Category Archives: Celebrating

Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

July 4th, 2018

4th of July Strawberry Cake The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

Today we are going to be making a strawberry cake with  cream frosting for the Fourth of July! As always this recipe is not my own but is from the blog Elisabeth & Butter, she’s one of my favorite food bloggers to follow, and you can check out her blog and other summer recipes here. Okay now back to this delicious cake! 

Fourth of July is actually my favorite holiday, and to be honest I think it’s 50% due to the nautical color pallet and 50% due to the food. I love all the berries and food New England farmers are harvesting this time of year, and my Mom always taught us to embrace the flavors of the season. Anyway, for the upcoming holiday, we decided to go with a strawberry cake as that’s what’s in season at the moment, and I loved that this recipe incorporated fresh strawberries. 

Now here is what you’ll need to pull off this cake for your 4th of July shindigs

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Frosting for Summer The Coastal Confidence

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
Fourth of July Desserts Strawberry Cake The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

 

STRAWBERRY CAKE WITH STRAWBERRY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Homemade Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting for Fourth of July
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Cook Time
2 hr
Cook Time
2 hr
FOR THE CAKE
  1. 1 1/2 cups salted butter (3 sticks), softened to room temperature
  2. 2 1/4 cups sugar
  3. 4 egg whites, room temperature
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  6. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  8. 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  9. 1/2 cup strawberry puree
FOR THE STRAWBERRY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
  1. 2 sticks salted butter, softened to room temperature
  2. 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  3. 2 lbs confectioners sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1/2 cup ground freeze dried strawberries
FOR THE CAKE
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour three, 8″ cake pans.
  2. Grab your mixer with a paddle attachment, and cream the butter and sugar together for 2 minutes. Mix until the butter will be light and fluffy, and then add four egg whites and vanilla and beat for just 1 minute.
  3. In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and baking powder, put that to the side. Then grab a blender to puree one pint of fresh strawberries until smooth or until you have 1/2 cup. Next mix together the milk and strawberry puree into a liquid measuring cup.
  4. Next up, add about one third of the flour to the butter mixture and beat until incorporated, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then add about half of the milk/strawberry puree to the batter and beat until incorporated. Continue alternating the flour and milk, ending with the flour mixture and make sure to not overmix.
  5. Then pour the batter into the three greased pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let the pans cool for 10 minutes and then get them out of the pans and let sit until completely cooled.
  6. I cooled my cakes for about thirty minutes in the freezer but Elisabeth recommened wrapping your cakes in plastic wrap and freeze them for a few hours, overnight, or weeks in advance. She said, freezing your layers allows for easier assembly.
FOR THE STRAWBERRY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
  1. Now time to make the frosting, in a food processor grind up 1 cup of freeze dried strawberries until you have 1/2 cup of it ground. It took us two packages of freezed dried strawberries to get the 1/2 cup.
  2. Next In a mixing bowl, cream the softened butter and cream cheese on medium high speed for about 3 minutes, making it light and fluffy. Then add vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  3. Slowly add the confectioners sugar and freeze dried strawberries and then beat it on medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until light and creamy.
  4. If it’s too thick, just add 1 tablespoon heavy cream. Finally just frost your cake and enjoy!
Adapted from Elisabeth & Butter
The Coastal Confidence http://the-coastalconfidence.com/

All done! Overall this cake took us about two hours to make, but it was worth every minute. Now we’re going to wrap up this cake and bring it to our Fourth of July family picnic. I hope this video inspired you to step into the kitchen and make sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel if you want more quick tutorials like this! 

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5 Pizza Places to Visit in Connecticut

April 20th, 2018

5 Pizza Places to Visit in CT Aubrey Yandow The Coastal Confidence Pizza in Connecticut
5 Pizza Places to Visit in CT Aubrey Yandow The Coastal Confidence Pizza in Connecticut

I was inspired to create this post, last week when Matt and I were in Dallas. We were chatting with some friends and they wanted to know, besides seafood, what was the best dish to order in New England. Valid question right and  I quickly realized no one does pizza like New England, well besides Chicago, so I told her to give me a week and I’d report back with a whole list. 

Once I finalized my list, I decided I might as well share it with all of you and all I can say is, I miss New England pizza. Breakfast, lunch or dinner; pizza is always a valid food option for me and I hope this inspires you all to test out a few new places. Anyway, I’m just going to jump right into it!

I ranked the following 5 pizza places to visit in CT in order of how I’d visit them. I rated them based on 1) pizza crust thickness, 2) topping options, 3) ambiance & 4) quantity of parking/seating. 

Okay here we go:  

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana // New Haven, CT

During the summer of 2015, Matt was living and working in New York City, while I was living and working in Eastern Connecticut, which meant we got to see each other on weekends and holidays. So come Friday, we’d often meet to hang out at a halfway point, New Haven. Before that summer I never really spent much time in New Haven but grew to look forward to my Friday night drive to New Haven and the delicious Italian food that awaited me. Whenever I picked up Matt from the train station he was always beyond famished so we usually headed straight to Frank Pepe Pizzeria. This historic pizza place first opened it’s doors in 1925 and has been a New England staple ever since. 

  • 1) Pizza Crust Thickness – Thin crust baked to a slight crunch sliced up into thin servings, providing you with the perfect excuse to order more than one pizza pie per visit. 
  • 2) Topping Options – Pepe’s has every topping you’d ever hope for but if you want to try an innovative pizza, order the White Clam. The White Clam Pizza is just crust, olive oil, oregano, grated cheese, chopped garlic, and fresh littleneck clams basically a seafood lovers dream. 
  • 3) Ambiance With several locations scattered around Connecticut, and now Boston, I still always make the hour drive down to the original pizzeria in New Haven. Having first opened in 1925, there is something special about eating the pizza at this quaint location while squeezing into the modest wooden booths. 
  • 4) Parking/Seating – Limited parking & seating. Street parking is available as well. 

