Archive for the ‘Sweets’ Category

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Churro Cookies

May 5, 2013

Who can resist the flakey outside, tender center, cinnamon toasty taste of the   Churro? What better  day to serve this little cookie version than Cinco de Mayo! I love May, second only to October. Instead of the conventional round cookie or twist, I decided to used hearts and X and O cutters.. which means this is also the perfect compliment to a glass of champagne on  Valentine’s Day, or a special anniversary. A short cut recipe (always when I am baking…) I really was  amazed that this combination came so close to the texture of a churro. Simple and quick, anytime. Serve them up with some sangria, or a  pretty pink watermelon cucumber margarita. Salud!

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4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/4 C. sugar

2 pre made 9″ pie crusts

1 tsp. vanilla ( I am still out of  this so I used whipped cream vodka)

2 tablespoons cinnamon and 1/4 C. sugar mixed

2 tablespoons melted butter

Combine the cream cheese, vanilla and 1/4 of the sugar, set aside.

Unroll both of the crusts.  Spread the cream cheese evenly over one of the crusts.

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Place the other crust on top and cut out your cookies. I recommend putting them in the fridge to cool for about 30 minutes. This will make the cutting go much faster. You can use whatever size cookie cutter you like. I used some cookie cutters  and a small glass. Using the ends of a  fork, seal the edges of the cookies. I like to use a small cocktail fork for this. Finish up the remaining crusts by making mini twists.

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Bake them on a parchment lined baking sheet at 350 degrees  for approx. 12 minutes, or until they’re firm and slightly golden. Watch them closely as they will burn.

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Let them cool completely, and then brush both sides of them with the melted butter. If you don’t let them cool they will break as they are a little fragile. (see broken X above!!) .  Coat completely  with  cinnamon sugar.

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Enjoy!

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Four Twenty Brownies

April 20, 2013

Baking is not my thing. I like to cook and be creative. Locked into measuring, exacting a chemical reaction is just not what I want to be doing in the kitchen. But..it’s 4-20..and what is  4-20 without brownies? I have made these many times, though not in many years.  Duncan Hines  has served  me  well, and even those, on very rare occasion. I have been  experimenting with coconut oil  and coconut flour, and steering far away from sweets and boxed anything. Today was the perfect occasion to see  if I could knock out the  gluten and slash the carbs in this old family recipe.  The original measurements are in parenthesis.

6 oz. unsweetened cocoa

4 T. coconut oil

4 T.  unsalted butter  ( or 1 stick butter- no coconut oil)

3 eggs, room temperature

1 C. sugar   (1 1/2 C. sugar)

1 T. whipped cream vodka   (1 t. vanilla)

3/4 C. coconut flour  (3/4 C. white flour)

1/4 C. cacao nibs

1/4 C. chopped walnuts ot toasted slivered almonds (optional)

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Pre heat oven to 350.

Melt butter and  coconut oil in microwave. Add chocolate pieces and stir until melted. I find this the easiest way  to melt the chocolate. It never burns and cools the butter at the same time. I used some Lindt Chile Chocolate to make up the balance of ounces. It’s a dark chocolate with just a kick of heat…That is the lighter squares you see  in this picture.

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Beat eggs until just  frothy,about a minute.Slowly add the sugar, a quarter of a cup at a time. Add vodka (or vanilla), and the cooled  chocolate and butter mixture. Cooled means you can comfortably stick your finger in it, not so cool that it is hardening.

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Stir until well combined. Add flour and mix until just combined.Stir in cacao nibs and nuts. Pour into 8×8 pan. Bake 25 minutes-no longer! You also must allow them to cool at least 30 minutes.

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You can frost them, or dust them with powdered sugar,or even drizzle them with caramel and sprinkle some pink Himaylayan salt on top.. I left them naked to show  how moist they are.

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Caramel Nut Flakies

December 7, 2011

Elegant! Simple! Versatile! Did I forget addictively delicious? I have made no secret that I love amything made with puff pastry or phyllo.This is no exception.the combination of the  flakey pastry, the sweet caramel and the salty nuts are the perfect marriage.Whether with a steaming hot cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk, for breakfast, an afternoon snack or a tempting dessert these are a must for holiday company … or a quick sweet treat anytime.

