Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


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Pear Tart {with orange glaze}

Simplicity at it’s best…this Pear Tart with orange glaze will amaze your taste buds and warm your tummy!

Pear Tart with Lemon Scented Orange Marmalade Glaze | Sweet Baked Life

Ever since I got my rectangular tart pan, I have been thinking of new and interesting treats to bake with it.

However, I have really only made a few things in it, such as this Chocolate Malt Tart and this Chocolate Caramel Twix Tart (when I blogged this I did not have the tart pan yet, so I used a round tart pan, however I have baked this several times in my rectangular pan, but have not taken photos or done another post — may have to put that on my list!).

So, I thought it was time to get something new and memorable baked in my favorite pan and share with you! And since the fall is upon us and the weather is finally brisk with hints of rain in the air — something warming and wonderful was on my mind!

Pear Tart with Lemon Scented Orange Marmalade Glaze | Sweet Baked Life

My husband wanted something made with apples. My son requested a treat with chocolate. But for me, I wanted something different.

I wanted something that I had not really baked with before, I wanted to create a new adventure.

As I wandered through the fresh fruit section at my local grocer, big juicy pears jumped out at me! I knew that this would be the centerpiece to my tart. I had not baked with pears before so this would be the perfect introduction.

Along with the pears, I also snagged some fresh lemons and a jar of orange marmalade and was on my way to whip up my new treat!

Pear Tart with Lemon Scented Orange Marmalade Glaze | Sweet Baked Life

This recipe is really easy to prepare mostly because you to not have to make a crust that you have to roll out. And if you know me, I do not like traditional crust; I know strange for a baker! Instead, mixing a few simple ingredients you then press the crust into your tart pan. How easy is that!

The result is a fluffy and moist base engulfed with juicy pears, sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar and glazed with tangy-sweet lemon scented orange marmalade. The flavor combination will amaze you — warmth from the cinnamon, sweetness from the pears, and tartness from the lemons.

You can serve it warm from the oven or room temperature. It’s great with a big cup of coffee in the morning, or with a cup of tea as an afternoon treat. You could probably even serve it for dessert, it’s that good!

Any way you slice it, you’ll want another piece of this mouth-watering Pear Tart!

Pear Tart with Lemon Scented Orange Marmalade Glaze | Sweet Baked Life

Rustic Pear Tart {with lemon-orange glaze}

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 1hr
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Pear Tart with Lemon Scented Orange Marmalade Glaze | Sweet Baked Life
By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients

Tart Crust:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 pears; peeled, halved, and cored

Topping:
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Glaze:
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

 

Instructions

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 4-inch rectangular tart pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Into a medium bowl, add the flour and baking powder, stir then set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high-speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Decrease the speed to medium and add the egg and mix until well incorporated. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture until smooth. Note, the dough will be very soft.

Scoop the dough into the pan and using your fingers, push down into the pan to form an even crust. Be sure to flour your fingers so the dough will not stick to them. Then place the pear halves, cut side down onto the dough and press gently. Lightly sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over the top.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the crust is a light golden brown,. Let cool on a rack.

Mix the orange marmalade, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small bowl. Place in the microwave and heat on high for about 30-60 seconds. Stir until combined then brush over the top of the tart. Remove tart from pan, cut and serve with the remaining marmalade mixture.

Pear Tart with Lemon Scented Orange Marmalade Glaze | Sweet Baked Life

Pour your favorite warm drink, cut a slice of this Pear Tart and sit back and enjoy the beauty of the season and be thankful for the simple pleasures in life!

Sheila

 

{recipe adapted from Real Simple}


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Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream Frosting

This soft, fluffy Coconut Cake filled and frosted with whipped Coconut Buttercream Frosting will make a true coconut believer out of you.

Coconut Cake with whipped Coconut Buttercream Frosting | Sweet Baked Life

Truth be told, I am not a huge coconut fan. Gasp! However, I feel if you use the sweet stuff in moderation, it can really enhance your baked treats.

This Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream frosting is no exception! Turns out, coconut cake is my husband’s favorite type of cake and I do enjoy making things for him that he likes. That being said, he is very picky and even though he may like a certain type of treat, it may not always meet his high standards (oh well!). You see, it was my husband’s birthday a few weeks ago and I always do a little party for him. Small, but meaningful.

That morning, not only did I have to clean the house, decide on the menu, do the grocery shopping, take my son to the gym, get in a quick work out myself, but also had to prepare the meal and make dessert. After a full week at work, and helping my son with his many honors projects and the like, I am pretty tired by the time the weekend comes around.