Pizzeria Sassano // Glastonbury, CT

Oh, gosh, I’m ready for the raft that will be my Mom when she finds out I let this top secret pizzeria go live. This is her FAVORITE spot to grab pizza, and I’d even go as far as to say it’s the best representation of what Italian pizza actually tastes, looks and smells like. It’s on the more expensive side of pizzerias BUT this is the REAL DEAL. Bon Appétit

  • 1) Pizza Crust Thickness – This pizza is as fresh as it can get. From the doughy and deliciously chewy crust to the hand peeled tomato-based sauce, this pizza takes the cake for having the freshest ingredients. 
  • 2) Topping Options –  Rich Italian toppings are available for your pizza order. We strongly suggest taste testing either the sausage or meatball pie, both are seasoned to perfection and capture the essence of Italian meat. 
  • 3) Ambiance  – To be honest, I usually call in an order and take it to go, since I pass the restaurant quite often on my way to Route 2. However, if you preferring dining in, the ambiance is quaint and BYOB! 
  • 4) Parking/Seating – TONS of parking & limited seating, however, I’ve never had to wait. 

Hope Pizza Restaurant // Stamford, CT 

I’m a sucker for Greek style pizza, to be honest, it’s actually my favorite food to order out on the weekends. Close your eyes and imagine doughy thick crust, garlic infused tomato sauce, with the heaviest serving of golden and crispy cheese that brings the whole pizza together, on top. I mean pair it with a Coca-Cola and I’m in heaven, but Greek pizza isn’t for everyone as it’s the heaviest of pizza options and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Anyway, if you love Greek pizza check out this place: 

  • 1) Pizza Crust Thickness – Thick, borderline deep dish, with generous square, cut slices.
  • 2) Topping Options – Whenever I eat Greek style pizza I can’t help put to order a vegetable pizza. There is something so delicious about a heavy dosing of cheesy bread and grilled vegetables. And for Matt, we always order the classy gooey cheese pizza.
  • 3) Ambiance  – Very casual ambiance, I often like to order take out from Hope Pizza Restaurant. I think Greek pizza is best enjoyed at home, outside, with a Coca-Cola in hand amongst friends. 
  • 4) Parking/Seating – TONS of parking & seating, which is key.


First & Last Tavern // Hartford & Middletown Locations Are My Favorite

First and Last will always have a special place in my heart because it is where Matt and I use to go on double dates in high school. To be exact we would always meet other couples at First and Last for a pizza and movie Friday Night Combo. So many good memories, at the Middletown location. But before Matt and I, my Dad use to take my siblings and I to the first in last location in Hartford on the weekends. We’d go visit my cousins in Wethersfield, pile in the car and head to get pizza. I use to love that you could watch the chef’s cook the pizza from start to finish at this location, and I still love to visit it with my dad and family today. 

  • 1) Pizza Crust Thickness – Thin crust with widely cut slices, makes this pizzeria the best place to visit with a large group of people. The pizzas are big and meant to be enjoyed with family and friends, so order a few pies, sit back and enjoy your night. 
  • 2) Topping Options – By far some of the best toppings around! I usually pile it high with sausage, mushrooms, and spinach. Oh and sometimes I ask for extra cheese, don’t tell Matt. 
  • 3) Ambiance  – Matt and I always go to First & Last Tavern for date night so I’d say the ambiance is cozy, but still high end. Basically come as you are, whether you are all decked out for a show at The Bushnell or just stopping in for a pizza while running errands, First & Last Tavern is fit for every occasion. 
  • 4) Parking/Seating – Limited parking & seating, expect a wait but it will be well worth it. 

Alforno // Old Saybrook, CT

    • 1) Pizza Crust Thickness – The pizza crusts, while on the thinner side are equally chewy and crispy from having baked in the 600-plus temperature of the custom-built brick oven, Alforno is known for crispy crust with a delicious taste. 
    • 2) Topping Options – Alforno does have amazing pizza topping options, but I was equally impressed with the amount of non-pizza menu options to choose from. From high-end meat dishes to stocks, sauces and fresh pasta, including ravioli, being made in-house; Alforno is a restaurant for lovers of all Italian food, not just pizza. 
    • 3) Ambiance  – With a relaxed and casual ambiance this restaurant would be perfect for a date night or a quick catch up with old friends. Just make sure to bring your appetite with you. 
    • 4) Parking/Seating – TONS of parking & seating, which is key.

Okay & that’s all I got for you guys. 

 Let me know your thoughts and I’d love to hear which pizza places in CT is your favorite. xx Aubrey

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Strawberry Stuffed Heart Cupcakes

February 6th, 2018

Strawberry Stuffed Heart Cupcakes-5125

We are officially one week away from Valentine’s Day guys, and I honestly can’t wait. I know a lot of people have a rocky relationship with this feeling-themed holiday, but I just love every moment of it! Personally, I use it as a reminder to simply appreciate the people I love in my life. Now Matt is great and all but I think Valentine’s Day extends past romantic relationships, for instance, I always try to text my best friends a sweet message or mail my Mom a card.

I have so many friends that will try to give me the good ole fashion budget excuse, but guys, ANY gest count no matter the budget. So whether that means you’re doing something as simple as picking up there go-to Starbucks drink or baking them a strawberry stuffed cupcake; Valentine’s Day is a reminder to give a little love not spend a lot of money. 

