Category Archives: Birthday

The Ultimate Brownie Sundae Bar

The Ultimate Brownie Sundae Bar

This past May, we celebrated my triplets 9th birthday. May begins a very busy birthday season in my home which includes three kid parties and one family party. This year, I let me kids each have their own kid birthday party. I decided to make them each their special themed cake for their indiviudal party. As I was planning my trio’s family birthday party, I did not want to add a fourth fancy cake to my list of party duties to accomplish in a matter of weeks. May is such a busy month for us with birthdays, baseball, softball, end of the year activities, and the regular day to day responsibilities. I know I am not the only one who feels the May crunch! My kids love making brownie sundaes, so I came up with the idea to have brownie sundaes for their family birthday party, but really kick them up a notch with the ultimate brownie sundae bar! I chose my kiddos favorite ice cream flavors, and a few of their favorite treats to use as toppings. Putting together an ultimate brownie sundae bar is quick and simple!

The Ultimate Brownie Sundae Bar

My ulitmate brownie sundae bar included homemade chocolate chip cookies, which I choped some into cubes and left some whole,

Ultimate Brownie Sundae Bar

The Ultimate Brownie Sundae Bar

crushed oreos, which I placed whole oreos in a zip top bag and let my kids go to town smashing them into crumbs,

The Ultimate Brownie Sundae Bar

freshly whipped cream,

DSC_8199

chocolate and vanilla ice cream,The Ultimate Brownie Sundae Bar

sprinkles and chocolate sauce,

The Ultimate Brownie Sundae Bar

homemade mini vanilla bean donuts,

The Ultimate Brownie Sundae Bar

and of course, homemade delicious fudge brownies.

The Ultimate Brownie Sundae Bar

The Ultimate Brownie Sundae Bar

Everyone at the party enjoyed being able to build their own brownie sundae. It was fun to watch how the kids “designed” their own sundaes! They were so excited to see their favorite treats on the table as toppings for one of their favorite desserts. I just love using food and my baking skills to make people feel happy, loved, and special! The excitement and smiles on my kids faces was priceless!

The Ultimate Brownie Sundae Bar

To set up your own ultimate brownie sundae bar:

  1. Choose your favorite brownie recipe or store bought brownie. Click HERE to get my absolute favorite recipe for delicious, rich, fudge brownies.
  2. Next, choose your ice cream flavors. Any flavor would work wonderfully with brownies!
  3. Then, choose your toppings. Have fun with this part! The sky is the limit! After all, this is an ULTIMATE brownie sundae bar!!! I chose my kids favorite treats as toppings. *For my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe (and one of my most requested recipes of all time) click HERE.                                                                                                           *For the mini baked vanilla bean donut recipe, click HERE. To bake the donuts in a mini donut pan, bake them for 4-6 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the donut comes out clean.                                                                                                                           *To make the fresh whipped cream, place 1 cup of heavy cream, 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract, and 1-3 tablespoons (depending on your preference of sweetness) of sugar into a large bowl. Whip with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. I made this the morning of the party, and kept it refrigerated until ready to serve.                                      A few other topping ideas are: mini marshmallows, candies, chocolate chips, caramel sauce, fruit puree, crushed vanilla wafers, pirouette cookies, mini waffles, pizzelle cookies, etc.
  4. Set up your table. I chose to use bowls to serve the brownie sundaes in, but plates would work as well. Have fun displaying all of your wonderful items and toppings for your ultimate brownie sundae bar. You can include cute labels for each topping if desired to make your table come together and look cute and pretty!

I would love to see what you come up with when you create your own brownie sundae bar! Please stop my blog at www.bakingforblessings.com. If you follow me on Facebook or instagram, take a photo of your ultimate brownie sundae bar and tag me so I can see your wonderful creations!!

Bake and Share Ideas:

  1. Do an Ultimate Brownie Sundae Bar for your next gathering such as a birthday party, baby shower, wedding shower, BBQ, or fourth of July. Choose toppings that the guest of honor loves or that fits with the theme of your gathering.
  2. Invite friends and neighbors over for an Ultimate Brownie Sundae Bar. You provide the brownies and ice cream and ask each family to bring their favorite topping to share.
  3. Have a family movie night and enjoy an ultimate brownie sundae bar with your movie. Choose toppings that coincide with the movie you are watching or you can use movie theater candy and popcorn as toppings!

