Category Archives: Desserts

Lemon Almond Butter Cake

 

There is nothing better than spending a snowy, freezing Saturday night cooking and hanging out with good friends.  We decided since the the air outside was enough to make your nostrils stick together, that would would invite our friends over for a cook-in.   We decided on steaks and a baked veggie and pasta dish.  My friend, Desiree came prepared with a recipe she had found for a delicious sounding dessert.  So, with the menu planned out her and I began the cooking frenzy.  I have to say, having a girlfriend to cook with was wonderful.  We both just jumped right in and had a blast.

 

So, here is our dessert creation.  The original recipe was for a plain lemon butter cake, but we didn’t have any lemon extract on hand, so improvising we chose to use an almond extract instead.  I must say, it was a great choice.  Sometimes not following the directions exactly turns out to be delicious.  The lemon zest and juice combined with the flavor of almond was mouth watering.  The only mistake we made was making dessert first and having to smell it the entire time we were cooking dinner. Having to wait until after dinner to try a piece was torture.  Patience is a virtue, right?

For the cream cheese filling

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1/2 lemon

For the cake

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest of two lemons

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325°.  Spray a 9″ springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.

First make the filling:

1.  In a large bowl, using a mixer beat the cream cheese on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy.

2.  Add confectioners sugar and beat for another 2-3 minutes.  Add egg and beat until well combined.  Next add butter, almond extract, vanilla extract and lemon zest beat until completely combined and set aside.

Second make the cake: 
3.  In large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add in melted butter, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla extract and lemon zest, whisk together until combined.  Do NOT over mix.

 

4.  Pour batter evenly into springform pan.  Carefully pour filling mixture, evenly over cake batter to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the pan.  The filling mixture should cover entire cake batter except for a 1/2″ ring around the outside of the cake.

 

5.  Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the cake has slightly puffed up and a toothpick inserted near edge of cake, comes out clean.

 

6.  Allow to cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove springform sides and allow to cool on rack for 1 hour.  Place in refrigerator and allow to cool completely.

7.  Serve chilled and sprinkle each piece with confectioners sugar.

Adapted from:BlackJackBakeHouse

Adorable Pumpkin Cookies

With Halloween quickly approaching, I wanted to make a dessert to celebrate the holiday.  I found tons of recipes for witch fingers, spider cupcakes and eyeball cookies, but I decided on a not-so gruesome theme.  I thought these little peanut butter flavored cookies, dipped in white chocolate and covered with orange sprinkles were just the thing.  Besides they are delicious and look too cute for words when placed on a nice serving dish.

Serving:  15 pumpkin cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 package Mother’s peanut butter gauchos cookies, finely crushed
  • 1 package (4oz) Ghirardelli baking white chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 cup orange colored sugar sprinkles
  • 5 pretzel sticks, each broken into 3 pieces

Directions: 

1.  Place cookies into zip-lock baggie.  Crush with potato masher, until finely crushed.
2.  Place crushed cookies and softened cream cheese in bowl and mix well.

3.  Place piece of parchment paper on cookie sheet.  Roll cookie mixture into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet.

4.  Place white chocolate in small microwave safe bowl.  Cook until melted, approximately 90 seconds.
5.  Roll each cookie ball in the melted white chocolate.  Poke cookie ball with toothpick once coated and sprinkle all sides of cookie with orange sprinkles.  Place on cookie sheet and put 1 pretzel piece into the top of each cookie, for the stem.

6.  Place in refrigerator for 1 hour to firm, before removing from cookie sheet.

7.  Once chilled place in airtight container and keep in refrigerator until ready to eat.

Adapted from: Kraft

Pumpkin Caramel Pretzel Bars

Since fall is in the air and that means pumpkin time, I decided to make a delicious pumpkin dessert.  Now that I am thinking about it, I think this would be a hit anytime of the year.  It is a pumpkin shortbread cookie with a homemade caramel glaze.  Then to top it off with the crushed pretzels, oh….yes.  It’s sweet and salty.  So, go ahead and indulge, your guaranteed to fall in love. 

 Ingredients:

For the pumpkin cookie layer:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 Tablespoon pumpkin puree
  • 10 Tablespoons butter, cut into 1″ pieces

For the caramel layer:

  • 12 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 Tablespoons agave nectar

For the topping:

  • 1 cup crushed salted pretzels

Directions:

For the pumpkin cookie layer:

  1. Preheat oven to 325° and spray 8″ square baking dish with cooking spray and line the bottom of the dish with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin and butter.  Pulse on low until thoroughly combined.
  3. Remove and press into prepared baking dish.

4.  Pierce batter with a fork and bake for 5 minutes.   Then lower the temperature to 300° and bake for another 30-35 minutes or until batter is light golden brown.

5.  Place pan on wire rack and allow to cool completely.


For Carmel Topping:

  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt measured butter.  Stir in condensed milk and agave nectar, whisk together until combined.   Heat in microwave for about 6 minutes.  Make sure to stir the mixture every 30 seconds, the mixture will be boiling.  The caramel is ready when it is a light golden brown color and a thicker consistency.  Make sure to keep a close eye on caramel while microwaving, it can easily boil over.

