Posts tagged desserts

Zingier Cookie Bars

Raspberry barsI love holiday baking. Let me repeat I LOVE holiday baking. But I don’t always have time for it. Then my 12-year-old mentions she needs a plate of goodies for choir or I really want to give a baked present to a friend but I have about 30 minutes to make something decent–and yeah, I need to do a load of laundry in between.

My secret? A little zing can make any cookie bar better, whether you’ve made it from scratch or enlisted the help of Krusteaz or whatever boxed mix you happen to have on hand. (Nope, no sponsorship from Krusteaz here, I just really like their raspberry crumb bars.)

Here are a few tweaks that will make your cookie bars stand out–

•Zest: Lemons, limes, oranges, clementines, adding a little citrus zest to your crumble bar batter will give it an added tanginess. (Use about a teaspoon of zest for a small batch and zest the entire fruit for a cookie-pan sized batter.) Fun pairings: orange zest with chocolate, lemon zest with raspberry, lime zest with strawberry.

*Confused about how to zest? No worries. Click for the lowdown on zesting.

•Fruit slices: After you’ve zested the fruit, don’t just send it down the garbage disposal! Cut thin, circular slices of the fruit. Then cut a line from the outside of the fruit just barely toward the center. Twist the fruit slice and place it on top. Make sure to add the twists just before serving. Refrigerate them until you’re ready.

•Almond extract: My vanilla extract bottle has been gathering dust lately. I don’t know, it just doesn’t have enough oomph for me. But the smooth flavor of almond just screams holidays to me. So I’ve been putting almond extract in place of vanilla in every recipe.

•Nutmeg: Another flavor that will inspire you to start singing Christmas carols, any recipe that calls for cinnamon, go ahead and add some nutmeg (about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon). If you’re daring, toss a few shakes of ground ginger in the batter too. Nutmeg pairs perfectly with most recipes calling for oatmeal.

•Nuts: Pecans are pricier than other nuts so I usually only get them around the holidays. Looking for a less expensive option? Almond slivers. No need to chop them before you use them, just add a few slivers to one of your favorite bars to make it look a little fancier. Or what about cashews?

•Chocolate: Okay, if you read my blog regularly you know I’ll use any excuse to add a little chocolate, but try something different–like mini-chips or chunks instead of your regular variety.

Shaped raspberry cookie bar

If only I had a star cookie cutter!

And to make your cookie bars really stand out, forget the bar! Refrigerate the cooked bars for about 1 hour and then instead of cutting, use a cookie cutter to make different shapes (warning: you’ll get fewer bars this way, but your kids will love having the job of eating the extras.)

Ready to get baking? Check out these recipes for the Best Cookie Bars. I’ve been looking through the site as part of the Motherboard team. Once a week, I’ll be posting about the exciting things not to miss on the their site, and their affiliates. (The peanutty buckeye bars are on my list to make:)

What about you? Do you have any hints for making your cookie bars even more tasty?

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Secrets to Prettier Brownies

Peanut butter topped browniesWhy is it always holiday cookies? Have you noticed that brownies never seem to make it onto the treat-giving trays.

Sure, glorified Chex mix studded with chocolate and powdered sugar pops up (affectionately known as puppy chow at our house). But brownies seem relegated into the last-minute-I-just-remembered-I-had-to-make-something category. It’s too bad.

Here’s my theory–most brownies just aren’t pretty enough. I thought about that the other day as I was flipping through a flyer for holiday gifts and the Perfect Brownie Pan Set was right on page one. Really? A whole pan dedicated to baking neatly cut brownies. Again, my thought is that folks really want to make brownies good enough for the cookie tray. But forget about an extra pan!

If you really want to spruce up your brownie, try a few of these tweaks. And hey, if it doesn’t work for you, you can still buy the brownie pan later…

•Wax paper to the rescue!

Brownies get crumbly when you cut them in the pan. Try coating your regular brownie pan–mine is a 9×13″ casserole dish–with cooking spray. Then press in a piece of wax paper onto the bottom and sides of the pan (parchment paper works even better–but I always have wax paper on hand, not so for pricier parchment). Once the brownies have cooked and cooled you can lift them out of the pan on the waxed paper and then cut.

