Tag Archives: holiday desserts


img_1422Each week, My Faithful Assistant has a Spanish assignment that requires him to use his Spanish outside of the regular coursework. He can watch a Spanish language TV show, read a news article or prepare a recipe, providing a video with at least five steps in Spanish.

He can only do each selection once a quarter. The cooking video is his favorite.

This quarter, his teacher sent home a recipe for flan. It was not a good recipe. Fortunately, I know people who do know good recipes and we had a backup from my dear friend Jen on her blog The Whole Bag of Chips which she found on AllRecipes.com.

Here’s the recipe from AllRecipes.

1 cup white sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Melt the sugar over medium heat until it is a nice golden brown.
  3. Pour into a 9″ round baking dish. I used a glass pie plate. Swirl the sugar to cover as much of the pan as you can.
  4. Combine the eggs, vanilla, and two milks. Pour over the sugar. Cover the pan with foil.
  5. Bake for 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool for 20 – 30 minutes and invert on a plate so the sugar in on top.

I’m not sure My Faithful Assistant loves flan or even likes it very much. I for one have not previously been a big fan of custard but the smell of the caramelized sugar and the vanilla now has me sold.

Are you looking for something different for holiday dessert? Tired of pie? Hate pumpkin? Or just looking for something for your kid to make for their tarea semenal? You may want to try this! I have to admit that I was skeptical the first time I made it but it’s actually quite easy! Just don’t rush the sugar melting or the cooling.

Keep your fingers crossed for a good grade! Enjoy!

Raspberry Brownies

raspbrownI’m skipping right over the Super Bowl and going to Valentine’s Day. No chili or wing recipes from me this week!

If you are a follower, you know that Valentine’s Day is also our oldest son’s birthday. He gets the same special heart shaped cake and his favorite pasta (aka Crazy Sexy Pasta).

I’ve been dying to make brownies, or better yet, have brownies made for me. My Faithful Assistant is usually gangbusters to make brownies. His response to my request. “We don’t have any mix.” I have failed as a parent.

I saw this recipe for Supernatural Brownies and was interested in trying them. Of course, I didn’t have the proper ingredients, and I didn’t read the recipe before I went to the store so I ended up with not enough chocolate and the wrong sugar. Oh well. My loss may be your gain. I scavenged in the pantry and came up with chocolate chips, turbinado sugar, and seedless raspberry preserves. The result? Pretty terrific!

Raspberry Brownies
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate (1 1/3 cups chocolate chips)
2 sticks of butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup turbinado sugar
3 tbsps seedless raspberry preserves
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour

  1. Melt the chocolate, sugars, preserves, and butter either in a double boiler or the microwave.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, while you whisk the eggs, vanilla, and salt. Add to the chocolate.
  3. Fold in the flour and pour batter into two fudge pans (9 1/2″ x 6″ foil) lined with buttered parchment paper.
  4. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

These brownies are freaking awesome, if I do say so myself. I love the dense, fudgey texture, and the slight hint of raspberry is fantastic! They aren’t too sweet so you really taste the chocolate. I’m not sure if it makes a difference, but I used Kerrigold butter. I was overtaken by the shiny wrapper one day. It was too much for me to resist. You can probably use regular store brand butter and come away with some insanely delicious brownies of your own.

No mix. I think I should hide my delicious brownies from that tiny baked-good heathen.


Almond Buttermilk Cake

abcThere has been a recovery. I felt much better yesterday so I put my usual Saturday cooking frenzy into motion. It was slightly later in the day so I wasn’t able to post anything yesterday. I hope you don’t mind waiting a day for a couple exciting new recipes.

With Easter coming, everyone is looking for a new dessert idea. We love baking with Solo Almond Pastry Filling. I try to keep at least one can on hand. It really makes simple yellow cakes quite fancy.

I normally make my Almond Cake with a cup of butter but I only had a half cup of I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter. I also had buttermilk. I figured that the buttermilk could work to fill in for the missing butter and I was right. It made the cake extra moist. And of course, it cut down on the fat to make this a nice lower fat dessert option for Easter.

Almond Buttermilk Cake
1 stick butter (I used ICBNB)
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
12.5 oz can Solo Almond Pastry Filling
2 1/4 cups flour (I used half white and half white wheat)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 – 1/2 cup buttermilk

1. Combine butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated.
3. Add the almond pastry filling and do the same. Beat it in!
4. Add flour, baking powder and salt.
5. Add the buttermilk, starting with 1/4 cup. You may need more. You may not.  I used a 1/2 cup.
6. Spray a bundt or tube pan with cooking spray and pour in batter.
7. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes.
8. Allow to cool for a little bit in the pan and carefully turn on a wire rack to cool completely before adding glaze.

Vanilla Cream Glaze
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Heavy Cream, 1 tbsp at a time

1. Combine all the ingredients and stir until you get a sort of runny glaze. I probably should have taken a picture of the glaze but I didn’t so you would know what to look for. Sorry. To keep the glaze from getting too runny, add the cream 1 tbsp at  time. Stir.
2. Pour over cooled cake. If your glaze is too thick and you’re tired of the whole add cream and stir bit, just put it on the cake while the cake is slightly warm. It will melt down the sides very nicely.

Feel free to use almond, lemon or orange extract for the glaze. I was going to use orange but I couldn’t find it. I’m very happy with the way this cake turned out. It’s so nice to have a cake in my baking repertoire that is free of chocolate. You may not believe this, but not everyone loves chocolate. And they truly appreciate it when people remember.