Holiday dishes

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies, Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!
Summer is in a full swing. It’s time for grilling, BBQ, fresh ripe fruits, nice desserts, backyard party time-:)
I am guessing there are a lot of lemonade stands on many corners in many places.
Since there is a lot of food served and everybody munches something all the time, I’m trying to prepare and make desserts which are much lighter.
This time I made all time favorite Red Velvet but in the other shape, whoopie pies. So convenient to eat and enjoy, for small and big hands, just grab a napkin and dessert is served-:)
For 4th of July I made special fondant toppers which pieces form The Flag. I am trying to create new fondant toppers all the time and especially love to work on custom orders, big thanks to everybody who is following my store updates and upcoming decorations-:)

Ingredients:

Makes 6 Whoopie pies

For the pies:

1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 cup plain non fat yogurt
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
salt, optional

For the icing:

1 cup mascarpone
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
zest of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a food processor, mix the sugar with the eggs, butter, yogurt, food coloring, vinegar. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Blend until just incorporated.
Place the liners into a whoopie pie pan or use non stick spray and divide the batter evenly, pouring only halfway so the batter doesn’t overflow. Bake, rotating halfway through, for 10 to 19 minutes. Remove the pies and let cool.
In a bowl, beat the mascarpone, icing sugar, vanilla and lemon zest together until the mixture is smooth.
Spoon and spread cream on the whoopie pie only on one side and then form the pie adding just a cake part.
This recipe has less fat and sugar.
Take a bite and enjoy!
Happy 4th oh July!
Have a great and lovely Summer-:)

Biscuits Made with Love, Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s!
For me, being a mom is the most beautiful thing in the world-:)
Today we made biscuits together, what a fun way to start a day-:)

These biscuits are amazing, have reach creamy taste from kefir and whipping cream and no eggs or butter are needed, only for brushing if you prefer.
They are done in an hour, great handy recipe when no bread available.
Perfect for breakfast or dinner.

Homemade Biscuits

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup kefir
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
sea salt, for taste
1 spoon butter, melted for brushing

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 F.
In a bowl of the stand mixer, combine dry ingredients together. Make a well in the center and add kefir and whipping cream. Add the dough hook and start mixing dough on the lower speed for 5 minutes.

Turn dough out onto floured surface. Gently fold the dough over itself 3 or 4 times to create layers. Roll dough out to 3/4-inch thick. Cut with a biscuit cutter.

Transfer dough rounds to a pan.

Gather scraps and repeat. Brush with butter. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve warm with butter, jam or any spread that you love.

Share and enjoy!
Happy Mother’s Day!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Creamy Chestnut Cake

Happy New 2012!
Wishing you all Healthy, Happy and Successful New Year!
Now let’s talk dessert, perfect for the Holidays.
When I was a kid growing up in Europe I remember people selling roasted chestnuts on the street wagons in winter time. They serve them hot and toasty in the paper trays. To keep this chestnut tradition on I usually like to make chestnut puree over winter months, which is a faster idea to enjoy lovely chestnuts but since it is a Holiday, New Years Eve and my birthday too, I decided to make a special cake.

Crust is a similar to cheesecake crust with added almonds to the Graham crackers. What I love about this cake is that there is no baking involved so it is very quick and delicious dessert to be made. You only need trusty food processor and you are all ready.

Creamy Chestnut Cake

For the crust:

1 cup low fat Graham crackers, ground
1/2 cup almonds, ground
1 spoon honey
1 orange, fresh juice
1 spoon brown sugar

For the chestnut filling:

2 cups chestnuts, peeled, cooked and grounded
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 spoons non fat milk
1 teaspoon organic vanilla sugar

Chocolate layer:

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon butter
For the top and finish, freshly whipped heavy whipping cream and extra drizzle of chocolate. It makes it even more special:)

To make a crust, using processor, grind first crackers then almonds. Set them aside in the mixing bowl.
In the small sauce pan over medium heat, bring to boil, sugar, honey and juice from one orange.
Add to ground ingredients and make a paste looking mix.
Prepare the serving plate and using spoon shape the mix to a circle.
Base is done.

Now again using processor, grind chestnuts, adding sugar and milk. Pulse few times and you will notice that they will start become like a paste. When done, add another layer to the cake.
For the chocolate lovers I love to add chocolate layer.
Using double broiler add chocolate, butter and melt till chocolate is smooth not too watery. Combine nicely and add another layer to the cake.
Using mixer finish whipping cream and add another layer.
Set the cake in the refrigerator few hours or over night before serving. This cake can be made in advance which makes it even more helpful.

Serve and enjoy.
Thank you so much for reading my blog and leaving wonderful comments. I hope you like all the recipes and ideas. It will be even more interesting in the next year!
Happy New Year!

My NEW Video – Sweet Potato Pecan Tart, Grill Style Recipe

Yes, We made another Holiday video….Everything started last year after
Associated Content from Yahoo debuted my “Vanilice, Christmas Cookies video.” After more then 19.000 views, I was inspired to make another video, this time for Thanksgiving season. I decided to make a tart using the outdoor grill.

Sweet Potato Pecan Tart is absolutely lovely. Sweet potato filling is creamy and delicious with pecans and vanilla.
Crust is thin, light, crisp and not to sweet.

For the crust you will need:

2 fresh eggs
2 cups flour
1 stick sweet cream butter
lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

For the filling you will need:

4 medium sweet potatoes
2 cups pecans, ground
1 cup light brown sugar
vanilla sugar

For the method please check out my video here.
Thank you my blogger friends and have a wonderful Thanksgiving season:)

Happy 4th of July! Honey Peanut Roasted Cakes with Whipped Cream, Blueberries and Pomegranate

Happy 4th of July!

