POSTS WITH TAG: baking

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    Easter is almost here, and while many of us are planning our celebratory meal, dessert is often an afterthought. After cooking up a feast for your family, you often just don't have the time or the energy to spend making a festive dessert. I know I don't!

    But here's the thing: Many of us don't want to buy something from our local bakery this Easter. We want to present something with a personal touch. In honor of bunnies, Easter eggs, and time better spent being with family than baking, here are 5 super easy and sweet Easter desserts that make a great holiday dinner finale. 

    Are you going to make a special Easter dessert this year, and if so, any ideas?

    Image via Elliot Volkman/Flickr

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    When I saw it, I knew I had to have it: A pink striped ombre birthday cake from the Daily Candy. Ombre, or color that gets progressively darker or lighter, is a trend that shows no sign of leaving us anytime soon. In cake form, it's so pretty, and I could picture exactly how to make it -- maybe with just a few minor tweaks to make it easier to pull off. Here's our version of the cake: Four layers using whipped cream instead of frosting. Think this looks too complicated to pull off? No way! It's actually a lot easier than you'd think. I'll show you how.

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    Hot cross buns are one of my favorite Easter treats. Traditionally served on Good Friday, I guess they are actually a precursor to the main event. It used to be I would run out and buy them at whatever local bakery was closest to my place of residence. That's because most of the recipes I'd find seemed pointlessly elaborate.

    Then I developed a recipe of my own. Since it involves yeast, there is a certain amount of time you've got to plan for in order to let the dough rise properly. But they are in no way labor intensive, and a little planning can save you a tedious trip to the bakery. Hopefully this sweet tradition will be even sweeter with these homemade treats.

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    Easter bunny cupcakes give new meaning to the phrase: you're so cute, I could just gobble you up! What better way to get into the holiday spirit than to add cupcake baking to your list of Easter traditions? Get your kids in on the fun by assigning them an easy task (if your tots are anything like mine, they'll forego wanting to hold a mixer and potentially creating an insane amount of mess in favor of decorating their bunnies with cute candy noses and ears). Whip up a big, yummy batch of these darling cupcakes the day before you plan to color your Easter eggs and -- voila -- you'll have an instant and memorable treat loved by every member of your family.

    Did I mention the adorable quotient of these little goodies is off the charts?

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    This recipe is kind of awesome. Completely unhealthy, but kind of awesome. This cheeseburger 'n' fries casserole recipe from Taste of Home only requires four ingredients and takes 10 minutes to put together (though it bakes for 50). Come on, anything titled "cheeseburger 'n' fries" most likely isn't all that good for you, but for a special, easy splurge that everyone will love, this will certainly do the trick.

    Of course, you could use tater tots or perhaps throw in a few vegetables in there to make you feel better about the whole concoction. You could even use some ground turkey to mix things up a little bit. Regardless, it's so versatile and simple, it will quickly become a staple your family will certainly love.

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    Crescent roll dough. Is there anything you can't do with it? Well, you can't change a car tire with it. But you can definitely bake a whole lotta fun treats with the stuff. Here's a baker's dozen of fun crescent roll dough ideas. Maybe they'll inspire you to come up with your own amazing creations. 

     

    Image via sixteenmilesofstring/Flickr

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    Happy Cookie Dough Week! This is a week food bloggers are posting creative and tempting recipes featuring cookie dough. (What a delicious thing for them to do, right?!?) This cookie dough cake roll recipe by Jocelyn Delk Adams of Grandbaby Cakes caught my eye this morning and now I'm craving it like crazy. Cookie dough or cake -- why choose between the two? Why not have both? In this recipe, the "cookie dough" filling for the jelly roll-style cake is eggless, so you don't have to worry about it being safe to eat raw.

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    Not sure if you got the memo, but Mason Jars are totally in. This old-school canning vessel has been having a "moment" for a while now, and something about their unpretentious nature and simplicity makes it a well-deserved trend. One that is also affordable, and we always love affordable.

    I have to admit that I haven't done much with Mason jars beyond storing jams and pickles, but there is SO much more you can make in them -- from delicious desserts to foods to take with you on the road.

    Check out these 6 things you can use Mason jars for besides jam right here:

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    Has spring finally sprung? Or is it too soon to hope? After such a long, cold, seemingly never-ending winter, now's the time to put away those comfort food recipes and perhaps try something a little lighter, a little sweeter, just in time for spring. These divine lemon cream sandwich cookies from Epicurious are both gorgeous and super easy to make. The bright colors and fresh citrus will make you forget about your winter blues in no time.

    Keep in mind, though, to get the cookies super fluffy, you do have to chill the dough for four hours, up to one day. At least for the best results. Still, you can make them two days ahead so you can enjoy these little, sweet, tart sandwiches of heaven whenever you so please.

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    These are unfortunate times to grow up loving sweet stuff. The World Health Organization just popped a lot of our (candy) bubbles when it recently released a study stating only 5 percent of our calories should come from sugar. That's waaay easier to say than do if you're like me and your number one favorite snack in the world is chocolate-covered strawberries dipped in (heavily sweetened) vanilla yogurt. No fair.

    But a fact is a fact. And rather than fight it and risk all of the health consequences involved with overdosing on sugar -- diabetes and obesity, for example -- we can embrace some of the sweet alternatives out there. Lucky for us, one of these sugar substitutes is healthy, not saccharine-sweet, and can be used in more delish recipes than you would believe. I speak of everyone's latest and greatest favorite sweetener: agave.

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