Coconut Cake with whipped Coconut Buttercream Frosting | Sweet Baked Life

But since this was my guys birthday day, I mustered up the energy to create a special event for him. I told him my plans and we decided on the menu: cheese, nut and fruit tray followed by a chopped salad, citrus marinated chicken and roasted red potatoes. And then I announced the all important dessert I had in mind, Coconut Cake. He thought it was a great idea, but stated that since I was already doing so much, why didn’t I just buy the cake at our local grocery store.

What? Me, buy a cake? Me the baker and blogger…why in the heck would I buy a cake? My hubs sometimes just does not get it. I LOVE TO BAKE! Especially when it’s for a special occasion. And doing this for him, I WANTED to bake him a cake and make it something wonderful that we would rave about!

OK, he was right, it would be a lot easier for me just to put that, who knows how old, overly sweet, too much lard-y frosted cake in my shopping cart. But, I really, really wanted to make this cake, even if it did take some time out of my day. And so, that is exactly what I did!

Coconut Cake with whipped Coconut Buttercream Frosting | Sweet Baked Life

You see, I think I get this baking obsession from my mom. She always baked extraordinarily unique homemade cakes for birthdays and every other occasion you can think of when I was growing up. It was not until I got older, and for that matter when she got older, did she start buying cakes. But, she really only buys cakes from exquisite bakeries, not from a grocery store. I’m with her, however I would still rather bake my cake. I’m not saying that grocery store cakes are bad, some are actually OK, but they are not really my thing.

The secret for this cake is using canned unsweetened coconut milk in place of regular milk and adding this same coconut milk into the frosting. Also, to achieve the light and fluffy frosting, be sure that you beat the butter on high-speed for at least 5 minutes and then another 5 minutes after you add the remaining ingredients. It really makes a huge difference and the results are outstanding!

My very picky husband said this Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream Frosting was the BEST cake he ever tasted. He oogled over it as he devoured it! Not too sweet, not too coco-nutty! Just right!!!! He even mentioned the other night, when he was craving something sweet, that he wished we still had this cake as nothing around our area (that can be purchased) compares! Such a huge complement coming from him!

Coconut Cake with whipped Coconut Buttercream Frosting | Sweet Baked Life

Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream Frosting

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 2hr (includes baking and cooling)
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Coconut Cake with whipped Coconut Buttercream Frosting | Sweet Baked Life

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients

Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 egg whites
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk*
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)

Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 pound (about 4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk*
¼ teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
Large sweetened flake coconut, for top garnish

Instructions

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together four, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl of a stand-mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar and beat on medium-speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg whites and beat until well incorporated. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture until fully incorporated. Then add the coconut milk and vanilla and mix until combined.

Divide batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and when gently touched the top springs back. Be careful not to over bake.

Cool the cake in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then gently turn the cakes onto the rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting while the cake is cooling: In a large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the butter on high-speed for about 5 minutes – until light and fluffy. Occasionally scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Then, with the mixer on low-speed, add the confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, coconut milk and coconut extract (optional). Turn up the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

To assemble the cake: place one cake onto a cake plate or cake stand. Add 1/3 of the frosting to the top and spread to an even layer with an offset spatula. Put the second cake on the top. Add the next 1/3 of frosting to the top of the cake and spread evenly. Then using the remaining 1/3 of frosting, frost the sides of the cake with an offset spatula and here use a thin layer scraping with the spatula. Any reaming frosting can go on the top and smooth out to your liking. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the flake coconut. Slice and serve!

*For the coconut milk, use the type from a can, such as Thai Kitchen coconut milk

Coconut Cake with whipped Coconut Buttercream Frosting | Sweet Baked Life

This beautiful Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream Frosting is the perfect dessert to top off a special occasion or, because it’s so easy to make, it’s great anytime you are craving a delicious cake!

Sheila

 

{cake adapted from Martha Stewart frosting from here}


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Bailey’s Chips Ahoy Icebox Cake

Take a break from the craziness of the day and whip up this creamy, dreamy Bailey’s Chips Ahoy Icebox Cake!

Bailey's Chips Ahoy Icebox Cake

I’m all about having something quick to make and satisfyingly delicious to nosh on when life seems to get a bit stressful. This is definitely one of those times and luckily, this Bailey’s Chips Ahoy Icebox Cake is also one of those desserts!

Let’s just say that being a mom of a teenage boy can be challenging. Being a teen is challenging. And for that matter, being parents of a teenager is challenging.

What goes on in high school these days is much different from when I was a teen. Heightened bullying and cyber bullying, fights, new technology and social media can be overwhelming for kids to deal with. As a young adult, navigating your way through high school with all of these extra distractions is more challenging than ever.  When you toss in the important stuff like the classes, homework and grades — it’s a lot for any teen to cope with.

