Whiskey Pear Trifles

“THE LIGHT MUSIC OF WHISKEY FALLING INTO GLASSES MADE AN AGREEABLE INTERLUDE.”  James Joyce

Whiskey Pear Trifles | From My Sweet Heart

There was a time when I would have told you that I don’t care very much for whiskey.  But then, I decided to make some Home Made Irish Cream.  You know, that wonderful creamy liqueur that has you believing you are drinking an adult milkshake?  That stuff contains a whole bottle of whiskey!  And now Jameson’s Irish Whiskey is among my favorites.  I’ve used it for this recipe, too!

This recipe makes the top 3 of my favorite recipes on this blog!  So simple to make, yet the combination of flavors and textures is so sublimeCinnamon raisin bread, vanilla bean custard, pralines, pears, whipped cream, and the most delicious maple whiskey sauce imaginable!  A little something different in every spoonful! [Read more...]

Milk Chocolate & Vanilla Pudding Pops

IN EVERY REAL MAN A CHILD IS HIDDEN THAT WANTS TO PLAY.”  Friedrich Nietzsche

Milk Chocolate & Vanilla Pudding Pops | From My Sweet Heart

Oh to be a kid again!

I never had the opportunity to travel in my childhood.  But summers still felt very carefree.  And it was the very simple, little things that brought the greatest pleasure.  Like running through the sprinkler in the backyard on a hot day, going to the county fair, or running frantically for my money when I heard the ice cream truck approaching the neighborhood!

Well those days of chasing down the ice cream man are over!  Not only do I enjoy making my own ice cream.  I’ve now ventured into making a variation on a home made ‘fudgesicle’.  These sweet and creamy frozen pops are made with milk chocolate and vanilla puddings.  It’s my contribution to the Improv Cooking Challenge this month.  Once a month, Kristen of The Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker challenges us to put two ingredients together in any recipe of our choice.  This month, we were to combine chocolate and vanilla.  Two flavors near and dear to my heart!  And here’s my chilly spin on it all. [Read more...]

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Strawberries

“PURITY AND SIMPLICITY ARE THE TWO WINGS WITH WHICH MAN SOARS ABOVE THE EARTH AND ALL TEMPORARY NATURE.”  Thomas Kempis

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Strawberries | From My Sweet Heart

I am a purist at heart.  And I firmly believe that vanilla is under rated. 

Would I turn away a piece of oreo snickers triple chocolate mousse turtle pecan double caramel chocolate chip pumpkin dulce de leche mocha fudge ripple cheesecake with raspberries and extra whipped cream?

Probably not!

But a sweet and creamy vanilla cheesecake with a thin layer of vanilla cookie crust topped with fresh strawberries and brushed with a light and sweet strawberry glaze appeals to me even more! [Read more...]

Vintage Cakes: Boston Cream Pie-lets

EXPECT EVERYTHING SO THAT NOTHING COMES UNEXPECTED.”  Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth)

Vintage Cakes: Boston Cream Pie-lets | From My Sweet Heart

The Cake Slice Bakers are a wonderful group of women who share a passion for baking CAKES!  Led by the lovely Paloma of The Coffee Shop, we’ve been baking our way through Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson.  And I really LOVE this book.  It’s a wonderful source of cakes from our past, tried and true, but often with a surprising twist.

Well this recipe was not at all what I expected and it really took me by surprise.  We all have a memory about a Boston Cream Pie that we love.  For me, it’s the combination of sweet pastry cream, vanilla sponge cake and chocolate ganache all together.  I love them just as well if they are in a cupcake or a donut.  But I wasn’t expecting them in a pudding!  So I am on the fence and needing to take another taste in a day or two before I can form a proper opinion.  What is your favorite part of a Boston Cream Pie? [Read more...]

Black & White Biscotti

IT’S NOT HOW MUCH WE GIVE BUT HOW MUCH LOVE WE PUT INTO GIVING.”  Mother Teresa

Black and White Biscotti | From My Sweet Heart

I think for those of us who love to bake and cook; what we produce is usually made with love.  Passion is usually the common ingredient in every recipe.  But when we give food as gifts, I think we take extra care in making sure that our end result is as special as the recipients.  Since I have this mad passion for making sweet things, I tend to give food as gifts all year round.  Biscotti is one of the easiest and most practical things to gift.  It really keeps well for a longer period of time, which is perfect if you are putting these in the mail! 

I found this recipe for Black and White Biscotti on the King Arthur Flour website and I just LOVE them!   Sweet vanilla and deep, rich chocolate always pair well together.  Add a sprinkling of sugar and they are ready for dunking! 

[Read more...]

Funfetti Cupcakes { sprinkles with a twist}

“I MEAN, C’MON NOW.  WHO DOESN’T LOVE A FUNFETTI CUPCAKE?”  Matt B. (my son, at the age of 20)

Funfetti Cupcakes | From My Sweet Heart

HaPpY 21st BiRtHdAy To My Son MATT!!!!

