Category: Treats

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

INGREDIENTS
Rolls:
1 cup water
1 cup milk
½ cup butter
2 tbsp yeast (instant)
½ cup sugar
2 tsp salt
4 eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten with fork
8-10 cups flour
butter, softened
brown sugar
cinnamon

Frosting:
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
⅛ tsp salt
1 ½  cups powdered sugar
1-2 tsp vanilla extract


DIRECTIONS
Rolls:
Combine water and milk to a saucepan and heat to near boiling.  Pour water/milk mixture into bowl of stand mixer; melt in butter.  Add sugar and salt; mix to dissolve.  Mix in 4 cups of flour; check temperature (should be approximately 99°).  Mix in yeast; add eggs.  Mix in 4-6 cups flour, until is elastic, and not sticky.  Knead for 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove dough to an oiled bowl.  Roll dough over to coat and cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray; allow to rise in a warm place until dough has doubled in size.  Punch down; divide in half.

Roll out two rectangles of dough to ⅓ to ½ inch in thickness.  Rub softened butter over dough; sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Roll and slice into rolls and place on large baking sheet lined with parchment, release foil, or silpat.  Let rise a second time covered with a plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  When doubled, bake at 350° for 15 minutes.

Frosting:
In a mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter.  Mix in salt, powdered sugar, and vanilla.

Grandma Honey’s Cream Puffs

Grandma Honey’s Cream Puffs

PÂTE À CHOUX PASTRY
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
4 eggs

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 400º.  In saucepan, bring water and butter to a rolling boil.  Add flour in one installment; stir vigorously over medium heat until mixture no longer sticks to the side of the pan and forms a ball (about 1 minute).  Remove from heat.  By hand, beat in eggs, one at a time.  Beat until mixture is smooth and velvety.  Drop from spoon onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake until dry (approximately 45-50 minutes).  Allow to cool slowly.  Makes eight puffs.

Cut cooled pastries, fill with Custard Filling and ice with Chocolate Icing.


Custard Filling
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
4 egg yolks (or 2 eggs), beaten
2 tsp vanilla (or other flavoring)

In a saucepan, mix sugar, salt, and flour; stir in milk.  Stir over medium heat until mixture boils; boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Stir a little more than half of this mixture into beaten egg yolks.  Blend into hot mixture and bring just to boiling point.  Cool and blend in vanilla.


Chocolate Icing
1 square unsweetened chocolate (1 oz)
1 tsp butter
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
2 tbsp boiling water

Over a double boiler, melt together chocolate and butter.  Remove from double boiler; blend in sugar and water.  Stir until smooth but not stiff.


Chocolate Éclairs
Place dough mixture in a pastry bag and pipe 12 fingers approximately 1-inch wide and 4-inches long.  Bake as above; fill with custard and frost with chocolate icing.

Brown Sugar Blondies

Brown Sugar Blondies

INGREDIENTS
2 cups brown sugar
1 ⅔ cups flour
½ cup butter, melted
3 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt


DIRECTIONS
Combine all ingredients and spread evenly into a greased 9×13 baking dish.  Bake at 350º until the top is dry and edges begin to pull away from the sides (25 minutes).  Remove from oven and cool completely before slicing.

Ginger Cranberry Bars
½ tsp ginger powder
¼ cup crystallized ginger, chopped
¾ cup dried cranberries, chopped
8oz white chocolate chips

Chocolate Pecan Strata

Chocolate Pecan Strata

Crust
2 cubes butter, melted
1½ cups flour
1 cup pecans, chopped

Combine ingredients and spread in 9×13 cake pan; bake 20 minutes at 400º, cool.


1st layer
1 pkg (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cool whip

Fold together and let set for a few minutes; spread carefully on crust.


2nd layer
1 pkg (6 oz) instant chocolate pudding
2 cups milk

Mix as per instructions on box. Be sure to use only 2 cups milk; spread on first layer.


3rd layer
1 pkg (6 oz) instant vanilla pudding
2 cups milk

Mix as per instructions on box. Be sure to use only 2 cups milk; spread on first layer.


4th layer
1 cup cool whip (or more)

Spread Cool Whip vanilla layer; top with shavings from Hershey’s chocolate bar. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours.

