Simple advice for a better life.

Nut Horn Cookies – Recipe

Nut Horn Cookies - servingThis recipe is  very special to me, because every time I make these Nut Horns, I think of the two ladies who shared it with me.

Anna and Luba were great cooks and bakers, who also loved hosting parties, and sharing their favorite recipes.

First time I ever made these, was actually at Luba’s kitchen, when she invited a bunch of us to bake together, and have lots of fun at the same time.

Both of these ladies are gone now (way too soon for either of them), but I am so proud to share their recipe, and reminisce a little about the good old times we spent together.

This recipe yields 4 dozen of cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour ( I prefer the unbleached kind)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder ( I use one with Aluminum Free)
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter, cold
  • 1 1/2 oz. Active Dry Yeast (2 packets)
  • 4 Tbs. warm water
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup walnuts, ground up fine
  • 1 tsp. Almond Extract
  • Confectioners sugar, to use before serving

Directions:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Cut in butter, to incorporate into flour mixture.
  3. Dissolve yeast in warm water.
  4. Stir in egg yolks, only.  Keep the egg whites refrigerated.
  5. Mix in the sour cream and Vanilla Extract.
  6. Blend this wet mixture into flour mixture, to form a soft dough.
  7. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts, and form them into balls.
  8. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.
  9. Once ready to work with the dough, beat the egg whites until foamy.
  10. Gradually add sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form.
  11. Fold in ground walnuts and Almond Extract.
  12. Keep refrigerated.
  13. Use one dough ball at a time, to roll it out on a board sprinkled with powdered sugar, to form a circle about 10 inches in diameter.

Nut Horn Cookies - cut and roll up

14.  Spread the egg white/nut mixture over the rolled out dough.

15.  Using a pizza cutter, cut the circle into 12 even wedges.

16,   Starting at the outer edge (the wide end) of each triangle, roll it

up toward the middle of the circle, to form a horn (like a straight

crescent).

17.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Nut Horn Cookies - just baked

 

18.  Place the nut horns on a lightly greased cookie sheet, spacing them

generously to allow enough space for spreading during baking.

19.  Bake 10-12 minutes, or until golden.

Nut Horn Cookies - ready to trim off

 

20.  Using a spatula, carefully remove cookies onto a cooling rack.

21.  Gently break away the crusty excess filling, oozed out of the cookies.

21.  Before serving, dust cooled cookies with powdered sugar.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Waffle bowls filled with fresh fruit Ice Cream Cone Birthday Cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

Another birthday party rolled around for my “little princess” granddaughter, who turned six years old.

Ice Cream Sundae Party invitation

This time she asked for an “Ice Cream Sundae” birthday party theme, so her mom, once again, went all the way out to make it exciting.

The above party invitation was created by my daughter, to get the ball rolling on the Ice Cream Sundae party theme.

Today I will share some of the party moments I captured with my camera.

Ice Cream Cone bouquet

Outdoor Ice Cream Cones decor

 

 

There were plenty of ice cream cone type of decorations throughout the indoor and outdoor, as you can see at least two of these in the above picture.

Jelly beans ice cream cones, and rice krispies treats

Jelly beans ice cream cones

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ice cream cone marshmellow snacks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a large selection of sweet snacks, before the birthday brunch.

Some of which were Rice Krispies, decked out with decorative ice creams, ice cream cones filled with jelly beans, and ice cream shaped marshmallows.

 

Yummy snacks - Ice Cream Sundae Birthday Party

Oh yes…..there also was a nice display of fruit snacks, as well as variety of crackers, cheeses, mini kobasie (kabanos), sweet and savory dips and chips.

Ice Cream Sundae Brunch Food 1

Ice Cream Sundae Brunch Food 2

The Brunch Menu included Tri-Color Pasta Salad, Nirchi’s Pizza, Roast Beef Au Jus and buns, Breakfast Casserole, Quiche, and Waffles with syrup.

