Category: Desserts

Strawberry Lime Mascarpone Tart!

A fruity, refreshing tart is totally Spring- totally Summer! Do you ever switch it up? Instead of the usual strawberry blueberry sweet tart, how about a sweet and tangy strawberry lime tart?

Today’s recipe is just that- A step outside the usual, a hint of lime and creamy whipped mascarpone cheese. I don’t think a fruit dessert can get any better. At heart, I’m really a chocolate girl! Shhhhh!

Enjoy this recipe!


Strawberry Lime Tart
(Makes one 8 inch tart)

Tart Crust:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cold stick butter cut into squares

1-8oz. Mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lime juice

Strawberries – Lime Zest


Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Grease a tart pan or a 1/2″ inch thick 8″ round cake pan.

Whisk together flour and powdered sugar.

Add in chunks of butter and work with your fingers until it starts to stick together and forms a dough.

Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 mins. in refrigerator.

Roll out into an 8 inch circle.

Press into pan. If using cake pan leave a small overhang to be folded over.


Bake crust 10-12 mins or until golden.

Let cool.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, and 1 tsp. lime juice.

Add filling and top with sliced strawberries and lime zest!
Get creative! Make a beautiful design or mass chaos. Either way, it tastes the same!




Lemon Basil Squares!

I am my grandma. Lemon dessert obsessed. Of course bright lemon yellow is her favorite color…”the apple doesn’t fall too far” is too true. Spring brings it out in me. I crave lemon meringue pie, lemon salad dressings, lemon chicken!
Salads doused in lemon juice are the most refreshing spring/summer salads! I just made a beautiful Greek salad this week!


Lemon squares rank pretty high on the refreshing dessert list and are easy to make! My recipe makes a 9X13 pan, just sprinkle some powdered sugar, cut into squares, and enjoy a beautiful, delicious dessert! This time I added finely chopped basil for an element of surprise!

The addition of the basil’s green color added a crispness and a pop of color to the plain lemon squares. The flavor is incredible! Super sweet and lemony with a pop of savory! Delish!


Here is the recipe!

Lemon Basil Squares
(Makes one 9X13 pan)

2 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp. flour
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 1/2 tbsp. basil, finely chopped(1 tbsp. for sprinkling on top)
2 tbsp. Powdered sugar (also for sprinkling on top)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour 9X13 pan.

In a mixing bowl, combine softened butter, 1 cup sugar, 2 cups flour with a wooden spoon until well mixed.

Press mixture into bottom of a greased 9X13 pan.


Bake crust for 12-18 minutes until set and golden.

Meanwhile, whisk together filling ingredients.


Pour filling over baked base and return to the oven for 18-20 mins.

Let cool.

Sprinkle with remaining chopped basil and powdered sugar.


Enjoy the lemony deliciousness!

Rice Krispies Treats Easter Eggs! Adorable And Fun Treats!

Is it the crispy bite or the gooey yummy marshmallow we love so much about Rice Krispies treats? Loved by children and super easy to make, Rice Krispies treats can be made fun and festive with a drop of food coloring or an addition of colored sprinkles!


To make the colorful treats, divide the butter/marshmallow mixture into thirds and added yellow, green, and purple (red and blue) coloring. Then add the cereal, mix well, and mold into a nonstick coated plastic egg! These can be a sticky mess so be sure to also grease your hands!
Enjoy making these treats everyone will love!

Rice Krispies Treat Easter Eggs
(Makes approx. 30 1-1/2 inch Eggs)

6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
3 tbsp. butter
1 10 oz. bag mini marshmallows
food coloring

Melt butter in a saucepan over low to medium heat so it doesn’t burn.

Add marshmallows and stir until melted and the ingredients are incorporated.

Remove from heat and separate into thirds- three mixing bowls.


Add food coloring to reach desired colors.

**It is important to work quickly at this point. Mix in the cereal before the marshmallow starts to harden.

Add 2 cups of cereal to each bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until cereal is coated.


Grease hands and a plastic Easter egg. Press the cereal into the egg. After a few seconds, remove the cereal egg and place it on a piece of waxed paper.


Serve in an egg carton or in the plastic eggs!




Hellooo Friday!! Start The Weekend With A S’mores Cake!!

Sometimes we NEED chocolate! Don’t you?


S’mores Cake

You favorite boxed cake mix
OR up your baking game and try…

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Filling and Frosting
Your favorite chocolate buttercream frosting
Beat 1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp. milk or half and half
Add more sugar or milk until desired consistency

1-2 cups Marshmallow Creme
2 sleeves 12 grahm crackers crushed to crumbs in a Ziploc bag


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch /9-inch x 2-inch round or square cake pans.
Grease pans with Crisco and light flour.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl.

Using an electric mixer, mix on until well combined and smooth.

In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.

With the mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.

With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.


Whether using boxed cake mix or homemade, pour the batter into the greased pans and bake for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick tester comes out clean.


