Simple Strawberry Dulce de Leche Shortbread Tart

If you are looking for a really quick and easy but delicious and impressive summer dessert, then look no further, here it is! I made this for the 4th of July. It was a big hit and gone in a flash. I made the cookie crust the night before and then just let everyone assemble their own piece of the tart.

cookie crust

1 cup flour

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) butter, softened

1/3 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla

whipped cream

1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream

1 – 2 teaspoons vanilla

4 – 6 tablespoons powdered sugar

toppings

1/2 – 1 cup dulce de leche

1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced

1 For the cookie crust, heat oven to 350.

2 Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in small bowl.

3 Beat together butter and sugar on medium high until light and fluffy, then beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and gradually mix in flour mixture until combined.

4 Form dough into a disc and roll out between 2 large sheets of parchment paper into an 11″ round, about 1/8″ thick. Peel off and discard top piece of parchment. Slide round on parchment onto baking sheet.

5 Bake until firm to the touch and pale gold around edges, 12 – 16 minutes. Slide off baking sheet and onto cooling rack to cool completely.

6 For the whipped cream, beat cream, vanilla and powdered sugar on high until stiff peaks form.

7 To assemble tart, spread or drizzle dulce de leche over surface of cookie. Spoon whipped cream over dulce de leche then top with strawberries or just cut the cookie into wedges and let everyone top their own piece however they like.

recipe from Epicurious

Birthday Balloon Funfetti Cupcakes with Gumballs

I just love playing with food! It was a couple of our little neighbor girls birthdays a few weeks ago so I set out to make some really little girly cupcakes which means sprinkles.

This is my idea of a good time, so fun to decorate cupcakes!

The cupcakes were Funfetti with white chocolate chips.

The frosting was my favorite buttercream, recipe here.

The sprinkles were from The Sweet Tooth Fairy.

The cupcake liners had balloons on them and came with the matching balloon picks and I can’t remember where I got them from, most likely it was either Michaels Zurchers.

And then gumballs for the tops!

Taco Zucchini Boats

There is so much zucchini around here. Yesterday I made 7 loaves of zucchini bread, from this recipe here, and I feel like it didn’t even make a dent in the pile of zucchini. Then I gave some away to my son’s girlfriend and our next door neighbor and felt much better about the amount of zucchini in the house.

These are delicious by the way, I’ve been eating them for dinner for days!

1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce

5 – 6 zucchini, depending on size

1 pound lean hamburger

1 pouch or 1/4 cup taco seasoning

1/2 cup water

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can corn, drained

1 – 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 Preheat oven to 400.

2 Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce in bottom of 9 x 13″ pan.

3 Cut ends off zucchini, then cut in half then slice the halves lengthwise. Using a spoon or melon baller, make a trough down the middle of each zucchini piece. Place zucchini pieces in pan, skin side down, trough side up. Place a small spoonful of tomato sauce into each zucchini piece.

4 Cook hamburger until done, with no pink, drain grease, add taco seasoning and water and cook for a few more minutes until thickened. Add black beans and corn and stir to combine, cook until corn and black beans are warmed up.

5 Place a spoonful of the hamburger mixture into each zucchini trough. Sprinkle with cheese.

6 Bake 30 – 40 minutes or until a fork pierces the zucchini easily.

7 Top with sour cream, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.

Thin and Crispy Sourdough Pizza Crust

Caprese Pizza with Sauce

I decided to try out some sourdough pizza crust with my sourdough starter.

Pepperoni and Bacon Pizza

It went well, as I think you can see.

Ham and Pineapple Pizza

They were all delicious but . . .

Caprese Pizza with Sauce

my favorite was this one here, Caprese without Sauce. I ate too much. The sourdough crust was awesome! Give it a try with your sourdough starter friends!

Thin and Crispy Sourdough Pizza Crust

2 cups bread or all purpose flour

1/2 cup sourdough starter

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup water

4 – 5 teaspoons olive oil

1 Place all ingredients and 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large bowl and mix until combined. Allow to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 hours.

2 Flour a work space and knead dough for 4 – 5 minutes or until it feels right, like pizza dough. Divide into 2 balls.

3 Flour work space again and roll one ball into about a 14″ circle. If dough resists being rolled out, let sit for a few minutes and try again. Repeat with second ball of dough. Use as desired.

