Friday, July 13, 2012

Mini Sugar Cookies and a Giveaway!

Today for Cookie Journey Thursday, I made some simple, pretty mini sugar cookies shaped like a flower. I thought they fit in perfectly with our "Mini Week" of desserts.
To make these cookies I used a Wilton #2 tip 
and the following colors:
Americolor Super Red, Turquoise, and Leaf Green
and Wilton Violet.
To get the different shades of the same color, I just
used fewer drops when mixing the color.
Outline your flower cookie and then...
fill in with the same color.
Let dry.
Place a white dot in the center of each cookie
with a Wilton tip #4.
Enjoy !
Simple and sweet and mini!
(and you can eat more than one because they're small)

Thanks for joining
The Freshman Cook 
today for Day 4 for our
"Mini Week of Desserts".

Don't forget to enter our giveaway of a Libbey 25 piece "Just Desserts"
 Parfait Set and a "Just Mini Desserts" cookbook. 
Just leave a comment about what
your favorite mini dessert is. You can leave one everyday this week~one
a day. To receive 2 extra entries, follow us here at The Freshman Cook,
and like our facebook page. 
The giveaway ends Sunday 7/15/12 at 11:59 pm PST

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Chocolate Banana Nilla Wafer Bowl

Welcome to Day 3 of our "Mini Week " here at The Freshman Cook! Don't forget to enter our giveaway for the "Just Desserts" 25 piece parfait and the "Just Mini Desserts" cookbook. Enter every day up to Sunday at 11:59 pm PST. Leave me a comment telling me what your favorite mini dessert is. You can leave a comment everyday, even the same comment if you want, and for extra entries, like The Freshman Cook on facebook, and follow us. Easy to enter!

Today we made a Mini Chocolate Banana Nilla Wafer Bowl. When my son was growing up he loved Nilla Wafers and Bananas in Vanilla pudding. Of course, so did I and so did my husband. It was our true comfort food.! I even make my son a Nilla Wafer Cake for his birthday every year! Comfort food for the whole family! But I wanted to dress up this favorite of ours, so I added some nutella and gave an old favorite a new look, and it tastes delicious. I hope you think so too!
Mini Chocolate Banana Nilla Wafer Bowl
Old Fashioned Vanilla Pudding
(Katie Anderson-Allrecipes)
Makes enough for 4 1/2 cup bowls
2 tablespoons Sugar
1 tablespoons Cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1 cup 2% Milk
1 Egg Yolk, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons Butter
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

Everything Else
 1/2 cup Nutella
2-3 tablespoons Milk
Mini Nilla Wafers
1 tablespoon Butter, melted
1 medium Banana
Place the mini nilla wafers in a zip lock bag. 
Roll over them with a rolling pin and crush.
Mix in your melted butter and stir.
Distribute the crushed wafers between the four bowls.
Push the crumbs on the bottom of the bowl 
and up the sides just slightly.
Set aside.
Place the nutella in a saucepan double boiler setup,
and melt it slowly. Add the milk to the melted nutella
and stir until it is smooth and a bit thinner than it was
originally. Let the nutella sit on low 
while you make the pudding.
In a saucepan, combine your sugar, cornstarch and salt.
Gradually stir in your milk.
 Cook and stir over medium heat....
until thickened and bubbly. Reduce the heat, and stir 2
 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
Stir a small amount of the hot milk mixture into the egg mix.
This is tempering your egg. The egg will get used to the
heat a little at a time, and will not curdle or cook.
Return all of the hot milk mixture and the 
egg and milk mix into the saucepan. 
 Stirring constantly, bring the mix to a gentle boil.
Cook and stir for 1 minute.
Gently stir in vanilla and butter.
Cool for 15 minutes.
While the pudding is cooling, dip half of some mini nilla
wafers into the nutella. Place on a plate with wax paper
on it and put in the fridge to set.
Stir the pudding occasionally during the 15 minutes
that the pudding is cooling.
Place a tablespoon of nutella sauce in each bowl.
If you have any extra, distribute it evenly.
Slice a thin piece of banana for each bowl,
and place it in the center of the bowl over the nutella.
Place pudding over the banana.
Place the bowls in the refrigerator for an hour minimum.
Once the pudding is chilled, garnish your bowls.
Slice 4 more pieces of banana. 
Place a slice of banana on top of the bowl
and place a nutella covered mini nilla wafer
next to it.
Enjoy!

Thanks for joining me today!
 Don't forget about our giveaway, and stop by
tomorrow for some more mini dessert!








Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Black Forest Mini Cupcakes and a Giveaway!

It's Tuesday of our "Mini Week" and today we having Black Forest Mini Cupcakes for dessert! It's also Day 2 of our giveaway. You can sign up everyday until the drawing on Sunday! There is a picture of the giveaway at the end of this post! Check it out and enter everyday! Leave me a comment telling me what your favorite mini dessert is, and for 2 extra entries, like us on facebook, and follow The Freshman Cook. Leave me a comment about that too. Enter every day this week until Sunday!
Black Forest Mini Cupcakes 
 Cupcakes
(cake from Cake Dr)
1 box Duncan Hines Devil's Food Cake Mix
3 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 1/3 cups Buttermilk
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
3 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Fresh Cherries 

