Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


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Pink Grapefruit Layer Cake

Fruit kissed by the sun welcomes this light and luscious Pink Grapefruit Layer Cake.

Citrus growing in the garden.

Smell the scent of the fragrant flowers.

Lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits.

So much fruit adorn the branches.

Bending gently as ripened, too heavy fruit falls to the ground.

Citrus is the inspiration for summer.

Refreshing as the sweet and tart fruit squirts into your mouth.

The sun has kissed these kindly.

And the soil has spurted their growth.

The citrus is delicate. The oil is light.

Brought together makes a wonderful combination.

Light and refreshing cake.

New and intriguing flavor.

Delightful.

As summer comes to an end.

Drench yourself in the sunny flavors of citrus.

Stimulate your senses.

Soft pink. Pale yellow.

A beautiful dessert worth remembering.

PINK GRAPEFRUIT LAYER CAKE

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
2/3 cup Algee oil*
1/2 cup freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons pink grapefruit zest

For the Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 lb. (about 4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
2-4 tablespions freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2-3 drops red food coloring

Instructions:

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray, line with parchment paper, then sprayed again, and set aside.

in a large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and eggs for about 5 minutes until light yellow and thick.

In a separate large bowl add the flor, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk until combined. And, to a medium bowl add the yogurt, oil, grapefruit juice and grapefruit zest and mix until well blended.

With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/3 of the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Repeat twice. Do not over mix.

Divide the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes; until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove cakes from pans and let cool completely.

When the cake is cool, make the frosting. 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. Tune the mixer to low-speed and add the confectioners sugar, grapefruit juice, heavy cream, and the red food coloring (one drop at a time until you get the color you prefer). Turn up the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

To assemble the cake, put the first cake on stand or plate, add 1/4 of the frosting, top with the second cake, 1/4 of the frosting, then the third cake, and top with 1/4 of the frosting. Use the remaining frosting for the sides and smooth with an offset spatula.

Slice. Serve. Enjoy!

Sweetly,

Sheila

 

* I won a bottle of Algee Oil from Raley’s, thanks!

{cake inspired by BHG}

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S’mores Cookie Bars

Get ready to slice into a piece of nostalgia with these S’mores Cookie Bars!

S'mores Cookie Bars | sweetbakedlife.com

Sun. Sunny. Summer. Summertime.

Memories of days gone by.

Camping we did not do. Don’t like bugs. Don’t like dirt.

We “roughed it” every August in a two-room cabin sitting among the majestic redwoods in a secluded forest.

Across the road was the lake. Pack a picnic lunch. On the beach all day. Swimming. Making friends. Digging in the sand. Our bodies tanned with each day and glistened in the heat of the day.

S'mores Cookie Bars | sweetbakedlife.com

As the sun set each night, the barbecue was lit. The flames kept us warm as the cool breeze gently surrounded us.

Every last morsel of food was devoured giving us the needed nourishment from being outside in the heat each day.

With the warmth of the grill, we toasted marshmallows until they were almost burnt on the outside and gooey and warm on the inside.

Quickly put between Hershey chocolate filled graham crackers. Smoosh!

From the first bite to the last, we delighted in the crunch, melted chocolate and warmed marshmallows.

The sweetness I will always remember. The good times I will never forget.

S'mores Cookie Bars | sweetbakedlife.com

The nights were the darkest of dark.

The only thing you saw were the starts twinkling and the moon glowing.

Listening to the redwoods rustling in the breeze while owls hooted and crickets chirped.

We giggled until we fell asleep.

When morning fell upon us, we got up and repeated the fun!

S'mores Cookie Bars | sweetbakedlife.com

SMORES COOKIE BARS

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life S'mores Cookie Bars | sweetbakedlife.com

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups coarsely crushed graham crackers
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 (1.55 oz ea.) Hershey bars, roughly chopped
2 cups mini marshmallows, frozen

Instructions:

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8×8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, and set aside.

Add the flour, graham crumbs, baking soda and salt to a medium bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugars and cream together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy – about 2-3 minutes. Turn down the mixer to medium-speed and the eggs,  milk and vanilla. Mix until well combined.

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and mix until well combined. Add the chocolate chips and chopped chocolate bars and stir with a spoon until combined. Then add the mini marshmallows and stir.

Press mixture into your prepared pan and bake for about 30-40 minutes, until the bars are browned and do not giggle. Cool completely on a wire rack, then cut into squares.

S'mores Cookie Bars | sweetbakedlife.com

Dig into these S’mores Cookie Bars and make the fond memories of summer last all year long!

Sheila

 

{recipe inspired from Carlsbad Cravings}


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Cherry Slab Pie

Tradition with a twist; sweet cherries surrounded by flaky pie crust, baked in a sheet pan and drizzled with a lemony glaze becomes a tasty Cherry Slab Pie – perfect for any summertime celebration.

Cherry Slab Pie @ SweetBakedLife

As I drive through the streets in my neighborhood, American flags are proudly swaying in the ever so gentle breeze. Families are preparing to celebrate our great nation by coming together with food, festivities and fun!

Kids will be jumping in pools while parents and friends will be chatting with ease. Hot dogs, hamburgers and the like will be prepared outside on a hot grill as the sun beats down on everyone.

Visions of cherry pie, apple pie and s’mores swirl in the imagination of the cooks. Will they go the traditional route, or will they surprise their guests with a new variation of the favored treat?

Cherry Slab Pie @ SweetBakedLife

The sound of the hard-working air conditioner will hum in the background as lively music floats through the air. Some will dance, some will swim and all will have a good time.

