Thursday, May 16, 2024

Chocolate chip cookie cake with vanilla buttercream frosting


This is a sponsored post by Challenge Butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible! 

Early summer is filled with celebrations--graduation parties, end of school year celebrations, Indy 500, etc. And I can't think of a better way to celebrate than with cookie cake. Cookie cakes are incredibly easy to make. In fact, they're easier to make than actual cookies. So under no circumstances should you actually buy a cookie cake when you can make one that tastes 100 times better.

My favorite recipe includes instant vanilla pudding powder. I have tried and tried to make cookie cake without pudding mix, and it is just not the same. The pudding mix makes helps the cookie cake retain moisture and makes it extremely soft and chewy. Also, I think the vanilla in the pudding gives the cookie a deeper flavor.

Cookie Cake FAQ

What type of pan do I use?

My preferred cookie cake pan is 12 inches in diameter. I actually like to use a deep-dish pizza pan. When I make a cookie this large, I do not remove it from the pan, primarily because I don't have a big enough serving dish to put it on. And I think it looks just fine. But if I make smaller 9-inch or 6-inch cookie cakes, I line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper. Then once the cookies cool, I go around the edge with a butter knife to loosen it, and the cookie cake pops right out. Regardless of what size pan you use, the dough should be about 1/2-inch thick in the pan.

Why use melted butter?

The best part about cookie cakes is you don’t have to use a mixer for the dough. You can just melt the butter and stir everything together because we aren’t worried about individual cookies spreading too much. I always use Challenge unsalted butter. It melts really well, and I think it tastes better than other brands.

What type of chocolate chips?

I actually like to use a mini chocolate chips for a more even distribution of chocolate. Also, it makes it easier to cut into the cookie cake.

How do I decorate it?

I like to decorate the cookie cake with buttercream frosting. I included my frosting recipe in this post. You can color the frosting with food coloring or just leave it. I use a piping bag fitted with a star tip for the border, and I leave the center open to write a message. Writing with frosting takes a lot of practice, so don't get discouraged if you mess up. You can always scrape off the frosting and try it again. And always top it off with sprinkles!

Chocolate chip cookie cake with vanilla buttercream frosting

Yield: 1 (12-inch) cookie cake or 2 (9-inch) cookie cakes or 4 (6-inch) cookie cakes

Time: About 90 minutes

Ingredients

For the cookie cake

  • 12 tablespoons (170 grams) Challenge unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (200 grams) dark brown sugar 
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix (just the powder)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups (270 grams) all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (168 grams)  mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the vanilla buttercream frosting

  • 1 cup (226 grams) Challenge unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups (450 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) heavy cream

Directions

For the cookie cake

  1. Move oven rack to lowest setting and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray pan or pans with nonstick spray, line with parchment paper, and spray again.
  2. In large bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, pudding mix, eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. In separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. 
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Divide cookie dough evenly among pans and press down until evenly distributed. Dough should be about 1/2-inch thick.
  6. Bake about 20 minutes for 12-inch and 9-inch cookies and about 15 minutes for 6-inch cookies. Edges should be golden brown and center should be just barely set.
  7. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack.
  8. Once cool, use knife to loosen edges. Remove cookies from pans and transfer to serving dishes.

For the vanilla buttercream frosting

  1. Beat butter on high speed for about 2 minutes or until light and creamy. Scrape down bowl with spatula.
  2. With mixer on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl after addition of every cup. 
  3. Add vanilla extract and salt and mix until combined.
  4. Mix in heavy cream 1 Tablespoon at a time until frosting is desired consistency for piping. Frosting should be medium stiffness. You should be able to pipe easily without putting too much pressure on bag.
  5. Use food coloring to color frosting if desired.
  6. Decorate cookie cake and serve.
  7. Cover leftover cookie cake and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.

 


Saturday, May 4, 2024

Pesto goat cheese lasagna

 


Mother's Day is coming up, and I want you all to give it the proper amount of planning and attention it deserves. Also, you need to know, mom's don't want breakfast in bed. The idea of a sticky, crumby mess in my bed makes me squirm. Your mom would much prefer for you to make her dinner. And she doesn't want you to ask her what she wants. She wants you to just do it. And most importantly, she doesn't want to see a messy kitchen afterwards. The kitchen should be just as clean, nay cleaner than before you stepped foot into it.

