Archive for DESSERTS

Crepes

Life is short…have dessert for breakfast.  😀

Okay, this is not really a dessert, but it could be.  In fact, crepes are one of those versatile foods that can be sweet OR savory (cheese, mushroom, spinach, and chicken crepes are a favorite!).

My family loves fruit-filled crepes with a sweet cream filling.  We have it for breakfast, as snacks, and they’re a special treat for dessert.

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My youngest loves filling hers with Nutella and strawberries, but add some sliced bananas (oooh, and maybe some peanut butter too) for an Oh-My-Goodness flavor experience!

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These crepes and tender and sweet all on their own, and do not taste eggy like the ones served in some restaurants.

Speaking of restaurants, I used to think that crepes were an indulgence we could only have at those popular breakfast restaurants.  Not anymore.  Crepes are really quite simple to make.

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Have I tempted you enough to make some for yourself?  No?  How about now? 😀

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So what are you waiting for?  Head into that kitchen and get started.  Here’s how to make it.  (If you’re new to my blog, you will always find my complete recipe at the bottom of my post.)

For the batter, you’ll need the same basic ingredients you use to make pancakes — eggs, sugar, butter, milk, and flour.  I also add a pinch of salt and vanilla extract my batter.

Place the eggs into a large mixing bowl.  Beat it slightly with a whisk.

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Add sugar to sweeten it a bit.  If you plan on making savory crepes, I recommend decreasing the amount of sugar or omitting it completely.

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Vanilla extract gets mixed in next.  You could also use lemon extract, or some lemon zest instead of vanilla extract, but remember that a little goes a long way.

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Add a pinch of salt to the mixture.  Did you know that salt is a natural antioxidant?  Salt also adds taste and helps bring out the flavors present in the flour and other ingredients.

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Melted butter gets mixed in next.  The butter serves two purposes in this recipe.  It adds flavor, but it also helps the crepes not stick to the pan during cooking.

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Whisk in the milk.

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Next comes the flour.  It may seem like you’re adding way too little flour for the amout of liquid.  However, unlike pancake batter, the ratio of milk to flour is 2:1 for crepe batter, which makes a very thin batter.

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Whisk until you get a smooth batter.  A few tiny lumps of flour left in the batter are okay.

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Set the batter aside while you heat up your pan.  I recommend using a non-stick skillet.  I use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet.

Lightly spray the pan with butter-flavored cooking spray (just to be on the safe side to ensure your crepes don’t stick to the pan).  Pour 1/2 cup of batter onto the heated skillet.

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Cook the crepe over medium-low heat; you may need to adjust the heat as you go along, turning it down or up, depending on how quickly the crepes cook.

Use a spatula to gently lift the edges. If the crepe feels like it is still stickng to the pan, let it cook for a little while longer.  A telltale sign the crepe is ready to be flipped over is when you see it start to “wrinkle.”

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Flip the crepe over to lightly brown the other side; this should only take a minute or less.

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Continue making crepes until all of the batter is used up.  This recipe makes 8 crepes (more if you use less than 1/2 cup of batter per crepe).

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So now that the crepes are done, it’s time to make the filling.  This recipe is for a sweet filling.

Cream together softened cream cheese and a bit of powdered sugar.

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It should resemble cream cheese frosting at this point.

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To lighten it up, mix in whipped cream.  I use Cool Whip to make things easier.  Hey, I’m all about making things from scratch, but sometimes semi-homemade is just fine. 🙂

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Okay, so let’s see where we are in this endeavor.

Crepes — CHECK.

Sweet cream filling — CHECK.

All that’s left to do is fill the crepes with filling and your favorite fruit.  We like — okay, we LOVE — fresh berries in ours.

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Spread some filling down the middle of a crepe.

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Add fruit, as much as you like.

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Fold each side over the middle, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and ENJOY! 😀

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Scroll down for my complete recipes.

 

 

Crepes
 
Tender crepes filled a sweet cream; it's perfect for breakfast or served as a dessert.
Author:
Ingredients
Crepe batter:
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup flour
Filling:
  • 8-oz cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 8-oz cool whip
  • Fresh berries
Other:
  • Powdered sugar
  • Butter-flavored cooking spray
Instructions
Make the crepes:
  1. Place the eggs in a large mixing bowl; beat slightly with a whisk.
  2. Mix in the remaining ingredients for the batter. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour ½ cup of batter onto a heated skillet. Cook over medium-low heat until lightly browned on one side. Flip the crepe and cook the other side until lightly browned.
Make the filling:
  1. Place the cream cheese and powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to mix until creamy.
  2. Mix in the Cool Whip.
Assemble the crepes:
  1. Spread some cream filling down the middle of a crepe.
  2. Top with fresh fruit.
  3. Fold the sides over the middle. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
ENJOY!