Ice Cream Sundae Toppings - Nuts Free

  Ice Cream Sundae Toppings - containing nuts

All set wtih ice cream bowls, spoons, plates, banana split boats

Here I would like to display all the “necessities” for ” Make your own Ice Cream Sundae”.

These included special ice cream bowls with matching spoons, banana split boats, and myriad of toppings to satisfy the “everything on it” and the “nut free” crowd.

Create your own Ice Cream Sundae

All the ice cream lovers lined up nicely next to the “Make Your Own Ice Cream Sundae” station.

Good thing the weather was great, so the event took place outdoors….as some of those creations gave way to gravity….and had to be recreated from scratch….:-)

It was a great success!!

They had more fun making these sundaes, than eating them.

Many of these fancy creations got abandoned shortly afterward, to melt in the sun, while the little guests got busy running around and playing.

 Decorate your own Ice Cream Server hat

One of the indoor activities included decorating your own ” Ice Cream Server” hat, as you can see how intensely and diligently the girls are working on this project.

They did a beautiful job, but forgot to wear them to the Ice Cream Sundae Making Station…oh well.

Ice Cream Sundae Thank You Favors Bags

Once the sweet treats depleted and the “sugar high” energy burned out, the party bunch was ready to go home for a nap.

They were sent off on their way with a colorful bag full of treats, stamped with ice cream cones (which the birthday girl decorated herself), and a nice Thank You note.  They also got to keep their special ice cream bowls with matching ice cream cone spoons.  Nice!

What a great party this was.

Can’t wait for another birthday party to photograph, and to share with you.

Fresh Fruit Sheet Cake  -  Plum fillingThis fresh fruit filled sheet cake is so light and airy, it practically melts in your mouth.

The cake is light not only in texture, but also in calories, due to no butter or sour cream, unlike many other delicious recipes.

Great recipe for beginner bakers, as it is quite simple to prepare, easy to slice, and really tasty.

Excellent as an after meal dessert, or a wonderful accompaniment to a refreshing cup of tea of coffee.

Ingredients:

  •  6 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 1/8 cup Canola oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used unbleached)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Fruit Filling:

  • Fresh fruit of your choice (I used 8 Red Plums sliced into eight wedges)
  • 2 Tbs. light brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon, ground
  • pinch of cloves, ground

Directions:

  1. Line a 13 x 9 x 2 baking sheet with parchment paper.  Use Crisco to grease parchment paper bottom and sides.  Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 340 o F.
  3. In a large mixer bowl, beat the egg whites until they begin to fluff up (about 2 minutes).
  4. Gradually add sugar, and keep on beating.
  5. Add one egg yolk at a time, and continue beating.
  6. Mix in vanilla.
  7. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt.
  8. Gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture (I used a spatula).
  9. Scoop out into the prepared baking sheet, and smooth it out evenly with the back of a spoon, or a spatula.
  10. Arrange cut fruit on top of batter, to evenly cover it.
  11. Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves (you may use other spices to complement the fruit of your choice)
  12. Sprinkle over fruit.
  13. Bake in preheated oven for 40 -45 minutes.
  14. Remove and cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  15. Lift out the baked cake with parchment paper onto cooling rack, to cool completely.
  16. Cut into serving pieces, and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Enjoy!

 

 

low cal scones 2I have been on a lookout for healthier version recipes of baked goods.

Most of us have a “sweet tooth”, which needs to be satisfied from time to time, so we strive to accomplish this without too much guilt, and try healthier recipes.

To be honest with you all, I prefer the regular recipes so much more, with all the butter and sugar, but reality hits home, when the lbs on the darn scale keep on creeping up…..so the good old saying comes to mind, “If you can’t have the original, you have to settle for a copy”.

These scones are very tasty, full of fruity flavor, and the lemon glaze balances it all very nicely.

I found the original recipe for Skinny Scones via Pinterest, but modified some ingredients, hence my version in this post.

