Category Archives: Desserts

S’more Bites with Halloween Candy

Halloween Candy Smore Bites

Halloween candy s’more bites are a super quick treat to make and the perfect way to use up that Halloween candy. These are also a great treat to bring to a Halloween party.
What sets these s’more bites apart is the gourmet graham crackers I get from the Tulie bakery here in Salt Lake City, Utah. A world of difference in the taste and texture department!


Each cracker is about 3 inches square so I quartered them. Making each bite perfect for one marshmallow.


I then cut up an assortment of candy into smaller pieces. My favorite topping is Almond Joys.


You don’t need a fancy torch, I just lined a baking sheet with parchment, added the crackers and marshmallows, and toasted them in my over on broil. It took about 3-5 minutes to get a nice golden top.


Press the candy down into the toasted marshmallow, being sure to get it down in the gooey melted part!

You can serve these warm or cool like I did last night. I let them cool down for a few minutes, added a lid and took them to a party.

I want to hear about your s’more bites so leave a comment with your favorite S’more topping or where to find gourmet graham crackers in your area.

xoxosarah

 

Best Ever Brownies | Living Darling

Julia’s Best Ever Brownies Recipe

Julia’s Best Ever Brownies Recipe

Wow, there is a reason why everyone’s hero in the kitchen, Julia Child, called this brownie recipe BEST EVER BROWNIES!  Gooey, creamy, chocolate for days.  These are the brownies of my dreams.

I knew they would be good because every Julia Child recipe I have ever made turns out to be a winner but this was beyond expectation.  I’m totally in love with the fact that something so complex in both texture and taste came from just 6 simple ingredients.

The hardest part about this recipe is having patience while melting the chocolate and butter.  But other than that, it comes together very quickly.  Just remember to not over work the batter in the last few steps and they will turn out to be the most fudge like, creamy brownies you have ever had.

Ingredients

Melting the Chocolate and butter.

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Add in 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla.

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Whisk remaining sugar and eggs.

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Add half of egg mixture to chocolate mixture.

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Whisk remaining egg mixture till doubled in volume.

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Gently fold into chocolate mixture.

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Add dry ingredients. 

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Spoon into prepared pan and spread evenly.

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Bake

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Eat!

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Best Ever Brownies | Living Darling

Julia Childs Best Ever Brownies

Best Ever Brownies | Living Darling Wow, there is a reason why everyone's hero in the kitchen, Julia Child, called this brownie recipe BEST EVER BROWNIES! Gooey, creamy, chocolate for days. They are the brownies of my dreams.

  • Prep Time: 25m
  • Cook Time: 25m
  • Total Time: 50m

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 c plain white flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 c butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c white sugar
  • 4 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Place rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 9 inch square pan and line with parchment paper, which makes it much easier to cut into perfect squares at the end.
  3. You have two options for melting the chocolate: Option A If you have really hot tap water you can use this method or skip down to option B. Place a medium glass bowl inside of a slightly larger bowl. Add hot water from the tap to the outside bowl. Add the chocolate and butter to the inside bowl and allow to sit for about five minutes while you prep the dry ingredients. It will have melted slightly, keep stirring often. Switch out the water if needed. Keep stirring until the chocolate and butter are fully melted and incorporated. I switched out the water twice and this took about 10-15 minutes. This method requires patience but ensure that this mixture doesn't get too hot for the next few steps. Option B In a medium glass bowl, add chocolate and butter. Place the bowl over a saucepan half full of water and bring to a very gentle simmer, reduce heat to low. Stir the chocolate and butter continuously to fully incorporate and avoid overheating.
  4. Remove the bowl from the water and wipe dry. Mix in 1c of the sugar and the vanilla.
  5. In a bowl, whisk the other 1c of sugar and the eggs until just combined. Gradually stir half the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture until just combined. Stir a few times during the next step to keep from thickening up too much.
  6. Either with a stand mixer or by hand whisk the remaining egg mixture until pailed, and doubled in volume. I did this step by hand and it took about 5 minutes. I will definitely use my stand mixer next time. Gently fold into the chocolate mixture.
  7. Once the eggs are almost completely folded in, gently fold in the dry ingredients.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake 23-28 minutes, the batter will rise a little and the top will look dry. If you give the pan a gentle shake, it should have just a little movement but not look like batter.
  10. Let the brownies cool completely, then using the parchment paper, lift out of pan. With a large knife cut straight down into 16 equal pieces.

