St. Patrick’s Day Cake Pops

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Shamrock cake pops for St. Patrick's Day

I’m “technically” off sugar for the month of March (I’m going to buy myself something from here if I succeed), but these St. Patrick’s Day cake pops might be my downfall. You see, Mary Elizabeth always bakes the yummiest goodies that I just can’t resist and today she’s sharing how to make them. I mean…they’re key lime pie cake pops! Are you dying along with me? Just top them off with some shamrocks and gold nuggets and you’re good to go! See the full tutorial and shop the post below.
Cake Pops for St. Patrick's DaySt. Patrick's Day cake pops St. Patrick's Day Cake Pops Cake Pops for St. Patrick's Day key lime pie cake pop

photography by Trisha Zemp  |  concept and creation by ME Hammond  |  styling by Brittany Jepsen

Get the full tutorial and shop the post after the jump.

St. Patrick’s Day printable rainbow box

St. Patrick's Day cookie pox printable

The St. Patrick’s Day extravaganza continues here on Lars. This time I partnered up with my favorite bakery in town, Cristina from Birdie’s Bakery in Salt Lake City, to create a free printable St. Patrick’s Day rainbow cookie box that would be perfect for holding “gold nuggets” like these ones. They’re perfect for the “end of the rainbow” treasure, no? And, in true Irish fashion, it comes with an adorable leprechaun who pulls the box open. Printable Rainbow St. Patrick's Day cookie boxSt. Patrick's Day cookies by Birdies Bakery SLCBirdies Bakery SLC Golden Nugget Cookies and DIY Rainbow Box Birdies Bakery SLC golden nugget cookies for St. Patrick's Day Golden Nugget Cookies and Rainbow Leprechaun Box

If you’re in the SLC area, Birdie’s Bakery is THE BEST. Seriously. If you’re into the most delicious cookies in existence, then you need to order these ones.

photography by Trisha Zemp  |  Printable by Alexa Jorgenson  |  Cookies from Birdie’s Bakery in SLC  (the best in town!) 

See below for printable and to shop the post.

DIY Giant Lucky Charms

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Giant lucky charms tutorial and recipeGiant lucky charms. The best thing to happen to life since…lucky charms. Amiright? My philosophy about most things is that they are scientifically 10x better when they are enlarged or shrunken. Lucky Charms fits in that category.  Try out these homemade shortbread cookies and marshmallows with the recipe and tutorial below.

3 unique popcorn flavors

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3 unique popcorn flavors

In these colder months there’s nothing I enjoy/need more than warmth of any kind, whether that be a heating pad, an electric blanket, or … POPCORN! Popcorn just makes everything better doesn’t it? It feels like a treat without feeling like you’re going to keel over on a cholesterol overdose. Our resident baker/chef, Mary Elizabeth, came up with some delicious unique popcorn flavors to add some variety to the typical buttered variety. And let me tell you, this was a fun and filling shoot for me. 
white chocolate and cranberry popcorncheese and rosemary popcorn IMG_3173 photography by Laura Sumrak  |  Recipes by Mary Elizabeth Hammond  

See the full instructions and recipes on the next page

Conversation heart cookies & printable box

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Conversation heart cookies with free printable box

Are you dying of cuteness overload? I nearly did as we were shooting these little guys. There’s nothing more charming that making a small object giant like these conversation heart cookies. AND the icing on the cake is the printable box they come in. I mean…come on! So cute! Give them out at school or hand them out to neighbors! So many uses for those boxes alone!

Rather than create colored icing, ME worked at dyeing the cookie itself. Much less frosting and easier to transport too!

valentintes_cookiesandboxes05 valentintes_cookiesandboxes02 valentintes_cookiesandboxes01

baking by ME Hammond  |  packaging by Ashley Isenhour  |  photography by Trisha Zemp

See the full tutorial below.

