BHG Delish Dish

Stirring Up Ideas In The Kitchen

Posts by Julianne Bayer

Soft, buttery almond shortbread cookies loaded with sweet cranberries and dipped in white chocolate.

Soft, buttery almond shortbread cookies loaded with sweet cranberries and dipped in white chocolate.

Thank for joining me for my cookie week extravaganza! This time of year, I spend hours and hours baking cookies for holiday gifts. I like sending them to clients and giving baskets to my friends and coworkers, but this year I have a lot more people to gift them to than usual. I love giving homemade gifts because one great reason for baking is to make others happy.

This year my cookie baskets are pretty diverse. I always include my Perfect Snickerdoodles and some homemade sugar cookies. There are a few new cookies making an appearance this year, including these Cranberry Almond Shortbread Cookies.

Soft, buttery almond shortbread cookies loaded with sweet cranberries and dipped in white chocolate.

Can you believe I’ve never made shortbread cookies before? Me either! I was combing through the cookie recipes on BHG.com, saw these pistachio vanilla bean cookies and thought they sounded amazing, but I didn’t have any pistachios in my cupboards. So I searched through all the baggies in my pantry and picked out some sweetened cranberries and almond extract.

Since these cookies are sliced, it’s important to slice the cranberries nice and small. I used a knife, but you might consider throwing them in a food processor and coating them with a little sugar. It’s a tip I saw for making cranberry orange shortbread cookies.

Soft, buttery almond shortbread cookies loaded with sweet cranberries and dipped in white chocolate.

I followed the recipe for the pistachio vanilla bean cookies, but substituted the ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract for 1 teaspoon almond extract. While I happen to have a vanilla bean in the cupboard, I don’t think it made a huge difference in the taste of the cookies since these are almond flavored. So next time, I would just omit the vanilla bean for this recipe. I am sure it was amazing in the pistachio recipe. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly.

I thought I made a mistake because the dough was very crumbly at first, almost like pie crust when you cut in the butter, but then I did some research and found that it was very common for shortbread to be that way. So I did what was suggested and used my hands to sort of knead the dough together. Then I divided it in half and rolled the logs out. These cookies do need to have the dough refrigerated for about 2 hours so plan accordingly

This recipe will be one that I come back to time and time again, whether it’s a holiday or not!

Soft, buttery almond shortbread cookies loaded with sweet cranberries and dipped in white chocolate.


It’s been quite some time since I attended a cookie exchange, but I am always shipping cookies off to family and friends, especially around the holidays. One thing I love about cookie exchanges is that you end up with a wide variety of cookies to take home.

My mom always helped organize a cookie exchange when we were kids, and I personally went for the peanut butter blossoms.

Soft buttery thumbprint cookies filled with a salted pumpkin caramel filling.

This year I am looking for new cookie recipes to share, and I came across these Salted Pumpkin Caramel Thumbprint Cookies. I love thumbprint cookies because they can be filled with so many yummy fillings.

I was pleasantly surprised that these cookies were actually soft. So this might be my new go-to thumbprint cookie recipe for that very reason. When I typically think of thumbprint cookies, I think they are more crumby like a shortbread.

These thumbprint cookies are not great for shipping because the filling stay soft, it doesn’t really “set” like a ganache. But they are great for a cookie exchange!

Soft buttery thumbprint cookies filled with a salted pumpkin caramel filling.

This was also the first time I made caramel on the stove top! I was so very excited, because it’s been something that I was really intimidated to do. The only thing that was a little confusing that I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to continue boiling after it turned amber is color. The answer is NO! I did burn it the first time because I over cooked it, and it went from amber to black pretty fast!

The pumpkin caramel will be runny or thin when it’s first done, just pop it in the refrigerator for a few hours and it will thicken. To finish off these cookies I sprinkled them with sea salt. I loved the combination of the buttery cookies with the salty pumpkin filling. This recipe is different from anything else I’ve tried. Hurry up and grab the recipe.

Soft buttery thumbprint cookies filled with a salted pumpkin caramel filling.


This homemade pumpkin ice cream is made with a combination of half and half, heavy cream, brown sugar and egg yolks. It’s flavored with a whole can of pumpkin!

