double this recipe like I did the first time you should definitely double all the ingredients…like the cocoa powder. Kind of important. Sometimes I worry about myself.

These whole wheat waffles are rich and chocolate-y (as long as you put in enough that is) and just slightly sweet. Using whole wheat pastry flour ensures that they aren’t dense and dry. And with just a few slight changes to the original recipe they are easily converted to a delicious clean breakfast. They are really yummy smothered in fresh strawberries and drizzled with pure maple syrup. Yum!
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Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Waffles
recipe adapted from Alida’s Kitchen

1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. honey
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 overripe bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup)
2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pure maple syrup for serving

1. In a small bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the honey, buttermilk, bananas, grapessed oil, eggs and vanilla.

2. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients being sure not to overmix (which will lead to tough, dense waffles). Let batter sit for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, preheat waffle iron. Cook waffles according to your waffle makers directions.