Showing posts with label cinnamon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cinnamon. Show all posts

Greek honey balls-loukoumades-drizzled with honey and cinnamon

Loukoumathes (pronounced loo-koo-mah-thes) is one of the most common and easiest desserts to make. Every restaurant in Greece will offer loukoumathes as a dessert after a meal, and sometimes as a token from the restaurant owners to its patron’s for eating there.
The last time I had loukoumathes in Greece was on one of my recent trips there. The loukoumathes I had were enormous. They were more like a large donut than the traditional “donut hole” shape they usually have. Those loukoumathes were large enough for 2-4 people to share.

Loukoumathes can be eaten drizzled with honey or sugar syrup, or even drenched in plain sugar. At the beaches in Greece, there are stands that sell loukoumathes drenched in sugar and cinnamon. A sweet treat to break the day between swimming in the blue waters of the Aegean sea and sunbathing under the warm Greek sun. Other times they can be served along with ice cream, crushed walnuts and/or pistachios.

They are best served warm. Enjoy!

Ingredients (Makes 50 servings)
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. lemon rind
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup canola oil*

Directions
Mix the yeast with 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Let it stand for 1/2 hour till dissolved and bubbly.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, with the baking soda, baking powder, salt, lemon rind and sugar. When the yeast is dissolved add it to the dry ingredients along with the 1.5 cups of lukewarm water. Mix well with a mixer on medium speed for a couple of minutes till all the ingredients are well incorporated. Cover with a towel and let it stand in a warm place for 2 hours.

Heat up about 1 cup of canola oil in a frying pan. With two spoons dipped in water take some of the dough and drop it in the hot oil. Continue to drop the dough by the spoonful, but make sure you don't overcrowd the pan. Fry them till they are lightly brown turning them over until both sides are cooked. Lower the heat if you think that you don't drop them fast enough. When browned, remove from the oil and place them in a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the extra oil.

Serve warm drizzled with honey and cinnamon.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (19.6g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 47
Calories from Fat 21
Total Fat 2.3g
Saturated Fat 0.2g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 37mg
Potassium 16mg
Total Carbohydrates 5.8g
Dietary Fiber 0.2g
Sugars 0.1g
Protein 0.8g

Note: * for the calories to be correct on the frying portion of this recipe, I only logged in ½ cup of canola oil. I added 1 cup canola oil in the frying pan but only used ½ cup for the frying.

Note: **if you prefer to serve the honey balls with sugar syrup, the recipe for this is below the picture.


Syrup**
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick

Make the syrup
Pour the sugar, water and cinnamon stick in a pan and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Lower the heat to medium and let it cook for 10-15 minutes while stirring. The syrup should be clear by the time you are done, and very slightly reduced. Remove from heat. Drizzle over hot loukoumathes.

Pumpkin cheesecake with almond thins crust

It's fall again, and time for pumpkins and fall dishes and desserts. This is a pumpkin cheesecake that I've been making for the last few years. I wanted to get that baked type cheesecake that you get at a restaurant, like a New York style cheesecake. So I've been playing around with a few recipes and came up with this one. The difference is that I didn't use graham crackers for the crust. I used Anna's Swedish almond thin cookies since they have no soy in them. As for the gluten free version, I took the leftover cheesecake batter, placed in ramekins without a crust and baked them in the oven along with the cheesecake. Since my daughter is gluten free she was able to enjoy the cheesecake without having to worry about gluten. It's a delicious dessert and can be enjoyed during this time of the year. Enjoy!

Ingredients (Makes 18 servings = 4.2oz each serving)

5 ¼ oz Anna's almond thin cookies crushed (about 1.5 cups)
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cloves
½ tsp. cinnamon
4 tbsp. butter
16 oz. cream cheese
16 oz one third less fat cream cheese (cream cheese that has 1/3 less fat)
1 ¼ cups sugar
16 oz canned pumpkin
½-cup sour cream
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs

Directions

Crust:
Crush the box of Anna's almond thin cookies. It will make 1 and 1/2 cups.
Melt the butter. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to the crushed cookies along with the butter. Mix together and press into a 9" spring form pan. Refrigerate.

Filling:
At room temperature mix together the regular cream cheese with the 1/3 less fat cream cheese and the sugar. Mix till well blended. Add the canned pumpkin packed solid, the sour cream, the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla. Mix well together. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. Pour into the 9" spring form pan and the rest into 9 ramekins without crust. Place the 9" spring form pan into a 350°F preheated oven. Place the 9 ramekins into a baking sheet that's 1/4 filled with lukewarm water. Place those in the oven too. Bake the 9" spring form pan for 1 hour and 30 minutes and the ramekins for 1 hour and 15 minutes or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Some oven temperatures vary so it's best to use the toothpick method as a guide. Remove from the oven and let them cool before serving.

