Browsing Category: desserts

25 Super Bowl Recipes, Part 5: Sweet Treats

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Super Bowl recipes: the sweet stuff!

Today, we wrap up our Super Bowl recipes round-up.

Yesterday, we were so healthy, goin’ all low carb! Today’s list is a bit naughtier: it’s all about the sweet stuff!

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips, via Relish.  Still sorta healthy, what with all that fruit. Unlike our next contestant…

Homemade Chocoate Pop-Tarts and Nutella Pop-Tarts. Oh dear, I think you could blow any diet just by looking at these!

No-Bake Cheesecakes — This page includes a link to the original from My Baking Addiction, as well as three variations from me. These are especially cute served in little Mason jars. Plus so portable!

Cheesecake-Stuffed Strawberries from The Sweets Life. Strawberries are low-glycemic and loaded with potassium, so if you make this with a sweetener other than refined sugar, these are actually pretty healthy. So you can feel all virtuous as you pig out on them!

If you’ve just gotta have something themey, here you go: Football Filbert Cookies from Food.com

Coffee Panna Cotta

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“Panna cotta” is Italian for “cooked cream,” and that’s exactly what it is. The result is a smooth, custard-like yumminess made without eggs or oven time. This Coffee Panna Cotta is easy enough to make every weekend, but elegant enough for a special occasion.

I use instant espresso powder because it’s easy to keep on hand, but if you have some brewed espresso on hand, you can certainly use that. Just be sure to chill it before adding the gelatin to it.

If you’re cutting down on sugar, it can be made with Splenda Blend. I don’t recommend making it with only Splenda. The consistency becomes very jello-like, and there’s something very, very wrong about opaque jello.

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This is not all the ingredients; just the ones for the
coffee/gelatin mixture.

Coffee Panna Cotta

1/3 cup very cold water
1 t. instant espresso powder
1 (.25 ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup white sugar (for low carb: 2 to 3 T. Splenda Blend)
2 t. Kahlua (optional; does contain sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

 

Stir the espresso powder into the cold water until completely dissolved.  Stir in the gelatin powder.

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It may want to clump at first, but stir until it looks fairly homogenized. It will still look sort of grainy. Set this in the fridge.

In a saucepan (size at least 2 qt.), stir together the heavy cream and sugar or Splenda (and Kahlua, if you want), and set over medium heat. Bring to a full boil (which may take up to 10 minutes), stirring frequently or constantly. Watch carefully so it doesn’t boil over. Boiling cream doesn’t look like boiling water: it mostly just has bumps moving just under the surface, with an occasional bubble breaking the surface.

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Retrieve the gelatin mixture from the fridge…

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It will look even more grainy now; that’s okay. Whisk it into the cream until completely dissolved. Cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Leave it off the heat for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

Clean-up tip: fill the sauce pan and liquid measuring cup with cold water now, to soak off the remaining gelatin.

When the cream mixture has cooled to about room temperature, pour into individual dishes. Espresso cups, small ramekins or dipping bowls work great. Putting them all on one tray or baking sheet makes transporting them to fridge easier.

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In my house, what comes next is my husband wandering into the kitchen. “What’s this?”

“Coffee panna cotta,” I answer.

“Can I have some?,” he asks.

“Well, it’s not nearly done, it needs to…”

Too late! He’s got dish and spoon in hand, enjoying coffee-cream soup for lunch.

Cover the remaining dishes with cling wrap, and move to the fridge. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

If you can.

6-10 servings, depending on what size dishes you use.

You might also like:
7 Special Occasion Cookies
Coffee Heath Bar Ice Cream
Chicken with Mushroom Sage Sauce (another special-occasion-worthy dish)

Seven Special Occasion Cookies (and one cake)

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Special Occasion Cookies: a recipe roundup

I’ve been scouting the interwebs for some special cookie recipes. We’re hosting a birthday party for my mom-in-law in a couple weeks, and I thought that a table of cookies would be more fun than just a cake. Here are seven that stood out to me. They’d be great for other occasions and uses, too: baby or wedding shower, bake sale, goodies in a gift basket.
Those that don’t involve cream cheese would probably travel well, and be a most welcome surprise to a college student or soldier.

Paula Deen’s Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies. One stick of butter, one package of cream cheese, one box of cake mix and one egg. Yep, sounds gooey alright!

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars. These look yummy and sound as if they could be healthy.  Let’s all pretend, shall we?

I’m all for healthy choices on a daily basis. But I also believe that when there is truly a special occasion, it’s okay to break out the sugar and splurge a little. A little. And just for that day. Not the whole dang week!

Oreo Truffles, from Chef in Training. Speaking of splurging! Oreos are combined with cream cheese and then dipped in white chocolate. One reader’s tip: use corn-on-the-cob holders for the dipping process.

Walnut Snowball Cookies (aka, Wedding Cookies). Who doesn’t like these? They’re simple, and delicious, and classic!

Walnuts are healthy. Yeah, health food, baby!

Gramma’s Date Bars. I know this is not a decadent-sounding recipe, but I think it’s nice to have at least one low-sugar option on the table. And this type of cookie was very popular in the 1930’s (I remember my grandma making these), so I think it’s a nostalgic favorite for lots of people.