So you're going to make her this pesto lasagna, and I'm going to make it as easy as possible for you. This lasagna has 3 parts: pesto meat sauce, cheese mixture, and noodles. You can definitely customize each of these components to a degree.

The pesto sauce: Instead of a tomato-based sauce, I used pesto. Like I said, I want this to be as easy as possible for you, so just buy pesto. Other than the pesto, it's a pretty standard meat sauce for lasagna. If you want a meatless lasagna, replace the sausage with sauteed asparagus and wilted spinach. You can make this a day in advance to make prep easier.

The cheese mixture: I'm going to throw you for a loop with the addition of goat cheese to the cheese mixture. Goat cheese adds subtle tanginess to lasagna that really makes it stand out. Also, it pairs really nicely with a little lemon zest to brighten the flavor. If that's too weird for you, just substitute cottage cheese.

The noodles: I am Team No-Boil Lasagna Noodles all the way! Not only does it eliminate a step, but they're also thinner than regular noodles so they better mimic the texture of fresh-made pasta. Just make sure all parts of the noodle is covered in sauce. Any part of the noodle that is left exposed won't get cooked.

Assembly is easy once the three parts are made. Always put a little sauce on the bottom so the bottom noodles don't burn and stick to the baking dish. Then your layering should look like this: Noodles, 1/3 pesto meat sauce, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cheese mixture, noodles, 1/3 pesto meat sauce, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cheese mixture, noodles, 1/3 pesto meat sauce, 2 cups mozzarella cheese.

To make things even easier, you can prep and refrigerate the entire unbaked pan of lasagna up to 3 days in advance. On baking day, move the pan of lasagna out to room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.

Pesto goat cheese lasagna

Yield: Makes about 12 servings

Time: About 90 minutes

Ingredients

For pesto meat sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground sausage

  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 shallot, finely diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 12 ounces pesto

For cheese mixture

  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 10 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest


For assembly

  • 12 no-boil lasagna noodles (one 8-ounce package)
  • 16 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated (about 4 cups)

Directions

For pesto meat sauce

  1. Place deep pan over medium heat and add oil. Once oil is hot, add sausage to pan. Break up sausage while cooking until only a little pink remains, about 4 minutes.
  2. Turn heat to medium-low, add shallot and saute for several minutes. Add garlic and saute another minute.
  3. Add wine and stir for about 2 minutes until wine nearly evaporates.
  4. Stir pesto into sauce ingredients and remove from heat.

For cheese mixture

  1. In a large bowl, mix ricotta, goat cheese, lemon zest, and egg.

For assembly

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Spread 1/4 cup pesto sauce (just enough to cover bottom) on bottom of 9x13-inch casserole dish.
  3. Add 4 noodles to bottom of dish. Spread on 1/3 of meat sauce. Spoon on and spread top with 1/2 of cheese mixture. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella on top. 
  4. Add 4 noodles on top of cheese. Spread on 1/2 of remaining meat sauce. Spoon on and spread top with rest of cheese mixture. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella on top. 
  5. Add 4 noodles on top of cheese. Spread on remaining meat sauce. Sprinkle on remaining mozzarella.
  6. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  7. Remove foil and broil 2 minutes, or until cheese turns golden. Rest 30 minutes before cutting. 

                                                                                                             

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Chocolate chia seed dirt pudding

It's almost Earth Day, and I'm making pudding cups featuring one of the most sustainable plant foods you can consume: chia seeds!

What makes chia seeds so sustainable? The plant grows well in arid regions, and they have a low water footprint; they don’t require pesticides or chemicals to grow; and they have a low carbon footprint--in fact, they make the air we breathe cleaner. 

Back to the dirt pudding cups—there are 3 parts: chocolate chia seed pudding, chocolate granola, and worms made out of dates.


I made the pudding with chia seeds, Dutch-processed cocoa powder, milk (plant or cow), a little maple syrup for sweetener, and vanilla extract. The trick to make it silky smooth and not have a weird texture is to blend it after the chia seeds soak.

For the chocolate granola I used "Clay’s Chocolate Buzz” Warrior Snack Mix from Bee Free. It's a local, woman-owned company that uses non-processed ingredients and does a lot of good for the community.


