Tag Archives: dessert

Almond-Lime Zesties

When I told my friend I was making these Almond-Lime Zesties, she cringed.  “I don’t like almonds and I don’t like lime,” she said.  Whaaaaaat?  I almost considered not making these because the last thing I want to make is a cookie someone doesn’t like.  But these looked easy to make and I already had the ingredients to make them so I gave it a try.  I have to say, I’m pretty happy with these.

With only five ingredients, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to make these and they come together rather quickly.  They are simple butter cookies jazzed up with ground almonds and a little lime zest.  The almonds really give these cookies a bold nutty flavor and the lime is just subtle enough to give them a citrus kick.  I added a little extra powdered sugar after they had cooled completely because when added to them warm, the cookies kind of soaked it up.  The extra powdered sugar makes these look like little snowballs which is perfect at Christmastime.

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Beat butter and 1 cup powdered sugar at low speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in lime zest. Add flour and ground almonds gradually, beating until well blended. Chill 15 minutes.

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Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes or until light golden brown on bottom. Let stand on baking sheet 2 minutes.

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Roll warm cookies in remaining 1 cup powdered sugar, coating well. Let cool completely.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Coastal Living magazine

Oregon Chocolate-Cherry Cookies

I try to change up the cookies I make every year because the only cookies I’m willing to repeat are my peanut butter cookies (thanks to my family and friends who always say “But you are making your peanut butter cookies, right?”).  If you aren’t careful, you can either end up with a bunch of beige/white cookies (i.e. peanut butter, sugar, chocolate chip, butter) or nothing but chocolate cookies.  I like to have a little bit of both.  These Oregon Chocolate-Cherry Cookies may not sound like holiday cookies but really, who’s to judge?  Any cookie is a holiday cookie in my opinion.  And what holiday isn’t made better by lots of chocolate?

These cookies have both cocoa and chocolate chips and are topped with a drizzle of even more melted chocolate.  Dried cherries added another layer of flavor which I have to say is what drew me to these cookies (which is I guess why they are called Oregon cookies).  Dried cherries are like candy to me and I will eat them in just about anything.  These cookies are chewy and very chocolatey – perfect for the chocolate lover in your family.  Leave a plate of these for Santa and he’ll be happy.  Just don’t forget the milk!

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The ingredients:

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Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg, beating until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.  Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

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Stir in 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels and dried sweetened cherries.

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Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on lightly greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake, in batches, at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks. Drizzle cookies with 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels, melted, if desired.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Coastal Living magazine

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I hope that putting vegetables in your baked goods doesn’t freak you out.  Some people are no stranger to zucchini bread, muffins or pancakes while others, who’ve never tried it, cringe at the very thought. These just might be the same people who can’t stand any fruit in their salad.  (Sorry, I just don’t get it.)  I know someone who would never go near a cake with zucchini in it like this Chocolate Zucchini Cake, but I’m all for it.  Would I ever sit down and make a chocolate cake for no reason if I couldn’t justify it?  Well…probably.  But regardless, somehow in my whacked out brain, zucchini justifies it.

Chocolate cake batter, flavored with cocoa, reduced-fat cream cheese and reduced-fat buttermilk, is made even more healthy with the addition of shredded zucchini.  An extra toss of chocolate chips in the batter along with the mocha-like chocolate drizzle on top only establishes this a decadent chocolate cake.  The zucchini not only adds a healthy component to this cake but it also helps it to stay moist so your aren’t left with a dry clunky dessert.  If you handed a piece of this cake to someone and didn’t tell them zucchini was in it, they’d never know unless they inspected the tiny green flakes in each piece. So why not give yourself a break and make yourself a chocolate cake? You really don’t need to justify it.

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 350°F. To prepare cake, coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; dust pan with 1 tablespoon flour. Place sugars, cream cheese, and vegetable oil in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

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Lightly spoon 2 1/2 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine 2 1/2 cups flour and next 5 ingredients (2 1/2 cups flour through cinnamon) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

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Stir in zucchini, 2/3 cup chocolate chips, and nuts.

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Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

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To prepare glaze, combine 3/4 cup powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons cocoa in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.

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Combine milk, 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, coffee, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in a 1-cup glass measure. Microwave at medium 45 seconds or until chocolate melts, stirring after 20 seconds. Combine powdered sugar mixture with chocolate mixture, stirring with a whisk.

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Drizzle glaze over cake.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

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