And every once in a while, one may seek shelter in the cool comfort inside, where sweet treats and freshly prepared side dishes sit happily on the counter tops waiting to be devoured.

The warmth of the day will spill into the evening. Some will attend perfectly timed displays of fireworks where large crowds come together and partake in the celebration, while others will find comfort in making memories of their own by lighting up the night sky with sparkles, loud sounds, and beautiful visions.

Cherry Slab Pie @ SweetBakedLife

Memories of red-white and blue decorations, clothing, food and parades dance in my mind.

It seems like only yesterday that we painstakingly wrapped our bikes with streamers and took part in the community’s annual parade. There were floats, bikes, dogs, and people walking. There was even a beauty queen wearing a sparkly crown and waiving to the spectators as she sat a top a glimmering convertible car.

This is home. This is family. This is old memories being rekindled and new memories being made. This is life. Share and treasure it.

Cherry Slab Pie @ SweetBakedLife

CHERRY SLAB PIE

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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by: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Cherry Slab Pie @SweetBakedLife

Ingredients:

For the Pie
2 packages Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened
6 cups frozen cherries, thawed and drained
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons heavy cream

For the Glaze
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons milk

Instructions:

Heat your oven to 375 degrees.

After the cherries are thawed and drained, add them to a large bowl along with the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Gently stir to combine and set aside.

Open one package of pie crust and unroll the two crusts; placing one on top of the other. Roll them out together on a lightly floured surface to create a rectangle that is slightly larger than your sheet pan. Transfer to a 15×10-inch rimmed baking sheet and gently press down into pan. Then pour the cherry mixture on top of the crust.

Repeat the process for the second package of pie crust. Gently place over the cherries. Pinch the edges of the bottom crust and the top crust together. With a fork, use the tines to crimp the edges, as well prick the top of the crust all over. Brush with heavy cream.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool – about 1 hour.

For the glaze, add the confectioner’s sugar, lemon juice, and milk. Stir until smooth. You may need to add a bit more lemon or milk until you get the consistency you like. With a spoon drizzle the glaze over the top of the pie. Slice into squares and enjoy!

Cherry Slab Pie @ SweetBakedLife

Now, as this homemade Cherry Slab Pie is eaten with glee, good times will be remembered.

Happy 4th of July! Happy Summer!

Sheila

 

{Recipe inspired by Martha Stewart}

 


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Peanut Caramel Tart

Get ready to sink your teeth into this purely decadent Peanut Caramel Tart!

Peanut Caramel Tart } Sweet Baked Life

Today I’m taking the simple flavors reminiscent of being at a baseball game; peanuts and caramel, to bring you this amazing tart and a little story about my son’s recent experience on his high school baseball team.

Even though high school baseball ended a few weeks ago, I still wanted to celebrate the season, my son and his team. You see, my son had not played baseball in about 6-8 years. But he had a goal. A goal to make in on the high school JV baseball team. With hard work, perseverance, determination, and the right attitude he was able to get a spot on the team.

He had practice six days a week and games three days a week. He was on a mission! The coaches were encouraging and his teammates were supportive! He felt part of something great– it was such a positive experience for him. And over the course of the season, he progressively got better and was actually put into a few games. He was proud to be part of the team and if someone asked him what his position was he happily answered, “Right bench.” Peanut Caramel Tart } Sweet Baked Life

So, if you want to score a home run, you have got to make this to-dye-for Peanut Carmel Tart.

This fabulous layered treat has a soft and fluffy peanut butter base, topped with gooey sweet caramel, salty peanuts and smothered in chocolate ganache! When you cut these into rectangular pieces they’ll remind you of a delicious candy bar — like Snickers!

Now, this tart does not take much training; it requires no driving (unless you need something from the store), you don’t have to sit for hours outside in the heat or cold waiting for the outcome (you will be in the comfort of your kitchen), there is no coach needed (only you), and you will not experience any frustration from an irritating umpire who makes a wrong call (just add more chocolate).

You’ll just easily whip up this dessert – the peanut butter base comes together in a snap. And what could be easier than add with caramel and sprinkling peanuts? And the ganache, well, that is pretty much just melting chocolate with warmed cream! Yep, it’s simple and the outcome is amazing! Truly a grand-slam in my kitchen!

Peanut Caramel Tart } Sweet Baked Life

PEANUT CARAMEL TART

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:

3/4 cup light brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup salted peanuts
3/4 cup caramel sauce
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped

Instructions:

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Add the brown sugar, butter and peanut butter to a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, cream until smooth and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until fully combined.

With the mixer on low-speed, add the flour, baking powder, and salt. The mixture will be soft and crumbly. Pour the mixture into a rectangular tart pan and using your fingers, press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides.

Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until golden brown and set in the middle. Cool completely on a wire rack.

When cool, sprinkle the peanuts over the peanut butter base to create an even layer. Then top with the caramel.

To make the ganache: In a small bowl, add the chopped chocolate and set aside. In another small bowl, add the cream and microwave for about 30-60 seconds, until almost boiling. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for a 3-5 minutes, then stir until smooth. .Cool slightly then pour over the tart. Place tart in refrigerator to allow the ganache to set. When ready to eat, remove from refrigerator, slice and serve.

Peanut Caramel Tart } Sweet Baked Life

Get inspired to make this dreamy Peanut Caramel Tart and the fans will be cheering for more!

Sheila

 

{Recipe inspired from Baking A Moment}