Chocolate chia seed dirt pudding

Yield: Makes about 4 (8-ounce) pudding cups

Time: 20 minutes prep, 4 hours wait time

Ingredients

For the chocolate chia pudding

  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 6 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups milk (plant-based milk or cow milk)
  • 1 cup chocolate granola crumbles (I use Clay’s Chocolate Buzz Warrior Mix by Bee Free)

For the worms

  • 4 dates, pitted
  • 3 Tablespoons almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder

Directions

For the chocolate chia pudding

  1. Mix chia seeds, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt in medium-sized bowl.
  2. Slowly pour in milk, whisking as you pour. Incorporate any clumps sticking to sides.
  3. Cover pudding and refrigerate at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.
  4. Pour chia seed pudding into blender and blend until smooth.

For the worms

  1. Blend everything in food processor. Dough should be sticky but manageable. If dough is too sticky, add another tablespoon of almond flour.
  2. Pinch off pieces of dough and shape into worms.

For assembly

  1. Place 2 teaspoons chocolate granola crumbles in bottom of jar.
  2. Add layer of pudding to about halfway up. Layer 2 more teaspoons of granola on top of pudding.
  3. Top off with another layer of pudding and 2 teaspoons granola.
  4. Place worms on top and serve.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Blackout Chocolate Eclipse Cookies


This is a sponsored post by Danish Creamery, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible! 

Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably already know about the total solar eclipse on April 8. Indianapolis is lucky enough to be in the path of totality, and it's considered one of the best places to view the eclipse. City leaders expect upwards of 100,000 people in the downtown area, and there are dozens of viewing parties planned across central Indiana. You all know I love a theme, so I thought it was only appropriate to make eclipse-themed cookies.

Regular chocolate cookies simply would not do. I needed black cookies to mimic the total blackout. Thankfully, I achieved that with black cocoa powder. 

Let's talk about cocoa powders. There are 3 main types of cocoa powder: Natural cocoa powder, Dutch-process cocoa powder, and black cocoa powder. We make all cocoa powder from bits of hulled and roasted cacao beans called nibs, and they're all unsweetened in powder form. 

Natural cocoa powder retains the natural acidity of the cacao beans. It has a light color and tastes mild. It's the classic chocolate flavor you think of and the type of cocoa powder used in your grandma's favorite recipes.

Dutch-process cocoa is natural cocoa treated with an alkalizing solution, usually potassium carbonate. The solution neutralizes the acidity, resulting in deeper, smoother chocolate flavor.

Black cocoa powder is even more intensely treated with an alkaline solution, resulting in the deepest black color. Black cocoa powder is the reason Oreos have an intense chocolate flavor but they're black, not brown.

Technically, yes, they are interchangeable, but because natural cocoa powder is acidic and the other two aren't, it will affect the chemical leaver if one is present in the recipe. ALSO, it's important to think about what flavor-profile you're trying to achieve before you choose your cocoa powder.

When I use black cocoa powder in a recipe, I typically use a 1:1 ratio of black cocoa powder and Dutch-process cocoa powder.


Okay, now let's move on to talking about the rest of the recipe. These chocolate cookies are shortbread cookies. Traditional shortbread cookies have very few ingredients: sugar, butter, flour. Because of that, you want to use the best ingredients available. That is why I always use European butter in my shortbread cookies. 

European butter is significantly richer in flavor because of its higher butterfat percentage. I use Danish Creamery Unsalted European Style Butter. American butter is 80% butterfat. Most European butter sold in the United States contains 82% butterfat. But the butterfat content of Danish Creamery European Style Butter is 85%. It may not seem like a big deal, but those few percentage points make a big difference when you taste it.

As far as which sugar to use in shortbread cookies, I prefer powdered sugar. Powdered sugar contains cornstarch, which helps contribute to thicker/softer cookies. Cookies made with granulated sugar are more crisp.

One more thing I want to point out—the directions as written are for "slice and bake" cookies, which means I formed the dough into a log, rolled it up, and then sliced it after refrigeration. But if you prefer cleaner, smoother edges, you can roll out the dough and use a 2-inch circle cookie cutter instead.

If you want to decorate the cookies so it looks like the sun is peeking out from behind the moon, dip one edge of the cookie in melted white chocolate and decorate with yellow sprinkles. Additionally, you can sandwich two of the cookies with frosting, like an Oreo. I made a mocha buttercream for my cookies, and I included that recipe below.

