Recipe: Blueberry Pie Bars

Mrs. Fields Secrets Blueberry Pie Bars

Prepare for a drool-fest with this recipe that tastes like a slice of pie, but requires no rolling pin whatsoever. This must-try dessert is a great make-ahead option for summer picnics and potlucks. Cut it into large or small squares and serve at room temperature, no forks or plates needed. It’s an easy crowd pleaser for your summer playlist.

Blueberry Pie Bars

for crust and topping
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

for filling
1 egg
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon flour

for blueberry layer
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside. Prepare the crust and topping by melting the butter in a mixing bowl, then stir in both sugars. Add the flour and salt and stir until combined and crumbly in texture. Reserve a heaping 3/4 cup of mixture for topping, then press the remainder into the parchment-lined dish to create an even layer.

Prepare the filling in a medium bowl by whisking the egg and yogurt together, then adding the sugar, vanilla and flour. Whisk until well combined, then pour the mixture into the dish, making sure it covers the surface of the crust.

Prepare the blueberry layer by mixing the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch together in a bowl, then spreading evenly over the filling layer.

Finally, sprinkle the remaining crumble evenly over the top of the blueberries and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until top is bubbly and golden brown. Remove and allow to cool before lifting the parchment out, peeling it off, and cutting into bars for serving.

Recipe: Strawberry Lemon Cake

Mrs. Fields Secrets Strawberry Cake

Strawberry season is here and we’ve got a recipe to put your next bushel to use. This cake is packed with sweet strawberry flavor and a tart lemony zing. The frosting is light and fluffy with fresh chopped strawberries adding texture and a tinge of pink. Make it as a sheet cake for a spring pot luck or as a tiered round cake for a special occasion. Garnish with fresh strawberries, of course!

Strawberry Lemon Cake
adapted from Southern Living

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 tablespoons strawberry-flavored gelatin powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped strawberries (fresh)

for frosting
1 package (8 0z.) cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup chopped strawberries (fresh)
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two round cake pans or a 9×13 pan with non-stick baking spray. In a mixer, beat the butter until light and creamy, then add sugar and mix on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until texture is fluffy. Add eggs and mix thoroughly before adding lemon juice and vanilla. Stir until combined. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, salt and gelatin. Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk into the sugar mixture, mixing until just combined. Finally, fold in the chopped strawberries  and transfer batter to the prepared pan(s) and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

To prepare the frosting, beat the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl with half of the sugar (1/3 cup) until smooth. Fold in the chopped strawberries. In another mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream with the lemon juice until frothy, then add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until well-combined. Spread over the cake and chill until serving.

Recipe: Mother’s Day Brunch Menu

Mrs. Fields Mother's Day Brunch

You’ve got the gifts arranged for Mother’s Day, but what about the menu? Treat mom on Sunday to a delicious brunch that will make her mouth water, her heart swell, and her mind wonder how she got so lucky to have you. This simple menu is simple, delicious, and can be made on a large or small scale and according to taste. The star is a Mexican dish called chilaquiles that can be dressed up or down with mom’s favorite fresh flavors. Pair it with crispy hash browns or home fries, some spicy ketchup and a refreshing mimosa for a true Mother’s Day treat!

Chilaquiles
(serves 4)

12 corn tortillas
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce
4 eggs
cotija cheese (optional)
guacamole (optional)
sour cream (optional)
cilantro (optional)

Directions
Heat oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Warm the enchilada sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cut tortillas into one-inch squares and fry in the oil until crisp and brown, then transfer to a mixing bowl. Use the still-hot pan to fry the eggs sunny-side style with a runny yolk. While the eggs are cooking, pour the enchilada sauce over the tortillas and toss until they are evenly coated. Place a generous scoop of tortillas on each serving plate, topped with an egg, followed by cheese, guacamole, sour cream and cilantro. Serve immediately.

Spicy Ketchup

1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce

Directions
Stir together and serve with home fries or hash browns.

