We all know what seals the deal for any Easter brunch menu….SIMPLE & SWEET EASTER DESSERTS!
SIMPLE & SWEET EASTER DESSETS!
I have spend the day planning my Easter parties menu. I say “parties” because at this house we actually have two Easter parties. The first party we have the Saturday night before Easter Sunday. This party is where we make our traditional Easter Pizza just like Grandma used to make. We also decorate the Easter eggs at this party. Hey why not right…a party before the party…the “pre-Easter party”! The second party is actually a huge brunch we throw on Easter Sunday. So anyway, I have spent the better party of today finalizing our menu’s and putting together the dreaded grocery list. Today, I wanted to share with you the most important party of any Easter party menu….the SIMPLE & SWEET EASTER DESSERTS! Some of these desserts have started out as a family tradition like my Grandmother’s “Taralli” or Italian Lemon Knots. Some of these desserts have become a tradition in our family over the last few years such as the Walnut Citrus Twists. Some of these desserts/sweets I know will become a tradition after this year because the recipes look so darn good….the Layered Berry Cake or the Carrot Cake Bars. So without further adieu I bring you this years La Mia Tabella SIMPLE & SWEET EASTER DESSERTS! If you need me…don’t call….I will be baking!!!!
Here is a link to my old blog (www.lamiatabella.blogspot.com). I have not yet transferred all my recipes over from that blog yet. A few years back I posted a recipe for my Grandma’s “Taralli” or Lemon Knots. These are a must on our Easter menu every year!
I have been making these Cake Mix Blueberry Muffins for several years. I found this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, Six Sisters Stuff…check them out! I make them in the shape of eggs using a special baking pan I found. Not only are they delicious, but they are super simple to make and darn cute too!
This year for our Easter “pre-party” I have added these adorable Carrot Strawberry Pudding Cups for the kids (ok us adults too) to each for dessert!
My mom needed to get into the dessert action and she found this recipe for a Lemon Sour Cream Pie that I cannot wait to dig my fork into! This and other fun recipes can be found at Tastes Better From Scatch.
These CLEMENTINE ALMOND CUPCAKES will put a smile on your face the minute you bite into them!
CLEMENTINE ALMOND CUPCAKES
What better way to cheer up your kids on a cold winters day than by making them these CLEMENTINE ALMOND CUPCAKES! That is exactly what I did for my kids today. I had one home with the flu, one home from pre-k because his schools heat went out and another one home…well because…he is 3! I told them that when the fourth child came home from school I would have a treat ready for them and we could have a little tea party! The excitement of a cupcake and tea party actually made them behave pretty much the rest of the day…Thank God!!!! I had a citrus cake that I had planned to make for citrus week here on La Mia Tabella, but I decided cupcakes are just…well…cupcakes just make you happy! I did not want to make the super sweet kind of cupcakes that would have my kids bouncing off the wall until bed time either.
No one ever really comes back from Italy saying “Wow! Italy has the best cupcakes ever!” They do however, come back saying that the food and desserts are to die for. If I was going to come up with a new cupcake flavor I had to brain storm. I know Italian desserts all have two things in common: One, their desserts are never overly sweet and sugary. Two, Italian desserts always have a “hint” of flavoring in their desserts such as almond, citrus, rum or coffee. Since it is citrus week I knew I had to use citrus. There were some beautiful clementine’s in my fridge that I had picked up from Whole Foods. Ok…hmmm…what pairs good with clementine’s….easy…almonds. So I decided to use these two stars of the show and create an Italian cake like base to my cupcakes. When I say “Italian cake like base” I mean it is more of a sponge cake like consistency, more dense in texture and less overall sugar than the cupcakes that we all consume in the U.S. Now I had to think about what kind of frosting would go great with the cake base….and it came to me in a flash…Ricotta & Fresh Whipped Cream Frosting!