Blackout Chocolate Eclipse Cookies

Yield: Makes about 32, 2-inch diameter cookies

Time: About 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup (210 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons (18 grams) black cocoa powder
  • 3 Tablespoons (18 grams) dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams) Danish Creamery European Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup (113 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: white chocolate, yellow sugar sprinkles, buttercream filling

Directions

  1. Stir together flour, both cocoa powders, and salt in bowl. Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and powdered sugar on low speed until combined. Scrape bowl with spatula. Mix on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract.
  3. Scrape down bowl and add flour mixture. Blend on low speed until dough comes together.
  4. Lay out piece of plastic wrap and dump dough into center. Use hands to compress and roll dough into 2-inch diameter log.
  5. Wrap and chill at least 30 minutes.
  6. Remove dough from refrigerator. 
  7. Adjust oven rack to center position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper.
  8. Cut dough into 1/3-inch thick slices and place on baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating pan at 6-minute mark.
  10. Allow to cool on pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack.
  11. Once cooled, if desired, dip edge of cookie in to melted white chocolate and cover with yellow sprinkles to resemble sun peeking out from behind moon during eclipse.
  12. Another option: Turn over half the cookies and spread layer of frosting on bottoms. Top with remaining cookies to make sandwiches.


Mocha Buttercream

Yield: Makes about 2 cups

Time: About 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (227 grams) Challenge Unsalted Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 2 cups (226 grams) powdered sugar 
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

  1. Cream butter, cocoa powder, and espresso powder in mixing bowl on low speed until smooth.
  2. Add powdered sugar and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, and salt, and beat until combined.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Lemon Ricotta-Stuffed French Toast Casserole with Strawberry Basil Compote

I love a big Easter dinner with lamb and asparagus and potatoes and rolls. But my husband has to go to work at 11 a.m. on Easter, so instead, I will be hosting an Easter brunch. And I have French toast on my mind. But not just any French toast—I’m thinking about Lemon Ricotta-Stuffed French Toast Casserole with Strawberry Basil Compote.

There are two routes you can take with brunch—you can eat a healthy well-balanced meal or you can eat a carb and sugar heavy meal that makes you want to crash and take a nap. This recipe is somewhere in between the two, which is just the way I like it. I was very careful with limiting the amount of added sugar in this recipe. French toast gets a reputation for being overly sweet, but it doesn’t have to be. The savoriness of the ricotta cuts down on the sweetness as does the basil flavor in the compote. Also, I used a sourdough French baguette because the earthy tanginess of the sourdough complements the rich filling so well.


You don't want to use fresh bread for this recipe. It will end up mushy. Either dry the bread out in the oven beforehand or use bread that's a few days old. I recommend prepping everything  at least one day and up to two days in advance so the bread has plenty of time to soak up the liquid. Plus, it will make your life a lot easier if all you have to do in the morning is put this in the oven.

For the compote, you can use fresh or frozen strawberries. You'll just have to cook it longer if going the frozen route. I infused the strawberry compote with basil because the savoriness of the herb works well with the ricotta, and basil is a great pairing with lemon and strawberries. Of course, you could make a compote with another type of berry or skip it completely, but I think it really completes the dish!

Lemon Ricotta-Stuffed French Toast Casserole with Strawberry Basil Compote

Yield: Makes about 6 servings

Time: About 1 hour

Ingredients

For the compote

  • 20 basil leaves
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen strawberries, stems removed
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

For the filling

  • 16 ounces whole milk ricotta
  • 1/3 cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the egg mixture

  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 demi French baguettes (or 1 1/2 regular baguettes)

Directions

For the compote

  1. Tie basil leaves in piece of cheesecloth.
  2. Combine all ingredients in saucepan over medium-low heat. 
  3. Bring to simmer and continue simmering for about 10 minutes, occasionally mashing fruit.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove bag of basil.
  5. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.

For the filling

  1. Mix together all ingredients. Set aside.

For the egg mixture

  1. Mix together eggs, milk, vanilla, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Prepare 8-inch x 10-inch (or similar size) baking dish with nonstick spray.
  3. Cut each baguette into 1-inch slices, cutting to, but not through, bottom.
  4. Spoon filling between baguette slices and place baguettes side-by-side in baking dish.
  5. Pour egg mixture over baguettes.
  6. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days in advance. I like to periodically drain the egg mixture into a bowl and pour it back over the top. 
  7. Remove baking dish from refrigerator and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Drain off any egg mixture that hasn't been soaked up by the bread.
  8. Bake uncovered for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until French toast is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. If needed, cover with foil and bake another 5 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and serve with strawberry basil compote and more ricotta and lemon zest if desired.




