Category Archives: Desserts

Mouthwatering and Easy Mini Pavlovas

Mini pavlovas on a white plate topped with whipped cream and fresh peaches

These mini pavlovas are such a delicious and fun dessert! One of my favorites.

My first experience with pavlova was 10 years ago. Someone made a giant rectangular pavlova for a ladies’ Bible study I participated in. It was love at first bite!

Since then I’ve made the traditional round pavlovas, half sheet pan size rectangular pavlovas, and of course these adorable mini pavlovas.

If you’ve never had pavlova before, it’s a meringue like crust, crispy on the outside and marshmallow like in the middle, topped with freshly whipped cream and fruit.

So good.

This is also dessert that comes across as fancy, but it is inexpensive to make if you use fruit that is in season.

MINI PAVLOVA INGREDIENTS

Once you see the simplicity of these ingredients, you’ll understand why it’s budget friendly!

  • Egg whites
  • Granulated sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Vanilla extract
  • Vinegar or lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Powdered sugar
  • Fresh fruit

Use whatever fresh fruit is in season. Things like strawberries, blueberries, any other berry. Peaches and other pit fruits are also great options. You can do one fruit or a combination.

A mint leaf or two on the top would be a fun presentation options as well.

Egg white in the mixer and a bowl or sugar for mini pavlovas

Room temperature egg whites and the bowl of sugar, cornstarch, and salt.

MINI PAVLOVA INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Beat room temperature egg whites until soft peaks form.
  2. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add a tablespoon at a time to the egg whites. Scrape down sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after last tablespoon is added.
  3. Beat until stiff peaks form. The egg whites should feel smooth – not gritty from the sugar.
  4. Tap the egg whites off of the whisk. Combine the vanilla and vinegar and sprinkle over the top. Fold in gently.
  5. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  6. Line a large baking sheet (or two small ones) with parchment paper. Scoop the meringue onto the the sheets in 8 even piles and spread into circles making a slight indentation in the middle.
  7. Place in oven and turn oven down to 250 degrees. Bake for 60 minutes. They should be firm and dry (but not brown). Turn oven off and let them cool in the closed oven. (It’s easy to forget to turn the oven off… Guess how I know! Thus why these meringues are a little brown.)
  8. Whip the heavy cream and prepare the fruit. In the winter time, if you don’t have access to fresh fruit, you can make a simple fruit compote by boiling frozen fruit in a couple tablespoons of water (and a little sugar if needed) to make a fruity sauce. Brighten with a splash of lemon juice after cooking. Use this over the top instead of the fresh fruit.
  9. Assemble the mini pavlovas and enjoy!

Whipped meringue with stiff peaks for mini pavlovas

The meringue with stiff peaks and the vanilla/vinegar mixture ready to be folded in.

STORING MINI PAVLOVAS

One thing to know about a pavlova is that ones it’s topped with the whipped cream and fruit, you need to eat it. The meringue won’t stay crisp.

When I brought the large rectangular pavlova to a small group and a 4th of July celebration, I brought the meringue base and then serving dishes of whipped cream and fruit. Everyone topped their own. For a fancier party, you’d probably want to present the pavlova already assembled and then serve for the wow factor.

With the mini pavlovas, you could leave everything separate and serve the meringue on a platter followed by dishes of whipped cream and fruit options. Or for events that aren’t buffet style and you do have a head count, assemble and plate each mini pavlova before serving.

There’s no wrong option! Just know for storing leftovers it’s best to have all the components separate. For serving for a dinner party, you are fine to assemble everything ahead of time and serve. Leftovers that are already combined, you will want to eat within a day – the crispiness of the meringue won’t last.

