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Tag: confectioners sugar

Hazelnut and Cherry Italian Cookies

December 9, 2014

These are absolutely yum!

  • 1 cup soft unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • ½ cup evaporated cane sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups white whole-wheat flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, chopped fine
  • ½ cup hazelnut liquor
  • ½ cup confectionery sugar in a small bowl

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Mix the butter and sugar until fluffy in a mixer. Add the salt, vanilla extract, flour and liquor. Mix well and add the nuts and cherries.
Mix with both hands until well incorporated. Form a ball and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on the cookie sheets. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool and roll in confectionery sugar.
Hazelnut and Cherry Italian Cookies

Strawberry Bread

August 13, 2014

Number 4!

I love, love this tea bread. We were invited to a friends house for a barbecue and I offered to bring dessert. I wanted to make a summer cake using a quintessential summer fruit and of course strawberries came to mind.

I did a bit of research and came up with this fabulous recipe.

I got all the ingredients together- which, by the way are all that you normally have on hand.

It didn’t take me very long to put together and baking in the oven. Once it came out, my daughter was hovering around it like a dog on a bone. I cut a slice for her and she immediately complained about taking this cake to someone’s house and not having any for us. I promised her I would make another one for her soon- and honestly I haven’t yet. As I write this, I have already decided to bake one this evening. She will be thrilled.

So, if you want to be equally thrilled, make this delicious strawberry bread this summer…

  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries (pureed in a blender)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup evaporated cane juice
  • ½ cup extra light olive oil
  • 1½ cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan and keep aside.
Beat the sugar and olive oil for 2-3 minutes on high. Add the eggs one at a time, beating in between. Add the pureed strawberries and keep aside.
In the meantime, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt into a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Mix well and pour into the loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes or till the bread is done. Invert onto a platter and top with confectioners sugar.

Gingerbread Cake with Whipped Cream and Candied Ginger & Chocolate Ganache

December 22, 2013

Here are some dessert ideas for the holidays…

  • 2½ cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup extra light olive oil
  • ½ cup evaporated cane juice
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup molasses mixed with 1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and line two 9 inch round pans.

Combine the flour, baking soda, spices and the salt in a medium bowl. Whisk and keep aside.
Beat together the oil and sugar with an electric mixture for a minute. Add the egg and beat for 2 to 3 minutes. In 3 batches, alternately bean in flour mixture and molasses mixture on a low speed. Beat till smooth and pour batter into the two pans dividing equally. Bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
Take out and let cool.


  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons candied ginger, chopped

Beat the cream with an electric beater till stiff peaks are formed. Add the sugar and ginger and mix well.
Place the first layer of cake onto a cake stand and add the filling, smoothing it all over. Place the second layer and gently press down, cleaning up any filling spilling out of the cakes.


  • 6 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ cups whipping cream

Heat the cream in a small saucepan on a medium heat. Once bubbles begin to form on the edges, turn the heat off and take the pan off the stove. Add the chocolate and stir until it melts. Let cool and pour the ganache over the cake covering the sides evenly.
Top the cake with candied ginger for decoration.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration with Green Mini Cupcakes

March 13, 2012

Mini Green CupcakesMy daughter’s class is having a mini celebration for St. Patrick’s day with green bagels, green grapes and green juice. As I was volunteering to send some Irish butter, my daughter expressed her disappointment about not having some green cupcakes for St. Patty’s day. So, of course as a responsible (and gullible) Mom, I volunteered to bake some. She was overjoyed as we decided to check with the teacher first.
Once we found out it was a go- I started looking at recipes online. There was one in Martha Stewart’s site that looked good. I decided on making the mini ones- no reason for 23 kids to be running around with tons of sugar in their bodies.

The recipe was enough to make two batches of 24 mini cupcakes. I didn’t have two of the same 24 cupcake pans so I decided to make 24 mini and 6 regular sized cupcakes. That way the two teachers can have regular sized ones. I used my usual white whole wheat flour, evaporated cane sugar and extra light olive oil. If you want to use butter instead- one cup is equivalent to 2 sticks. I also added zest of a Meyer lemon to give the cupcakes some extra flavor. If you don’t have a Meyer lemon, use a lemon or an orange instead. The frosting was delicious with cream cheese, vanilla extract and the butter- yes, I used butter in here- there is really no substitute for it in frosting. Overall the cupcakes looked beautiful with the bright green sugar on top.

St. Patrick’s Day reminds me of my all time favorite vacation to Ireland. It is the most beautiful country with super friendly people I have ever been to. We flew into Shannon and stayed in a beautiful town called Dingle. It is a gorgeous little town that has the most amazing restaurants and vistas. We ate amazing food and for someone who is not a beer gal, I drank it with every meal. I feel the urge to go back every year around this time as I hear tourism ads on the radio to Ireland and feel the weather changing.

I guess I will look at the green cupcakes and think of the gorgeous landscape in the beautiful country, Ireland. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you!!!
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Pink Cupcakes with Strawberry Whipped Cream

February 13, 2012

Pink Cupcakes2

Try these for Valentines Day! I made them for my daughter’s 7th birthday and now she is 9! How time flies!!

