Thursday, December 11, 2014

More Holiday Treats

Congratulations Malala Yousafzai on Winning the Nobel Peace Prize. She is the youngest recipient ever to receive this distinguished honor.

Put a colorful spin on a classic dessert favorite. It will be hard to resist eating just one. Follow the link below for the Christmas Magic Cookie Seven Layer Bars recipe.

Cook's notes: Mini-Cranberry Bites from Kraft Foods has lots of possibilities as a side. The size is determined by muffin cake liners. The bites can be individually plated on a lettuce leaf. Consider using different flavor jellos and Mandarin orange segments instead of pineapple.

  • 1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple, in juice (do not drain) 
  • 2 pkg. (3 oz. each) JELL-O Raspberry Flavor Gelatin
  • 1 can (16 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 crisp apple, chopped
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add enough water to reserved juice to measure 2-1/2 cups; pour into small saucepan. Bring to boil. Add to dry gelatin mixes in large bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved.
  • Stir in pineapple, cranberry sauce, nuts, celery and apples. Spoon into 24 paper-lined muffin cups.
  • Refrigerate 2 -1/2 hours or until firm. Remove desserts from liners before serving.
  • Option: substitute using JELL-O Cherry Flavor Gelatin or JELL-O Raspberry Flavor Sugar Free Gelatin.
Pear Ginger Muffins
Cook's notes: Chunks of fresh pears punctuate these flavorful spiced muffins. Bosc are my favorite. They are affordable, lightly spicy and sweet, and best of all, super easy to distinguish when ripe, a quality to where not all pears are created equal. Wait for your Bosc pear to be lightly soft but still firm and mildly fragrant. Adding applesauce fluffs things up a bit. It creates a lighter crumb and moister muffin. Adding coarse sugar on the top really is the pièce de résistance and you can find it at local craft shops in baking aisle. 
I did not have coarse sugar for the recipe when I made it but this is what it would have looked like sprinkled on top.  
This recipe makes 8 large or 10 medium sized muffins. The recipe was adapted from 
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice 
  • dash ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup each maple syrup, brown sugar, applesauce
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 firm pears, peeled and diced  about 1-1/2 cups
  • coarse sugar optional 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins or use cupcake liners. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, dash cloves, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Using a mixer on low speed combine butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, applesauce, molasses and egg.
  • Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and milk, alternating each and stir until just combined. Place batter into greased muffin cups and top with coarse sugar or granulated sugar.
  • Bake until a toothpick when inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

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