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#FantasticalFoodFight: Strawberry Shortcake Layer Cake

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Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits. Really, there are very few fruits that I don't like, but there are always, always, always strawberries in my house. While I could eat an entire pint of them without thinking twice, I only like them raw. I've tried cooked and roasted strawberries a few times and it just does something to the flavor and the texture that I'm not a fan of.



The theme for the #FantasticalFoodFight this month was Strawberry Short Cake. I've made this a few times before and I knew I wanted to try something different for this month. While I've had some strawberry shortcake recipes where the cake portion is more biscuit like, I prefer it with a more cake-like consistency, like those little rounds of angel food cake that they put in the store next to fresh strawberries. With that idea in mind, I decided to make a full sized cake instead.

The Fantastical Food Fight is a group of bloggers who are assigned a theme each month. The host is Sarah of Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. Bloggers have the option to follow a traditional recipe, come up with something more out of the box, or basically anything they want as long as it follows the themed ingredients/food for the month.



I love to make cakes, but layer cakes like this are hard to transport and would not be very easy for me to take into work, so I made this cake a few weeks ago, before I hosted Easter dinner because I knew my family would definitely eat it, and it saved me the hassle of transporting a precariously high layer cake to work for my coworkers.




Strawberry Shortcake Layer Cake
Source: Cookaholic Wife Creation
Servings:10-12 slices
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Ingredients:
  • For the Cake:
  • 1 box vanilla or white cake mix + ingredients to prepare
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the Strawberries:
  • 1 pint strawberries, diced
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • For the Whipped Cream:
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees or as indicated on the box cake mix.
2. Spray 4 9-inch round cake pans with baking spray or grease with butter and flour. Cut 4 rounds of parchment paper and place into the cake pan. Spray or grease parchment paper.
3. Prepare cake mix as indicated on the back of the box, adding in vanilla extract. Divide cake batter evenly between the pans.
4. Bake cakes in the preheated oven according to package directions, at least 30 minutes. When the cake just begins to pull away from the edges of the pan and springs back when touched, it is done.
5. Let cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes then turn out onto wire cooling racks, the side with the parchment paper onto the rack. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 1 hour.
6. Meanwhile, cut the tops off the strawberries and slice them into thin wedges. Reserve 4-5 whole strawberries to place on top of the cake. Add to a large bowl and sprinkle sugar on top, tossing to coat.
7. When you are ready to assemble the cakes, remove from the refrigerator and pull off the parchment paper, returning the cakes to the wire cooling rack.
8. Combine the heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip on medium high to high speed until soft peaks form.
9. Use a sharp knife to level off any uneven layers of the cakes.
10. Place the first cake onto the serving dish and top with a dollop of whipped cream. Spread the whipped cream to the edges of the cake. Use approximately ¼ of the whipped cream. Arrange a thin layer on strawberries on top, using about ⅓ of the mixture.
11. Repeat with the second and third layers of the cake and strawberries. Place the final layer of the cake on top and spread the whipped cream over it, either smoothing it or leaving it shaped into a soft peaks. Place the reserved whole strawberries on top.
12. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then slice into pieces. 


If you were feeling more ambitious, you could make your own vanilla cake from scratch to use in this recipe. I chose not to because I had a lot of stuff going on the day before I hosted Easter and I was leaving for 4 days in Vegas just a few hours after all of my family left. 



Whipped cream as a frosting on cake is one of my favorite things ever. It does require more work as the cream isn't stable enough to hold in warm temperatures, but if you have enough fridge space or a family who likes dessert first, it's perfect. The strawberries are sweet and the cake and whipped cream are light and fluffy. Really, what more could you want from a dessert? 

(If you're thinking chocolate, then go right ahead and drizzle some melted chocolate on top of this cake. It surely wouldn't hurt!) 




Unfortunately I wasn't able to get any pictures of this cake when sliced into pieces, but as any bloggers or baker/cook knows, that's a sign of a very good recipe.


