Showing posts with label icing sugar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label icing sugar. Show all posts

Greek Almond Macaroons with Chocolate Mousse Filling

I've been wanting to make my Greek Almond macaroons, or amygdalota as they are called in Greece, with some type of a filling.  In Greece I had them with mastic filling (resin from the mastic trees on Chios island).  It's a sweet spoon dessert that's served on a spoon over ice cold water, mostly during the summer hot months.  It's chewy and very sweet. That's why you need a glass of cold water to accompany it and wash it down.  Unfortunately, I didn't think of bringing a jar of the sweet mastic dessert back with me.  And so far, I haven't figured out how to make that mastic spoon dessert ... well not yet any way.  

Since everyone in my family loves chocolate including my granddaughter -- she is over a year old and has become my newest taste tester in my kitchen -- I thought of making my chocolate mousse filling and use that.  Also, this time I thought of using almond meal instead of grinding almonds for the  cookies.  I used Bob's Red Mill almond meal.  It's a little easier and it doesn't make any difference in the cookies, either you use almond meal or finely ground almonds (if you'd rather use fine ground almonds, here is the link for that recipe:  Also, both recipes are gluten free. 
And voila -- the cookies came out tasting chewy, as that is their trademark, and the chocolate mousse filling came out creamy.  So here is my take on Greek almond macaroons filled with chocolate mousse.  Enjoy! 

Ingredients (Makes 23 sandwiched servings – approx. 1.5 oz each )

3 cups almond meal
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Chocolate mousse filling
1 envelope  dream whip
6 tbsp. icing sugar
3 tbsp. cocoa powder

Melted butter for the cookie sheets and the palms of your hands to roll the cookies -- about 3 tbsp.

Beat the egg whites with the sugar. Add the almond meal, and vanilla. Mix well together. Grease 3 cookie sheets generously with butter. Also, grease your palms with butter while shaping the cookies. Shape them into 1 1/4" balls. Roll in slivered almonds. Place on cookie sheet far apart. Cookies will spread.

Bake at 325 degree oven for 20-25 minutes till the edges are brown and they are firm to the touch. Remove from the oven. Let them cool and place them in an airtight container or they will dry out. 

This recipe will make about 46 cookies.  Sandwiched together with the chocolate mousse you get about 23 cookies.

Chocolate mousse:
Beat 1 envelope of dream whip topping according to package directions. When soft peaks form, add the cocoa powder and icing sugar. Beat well till it's all incorporated. Refrigerate.

When the cookies are cooled take one tablespoon (approx.) of the chocolate mousse and spread on bottom of cookie. Take another cookie and sandwich together. When done, refrigerate them in air tight containers.

Nutrition Facts (the nutritional value is per sandwiched cookie--each cookie alone is about 80 cal)
Serving Size 1 serving (40.2 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 174
Calories from Fat 84
Total Fat 9.3g
Saturated Fat 1.1g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 6mg
Potassium 155mg4%
Total Carbohydrates 21.3g
Dietary Fiber 2.4g
Sugars 17.9g
Protein 4.4g

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Dream Whip Chocolate Mousse

Sometimes, even myself as someone who cooks from scratch likes a break. So this time instead of trying to figure out how to make gluten free chocolate cupcakes I decided to buy the box mix. I didn’t even know that there was a gluten free chocolate cake mix. But sure enough (why that doesn’t surprise me) I found the Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devil’s food cake mix. I was also short on time, so these little morsels of decadent chocolate came in handy.

I picked up the box of the cake mix at my local grocery store (I’m sure you will be able to find it at a grocery store near you). I made them the day before Father’s Day. My daughter is gluten free so I had to have a dessert that she could also enjoy with the rest of us. They only took about 45 minutes to make from start till the time they were completely baked. What could be any easier. I left them overnight on a tray and made the chocolate mousse the next day. These came out delicious and they were gone at no time. Enjoy! (PS. they are also soy free. That really surprised me).

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Dream Whip Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients (Makes 24 servings – appr. 1oz per serving)
1 box Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix
2.3oz Whipped Topping Mix (2 envelopes)
2 heaping tsp. icing sugar
1 1/2 tsp.cocoa

Mix cake mix according to package directions. Pour into cupcake pan and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes depending on your oven or when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let them cool.