Here in Salt Lake, the first official weekend of Fall was a cold and dreary one. The perfect kind of weather to stay in, put up Halloween decorations, and bake.  This recipe really got me back into the baking mood after a really hot summer.

So get your fall baking on with this amazing recipe.

xoxosarah

Easiest Tres Leches Cake Recipe

This is the story of how I created the easiest tres leches cake recipe of all time. With only 5 ingredients, this recipe is perfect for pot lucks, BBQ’s, and last minute desserts.

While preparing to make Tres Leches for my work “Cinco De Mayo” pot luck I had dreams of grandeur. I did the research and was mentally prepared to separate egg whites from their yolks. I was ready to beat egg whites into stiff peaks. It was going to be the damn Tres Leches anyone had ever tasted.

But then I got stuck in really bad rush hour traffic, got home late, realized I need to go to the grocery store before I could make dinner. I had a toddler saying “mom, mom, MOM” in increasing volume while begging for snacks that I knew would inevitably ruin his appetite for dinner.

And so in about the length of time it took Oliver Jack to get through his 3rd chorus of “mom, mom MOOOOOOOM” I let go of my dreams of grandeur and got real.

But I couldn’t show up to work empty handed. While throwing a handful of Pirate Booty in my little crooners direction,  I googled “tres leches + pound cake”  just to make sure it was a viable substitution. All while contemplating whether Pirate Booty counted as a vegetable?!  But Oliver’s Vegetable consumption was a problem for another day.

With very little encouragement I was running out the door to the store.

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Easiest Tres Leches Cake Recipe

  • Prep Time: 15m

Ingredients

  • 2 Loafs pound cake
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1/4 c heavy cream
  • 10 oz container of Truwhip or whipped topping
  • 12 maraschino cherries

Instructions

  1. Cut each pound cake loaf in half lengthwise.
  2. Place bottom of each loaf in transportable container or lipped serving dish.
  3. Using fork, poke holes throughout layer of cake.
  4. Combine sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in an easy to pour container. Then pour half of milk mixture over prepared pound cake. Place top layer of pound cake loafs on top and poke holes throughout layer with a fork. Pour the remaining milk mixture over top being sure to get the corners and edges. If there seems to be a lot of the milk mixture pooling in the bottom you don't have to use all of the milk mixture.
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
  6. Top with whipped topping and maraschino cherries.

All things considered, I was totally surprised with how well this turned out and I have since made this recipe 5 times. The correlation between how easy it is and it’s deliciousness is totally bonkers. Nothing this easy should taste this good. I hope you enjoy!
xoxosarah

My favorite new cake trend: Drip Drizzle Cakes

Some call it a drip cake, others a drizzle cake.  I like to call it a drip drizzle cake, I must be conjuring up my inner Snoop Dog. Whatever its name, I am completely obsessed with this hot new cake trend.

I mean, whats not to love, you take an already amazing cake and then drip drizzle your way to beyond amazing. The best part of these gorgeous drip drizzle cakes is all the crazy toppings; donuts, Japanese pocky, bon bons, macarons, flowers, lollipops, fruit, marshmallow, meringue, cookies, truffles, candy, or mini bottles of Jack, the possibilities are endless.
new cake trend drip drizzle cakes

1.  Mudgeemade
2.  Sugar by J Cakes
3.  Fork to Belly
4.  Sugaretal
5.  LifeofPieAmsterdam
6.  Cakes by Cliff
7.  Dessert Stomach
8.  Lapechefraiche
I’m definitely going to have a drip drizzle cake for my upcoming 35th birthday.  Now how to pick a design?!

xoxosarah

Cherry Blossom Inspired Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

I have been experimenting with chia seeds for a couple of weeks and I am crazy excited about this chia pudding recipe. My perpetual sweet tooth doesn’t necessarily play nice with my current caloric goals so finding a dessert that won’t break the calorie bank is a total score.

This recipe is inspired by my favorite sign of Spring, the cherry blossom.  A lightly sweet, delicately pink, strawberry chia seed pudding, topped with ripe strawberries and matcha (green tea) whipped cream.

And here is the best part, each serving is 105 calories. Sweet tooth satisfied..check…my fitness pal tracking still in the black…check.