Ebleskivers-apple and chocolate filled pancakes

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Ebleskivers, apple and chocolate filled pancakes. Perfect for a special breakfast or brunch

We are coming to the end of our spring break this weekend, so I thought I would go all out and make a special breakfast for my family. I have been wanting to dust off my ebleskiver pan for quite some time now, and this was the perfect occasion! What is an Ebleskiver you ask? My kids call them pancake puffs. They are a traditional Danish pancake in a distinctive shape of a sphere. Ebleskivers are solid like a pancake but light and fluffy like a popover. They can be filled with anything from chocolate and apples to cinnamon and pumpkin! I chose to fill them with chocolate chips for the kiddos and sautéed spiced apples for my husband and I. It has been quite a while since I have made these, but I remember them being absolutely scrumptious. My memory served me right, because when I bit into an apple filled ebleskiver, I closed my eyes and went to heaven for a short second! YUM!!!! They are a little but more work than traditional pancakes, but I promise you, they are so very worth it!!

Ebleskivers, apple and chocolate filled pancakes. Perfect for a special breakfast or brunch

 

 

Ebleskivers, apple and chocolate filled pancakes. Perfect for a special breakfast or brunch

Ebleskivers

You will need an ebleskiver pan to make these. Before I had my kids almost 9 years ago, I had the pleasure of working in a lovely kitchen goods store. I purchased this Nordic
Ware Ebleskiver Pan right before I had to quit working when I found out I was expecting triplets. I just knew that someday I had to make these for my trio! I am so glad I made that purchase back then, because my family loves ebleskivers!!! I love the non-stick coating on this pan! The pancakes are easy to turn and the pan is a cinch to clean.

Ebleskiver Pan

Ebleskivers, apple and chocolate filled pancakes. Perfect for a special breakfast or brunch

Ebleskiver Recipe

Ingredients:

For the apple filling:
1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large apple, peeled and chopped into 1/4 in cubes
a pinch of ground ginger
a pinch of ground cloves
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

For the chocolate filling:
mini chocolate chips

For the batter:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 egg yolks
1 1/3 cups buttermilk (see tip below in “Baking Tips”)
1/2 cup sour cream
5 egg whites
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbs. confectioners sugar

 

Directions:
1. To make the filling, in a fry pan over medium heat, cook the butter, brown sugar, apples, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon juice, stirring frequently, for about 10minutes or until apples are just tender. Drain off any liquid. Set aside.

2. To make the filled-pancake batter, in a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, granulated sugar and salt.

3. In another bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks, then whisk in the buttermilk and sour cream. Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture until well combined; the batter will be lumpy. Set aside.

4. Beat the egg whites on high speed using a hand mixer or a stand mixer until stiff but do not let dry peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a spatula, gently fold in the whites into the batter in two additions. The batter will be very light and fluffy.

ebleskiver batter

5. Brush the wells of a filled-pancake pan with melted butter. Heat over medium heat until the butter bubbles. Pour 1 Tbs. batter into each well and cook for 2 minutes. Spoon 1/2 tsp. apple filling or chocolate chips into the center of each pancake and top with 1 Tbs. batter.

ebleskiver batter ebleskiver batter

Cook until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes more. You will start to see the tops of the batter form bubbles. They are now ready to flip!

ebleskiver batter

Using 2 wooden skewers or toothpicks, flip the pancakes over and cook until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes more.

flipping ebleskivers  flipping ebleskivers

Flipping ebleskivers

Transfer the pancakes to a plate and dust with confectioners sugar. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve with whipped cream and syrup if desired. Makes about 30.

Recipe Source: Inspired by Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

Baking Tips:

*I did not have any buttermilk the morning I decided to make the ebleskivers. So, I made my own!

Add 4 1/2 tsp. of vinegar or fresh lemon juice to a glass measuring cup. Fill the cup with milk until it reaches 1 C. Let sit for 10 minutes. You now have buttermilk!!!

*The ebleskivers are best eaten right away. I have not tried to freeze them after making them because we never have enough left! However, I do think they would freeze well.

Bake and Share Ideas:

  1. Make the ebleskivers as a special breakfast treat the morning of your significant other or children’s birthday
  2. Invite a few friends and neighbors over for a brunch potluck. You make the ebleskivers, they bring the rest!

