Today is a day I’ve been looking forward to for nearly a year… it’s the day I get to share some of the details of my cookbook, Glorious Layered Desserts!
When I started this blog nearly 4 years ago I had several goals and dreams for what the site would become. I had lots of short term plans, and some long term dreams. One of those dreams was to “someday” write a cookbook. Over time, as the site has grown, and my own children have grown I have become so busy that I set that dream aside, thinking I didn’t have time to create the quality of cookbook I really wanted to. I knew that writing a cookbook would require a lot of time and work.
Last fall, the opportunity to write a cookbook was presented to me by a couple different publishers. At the time I said “no thanks, but I’ll keep your number.” I just didn’t know how I was going to stop everything else in my life to write a book. By early this year I had put a lot of thought into it, and realized that the opportunity may not wait for me forever. I didn’t know exactly how, but (with the support of my husband) I was going to give it a try! From the day I said “yes” to the publisher (I chose) I began one of the most exciting, stressful, fun, exhausting, satisfying adventures of my life!
I dove into recipe testing and created more dirty dishes over a few weeks than most families produce in a year! Over one 48 hour period I made 9 different batches of pudding! And that was just to settle on two recipes! Once I had settled on the recipes, I began the photography process.
I called on a local friend and talented photographer, Gene Chutka to photograph the recipes. Although I do take all of the photos for this blog, I was on a tight deadline for the book and knew that the added stress of taking beautiful photos would likely be more than I could handle! Gene was such a perfect photographer to work with! As I would set up each shot, place each garnish, and debate on how much drizzle was most appetizing, Gene was super patient and never seemed annoyed by my perfectionism! Although we spent many long days setting up photo after photo, it was a very rewarding and fun experience.
Over the next few months I’ll be sharing some more details (and photos) of the behind the scenes work that went into creating the book.
Now… as for the book itself!
Glorious Layered Desserts is a modern take on traditional trifles. I’ve mixed and matched ingredients to create delicious, innovative, and beautiful layered desserts, perfect for any occasion.
The first half of the book, titled “Layered Desserts”, is filled with creative and delicious, finished layered desserts. The second half of the book, titled “Essential Recipes”, is filled with all the base recipes you’ll need to create each layered masterpiece. These ”Essential Recipes” are recipes you can rely on again and again to create not only the layered desserts shown, but countless more delicious combinations!
Each finished layered dessert is composed of delicious, from scratch recipes (all included in the book), but you will also find lots of options to cut down on prep time with “store bought swaps”.
Over a dozen of the finished desserts can be made (from scratch) and served in under an hour! Several recipes also includes adjustments for making the desserts gluten free, sugar free and/or egg free.
From rich chocolate desserts to light and fruity treats, I think you’ll find something for everyone!
And of course, each and every recipe has a photo… yay!
Here’s a little peek…
Lemon Blueberry Trifle (above)- Light, fruity, and oh so delicious! This is one of my favorite photos too =)
Pumpkin Caramel Banana Trifle (above) – This was one of the last recipes I created for the book, but quickly became a favorite!
Homemade Fudge Sauce (above) – This rich chocolate sauce is one of the essential recipes. This topping is easy to make and so delicious you’ll never want store-bought chocolate sauce again!
Chocolate and Nutella Cream Dessert (above) - This two layer dessert is perfect to make ahead and is simple enough for a weeknight treat, but pretty enough for a special occasion.
Do you see anything that might peak your interest? I hope so! =)
Glorious Layered Desserts is available to pre-order on Amazon now, and will be shipped on or before March 11th.
I will be selling copies of the book through the blog (here on Glorious Treats) starting in March, and it will be available from several other sources as well (I’ll update you on those as the information is available).
I will be doing a book tour with book signings in a few select cities. So far I know I’ll be in Salt Lake City (Utah), Folsom (California), Southern California, and a few others are in the works. Please let me know if I should come visit your city!
Over the next few months I’ll be sharing more sneak peeks of the book, information on book signings, several fun giveaways and more!
A huge thank you to each of you who read this blog, leave occasional comments, and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! I truly appreciate each bit of kindness and encouragement! Thank you!!