•Chill, then cut

Using a paper lining–either waxed or parchment–is the first step, the next is to wait to cut your brownies. If I’m not in a rush, I’ll put the whole brownie pan in the fridge overnight and cut on day #2. If I need the brownies that day, it’s into the freezer for an hour or so. Once the brownies are chilled, then lift them out of the pan, using the paper, and then onto a cutting board.

•Cut diagonally

Resist the urge to just start cutting. Look at your rectangle’s worth of brownie and make your cuts from corner to corner instead of just across. Diamond-cut brownies are so much prettier! (And you’ll have to eat all the extra ends:)

•Top it

Now that you have a perfectly cut brownie (no extra pan insert required), it’s time to add pizzazz. My standby is to melt about 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips along with a tablespoon of butter in the microwave until smooth. Then, using a fork I drizzle chocolate across the cut brownies. Another trick: fill a Ziploc baggie with 1/2 cup of smooth peanut butter. Place the sealed bag (make sure there’s no extra air) into a cup of warm water. Let it sit for a couple minutes and then trim a small hole in one corner of the bag. Make peanut butter patterns on your brownies then add chopped peanuts to complete the look. Refrigerate for about 1/2 hour more to set.

•Top it again

Along with drizzling chocolate or peanut butter over your brownies, what about adding crushed Oreos, candy canes, mini chocolate chips…I could go on, but you get the idea.

Do you have any tricks for making your brownies, well, more presentable?

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3 Fancy cookies. 10 minutes. No kidding!

Pie crust windmillsSome delectable cookies take days to make. And I love every minute of it. But when you’re crafting your cookies with kids there’s just no way to hold their interest through multiple steps of mixing, rolling, filling, dipping (well at least around my house, the last time I tried the cookies ended up paper thin thanks to my 7-year-old’s hearty rolling skills).

Still, I like making cookies with my bakers-in-training. I stumbled on a solution by accident (thank you coupon circular!). Pie crusts. Unlike pre-made sugar cookie dough that can spread and leave carefully constructed raspberry cookie volcanoes deflated, pie crusts withstand little fingers’ various designs. Added bonus: The dough comes rolled for you!

Here are just three ideas to make fancy cookies with pie crusts. And yes, you can make these in the time it takes your oven to heat up to 375 degrees (okay, maybe mine is slower than most).

Ingredients to have on hand

Pre-packaged pie crusts

Jam, I used apricot and raspberry

powdered sugar

sliced apples

cinnamon and sugar


Ready to make cookies?

•The Windmill

(Pictured above.) I drummed up the idea for this one from my 9-year-old’s origami book. Start by cutting a 1 1/2 to 2″ square with the pie dough. You make four slits almost to middle, starting from the corner working toward the center. Slather about one teaspoon jam (any flavor), starting from the middle working out. Fold one corner toward the inside and repeat with each corner tip. (I found a helpful tutorial with paper). Press the tips in the center and top with a chocolate chip, dried cherry or whatever else you have on hand. Bake for about 10 minutes or until just browned.

Apricot kolaches•Kolaches

Sure, these aren’t authentic, but I can make 3 dozen of them in under 20 minutes (not including baking time:) and they taste almost as good as the real thing. For the kolaches, use a pizza cutter to make 1-inch strips in the pie dough. Cut again, to make 1-inch pieces. Add about a half teaspoon of jam to the center of the square and fold two corners toward the middle and leave the other two open. You can brush the folded sides with egg yolk and then sprinkle with raw sugar. Or, after you’ve baked the cookies, give ‘em a dip in some powdered sugar. Bake for 8-10 minutes.


Mini turnovers•Mini Apple Turnovers

My 7-year-old had so much fun with these! With a 1 1/2″ biscuit cutter (you could also use a drinking glass) I had her make circles in the dough. A 9-inch pie crust will make about 10 circles. I had a bowl of thin-cut apple slices on hand that I’d squeezed with a bit of lemon. On one half of the circle, she placed a piece of apple (she cut them to fit using a kitchen knife). Then she folded the dough over the apple and sealed the two ends together (you might want to use a little water to make the seal stick). Then she dipped the turnover in melted butter and then her favorite, cinnamon and sugar. Alternatively, you can brush the dough with egg yolk and then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Or go without dipping altogether!

