Category Archives: Recipe Test

Strawberry Cream Cheese Pastries [ Recipe ]


I went in search of an easy and tasty treat for our Super Bowl party and found these beauties at and knew they were it. Not only did they look simple and delicious, they are red for my football team the Kansas City Chiefs! (Who, if anyone is interested, happens to be the only NFL team who beat both the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots this year. Just saying.) 😉

Although the pastries are easy to make, they are rather time consuming. The total time it takes to make these pastries (including refrigeration) is 2 hours and 15 minutes. I also felt like they tasted as though they were missing something. I added all the ingredients so that isn’t the issue. It just needed a push toward more of a pastry or more of a cookie. It’s stuck in dessert limbo. If I make these again I would use a flakier crust- maybe even croissant dough from the store (time saver!) and also add raw sugar to the top. Below is the process of making these treats with the recipe at the bottom. Try it out and let me know how you improved the process, or if you tried them as is and if you liked them!

All of the delicious ingredients:


In your mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and combine. You should have dough at this point.

Sprinkle powdered sugar on your work surface, and divide the dough into four rounds. Flatten each round and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough rounds for 30 minutes. In the meantime clean up the mixer so you can use it again right away to make the cream cheese filling!

Combine all of the ingredients in your newly cleaned mixing bowl and mix until it is smooth and creamy. I put mine straight into a pastry bag (aka a ziplock bag with a snipped hole at the bottom) ready for piping.

Dust your work surface with flour, and let your dough rounds rest out of the fridge for 5 minutes. Roll each round out to a 1/4-inch thickness and cut out 3″ x 3″ squares. Fill the squares with the strawberry jam and then pipe the filling on top. Pinch two opposite corners of the dough in the center over the filling. Then pop the pastries in the fridge for an hour.

Bake each sheet 10 to 11 minutes or until the edges are browned and let them cool completely before eating. Bon Appetite!


30 mins
11 mins
2 hours 15 mins
Soft, flaky and delicious cream cheese dough filled with a sweet cream cheese mixture and strawberry jam.
Serves: Makes 26 to 30 Cookies
For the Pastries
  • 1 package (8-ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons or 226 grams) butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • powdered sugar for dusting
  • ½ teaspoon salt
For the Filling
  • 1 package (8-ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar, or to taste (if you prefer it sweeter, add more)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • strawberry jam
  1. In your mixer’s bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth, light and fluffy.
  2. Add flour and salt and continue to mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Lightly dust work area with powdered sugar.
  4. Transfer dough to work area and shape into a ball.
  5. Divide it into 4 rounds; flatten each round and cover each pastry dough with plastic wrap.
  6. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  7. In the meantime, prepare the filling by combining cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla in your mixer’s bowl.
  8. Beat until creamy and smooth. Set aside.
  9. Dust work area with flour.
  10. Remove dough from fridge and let rest for 5 minutes.
  11. Roll out each ball of dough to a ¼-inch thickness.
  12. Cut into 3×3 squares.
  13. Fill the center of each square with ½-teaspoon cream cheese mixture and ½ teaspoon strawberry jam. For a prettier presentation, using a pastry bag, you can pipe the fillings, one on top of the other.
  14. Overlap opposite corners of dough to the center and over the filling. Pinch seams together.
  15. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  16. Preheat oven to 375.
  17. Bake 10 to 11 minutes, or until edges are browned.
  18. Cool completely.
  19. Serve.
Total Time includes chill time.
Store cookies in air tight containers.
Freeze for up to 3 months.

April Recipe Test with Anna!

The recipe test for April was another dessert- a very easy and sugary snack that is so easy to make it’s stupid, and perfect for an evening snack after a long day of fun! On the menu were Cinnamon Streusel cookies, and they were delicious. We shared all around with my grandparents as we were celebrating a day on vacation in Branson. Cookies are just what you need after a long day of fun and sun!

The cast of characters:


Following the directions:

The finished dessert!