Rich, chewy Coconut Macaroons… one of my favorite sweet treats! Whenever I’m at a nice bakery and see a pretty coconut macaroon I just have to get one!
Luckily, Coconut Macaroons are a bakery treat that is quite easy to make at home. I’ve made this recipe several times, and each time I share them with family and friends I get rave reviews! The first time my sister tried one she said, “Wow, they taste just like they’re from a bakery… I didn’t know you could make these at home!”
Now granted… if you don’t like coconut, these are probably not the cookie for you! But, if you love coconut (like I do!), I think you’ll fall in love with these chewy, flavorful macaroons!
Rich, chewy coconut cookies, just like you'd find in a high end bakery!
7 3/4 cups (3, 7 oz packages) sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14oz) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup canned cream of coconut
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
6 oz. semi sweet chocolate
Heat oven to 350*F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat liner.
Sprinkle 1 cup of the coconut onto the prepared baking sheet and bake 5-7 minutes (stir after 3 minutes, then check every minutes or so after) until golden brown.
In a large bowl mix toasted coconut, remaining coconut, flour, and salt.
In a another large bowl mix condensed milk, cream of coconut, vanilla, almond extract and egg. Stir together vigorously with a whisk.
Pour liquid mixture into the bowl of coconut (mixture) and stir until well combined.
Using a 2 Tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop mixture onto a parchment paper lined or silpat lined baking sheet. Use a moist finger to press down any shreds of coconut that are hanging out (otherwise they will burn before the cookies are fully baked).
Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown. Cool a minute on the baking sheet, then move to a wire rack to continue cooling.
When the cookies have cooled, melt the chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave (on 50% power). Remove the chocolate from the microwave when almost melted, then stir until the chocolate is fully melted. Dip macaroons in the chocolate and set on a (clean) parchment lined or silpat lined baking sheet. When you've filled the baking sheet, move to the fridge and allow the chocolate to set up.
Store cookies (covered) at room temperature up to 3 days.
Recipe source - Betty Crocker's New Cookbook, 1996
Canned cream of coconut is usually sold near alcoholic drink mixers.
My daughters (Grace 9 and Joy 6) kept hovering around the kitchen as I was making these! The smell of toasted coconut in the house was amazing! They both waited (not so patiently) for these to cool enough to enjoy… then they each treasured the sweet and chewy goodness! I hope they always have fond memories of the treats I make in our little kitchen =)
Do you have some special memories of baking around the holidays with your mom, or grandma (or maybe even your dad)? I’d love to hear them!
Now through December 14 visit Eagle Brand and re-pin your favorite recipes for a chance to win one of over 100 great prizes including a KitchenAid Mixer and other baking essentials!
Love coconut? Here are a few more of my favorite coconut recipes…
German Chocolate Brownies
Almond Joy Bars
Lemon Coconut Bars
Disclosure – I was provided product and/or payment from Eagle brand in exchange for creating this post. All images, text and opinions are my own. I only share products on this site that I use and love.
Thanks to PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese I’m sharing this gorgeous, decadent cheesecake… the perfect finish to any holiday meal!
Oh how I love an impressive dessert! This luscious Black Forest Cheesecake is just that… impressive! Rich, creamy chocolate cheesecake is topped with beautiful whipped cream and bright, sweet-tart cherries… it’s combination sure to bring rave reviews!
Really… just look at it!!
Of course any great recipe starts with great ingredients… and for cheesecake that means Philadelphia cream cheese! Philadelphia cream cheese has been America’s favorite since 1872, and I always ”bring out the silver” because… it’s simply the best!
Quality is very important to me and with Philadelphia cream cheese I know I’m using cream cheese made with fresh milk and cream, and no preservatives. Philadelphia uses milk sourced from dairy farmers local to where the cream cheese is made, and that milk it turned into delicious cream cheese in just six days.
From fresh, to classic, to decadent, when you start with Philadelphia cream cheese, you know it’s going to be delicious!