We’re still inventing ways to make cookies out of pie crusts–it’s a lot of fun. Looking for more ideas? Check out these Creative Holiday Cookies. I’ve been looking through the site as part of the Motherboard team. Once a week, I’ll be posting about the exciting things not to miss on the their site, and their affiliates.

And congrats to the winner of the King Arthur $60 gift certificate. Happy baking to Darcy B!

Your turn–what cookies are you making this holiday season?

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Rich Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake

Raspberry chocolate cheesecake

Wanna slice?

Growing up, we never had pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. Ever. Our holiday dessert was usually a tart with a mosaic of macadamia nuts, pecans and chocolate chips. I’m not sure how pumpkin pie got taken out of our holiday mix, but I liked that our family didn’t have the usual spread of stuffing and cranberry sauce.

It wasn’t until I was in college that I fully realized the appeal of traditional favorites–and that I was the only one who thought that buttered egg noodles with poppy seeds was Thanksgiving staple. Who knows how certain family food traditions get started!

We now have a holiday tradition for ending our turkey-day meal with cheesecake, chocolate raspberry cheesecake. I’ve included the recipe below, but I don’t want to make you nervous about trying this because the directions go on and on. See, I want you to have the best, crack-free, dense cheesecake possible so I’ve included ever little trick along the way.

Remember, making a good cheesecake is all about patience, not talent (this is from someone who’s never mastered souffles). Even better, cheesecakes are best made a day or two ahead, meaning you won’t have to figure out how to have enough oven space for your turkey, rolls, and, of course, green bean casserole.

Pssst: Don’t forget the $60 King Arthur Giveaway going on now until November 29th.

Recipe

Ingredients
Crust
9 ounces chocolate wafers
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Cheesecake
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chips are fine
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup raspberry jam
2 packages cream cheese
*Make sure the cheese is at room temperature
¾ cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions
For the crust: In a food processor, grind up the chocolate wafers (I also add just a touch of salt). I use Pepperidge Farms chocolate goldfish as the base for my crust—they’re not overly sweet like Oreos with cream filling. Add the melted butter to the crushed cookies. Here’s the tricky part. You’ll need a 9-inch springform pan. Surround the outside of the pan with aluminum foil (I’ll explain more on this later.) Cut a round piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom part of the pan. Spray the pan with cooking spray then insert the paper and spray again. Press the cookie crumbs into the pan and half way up the sides with your fingers (I’ve tried this with spoons, but frankly fingers are best). Put the crust into the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Yes, beat for ALL 7 minutes

Yes, beat for ALL 7 minutes

For the filling: Preheat the over to 325 degrees. In a large, glass measuring bowl, melt the chocolate and the heavy cream together in the microwave. Melt the two slowly. I usually start at half the power level for around two minutes. When the chips start to lose their shape, I finish the melting process by stirring the mixture vigorously. Add the jam to the chocolate mixture, stir and let it cool about 10 minutes.

In another large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and the sugar. As I noted in the directions, it’s key to have the cream cheese at room temperature. (Eggs, too!) Beat the sugar and cream cheese for at least 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Now, add the vanilla and the chocolate-raspberry mixture. Beat all the ingredients together for at least 5 minutes (I set a timer).

Constructing a waterbath

Constructing a waterbath

Here’s another tricky part—creating a water bath for your cheesecake. water bath keeps your cheesecake dense and smooth instead of dry. You’ll need a large, glass baking dish. I wish I had a larger one, but my biggest is 9×11” so I have to improvise. (I also add a larger, cookie baking pan under the casserole dish to make it easier to get it into and out of the oven.) make several aluminum balls and place them in the center of the baking dish because the casserole dish isn’t wide enough. Next, gently press the springform pan into the casserole dish. Pour the cheesecake filling into the crust, making surethat your aluminum balls stay in place and keep your pan level. Add about a half an inch of water to the bottom of the casserole dish (not into your cheesecake!). Carefully put the whole contraption into the preheated oven.

Make sure the foil comes all the way up

Make sure the foil comes all the way up

Bake for 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours or until the cheesecake just jiggles in the center. Once the cheesecake is set, turn off

Place your pan/s carefully in the oven

Place your pan/s carefully in the oven

the oven and leave the door open. Wait one hour and then remove the cheesecake. Carefully pull it out of the water bath. Gently release the springform mechanism, but don’t remove it. Use a butter knife to separate the crust from the pan (this will ensure that the top doesn’t crack). Put your cheesecake into the fridge for at least one day before serving.

