Posted in Food, Lifestyle

Recipe: Lemon Buttercream Stuffed Pizzelles

Hey all! So recently, I was invited to a “cookie exchange” party and am super excited to share a not-so-ordinary cookie with the guests. After searching high and low for what cookie to bake for the party, I decided on yummy Lemon Buttercream Stuffed Pizzelles. I just did a trial run of the recipe (of course I wanted to try them before serving them to guests 😉 and am so pleased with the results. I wanted to share the recipe with all of you as well! If you haven’t done so already, be sure to subscribe to my email list on the side of this page and I will email you a printable of this recipe in case you wanted to try them for yourself. You WON’T be disappointed!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.

What You Will Need to Make Lemon Buttercream Stuffed Pizzelles

First and foremost, in order to make the pizzelle cookie shells you will need a Pizzelle Maker! I purchased a Cuisinart Pizzelle Press and am pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to use. The press included a wooden rod for rolling the pizzelles, which also came in handy for this recipe. You will also need something to stuff the cookies with the Lemon Buttercream icing, and instead of a piping bag I decided to purchase this cookie decorating/piping gadget, the Wilton Dessert Decorator ULTRA, that is SO easy to use. Love it! Of course, a standard piping bag would also work, so whatever you prefer will ultimately give you the same delicious cookie result. In case you are interested in either, I added shopping links to bottom of the post as well 😉

Cuisinart Pizzelle Press
Cuisinart Pizzelle Press

 

Wilton Dessert Decorator ULTRA
Wilton Dessert Decorator ULTRA

For the cookie ingredients, you will need the following (yields approximately 3 dozen stuffed Pizzelles):

Batter ingredients:

  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 oz. margarine
  • 2 oz. unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
Pizzelle Batter Ingredients
Pizzelle Batter Ingredients

Buttercream Icing ingredients:

  • 4 cups powdered/confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 2-3 tsp. Lemon Extract (depending on how strong you prefer the lemon flavor)
  • 2 Tbsp. of milk
  • Yellow food coloring (optional)

How to Prepare the Pizzelle Shells to be Stuffed

  1. Combine butter and margarine in a small bowl and melt in microwave. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl (I use an electric stand mixer for even mixing as I add the ingredients), add the sugar and eggs and mix on high for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the melted and cooled butter and margarine and mix for another minute.
  4. Add flour and Vanilla and mix on low until all ingredients are completely combined.
  5. Preheat your Pizzelle Press. Pour some batter with a small scoop (I used the one that came with the Cuisinart Pizzelle Press) onto the pizzelle maker and bake for approximately 1 minute, or until “ready” light turns green if your Press has the option.
  6. Remove the Pizzelles from the Press and roll them around a wooden dowel or similar item while hot and place them rolled seam down to cool and harden. NOTE: Be sure to roll hot, as the Pizzelles get brittle and harden fairly quickly as they start to cool. Once cooled, they will maintain their rolled shape.
Rolled Pizzelles Ready to be Stuffed
Rolled Pizzelles Ready to be Stuffed

Preparing the Lemon Buttercream Filling and Stuffing the Pizzelles

  1. Add the powdered/confectioners sugar to mixing bowl.
  2. Add butter, softened.
  3. Next, add the Lemon Extract and 2 Tbsp of milk.
  4. Beat on low until all ingredients are incorporated, while periodically stopping and scraping the sides of the bowl. Add lemon food coloring (optional) drop by drop for desired color. Once all incorporated, mix on medium-high speed until desired consistency for filling your Pizzelle shells.
  5. Add the filling mixture to your piping bag or press and start stuffing! I find it easier to stuff one side shallow and then stuff the other side fuller to give an even distribution of Lemon Buttercream yumminess.

Refrigerate before serving. This allows the Buttercream to thicken a bit more and adds some extra “crisp” to the lemon flavor. I hope you have the opportunity to make these for yourself and to share, and would love for you to comment below with feedback once you do!

Looking for another tasty recipe to share? Check out my “Easy to Make Caramel Apple Slices” for a new spin on a popular sweet treat. These are sure to please.