Anway, I’ll admit I’m on a really tight budget this year, due to travel plans, so I told Matt that instead of purchasing him a present I would bake him up something delicious. Now Matt’s favorite foods are as followed: chocolate, strawberries, and cake. Lucky for me these ingredients are pretty easy to throw together and bake up. So yesterday I called up Tessa our TCC videographer and begged her to stop by to film this quick recipe in exchange for a cupcake or two. Being the savor that she is, she agreed to drop everything and to help me shoot this video, and give these cupcakes a test run before the official day. 

Strawberry Stuffed Heart Cupcakes-5108
Strawberry Stuffed Heart Cupcakes-5175
Strawberry Stuffed Heart Cupcakes-5336
Strawberry Stuffed Heart Cupcakes-5231
Strawberry Stuffed Heart Cupcakes-5220

Full disclosure here I’m in no way a skilled baker, in fact, I had serious concerns and self-doubts when it came to whipping up the homemade frosting. Surprisingly though, this WHOLE recipe was effortless. The cupcakes baked really well and almost had a muffin like consistency, making inserting the strawberries in the middle non-disastrous. I mean when I first saw the images of strawberry stuffed cupcakes online, I thought there was noooooo way I could pull it off but, I think they came out not too shabby if I do say so myself. 

Overall I hope this video and recipe inspires you all to get creative with your budget this year. I often find that as I get older, I spend less money on holiday purchases and more time creating things or in this case food that makes my loved ones smile. Now I’d love to hear from you guys, what exactly are you planning on doing this Valentine’s Day? Leave a comment down below and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for more behind the scenes footage. 

Strawberry Stuffed Heart Cupcakes
Yields 6
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Total Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the Cupcake
  1. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1/2 cup strawberry-flavored milk, at room temperature
  6. 6 strawberries, hulled
For the frosting and topping
  1. 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  2. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  4. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  5. 3 strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise
For the cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  2. Beat the butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low; beat in the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the strawberry milk, beginning and ending with flour, until just combined.
  3. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan, then remove to a rack to cool completely.
  4. Using a paring knife, cut a cone-shaped piece of cake out of the top of each cupcake (about the same size as the strawberries), stopping about 1/2 inch from the bottom. Stuff with the strawberries, then cover with a small piece of the removed cake.
Make the frosting
  1. Sift the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder into a medium bowl. Transfer half of the sugar-cocoa mixture to a large bowl; add the butter and 1/4 cup cream and beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth.
  2. Add the remaining sugar-cocoa mixture and 1/4 cup cream and beat until fluffy. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe onto the cupcakes. Top each with a strawberry half.
The Coastal Confidence http://the-coastalconfidence.com/

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Quick & Easy Holiday Appetizers with Willow Tree

December 15th, 2017

 Easy Holiday Appetizers  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

SHOP WILLOW TREE PREMIUM CHICKEN DIPS HERE


 I am pretty steadfast when it comes to hosting friends and family, during the holiday season. Whether we are gathering around the TV for a Christmas movie or around a massive pile of presents for our annual Yankee swaps, no party is complete without good tidings and most importantly food. This is where the hostess comes in, am I right?

Now, as I stated earlier hosting friends and family is really one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. I love seeing friendly faces walk through our front door and I yearn to eagerly settle in amongst my guests and chit chat the night away; but hostessing duties always come first, which is why I live by creating quick and easy holiday appetizers. 

I know some of you guys will want to get fancy up front, and wow your guests, but save the trills and frills for the ice cream bar, and focus on creating food that is easy to walk around with and an overall crowd pleaser. Whenever I’m contemplating my appetizers, I always reach for Willow Tree Chicken Dips; because they are filled to the brim with flavor and can easily transform an everyday appetizer into something more unique. Not to mention, I love supporting local New England businesses and not only is the Willow Tree brand located out of Massachusets, but they’ve also been operated and owned by the same family for over 60+ years!  

 Easy Holiday Appetizers  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
 Easy Holiday Appetizers  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
 Easy Holiday Appetizers  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
 Easy Holiday Appetizers  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
 Easy Holiday Appetizers  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Today, I’m sharing my go-to holiday appetizers with you all that will save you time, by getting you out of the kitchen and into the party. These recipes are a yearly staple at my house around the holidays, especially on Christmas Eve. If you are a New Englander then you already know that the Patriots play each year on Christmas Eve, and while Matt and his family attend the game, my family and I have our own special tradition. We usually curl up by the fire, appetizers in hand, and Christmas jammies on to watch the Patriots, ‘Do Their Job’, before heading out for Christmas Eve festivities. 

It’s usually quite chilly outside by this time of year, so my Mom and I aim to recreate my siblings’ favorite comfort food to munch on while watching the big game. It’s really important for me to spend as much time as possible with my family since I don’t get to see them that often, and that is where Willow Tree comes in. Both of the recipes below take under forty minutes to create and are easy enough for an amateur chef like me to whip up. 

First off, get a kick in your holiday taste buds with this Jalapeno Willow Tree Buffalo Chicken Dip Mac and Cheese. This recipe is for the comfort food lovers and is an easy treat for your guests to grab and go. Also, it’s basically impossible to watch a football game without incorporating Willow Tree Buffalo Chicken Dip into the mix, it’s such a classic tailgate dish.

Next up, my Mom and I usually toast some ciabatta bread and make Willow Tree Chicken Caesar Dip Bruschetta This is the perfect treat for your non-mac-and-cheese lovers, aka my brother, and also a healthier option for those looking to eat just a light snack before a massive Christmas Eve dinner. Personally, I prefer two massive Christmas Eve dinners, so I usually eat a serving of both appetizers and get some cardio in while wrapping presents later that evening. 

