Archive for the ‘dessert’ Category

Oatmeal Date Cookies

January 20, 2009


I’m obsessed with dates lately. I’ve always liked them but my Fresh Market just started selling them in the bulk bins so I can get them super cheap now. So today I wanted to make oatmeal cookies but didn’t want to use the usual raisins. I went on a search for a fun recipe and found something with dates! So excited.

The original recipe called for chocolate but I was worried that would be way too sweet for me so I went ahead and left it out. Let me tell you, they don’t need the chocolate. Oh, and I was very excited because the recipe only calls for brown sugar and you know what that means! Soft cookies!

Oatmeal Date Cookies
adapted from Cooking Light

6  tablespoons  unsalted butter
3/4  cup  packed light brown sugar
1/3  cup  all-purpose flour
1/3  cup  whole-wheat flour
3/4  teaspoon  baking soda
1 1/2  cups  regular oats
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1  lightly beaten egg
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
1  cup  chopped pitted dates

Preheat oven to 350º. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and add brown sugar. Stir until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking soda, oats, and salt. Combine the butter mixture with the dry ingredients, and add egg, vanilla, and chopped dates.  Spoon mixture by tablespoon-fulls out onto lightly greased (or silicone baking mat–covered) baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes, until tops are dry to the touch.


Pumpkin Pie Fudge

November 27, 2008

We’re having an easy Thanksgiving this year. My grandparents are out in the Caribbean somewhere and my Aunt’s family decided not to drive in from New Orleans this year, so it’s just my husband, Landon, and my parents. My mom decided to do a simple dinner and didn’t want my help since I’m so busy studying for finals. Little does she know, I’m doing more procrastinating than anything. I took it upon myself to do desserts and after tasting this fudge, I’m so glad I did.

It’s an understatement to say that my husband is tired of my pumpkin goodies. When he spotted the fudge he literally groaned and said, “Let me guess what that is…” but then he and a friend sat here eating almost half of the fudge! So I guess it’s not that awful. 😉

This was so simple, relatively quick, and obviously good. I even made it without a candy thermometer. Why you ask… because whenever I use a candy thermometer I have to throw it away. It’s just one of my things. And it gets really old buying a candy thermometer ever few months only to throw it away hours later. I’ve officially given up on buying them.

My advice if you’re making this: melt the white chocolate or chop into teeny tiny pieces. I used chips and despite pouring 235 degrees of pumpkin on them, I still have some chunks.

Pumpkin Pie Fudge
from: Annie’s Eats

3 cups sugar

¾ cup unsalted butter, melted

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

2 tbsp. corn syrup

2 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice

9 oz. white chocolate, chopped

7 oz. jar marshmallow crème

1 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Stir together first six ingredients in a 3 ½ – quart saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer registers 234° (soft-ball stage).

Remove pan from heat; stir in remaining ingredients until well blended. Pour into a greased aluminum foil-lined 8-inch square pan. Let stand 2 hours or until completely cool; cut fudge into squares.

An overstuffed Pumpkin Roll

September 27, 2008

My favorite thing about fall is pumpkin. Okay, I’m a liar. My favorite thing about fall is sweaters but next on the list is defintely pumpkin. I’ve been waiting for the weather to get cool so I could make a pumpkin roll now but with the weather staying at sweat like a man degrees, I’ve given up on waiting.

I didn’t have a pan big enough and I overstuffed the roll, but oh well, it’s was delicious. Even my husband, who only likes fruity desserts, likes it. Infact, he called it perfect! I’m already planning to make this again at Halloween but I’m going to buy myself a bigger pan and limit myself to how much filling I use, even though that will be very hard.

Pumpkin Roll
from: Amber’s Delectable Delights

1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)

1. For the cake – Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.
3. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.
4. For the filling – Beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Caramel Banana Cupcakes.

August 13, 2008

Today my husband is having some of his buddies over for a “OMG-I-haven’t-see-you-in-so-long” get together. We used to host a lot of parties but we’ve been so busy lately that our friends have gotten neglected. In preparation for this party, I decided to make some cupcakes.

This recipe actually comes from Rachael Ray’s magazine. I buy her magazine almost every month because it’s fun to read. I hardly ever try her recipes though because they’re just… umm, weird. However, since Rachael constantly reminds us on her shows that she’s not a baker I figured someone else came up with this recipe. I must be right because these are fabulous cupcakes.

