Stuffed Dates with granola

This sweet treat was inspired by a recipe I saw which stuffed marzipan into dates. In effort to make this healthier, I put homemade granola into the dates. I also stuffed a couple with ground walnuts. If you are looking for a sweet treat, this certainly hits the spot. The best thing is that dates are fat free.

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Ingredients:

Dates

Granola

Method:

  1. Make a slit lengthwise on the top of the date.
  2. Remove the seed.
  3. Fill with granola of your choice.
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Heavenly chocolate brownie balls

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I am always looking out for a great healthy but delicious treat and have found it in these brownie balls. Best to make two versions, one with brandy for the adults and another with Vanilla essence for the kids. This recipe is really easy and quick to make. All the ingredients can be added into a food processor at one time and then blended to form a smooth paste. You can choose any nut of your choice. You could even include a non sweetened cereal as a substitute. Then you get to sit back and enjoy these lovely brownies. I have put a few in the freezer to avoid eating it all in one go.

Ing:
1  1/2 cup pitted dates
1 tbsp vanilla extract / brandy
5 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup sliced almonds

Method:
1. Blend all the ingredients in food processor.
2. Shape into 1 inch balls.

Candy cane sprinkles

Not sure what to do with left over candy canes. Why not grind them in a food processor and make some candy cane sprinkles. You could grind them up as fine or as coarse as you like and use them as topping for your hot chocolate, ice-cream, cookies or brownies.

Store in an air tight container in a cool dark cupboard.

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Banana Fritters

Banana Fritters is such a comfort desert for me. It is easy to make and DELICIOUS. What fried thing is not? These fritters also bring back many memories of going to night markets in Malaysia where you can get all types of snacks and meals in abundance. The fritters that I make have very little flour to banana ratio, unlike the ones that I have bought in the past, where you taste very little banana. Since bananas are so sweet, I do not add any additional sugar. I also use whole wheat flour instead of plain flour.  No sugar and whole wheat flour, might make you think these fritters could not taste good, but on the contrary they really do.  The problem I have is not being able to stop at 4.

Ing:

3 bananas, mashed

¼ cup whole wheat flour

Vegetable oil for frying

 

Method:

1. Heat oil in a frying pan.

2. Mix the flour and bananas together. If you like a thicker consistency, add more flour.

3. When the oil is hot, scoop a huge spoon of the batter into the oil. You can make your fritters as big or as small as you like. However, it will cook faster if they are on the small side. Fry till golden brown on each side. About 4 minutes each side.

4. Remove from oil and lay on a piece of paper towel, to absorb access oil.

 

Served in moderation, this banana treat is great

Chocolate Coconut Delights

I love chocolate. Eating chocolate has enhanced many happy moments in my life. I enjoy having chocolate when I have a few moments to relax.  These chewy chocolate coconut balls are very easy to make. I used good quality ingredients, so that I would not feel too guilty while eating them. They are not loaded with sugar and are only mildly on the sweet side. They also freeze very well and do not take long to thaw when you want to eat them. Eating these divinely delicious chocolate coconut balls have certainly made me very happy. My only problem is trying to restrict myself to two each day.

Ing:

1/2 cup Organic coconut oil, melted

1 cup Cocoa powder

1/2 cup Ground almonds

3 cups Coconut flakes

1 Tbsp Vanilla essence

1/2 cup Maple syrup

Method:

  1. Mix coconut, maple syrup and vanilla essence together and let it sit for a few minutes, to let the coconut soak up the liquid.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well together.
  3. Shape into ball. Let it set for a few minutes in the fridge before enjoying them.
  4. Store in fridge or freezer.

Butter tarts

My husband loves butter tarts. I make this for him each year at Christmas as part of my present to him. These butter tarts freeze really well. My husband usually takes out a couple each day to eat for dessert during the Christmas season.

By using tart shells from the store, preparation time for the butter tarts is less than 10 minutes. I like to fill my tarts almost to the brim, so that you have a really full tart. I can make 17 full tarts using the measurements below.

Recipe:

Ing:

17 tart shells

2 eggs

4 tbsp melted butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tablespoon vanilla essence

1 cup + 2 tbpsn raisins

 

Method:

1. Preheat  oven to 400 F

2. Mix all the ingredients except for the butter and eggs.

3. Melt butter and add it to the other ingredients.

4. Beat the two eggs.  Add to the rest of the ingredients.

5. Mix well with a fork.

6. Spoon into the tart shells. Filling each tart shell almost to the brim.

7. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 F. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for 18 -20 minutes, until tarts are golden brown.

