Top 5 Baked Good Recipes To Try For Easter

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Photo courtesy of Two In The Kitchen
Peanut Butter Gooey Easter Bars

In terms of food, Easter is traditionally all about eggs, ham, and candy. This Sunday vary your spread of sweets with some cookies, bars, cakes, pies, etc. Food bloggers near and far have designed some incredible Easter-themed baked goods, and I've picked my five favorites.

5. Peanut Butter Gooey Easter Bars. Gooey is a funny word. It's a positive descriptor when applied to food, but in most other realms comes off pejoratively; for example, "that wound is so gooey" and "there's some sort of gooey film covering the bottom of my bookshelf." Anyway, I digress. These bars offers a divinely rich flavor thanks to the inclusion of peanut butter M&Ms in addition to peanut butter proper and mellifluous interior created by the inclusion of sweetened condensed milk.

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Photo by Lizzie Mae Early
Coming-Up-Carrots Cupcakes

4. Coming Up Carrots Cupcakes. So named because they look like carrots emerging from soil, these cupcakes have a moist cocoa base of devil's food cake and a crown of mascarpone cheese frosting dusted with crushed Oreos. And on Easter, each cupcake counts as one serving of vegetables.


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Make A Classic Southern Dessert: Hummingbird Cake

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Photos by Molly Dunn
It's a classic Southern dessert, and it's downright divine.
If you're from the American South, then there's a 99 percent chance you have heard of Hummingbird Cake. To me, Hummingbird Cake is like a cross between Pineapple Upside Down Cake and banana bread. When you add the sliced bananas and pineapple chunks to the batter, its texture is much thicker than an ordinary vanilla cake, more like that of banana bread, and when baked, it is caramelized and sticky like a Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

But, why is it called Hummingbird Cake? Do hummingbirds eat bananas? Pineapples? Pecans? Cream cheese frosting? The only thing I have seen hummingbirds eat is the red sugar water my mom puts in their feeder.

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Menchie's Frozen Yogurt Debuts New Samoa-Inspired Flavor

Categories: Sweets

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Photo courtesy of Alyssa Bermudes
Frozen Samoa goodness

When I first watched The Addams Family ,at age 10, I immediately found a new hero in Wednesday Addams for the way she cleverly turned the tables on a persnickety Girl Scout.
I then proceeded to steal this joke and repeat it to people when I was trying to sell cookies as a Girl Scout. (Almost no one laughed.)

Girl Scout cookies may not be made from real Girl Scouts, and in fact contain a host of far scarier ingredients, but damn they taste good. I'm a fan of the old classics: Trefoils, Tagalongs, Thin Mints, and, of course, Samoas. I swear as a small child a single Samoa cookie could satisfy me; now, I could eat the whole box in no time flat and still be game for more.


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Top 10 Easter Candies for Your Basket

Categories: Sweets, Top 10

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Photo by Asti21
Those better not be hollow.
The grocery stores are PACKED with Easter candies, and there's a lot to choose from. You don't want to make a poor decision when buying some of the worst candies, like Easter candy corn. Seriously? That's disgusting.

Kaitlin Steinberg created her list of the worst Easter candies, and I have made my list of the best Easter candies. Make the most scrumptious and tasty Easter basket you possibly can this year by loading it with these items. Your kids (and you) will thank you.

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Top 10 Worst Easter Candies

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Photo by Terren
Yes, Peeps are on the list, but they aren't number one...
It's that glorious time of year once again. Spring has sprung, we're turning on our air conditioners, and an entire aisle of the grocery store is devoted to sugar-coated, pastel-colored Easter things. If you're a parent, you'll likely be heading to said aisle sometime soon to stock up on candy to place in your children's baskets. If you're me, you'll be heading there the day after Easter to get everything at half price.

Either way, you need some guidance.

Too often as a child (and even now) I found my stock of Easter goodies marred by a few rotten eggs, so to speak. A few items that never should have made it past beta testing in the candy factory. A few too many marshmallow-esque creations.

So regardless of whom you're buying Easter candy for this year, please consider the multitude of options out there. And don't buy any of this crap.

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Ben & Jerry's New Core Sundae Flavors Have Finally Reached Houston

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Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Salted Caramel Core Flavor

Almost two months ago, I read that Ben & Jerry's had released a new line of ice cream designed to approximate a sundae in a pint. These four "core" flavors (That's My Jam, Peanut Butter Fudge, Hazed and Confused, Salted Caramel) would involve multiple types of ice cream, chunks, and, most importantly, a center vertical "core" of liquid topping. As a huge fan of sundaes, I was EXTREMELY excited.

