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Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Bread

September 9, 2019

Pumpkin Bread

  • 1¼ cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • ½ teaspoon powdered cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup extra light olive oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • ½ cup chopped dark chocolate

Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt into a medium bowl, set aside. Lightly brush a 9X5X3 inches loaf pan with butter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add one egg at a time mixing in between. Add 1 cup pumpkin puree and mix for about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
With a rubber spatula, mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the nuts and chocolate and transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pan for 5 minutes before taking it out. Cool completely before serving.

Pumpkin Bread 1

Applesauce Chocolate Cake with a Spiced Icing

December 17, 2017

Great dessert for the holidays…

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered nutmeg
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • ½ cup extra light olive oil
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup homemade or store bought applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour a 9” round pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a large bowl of a mixer, add the melted chocolate and the oil. Add sugar and beat until mixture is creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add the applesauce and vanilla and mix well. Stir in dry ingredients and pour into the round pan.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until tester is clean. Let cool and then top with the spiced icing.

Spiced Icing

  • ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
  • ¼ unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon powdered nutmeg
  • 5 tablespoons milk

In a small mixing blow, combine the sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg and milk. Whisk well until all ingredients are incorporated and smooth. Add more milk if needed to reach the desired consistency.

Pour on top of the the cake and spread to the sides evenly.

Chocolate Applesauce Cake

Cranberry Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

October 27, 2014

Another delicious way to have pumpkin flavored desserts!

  • 2½ cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup extra light olive oil
  • 1½ cups turbinado sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves into a medium bowl. Keep aside. Cream together the oil and sugar for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat for another minute. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and beat for another minute. Add the cranberries and chocolate and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix to combine. Scoop with a tablespoon measure and drop the cookies onto a lined cookie sheet, flatten with the back of a spoon. Bake for 15 and 20 minutes. Cool on a baking rack and serve.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Brownie Bites with Peppermint Bark Icing

December 14, 2010

Brownie Bites with Peppermint Bark Icing I have used the same recipe for the brownie bites as before. The difference is that I used extra light olive oil instead of butter (I wanted to make it healthier), and I have used a small cupcake container to make these delicious tiny bites for the holiday season.

Peppermint definitely comes to mind when I think of this time of year. One of the things I like to do when I am at the mall is to visit Williams Sonoma. They always have some kind of sample- especially this time of year. I love eating their peppermint bark- it is simply delicious. I have never bought it since it is quite expensive but I do eat lots of samples while I am at the store.

When Trader Joes opened up in Millburn, I was of course ecstatic. During the holiday season they have a variety of treats and chocolates.

While I was thinking about making these treats, I was envisioning icing with crushed peppermint sticks. So, when I went shopping at Trader Joes for my ingredients, and I didn’t find the sticks, I decided to buy the peppermint bark instead. It was much cheaper than the one I sample in Williams Sonoma.

I brought it home and tried it- well, it was delicious as well! I crushed it in a food processor and added it to the icing. These bite sized brownies are delicious and ideal to make for the holidays- enjoy!

  • 2 cups evaporated cane juice
  • 1 cup extra light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1½ cups white whole-wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Line a small 24 cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, blend the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract well. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Slowly add the dry ingredients mixing well in between. Pour the batter evenly into each small cupcake liner. Bake for 12 minutes if you like gooey brownies- a few minutes more if you like them more cake-like.

Peppermint Bark Icing

  • ½ cup (4 oz) low fat cream cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • ½ cup crushed peppermint bark

In a mixer, add the cream cheese and begin beating until smooth. Sprinkle the powdered sugar and add the peppermint extract. Beat till the icing is smooth. Take out and add the peppermint bark. With a knife cover the top of each brownie bite.

Brownie Bites

Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Swirl

December 12, 2010

Chocolate and Raspberry Swirl Brownie I can use just one word to describe this dessert- delicious!

My daughter and  were going to a friend’s house for dinner. I was quite tired from a hectic week but wanted to take a dessert with us. I wasn’t in the mood to buy anything from a store- I wanted something homemade. I started to think of something that will be quick and easy yet perfectly suitable for an after dinner treat.

Brownies came to mind. I don’t make them that often- I am not a big chocolate person. I usually look for desserts with fruit or caramel. Flan, according to me is the be all end all dessert… I love it.