Let the cake cool completely before icing.

Slide a knife along edges of cake pans. Cake should have pulled away from the pan. Flip upside down and tap with a knife until cake comes loose.

Place on platter rough side down.
Frost the first layer with chocolate frosting, add a layer of marshmallow creme. Sprinkle a layer of crackers.


Remove the second layer of cake from the pan.
Place on top so the smooth side is facing up.
Frost the top of the cake and sprinkle the remaining crackers.



Apple Pear Tart ! A Simply Delicious Dessert!

Those of you who have been following Parmesan Princess know I’m on a mission to “up my baking game.” I feel like it will be an ongoing goal because I am slow to catch on to the baking patience, the annoyingly important precision of baking times and temps, not to mention the humidity in the air of which a baker has absolutely zero control.

With that said, those of you who know me well are probably saying, “OK, giving up control and requiring patience…Poor thing, I hope she sticks to cooking!”
True. Yes, but I am diving into a new world of fancy French pastry words because this impatient control freak also enjoys a good old fashioned challenge. Bring it on!!


I love the taste of pear and apple mixed together, smothered in layers of sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla, wrapped in a flaky sweet crust. Yummy! So technically we make a páte brisée and wrap it up galette -style. I know it sounds ridiculously complicated, but it’s not! What is páte brisée? Actually a really easy and perfectly flaky pastry crust, but a Pilsbury pie crust works just fine! And what is galette -style? Folding up the pastry crust on the sides and leaving the center open. The process is really not that complicated! Pie -ish. So I figured out an easy, totally doable tart recipe!! Here it is!

Apple Pear Tart

Pâté Brisée
Adapted from Jacques Pepín
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 stick unsalted butter, cold and sliced into 1/2 inch squares
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup ice water
Use Pilsbury refrigerated pie crust – let stand until room temperature.

2 apples, cored and sliced mixed with lemon juice to prevent browning
2 pears, cored and sliced mixed with lemon juice to prevent browning
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. Ground cinnamon
1/2 tbsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 cup whipped honey
2 tbsp. flour
1/3 cup white or light brown sugar
Egg white wash and
Sugar for sprinkling


If making the pâté brisée…
Add flour, butter, and salt to
a food processor.
Run for 5 seconds, the butter will still be in pieces.
Add ice water and run for 5 seconds just until dough forms. The butter will still be seen.
Roll dough in a ball.
Roll out into an oval 1/8 inch -1/4 inch thick .
Transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate 30 mins.

Roll out one Pilsbury Pie crust.


Preheat oven 400 degrees.

Meanwhile, add apples, pears, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, sugar and whipped honey, and flour. Mix to coat.


Fan out slices in the center of the pastry dough.
Create a fan pattern or a pattern of your preference.


Galette-Style : Fold up the dough 1 inch over the filling and pinch.
Continue folding and pinching until a crust is completely formed in a complete circle.


Brush with egg white wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake 40-50 minutes or until tart is golden brown and fruit is softened when pierced with a fork.

Top with mascarpone cheese, whipped cream, and/or a scoop of your favorite ice cream!



Chocolate Lava Cake: The Perfect Dessert For Your Valentine!!

Chocolate cake with a hot lava chocolate center…Maybe for 2? And it’s quick and easy to make? Yes!! Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate? Sign me up! This lava cake recipe is the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert!

The “lava cake” originates in the late 80’s when a chef in NYC took a sponge cake out of the oven too early. The result was the birth of the lava cake. A decadent chocolate cake with a runny center. The chocolate lava cake became extremely popular in exclusive high-end restaurants, and now is one of the most popular main stream restaurant desserts!


Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
(Makes 4-6 individual cakes)

1 4 oz. Ghirardelli Semisweet Chocolate bar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
1-1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp. Vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Grease and flour creme brûlée dishes.


Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler.



Add the flour and powdered sugar to the chocolate mixture.

Whisk the eggs and vanilla and stir until smooth.

Pour the batter into each dish 3/4


Bake for 12-15 minutes or until outside is set.

Use a knife to loosen the edges.

Drizzle with melted chocolate, hot fudge, ice cream and top with your favorite toppings!



Enjoy your Valentine and your Dessert!

Quick Salted Toffee! A Dessert Table Snack!

Do you ever need one more small side or snack to put out when company comes over? Like my Italian grandma, I always need one more dish! There is never enough food! Also the perfect homemade host/hostess gift, this toffee is delicious and can be tailored for any occasion! I added peanuts and a festive red and white peppermint topping.


You can easily add shaved almonds or even a marshmallow layer to make a s’mores version.


Here is a basic toffee recipe from Pinch of Yum!

And this is how I make toffee:

1 sleeve saltine crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup peanuts
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup unwrapped Hershey’s kisses
3 candy canes, crushed for festive topping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Layer a nonstick baking dish with saltine crackers.