Thursday, March 21, 2024

Lemon Lavender Easter Egg Truffles

 

Lemon Lavender Easter Egg Truffles consist of a lemon lavender cake and buttercream mixture that is coated in white chocolate. They're very similar to cake pops but 100 times easier. Cake pops are actually a tricky to make. They're a pain to roll and dip, and they can easily crack and fall apart if you aren't careful. 

I use a silicone egg mold (this is the exact one I have) to form the cake mixture into an egg shape, and I also use the mold to evenly coat the truffles in white chocolate. The back of the truffles aren't coated in chocolate, but I don't think that takes away from their appearance or taste. 

I choose a lemon lavender flavor combination for the truffles—one of my favorites, and it's perfect for spring. There are a few ways to incorporate lavender flavoring in baked goods. My favorite way to infuse cakes and buttercream with lavender flavor is to steep dried lavender buds in the milk and cream that are necessary for the recipe. I think this tastes the most natural, and you don't run the risk of overdoing the lavender flavor, which can happen with lavender extract. There are two types of dried lavender buds you can buy: English and French. English lavender is for eating; French is for fragrance. So make sure you use English lavender. Steep the lavender buds in the dairy for at least 30 minutes. I personally like a stronger lavender flavor, so I steep mine for several hours and sometimes overnight.

If I was baking a layered cake, I would not use a cake mix. I usually don't like the texture, and I don't think it requires that much more effort to bake from scratch. But in this case, we're crumbling the cake into crumbs, so the texture doesn't matter. That's why I used a cake mix. I used a combination of lemon zest and lemon extract for the lemon flavor. Use less extract if you prefer less lemon flavor. As this recipe stands, I don't think the lemon flavor is super strong.

Here are some potential questions that may arise as you make this recipe:

Q: What is the best cake to frosting ratio?

A: I prefer a 2:1 cake to frosting ratio by weight

Q: What chocolate is best?

A: You could certainly spend a lot of money and use a high-quality chocolate like Ghirardelli, but I prefer to use melting wafers. They are specifically designed for melting and coating.

Q: How do I color chocolate?

A: You CANNOT use liquid to color chocolate. You must use either oil or gel-based color or powder. Liquid will cause the chocolate to seize.

Q:  Can I flavor chocolate?

A: Yes, but you CANNOT use liquid extracts to flavor chocolate. You must use either oil-based flavorings or powder. Liquid will cause the chocolate to seize.

Lemon Lavender Easter Egg Truffles

Yield: Makes about 16 servings depending on size of mold

Time: About 2 hours

Ingredients

For the lavender cream

  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon dried culinary lavender

For the lavender milk

  • 1 cup milk + 3 Tablespoons
  • 3 Tablespoons dried culinary lavender

For the lemon lavender buttercream frosting

  • 1/2 cup Challenge unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons lavender cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the truffles

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Challenge unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup lavender milk
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • About 12 - 18 ounces white chocolate candy melts 

Directions

For the lavender cream

  1. Add cream to small saucepan over low heat. Once cream starts to simmer, remove from heat and stir in lavender.
  2. Cover and steep for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  3. Strain through fine-mesh sieve set over bowl. Discard lavender. 
  4. Set aside.
For the lavender milk

  1. Add milk to small saucepan over low heat. Once milk starts to simmer, remove from heat and stir in lavender.
  2. Cover and steep for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  3. Strain through fine-mesh sieve set over bowl. Discard lavender. 
  4. Set aside.

For the lemon lavender buttercream

  1. Cream softened butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes. 
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar in several additions. Scrape bowl after each addition.
  3. Add lavender cream, lemon extract, and salt and mix thoroughly. If frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add more cream (1 teaspoon). If frosting is too sweet, add more salt (1/4 teaspoon). Set aside.

