Monthly Archives: June 2013

Berry Trifle and 4th of July Party

This trifle recipe uses strawberries and blueberries; Simple berry trifle for the 4th of July or any summer event.  It’s a beautiful red, white & blue berry trifle recipe!

trifle recipeTrifle has been an acquired taste for me.  The first trifle I had literally made me gag, because soggy cake is really really gross.

I refused to eat my Mother-in-Law’s Christmas trifle for several years because of it.

The real traditional-type trifle is supposed to be soggy.  It’s supposed to sit and chill for hours and let the flavors mesh, which I frankly think is code for letting the cake get soggy and disgusting.

The way to truly enjoy trifle, if you ask me, is to eat it fresh.  Put it all together just before serving, and that way there is no soggy texture or goopy desserts to politely force yourself to eat.  It also helps to put it in individual serving dishes.

Of course, the very, VERY best way to enjoy trifle is to enjoy it with friends.  With friends, on a holiday.

trifle recipe

This is why I have gathered my friends (again!) for this amazing 4th of July party where we will be serving all kinds of yummy summery foods.  And Canadian friends, you’re invited too.

You’re definitely going to want to check out what’s going on with all these amazing bloggers.  They’ve made some really delicious stuff, just for you.

I might be biased.  They are my very best online friends, after all.

4th of July Recipes

1. Berry Cheesecake Crumb Tart from Hungry Couple NYC
2. California Burgers from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
3. 4th of July Ice Cream Cones from Roxana’s Home Baking
4. Red, White & Blueberry Parfaits from Cravings of a Lunatic
5. Red, White & Blue Deviled Eggs from Created by Diane
6. Summer Berry Pizza from Magnolia Days
7. Sparkling Pineapple Cake Martini from The Messy Baker
8. Red, White & Bleu Mac ‘N Cheese from Juanita’s Cocina
9. Red, White & Blue Vanilla Bean Spritzers from Pineapple and Coconut
10. Red, White & Blue S’mores Pies from Big Bears Wife
11. Lemon Raspberry Sugarless Cookies from What Smells so Good
12. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Squares from Chocolate Moosey
13. Berry Trifle from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
14. Watermelon Mojito Ice Pops from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

strawberry-pudding-6Strawberry Pudding blackberry-cobbler-5Blackberry Cobbler trifleChoc Cherry Trifle

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Dark Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Dark Chocolate Whoopie Pies;  This chocolate whoopie pie recipe uses dark chocolate and vanilla frosting.  A delicious buttermilk chocolate whoopie pie!

Dark Chocolate Whoopie PiesWe spent two weeks searching for my son’s sparring gear.  He’s 8 years into his martial arts training, and it’s kind of a big deal for him to be without the sparring gear.

He thought he left it at the karate school, so we searched and asked, to no avail.  We thought it could be at the other location, so we searched and asked there, and again, nothing.

I was dreading spending the nearly $200 it was going to take to replace it.  I wanted to scream and yell.

Okay, I may have screamed and yelled.

Then… I walked into his bedroom for an unrelated purpose, and spotted the sparring gear in the corner.

Right where it goes.  *slow blink and long sigh*

chocolate-whoopie-pies

I called to him.  “You’re never going to believe what I just found!”  I had him stand next to me and look around his room, and even while looking straight at it, it took him a couple minutes and a dozen wrong guesses before he saw the gear.

“How am I supposed to find it when it’s put away?” he asked.  Which made me want to find the side of his head with my open palm.

dark-chocolate-whoopie-pies

I bet he won’t have any trouble finding these dark chocolate cookies.  The kid loves chocolate.  And cookies.  This is why I deliberately made them on a day when I knew he would be gone all day.  This way, I get to eat one or two before he discovers them.

I made these with buttermilk, because… well… why not?  Buttermilk cookies are the very best.  Remember these Nutmeg Buttermilk Cookies from last Christmas?  I still dream about them.

Just like I dream that someday my kids be in charge of keeping track of their own stuff.

chocolate muffinsChocolate Buttermilk
Muffins
buttermilk cookiesChocolate Frosted
Cookies
chocolate cookie recipeSalted Dark
Chocolate Cookies

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Oreo Popcorn

Oreo Popcorn recipe;  This white chocolate popcorn has chunks of Oreo cookies in it.  Simple and delicious popcorn recipe.

popcorn-recipeEven with the 100-ish cookie recipes on this site, good old-fashioned packaged Oreos are still Robb’s favorite.