Baileys Chips Ahoy Icebox Cake

And my 15-year old son has had to deal with a lot of these challenging situations lately. Some have been more difficult to get through than others. Being a supportive and caring parent takes a whole lot of time, patience, commitment, perseverance, resilience, and love.

But that’s what we do as parents. We help navigate our child through this crazy thing called “life” with unending love and support. In the process, we learn how to be better parents, he learns what it takes to be mature young adult, and we grow together as a family.

Sometimes it’s draining. At times it’s complicated. But in the end, it’s all worth it.

Baileys Chips Ahoy Icebox Cake

One thing that is not challenging is this easy, no-bake Bailey’s Chips Ahoy Icebox Cake.

It’s simply made by layering Chips Ahoy cookies dipped in Bailey’s Irish Coffee Creamer, vanilla and Irish creamer scented whipped cream and dusted with cocoa powder. Since it’s made with non-alcoholic creamer, your whole family will be able to enjoy this delicious treat.

The outcome has a uniquely good flavor combination with a light and creamy texture — it will melt in your mouth, and melt your heart!

It’s uncomplicated. No challenge here.

Baileys Chips Ahoy Icebox Cake

Bailey’s Chips Ahoy Icebox Cake

by: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Bailey’s non-alcoholic coffee creamer
1 package (13 oz.) Chips Ahoy Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Bailey’s
Unsweetened Cocoa powder

Instructions:

In a large bowl of an eclectic mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy whipping cream, sugar, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of Bailey’s creamer until soft peaks form.

Add the Bailey’s creamer to a small bowl. Then, one-by-one dip the cookies into the Bailey’s and layer the bottom of a 8×8-inch pan. Add 1/3 of the whipped cream and smooth to an even layer. Repeat the layering, ending with the whipped cream on the top. Dust with unsweetened cocoa powder and refrigerate over night.

Baileys Chips Ahoy Icebox Cake

So, take a big helping of this Bailey’s Chips Ahoy Icebox Cake, and maybe, just maybe it will help you get through a challenging time!

Sheila


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Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies

These warm and wonderful Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies give a whole new tropical twist to the traditional cookies you love!

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

Incorporating coconut into your recipes is a good thing. At least that’s what my hubby says! He loves the flaky stuff and is always asking me to make his favorite German Chocolate Cake. But you know me, I am always looking for something new to make!

Oatmeal cookies are one my guys favorite types of cookies. If you read this blog enough you will know that he loves traditional baked goods and is always asking why I have to bake things that are so complicated.

To me, my baking, and especially these cookies, are not complicated at all! I just thought I would elevate the tasty morsels, just in time for a new fall treat! You see, I love recipes that are quick to make, use simple ingredients, and taste incredible! The hubs however, begs to differ.

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

And I thought, there would be no better way to try out this cookie recipe than with my new mini cast iron pans! I had been dying to buy these and finally made it to Sur La Table where I spied these beauties. First I was only going to get one, than I though, “what the heck,” and I ended up purchasing four of them!

It was definitely the right decision.

Breaking in these pans in by baking my Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies was, to say the least, brilliant!

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

And much to my surprise, my husband loved them! I think most of all because he adores the texture of sweet flaky coconut; in its pure form not toasted; him being the purest and all!

I would have also added macadamia nuts, however not sure if the guys would go for that. But next time I may sneak them in just for a bit of crunch and more texture!

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

I was also delighted that my son liked them too! Wow, this my be a record — both my boys like something I make!

Using these mini skillets was a genius idea — as they both loved having their own “cookie” in a personal pan all to themselves!

If I knew it was this easy to please these guys, I would have been baking with these pans long ago!

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

These Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies came out perfect. They were dense, yet soft and fluffy inside. The combination of the nutty oats, brown sugar and coconut was dreamy. And the sides and top were browned to perfection and had a nice little crunch and you dug into the cookie with your spoon!

I served these to my boys with vanilla bean ice cream – let’s just say this recipe is a winner in my book! And they made everyone’s tummy happy!

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut

Instructions:

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl add the flour and baking soda, baking powder and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to use.

In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment , add the butter and sugars and mix until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating after each addition. Then add the vanilla and combine. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture until just combined. Remove the bowl from the stand and add the oatmeal and stir with a spoon or spatula until combined. Then fold in the coconut and stir until incorporated.

Divide your mixture between 4 mini cast iron skillets, press down gently to make an even layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the top begins to lightly brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Eat warm with a scoop of ice cream, or enjoy cold with a big glass of milk!

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

Warm or cold, these Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies are worth every nutty bite!

Sheila