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Fresh Strawberry Biscuits!

What do you do when the world gives you too many strawberries? First, you say “Thank You World!” because really, what a terrible problem to have… too many strawberries! Oh, the horror!

Strawberries

Second, you make these biscuits! They go together so quickly and easily you’ll find yourself making them often. They are especially good for those few extra berries you need to use before they spoil!  You can swap out the strawberries with blackberries, blueberries or raspberries!  Even peaches would be delightful!

Strawberry biscuits

These biscuits are bright and beautiful and with the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon, I needed my world a little brighter today.

Strawberry Biscuits
(recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
1 cup chopped very ripe strawberries
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add butter and cut it in to the dry ingredients with a pastry blender, until it resembles a coarse meal. Stir in the strawberries carefully, so they get coated in the flour mix. This keeps them evenly distributed in the dough later when you add the liquid. Speaking of liquid… add the heavy cream, then gently fold all the ingredients together. You don’t want to overwork the dough, so don’t worry if everything is completely worked in. It will be.

Generously flour your counter or cutting board, then transfer the dough to the board. Flour the top of the dough and with your hands gently press the dough into a 3/4-inch thick rectangle. Using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit or cookie cutter (or even the top edge of a drinking glass) cut circles out of the dough. Press straight down without twisting (this makes for nice layered edges) as you cut. Carefully transfer the biscuits to prepared baking sheet, leaving a few inches between each one.

You can re-roll the scraps of dough, and continue cutting circles, but don’t worry if the dough appears very wet. The strawberries will have already started to release some of their juice. That’s ok though! They’ll still turn out beautifully.

Bake the biscuits for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly brown at the edges. Cool in pan for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Strawberry Biscuits

I made a quick strawberry butter to slather on top of these beautiful biscuits. Just mash up 1/8 cup of strawberries into 4 TBLS soft butter, then freeze for about 20 minutes. (You can do this while the biscuits bake.) It’s a tiny detail that will make a world of difference in flavor.

When I took them to work they disappeared rather quickly and I’m betting they’ll do the same thing at your house! Enjoy my Foodie Friends!!

Chocolate-covered Strawberries with Cheesecake filling!

It’s almost Valentines Day! Here in Southern California, it’s also the start of strawberry season. Coincidence? I think not! Last week at Farmers Market, I came across HUGE strawberries. Aren’t they stunning?

I had been looking for new dessert ideas and had seen different posts on Facebook and Pintrest about chocolate-covered strawberries with cheesecake filling. Cheesecake is one of our favorite desserts. Really, how can you go wrong with anything that has both chocolate AND cheesecake in the title? With so many beautiful berries and a love of chocolate, it was a perfect match!

These are easy to make too!

Slice the tops off the berries…


and carefully hollow out the center…

I used a sharp paring knife to do this, but I’m sure a strawberry huller would work well too.

Now for the filling! If you search for these, you’ll find several variations from Philadelphia Cheesecake filling (which I could NOT find anywhere) to plain cream cheese or even cheesecake flavored yogurt. I can’t imagine the yogurt holding up well so I went with something a little sweeter!

I used 2 packages of cream cheese, softened to room temperature, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, 2 tsp pure vanilla extract and 1 tsp fresh lemon zest.

Fill a plastic sandwich bag with the cream cheese mixture. Cut off a small corner of the bag so you can use it to fill the strawberries.
See? Easy!
But I think I may have made too many…. 🙂

It’s ok, some of them were sacrificed in the name of “Taste Testing.” You know, to be sure the filling tasted right… 🙂

While I melted the chocolate, the berries went into the refrigerator to set. Once the chocolate was melted, I started dipping! It was simple to do. I just grabbed the top of the berries, dipped them in chocolate, then set them on wax paper. It was a bit challenging because I didn’t like how some of them had “finger tip prints” from where I was holding them…

They weren’t all dipped perfectly straight…

That’s ok though! It’s an Imperfect Kitchen and I got over it as soon as I tasted one. They are delicious!!

Try them yourself for Valentines Day, or any special occasion where you need a quick and easy (but amazing looking) treat! Enjoy!

Much Love,

Sara~

Santa Hat Brownie Bites!


Every year our family gets together to celebrate the holidays! My husband has three older sisters, so there are four families, and we each bring an appetizer and a dessert to share. When we’re all together there are 17 of us. That number has expanded as our older nephews and nieces are married and the younger ones are bringing significant others to dinner! (Side note: I’m not sure how I got to be this old! I know it was yesterday when the kids were little!) This year we’re taking Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers and Brownie Bite Santa Hats! Now together, those don’t sound like a great combination (unless you work for an antacid company!), but like any big gathering, there will be plenty of food on the table and somehow we’ll manage to eat a little of everything. My sister-in-laws are amazing cooks too, so there is no chance of not trying it all. Everything is always delicious!! Hmmm… maybe the antacid is a good idea! 🙂

This Santa Hat Brownie Bites recipe is courtesy of Daisy’s World! I’ve seen these on several blogs this year, with several variations, but I thought these looked the best, so I made them! Plus, they are easy. Yep, I said it. They are EASY!

Here is what you do:
Bake a 13 x 9 pan of your favorite brownie recipe. Let it cool and cut the brownies into small circles with a biscuit cutter. I used a 1 1/2 inch round biscuit cutter!


While the brownies are baking, rinse and cut the tops of the strawberries. Don’t they look like Santa Hats already?

After the strawberries are cleaned and your brownie rounds are cool, mix the buttercream frosting! You’re going to pipe a ring on the top of the brownies to hold the strawberry in place.

Gently press a strawberry on top of each brownie bite. You may have to trim the edges of them a bit so they fit.

Dab a bit of frosting on the tips of the strawberries to make the ball of Santa’s hat!

TA-DA! Santa Hat Brownie Bites! Told you it was easy!

Here is the recipe so you can make your own!

Santa Hat Brownie Bites

Ingredients:

Two baskets of small strawberries, cleaned with the tops cut off!
1 13×9 in pan of your favorite brownie mix, cooled and cut into small circles
Vanilla Mascarpone Buttercream Frosting (recipe below)

Mascarpone Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
8 oz mascarpone cheese at room temperature
2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

NOTE: When I did this, I had a LOT of frosting left over. Next time I will cut the recipe in half (at least) although now, I have frosting for other cookies! SWEET!

Beat butter and cheese until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add vanilla and salt. Add sugar in half cup increments, beating each addition until smooth. Add more sugar to reach desired consistency and sweetness.

Assemble the Santa Hat Brownie Bites, by piping a ring of frosting around the top of each brownie. Press the strawberry, flat side down, onto the brownie, pressing gently to secure. Dot the tip of the strawberry with a spot of frosting to complete the hat!

My 13×9 pan produced over 30 round brownies. Be sure to have enough strawberries for each brownie bite. You may even end up with too many strawberries and too much frosting. Hey… we all need snacks while we’re baking. It’s called “quality control!”

Enjoy!

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