He has rules for his Oreos, too.  No double stuffed, no flavored, and certainly no Golden Oreos.  The only acceptable variety is the plain, regular, original kind.

I don’t really blame him, Oreos are fantastic, although we differ on the details.  I think the different flavors are all wonderful, (variety is the spice of life, and all that) although I kind of agree about the Golden Oreos.  I can’t bring myself to spend money on them.

No matter.  I can compromise with the best of them.  I bought a package of plain original Oreos, and used half the package on this yummy Oreo White Chocolate Popcorn, and left the other half of the package for Robb to eat plain.

It’s a win-win.

Oreo Popcorn from @JenSto2t Jen's Favorite Cookies

The Hippie Chick absolutely adores white chocolate, especially when it’s mixed with Oreos.  She actually prefers white chocolate to regular chocolate, leading me to believe she was switched at birth.

Although, to be fair, I had a hard time keeping my hands out of this popcorn, too.  I really have a weakness for white chocolate popcorn.

You know what else?  Those pretzels covered in white chocolate.  Lawd have mercy, that stuff is like crack.

Oreo Popcorn from @JenSto2t Jen's Favorite Cookies

Let me dive in here with some details.  First, for a recipe like this, I really prefer the almond bark or candy melts.  They melt nicely, and set up well with a few minutes in the fridge.  White chocolate chips get all wonky and gross when you melt them, so please don’t use that.  Regular old white chocolate like this stuff is fine, too, although in my experience the candy coating sets up a little better.

And about the popcorn… I used an air popper {I’m sort of racist against microwave popcorn.} but use whatever method you prefer.  You’ll probably be happiest with the plain white unflavored variety, but if you happen to have only buttered microwave popcorn in your pantry, don’t let that stop you.  I used 1/2 cup of unpopped kernels, and I’m guessing here, but I think that’s pretty close to two regular microwave bags.

I used about a sleeve and a half of the regular Oreos, but next time I’m totally trying this with Mint Oreos.

Robb can just suffer.

white chocolate popcornParty Popcorn chocolate mintMint Popcorn Bark pudding cookiesOreo Pudding Cookies

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Fruit Pizza

Fresh fruit pizza; This fruit pizza recipe uses a sugar cookie crust, cream cheese, and of course, fresh fruit!  You’ll love this fruit pizza dessert!

fruit-pizzaWe eat a lot of popcorn at our house.  Sometimes I think our dog was born to be part of this family, because he also loves popcorn.

LOVES.

At least, that’s what I thought.  Then, the other day, I dropped some popcorn on the floor before I got it all buttered and salted.  The dog walked over, sniffed it, and walked away.  Turns out, popcorn is just a great delivery system for what he really loves… butter.

Stinkin’ dog.

I guess you have to give everyone what they want, especially on their birthday.  This month, our son The Fruitarian turned 15.  And despite the fact that the dog was really hoping for a cake made from peanut butter, bacon, cheese, and of course, butter, I went a different direction for the birthday boy.

I couldn’t think of anything more fitting for The Fruitarian than this fruit pizza.

Fruit Pizza | Jen's Favorite Cookies

By the way, whose big idea was it to have cake for every single birthday party ever?  Nothing against cake, but I can think of about a dozen things I’d rather have.

I’m just not one of those traditionalists that thinks we have to have cake all the time.  I don’t think there’s a single thing wrong with a birthday brownie, pie, cobbler, krispie treat, or fruit covered cookie.

A fruit covered cookie is basically all this is, anyway.

fruit-pizza

The base of this fruit pizza is a giant sugar cookie.  You could make your sugar cookie dough from scratch, using my favorite sugar cookie ever, or you could just cheat and use packaged sugar cookie dough.

I’m not going to tell you which one I used.

But it was the packaged stuff.

