Cherry Vanilla Cream Popcorn


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I looked out the window and what did I see, popcorn popping!!
Cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
So what better way to celebrate spring, than pretty pink popcorn! Perfect for parties, elegant Easter baskets, or just plain eating! Happy Spring!~Amy

Cherry Vanilla Cream Popcorn

12 cups popped corn, sorted and kernels removed
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 milk
3 tbsp maraschino cherry juice
2 tbsp corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Tahitian vanilla, Nielsen Massey, or good quality vanilla
1 drop red food coloring, optional

Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.

Place popcorn in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a medium sized saucepan, whisk together sugar, cream, milk, juice, corn syrup and salt.

Over medium high heat, bring to a boil. Stirring constantly, cook until soft ball stage. Remove from heat, whisk in vanilla and food coloring. Pour over popcorn, and stir evenly to coat. Pour out onto prepared and let cool.

Makes 12 cups

Recipe by Amy Richardson

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Fresh Strawberry Frosted Whipped Cream Cake


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Nothing is better than a simple whipped cream cake! I have put a fresh Strawberry twist on this old fashioned classic! ~Amy

Fresh Strawberry Frosted Whipped Cream Cake

Vanilla Cake
Strawberry Frosting
Whipped Cream
Fresh Strawberries

Vanilla Cake:
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups Self Rising flour
1 cup milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Line the bottom of 2 8 inch cake pans with parchment. Spray sides with non stick cooking spray.

With an electric mixer beat butter for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Slowly add the sugar and beat for 3-4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time beating thoroughly after each one, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add vanilla, and mix well.

In a separate bowl whisk together flours. Add alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Pour evenly into cake pans. Smoothing tops to finish. Place in the center of the oven and bake about 22-25 minutes or until golden brown and springs back when touched.
Remove from oven and cool for about 15 minutes in pan. Gently loosen sides, turn upside down onto parchment to finish cooling. Place in freezer for easy assembly.

To assemble:
Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top of one layer. Top with whipped cream. Place cake layer on top and frost top and sides with a thin layer of frosting. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and frost with a final layer and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve:
Remove cake from refrigerator 5-10 minutes before serving and garnish top of the cake with fresh strawberries.

Fresh Strawberry Frosting

4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup chopped, or blended fresh strawberries

With an electric mixer, beat butter and 2 cups of the sugar, and milk until smooth. Add vanilla, beat again. Add remains sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Mix in fresh strawberries, adding additional sugar if necessary.

Makes about 2 1/2-3 cups

Vanilla Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

With an electric mixer, beat all ingredients on high until soft peaks.

Makes 2 cups

Recipes by Amy Richardson

Fresh Banana Coconut Crunch Yogurt Creme Brûlée


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The idea of a breakfast creme brûlée is so much fun, with homemade granola and fresh fruit, the options are endless!~Amy

Fresh Banana Coconut Crunch Yogurt Creme Brûlée

4 cups vanilla Greek yogurt
2 cups sliced fresh bananas
1 cup Crazy for Coconut Granola Crunch

8-10 tsp raw sugar

In small ramekins, layer sliced bananas, granola, and yogurt. Repeat, ending with yogurt. Place ramekins in freezer for 5 minutes. Remove and sprinkle each ramekin with 2 teaspoons. Caramelize the sugar by blowing the torch back and forth across the sugar, until bubbly. Let the sugar harden or place in freezer for a few minutes.

Makes 4-6 servings

Recipe by Amy Richardson

*Recipe follows

Crazy for Coconut Granola Crunch

8 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup honey
1/2 cup sweetened cream of coconut,
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt

Large flake Thai Coconut
Macadamia nuts, chopped
Fine shredded coconut

Heat oven to 225 degrees

In a large mixing bowl, stir together oats, coconut.

In a small saucepan, heat honey, cream of coconut, coconut oil, salt and vanilla until warm.

Pour over oat mixture and stir until evenly coated. Place a parchment lined baking sheet and cook for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes, or until desired color is reached.

Cool completely. Stir, Thai coconut, macadamia nuts, and fine shredded coconut, into granola and store in a air tight container.

Recipes by Amy Richardson

Blue Hawaii Macarons


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Everyone needs a little Hawaii this time of year. At our house we have a whole week of bringing a little bit of the islands to us. To kick it off, Blue Hawaiian Macarons!
Aloha!🌺~Amy

Blue Hawaii Macarons

Macaron Base:

3 egg whites, at room temperature
5 tbsp granulated sugar
2/3 cup almond flour
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp coconut extract

7-8 drops neon blue food coloring

In a food processor, process almond flour and confectioners sugar until well mixed. Sift the mixture through sieve, and divide in half.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, whip egg whites until foamy.

While beating on high, slowly add sugar. When soft peaks form, add extracts and food coloring if desired.