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

INGREDIENTS
Filling:
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese
4 tbsp butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 lg egg
2 tbsp flour
2 tsp vanilla

Cake:
1 pkg red velvet cake mix
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
½ cup water
½ cup oil

Frosting:
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
1 ½  cups powdered sugar
1-2 tsp vanilla extract


DIRECTIONS
In stand mixer, make cream cheese filling by beating cream cheese, butter and sugar until fluffy (+/- 2 minutes).  Mix in egg, flour and vanilla; beat until smooth and set aside.  Mix all cake ingredients.  Pour half of the cake batter into greased bundt cake pan.  Top with cream cheese filling, leaving about a 1″ cake border around the edge.  Pour remaining cake batter into bundt pan.  Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes (until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean).  Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan.  Combine frosting ingredients.  Drizzle over cake.

Grandma’s Popcorn Balls

Grandma’s Popcorn Balls

Halloween is one of our favorite holidays, and our neighborhood on Tudor Street knew how to do Halloween right.  Each year the parents got together to organize a haunted celebration for the kids.  The annual party included a spook alley, games, and traditional neighbor treats–we all have great memories.  Grandma’s homemade popcorn balls were a big hit every year! 


INGREDIENTS
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup white corn syrup
⅓ cup water
¼ lb butter
¾ tsp vanilla
¾ tsp salt
3 to 4 quarts popcorn, popped


DIRECTIONS
Boil until soft ball stage (in cold water); add vanilla and pour over pepped corn and make into balls. Wrap balls in wax paper and put in brown paper bag to store.

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

This Sweet Potato Pie is a modified version of Grandma Lena’s Southern Sweet Potatoes.


INGREDIENTS

2 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes
½ cup white sugar
2 eggs beaten
½ cup butter melted
½ cup half-and-half
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
⅛ tsp cloves (optional)
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
1 uncooked pie crust


DIRECTIONS
Place pie crust in pie tin.  Combine remaining ingredients; pour into pie crust.  Bake at 350° for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Good Chocolate Bundt Box Cake

Good Chocolate Bundt Box Cake

INGREDIENTS
Cake:
1 pkg chocolate cake
1 pkg instant chocolate pudding
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
½ cup water
½ cup oil
1½ cups chocolate chips

Frosting:
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
1½ cups powdered sugar
1-2 tsp vanilla extract


DIRECTIONS
Mix all cake ingredients except chocolate chips.  Stir in chocolate chips and pour into a greased bundt cake pan.   Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes.  Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing.

Crinkle Cookies

Crinkle Cookies

INGREDIENTS
1 box (18.25 oz) devil’s food cake mix
⅓ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
granulated sugar

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350º. In a large mixing bowl, stir (by hand) dry cake mix, oil and eggs until a dough is formed. Scrape onto parchment paper; wrap and chill for 3 hours. Dust hands with confectioners sugar and roll dough into small balls (+/-1 inch). Double roll balls in confectioners sugar and place spaced about 2 inches apart on uncreased cookie sheets. Bake for +/-7 minutes or until center is just set. Cool for a minimum of one minute before placing on wire racks to cool.

NOTES
Betty Crocker Super Moist cake mix works best. Larger cookies will crinkle more but will require a longer baking time. Allowing rolled dough balls to sit for a few minutes prior to double rolling in confectioners sugar works best for coating the cookies.

Zucchini Cake

Zucchini Cake

INGREDIENTS
Cake:
2 eggs
1¼ cup sugar
½ cup oil
½ tsp cinnamon
1½ cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1½ cup zucchini, grated

Frosting:
½ cup butter
4 oz cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar


DIRECTIONS
Cake:
Beat eggs; add sugar, oil and cinnamon. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to eggs.  Stir in zucchini.  Place in a 8×8 baking dish and bake at 350º for 30 to 35 minutes.

Frosting:
Use mixer to combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla.  Mix in powdered sugar.

Gingersnaps

Gingersnaps

INGREDIENTS
2¼ cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ginger powder
¾ cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
¼ cup molasses


DIRECTIONS
Combine dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl cream oil and sugar; beat in egg and add molasses.  Pour in dry ingredients and mix well.  Roll dough into small balls and roll in granulated sugar.  Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet (or on release foil) and bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly before removing cookies from cookie sheet.

(Updated 21 Dec 2018)

Cheesecake (Sous-vide)

Cheesecake (Sous-vide)

This amazingly easy recipe uses a sous-vide bath with a mason jar to cook cheesecake to the perfect temperature. 

INGREDIENTS
32-oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
6 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk


DIRECTIONS
Prepare sous-vide using a pot deep enough to submerge a 1 gallon mason jar; preheat water to 80˚C.