Melt 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup butter in a pan. Let it rapidly boil for 3-5 minutes. After it thickens, pour it over the crackers.

Bake for 5 minutes.

Add little spoons of peanut butter.
Bake for 1 minute. Spread peanut butter with a spatula and cover with 1 cup peanuts.


Add 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup of Hershey’s kisses.
Bake for 1 minute. Spread chocolate with a spatula.

Top with 3 crushed candy canes.
Freeze for 1-2 hours.
Let it warm up and break apart!



10 Minute Holiday Banana Bread!


When your bananas get super ripe, don’t throw them away! They get soft and mushy which is the perfect consistency for whipping up a quick banana bread!

Feeling festive? So am I! Holiday spices take this holiday bread to the next level. Delicious for breakfast or dessert! Enjoy!


Holiday Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
(Makes 1 loaf)


1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Ground cloves
3 very ripe bananas
1/2 stick butter, softened
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and sift together until blended.


In another bowl, mash bananas with a potato masher or fork. Add butter, eggs, and sugar and mix well with a wooden spoon.


Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.


Add chocolate chips. (This is the point where you can add 1/2 cup of any other additions like nuts, raisins, etc.)

Grease and flour a loaf pan.


Pour batter into pan and hit it against your work table to even it out.


Bake 45-55 minutes until the bread is cooked through and passes the toothpick test.




Lemon Ricotta Cookies! Plus, A Few Unique Cookie Recipes From My Friends!

Pillows of ricotta cake with a lemony crunchy bite, these lemon ricotta cookies are a sweet change from our traditional sugar, chocolate, and peanut butter Christmas favorites!
Try something new this year!

Here are a few unique and fun cookie recipes from my friends!

Mexican Chocolate Crinkle Cookies by Susie at SimplySated

Pistachio Hot Fudge Cupcakes by Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Blog

Red Velvet Peppermint Thumprints by Shelby at Grumpy’s HoneyBunch

Sea Salt Nutella Thumprint Cookie by Alexis at Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

Lemon Ricotta Cookies
Makes approx. 3 dozen cookies

1 stick of unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 lemons – grate zest and squeezed for juice (2tbsp. For cookies 1tbsp. For glaze)

Lemon Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp. of lemon zest


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small mixing bowl, stir flour and baking powder together until well mixed.

In a large bowl or using your stand mixer, cream butter and sugar. Because there is more sugar than the usual butter/sugar ratio, the mixture will not get light and fluffy just a creamy look, still grainy.


Add the eggs one at a time, while continuing to mix on low /medium speed.

Add in ricotta, lemon zest and lemon juice, continue to mix on low 3-4 minutes. If you are not a fan, just leave out the zest.

Stir in dry ingredients with a wooden spoon and a dough will form.


Spoon dough 1-2 tbsp. Drops onto a parchment covered cookie sheet.


Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges turn a golden brown color.

Transfer to a cooling rack and cool before adding the glaze.

As the cookies are cooling, add lemon juice and zest a little bit at a time while whisking until a smooth glaze forms.

Spoon 1 tsp. of glaze onto each cooled cookie and let the icing harden for a few hours before packaging or freezing.


{Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis’ New Italian Favorites}

Try some new cookies this year! Surprise your family and friends!

Happy Baking!

Caramel Apple Crumb Cake! A Non-Pumpkin Addition To Your Thanksgiving Dessert Table!

Can a crumb cake be too crumbly? I guess you can add more or less depending on your mood! I love the golden brown almost toasted crumbs, so mine is very crumbly.
For a fall flavor, I added apples to this crumb cake (not pumpkin!) and topped with a drizzle of Hershey’s Caramel Topping! Add your favorite flavor to the basic crumb cake recipe.

You can add pears, plums, cranberries, etc. I have cooked down the fruit with spices first and then added it to the cake batter, but it tastes the same. The texture is more of a soft jellied apple if you cook it first. It is quicker and easier to skip this step.

An apple crumb cake is a great non-pumpkin addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table! Enjoy it with a cup of hot coffee and Pumpkin Spice creamer of course!


Caramel Apple Crumb Cake
(Makes 1- 9inch round cake)

1 cup of light brown sugar
2 cups flour
2 large eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sour cream
2 cups apples, peeled and chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Crumble Topping:
4 tbsp. Unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Hershey’s Caramel Topping



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9 inch round cake pan with Crisco and dust with flour.

Cream butter and brown sugar with mixer until light and fluffy.


Add eggs one at a time and beat.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and cinnamon.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on low.

Add sour cream and vanilla, mix well.

Fold in apples with a spatula.

Pour mixture into greased pan.

Mix crumble topping ingredients in a bowl until it starts to clump and look like heavy crumbs.

Sprinkle the topping over the cake batter.

Bake 35-45 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick test comes out clean.

Let it cool and drizzle Hershey’s caramel topping on top!