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Rice Krispy Treat Easter Eggs

This is a fun and yummy project you and your kids can make this Easter.

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To make these delicious and cute treats, you’ll need:

  • 6 cups Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® cereal
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 package (10 oz.) marshmallows
  • Sweetened shredded coconut
  • Green food coloring
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Peeps marshmallow chicks
  • Large plastic eggs that can open/split in half
  • Butter-flavored cooking spray
  • Small candies

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Make some Rice Krispy treats using the recipe printed on the cereal box.

Spray the insides of large (and clean) plastic eggs with butter-flavored cooking spray.  Fill each plastic egg half with the cereal treats while still warm and pliable.  Use your thumb to create an indentation inside each egg half.

Carefully remove the formed cereal treat from each egg half.

Fill the thumbprint hole with your favorite candy (we like jelly beans and peanut m&m’s).  Press the halves together to form the cereal treat eggs.

Decorate with marshmallow Peeps, “grass” and “twigs” and enjoy!

To make the “grass”, tint sweetened coconut flakes green using a few drops of green food coloring.  Use pretzel sticks for the twigs.

Have fun and enjoy these delicious treats!

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Pistachio Cake from Scratch

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I’m sure you’ve made a cake using boxed cake mix with pudding in the mix at one time or another.  The added pudding made the cake so moist and rich.

In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, I wanted to bake something green.  I’ve made green velvet cake before, but I remembered a childhood favorite — pistachio cake — and I knew that’s what I wanted to make instead.

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Up to now, I’ve only made this cake using boxed yellow cake mix and added a box of instant pistachio pudding mix to the batter.  While it tastes good, I wanted to make a “scratch cake.”

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I actually found a recipe online for pistachio cake made from scratch, but let me tell you, it was an epic fail.

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You see, baking, while relatively easy for the most part, is a science.  Needless to say, the recipe I used didn’t quite have the scientific part down, and after that kitchen flop, I was determined to come up with a “from scratch” recipe that not only was easy to make but tasted good and was tried-and-true too.

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My recipe is not just for St. Patrick’s Day — it’s perfect for your next get-together, dessert, or potlucks.

You can find my complete recipe at the end of this post below, along with my recipe for super-simple cream cheese frosting (that’s great on cinnamon rolls, by the way).

Give my recipe a try. I think you’ll like it. 🙂

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Here’s how to make it.

Place the flour, pudding mix, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a small bowl.  Whisk to combine the ingredients.  Set this aside for now.

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Place the milk and buttermilk in a small measuring cup.  Set aside.

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Cream the butter and sugar.

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Mix in the eggs, one at a time.

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Mix in the extracts and green food coloring.

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Alternate mixing in the flour mixture and millk mixture.  Start with 1/3 of the flour mixture.  Next, add 1/3 of the milk mixture. Repeat until all of the flour and milk mixtures have been added to the batter.

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Fill cupcake wells 3/4 full.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes.  Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

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Make the frosting. (Yay!  This is my favorite part. 🙂 )

You’ll need cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk.

This is a very creamy, spreadable frosting, much like what you’ll see on cinnamon rolls.  In fact, this frosting would be PERFECT on my cinnamon rolls.

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Cream the butter and cream cheese together.

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Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk.  Mix until smooth and creamy.

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Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes and ENJOY!

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Pistachio Cake from Scratch
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12-18 cupcakes
Ingredients
Cake:
  • 1⅔ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 box (3.4 oz) instant pistachio pudding mix
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup milk (whole or lowfat)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup white, granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon pistachio extract (if you can't find this, use almond or hazelnut extract instead)
  • 1 teaspoon green food coloring
Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or use pistachio extract for more pistachio flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon milk
Instructions
Make the cake:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, pudding mix, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Mix the milk and buttermilk together in a small measuring cup. Set aside.
  4. In a medium sized mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter with a hand mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add the extracts and food coloring to the butter-egg mixture. Mix to combine.
  5. Mix in ⅓ of the flour mixture, then mix in ⅓ of the milk mixture. Continue adding the flour and milk mixtures, alternating each one, until all have been mixed into the batter.
  6. Fill cupcake wells ¾ full. You should have enough batter for about 18 cupcakes. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Allow to cool completely when done. Spread cream cheese frosting on top of cooled cupcakes.
Make the frosting:
  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese together.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix until creamy.
Enjoy!