#SRCReunion: Blueberry Streusel Dessert Pizza

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If you've been reading my blog for a few years, you may remember that I participated in a monthly blogging group called the Secret Recipe Club. The purpose of the club was bloggers were assigned another blogger each month and we'd choose a recipe from the blog to make and share on a designated day.



Sadly the group ended a few years back but today we're back for a reunion. How cool is that? I love reunions. And reboots. I can't even tell you how thrilled I am about the shows I watched as a kid and teenager coming back on television! But anyway, for the reunion, I was assigned to An Affair From The Heart which is written by Michaela. I'm pretty familiar with her blog and have quite a few of her recipes pinned to make.



Michaela is a SAHM who loves cooking, baking and entertaining and bases her recipes around that. If you're in need of appetizer recipes, I can promise you that you'll find something on her blog that you'll love. Well, you can find something you'll love under every category, but I tend to gravitate towards her appetizers. Which is why I pushed out of my comfort zone and checked out her desserts for this blogging event.



Blueberry Streusel Dessert Pizza
Source: An Affair From the Heart
Servings: 8-10 slices
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Ingredients:
    • For the Filling:
    • 8 oz. whipped cream cheese, softened
    • ¼ cup sour cream
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • For the Streusel Topping:
    • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    • ½ cup all purpose flour
    • ½ cup sugar
    • ½ tsp cinnamon
    • For the Glaze:
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 2 tbsp milk
    • For the Pizza:
    • 1 refrigerated pizza crust
    • 6 oz. fresh blueberries

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil and set aside.
2. Roll out the pizza crust onto a round pizza pan, creating a lip of dough for the crust. This will hold the cheesecake mixture in. Poke all over the crust with a fork to prevent it from baking up too much.
3. Bake for 6-7 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the filling ingredients by coming the whipped cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beating with a mixer until smooth. Add in the egg and mix until combined.
5. Prepare the streusel by combining ingredients in a bowl and using a pastry cutter, two forks or your fingers, mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
6. Once the pizza dough has baked, spread the cream cheese filling mixture on top to each edge. Sprinkle the fresh blueberries on top and then spread the streusel on top of that.
7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the mixture is set and the edges are lightly golden brown.
8. While it’s baking, combine the powdered sugar and milk together in a bowl and whisk until combined. Add more powdered sugar if the glaze is too thin, add more milk if it is too thick.
9. Drizzle the glaze on top of the pizza and allow to cool slightly before slicing into wedges and serving. 





I haven't made a dessert pizza in ages so when I saw this recipe, it really stuck out to me. I had recently picked up some fresh blueberries without a plan to use them up so I found this at the perfect time. The recipe comes together really quickly. The filling and streusel can be made while the dough is on it's first bake and then it's just patiently waiting for it to come out of the oven. 




I wasn't sure how this recipe would work using a standard pizza crust and the idea of putting it on top of a cinnamon roll crust crossed my mind, but I'm glad I made the recipe as is. The sweetness from the filling, glaze and blueberries is enough for the dish that the non-sweet crust actually pairs perfectly with it. 






#FestiveFoodies: Butter Pecan Cookies

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Pecans are one of my favorite nuts. I love how easily they transition between sweet and savory dishes.



I think I've mentioned that I hoard mini chocolate chips before. They're sometimes impossible to find at the store and I prefer them in recipes so I tend to buy a bunch of them whenever I see them. I'm the same way with pecans. They're pretty expensive here, but around the holiday baking season they go on sale at Aldi I stock up to nearly a years supply. So if you're ever in the mood for mini chocolate chips and pecans, you know what house to go to, because I always have a ton!

Today is National Pecan Day and the Festive Foodies are celebrating with a bunch of pecan recipes. Our host for this event is Liz of Books N Cooks.



Butter Pecan Cookies
Adapted from: Martha Stewart Everyday Magazine
Servings: 2 dozen
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Ingredients:
    • 1 ½ cups pecans
    • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
    • ⅔ cup sugar + more for rolling
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • ½ tsp almond extract
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 2 cups all purpose flour

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Arrange the pecans into an even layer on one of the prepared baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes, then set aside to cool.
3. In a bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract, almond extract, salt and flour until a dough forms.
4. Chop the cooled pecans and fold them into the mixture by hand.
5. Scoop golf-ball sized cookies and roll in the extra sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten with a glass or your palm.
6. Bake for 8 minutes then rotate the cooking sheets and bake for 7-8 minutes more or until just golden.
7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. 






