Category Archives: Desserts

toasted marshmallow and coconut lemon bars

toasted marshmallow and coconut lemon bars via Drag it Through the GardenWarning: These toasted marshmallow and coconut lemon bars are super sweet, super sticky, and super yummy. And they are super easy to bake up. In fact, I baked these before class one morning (which is surprising considering it’s pretty hard to get me to do anything beyond what is necessary in the morning) and then proceeded to daydream about them all day until I finally ate one after classes. And they definitely lived up to my expectations.

It has been a while since my last post. Two weeks. Needless to say, I have been swamped.

Can they just give me my degree already? I am so over school right now. Like, seriously over it. I spent between 15 and 20 hours last week working on a lab report. For a one credit hour course. I have a class that has exams pretty much every Friday (10 for the semester). And they are not easy multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank exams. They’re take-two-hours-and-hope-and-pray-you-gave-the-right-answer kind of exams. Oh yeah, and they are only two questions long. Two hours? For two questions?

Unfortunately, I could probably keep complaining for a long time about school right now. And quite honestly, I am tempted to do it. But, I do not want to bore you all to death. Or make you annoyed with my whiny-ness. Good thing I have a lot of Easter candy in my living room so I have something to stress-eat. Maybe I should bake these lemon bars again.

Not a bad idea…

toasted marshmallow and coconut lemon bars

Makes one 8×8” pan

1 19-oz. box lemon bar mix*
3 eggs
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup sweetened coconut
½ 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease an 8x8x2” pan. Press crust (in a bag in the lemon bar box) into the bottom of pan. Bake for 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk 1/3 cup water and 3 eggs together until homogeneous. Stir in lemon filling mix until smooth. Pour over hot, baked crust. Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven. Sprinkle with marshmallows and coconut. Drizzle over sweetened condensed milk. Bake for an additional 14-18 minutes, until lightly golden on top. If the top starts to get too brown, cover with foil to prevent burning. Remove to cool. Chill in refrigerator for a couple hours to slice easier.

*Baking instructions follow Krusteaz lemon bars mix. If using a different brand, eggs, water, and baking time may need to be adjusted.

Source: Adapted from Inside BruCrew Life



lemon crinkle cookies (aka lemon cool-whip cookies)

lemon crinkle cookies | drag it through the garden

Hands down, lemon crinkle cookies my all-time favorite cookies. And if I ever tell you otherwise, do not believe me. I probably just forgot about these. In three words, these cookies are gooey, lemony (I would be worried if you didn’t guess that one from the title), and incredibly easy (does that count as one word?). Only five ingredients! I think that’s pretty awesome for any cookie.

I used to beg my mom for these cookies all. the. time. Truth is, I still do. I was craving them during most of my stay in Spain. But, I never baked these with her or even glanced at the recipe until a few days before this past Christmas. And I was pretty shocked. You would never know from the taste of these cookies that they only require five ingredients, much less a box of cake mix.

So, consider these a new staple in my kitchen, even though Momma always makes them best.

lemon crinkle cookies (aka lemon cool-whip cookies)

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

1 8-oz. container frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 18.25-oz box lemon cake mix
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with silicon baking mats or parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat thawed whipped topping and eggs. Stir in vanilla. Mix in cake mix until just combined. Place powdered sugar in a bowl. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls into powdered sugar and roll around until completely coated. Place on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven. Let cool on baking sheets for about 2 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

gooey chocolate chip cookies

gooey chocolate chip cookies via Drag it Through the Garden.

In honor of National Cookie Day (yep, it’s today!), I bring to you this delicious recipe for ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookies. I currently have the entire batch—well, minus a few—sitting in my kitchen. And in these days with no roommate, it’s just me eating them… all.

I should probably get in the holiday spirit and give some away. Or maybe I should just (stress) eat them all myself. I’ll have to see how to rest of this week goes before I make my decision.

It’s that last push before finals week. You know, that week where all the professors want to give you an exam… one week before your final? And the last papers. And the presentations. And the projects.

I should not be complaining though. This semester has been a lot better than many others.

But, you know those mild winters? And then everyone says the next winter is going to be horrible? Because they usually are?