If you’re taking this dessert to a party, make sure you cut it at home in thin slices—there’s nothing worse than your cheesecake getting hacked to pieces in the rush to serve dessert. Make your job—or your host’s—easier by cutting it beforehand. If I’m serving the cheesecake at home, I put one slice on the plate, add a dollop of fresh whipped cream and then sprinkle with cocoa. If I have fresh raspberries or mangos, I’ll add a few of those too. Enjoy!

Note: I’ve had this recipe for years, it comes from an old recipe book called 365 Great Chocolate Desserts by Natalie Haughton

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Bierberg Bakery in German Village, Columbus



Open only two months out of the year, Bierberg Bakery has been on my list of “must see” culinary enclaves for nearly three years. I heard it mentioned in passing when I was working on a story about visiting Columbus, Ohio, over the holidays. A Google search turned up a handful of entries, with not much more detail than “try the cookies.” No website. I tried an email address. No response. I tried calling. Nothing.

How does a bakery survive with virtually no advertising—not even a working phone number—and it opens October 20th and closes New Year’s Day? (I learned later that the magic phone number is only answered during those two months.) Over the past weekend, I was able to get my questions answered and even sample a few cookies.

Helen Bierberg Walsh seemed more comfortable working as we talked. With a pastry bag in hand, pressing out hazelnut cookies onto a parchment lined seemingly football-field-sized pan. She explained that her grandmother, Theresa Bierberg, had started the bakery in 1913 to support her family (her husband had fallen ill after a stroke). Before immigrating to Columbus, Theresa had trained as a baker in Germany. Helen recalls that her grandmother had told her children she had “made a cake for the Kaiser,” which would be the equivalent of the president of the United States requesting a sweet from your bakery.

Helen’s father, Gustav (or “Gus”) took over the bakery from his mother—Theresa’s other son became a Catholic priest. The bakery moved from its original location to 729 South Fifth Street in the German Village section of Columbus in 1971. Since then, for two months out of the year, Helen continues her family’s tradition of making holiday cookies for those who know where to find her.

I sampled the Wilhelm cookies that you’ll see Johanna making in the video above. The bars have raspberry filling tucked between two layers of thin pound cake, topped with marzipan and then dunked in chocolate. After trying just one, my Christmas list came to mind and I thought of all the people who would be receiving a specially wrapped box of Bierberg confections for the holidays. I asked Helen whether she shipped cookies and she said, “Sure. But it has to be ordered before December 10th.” I figured this was because the cookies wouldn’t arrive in time for Christmas if they were ordered after that.

“No,” Helen explained. “After that it just gets too crowded at the post office.”

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Viennese Cookies–Ischl Tartlets

Ischl tartletsButter and nuts. Hazelnuts. Flipping through recipes for Viennese cookies, I’m always surprised to see a short list of ingredients and a lengthy description of how to put the sweets together. These are no drop cookies–these take time, but they’re not hard to make. And the results–a filled, glazed cookie with nuts, cinnamon, and raspberry taste are decadent. (Yeah, these scream cookie exchange!)

I recall my mom giving me Rick Rodgers Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafes of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague almost apologetically one Christmas. She explained that she bought it more for the pictures than the recipes. I’d spent a semester in college living in Vienna and she knew that around the holidays I craved their holiday cookies. I wish we had something in the US similar to the Christkindl Markets that they have throughout Austria come December. Around certain streets, vendors just seem to pop up with food, crafts and trinkets (yes, there are chestnuts roasting on an open fire). But since we don’t, here’s a recipe to help you taste a little bit of Europe right from your own kitchen.

Thanks to Vera Marie Badertscher, of A Traveler’s Library who invited me to do a guest post about Daniel Silva’s A Death in Vienna. After writing up the review, I just had to head into the kitchen to make something.