 Easy Holiday Appetizers  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
 Easy Holiday Appetizers  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Jalapeño Willow Tree Buffalo Chicken Dip Mac and Cheese
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Ingredients
  1. - 4 tbsp butter
  2. - 1/4 cup flour
  3. - 2 & 1/2 cups whole milk
  4. - 1 brick of cheddar cheese (8 oz.)
  5. - 1 brick of gruyère cheese (8 oz.)
  6. - salt and pepper to taste
  7. - 1 lb pounds of elbow macaroni
  8. - 1 & 1/2 tubs of Willow Tree Buffalo Chicken Dip
  9. - breadcrumbs for topping
  10. - jalapeño if desired
Instructions
  1. First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and boil the elbow macaroni pasta on the stove as directed. While that is boiling melt your butter in a saucepan, and once melted add flour and whisk together for three minutes over medium heat. Next, add your two and a half cups of whole milk and whisk until the mixture becomes thick.
  2. Now for the good part, adding in the cheese! Grate the two bricks of cheese and add it to the saucepan mixture until the cheese is fully melted. Next, add your one and a half tubs of Willow Tree Buffalo Chicken Dip into the mixture and let melt. Make sure to taste test and add salt and pepper to your liking.
  3. Finally, drain your pasta and add the cheese mixture to the plain pasta. Use some elbow grease and mix together well, if desired add a chopped up jalapeño to give the mac and cheese an extra kick.
  4. Put the mac and cheese into a baking dish, top with breadcrumbs and slide into the oven for half an hour. Serve in individual dishes or cups to make it easy for your holiday guests to grab and go!
The Coastal Confidence http://the-coastalconfidence.com/

 

 Easy Holiday Appetizers  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
 Easy Holiday Appetizers  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
 Easy Holiday Appetizers  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
 Easy Holiday Appetizers  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Willow Tree Chicken Caesar Bruschetta
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Ingredients
  1. - 1 loaf of ciabatta bread
  2. - 1 tub of Willow Tree Chicken Caesar Dip
  3. - an assortment of olives
  4. - 1 bag of Romane lettuce
  5. - 2 garlic cloves
  6. - olive oil on hand
  7. - salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. First, slice the ciabatta bread and lightly brush with olive oil on each side. Over low heat, grill the sliced bread on top a grill pan until each side is toasted. Once toasted to your liking, remove from grill pan and carefully rub each side, with a garlic clove for seasoning.
  2. Lay out the sliced and grilled bread on a cheese board and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Next, place a piece of romaine lettuce and a small scoop of Willow Tree's Caesar Premium White Meat Dip onto the bread. Finally add as many toppings as your heart desires! You can add sliced olives, pickles, pomegranates seeds and even a think slice parmesan cheese.
The Coastal Confidence http://the-coastalconfidence.com/

 Both of these appetizers are unique and delish on their own, and if you are left with any leftover Willow Tree Chicken Dip in your fridge, I always put that out as a third option with pita crackers and chips. Okay, now that I’ve let you all in on my own Christmas Eve family traditions I’d love to hear some of yours in the comment section below. xx Aubrey 

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Thank you to Willow Tree Farms for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

 

Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter’s

December 4th, 2017

Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

 

Graeter’s was even kind enough to offer TCC readers $5 off Ice Cream purchased before December 13th with code Coastal-Sweets.


Tis the season to throw dieting to the wind and indulge in your favorite tastes and sweets of the season. While candy canes and gingerbread men might be the typical go-to holiday items for your Christmas party, I prefer treating guests to a festive holiday ice cream bar for all to remember. Whenever I start preparing for my annual holiday ice cream bar, I always go out in search of my favorite ice cream brand, Graeter’s. I honestly can’t get enough of this family-owned ice cream brand, and if you haven’t heard of them before you might recognize their beautiful packaging from your recent trip to the grocery store.  

This brand stole my heart not only by incorporating vast holiday flavor options to their lineup, like peppermintmadagascar vanilla bean and cinnamon, but for remaining true to the old-fashioned French Pot Process of making ice cream. Overall Graeter’s is the essential item in putting that extra jingle jangle into your holiday ice cream bar. So when I saw that their handcrafted holiday flavors were already available for purchase, I figured, why not share some Christmas cheer, with a sneak peek into what I have planned for this year’s holiday ice cream bar. 

 

 

Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

I always recommend setting up your ice cream bar on an easy to clean surface, as things can get messy quickly. This year, I pulled out a wooden cutting board and some snowy pinecone garland to set the tone and create a festive space for my cousins to gather and get creative. Most importantly, make your ice cream bar a place for guests to stage their creations and snap a quick photo or two.  I had a hard time this year sticking to just three flavors for my holiday ice cream bar but in the end, I went with peppermintcinnamon and salted caramel chocolate chip for the party, and purchased a few extra flavors for myself. But if you’re utterly indecisive like Matt, and are having trouble selecting flavors Graeter’s has a holiday deluxe gift pack which includes both classic and festive flavors, to give your tastes buds a sample of everything.   Once the ice cream is squared away in the freezer, let’s turn our attention over to the toppings. This year I went with the classic holiday aesthetic of silver and gold edible glitter. Once I stocked up on glitter, I decided to get creative with additional toppings like gingerbread cookiessugar toppers and for the extra touch these peppermint spoonsHoliday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

 

 

ln the end, I ended up creating three uniquely satisfying holidays sundaes. I’ve shared the details below: 

  + Seven Levels of the Candy Cane Forest – includes three scoops of peppermint ice cream, layered with jumbo red nonpareil sprinkles, a peppermint topped cookie with smashed peppermint sticks and a heavy dusting of gold glitter.  


 Visions of Cinnamon Buns –  includes three scoops of cinnamon ice cream, layered with chocolate carvings, red nonpareil sprinkles, a cinnamon stick and a hefty dusting of silver glitter to boot. To be honest, though, this sundae is paired best with warm apple pie. 