Cinnamon Streusel Cookies


1 (16.5-ounce) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°; place rack in center of oven. Freeze sugar cookie dough 1 hour. Remove from freezer, and place on cutting board. Cut dough into 1/4-inch slices (about 28–32 slices); arrange 2 inches apart on 2 parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Combine brown sugar, chopped pecans, cinnamon, and, if desired, nutmeg in a small mixing bowl. Top cookies with 3/4 teaspoon streusel. Bake 12 minutes or until edges are crisp and browned. Let cool on baking sheet 3 minutes; remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


March Recipe Test with Anna!

The recipe test for March was another dessert- a very easy and sugary snack that is a snap to make, and perfect for a night out at the movies! We made Cinnamon Puppy Chow, and it was amazing. It was shared all around with my family- at the movies- and got two thumbs up!

The cast of characters:


Following the directions:

The finished dessert!


Cinnamon Puppy Chow


9 cups rice Chex cereal

1 cup cinnamon chips (like chocolate chips- found in the same section of your grocery store)

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 granulated sugar

1 1/2 teas cinnamon


In a small microwavable bowl, zap cinnamon chips and butter for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Microwave about 30 seconds longer if needed. Drizzle mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, sugar, and cinnamon. Toss the coated Chex cereal into the sugar mixture. Spread on a piece of parchment until coated.



February Recipe Test with Anna!

The recipe test for February was another dessert- a very easy and light dish that is easy to make and a mess to eat! We made Strawberry Wonton cups from Giada’s recipe, and while they turned out pretty tasty they have an overwhelming citrus taste. If I were ever to make them again, I would have a lighter hand with the amount of orange juice and zest added, and would perhaps experiment with adding another type of spice.

The cast of characters:


Following the directions:

The finished dessert!


Strawberry Wonton Cups with Orange Mascarpone Whipped Cream



  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons orage juice, from 1/2 medium orange
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • Cooking spray
  • 24 wontons wrappers

Mascarpone Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 medium orange


For the wontons: In a large bowl combine the strawberries, orange juice and powdered sugar. Allow the strawberries to macerate for 20 minutes.

Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 24-count mini muffin tin with cooking spray. To create the wonton cups make a small fold in the center of each wonton and push it into the muffin cup, leaving a cup empty between each wonton. Bake the cups until the edges are golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Cool the cups while you make the whipped cream.

For the whipped cream: In a bowl using an electric mixer, combine the heavy cream, mascarpone, sugar, vanilla and orange zest. Whip until the cream has soft peaks, about 2 minutes.

To assemble the cups: Drain the berries, reserving the macerating liquid. Place a few berry slices in the bottom of each cup. Fill the cup with a tablespoon of whipped cream and top with additional strawberry slices. Drizzle with the reserved berry juices and serve.

January Recipe Test with Anna!

After two years of two recipes per month we decided we to take it easy, so this year for my manifesto, Anna and are are holding just one recipe test a month back and forth at our apartments.

This month at Anna’s we made the Very Vanilla Bundt cake and it was so tasty and moist- the perfect bundt cake. It’s one of the most moist cakes I have ever had- and is super versatile also. You could add your own flavors to make a whole new delicious cake. It was a perfect snack whilst watching the second episode of Downton Abbey. 🙂 It was even better the next day for leftovers. I couldn’t possibly finish my half all on my own, so I took most of it to work and it was a hit!

Recipe (You can check out the website Anna found it at here):

Very Vanilla Bundt Cake

Yield: 12-16 Servings


  • 1 French Vanilla Cake Mix (I used Betty Crocker)
  • 1 small (approximately 3.4oz) box french vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream (I used light & only had 3/4 cup & it was still incredibly moist)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (I had canola oil, so that’s what I used)
  • 1 cup white chocolate or vanilla morsels


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350* F. Grease & flour a 12-cup bundt pan well.   Set aside.
  2. Combine everything but the morsels in a large bowl. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. Fold in vanilla chips & pour into the prepared bundt pan.
  3. Bake for 38-43 minutes or according to the time frame on the box of cake mix. Cake is done when it springs back after being touched. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before turning out onto a plate.         Slice & serve.

December Recipe Test/Christmas Party!


