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Entries in Desserts (31)


Creamy Nutella Tartlettes

I went to a surprise 30th anniversary party tonight for my aunt and uncle.  Both of them are originally from here, but they have since moved to Boston.  My cousins planned this whole party at their aunt's house and brought their parents here for their "grandpa's 88th birthday party."  Everybody was asked to bring a dish and I brought a dessert.  When I was trying to find something to bring that would be easy for a crowd (and I was told no cookies or cupcakes, since they were ordered) I came across this recipe from Joelen's Culinary Adventures.  Perfect!  They took no time to put together, required no cooking, and they were adorable.  And who can resist Nutella?  I know I sure can't, I could eat the whole jar with a spoon!  Anyway, these little tarts went like hotcakes!  Everybody LOVED them!  I'm looking forward to when I can make them again, and maybe even try modifying them with other flavors.

1 1/2 cups Nutella (which is just about the whole jar)
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream (I used a pint, which is 1 cup liquid, 2 cups whipped cream)
3 packages Phyllo Shells (which is 45 shells)
1/2 cup Whole Toasted Hazelnuts

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, place the cold whipping cream and beat on medium to high heat until stiff peaks are formed.  In another bowl, place the Nutella and gently fold in the whipped cream until fully incorporated.  Transfer the Nutella cream into a pastry bag and carefully pipe it into each of the phyllo cups.  Garnish each cup with a whole toasted hazelnut and serve.


Chewy Cocoa Brownies

My sweet tooth has been bugging me, and I haven't really been in the kitchen much lately, so since I was bored and was looking for something to do, I figured I'd look for something to bake. I found these delicious looking brownies at The Cooking Photographer. Wow, yum! That is all I can say about these!! They were pretty simple, and I think they taste better than boxed brownie mix. I definitely think I'll be making these again!

1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 teaspoon Slat
4 Eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 cup Whole Wheat or White Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup Chopped Nuts, optional (I used pecans)

In a bowl, cream together the sugar, butter, and salt. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Mix in the cocoa powder and flour until just incorporated, then mix in the nuts if you are using any. Spread the mixture into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until the sides start to pull away from the pan. Cool brownies to room temperature before icing.

3 tablespoons Milk
3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Pinch of Salt

In a saucepan, bring the milk, butter, sugar, and salt to a simmer, stirring often. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, stirring often. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until smooth. Pour the hot frosting onto the brownies. For matte fudge topping, use a spatula to spread the frosting evenly on the top of the brownies. For a shiny glaze topping, roll the icing around the top of the brownies, without using a spatula.


Mixed Berry & Lemon Chocolate Tart

This should be titled "My failed attempt at making a tart"! I had planned on making a variation of this as our dessert for Easter, but after I finished making it, I vowed to never make a tart again! Everything that could have went wrong while making this tart did go wrong! First, my dough looked nothing like the dough in the picture on Ceramic Canvas, hers looks so pretty! Then, my berry mixture didn't set in the fridge like I assume it should have. When I poured the lemon custard on top, rather than layering, the berries and lemon mixtures swirled together. The two layers then decided to overflow onto the baking sheet underneath it, making a mess! Lastly, it took forever to set up in the oven. I don't think it actually ever did. My mom kept telling me it looked good anyway, and my mother-in-law came up with the idea to throw it in the freezer to set up while we were eating dinner. It turned out to be slightly messy but tasted pretty good.

Chocolate Tart Shell
10 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cold and cubed
3/4 cup Sugar
1/8 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Large Egg
2 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Powder

Put the butter, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle and beat until until pale. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and add to the butter mixture, scraping the bowl often. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder together and add to the wet ingredients, mixing on low, until blended. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a ball, then flatten into a disc. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. When ready to use, roll the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper until it is about 1/8 of an inch thick. Press the dough into a tart pan, making sure to cover all corners of the pan. If the dough breaks apart, patch it up and press it into all areas of the pan. Prick the dough with a fork, line the tart pan with parchment paper, and pour in rice, beans, or pastry weights into the pan. Bake the tart until cooked through, about 15 minutes, at 375 degrees.

Mixed Berry Filling
13 ounce bag Frozen Mixed Berries, thawed
3/4 cup Sugar
1 1/3 cups Water

Combine the berries and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until the berries burst and the mixture thickens, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and blend the berries with an immersion blender until the mixture is fairly smooth. Stir in the sugar and set aside.

Lemon Custard
3 Lemons, juice and zest removed
1/3 cup Cornstarch
1 1/4 cup Water
3 Large Egg Yolks
6 tablespoons Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
4 tablespoons Butter, in small cubes

Put the zest and juice in a small heat resistant bowl placed over a pan with simmering water. Add the cornstarch and whisk in 2 tablespoons of water until you have a smooth paste. Add the remaining water, boiling hot, and continue to whisk over the simmering water until the mixture is thick and bubbling. Remove the bowl from the heat and whip in yolks, sugar, vanilla extract, and butter. Let mixture cool slightly and set aside.

To assemble the tart:
Pour a layer of berry filling in the bottom of the pre-cooked tart shell. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes, until the berry mixture begins to set. Remove the tart from the fridge and add the layer of lemon filling on top, being careful not to mix or swirl the lemon filling with the berry base (like I did!). Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the lemon filling has set. Remove tart and allow it to come to room temperature. Refrigerate after serving.


Raspberry Sauce

When I went grocery shopping this past weekend, there was a display of packaged crepes and half-pints of berries. I thought it would be nice to have them as a light dessert one night this week. I searched "raspberry sauce" on google and came up with this recipe from recipezaar. Since I only had a half-pint, I scaled the recipe down to 1.5 servings, which was just enough to cover 2 crepes each and have a little bit left over. The scaled version is what I have posted. The sauce was pretty good. Joel thought it was a little bit sweet but he still liked it. The packaged crepes, however, were a little bit "off" in flavor. I could almost taste the plastic packaging that they were in. I think if I do this again, I will try my hand at making my own crepes.

1/2 pint Raspberries
1/8 cup Water
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 tablespoon Cornstarch

In a small saucepan, crush the raspberries (I used a potato masher) with the water. Add the sugar and the cornstarch. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

When I saw this recipe on Lemons & Love, I couldn't wait for an excuse to make it. Tonight, our friend said she was going to come by to watch the Super Bowl with us. I figured we would need something to snack on, and since she has a bit of a sweet tooth just like me, I thought that this would be the perfect thing to make.

1/2 cup Butter
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 (8 ounce) package Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Confectioners' Sugar
3/4 cup Semi-Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips (I used regular sized milk chocolate chips)
1/2 cup Nuts, chopped (optional)
Graham Crackers

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Stir continuously until the brown sugar dissolves. Beat the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar for 1 minutes. Slowly pour in the cooled butter mixture and beat for another minute. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Pour into a serving bowl and refrigerate. Garnish with additional chocolate chips or nuts. Serve with graham crackers.