  • 1 sheet puff pastry,defrosted according to directions
  • 1 C.Marzetti Caramel Dip, room temperature
  • 1 T. Sugar in the Raw
  • 1 C. nuts, your choice (we  use sunflower seeds or toasted pumpkin seeds due to allergies)

 

Pre heat your oven,with rack in the middle, to 350 degrees.If the nuts you are using are not toasted now is the time to do that. In the oven it takes about 8-10 minutes. Cool and chop them and set aside.

Increase oven temp to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Unfold the puff pastry.You will see the lines  which “divide”  it into three “panels” Use these as your guidelines.

 Spread one half of the caramel over the center section of the pastry. Sprinkle one third of the toasted nuts over the caramel.

Carefully fold an outer third over the caramel and nuts.

 Spread the renaining caramel over that top center layer, and then another third of the nuts.

Fold the last section over,covering the caramel layer completely. Sprinkle with the tablespoon of raw sugar.

Put on middle rack in oven.Check at 15 minutes to see if it is done. Ours usually need the full 20 minutes to rise and brown evenly. Remove from the oven.

This is perfectly delicious as is,especially with the crunchy raw sugar on top. Adding a light  powdered sugar glaze makes a fancier presentation. To make the glaze you will need:

  • 1/2 C. powdered sugar
  • 1 T. cream or milk
  • 1/4 t. vanilla (or kahlua,vanilla vodka or Bailey’s!)
  • dash of salt

Mix together adding wee amounts of liquid if it is too thick.

Over cooled pastry,drizzle your icing and top with the reamaining nuts. If you don’t use the glaze just sprinkle the nuts on top and around the plate.

Slice with a sharp knife, and serve.These are served with  my Chocolate Mousse Clouds.

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Jolly Jello With Pretzel Crust

July 3, 2011

The combination of the crunchy, salty sweetness of the crust , a cream cheesey filling and a fruity “jiggly” topping is a perfect side or cold dessert for summer cook outs. Today in honor of the 4th this is made with red jello, fresh red stawberries and bright blueberries. I remember the first time I tasted this recipe.Normally anything made with jello (other than a shot!) has me turning up my nose.Maybe it was the lime green, lemon yellow and orange cubes in school that first turned me off. I would never try any jello salads,they just were not my taste, let alone take one as a dish for a party.My friend Nancy insisted I try it,and from then on each time I made this, it was the first thing gone.I’m always asked to bring it,and never leave without giving the recipe. So if you are looking for something impressive,yet quick and simple as well as over the top tasty- here it is. Happy 4th of July from my kitchen to yours!

The Crust

  • 2 c. crushed, thin pretzel sticks
  • 1/2 C. melted butter
  • 3 T. sugar

Crush the pretzels but do NOT pulverize them.You want some 1/4 inch pieces of pretzel to really enjoy the contrast.This is not about pretzel crumbs! Mix the sugar well with the pretzels. Pour the butter over all.Combine making sure every pretzel is coated.

Pour into a 13×9 pan.Press down firmly and evenly in pan.Bake in a pre heated 350 degree oven for about 8 minutes. Because of the sugar,this will burn quickly so keep an eye on it. (for you notorious burners that walk away from the stove and oven like me!) Allow to cool.I usually put it in the refrigerator until I am ready to assemble the layers.

The Filling

  • 8 oz. cream cheese , room temperature
  • 1 container cold Cool Whip,defrosted in refrigerator
  • 3/4 C. powdered sugar

Since I’m feeling a little tired and lazy, (one of the reasons I am making this super easy dessert) I whipped the cream cheese with a large fork instead of dragging out the blender. Beat it till velvety smooth and then add powdered sugar. Cream them thoroughly together.Fold in half of the container of Cool Whip. Fold in the other half,and put in the fridge for just a few minutes. Meanwhile boil water for jello.

Take filling out and plop a few mounds all over the top.DO NOT LUMP IT ALL IN THE MIDDLE!!!! Doing it like this makes it much easier to spread to the corners,without disturbing any of the crust. If you don’t freak like I do if there are crumbs in the filling- then fine.

Make sure you go right to the edges ,”sealing” the crust.Put back in the refrigerator until you are done making topping.

The Topping

  • 2 small boxes (3oz.) red Jello
  • 2 scant C. boiling water
  • approximetely 16 oz. frozen fruit,partially defrosted (strawberries and fruit medley is what I use)
  • 1/2 C. cliced fresh strawberries -or more if you like a lot of fruit
  • 1/2 C. fresh blueberries

To boiling water add one envelope of Jello at a time,stirring constantly with a whisk.AS always make sure ALL of Jello is dissolved. Pour in frozen fruit and stir untill fruit is completely defrosted.

