Tag Archives: dessert

Fruit and Nut Chocolate Clusters

DSC_000412 oz semisweet chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe’s, they are vegan and non-GMO)
3/4 cup dried berries/fruit (I used cranberries, blueberries and raisins)
3/4 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans and almonds)
1/4 cup shredded coconut
salt for sprinkling (I used Trader Joe’s Himalayan pink)

Line baking sheet with parchment paper or mini baking cups. Melt chocolate chips in a glass bowel in the microwave (start with 2 minutes then add 30 seconds until done) or in a double boiler. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well, drop by tablespoon onto  a parchment paper lined baking sheet or into mini baking cups, sprinkle with salt and chill until firm. I plopped onto a parchment sheet then transferred to individual “serving cups” once chilled.

Makes 2 dozen.


Plum Pizza

When summer plums were ripe my mother would make “plum pizza”- pizza dough topped with plums and drizzled with honey or sprinkled with sugar (she even used jam spread thin on top) to give a slight sweetness to the “pie”. It was very nostalgic for me to make this today and smell it baking.
1/2 cup white flour
1 package/ 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup warm water (slightly warmer than body temperature)
1 1/2-2 cups whole wheat (I use white whole wheat) flour
white flour to finish and to flour counter/board

6-8 plums depending on size of plums and pan
honey to drizzle (about 2 Tablespoons) OR sugar (brown or white, whatever your pleasure) to sprinkle (about 2 Tablespoons)

Mix 1/2 cup white flour, yeast and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil and warm water. Mix with a wooden spoon or dough hook and electric mixer. Continue mixing and add enough while wheat flour to make a firm dough that releases from the sides of the mixing bowl. If mixing by hand, get your hands in there and knead to form a ball. Cover dough with a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled (about 1 hour).

Brush a 9 to 12 inch baking pan with sides (round, rectangular, square- whatever you have) with olive oil. Punch down dough that has doubled, knead and with a rolling pin roll into a circle or rectangle to fit pan and lay in the prepared pan.

Cut plums in half, remove pit and cut into thin wedges. Arrange wedges, tightly packed next to one another, on the dough leaving half an inch of dough all around. Drizzle with honey or sprinkle with sugar  (or spread lightly with jam). Let rise for 30-45 minutes (till the edge has doubled). After 20 minutes preheat oven to 400ºF with rack in the center of the oven.
DSC_0032Bake for 30 minutes till the edges begin to golden and the plums are soft and juicy. Remove from oven and let cool till easy to handle. Cut and remove from pan or remove from pan onto a cutting board and cut to serve.

Gluten Free Pie Bars

DSC_0002This recipe is modified by one that I cut from a magazine years ago. The magazine remains a mystery but on the recipe it states “compliments of Barbara Cote, Bristol Hospital “

2 1/4 cups gluten free flour (I used 1/2 cup chickpea/besan, 1 cup Trader Joe’s all purpose gluten free and 3/4 cup oat flours)
1 cup sugar
1 cup pecans; chopped
1 cup butter
1 egg
10 oz jam/preserves (I used golden current jam)

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl combine all ingredients except for the jam. Beat at a low speed, scraping the sides of the bowl often until well mixed. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the mixture and press the remainder into a greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Spread the jam within 1/2 inch of the edges over the top. Crumble (or plop depending on how sticky the dough/batter is) the reserved mixture over the jam. Bake 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely and cut into bars.

Rhubarb from the Garden to the Dessert Table

DSC_0006The rhubarb that I divided in early spring is not mature so I carefully picked only enough stalks to make the amazing rhubarb upside-down cake using the recipe from Marth Stewart. Rhubarb is one of Xav’s favorites and it is in season, conveniently, for Father’s Day. There are a few adjustments I recommend from the original recipe.
Use a larger pan than the recipe calls for (I had too much batter and wound up with 9 mini muffins)

1 lb of rhubarb? I used 3 cups but could have gone to 4 if I had used a larger pan.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan then flip it onto the serving plate/platter.

Don’t have an orange? I substituted with lemon; 1/2 teaspoon  rind and 1/2 Tablespoon juice