Archive of ‘Sweet Things’ category
What my baby wants, my baby gets. And if it’s my baby’s birthday then he only wants one thing: fruit pizza. Year after year, I try to get creative with other special desserts to celebrate but they always get shot down. I am only slightly embarrassed that this is BL’s favorite dessert I make… it is so simple but I wanted to share it because it gets rave reviews each year. Plus, summertime is here and you can only have apple pie so many times.
Happy Birthday BL Fruit Pizza
1 recipe sweetheart shortbread cookie, or your favorite cookie dough.
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine or shortening, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese (I use Tofutti brand)
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup apricot jam
Fruit! use whatever kind you like, I used BL’s favorites: kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, mandarin oranges, and blackberries. You could do just 1 type of fruit or mix it up.
Prepare your cookie dough mix as your normally would, but shape it into a large circle to mimic a pizza crust. It will really spread in the oven, so make sure you have room on your pan to allow it to cook. A pizza stone works great. Cook according to your directions, remove, and let cool slightly. Carefully transfer to a platter to decorate or you can keep it on the stone.
Using a hand or stand mixer, cream together the margarine and cream cheese. Slowly add in the confectioners sugar, a 1/4 cup at a time so it doesn’t fly up everwhere. Mix until smooth and add vanilla. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to stiffen before use.
Spread the frosting over the cooled dough like pizza sauce, leaving a “crust” is optional. Arrange the fruit on the pizza however you like.
In a small saucepan or in the microwave, heat the jam until hot and runny. Using a pastry brush, spread the hot jam over the fruit and icing. This helps the fruit to “set” and will prevent the fruit from bleeding onto the icing.
Enjoy! Happy Birthday BL!
Salty peanut butter & sweet strawberry jelly have always been a perfect combination. Now these two lovebirds take over your basic cookie bar. They are amazing! I almost wish I didn’t make them because I cannot stop eating them. Almost. But then I have another bite and I am really glad they are in my possession!
These aren’t winning any health awards, but everyone deserves a treat sometimes.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. water mixed with 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I like Earth Balance brand)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup strawberry jam
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350. Line a bar pan (8x8x2) with aluminum foil, let the ends hang off a bit. Make sure the foil is firmly pressed into the pan bottom and corners.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In a food processor/with an electric mixer combine peanut butter, sugar, and shortning. Add the flax seed mixture and vanilla. Mix until smooth and well combined. Slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter, 1/2 cup at a time. Mix till well combined.
Divide the dough in half. Spray the foil lined pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place half of the dough in the foil pan and press down evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Place the remaining dough in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Spread the jelly over the first layer of dough. Remove the dough from the freezer and crumble the dough ontop of the jelly layer. Sprinkle on the chopped nuts.
Bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Allow to cook for at least 30 minutes. Lift the bars out of the pan using the foil overhang. When completely cooled, cut into 16 squares.
*Adapted from Bon Appetit
Per bar: 283 calories, 15g fat, 1.6g fiber, 5.5g protein
Made this dessert for my sweetie on Valentine’s Day. Wine poached pears stuffed with walnuts and chocolate, tied up in phyllo dough. It’s like a mini pear pie!
Ingredients for 2 pears:
2 tbsp. walnuts, chopped
3 tbsp. chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips, chopped
6 sheets phyllo dough
4 tbsp. earth balance butter, melted
3 tbsp. sugar
1 cup red wine or port
1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
2 tbsp. cinnamon
2 cardamon pods
1 tsp. ginger, chopped
Peel and core the pears. If a stem is attached, try to keep the stem intact for presentation. Bring poaching liquid to a boil. Add the pears, adding more water if needed to cover the pears. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and poach for 10-15 minutes until pears are tender. Remove pears, set aside the liquid. (I prepared this step a day before and placed the pears with the liquid in the fridge until I was ready to assemble the following night. Worked great! )
Mix together the chopped walnuts and chocolate. Divide in half and stuff into the core of the pears. On a clean, dry surface, place 1 sheet phyllo dough. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle a generous pinch of sugar. Add another layer of phyllo dough, brush with melted butter and sprinkle sugar. Continue to layer until all the phyllo dough is used.
Divide the dough in 1/2. Place 1 pear, base side down on the center of the phyllo. Start with one corner of the dough and wrap up the side of the pear. Twist the excess dough or pinch off. Brush any remaining butter on the outside of the pear and lightly sprinkle with sugar.
When ready to serve, place the reserved poaching liquid in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook 20-25 minutes until it forms a syrup. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Place syrup on the bottom of a serving plate, top with the baked pear and drizzle more syrup on top.
How was your Valentine’s Day?
I admit I’m pretty lazy when it comes to baking. Although I love to cook, rolling cookie dough doesn’t give me the same pitter-patter that rolling pasta does. However, my mom recently gave me these Valentine’s Day cutouts and I was inspired to make some delectable treats.
I loosely followed The Kind Diet’s shortbread recipe as I don’t like cookies that are too sweet. I added some melted margarine as I like the buttery flavor it provides, but you could also use all oil. Tweak as you see fit!
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups white pastry flour
1/4 cup melted Earth Balance margarine
1/4 cup canola oil
2/3 cup maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Dark Chocolate icing:
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup maple or corn syrup
2 tbsp. canola oil
In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking power, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: extracts, oil, syrup, and butter. Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix. This worked perfectly for me but if the dough is too dry, then add a tbsp. or so of cold water. Make a ball of dough, wrap in plastic or a cloth and place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the dough and cut using whatever cutters you have on hand. If you don’t have cookie cutters, roll your dough into a log and slice off cookies from the end.
While the cookies are baking, combine the syrup and oil in a double boiler set over simmering water. Stir in the chocolate chips until they are melted.
Bake the cookies for 15 minutes until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes on a baking rack and then dip into the chocolate. Leave plain or top however you like… nuts, sprinkles, candy pieces… whatever your valentine loves most!
The nutrition information varies a lot depending on what size cookie cutter you use, but if you make 24 cookies, 1 cookie with chocolate: 148 calories, 6g fat, 22g CHO, 1.8g protein.