Lemon Poppyseed Shortbread. I make an almond version. I could whip up a batch now — they take no time at all to make — but since I don’t have time to photograph them today, you’ll have to be content with this picture of Lemon Poppyseed Cookies from Martha Stewart.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars. I found this recipe because one commenter’s quote caught my eye: “Out of this world!!!! These are INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Becky Bakes says, “These may just be the tastiest thing I’ve had… ever.” They certainly are elegant enough to earn a spot on a birthday party table.

Ina Garten’s Carrot and Pineapple Cake. Okay, so it’s not a cookie, but if it were made as a sheet cake and cut into little squares or bars it could pass, right?  And here’s a lighter carrot cake option. (The photo is of the lighter version.)

What cookies do you make for special occasions?

You might also like:
Coffee Heath Bar Ice Cream
Peanut Butter Pie
No-bake Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake

Recipe review: Coffee Ice Cream (with Heath Bar)

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coffee ice cream - our favorite!

For me, living a low carb life means that the majority of the time, I stay away from sugary foods. But it also means that it’s okay to splurge once in a while. (If “once in a while” turns into “pretty much every day,” then it’s not working!) Also, if I’m going to compromise my healthy habit by eating something sugary, I will only do it for things I really, really love! Grocery store cake or cookies? Nah. Homemade carrot cake or cinnamon rolls? Worth it!

This coffee ice cream is one of those things that’s worth it.

This ice cream recipe from Simply Recipes originally caught my eye as something to make for my husband. He LOVES coffee, and his favorite candy bar is Heath or Skor. But once I tasted it, it became one of my favorites, too!

We served it at Christmas dinner. It goes great with pumpkin or pecan pie!

By the way, we don’t have an ice cream freezer. (Well, we have a vintage hand-crank one, but that only gets used if there are young children around, eager to take their turn at cranking!) We just put it in a shallow container in the freezer, and stir it every 30-60 minutes. I’m sure it would be even more amazing made in an ice cream freezer, but if you don’t have one, don’t let that stop you from enjoying this totally-worth-it treat!

You might also like:
Peanut Butter Pie
No-bake Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake

Pumpkin pecan muffins – low carb, gluten-free, sugar-free!

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Crumbly muffins, hot out of the oven, fragrant with cinnamon… These pumpkin pecan muffins are so good, my kids gobbled them up, even when they were at their pickiest stage. Probably because I never mentioned to the munchkins that these muffins are low carb and sugar-free!

This recipe is adapted from a recipe in Eating Stella Style — Low Carb Recipes for Healthy Living.
(Note/update 2016: I’m working on a Splenda-free, real-food version, but I still think these would be okay as an occasional treat, unless you have known issues with Splenda.)

Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

Makes 12 muffins
3 cups almond flour
1 can canned pumpkin (NOT pie filling)
2 T. wheat bran (or ground flaxseed, or omit, to make it gluten free)
1 T. pumpkin pie spice*
2 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
6 large eggs (corrected 5/17/13; previously listed as 3)
1 1/2 c. cup-for-cup Splenda (or sweetener of your choice)
2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners, and spray the inside of the liners with no-stick spray.
Stir all the ingredients until well blended. Fill the prepared muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out pretty much clean.
Let muffins cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temp. (Warm with butter – YUM!) Refrigerate any leftovers.

If there are any. Which there won’t be!  🙂

* If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice mix on hand, you can use this recipe. But you’ll need to make a little more than the recipe calls for.

Nutrition info, from myfitnesspal.com; great carb-to-protein ratio!…

Nutrition Facts
Servings 12.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories 295
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24 g 36 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 12 %
Monounsaturated Fat 5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 123 mg 41 %
Sodium 375 mg 16 %
Potassium 80 mg 2 %
Total Carbohydrate 14 g 5 %
Dietary Fiber 6 g 23 %
Sugars 3 g
Protein 11 g 22 %
Vitamin A 90 %
Vitamin C 1 %
Calcium 15 %
Iron 12 %

Recipe review: No-bake raspberry-lemon cheesecake – low-carb version

This pretty photo grabbed my interest, but I was a little disappointed to see that the original recipe on My Baking Addiction included Cool Whip. Not ’cause I’m a snob about that, but we’re trying to eat low-carb, and even “No Sugar-Added” Cool Whip has corn syrup in it. (Sneaky, huh?)

But that’s easily solved. To make this dessert low-carb:
– replace the sugar with equivalent sweetener of your choice,
– replace the Cool Whip with homemade whipped cream: start w/ 1/4 c. cream, sweetened with a little vanilla and 1 or 2 teaspoons of the sweetener of your choice, then whip it — whip it good!
– replace the graham cracker crust with chopped pecans.

Yum!

I’ve also made variations…

Lemon or lime – Leave out the raspberries and add the zest and juice of one lemon or lime. If you like, add a little food coloring to make it more citrusy-looking.

Coffee – Leave out the lemon juice and add 1 teaspoon of instant espresso powder. And, if you like, a couple tablespoons of Kahlua.

Peanut butter – Leave out the lemon and add sugar-free peanut butter to your liking; 2 Tablespoons if you want just a hint of PB flavor; pile it on if you want more. This is especially delicious topped with a bit of shaved chocolate! (Or try my Peanut Butter Pie recipe.)

Also, you can make this lower fat by using reduced fat cream cheese and/or replacing some of the cream cheese with ricotta.