The Making of Half Hearted Valentine Cookies

February 21st, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

Half Hearted Valentine Cookies

The Half Hearted Valentine Cookies have become my most popular cookie outside of the Christmas holiday season. It has been a few year since I have made them and I learn something new each time. For this batch, I made cookies a little thicker. The thinner cookies brown on top too quickly. Enjoy!
Half Hearted Valentine Cookies

Festival of Desserts 2008

January 10th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Festival of Desserts 2008 11

These red velvet cupcakes were an absolute showstopper. They were made by friend, Marvin, for this year’s Festival of Desserts. I am hoping to get the recipe for them and I will post it here. This was the first year that we had guest desserts. I made 10 desserts, ranging from sweet potato pie to cranberry oatmeal cookies and chocolate eggnog rum cake. As always, we had ham and chicken. A great time was had by all.
Additional photos from the Festival of Desserts can be seen here. I am already cooking up ideas for Festival of Desserts 2009. :)

Banana Bread/Banana Chocolate Chip Cherry Bread

June 6th, 2006 § 1 comment § permalink



Banana Bread & Strawberries, originally uploaded by in2jazz.

This week’s treat is very yummy banana bread. I decided to plate a few slices, garnish them with strawberries and take a few photos.

The banana bread recipe is adapted from the Fanny Farmer Pumpkin Bread recipe.

Banana Bread Recipe

1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (1/4 L) banana purée
1/2 cup (1 dL) canola or vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 dL) chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda. Mash the bananas into a puree and be sure to leave it a little lumpy. Mix the banana, oil, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, honey, and cinnamon together, then combine with the dry ingredients, but do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in the nuts (optional.) Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.

Topping

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Spread liberally over the banana bread dough before placing in the oven. The aroma will make you want to hurt someone!!! Bake 50-60 minutes until a thin skewer poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack. Makes one loaf. Can easily double the recipe.

Thanks to Bakesale Betty for her guidance and mentoring on this yummy recipe.

Updated 08/16/2017: Banana Chocolate Chip Cherry Bread: I cannot believe I posted this recipe 11 years ago. I usually make a double batch of the banana bread. Right before folding it into the pans, I add about a cup of dried cherries and chocolate chips to the mixture to make Banana Chocolate Chip Cherry Bread. It has become a big hit and I make it often. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes with the added moisture. Enjoy!!!

Dessert Goodness – Part 2

January 18th, 2006 § 2 comments § permalink

Dessert Goodness #2, originally uploaded by in2jazz.

These are photos from the 4th Annual Festival of Desserts and other holiday baking. Over 40 people stopped by for dessert during the course of the evening and I still had leftovers. Everyone had a great time and I am already thinking about this year’s festival. I did learn something important along the way. The “bake cake now and glaze later” approach will have you glazing and frosting cakes all evening.
The desserts included the following:

Chocolate Egg Nog Rum Cake

December 22nd, 2005 § 5 comments § permalink

Chocolate Egg Nog Rum Cake, originally uploaded by in2jazz.

1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
3 cups sifted Cake Flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 cup eggnog (I like the Berkeley Farms Eggnog)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup Myers’s dark rum
1 package of Jell-O chocolate pudding
3 heaping tablespoons of Hershey’s Cocoa

Cream butter, gradually add sugar, creaming until light and fluffy. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Add eggs one at a time to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with eggnog and flavoring, beating after each addition until smooth. Add package of chocolate pudding, rum and cocoa and mix well together. Pour batter into a greased 12-cup bundt pan. Bake at 350º for 55 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove and place on wax paper and let cool before putting on the glaze.

Rum Glaze

2 sticks of butter
1/2 granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Karo syrup
1 cup of rum (currently using Myers’s Dark Rum and getting rave reviews!!!)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt butter in saucepan until lightly boiled (do not overheat). Add powdered sugar slowly with a wire wisk then add granulated sugar. Once dissolved under low heat, add brown sugar. After the brown sugar has dissolved, add Karo syrup. Keep stirring with wire wisk. Bring to a light boil. Add rum and bring to a boil while stirring with a wisk. Remove from heat and wisk in the vanilla extract. Add more powdered sugar or use less rum for a thicker glaze.

Poke holes in the cool cake wit fork. Drizzle and brush the glaze over the cake. Continue to brush the cake with glaze that has ran down the side. Let dry and serve.

For Chocolate Rum Cake, omit the egg nog and use 1 cup of milk with the flour mixture. For Plain Rum Cake, omit the egg nog and Hershey’s Cocoa. Use Jell-O French Vanilla pudding and 1 cup of milk with the flour mixture.