Lemon Buttercream Stuffed Pizzelles
Lemon Buttercream Stuffed Pizzelles


Posted in Lifestyle, Travel

Making Holiday Memories with Kennywood Park Holiday Lights

Each year, we make it a family tradition to visit a Christmas lights display near our home in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. This year, we decided to give another location attraction a try! We have frequently visited Kennywood Park for amusement fun in the summer. Once we heard they also have a Holiday Lights display, we were all in! Though many of the rides and eateries in the park are closed during the Holiday Lights festivities, there is still LOTS to do and see.

First Impression of Kennywood Park Holiday Lights

Upon arriving to the park, we were pleasantly surprised that parking was actually FREE for the Holiday Lights festivities — score! We visited on a Saturday evening and didn’t have to wait in any long lines to enter the park. We were able to order the tickets a head of time online through the Kennywood Park website. Nonetheless, we skipped the ticket lines in the park and went straight through security. On a side note, there was a military discount offered for ticket purchases for up to 6 guests when we went. Be sure to inquire about the discount if a member of your party is a veteran for some extra savings.

Light Displays at Kennywood Park Holiday Lights

When you enter the park, you are greeted by a beautiful array of twinkling and dancing lights throughout the park! Many of the trees and landscape are strung with lights. Several of the rides that were operational glowed with hues of green and red, or were also strung with lights. Our favorite “ride” that was decorated for the Kennywood Park Holiday Lights was Noah’s Ark  — super cool! Even the inside atmosphere of the rides were also decorated with all things Christmas.

Noah's Ark Kennywood Park Holiday Lights
Noah’s Ark Kennywood Park Holiday Lights

Toward the back of the park is a HUGE tree of lights that makes the perfect backdrop for family photos. My favorite light display was surrounding the lake that is situated toward the center of the park. Here, we were able to watch a light show where the lights “danced” and were synchronized to holiday tunes. This light show is performed on timed intervals throughout the evening and is something you don’t want to miss.

Nicholls 5 Kennywood Park Holiday Lights
Nicholls 5 Kennywood Park Holiday Lights

Games and Shopping at Kennywood Park Holiday Lights

There are several games open during the Holiday Lights festivities, and they, too, are holiday themed. Aside from games that are fun for all ages, there are also vendors set up in “booth” fashion around the park. One booth that we visited actually sold personalized ornaments, so our family purchased an one to add to our ornament collection of memories. Another booth had a Santa Shoppe with gift ideas for the children. Here, they could also join in the gift-giving by shopping for friends and family.

Manger Scene Kennywood Park Holiday Lights
Manger Scene Kennywood Park Holiday Lights

So What is There to Eat During the Kennywood Park Holiday Lights?

Well, there is one food place that I plan to visit EVERY time I go to Kennywood Park — Potato Patch Fries! So, are they are also open during the Holiday Lights –YES! Second score! Throughout the park, you will also find snack vendors that offer pretzels, churros, and hot cocoa, to name a few. We opted to get out of the cold and ate at Johnny Rockets restaurant located inside the park. You can’t go wrong with burgers, fries and shakes. 😉

All Aboard the Gingerbread Express Kennywood Park
All Aboard the Gingerbread Express Kennywood Park

Overall, we really enjoyed our visit to the Kennywood Park Holiday Lights display. The kids had fun riding the amusement rides that were open, and I enjoyed the light displays and the food LOL! If you find yourself in the Pittsburgh area and are looking a “something to do” on the weekend, I would recommend checking it out! While you are there, don’t forget to take a ride on the Gingerbread express. 🙂

Aboard the Gingerbread Express
Aboard the Gingerbread Express

Looking for a snack that is fun and easy to make for the whole family, check out my “Easy to Make Caramel Apples Slices” post for some yummy inspiration!

PIN ME: Kennywood Park Holiday Lights
PIN ME: Kennywood Park Holiday Lights

 

Posted in Lifestyle

Decorating Ideas for a Rustic Christmas Tree

Our Log Home Rustic Christmas Tree
Our Log Home Rustic Christmas Tree

A tradition in our house every year is to start decorating for the Christmas season on the evening of Thanksgiving Day (yep, though we can barely move because we feel like stuffed turkeys ourselves, we manage to drag out the numerous storage bins of Christmas collections from years gone by!) A major part of this decorating tradition is the family decorating the Christmas tree. Though I know of people having several trees that they decorate for the holidays, in our home, we only decorate one. For this reason, I put a lot of thought in to specifically what “style” of tree I want each year.