These cookies are so easy to make and required hardly any ingredients that you can pretty much make them without any extra trips to the store. They're basically a shortbread cookie with extra sugar and pecans included. Perfect for your morning coffee or tea or just a light bit of sweetness whenever you want.


#ImprovCookingChallenge: Asparagus and Mushroom Tortellini

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Even though Mother Nature can't seem to decide if it's going to be Spring or not (our temperatures keep jumping from the 40's to nearly 80 degrees every couple of days), I've decided Spring is here and I'm celebrating it whether or not the weather is on board.



Mainly this comes in how I'm dressing as I've banished my heavy sweaters to the back of the closet and my boots to a storage tote underneath the bed. Have I been nearly frozen a couple of days? Yes, but let's not talk about that okay?

In addition to dressing for spring weather, my recipes have turned from warm and hearty to light and airy. Asparagus starts to come back into the stores in the spring and it's so common to find recipes calling for asparagus, peas, cream and pasta.

Which is why the ingredients for April's Improv Cooking Challenge are asparagus and cream. I actually wasn't planning on making a pasta recipe and wanted to do something completely out of the box, but then I just really wanted pasta.



The #ImprovCookingChallenge is a monthly blogging event where two ingredients are assigned to a month. Bloggers can make any recipe they like as long as it features the two ingredients.

If you are a blogger and would like to join us, please visit our Facebook page.You can also read more about the event on our our home page. If you’d like to see previous creations, check out our Pinterest board.


Asparagus and Mushroom Tortellini
Source: Cookaholic Wife creation
Servings: 3-4 servings
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Ingredients:
    • 1 9 oz. package cheese tortellini
    • 5-6 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
    • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 1 lb asparagus, chopped
    • 8 oz. mushrooms, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (or milk)
    • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • crushed red pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook tortellini according to package directions, then drain, return to the pot and set aside.
2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and asparagus and cook for 5-6 minutes or until tender-crisp.
3. Add in the mushrooms and cook 3-4 minutes more or until all of the vegetables reach your desired consistency. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
4. Pour the cream into the skillet while stirring, then stir in the tortellini, followed by the Parmesan cheese until it melts.
5. Bring the cream to just a simmer, then remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. 

6. Divide onto plates and top with crumbled bacon.

I ended up making this recipe on a weeknight along with another recipe for dinner because I had ran out of time to make it over the weekend. I was 100% convinced that I would be the only one eating what I had made and the rest would be leftovers.




And then by some vegetable miracle, my husband, who hates vegetables, decided to try this dish and preferred it to the less vegetable-more meat other dish I had actually made for him to eat that night. I'm convinced he's been abducted by aliens, but for the time being, I'll just enjoy the fact that he voluntarily ate something with more vegetables than meat. And if you have a fellow vegetable hater in your house, maybe you should make this dish too. Wouldn't it be incredible if they ended up eating it and liking it?!




Pina Colada Cupcakes

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There are simply not enough boozy cupcakes in the world. Or at least, ones that I have found. I'd like to change that. Everyone likes cupcakes and why not spice them up a bit with some alcohol? Of course, this probably wouldn't work if you were making cupcakes for children, but if they're for adults, why not?



I tend to always share something covered in sprinkles with you on my birthday, but I decided to go for a more adult approach to a sweet dessert. Plus it's STILL not spring here so I needed a light and fruity cupcake that reminded me of warmer weather since Mother Nature can't seem to get her butt on board.



Light and full of summery flavors, you're going to love these Pina Colada cupcakes, especially if you are a fan of the drink concoction. 




