My First Trifle: Lemon Berry

For as much as I like to bake, I’m almost embarrassed to admit that until this summer, I had never – ever – made a trifle. It’s one of the easiest desserts to make, and it was the perfect solution when trying to figure out what to bring over to my sister’s house for our playdate/bbq. I had an ungodly amount of berries on hand, so I went for a lemon berry trifle.

When looking for a recipe, I noticed that most of them required cream cheese. My sister has a serious aversion to cream cheese, so I ended up just making up my own recipe. I also relied on Cool Whip and boxed angel food cake mix since I was seriously pressed for time. The biggest disappointment was that I don’t actually have a trifle bowl (GASP!), so I settled on a clear mixing bowl (I can’t believe I admitted that). My version did end up a little on the sweet side, but overall I think it had a really great, refreshing flavor.

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Lemon Berry Trifle
My own recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Betty Crocker angel food cake, prepared in loaf pan
  • 1 box lemon flavored instant pudding
  • 1 box French vanilla flavored instant pudding
  • 12 oz. Cool Whip
  • Assorted berries (I used blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries – about 2 qts total)

Directions:

  1. Prepare the angel food cake according the box. Once cooled, cut into 1″ cubes.
  2. Prepare the two boxes of pudding together. Mix in half of the cool whip and then refrigerate for at least a half hour.
  3. Get your berries ready by washing, drying, and slicing them how you’d like.
  4. To make your trifle, layer the cake, pudding mixture, and berries. I started with the angel food cake and then added a layer of the pudding mixture. I arranged the berries along the edge to they’d look nice through the glass bowl, and just dumped a thing layer in the middle. I topped that with a little more pudding mixture and then I went through the pattern again. My last layer was the rest of the Cool Whip topped with the remaining berries.
  5. Chill for another half hour and serve the same day.

Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Icing

OK, I can’t resist. I have to give you all just one more pumpkin recipe before Thanksgiving tomorrow. If you’re still looking for a seasonal dessert to make, I definitely recommend these cookies.

These cookies have a subtle pumpkin flavor and are more of a cake-like cookie. They’re very soft and kind of melt in your mouth. I’d never made browned butter icing before, but it was surprisingly easy and tasted SO good! I’m glad I learned how because this icing will definitely make it to my recipe arsenal. Shout out to my girls Betty (Crocker) and Martha (Stewart) for coming up with a killer recipe. Here is my adaptation. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cookies w/ Browned Butter Icing
Yield: 36 cookies

Cookies:
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1¼ teaspoons ground ginger
¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¼ cups light brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups canned pumpkin
¾ cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Icing:
4 cups powdered sugar
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg together.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Beat in the eggs until combined. With the mixer on low, add the pumpkin, half-and-half and vanilla and beat until very well blended, about 2 minutes.
  5. Keep the mixer on low and add the dry ingredients. Beat until just combined.
  6. Use a spoon to drop the batter onto the prepared baking sheet – they should be about one and half inch rounds. (If you’re a perfectionist, or Martha Stewart, you can transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip. Pipe 1 1/2-inch rounds onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 to 1 1/2 inches between them.)
  7. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies spring back when lightly pressed.
  8. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool for 5 minutes than remove them to the rack to cool completely.Repeat with remaining batter.
  9. To make the icing: Add the confectioners’ sugar to a large heat-proof bowl.
  10. Put the butter in a small saucepan, set over medium heat and let it start melting. Continue cooking, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter becomes golden brown and smells nutty (be patient and watch carefully –  it can go from browned to burnt quickly).
  11. Remove it from the heat and pour it over the confectioners’ sugar, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as well.
  12. Add the half-and-half and vanilla and stir until the icing is smooth. Using a small offset spatula, spread about 1 teaspoon of icing on each cookie. (If the icing stiffens before you get them all frosted, stir vigorously to lighten it up.)