We made the pizzas on the hub’s Traeger. After I rolled out the dough, I brushed it with olive oil and put it on a pizza stone which he cooked on the Traeger for about 5 – 10 minutes then we flipped it, brushed with olive oil and topped with all the toppings and then it went back on the grill for another 5 – 10 minutes.

(Do not use your pizza stone on your barbecue, it will break! Only use it on a smoker because there is no direct heat! You’ll have to use another kind of pizza pan on your barbecue.)

I made this homemade tomato sauce, recipe here, for the pizzas.

Ham and Pineapple Pizza – spread a layer of sauce over crust, top with shredded Mozzarella, ham slices and sliced fresh pineapple (cut the pineapple prior to use and let sit on paper towels to get as much moisture out as possible)

Pepperoni and Bacon Pizza – spread crust with layer of sauce, top with shredded Mozzarella, then top with pepperoni slices and precooked crumbled bacon

Caprese with Sauce – spread a layer of sauce over crust, top with sliced tomatoes and Mozzarella rounds then sprinkle with shredded Parmesan and grill then top with fresh basil leaves before serving

Caprese without Sauce – top with tomato slices and Mozzarella rounds, sprinkle with shredded Parmesan then grill and top with fresh basil leaves before serving

sourdough pizza crust recipe from The Wild Gut

Chef Julie Interviewed Me!

https://noshwithchefjulie.com/

My new friend Julie over at “Nosh with Chef Julie” interviewed me for her blog and the post is up today if you’d like to check it out! Here is the link for the interview if you’d like to read it:

https://noshwithchefjulie.com/2020/07/03/featured-foodie-interview-with-penny-johnson/

You might learn a thing or two about me but then you already know that I love food!

Also while you’re there, check out Julie’s blog which is great, lots of fun tips!

Thanks Julie for the fun post!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Oh these were good. And if you don’t tell anyone that there is zucchini in them, I swear they will never know.

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups zucchini, shredded or blended

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 muffin pans with paper liners

2 In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3 In another bowl, whisk together oil, milk, eggs, sugar and brown sugar then stir in zucchini.

4 Add wet mixture to dry and stir just until combined then fold in chocolate chips.

5 Scoop into prepared pans and bake 20 -22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes before removing.

Makes 24 muffins

recipe from Bake Eat Repeat

Old Fashioned Buttermilk Bar Donuts

My whole family has become hooked on Provo Bakery‘s Buttermilk Bars, they are amazing! So crunchy on the outside but yet nice and tender on the inside. When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to give it a go. It’s not very difficult but it is time consuming and also messy, every surface of my kitchen was covered in something so I will probably stick with Provo Bakery’s bars except for maybe a special occasion. Buttermilk Bars from The Provo Bakery have been one of our special treats during quarantine.

donuts

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

3 1/2 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting (I didn’t have any cake flour but you can make your own by taking a full cup of all purpose flour and removing 2 tablespoons from it and then adding 2 tablespoons of corn starch)

2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 egg

3 egg yolks

3/4 cup buttermilk

about 2 quarts vegetable oil or Crisco for deep frying

vanilla glaze (I had to double it)

2 – 4 cups powdered sugar

1 – 2 tablespoons vanilla

1/4 – 1/2 cup boiling water

1 For the donuts, melt butter in microwave safe bowl then set aside to cool a bit.

2 Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

3 Place butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add 1 whole egg and then egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each to combine. Add buttermilk and mix until combined.

4 Add dry ingredients all at once and mix just until a few streaks of flour remain. Continue mixing by hand until no flour streaks remain. Dough will be sticky. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour up to overnight.

5 Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Heavily flour a work surface and your hands with cake flour. Transfer half the dough to the work surface and sprinkle with flour. Pat dough into 3 x 24″ rectangle with long side facing you, adding more flour as needed. Use a floured bench scraper or butter knife to cut the rectangle into 1 1/2″ wide bars. (I found it easier to work with the bars if they were more of a square shape than a rectangle because they were smaller and easier to handle and also to fry.) When all bars are cut, dip bench scraper in flour and very gently press it down the center of each bar making a slight indentation.