Chocolate mousse toping
Mix together the dream whip topping according to package directions. Add the cocoa and the icing sugar. Beat at medium speed till soft peaks form. Refrigerate till ready to use. Frost the cupcakes with the mousse and serve. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 0.73 oz (20.8g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 79
Calories from Fat 4
Total Fat 0.4g
Saturated Fat 0.2g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 100mg
Potassium 3mg
Total Carbohydrates 17.5g
Dietary Fiber 0.5g
Sugars 9.6g
Protein 0.5g

Pumpkin Orange Ribbon Cake

I was looking in making a pumpkin bread or cake with some kind of cream cheese filling.  I was craving the nuttiness of a pumpkin but also the sweet and savory taste of cream cheese filling.  

As I was looking through my cookbooks (and I have tons of them) I came across a card of pumpkin ribbon bread, that if I recall correctly, came through the mail with something but I don't remember what. That was when we still lived in Canada.  I kept the recipe card because the picture  looked good.  I had never tried to make it before.  There is no  name on the card from which cookbook or cookbook author came from so I really cannot give any credit to whoever came up with the idea of a pumpkin ribbon bread.  Needless to say I tried it first as the recipe ingredients and measurements requested.  I was a bit disappointed though when the recipe asked for two loaf pans and (I did use two) but the batter and the cream cheese filling was not enough to fill the loaf pans or enough batter to cover the cream cheese filling.  However, it tasted good.  But the presentation was not so great.  So I had to try and make it again.  This time I changed the amount of the ingredients.  I used a bit more of cream cheese and went with the less fat cream cheese, I used the whole can of pumpkin pie filling instead of a cup, added a bit more orange zest in the cream cheese filling and a bit more spice in the batter.  I also used a Bundt cake pan and let it bake for 1.5 hours.  It came out moist and delicious (the original recipe being a "bread" came out quite dense and didn't look like it was cooked through for the cooking time the recipe requested).  And the cake was quite photogenic, if I say so myself .  It's a nice fall or winter cake.  Enjoy!

Ingredients (Makes 30 servings)

Cream cheese filling
8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 egg
2 tsp grated orange peel

Pumpkin Batter
15 oz   cooked pumpkin
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda


For filling:
Beat together the cream cheese, sugar and flour. Add the egg and orange peel. Beat well together till creamy. Set aside.

For the pumpkin batter:
Beat together the pumpkin, oil and eggs. Add the sugar, flour, salt, cloves, cinnamon and baking soda. Mix well. Grease a Bundt cake pan. Pour 1/2 of the mixture in there. Spread the cream cheese mixture and finish with the remaining batter. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 1 1/2 hours or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.  Sprinkle with icing sugar and decorate with orange slices.  The cake stays well in room temperature.  But after a day or two, store in in refrigerator.  Or you can store in refrigerator and decorate with icing sugar just before serving.  

I was also able to freeze part of the cake.  A few days later when I needed it, I let it defrost at room temperature, sprinkled it with icing sugar and served it.  It was still moist and tasted well.  

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (53.1 g) appr. 2 oz each serving
Amount Per Serving
Calories 155
Calories from Fat 67
Total Fat 7.5g
Saturated Fat 2.1g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 21mg
Sodium 121mg
Potassium 44mg1%
Total Carbohydrates 21.1g
Dietary Fiber 0.7g
Sugars 14.9g
Protein 2.0g

Chocolate Rum Balls/Truffles

I’ve been making these chocolate rum balls for many years. Another Canadian recipe that I had to convert from the metric system to the American system. After many trials and tribulations and before the internet, I was able to convert this recipe to the American standard system of measurements. So for many years now I use the recipe measurements below.
These chocolate rum balls are quite unique. The rum gives them that extra punch. Even though it’s a ¼ cup you can taste it in them. It’s not enough though to get you drunk. So enjoy them…with the rum.   

