Strawberry Cheesecake Donuts{A Strawberry Summer Recipe #5}

I’ve been experimenting with donuts lately. I have honestly had the best success with store-bought refrigerated biscuits. Trust me on this!! The refrigerated biscuits deliver a soft, thick donut…perfect for filling. Because you’re using already made biscuits…half the work is done.  Just fill them full of homemade strawberry jam and creamy  cheesecake filling.

My family went crazy over these!!  My Aunt even asked for a batch to enjoy on her vacation to the mountains.  No one even knew I used store-bought biscuits.


Here’s My Notes:

1)Have the glaze prepared and close by, so that when the donuts are finished frying you can drop them immediately into the glaze. Also have two cooling racks ready with parchment paper underneath them for the glazed donuts to cool on.

2)I highly recommend having a thermometer to help keep an eye on the oil temperature. You want the oil to stay around 350 degrees F.

3)I use a 8.5 quart dutch oven to fry my donuts.  I can fry four at a time, but if you don’t have a dutch oven that big, or if you don’t have a dutch oven at all, you can just use a heavy bottom pot. Don’t crowd the pot, just a few at a time.

4)I’ve found that the best way to know that the donuts are completely cooked through is when the donuts puff up, the tops will dome, and the outside will be a deep golden brown.

Strawberry Cheesecake Donuts {A Strawberry Summer Recipe #5}

Yields: 16 donuts

Ingredients 

Donuts:

2 cans  refrigerated biscuits

1 quart oil, for frying

Glaze:

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

4 Tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 heavy cream or half & half

1/8 teaspoon salt

Cheesecake Filling:

8 oz. package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup homemade strawberry jam, store bought is okay

powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions

Start by preparing the glaze: in a large mixing bowl, add in all the glaze ingredients. Using a handheld mixer, beat everything together. Set close by so that once the donuts come out of the oil they can be glazed.

Next begin frying the donuts: heat one quart of oil in a dutch oven to 350 degrees F, using a thermometer. Remove the refrigerated biscuits from their packages. Once the oil is up to temperature, gently drop biscuits into the hot oil ( be very careful ). Fry 2-4 biscuits at a time. Donuts are done when the biscuits puff up and are a deep golden brown. Remove the donuts from the oil and drop immediately into the glaze. Once the donuts are covered with glaze place on a wire rack with parchment underneath. Continue until all the biscuits are fried. Let the donuts cool completely.

Once the donuts are completely cooled, use the end of a wooden spoon to make two holes into the side of each donut; set aside.

Make the filling: cream together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth, add in the heavy cream and vanilla, beat together. Place filling in a piping bag fitted with a tip.

Fill one of the holes with the cheesecake filling and fill the other hole with about 1 Tablespoon of the homemade strawberry jam. I use a butter knife to drop the jam into the hole, I sometimes repoke the hole for the jam….just to make sure none of the cheesecake filling is in the way.

Finally, lightly dust each donut with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

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Strawberry Trifle {A Strawberry Summer Recipe #4}

One of my Daddy’s favorite desserts is strawberry trifle. Whenever summer comes around he starts asking when I’m going to make one. So….. the warm weather is definitely  here in the south. I thought… “why wait any longer”.

This trifle is simple to put together and looks impressive, perfect for summer get togethers and picnics. 

My friend Rachel enjoyed helping make this strawberry trifle and she decorated it too.

 
I added lemon to this trifle because I love lemon and strawberry together,and it helps make this dessert light and refreshing. I use a cake mix to keep everything simple and easy. I did a few additional ingredients to the cake mix to replicate a pound cake. There are four elements to this dessert but each simple to put together. Don’t let the ingredient listscare you. Let me break down the layers of this trifle: cake layer, lemon syrup, cream cheese whipped cream, and sweetened fresh strawberries. 

Here’s My Notes

1)I suggest making this dessert the day before you plan to serve it. 

2)Keep it chilled until ready to serve and store any leftovers in the fridge.

Strawberry Trifle {A Strawberry Summer Recipe #4}

Cake recipe adapted from HERE

Ingredients 

Cake:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened 

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

1/2 teaspoon almond extract 

2/3 cup water

1 cup sour cream 

1 (18.25oz.) package yellow cake mix

1 cup all-purpose flour

Lemon Syrup:

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 

1/4 cup water

Cream Cheese Whipped Cream:

2 (8oz.) packages cream cheese, softened 

3 cups heavy whipping cream 

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Strawberries:

2 lbs. fresh strawberries, sliced

1/2 cup sugar

Directions 

Start first by preparing the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, using a hand mixer. Add in eggs, vanilla and almond extract, water and sour cream, beat well. Beat in cake mix and flour. Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes layers cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then turn them out onto to wire rack to cool completely.

Next the lemon syrup: In a small sauce pan combine sugar, lemon juice, and water. Bring to a simmer, simmer until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool.

Now prepare the cream cheese whipped cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar together with the whisk attachment. Remove and place in a separate bowl; set aside. Add heavy cream and vanilla to the stand mixer bowl and whip to soft pecks, using the same whisk attachment. Add cream cheese mixture to the whipped cream and whip together. Place in the fridge until you’re  ready to assemble.

