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The summertime can be a great time to whip out your baking gear and make some delicious desserts.  If you have kids at home, they can help you prepare these great treats.  To finish off your desserts, I’ve included some mixed drink cocktails for the adults to enjoy 😉

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Wilton.com is a perfect website for desserts because of their great recipes, as well as some classes to teach new techniques.  You can choose your skill level, holidays, and the types of treats you’d like to make.  They even have fancy recipes like wedding cakes (I used this website to make a gorgeous wedding cake several years ago!)

Citrus-Burst-Cake-largeCitrus Burst Cake

Ingredients

  • Cake
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    Easy-Add vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • Filling
  • 1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 cups (about 1/2 lb.) sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1-2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons orange liqueur (optional)
  • 1 jar (10 oz.) lemon curd

Makes

8 servings

Instructions:

step 1

Cake

Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare pans with vegetable pan spray.

step 2

In large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add vanilla and citrus zests; mix well. Add flour mixture alternately with orange juice, beating until just combined. Divide evenly into pans.

step 3

Bake 18-21 minutes, rotating pans half way between baking. Cakes are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes on cooling grid; remove from pans and cool completely.

step 4

Filling

For filling, beat shortening and butter in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add citrus zests, juice and, if desired, liqueur; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

step 5

Assemble

To assemble, cut the crowns off of each cake layer. Place first layer on cake board or serving plate. Spread a layer of icing to edges of cake. Top with second cake. Spread a thin layer of lemon curd to edges. Repeat, alternating layers of icing and lemon curd. On top cake, spread a layer of icing, followed by a layer of lemon curd.

Molten-Smores-Cookies-largeMolten S’mores Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2) sticks butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Wilton Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 package (10 ounces) Limited Edition S’mores Candy Melts® Candy

    (or chocolate chips)

Makes

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Instructions:

step 1

In large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing until just combined.

step 2

Roll cookie dough into 2 in. balls; press 3 Candy Melts candy discs into the center of each ball, forming the dough around the candy. Place on ungreased cookie pan 2 in. apart; flatten slightly.

step 3

Bake 18-20 minutes or until edges of cookies are lightly browned. Cool on cookie pan 2 minutes; remove to cooling grid. If desired, drizzle tops with remaining melted Candy Melts candy.

step 4

Cookies are best served warm. Reheat in microwave 30-45 seconds for gooey, just from the oven taste.

Lemon-Basil-Cake-largeLemon Basil Cake

Ingredients

  • Cake:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fresh Basil Flavor Concentrate
  • 1 cup milk
  • vegetable pan spray
  • Filling:
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Flavor Concentrate

Makes

Makes about 10 servings.

Instructions:

step 1

Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare Easy Layers Pan Set with vegetable pan spray.

step 2

In large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt.

step 3

In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add Fresh Basil Flavor; mix well. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating until just combined. Divide evenly into pans.

step 4

Bake 18-21 minutes, rotating pans half way between baking, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pan on cooling grid 5 minutes. Loosen edges of cake and remove from pans; cool completely on grid.

step 5

For filling, beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar and Sweet Meyer Lemon Flavor, beating until smooth and well combined.

step 6

To assemble, cut crowns off of each cake layer. Place first layer on cake board or serving plate. Spread a layer of icing to edges of cake. Repeat, alternating layers of cake and icing.

chewy-almond-cookies-largeChewy Almond Cookies

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces almond paste
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 10 Maraschino cherries , halved (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Makes

About 1-1/2 dozen cookies.

Instructions:

step 1

Preheat oven to 325° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

step 2

In large bowl, break almond paste into piece. Add sugar and beat with electric mixer on low speed until the mixture is sandy. Add egg white; beat until mixture is very smooth.

step 3

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto lined baking sheets, about 1″ apart. With index finger, make a slight indentation in the center of each dough round. If desired, press a cherry half into each indentation. Press slivered almonds into the dough around the edges.

step 4

Bake 22-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on baking sheets on wire racks. Peel cookies off parchment paper when completely cool. Store in airtight containers.

chocolate-ice-cream-roll-cake-1-largeChocolate Ice Cream Roll Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened, whipped icing or whipped cream
  • confectioners’ sugar

Makes

Cake serves 12.