 

Salty & Sweet –  includes three scoops of salted caramel chocolate chip ice cream, layered with chocolate carvings and or chocolate syrup, a coating of silver and gold edible glitter and to top it all off crumble layers of gingerbread wafer cookies for extra texture.


 

Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
    All and all, being a hostess can be hard, and sometimes stressful BUT it’s important to have fun, play with flavors and embrace the spirit of this upcoming holiday season. With that being said, whether you’re planning a holiday party for work, family or friends save yourself a trip to the store and order these items via online.    If you are anything like me, I avoid grocery stores like nobody else this time of year, and yet I end up fighting for a parking space once to twice a day leading up Christmas Eve. So I saved myself one trip by ordering all of these items from the Graeter website, minus the toppings which came from Amazon. Once everything arrived at my door I had everything prepared and ready to go within 15 minutes; making this the easiest and most festive holiday dessert bar in town. 

Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's  | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Holiday Ice Cream Bar with Graeter's | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

  Finally, I hope this has inspired you all to get creative this holiday season. Embrace the flavors, your company and the greatest gift of all…GOOD ICE CREAM! Graeter’s was even kind enough to offer TCC readers $5 off Ice Cream purchased before December 13th with code Coastal-Sweets. xx Aubrey   

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Thank you to Graeter’s for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

OOEY GOOEY S’MORES BARS

November 10th, 2017

S’MORES BARS-28

 Recipe & Photos by: Jamie, from Treats & Trends

November is my favorite time to bundle up in layers and head outside to roast some s’mores with my youngest sister Tessa. In fact, we did exactly that this past weekend! We pulled on our holiday socks and spent over three hours outside in freezing November air, which you can see in this blog post here. However recently it’s gotten a little too cold to cozy up by the fire, so I was delighted when Jamie suggested a recipe to bring the s’mores indoors.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but can we all agree that s’mores are a timeless dessert treat. There is something so simple yet decadent about this ooey-gooey dessert. While some people might reserve s’mores for summertime and bonfires, I was pleased when Jamie from Treats and Trends brought the recipe inside. I knew I had to share this with you all and make sure to follow her on Instagram, she has some really exciting holiday baking content coming soon!

 

S’MORES BARS-5
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Okay, now let’s get to the recipe! Jamie is here to take it away with a few tips: 

 This s’mores bars recipe is really simple and doesn’t call for too many ingredients. The most important tip when baking these s’mores bars is to not overbake them! Once the top starts to look golden and somewhat set, remove them ASAP! They are meant to be ooey and gooey, not dry and crumbly. Also, as tempting as it is to eat them right out of the oven, let them cool before serving. It’s easier to cut and less messy. You can let them harden at room temperature for a few hours (or even overnight) before serving. Enjoy :)! 

S’MORES BARS
Serves 12
The next best thing to s'mores by the fire! These dessert bars are made with a graham cracker crust that is topped with chocolate bars and marshmallow creme.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  4. 1 large egg room temperature
  5. 1 tsp. vanilla
  6. 1 1/4 cups flour
  7. 1 tsp. baking powder
  8. 1/4 tsp. salt
  9. 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  10. 2 giant milk chocolate bars (7 oz. each) I used Hershey's
  11. 1 jar marshmallow creme (7 oz.)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9" x 9" baking pan with parchment paper, then set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, mixing until combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is evenly distributed.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture and mix on medium-low until combined, then stir in the graham cracker crumbs.
  4. To assemble, press 2/3 of the dough into the prepared pan. Place chocolate bars on top, then create an even layer of marshmallow creme. With the remaining dough, use your hands to create thin, flat disks. place on top of the marshmallow layer until it's completely covered. You could also roll out this dough into one sheet on a non-stick surface, then place it on top. Whatever you find to be easiest!
  5. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until top is golden brown. Let cool before serving. The more time it has to harden, the less messy it will be when they are cut into bars.
The Coastal Confidence http://the-coastalconfidence.com/

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Five ways to eat the apples you picked this fall!

October 25th, 2017
Five ways to eat the apples you picked this fall-5325
 
Everyone can agree that once October hits, you’ll see New Englander after New Englander tying up their L.L Bean Duck Boots to head out to one of our many plentiful apple orchards. To be honest, it’s by far my favorite way to celebrate fall, and let’s all admit publishing an apple orchard Instagram is a way of passage when it comes to celebrating fall. 
 
I think we all have such lovely memories around this time of year, and since my family works with farmers often, I love getting the chance to support and explore the local orchards. Oh, and if you’re stumped on where to apple picking this fall, check out this post where I list my favorite orchards to visit. 
 
Anyway, really it’s all fun and games until I’m left with adorable pictures along with baskets of apple and nothing to do with them. I use to just hand them out or even better feed them to any horse I could find, but as of this year, I’ve gotten more eager to test out my skills in the kitchen. Five ways to eat the apples you picked this fall-5325
Five ways to eat the apples you picked this fall-5325
Five ways to eat the apples you picked this fall-5325
 
Today, I’m sharing five ways to eat the apples you pick this fall. I’ll admit this post took me out of my comfort zone and awhile to throw together, so I really hope this inspires you to try something new. In order to keep this post from getting too lengthy, I’m just going to jump right in and my favorite ways to embrace this crisp fall fruit. 
 
 
five ways to eat the apples you pick this fall.
 