I promptly began looking for the core flavors when I went grocery shopping (nearly every day), but neither Fiesta, H-E-B, Kroger, or Randall's had them in stock. At one point, I put out an APB on my professional Facebook page for the ice cream but failed to get a response. I guess people were too busy following coverage of the Ukrainian crisis or some sports tournament. #priorities?

Then, suddenly, the "new" core flavors appeared this month in the Buffalo Speedway H-E-B. Or, more accurately, "disappeared."


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Top 10 Oatmeal Cookies in Houston

Categories: Sweets, Top 10

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Photos by Molly Dunn
Tiff's Treats makes some of the softest oatmeal cookies around.
While some kids sulked at the sight of an oatmeal cookie in their lunchbox, I rejoiced. I love the chewiness that oats add to a cookie, and can't get enough of it.

Oatmeal cookies are comforting, sweet and simply a joy to eat. Brown sugar and butter hold together the flour and tender oats to create a texturally complex cookie. Classic recipes stick with raisins, while others think outside of the box and throw in a multitude of ingredients, like nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, coconut and even crushed cereal. Here in Houston we can find cookies just about everywhere we go. So, to help you find the tastiest oatmeal cookies, here are ten you MUST try.

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Leftover Rice From Indian Takeout? Make Kheer

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Photo by Sara Maternini
Kheer is an easy dessert for a busy night.

We have a lot of extra cooked rice in the house these days. My husband has been on an Indian cooking kick, and he successfully made several amazing batches of rogan gosh, fish masala and chicken vindaloo. He has been less successful in gauging how much rice we would consume with these dishes, which is why when every last drop of curry has been consumed, there's usually a plastic container of basmati rice left.

I have this thing about throwing out food (I have been called a "leftover hoarder"), so rather than just dump the orphan grain, I decided to resurrect the rice by making kheer.

Kheer is a rice pudding of sorts that you've probably encountered at the terminal end of an Indian lunch buffet. Traditionally served just a bit cool and boasting a sweet-flowery flavor, kheer is a wonderful sweet comfort food for spring.

I first tried kheer when I was volunteering in Himachal Pradesh. Despite the fact that I was perpetually battling gastrointestinal problems due to being unaccustomed to local water and produce, I always made room for a large bowl of dairy-heavy kheer at the end of my meals. In northern India, vermicelli is often used instead of basmati rice to make kheer. Ecurry.com provides a fairly labor-intensive recipe punctuated by many drool-worthy pictures.

Back in the States, I tried the more common rice-based kheer, which I prefer for its heartier texture.

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The United States of Desserts: Key Lime Pie

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Photo by Wally Gobetz
Key Lime Pie from Joe's Stone Crab

In this series, we examine the history and origins of famous sweets, confections, and desserts associated with American states.

I have to admit, I really don't love key lime pie. I've never made it at home, and I don't think I've ever ordered it at a restaurant. The handful of times I have eaten key lime pie were usually prompted by others urging me to try some of their portion. After a bite or two, I always think, "This is good. But too tart to eat an entire slice."

I recognize, however, I'm definitely in the minority. Key lime pie appears on many, many restaurant menus, and the flavor is so popular that food manufacturers have piggy-backed off of its broad appeal to launch successful spin-off products, such as ice cream and yogurt.


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France à la Houston

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Photo by Catherine Gillespie
The Tempting Pastry Case at French Riviera Bakery

When translated from France to America, the culinary capital of the world's traditions often amount to starched white table clothes and stuffy service. Houston is luckier than most cities, as there are a few places in the Bayou City to get a great croque madame or a delicious foie gras torchon. In order to recreate the real magic of a day in Paris here, however, you'll need to spend some time in Rice Village, travel to The Heights, and traipse around the Menil's lawn.

The French phrase for breakfast begins with the word "petit." Keep that in mind when kicking off your day. Instead of going overboard with a brunch-style morning meal, stick to the basics at Croissant Brioche or French Riviera Bakery. The former is a homey place good for a quick croissant (or brioche), Americano and glass of juice. The latter has a generic interior -- don't expect to see any clay roosters or decorative plates -- but the pastry case is anything but. Don't miss the cream-filled profiteroles or delectable eclairs.


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