Recipe: Tres Leches Cake

Mrs. Fields Secrets Tres Leche Cake
Cinco de Mayo is coming up next week and if you’re hosting a fiesta, we’ve got just the dessert to serve your guests. Traditional tres leche cake is simple, decadent and easy to make ahead of time, so it’s perfect for a busy host. The longer it sits soaking up the delicious three milks (evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and half-and-half), the better. Top it with freshly whipped cream, some toasted coconut and fresh strawberries and serve to adoring crowds.

Tres Leches Cake
adapted from Marcela Valladolid

1 1/2 cups  flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup toasted coconut (for garnish)
fresh strawberries (for garnish)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray and flour a square baking pan, then line with parchment paper with plenty of overlap.
Stir the flour and baking powder together in a medium bowl, then set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until light and frothy. Gradually add the sugar and beat to stiff peaks, mixing all the while. Next beat in the yolks one at a time until each one has been incorporated into the batter. Add the flour mixture and the milk in portions, alternating back and forth a few times until complete.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a serving dish with at least a 1-inch lip. Use bamboo skewers or chopsticks to pierce the the cake all over, all the way through. In a medium bowl, whisk the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and 1 cup of the heavy cream together with the Grand Marnier. Pour the milk mixture evenly over the entire cake while still warm, then cover and refrigerate overnight or at least four hours.

Before serving, whip the remaining heavy cream with a pinch of powdered sugar until thick. Spread the whipped cream on top of the cake, then sprinkle with toasted coconut and serve with fresh strawberries.

Recipe: Homemade Lemon Curd

Mrs. Fields Secrets Homemade Lemon Curd
Lemon curd should be the official condiment of spring. This sweet, bright, tangy spreadable delight is perfect for waking up your taste buds after a long, cold winter. Spread it on toast or in between layers of cake, use it as a dip for berries or a substitute for your favorite jam. It’s easier than you think to make it yourself and have it on hand anytime. The key is to use fresh lemons. No back-of-the-fridge bottled lemon juice allowed.

Homemade Lemon Curd
adapted from Alton Brown

5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
zest of lemons
1/2 cup cold butter, sliced into pats

Directions
Fill a medium saucepan with an inch or two of water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. In a metal bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar, whisking until smooth, about one minute.  Add juice and zest to egg mixture and whisk smooth. Place the bowl on top of the simmering water in the saucepan, like a double-boiler. Whisk mixture until thickens, approximately 8 minutes, or until it is light yellow and coats the back of a spoon. Remove promptly from heat and stir in butter pieces one at a time, allowing each one to melt before adding another. Transfer to a jar or airtight plastic container and cover before cooling in the refrigerator before serving. Makes two cups and lasts up to two weeks in the fridge.

Recipe: White Cheddar Cracker Jack

Mrs. Fields Homemade Cracker Jack
In honor of the new baseball season upon us, today’s recipe is an old favorite with a homemade twist. This sweet, crunchy treat is the perfect game-watching fare whether you’re at the baseball park or on the couch. Our twist is to add a savory side to this caramel flavored classic by starting with white cheddar popcorn. The result is a home run all the way.

White Cheddar Cracker Jack

10 cups of white cheddar flavored popcorn
1 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup lightly salted peanuts

Directions
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking liner and spread popcorn in an even layer. Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat then add sugar, corn syrup and water, stirring frequently. Bring mixture to a bubble that reaches 250 degrees on a candy thermometer, then remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda. Immediately pour the caramel over the popcorn and fold it in with the popcorn, sprinkling the peanuts throughout. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring halfway between. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes, before breaking into pieces and serving or placing in an airtight container.

Recipe: Strawberry Oatmeal Tart

Mrs. Fields Strawberry Oatmeal Tart

When swimsuit season is just around the corner, but you’re still craving a sweet dessert, this strawberry oatmeal tart has got you covered. It’s got bright, rich flavor with a little bit of crunch, and is so healthy you could get away with eating it for breakfast. Try it with a dollop of tart yogurt on top for an extra thrill.