 Get pan from fridge,letting Jello sit only about 3-4 minutes or it will be too jelled to pour.GENTLY pour over the Cool Whip and spread to sides.

 Decorate with fresh fruit.(You can also  put the fresh fruit in the Jello before pouring,but I like some of the fruit sticking out over the top.

Refrigerate a few hours but do not make the night before as  the crust loses some if it’s pizazz the longer it sits.It’s still good the next day(if there is any left!) but best made the morning of the day you want to serve it!

 

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Maravilhas (Custard Pastries)

June 14, 2011

This recipe brings back so many wonderful memories.A Portuguese classic, creamy and sweet “bet you can’t eat just one even though you should” recipe.If you are looking for low calorie or low fat this is not it,but  once in a while these warm the soul.Courtesy of my longtime friend,Fatima,who is pure Portuguese,this recipe has been passed on for many generations in  her family.She was kind enough to make a batch and take some photos for me to blog them. Maravilhas translates to “marvelous”. And they are,as is my longtime friend.Thank you Fatima,not just for doing this but for being there for me always.I love you!

  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 ¾ Cup suagr
  • 9 1/4 T. Flour
  • 1 1/2 T.Cornstarch
  • 6 T.stick butter melted, minus 1/8 one line(then cool or chill in frig a few minutes) ok to sub margerine
  • 3 eggs

Blend all ingredients.

Grease & Flour 2 trays of cup cake tins. The best thing to use is Baker’s Joy, which is basically PAM that includes four…the best!
Make sure you spray the bottom & all away around the sides,or they will be difficult to remove.

Pour into greased and floured cup cake tins.Bake in pre-heated 350 oven for 35 – 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Remove, and use a knife to go around each tin to loosen them.Allow to cool a few minutes, then remove and serve or chill.
They are “marvelous” chilled, if not served warm.(You will not want to pass up one right out of the oven!R.) They look pretty with just a bit of powdered sugar on them.

Fatima also suggests for when they are being served “fancy” a fresh raspberry coulis and fresh rapberries on top to contrast with the sweetness. After blogging these tonight,I know I will be making them soon. Enjoy one of my favorite desserts from one of my favorite friends ❤

Hope you get to make some soon.

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Warm Chocolate Cups of Love

February 14, 2011

This is a very easy dessert recipe that will make any meal a romantic one.Perfect for Valentine’s day or any day. Switch spoons and take turns feeding each other this gooey, liquidy centered dessert. Tantalizing would not give it enough credit.

  • 1/2 pound good dark chocolate (I mixed dark and semi sweet)
  • 1/2 pound butter melted
  • 5 eggs, MUST be room temperature
  • 2/3 C. sugar
  • 3/4 C. flour
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • Raspberries and Powdered sugar for garnish

Melt butter.Add chocolate. Beat the eggs well but do not overbeat.Slowly add sugar and salt to eggs and whisk until  disolved. Add flour 1/4 C. at a time.Whisk until combined after each addition.

Stir chocolate until melted.Return to microwave at 15 second intervals until completely melted.Stir well making sure there are no lumps of chocolate. Allow to come to almost room temperature.Don’t cool,just make sure it is not hot.

Slowly add to egg mixture.Whisk until completely incorporated.

Pour into 4 individual lightly buttered ramekins.

Bake in a 400 degree oven directly on rack for 14 minutes.

Dust with powdered sugar.Top with a few raspberries and serve warm,preferably someplace comfortable.

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Lemon Blueberry Bars

January 27, 2011

I love anything lemon! This is  a quick and easy  recipe for lemon bars,with the addition of fresh blueberries mixed in. Just the right amounts of tart and sweet,with that burst of blueberry in each bite.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 heaping tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 pint blueberries
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 350

Shortbread Crust: Mix one cup flour and 1/4 cup confectioners sugar. Melt the butter and stir into flour mixture.

Press flat and even into an 8×8 inch baking dish.

 Bake for 15 minutes.

While baking, make the top layer

Mix 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and the baking powder. Beat eggs and add to mixture, stirring well. Add lemon juice and rind, mix again. Stir in blueberries.

Pour over bottom layer.

 Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. It will be a little jiggly,and lightly browned on top. Cool a little, cut into squares while warm; dust with confectioners sugar.