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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Sweets

With an abundance of goats' milk, fresh summer fruits, and more uninterrupted time at home, we have been indulging in a number of homemade sweets this summer.  With all the summer birthdays, holidays, and visits from extended family, we have all kinds of excuses to make dessert.  This is some of what we've made and consumed during the month of June:

Cinnamon Rolls
On the morning of my birthday, my dear husband got up extra early and made these delicious cinnamon rolls from scratch before he left for work.  These are truly the best I've ever had.  Alas, he didn't supply me with the recipe, and I'm not sure he'd find it again on the Internet.  My hubby is not one for actually measuring ingredients or following a recipe closely, so I doubt I could pass along his secret formula anyway.  Every time he makes something, it's never exactly the same as the time before. 

 Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
After my birthday dinner, our daughter presented me with this lemon cake with homemade cream cheese frosting.  What a light, summer treat!  I think she was going for preppy colors with the pink frosting and lime and kelly green sprinkles.  This is the frosting recipe she used from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book:

Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat together 6 ounces of cream cheese, 1/2 cup softened butter, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla till light and fluffy.  Gradually add 3-4 cups of powdered sugar, beating until smooth.  This recipe is doubled to generously cover a double layer cake.  

Wild Black Raspberries
Of course, the best summer sweets of all are the ones that come naturally with no work involved.  The black raspberries ripened this week on our mountain and in our yard, and the children have been picking and eating them daily.  I love it when we can easily forage for food in the woods or just walk outside and find fresh, organic, healthy foods.

Black Raspberry Goats' Milk Ice Cream
Since the raspberries are plentiful, we've been eating them plain, on cereal, in waffles, and in our weekly batches of hand-churned ice cream.  I'll share our easy recipe with you again:

Homemade Ice Cream
Cook 1 cup of milk/cream to scalding, but not boiling.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup sugar and 1/8 teaspoon and salt.  Chill in refrigerator all day.  When you're ready to make the ice cream, pour the cooked milk into the ice cream canister, and add 3 more cups of fresh milk or cream, 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla, and as many raspberries as you like.  Prepare the churn with ice and rock salt, and churn for about 45 minutes.

Strawberry Cake with Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting
A week or so ago when the strawberries were for sale everywhere, our teen baker made another double layer cake with homemade chocolate frosting.  She took a large strawberry and cut it into the shape of a rose and used our chocolate mint leaves to adorn the top of the cake.  She and I are trying to experiment with some of our Pinterest pins this summer, and the strawberry rose was pinned to one of her boards.  This was so popular in our family that our youngest son requested the exact same cake be made for his upcoming birthday in a few weeks.

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting
Beat 6 tablespoons butter till light and fluffy.  Gradually add about 2 cups powdered sugar and beat well.  Melt 2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, and cool a bit.  Add to the frosting along with 1/4 cup milk and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla.  Gradually beat in another 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar and additional milk if necessary.

Here's another view.  It tasted as good as it looks.

I am a happy camper and am enjoying every aspect of summer, especially the desserts.  Still trying to limit myself to only one per day, as hard as that is sometimes.  Running with my kiddos and Tippy up and down the mountain most every day is enabling me to eat these sweet treats without packing on any more pounds.  Unfortunately, I'm not losing any either. 

Wishing all of you a weekend filled with sweet summer treats of some kind.

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