That’s this semester—the mild winter.

Next semester, my last semester, will be my blizzard.

gooey chocolate chip cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
3.4-oz package French vanilla instant pudding mix
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

In a large bowl, cream butter with granulated sugar and brown sugar until fluffy. Add in pudding mix, vanilla extract, and eggs. Beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix.

Drop rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake in preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden on top. Cool for about 2 minutes on the cookie sheets, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: Two Peas & Their Pod

chocolate pudding cookies with malted milk balls

I seriously love these cookies. They are super easy to make and super delicious to eat with a nice crunch from the malted milk balls inside. And I’m usually not a chocolate cookie kind of gal. It had been a while since I ventured in the cookie-baking realm, but I’m happy I went back, if only for a little bit. I forgot how perfect cookies can be for any situation: studying, vegging out on the couch… you name it, these cookies should probably make an appearance.

Just an FYI: the original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of baking soda… but, I didn’t realize I didn’t have baking soda until I was already in the process of baking these, hence the substitution of 4 tsp. of baking powder. They turned out fine, but feel free to use baking soda.

Let me digress from food matters for just a moment. I find it my duty as a St. Louisan to brag a bit on the Cardinals this season and say how awesome watching the World Series was. Maybe if I had planned out a bit in advance, I could have made some yummy Cardinal/baseball-inspired treats… Maybe next year!

Chocolate Pudding Cookies

Makes 4 dozen cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ c. brown sugar
¼ c. granulated sugar
1 3.4-oz. instant chocolate pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 ¼ c. all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. table salt
1 c. milk chocolate chips
1 ¼ c. malted milk balls, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line a cookie sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter with brown sugar and granulated sugar with an electric mixer. Add in pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly combine with wet ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips and malted milk balls.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake in preheated oven for about 9-12 minutes. Keep in mind that the middles will still be a little gooey. Cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted, slightly, fromTwo Peas & Their Pod

chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes

I’ve been thinking about what to do with this blog while I’m abroad. At first I thought I’d have enough recipes saved up to backlog for an entire four months. Now, that seems like some kind of a sick joke, especially since I’ve only been cooking about one meal per week. Then, I thought that, perhaps, I could find someone to keep the blog up for me. Lauren? Not really (no offense or anything). Mom? Probably not (Not that I think she can’t cook… I just don’t think she’d be up to it). Dad? Definitely not. So, the only reasonable thing I could think to do is to put Drag it Through the Garden on hiatus while I’m in Spain… a cooking hiatus at least. Maybe they’ll be a random post about what I’m up to or what I’m eating, but I’m planning on doing minimal cooking and maximum eating with my Señora (my host family, that is) and at restaurants around Europe.

Long story short? You’ve got three months and some change left with me and then four and a half long months away from me. But, don’t forget about me! I’m sure I’ll have some awesome Spanish-inspired recipes when I get back home (and some awesome Spanish-speaking skills).

Anyway, onto the cupcakes! Well, this was originally supposed to be a cake. At least that’s what the recipe was for and that’s what the person I made these for asked for. But, honestly… cupcakes are just a lot easier, and I left the cake pans at home. There’s a pretty big lapse in my repertoire in the cake department… but a huge surplus of cupcakes. Then again, I personally think that cupcakes are a lot more practical than a huge cake… and I could steal some before giving them away. You can’t do that with a cake without anyone noticing.

Maybe these are more fit for Valentine’s Day than any October holiday (Halloween, anyone?), but they’re delicious nonetheless. This recipe seems like a big cheat… boxed cake mix and pre-made icing? Definitely not what I would normally do! But, these store-bought items make these cupcakes easy to put together in a snap. You won’t even be able to tell. Seriously.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

Makes 24 Cupcakes

1 box white cake mix + ingredients on back (use whole eggs instead of egg whites!)
1 4-serving box strawberry gelatin powder
½ cup seedless strawberry jam
1 container milk chocolate frosting
¼ cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line cupcake tin with 24 cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, add cake mix, powdered gelatin, and ingredients called for on back of cake mix, using whole eggs instead of egg whites. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium for 2 minutes with an electric mixer.