For years I’ve been searching for the best pumpkin ice cream, trying different recipes to match my beloved pumpkin ice cream from my hometown. This pumpkin pie ice cream is a from-scratch recipe, and it’s the first time I’ve made ice cream with an egg yolk base and I can tell you that it makes a huge difference.

This homemade pumpkin ice cream is made with a combination of half and half, heavy cream, brown sugar and egg yolks. It's flavored with a whole can of pumpkin!

There’s was always somewhat of an intimidating factor of making the ice cream base using the method for tempering eggs, but after making homemade pudding, I knew I could do it. You can too! Just prepare all of your ingredients in advance, so that when it’s time to temper the eggs, you’re ready for it.

In the past, I’ve only made ice cream with a combination of milk, half and half or heavy cream. For this recipe, I used a combination of 2 cups half and half and 1 cup heavy cream. The original recipe called for 3 cups of half and half only, but I wanted to try it with some heavy cream. This recipe also calls for brown sugar instead of granulated sugar, which is a wonderful compliment to the pumpkin base.

I love a pumpkin ice cream from scratch because the churning adds a lot of air into the ice cream. However, if you’re looking for a no-churn recipe, I recently made a Pumpkin Ice Cream Cake that was pretty darn good!

This homemade pumpkin ice cream is made with a combination of half and half, heavy cream, brown sugar and egg yolks. It's flavored with a whole can of pumpkin!

I have to tell you that I really preferred to eat this ice cream when it was freshly churned, is was more like soft serve than traditional ice cream. I’ve always been one to scoop myself a bowl of ice cream and then wait for it to melt a bit so it’s nice and soft. I remember when I was a kid I would make my ice cream into milkshakes in my bowl and then eat it with a spoon.

This homemade pumpkin ice cream is made with a combination of half and half, heavy cream, brown sugar and egg yolks. It's flavored with a whole can of pumpkin!

I decided to layer in some butter coated graham cracker crumbs to make this a little more like pumpkin pie. It’s optional, but I like the texture it adds to the ice cream as well. I just mixed 2 tablespoons of melted butter into ½ cup of graham crackers and then sprinkled it into the ice cream as I was pouring it in my container. You won’t find those ingredients listed in the original recipe, I added them on my own. Additionally, I didn’t have any brandy on hand, so I substituted it for bourbon. You can use any standard ice cream maker for this, but be sure to plan ahead because after you heat the cream and eggs, you need to wait until it’s completely cooled to churn it. Don’t forget to grab the recipe for the pumpkin ice cream.


These salty sweet No-Bake Butterscotch Pretzel Bars start with a thick layer of peanut butter and pretzels topped with butterscotch and cashews. These are so quick to throw together and very customizable.

These salty sweet No-Bake Butterscotch Pretzel Bars start with a thick layer of peanut butter and pretzels topped with butterscotch and cashews. These are so quick to throw together and very customizable.

Summer might be winding down, but I am still coming up with excuses to make no-bake desserts. But really, do you need an excuse to make my Banana Pudding Cheesecake? I think not.

With school quickly approaching, I figured you might need a few quick snacks to throw together. These No-Bake Butterscotch Pretzel bars are perfect because they can be adapted quite easily. Don’t like butterscotch? No problem! Swap it out with chocolate. Don’t care for cashews? You get the drift. I don’t know about you but my favorite part of the school day was getting off the bus and having an after school snack.

These salty sweet No-Bake Butterscotch Pretzel Bars start with a thick layer of peanut butter and pretzels topped with butterscotch and cashews. These are so quick to throw together and very customizable.

If you’re short on time, don’t worry. You only need about 10 minutes to throw these together, but you do need a little time for them to “set” or firm up. The base recipe is a mix of peanut butter, powdered sugar and butter. This is mixed with crushed pretzels and pressed into a 9-inch pan.

The next layer is some melted butterscotch chips (or chocolate if you prefer) and it’s topped with some salty cashews. At first I thought about changing out the butterscotch for chocolate, but it is a really nice compliment to the peanut butter, and I am pretty happy with my choice to use cashews.

These salty sweet No-Bake Butterscotch Pretzel Bars start with a thick layer of peanut butter and pretzels topped with butterscotch and cashews. These are so quick to throw together and very customizable.

The original recipe called for this recipe to make in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan, but I didn’t think the crust would be nearly thick enough for my preferences, so I did use a 9-inch square pan instead. This way each layer was thick enough. If you use a 9×13 inch pan, then you bars will be much thinner.