Halloween Dinner Party Menu

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I gave a sneak peek of the delicious dinner party menu for our Halloween vanitas party (read more about the party here) with the printable menu cards and guys, you will want to bookmark/pin/note/dream about this menu. It’s beyond. If you remember from the Midsummer party, we partnered up with the girls from Ramblin Rose Cafe who created this out of this world menu. These girls have a knack for making delicious, healthy food that’s also gorgeous. And they have graciously provided all the recipes for you. SCORE! You’ll get dishes like:
Roasted root vegetables with honey orange vinaigrette
Roasted root vegetables with honey orange vinaigrette
Autumn Harvest Board
Autumn Harvest Board
Autumn Harvest Board
Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower soup
Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup
plus a delicious beverage to wash it all down. This dinner party menu is autumnal, flavorful, and beautiful! Go ahead, bookmark!
Food and food styling by Ramblin Rose Cafe
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen
 
See the full recipes below
Roasted root vegetables with honey orange vinaigrette

Dinner party menu: Roasted Root Vegetables with honey orange vinaigrette

  • Red beets, golden beets, rutabaga, black turnip, parsnip, and rainbow carrots
  • Olive oil
  • 1 c. black rice
  • 2 c. water
  • 1/4 inch slice of ginger
  • 1 star anise
  • Big pinch of sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 c. hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped (for garnish)

Honey Orange Vinaigrette

  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 c. honey wine vinegar
  • 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper

 

  1. For the vinaigrette: place everything in a jar with a tight lid and shake to combine. Taste and adjust with sea salt and cracked pepper to your liking.
  2. Rinse black rice in a strainer under running water to get rid of excess starch. Place rinsed rice, water, ginger, star anise, salt, and pepper in a pot with a lid. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer. Cook for 25030 minutes until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat and leave lid for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, remove star anise and ginger.
  3. Meanwhile, rustically cut a variety of root vegetables. Toss in olive oil, sea salt, and cracked pepper. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees until tender (about 30 minutes).
  4. Toss rice in vinaigrette and pour onto platter. When vegetables are done roasting, arrange on top and finish with extra vinaigrette, sea salt, cracked pepper, and toasted hazelnuts.
Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup

Dinner party menu: Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Soup

  • 2 heads of cauliflower
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • Olive oil
  • Veggie stock to cover
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked pepper
  • Yogurt
  • Chili oil

Chili oil

  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. red chili flakes
  1. In a small pot, bring oil and chili flakes to a simmer, then turn off and let steep for about 30 minutes to let the chili infuse into the oil.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  3. Cut the top of the garlic bulb off, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap it in tin foil. Roast the whole garlic bulb until soft and golden.
  4. Roughly chop onion and sauté in olive oil until translucent. Season with sea salt and cracked pepper. Roughly chop cauliflower. Add to onions and season again. When cauliflower is tender and golden, cover with veggie stock.
  5. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the papery bulb into the soup pot. Blend soup with an immersion blender or high speed blender until smooth. Taste and season with more sea salt and cracked pepper if necessary.
  6. Finish with the chili oil and a drizzle of yogurt
Autumn Harvest Board

Dinner party menu: Autumn Harvest Board

  • Artisan bread, torn
  • Artisan cheeses– we used Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese, Teahhive Cheddar Cheese, and a French Roquefort Blue Cheese
  • Olives
  • Orchard fruit, sliced
  • Figs, cut in half
  • Pomegranate, deseeded
  • Butter and flakey sea salt
  • Honeycomb
  • Spicy dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • Big wooden board to serve on

A few pointers when arranging a harvest board:

  • Use a big enough board. Better to have the contrast of wood showing than all the good stuff rolling off.
  • Place the cheeses and bread down first. Everything else can be scattered around and made to fit.
  • Keep each ingredient clumped somewhat together, to keep it easier to dish from.
  • If using honeycomb, place on the board at the edge. The honey starts to seep out of the comb as soon as it is cut.

Dinner party menu: Pomegranate Ginger Elixir

Equal parts:

  • Pomegranate juice (chilled)
  • Ginger beer (chilled)
  1. Combine in individual glasses or make a big pitcher. Serve chilled.