6 Using a brush, lightly brush the excess flour off the bars. Using a thin metal spatula transfer bars to cookie sheets, flipping over so they are indentation side down. Brush excess flour from the other side of the bars. Refrigerate and repeat with remaining dough.

7 Fill a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven (I use my electric fry pan) with at least 2″ of oil. Heat on medium high heat until 350 or a bit above. While the oil is heating, put a wire cooling rack over a baking sheet.

8 Remove first tray of bars from fridge. Fry in batches of 4 – 5 so as not to crowd the pot, use a thin metal spatula to transfer the bars to the pot. Fry until dark golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Transfer donuts to rack with thin spatula. Repeat with remaining dough then let cool.

9 For the glaze, whisk together glaze ingredients until shiny and smooth. Dip fully cooled bars indentation side down halfway into glaze. Lift up and let excess drip off. Return to rack and repeat.

OR go to the Provo Bakery and buy them!

recipe from Kitchn

Italian Zucchini Boats

And just like that zucchini season is upon us, I wish you safe travels my friends as we navigate the zucchini wilderness.

I’m coming up with new zucchini recipes since my kitchen counter is already covered with the little beasts and they sit there mocking me . . . and this one is a winner, I’ve already made it twice!

1 jar spaghetti/pasta sauce

5 – 6 smallish zucchinis

1/2 – 1 cup shredded Mozzarella

1/4 – 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

about 10 – 12 fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 Preheat oven to 400.

2 Spread 1 cup of spaghetti sauce in bottom of 9 x 13″ pan. Cut ends off zucchinis and then cut in half lengthwise. Using a melon baller or a spoon, make a trench down the middle of each zucchini.

3 Place zucchini halves in pan skin side down. Spoon more spaghetti sauce into each trench of each zucchini half then sprinkle with mozzarella and then the Parmesan.

4 Place in oven and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until a fork pierces the zucchini easily. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh basil.

I know I’ll be making these again and I think some hamburger or some sausage would make this a real meal so I’ll keep you updated when I try that.

Chocolate and Vanilla Bridal Shower Cupcakes in Grey, White, and Green

My friend texted and asked if I would make some cupcakes for her daughter’s bridal shower. If you follow my blog, then you know I do love to make cupcakes. The only directions were chocolate and vanilla flavored cupcakes and then her wedding colors for decorations which were grey, white, and green. Grey is a hard color to use in food so basically white and green.

I think they came out really pretty. Everyone else seemed to think so too!

Both the cupcakes are just straight from the box cake mix but I added 1 cup of white chocolate chips to the vanilla ones and 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips to the chocolate ones. My friend got the cupcake liners which were from Sweet Tooth Fairy, super cute.

The frosting is my favorite buttercream made with heavy whipping cream, recipe here. I tinted it to match the cupcake liners with my Wilton Performance Color System which you can find at Michaels.

I made some little white chocolate hearts and white chocolate roses using Wilton Candy Melts which you can get at Michaels, you can also find chocolate molds there too.

I used the following sprinkles – Silver Dragees (the little silver balls), White Sugar Pearls, and then a Sweet Tooth Fairy bag of sprinkles which I think were a Christmas sprinkle mix but the white and grey colors were perfect for these cupcakes. You can find the sprinkles with the above links to both Michaels and Sweet Tooth Fairy.

Congratulations Bailey! Thanks for letting me be a part of your shower! Love you!

Salted Butterscotch Blondies

Salted Butterscotch Blondies

We have new neighbors next door and I’ve been meaning to make them some treats to welcome them to the neighborhood and so yesterday I found this yummy looking recipe and threw them together. They were awesome! It’s a weird quarantine/social distancing time and I wasn’t sure if people would be comfortable accepting baked goods from someone they don’t know but they seemed fine with it.

2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided

1 3/4 cups brown sugar, divided

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon vanilla, divided

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

flaky sea salt for topping

1 Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9 x 13″ pan with cooking spray.

2 Combine 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and heavy cream in small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 3 – 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.

3 In a larger saucepan, melt 2 sticks butter then let cool slightly. Stir in 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, eggs, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt.

4 Spread batter in prepared pan and pour sauce over top. Gently swirl sauce into batter with a knife. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 – 35 minutes. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and let cool completely before cutting.

recipe from Food Network