1) Apple turnovers
 
Apple Turnovers
Bring the smells and tastes of autumn into your home, with these fluffy apple turnovers.
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Total Time
45 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 apples
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 2 tablespoon butter
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 sheet puff pastry
Instructions
  1. Let's start by preheating the oven to to 400ºF.
  2. Okay, cut the apples into slices and cut each slice into quarters. Next, place the apples, cinnamon, butter, and sugar in a pot and simmer until the apples are soft and caramelized, about 15 minutes.
  3. Now that you're house smells autumnal, let's get the puff pastry read by cut the them into squares and lightly placing them on parchment paper. Next, dab the edge of the puff pastry with the egg wash.
  4. Now for the fun part, fill the middle of the puff pastry and fold over. Use a fork or spoon to seal the pastry and give it a light coat with egg wash. Before popping the turnovers in the oven make a thin slice on top of the pastry.
  5. Finally bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown, Enjoy!
The Coastal Confidence http://the-coastalconfidence.com/
 
 
2) Apple, Celery and Onion Stuffing:
 
 
Apple, Celery and Onion Stuffing
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Total Time
50 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 stick butter, divided
  2. 5 to 6 ribs celery from the heart, about 2 cups, chopped
  3. 1 large onion, chopped
  4. 2 large crisp apples, such as Pink Lady, Honeycrisp or Macoun, left unpeeled and diced
  5. 2 large fresh bay leaves
  6. 1/2 cup loosely packed herbs such as fresh parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, finely chopped
  7. Salt and pepper
  8. 6 cups homemade croutons of stale bread or 1 bag stuffing cubes, sage and onion or traditional Pepperidge Farm brand
  9. 1 tablespoon Bell’s ground poultry seasoning
  10. 1 quart chicken or turkey stock
Instructions
  1. To start let's preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Next, melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter foams, add the celery, onion, apples, bay, herbs, salt and pepper, and cook to soften 10-12 minutes.
  3. Next, add cubed bread, season with Bell’s and moisten with stock; stir to absorb. Butter a casserole dish with 1/2 tablespoon of the remaining butter and fill pan with stuffing. Use the rest of the butter to dot top.
  4. Now it's time to put the stuffing in the oven, let's roast the stuffing 30-40 minutes until crispy at the edges. Enjoy on a damp New England fall night.
Adapted from Rachael Ray
Adapted from Rachael Ray
The Coastal Confidence http://the-coastalconfidence.com/
3)  APPLE CRANBERRY MUFFINS RECIPE:
 
Apple Cranberry Muffins
Serves 18
Fall is the perfect time to have friends and family visit from all over. As soon as the suitcases arrive, I have a plate of these apple cranberry muffins warm and ready.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 3/4 cup sugar
  3. 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  7. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  9. 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  10. 2 eggs
  11. 1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) reduced-fat sour cream
  12. 1/4 cup butter, melted
  13. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  14. 1 cup chopped peeled tart apple
  15. 1 cup dried cranberries
TOPPING
  1. 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  2. 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  3. 2 tablespoons cold butter
Instructions
  1. Let's start by grabbing a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sour cream, butter and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Next simply, fold in apple and cranberries.
  2. Next, line your muffin tin with paper liners and fill each muffin two-thirds full with batter.
  3. For the topping, combine brown sugar and flour. Make sure to cut in butter until mixture resembles hard crumbs, then simply sprinkle the topping over the batter filled muffin tins.
  4. Now pop it in the oven and bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes. Let those hot muffins, cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks and let guests enjoy.
The Coastal Confidence http://the-coastalconfidence.com/
 
Five ways to eat the apples you picked this fall-5325
Five ways to eat the apples you picked this fall-5325
 
4) Apple Fritters:
Apple Fritters
Serves 30
My mother and I are huge fans of Ree Drummond, so when I turned on her show the other day to see these apple fritters, I knew I had to give it a go.
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Total Time
35 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  2. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  4. 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  6. 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 3/4 cup whole milk
  9. 2 tablespoons melted butter
  10. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  11. 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into small dice
  12. Powdered sugar, for dusting, optional
Instructions
  1. Heat a couple of inches of vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat until the oil registers 340 degrees F.
  2. Now let's start baking, in a mixing bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with a fork, then add the milk, melted butter and vanilla.
  4. Next, Gently fold the dry and wet ingredients together until just combined (she stressed NOT to over-mix). Fold in the apples, adding enough to make a very chunky batter.
  5. Now that the mixture is done, it's time to fry these fritters. Drop a heaping tablespoons of batter into the hot oil, 6 to 8 at a time. Fry until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes.
  6. Finally remove and drain on paper towels. Dust generously with powdered sugar and serve warm with hot apple cider, on a crisp fall morning.
Adapted from Ree Drummond
Adapted from Ree Drummond
The Coastal Confidence http://the-coastalconfidence.com/
 5) Mom’s Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp: 
Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp
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Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 pounds McIntosh apples
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar (decrease sugar if apples are sweet)
  3. 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  4. 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
TOPPING
  1. 1 heaping tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  2. 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  3. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 1 cup oatmeal
  5. 1/2 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
Instructions
  1. To start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Next up, butter a 9 by 14 by 2-inch baking dish, so your apples don't stick to the bottom of the dish.
  2. Peel, core, and cut the apples into large wedges. Combine the apples with the juices, sugar, and spices and pour directly into the dish.
  3. Next, to make the topping, combine the brown sugar and ground cinnamon until well mixed. Once mixed sprinkle the mixture evenly on top of the dish before sticking it straight into the oven for one hour.
  4. Once you see the top is brown and the apples are bubbly, pull the dish out of the oven. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to guests and neighbors.
The Coastal Confidence http://the-coastalconfidence.com/

 

Whether you have out-of-state friend’s visiting your charming New England town and want to bake up a treat or just want to bring the scents of autumn into your cozy home; I hope these recipes inspire you to put those apples you picked to work.

