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Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

Victim Cookies

Adapted from Baking Bite’s Vampire Cookies, these victim cookies are fun to make and popular with hungry guests!


Victim Cookies

3/4 cup butter softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
red food colouring

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and extracts.

Add flour and salt to the bowl and mix them into the butter-sugar mixture at low speed until dough is just combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.

Divide dough in half and keep the portion you are not using in the refrigerator.

Roll out the dough directly onto the baking sheet liner.

Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/8-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out human shapes and place them on a baking sheet. Or, if you are lucky enough to have a Silpat or other non-stick baking sheet liner, roll the dough out right onto it, cut out your cookies and then peel away the unused dough. I’ve found this means much less wastage because the delicate cut-outs don’t need to be moved.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies are starting to brown.

Cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Pour out a small amount of red food colouring into a shallow dish. Dip a toothpick in the food colouring and drag across the cookies making injury-like marks.

Cookies will keep for up to a week in an airtight container.

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This dessert is perfect for dinner parties because you can do all of the preparation work earlier in the day or even the day before. Some people like to get the panna cotta out of the ramekin for serving, but I don’t see the point – it might fall apart, and the ramekin needs to be washed anyway.

Panna Cotta with Raspberry and Blueberry Coulis

Serves 4.
Preparation time: Can be done in 20 minutes if you make both at the same time. Serving time: 2 minutes.

For the panna cotta
300ml double cream
300ml milk
60g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
2g agar agar

For the coulis
200g blueberries
200g raspberries
50g sugar
1 cinnamon stick
40ml water

Preparation – Panna Cotta

1. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds. You could probably substitute vanilla essence for the seeds.

2. Put the vanilla seeds, double cream, milk, sugar and agar agar in a pan and warm on a medium heat until the mixture is hot. Simmer for 5 minutes – do not let the mixture boil. You can tell when it’s boiling because of a) the bubbles and b) the noise, which sounds like a kettle.

3. Remove the pan from the heat, leave to cool for 5 minutes and then divide the mixture between 4 ramekins. Remember to leave enough room for the coulis! Leave to cool for a further 5 minutes and then put in the fridge for at least a few hours.

Preparation – Raspberry and Blueberry Coulis

1. Find a pan with a lid.

2. Put the blueberries, sugar, cinnamon stick and water in the pan and cook on a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.

3. Reduce the heat to low, put the lid on the pan and simmer for 3-4 minutes.

4. Remove the lid, turn the heat back up to medium and cook for a further 4-5 minutes. At this point you should have something that looks like a sauce and the berries should have collapsed slightly. If it is very thin you might want to leave it for longer until it thickens up.

5. Remove from the heat, retrieve and discard the cinnamon stick, add the raspberries and stir well.

6. Transfer the mixture to a suitable bowl or dish, leave to cool for 5 minutes and then put it in the fridge next to your panna cottas.

Serving

Simply retrieve everything from the fridge and spoon the coulis on top of the panna cottas.

Nutritional information: if you care, you should not be making this dish

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If you love pecan pie and pumpkin pie, this is the pie for you! Great for Thanksgiving or any time you want sugar hit!

I made this fabulous pie for Canadian Thanksgiving last weekend. It’s based on Libby’s Pumpkin Pecan Pie, but with a few modifications.

First things first.. the pumpkin… In the past when I’ve made pumpkin pie, I’ve always cooked the pumpkin myself and then pureed it. Unfortunately, I’ve found that the resulting pies were often soggy. When researching pie recipes this year, I found a great tip from Keri Fisher:  after pureeing the pumpkin, put it back in the oven spread thinly on a cookie sheet and roast it until it gets drier and thicker.  My pie was not in the slightest big soggy.. I think this tip made all the difference.  And before we start, I’ll admit that I didn’t make my own crust. I bought all-butter frozen shortcrust pastry from Waitrose. 🙂


Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Preparation time: 20 mins + 50 mins cooking time (assuming you already have the pastry and pumpkin prepared).
Makes one 9-inch pie.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

1 (9 inch) unbaked (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
250 g pumpkin puree (see note above)
65 g brown sugar
1 large egg
2 g pumpkin pie spice (nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves)

160 ml honey
100 g brown sugar
2 large eggs
45 g butter or margarine
3 ml vanilla extract
120 g pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.

1. COMBINE pumpkin, sugar, egg and pumpkin pie spice in medium bowl; stir well. Spread over bottom of pie shell.

2. COMBINE honey, sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla extract in same bowl; stir in nuts. Spoon over pumpkin layer.

3. BAKE for 50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Serve with freshly whipped cream and enjoy!

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This weekend I decided to tackle the growing collection of frost in the freezer. At the back of the freezer, long forgotten about, I found two ripe bananas which I had been saving for banana bread. Since it was a lovely fall weekend, I thought some baking was in order.