These foods look *almost* too gorgeous to eat. To complete the dinner party menu, try our vanilla bean skull cake for dessert! And to go along with these dinner party recipes, check out our full post about how to throw a beautiful and spooky Halloween party!

Vanilla Bean Skull Cake for Halloween

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This. Is. Edible! It’s a skull, but it’s a cake. It’s a skull cake! I love the vanitas still life it created for our Halloween party. It acts as decor AND deliciousness. And let me tell you, this recipe is tasty! Just add some greenery (and fruits to continue the vanitas theme), and you’ve got a gorgeous centerpiece.
Also, I had to do it:

Here’s the full dinner table for the party in all of its spooky glory. There are a number of decoration ideas and recipes. You might die (muhahah! pun shamelessly intended) with all the delicious gorgeousness.

Photography by Alpha Smoot
Floral styling by Sarah Winward
Props from Mary Lee
Cake by ME Hammond
Art directed by Brittany Jepsen

See the recipe and instructions below.

Vanilla bean skull cake

Materials:

  • We used a skull mold from Wilton (you can find a similar option here)
  • 3 3/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 1 1/2 c. whole milk

For glaze:

  • 3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 t. vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare the skull cake pan by thoroughly spraying the pan with non-stick spray and lightly flouring
  3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  4. Slowly add eggs, vanilla extract, and vanilla beans
  5. Combine dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl
  6. Add dry ingredients and milk, alternating approximately 1/3 at a time beginning and ending with dry ingredients
  7. Once the batter is mixed, place it in the prepared skull cake pan
  8. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  9. Allow cakes to cool for about 30 minutes until the cake is only slightly warm
  10. Unmold the cakes from the skull pan
  11. Allow cake to completely cool. Cut the tops of the cakes to be even and place the cakes back to back to create the 3D skull
  12. Glaze cake and allow glaze to harden before serving
  13. Voila! You have a scary skull cake!
We’ve had so much fun with the tortured artist party, and this skull cake recipe really hits the sweet (and spooky!) spot. You can view details of the tortured artist party here, as well as the full menu here. See more Halloween ideas in our Halloween archives!

Birthday pancake cake

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A pancake cake. I know, I know “but the calories, the sugar…”, SNOOZE FEST! It’s a PAN and it’s a CAKE! A pancake cake! And it’s delicious, which these days is my hashtag 1 requirement. Can you imagine anything more scrumptious to arrive to than a pancake cake surprise awaiting the birthday boy/girl?

Photography by Laura Sumrak
baking by ME Hammond

Check out more birthday projects here
And more delicious recipes here

See the full recipe below

Birthday Cake Pancake Batter:

1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. funfetti cake mix (yellow cake mix also works great)
1 t. baking powder
1 T. sugar
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
3/4 c. milk
pinch of salt
Sprinkles

1. Mix together dry ingredients
2. Add eggs, vanilla, and milk to dry ingredients (whisk well, try to avoid clumps)
3. Fry pancakes in a medium high griddle
4. Top with syrup and sprinkles
5. Eat up!

Dessert sushi

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Dessert sushi
If you don’t like raw fish maybe you like raw cookie dough? With ice cream? As sushi? Just maybe? Guys, dessert sushi rocked my world. It would be so fun for a party or a fun dinner surprise.
Chocolate and peanut butter sushi
dessert sushi
Baker ME Hammond replicated a full sushi experience with sweets. Here’s what we did:
dessert sushi
Whipped pistachio paste for wasabi
Starburst for ginger
Chocolate sauce for soy sauce
Coconut flakes for rice
Strawberry ice cream with sugar dough and sprinkles
Vanilla with chocolate chip cookie dough
Chocolate ice cream with peanut butter
dessert sushi
vanilla ice cream and chocolate chip cookie dough
dessert sushi
dessert sushi
styling by Brittany Jepsen
Click below for full recipes!