Mary Ann Cake Recipe and Dessert With My Bestie

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Mary Ann Cake Recipe with Lemon Curd and Berries

Mary Ann Cake Recipe With Lemon Curd and Berries

 

Mary Ann Cake Recipe With Lemon Curd and Berries

Mary Ann Cake Recipe With Lemon Curd and Berries

First introduced in the United States in 1921, a Mary Ann Pan is a cake pan with a raised flat center area. Its purpose is to create a light cake shell. A cake baked in one, when turned out, has a raised edge all around it. You turn the cake out of the pan in such a way that the bottom of the cake becomes the top. This reveals a large cavity in the middle of the cake where the mould was. This area is designed to hold a lot of filling, which can be fruit, puddings, lemon curd, whipped cream, ice cream or custards. Many years ago, I purchased a “Daisy Ann” pan from Williams Sonoma. It is almost exactly the same as a Mary Ann Pan but instead of being round, it is a flower shape. Unfortunately, Williams-Sonoma does not carry this pan anymore. However, I have seen them on Amazon! 

Mary Ann Cake Pan

The weather is finally warming up in my neck of the woods, so when I was deciding on a dessert to serve my bestie and her kiddos when they were visiting from out of town, I wanted something that screamed, “SPRING.” I made this “Daisy Ann” cake many many years ago for Easter. It is a pound cake-like cake filled with lemon curd and topped with berries. Anything with lemon and berries reminds me of spring. This cake was perfect! The lemon curd on its own is a bit tart, but when it is paired with the cake and berries, it is a spectacular combination that yells, “SPRING,” in your mouth! The kids devoured their cake in minutes while us adults slowly savored each bite and enjoyed each others company. It is always such a pleasure for me to spend time with my bestie. I have known her almost my entire life and I always feel so recharged and refreshed after our get togethers. It is almost like that little missing piece of me is back together again! She lives a few hours away, so we only get to see each other a few times a year. I always try to make something special when she comes into town and this cake fit the bill perfect for our spring get together!

Mary Ann Cake Recipe With Lemon Curd and Berries

 

Mary Ann Cake Recipe With Lemon Curd and Berries

This cake is so versatile!! It can be filled with so many different things. Chocolate ganache and strawberries would be heavenly as would pastry cream and berries. You can make a chocolate sponge cake and top it with any combination you desire! I am thinking my kids would love ice cream and sprinkles in the middle with cookies around the outer edge for their birthday cake!

Mary Ann Cake Recipe

Ingredients
2 cups (315g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks/250g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup (375g)s granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (250ml) milk
1 cup (250ml)  lemon curd (see recipe below or use store bought)
1/3 cup (8-ml) heavy cream, whipped to medium-firm peaks
12 raspberries or 6 strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise
1/4 to 1/2 cup blueberries
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)

Instructions

1. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a Daisy Ann cake pan.
2. Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the granulated sugar, beating until blended. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla.
4. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour, beating just until blended and no lumps of flour remain.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 35- 40 minutes. I baked my cake for 40 minutes and it was just a touch overdone. Be sure to start checking for doneness at 35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Carefully turn the cake out onto the rack and let cool completely, at least 1 hour.
6. Put the lemon curd in a bowl. Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir the whipped cream into the curd until no white streaks remain. Spread the lemon curd mixture in the well of the cake. Place 1 raspberry or 1 strawberry half, cut side down, on top of the curd in each flute. Mound the blueberries in the center of the lemon curd. Dust the cake with confectioners sugar.

Recipe Source: Williams-Sonoma Kitchens

Lemon Curd Recipe

Ingredients:
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of 2 lemons
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

Instructions: 
1.In a heavy saucepan, combine the egg yolks and sugar and whisk vigorously for 1 minute. 2.Add the lemon juice and zest and whisk for 1 minute more. Set the pan over low heat and cook gently, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.
3.Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Cover tightly and refrigerate before using. Makes about 1 cup.

Recipe Source: Williams Sonoma

Baking Tips: 

*Be sure to scrape the bowl often when making the cake batter especially between the addition of each egg and additions of flour.

*If you are making lemon curd, it needs time to chill before you use it, so plan accordingly!

Bake and Share Ideas:

  1. Host an afternoon spring tea for friends and serve this Mary Ann cake with tea.
  2. Make this to share at your Easter celebration.
  3. Share this with a friend who needs cheering up! It is so pretty and would surely put a smile on anyone’s face!