This recipe is based on Quick Banana Bread from The Joy of Cooking with a few modifications. When my brother and I were growing up, the Joy was one of our favourite cookbooks. With instructions on how to skin a squirrel and recipes that make 200 cookies, the Joy is sure to be a hit with young chefs. We would pore over it for hours before deciding to make some obscure cookies, candies or a cake. Mom never questioned our choices and was always supportive of our efforts, even when we really did make 200 German Honey cookies.

This recipe requires less cooking time than many others I have seen and is very easy. Enjoy it while it cooks and fills the house with a wonderful aroma, hot out of the oven with butter melting on it or the next day for breakfast (if there’s any left!)


Banana Bread

Preparation time: 15 mins + 45-60 mins cooking time.
Makes one loaf.

1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup brown sugar
Grated rind of one lemon

2 beaten eggs
1 to 1 1/4 cups of ripe banana pulp

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.

1. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

2. Blend the butter, sugar and lemon rind in a large mixing bowl until creamy.

3. Beat the eggs and banana pulp into the butter and sugar mixture.

4. Add the sifted ingredients to the sugar mixture in 3 parts, beating until smooth after each addition.

5. Fold in the walnuts.

6. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan.

Bake for 45 – 60 mins until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool slightly before sneaking the first hot slice.

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This is a recipe from my friend Liv for the easiest, yummiest chocolate pudding. I might even call it her signature dish. It’s hot and goey and chocolatey. What more could a girl ask for?… but some ice cream on the side. Easy enough to whip up while your main course is cooking and impressive enough for friends, family or guests.


Hot Chocolate Pudding

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup self-raising flour (see note below)
1 tbsp cocoa

Topping:

½ cup sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
1 ¾ cups boiling water

1. Preheat the oven the 180ºC.

2. Melt the butter. Add the milk and egg and stir well.

3. Add the dry ingredients and mix well!

4. For the topping mix the sugar and cocoa and sprinkle evenly over the pudding mixture.

5. Carefully pour the boiling water over the pudding.

Pop in the oven and bake for 35-40 mins.

Serve with ice cream.


Self-raising (or self-rising ) flour is white or wholewheat flour with leavening agents already added. If you don’t have self-raising flour add the following to the dry ingredients above:

  • 1 to 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch to ½ teaspoon salt

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This is a seriously easy cake. I think it took me almost as long to lick the bowl out afterwards as it did to make the cake. For anyone who thinks they can’t make a cake, give this one a try. Don’t be put off by the vinegar, it really does work in this cake.

From my mom’s cookbook:
Another recipe hurriedly recorded over the phone and made right away to an appreciative group. That Melissa, what a resource!


Melissa’s Easy Chocolate CakeChocolate Cake decorated for Liv

Makes two eight inch rounds or one large rectangular.

Melt 1/2 C butter and/or margarine

Add 1 tsp vanilla and 2 tsp vinegar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease pans.

Sift into a bowl:
3 C flour
2 C sugar
6 TB cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 small tsp salt

Add 2 C cold water to butter mixture. Pour this into dry ingredients and stir well.

Pour into 2 greased layer pans or 1 greased large pan (10″x14″).

Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Icing #1:
This takes less time to make then going to the store and buying commercial goop.Cream together 4 TB butter and 1/2 C honey. Add 1 tsp vanilla or 1/4 C cocoa and 2-3 TB milk. To thin, add a little milk; to thicken, add powdered milk. Make it any colour you like.


Icing #2:
Cream well 1/2 C brown sugar and 2 TB butter. Add 2 TB warmed milk and beat. Add icing sugar until right consistency (up to 1 1/2 C). Add vanilla or other flavouring.

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This yummy sounding recipe was sent to me by Nathan Eng. I haven’t tried it yet but it looks so good I had to post it. Let me know if you try it.


Uncle Robert’s Easy Baileys Cheesecake

1 (9-inch) chocolate graham cracker crumb crust (or regular graham or shortbread crust)
1 (8-ounce/ ~226g) package of light cream cheese, soften, get all the lumps out
1 can of light sweetened condensed milk (300ml, 397 g)
¼- cup (4tbsp, 50ml) of lemon juice
1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
½ cup (125ml) of Baileys Irish Cream (or your favourite cream liqueur)

1. In a bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy and non-lumpy.

2. Add sweetened condensed milk; blend thoroughly.

3. Stir in lemon juice, vanilla and Baileys.

4. Pour into crust.

Chill about 2 hours so it holds its shape. Cut and serve. Enjoy.

Variants: If you don’t have the crumb crust, a thinly baked instant brownie will do. Also, served in wine glasses with crumbled chocolate chip cookies underneath and a square of quality chocolate on top makes it fancy and you don’t need to chill it as much.

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