Burlap and Pine Stocking Ornament
Burlap and Pine Stocking Ornament

Since moving in to our Log House a little over a year ago, I have settled on a Rustic Style theme for our tree to compliment the rustic decor of our home. I continue to collect rustic trimmings throughout the year, as I see something that I think would be a perfect fit for my rustic theme. Now mind you, this has meant us pretty much purging our entire decorating theme from our tree when we moved from our farm house! I was ready for something that had rustic flair. Here are my decorating tips for a Rustic Christmas Tree.

Choosing the Tree for Decorating

Though I find “real” trees to be absolutely gorgeous, we chose to use an artificial tree that looks realistic. Simply due to our hectic work schedules and our pets, we find that an artificial tree suits our needs best. For our Rustic Style tree, I chose a flocked pine tree. The waxy needles and “snow” lined branches remind me of a walk through the forest at winter, and serve as the perfect backdrop to our decorations. I also like that the branches have some space in between, because this just gives me more room to tuck and stuff my own branches of berries and twigs in between to give extra texture and fullness.

The tree we use comes pre-lit with basic white lights, though we have a few back up single strands on hand in case we experience any burnouts. We also added some red light strands to coordinate with the red accents in the berries and bow. For a rustic motif, I find multi-colored lights to be too “busy” in my opinion, and the white and red lights give a nice glimmer on the white “snow” and accentuate the family heirloom decorations without competing. Now that we have our blank canvas, it is time to decorate our Rustic Christmas Tree!

Wooden Snowflake Ornament
Wooden Snowflake Ornament

Tree Decoration Ideas

Disney Cruise Line Heirloom Ornament
Disney Cruise Line Heirloom Ornament

On our tree, we mix two different “categories” of decorations. One set of decorations includes our rustic-style decor that go along with our log cabin woodsy theme. The second set of decorations are more meaningful, as we try and collect ornaments from all of our travels. This way, year after year, we are reminded of family trips and time spent together from years gone by.

Frosted Berry Sprays
Frosted Berry Sprays

A base for our rustic decor are berry sprays and picks. I find that the red berries mirror perfectly with the flocked pine branches, and add a punch of color to the tree. The sprays are placed sporadically throughout the tree, and serve to fill in the “gaps” and add extra fullness while adding the punch of red color. I use both plain and frosted berry sprays throughout our tree. For additional rustic flair, I add additional decorations that include: pine cone picks, wooden snowflakes, ornaments with burlap accents, and pretty much anything else I can find that feels woodsy to me!

Rustic Wooden Red Snowflake
Rustic Wooden Red Snowflake

In addition to the frosted and berry picks, I chose really large pine cone picks as well that I found at a local crafts store. The bulkiness of the pine cones make them visible on the tree from a distance and also add extra “fullness” in between the pine branches.

Extra Large Pine Cone Picks
Extra Large Pine Cone Picks

 

Twine Rapped Christmas Ball Ornament
Twine Rapped Christmas Ball Ornament

Topping the Rustic Christmas Tree

Once we are finished with adding the rustic decorations and the heirloom ornaments from our family adventures, it is time to add the finishing touch. Instead of a “traditional” tree topper star or any other that perches on the top of the tree, I prefer to top my trees with big bows! After watching many YouTube “how to” videos on making bows, I finally got my bows to the point of a step above mediocre wink, wink. What better choice for my rustic tree than a large Plaid bow! For this year, we decided on a red and black plaid wired ribbon with snowflakes (I like wired ribbon because this allows me to shape the bow and for it to actually maintain its puffy shape). I also like to leave long tails to my bows so they can drape down the tree to tie everything together and add extra color.

Black and Red Plaid Christmas Tree Topper Bow
Black and Red Plaid Christmas Tree Topper Bow

I hope you got some inspiration for decorating your next Rustic Christmas Tree! I had so much fun shopping for decorations that gave me the sense of woodsy and log-home living. This tree would also be perfect nestled in a corner of any vintage-styled home. The warmth and coziness of a Rustic tree is sure to please and give the sense of “welcome.” Happy Holidays! xoxo

Now that you have finished decorating your lovely tree, how about a quick yummy snack! Check out my posts “Easy NuWave Air Fryer Cheesecake Pockets” and “Easy to Make Caramel Apple Slices” for some quick recipes that are sure to please!

PIN ME: Decorating Idea for a  Rustic Christmas Tree
PIN ME: Decorating Idea for a Rustic Christmas Tree