Half-Hearted Valentine Cookies

February 9th, 2005 § 5 comments § permalink

All done!!!

Cookies
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup Land O Lakes Butter(or your favorite)
1 package(3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 cups all-purpose flour

Glaze
1 cup semi-sweet real chocolate
1/4 cup Land O Lakes Butter

For cookies, in large mixer bowl, combine all cookie ingredients except flour. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until light and fluffy. Add flour; beat until mixed. Divide dough into halves. Wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.

Heat oven to 375. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out with floured heart-shaped cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 7 to 10 minute, or until edges are very lightly browned. Removed immediately; cool completely.

For glaze, in small saucepan, melt chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally over low heat until melted, 4 to 6 minutes. Dip half of each heart into chocolate. Refrigerate on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet until firm. Store, covered, in refrigerator. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

This recipe comes from the Land O Lakes Cookie Collection.

What did I learn?

The glaze was a bit of a challenge for me because I could not get it smooth enough. I used Baker’s Dipping Chocolate for dipping the cookies and it worked great. Get 3 to be on the safe side. Heat up two and pour them into one container. This way your chocolate will be deep enough to cover half your cookie.

Cream cheese is sold in 3 ounce packages but you do not see it in the stores very often so I cut 3 ounces off the 8 ounce silver brick. You can save the rest for bagels. :)

The Second Annual Festival of Desserts

December 21st, 2003 § 12 comments § permalink

Egg Nog Pound Cake

It is that special time of year. Continuing the tradition started last year, I hosted the second annual Festival of Desserts on Friday. As always, I ran out of time and didn’t make all the desserts I wanted to prepare. Here are the desserts that were enjoyed for this year’s festival.

  • Banana Chocolate Walnut Brownies
  • Chocolate Brownies
  • Egg Nog Rum Cake
  • Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
  • Cheesecake
  • Lunchroom Butter Cookies
  • McNannygocious Pound Cake
  • Egg Nog Pound Cake
  • Red Velvet Cake
  • Banana Nut Bread
  • 7 Up Cake

Special Guest Desserts

  • Lemon Squares
  • Sweet Potato Pie

Special thanks to Joey for the lemon squares, David for the sweet potato pies, and JS & AF for the chicken. Another big hit of the party was the hot apple cider with the mulling spices from Williams-Sonoma. A good time was had by all. I must apologize for not taking more dessert photos.

Just a little Brown Sugar…

February 26th, 2003 § 7 comments § permalink

Brown Sugar: Soul Food Desserts from Family and Friends

No, this is not about the popular D’Angelo song from a few years back or the popular movie from last year. It’s about the new cookbook from Joyce White entitled “Brown Sugar: Soul Food Desserts from Family and Friends” which is the sequel to “Soul Food: Recipes & Reflections from African-American Churches” which was published five years ago. White definitely does her homework and even if you have never baked before, her instructions are clear enough to make you a success. Her recipes are gathered from urban and rural home cooks, church groups and her wide circle of friends. Just the cover is enough to make you hungry. Thanks Dre!!
Read more about Joyce White and “Brown Sugar” in the SF Chronicle article, “Old-fashioned desserts with soul

The First Annual Festival of Desserts

December 26th, 2002 § 9 comments § permalink

The Ultimate Dessert Tray
Every now and then, you come up with a really cool idea but do not realize how big it will be until you do it. I recently hosted the 1st Annual “Festival of Desserts” and it was quite well received. Besides collecting music, I enjoy baking. I am often listening to good music while baking. For the festival, I made 11 different desserts including egg nog rum cake, sweet potato pound cake, McNannygocious pound cake, red velvet cake, oatmeal raisin cookies, and butter cookies. Even though many goody bags were taken home, I had enough leftovers to make two trays for a holiday party the next day. I wanted to make a three layer yellow cake with chocolate frosting but that would have been overkill. When I told my mom I was doing this, she said “you are having some food, right?” Thanks to js and af for bringing the great chicken and also the mashed potatoes and gravy that hardened as the night went on. I had a great time and may do this again next year but maybe not as many desserts. We will also have hot apple cider next year since I got some mulling spices from Williams-Sonoma for Christmas. I have included a few pictures from the festival to tempt your taste buds…enjoy!!!
P.S. More recipes to follow….
Hershey’s Best Brownies/Banana Chocolate Walnut Brownies
Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pecan Tarts
Egg Nog Rum CakeSweet Potato Pound CakeOatmeal Raisin CookiesRed Velvet Cake

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