Mini Fruit Tarts

I’m back! I’ve resurfaced for air now that work is quieting down. Phew! I made these cute buggers back for Easter, and I took a little shortcut to make them even easier. I used sugar cookie dough for the bottom and it made them come together so quickly! I baked the cookie base the night before and whipped up the pastry cream. The Three Bite Rule - Mini Fruit Tarts

Sugar Cookie Fruit Tarts

Ingredients:

refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon light colored jelly (apricot, marmalade, apple, peach)

Directions:

Warm the milk over medium low heat until it steams, but doesn’t boil.
Whisk together the sugar, flour, salt and egg yolks into a paste.  (I used a stand mixer.) Add in a little of the milk and keep mixing. Pour in the rest of the milk slowly while mixing.
Pour it back into the pot and warm over low. Stir while it cooks and thickens. Don’t let it boil!
Spoon through a mesh strainer to strain any lumps out.
Refrigerate at least an hour, or until ready to serve. Lay a piece of plastic wrap ontop of the pastry cream so the top doesn’t form a pudding skin.
Bake the cookie into cups by pressing into muffin tin cups. Allow to cool then spoon the pastry cream into the cookie cups.
The Three Bite Rule - Mini Fruit Tarts
Top with berries or sliced fruit.
The Three Bite Rule - Mini Fruit Tarts
Then, brush with some jelly, microwaved for 10 seconds.
The Three Bite Rule - Mini Fruit Tarts
So cute! The pastry cream is light and tasty. I was glad for the cookie crunch and a little fruit for freshness. They’re cute as mini cups but would be pretty in a springform or tart pan.

I made these for Easter brunch along with Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Everything Bagel Bake. These worked well together since I had egg whites left from the pastry cream!

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

I baked! Hazzzah! One of our family get togethers included Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and a birthday! Mr. J made a pistachio cake but since I didn’t plan any other desserts I decided to sneak a cookie into the schedule. These were such a winner. I was nervous the whole time but they worked! Using cake mix made it so easy.
The Three Bite Rule - Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Ingredients:

1 box red velvet cake mix
2 tablespoons flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 powdered sugar

Directions:

Mix together the cake mix, flour, eggs, oil, and vanilla with a mixer.
The Three Bite Rule - Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
Roll the dough into balls and toss in a bowl of the powdered sugar.
The Three Bite Rule - Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
Place the cookies onto a baking sheet and cook for about 10 minutes. (They won’t look crinkled until they puff and then set.)
The Three Bite Rule - Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
I loved these! They were super cute, so good, and perfectly cooked. Now I want to try other cake mixes! Lemon seems Easter-y. Funfetti would be festive anytime! I’ll totally make these again. Making red velvet from scratch costs a fortune for how much red dye. Cake mix makes these cookies so easy. Success!

Throwback Snack: Dunkaroo Dip

I was a bit delayed on Mr. J’s August snack of the month. August’s theme was #throwback so I recreated Dunkaroos! I don’t remember ever seeing them at my house growing up. Essentially it was a cookie dipped into frosting so I doubt they are worse than another cookie with frosting but alas, they are no more…except for Pinterest. It is very addicting. The cake mix makes it.

Dunkaroo Dip - The Three Bite Rule

Ingredients:

1/2 box funfetti cake mix
1 cup Greek vanilla yogurt
2 cups cool whip

Directions:

Mix together the funfetti, yogurt, and cool whip.
Dunkaroo Dip - The Three Bite Rule
Mix and serve with animal crackers for dipping.
Dunkaroo Dip - The Three Bite Rule
Add a few more sprinkles serve and enjoy!

I served these as single dipper portions…much like the 90s treat? Why, yes! I gave Mr. J I Owe Yous with themes for his birthday to get a year of Snacks/Treats.

