Slightly Sweet – Lemon and Matcha Pudding

Here’s another dessert that is not over the top sweet. In fact this one contains silken tofu so not only does it satisfy a sweet craving, it will satisfy appetite!

Lemon and Matcha Tofu Pudding
(makes 4 servings)
1 package silken tofu
3-4 Tbs powdered sugar, divided
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs almond milk
2-3 tsp matcha tea powder
2-3 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla
honey to taste

Drain the tofu and place half of it in a blender. Dissolve the matcha and one tablespoon of the powdered sugar in the almond milk. Once both are dissolved add the mixture to the blender. Blend until it smooth, scraping down the sides. Once the mixture is smooth either put it in your serving dishes or place it aside. Rinse the blender parts. Place the other half of the tofu in the blender. Combine 2 tablespoons of the sugar with the lemon juice. Add this mixture, the vanilla, and the lemon zest to the blender. Blend until smooth.

With one tablespoon of sugar in the matcha batch it is not going to be very sweet. Since I like the flavors of honey and matcha together, I like to drizzle a little honey over each matcha layer. The two colors make for a great presentation, layer them into clear serving dishes and garnish. They are ready to eat right away, or refrigerate for later. I think they are a little better if they sit for an hour. Not all silken tofu is the same consistency. This is a very forgiving recipe. If you want it sweeter, and more sugar or honey, if you don’t like a thick pudding add a little more almond milk. Then sit back and enjoy this dessert that isn’t overwhelming you with sugar!

Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Lemon Bundt Cake – On the Light Side

lemon-bunt_8053

This lemon bundt cake with a light, airy texture and a crisp outside won’t stand a chance! Especially when you top it with a blueberry glaze.

Light Lemon Bundt Cake:
1.5 cups flour
2 tbs baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbs poppy seeds (optional)
2 tsp lemon zest
3 eggs
1 5 oz container of greek yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup apple sauce

Combine the dry ingredients, combine the wet ingredients, then combine. Spoon the batter into a prepared bunt pan and bake at 350 degrees fro 20-25 minutes.

Blueberry Glaze:
In a small blender combine blueberries, powdered sugar and lemon juice from the lemons you used for zest. Blend the ingredients. The amount of sugar you use depends on your preference. I used two cups of blueberries to a half cup of powdered sugar.

Serve the cake fresh from the oven with glaze and extra blueberries.

lemon-bunt_8070

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

 

Turnovers, Empanadas, or Hand Pies?

puff_7789

I guess it depends on the filling!

Release YOUR Bon Viant and Savor Your Life!

Eat Dessert Like You Mean It

pudding_7986

So did you make a resolution to eat better this year? to cut the sweets out of your diet? That just doesn’t work for me. Life is too short to deprive myself of all things sweet. So here’s an alternative. Make a dessert that is more of a meal, with low sugar and protein, this dessert will leave your sweet tooth satisfied and your appetite satiated!

This is tofu pudding, yes tofu. Mori-Nu makes a great tofu pudding mix. All you do is place tofu in a blender with a little water and blend it until it’s smooth. Then add the pudding packet and continue to blend.  I like to add a little Kahlua or Frangelico too! Scrape down the sides and blend until well combined.

Spoon the pudding into dessert cups and refrigerate. To add a little decadence I like to add fresh berries and nuts to mine. You don’t have to give up desserts this year. In fact you can skip lunch all together and just have dessert!

You can accomplish the same thing with your own sugar and cocoa combination added to the tofu, melted chocolate works too. But until you get the hang of it, go easy on yourself, start with the packet.

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Blackberry Lemon Pull Aparts

bb-bread_7974This is a variation of your standard pull apart bread with a subtle blackberry and lemon flavor. While I do enjoy the classic cinnamon and brown sugar flavored breakfast treats, the light fruity flavor of this one is refreshing.

I used a table mixer, but you can easily adjust the instructions to accommodate kneading by hand if you prefer. This recipe is a little larger than most, it nicely fills a 9″ spring form pan.

Dough:
3 Tbs butter
3/4 cup milk
3 tsp dry yeast
1 cup blackberry puree
1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar
3-1/2 to 4 cups flour

Filling:
2 Tbs butter
1 cup sugar
zest of 3 lemons

Combine the butter and milk, warm it just enough to melt the butter. Let it cool so that you don’t kill the yeast, I prefer to use a thermometer to verify the temperature. Anything over 120° puts your yeast at risk. Put the milk/butter mixture, yeast, sugar, and a cup of flour in a mixer with a dough hook and combine it. Let it sit until you see the yeast beginning to work (bubbles will begin to form). With the mixer on low alternately add the remaining flour and blackberry puree. If blackberry seeds offend you then strain the puree but in my opinion you’ll lose some flavor.

Let the mixer knead the dough until a slightly sticky ball forms. Remove the dough and place it in a greased bowl, turn it so that it’s greased on all sides. Cover the bowl and let it rise until doubled.

