Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


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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}

 


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Blueberry Breakfast Cake

A soft, fluffy breakfast cake dotted with fresh blueberries will make every morning a good morning!

Blueberry Breakfast Cake | Sweet Baked Life

And today is definitely a good morning! I’m finally feeling better after being sick for four weeks! I won’t go into that whole miserable ordeal today — I’ll leave that for another day. For now, I want to share with you this Blueberry Breakfast Cake that will turn your ho-hum morning into a great one!

Breakfast for me has always been hard to do. Why? Well, mostly because I either get up so early during the week that food is really not on my mind, or because I rushing around and there is no time to eat before I zoom to the office.

It would be great to eat breakfast as a family; can you just see us all sitting at the dining room table, eating, laughing, and bonding as a family? Nope! This idyllic situation is not a reality for my family.

You see, when my husband travels his business, he is not around to eat breakfast with us and my son gets up at the last-minute possible before he has to go to school, so breakfast for him is not even on his radar. Now for me, I would love to sit down with a nice hot cup of coffee and eat something scrumptious for breakfast at home, like this Blueberry Breakfast Cake, however there really is no time to do so during the work/school week.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake | Sweet Baked Life

You see, when my husband is away on business, not only do I have to get myself ready, I have to constantly go back and forth from my room to my son’s room to get him up and drive him to school!

Here’s how our morning banter goes…

First I go into his room and, in my sweetest morning voice say, “Good morning. It’s time to get up. We have thirty minutes until we need to leave.” I briskly walk back to my room to put on my make-up.

Then I go back to his room and announce, “Twenty minutes until we need to leave.” Again, I walk back to my room to curl my hair.

Finally, if my son is still not up, I have to go back to his room and firmly state, “Ten minutes until we need to leave.” Yeah, he is finally up, and I am trying not to get stressed out before my morning starts at the office!

Blueberry Breakfast Cake | Sweet Baked Life

After I am ready, I proceed downstairs, pull his clean baseball uniform out of the dryer and put it in his bag along with plenty of fluids to keep him hydrated during the day and throughout his practice or game.

Now you see, this is why there is really no time to prepare something to eat at home for breakfast!

However, if I make something like this Blueberry Breakfast Cake over the weekend, voila – I’ve got a yummy breakfast that I can slice into generous squares to bring with me to work for the entire week — and I’ll get to truly savor each and every bite in the comfort of my office!

This breakfast cake is not too sweet. It’s soft and the fresh blueberries give it a wonderful flavor — and the sprinkle of sugar on the top just before baking gives it a wonderful little crunch. A delightful fluffy and fantastic treat to eat for breakfast!

Blueberry Breakfast Cake | Sweet Baked Life

BLUEBERRY BREAKFAST CAKE

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

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 (8 oz.) container Greek vanilla yogurt

Instructions:

Heat you oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an oval baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Also, wash and dry the blueberries add 1/4 cup of the flour and toss until all berries are coated — set aside until ready to use.

In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well incorporated.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt. Then add the 1/3 of flour mixture and 1/3 of the yogurt to the batter, mix, then repeat twice. Fold in the blueberries and spread the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted to the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then scoop out with a spoon to serve.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake | Sweet Baked Life

So, if you have no time in the mornings to eat breakfast at home like me, whip up this scrumptious Blueberry Breakfast Cake over the weekend and you’ll have a sweet and satisfying breakfast all week-long!

Sheila

 

{recipe adapted from Alexandra’s Kitchen}


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White Chocolate Malted Sugar Cookie Bars

Celebrate the season with these memorable, mouth-watering White Chocolate Malted Sugar Cookie Bars.

White Chocolate Malted Sugar Cookie Bars | Sweet Baked Life

I can eat things flavored with malt just about any time of the year. However, with springtime upon us, it’s only natural that this flavor jumps out at me! When I was a little girl, I loved sweets (some things don’t change!), and Easter was one of the best holidays as it was filled with a plethora of family fun; egg hunts, basket finding, cute stuffed bunnies, good food and most of all, lots and lots of candy — including my favorite, chocolate covered malt balls!

Now, that spring is upon us, Whoppers are abundant at the stores, flowers are blooming, people are smiling, the sun is shining (or at least trying to) and pretty pastel colors are everywhere you look!

To honor my fond memories of springtime celebrations, I just had to make something with the distinct flavor of malt. I also wanted these bars to look pretty to represent the season. Truth be told, I was going to add a few drops of red food coloring to the white chocolate to make it a soft pink, but in the end, I decided to leave it white and pure.

White Chocolate Malted Sugar Cookie Bars | Sweet Baked Life

Also, with my son now a teen, we are a bit more sophisticated in our celebration of the season and Easter. However, the spirit of the big white rabbit visiting our home each spring lives forever in our hearts!

You see, when my son was young, we celebrated just like when I was a child — big candy filled baskets for all of us, an Easter egg hunt, a delicious feast and a festive dessert. The best part of me was seeing the delight in his eyes as he discovered the goodie filled basket by his bed, then he helped us look for ours! My husband would get up extra early and hide the candy-filled plastic pastel eggs throughout the yard, and my son would wander around with his basket searching for the eggs until he found all of them! It was a wonderful day filled with lost of fun and love.

To keep the tradition, I still prepare an Easter basket for my son. Yes, he has outgrown the “bunny” thing, but he still enjoys celebrating the season and getting some special gifts from mom and dad. This year, it will probably be filled iTunes and Microsoft gift cards, clothes and maybe a special box of chocolates from the See’s Candy Store along with a big chocolate bunny!

White Chocolate Malted Sugar Cookie Bars | Sweet Baked Life

I also love whipping up an inspired dessert using some of our favorite candy or flavors. These White Chocolate Malted Sugar Cookie Bars really are impressive, and who doesn’t like to celebrate with sweets?

This recipe is simple to make — it starts with a malted sugar cookie base, followed by a sweet white chocolate layer, and topped with crushed Whopper candies! The combination of soft, sweet and crunchy is amazing!

To make the preparation even easier, I used a store-bought cookie mix and just added a bit of malt and vanilla to bring out the springtime flavor that’s hard to pass up!

It does have an extra step of cooling the cookies before you add the melted chocolate and additional chopped Whoppers, but its worth the wait on these malted gems! Once they are ready to eat, your family and friends will thank you for making these decadent bars and you can reminisce about your childhood favorites!

White Chocolate Malted Sugar Cookie Bars | Sweet Baked Life

White Chocolate Malted Sugar Cookie Bars

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life White Chocolate Malted Sugar Cookie Bars | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:
– 1 package Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix
– 1/2 cup Carnation Malted Milk powder
– 1 large egg
– 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– 2 tablespoons milk
– 1 (5 oz.) carton Whoppers Malted Milk Balls, crushed & divided
– 4 oz Lindt White Chocolate bar, melted

Instructions

1.Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8×8-inch baking pan by lining with parchment paper then spraying with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, add the cookie mix, malted milk powder, egg, butter, vanilla and milk. Beat on medium speed until the dough comes together (it will be thick).

3. Add half of the crushed Whoppers and mix with a spoon until incorporated. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan and press down to create an even layer. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the cookie mixture is golden brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

4. After the cookie base is cool, top the mixture with the melted white chocolate — spreading evenly with an offset spatula. Sprinkle the top with the remaining Whoppers. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

5. When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator, lift cookies out of pan by sides of parchment paper, and cut into squares.

White Chocolate Malted Sugar Cookie Bars | Sweet Baked Life

Dig in and celebrate spring and Easter with a batch of these delightful White Chocolate Malted Sugar Cookie Bars!

Sheila