This isn’t the first no-bake bar that I’ve shared with you. Back in November I made these No-Bake Snickers Bars and they were a bit more labor intensive, but still easy enough.

Are you ready for the recipe? You can grab the original recipe here, but make sure you remember the couple of changes I mentioned above!

These salty sweet No-Bake Butterscotch Pretzel Bars start with a thick layer of peanut butter and pretzels topped with butterscotch and cashews. These are so quick to throw together and very customizable.


Today is such an exciting day! I get to debut the first recipe from my new cookbook No-Bake Treats I’ve chosen a very special recipe to share with you today and it’s my No-Bake Banana Pudding Cheesecake. I’ve been raving about this cheesecake since the first time I made it.

This No-Bake Banana Pudding Cheesecake from the

First let me tell you guys a little about my book. This has been a year in the making, and to see it finally come to light is the best feeling in the world. In my cookbook, you’ll find 80 recipes including cheesecakes, icebox cakes, pies, tarts, ice cream, cookies & bars and parfaits. Every recipe in the book does NOT require any baking at all. Is it hot where you live? No problem! We’re giving the oven a break this summer.

No-Bake Treats Cookbook

In the cookbook, there are classic no-bake recipes like Grasshopper Pie and Pina Colada Cheesecake. There are tarts including Raspberry Margarita Cream Tarts and Lemon Cream Pie Tarts. In the frozen treats chapter, you’ll find 12 different types of ice creams, cakes and popsicles. Then for the more adventurous eater, you want to try the Blackberry White Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake, The Cookie Dough Lover’s Icebox Cake or the Salty Peanut Butter S’mores Tart. I am drooling just thinking about all these recipes!

This No-Bake Banana Pudding Cheesecake from the

Let’s bring it back to this cheesecake though. It starts with a Nilla Wafer crust, then a layer of tangy cheesecake, fresh sliced bananas and homemade pudding. It’s all topped with a generous layer of whipped cream and more Nilla Wafers on top. One slice is just not enough.

This No-Bake Banana Pudding Cheesecake from the

I recommend reading all the way through the recipe before you begin, the pudding needs time to chill. Sometimes I make the pudding and the cheesecake at the same time, then once the pudding is cold, I can add the remaining ingredients. It’s pretty quick to throw everything together, maybe 20 minutes or so, it just needs time to chill in the refrigerator before serving.

There is no better feeling that taking the first bite of a dessert that you created for yourself!

This No-Bake Banana Pudding Cheesecake from the

Banana Pudding Cheesecake

Serves: 8-10 slices

For the Pudding:

2 large egg yolks, slightly beaten

1/3 cup (64 g) granulated sugar

2 tbsp (16 g) all-purpose flour

Dash of salt

1 ½ cups (355 ml) heavy whipping cream

½ tsp vanilla extract

For the crust:

11 oz (312 g) vanilla wafers

8 tbsp (115 g) unsalted butter

For the cheesecake:

16 oz (454 g) cream cheese, softened

½ cup (96 g) granulated sugar

2 tbsp (30 ml) heavy whipping cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping

2 cups (473 ml) heavy whipping cream

1 ½ cups (195 g) powdered sugar

2 whole bananas, sliced

6-8 vanilla wafers, crushed

For the pudding:

1. Measure out all of the ingredients for the pudding prior to starting. Place egg yolks in a separate bowl.

2.In a medium-size saucepan, add sugar, flour and salt, and whisk to combine.

3. Add the heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract, and heat the mixture on the stove top over medium-low heat. Whisk constantly to dissolve the dry ingredients into the cream mixture.

4. After 5 or so minutes, once the mixture is warm (but not boiling), pour about ¼ cup of the cream mixture into the egg yolks and whisk vigorously to temper.

5. Immediately pour the egg yolks into the saucepan and continue whisking over medium-low heat to prevent the eggs from cooking. Whisk until pudding starts to thicken. Once the mixture is thick and bubbly, remove it from the heat.

6. Strain pudding through a fine sieve into a medium-size bowl. This step is optional, but it will help catch any lumps of ingredients that did not get blended.

7. Immediately cover the top of the pudding with clear plastic wrap (directly on the surface of the pudding), and poke a few holes with a toothpick. Allow the pudding to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature, and then refrigerate for 2 hours until the pudding is cold.