June: hot & cold (Ice cream topping basket)
July: shareable (loaded waffle fries)
Aug: throwback (this Dunkaroo dip!)
Sept: sweet
Oct: homemade
Nov: chewy
Dec: craveworthy
Jan: minty
Feb: crunchy
Mar: dip-able
April: traditional
May: fresh

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

I saw, I pinned, I waited forever, then I made. I’m not much of a baker but despite the cake, topping, and glaze it was actually really easy. It was addictive and somehow squares of the pan just kept disappearing. I’m not sure how it happened.

The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Coffee Cake
This comes from Tasty Kitchen by way of How Sweet It Is and Pretty Good Food and whoever else has made it.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

⅓ cups water
1 can pumpkin
2 eggs
1 tbs vanilla
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 box spice cake mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup brown sugar

Topping:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
4 tbs melted butter

Glaze:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions:

In a mixer, combine water, pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined. Add the cake mix and baking soda and mix again until just combined.
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
Pour cake into a sprayed 9×13 pan.
In a small bowl, mix the topping ingredients: brown sugar, flour and melted butter. Use your fingers to sprinkle over the top of the cake.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Coffee Cake
Bake for 25-30 minutes.
In a medium sauce pan simmer brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream. Remove from heat and stir until all sugar dissolves.
When the cake is cooked, pokes some holes and pour glaze over the top.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Coffee Cake
I absolutely loved this. It was great as dessert and as breakfast.

S’mores Fudge

I just whipped up some fudge upon request from my dad and I wanted to go crazy with it, or just make some I hadn’t done before. Since it was his bday  I figured I’d stick to chocolate and find out what other flavors would pass muster for the future. I added a few colored sprinkles on top and poof, it was birthday fudge.

I still wanted to jack up some fudge. I thought about cookies & cream, but I seem to always have mini marshmallows around so this proved timely.
The Three Bite Rule - S'mores Fudge

Everyone loved the half chocolate half peanut butter one I did. Dad liked the mocha fudge I gave him for Christmas last year. I messed around making this s’more fuge and figured Mr. J would eat it since I had made some but given it all away.

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1/2 container Fluff
1 small can evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter (I used a butter substitute and the texture was off, don’t do this)
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 mini marshmallows
4 graham crackers, crumbled

Directions:

Over medium heat, melt sugar, fluff, milk, butter, and salt together. Some bubbles will come up when the air is coming out.
Bring to a boil and boil, stirring consistently for 5 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - S'mores Fudge
Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until melted and mixed through.
The Three Bite Rule - S'mores Fudge
Pour into a 9×9 baking dish that you’ve buttered, sprayed, or lined with parchment paper.
Top with marshmallows.
The Three Bite Rule - S'mores Fudge
Top with graham crackers.
The Three Bite Rule - S'mores Fudge
Let cool for at least 2 hours.

It gets firmer in the fridge, but then the marshmallows get a bit weird. They don’t seem to like life in the fridge. I made this a while ago…it was hot and also because I made the mistake of using a butter substitute it didn’t quite harden enough. It tasted great though. It is definitely “never fail fudge” if you follow the instructions. I had gotten as far as melting the marshmallow so it was too late to turn back, or I’d be figuring how to dispose of sticky melted marshmallow which seemed more challenging than taking the risk with not-real butter.

S’mores Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is so foolproof. It also is the perfect dessert to make as a “small batch”. I made some mini ramekins that were a great single serving. I loved these flavors so I’m glad there wasn’t a big batch to sneak bites from. I also kicked it up a notch by using chocolate chunks. Chocolate chips would be fine but I loooove the big hunks. It is such a special touch to me.

Need a Valentine’s Day treat? Make this. Dinner isn’t necessary. Valentine’s Day is a day for chocolate. Done!

Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream/light cream/milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 soft sub rolls cut into into cubes (or approx. 6 slices of French bread)
1 cup chocolate chunks
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 cup crumbled graham crackers (plus another few tbs for topping)

Direction:

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
Whisk together cream, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla.
The Three Bite Rule - S'mores Bread Pudding
Cut bread into 1″ cubes
Mix the bread into the wet mixture and toss to coat.
Add in marshmallows, chocolate chunks, and crumbled graham crackers and stir.