Anyway, so while I was trying to come up with a dessert, I thought of making brownies- but a bit differently. I looked in my fridge and found raspberry jam- perfect! I made the brownies like I normally do, but this time I used extra light olive oil instead of butter- so they are even healthier. I poured the batter into the prepared pan and then swirled some melted raspberry jam.

I also drizzled some white chocolate ganache on top once the brownies cooled down a bit- it’s completely optional since I didn’t notice a big difference with the ganache on top. I did notice the raspberry swirl inside the treat though. It was absolutely delicious. The brownies were light yet had a dense chocolate taste. The raspberry flavor goes so well with chocolate- a match made in heaven.

My daughter thought they were the best brownies she had ever had. I toasted some for my husband topped with some french vanilla ice cream.

I have to say- this one was a big success. Perfect to make for the busy holiday season!

  • 2 cups evaporated cane juice
  • 1 cup extra light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1½ cups white whole-wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup seedless raspberry jam, melted

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Butter an 8X8-baking pan.

In a large bowl, blend the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract well. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Slowly add the dry ingredients mixing well in between. Pour the batter into the pan. Pour the raspberry jam all over the top and spread it through the cake with a butter knife. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes if you like gooey brownies- a few minutes more if you like them more cake-like.

Chocolate and Raspberry Swirl Brownie 1

Healthy Summer Recipe: Chocolate Cinnamon Gelato

July 28, 2009

Chocolate Cinnamon Gelato1 I am surrounded with ice cream lovers at home. Both my daughter and husband love it! I, on the other hand like ice cream but don’t love it. Somehow thinking about the ingredients – cream, eggs and sugar- deters me from eating it too much so somehow I have convinced myself that I don’t like it too much. Place a slice of pound cake in front of me and the ingredients don’t matter at all- I devour it!

I do enjoy a scoop or two of gelato- my first time eating it was about 10 years ago in Rome. I still have a vivid memory of a gelateria right next to our hotel. The first day there, we checked in, showered and walked out and noticed the place. We went right in and ordered a cone with two flavors- I can’t remember what I had but can picure the dollop of cream that was placed on the scoops of gelato. Oh, my God- it was amazing! I still think about it.

Years later, gelato is available all over the US. Somehow it doesn’t taste the same- not sure why that is. I still eat it every chance I get but it is quite expensive to buy. So, when I came across a recipe by David Lebovitz that used corn starch to thicken the milk- I was instantly excited. I looked at a few more recipes on line and came up with this one. I used whole milk and corn starch with great cocoa powder and turbinado sugar. It’s all healthy and there isn’t that much sugar in it. I added cinnamon and almond extract to it- the flavor was unbelievable…

It was absolutely delicious! I took it for a dinner party and it was a big hit. I have been experimenting with a few different flavors now- will be posting soon. I am thrilled to be making gelato that is healthy and delicious. My daughter love it!

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Chocolate Zucchini Bread

May 17, 2009

chocolate-zucchini-breadI continue with my quest for healthy kid friendly desserts and snacks. A friend makes my banana bread which her daughter loves- she asked if I could possibly come up with a similar recipe but with a vegetable- like a carrot cake. I remembered a zucchini bread I used to eat many moons ago from Starbucks. From work I would usually venture out to get a mid-afternoon snack which would be a tall Caffe Mocha usually with a slice of zucchini bread. The bread was absolutely delicious- I still remember the color and taste really well- this was about 10 years ago when I ate whatever I felt like and weight and nutrition were furthest from my mind. So when my friend reminded me of the zucchini bread, I immediately started looking for a recipe to adapt to my taste. I decided to include chocolate in the bread as anything with chocolate is good and I thought kids would be more likely to eat it and ignore the green stuff running through the cake! I tested a few recipes and finally liked this one- the texture was firm but moist and most of all, it was delicious! I baked it through the day, so neither my daughter nor my husband witnessed it. I gave a slice to my husband the next morning before he went to work- asked him how it was and once he told me it was really good, I informed him it was made out of zucchini. He was shocked! My daughter really enjoyed it as well, I decided not to enlighten her with all the ingredients. My husband, however, went ahead and divulged within minutes of eating it- Sia had a disgusted look on her face. I explained to her that if she likes the taste how does it matter what is inside the bread.. she thought about it for a few seconds and decided to have another slice. So my advice to parents out there would be that maybe you shouldn’t tell your kids what is in the bread- it may not go so well!!

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