Recipe

Ischl Tartlets

Ingredients

Yield: 30 1½-inch sandwich cookies

Cookie dough

1 cup flour

2/3 cup almond slivers (*note: if I could find hazelnuts for a decent price, I would use them, but since I can’t almonds are the perfect substitute)

¼ teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons butter (NOT margarine), at room temperature

2/3 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)

¼ teaspoon nutmeg and/or cinnamon (optional)

Filling

1 cup raspberry preserves

Glaze

(For dipping, if you want the cookies completely coated in chocolate double this recipe)

5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

3 Tablespoons water

1 Tablespoon heavy cream

2 Tablespoons butter

½ teaspoon almond extract (optional)

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)

Directions

  1. For the cookie dough, in a food processor place the almond slivers, flour, cinnamon, salt and zest (if using). Blend until the almonds almost become powdery.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and powdered sugar together until smooth.
  3. Using a wooden spoon or stiff spatula, combine the flours into the butter. Do not over mix. (The dough will be stiff and may have some crumbles.)
  4. Divide the dough in half and place each portion into waxed paper and then a large plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, up to 2 hours.
  5. On a floured work surface, roll half of one of the dough balls out to 1/8”. Try to keep the dough as cold as possible.
  6. Using a 11/2” round cutter or a Linzer cookie cutter, stamp out the cookie shapes.
  7. Line a baking pan with parchment and place the dough cookies on it. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the cookies 7 to 10 minutes or until just BARELY browned. The cookies will burn easily, so keep your eyes on them.
  9. Cool slightly before removing from the pan. Cool entirely before adding filling and glaze.
  10. For the filling—Using a kitchen knife add ½ to 1 teaspoon preserves on the bottom part of the cookie, place another cookie on top, bottom end facing the filling so that the nicer outside part shows on both sides. Repeat with the remaining cookies (and eat any cookies that don’t have a matchJ
  11. For the glaze—In a large, glass measuring cup or bowl, slowly heat up all the ingredients. I usually set the microwave for half power and cook at one-minute intervals or until the chocolate just begins to soften. Whisk until smooth.
  12. Dip the cookies one-half into the chocolate and then place on waxed paper or parchment. Alternatively, place the entire cookie in the chocolate glaze to coat. (It helps if you refrigerate the cookies before dipping.)
  13. Allow the chocolate to set on the waxed paper (you can speed up this process by placing them in the refrigerator).
  14. Top with chopped pecans. These cookies should keep well for 3 to 5 days.

*This recipe is a tweaked version of Rodgers.

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Chef Q&A: Pam Turkin of Just Baked

cupcakes

Photo credit: Pam Turkin

For over a year, Pam Turkin put in long hours through the weekend tweaking and perfecting her recipe for buttercream frosting. “I bet I made 100 batches,” recalls Turkin of her efforts. Along with buttercream, Turkin baked different varieties of cupcakes trying to find the right balance of sweetness, flavor, moistness and that indescribable something that just makes cupcakes so alluring: See Just Baked’s Fat Elvis cupcake for an example☺

During the week, Turkin worked in marketing and advertising often traveling for her job. She’d noticed on her travels little boutique cupcake shops dotting each coast and yet when she got home to Michigan, she couldn’t find a similar shop. “I just got it into my head that a cupcake shop was one thing I wanted to bring Detroit,” says Turkin. To date, she’s brought four retail shops, called Just Baked to Michigan.

Turkin’s first store opened in Livonia in 2009. Other stores followed in Ann Arbor, Royal Oak, Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, and soon the first franchise in Canton, just across the street from IKEA. While Turkin admits baking, marketing, planning and everything else involved with running the cupcake shops have eaten away most of her time, her family has been supportive all along the way. Granted, her five kids acted as the official taste-testers in the early days of her business!

So far, Turkin’s keeping mum on her cupcake recipes (darn!), but she passed along a recipe for her pumpkin cookies to share with MKES readers.

What three ingredients do you always keep stocked in your pantry?
Fresh eggs, fresh butter, potato chips

Your favorite meal to make or serve?
I love to cook. My favorite meal to cook is Thanksgiving dinner—the turkey, stuffing, I love the smell of it, the look of it—I love everything about it.

We all have a favorite indulgence, for a foodie like you it must be something spectacular?
Easy, shortbread. We make our own homemade shortbread to use in a lot of our cupcake bottoms. Many of the cupcakes are layered. We also use crumbled shortbread as a topping for our strawberry cheesecake cupcakes. My employees know to stash a little extra shortbread in the back for me.