Nutrition FactsServing Size 1 serving (117.6 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 294
Calories from Fat 180
Total Fat 20.0g
Saturated Fat 12.0g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 90mg
Sodium 263mg
Potassium 107mg
Total Carbohydrates 24.1g
Dietary Fiber 1.0g
Sugars 19.0g
Protein 5.6g

Pumpkin cheesecake with almond thins crust
 Pumpkin cheesecake with almond thins crust and Dream whip cream 


 Gluten free cheesecake baked in ramekins
Gluten free cheesecake in ramekin sprinkled with icing sugar

Gluten free Oatmeal Cookies with Craisins and Walnuts

As the holidays are upon us, we rush to finish our Christmas shopping and our baking. When a big snowstorm hits us, we await anxiously for it to pass so that we can finish our shopping. Some of us welcome the onset of a snowstorm that might leave us home-bound. On those days, we take out our baking pans and begin experimenting on recipes. That’s how I came up with this Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookie recipe. I had this recipe in my files along with some of my other old recipes that I have kept over the years. This time I wanted to try making them with gluten free flour. I substituted regular flour with King Arthur gluten free all-purpose flour. I added dried cranberries (craisins) and chopped walnuts. The cookies turned out full of flavor, chewy and crunchy. They go well with coffee or tea during an afternoon break, or as a morning treat. Enjoy!

Gluten free Oatmeal Cookies with Craisins and Walnuts

Makes 30 servings approximately 1.4 oz each

½ cup butter + 6 tbsp. butter melted
½ cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar firmly packed
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1½ cups King Arthur gluten free all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups Quaker oats old fashioned (the ones you cook)
1 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
1 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt the butter. Combine the butter with the sugars in a bowl till creamy. Add the eggs and the vanilla and beat well. Combine the gluten free all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together. Add to the mix and blend well. Add the oatmeal, the craisins, and the walnuts. Blend well together.

In a greased cookie sheet or lined with wax paper cookie sheet, drop the dough by 1 tablespoon. I used an ice cream scooper. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes till the edges are browned. Remove from the oven and wait to cool before removing from the pan.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (40.4 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 166
Calories from Fat 78
Total Fat 8.7g
Saturated Fat 3.7g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 25mg
Sodium 124mg
Total Carbohydrates 19.7g
Dietary Fiber 1.3g
Sugars 7.2g
Protein 3.1g






Melomakarona – Greek walnut cinnamon honey cookies

I remember my grandmother making these when I was young. I distinctly remember the occasion when she came over showing my mother how to flatten the cookies in your palm, add the filling and then shape them into ovals. I was very young around 5-6 years old. From then on my mother used to make these honey morsels every Christmas. When I started my own family, I too began the tradition of making these cookies.  

Melomakarona or Greek walnut-cinnamon-honey cookies are very traditional cookies during the Christmas holidays. They are also healthy since there is no butter in the recipe. You can substitute the vegetable oil with olive oil. I always used vegetable oil when I made these cookies. Now I make sure that the vegetable oil I use is free of soy, so I use canola oil. I am hesitant in using olive oil for desert type cooking, since olive oil can be a bit overwhelming. Even though the olive oil in the United States comes from some European countries, I find it a bit stronger than the Greek olive oil that’s produced in Greece.  

You can substitute 1 cup of vegetable oil with 1 cup melted butter. But even with the vegetable oil these cookies are delicious. Enjoy!

Melomakarona – Greek walnut cinnamon honey cookies                       

Makes 56 cookies (approximately 1.3oz each)

Filling and topping
15 tbsp ground or finely chopped walnuts
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar

Cookie batter
2 cups vegetable oil (like canola oil)
1 cup sugar
½ cup orange juice
½ cup brandy or cognac
1 tbsp orange zest (peel of 1 orange) 
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
6 cups flours
2 tbsp extra flour for kneading

Syrup
2 cups honey
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick

Finely chop the walnuts. Add the ground cloves, cinnamon and sugar. Mix well and set aside.  

Beat together the vegetable oil with the sugar, orange juice, brandy, cinnamon and orange zest. Shift together the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add to the wet ingredients. Blend. Knead with your hands and add flour, as needed (about 2 tbsps). Take portion of the dough about 2” ball and roll it between your hands. Flatten it in the hollow of your palm and add about ¼ tsp of the filling. Pinch the dough together to seal it and shape it into an oval shape. Place the cookies in a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350° oven for 25 minutes until coppery brown.  

Make the syrup
Bring honey and water to a boil – about 5 minutes. Skim off any foam. Lower the heat and drop the cookies one at a time in the honey. Do not overcrowd. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Place them in a platter. Continue simmering the cookies in honey until done. Sprinkle with the rest walnut-cinnamon mixture. Drizzle the cookies with any syrup that might be left over. 

Nutrition Facts 
Serving Size 1 serving (38.3 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 138
Calories from Fat 81
Total Fat 9.0g
Saturated Fat 1.6g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 45mg
Total Carbohydrates 14.5g
Dietary Fiber 0.3g
Sugars 14.0g
Protein 0.6g



Right out of the oven



Dipped and drizzled with the honey syrup and the nuts. 
Merry Christmas! Enjoy!