Fresh Fruit Tart

Hey everyone – I’m back! I apologize that I haven’t been posting for a minute (more like 8 months), but I’ll get to that in a second. I wanted to share my favorite Fresh Fruit Tart recipe with you all, as it’s the perfect time to whip up this delicious summer treat before we officially enter the fall season (p.s. where did the summer go?!).

fresh fruit tart

Now about my absence – the beginning of 2017 was a bit hectic, as we relocated to our home state of Vermont, and I began a Paralegal position at my favorite company of all time, Ben & Jerry’s. It was a very fast transition, and blogging kind of fell to the back burner. Once things became settled in Vermont, I had a period of time where I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to blog (part of my quarter-life crisis, I think), and therefore, lost all motivation to blog. I just wasn’t seeing the blog as something that I was excelling in – my page views weren’t strong, no opportunities were arising, and it was a lot of time and effort I felt that I was putting into absolutely nothing.

Recently, I had somewhat of an “Aha” moment, where I realized that I should be blogging for myself, and not necessarily for anyone else. If blogging makes me happy, why should I stop? And that’s why today, I decided to finally post. I made this fruit tart back in January (I think?), and it has been sitting in my draft folder, waiting to be written. I was super proud of this fresh fruit tart because A. it was delicious, and B. I was really pleased with how the photos came out. Learning how to use my camera is a daunting task, but I’m learning more tricks with the more photos I take.

So, after lots of blabbering, here is my Fresh Fruit Tart recipe! If you try it out, please let me know what you think of it, or send me a photo. I love to see others trying out recipes that I love and create.

*Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addition*

XO,
Becky Lee

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Fresh Fruit Tart Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (cold)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (cold and cubed)

For the filling:

  • 8 ounces mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • Fresh berries of your choosing – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.

Directions:

  1. Whisk the heavy cream, egg, and vanilla together in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt together in a bowl.
  3. Using a pastry cutter, cut in cubed butter into your dry mixture until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.
  5. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and flatten into a 1-inch thick disc. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  6. After at least one hour, remove your dough and roll out into a circle. Place into a greased 9-inch tart pan and press the dough down into the pan and up the sides until it is even all around. Freeze the dough in the tart pan for one hour.
  7. After your dough has been freezing for one hour, preheat your oven to 400°F.
  8. Bake pie crust for 20 minutes. Allow the crust to cool completely before assembling.

For the mascarpone cream filling:

  1. Using a KitchenAid (or any other handheld or stand mixer), beat the mascarpone for 1 minute on medium-high speed. Then, add the heavy cream very slowly with the mixer on low. Next, add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Spread into cooled crust. Refrigerate until ready to garnish with fruit.
  2. Garnish the tart with fresh fruit of your choice, and enjoy!

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Cherry Linzer Bars

homemade cherry linzer bar recipe homemade cherry linzer bar recipe homemade cherry linzer bar recipe homemade cherry linzer bar recipehomemade cherry linzer bar recipe

It’s December, which means it’s time for holiday baking! I’m sure you can all imagine how excited this makes me. Recently, I won a baking competition held at my work. It was quite fun – we had to supply 6 dozen of a dessert of choice (I made my Naughty Brownies, of course). And as the winner of this competition, I received a prize, which was a Good HouseKeeping Holiday Cookbook! I was, of course, eager to bake a recipe from this cookbook. And the first to catch my eye was this homemade Cherry Linzer Bar recipe.

I have never made these before, so my first attempt wasn’t too bad, though I would make a couple of adjustments my next time around. First off, maybe go light on the hazelnuts, or possibly substitute the hazelnuts? I think I expected these to taste more like jamb thumbprints, so when I took my first bite, I was a bit alarmed by the nutty aftertaste. However, if you’re a hazelnut fan, I think these are a winner! I did bring them to work, and my co-workers didn’t complain – so I’d say that’s a win. Overall, I’d say this is a great holiday cookie – great texture, the perfect amount of sweet, and they look super festive with a dusting of powdered sugar!

Check out this Good Housekeeping Recipe here. I did do a couple of things differently – first, I just used a Cherry Jelly (which I don’t think made much of a change in taste). I also do not have a food processor, so I used my trusty Ninja blender. I think it still did the job – my hazelnuts were completely ground up, so I was happy to realize I may not actually need a food processor. And I think I would like to experiment with a bit less hazelnut, substituting with flour. I’d also like to have even more of the jam mixture – there were some bites that just lacked that delicious cherry goodness. So, a second jar of cherry jelly would definitely be necessary for my next batch.