The recipe in the magazine calls for a buttercream but I went with cream cheese because buttercream is not my friend.

Caramel Banana Cupcakes
adapted from: Everyday with Rachael Ray

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup mashed bananas
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
3 large egg whites
5.5 ounces bag soft caramels
1 cup powdered sugar
1 block cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Line 18 cups of 2 standard 12-cup muffin pans with baking liners. In a large bowl, beat 1 stick butter with 1 cup sugar until fluffy.  Add 3/4 cup bananas, the baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Beat until smooth. Still in 1 cup flour. Mix in 6 tablespoons milk and the remaining 3/4 cup flour until smooth.

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually mix in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar at high speed until stiff and glossy. Fold the egg whites into the batter until no streaks remain.

Spoon the batter into the prepated muffin pans, filling each 3/4 of the way. Cut 9 caramels in half and submerge half a piece into each muffin cup of batter. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cook the remaining caramels, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup banana, and 1/4 teaspoon salt over medium heat, stirring, until the caramels are melted.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until combined. Add in caramel mixture. Add the powdered sugar slowly until comletely mixed in. Refrigerate until cool. Spread on cupcakes.

Almond Lavender Cake.

August 9, 2008

Someone please stop me from making anymore lavender treats. I can’t get it through my hard head that I hate the stuff. It’s just so pretty! And sounds like such a great idea! And I have a jar so I might as well use it, right? Wrong. I vow right now to never use the stuff again. I’d even throw it out if I wasn’t so fond of the color.

I made this cake last night. It was okay. The first bite was rough but after that I got used to the perfume-y taste. My husband even said it was “decent”. Today though, I took one bite and had to put it down. The lavender got stronger overnight I guess. I think it would be a totally different cake if you just steeped the lavender in the half-and-half that goes into it instead of grinding it up.

It had it’s good points though. It was really pretty. The lavender specks throughout the pale cake was fun. I also really enjoy processing nuts so that made me happy. And the almond taste, when it wasn’t overpowered by the lavender, was great.

So I’m going to include the recipe because I am sure there are people out there who enjoy lavender. I really wish I was one of those people.

Almond Lavender Cake
adapter from: Taste of Home

2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers, divided
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup half-and-half
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons boiling water
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Grease a 10-inch fluted tube pan and sprinkled with sugar; set aside. Place 1/2 cup sugar, the almonds, and 1 tablespoon lavender in a food processor and process until finely ground.

In a large bowl, cream butter and remainig sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in almond mixture until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

In a small bowl, combine yogurt and half-and-half. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; add to the butter mixture alternately with the yogurt mixture, beat well after each addition.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 55 – 60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

For drizzle, combine water and remaining lavender. Cover and steep for 5 minutes. Strain, discarding lavender. In another bowl, combine powdered sugar and enough infused water to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle over cake. Garnish with additional lavender if desired.

Apple Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting.

July 11, 2008

Gah. I’m so behind. I made these over a month ago and I’m just now getting around to posting them. Someone tell me to get my butt in gear please. Thanks.

Waaaay back when I made these I had a bunch of apples on hand that weren’t getting eaten. I tend to buy apples because I know I should eat them but I just don’t like them so they usually go bad. My mom does the same thing with bananas so I guess I learned from her. So I went searching for apple recipes and found these little things.

They were so much better than I expected. Like I said, I’m not an apple fan but I did enjoy them. I will say that I don’t think the cream cheese frosting is really needed. It was good but it made them really sweet. So sweet that I actually ended up throwing the majority of them away. If I ever find myself with too many apples again, I’ll probably make the blondies but forget about the frosting.

Apple Blondies with Brown Sugar Frosting
from: Cooking the Books

2/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch salt
1 cup peeled chopped apples
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Brown Sugar Frosting:
4 oz ½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup milk
2 cups icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted

Line a 13 x 9 inch baking tin with baking parchment. Set oven to 350.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture on low speed, mixing until blended. Stir in apples and nuts, mixing well. Spread evenly in the prepared tin and bake until set and golden, 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on rack.
Brown Sugar Frosting:

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Bring mixture just to a boil then remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm. Sift in the confectioner’s sugar, mixing until smooth. Spread evenly over bar. Let stand until frosting is firm enough to cut. Cut into bars or squares.