Mini Pavlovas topped with peaches and a sprig of mint

Mini Pavlovas Recipe

Mini Pavlovas
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Mini pavlovas are such a fun dessert. An easy meringue base, topped with freshly whipped cream, and fresh fruit. Here are all the details to make your own!
Ingredients
  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 cups fresh fruit
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Put room temperature egg whites in a bowl. (I use my KitchenAid with the whisk attachment, you could also use a bowl and electric beaters.) Beat until soft peaks form.
  3. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Once soft peaks have formed, add 1 tablespoon at a time to the egg mixture. After the last tablespoon is incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Continue whisking until stiff peaks have formed. (The meringue should feel smooth, not gritty if you rub it between your fingers.)
  5. Combine the vanilla and vinegar and sprinkle on top of the meringue. Fold in gently.
  6. Line a large baking sheet (or 2 smaller ones) with parchment paper.
  7. Spoon the meringue into 8 (could make 10 smaller ones - just watch the cooking time) equal blobs on the parchment paper, leaving plenty of space between them. Spread the meringue into circles around 4 inches in diameter. Create a slight indentation in the middle of the circles.
  8. Place in oven and TURN OVEN DOWN to 250 degrees.
  9. Bake for 60 minutes. Turn oven off and let the meringue cool in closed oven for a couple hours.
  10. Whip the heavy cream with the powder sugar.
  11. To serve, place meringue on a plate. Top with the whipped cream and fresh fruit.
Notes
Store leftover meringues (without any topping on them) in an air tight container for 2 days. This is a great recipe you can prepare ahead of time.

In the winter time, if you don't have access to fresh fruit, you can make a simple fruit compote by boiling frozen fruit in a couple tablespoons of water (and a little sugar if needed) to make a fruity sauce. Brighten with a splash of lemon juice after cooking. Use this over the top instead of the fresh fruit.

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe

Cut pieces of chocolate peanut butter fudge on a white napkin

Is it possible to top the chocolate and peanut butter? There’s just something about that combination that’s amazing so you know that this chocolate peanut butter fudge recipe is going to be wonderful!

You can find my favorite chocolate fudge recipe right here and it’s rich and creamy and delightful but sometimes I like to switch things up and this is the perfect way to do it.

This recipe uses the exact same fudge base and adds a little peanut butter to the mix. I prefer this method over recipes that use peanut butter chips because you get that real peanut butter taste.

There are two methods when it comes to adding in the peanut butter.

  1. You can add the peanut butter in with the chocolate chips and beat everything together.
  2. You can make the fudge without peanut butter and right after the fudge is poured into the pan, drop the peanut butter over the top of the fudge and use a knife to swirl.

Both methods work well, but my preferred way is the swirling for 2 reasons. First, it looks fun. Second, it’s obvious there is peanut butter in the fudge for those who have allergies. (Or simply don’t like peanut butter. My sister is one of those crazy people!)

Cooled and cut chocolate peanut butter fudge

PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE OPTIONS:

• Another option if you choose to beat the peanut butter into the fudge (or even do the swirling) is to chop up a small amount of peanuts and sprinkle them over the top of fudge pressing them in slightly to make sure they stick.

• Making 2 varieties: If you don’t mind your fudge being slightly thinner, you can use 2 8 inch square pans, instead of 1 9 by 13 inch pan, and pour half into each pan leaving one plain chocolate and swirl half of the peanut butter into the second pan.

Sugar and milk boiling for the fudge

You start by boiling the sugar and milk. Bring to a rolling boil before starting the time.

Fudge mixture with the butter and chocolate chips added in

Next you add the other ingredients except the peanut butter.fudge mixture after being beaten, before the peanut butter is added.

Transfer to a your mixer bowl and beat using the paddle attachment for around 7 minutes.

PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE INGREDIENTS:

  • Sugar
  • Evaporated milk
  • Chocolate chips
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Peanut Butter

Chocolate fudge in pan with peanut butter swirled on top

This is the hot fudge, just poured into the pan. I dropped scoops of peanut butter all over the top and then swirled it with a knife. So pretty!

To make the fudge you will:

  • Bring the sugar and milk to a boil for 6 minutes.
  • Next remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate chips, salt, butter, and vanilla. Add the peanut butter at this point as well if you are mixing it int, otherwise omit it at this step.
  • Beat, beat, beat. It takes quite a while for the mixture to come together. You don’t want to stop this too early. I prefer using my Kitchen Aid stand mixture. Hand beaters also work or else you lots and lots of arm power.
  • Pour into a 9×13 pan and spread evenly. If you haven’t yet added the peanut butter, at this point drop spoonfuls of peanut butter evenly over the top of the fudge. Take a knife and swirl the peanut butter through the fudge.
  • Let cool completely before cutting. After at room temperature I like to place the pan in the fridge.
  • Store in the fridge.