What’s one of your worst cooking mistakes?
My mother never cooked, but she happens to make one thing really well and that’s brisket. No matter what I do, I either overcook or undercook it. Every time I make it it’s just wrong. I’ve given up.

There are so many great Michigan-made food products, what is your pick?
I love Faygo sodas. When I think of Detroit I think of Faygo, it’s indicative of Detroit. I had the opportunity to go to the plant—it has to be the best smelling place in the world. It smells just like orange cream soda.

What do you suggest for first-timers to Just Baked? What menu item should they make sure to try?
Our Grumpy cake cupcake is definitely our bestseller. With the holidays coming up, though, I’d have to recommend the pumpkin pie cupcake—it’s my personal favorite. Then there’s the sweet potato pie cupcake that we also only do around this time of year and that’s really good too. *By request Turkin also has gluten free and vegan cupcakes available.

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Pumpkin Cookies from Just Baked’s Pam Turkin

pumpkin cookies

Photo credit: Pam Turkin

From cupcake queen Pam Turkin, the mind behind Just Baked, comes this recipe for pumpkin cookies.

Ingredients

4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (saigon is my favorite)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 cups butter
1 can (15 oz.) 100% Pure Pumpkin
2 large eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 cups raisins
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup Mini Marshmallows

Directions

  1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F.
    COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pie spice in medium bowl. Beat soften butter and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl for 30 seconds. Add pumpkin, eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract; beat until blended. Gradually add flour mixture into pumpkin mixture at low speed until combined. Stir in raisins and nuts. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheets.
  2. BAKE for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely. Spread each cookie with frosting.

Frosting ingredients

2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup Milk

1/2 tsp Vanilla

dash cinnamon

Directions

Add Milk and vanilla to powered sugur until thin enough to drizzle.  Once cookies have cooled drizzle over cookies to taste and enjoy!!

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Calzones take two–dessert raspberry ricotta

What to do with a little extra dough?

When we made calzones the other day, I had that thought. Usually, I just roll out the leftover dough, throw on a little butter, cheese and garlic and have breadsticks for the kids. The breadsticks are tasty, for sure, but I was in the mood for something different.

Something sweet.

I rummaged through the refrigerator for ideas, here’s what I came up with–raspberry ricotta calzones. I mixed about 1/4 cup ricotta, a teaspoon or two of sugar, 1/8-1/4 cup of fresh raspberries and then stuffed the one calzone just as you would with the savory variety. Next time I’d also either add a few chocolate chunks or a healthy helping of fresh lemon zest. You can also brush the filled calzone with a little milk or heavy cream and a sprinkling of raw sugar before baking. Serve warm, leftovers will get soggy.

We split one calzone among the five of us to sample. If I were to make this for guests, I would make small, mini-calzones instead of large ones. I’d say a successful experiment!

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Banana dessert mini-eggrolls

Banana mini-eggrollsMy kids raved about a dessert we tried at Peppermint, a nearby Thai restaurant (actually, they devoured everything they had, but the dessert was the easiest one to figure out all the ingredients:).

We decided to recreate it at home. Truth be told, my oldest had to bring in a food to share in one of her classes, so we thought it was a good excuse to give it a try.

These were simple to put together and really tasty. If I were making this to serve, I’d pair it with some vanilla ice cream drizzled with caramel and chocolate sauce and pop these along the side.

Recipe

Servings: Lots!

Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

3 Bananas

Nutella

1 package small square wonton wrappers (3-inch squares)

Oil for frying

Heat your oil to medium-high heat while you prepare your eggrolls.

Cut the bananas into 1-1 1/2 inch sticks–cut the banana into a 1-inch piece, then divide lengthwise into fours.

Put out the wonton wrappers on either a cutting board or cooking sheet. Place a cut piece of banana in the center of each wrapper. Add a teaspoon sized dollop on each banana piece.

Have a shallow bowl of water handy. Using your finger add a little water to the edge of the wrappers to help them stick. Fold on corner of the wrapper in toward the filling. With the other two sides remaining fold them in toward the first folded side and press down to make sure the dough sticks. Finally, fold over the top side. The packets should not contain any air, just filling.

Repeat with the remaining wonton wrappers or until you’re ready to stop making little banana packets:)

Fry the packets for about 2-3 minutes, turning occasionally. Serve warm. We discovered cold banana eggrolls weren’t so tasty.

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