17-49: Apple Muffins

17-49: Apple Muffins

My contribution to this year’s holiday baking (XMAS 16) consists of two recipes which include my favorite fruit: Apples! 🍎 🍎 🍎

I ended up multiplying this recipe by 3, which gave us more than enough apple muffins for the holiday gifts. 🎄


The notes on the front of the card are from Jamie’s mom. I made this recipe once before when I had a lot of apples laying around.

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17-48: Buttery Vanilla Rolls

17-48: Buttery Vanilla Rolls

In my holiday baking batch from last year (XMAS 15), I included 17-67: Coconut Crescents to offer some variety to the endless types of cookies. 🍪 17-48: Buttery Vanilla Rolls were included in this year’s holiday baking (XMAS 16) for much the same reason, although I think I ended up with a better mix of items this year. 🎅🏼

17-48 Buttery Vanilla Rolls
I liked that these were baked in muffin cups as well–I thought that might make them easier to pack up and distribute/ship as gifts. To make them holiday-ish, I sprinkled them with a bit of red and green decorating sugar while they were cooling. 🎄

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17-42: Luscious Lemon Bars

17-42: Luscious Lemon Bars

17-42: Luscious Lemon Bars were the second of my holiday baking batches this year (XMAS 16), and one that I’ve baked in the past, given my rather bold notes. I think I was on a cheesecake kick, and thought these would be easier than making an actual cake. “BAD DO NOT MAKE” doesn’t exactly bode well for a recipe–why make it again?

17-42 Luscious Lemon Bars
Here’s why: sometimes it’s important to try again, even when the first experience wasn’t exactly a positive one. The first time I made these lemon bars was my junior year of college, so about 10-12 years ago. I had just moved into my first off-campus apartment with my friend, and we had a full kitchen, something I hadn’t had access to for a few years while living away from home in the dorms.

I remember making these in that kitchen (yes, I dragged these books with me all the way out to Colorado and back) and struggling with this recipe. Out of that frustration (and failure) came the note. I’ve learned a lot since then (culinarily and otherwise), so I think it’s time to figure out if it was the recipe or it was me.

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15-18: Chocolate Favorites

15-18: Chocolate Favorites

Cold desserts are not my area of expertise, but I gave it a shot for this recipe. ❄ 15-18: Chocolate Favorites were a hit! I really just got a kick out of saying “Chocolate Favorite” when describing these little treats. 🍫

Bite sized pastries are the best! These two layers did come out as intended, a one-two punch of chocolate flavors. This recipe did indeed make me want to rejoice. 😆


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16-15: Tarte Tatin

16-15: Tarte Tatin

I’m not going to write a long dissertation on the origins of the well-known French dessert, Tarte Tatin–I’ll let Wikipedia handle the background of it. Instead, I’m going to focus on my history with 16-15: Tarte Tatin, evidenced by my mom’s handwriting all over the front & back of the recipe card.

Since she and I already had plans to go to a local farmers’ market for this year’s Labor Day BBQ supplies and apples were plentiful, I decided to bring back an old classic for us to cook together. 🍏

16-15 Tarte Tatin

Most versions of Tarte Tatin are somewhat similar–it’s a pretty basic recipe. My mom’s notes claim it’s “easy”, and she stands by it to this day. Her other notes turned out to be helpful as well–the importance of good note-taking.


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15-2: Chocolate Mousse

15-2: Chocolate Mousse

Since it’s currently summer, I’ve been experimenting more with the Cold Desserts section of Simply Delicious. Come fall & winter, we’ll get back to more of the Hot Desserts15-2: Chocolate Mousse is not the first mousse I’ve attempted (check out 15-1: Lemon Mousse for a citrusy variation), but it is a pretty solid chocolate mousse recipe–these are great for entertaining, or even making in individual servings and freezing for later. 🍨

15-2 Chocolate Mousse

As noted above on the card, chocolate mousse is a classic and popular dessert. There are a variety of ways to approach it, as explained in this Serious Eats feature on the dish, but Simply Delicious’ version is super easy–5 ingredients are all you need. 🍫


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14-3: Grand Marnier Soufflé

14-3: Grand Marnier Soufflé

My posting’s slowed down a bit (and my husband Adam has been cranking out his posts like crazy), but I am still cooking (and eating) from this book. It’s good to take breaks every so often, and rather than abandon the blog for those break times (as I have in the past), I’m glad that he’s here to keep it alive and to lend another voice besides my own. Just wanted to get that out there. I’ll pick it back up to speed soon, but for now I’m enjoying watching it be interpreted through someone else’s eyes for a bit.

I find myself with extra heavy whipping cream now and then due to other cooking activities, and I’m the only one in the house that can consume it without much gastrointestinal distress. When I have excesses of ingredients, I try to find Simply Delicious recipes to burn off that kill two birds with one stone–using up a recipe AND the cream, 14-3: Grand Marnier Soufflé is one of those recipes.

14-3 Grand Marnier Souffle

I’ve permanently borrowed a bottle from my parents (when you’re in your 30s, parents don’t seem to mind as much if you raid their liquor cabinet), and it’s what we’ve been using for flambéeing and any other instances that call for brandy/cognac/Grand Marnier. Why buy a brand new bottle when there’s plenty of barely touched ones sitting at their house? 🍾


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15-51: Frozen Strawberry Yogurt

15-51: Frozen Strawberry Yogurt

15-51: Frozen Strawberry Yogurt: I really liked this cold concoction. I have never attempted a frozen desert before this. I’m glad to say this recipe was a great success. 🍧

This card describes the flavor like a certain presidential candidate I am loathe to quote, except it’s so quotable…it’s fantastic. 🍓


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14-25: Crêpes with Fruity Filling

14-25: Crêpes with Fruity Filling

14-25: Crêpes with Fruity Filling is only the second recipe I’ve covered for Group 14: Hot Desserts, but it’s the third total crêpe recipe that I’ve tried from the book (the others being 5-22: Crêpes with Chicken and 5-24: Meat-Filled Crêpes) so far. Those two previous recipes were savory–this one is sweet.

14-25 Crepes with Fruity Filling

This recipe is suggested for dessert, but I think you could have it for breakfast (or even lunch) if you wanted. If you don’t like the fruit they suggest, you can substitute your own or whatever is local/in season. 🍒🍍🍓


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17-55: Scottish Shortbread

17-55: Scottish Shortbread

Here’s another good cookie press recipe. It’s a long way away from the holiday season, and cookie cutters/presses tend to get a bit dusty during the spring & summer months. I had a bunch of shapes for the press that weren’t holiday-related, so I decided to get creative with some colors & flavor extracts and use 17-55: Scottish Shortbread to play with the press.

17-55 Scottish Shortbread
Theirs look really thick–mine came out thinner since I used the press. These would probably work well with differently-shaped cookie cutters too, not just rounds. As I learned, they also work well with food coloring and flavor extracts.

I ended up using these for Mother’s Day gifts, and made a mix of three colors/shapes to bag up and mail/hand out. 💐

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