Strawberry Oatmeal Tart
adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

filling:
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
2 cups diced fresh strawberries
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 tablespoon sugar

base and topping:
2 1/4 cups quick oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup almond butter (unsalted)
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1/4 cup apple butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions
Prepare the strawberry filling by stirring the cornstarch and water together until completely dissolved and set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the strawberries, maple syrup and sugar together. Stir well and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and stir in the cornstarch mixture, making sure to incorporate evenly and avoid clumps. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8-inch round cake pan with foil or parchment (with enough overhanging the sides for easy removal) and spray with cooking spray, then set aside. In a large bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, almond butter, maple syrup, apple butter and egg. Mix with a large spoon or spatula until well combined. Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture, then press the remainder into the cake pan evenly. Spread the strawberry filling on top in an even layer. Finally, add the sliced almonds to the reserved oats to create a crumbly mixture to sprinkle evenly over the strawberry filling and pressing it gently to keep it stable. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until topping begins to barely brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the cake pan to cool on a rack before serving. Cut into pie-shaped slices and serve with yogurt or ice cream.

Recipe: Cheesecake Cookies

IMG_0074

A sweet little decadent bite of cheesecake in cookie form is your new best friend. This recipe is a keeper with just the right amount of richness and texture. Take them over the top by adding a dollop of your favorite cheesecake topping: cherries, berries, or even chocolate!

Cheesecake Cookies

1 1/4 cups graham crackers,  crushed
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, separated
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the cookie base by combining graham cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg white until well combined. Add the dry ingredients in slowly, blending until just combined.

Prepare the filling in another bowl by beating the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add egg yolk, lemon zest and vanilla and whip until light and fluffy. Transfer filling to a pastry bag.

Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and place on a prepared cookie sheet. Use a rounded tablespoon to press a well into each ball, then pipe filling into each well, slightly overfilling. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until cookies are just barely browning around the edges. Cool completely before serving. Add toppings if desired.

Recipe: Tiramisu

Mrs. Fields Secrets Tiramisu

This classic Italian dessert is reminiscent of a dessert lasagna, layers of flavorful cookie, cream, chocolate and coffee. It tastes both decadent and light at the same time and is easy to make for your next get together. Try it and see why the only response to this dessert is, “Mama mia!”

Tiramisu

3 cups brewed coffee, cooled
2 tablespoons sugar (to sweeten coffee)
16 ounces mascarpone cheese, divided
5 eggs, separated
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar, divided
14 ounces ladyfinger cookies (firm variety)
2 ounces rum (optional)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup dark chocolate shavings

Directions
Add sugar to sweeten the coffee and stir until dissolved. Whisk egg yolks with half the sugar until you have a light, creamy consistency. In a separate bowl, stir the mascarpone cheese to eliminate any lumps, then slowly add in the egg mixture into the cheese and whisk until combined.

In another bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt and remaining sugar until they reach a firm, fluffy consistency. Fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture, along with the rum. Dip the ladyfingers into the coffee (careful not to oversoak), then lay them flat in a baking dish (about 9×13). Spread a layer of the cream on top and dust it with 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder, then repeat the process, adding another layer of soaked cookies topped with cream. Dust the top with the remaining cocoa powder, followed by an even sprinkle of chocolate shavings.

Cover dish and allow to chill for at least 3-4 hours before serving.

Recipe: Blueberry Cloud Dessert

Mrs. Fields Secrets Blueberry Clouds

If you’re planning an Easter buffet, this dessert needs to be on it. It’s got all the richness of a blueberry cheesecake, but with a lightness that’s perfect for spring and the self-serve quality of a trifle. Put it in a pretty dish with a big spoon.

Blueberry Cloud Dessert

12 ounces frozen blueberries
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1 angel food cake, sliced into 1-inch cubes
2 packages light cream cheese
2/3 cup half-and-half
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

Directions
In a sauce pan over medium heat, add blueberries. Whisk cold water and cornstarch together, then pour over blueberries along with sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir and heat until thickened, then remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese with half-and-half and 2/3 cup sugar until creamy and smooth. Fold the cubed cake into the mixture until all the cubes are covered in cream and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, add the powdered sugar and vanilla to the whipping cream and beat until stiff peaks form. To assemble, place a generous amount of the cake mixture in the bottom of the serving dish, followed by even dollops of the blueberry mixture, topped with a layer of whipped cream. Repeat the layers and top with a layer of graham cracker crumbs. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

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