Easy Cookies And Cream Pudding Parfaits

This post is sponsored by Torani but all opinions are mine.

Cookies and cream pudding parfaits

Summer is (unofficially) here and that means warm weather and doing anything I can to avoid turning the oven on. I’m a huge fan of no-bake desserts anyway since I like to keep things simple in my kitchen. Plus, since it’s “May-cember” (aka the busiest month of the year) I am all about any shortcuts I can take to make things easier!

pudding parfaits

When I saw that Torani had a new Cookies & Cream Sauce I knew I wanted to create a special dessert for the holiday weekend to surprise my nine year old who we affectionately call “cookie monster”. I was originally going to make mini pudding pies but I couldn’t find any small chocolate crusts so I decided to make parfaits instead. I’m so glad I did because the layers of chocolatey goodness created one tasty treat! The biggest shortcut I took for these was using premade pudding so I didn’t have to make my own. You can definetely make homemade pudding but, in between taking care of a fussy baby and baseball games, I was happy to erase something off my long list of to-do’s.

cookie topped pudding parfait

Ingredients to make several pudding parfaits:

  • Two 4-packs of snack sized puddings – one vanilla and one chocolate
  • 1/2 a pack of chocolate sandwich cookies
  • Torani Cookies & Cream Sauce (Found at Walmart in the Cocoa or Ice Cream Topping section.)
  • Parfait cups (if you want to be fancy) or small bowls

Directions to make pudding parfaits:

  • Put the chocolate cookies in a quart size bag and crush into pieces using your hands or a rolling pin.
  • Put the puddings into bowls by flavor
  • Stir half of the crushed cookies into the bowl of vanilla pudding
  • Stir in a couple tablespoons of the Torani Cookies & Cream Sauce in to the bowl of the chocolate pudding
  • Layer crushed cookies and pudding into parfait cups and top with more crushed cookies and the Torani sauce

pudding parfait dessert for chocolate lovers

Another thing I like about parfaits is that there is no wrong way to make them so this is a great recipe to get kids helping in the kitchen. They can help crush the cookies and put all the ingredients in bowls. Then, when everything is ready, everyone can personalize their own parfait – whether they prefer chocolate or vanilla pudding and how many crushed cookie layers they want to add is up to them!

Now that I’ve discovered this Torani Cookies & Cream sauce I want to grab some more flavors because they are perfect for drizzling on top of desserts or adding by the spoonful to coffee or cocoa. I already have their Peppermint syrup sitting on my coffee bar so I can enjoy peppermint mochas all year long! It’s easy to craft delicious treats with Torani syrups and sauces because their flavors can create endless recipes and they bring out the best in drinks and desserts. Plus, they are made with real, simple ingredients like pure can sugar and natural flavors. What would you make?

Cookies and cream dessert the whole family will love

Cherries and Berries Frozen Brownie Dessert {Recipe}

This recipe post is sponsored by Yoplait.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Start to Finish: 6 Hours 15 Minutes


  • 1 box Betty Crocker® Original Supreme Premium brownie mix 
  • Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box 
  • 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips 
  • 1/3 cup hot fudge 
  • 4 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Fruitful™ cherries & red berries yogurt 
  • 2 tablespoons miniature chocolate chips 


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Make brownies as directed on box for 9-inch pan, except stir 1/2 cup chocolate chips into batter before spreading in pan. Cool 15 minutes on cooling rack. 
  • Spread hot fudge over brownies. Place in freezer 30 minutes. Spread yogurt evenly on top. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons chocolate chips. Place in freezer about 4 hours or until firm. 
  • Just before serving, cut into 9 pieces. Store any remaining dessert tightly covered in freezer up to 1 week. 

Makes 9 servings.

Get a coupon for the Yoplait Fruitful yogurt here.

(Recipe and image provided by Yoplait.)

Frozen Greek Yogurt Pops {Recipe}

Need a cool treat for a hot day? Try making these Frozen Greek Yogurt Pops with your kids!