Chocolate Frosting
8 tablespoons Butter
2/3 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 cups Confectioner's Sugar
1/3 cup Milk
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1/4 teaspoon Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pit your cherries. You will need 2 cherries per cupcake 
for the filling, and 1 cherry, pitted, but with the stem on
for the garnish on top.
Combine the mix, 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder,
buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla in mixing bowl. 
Mix for 1 minute on low. 
Scrape the bowl, and mix again on medium for 2 minutes.
I used 2 ounce souffle cups for cupcake wrappers.
Put a small spoonful of batter in the bottom of the cup.
Place 2 pitted cherries on top of the batter.
Cover the cherries with more batter.
Fill the cups about 3/4 full.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Cool on a cooling rack.
While your cupcakes are cooling, make your frosting.
Place 8 tablespoons butter and 
2/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa in bowl. 
Blend on low until combined.
Add confectioners' sugar, milk, vanilla and salt.
Beat on low for 2-3 minutes. If the icing is too thick, add
more milk. If it is too thin, add confectioners' sugar.
Using a Wilton #5 tip, pipe the chocolate frosting
on top. Garnish by pitting the cherry, but keeping it
in as good a shape as possible. Top cupcake with cherry.
Enjoy!

Thanks for joining me today!

Stop by tomorrow and see what we are making
for tomorrow's mini!
This is our mini giveaway I mentioned above.
You can enter every day until Sunday. The giveaway 
ends Sunday at 11:59 pm PST.
Enter by leaving me a comment telling me what your favorite
mini dessert is. You can enter once a day! Get 2 extra entries
by liking us on facebook, and following The Freshman Cook.
If you enter everyday, and like us on facebook, and follow us
you will have 9 entries!
 

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Week of Mini's and a Giveaway!

This week will be a week of mini's! What the heck am I talking about? Well, I just love little bite sized mini desserts, and if you are like me, you can't get enough of them either! So, starting today I will be making and posting (and eating!) a mini dessert everyday! Doesn't that sound like fun! I know, I love it too! :)

In celebration of our "mini week" The Freshman Cook is giving away a "Just Mini Desserts"cook book along with a Libbey, Just Desserts, 25 piece parfait! You must comment in the comment section and tell me what your favorite mini dessert is. You can comment every day this week until Sunday, July 15. Each day you comment is an entry. If you would like additional entries you may follow The Freshman Cook, and like our facebook page. Of course, that can only be done once and it doesn't matter what day you do that. So if you enter every day, like us on facebook, and follow us, you will have a total of 9 entries. I hope to hear from you!

Our first mini is a takeoff on strawberry shortcake and I call it Creamy Dreamy Shorties. Its made of strawberries, pastry cream, and pound cake, and topped with whipped cream. Yum!
Creamy Dreamy Shorties
Pound Cake
1 1/2 cups Butter
8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
3 cups Sugar
6 Eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
3 cups Flour
1/8 teaspoon Salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour bread pans.(or really any kind of pan)
Beat your butter and cream cheese until creamy.
About 2 minutes.
Add your sugar a little at a time beat for 5-7 minutes.
Add your eggs, one at a time, beating just until
the yellow disappears. Add vanilla and mix well.
Combine your flour and salt in a bowl, then gradually
add the mix to your butter mixture. Have your mixer 
at low speed and mix just until blended.
Pour into your prepared pans and bake for 30-40 minutes.
Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes, then take it out of the pan.

Pastry Cream
2 cups Milk
1/4 cup Sugar
2 Egg Yolks
1 Egg
1/4 cup Cornstarch
1/3 cup Sugar
2 tablespoons Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Using a heavy saucepan, stir together the milk
and 1/4 cup sugar.
Bring to a boil over medium heat.
In a medium bowl, mix together the egg yolk and the egg.
In a separate bowl, mix together the cornstarch and the
1/3 cup of sugar.
Then stir the sugar and cornstarch mix in to the
egg mix and ...
stir until smooth.
When your milk comes to a boil, drizzle about 1/2 of the milk into
the egg mix. This is called tempering the eggs.
You slowly add the milk so that the eggs can get used to the
high temperature and they won't curdle or cook.
As you are pouring, stir or whisk the eggs.
Once your eggs are mixed, pour the egg and milk
mix back into the pan with the rest of the milk.
Slowly bring the mix to a boil, stirring the entire time
until it thickens.
After it has thickened, remove from the heat.
(mine is still on the stove, but on a turned off burner)
Add your vanilla and butter, stirring until the
butter is completely blended.
Pour cream in to heat proof container.
Place a piece of plastic wrap on the top of the cream.
Make sure it is touching the cream.
This way a skin can not develop on the cream.
Refrigerate until chilled.

Strawberries
Cut up a few strawberries.
I made a little extra here.
If your strawberries need a little sweetening, sprinkle a
spoonful or two of sugar on them. Mix it up and refrigerate.

Assembly
Cut up some of the pound cake into small bite size pieces.
Use more or less depending on the size of your serving dish.
I went back and cut my strawberries into small pieces
as I was putting this together. Plus I wanted a few tiny pieces
for garnish on the top.
I filled the bottom with short cake, then added some
strawberries, and then some pastry cream.
Top it with whipped cream and garnish with strawberries.
This can be changed around according to the size
and design of your dish.
Enjoy!

Thanks for joining me today!

Please stop by tomorrow for another mini recipe
and don't forget you can enter the giveaway every day.
The giveaway ends on Sunday, July 15, 2012 @ 11.59pm PST.