These CLEMENTINE ALMOND CUPCAKES turned out great!! My kids devoured them! Even my flu girl decided her stomach would be ok if she had half a cupcake. In the end I made 18 cupcakes…some for the kids, some for the hubby and even some neighbors lucked out and scored a few. You want to put a smile on someone’s face (even if it is just yours) make these CLEMENTINE ALMOND CUPCAKES! You will be happy you did!
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, room temp
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon clementine zest
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed clementine juice
- 1/2 stick of butter
- 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta
- 1/4 teaspoon clementine zest
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl beat together sugar & butter until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.
- Add vanilla & almond extract. Mix well.
- Mix in the flour mixture and fresh clementine juice alternately; starting and ending with flour. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated well.
- Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 way with batter. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until light golden on top and toothpick comes out clean when center is pricked.
- Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and place on wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.
- In medium bowl beat the butter and powdered sugar until creamy. Add in the ricotta and whip until it mixes in well with butter mixture. Mix in clementine zest. Set aside.
- In a large bowl whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Add the butter/ricotta mixture to the whipped cream. Carefully fold in the butter/ricotta mixture into the whipped cream until it is all incorporated.
- Frost cupcakes. Can place a tiny slice of clementine on top for decoration.
- Refrigerate cupcakes until ready to serve.
- * Do not overly mix the butter/ricotta mixture into the whipped cream as the stiff peaks will soften.
- ** When frosting cupcakes it is best to use a cake/frosting decorating tool so it can be piped on instead of spread on to preserve the peaks of the whipped cream.
- *** These are best served the day you made them as the frosting will "fall" slightly by the next day.
Italian Soda…..no thanks…I’ll take these BLOOD ORANGE ITALIAN SODA ICE CREAM FLOATS !
BLOOD ORANGE ITALIAN SODA ICE CREAM FLOATS
A while back I came across a photo on Pinterest of a Blood Orange Italian Soda. The picture was beautiful! To be honest with you I was very intrigued as to how the author of this photo came up with the recipe to concoct this interesting beverage. The “pin” took me to a food blog called Completely Delicious. She came up with the most amazing recipe for blood orange simple syrup! She then poured the simple syrup over some ice, topped it with some 1/2 and 1/2 and then some sparkling or seltzer water. So I had an idea….why not turn this Blood Orange Italian Soda into Blood Orange Italian Soda Ice Cream Floats!
I made these for my kids as a special treat this past Saturday night. The slurping of straws coming from our kitchen table I am sure could be heard for miles! Let me tell you if there was an award for who could slurp up BLOOD ORANGE ITALIAN SODA ICE CREAM FLOATS all four of my kids would win…hands down! The Blood Orange Simple Syrup is so simple to make. It really is the “hit” of this dessert with the combination of sweet & tart. The creaminess of the ice-cream combined with the blood orange syrup reminds me of an orange flavored push up. Once you add the sparking Pellegrino…forget about it…..you have died and gone to dessert heaven. These BLOOD ORANGE ITALIAN SODA ICE CREAM FLOATS like an Orange Crush ice cream float with more distinguished flavors. So distinguished you could serve it to guests, but so good you could “slurp” it alone!
- Zest from 2 blood oranges
- 3 cups fresh squeezed blood orange juice (about 6-8 blood oranges)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 gallon of premium vanilla ice cream
- Pellegrino Sparkling Water
- In a small sauce pan, bring the orange zest, blood orange juice and sugar to a boil. Stir often to make sure the sugar dissolves. Lower heat and keep mixture on a simmer for about five minutes so that is gets a bit thicker in texture.
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Strain the mixture and chill in fridge.
- In a tall glass place 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Pour about 1/4 cup of the blood orange simple syrup over the top of the ice cream.
- Fill the remainder of the glass with sparkling Pellegrino.
- Grab and spoon and a straw and dig in!
- Although the taste and color of a blood orange cannot be beat for these floats, you could always use regular oranges, clementine's or even pink grapefruit.