Banana Greek Pops: 2 bananas cubed 1 cup VOSKOS® Vanilla Greek yogurt 2 tbs. sugar

Strawberry Greek Pops: 1 cup VOSKOS® Strawberry Greek yogurt 1 cup fresh strawberries, stems cut 2 tbs. sugar

Blueberry Greek Pops: 1 cup VOSKOS® Blueberry Greek yogurt 1 cup fresh blueberries 2 tbs. sugar


  • Using a blender, add all ingredients, blend until combined.
  • Using popsicle containers or Dixie cups pour mixture in half way full in Dixie cups and ¾ full in popsicle containers.
  • Freeze 2-4 hours or overnight. If using Dixie cups, let freeze for 30 minutes before inserting the popsicle stick.

*Make sure you rinse your blender in between flavors.

(Recipe and above image courtesy of VOSKOS® Greek Yogurt)

Easy Cakes With The Holstein Pound Cake Maker {Giveaway}

(Disclosure: I received the pound cake maker to review but all thoughts are my own.)

Cake w/ strawberry topping

It gets so hot in the summer that turning the oven on is the last thing I want to do. Thankfully, I discovered the Holstein Pound Cake Maker which is a handy little portable machine that makes baking cakes quick and easy.

The maker comes with a booklet of recipes which I didn’t have much luck with but I learned that I could use box mixes which was easier to do and tasted better. I used a fun confetti mix left over from the 4th of July. The mix took only a few minutes to put together and just about 7 minutes in the pound cake maker. There is no timer on the maker so I used my microwave timer to time it. The boxed mix made 5 pound cake “loaves”.

Pound cake cooling off

Sinisa made a topping for the pound cake instead of using frosting. He mixed cool whip and strawberry syrup together to make it. We then added strawberries and blueberries for a fun summer treat.

Pound cake dessert

Overall I enjoyed using the pound cake maker and liked how easy it was to make cake. When not in use it can be tucked away in the cabinet which saves precious counter space in my kitchen. You can make any flavor cake you’d like. I think next time I am going to try carrot cake.


One reader will win a Holstein Pound Cake Maker

Image courtesy of http://holsteinhousewares.com

How To Enter:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1)  Tell me what kind of cake you’d make

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Follow @holsteinkitchen on Twitter

4) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5) Comment on another one of my blog posts

Giveaway ends August 5, 2013 at 11:59pm central time. Must be a US resident, 21 and older to enter.

Vanilla Nougat Candy Bar Bites {Recipe}

This recipe and image are from the cookbook Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques by Shauna Sever. Makes about 2 dozen 1 inch bites.


1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
½ teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey pure vanilla extract
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60 to 70 percent cacao), melted
¼ cup finely chopped salted nuts


  • Lightly coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line it with parchment paper and lightly spray the parchment, too.
  • In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium high heat, stir together sugar, 1/2 cup water, corn syrup, and salt. Boil until the temperature reaches 238°F.
  • Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites on medium speed until they hold soft peaks, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour half of the hot syrup into egg whites, beginning with just 1 to 2 tablespoons and then gradually pouring in the rest (adding just a little syrup at first warms up the egg whites and prevents them from scrambling). Immediately return saucepan with the remaining hot syrup to medium-high heat and bring to a boil; continue beating egg-white mixture until thick, with the consistency of marshmallow crème, then turn off mixer.
  • When the syrup temperature reaches 275°F, turn mixer on at medium speed and slowly pour in syrup. Increase mixer speed to high and beat for 10 to 12 minutes, until mixture is very thick, heavy, and beginning to lose its gloss; the bowl should be cool except for the very bottom. Scrape mixture into prepared pan and spread it into the corners with lightly oiled hands or an offset spatula. Let set at room temperature until completely cool and firm, about 2 hours.
  • Invert nougat onto a cutting surface and remove the parchment. The slab should be sticky side up (the side that was exposed to the air while setting should be dry and not sticky when touched). Cut into 1-inch squares and place squares sticky side up on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Pour melted chocolate into a small zip-top bag. Use scissors to snip off the corner of the bag. Drizzle a bit of chocolate over each nougat square and sprinkle chopped nuts on top. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 5 minutes, before serving.