This year my red, white and blue dessert is healthy and super delicious. I made cupcakes with grounded honey roasted peanuts, topped with fresh whipped cream, blueberries and pomegranate seeds.

Honey Roasted Peanut Cakes topped with Whipped Cream, Fresh Blueberries & Pomegranate seeds

Ingredients:

1 cup honey roasted peanuts, freshly grounded
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 stick sweet cream butter
2 large eggs
1/4 cup light brown sugar
8 oz fresh whipped cream
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

Preheat the oven to 400F. Line cupcake pan with silicon cupcake liners.
Separate eggs. Using electric mixer beat the egg whites on the high speed till frothy. Set aside. In the other bowl beat yolks and sugar with an electric beater until thick and pale. Add butter, peanut meal, flour and 4oz of whipped cream. Fold to combine with egg whites.
Pour the mixture into the tins and bake for 20 minutes or until a fork inserted into the center comes out clean. Let them cool.
In the meantime whip the rest of the fresh whipped cream with mixer till nicely done.
Decorate cupcakes with whipped cream, fresh blueberries and pomegranate seeds.
I wanted to make tasty cake recipe and it is truly wonderful. Never grounded honey roasted peanuts before and used it in a batter, great choice. Cakes are moist, airy and delicious.
Enjoy!

Now, let’s the celebration begin with bbq, fireworks, wonderful desserts, family and friends!
Happy 4th of July!

Dry Blueberry Almond Bon-Bons:)

I wanted to make something sweet for a long time but wasn’t sure exactly what. Today I found and bought dry blueberries and idea was born.
I already had in my pantry almonds, which I toasted for extra aroma, petit beurre cookies, organic clementines, honey and a little bit of melted sweet butter. For the coating I used powder sugar/ sliced almonds….little variety.

Using food processor, ground almonds and cookies. Add all the ingredients from the list, clementine can be used for the zest and the juice. Pulse few times just to combine.
Let dough sit in the fridge for 20 minutes and then form little bite size bon-bons. You can use any coating that you like. Melted chocolate will work too but I wanted more natural, healthy, earthy & fruity flavor. Beautiful dessert for Holidays, Christmas or any other celebration. These Blueberry Almond Bon-Bons are gluten free.
Hope everybody will like them…Thanks for looking:)


Blueberry

Zuu-Zuu, Great Little Spinach & Cheese Appetizers

I have to share with you my favorite appetizer-snack from my childhood. Remember walking on the cold winter snowy days and looking through the bakery windows…while bakers place new pans of wonderful, tasty, warm and crispy pastry. Zuu zuu are usually filled with spinach, cheese or mushrooms.

I give my best to make them at home…kids love them.
Sesame on the top is a real kick and everybody who loves sesame in all kinds of dishes and pastry should try these little squares….as soon you put them on the plate – they are gone:)

You will need puff pastry squares, fresh baby spinach, feta or cottage cheese, little sea salt, little pepper, one egg to combine cheese and cut spinach and just a little bit for brushing the top and sticking sesame seeds.

You can use round or square cutter or shape.

Oven is on 350F…baking time 16-20 minutes.

Wonderful appetizer, friends, family, kids will love it.
Easy to make…best if served warm.
Happy Holidays Everybody!

Merry Christmas!!


Merry Christmas!
This year I made two different kinds of cookies, one for children and one for adults.

I would like to thank all the nice people who saw and voted for my first video Christmas Cookies-Vanilice which reached almost 12000 views in just a few days!
Thank You!
You can view the video on the Yahoo Lifestyle page.
http://www.associatedcontent.com/video/762012/christmas_cookies_vanilice.html?cat=22

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Apple and Pecan Blossoms

Yesterday was another celebration, St. Nikola. Long time tradition for that particular day is to prepare dishes without any dairy or meat using mostly fresh vegetables, fish, dry fruits and nuts.
I wanted to make nice dessert perfect for this occasion or any other time when we need to skip milk or eggs in dessert recipes which is very rare.
Looking in my freezer I noticed that I have phyllo dough and puff pastry. I started from there.
For the filling I chose beautiful Fuji apples, pecans , orange zest, brown sugar and cinnamon.
Here is a step by step recipe for this absolutely incredible dessert.

Apple and Pecan Blossoms

You will need:

2 squares puff pastry
5 phyllo dough sheets
2 medium Fuji apples
4 oz pecans
1/4 light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 small bag vanilla sugar
small organic orange-for orange zest
lemon juice, for the taste
1 teaspoon Smart balance light for pastry brush-phyllo dough

Preheat oven to 400F.
Thaw the dough on the room temperature for 20 minutes.

Prepare the filling.
Core and cut the apples in smaller cubes and put then in the bowl.
Add orange zest and lemon juice.

Ground pecans.

Add pecans, brown sugar, vanilla sugar and cinnamon to the apple mixture. Set aside.

Take the 12 cup muffin pen.
Each round cover with piece of puff pastry and then add the layer of phyllo dough.

Fill every round with pecan filling.

Cover prepared and filled blossoms with another layer of phyllo dough.

Using pastry brush glaze edges of blossoms for the nice finishing color.
Bake blossoms for 16-20 minutes.

Place dessert on the nice serving dish. Wonderful if served still warm.
Fantastic texture, crunch and aroma of pecans and apples and still very festive… perfect dessert for parties and gatherings.

1 Serving, 1 Apple Pecan Blossom has:

Calories 90
Total fat 8%
Saturated fat 1%
Cholesterol 0%
Total Carbohydrate 3%
Dietary Fiber 6%
Protein 2g
Sodium 0%

Apples are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. They are also a good source of Dietary Fiber and Vitamin C.
Pecans are very low in Cholesterol and Sodium, very good source of Manganese.

Apple and Pecan Blossoms