Overhead shot of squares of chocolate peanut butter fudge on a white napkin

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 117 1 inch squares
 
Creamy and rich, this chocolate peanut butter fudge recipe is so good & easy to make. You can't go wrong with the chocolate peanut butter combination!
Ingredients
  • 4½ cups sugar
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 18 ounces (3 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup peanut butter (use a generous cup)
Instructions
  1. Boil sugar and milk for 6 minutes while stirring constantly. (Be sure to start timing when it's at a rolling boil - you don't want to cut this time short.)
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Add remaining ingredients except peanut butter.
  4. Beat well until thoroughly combined. This will be easiest with a hand mixer or KitchenAid stand mixer. Beat for around 5-10 minutes, longer if doing it by hand. If you stop too soon the butter might separate.
  5. Spread into a 9x13 pan. (See notes)
  6. Immediately drop spoonfuls of peanut butter all over the top of the still hot fudge. Use a knife to swirl the peanut butter into the fudge.
  7. After it's firmed up by bringing to room temperature and cooling completely in the fridge, cut into 1 inch squares.
  8. Leftover fudge can be stored in the fridge or freezer.
Notes
I always pour my fudge into an unlined pan. It makes the first couple pieces of fudge a little difficult to get out, but after that there are no problems. If you want every piece perfect, line your pan, both directions, with wax or parchment paper before pouring the fudge in. After it has cooled in the fridge you can lift out the paper and put it on a cutting board to cut into pieces.

 

Fanny Farmer Fudge Recipe (Rich and Creamy Fudge)

pieces of fanny farmer fudge on a white napkin

Have you made this Fanny Farmer Fudge recipe before? If not, you have to give it a try because it’s hard to beat!

I know it really is impossible to go wrong with chocolate and butter. After all, all fudge is deliciously rich and decadent. Walking past the fudge shops in a mall, the aroma always gets to me!

Fudge is sold so many places: flower shops, local diners, amusement parks, tourist shops, and I have even seen it at an outdoor sporting goods store.

I can’t bring myself to spend $7.99 for a 1/2 pound when it is so easy and much cheaper to use a homemade fudge recipe. Besides, too many times I’ve found myself let down by the very noticeable corn syrup taste and texture in purchased fudge.

This recipe for Fanny Farmer fudge is what my mom always used and it’s a winner!

So, if you are looking for a rich, soft, and creamy fudge recipe, this one is it!

butter, chocolate chips, sugar, and evaporated milk on the counter

Because this recipe doesn’t use sweetened condensed milk but instead evaporated milk, you have to boil the milk and the sugar on the stove. It’s worth the few extra minutes, though. Don’t skimp on the boiling!

Let’s talk cost for just a minute. Homemade fudge seems like a pretty expensive dessert to make, but when you look at what a serving size is the price really isn’t bad at all. Don’t forget that compared to what you’d pay for a small square of fudge at a shop, it really is a stellar price to make your own.

Also, I’m well aware fudge is in no way healthy for me. 😉 But it’s a fun, very occasional, indulgence and I can feel a tiny bit better about enjoying enjoy a homemade fudge recipe, right?!

Milk and sugar boiling for homemade fudge

You have to really let the fudge boil. Keep stirring and adjust the heat if needed so it doesn’t boil over.

Fanny Farmer Fudge Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • Sugar
  • Evaporated milk
  • Chocolate chips
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Nuts, optional

Fudge mixture in the mixing bowl ready to beat.

After the butter and sugar has boiled on the stuff, add most of the remaining ingredients and carefully transfer to your mixer.

PROCESS AND TIPS:

  • The first step will be the most time consuming. You have to boil the sugar and milk for 6 minutes, while stirring. Make sure you bring it to a FULL boil before starting the timer. You don’t want to shorten the boiling period at all.
  • After boiling, you’ll remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients except for the nuts (if you are using them).
  • Beat well until completely combined. This requires a lot of beating if mixing by hand so my favorite way to do this is pull out my trusty old KitchenAid with the beater attachment. I pour the mixture into there and let the stand mixer do all the work. I let this beat for around 5-10 minutes! So, don’t worry if when you add the butter it looks as though it won’t combine. Just keep on beating – it will come together!If you don’t have a stand mixer, pull out your hand mixer. If you don’t have either of those, you just get to get an arm workout in as you vigorously stir for a while!
  • After beating, you will fold in the nuts and spread into a 9×13 pan.
  • Wait until the fudge is completely cooled before cutting. (Stick it in the fridge if it’s summer time and your house is warm.)
  • I will store leftover fudge in the freezer, well wrapped and put into a zipped freezer bag or storage container.