I love these cupcakes. They are so pretty to look at. I never thought I would be saying that about pink cupcakes but raising a girl for the last seven years has made me very girly.

I remember swearing to my husband I will never dress my daughter in pink clothes. Once she was about three years old, all of that talk went down the drain. There was pink everywhere. We brought her home to a red nursery and now her room is pepto bismal pink- no joke!

Sia turned seven last week and I made these cupcakes for her birthday party. I was going to buy them and give business to a local store but then I thought why should I buy when I can bake them myself. I have never made cupcakes before so I started researching them. I tweaked a recipe I found on honey and jam.

I had to make my own frosting since I can’t stand all the sugary ones out there. I like icing or frosting made out of whipped cream. For the cupcakes I whipped up cream with confectioner’s sugar, food coloring and melted strawberry jam. It was delicious!

My daughter thought the cup cakes were very yummy. She suggested we make them again for Valentines Day- what an excellent idea!

Make these for V Day for your kids and honey .
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Pineapple and Fresh Cream Cake

February 6, 2011

Pineapple and Fresh Cream Cake

This is a great dessert to make for Valentines Day… enjoy.

I grew up eating pineapple cakes and pastries. I recall going to restaurants and bakeries where this cake was the most popular to eat. It was layers of soft, moist white cake, filled with whipped cream and pineapple. It was not overly sweet and most of all the icing was delicious. I think that is the reason why I don’t like buttercream or any other kind of icings. It just doesn’t taste fresh to me and most of the time they are overly sweet.

We were going out for dinner with some friends and I asked them to come back to our house for dessert. I was in the mood to bake a cake- I haven’t done it in a while. Somehow the pineapple cake came to mind. I bought the crushed pineapple and the whipping cream. Now, as some of you know, I do all of my baking with white whole wheat flour. I was a bit torn which way to go with this dessert. Since the icing is not overly sweet, the cake stands out. I wasn’t sure how the whole wheat flavor will taste with the rest of the ingredients.

I decided to go ahead with the whole wheat flour and went looking for whole wheat cake flour. Cake flour has less protein than the rest and results in a softer cake. I was not able to find whole wheat cake flour so I came home and made my own. For 2 cups of cake flour, I used 1 and 3/4 cups of white whole wheat flour mixed in with 1/4 cup of corn starch. I proceeded with a recipe I found on the internet but used extra light olive oil and raw sugar instead of butter and white sugar.

I went ahead and baked the cake and assembled it. It is very important to soak the layers well and properly with the pineapple juice to ensure a moist cake- especially if you are using white whole wheat flour.

My daughter was extremely excited to taste this dessert since I told her it was my favorite treat growing up. I was a bit concerned how she would react to the nutty cake flavor. Well, I don’t know what I was worried about- she loved it. My husband and I could taste the difference- it is not the same but it is a welcome change. For those of you looking for that authentic flavor, I would stick to regular cake flour. Me, on the other hand, will be making this cake again with the whole wheat flour. It was delicious- moist, soft and creamy.

Brought me back to my childhood. I love how food has the ability to transport you thousands of miles away…. Enjoy this delicious pineapple and fresh cream cake- you will love it.

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup extra light olive oil
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans.
In bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt with a wire whisk.

Cream oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix until completely combines. Slowly add flour alternately with milk. At end of addition batter should be should. Divide between 2 pans.

Bake the cakes for about 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then invert onto a rack and cool completely before frosting.

  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • ¼ confectioners sugar

Beat the cream till it forms stiff peaks. It should take about 5 to 7 minutes. Keep aside.

  • 1 (14 ounces) crushed pineapple with juice

Strain the crushed pineapple saving the juice (it should yield about ¾ cup juice). Keep the juice aside. Add one cup whipped cream to the strained pineapple. Mix well.

Pineapple and Fresh Cream Cake3

In the meantime, add one layer on a serving platter. With a large spoon soak the surface with half of the pineapple juice. Add the cream and pineapple mixture and spread evenly on the cake. Add the second layer on top and press down gently. Soak the top layer with the remaining pineapple juice. Frost the cake with the remaining whipped cream.
Chunks of fresh pineapple can be added as embellishments on the top. Refrigerate before serving.
Pineapple and Fresh Cream Cake2

Mango Cardamom Cake

July 22, 2010

Mango Cardamom Cake1 This is a perfect summer cake. There are so many mangoes around and as I have mentioned many times before, we usually have quite a few on hand all the time. My daughter takes one cut up for camp everyday with a slice of cheddar cheese. She enjoys them for her morning snack right after a swim. I am quite happy giving her a healthy fruit and some low fat protein.

Anyway, since there were so many mangoes around, I decided to make a cake- well, it is more like a tea bread.

I blended enough mangoes to equal one cup and made a super fast and easy bread. I love making these kinds of treats that are relatively healthy. I usually pack a slice as dessert for my daughter and give some to my husband as a snack during the day with tea.

To give the cake an extra boost of flavor and a surprise, I added some cardamom. I love mango and floral cardamom together- it makes me want to drink masala tea, lounging in a comfortable chair on my deck…

Make the mango cardamom cake this season…
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