I’d love to hear what your favorite apple themed treats and make sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel here, we have a lot of exciting holiday videos coming soon. xx Aubrey 

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PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH BROWN BUTTER BUTTERCREAM

September 25th, 2017

PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH BROWN BUTTER BUTTERCREAM-6

 Recipe & Photos by: Jamie, from Treats & Trends

Last week, marked the official start of autumn, and I wanted to share a little seasonal inspiration with you all, in food form! Like most people, fall is Matt and I’s favorite time of year. I especially like embracing fall’s seasonal scents while Matt’s obsession with fall comes from, well do I even have to say it,…football. 

This weekend we had an equal share of both. I was busy in the kitchen making these cupcakes, which…I must say I had to resist eating the frosting straight out of the piping bag. So while I was baking Matt was busy taking in one football game after another.

Oh, and if you follow us on Instagram, then you also know we also visited two pumpkin patches in the search of mums! & let’s just say our trip was a success, not only does our home smell like warm pumpkin cupcakes but it’s filled with mums to pull the whole aesthetic together. 

PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH BROWN BUTTER BUTTERCREAM-

PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH BROWN BUTTER BUTTERCREAM-19
PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH BROWN BUTTER BUTTERCREAM-20

Each fall I can remember my mother going the extra mile to embrace this season. From hay bales being purchased for exterior decor to mystic pumpkins being placed in each window, fall was truly a time to embrace the home. From cozy decor to scents flowing out of the oven and into the home; fall is linked with some of my fondest Connecticut memories. 

I can remember walking into the home after being in the brisk autumn air to scents of spices and pumpkin; ugh it just makes me feel so cozy inside. 

So when I saw this recipe on Jamie’s blog, Treats by Trends, I knew I had to share it with you all. & after backing these myself over the weekend, I’m so happy I did. I know you guys will love it and PLEASE tag Jamie and I if you decide to recreate these delicious treats. 

PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH BROWN BUTTER BUTTERCREAM-9

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PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH BROWN BUTTER BUTTERCREAM-12

Okay, now let’s get to the recipe! Jamie is here to take it away: 

Fall is my favorite season for baking! Is there anything better than the smell of pumpkin coming from the oven while you cozy up on the couch and watch football?! To get into the fall spirit (even though it’s still 85 degrees here in Florida) I recently made some pumpkin cupcakes with brown butter buttercream. The cupcakes are flavorful and moist while the buttercream adds a nutty, caramely taste. Browning butter is really easy and it complements these cupcakes perfectly!

Enjoy :)

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Brown Butter Buttercream
Serves 15
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Ingredients
  1. For the cupcakes
  2. 1 3/4 cups flour
  3. 1 tsp. baking powder
  4. 1 tsp. baking soda
  5. 1/2 tsp. salt
  6. 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  7. 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  8. 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  9. 2 large eggs room temperature
  10. 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  11. 1/2 cup canola oil
  12. 1/3 cup milk
  13. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  14. For the buttercream
  15. 1/2 cup unsalted butter for browning
  16. 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  17. 1 oz. cream cheese room temperature
  18. 2 Tbsp. heay cream or milk
  19. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  20. 1/4 tsp. salt
  21. 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. For the cupcakes
  2. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dark brown sugar and eggs until combined. Add pumpkin, canola oil, milk and vanilla, then whisk until smooth. Add to flour mixture and stir until combined without over mixing.
  5. Spoon batter into cupcake liners, filling about 1/2 way full. You will have some batter left over, so make another batch with what remains (about 3 cupcakes or 10 mini cupcakes). Bake for 15 – 17 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  6. For the buttercream
  7. Using a light-colored skillet or saucepan, melt 1 stick of butter over medium-low heat. Use a rubber spatula to stir the butter around as it melts and begins to bubble. Once it starts bubbling, increase heat to medium and continue stirring until you see brown flecks and it starts to foam. Once the butter has a nutty aroma and is a golden yellow color, remove from heat. Transfer to a heat-proof freezer-safe bowl. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then transfer to freezer or fridge to solidify. This will take about 20 minutes in the freezer and longer in the fridge. Make sure it isn't runny or frozen, then place into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  8. Add the other stick of room temperature butter to the mixing bowl and beat on high until smooth, about 1 – 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, heavy cream and vanilla extract, then mix on low until combined. Gradually add the powdered sugar while the mixer is on low. Once it is fully incorporated turn the speed up to medium-high and mix for an additional 3 – 5 minutes until smooth and fluffy.
  9. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with your favorite decorating tip to frost. Enjoy!
The Coastal Confidence http://the-coastalconfidence.com/

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Coffee Popsicles with Chocolate Drizzle

August 28th, 2017

Coffee Popsicals-19

 Recipe & Photos by: Jamie, from Treats & Trends

Matt & I have officially landed back in the USA, after spending over eight days in Ireland, and we’re ready to tackle this week. However, I’m the first to admit that I’m really not that great at managing jet lag.

You might have already noticed, as today’s post is going live at 5 PM instead of 5 AM (oops). Generally, I need a solid eight hours of GOOD sleep (not plane sleep), anything less and I seem to become way more susceptible to feeling groggy, stressed, and overall anxious. 

So to better manage my jet-lag coming back from Europe, especially as Matt and I have a fully loaded week planned, I’ve embraced one of my favorite thing…coffee! Coffee Popsicals-11

Coffee Popsicles with Chocolate Drizzle | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Coffee Popsicles with Chocolate Drizzle | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Drinking caffeinated coffee helped me manage my jet-lag on the way back and prevented me from falling asleep at 2:00 PM on a Monday. So when I was scrolling through Jamie’s blog, fTreats and Trends, and saw she shared her go-to iced coffee popsicles, I knew I had to share it with you all. 

Jamie is so talented and I love showcasing her work on this platform and with you all. Everything she creates is relatively simple to recreate…well simple enough for me to personally whip up, I should say.