Black and White Cookies.

July 3, 2008

A few weeks ago I was talking to my friend Pam about Martha Stewart’s cookie book. Pam has it and loves it but I’m not a huge Martha fan so I was skeptical. I decided to try out a recipe from Martha’s website before buying the book.

(Please excuse the picture. I took it in my bed because that’s where I ate every single one of these cookies. I have no shame.)

I went with Martha’s black and white cookies because when I was pregnant and working at Starbucks I ate one of these everyday. My co-workers joked that they always knew when I was there because they would find the remains (the dark chocolate part. bleh) on the desk in the back. I just loved how soft they were with the hard white chocolate on top. Mmm.

These cookies were exactly like my beloved Starbucks cookies. Well I used milk chocolate instead of dark, but that only made them better. They were soft and lemony and perfect.

I still haven’t bought Martha’s book. It’s on my list right after about 30 other things. I definitely want to pick it up eventually. I’m officially sold on Martha.

Black and White Cookies
from Martha Stewart

1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cake flour, not self-rising
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons light corn syrup, plus more if needed
1 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until smooth. Add milk, and whisk to combine. Whisk in melted butter and extracts. Add flour mixture, and stir to form a smooth dough. Cover, and chill for 1 hour.
  2. Line baking pans with Silpat nonstick baking mats. Using a 2-ounce scoop, drop five cookies per pan, 3 inches apart. Bake until edges are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack set over parchment paper to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, 3 tablespoons hot water, and corn syrup. Whisk until smooth. Using a small offset spatula, ice half of each cookie. Return cookies to rack to drip, if necessary.
  4. Add chocolate to remaining icing. Stir until smooth. Add additional corn syrup to thin to desired consistency, if necessary. Spread chocolate icing over second half of each cookie. Allow cookies to set, about 10 minutes.

(almost) Half Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

June 16, 2008

I’m a slacker. Forgive me. I made these cookies a few weeks ago when my (almost) brand new laptop pooped out on me. (Anyone want to see how many times I can put “almost” in parentheses?) I wanted to drown my sorrows in chewy chocolate chip cookies without all the guilt. Plus I was just about out of all-purpose flour.

I’m generally not one to come up with my own recipes, especially for baked goods. I’ve only been cooking for about a year and a half so I’m still trying to figure things out in the kitchen. Luckily these turned out perfect. They didn’t last 2 days in my house. And like I said, (almost) no guilt. (That’s 3!) I didn’t even feel bad when I saw the husband sneaking bites to the kid.

(almost) Half Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
from: Like Sprinkles on a Cupcake…

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.

Sift together flours, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together. Add vanilla and then eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Slowly stir in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 9 – 11 minutes, or until golden brown.

Let cool completely on wire rack.


Cherry Pie.

June 8, 2008

In an effort to look like the perfect housewife, I attempted my first double crust pie last weekend when the husband had a long-lost buddy over. Attempted being the key word here.

Unfortunately my ALMOST BRAND NEW LAPTOP decided to go crazy and the freakin’ Dell support people told me my only option was to completely restore it back to factory condition. Sigh. I lost everything so I don’t have the recipe I used. And my touchpad still isn’t working. I do know that I put cinnamon on the cherries. Yup. That’s all I remember. That’s mommy brain for you.

The pie tasted great and that’s the most important part right?

Lemon Bars.

June 2, 2008

Not long ago I mentioned that I have myself pretty convinced that I hate lemons in my chicken piccata post. I figured out that it’s because everywhere I go people try to put lemons in my sweet tea and I don’t care what anyone says, lemon totally ruins sweet tea.

This past week I found myself with a bag of lemons. They were on sale. I just couldn’t help myself. It was time for me to get over my lemon thing.

I’ve never had a lemon bar but I figured it was a safe place to start. These were delicious. The super tart lemon with the sweet pastry crust was perfect. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I ate the entire pan. Almost.

Lemon Bars
from: Taste of Home

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup lemon juice
Additional confectioners’ sugar

In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar and butter until crumbly; pat into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, flour and lemon juice until frothy; pour over the hot crust.

Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into squares.