For the month of December because of how busy we all are, Anna and I decided to just have our 2nd annual family Christmas Party instead of new recipe tests. The party was held at my parent’s this year, and we made several of our favorite quick dishes from over the past year. Included was the strawberry bruschetta, the baked lemon pasta, and the berry cobbler dessert. Each were just as delicious as when we first made them! It was a successful and fun evening eating and chatting!



Yield: about 4-6 servings


1 cup strawberries, hulled and diced
1 tbsp. sugar
1 French baguette, sliced on a bias
4 oz. goat cheese
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ cup minced basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper


Mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and the pepper in a bowl. Cut up the strawberries into smaller slices and mix in with the sugar. Spread goat cheese on the French baguette slices. Spoon some of the liquid mixture on the baguette slice, and spoon strawberries on top. Sprinkle on some basil and enjoy!!

Baked Lemon Pasta


  • 1 pound Thin Spaghetti
  • 4 Tablespoons Salted Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Lemon, Juiced And Zested
  • 2 cups Sour Cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt, Or More To Taste
  • Plenty Of Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Flat-leaf Parsley, Chopped
  • Extra Lemon Juice

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook spaghetti until al dente.

In a skillet, melt butter with olive oil over LOW HEAT. When butter is melted, add minced garlic. Squeeze lemon juice into the pan. Turn off heat.

Add sour cream and stir mixture together. Add lemon zest and salt. Taste, then add more salt if necessary. Pour mixture over drained spaghetti and stir together, then pour spaghetti into an oven safe dish.

Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes. (Don’t bake too long or the pasta will dry out.)

When you remove it from the oven, squeeze a little more lemon juice over the top. Top generously with Parmesan cheese, then chopped parsley. Give it a final squeeze of lemon juice at the end.

Serve with crusty French bread and a simple green salad.

Berry Cobbler
Two 12-oz bags frozen mixed berries/peaches
1 box white cake mix
Approximately 1 can of diet 7-up or other clear soda
(might need more than 1 can of soda to avoid dry spots) 
Place frozen fruit in a 9×13 baking dish. Add dry cake mix over the top. Pour soda slowly over cake mix. DO NOT stir the cake mix and the soda  – this will give you a ‘crust’. If you stir the two, you will have a cake like topping.
Bake 350 for 45-50 min or longer until berries are cooked.

2nd November Recipe test with Anna / Cake Decoration 12: Anna’s Birthday!

For our second recipe test in November, Anna and I made a Creamy Bacon Carbonara and Strawberry Mimosas. It was her birthday celebration, so I made a cake for the occasion as well!

The tasty Creamy Bacon Carbonara:

Creamy Bacon Carbonara
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup Cream or Heavy Cream (Whipping Cream)
  • â…“ cup Parmesan
  • Fresh diced Parsley or dried flakes
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp Red Pepper flakes
  • *(I doubled the Sauce recipe, and it was perfect)
  • ½ lb. bacon fried crisp then crumbled
  • 1 small onion, chopped (opt )
  • 3 mushrooms sliced (opt )
  • ½ lb. Pasta
  1. Beat the eggs, cream, Parmesan, parsley, salt and the red pepper together in a bowl. I just used a fork.
  2. Fry the bacon until crisp, then crumble and set aside.
  3. With 1 -2 Tbsp. bacon grease, saute the onion and the mushrooms until the onions are translucent and golden.
  4. Drain the pasta and while still warm, add to the onions and mushrooms. Pour cream mixture into the pasta, and stir over low heat for one to two minutes.

Strawberry Mimosas:


  • 3-4 Strawberries
  • 3 1/2 Oz. Champagne (or Sparkling Wine)
  • 3 1/2 Oz. Orange Juice


  1. Mix orange juice and strawberries with a little shaved ice in a blender until smooth.
  2. Pour into a chilled wine goblet and add cold champagne. Stir gently so as not to lose the bubbles.

Our Strawberry Mimosas turned out not so great- something must have happened because the pictures on the internet make them look seriously good:


I made Anna a Harry Potter birthday cake- there’s no better way to celebrate your late 20’s! It was a good dinner- especially the Creamy Bacon Carbonara (YUMMERS!) – I would have a lighter hand with the hot pepper flakes though, and it really doesn’t need onion in it at all. Happy November!


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