The only downside to a fruit pizza birthday cake is where to put the candles.  But I think we’ll get over it.

strawberry-pudding-6Strawberry Pudding subscribeSubscribe by e-mail fruit salsaPear Berry Salsa

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Lemon Sugar Cookies

These chewy lemon cookies use fresh lemon juice; An easy lemon sugar cookie recipe for summer.  You’ll love this lemon cookie!

Lemon Sugar Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com - a very light lemon flavor makes these cookies a great choice any time!I bought myself a new maxi dress, so I guess I’m ready for summer.

I hope it helps, because this summer is just about more than I can handle already.  My 16 year old is taking summer drivers ed and holding down 2 jobs, which is a lot, considering he can’t drive himself to these jobs, and my summer was already full before it even began.

I’m going to have to get myself some habits to keep it together… like carrying one of those sticks of sunscreen and some lipgloss and sunglasses everywhere I go.

And planning ahead so I’m not writing my recipe posts the night before they are to be published.

*ahem*

The worst part about that is that my first batch of lemon sugar cookies was a bit below my standards. Ugly, too soft, hard to make, sub-par.  It’s a miracle I had time to photograph them!

Lemon Sugar Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com - a very light lemon flavor makes these cookies a great choice any time!

Why does lemon seem so summery?  Some fruits can feel at home in any season, but plain old lemon is a summer as it gets.

The lemon flavor in this cookie is subtle.  I personally think it’s perfect the way it is, but if you like a little extra lemoney kick, you can whip up some lemon glaze by mixing powdered sugar and lemon juice.  Just drizzle it over the top.

Lemon Sugar Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com - a very light lemon flavor makes these cookies a great choice any time!

I love that freshness that the lemon flavor gives.  These cookies are just perfect for a summer picnic, barbecue, or potlock.  There’s nothing about them that melts or that has an overpowering flavor.

By the way, these are great with other citrus flavors, too.  I have made these with fresh oranges and with fresh limes as well.  Maybe next time, I’ll try it with grapefruit!

Grapefruit cookies and grapefruit lip gloss, that sounds like a great summer day to me!

lemon sugar cookies
4.75 from 4 votes
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Lemon Sugar Cookies

A soft sugar cookie with a light lemon flavor.

Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings 5 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1` teaspoon vanilla
  • juice of 1 lemon *see notes
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups flour

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.


  2. Add lemon juice, salt, soda, and baking powder and mix well.


  3. Add flour and mix until combined. Dough should be thick and crumbly.


  4. Drop spoonfuls onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Recipe Notes

*This cookie has a VERY mild lemon flavor. Do NOT add extra lemon juice, or it will affect the texture of the cookie. For a stronger lemon flavor, add the zest of one lemon, or ½ teaspoon of lemon extract. You can also add a simple glaze made with lemon juice and powdered sugar.

 

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

A simple muffin recipe; Try this homemade blueberry muffin recipe for a delicious breakfast treat!  This muffin recipe uses blueberries and buttermilk.

blueberry muffin recipeI’m probably going to get in trouble for making these muffins.

I told Robb I wanted to make muffins this week, and asked his opinion on flavors.  He replied, “I’ve always loved blueberry muffins.  I really like those banana muffins you make, though.”

Bananas I have none this week, but I do have a brand new box of fresh blueberries, which settled the question.

And then Robb left town.  And well, I made blueberry muffins in his absence.  And the kids scarfed them all down within a day, which means Robb gets zero of these blueberry muffins that were his suggestion.

It’s kind of a theme at our house.

Sorry, Robb.  Try not to be mad at me.  I’ll make another batch when you get home.

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins from Jen's Favorite Cookies

On the bright side, I had some help making my muffins today.  In fact, I did almost zero of the work.

Well, zero of the fun work, anyway.

There’s this kid in the neighborhood, a kid who spends enough time at my house that he has taken to referring to me as “mom.”  He asked if he could help make the muffins, and, well, it’s hard to turn down an offer like that.

We were a good team.  He collected ingredients while I tidied up the kitchen, which is no small task.  Cleaning the kitchen might be my most hated chore of all time.  As evidenced by the state of my kitchen.

muffin recipe

I decided to give these muffins a little extra pizzazz with a sugar crust.  It was easy, I just sprinkled a little sugar over each muffin just before baking, and let the sugar bake into the top.

