PB&J CUPCAKES

INGREDIENTS:
Cake
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
.50 c. butter
1.50 c granulated sugar
1 c. sweetened, creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Frosting
1 box confectioners’ sugar
.50 c. butter
.75 c. strawberry, raspberry or grape jam

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 24 standard muffin pan cups with liners.
2. Prepare cupcakes: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and granulated sugar for 3 minutes, or until fluffy. Beat in the peanut butter and vanilla. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups.
3. Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through. Cool the cupcakes in the pans on a wire racks for 5 minutes, then remove them from the pans and let them cool completely on wire racks.
4. Meanwhile, prepare frosting: Beat the confectioners’ sugar, butter, and jam in a large bowl, with a mixer on low speed, until blended. Then, increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy. Spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes

CREAM, BERRY AND NECTARINE TART

INGREDIENTS:
9 oz. tea biscuits
0.50 c. unsalted butter
1.50 package cream cheese
0.25 c. sugar
1 tbsp. sugar
1 c. very cold heavy cream
0.25 c. fresh lime juice
12 oz. small nectarines or peaches
0.75 c. blueberries
confectioners’ sugar
11- by 8-inch rectangular or 9-inch round tart pan with removable bottom

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a food processor, pulse the biscuits to form fine crumbs. Add the butter and pulse to combine. Press the mixture in the bottom and up the sides of the rectangular or round tart pan. Bake until the crust is light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool for about 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and ¼ cup sugar in a large bowl on medium-high until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the cream and beat until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add the lime juice and beat to return to stiff peaks, about 1 minute. Spread evenly into the bottom of the crust.
3. Refrigerate until the cream mixture is set, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days. Fifteen minutes before serving, slice the nectarines ¼ inch thick. In a medium bowl, toss the nectarines with the remaining tablespoon sugar. Let sit, tossing occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the blueberries and gently toss to combine. Top the tart with the fruit and dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

PATRIOTIC PARFAITS

INGREDIENTS
0.25 c. sugar
0.25 c. water
1 c. blueberries
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 c. heavy cream
10 oz. angel food cake
2 c. strawberries
0.50 c. shredded coconut
8 canning jars

DIRECTIONS
1. In 1-quart saucepan, stir together sugar and water. Heat to boiling on high, stirring occasionally; stir in blueberries and lemon juice. Remove from heat. Let cool completely.
2. In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, whip cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold in cooled blueberry mixture.
3. Place a single layer of angel food cake on bottom of 1 canning jar. Top with 2 tablespoons strawberries, then 2 tablespoons blueberry whipped cream. Repeat layering of cake, strawberries, and whipped cream. Repeat with remaining 7 jars. Serve immediately, or replace screw caps and refrigerate up to 1 day. Before serving, top each parfait with 1 tablespoon coconut.

RASPBERRY-BUTTERMILK ICE POPS

INGREDIENTS:
1 c. raspberries
.75 c. sour cream
.25 c. buttermilk
3 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

DIRECTIONS
1. In a large bowl, smash raspberries with the back of a fork. Add remaining ingredients, and stir to combine.
2. Pour mixture into ice-pop molds and freeze for 30 minutes. Insert a wooden stick into each pop; then freeze for at least 2 more hours.

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