If the egg whites hold soft peaks before the syrup temperature reaches 238°F, stop the mixer—you want the whipped whites to be ready and waiting for the syrup, not the other way around.

(Disclosure: I was sent this recipe to share but was not compensated for posting this recipe.)

Chocolate Truffles {Recipe}

Recipe and image courtesy of Chef Nathan Lyon, Host of Good Food America on Veria Living and author of Great Food Starts Fresh.

Chef Nathan Lyon’s Chocolate Truffles Four Ways

Yield: 40 Truffles, 10 of each flavor


1 cup heavy whipping cream

12 ounces dark chocolate (containing 60% to 72% cocoa solids), chopped finely

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/16 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon dark rum, almond oil, peppermint oil, and orange oil

½ cup each: finely crushed hard mint candies, unsweetened shredded coconut, and finely chopped almonds in separate bowls

¼ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder


1.       Put the cream into a medium saucepan and stir slowly over medium-low heat to just a simmer, being careful not to let it boil.

2.       Combine the chopped chocolate, butter, and salt into a large bowl. Remove the cream from the heat and pour it over the chocolate mixture. Cover with plastic wrap.

3.       Let the mixture sit undisturbed for 1minute, then uncover and slowly stir with a spatula until fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla extract.

4.       Divide the melted chocolate evenly among 4 small bowls. Add the dark run to the first bowl, the orange oil to the second, the almond oil  to the third and the peppermint oil to the fourth. Cover each bowl loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours.

5.       Using a melon baller, small ice cream scoop, or teaspoon, scoop the chilled chocolate into one-teaspoon portions. Quickly roll each portion of chocolate between the palms of your hand to achieve a somewhat round ball.

6.       Gently roll each chocolate ball in one f the four separate bowls filled with the cocoa power, mint candies, shredded coconut, and toasted almonds.

7.       Transfer the coated truffles to a parchment paper-lined plate, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, approximately 30 minutes. Remove truffles from the refrigerator 15 minutes before serving.

Benny’s Carrot Cake {Recipe}

Benny’s Carrot Cake, photo by Tim Turner

Happy National Carrot Cake Day! Carrot cake is one of my favorite non-chocolate desserts. This picture above of the carrot cake from Benny’s Chop House in Chicago looks amazing. Don’t worry though, I’m not going to just tease you with this tasty image….I was sent the recipe to share with you all so that you can make this carrot cake yourself! Yum!

Created by Pastry Chef Aaron Lindgren, Benny’s Carrot Cake is made from a traditional recipe first conceived by Chef Lindgren’s mother, Leigh Ann. “Using the highest quality ingredients with chunks of crushed pineapple and spices like clove, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg, the cake is rich and moist but not too sweet. My recipes are all less sweet than most,” Lindgren said. “The cream cheese frosting has 40 percent less sugar than traditional recipes, and with the addition of fresh Tahitian vanilla bean, citrus zest, butter and cream cheese, the end result is a very tasty dessert that’s smooth, luscious and satisfying.”

Carrot Cake by Pastry Chef Aaron Lindgren


  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup cooking oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¼ cup grated raw carrots
  • ½ cup crushed pineapple (drain syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream cheese frosting

  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 fresh vanilla bean (scraped)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2½ cups sifted powdered sugar
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts


1. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixer bowl.
2. Add oil, eggs, carrot, pineapple and vanilla; beat with a whisk until there are no lumps.
3. Pour batter into greased 9″ x 9″ x 2″ baking pan.
4. Bake at 350 degrees about 35 minutes, until top springs back when touched.
5. For frosting, cream together cream cheese and butter; beat in vanilla extract, fresh vanilla and salt.
6. Gradually add powdered sugar; beat until light and fluffy.
7. Once cake has cooled completely, spread frosting with spatula.
8. Garnish with toasted walnuts and serve at room temperature.

**Remember…if you don’t feel like making your own carrot cake you can go to Benny’s Chop House and eat one someone else made :) That’s the way I like to do it!

