So I’ve been eyeing those Zoku quick pop makers for over a year, but had so far convinced myself that it was just an extra kitchen gadget that I didn’t need. Well that is until last week, when I found one at a small kitchen boutique store in DC and decided that I had to have one. And while I have to say it is totally unnecessary because there’s nothing wrong with the old school popsicle makers, it is kinda fun. Last night I decided to make some last minute popsicles for dessert and they were ready in 10 minutes. Pretty fantastic. I plan to try out lots of fun recipes over the course of the summer, so you’ll likely see some more posts like this. But here’s the first.
If you read my post from a few weeks ago, you know that I have been very excited about starting to bake with strawberries. I had plans to make regular strawberry shortcake this week for a dinner with a friend, but after seeing the world’s most beautiful rhubarb at Whole Foods, I had to spice up my plans.
In addition to adding in some rhubarb, I also tried serving the dish in two different ways, both shown below.
The traditional tower:
The less traditional (but also less messy) parfait:
And I have to say, even though the traditional strawberry shortcake has been my personal favorite dessert for a long time, I think I prefer it with both of the changes I tried this week (the rhubarb and serving it as a parfait).
With each season, I get excited for certain things I get to start making. With summer, I get excited for strawberries. My absolute, hands down favorite dessert is strawberry shortcake. I have loved this dessert for a very long time. Anything strawberry rhubarb is a close second as well.
So now that we’re starting to get good strawberries, I wanted to share some of my favorite summer desserts. And over the course of the summer, I’ll try to get a bunch of step by step recipes of my own up on the blog.
1) Strawberry Rhubarb Bars – My version is pictured below
2) Lemon Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting and Strawberries (see my post here) – Dave’s version for my birthday last year is pictured below, as well as one I just made today for a friend’s birthday
Sometimes it’s really great to have easy and yet delicious desserts that you can whip up with no planning. I have a couple items that I regularly make when I need to do a last minute dessert for a coworker’s birthday, a friend’s bad day, or just because I’m craving dessert RIGHT now. The key is really that the ingredients all reside in your kitchen. These blueberry crumb bars are about as easy as it comes, and if you’re like me, and keep frozen fruit in the freezer, you’ll generally have all these ingredients around.
There’s nothing more satisfying than a simple, no-frills chocolate chip cookie. People often try to gussy up their cookies, and I’m not saying those are bad because they’re in fact quite good, but there’s still something satisfying about a simple gooey chocolate chip cookie. You’ll note that I say gooey. I’m a firm believer that chocolate chip cookies should not be crunchy. It’s all about achieving the perfect consistency between still being cookie dough and then being overcooked. It’s something I’ve tried hard to perfect.
So after trying lots of different cookie recipes, I’ve decided the Nestle one (yep the one that comes on the back of the chocolate chip bag) is the best. When I’ve brought cookies to people after using the Nestle recipe, I always get way better feedback than I do when I use other recipes. I guess it makes sense that Nestle would have perfected the chocolate chip cookie, but it still somehow surprises me that we all look for the perfect recipe, buy books dedicated solely to chocolate chip cookies, and then the one on the chocolate chip bag still ends up tasting the best.
Most of the time, I pick cakes based on the aesthetics. It’s one of the reasons I love cakes. You can make them so beautiful, and they make such a great statement when presented at a dinner party. I recently tried this one out and I loved how the flavors of caramel and apple complemented each other perfectly! This is definitely not a fast dessert to make, but if you’re in the mood for cake, I highly recommend it.