Evenly distribute batter in the prepared cupcake tins. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes, until tops are springy and a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs only. Remove from oven. Let stand in cupcake tins for 10 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cupcakes are completely cool, use a medium round pastry tip to hull out the center of the cupcakes, but do not go all the way to the bottom (alternatively, you could cut out the centers with a small knife). Spoon in a small amount of the strawberry jam, so that the hole is completely full.

Frost with milk chocolate frosting using a pastry bag or a spatula.

Add chocolate chips to a microwave-safe container. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Continue microwaving in 30-second intervals until completely melted. Drizzle on cupcakes (or you can add to a re-sealable bag and snip off the end of the corner to pipe it on the cupcakes, if desired). Let the chocolate harden before serving.

Source: Betty Crocker

lemon meringue pie cupcakes

School is officially in full swing. This week is the first round of exams. That means I’m crunched for time on this post, so my apologies for the brevity.

I made these cupcakes a few weeks ago and have been meaning to post this recipe ever since. But, when you’re finished with homework (like I wish I was now) or you have too much to study for, writing up a recipe is one of the last things on your mind.

These cupcakes? Absolutely delicious. And cute, if I may say so myself. There’s a tiny bit of lemon curd hidden underneath the meringue that will surprise you every time you eat one (my favorite part!). Not to mention the meringue is a nice contrast to normal and everyday cupcake frostings.

Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes

Makes 15 Cupcakes

4 eggs
½ cup butter (1 stick)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
¼ c. + 2 tbsp. lemon curd, divided
¾ c. + 2/3 c. granulated sugar, divided
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  powdered sugar, for dusting

Separate eggs. Allow egg whites, yolks, and butter to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cupcake tin with 15 paper liners. In a small bowl, stir flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. In a separate small bowl, whisk together milk and ¼ c. lemon curd.

In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add ¾ c. granulated sugar and continue beating until combined. Add vanilla extract and egg yolks. Add flour in thirds and milk mixture in halves alternately, so that you start and end with flour additions. Beat only until combined.

Separate batter evenly into cupcake tins. Smooth out the top. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden and the top springs back.

Meanwhile, add egg whites and cream of tartar to a separate bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Slowly add in remaining 2/3 c. granulated sugar, about 1 tbsp. at a time, and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Place in a pastry bag or re-sealable bag.

Add remaining 2 tbsp. lemon curd in a medium re-sealable bag. Cut off the tip of the bag.

Once cupcakes have are removed from the oven. Evenly pipe the lemon curd onto the cupcakes. Pipe meringue onto the tops of the cupcakes. Bake for 7 more minutes until meringue is browned. Cool in tins over wire racks for 5 minutes.

Remove cupcakes and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired, before serving.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications: Cupcakes

cream filled chocolate cupcakes… from a box!

The first week of classes was officially over at 1 pm today. At least for me it was. I must admit that after a little schedule rearrangement the first few days, this semester holds much promise. I’m looking forward to everything to come this year, including all the baked goods from my new kitchen!

Honestly, I should be doing homework right now. That was the whole reason I sat down at my desk in the first place. But, hey… it’s Friday afternoon. That’s no time for homework really.

I haven’t actually cooked anything this past week besides Hamburger Helper, spaghetti with salsiccia, and frozen pizzas. Oh, I guess these cupcakes count too. I promise you this post is not a paid advertisement or anything of that sort. This post is my awe of finding these cute little cupcakes… from a mix!

Now, since I have nothing else to put on here… and it’s been almost a week… I decided, why not? These cuties are made by Betty Crocker and called Fun da-Middles. So, what are they? They’re filled cupcakes from a mix. You don’t have to hull out the center to fill. The filling bakes inside!

So, my idea for these vanilla cream filled chocolate cupcakes? Put some orange zest or any flavored liqueur in the chocolate batter. Maybe add a bit of a vanilla bean to the cream. And you’re set for some semi-homemade cupcakes (Do I sound like Sandra Lee?). Seriously. Check out these cupcakes.

As much as I would love to keep procrastinating here… my chemistry book awaits.