Category Archives: Sweets

Blueberry Blackberry Crisp with Hard Sauce


I have to apologize for my bad behavior. I have treated you poorly, lil ol’ blog of mine.

After months of no substantial posting whatsoever, I am posting a delicious, decadent dessert on a day that you are undoubtedly trying to shape up for your bathing suit. I understand, I’m right there with you. But I felt no shame in putting this rich, warm, bubbly, melty dessert in my belly. And you won’t either.

The crisp itself is yummy, but nothing spectacular. It’s the hard sauce that makes it. Get with me on this one, your thighs can handle it.

Blueberry Blackerry Crisp with Hard Sauce

For the crisp:
-1 1/4 cup blueberries
-1 1/4 cup blackberries
-1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
-1/4 cup sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 cup flour
-1/4 cup sugar
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1/4 cup chopped pecans
-dash of salt
-6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces
-1/2 cup old fashioned oats

For the hard sauce:
-1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, slightly softened
-2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
-2 Tablespoons whiskey, rum, brandy, or your preferred poison (I used Jamaican rum cream)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine blueberries, blackberries, cornstarch, 1/4 cup sugar, and vanilla. Stir gently until berries are well coated.

In a food processor, combine the flour, the additional 1/4 cup sugar, brown sugar, chopped pecans, salt, and butter. Pulse until the crumb mixture is well combined, then add oats and pulse just until the oats are integrated into the mix- you don’t want them to get chopped up.

Pour the berry mixture into a shallow baking dish, and top evenly with the crumb mixture. Bake until the berries are hot and bubbly and the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

While the crisp is baking, make the hard sauce. Beat the butter with the paddle attachment on your stand mixer (or with electric beaters) until fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between each addition. Once the mixture is smooth and fluffy, beat in the liquor until smooth.

When the crisp is done baking, allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes. Scoop some onto a plate, and top with the hard sauce. The hard sauce will start to melt, and it’s heaven. Enjoy!

Kelsey May


Maple Iced Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Until now, I had never baked with pumpkin. Crazy, right? Everyone who loves food loves pumpkin, right? I guess, for me, pumpkin is so… Everywhere… That it starts to taste kind of generic.

So that’s why we like to mix it up at my villa. (That’s what we call our house… No judgments please.) And for me, delicious fall baking means maple syrup. I should have been from Canada.

These cookies have been approved by:
My picky husband
My coworkers
My mother in law
And me.

Maple Iced Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
( cookie recipe is adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s  Angel Sugar Cookies)

-1 can pumpkin purée
-2 whole eggs
-1 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
-1 cup powdered sugar
-1/2 cup canola oil
-2 sticks butter, softened
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-4 cups, plus 2 tablespoons flour
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice

In a large mixing bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients. Mix well, until smooth. Add flour in 1 cup increments, mixing just until combined after each addition. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Cover dough and refrigerate at least one hour.

Once dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees and take the dough out of the fridge. Scoop out spoonfuls of dough, roll them into balls, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Next, get a drinking glass with a flat bottom. Butter the bottom of the glass, dip it in additional sugar, and use it to flatten each ball into a disc.

Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes until just set.

For the icing:
-1 cup powdered sugar
-2 tablespoons milk or cream
-1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Add maple syrup until the icing is at your desired consistency– it should look a lot like royal icing. Transfer icing into a plastic baggie by putting the bag in a coffee mug with the open edges pulled over the sides of the mug. Seal the baggie, cut off the tip, and ice your cookies once they’re cool.

Alternate icing method: add enough maple syrup (or milk) to make your icing a thin glaze. Then simply dip the tops of your cookies in the glaze.

Sounds yummy, eh?


Cinnamon Strudel Coffee Creamer

I love coffee. I am not a coffee critic, or a coffee snob. I just like it strong and hot. I do love flavored creamer, but it’s the kind of thing with ingredients that I turn a blind eye to when I’m picking it up at the grocery store. Between the corn syrup solids, hydrogenated oils, and numerous preservatives, there is no way that it’s good for me in any way.

So when I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen, I knew I had to make it. It was easy and took less than 5 minutes, and I am feeling pretty good about what I’m putting in my body as I’m drinking it right now.

Here’s the recipe, in case you don’t want to click over because you’re just that lazy. (I am totally on the same page if that’s the case)

– 1 Cup Milk (I used 2% because it’s what I had)
-1 Cup Heavy Cream
-4 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
-1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1 teaspoon almond extract

Whisk together milk, cream, maple syrup and cinnamon in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the mixture begins to steam, remove from the heat. Stir in extracts. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pour into a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator.