If you give this recipe a try this holiday season, please leave me a comment below of your thoughts!

Happy December!

XO,

Becky Lee

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Homemade Baked Donuts

homemade baked donut recipe homemade baked donut recipe homemade baked donut recipe homemade baked donut recipe homemade baked donut recipe

Looking for a super easy homemade baked donut recipe for National Donut Day? I’ve got you covered.

I had no idea that National Donut Day was today, but apparently there are now TWO National Donut Days. I can’t say I’m complaining in the least. So I decided it was time to finally share my favorite donuts that I’ve ever made.

I have been dying to make homemade baked donuts for the longest time, so I finally got myself a few donut pans and went on the hunt for a good recipe. When I found a recipe by King Arthur Flour, I knew I had to give it a shot. Here is the recipe that I used for my homemade baked donuts. This recipe is so easy, and you most likely have every ingredient in your kitchen. Plus, the prep time and bake time are so quick! They’re the perfect treat if you need something quick to whip up, and are a bit more impressive than that boxed brownie mix in your cabinet.

Now, on to the fun part – the glaze! Now, you can choose whatever type of glaze you’d like, or even stick to just a simple cinnamon sugar coating. But I went for chocolate glaze, because I can never say no to chocolate. For my baked donuts, I made this really simple glaze recipe and then garnished with some fun autumnal sprinkles!

Homemade Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

In a bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
Slowly add in milk and vanilla; stir to combine.
Whisk glaze mixture until smooth.

Happy Baking!

XO,

Becky Lee

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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

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I have been talking about Pumpkin Whoopie Pies for as long as I can remember. Growing up, trick-or-treating consisted of visiting the ten or twelve houses on our private, dirt road in the middle of nowhere Vermont. But before we got a sugar buzz off our king-size Hershey bars, we stopped at the neighborhood Halloween party. I faintly remember things like wasabi peanuts (weird, I know) and savory dishes, but the one thing I could never forget was the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. I remember looking forward to these sweets more than the actually Halloween candy each year, and they have been one of my favorite treats ever since the first bite.

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I decided it was finally time that I take a swing at my own recipe* for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies this fall. I can say with much confidence that this recipe is my favorite that I’ve posted since I started this blog about a year ago.

These did not last long in our household. While I did give some away to friends and threw a few in the freezer, I ate three or four (I can’t even remember) within a few hours of them cooling. So needless to say, these are amazing. These are really, really amazing. Also, they are super easy! Trust me, they’re a one-bowl wonder.

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  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp pie spice (if you don’t have this, use a dash or two of cinnamon, cloves, and ginger)

For Filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease your baking sheets.
  2. Combine the oil and brown sugar. Mix in the pumpkin and eggs.
  3. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and pie spice. Ensure to mix well.
  4. Drop large teaspoons of dough onto baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. While your cookies bake, prepare the Whoopie Pie Filling: Beat egg white and mix with the milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar. Mix and then beat in the shortening and the remaining cup of confectioners’ sugar. Beat your filling mixture until light and fluffy.
  6. Allow your cookies to cool before adding the filling – spread a heaping amount of filling on to one cookie, topping with a second cookie.
  7. Store cool Whoopie Pies in the fridge or freezer (if they last that long).

*Based on this recipe

Let me know in the comments if you try out this recipe – I’d love to know your thoughts!

Happy Baking!
XO,

Becky Lee

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Homemade Mac & Cheese

There’s something so cozy and comforting about warm foods. I think one of my favorite things about the leaves changing and temperatures dropping is the fact that I can really start using my oven for any meal. Over the past few weeks, I had been craving some heavy carbs, so I thought it was only fair to whip up probably one of my most nostalgic (and indulgent) warm dishes for fall. This is my homemade mac & cheese recipe!homemade mac & cheesehomemade mac & cheeseThis is the homemade mac & cheese recipe that I grew up eating. My favorite part was always the crushed Ritz crackers my mom would always garnish on top – they would turn perfectly golden brown. Of course, we didn’t have any on hand when I decided to make this, so unfortunately I don’t have photo documentation as evidence. However, I highly HIGHLY recommend adding a few Ritz on top of your mac & cheese before you put it in the oven. It adds the perfect, buttery crunch. This recipe is so simple and quick – it’s really the perfect dish to enjoy during the autumn season. And a side note, I am obsessed with black pepper! As you can tell, my bowl of mac & cheese was covered in pepper. Just the way I love it!
homemade mac & cheese homemade mac & cheese homemade mac & cheese
Ingredients