 

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Cassava Cake

Cassava cake is traditionally made from grated cassava, coconut cream, sweet young coconut, eggs, sugar, butter and evaporated milk.  These ingredients are mixed together to form a thick batter, baked until firm, then topped with a mixture of sweetened condensed milk and coconut cream then broiled until the topping is a rich, caramel color.  It’s quite decadent and oh-so-delicious.

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My version is based on my sister’s recipe, with a slight variation.  While I love the traditional version, I like my cassava cake less sweet so I omit the sweetened condensed milk topping.  I also like my version to be similar in consistency to Sweet Chamorro Tamales, so I add a bit more evaporated milk to my batter.  To give my cake greater depth of flavor, I also add just a bit of vanilla extract.

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Give it a try and let me know how you like it. 🙂

Here are the ingredients you’ll need (the butter is not shown in the photo).

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Place all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  Stir to combine.

imagePour the mixture into a 9×13 baking pan sprayed with butter spray.

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Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes (check after 1 hour; the top should be golden brown).

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I think it’s perfect just as it is, but see below for instructions to add a sweet topping.  Let the cake cool then cut into squares.  Serve and enjoy!

Cassava Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Chamorro
Ingredients
Cassava Cake:
  • 2 pounds grated cassava
  • 1 can coconut cream or coconut milk
  • 15 ounces evaporated milk (use just 12 ounces to make it less chewy like sweet tamales)
  • 1 jar macupono, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Topping (Optional):
  • ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
Instructions
Cassava Cake:
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with butter cooking spray.
  2. Mix the cake ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Pour into the prepared baking pan.
  3. Bake for 1 hour (see note); if the top is not a nice caramel color, bake for an additional 15 minutes or until nicely browned on top. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting.
    Note: If adding the sweet topping, bake for 45 minutes; see instructions below for adding the topping.
Optional Topping:
  1. Mix the topping ingredients together. Place in a small sauce pan; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until slightly thickened.
  2. After the cake has baked for 45 minutes, remove from the oven and carefully spread the topping over the top of the entire cake. Return the cake to the oven and cook for 15 more minutes.
  3. Turn the oven to broil (make sure your baking pan is broiler-safe). Broil for 5 minutes to brown the topping.
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting.
Serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

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Mini Chocolate Eclairs (or Cream Puffs)

Homemade eclairs are super easy to make.  They are a French dessert also known as profiteroles, cream puffs, or choux à la crème.  I just call it “delicious.” 😉

This is a great recipe to get your kids to help with.  In fact, they are so easy to make that my daughter (13 years old at the time the photo below was taken) makes them anytime she gets a craving for them.

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These tender pastry cups are so versatile; you can make them into delectable desserts like I’ve done here, or you can create amazing appetizers by filling them with your favorite dips or spreads.

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I like making these into cute, miniature puffs.  I use a small ice cream scoop to create evenly-sized pastries.

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Add these scrumptious treats to your table and your family (or guests) will be delighted and amazed.  Only YOU will know how easy they were to prepare! 😉Cream Puffs - 03

Other options for these delicious treats:

  • Dust the tops with powdered sugar to make Cream Puffs
  • Fill with ice cream for a frozen treat
  • Experiment with different pudding flavors (cheesecake pudding filling is delicious!)
  • Experiment with different extract flavors (try peppermint extract with chocolate pudding)
  • To make this a savory dish, fill with crab dip (or your favorite dip) for an easy appetizer

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

 

Mini Chocolate Eclairs
 
Author:
Ingredients
SHELL:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (or 1 stick)
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
FILLING:
  • 1 box (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding (plus ingredients to make the pudding, per pkg. directions)
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip whipped topping
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
CHOCOLATE TOPPING:
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 1½ teaspoons dark corn syrup
  • 1½ teaspoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Instructions
Make the Shell:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine butter, water, and salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add flour all at once to boiling liquid, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and continue stirring until the flour mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, into the flour mixture, mixing well after each addition. Continue stirring until the the dough is smooth and not lumpy. Set aside for 15 minutes to allow to thoroughly cool.
  4. After the dough cools, drop by rounded heaping teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet, placing dough 23 inches apart. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately split shells in half while hot to allow steam to escape and to keep shells crisp. Cool thoroughly before filling.
Make the Filling:
  1. Follow the directions on the box of pudding. Fold in Cool Whip and almond extract.
  2. Fill cream puff shells with prepared pudding mixture.
Make the Chocolate Topping:
  1. Place all ingredients into a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Microwave on medium heat for 20 seconds; stir the mixture. If the chocolate chips and butter are not completely melted after stirring, microwave for 10 more seconds (and at 10-second intervals if they are still not melted), stirring afterward until the mixture is totally melted and smooth.

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