Note: I would definitely find a way to sweeten this recipe more, whether it’s by adding more maple syrup (I would double it and do 1/2 cup) or adding Stevia to the mixture. I didn’t taste the creamer before I bottled it, and this morning at the office I added 1/2 packet Splenda to my cup and it brought the creamer alive. I am not a super sweet coffee drinker, but this creamer wasn’t sweet enough for me. So taste it and play with the measurements until you love it.

Thank you, Carrie @ Deliciously Organic for such a creative recipe that we can feel good about putting in our bodies!

-Kelsey May

P.S. I will always, always give credit for recipes where it is due. If I use or adapt someone’s recipe I will link to it. If I don’t link a recipe to anything, it’s because the recipe came out of my own head. Just FYI 🙂

30 Minute Cheater Strawberry Jam

Jam has always been intimidating to me. It seems like it requires lots of time, equipment, jars, and patience. I don’t have much of any of that.

But I have this sweet memory of a friend’s mom who used to make strawberry jam that knocked my socks off. When she made it, I would scoop as much as possible onto my dinner roll, hoping to never forget that taste.

Well, guess what? We cheaters, who have no patience or resources, can make jam too. And it tastes awesome. Here’s how.

Start with a pound of frozen strawberries. Already sliced, with the little green hats already removed.

Pour them into a baking dish and defrost in the microwave.

Measure a half cup of sugar. Note: this will make your jam SWEET. If you don’t want your jam to taste syrupy sweet, reduce to 1/3 cup. (If, however, you’re making rhubarb or raspberry, or any other tart fruit, you will want the whole 1/2 cup)

Oops, not pictured: also measure 1 tsp cornstarch. It will help thicken your jam. If you don’t mind runny jam, leave it out. Or, if you don’t have cornstarch but you want thick jam, you can always strain out the syrup. So many options, all of them easy!

Pour the sugar and cornstarch into your strawberries.


Bake the mixture in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

Note on my crusty oven: this mess was there before Luke and I moved in, and it will not come off. So don’t judge me.

Also: doesn’t this picture remind you of TRON?

Remove when nice and bubbly.

Next, pour the strawberries in a stand mixer, food processor, or blender. I used my mixer because the other two options were in the dishwasher. Blend/beat/process until it becomes one big mushy jammy mess, and you wonder if you fell asleep and woke up in a bloody horror movie. (gross! Sorry.)

Let cool, store airtight in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Eat it on anything! I chose an English muffin with peanut butter. Yum!

New Blog, and Indulgent Brownies

Hi Sweet Hearts,

Four months ago today, I got married.  Excited as I was to change my last name, it was hard for me to change my blog.  But finally, I am biting the bullet. 

You can find my old adventures here:

My old blog begins in 2007 with my adventures in London, and continues into college graduation, engagement, and marriage.  It was a good life over there that other blog, but this is all about new beginnings.

Here are my commitments in a convenient, bulleted list:

  • I will be organized. I will use categories.
  • I will post pictures.  Especially of food.
  • I won’t ramble. That one might be broken.

That’s it. This should be easy. 

And, to get started with all my new commitments, I give you:

The Indulgent Brownies
These are fudgy, rich, chewy, moist, and delicious, with a thin crispy layer on the top.  Just how brownies should be.

-3/4 cup cocoa
-3/4 cup, and 4 Tbsp butter, separate
-1 1/2 cup sugar
-3 eggs
-1/2 Tbsp Vanilla
-1 cup flour
-scant Tbsp instant coffee
-sea salt, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place cocoa and 4 Tbsp butter in a glass mixing bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds or until the butter melts. Mix well, until all cocoa is incorporated into the butter.
In a separate pan, brown the 3/4 cup butter. You can do this on the stovetop, continuously swirling the melted butter until it is brown and has a rich, nutty smell, or you can place the pan in the preheating oven and taking it out when the butter is brown. Each method produces the same result*.
Pour the browned butter over the cocoa mixture, and beat until smooth and glossy.
Stir in the sugar, mix well.
Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Stir in flour and instant coffee, mix well.
Pour the batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for about 30 minutes.

These brownies will not let you down.

*Note: something I just thought of, is that you could increase the amount of browned butter, and brown it in the baking dish that you will later pour the batter into. That way, you have one less dish to clean, and your pan will be greased automatically.

-Cinnamon Sugar Brownies: I almost spread these with a butter/cinnamon/sugar/vanilla mixture right as they came out of the oven. You should try it, and let me know how it tastes.

Let me know if you try these, and how you like them!

-Kelsey May