Why do I always feel my age on my kids’ birthdays!?!  So every year I ask my boys (young men!) what they would like me to make them for their birthday.  And Matt always wants a funfetti cake or funfetti cupcakes!  And so last year, when Matt requested funfetti, I asked if he didn’t think he was getting a little old for funfetti.  And my quote for this post was his reply!

Good for you Matt!  We should all remain kids at heart!  And the truth is…..WHO DOESN’T love funfetti cupcakes?!  So this year I asked for a compromise.  Maybe just a little something more sophisticated than your average sprinkle.  After all….he is officially and finally 21 today!  You will laugh when you read how I could even think that what I added was sophisticated!……… [Read more...]

‘I Wish It Were My Birthday’ Cake

“IT TAKES AS MUCH ENERGY TO WISH AS IT DOES TO PLAN.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

I Wish it Were My Birthday Cake | From My Sweet Heart

Yesterday, I picked up a fabulous cookbook by Sherry Yard.  And in it, she talked about her earliest memories of baking.  And then I realized, there is no history of baking in my family.  In fact, my history of baking starts with me!  And it started rather late in my life.  So I tried to search back on any memories I had of instances where my curiosity about baking was piqued.  And I recalled a bakery near my home that I would go to for the most amazing cakes!  They only sold 4 or 5 different kinds.  But they were the kind of cakes I can only imagine a grandmother would bake!  And there was one in particular.  A yellow cake with chocolate frosting and pieces of penny candy and confetti and bows all over it.  Every time I saw that cake in the bakery I would think to myself…..‘awwww….I wish it were my birthday’!

And so yesterday, when I realized I was the beginning of the baking history in my family…I decided to start a tradition.  If you feel like celebrating your life….don’t wait till your birthday to do it! And so I give you…..‘I Wish It Were My Birthday’ Cake!  This is an adaptation of Sherry Yard’s recipe and one of the most delicious yellow cakes I have ever tasted!  The thing about making your own celebration cake is…….. [Read more...]

Velvet Hearts

“WHEN YOU ARE SORROWFUL LOOK AGAIN IN YOUR HEART, AND YOU SHALL SEE THAT IN TRUTH YOU ARE WEEPING FOR THAT WHICH HAS BEEN YOUR DELIGHT.”  Kahlil Gibran

Velvet Hearts | From My Sweet Heart

 These simple vanilla cookies are buttery and light.  But with the addition of cream cheese in the mix, they are substantial and almost savory.  I hope you will try them and jazz them up in any way you like.

Sadly today, my son said goodbye to his good friend who was taken from us much too soon and way too young.  The kitchen is always my solace.  I baked these with the most heartfelt thoughts of this young man, and in loving support of all the friends and family he left behind.  I hope that soon, we will all find peace in our own hearts again.  But I hope this…..especially, for my son Matt.

Hold tight to those who mean the most to you….and bake these for someone you love…….. [Read more...]

Boston Creme Cupcakes

“DON’T BE DISMAYED AT GOOD-BYES.  A FAREWELL IS NECESSARY BEFORE YOU CAN MEET AGAIN.  AND MEETING AGAIN, AFTER MOMENTS OR LIFETIMES, IS CERTAIN FOR THOSE WHO ARE FRIENDS.”  Richard Bach

Boston Creme Cupcakes | From My Sweet Heart

HaPpY BiRtHdAy MiKe!!!

I have an amazing story to tell you.  At least it’s amazing and special to me.  I recently had the occasion to have cocktails with my high school sweetheart.  What’s so amazing you ask?  It’s just that we have not seen each other in nearly 35 years!!!

I truly believe that nothing in life is random.  And that everything happens for a reason.  And I am trying to understand why I am given this second chance at friendship.  For me, I think I know.  I struggle to understand how some can take friendship for granted; or worse, can let go so easily after investing much time and emotion.  But second chances of this magnitude don’t come along every day.  And so it is that I know, despite what time has passed, that this is a friendship I will treasure and nurture for all the days of my life.  Mike recently suggested that I get back to our roots and make a Boston Creme Pie.  So here’s  to prom pictures and pansies and Boston Creme Cupcakes and many more birthday celebrations to come…..and to many, many more years of friendship! [Read more...]

Petit Fours

“THERE IS AN ENDURING TENDERNESS IN THE LOVE OF A MOTHER TO A SON THAT TRANSCENDS ALL OTHER AFFECTIONS OF THE HEART.”  Washington Irving

Petit Fours | From My Sweet Heart

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

I’m sitting here with my lower lip out because this day just isn’t the same without Jeff and Matt here.  I think Mother’s Day should be moved to the summer, when my guys will be back from school.  I’m not sure if I am really missing them, or if I am just missing the opportunity to have yard work done or my car cleaned inside and out!  (I am usually good for milking whatever work I can from them on this day!)  So to make myself feel better, I made some little cakes!  These are sweet and simple.  But let me tell you what I learned about working with the fondant icing….. [Read more...]