Beat until stiff peaks,has a glossy texture, and mixture doesn’t drip from the beaters.

Into the whipped merengue, fold in the first half of the almond mixture. When just blended, add additional dry mixture, folding until mixture is blended, and looks like lava when dropped from the spatula.

Place mixture in a piping bag fitted with round tip.

On to a parchment lined baking sheet, pipe in small circles, about the size of a quarter; leaving room for the batter to spread.

Rap sheet firmly against the counter, or flat surface. This helps the macaron to get it’s pied shape.

Before baking, let batter dry, uncovered for 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 300. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Cool completely.

Pipe a small amount of ganache on the flat side of macaron, top with other half making a sandwich. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen filled macarons.

Coconut White Chocolate Ganache

1/2 heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups chopped white chocolate
1/2 tsp coconut extract

Place chopped chocolate into a small bowl.
In a saucepan bring cream to an almost boil. Pour over chocolate, and let set for about 5 minutes. Slowly stir until smooth. Add coconut extract and whip to desired consistency.

Recipe by Amy Richardson

Irish Cream Dark Chocolate Shamrock Shake


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Looking for a last minute St. Patrick’s Day treat?! Dark Chocolate and Irish cream make this sophisticated Shamrock Shake over the rainbow!~Amy🍀

Irish Cream Dark Chocolate Shamrock Shake

4 cups double dark chocolate gelato or ice cream, softened
3 tablespoons Irish cream barista syrup, like Torani
1 cup vanilla ice cream
Dark chocolate shavings
Pirouline cookies, optional

Blend together chocolate gelato or ice cream with syrup.
Pour into individual glasses, top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzle with additional Irish cream syrup, generously sprinkle with chocolate shavings and garnish with a cookie.

Makes 4 servings

Recipe by Amy Richardson

Black Shamrock Cheesecake


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Who doesn’t love St. Patrick’s Day? I love the flavors of Chocolate and Irish Cream, here is my recipe for decadent chocolate cheesecake. A chocolate lover’s dream, with a hint of Irish Creme.
Wherever you go, and whatever you do, may the luck of the Irish be ever with you!
~Amy

Black Shamrock Cheesecake:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Line sides of a 7 or 8 inch spring form pan with parchment paper, set aside.

Crust:
12 chocolate wafer cookies
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted

In a small food processor, crush cookies, add sugar and mix together.

Pour in melted butter and process until cookie mixture is well blended.
Press into the bottom of the spring form pan.
Bake for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Filling:
7oz Lindt or good quality 70% or 85% dark chocolate, melted
3 8oz packages cream cheese at room temperature
3 tbsp Dutch Processed Cocoa
3/4 cup+1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp Torani Irish Cream Syrup
3 eggs

On a low speed, beat cream cheese until smooth. Mix in cocoa powder.
Add sugar and blend. Add syrup and repeat.
Add eggs one at a time, continuing to blend on low speed. Add melted chocolate.
When mixed, pour into prepared pan.
If desired, wrap the bottom in foil and place in a baking pan.
Place pan in oven and fill pan with about 1 inch of water.
Bake for about 1 hour, or until set but still wobbly.
Cool completely.
Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight.
Top with Irish Cream Ganache, refrigerate until topping is set.
Serve with Irish Whipped Cream

Irish Cream Ganache:
3 oz 70% or 85% chocolate, broken into pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp Irish Cream syrup

In a small saucepan heat cream, add chocolate pieces and stir until smooth.
Stir in syrup and mix. Pour over cooled cheesecake and refrigerate until set.
About 1 hour.

Whipped Irish Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
2 tbsp Irish Cream Syrup

In a medium sized bowl beat cream, sugar, and syrup until soft peaks form.

Makes 10-12 servings

Recipe by Amy Richardson

Sunshine Milk Chocolate Orange Cookies


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Two of my most favorite cookies in the world come from Ben’s Cookies and Levain Bakery in New York City. I have tried to combine the best qualities of both into this cookie. My family says these are the best cookies yet! I hope you give them a try! ~Amy

Sunshine Milk Chocolate Orange Cookies

1 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
Stir together and set aside.

1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup +1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, cold
1 tsp vanilla
Zest of 1 orange
1 1/4 cups milk chocolate pieces

With an electric mixer beat. Utter until it comes together, 1-2 minutes.
Add sugars, beat for 3-4 minutes.
Add egg and vanilla, beat until light and fluffy.
Add orange zest.
Add flour mixture and mix until just mixed.
Stir in chocolate pieces.
Scoop and refrigerate covered for 30 minutes on parchment lined sheet.

Heat oven to 375

Bake 1-2inches apart for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Don’t over bake, they will continue to cook as they cool.

Makes 10-12 cookies

Recipe by Amy Richardson