Category Archives: Desserts

Traditional Banana Pudding

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BANANA PUDDING (Yield: 9″x 13″ pan)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 13 ounces Vanilla wafers
  • 4 bananas, ripe

Ingredients (for Meringue)

  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line the bottom of the pan with a layer of vanilla wafers.
  2. Combine the sugar, flour and salt in a bowl, and stir well to mix. Mash out any flour lumps with the back of your spoon. Set aside.
  3. In a heavy saucepan, beat the egg yolks well over medium heat, add the flour mixture to the egg yolks, alternately with the milk and vanilla, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil and, when the mixture begins to thicken, add the butter, continuing to stir. Keep boiling and stirring until mixture reaches a nice pudding consistency. Remove from heat.
  4. Peel the bananas and slice into 3/8-inch rounds. Place a layer of banana slices in the baking dish on top of the vanilla wafers. Don’t stint and put one slice of banana per wafer. Line those banana slices up edge-to-edge. Pour, spreading as necessary, half of the pudding over the banana layer. Put down another layer of vanilla wafers, another layer of banana slices, and cover with the remaining pudding.
  5. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar. once it looks like shaving foam, gradually add the sugar and cornstarch beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the vanilla into the meringue, and spread the meringue over the pudding, sealing it at the sides of the dish.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree convection for 5 minutes.

~ RetosKitchen ~

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Apple Rose Pie

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pieWhat a wonderful dessert this turned out to be! It took some time and preparation, but it was sooo worth it. The apples are sliced on a mandolin and tossed with sugar and spice and everything nice (sorry, really just lemon juice). As the apples sit, they release the juices that will be used to create the wonderful glaze that is spread atop the apple rose. The rose is created by overlapping the apple slices in a prepared pie crust starting along the outside edge. The sugar and apple juice mixture is reduced on the stove top and then brushed across the top edges of the apples. Once it has been placed in a 350 degree oven and baked for thirty or 40 minutes, an apricot glaze is then spread across the top of the pie before it is returned to the oven to finish. This pie is delicious, chock full of apples and a makes a stunning presentation when served.


Apple Rose Pie (Serves 4-6)

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust, premade or homemade
  • 2 pounds Honey Crisp apples
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-½ teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons apricot preserves
  • Egg wash

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Peel and core the apples, and cut in half. Using a sharp knife or a mandolin, slice each apple into ⅛-inch thick slices.
  3. Place the sliced apples in a large bowl. Combine and toss with the brown sugar, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, salt and lemon juice. Let the apples sit for 30 minutes to release their juices.
  4. Strain the juice from the apples into a small saucepan with the 2 tablespoons of butter. Over medium heat, simmer for about 15 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half and thickened. Set aside and reserve for later.
  5. On a lightly-floured surface, roll out the pie dough. Line a pie dish with the rolled-out dough. Fold the edges under and crimp with your fingers. Brush the crimped pie crust with the egg wash.
  6. Starting at the outside edge, begin to place the apple slices into the pie dish in circles, snuggly overlapping the apple slices and working toward the center of the dish. Fill in any spaces or gaps with remaining apples slices so they are packed tightly in the pie dish.
  7. Pour half of the reserved liquid over the top of the apple slices. To the remaining reserved liquid, add the apricot preserves and stir until dissolved. Set aside in a warm place.
  8. Cover the pie with foil with vents for steam. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the apples are tender.
  9. Remove the pie from the oven and remove foil. Brush the apples with the remaining apricot glaze, then return the pie to the oven. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the pie is bubbling and golden brown.

~ FoodNetwork.com ~

Brazilian Grilled Pineapple

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16Here is another recipe from “Cooking with Christopher”. We sliced up some fresh pineapple into wedges and tossed them with brown sugar and cinnamon before placing them on the grill. Just a few minutes on each side and they are ready for the table. An easy but delicious addition to any meal.


BRAZILIAN GRILLED PINEAPPLE (Serves: 6)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 pineapple – peeled, cored, and cut into 6 wedges

Directions

  1. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.
  2. Whisk brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Pour sugar mixture into a large resealable plastic bag. Place pineapple wedges in bag and shake to coat each wedge.
  3. Grill pineapple wedges on the preheated grill until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes per side.

~ AllRecipes.com ~

Easy Caramel Popcorn

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We enjoyed this snack so much that we had to make two batches. This recipe is not as easy at it claims to be — working with hot caramel sauce is a bit tricky. You have to work quickly and carefully. That stuff sticks to you and can burn like the dickens if it gets on you. After you melt the caramel with butter and a tablespoon of water you toss is with 10 cups of popcorn and some peanuts. I recommend that you use a low wide bowl for this process. You must work quickly because once the caramel starts to cool it is impossible to toss or stir it. Move it onto a baking sheet and put it in a 350F oven for ten minutes. Now, this is your opportunity to toss it and coat the mix completely. They indicate that you put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes, but I think that might just be a minute or two too long. I tried this recipe in both of my ovens and each time it started to really darken and harden on the bottom. I recommend that you use parchment paper to line your baking pan. It allows you to move the finished product out of the pan to cool quickly and easily and saves a ton of clean up. Now, I had better get this stuff out of here and in the mail before we start munching on it again. Hard. To. Resist.