For the crust:

1. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by lightly greasing the edges of the pan with cooking spray, and then wiping gently with a paper towel.

2. Grind the wafers into fine crumbs using a food processor or blender. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the butter for 45-60 seconds until the butter is melted.

3. In a separate medium-size bowl, pour the melted butter into the cookie crumbs and stir until there are no dry crumbs left. Pour the crumbs into your springform pan and press firmly into the bottom to create a thick crust.

For the cheesecake:

1. Beat cream cheese on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until it’s light and fluffy.

2. Slowly add sugar into the cream cheese while continuing to beat the mixture, scraping down the bowl as needed.

3. Next, add heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract. Beat until the filling is smooth and creamy.

4. Pour cheesecake filling into the prepared pie crust, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

For the topping:

1. Prepare the whipped cream by placing the mixing bowl in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to chill. Pour heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl and use an electric mixer to beat heavy cream on medium-high speed until the cream gets bubbly.

2. Slowly add powdered sugar and continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form. Separate out 1 ¼ cups of the whipped cream for piping edge on cake.

3. To assemble cheesecake, slice bananas about 1/2 inch thick. Start by aligning them on the outside of the cheesecake and work your way in toward the middle. Pour chilled pudding over the top of sliced bananas, spreading evenly. Add whipped cream on top and spread smoothly.

4. Use the prepared whipped cream to pipe a border along the top of cheesecake. Garnish with crushed vanilla wafers. This cheesecake must be refrigerated for another 2-4 hours before serving to allow all the ingredients to set properly.

For a preview of the No-Bake Treats Cookbook, check out my QVC appearance and see what recipe got David’s signature “Happy Dance”.

To enter to win one of 5 copies of No-Bake Treats, tell us below: “What is your favorite go-to no-bake dessert?”. For another opportunity to win,connect with Better Homes and Gardens on Twitter and re-tweet the giveaway announcement tweet with #BHGNoBakeSweepstakes. We’ll conduct a random drawing from the entries received to select the winners. See the official contest rules here.

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This Homemade Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect cake you’ll make time and time again.

This Homemade Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect cake you'll make time and time again.

This is the type of chocolate cake that you just want to face plant straight into and not come up for air until your plate is licked clean. It’s the type of cake that you’re makes you keep going back for seconds with your fork all night. There’s no need to cut yourself a slice, you can just go straight for the whole cake. I have no apologies about that.

This homemade chocolate cake is frosted with the most glorious chocolate cream cheese frosting. Why don’t I have a slice in front of me right now? Now, I make a ton of poke cakes, and even a Chocolate Mudslide Cake, but this is a cake is different. This is a Dark Cocoa Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.

Dark Cocoa Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate Marscarpone Frosting

The cake calls for unsweetened cocoa powder or dutch-processed cocoa powder. I used regular unsweetened cocoa powder because I usually don’t have dutch-processed cocoa powder on hand. So there is no need to run out and buy the dutch-prcoessed cocoa powder.

You definitely need to pick up some buttermilk for this recipe. The buttermilk is a bit sour and lends well to the combination of flavors in this cake. I love when a recipe calls for buttermilk! The rest of the ingredients are pretty straight forward. You’ve got your sugar, flour, leaveners and of course butter. Every good cake starts with butter.

Dark Cocoa Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

I baked this cake in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan, but this recipe also gives you the option to bake this cake in three 8-inch rounds. Using the 9×13 inch pan makes this cake the perfect size for summer potlucks.

Okay, lets talk about this frosting for a minute. The original recipe has a mascarpone frosting, but I decided to try something a bit different. I really love a good mascarpone frosting, but sometimes the ingredient can be difficult to find, and it’s more expensive than regular cream cheese. I also doubled the amount of cream cheese that the original recipe called for, so be sure to use 8 ounces instead of 4. Also, make sure to leave your cream cheese out at room temperature to soften before you beat it into the frosting.

Dark Cocoa Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

The frosting is not thick like a traditional buttercream. It’s soft and just melts in your mouth. Often times I will whip the frosting for a couple extra minutes to incorporate some extra air into the frosting. I also used a sweetened cocoa powder instead of unsweetened for the frosting. The sweetened cocoa powder is a darker, and much less bitter.

Do yourself a favor and grab the recipe to make this weekend!

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