It’s not as tasty as streusel topping, I’ll admit that, but it’s a bit simpler, and is the kind of extra detail that tells people that you care.

Especially husbands who might be upset about missing the blueberry muffins.

 

Find more great muffins on this “Muffins & Scones” Pinterest Board!

More muffin recipes you might enjoy:

chocolate muffinsChocolate Buttermilk
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cake pop muffinsGlazed Muffin
Bites
Cherry Muffins ThumbCherry
Muffins

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Strawberry Pudding

This strawberry pudding recipe uses fresh strawberries;  Strawberry recipes, make this delicious pudding at home!

Strawberry Pudding from JensFavoriteCookies.comMe: I’m going to make strawberry pudding.
Robb: Does that even exist?
Me:  It will when I make it.

The next day…

Me: Try this strawberry pudding.
Robb:  This is really good!
Me: You should never doubt me.

I don’t know how many times I have to tell that man that if he would just agree with me, he would be right a lot more often.

Although, to be fair, I’ve never actually eaten strawberry pudding before.  Or even heard of strawberry pudding.  But strawberries are in season, so I figured it was worth a try.  It tasted good in my imagination.

Strawberry Pudding from Jen's Favorite Cookies

As usual, The Fruitarian {who is celebrating his 15th birthday this week} was hovering the moment I pulled the strawberries from the fridge.  I caught him staring at them during breakfast.  I thought he might drool on himself.

Fruitarian: Can I have a strawberry?  Can I have strawberry pudding? Can I have some of these cut strawberries?
Me: Wait until I’m done, then you can have it all.
Fruitarian: But…!  But…!  {grunts in frustration}

Do you remember how hard I had to work to keep him away from the bananas so I could make Banana Pudding?

Strawberry Pudding from JensFavoriteCookies.com

 When it was all said and done, the whole family was pleased with this dessert.  The berry flavor is present, but not overwhelming, and the pudding is extremely creamy and delicious.

It was a satisfying day for everyone.  For the Fruitarian because he got to eat Strawberry Pudding with extra berries on top.  For Robb because he got to try a new dessert that even a picky eater can love.  And for me, because I get to be right.

As usual.

Homemade Banana Pudding RecipeBanana Pudding lemon cookieStrawberry Lemon Cookie blackberry-cobbler-5Blackberry Cobbler

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Coconut Biscotti

Recipe for biscotti;  This easy biscotti recipe is flavored with coconut and tastes great with coffee or cocoa.

BiscottiToday was the last day of school.  This means the end of getting up early to make lunches and drive carpools, and the end of screaming about homework and scheduling school activities.  For three months, anyway.

It also means an end to quiet mornings by myself and uninterrupted reading.

*sniff sniff*

I like to read the kind of stuff that makes me think.  I like to sit quietly and contemplate the nature of the universe.  It takes me away from the unending hectic activity that dominates the rest of my life.

And it only gets more hectic in the summer.

But don’t worry about me… I have a solution.  My kids are teenagers, which means they won’t be up before noon.  And since Robb tends to be a late sleeper, too, all I have to do is get up the tiniest bit early to have a good hour of reading Emerson and sipping breakfast drinks.

And eating biscotti.

Coconut Biscotti from Jen's Favorite Cookies

Truth be told, this was my first time ever making biscotti.  I’m not sure why I waited so long, because I love the stuff.

I probably have a few tricks to learn yet, because this batch did have one little problem, but not one that made it inedible or anything, so I figured I was still safe to share it with you.

Apologies in advance for the poor quality of this next photo, but I wanted a shot of the pre-baked loaves of dough, to give you an idea of their size.

easy biscotti recipeCoconut Biscotti from Jen's Favorite Cookies

Once I baked, cooled, and sliced them, I realized they were a touch crumbly and would have a bit of a hard time really staying in one piece.  The ends kept breaking off.  It made them look silly, but it gave me lots of crunchy little ends to snack on, so I wasn’t too upset.

I love how these turned out in the end, crunchy but not too hard, and full of yummy coconut flavor.

I think Emerson and I are going to love them.

Coconut-Chocolate-Chip-Bars-6Coconut Chocolate
Chip Bars
sconesCoconut White
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Crispies

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