Pina Colada Cupcakes
Adapted from: Sally’s Baking Addiction
Servings: 15 cupcakes
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Ingredients:
    • for the cupcakes:
    • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
    • ¾ cup brown sugar
    • ½ cup sugar
    • ½ cup pineapple juice
    • 1 egg
    • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
    • 2 tsp coconut extract
    • 1 tbsp coconut rum (optional)
    • 1 ⅔ cup all purpose flour
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • ¼ tsp baking soda
    • ½ tsp salt
    • for the frosting:
    • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 3 cups powdered sugar
    • ⅛ cup heavy cream
    • 2 tbsp coconut rum (optional)
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • ½ tsp coconut extract
    • salt, to taste
    • toppings:
    • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted
    • ½ cup pineapple tidbits
    • 15 maraschino cherries

Directions:
1. Line two cupcake pans with liners. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, sugar, pineapple juice, egg, coconut milk, coconut extract and (optional) coconut rum. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet.
3. Fill cupcake liners ⅔ of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes or until set and lightly golden. Allow to fully cool on a wire rack.
4. Add the butter for the frosting to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until fully mixed in. 

5. Add in the vanilla and coconut extracts, coconut rum, salt and heavy cream and mix until the frosting thins enough to be piped. Add additional cream if it is too thick. 
6. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes. Top with toasted coconut, pineapple tidbits and a cherry.




Aren't these adorable? I had so much fun making them and I really enjoyed how the coconut rum flavoring comes through in the frosting. You can't taste it so much in the cake, but it's definitely there for the frosting. For an added dose of alcohol, you could also soak the pineapple tidbits in rum, then pat them dry before putting them on the cupcakes. 



The only change I'd make to making these again is I think they could do with a piece of pineapple inserted in the top of them after baking. Not necessary of course, but who doesn't love a stuffed cupcake? 


Recipe ReMake: Maryland Crab Cakes

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As a blogger, there are tons of recipes I have that are in need of updating. Sometimes just the photos and sometimes the actual recipe as well. The Festive Foodies group has started a monthly redo of recipes, where we all share them on the same day.



Remaking these Maryland Crab Cakes has been on my list for longer than I care to admit. From the stereotypes, I'm sure people think that Marylanders eat crab cakes all of the time, but that's not actually true. While I love them and would love to eat them more often, the cost of crab meat has doubled since I first shared this recipe with you back in May of 2011, which definitely puts a damper on making these as often as I'd like.



Not too long ago, one of Tom's friends from Michigan came to visit. The weather was miserable while he was here and instead of constantly going out in the cold rain to show him all that Maryland has to offer, I decided to pick up some crab meat and make him homemade crab cakes so we could stay warm and dry inside.



Crab cakes are served two ways here - either broiled or fried. Personally, I prefer them broiled because it leaves the crab meat as close as possible to it's natural state and you taste the ingredients you've added to make it much more than you do with the fried variety.

I used to follow the recipe on the back of the Old Bay can to make my crab cakes but eventually started branching out from it to see if there was anything that could be improved. Their recipe calls for breaking up two slices of bread into tiny pieces and soaking them in milk to use as the binding. I don't mind this way at all, but have found by using Panko, it reduces the size of the filler pieces and somehow just goes a little bit better with broiling them.



Maryland Crab Cakes
Source: Cookaholic Wife creation
Servings: 5-6 cakes
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Ingredients:
    • For the Crab Cakes:
    • 1 lb. jumbo lump Maryland crab meat
    • ⅓ cup Panko bread crumbs
    • 2 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
    • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tbsp dried parsley
    • 1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
    • For Sandwiches:
    • potato rolls, Club crackers or Saltine crackers
    • lettuce leaves
    • tomato slices
    • mayonnaise or mustard

Directions:

1. Carefully pick through the crab meat, removing any shells or cartilage, but keeping the large lumps of crab meat intact.
2. Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and preheat the oven to broil.
3. In a large bowl, combine the Old Bay seasoning, beaten egg, mayonnaise, worcestershire sauce, parsley and mustard. Whisk until combined.
4. Gently fold in the crab meat and Panko until just mixed together.
5. Form the crab mixture into 3 inch wide rounded patties. The mixture will be very loose but will just hold together. Place each on the prepared baking sheet.
6. Broil for 10-12 minutes or until the tops of the crab cakes are golden brown.
7. Divide between plates and serve on sandwiches or with crackers.