The fudge in the mixer bowl after being beaten for 5-10 minutes

I beat the fudge mixture for 5-10 minutes and see how beautifully it comes together?!

I hope you enjoy this Fanny Farmer Fudge recipe is much as my family does. Homemade fudge is great for a Christmas treat, gift, or just for fun!

graphic with a picture of fanny farmer fudge on a white napkin

4.3 from 3 reviews
Fanny Farmer Fudge Recipe - Rich and Creamy
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 117 1-in squares
 
This rich and creamy Fanny Farmer Fudge recipe is the best! It's rich, creamy, and decadent - all the things a fudge should be.
Ingredients
  • 4½ cups sugar
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk (or homemade)
  • 18 ounces (3 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, optional
Instructions
  1. Boil sugar and milk for 6 minutes while stirring constantly. (Start timing when it's at a rolling boil.)
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Add remaining ingredients except nuts.
  4. Beat well until thoroughly combined. This will be easiest with a hand mixer or KitchenAid stand mixer. Beat for around 5-10 minutes, longer if doing it by hand. If you stop too soon the butter might separate.
  5. Fold in nuts.
  6. Spread into a 9x13 pan.
  7. After it's firmed up (bring to room temperature and cool in the fridge if your house is warm), cut into squares.
  8. Leftover fudge can be stored in the freezer.
Notes
Use chocolate chips that you enjoy the flavor of on their own since they will be the star of the show!

Originally published December 13, 2013. Updated August 20, 2020.

 

Fanny Farmer's Fudge recipe. Super easy and so rich and decadent. One of my favorites.This week continues all things Christmas at From this Kitchen Table. (Find all the posts here.) Be sure to come back next week week for a fabulous recipe for a gingerbread latte and more! You can follow us on Facebook or subscribe by e-mail to be sure you don’t miss out!

 

Easy Small Batch Sugar Cookies

Star and tree sugar cut out cookies on a plate

Do you have kids that love making sugar cookies? The only probably is that nearly every recipe out there makes an exorbitant amount. That’s fine when your kids are older or you are giving them away, but for all those other occasion you need this small batch sugar cookie recipe!

This is manageable. I no longer have to spend hours supervising mixing, rolling, cutting, baking, and frosting. Instead sugar cookies are actually an enjoyable small project!

Score! We don’t need more stress, am I right?

If sugar cookies are your jam and you actually enjoy the whole process (I’m not that person), by all means double or triple this small batch sugar cookie recipe! Otherwise, make your kids excited and still keep thing simple for you.

We enjoy Christmas sugar cookies but the kids love to make them many other times during the year:

  • Birthdays
  • Easter
  • Autumn
  • Thanksgiving
  • Valentine’s Day hearts
  • Dinosaurs

The possibilities are endless! If you want to go down a rabbit hole, just search online looking at all the types of cookie cutters there are.

white frosted round sugar cookies on plate

Time to get into the particulars of this small batch sugar recipe! It’s simple and easy (because it’s what I need in my life) and everyone gobbles these up.

SMALL BATCH SUGAR COOKIES INGREDIENTS:

  • Flour
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Butter
  • Egg
  • Salt
  • Vanilla
  • Lemon Juice
  • Baking Soda
  • Cream of Tartar

Small batch sugar cookie dough on a floured counter

SMALL BATCH SUGAR COOKIES INSTRUCTIONS:

This recipe is put together like most other sugar cookies.

  • Cream the butter and sugar.
  • Add the egg, vanilla, and lemon juice.
  • Add the dry ingredients.
  • Let chill in the refrigerator.
  • Roll out, cut, bake, cool, and frost!

Depending on how thick you roll out the dough and what size cookie cutters you use, this should make between 16-20 cookies.

Baked sugar cookies on a cooling rack

Sugar Cookie Frosting:

Once again, I want easy and I want them to taste good. So I have two recommended options for you, both of which we use.

  1. A buttercream type of frosting. Combine butter, powdered sugar, and a drop of vanilla. Add cream until desired consistency. Color with food coloring of choice. Of course buttercream is delicious, but you won’t be able to stack these cookies.
  2. A thinner powdered sugar and milk/cream/water icing. Put powdered sugar in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of milk or cream and food coloring. Add additional liquid of your choice until it has your desired consistency. It will drizzle from the spoon when you lift it but still be spreadable on the cookie. It will dry firm. This is what I used in the cookies in these photos.

christmas sugar cookies on a plate

If you don’t have time to chill the dough, increase flour by another 2 tablespoons and be sure to keep your counter well floured.

