And here it is folks, the last of the tropical pool party posts (if you missed the previous post – check out the savory food here!). Don’t worry, it’s made a little sweeter by being filled with my tasty treats! This dessert table was all about the fruity goodness including Mini Key Lime Cheesecakes & Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizzas (GREAT to do with the kiddos!). Of course no dessert table is complete without chocolate in my mind so I tried out this AMAZING recipe by The Pioneer Woman – she’s one of my favs – for Knock You Naked Brownies (I did not name them…blame it on Pioneer Woman). And just when I thought my dessert list was complete I came across the most adorable Sand Dollar Sugar Cookies and couldn’t pass them up. Make one, make all I can’t pick a favorite!
I just love alternative uses for common baking tools. These little sugar cookie cups were made with a cupcake pan! SO EASY and fun – and endless possibilities on what to fill them with.
This was my second time making something Key Lime related and finding Key Lime juice is not the easiest thing in the world – surprisingly. It could be a seasonal thing too. So you may want to plan on a special trip to your local Trader Joe’s, Market Street, Whole Foods, etc if you’ve never used it before. It’s definitely worth the trip!
mini key lime cheesecakes
- 1 package (16oz) pre-made sugar cookie dough
- 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 5.3 oz. Key Lime Greek Yogurt (if you buy the 4 packs, this is one carton)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons key lime juice (may sub regular lime)
- 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
- zest from 1 key lime (may sub. regular lime)
- berries for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and flour. Cut cookie dough into 12 even slices and press into the bottom and about 2/3 up the sides of prepared muffin cups.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are barely golden. Let cool 5 minutes then gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely (about 20 minutes).
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat cream cheese, Greek yogurt, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon key lime juice until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Stir in key lime zest. Taste and add additional tablespoon lime juice if desired.
- When cookie cups are cool, GENTLY use a knife to loosen edges (if you press too hard the cups will crack) and then turn pan over to remove cups uninjured.
- Evenly spoon cheesecake filling into cups and refrigerate 1-2 hours to set. If you don’t want to wait, they are still delicious right away, the filling will just be softer.
- Garnish with berries and whipped cream if desired.
Original recipe by Carlsbad Cravings–
sugar cookie fruit pizzas
As I mentioned earlier, this is a perfect kid baking activity – which I’m sure you can use right now with the kids out for the summer. Now, I tried to use a pre-made sugar cookie dough but the glaze kind of disintegrated my cookies. To fix the problem, I had the hubs go out and get me some already made, “hefty” sugar cookies. I used a little bit more of the frosting to secure my quickly dissolving cookies onto the new cookies and viola – baking disaster averted. In conclusion, you’ll want some pretty thick sugar cookies for these to support the cream cheese and glaze. So, if you have a stellar sugar cookie recipe – go for it – but store-bought are definitely the way I’m going in the future.
- 12 thick sugar cookies (per above, I prefer store-bought)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1-3/4 cups whipped topping
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 cup chopped peeled kiwifruit
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries
- For glaze, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, pineapple juice, water and lemon juice until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Transfer to a small bowl; refrigerate until cooled but not set.
- In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth; fold in whipped topping.
- Get to decorating! This is where the kids come in. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cookies and arrange fruit on top. Once cookies are topped, drizzle glaze over top and refrigerate for an hour (I know – maybe prepare the kids ahead of time that they won’t get to eat right away…or have some regular sugar cookies on hand to side track them for a bit :))
–Original recipe by Taste of Home–
Knock You Naked brownies
Yes, I thought about changing the name but then I thought – it is a tropical pool party so in a way this name makes sense, right? I do love watching The Pioneer Woman but I actually found this brownie recipe on Pinterest and thought the mixture of chocolate with caramel sounded like a must try…I was right. These are really not as complicated as it may seem and are so sweet that bite sized portions are plenty big…but I won’t judge you.
- 1 box (18.5 Ounce) German Chocolate Cake Mix (I Used Duncan Hines)
- 1 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
- 1/3 cup Evaporated Milk
- 1/2 cup Evaporated Milk (additional)
- 1/2 cup Butter, Melted
- 60 whole Caramels, Unwrapped
- 1/3 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, chopped pecans, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, and melted butter. Stir together until totally combined. Mixture will be very thick.
- Press half the mixture into a well-greased 9 x 9 inch square baking pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set aside.
- In a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water) melt caramels with additional 1/2 cup evaporated milk. When melted and combined, pour over brownie base. Sprinkle chocolate chips as evenly as you can over the caramel.
- Turn out remaining brownie dough on work surface. Use your hands to press it into a large square a little smaller than the pan. Use a spatula to remove it from the surface, then set it on top of the caramel and chocolate chips.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for several hours.
- When ready to serve, use a knife to loosen edges and turn out on a cutting board. Using a large kitchen knife, cut brownie to desired size (it’s much like cutting fudge). Generously sift powdered sugar over the surface of the brownies.
–Original recipes by The Pioneer Woman–
sand dollar cinnamon sugar cookies
I mean right? RIGHT? So cute!! Honestly, you can use any sugar cookie or cinnamon sugar cookie recipe you prefer and do the sliced almond trick specified below. Note – the dough has to sit in fridge for an hour up to overnight so this is an early prep dessert. You can even cross it off your list the day or two before because they keep well in an air tight container for a few days.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 eggs whole
- 2 eggs separated (yolks in one bowl/whites in another)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 pinches of kosher salt
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- cinnamon sugar (this gets sprinkled on top)
- sliced almonds
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar; Mix until very creamy.
- Add the 2 whole eggs and 2 yolks only (reserve the whites for later from the egg separation above); Beat until well combined.
- Add vanilla and salt; Blend well.
- Add flour and baking powder; Stir until the dough is very soft.
- Form a ball with the dough; Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours (I left mine in the fridge overnight).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll out the dough to 1/4″ thick on a floured surface and cut out 2 5/8” circles.
- Brush the circles with the reserved egg whites.
- Sprinkle each circle lightly with cinnamon sugar and press 5 almond slices into the center of each circle to make a sand dollar (like the pic above).
- Bake at 350 for 3 minutes.
- After 3 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and press the almonds in again, making slight indentations in the circle.
- Add more cinnamon at this point too, if need be, to adjust the overall coloring of the final cookie.
- Place the baking sheet back in the oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, another 10 minutes (this time will vary depending on how thick you cut the circles, so just keep an eye on them around the 7 minute mark).
- Remove from oven; Let rest on baking sheet for 3 minutes.
- Transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
–Original recipe by Mama Miss–
For more details on the inspiration and creations from our tropical pool party, check out my Pinterest board made special for the event!