Place cream cheese, sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and process again until all ingredients are fully incorporated and no chunks remain.  Stir in buttermilk.  Pour contents into a 1 gallon mason jar; hand tighten lid.

Submerge filled mason jar in heated sous-vide bath and cook for 90 minutes; remove from bath and cool.  Spoon into bowls and serve with slightly crushed Golden Grahams cereal and your topping of choice.

Candied Apples

Candied Apples

CandiedApplesINGREDIENTS
¾ cup water
2 cups sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ tsp red food coloring
1 tsp cinnamon flavoring
6-8 apples


DIRECTIONS
In a saucepan, combine all ingredients except apples.  Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-high and boil until temperature reaches 290°.  Push wooden sticks into clean, dry apples and dip apples into mixture to coat.  Place on silpat to cool.

Zucchini Cobbler

Zucchini Cobbler

This tastes a lot like apple cobbler and is a great way to use some of the zucchini from the garden.  

Filling:
12 cups zucchini (seeded, peeled and sliced)
1 cup lemon juice
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg

Crust:
4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups cold butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup pecans, crushed (optional)

Filling:
In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, cook zucchini and lemon juice for +/-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender.  Add remaining filling ingredients; cook for five minutes.  Set aside.

Crust:
Combine flour and sugar; cut in butter.  Stir 3/4 cup into zucchini mixture.  Press half of the curst mixture into a greased 9×13 baking dish.  Spread zucchini mixture over crust.  In remaining crust mixture, stir in pecans (optional) and sprinkle over zucchini mixture.  Dust with cinnamon.

Bake at 375° for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Apple Cider Caramels

Apple Cider Caramels

Caramels1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups sugar
6 tbsp butter
3/4 cup apple cider syrup

In a small mixing bowl, thoroughly combine salt, and spices; set aside.

Coat a 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment, leaving an overhang on opposite sides to lift the caramels out. Spray the parchment as well.

In a 4+ qt saucepan, combine the heavy cream, corn syrup, sugar, butter and apple cider syrup.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.  Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and continue cooking without stirring until the mixture reaches 248˚; remove from heat and stir in spice mixture.  Pour caramel into prepared pan; cool completely at room temperature.

Remove caramels from pan and cut into squares; wrap in parchment paper to store.

Lemon Meltaways

Lemon Meltaways

1 lb butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups flour
2 cups confectioners sugar
juice of 1 lemon (about 1/3 cup)
zest of 1 lemon

Cream together butter and 1 cup confectioners sugar; add cornstarch and flour and mix until combined.  Chill dough in mixing bowl 30-60 minutes.  Roll into a 1 1/2 -inch round; wrap in wax paper and chill overnight.  Slice into 1/4-inch rounds; bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes or until golden on edges.  Combine 2 cups confectioners sugar with lemon juice and stir until syrupy; add zest.  Brush glaze over cooled cookies.

Muddy Buddies

Muddy Buddies

SONY DSC9 cups Rice or Corn Chex
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Place cereal in a large bowl; set aside.  In another bowl combine chocolate chips and peanut butter; microwave for 1 minute; stir.  Microwave another 30 seconds and stir unit mixture is smooth; stir in vanilla.  Pour over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.  Pour mixture and powdered sugar into a Ziploc; shake to coat.

Marshmallow Fondant

Marshmallow Fondant

1 pkg  (16 oz.) white mini marshmallows
2+ tbsp water
2 lbs confectioners sugar, sifted
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

Place marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a mixing bowl.  On high, microwave in 30 second increments for approximately 2 1/2 minutes (or until marshmallows are melted), mixing well after each 30 seconds.  Pour about 3/4 of the confectioners sugar over the melted marshmallows; fold into the marshmallows (if you would like to add any flavoring or color, it should be added at this point).  Place shortening in a large mixing bowl.  Grease your hands and the countertop liberally: pour marshmallow mixture onto the countertop.  Knead the mixture.  Continue to knead, adding additional confectioners sugar and re-greasing countertop (and hands) to keep fondant from sticking.  If it tears easily, add water (about 1/2 tsp at a time, up to a total of 5 tsp).  Knead until fondant forms a firm, smooth, elastic ball that stretches without tearing, about 8 minutes.  Wrap fondant securely and allow to rest overnight.  Knead fondant until smooth; roll out to 1/8″ thick.