Instructions:

step 1

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray 10 x 15 in. jelly roll pan with vegetable pan spray; line with parchment paper and spray again.

step 2

In small bowl, sift together flour and cocoa powder.

step 3

In large bowl, whisk egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar with an electric mixer until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. In large bowl, combine egg whites, 1/4 cup sugar and salt. Whisk on high speed with electric mixer until foamy; add cream of tartar and vanilla. Continue whisking until the whites are glossy and form stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Carefully fold 1/3 beaten egg whites into yolk mixture until just combined. Gently fold in remaining egg whites and flour mixture until there are no streaks visible. Spread into prepared pan.

step 4

Bake 10-12 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and immediately turn onto clean kitchen towel; remove parchment paper. Roll cake up in the towel from the long side and let cool 1 minute. Unroll and let cool for 5 minutes. Re-roll in towel and let cool completely.

step 5

To assemble, unroll cake and spread with ice cream. Re-roll and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or overnight. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Lavender-Lemon-Cupcakes-largeLemon Lavender Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • Syrup
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Cupcakes
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp dried lavender
  • 1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 1/4 tsp Imitation Clear Vanilla Extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Whipped Cream
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp dried lavender
  • 1/3 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

Makes

24 cupcakes

Instructions:

step 1

Syrup

Combine sugar, water, lemon juice and zest in small saucepan. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat once sugar is dissolved and transfer to bowl. Refrigerate until completely cool.

step 2

Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pans with baking cups.

For cupcakes, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and dried lavender in large bowl. Stir to combine.

In large bowl, beat butter and sour cream with electric mixer until incorporated. Add sugar, lemon zest and vanilla; beat until combined. Add eggs and yolk, one at a time, and beat until well combined. Add flour mixture and beat on medium for 30 seconds. Divide batter evenly into 24 baking cups; filling 3/4 full.

Bake 17-19 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove to cooling grid and immediately brush tops with lemon syrup. Cool cupcakes in pan 5 minutes.

Remove from pan and cool completely on cooling grid. Brush again with syrup when cooled.

step 3

Whipped Cream

Warm cream until steaming in large saucepan; do not boil. Remove from heat and stir in dried lavender. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes. Strain out solids and cool completely in refrigerator. In large bowl, whip cream and confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread or pipe whipped cream on top of cupcakes.

thumbTito’s Caramel Apple Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Caramel infused Tito’s Handmade Vodka (see recipe)
  • .25 oz real maple syrup (don’t use the fake pancake stuff please)
  • .5 oz cranberry juice cocktail
  • .75 oz spiced or mulled apple cider (we recommend mulling your own cider, but if you are short on time, grab a jar or jug of premade spiced cider)

Method:
Combine all ingredients in a shaker glass, fill with ice, shake, and serve in a rocks glass with the bruised ice. Garnish with a dried apple wheel (see recipe), or a fresh apple wheel if you don’t want to spend time dehydrating apples.

For a punch bowl, add the vodka and maple syrup first, stir to dissolve the maple syrup, then add the other ingredients. Add ice last.

Caramel-infused Tito’s Handmade Vodka recipe:

750ml bottle of Tito’s Handmade Vodka
10 small caramel squares (the individually wrapped, chewy ones)

In a non-reactive vessel (glass, ceramic, or hard plastic), combine the caramels with the bottle of Tito’s. Cover, and let infuse at room temperature overnight, stirring or shaking periodically. The caramels will dissolve in the vodka within 24hrs or so. The result is a slightly creamy vodka that tastes like…you guessed it…caramel.

thumb (1)All American Lemonade

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz Tito’s Handmade Vodka
  • Lemonade of your choice

Method:
Pour Tito’s Handmade Vodka over ice in a glass and just add lemonade.

Garnish: Mint sprig, if desired

Glass: Collins

thumb (2)Fountain of Youth

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz Tito’s Handmade Vodka
  • 3/4 oz St. Germain
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint leaves
  • 2 oz Mionetto Prosecco

Method:
In cocktail glass add Tito’s, St. Germain, lemon juice and the leaves from 1 mint sprig.
Add ice and shake vigorously.
Strain over crushed ice.
Top with Prosecco.

Garnish: Remaining mint sprig and orange wheel

Glass: Highball

thumb (3)Jeanette’s Basil Martini

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz Tito’s Handmade Vodka
  • 3/4 oz Water
  • 3/4 oz Tonic
  • 3/4 tsp Agave Nectar

Method:
Unslapped basil leaves go into this drink. Tried and tested, let’s keep the flavor in the shaker rather than on your hand. Ice in, and let’s begin.
Agave Nectar, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, water, and basil are all invited into the shaker.
Shake vigorously like everyone wants you to.
Invite the tonic to the party in the shaker and finish with a gentle side-to-side toss.
Pour into your chilled martini glass.
Garnish with a lime holding a basil leaf.
Adding lime juice sweetens the balance in this drink with citrus.

Garnish: Lime Holding a Basil Leaf

thumb (4)Crystal’s Blue Lagoon

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz Tito’s Handmade Vodka
  • 2 oz pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz Coco Lopez
  • 1/2 oz blue curacao

Method:
Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker.
Shake, then pour into cocktail glass and serve.

Garnish: Orange Wheel

Glass: Collins glass