Most restaurants that serve crab cakes for lunch will serve them as a sandwich, on either a potato or kaiser roll with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. When they're also offered for dinner as an entree, they come with a few packets of saltine crackers and usually two sides. Ever since I was a kid I've always preferred to eat my crab cakes with crackers. Of course there is nothing wrong with a sandwich, but when I enjoy a crab cake I want to taste the crab and the seasoning without the roll, lettuce, tomato or mayonnaise getting in the way.


I hope you're either in the area soon or have the ability to get fresh crab meat and try these out, because there is really nothing better than a good Maryland Crab Cake! And for the price you'll pay for one in a restaurant, you can make a few at home instead!

Original Recipe from May 9, 2011: 
I can't believe I've never blogged about crab cakes before. As a resident of Maryland, known for their blue crabs, I'm a bit of a crab cake snob. Okay, I admit it, I'm a full blown crab cake snob. But I can't help it. Once you have a Maryland crab cake nothing else is as a good.

One thing in common about many of the great seafood restaurants in Maryland is that they all agree, a simple crab cake recipe is best. The crab meat needs to be the star. Everything else is just for texture, binding and color. Okay, fine, and flavor. I definitely agree with those restaurants and I've only ever made crab cakes one way; using the recipe on the back of the Old Bay can.

If you're not in an area where Old Bay is sold, I highly recommend that you head on over to http://www.oldbay.com/and purchase some. Immediately. Its not just for seafood. You can put it on chicken, pork, in burgers, on fries, popcorn, in salads, just about anywhere.
That's a piece of fresh lettuce from my mini garden!

#EasterWeek: Eggs Benedict Breakfast Bake

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Eggs Benedict is one of my favorite breakfast/brunch recipes but I rarely ever make it at home. My poached eggs never turn out pretty enough and making hollandaise is a real pain. So instead, I choose to enjoy the treat when we go out for breakfast or brunch.



Until now, that is.



The final recipe I'm sharing with you for #EasterWeek is an eggs benedict overnight casserole that comes together pretty quickly, gets all nice and happy in your fridge and bakes up in less than an hour.

Oh, and that pain in the ass hollandaise sauce? Yeah, that's even made simpler by preparing it in your blender.




Eggs Benedict Breakfast Bake
Slightly Adapted From: Foodtastic Mom
Servings: 6
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Ingredients:
    • For the Eggs Benedict:
    • 1 package (6) English muffins
    • 3 tbsp. butter, divided
    • 8 thick slices cooked ham
    • 4 green onions
    • 8 large eggs
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 2 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    • For the Hollandaise:
    • 3 egg yolks
    • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    • ½ tsp salt
    • pinch of cayenne pepper
    • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Slice the English muffins in half and place on the prepared baking sheet. Use 2 of the tablespoons of butter to butter the muffin side facing up. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside.
3. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Dice the ham and green onions and add to the skillet, cooking for 5-7 minutes or until the ham is browned.
4. Meanwhile, cut the toasted English muffins into 1 inch cubes and place in the prepared 9x13 baking dish. Add the ham and green onions on top.
5. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top of the ham mixture.
6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, mustard, onion powder, cayenne and salt. Pour over the ham mixture and cover with foil. Refrigerate overnight.
7. Place the baking dish on the counter one hour before you intent to bake it, allowing the ingredients to come up to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350.
8. Bake, covered with foil, for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
9. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on a wire rack.
10. While the mixture is cooling, add the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and cayenne pepper to your blender. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds, then begin drizzling in the melted butter and blend for 1 minute until fully combined and pale yellow in color. Taste, and adjust lemon juice or cayenne as needed.
8. Cut the eggs benedict bake into 6 portions and plate. Drizzle the hollandaise sauce on top and garnish with chives or green onions if desired. Serve immediately. 





