Category Archives: Desserts

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

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bakedpumpkindonuts

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

To make these donuts you will need a donut pan.  They are so moist and delicious!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat a donut pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar and vegetable oil on medium-high until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined.  Beat in pumpkin and vanilla until just combined.  Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture at low speed, beating just until incorporated.

Using a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip or a large Ziplock bag with the corner cut off, pipe the batter evenly into the donut pan.  Place into oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until donuts are slightly browned and spring back when touched.

In a medium bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon.

When the donuts are done, cool for 10 minutes and brush the tops with butter, gently tossing in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 12 donuts.

“Encouraging words bring hope to the human spirit.”

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Blueberry Pie Bars

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blueberrypiebars

Blueberry Pie Bars

My friend, Betty, served this dessert the other day for bridge.  They are more like a dessert bar (in my opinion), but however you serve them, they are scrumptious!

Sorry about the picture, I had have of it eaten before I shot the picture.  It is so, so goooood.

Crust and crumble Topping

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt, opt.

Filling

  • 1 large egg
  • Heaping 1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt; or sour cream (lite is okay)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose

Blueberry layer

  • 12 ounces (2 cups) blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (or 1/2 cup, if berries are sour)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare an 8 x 8-inch square pan.  I would line it with parchment paper with wings so when ready to take out of pan to cut, it comes out of the pan easier.  Then spray parchment with cooking spray.  After baking and cooling, lift the wings up and put it on a cutting board and slice.

Crust and crumble topping – In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.  Add the sugars and whisk to combine.  Add the flour, optional salt, and stir to combine.  Mixture will be very dry and sandy with some larger, well-formed crumble pieces.  Set a heaping 3/4-cup crumble mixture aside.  Transfer remaining mixture to prepared pan, and using a spatula or your fingers, hard-pack the mixture to create an even, smooth, flat crust, set aside.

Filling – In a medium bowl, add the egg, Greek yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and whisk to combine.  Add the flour and whisk to combine.  Evenly pour filling over the crust and jiggle pan to help distribute it or smooth it with a spatula; set aside.

Blueberry Layer – In a separate medium mixing bowl, add all blueberry layer ingredients and toss to combine.  If sugar hasn’t dissolved fully or still has crystals, that’s okay because it liquefies while baking.  Evenly distribute blueberry mixture over the filling.  Evenly sprinkle with the reserved heating 3/4 cup crust mixture.

Bake for about 60 minutes, or until edges are bubbling quite vigorously and there’s some bubbling in the center.  Crumble topping should appear set and very pale golden.  If using fresh berries instead of unthawed, baking time will be reduced, at least 10-15 minutes, possibly less.  Watch your bars, not clock, when evaluating doneness.  Place pan on a wire rack and allow bars to cool for at least 1 to 2 hours (overnight is even better) before slicing and serving.  If you try to slice bars before they’ve cooled completely, they’ll be extremely messy and could fall apart.  Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, in the fridge for up to 10 days (they’re good slightly chilled if you like chilled pie), or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Serve with a mound of ice cream, as you can see in the picture.

Serves 6 to 8.

“God can help me to see the inner beauty in others.”

 

 

Pear Bread

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Pear Bread

This recipe makes up two of the most beautiful, delicious quick breads.  These were are treats at the senior center last Tuesday.  More pears from my friends tree.

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups finely chopped peeled ripe pears
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

In a bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla; mix well.  Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; stir into the egg mixture just until moistened.  Toss pears with lemon juice.  Stir pear and walnuts into batter (batter will be thick).

Spoon into two greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

“To find God, we must be willing to seek Him.”

Rustic Pear Tart

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Rustic Pear Tart

Our good friends, Peg and Harve, had an abundance of pears on their tree this year, so I took a few off of their hands and this is what I made.  I have to say, those pears were so sweet and juicy!  And this tart is so easy to make, you will have a dessert ready to eat in 35 minutes.  (Although you will need to cool it a little before eating it.)  Absolutely delicious!!

  • Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups sliced, peeled, fresh pears
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons sliced almonds

On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into a 10-in. circle.  Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

In a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar and flour; add pears and toss to coat.  Spoon over the pastry to within 2 inches of edges.  Fold up edges of pastry over filling, leaving center uncovered.  Sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.  Sprinkle with almonds; bake 5 minutes longer.  Using the parchment paper, slide tart onto a wire rack to cool.

Serves 6 – 8.

“A friend’s presence in the midst of suffering provides great comfort.”

Grape Juice Pie

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Grape Juice Pie

Not too sweet, slightly sour, but oh so good!

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/3 cups grape juice (I used 100% Concord grape juice)
  • 1 egg. slightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 baked (9-inch) pastry shell
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a 2-quart saucepan.  Stir in grape juice; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly.  Cook 1 minute.

Add a small amount of hot mixture to egg, mixing well; stir egg mixture into remaining hot mixture.  Add butter and lemon juice; return to heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; boil gently 1 minute.  Cool.  Pour into pastry shell; chill thoroughly.

Combine heavy cream and sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Spread on pie; chill.

Makes 8 servings.

“Time management is not about clock watching, it’s about making the most of the time we have.”

Ultimate Plum Torte

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Ultimate Plum Torte

This dessert has received many rave reviews.  It is the ultimate fall dessert.  It’s heavenly, scrumptious, outrageously good!  Serve slightly warm with real whipped cream on the side.  Make this for your next party and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

I had very sweet plums so I used 3/4 cup sugar, but if your plums aren’t as sweet, you might want to use the 1 cup of sugar.  I also sprinkled 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar on top before baking.

  • 3/4 to 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup flour, sifted (5-oz.)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 purple plums, halved and pitted
  • Sugar, lemon juice for topping

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream sugar and butter in a mixer bowl.  Add flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.

Spoon batter into a springform pan of 8, 9 or 10-inches.  (I used 9-inch.)  Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter.  Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit.

Bake 1 hour, approximately.  Remove and cool; refrigerate or freeze, if desired. Or cool to lukewarm and serve plain or with whipped cream.

(To serve a torte that was frozen, defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.)

Tip:  To freeze, double-wrap the torte in foil, place in a plastic bag and seal.

Serves 8.

“There’s nothing like the beauty of a loving heart.”

 

Baked Peach Hand Pies

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Baked Peach Hand Pies

August is National Peach Month.  I thought before this month was over, I needed to bake something with peaches.  I made these delicacies and took them to the senior center when I went to play bridge this week.  Everyone just loved them!  And may I just say, I love peach anything!!

  • 4 peaches, peeled, pitted, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 boxes refrigerated pie crusts
  • 1 egg white

Glaze

  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk

In medium saucepan, combine peaches, both sugars, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon and vanilla.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and syrupy, about 8-10 minutes.  Cool to room temperature and then put in a bowl and refrigerate until cold, about an hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Remove pie crusts from the packages and allow them to come to room temperature.

Lightly dust your work surface with flour.  Unroll pie crusts and cut 4 circles from each crust using a 4-inch biscuit cutter.  You’ll have to re-roll the scraps to get the 5th circle.  Or maybe even 6 circles.

Beat egg white with 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl until frothy.

Place 1 tablespoon of the filling into center of the circle.  Brush a little egg wash around the edge of the circle and then fold in half.  With tines of a fork, seal edges.  Make 3 small slits on top of each hand pie with a knife to prevent bursting.  Then brush egg wash over each hand pie.  Bake for about 15 minutes.

While pies are baking, whisk together the confectioners sugar and milk in a bowl until smooth.

Remove pies from the baking sheet onto another baking sheet lined with wire rack.  Drizzle glaze over pies and let dry.

You should yield 20 to 24 pies.

“Focus on God and regain perspective.”