2.  Pour the hot caramel mixture over the cooled cookie layer.


The Finishing Touch:

1.  Sprinkle crushed pretzels over caramel layer while warm. Allow the bars to cool completely.

2.  Once bars are completely cooled, cut bars into serving size pieces.  Store in refrigerator and serve straight from there.

Adapted from sugarcrafter

Coconut Sugar Cookie Squares

For the most part I would say I eat healthy, but if there is one weakness I have it is sugar.   So, in general if I am going to eat healthy, I usually allow myself the pleasure of a “real”, no healthy substitutes dessert.  I figure you have to live a little, and I’d like to experience mine through a cookie or a cake.  So I will not pretend this recipe doesn’t have any real butter, white sugar or sweetened coconut.  This is why it tasted so divine.  Seriously, I think I could hear the angels of dessert heaven singing when I took my first bite.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  Go ahead and make something fun to eat and enjoy every bite.

Yields: 24 squares

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 21/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lite coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 13×9 baking dish
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 recipe Coconut Butter Cream Frosting, recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut for garnish (optional)  
Directions:
 

1.  Preheat oven to 375°.  Spray 13×9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2.  Place 1/2 cup shredded coconut into food processor, process until coconut finely ground (about 2 minutes on high).

3.  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Add ground coconut to flour mixture, mix well and set aside.

4.  In another medium mixing bowl, place butter and sugar.  Using electric mixer, beat mixture until fluffy.
5.  Add egg, egg white, vanilla, coconut milk and sour cream, mix until thoroughly blended.

6.  Slowly add in flour mixture and mix until combined. 
7.  Place batter into pre-sprayed baking dish.  Spray hands with nonstick cooking spray and gently press dough into and even layer. 
8.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are lightly golden.

10.  Frost with Coconut Butter Cream Frosting.  Then if desired sprinkle with additional shredded coconut.


11.  Cut into serving size squares and store in airtight container.

Coconut Butter Cream Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons lite coconut milk
  • 3/4 teaspoons coconut extract
Directions:
  • Combine all ingredients for frosting in large mixing bowl.  Using an electric mixer, whip together until mixture is smooth and fluffy.

 Adapted from :  Cooking Classy

Coconut Mango Chia Pudding

So, there were two things that intrigued me about this recipe.  First, is anytime I see the word coconut in a recipe, my pulse automatically quickens.  I love coconut in pretty much any form raw, baked, shredded, sweetened, unsweetened, in creamer, in milk, in water….get the point.  Second is my husband’s love of tapioca pudding.  He loves the stuff, but when you look at the calorie and fat content of a pre-made pudding at the store, forget it!  I’d rather have a heath blizzard thank you very much.  So, back to the point with adding the chia seeds to this recipe makes the consistency much like tapioca and then with the added coconut, voila you have a marvelous more healthy style of pudding.  Plus, chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber.  And by using the light coconut milk, unsweetened almond milk and Stevia liquid for sweetener you eliminate many of the unnecessary calories from sugar.  Enjoy!

Yield:  Two 1 cup servings

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup fresh ripe mango, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sweetened shredded coconut
  • 5 drops liquid vanilla Stevia 
Directions: 
Combine all ingredients in large bowl, mix well and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in refrigerator over night.

 Hope you enjoy this delightful dessert.  It’s a perfect ending for one of those last summer BBQ’s.

Adapted from: skinnytaste

Lemon Sugar Cookies

 I have to admit, sugar cookies could possibly be my favorite food.  If only I could live on cookies alone and still fit into my skinny jeans.  I know, dream on.  The thing I love about sugar cookies is they are so versatile.  Using cookie cutters you can cut them into cute shapes and decorate them with  colored frosting for any occasion.  You can also add different flavors to them to change it up a bit.  For example this recipe for lemon sugar cookies is delightful.  It is a sweet blended sugar cookie with fresh lemon juice and zest giving it a tangy lemon twist.  Plus this cookie has a wonderful crisp edge with a soft, chewy center.  A wonderful desert for a summer get together, BBQ’s or school events.  So, go ahead make a batch and see what you think.  I am pretty sure they will be a hit, no matter what occasion you are making them for.

Yield:  3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • Zest of 2 large lemons (approximately 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (approximately the juice of 1 fresh lemon) 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar in small bowl for rolling cookies 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

3. Using a mixer, beat butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy.

4. Next add lemon zest, egg, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Mix until combined. Gradually add in the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. 

 5. Roll rounded tablespoons of dough into balls and then roll in sugar . Place dough balls on prepared baking sheets,  about 1 1/2 inches apart.

6.  Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden around the edges.

 7. Let cookies sit on the baking sheets for two minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.



 Allow cookies to completely cool and enjoy.  Make sure to store cookies in an airtight container, so they keep their softness.

Adapted from: Two Peas and their Pod