After the dough has doubled deflate it and remove it from the bowl. Roll it into a rectangle. The size depends on how thick you want the rolls to be. I rolled mine into an 20″ x 14″ rectangle. Melt the additional two tablespoons of butter and brush the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the cup of sugar and lemon zest evenly over the dough. Using a pizza cutter, I cut mine down the middle, making two 20″ x 7″ pieces, these I cut into 2″ x 7″ strips. Roll the strips and place them in a greased pan. Get creative, you can use a cast iron skillet, loaf pans, cake pans, etc. If you prefer the classic ‘leaf’ type of pull apart bread cut the dough into squares.

Let it rise a second time, until it’s almost doubled. Then bake the rolls at 375° for about 30 minutes. The time will depend on your choice of pans. Serve them warm from the oven. Try substituting other fruits, based on what’s in season and what’s available to you. Mango works well, as does pineapple.

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Cheddar, Cream, or Marscapone, What Tops Your Apples?

applepuff_7271

I love apple season. Of course we can purchase several varieties of apple year round but there’s something about the abundance of them in Fall that excites me.  They are a great stand alone snack or they can be baked in a myriad of ways.

One of the easiest apple desserts is to bake them in puff pastry. Defrost a sheet of puff pastry and lay it on a greased a baking sheet. You can use a variety of shapes and sizes, use a full sheet or make individual desserts.

Prepare your apples by slicing them or cutting them into chunks. Place them on the puff pastry sheet and bring the sides of the pastry up. I like to use half green and half red apples for better presentation. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and a bit of brown sugar. I also like to add a few pomegranate seeds if I have them, nuts would also work.

Brush the exposed sides of the pastry with oil to facilitate better browning. Bake the pastries at 400 degrees until the apples soften and the pastry browns. If the apples soften before the pastry is ready use the broiler to brown it quickly. Remove the puffed apple dessert from the oven and now the hard part… How will you serve it?
applepuff_7259

With a dollop of marscapone?

applepuff_7260

With a wedge of cheddar cheese?

applepuff_7261

Or drizzled with fresh cream?

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Pumpkin Peaks with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Fosting

pumpkinpeaks_6507

Frosted or not, these pumpkin cookies are a delicious, seasonal treat. They have a light texture and come out of the oven with a wonderful crispness.

pumpkin-peaks_6509

Pumpkin Peaks
Using an electric mixture, combine the following:
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup soft butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract

In a separate bowl combine:
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger

With the mixer running at a slow speed, slowly add the flour mixture  to the batter. You may want to finish by mixing it with a spoon as it will begin to stiffen. Shape the dough into balls, slightly smaller than golf balls, and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes in the top half of the oven.

Remove them from the baking sheet and let them cool.

While the cookies are cooling prepare the White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
Using an electric mixture whip together the following:
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar

With the mixer running slowly add 1/4 cup melted white chocolate chips.

When the cookies are cool dip them in the frosting and set them in a platter in the refrigerator to cool, allowing the frosting to set. Or just eat them while they are fresh! Keep uneaten cookies in a single layer in the refrigerator, taking them out just before serving.

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

Pumpkin Pie Puffs

pumpkin-puffs_6465

I enjoy a good pumpkin pie once in a while, once every few years. Maybe I overdosed on them as a child. I do enjoy pumpkin pie like desserts though. Using puff pastry makes this one is about as simple and quick as fresh baked can be.

This recipe makes six puffs, just enough to satisfy but not so many that you get tired of eating them. Increase as needed.

For the pumpkin filling thoroughly combine the following:
1 egg
1/2 cup pumpkin puree, preferable fresh
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
pumpkinpuffs_6466

Defrost a single sheet of puff pastry and cut it into 6 pieces. Place the pieces in the bottom of a muffin pan, making cups. Spoon the filling into the cups and bake at 400 degrees until they are puffed an browned, about 15-20 minutes.

Remove the puffs and serve warm, room temperature, or chilled, however you prefer them. For a more adult version try topping them with marscapone instead of whipped cream. Or whip fresh cream and go easy on the sugar. The flavor is subtle and if your topping is too sweet it will overpower the filling.

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!

 

Dipped or Drizzled – Nothing Beats a Poppy’s Peanut Butter Cookie

Poppys_5656

Cream the following room temperature ingredients with an electric mixer:
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup peanut butter

Sprinkle the following over the dough and mix again:
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cups flour

Using a strong spoon stir in:
1 1/2 cups of regular oatmeal (not instant)
1/2 package of peanut butter chips

Drop dough by spoonfuls onto a non-stick cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 9 minutes. Use a rack to cool them (this will also stop them from continuing to cook on a hot pan), and once they are cool put them in a plastic zip top bag to keep them fresh. I usually end up with about 36 cookies.

Variation: Bake them as bars. I line a 9 x 9 baking pan with foil, give a light non-stick spray and spread the batter. I bake them at 350 degrees for 16 minutes. They won’t be brown on top so don’t be fooled into over cooking them. After they are cooled cut into bars as large or as small as you like!

Substitute semi-sweet chocolate chips for the peanut butter chips.

Drizzle or dip the tops in melted semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!