Small Batch Sugar Cookie Recipe

5.0 from 1 reviews
Easy Small Batch Sugar Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert/Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
 
These small batch sugar cookies are easy and so yummy - the perfect cut out sugar cookie recipe! You will love these and cut in shapes for anytime of year.
Ingredients
Cookies
  • 1½ cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • scant ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Frosting
  • 1½ cup powdered sugar
  • milk/cream/water
  • drop of vanilla extract, optional
Instructions
  1. Cream room temperature butter and sugar together. Add the egg, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat well.
  2. Add the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt to the bowl and mix well to combine.
  3. Form dough into a ball and put in bowl. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Roll dough out on a floured counter to desired thickness. Between ⅛ and ¼ of an inch. Cut out with desired cookie cutters and place on baking sheet. (Will make 16-20 cookies depending on thickness of dough and size of cookie cutters)
  6. Bake for 7-9 minutes (depending on thickness and size of cookies). Cool on pan a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack.
  7. Cool completely and frost.
Frosting
  1. See notes in post for another frosting options.
  2. Put powdered sugar in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of your desired liquid and a small drop of vanilla, if desired. Stir. Add additional liquid one teaspoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Frost and decorate the cookies.
Notes
If you don't have time to chill the dough, increase flour by another 2 tablespoons and be sure to keep your counter well floured.

 

white frosted sprinkle sugar cookies on a plate

Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies

old fashioned molasses cookies on a napkin

There’s nothing like old fashioned molasses cookies. An amazing chewy cookie with the deep flavor of molasses and all those traditional holiday spices. So good!

Of course they are a must for the Christmas and Thanksgiving season (along with these cookies), but I think they are perfect for any time of year! Finishing off a summer dinner, of course, is a good idea. Making them during a spring rain storm = perfection. Basically, you should make old fashioned molasses cookies anytime you get a hankering to. Please don’t save them for only the holiday season. 🙂

dough for old fashioned molasses cookies in bowls

This easy cookie recipe came from my grandma and my mom made them all through my childhood. I’ll have done is swapped butter for the shortening it originally called for and because butter causes cookies to spread a little more than shortening, I increased the flour by 1/4 cup.

If you want an extra molasses cookie, be sure to check out my other molasses cookie recipe that uses double the molasses and increases the spice level. But this recipe is the traditional one that everyone knows and loves.

OLD FASHIONED MOLASSES COOKIES INGREDIENTS:

The ingredients are really quite simple for this cookie.

  • Molasses
  • Butter
  • Egg
  • Granulated sugar
  • Flour
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Salt
  • Baking soda

One of my friend has a favorite molasses brand – Brer Rabbit molasses. I don’t find that one in the store often at all, so I just get what is available. Grandma’s Molasses and store brands are what’s available where I live.

old fashioned molasses cookie dough rolled in balls ans sugar

OLD FASHIONED MOLASSES COOKIES INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Cream the room temperature butter and sugar together.
  • Add the egg and molasses.
  • In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and the 3 spices.
  • Add to butter mixture. Mix until combined.
  • Roll 1 tablespoon amounts of dough into balls. (You can do this based on how large you want them. This size makes 28-29 cookies)
  • Roll in granulated sugar and place on cookie sheet.
  • Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
  • Cool on pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

Freezing Cookies and Dough:

You make make a double or triple batch of these yummy, chewy molasses cookies and store the baked cookies in an airtight container in the freezer. Let the cookies thaw before eating them.

Another option I like to do is to freeze the dough balls after they are rolled in sugar. Pull what you want out of the freezer and bake as normal. You may need to add an additional couple minutes to the baking time.

Baked chewy molasses cookies in a cookie sheet

Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies Recipe

Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 28
 
These chewy old fashioned molasses cookies are delicious. The depth of the molasses and flavors of cinnamon, ginger and cloves make the perfect combination.
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • additional sugar for rolling
Instructions
  1. In a mixer (or by hand) beat the sugar and butter until creamy.
  2. Add the molasses and egg and continuing beating until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, soda, salt, and ground spices.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet and stir until combined.
  5. Refrigerate the dough for 60 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Roll the dough into balls with 1 tablespoon of dough and roll in the granulated sugar.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  9. Cool on pan for 3 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Notes
See post for details on freezing the dough.

 

old fashioned molasses cookies on a cooling rack