DESSERTS



CINNAMON ALMOND BISCOTTI

This is from Baking With Julia (Child that is)

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unblanched whole almonds
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Put flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl and stir to mix. Stir in almonds.

Whisk the eggs & vanilla together in a small bowl, then stir them into the flour mixture.
The dough may seem dry at this point, but it will come together as it is kneaded. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead, folding it over onto itself until it is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.

Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 12-inch-long log. Gently press down on the logs to flatten them until they are about 2 inches wide and 1 inch high. Transfer them to a baking sheet. Bake the logs for about 30 minutes until they are slightly risen and firm to the touch. Slide the logs off the baking sheet and onto a cooling rack.

Completely cool (they must be completely cool before continuing). When they have cooled completely, preheat the oven to 350 again. Working with a sharp serrated knife, cut the cooled logs diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices.

Place the sliced cookies cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until they are crisp and golden. Cool on the pans. They will keep for up to 1 month in an airtight tin or plastic container.

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COCOA-ALMOND BISCOTTI

Submitted by Angela Urso
(from Southern Living magazine)

1/2 cup butter or margarine softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (or chocolate syrup)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoon cocoa
1 (6-ounce) can whole almonds (1 cup)

Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, beating well. Mix in liqueur. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in almonds.

Divide dough in half, shape each portion into a 9x2 inch log on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until firm. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes.

Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Cut each log diagonally into 1/2 inch-thick slices with a serrated
knife using a gentle sawing motion.

Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 5-7 minutes. Turn cookies over, and bake 5-7 additional minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool Yield: 2 1/2 dozen.

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SOUR CREAM BANANA BREAD

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup nuts
2 cups flour
1/2 tbs baking soda (1 tsp if you are using sour cream)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour milk or sour cream

Cream butter, add sugar then eggs and beat
Add bananas and vanilla
Sift dry ingredients add alternately with sour cream
Add nuts last by hand

Bake in greased loaf pan at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes

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FUDGE BROWNIES

(Adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook)

Ingredients:
1/2 C butter (or margarine)
2 squares (2 oz.) unsweetened chocolate
3/4 C sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. orange extract [optional but delicious]
3/4 C flour
1/2 C chopped nuts [optional]
confectioner's sugar [also optional]

Grease an 8x8x2 pan (not necessary if you use a nonstick pan). Melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepan or in the microwave. Remove from heat; transfer to mixing bowl. Stir in sugar. Add eggs and extracts. Beat lightly (not too much or the brownies will fall). Stir in flour and nuts.

Spread in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sift confectioner's sugar on top. Cool on wire rack, and cut into squares.

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PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIES

Submitted by Kerri Southard

This is a hit at our house. Buy a brownie mix and a bag of miniature Reese's PB cups. Mix brownies according to package and spread in pan.

Put rows of PB cups (every inch or so that when you go to cut it, each piece will have one). Bake as usual. MMmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!

You can also do this with sugar cookie dough. Press dough into small muffin tins. Stick a miniature PB cup *or* a hershey kiss in the middle and bake as usual. MMmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!

I got these ideas from some of the submarine wives' get-togethers I've been to.

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FANCIFUL FRUIT PIZZA

(A Pillsbury recipe winner - from the Pillsbury site)

Submitted by Lori-Ann D'Antonio

1 (20-oz.) package Pillsbury Refrigerated Sugar Cookies
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh or canned peach slices, drained*
1 cup whole strawberries, cut in half*
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries*
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 tablespoon water

Heat oven to 350 F. Slice cookie dough as directed on package. Arrange slices in bottom of ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan or 14-inch pizza pan. Using floured fingers, press dough evenly in pan. Bake at 350 F. for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.

In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Spread mixture over cooled cookie crust. Arrange fruit over cream cheese. In small bowl, combine orange marmalade and water; blend well. Spoon marmalade mixture over fruit. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Cut into squares or wedges. Store in refrigerator. 12 servings

TIPS:
Other fruit such as fresh or canned pineapple slices, maraschino cherries, mandarin orange segments or sliced peeled kiwifruit can be used.
Kids can help make this by arranging the fruit on the cheese mixture.
You can use low-fat cream cheese to cut the calories a little.
Very pretty to bring to parties.

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GINGERBREAD COOKIES

(from the Raleigh Tavern, Williamsburg Cookbook)

1 C sugar
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon (I use more, maybe 2 tsp., and 1 tsp. ground cloves)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 C margarine, melted
1/2 C evaporated milk
1 C unsulfered molasses
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. lemon extract (the extracts are optional but I always use them)
4 C flour

Combine the sugar, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Mix well. Add the melted margarine, evaporated milk, and molasses. Add the extracts if desired. Mix well.

Add the flour 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly. The dough should be stiff enough to handle without sticking to fingers. Knead the dough for a smoother texture. Add up to 1/2 C additional flour if necessary to prevent sticking.

When the dough is smooth, roll it out 1/4 inch thick on a floured surface and cut it into cookies. (I usually chill the dough for an hour or two before rolling it out. You can also roll dough into 1" balls and flatten them gently with the bottom of a drinking glass instead of rolling them out.)

Bake on floured or greased cookie sheets in a preheated 375-degree oven for 10-12 minutes. The cookies are done if they spring back when touched.

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SEVEN LAYER DESSERT BARS

Submitted by Lori-Ann D'Antonio

Ed. note: Very sweet, but easy to make with kids

1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 6oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use more)
1 1/3 cup shredded coconut
1 can sweetened consensed milk (like Eagle Brand -- NOT evaporated milk!)

Melt butter or margarine in 13 x 9 pan.
Add ingredients in the order listed above, covering the previous layer completely.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees (top will be slightly brown when done).

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"INSTANT" SORBET

1 can Peaches -- juice packed

This is a frozen dessert, that, with a little pre-planning, is practically instant.

Take a can of juice-packed peaches or pineapple. Freeze it for several hours. (That's right, just put the can in the freezer!) Open and dump frozen contents into food processor with metal chopping blade in place or into a blender. Process until desired consistency. Enjoy!

Note: You can also do this with frozen bananas. This is a good way to use them when they get over-ripe. Freeze them (without peels) in "zip-lock" type bags - peeling them when frozen can give you frostbite! They end up very creamy--like very rich ice cream, but with no added fat or sugar.

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CHOCOLATE TOFFEE BARS

Submitted by Terri Cendejas

1-1/2 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup softened butter
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
6 oz. chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, almonds, or pecans

Cream brown sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla. Stir in flour. Spread in 15x10 inch pan. (Mixture will be thick, so you may need to use your hands.)

Press nuts evenly across top and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool and cut into 2 inch bars.

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TURTLE TRIFLE

Submitted by Donna Mann

1 (22.5-ounce) package supreme brownie mix with hot fudge pouch
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans, toasted and divided
3 (3.4-ounce) packages butter pecan instant pudding mix
6 cups milk
1 1/2 cups commercial caramel sauce or topping, heated and divided
1 (16-ounce) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 (1.55-ounce) milk chocolate candy bars, chopped

Prepare brownies according to package directions, stirring in 1 cup pecans. Bake as directed. Let cool and crumble.

Combine pudding mix and milk, stirring with a wire whisk until smooth and thickened.

Microwave caramel topping on high until of pouring consistency.

Sprinkle one-third of crumbled brownies in 4 1/2-quart baking dish (or trifle bowl). Top with one-third of pudding mixture. Drizzle with 1/2 cup caramel topping and spread with one-third of whipped topping. Repeat layers twice.

Sprinkle with chopped chocolate and remaining 1/2 cup pecans. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. Yield: 24 servings.

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