July 18, 2012

Mini Moon Pies

Last Friday, my friend Monica and I hosted a Southern Dinner Party. We set up a backyard buffet of Southern dishes, with an abundance of different desserts, including the Mini Moon Pies I'm posting about today. I'll share my party photos with all of you in my next post :).

For now, let's talk Moon Pies. If you've never had one, a Moon Pie is made up of two graham cookies sandwiched around a marshmallow filling, dipped in chocolate. Sort of like a s'more, but not. I remember eating Moon Pies a few times as a child, but only once in a blue moon because they were so hard to find.

Moon Pies also come dipped in other coatings like orange and banana, so rather than just the original chocolate, I thought I'd also include a different flavor. If you've been following my blog, you probably know that I adore the combination of mint and chocolate (ex. Mint Chocolate Chip Truffles & Grasshopper Tart), so what better other flavor to include than mint? Plus, the mint color is lovely.

This is a great recipe to experiment with. Try using different extracts/liquids for the marshmallow filling and flavor/color the coating differently (maybe orange or lemon?). Definitely try this out. Not only are these Mini Moon Pies cute to look at, they're pretty darn tasty; they were the first dessert to go from our buffet.

P.S. If you choose to make mint and chocolate coated mini moon pies, don't throw away the extra coating! Use it to make homemade Andes chocolates (recipe at the very bottom of this post).

July 04, 2012

Red, White & Blue Jewel Cake

Happy 4th of July everyone! Hope all of you in the US did something fun today: attended a party, had a BBQ, watched a parade, baked an apple pie, played with fireworks, etc.

Today I have a pretty cake to share with all of you. It's an adaptation of Sprinkle Bakes's "Crown Jewel Cake", which is based on a vintage Jello recipe. I remember seeing this cake on Sprinkle Bakes and being wowed by how wonderfully gorgeous and colorful it is. I loved that Heather replaced the dream whip with actual whipped cream and added a tasty jaconde to make the "cake" an actual cake.

I took this cake and gave it an Independence Day twist, inspired by the American flag (red/white/blue + stars & stripes) and patriotism (hence the hearts). The jaconde does use a lot food coloring, but there are alternatives for those of you wary of food coloring. First, you could make a chocolate jaconde instead, brown instead of blue with three lines of frosting: red, white, and blue. Or second, you could skip the jaconde and make a graham cracker crust for the bottom instead, like in the vintage recipe (and as I did with the extra filling).

Another great thing about this cake is that it can easily be adapted to any other holiday/theme just by changing the colors of the jello, jaconde, and frosting. Imagine, a red jaconde with red and pink jello for Valentine's Day. Or a purple jaconde with purple, yellow, and green jello for Mardi Gras. Or change the colors to coordinate with the colors of your favorite sports team. The possibilities are endless so try this cake out!

P.S. To add to the fun, I used the extra jello from the filling to make some Broken Glass Jello, an additional dessert for my 4th of July menu (recipe also posted after the jump).