Lastly the strawberries : Combine the strawberries and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl, let them sit for about 30 minutes.

Assembly 

Finally it’s time to assemble: Slice each cake layer so you have four cake layers all together. Place one cake layer in the bottom of your trifle dish. Drizzle the cake with the lemon syrup. Next spread cream cheese whipped cream on top, then layer on the strawberries. Continue building the trifle in this way ending with cream cheese whipped cream.  Garnish with additional strawberries.

Homemade Honey-Oat Bread with Strawberry Jam {A Strawberry Summer Recipe #2}

I love the smell of bread baking in the oven. There is no better way to make your house more inviting than the smell of freshly baked bread. 

For my second recipe of “A Strawberry Summer,” I wanted to do something with the Strawberry Jam. What goes better with homemade strawberry jam than….homemade bread?  I love to toast a slice of this bread and spread it with a generous amount of strawberry jam, add a cup of hot coffee or a good cup of tea…it’s the perfect breakfast.

 If you’re new to bread baking it’s really simple.

Temperature 

Temperature is very important when baking bread!

Here are a few things to remember:

Temperature and yeast: When proofing yeast, the liquid can’t be too hot or it will kill the yeast. If the liquid is not hot enough, it won’t activate the yeast. 110-118 degrees F is the perfect temperature for your yeast. I’ve found that anything over 120 degrees F is too hot and will kill it, so keep your liquid temperature in between 110-118 degrees F. 

Temperature and rising: When you’re rising the dough, place it somewhere warm and free of draft. I like to place my dough on top of the dryer in the laundry room with the door closed. The dryer, when on, and the door closed, keeps the room warm. Again, if it’s not warm enough—-it  won’t rise.

Temperature and bread:  To ensure that your bread is done and baked completely, use a thermometer inserted at the bottom of the loaf, to check the internal temperature. Bread is done at 190 degrees F. 

Homemade Honey-Oat Bread

Yields: 1 loaf 

Ingredients 

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup oats, I use old-fashioned oats

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup milk

1/4 cup water,

2 Tablespoons butter 

1/4 cup honey 

Directions 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, oats, yeast, and salt. 

In a two cup measuring cup, heat milk and butter in microwave until butter melts. Add in water and honey, mixture should be between 110-118 degrees F. 

Make a well in flour mixture and add liquid, mix with dough hook. Knead in mixer for 10 minutes. If dough is wet add flour one tablespoon at a time, until dough is smooth and elastic.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled in size. This may  take 1/2-1 hour. 

Once the dough has risen, place dough on a clean surface. If dough is sticking lightly flour the surface. Flatten out the dough and then roll it up tucking the ends under, forming a loaf. Place the shaped dough into a greased loaf pan, cover and let rise for about 1/2 hour or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Brush top of risen dough with 2 Tablespoons of warmed honey and lightly sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon of oats. 

Bake for 45 minutes, until the bread is a deep golden brown. Remove bread from pan and check the internal temperature. If bread is not 190 degrees F, return back to pan and bake an additional 5 minutes. 

Once bread is done, transfer to a cooling rack and cool for about 30 minutes before slicing.

Slice and serve with strawberry jam. 

Enjoy !

Fresh Stawberry Jam {A Strawberry Summer Recipe #1}

Today I’m sharing my first recipe for my new series called “A Strawberry Summer”. Nothing screams summer like strawberries, and there are tons of ways to use them. So this summer I will be sharing a variety of recipes using strawberries.


Strawberry jam is surprisingly easy. If you’re  new to canning, strawberry jam is the perfect way to get started. This recipe features fresh strawberries from our local farm

 

Here’s My Notes:

1) Heating the jars: Your jars must be heated for 10 minutes before filling to help prevent jar breakage. Submerge the jars in enough water to cover. Bring water to a simmer, keep the jars in simmering water until ready to use.

2) Heating the lids: Same as with the jars, you must cover the lids with water and bring the water to a simmer, keep the lids in the simmering water until ready to use.

3) For smooth canning, I suggest having everything prepped. Have all your ingredients measured out, your cooling rack ready, and have a timer. 

4) Use fresh ripe strawberries.

5)Hulling the strawberries is a must…here’s a easy why to hull your strawberries

6)If you’re  new to canning, don’t be intimidated. Read through the recipe before starting and don’t rush. 

Fresh Strawberry Jam {A Strawberry Summer Recipe #1}

Equipment 

Canner Pot
Large Pot
Medium Pot
Half-Pint Canning Jars with Lids
Jar Funnel
Jar Lifter

Yields: about 8 half-pints 

2 quarts (8 cups) fresh ripe strawberries 

6 Tablespoons Ball Classic Pectin  

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 

7 cups sugar

Wash hulled strawberries well and drain. Place strawberries in a large pot and crush them, use a potato masher for this (I kept my strawberries pretty chunky). Add pectin and lemon juice to strawberries. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, I use a timer, and stir constantly. Remove from heat. Now remove jars and place on a wire rack. Ladle hot Jam into hot jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Cool on wire rack overnight


For additional information on canning, check out these helpful post.

Canning 101 and Strawberry Jam: Part 1
Strawberry Jam: Part 2