Archive for the 'Sweets' Category

Dec 28 2009

Christmas Sweets 2009

Published by under Cakes & Cookies,Holidays,Sweets

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. It brings back memories of Christmases past and its a time  when you can reminisce about all the things that have happened throughout the year. Its been more than 10 years since I have spent Christmas with my parents. I never get a chance to visit them during the holidays.

The fondest memories I have of my childhood is the time when we would all gather around the kitchen table to help mom make all the Christmas goodies. Santa rarely visited our house back then and it didn’t matter to us. We looked forward to adorning our new clothes and staying awake till we got to the midnight mass on Christmas eve. After coming home from church, mom would have a feast prepared for us. We would all eat, drink and sing Christmas carols.

I try to keep some of the traditions alive, especially where food is concerned 🙂 . I try to make at least some of the traditional sweets that my mom used to make and also include some quick cooking goodies that I have learn over the years. This year I wasn’t sure if I was going to get around to making the Christmas goodies, but somehow I found the time to make some with the help of my dear hubby.

Christmas Sweets

From left: carrot cake, kul kuls, maple pecan cookies, chocolate fudge, milk toffee, donuts, mava cake

I cannot share all the recipes with you in this post. Here are a couple of simple ones. Enjoy!

Chocolate Fudge with Nuts and Fruit
The recipe is derived from the Eagle brand Condensed milk recipe. I find that adding semi sweet chocolate makes the fudge a bit too sweet. Here is my variation..
1 can fat free sweetened condensed milk
2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsalted cashews
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Prepare a 8×8 or 9×9 square cake pan, by lining the bottom and sides with some parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 300 F. Place all the nuts on a cookie sheet and toast them in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Cool and coarsely chop the nuts.

In a non stick pan, add the condensed milk and the chocolate. Cook on low heat, stirring constantly until all the chocolate is melted. Take it off the heat and add the chopped nuts, cranberries, raisins, salt and vanilla. Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared cake pan. Refrigerate for about 4 hours. When the fudge is firm, remove it from the pan and cut into desired size pieces.

Use any nuts and fruits that you like in the fudge.

Maple Pecan Cookies
Ingredients (makes 3 dozen cookies)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
36 pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 375F.

In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the egg and maple syrup. Mix until combined. In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour to the wet ingredients a little at a time, while beating it on low speed. When all the flour is mixed in, stir in the chopped pecans.

Drop the dough on parchment lined cookie sheets by rounded teaspoons. Press a pecan half on top of each cookie. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Remove on cooling racks and allow to cool.

The recipe for the carrot cake can be found here.

2 responses so far

Jul 31 2009

Cranberry-Oat Ricotta Muffins

Published by under Breakfast,Cakes & Cookies,Sweets

This one is one of my absolute favorites. The ricotta creates a nice crust on top. This muffin is a cross between a muffin and a scone. Can be served with morning coffee or afternoon high tea!

Cranberry-Oat Ricotta Muffins
Ingredients: Makes 12 muffins
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 stick butter at room temperature
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Sieve together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Beat the sugar, butter and oil. Add the egg and beat well for about 3 minutes. Add the ricotta cheese and vanilla extract and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the flour slowly and mix well. In a small bowl combine the cranberries and about 1 tsp all purpose flour. Toss the cranberries with the flour to coat. This prevents the cranberries from sinking to the bottom when baking. Add the cranberries and oats and stir to mix. Using an ice cream scoop, drop the mixture into a muffin pan lined with paper cups. Bake for about 25 minutes.

4 responses so far

Oct 27 2008

Caramel Custard

Published by under Deserts,Sweets

Caramel Custard
Ingredients : (makes 6 individual servings)
1 cup egg beaters egg product or 4 eggs
2 cups low fat milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a heavy bottom saucepan heat 1/2 cup sugar until it melts and turns brown. Immediately pour the caramel into the custard cups. Combine the eggs, milk, remaining sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Pour the egg and milk mixture into the custard cups. Place the custard cups into a 13×9 baking pan and pour hot water in the pan until it comes to about an inch from the bottom of the cups. Bake for about 45-50 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Can be served chilled or at room temperature.

No responses yet

Jun 30 2008

Mango Pudding

Published by under Deserts,Sweets

Mango Pudding
1 Can or 3 cups Mango Pulp
12 oz Lite Cool Whip
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water
3 small envelopes or approx. 3 tbsp Knox Unflavored gelatin

Mix together the mango pulp, milk, sugar and the cool whip in a large bowl. Boil the water and dissolve the gelatin in it. Pour the dissolved gelatin mixture over the mango pulp mix. Mix well to combine. Pour the mixture in a 13×9 pan and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Cut into desired size and serve.

4 responses so far

Mar 31 2008

Coconut-Cranberry Macaroons

Published by under Cakes & Cookies,Sweets

Found this recipe on recipe card by Food Network.
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries finely chopped
Zest of one orange
2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3 cups finely shredded sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease baking sheet. Lightly whisk egg whites in a large bowl. Stir in sugar, cranberries, orange zest, vanilla, salt and coconut. Combine well.

Moisten fingertips with water and form heaping tablespoons of the batter into pointed mounds or pyramids. Place on the baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake until the edges are golden brown (about 20 minutes).

No responses yet

Mar 31 2008

Mom’s Carrot Cake

Published by under Cakes & Cookies,Deserts,Sweets

I have modified mom’s recipe by adding the walnuts. The cake tastes just as good without them. This recipe yields one 9 inch round or square cake or 18 cup cakes.Enjoy!!
Carrot Cake
1 and 1/2 cup wheat flour
1 and 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 and 1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup chopped dates
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Seive together wheat flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Beat the sugar, essence and oil. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Add the flour slowly and mix well. Fold in carrots, dates and walnuts. Bake for 45 mins.

4 responses so far

Mar 28 2008


Published by under Deserts,Sweets

1 (16 ounce) package Phyllo dough in 13×9 sheets
1 pound chopped nuts
3/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F(175 degrees C). Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch pan. Melt the butter . Chop the nuts and toss with cinnamon and 1 Tbsp. Sugar. Set aside. Unroll the phyllo dough and cover with a damp cloth to keep it from drying out as you work. Place one sheet of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 12 sheets layered. Sprinkle half of the nut mixture on top. Top with 3 layers of dough buttering between the layers. Sprinkle the rest of the nut mixture. Layer with about 12-15 sheets of phyllo brushing each layer with the melted butter. Butter the top layer generously. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.
Make the sauce while the baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Remove baklava from the oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. Serve in cupcake papers. This freezes well. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.

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