Sticky Rice with Mango

Sticky Rice with Mango

2 cups sweet rice
31⁄2 cups water
3-4 ripe mangos, cut into bite-size pieces or 2 pkgs frozen mango
1⁄2 cup + 2 tbsp brown sugar
2 cans coconut milk
1⁄2 tsp salt
4 tsp coconut flavoring
2 tsp vanilla
4 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsp water

Soak the sweet rice in 2 cups water for 20 minutes, or up to 1 hour. The sticky rice can be steamed or made in a pot. To make it in a pot, do not drain. Add 11⁄2 cups (more) water to the rice, plus 1⁄2 can coconut milk, 1⁄2 tsp salt, 2 tsp coconut flavoring, and 2 tbsp brown sugar. Stir this into the rice, lifting any rice grains that have stuck to the bottom of the pot. Bring to a gentle boil, then partially cover with a lid (leaving some room for steam to escape). Turn the heat down to medium-low (#2.5 to 3 on the dial). Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed by the rice. Remove the pot from the heat, place the lid on tight, and leave to “steam” cook for 5-10 minutes.

Make sauce and serve the dessert right away, or store the rice (covered) in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.

To make the sauce, warm the rest of the coconut milk together with 1⁄2 cup sugar, a pinch of salt, 2 tsp coconut flavoring (optional) and 2 tsp vanilla flavoring over medium heat (5 minutes). Add cornstarch (dissolved in the water) to the sauce and stir to thicken it slightly. As it thickens, turn heat to low. When thickened, remove from heat. Tip: Try not to boil the sauce, or you will lose that wonderful coconut flavor. Before serving, taste-test the sauce for sweetness, adding more sugar if desired. If too sweet for your taste, add a little more coconut milk.

Place scoops of the sticky rice in bowls (Note that sticky rice can be served cold, warm, or at room temperature, as desired). Ladle a generous amount of warm coconut sauce over the rice (creating an “island” of sticky rice). Add slices/pieces of ripe fresh mango. (If using frozen mango, be sure to give it enough time to thaw before serving.)

Sesame Glutinous Balls

Sesame Glutinous Balls

My first experience with Sesame Glutinous Balls was at a restaurant in Singapore.  The centers can be filled with just about anything.  The sweetened sesame is a nice contrast to the more savory glutinous exterior.  

Filling:
4 tbsp black sesame seeds (OR 1 package prepared black sesame seed paste)
2 tbsp water
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄3 to 1⁄2 cup brown or white sugar

Dough:
1 cup glutinous rice flour
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄2 can coconut milk
1⁄2 cup dry roasted peanuts, or cashews, crushed; or sesame seeds, roasted (optional)

Filling:
Place black sesame seeds in a spice grinder. Grind for about 30 seconds, or until sesame seeds break down into a thick and glossy powder.

Place ground seeds in a sauce pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add water, salt, and sugar. Stir constantly until the sugar melts and a thick, black sauce forms (like melted chocolate in consistency) about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and taste-test for sugar, adding up to 1⁄4 cup more sugar if not sweet enough. Tips: The black sesame seed paste needs to be quite sweet in order to balance out the savory glutinous rice dough that will surround it. Place the sweetened paste in the refrigerator to cool.

Dough:
In a mixing bowl, add rice flour and salt; stir to mix Add coconut milk and stir to form a stiff dough. More flour or coconut milk may be required, depending on how thick or thin the coconut milk is. Dough should be pliable (like play dough) and shouldnʼt be too sticky.

Roll individual balls of dough. Place the balls on a clean, dry surface.

Using your index finger, indent each of the balls. Remove the black sesame paste from the refrigerator – it should have thickened (almost like taffy in consistency). Spoon some of the paste into each ball (about 1⁄2 tsp).

Use thumb and fingers to flatten out the sides, then close the dough over the paste. Reshape the dough back into a ball, rolling it between your palms as before. Place the finished balls on a clean, dry plate. If balls are sticking, lightly oil the plate.

Drop the sticky rice balls into a pot of boiling water. At first they will drop to the bottom of the pot. Allow them to boil for 6-8 minutes, or until they begin to float in the water. Drain and set the sticky rice balls on a clean surface.

Optional: Spread crushed nuts or roasted sesame seeds on a plate. Roll the sticky rice balls in the nuts and place on a serving plate.

Serve the sticky rice balls warm or at room temperature. To store, cover the balls, but don’t refrigerate, as this will harden the glutinous rice dough. Consume within 24 hours, or wrap in plastic and store in the freezer.