This is really similar to a traditional eggs benedict dish that you would get at a restaurant. I couldn't believe how easily the hollandaise sauce came together with the help of my Vitamix. I think I'll definitely start making more eggs benedict just because the sauce is so easy to make! 




The only change I would make to this dish is I would leave the English muffins whole and arrange the ham and green onions on top of them and pour the egg mixture over and around them. I think it would make for a better presentation and the muffin would be fully saturated in the egg mixture.





Easter Week Recipes

Friday Easter Week Recipes



#EasterWeek: Lemon Coconut Bars

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Lemons make me so happy. I know that sounds silly, but I absolutely love baking with them because they remind me of spring. And yesterday just so happened to be the first day of spring. (Not like Mother Nature remembered that with the weather we've had...) 😝



The second recipe I'm sharing with you for #EasterWeek are these Lemon Coconut Bars. There isn't a ton of ingredients and they come together pretty easily and you may even get an arm work out in the process!



#EasterWeek is a #FestiveFoodies event being hosted by Christie of A Kitchen Hoors Adventures. You can check out what the other bloggers have made at the bottom of the page. 



Lemon Coconut Bars
Source: Cookaholic Wife creation
Servings: 35-48 bars
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Ingredients:
    • ¾ cup unsalted butter, cold
    • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
    • ½ cup powdered sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 ¼ cup sugar
    • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper, letting a little hang over the edges to easily remove later.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and powdered sugar.
3. Dice the butter into small pieces and add into the bowl. Using a pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour and sugar mixture. (I find this easiest by dragging the flour in with the pastry cutter from the sides of the bowl as I spin the bowl with my other hand)
4. Mix until the mixture sticks together, forming a dough. Press onto the parchment paper in the prepared baking dish.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until thick and combined, then whisk in the lemon juice and finally the baking powder, whisking until it stops bubbling.
7. Once the crust has had it’s blind bake, whisk the lemon mixture again to stop it from separating and pour over the crust. Sprinkle the coconut flakes on top.
8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until set in the center.
9. Cool completely on a wire rack.
10. Lift the lemon bars out by using the parchment overhang and cut into little bars.




Sweet, just a smidgen tart with a crumbly butter crust and a crunchy toasted coconut topping, I bet you'll have a hard time only eating one of these!



Easter Week Recipes

Wednesday Easter Week Recipes

#FantasticalFoodFight: Carrot Pineapple Cake

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I had no idea I'd like carrot cake so much. It's so much easier to make than I thought and it pairs together so well with so many other ingredients I always have hanging around in my pantry.



If it wasn't obvious yet, the theme for the Fantastical Food Fight for this month is carrot cake. Fantastical Food Fight is hosted by Sarah of Fantastical Sharing of Recipes and every month bloggers are assigned a theme. They can make anything they desire, as long as the theme is included in the ingredients.



Carrot cake is pretty sweet on its own, but I decided to really take this one over the top and add in chopped up pineapple and then go a step even further and add brown sugar to the cream cheese frosting. Fair warning: you may want to cut these into small squares because they are definitely sweet! 



Carrot Pineapple Cake with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
Source: Cookaholic Wife creation
Servings: 16 squares
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Ingredients:
    • For the Cake:
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
    • 2 tsp baking soda
    • 2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp ground ginger
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 2 ½ cups grated carrots
    • 1 ¼ cups crushed or chopped pineapple
    • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
    • For the Frosting:
    • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • ¾ cup brown sugar
    • ½ cup powdered sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, applesauce, brown sugar, and vanilla until combined. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder and ground ginger until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold until just combined.
4. Add the grated carrots, pineapple and walnuts and fold until combined and no lumps of flour remain.
5. Pour into the prepared dish and bake for 50 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
6. While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. Add the cream cheese and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until combined.
7. Add the brown sugar and beat until fully combined. Add in the vanilla and salt, then slowly add in the powdered sugar until fully combined.
8. Spread over the cooled cake and cut into slices. 




I love the little hints of crunch the walnuts provide and how delicate and tasty this cake is!




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