EASY CARAMEL POPCORN (Yield: 10 cups)

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. (11 oz.) KRAFT Caramels
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 10 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1 cup PLANTERS COCKTAIL Peanuts

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 300°F.
  2. Spray large baking sheet with cooking spray. Cook caramels, butter and water in large saucepan on low heat until caramels are melted, stirring frequently.
  3. Combine popcorn and nuts in large bowl. Add caramel mixture; toss to coat. Spread onto prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake 20 min., stirring after 10 min. Spoon onto sheet of waxed paper; cool completely. Break into clusters.

~ KraftRecipes.com ~

Apple Crostata

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11This type of dessert is so much easier to fix than a regular pie or tart since it only requires one crust to hold the filling. I loved preparing this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa. It tastes almost like a sugar cookie wrapped around a wonderful apple filling. Make the crust ahead and refrigerate it for an hour or so. It comes out of the fridge rock hard and seems like it would be impossible to work with.  Not so! Once you start to roll it out the butter takes over and it easily becomes an 11″ round. I chose to use an egg wash on the crust edge followed by a sprinkling of Turbinado sugar for a little extra sparkle. It only takes 25-30 minutes to bake and once out of the oven should be allowed to cool for a bit before transferring to a plate for serving. I recommend that you line your pan with parchment paper to help move the crostata with ease. A beautiful dessert for any occasion!


APPLE CROSTATA (Serves 6)

Ingredients: Pastry

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    2 tablespoons granulated or superfine sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 tablespoons ice water

Ingredients: Filling

  • 1 1/2 pounds McIntosh, Macoun, or Empire apples (3 large)
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced

Directions

  1. For the pastry, place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough becomes a solid mass. Turn the dough onto a well-floured board and form into a disk. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Flour a rolling pin and roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a baking sheet.
  4. For the filling, peel, core, and cut the apples into 8ths. Cut each wedge into 3 chunks. Toss the chunks with the orange zest. Cover the tart dough with the apple chunks leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.
  5. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Pour into a bowl and rub it with your fingers until it starts holding together. Sprinkle evenly on the apples. Gently fold the border over the apples to enclose the dough, pleating it to make a circle.
  6. Bake the crostata for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

~ FoodNetwork.com/Recipes/Ina-Garten ~

Crock Pot Candy

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candyIf you have little ones, they will totally enjoy helping you to make this delicious treat. Just dump all of the ingredients into a crock pot, wait 2 hours, and spoon out onto waxed paper. No measuring, no hot pans, no watching the pot boil . . . this couldn’t be easier. I recommend that you give the mixture a stir about halfway through. I also had a great deal of difficulty finding almond bark. I imagine that this time of year it is all about the peppermint bark and the salted caramel bark. I ended up substituting Swiss Toblerone with great results. Guess what everyone is getting in their Christmas goodie baskets this year?!


CROCK POT CANDY (Serves 24)

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package dry roasted salted peanuts
  • 1 (16 ounce) package unsalted dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate bits
  • 1 (4 ounce) German chocolate bars
  • 32 ounces white almond bark

Directions

  1. Put peanuts in bottom of crock pot; add other ingredients.
  2. Cook on low setting for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. Place rounded spoonfuls onto wax paper and allow to cool.

~ Food.com ~

Glazed Doughnut Strawberry Shortcake

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This installment of “Cooking with Christopher” is all about the whipped cream. How many kids have never enjoyed freshly made whipped cream — You mean it doesn’t come in a tub?! The key to success is a combination of ingredients and technique. Always use heavy whipping cream and take the time to chill your bowl and beaters. It makes a huge difference . . . believe me! You can use a whisk to beat the mixture by hand, but for a quicker and less tiring method try using an electric mixer, a food processor, or my favorite – an immersion blender. Beat the ingredients together until stiff peaks form. If you over-whip your cream it will start to get stiff and clumpy. Don’t give up, just add a little bit more cream and things should smooth out nicely. This recipe can be put together easily — it is a perfect recipe for little ones to accomplish with supervision. I didn’t add any additional sugar to the strawberries. The doughnuts are plenty sweet already. Slice open the doughnuts, add a layer of whipped cream, some strawberries, more whipped cream and you are ready to serve. Enjoy this quick and easy dessert and find a little one to share in the preparation. More fun for everyone!


GLAZED DOUGHNUT STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 glazed doughnuts, halved horizontally
  • 1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced

Preparation

  1. Beat cream, sugar, and vanilla extract together in a chilled glass or metal bowl with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
  2. Place the bottom half of one doughnut on a plate. Spoon 1/4 cup whipped cream onto the doughnut, arrange 1/4 of the sliced strawberries over the whipped cream, and then spoon another 1/4 cup whipped cream over the strawberries. Top with remaining doughnut half. Repeat with remaining doughnuts, cream, and strawberries.

~ from AllRecipes.com ~