(Disclosure: I received this recipe from Benny’s Chop House but I was not compensated for posting it.)

Chocolate Soufflé {Low-Calorie Recipe}

{Recipe and image provided by BetterEats.com}

So excited to share this recipe because I LOVE chocolate! Soufflés may look like a restaurant-only dessert, but they are actually easy to make. Whip them up right after dinner and enjoy while they’re still warm from the oven. Enjoy!


Cook Time 20 min
Prep Time 15 min
Yields 2 serv.



3 tablespoons sugar, granulated – divided

2 ½ ounces chocolate, bitter or semi-sweet – chopped

1 large egg(s)

2 large egg white(s)

1 tablespoon cream, heavy

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, ground

1/8 teaspoon salt

Sugar, powdered – as garnish, optional



1.       Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 375°F. Lightly coat two 10-ounce ramekins with cooking spray; coat the insides of each with 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar.

2.       Place chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted, 1 to 2 minutes.

3.       Whisk egg yolk and cream in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk in the chocolate until smooth, then whisk in flour and cinnamon until incorporated.

4.       Beat egg whites and salt in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in four additions, until stiff, glossy peaks form.

5.       Using a rubber spatula, gently fold half the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture until fairly smooth; then gently fold this combined mixture back into the remaining egg whites until no white streaks remain.

6.       Divide between the prepared ramekins and place on a baking sheet. Bake until puffed and firm to the touch, 18 to 22 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Serve immediately.


Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories: 331
Saturated Fat: 9g
Sodium: 235mg
Dietary Fiber 2g
Total Fat: 15g
Carbs: 43g
Cholesterol: 113mg
Protein: 10g

Cherry Pie Bites {Recipe}

The following recipe and image come from CanolaInfo and is made with heart-healthy canola oil, which has the least saturated fat of all common culinary oils and is free of trans fat and cholesterol.
  • ½ cup slivered almonds (skin on)
  • 2¼ to 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup canola oil, chilled in freezer for 2 hours*
  • 1 egg, beaten slightly
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • ¼ cup 1% milk
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • canola oil spray
Cherry Filling
  • 4 cups frozen unsweetened tart cherries, thawed (drain off any extra juice)
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1¾ Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1½ Tbsp fresh orange zest

1) To prepare crust: In food processor, add almonds and pulse once or twice for coarsely ground consistency. Add flour, salt and baking powder. Pulse one or twice to combine ingredients. Add cold/frozen canola oil. Pulse again once or twice.

2) In small bowl, combine egg, water, milk and vinegar. With food processor running, pour liquid ingredients through feed tube. Turn off machine as soon as ingredients are mixed, about 10 seconds.

3) Remove dough and place on lightly floured surface. Knead ingredients 4 or 5 times to finish mixing. Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to roll out.

4) To prepare filling: In saucepan, combine thawed cherries and orange juice over medium low-heat for about 8 minutes. In small bowl, completely combine sugar and cornstarch. Add sugar-cornstarch mixture and orange zest to cherries. Cook cherry mixture until it comes to rolling boil. Cook for 2 more minutes until well thickened. Cool cherry filling slightly.

5) Preheat oven to 425 °F. Spray mini muffin tins with canola oil spray.

6) Roll chilled dough out on well-floured work surface. With 2½-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, with its edge dipped in flour, cut 24 rounds from dough. Roll out remaining dough and use it to cut small decorative pieces of dough to decorate top of pies.

7) Carefully fit 2½-inch dough rounds into bottom of prepared mini muffin tin. Pat down bottom with excess coming up sides. Spoon about 1 Tbsp cooled cherry pie filling into each crust-lined cup. Carefully top each mini pie with decorative pieces of pie dough.

8) Bake for about 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown and filling is bubbly. Remove from oven and set on wire rack and cool completely, then remove from muffin tin and serve.

Yield: 24 mini pies.