  • 2 cups macaroni
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated onion (optional)
  • Ritz Crackers (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Boil water and cook noodles – set aside.
  • Blend milk into cornstarch in a saucepan. Add butter, onion, mustard, worcestershire sauce, and pepper.
  • Bring milk mixture to a boil.
  • Once your mixture is boiling, reduce heat and add the cheese. Whisk until fully combined.
  • Pour mixture on top of the noodles and mix to combine.
  • Add crumbled Ritz crackers on top (make sure you try this!).
  • Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy!

 

Happy Eating!

XO,

Becky Lee

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Muddy Buddies – Halloween Edition

Muddy Buddies. So simple, yet so, so good! Muddy Buddies have been a favorite treat of mine for a long time now. They were actually the choice favorite with my best friends in high school. Our sleepovers never failed to have sweatpants, TV, and Muddy Buddies (and yes most of the time we ate the whole batch, followed by stomach aches).

I had a craving recently for Muddy Buddies but decided I wanted to put a festive twist on the recipe in celebration of fall. So here folks is my Halloween Muddy Buddies recipe! This recipe will get your sugar high, your taste buds happy, and your fingers covered in powdered sugar.

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Halloween Muddy Buddies Recipe

Ingredients

  • 9 cups Rice Chex or Corn Chex (I used Rice Chex)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (add more or less to your liking)

For the mix-in’s (all are optional)

  • Candy Corn M&M’s
  • Candy Corn and Pumpkins Mix
  • Mini Reese’s
  • Anything else to your liking!

Directions

  • In a large bowl, measure your cereal and set aside.
  • In a microwavable bowl, microwave the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter for 1 minute. Stir and microwave for 30 seconds or so until your mixture is fully combined and can be stirred smoothly.
  • Mix in vanilla to chocolate mixture.
  • Pour chocolate mixture on to cereal, ensuring to evenly cover all of the pieces.
  • Pour cereal into a 2-gallon resealable bag.
  • Add powdered sugar, seal the bag, and shake until cereal is evenly coated.
  • Spread cereal on to baking sheet, waxed paper, or tin foil to fully cool.
  • Once your muddy buddies have cooled, it’s time for the fun part! Add in whatever fun and festive candies you’d like, stir to combine, and eat up!

Happy Fall and Happy Eating!

XO,

Becky Lee

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Lemon Curd Poppy Seed Bread

For the last several months, I have been craving lemon poppy seed everything. While it’s fall, and I suppose lemons are more of a summer fruit, I still wanted to find a lemon poppy seed recipe to welcome the autumn season. There is something so comforting about baking in the fall time – the oven warms up the apartment, it’s super cozy, and you can cover yourself in blankets while devouring your baked goods. Really a win-win.

I have been eager to find a good lemon poppy seed bread recipe, and when I stumbled upon Williams-Sonoma’s, I knew it was the one. This recipe is not only extremely easy, but it is super moist and the perfect amount of sweet. I really love the crunch of the poppy seeds, and the lemon curd running throughout the loaf makes it that much more delicious.

I have always loved Williams-Sonoma – just the aroma that exudes from the store is enough to pull me in for a look around. I am always in awe of all of the beautiful dinnerware, the stunning cutlery, and of course, the fun appliances. I actually purchased all of our white plates for their line, rolling pins, tart pans, cutting boards, etc. You name it, they have it (even that wire cooling rack pictured below is from Williams-Sonoma). To be honest, I’d be very content shopping at Williams-Sonoma and only Williams-Sonoma for the rest of my life.

Now, on to what you’re really here for – here is the original recipe. I followed it exactly, but my one recommendation would be to ensure your lemon curd is room temperature (or possibly warmed up). A lot of the lemon curd didn’t evenly distribute itself in the batter (you can tell by the photos). Though, I didn’t mind it. Lemon curd is one of those magical ingredients that you can eat right out of the jar (p.s. the lemon curd I use is Dickinson’s – it’s the best). Also, ignore the burned edges – I’m on the hunt for an updated bread pan. Anyone have any suggestions? Let me know in the comments below.

lemon curd poppy seed bread lemon curd poppy seed bread lemon curd poppy seed bread lemon curd poppy seed bread
Enjoy, and happy fall!