 

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Strawberry Chia Pudding with Matcha Whipped Cream

  • Prep Time: 8h

Ingredients

Pudding

  • 8 strawberries
  • 2 tbsp. raw honey
  • 1 c coconut milk
  • 1/2 c chia seeds

Topping

  • 11 oz carton of Truwhip or whipped cream ( reserve 2/3 for topping.)
  • Remainder of Truwhip or whipped cream
  • 1 tsp. matcha powder
  • 10 strawberries, washed, hulled, and diced
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 16 cookies or Asian bread-sticks (optional)

Instructions

Pudding

  1. It is best to make chia pudding at least 8 hours ahead, making it the night before works really well.  
  2. Wash and hull strawberries, place in blender along with honey and coconut milk.  Blend until smooth.  Since strawberries can vary in size, keep in mind the proper ratio for a thick chia pudding is 4 parts liquid to 1 part chia seeds so for this recipe aim for 2 cups of liquid.  You can always add more strawberries or coconut milk to equal 2 cups.
  3. Place chia seeds in bowl and then add the strawberry milk mixture, stir until mixed well, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Before serving add 1/3 of the Truwhip container or about a cup of whipped cream, fold until combined.

Topping

  1. Small dice strawberries, sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon sugar, and refrigerate for at least an hour. Fold 1 teaspoon of matcha powder in 2/3 a container of Truwhip until combined.
  2. Spoon or pipe pudding into a 2 oz shot glass, add diced strawberries, add optional garnishment; sugar wafers or little bread-sticks work great. I found these strawberry and green tea dipped bread-sticks on the International isle at the grocery store.  If you are going for gluten free on this recipe, just pick up gluten free sugar wafers.
  3. Top with a dollop of matcha Truewhip and either a little sprinkle of straight matcha powder or you can combine a teaspoon of matcha and a tablespoon of sugar, then sprinkle that on top to garnish.

Happy first week of Spring!!

xoxosarah

Hello Baby, a Kate Spade Inspired Baby Shower

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Hello Baby Kate Spade Inspired Baby Shower

It has been 24 years since the last girl was born into the Dawson family. Needless to say, us girls are seriously outnumbered.  So it’s no surprise that all of us ladies were more than a little giddy when we found out our Niece Jessica is expecting a girl.   And especially thrilled to throw her a baby shower.

What better theme to celebrate a little girl than a Kate Spade inspired baby shower complete with: polka dots, stripes, gorgeous flowers, black and white, gold, hot pink, all punctuated with a little sparkle and sass.

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This gorgeous cake is from Swirly Girls Bakery in Daybreak, UT.

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This Hello sign is from HelloHeidiWallArt, Which I usually have hanging in my kitchen but loved the idea of Hello Baby so I used it for this fun shower along with a d.i.y. floral BABY sign. I just cut out the front of these paper mache/ cardboard letters , painted them black, and then filled in each letter with an assortment of pink silk flowers and a little hot glue.

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Have I mentioned how much I love a fruit pizza bar?!!!

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Hello Baby, a Kate Spade Inspired Baby Shower

Hello Baby Kate Spade Inspired Baby Shower It has been 24 years since the last girl was born into the Dawson family. Needless to say, us girls are seriously outnumbered.  So it’s no surprise that all of us ladies were more than a little giddy when we found out our Niece Jessica is expecting a girl.   And especially thrilled […]

Ingredients

This recipe has no ingredients

Instructions

This recipe has no instructions

 

 

kate spade baby shower

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If the last time you had sherbet punch was 1992 like me, you need to make some and be quick about it.  It was even better than I remembered.

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I decided to do pink nail polish as the favor, but about choked when I saw how expensive most nail polish is.  Luckily I shopped around and found just what I was looking for at Walgreens. How cute are all these different shades of pink?! I just added a cute tag and a little bow.

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Here are a few more pictures of the invites and address labels. I did bleep out my actual address, if you want to leave me love note, you can always leave me a comment.

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kate spade baby shower

“She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes.”

-Kate Spade

 

I thought it was the perfect quote for all little girls, and big ones for that matter, to remember to sparkle.

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One of my favorite things during the shower was the realization that almost every single gift was wrapped in coordination with the theme; pink, polka dots, & stripes.   It was definitely a sight to behold.  It made me smile knowing the invitations totally conveyed the theme enough that all of these ladies go it and just ran with it.

I am also dying over these amazing pictures my awesome nephew Alec took at the shower. It was a huge stress relief to have his help.  I am totally blown away by his talent and really excited to see what he does with it.