These make a great snack, or a wonderful breakfast on the go.

low cal scones - freshly baked

This recipe yields 16 scones.

 Ingredients:

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granular sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup Almond Milk
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  • 1/2 cup dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried Apricots, chopped
  • 2 Tbs white chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbs dark chocolate chips

Lemon Glaze:

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice

Mix the powdered sugar with the lemon juice to for a thick glaze.  Set aside.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line two baking pans with parchment paper, and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl mix flour, sugars, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and lemon zest.
  4. Cut the butter to small chunks and work them into the flour mixture with your fingers, to form a crumbly mixture.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the Almond Milk with the unsweetened apple sauce.
  6. Add half of this mixture to the flour mixture, and incorporate it evenly.
  7. Fold in the chopped dried fruits, and chocolate chips, as well as the remaining milk mixture.  Do not overmix.
  8. The dough is kind of wet and sticky.
  9. Flour your work surface, and your hands.
  10. Form two even dough balls, and place them on the flowered work surface.
  11. Flatten each, to form two round disks, about 1.5 inches thick.
  12. Cut each disk into 8 wedges (just like a pizza pie).
  13. Lift off from the work surface, and place each scone on the parchment lined baking sheets.  They will not spread much, so no need to allow too much space between them.
  14. Bake 15 minutes.
  15. Cool 10 minutes, and drizzle scone tops with the lemon glaze.

Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Mousse Cake – Recipe

Strawberry season in my garden is here, hence perfect time to share a recipe for a delicious Strawberry Mousse Cake.

It’s quite simple to prepare, since it requires ready-made Lady Finger cookies, cake mix, whipping cream and fresh strawberries.

If you wish, you may prepare your own sponge cake from scratch, but this time I decided to use a cake mix.

Also, you may use the Lady Finger cookies as they are, or trim them off to the level of the cake, as I did.

This cake is best served the same  day, or the next day, at the latest, otherwise it will lose its freshness and texture.

Ingredients:

  • 1 round 9″ vanilla sponge cake, cut in half horizontally, and trimmed off 1/2 inch around the edges)
  • 1 box of Lady Finger cookies (I used up 22 pieces)
  • 2 Tbs. Strawberry Jam, melted
  • 2 lbs. fresh strawberries, cleaned and stems removed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 Tbs. granular sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin (I used Knox brand)
  • 1 cup whipping cream

 

 

Directions:

  1. Puree 1/2 of the strawberries in a food processor, or a mixer.  Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl mix the sugar, egg yolk and vanilla.
  3. Mix in the strawberry puree.  Set aside.
  4. In a large saucepan, mix gelatin and milk, and heat it until gelatin has dissolved.
  5. Pour in the strawberry mixture and continue heating until it all blends together.
  6. Remove the mixture from heat, and place the saucepan in cold water, to cool off to room temperature.
  7. Using a mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
  8. Gently  fold it into the cooled  strawberry mixture.  Set aside.
  9. Dip one end of the Lady Finger cookies into strawberry syrup, or melted jam.
  10. Line a 9 inch spring form pan sides with Lady Finger cookies (dipped side down), and cover the bottom of the pan with first layer of sponge cake (as shown above).
  11.  Slice some of the remaining strawberries in half, and arrange on top of the first layer of the sponge cake.
  12. Pour half of the mousse over the sliced strawberries.
  13. Place the 2nd layer of the sponge cake over the mousse layer.
  14. Pour the remaining mousse over the cake layer, and smooth it out evenly.
  15. Refrigerate for 4 hours, to set.
  16. To decorate the top of the cake, arrange the remaining strawberry slices over the top of the mousse.
  17. Dip a pastry brush in melted strawberry jam, and brush over the top of the layered strawberries.  I also brushed some melted jam over the trimmed tops of the Lady Finger cookies.
  18. Keep refrigerated, until ready to serve.

 

Enjoy!

 

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