Spring Desserts

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Lemon Cream Puffs with Fresh Fruit, recipe provided below (adapted from Glorious Treats)

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 6 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Curd (homemade or store bought)
  • Fresh fruit of your choice such as, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, mango

Directions:

  • Thaw Puff Pastry sheet according to package directions.
  • Gently unfold pastry onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Use a pizza cutter to cut the pastry into 12 small rectangles (As pictured above- first cut along fold lines, then each third should be cut in half, then half again).
  • Bake pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or a lightly greased baking sheet).
  • Bake 12-14 minutes (check after 10 minutes). Bake until puffy and medium golden brown. Allow to cool.
  • While the pastry bakes, prepare fruit by cutting into small pieces, then mixing together in a bowl. Set aside. 
  • Prepare lemon cream by whipping the heavy whipping cream (using and electric mixer) until it begins to thicken. Add vanilla and powdered sugar, and continue to beat until thick and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the lemon curd, one tablespoon at a time. Stop mixing as soon as the lemon curd is incorporated.
  • Assembly: Using a serrated knife, cut open each baked pastry (horizontally). Fill a piping bag (or a ziplock bag with a corner cut off) with the lemon cream and pipe some cream onto both the top and bottom piece of pastry. Add fruit to the bottom piece (as shown), and then add the top piece, creating a sandwich. Sprinkle dessert with powdered sugar. If desired, pipe a small dollop of cream on top and add a few additional pieces of fruit. 
  • Serve immediately, or keep the assembled desserts in the refrigerator up to 2 hours.

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Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes, recipe provided below (adapted from Glorious Treats)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
  • 8 oz (1 block) cream cheese
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh raspberry puree (from about 1/2 cup fresh raspberries)

Directions:

  • In the bowl of a large electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the cream cheese, and beat further until the butter and cream cheese are fully incorporated and smooth.
  • With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Add vanilla. Again, with the mixer on low, add the raspberry puree, one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating, increasing speed to medium for about 30 seconds.
  • Depending on the temperature in your kitchen, and the moisture in your berries, the frosting may be on the soft side. I put the whole bowl of finished frosting in the refrigerator for about 1 hour to help the frosting firm up. If needed, you could add an additional cup of powdered sugar.

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Lemon Blueberry Cake, recipe provided below (adapted from Cooking Classy)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, at room temperature, rinsed and drained well
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
    • 12 oz cream cheese, softened (1 1/2 pkgs)
    • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp lemon extract*
    • 3 cups powdered sugar
    • Blueberries and lemon slices, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 3 9-inch round baking pans and line the bottom of each with a round of parchment paper. Butter parchment paper and lightly dust pan with flour, shaking out excess.
  • Sift cake flour into a mixing bowl. Add all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk for 30 seconds, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (if you don't have the paddle attachment that constantly scrapes sides of the bowl while mixing, then stop mixer occasionally throughout entire mixing process and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl), whip together butter, granulated sugar and lemon zest until mixture is pale and fluffy. In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup, measure out milk then stir in sour cream and lemon juice, let rest 3 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, mix eggs into butter mixture one a time, then stir in lemon extract and vanilla extract. Toss blueberries with 3 Tbsp of the flour mixture. Working in three separate batches, beginning and ending with remaining flour mixture, add 1/3 of the flour mixture (to the butter/egg mixture) alternating with 1/2 of the milk mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition. Gently fold in blueberries. Divide mixture evenly among prepared baking pans. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 24 - 27 minutes. Cool in baking pans about 20 - 30 minute then invert onto wire racks to cool completely. Once cool, frost with cream cheese frosting and decorate with blueberries and lemon slices if desired. Store in an airtight container.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitter with the paddle attachment, whip butter until pale and fluffy. Add cream cheese and mix until smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla and lemon extract and powdered sugar and blend several minutes longer until smooth and fluffy (if frosting seems slightly runny, you can chill it for a bit before frosting cake). 
  • *Omit lemon extract if making this cream cheese frosting for a different recipe. This frosting is good on so many different kinds of cake!

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Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe provided below (adapted from Cooking Classy)

Ingredients

  • Cupcakes
    • 1 1/2 cups (212g) all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 6 Tbsp (3 oz) unsalted butter, softened
    • 3/4 cup (165g) granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3/4 cup mashed overripe Chiquita bananas
    • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk
    • 1/2 cup (86g) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for garnish
    • 1 1/2 Chiquita bananas sliced, for garnish
  • Frosting
    • 8 oz cream cheese, nearly at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, nearly at room temperature
    • 2 1/2 cups (310g) powdered sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  • For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt for 20 seconds. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg then mix in egg yolk and vanilla. Blend in mashed bananas. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture then mix just until combined, pour in 1/2 of the buttermilk and mix just until combined, repeat process with flour and buttermilk once more. Finish by adding in remaining 1/3 of the flour mixture and the chocolate chips and mix just until combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and fold batter.  Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean, about 20 - 25 minutes. Cool in pan several minutes then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Once cool frost with cream cheese frosting, top with 2 banana slices (just before serving) and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Store in refrigerator in an air tight container and allow to rest at room temperature about 5 - 10 minutes before serving.
  • For the cream cheese frosting: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in powdered sugar and blend until light and fluffy (if needed chill in freezer in 3 minute intervals, stirring between intervals until a more firm consistency is reached).