Let’s get baking…
Black Forrest Cheesecake
Luscious chocolate cheesecake is topped with whipped cream and cherries to create an impressive and delicious dessert!
Yield: One 9" cheesecake (12-16 servings)
1 1/2 cups crushed Oreos (about 16 cookies)
3 tablespoons butter
12 oz. (1 bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips (high quality)
3 packages (8 oz. each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream (any fat content)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whipped Cream (3/4 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla)
1 can- Cherry Pie Filling
Pull out all ingredients, and allow them to sit out at room temperature while you make the crust.
Prepare the crust-
Preheat oven to 375*F. Crush the cookies in a bag (no need to remove the filling), then place cookie crumbs in a bowl. Melt the butter in a small bowl, then pour butter over crumbs and stir until evenly moist. Dump mixture into the bottom of a 9" springform pan and press down firmly on the bottom and up the sides of the pan about 1". I use a measuring cup to press the crumbs up the sides, and around the bottom.
Bake crust in pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.
Prepare the filling-
Pour chocolate chips into a bowl and microwave (at 50% power) until almost melted. Stir, until fully melted and smooth. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer (using a paddle attachment), blend (room temperature) cream cheese until smooth.
Add sugar and blend until fully incorporated.
Add salt, sour cream and vanilla and continue to blend.
Add melted (and cooled) chocolate and blend to combine.
Crack eggs into a small bowl and blend together with a fork.
Add eggs to the cheesecake mixture and blend on low speed just until combined. You do not want to beat the mixture too much after the eggs are added, or you will incorporate too much air- causing it to later puff up and deflate.
Pour filling into baked crust.
Reduce oven temperature to 300*F.
Bake cheesecake in a water bath (pictured below) for 55-65 minutes, until the center barely jiggles when nudged.
To prepare water bath, wrap the cheesecake pan (bottom and sides) with foil, (you may need to criss cross two sheets of foil) so that no water can get into the pan. Place the foil wrapped cheesecake pan in a large roasting pan or baking dish, then pour HOT water into the roasting dish until the water is about 1" deep. Carefully move to oven and bake.
Cool cheesecake at room temperature 30 minutes, then cover and move to the refrigerator and chill for 8 hours or overnight.
Top chilled cheesecake with whipped cream (3/4 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla). Beat cream until it begins to thicken, add powdered sugar and vanilla, then continue to beat until thick and fluffy.
Top whipped cream layer with 1 can of cherry pie filling.
Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Cut with a sharp knife, and wipe off the knife with a moist/hot washcloth between cuts.
Recipe source - Glorious Treats
Creating the water bath helps the cheesecake bake more evenly and the moisture in the oven helps create a moist and creamy cheesecake.
Baked cheesecake recipes often call for a “water-bath”. I’ll have to admit, as much as I enjoy complex desserts, I’ve had a mental block about the extra step of the water bath. Now that I’ve tried it, I’m not sure what I was worried about! This extra step really only takes a minute and the results are well worth it! My cheesecake baked up smooth, crack-free and the finished cheesecake was super creamy and delicious!
To create the water bath, (step 1-2) simply cover the cheesecake pan (sides and bottom) with foil so that no water will get into the pan (from the base seam of the springform pan). Place the whole pan in a large roasting pan or baking dish slightly larger than your cheesecake pan (step 3). Pour HOT water (I use hot tap water) into the roasting pan so that the water fills the pan about 1″ high. Bake as directed. Once baked, cool fully (as directed) and you will have a smooth, creamy, beautiful cheesecake (step 4)!
When the cheesecake has fully chilled (8 hours or overnight), mix up the whipped cream (listed in the recipe above). I put about 1/3 of the whipped cream in a pastry bag fitted with a 1M (Wilton) tip and made a pretty border. Scoop the remaining cream into the center of the cheesecake, then use an offset spatula to spread the cream to the edge (pictured below).
Top the whipped cream with a can of cherry pie filling (I always look for the “extra fruit” kind of filling). Keep the finished cheesecake in the refrigerator until ready to cut and serve.
This recipe does takes a bit of time to prepare, but I love that it can be made a day (or two) in advance, then kept in the fridge until your ready to serve it.