XO,

Becky Lee

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Naughty Brownies

These should probably be outlawed. They are also the highest calorie dessert I’ve ever consumed (not actually sure about that, but I’d say they are up there). This recipe actually came to me in a dream. I’m kidding, but I have been wanting to make something to this extreme for a very long time now. I have seen several variations on this recipe, but I knew with mine that I wanted to incorporate Reese’s (as I am the world’s biggest fan), and I wanted to make them so simple that you could memorize the recipe with ease.

These are my Naughty Brownies. Why are they naughty? You know when all you want to do is binge watch Netflix and eat crap for hours and lounge in your sweats and fuzzy socks? These are what I want accompanying me on days like that. Or how about in the evening, after a long day of eating nothing but healthy food, and all you crave at 8:30pm is chocolate? Naughty brownies are what I want to ruin any chance of remaining low-carb that day.

Now, my photos are quite messy, I’ll admit it. But these babies were still warm when I decided to snap a few photos; so yes, I apologize for showing you gooey, warm, melt-in-your-mouth amazingness. Please forgive me.

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Naughty Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 package chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 1 package of Oreos (any kind will do, I used Original)
  • 1 box of brownie mix
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (I used 6 cups)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Follow directions of brownie mix to create batter; set aside.
  • Spread a layer of cookie dough on the bottom of your brownie pan.
  • Add a layer of Oreos on top of your cookie dough (fit as many as you can into the pan!).
  • Pour brownie mix on top of Oreos – you want to ensure the Oreos are fully covered.
  • Chop your Reese’s and garnish on top of brownie batter.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool for about an hour before serving (trust me, you won’t be able to wait that long).

Happy food coma!

XO,

Becky Lee

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Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I have always loved zucchini bread. Growing up, my mom always loved making breads during the fall season – scents of zucchini and cinnamon were frequently filling up our cozy kitchen. When my parents came to visit a few weekends ago, they came bearing gifts – one of which included a loaf of chocolate zucchini bread. After the first few bites of this stuff, I was hooked. This recipe is incredible – it honestly tastes like chocolate cake! I love how easy it is and how moist the bread stays (even a few days old). I highly recommend this recipe – it has crept to the top of my baked good favorites. With that said, I had to share it with y’all, and attempt to allow the loaf to last more than 24 hours (Jacob and I aren’t too good at that). Happy baking!

Chocolate Zucchini BreadChocolate Zucchini BreadChocolate Zucchini BreadChocolate Zucchini BreadChocolate Zucchini BreadChocolate Zucchini BreadChocolate Zucchini BreadChocolate Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini (grated)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • all the chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease loaf pan.
  • Grate zucchini and squeeze out excess moisture (I recommend doing this with a few paper towels).
  • In mixing bowl, combine oil, sugars and vanilla.
  • Mix in eggs and zucchini.
  • In separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  • Fold in chocolate chips (as many or as little as you’d like).
  • Pour batter into loaf pan.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

*Based on this recipe*

XO,

Becky Lee

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Cinnamon Banana Bread

Is it bad that every weekend I go grocery shopping, I always purchase at least 2 additional bananas on top of what I plan on consuming during the week? No. No, it is not bad. It is actually necessary.

I am not a huge banana fan, however the health benefits have forced me to find the strength to eat at least a few each week. Then why, you ask, do I buy so many bananas every week? Banana bread. That is why. Also, banana bread french toast… might need to do a recipe for that too.

I’ve tried dozens upon dozens of banana bread recipes, and finally found the perfect one – simple, not too sweet, and perfect texture.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 ripe bananas

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp softened butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Spray 9×5 loaf pan with non-stick spray.
  • In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, oats, sugar, and salt).
  • In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients (eggs, milk, oil, and mashed bananas).
  • Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.
  • In a separate bowl, combine your topping ingredients to create the cinnamon mixture (flour, sugar, butter, and cinnamon).
  • Pour half of your batter into the loaf pan and top with half of the cinnamon mixture.
  • Pour remaining batter into the pan and top with the remaining half of the cinnamon mixture.
  • Bake 50-60 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean!)

*Check out the original recipe here.*

Enjoy and happy baking!

XO,

Becky Lee

 

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