Homemade heart marshmallows

In this week of intense glamping, we thought we’d try our hand at a traditional campout dish, the s’more, and add a Lars detail…heart mallows. 
Of course, any talk on this subject and we all know the authority from the smore masters themselves. You know what I’m talking about.

photography by Trisha Zemp and Victoria Riza
heart marshmallow making by ME Hammond 

See full recipe below



recipe adapted from Alton Brown

Homemade Heart Shaped Mallows
3 packages gelatin
1/2 c. ice cold water
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. light corn syrup
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla extract
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch

Instructions:
1. Mix together powdered sugar and cornstarch. Prepare a 9″ by 13″ pan by spraying with non stick spray and lightly dusting with powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture. (Don’t use all of it though because you will need more at the end)
2. Place gelatin and ice cold water in stand mixer with whisk attachment. Light mix and let sit.
3. In a sauce pan mix the remaining 1/2 c. of water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Stir the mixture lightly until the sugar is dissolved. Using candy thermometer, cook sugar to about 230 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Once the sugar mixture has reached 230 degrees pour over the gelatin mixture in the stand mixer. Turn on the mixer immediately to a medium high speed. The mixture will start to thicken, and begin to look white and glossy–like marshmallow fluff! Imagine that. Let it go for about 8-9 minutes. Just before the mallows are done, add the vanilla extract and whip about another minute. It should be thick enough to have a strong pull when you touch it but be careful not to get it too thick or the marshmallows will start to set before you can finish them!
5. Spread the marshmallows as evenly as you can into the prepared pan. Mallow mixture is very sticky so be warned. You may want to spray your spatula with some non stick spray as well.
6. Spread what is left of the cornstarch and powdered sugar mixture over the mallows, this will help some not be so sticky.
7. Let the mallows rest over night.
8. Use heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out desired shapes.
9. Go glamping with your fabulous heart shaped mallows.

Pineapple boat with sorbet

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And to close off the season of sorbet, I present to you a pineapple boat. Kandyce came up with this fun idea. When she was little she would spend vacations in Palm Springs. At their favorite Japanese restaurant they were given a pineapple boat for their birthday chock full of ice cream and topped with loads of sugared accessories. She decided to make one for you in a slightly more healthy version. Just carve out the pineapple and add in the scoops and top it off with some of your favorite goodies.
And to recap, here are the sorbet flavors we shared from July’s National Ice Cream Month.

 Pineapple sorbet with chamomile and lemon

 Kiwi Mint lime sorbet

all photography by Laura Sumrak
recipes by Kandyce Carroll of Ramblin Rose Cafe 
styling by Brittany Jepsen

Pineapple sorbet with chamomile tea and lemon

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Pineapple sorbet with chamomile tea and lemon recipe by Ramblin Rose Cafe for The House that Lars Built.
Pineapple sorbet with chamomile tea and lemon recipe by Ramblin Rose Cafe for The House that Lars Built.
Pineapple sorbet with chamomile tea and lemon recipe by Ramblin Rose Cafe for The House that Lars Built.
Pineapple with Chamomile tea and lemon juice 

Take out your violin because National ice cream month is coming to a close. But I have two more surprises for you friends one of them being this pineapple sorbet with chamomile tea and lemon juice, which is absolutely delicious.

Check out the recipe below.

The recipe is basically the same as last week, just swap out the tea and fruit. 

Pineapple with Chamomile tea and lemon juice 

3/4 cup chamomile tea (loose leaf at a local coffee shop works!)
2 tbs lemon juice
2 cups of pineapple
1/4 cup honey
In a saucepan, stir the tea and honey together over low heat until thoroughly combined. Bring the mixture to a boil, remove from heat, and let cool.
Place the 2 cups of fruit and the 2 tablespoons of juice into a food processor and puree. Once smooth, blend in the simple syrup made from honey and water. Mix thoroughly.
Scrape the sorbet onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread the mixture out over the pan, forming a thin layer. Freeze until solid then remove from the pan in chunks and puree again in the food processor.
Donzo.
Yields 2 1/2 cups of sorbet
To apply the chamomile flowers onto the cone you simply apply a small amount of honey onto the rim of the cone and dip into sprinkles. Easy squeezy.
Check out the other flavors cantaloupe, kiwi, and strawberry