8. Enjoy!

 

Orange cookies

These cookies are essentially butter cookies with an orange twist. They are quite delicious indeed. The orange makes the cookies taste a little lighter than regular butter cookies.

This recipe makes about 18 cookies 1/4 inch cookies. The dough freezes well. I usually slice the cookies and then freeze the slices. When we need some cookies, I just bake a few up. Unfortunately this time, I do not have a picture as my family finished the batch I baked up before I got around to taking one.

Ing:

1/2 cup of butter, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 tbspn freshly squeezed orange juice

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp grated orange peel

1 cup all purpose flour

Method:

1. Mix butter and sugar together.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.

3. Roll dough into a log. Slice cookies into 1/4 inch slices.

4. Bake at 35o F for 8-10 minutes or until lightly brown.

5. Cool and enjoy.

Divinely easy and delicious chocolate brownies

I love chocolate and all things chocolate. These chocolate brownies are quite delicious and always a welcomed treat at my house. They are really easy to make and freeze really well. I can pull them out from the freezer when I need an extra treat.

Ing:

1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces

6 ounces semisweet chocolate

3/4 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

 

Method:

1. Melt the butter and the chocolate in a bowl set on a simmering pot of water.

2. Mix melted butter and chocolate with the sugar.

3. Then add in one egg at a time.

4.  Add flour, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla essence. Stir till combined.

5. Bake mixture in a 8 inch square tin (that has been buttered) for about 20 minutes. To see if it is ready, insert a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out with only a few moist crumbs, than the brownie is ready.

6. When cool, cut pieces into desired size.

Heavenly scones

Having scones for breakfast, feel quite luxurious to me, because it reminds me of holidays we had growing up in Malaysia. We would stay for a few days in Cameron Highlands, the only place in Malaysia that strawberries could grow, (also famous for tea plantations), and have delicous scones and strawberries for tea.

Now I am blessed to pick my own fruit each summer , which is a treat in itself. I usually make scones in the summer after I have made a batch of jam. These scones go really well with strawberry jam, but of course could be eaten plain as well. They have a light texture because of the light cream.

As with most of my recipes, these freeze really well.  I make a big batch, bake and then freeze them. We have them on weekends when we can actually sit at the table together for breakfast. This time, I added some dried cranberries to give the scones a Christmasy touch. I plan to take some over to my sister’s house for Christmas breakfast.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

3 cups all purpose flour

3 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

 2 tbsp lemon zest

1 1/2 cups butter, softened and cut into little pieces.

2 1/4 cups light cream (plus 1 tbsp for brushing on scones)

2 tsp vanilla essence

3/4 cup dried cranberries

Method:

1. Mix all dry ingredients together including the lemon zest. (If you are using an electric mixer, use the dough hook)

2. Add butter, and mix, till coarse crumbles appear.

3. Add cream and vanilla essence and mix till combined.

4. Add cranberries and give it another quick mix. Do not overwork the dough.

5.  Sprinkle some flour on a surface that you can roll the dough out.  If you find your dough too sticky, pat it with some extra flour when rolling.

I like to roll my dough to about an inch in thickness and then using a cookie cutter, I cut out the scones.

6. Brush the scones with remainder cream. Bake at 375 F for about 15 -20 minutes, depending on your oven.

Prebaked scone
Prebaked scone

December baking-Fudge

I absolutely LOVE fudge. That is why I only make it in December, otherwise I would be constantly eating it.

This recipe is easy and can be made in under 10 minutes. The results are divine. I make triple batches in December, as they make great gifts for the children’s after-care leaders and friends at work.

This fudge also freezers well and can be made in advance. In addition to this, for the price of one slice of fudge in the store, you can make a whole batch.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

12 ounce semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup butterscotch chips

14 ounce (300 ml) can condensed milk

1/2 cup of Smarties (8-10 for garnish)

Method:

1. If you do not have a tray with a removable bottom, line your tray with foil/ parchment paper. Have the paper hang over the sides of the tray, so that you can pull the fudge out easily. The size of your pan, will depend on how thick you want your fudge to be. I find that a 8×6 inch pan is good for one batch.

2. Spray paper in the pan with vegetable spray/ grease with butter.

3. Into a pot add condensed milk, chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. Melt over medium heat. It takes about five minutes for it to melt.

4. When the chips have melted, add the smarties and mix.

5. Pour the melted mixture in your pan and let it set. After a few minutes, score your fudge, where you want to cut it and place the smarties on top for garnish.

6. Enjoy the fruits of your labour. (Personally, I enjoy licking the pot. It tides me over until the fudge is set)

Eating fudge certainly makes my life happy.

SKF2011