PHILADELPHIA is teaming up with recipe and lifestyle experts to provide recipes and entertaining tips to make your holidays extra special! Find lots of great recipes and tips at CheesecakeCheer.com!
Disclosure- I have been selected by Kraft Foods to be a spokesperson for PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese. While I have been compensated for my time, all text, images and opinions are my own. I only share products on my site that I use and love.
With the holiday season quickly bearing down on us I’ve been thinking about all the ingredients I need to buy get my kitchen well stocked for lots of baking and entertaining!
I usually keep pretty well stocked with baking essentials (and yes, 5 bags of chocolate chips counts as “essentials”), but during November and December it seems I go through ingredients twice as fast!
Today I’m teaming up with my friends at Challenge Butter to help you prepare for a busy baking season!
The Challenge Butter website is a great resource for holiday recipes, from sweet to savory! Here are a few of my favorites from their site…
Cocoa and Cranberry Biscotti
Cranberry Pecan Tart
Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper Stuffed Mushrooms
Now here’s the extra fun part…
Challenge Butter has a $50 Visa Giftcard and 5 pounds of their new butter spreads ready to send to one lucky Glorious Treats reader!
To enter to win..
Simply leave a comment below (on this blog post) telling me what baking ingredients you stock up on around the holidays.
And remember to keep up with Glorious Treats on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Details – One entry per person. Giveaway open to U.S. residents. Giveaway ends Tuesday, November 12th, 2013, 9pm Pacific. Winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be contacted within 2 days of the giveaway close. Giveaway sponsored by Challenge Butter. All text and opinions are my own.
************************************** Giveaway Closed **************************************
Winner - #323 Joy A.
Simple ingredients come together to create these fun Bubbling Cauldron Treats, perfect for a Halloween party!
I was recently sent a box of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Cups and given the challenge to create a Halloween themed treat. Puff pastry is such a versitale ingredient because it can be used to make sweet or savory dishes.
When I saw the cute shape of these little pastries, I thought they would be perfect to turn into mini witches cauldrons. I always have lots of ideas when it comes to creating desserts, but I’m still pleasantly surprised when an idea actually works!
These chocolate and marshmallow filled pastry shells make a fun and creative treat for Halloween!
Ready to make some?
One box of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Cups
Black food coloring spray
1. Bake Puff Pastry Cups according to box directions.
2. Prepare pudding (or use store bought prepared pudding).
3. When the Puff Pastry Cups are baked and cooled, spray the cups with black spray food coloring (take the cups outside to spray). Allow to dry (15 minutes or so). Note, if you do not want to color the pastry, feel free to skip this step, and continue below.
4. Fill the prepared (black) cups with chocolate pudding. This may be easiest if you fill a small ziplock type bag with pudding, then snip off one corner and squeeze the pudding into the little cups. Fill to just below the edge of the pastry cup.
5. Add a pretzel stick (I broke the sticks and used about 2/3 of a stick), then top the pudding with mini marshmallows. I found it best to tear each mini marshmallow in half, and press them together in a little heap, over the pudding.
6. Place the cauldrons on a baking sheet and broil in the oven for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the marshmallows are puffy and golden brown. The marshmallows will shrink down a bit as they cool.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to 1 hour.
These fun little Bubbling Cauldron Treats would be perfect as a bite-sized Halloween party sweet!
Now before you run off to make these I have a few more fun things to mention…
Do you have a fun, unique and delicious idea for using Puff Pastry?
Share your own original idea for using Puff Pastry for a chance to win a trip to the Pepperidge Farm Headquarters (and I might just join you!). I’ll be collecting your ideas over the next few months (as I share my ideas too), and each month I’ll share my “top picks” from your submissions. Next spring, I will chose a winner for the grand prize trip from those highlighted ”top picks”. Share your ideas in the comment section below. I can’t wait to read what you come up with!
Disclosure- I was compensated for my time with products and/or payment from Pepperidge Farm, as part of the “Puff is Spark” panel. I only share products on this site that I use and love. All images, text and opinions are my own.