Red Velvet Cake {Recipe}

Hi I am Shannon from Coupon Savings In The South. I wanted to stop by and share one of my favorite recipes. Here is a recipe for Red Velvet Cake.

photo credit: texascooking via photopin cc


1 ½ cup sugar

1 1/3 cup Wesson oil

1 cup buttermilk

2 ½ cup self rising flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon vanilla

3 eggs

½ bottle red food coloring


Mix sugar and oil together; add eggs 1 at a time and mix well. Add flour alternating with buttermilk (baking soda is added to buttermilk). Mix well. Add vanilla and food coloring. Pour into greased and floured pans cook at 350 for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Icing Ingredients:

1 stick margarine

1 8 oz cream cheese

1 box 10x sugar

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup of chopped nuts

Icing Directions:

Mix cream cheese, margarine, and 10 x sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and chopped nuts. Spread over the cool cake layers.

Chocolate Mud Bars {Recipe}

This isn’t the kind of mud you step in when it’s raining outside! This chocolate mud bar recipe from The Old Farmer’s Almanac new Everyday Baking cookbook is called “mud” because of the moist, dark chocolate filling. It’s the best mud you’ll ever eat!

Everyday Baking features 118 original recipes by celebrated baker and longtime Almanac collaborator Ken Haedrich. A winner of the Julia Child Cookbook Award, Haedrich may be best known as the author of Pie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie, which was recently named one of the best baking books of the past 25 years by Cooking Light magazine.

Everyday Baking, with its handy reference section and time-tested advice sprinkled throughout, demystifies the art of baking and will inspire home bakers of all skill levels to make delicious breakfast treats, after-school snacks, and impressive desserts. The easy-to-follow recipes in Everyday Baking don’t demand unusual ingredients or abstract cooking techniques, but rather just a desire to make delicious home-baked goods completely from scratch.

Everyday Baking is available online at Almanac.com or wherever books and magazines are sold.

Chocolate Mud Bars

From The Everyday Baking Cookbook, page 54


1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

¾ cup sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

¼ cup cake flour

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and set aside.

For crust: Combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well with your hands. Add the melted butter, stir well with a fork, then rub the ingredients together well with your fingers until thoroughly mixed. Press the mixture evenly in the prepared pan to form a level layer on the bottom with a lip extending about ¼ inch up the sides of the pan. (Do not prebake the crust).

For filling: Combine the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler over not-quite-simmering water. When melted, whisk to smooth, then remove the pan from the heat. Scrape the chocolate into a medium bowl and cool to lukewarm. Preheat the oven to 325oF. Whisk the sugar, eggs, and vanilla into the lukewarm chocolate. Stir in the cake flour, mixing until smooth. Stir in the walnuts. Scrape the batter over the crust and smooth with a spoon. Bake on the center oven rack for 35 minutes only – no longer. Cool on a rack. Refrigerate an hour or so before slicing. Serve at room temperature. Makes 16 bars

(Content courtesy of The Old Farmer’s Almanac Everyday Baking.)

Fourth Of July Dessert Roundup

Here are some of my favorite Fourth of July desserts I have found around the web.

{To get the recipes- click on the pictures to be taken to the posts they come from.}








Recipe- Mom’s Lemon Bars

While I was going through one of my mom’s recipe boxes to find the recipes for Monday’s menu plan I found her recipe for lemon bars. Since I didn’t find the recipes I was looking for I thought I would share this simple dessert with you. These things are so yummy!


1) Prepare a 9×13 dish by buttering it well.

2) Mix: 2 cups of flour, 1 cup Margarine (or butter) softened, and 1/2 cup White Conf. Sugar. Mix together cutting with 2 forks until mixture is crumbly.

3) Press into well buttered 9×13 baking dish

4) BAKE @325 20-25 minutes until slightly golden. DO NOT OVERBAKE.


5) Beat 4 Eggs and 2 cups regular (granulated) sugar together

6) Add: 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp. baking powder

7) Pour over BAKED CRUST

8) Put back into oven and bake again for 20-25 minutes

9) When cool, sprinkle with powder sugar

10) Cut when slightly cooled, with wet knife


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