Overall she truly has a knack for embracing the bests ingredients, coffee, ice cream and chocolate, YUM! Oh, and do you remember her Samoas themed cake post, like I said this gal has a knack for ingredients!? 

Jamie is a girl from my own heart, and I hope you enjoy this refreshing recipe! xx Aubrey Coffee Popsicles with Chocolate Drizzle | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Coffee Popsicles with Chocolate Drizzle | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Coffee Popsicles with Chocolate Drizzle | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Coffee Popsicles with Chocolate Drizzle
Serves 10
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INGREDIENTS
  1. 30 oz. your favorite iced coffee see note below
  2. 5 oz. dark chocolate melting wafers melted
  3. 1/4 cup crushed hazelnuts
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Pour iced coffee into popsicle mold. The mold I use has a cover with spots for the popsicle sticks. If yours doesn't, freeze the popsicles for about 30 minutes, then add popsicle sticks so that they will stay in place.
  2. When the popsicles are completely frozen, place a baking sheet in the freezer for about 10 minutes, then remove and cover with parchment paper. Remove and place popsicles onto prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with melted dark chocolate (I found that it's easiest to transfer the melted chocolate to a piping bag, and cut a small hole at the tip). Sprinkle with hazelnuts. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. I used this caramel iced coffee, which was already mixed with milk, heavy cream, cane sugar and natural flavor. If you are using home brewed coffee make sure to flavor it to your liking before pouring into popsicle mold.
The Coastal Confidence http://the-coastalconfidence.com/

P.S – Everyone give Jamie an EAST COAST WELCOME! She recently moved to Florida and I’m so excited to see how she captures east coast living. 

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SAMOAS-INSPIRED LAYER CAKE

July 26th, 2017

Samoas Inspired Layer Cake | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

 Recipe & Photos by: Jamie, from Treats & Trends

Believe it or not, this week marks the end of July and also my dad’s birthday. I really wanted to find something special to whip up, so I contacted my friend, Jamie, from Treats and Trends, & asked for her most decadent cake recipe on file. 

& then she sent me a link to this cake, and the rest is history. 

Okay, I know I’m not the only one here, who stocks up on enough Girl Scout cookies for the plague. Here’s a true story, when my sister was in Girl Scouts my mom use to buy boxes, like the boxes that have 12 packages of Girl Scout cookies inside.

Most the boxes were filled with Thin Mints but she would always buy a half box of the world’s deadliest cookie, aka The Samoa, just for me. Samoas Inspired Layer Cake | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Samoas Inspired Layer Cake | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Samoas Inspired Layer Cake | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

So I strongly insisted on sharing Jamie’s AMAZING Samoa recipe, in July’s guest recipe series.

 Not only does this cake look trendy enough for every social media platform it also includes some of my favorite ingredients, to put it simply, chocolate and coconut. & if these images don’t sell you on warming up the oven and pulling up your sleeves, then Jamie will! 

Jamie: This Samoas Cake is one of my favorite recipes because I’m a big fan of the Girl Scout cookie and also because of how it’s decorated. I love challenging myself when it comes to making cakes and this was my first attempt at the drip style. It’s much easier than it looks! Plus the more chocolate the better, right? 😉 

Samoas Inspired Layer Cake | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Samoas Inspired Layer Cake | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Samoas Inspired Layer Cake | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Samoas Inspired Layer Cake | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Samoas Inspired Layer Cake | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

& if you love Jamie’s 4th of July Samoas Cake; make sure to check out her latest recipe coffee popsicles here, it’s actually a thing of beauty! xx Aubrey 

Samoas-Inspired Layer Cake
Serves 8
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For the buttermilk cake
  1. 2 1/3 cups cake flour
  2. 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  4. 1/4 tsp. salt
  5. 3 large eggs room temperature
  6. 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  7. 3/4 cup butter room temperature
  8. 1 1/3 cups sugar
  9. 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
For the caramel frosting
  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  2. 1 cup brown sugar
  3. 5 Tbsp. heavy cream divided
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
For the ganache
  1. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  2. 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chopped or chips
For the garnish
  1. 3/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  2. Samoa or Caramel deLite Girl Scout cookies
For the buttermilk cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease cake pans and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small bow, whisk together the eggs and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually add sugar and continue mixing on medium for 2 – 3 minutes. Gradually add egg mixture and mix for an additional 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then one third of the buttermilk. Alternate and repeat until both ingredients are fully incorporated. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl so that everything is evenly combined.
  5. Pour batter evenly into the pans and bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. I only used 4 of the 5 layers for the cake so if you're tempted to sample a bite, go for it while it's nice and warm!
For the caramel frosting
  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream, whisk until sugar is dissolved (very important!). Add the pinch of salt, then let the mixture bubble for about 2 minutes, whisking about every 20 – 30 seconds. Remove from heat and pour the bowl of a standing mixer. Let cool for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Once cool, add 2 cups of confectioner's sugar and 3 Tbsp. of heavy cream into the bowl. Use the whisk attachment to mix. Slowly add additional powdered sugar or heavy cream until you reach desired consistency.
  3. When the cake is completely cool, assemble layer by layer and place in the freezer for 15 – 20 minutes.
For the ganache
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Allow ganache to cool and thicken for about 30 minutes. Then follow my tips in the post above to drizzle the ganache on top.
For the garnish
  1. If you want to add toasted coconut, preheat the oven to 350F (or do this right after the cake is done). Spread coconut flakes into a thin layer on a small baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until it starts to lightly brown. You may want to stir them around a little bit halfway through. Once cooled, sprinkle on the top or bottom edge of the cake.
  2. I topped my cake with Samoas by cutting the cookies in half and placing them on top.
The Coastal Confidence http://the-coastalconfidence.com/

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