Sunday, June 22, 2014

Homemade Summer Treats! (Frozen Desserts, Cupcakes & Drinks!)

I had a lot of fun putting together some Valentine's Day treat ideas back in February, so with Summer coming up, I thought I'd share some fun, summer treats! These are great for summer parties, barbeques, or even just for yourself! I hope you try these out or get some inspiration from them. If you do try them out, let me know! 

Butterscotch Cupcakes with Caramel Butter cream Frosting!

Denser cupcakes that aren't too sweet but still satisfy your dessert craving!
 Adapted from "The Cupcake Life's Better With a Cupcake" Cookbook: Butterscotch Cupcakes.

Makes: 12
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, not packed
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups icing sugar (confectioners' sugar)
1-2 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 375°F and fill regular muffin tin with cupcake liners.

 Sift together the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, add the butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Beat together until smooth.
Spoon the cupcake batter evenly into the cupcake liners. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown in the 375°F oven. Poke the center of a cupcake with a toothpick and if it comes out clean they're cooked. Let cool on a wire rack.

For the Butter Cream Frosting, beat the butter and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add in the icing sugar, beating well after each addition. Add milk until desired consistency. Beat in 2-6 tbsp (as desired) of caramel sauce. 

I spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes and decorated them with caramel sauce and chewy toffee! 
I actually had about half of the frosting left over, so if you're planning on spreading it, try halving the frosting recipe. If you plan on piping the frosting, you probably don't need to half it. 

And that's it!

Watermelon Lemonade!

Make your own flavored lemonade with any fruit! Watermelon is one of my favorite summer snacks, so why not combine it with my favorite summer drink?

Makes: 1 serving
Around 1 cup of chopped up watermelon
Around 1 cup of lemonade
(essentially 1 part watermelon juice, 1 part lemonade)

Place your watermelon in your blender, and blend until smooth.

Pour the blended juice into a strainer to remove any pulp, and leave you with a smooth consistency. Add lemonade and ice, and shake in a beverage shaker until combined.

Not only is this drink a phenomenal color, it has the perfect sweet and fresh combination!

Honey-Cinnamon Frozen Yogurt Pops!

These sweet & Tangy pops are perfect for a summer party, or for cooling down in the heat!
Adapted from Fun Stuff Frozen Pops recipe book.

Makes: 6 pops
1 1/4 cups plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup honey
1/4 milk
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp sugar (optional)
Pop molds or paper/plastic cups & pop sticks

Blend together all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Pour the mixture into your pop molds and cover. 

Freeze until completely frozen (2-6 hours).
To remove, hold the frozen pop under warm water for a few seconds then gently slide the pop out. 


Watermelon Granita (Homemade Shaved Ice)!

Another refreshing watermelon treat! This is perfect for cooling down in the summer and it's super simple to make!
Adapted from various recipes I found online.

Makes: 4-8 servings depending on size
Around 3-4 cups of chopped up watermelon
Juice of 1 lime
1-2 tbsp of sweetener of choice (optional)

Squeeze lime juice in the bottom of the blender. 
Add the watermelon then the sweetener. I decided to go for about a teaspoon of each sweetener just to try 'em all out!
Blend until completely smooth. Pour liquid into shallow baking dish and place in the freezer for 1 hour. 
Rake the frozen watermelon with a spoon or fork. Freeze again for 1 hour and rake again. Freeze and rake.

Scoop into dish and enjoy your frozen treat!

Those are all of the recipes I decided to do for this recipe post! If I decide to try out some more fun recipes this summer, I might just end up doing another one of these! I hope you enjoyed this!

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