I hope you are enjoying your weekend.

xoxosarah

Heartbreaker Pancake and Pajamas Party

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photos by Mary Clark, DMC Studios

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photos by Mary Clark, DMC Studios

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photos by Mary Clark, DMC Studios

Heartbreaker Pancake Pajamas Party

My little two year old Oliver Jack has been stealing hearts since the day he was born.  He has an incredibly charming disposition, a knowing smile, a contagious giggle, and a sense of humor that continually surprises me.  His favorite game starts with him letting out a ferocious roar, followed by  the most earnest question “you scared Momma?”  He tenderly, reassuringly pats my arm and says sincerely “its ok Momma!”  He then mischievously wrinkles his nose and lets out a wild roar, starting the game all over again.

I can’t say the last two years have been easy; the sleep deprivation, the boogers, the messes, the lack of personal time and personal space, the money, oh and there was that vomitous road trip.

But I can say unequivocally that Oliver Jack is the most delightful, magical gift I could have ever hoped for or imagined. He brightens my day with more love than I knew possible.  Oliver acts as though I am the greatest person in the world. Which makes me want to reach higher and maybe one day deserve such adoration.

So happy Birthday Oliver Jack. Its been an amazing, wild two years and I look forward to our many adventures ahead.

To Celebrate his birthday we threw him a heartbreaker pancakes and pajamas Party.

I figured there won’t be too many more birthday party themes where I get full artistic license so I went with hearts, it totally works being that he was actually due on Valentines Day and will forever be the best Valentine.

Heartbreaker Pancake Pajamas Party

For the cake I made my favorite Guinness chocolate cake, cream cheese frosting, and I used heart shaped macaroons from a local bakery as part of the caketopper.  I created the “Heartbreaker” with a Silhouette and black glitter cardstock.

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The pancakes and pajamas were plentiful as promised.

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I didn’t get a picture of the basement but we turned the family room into a blanket fort lounge. The kids loved it.  Juice added an eye screw in 3 different walls, about an inch from the ceiling. He then strung a nylon rope through each, creating a triangle overhead.  We hung a sheet up on each side of the triangle and then one on top, using clothes pins to secure it to the rope and where each of the sides met.  We also used clothes pins to hang twinkle lights.  We filled it with all the pillows we could find.

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The mimosa and bellini bar was a huge hit. I made peach, pineapple, and a berry puree and grabbed a few bottles of champagne.  For the fruit puree I used this recipe by Giada as inspiration.

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How cute are these heart straws?!!

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I cant believe I didn’t get a picture of the pancake topping bar.  But it was filled with fresh fruit, a couple different kinds of syrup, and whip cream.

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For the french toast shooters I added a dollop of cream cheese whip and drizzled in a little Golden syrup.  I could eat Golden syrup on just about anything. Its especially great if you do not love Maple like me.   You can pick up Golden syrup on Amazon or World Market.

These egg scrambles were a super easy crowd-pleaser.

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One of the things I love about a pancake and pajama party is that you can use any color scheme you want or no color scheme for that matter.  There is something so comfortable and fun about everyone in pajamas, eating delicious pancakes.

Oliver had a blast with his little friends and was sufficiently spoiled.

I’m highly considering implementing an official “very merry unbirthday,” for each of us just to have more excuses to throw a party, well that or having more kids. 😉

Party on!!!!!

xoxosarah

Big Game Little Work- How to throw a last minute Super Bowl Party

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How to throw a last minute Super Bowl Party

I am the queen of over doing it and the master of the small details but sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to make football shaped cookies and cold cuts in the shape of a football stadium.

The good news is that most people wont mind, especially if you feed them well.
My favorite go to appetizers are: Hummus Flatbread Shooters and Veggie Ranch Shooters.

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Big Game Little Work- How to throw a last minute Super Bowl Party

How to throw a last minute Super Bowl Party I am the queen of over doing it and the master of the small details but sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to make football shaped cookies and cold cuts in the shape of a football stadium. The good news is that most […]

Ingredients

This recipe has no ingredients

Instructions

This recipe has no instructions

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Big Game Little Work- How to throw a last minute Super Bowl Party

How to throw a last minute Super Bowl Party I am the queen of over doing it and the master of the small details but sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to make football shaped cookies and cold cuts in the shape of a football stadium. The good news is that most […]

Ingredients

This recipe has no ingredients

Instructions

This recipe has no instructions

Throw some beer in an ice filled sink DSC_0319lowres

or some wine in a bucket

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Pick up some delicious cookies, I got these at the Popshop DSC_0419lowres

Pick up a fabulous meat and cheese tray, some olives, and crusty bread from your favorite deli, i got these at Tony Caputos 

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There you have it, Big Game, little work!!

xoxosarah