The Three Bite Rule - S'mores Bread Pudding

Spray ramekins or muffin tins, or a baking dish with non-stick spray and spoon into dishes.

The Three Bite Rule - S'mores Bread Pudding
Top with remaining graham cracker crumbles.
Bake 20 minutes. Broil another minute to brown the top.

The Three Bite Rule - S'mores Bread Pudding
Bread pudding is so adaptable. It lends itself to so many flavor combos. I had s’mores on the brain so I went with it. I’ve made black forest bread pudding a few times and love it. It uses pumpernickel bread (which has cocoa in it = dark color) and dark cherries.

I kind of let mine go a minute too long. Seriously. That decision to broil needs to be carefully watched. I had some “crunchy” parts. It was really good nonetheless. I loved the simplicity of this for a quick dessert.

The Three Bite Rule - S'mores Bread Pudding

suggested adaptations: 
bread pudding base + 1 tsp cocoa powder + strawberry slices + chocolate chips = chocolate dipped strawberry bread pudding
bread pudding base + 1 tsp cocoa powder + mini marshmallows = hot cocoa bread pudding
bread pudding base + banana + butterscotch/cinnamon chips = bananas foster bread pudding

What I Ate: Sweet Pumpkin Dip

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

It is Pumpkin Week here. Check out my Pumpkin French Toast and my Pumpkin Risotto. This is too easy to share, but it is just such a fall delight and very addictive.

I’m not a big baker so this sweet dip hit the spot. It also isn’t the worst sweet treat to eat. I whipped this up, refrigerated it until I was ready, and then packed it for an Octoberfest party. Now that’s easy.

The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Dip

Ingredients:

1, 15-oz can pumpkin
1, 15-oz container non-dairy whipped cream
1 box vanilla pudding mix (regular, cook to serve)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

Whip everything together.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Dip
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Dip
Serve with graham crackers for dipping.
The Three Bite Rule - Pumpkin Dip
I like this dip. The flavors and ease are definitely the high points. It is delightfully light and fluffy. I didn’t even think about dipping apples until now, but how great would that be?! I spread this onto toast one morning and couldn’t get over my genius moment. Whip this up for Thanksgiving when everyone needs something to munch on.

This is basically a quickie pumpkin mousse. Sprinkle some graham cracker crumbles on the bottom and top with a dollop of whipped cream and you’ve got dessert.

Should we keep talking about pumpkin? One more day! Tomorrow is something out of the ordinary for The Three Bite Rule and I want you to see it.

Cake Bombs

Way back when, I wanted to experiment with some cake pops. I somehow convinced myself that I could get away without dipping them in chocolate. I know, you get it. It’s such a mess and a process, right? Right.

Also, I’m not really a baker either. These cake bombs are a twist on cake pops and are about 90% successful. They taste amazing. Nobody minds that the mess is sprinkles because hello, they’re sprinkles.

Ingredients:

boxed chocolate cake mix (and required ingredients)
16 oz chocolate frosting
mini chocolate chips & sprinkles

Directions:

Cook cake according to package.
cakeball_mix_590_390
Mix cake mix and frosting together.
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Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Roll into balls then dip in chocolate or roll in mini chips and sprinkles.
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Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.
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They’re easy and I served them in cupcake wrappers. They give the impression of a truffle and taste pretty amazing. I’m glad I didn’t buy sticks just to make the mess to dip them in chocolate.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

These Peanut Butter and Jelly bars came out of nowhere. I agreed to make some sort of treat for the office when they hit a goal. The recipient would get a treat themed as the prize according to their role during our event. I hadn’t thought out what I’d make and figured I’d wing it when it happened. Welp. It happened earlier than I thought (which was a good thing) and SOMEHOW I was able to whip these babies up with ingredients at home.