Chocolate Rum Balls/Truffles

Makes 34-50 rum balls (approximately 1” in diameter; 0.7 oz each)

4 squares unsweetened chocolate -- 4 oz (like Baker’s cooking chocolate)
8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese at room temperature
1 ½ cups ground almonds
1 ½ cups icing sugar
¼ cup rum*
1 tsp instant coffee

Melt chocolate over a double boiler. Let it cool. In the meantime, blend together the cream cheese, the ground almonds, the icing sugar, the rum and the instant coffee. Add the melted chocolate and mix. Refrigerate for a couple hours so that you will be able to form the mixture into a ball.

Once cooled take a melon scooper, dip it in water and scoop a bit of the mixture. Shape it into 1” balls and set them aside. You can dip them in your favorite coatings like icing sugar, ground almonds, chopped walnuts, cocoa, green sugar, chocolate sprinkles. 

*Note: You can omit the rum altogether if you would like, and add 2 tsp. of vanilla

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 0.653 oz (18.5g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 76
Calories from Fat 45
Total Fat 5.0g
Saturated Fat 2.0g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 7mg
Sodium 19mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.5g
Dietary Fiber 0.7g
Sugars 5.1g
Protein 1.5g

Merry Christmas! Enjoy!

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Kourabiedes or Greek Almond Cookies in Icing sugar

During the Christmas holidays in Greece, my mother used to make these traditional Greek cookies called Kourabiedes drenched in icing sugar. I used to love these cookies growing up. The only problem was that you had to have a plate to eat them otherwise the icing sugar will be all over your clothes or on the floor. I used to sneak in the dining room where my mother kept the kourabiedes on a glass tray to just sample one, but I had to make sure that I didn’t drop any of the icing sugar on the floor or I’d be in trouble. Kourabiedes are very customary cookies to make during Christmas in Greece. Over the years I began making these icing sugar drenched delights for my own family traditions.  Enjoy!

Kourabiedes Greek Almond Cookies in Icing sugar      

Makes 64 cookies (approximately 1oz each)

1 lbs unsalted butter at room temperature
½ cup icing sugar
1 cup ground almonds, toasted
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
3.5 - 4 cups flours (keep the 1/4  -1/2 cups separate)
4 cups icing sugar or as much or less as it takes

In a nonstick frying pan toast the ground almonds with ¼ tsp. of the icing sugar. Toast it for about 5 minutes but do not let it brown. Remove from heat and let it cool.

With an electric mixer beat the butter till soft. Add the icing sugar while continue beating. Add the egg yolks, the vanilla, the baking powder, the whiskey and the cooled ground almonds, while beating continuously. Gradually add the flour and beat well. Turn the mixer off. With your hands knead the dough lightly. Pour a little bit of the 1/4 cup flour on your hands so the dough won’t stick to your hands. Keep kneading the dough by adding the 1/4 cup flour over your hands, till done. Add more flour as needed. When the dough pulls away from the bowl stop kneading.   The dough will be sticky.  If it's too sticky, place in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes so it will be easy to form the cookies.

Take about a spoonful of the dough and roll it between your hands into 1'' ball. Shape them into 1/2 moons or ovals or rounds. Place them in an ungreased cookie sheet and bake them in a preheated 350° oven for 18-20 minutes. The cookies shouldn't brown. They should be almost white on top. When the edges become lightly browned take them out of the oven. 

While still warm, place them in a bowl that’s filled with the icing sugar. Coat them well with the icing sugar and place them in a platter. Shift the remaining icing sugar on top. You will have extra icing sugar left over. You can use it as you serve the cookies to freshen them up.  You can drench them in icing sugar or dip them in melted chocolate. Either tastes equally good. The Greek way is with icing sugar.

Nutrition Facts 
Serving Size 0.878 oz (24.9g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 119
Calories from Fat 60
Total Fat 6.7g
 Saturated Fat 3.8g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 22mg
Sodium 41mg
Total Carbohydrates 13.7g
Dietary Fiber 0.4g
Sugars 8.4g
Protein 1.1g

Right out of the oven

Drenched in icing sugar

Or half dipped in chocolate!

Merry Christmas! Enjoy!