For the truffles

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line bottoms of two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside,
  3. Mix cake mix with eggs, butter, lavender milk. lemon zest, and lemon extract.
  4. Divide batter between cake pans. 
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and top bounces back when pressed lightly. Allow to cool for about 25 minutes on wire rack before removing from cake pan.
  6. Once cake cools, crumble cake in bowl. Add frosting and mix thoroughly.
  7. Measure about 1 Tablespoon of cake mixture and press into each egg-shaped cavities in mold.
  8. Place mold in freezer for about 10 minutes.
  9. Remove mold from freezer and remove solid cake mixture from cavities.
  10. Thoroughly clean mold.
  11. Heat candy melts in separate bowl. Start with 1 minute and stir. Continue to heat in 15-second intervals until it's smooth. Color candy melts with oil-based coloring or powder if desired.
  12. Add about 1 Tablespoon of candy melts to each egg cavity in mold.
  13. Press solid cake mixture back into egg cavities (on top of candy melts). Candy melts should come up sides of cake mixture.
  14. Place molds in refrigerator for about 15 minutes or until candy melts solidify.
  15. Remove truffles from mold. Decorate if desired and serve.
  16. Place leftovers in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Lemon Cookie Butter Pie

 

This is a sponsored post by Challenge Butter, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible! 

I hope by now you all are familiar with cookie butter. It’s a bunch of cookies blended until it’s spreadable, so, obviously, it’s delicious. It has a deep caramel flavor with a hint of gingerbread.

I was inspired by the classic peanut butter pie to make a cookie butter pie, swapping the peanut butter for cookie butter, of course. I wanted to pair the filling with a lemon crust because I thought the citrus would brighten and complement the caramel notes of the cookie butter and make it better suited for spring. 

The pie is made with a crumb crust. A crumb crust is a crust made out of anything that makes crumbs: pretzels, crackers, cookies, etc. This particular crumb crust is made out of lemon sandwich cookies. Generally, a crumb crust is made with just two ingredients: crumbs and butter, which hold the crust together. The amount of butter necessary to hold the crust together will depend on what type of crumbs you use and how dry the crumbs are. The mixture should resemble wet sand. 


I use Challenge Salted Butter in my crumb crust recipe. Using high-quality butter, like Challenge, has a big impact on the crust flavor.

If you want a totally no-bake pie, you do not need to bake the crust. But if you like a crispy crust, you’ll want to bake it. I included instructions for baking the crust.

Let's talk about the filling—stop mixing it when you reach medium peaks. Here is the difference between soft, medium, and stiff peaks: soft peaks flop over immediately when you left up the beaters; medium peaks hold their shape, but the tips curl over; stiff peaks stand straight up.

I like to top the pie with whipped cream. The problem with serving a pie with whipped cream is that whipped cream quickly weeps and deflates. Fortunately, there are two ingredients you can add to whipped cream to help stabilize it: gelatin or instant vanilla pudding mix. I included the instant vanilla pudding mix in the whipped cream recipe below in case you want to try it!

Lemon Cookie Butter Pie

Time: About 30 minutes to prep, 30 minutes to chill

Yield: Around 8 pieces

Ingredients

For the crust

For the filling

  • 1 1/2 cups (360 grams) cookie butter
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (180 milliliters) heavy whipping cream

For the topping

  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoons (15 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1 Tablespoon (15 grams) instant vanilla pudding mix, for stabilization

Directions

For the crust

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place cookies in food processor and pule to fine crumbs.
  3. Add melted butter and pulse until mixture is combined and crumbs stick together when pressed.
  4. Press crumbs into bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate.
  5. Bake crust for about 10 minutes or until it appears set and edges slightly darken.
  6. Set aside to cool completely.

For the filling

  1. Combine cookie butter and cream cheese in stand mixer bowl fitted with whisk attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined and smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl.
  2. Add confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, and salt and mix on medium speed another two minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl.
  3. Return mixer to medium speed. Gradually add heavy cream to bowl in steady stream. Continue to mix until filling holds soft peaks.
  4. Spread filling into pie crust and place in refrigerator. Allow to set for at least 30 minutes.

For the topping

  1. Combine heavy whipping cream, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, and optional instant vanilla pudding mix in stand mixer bowl fitted with whisk attachment. Whip cream to stiff peaks.
  2. Spread or pipe whipped cream on top of chilled pie and serve.
  3. Store leftover pie in refrigerator for up to 5 days or in freezer for several weeks.



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