On our event, the participants, volunteers, and staff go bananas over these gramwiches. They seem to only be available in huuuuge quantities (like catering quantities, not even wholesale quantities). I attempted a homemade version and they were amazing. Maybe we were just starved and up to our eyeballs in calls/emails/etc but these seemed perfect. I’m not a big baker so that’s precisely why I don’t need to be humble about these babies. Stellar.
gramwich_cut_590_390

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Peanut Butter & Jelly Bars

Ingredients:

2 sticks butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup jam (I used strawberry)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 tsp cinnamon
5 graham crackers, crumbled

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350-degrees and grease a 9×9 baking pan.
Using a stand mixer, mix 1 stick of butter, sugar, and vanilla for about 2 minutes.
Add peanut butter, eggs and mix until combined, scraping down the sides.
Mixing on low, add flour, baking powder, and salt until combined.
gramwich_base_mixed_590_390
Add peanut butter chips and mix by hand.
Press into the bottom of the baking pan.
gramwich_pan_590_390
Top with jam.
gramwich_jelly_590_390
Melt other stick of butter and mix with brown sugar, oatmeal, cinnamon, and graham crackers into a crumble.
gramwich_topping_590_390
Add topping to the pan.
Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting.
gramwich_baked_590_390
These were so good. You know what makes them this good? The butter. The topping was so good because all good things have butter in them. It makes such a difference.

I totally need to make these again. I’d probably up the jelly ratio…and maybe I’d double the batch.

Thin Mint Ice Cream

Just before St. Patrick’s Day I set out to make ice cream and couldn’t find any mint extract. Is that because of the green-ness for the holiday? The store had lots of other extracts: rum; banana; orange; hazelnut, lemon, almond,  raspberry; and vanilla. I found green food coloring and then scrounged around to find mint flavors I could add into my would-be mint chip ice cream. I was psyched to put my new ice cream containers to use!
mint_icecream_container_590_390

I found the generic Thin Mint cookies and figured why not?! I got fresh mint. Then I peeked around the dairy section finding York Peppermint Creamer. Sure, join this mintfest.

Ingredients:
1 cups milk (I used 1%)
½ cup half-and-half
½ cup peppermint coffee creamer
20 fresh mint leaves
3/4 cups sugar
dash of salt
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-6 drops green food coloring
10 thin mint cookies, crushed
2 tbs mini mint chips (or chunks)

Directions:
Cook milk, half and half, creamer and mint leaves in a medium pan, over medium-high heat. Heat about 5-8 minutes until the milk mixture gently bubbles, but doesn’t boil.
mint_icecream_steep_590_390
Remove from heat and let the mint steep for about 10 minutes.
While mint is steeping, in a small bowl, mix sugar, salt and egg yolks. Whisk to mix throughly.
Pour milk mixture through colander to separate the mint leaves. Press all the milk out of them and disgard.
mint_icecream_strain_590_390
Return mint mix to pan over medium heat.
Slowly add the egg/sugar mixture, stirring for five minutes.
Remove from heat, add vanilla and a few drops of green coloring.
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Refrigerate for a few hours, stirring occasionally, until completely chilled.
Add the rest of the green drops until it becomes your color of choice.
Mix according to manufacturer’s instructions (I mixed 35 minutes).
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Mix cookies and chips in by hand.
mint_icecream_cookies_590_390
Freeze for at least 30 minutes before serving.
mint_icecream_container_590_390
Makes just over 1 quart.

Ohh my minty ice cream. I worried about the mintiness since I couldn’t find mint extract. Apparently, when you add every other mint thing you can find, it tastes minty enough. It wasn’t perfectly creamy. There was a tiny edge of an icy texture. I really think the non-dairy creamer is at fault for that. Whole fat milk is best and that non-dairy stuff is a little bit creepy now that I think about it….

When I smelled the mint, I immediately wanted a mojito. Is that bad? I smell mint and bypass toothpaste wanting a mixed drink?

Mint oreos would have been good, but they seem to sell out for St. Patrick’s Day too. I brought this to our green/St. Patrick’s Day potluck. I didn’t photograph it, let’s just say it wasn’t our finest potluck. Maybe next time.