Category Archives: Desserts

Individual Chocolate Soufflé Cakes

These are a fantastic dessert for a dinner for two, at Valentine’s day or anytime of year! We’ve been making these for *years*, and they are always one of our favorites! Enjoy!

Individual Chocolate Soufflé Cakes
From Cooking Light, April 2007
Serves 2

Cooking spray
4 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa
2 tablespoons fat-free milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.

Coat 2 (6-ounce) ramekins with cooking spray; sprinkle each with 3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar.

Combine 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, flour, cocoa, and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook 2 minutes, stirring until smooth. Spoon chocolate mixture into a medium bowl; cool 4 minutes. Stir in vanilla.

Place egg white in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Add remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat). Gently stir 1/4 of egg white mixture into chocolate mixture; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture. Spoon mixture into prepared dishes. Sharply tap dishes 2 or 3 times to level. Place dishes on a baking sheet; bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until puffy and set. Sprinkle each soufflé with 1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

**Note** To serve four, use five teaspoons flour and double the remaining ingredients. (Doubling the flour would make the base too heavy.)

Nutritional info:
Calories: 152
Fat: 0.6g
Saturated fat: 0.3g
Monounsaturated fat: 0.2g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.0g
Protein: 3.5g
Carbohydrate: 35.3g
Fiber: 1.4g
Cholesterol: 0.31mg
Iron: 0.8mg
Sodium: 35mg
Calcium: 26mg


Pumpkin Tart with Whipped Cream and Almond Toffee

This is a fantastic (although indulgent!) fall dessert.  It is a perfect upgrade to regular pumpkin pie – great for Thanksgiving and other special occasions!  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Tart with Whipped Cream and Almond Toffee

Slightly adapted from Southern Living, Nov 2014
Serves 16

2 homemade piecrusts
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup molasses
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 large eggs
1 (12-oz.) can fat free evaporated milk

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup sliced almonds
Parchment paper

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup powdered sugar

1. Prepare Tarts: Preheat oven to 350°. Fit piecrusts into two 9-inch tart pans with removable bottoms; press into fluted edges. Whisk together granulated sugar and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together pumpkin and next 2 ingredients in a separate bowl. Whisk pumpkin mixture into sugar mixture. Add eggs, 1 at a time, whisking until blended after each addition. Whisk in evaporated milk, and pour into the two crusts.

2. Bake at 350° for about 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.

3. Prepare Almond Toffee: Cook brown sugar and 4 Tbsp. butter in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly. Add almonds, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until golden. Pour mixture onto lightly greased (with cooking spray) parchment paper; cool completely. Break into pieces.

4. Prepare Whipped Cream: Beat cream and 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Top tarts with whipped cream; sprinkle tarts with toffee.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 450.0
Total Fat:27.3 g
Saturated Fat: 8.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 4.2 g
Cholesterol: 87.5 mg
Sodium: 206.7 mg
Potassium: 341.9 mg
Total Carbohydrat: 48.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.0 g
Sugars: 30.7 g
Protein: 8.1 g

Easy Chocolate Mousse

This is one of those things I can make practically anytime – I seem to always have these ingredients on-hand. Top it with your favorite seasonal fruit or whipped cream for an even more indulgent treat. Enjoy!

Easy Chocolate Mousse
Slightly adapted from Everyday Food, Dec 2013
Serves 4

1 1/4 cups semisweet-chocolate chips
3 tablespoons sugar
Fine salt
2/3 cup 2% milk
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a blender, combine chocolate, sugar, and pinch of salt. In
a small saucepan, bring milk to a simmer, then transfer to
blender. Let stand 1 minute. Blend on high until smooth, 1
minute. Add egg whites and vanilla extract and blend
on high until well combined, 1 minute. Divide evenly among
four 6-ounce dessert cups. Chill until just set, 6 hours or up
to overnight.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 418.4
Total Fat: 20.7 g
Saturated Fat: 12.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 3.3 mg
Sodium: 103.3 mg
Potassium: 74.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 56.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.0 g
Sugars: 51.1 g
Protein 4.3 g

Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies

I’ve always been a fan of chocolate chip cookies, and these were the cookies my mom frequently made when I was a kid. Imagine my surprise when I found out the recipe was from Nestle (and at one time was printed on the back of a package of chocolate chips)! But it’s a tried & true recipe, and has always been one of my favorites. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Bar Cookies

From Nestle
Makes 54 bar cookies (6 1/2 dozen)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I use ultragrain all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Spread into prepared pan.

BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Nutritional info (per cookie):
Calories: 108.7
Total Fat: 5.5 g
Saturated Fat: 3.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.0 g
Cholesterol: 16.1 mg
Sodium: 94.4 mg
Potassium: 36.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 15.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
Sugars: 11.4 g
Protein: 0.9 g

Jeanine’s Bread Pudding

Many years ago, when I lived in New Orleans, my friend Jeanine would always bring her homemade bread pudding to every event. It was always everyone’s favorite! A few years ago, I *really* wanted to make bread pudding, and I knew that Jeanine’s recipe was the best. So, I contacted her, and she shared her prized recipe with me! Again, it has been a hit whenever I’ve made it, too! Enjoy!

Jeanine’s Bread Pudding

Recipe from Jeanine
Serves 16

8 oz stale french bread or white bread, cubed
4 cups fat-free evaporated milk
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
3 Tbsp butter, melted

Rum sauce:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

1 egg
2 Tbsp rum

1. Mix bread and milk first, then add eggs, sugar, vanilla, raisins, and butter. Put into 13×9 baking dish. Bake at 300 for 1 hour.

2. Next, make the rum sauce. Mix butter, sugar, and water in a small saucepan until warm. Do NOT boil. Beat one egg in a small bowl and then mix it into the butter/sugar mixture. If the mixture is too hot, the egg will slightly cook and you may have to use a strainer to remove bits of egg. Add rum to mixture, then pour over warm bread pudding.

**Note** This recipe makes a lot of sauce. I usually use only 1/2 of the sauce. You can make the entire sauce recipe and freeze half for your next batch!

Nutritional info:
Calories: 357.2
Total Fat: 9.8 g
Saturated Fat: 5.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2.8 g
Cholesterol: 69.8 mg
Sodium: 234.9 mg
Potassium: 319.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 59.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Sugars: 50.4 g
Protein: 8.0 g

Nutritional info (half sauce):
Calories: 302.5
Total Fat: 6.7 g
Saturated Fat: 3.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.9 g
Cholesterol: 56.9 mg
Sodium: 212.8 mg
Potassium: 316.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 53.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Sugars: 44.2 g
Protein: 7.8 g

Blueberry-Peach Galettes

This is one of my go-to desserts – I’ve been making it for probably more than 10 years now!  It’s best when you can use fresh in-season fruit, but it can also be made with frozen fruit.  And I like to use a homemade pie crust, but it can easily be made with a store-bought crust too.   This is so easy, and is always a hit.  Enjoy!

Blueberry-Peach Galettes

From Cooking Light, Sept 2001
Serves 16

1 (14-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury) (or use homemade)
6 cups fresh or frozen peeled and sliced peaches, thawed
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons apricot preserves, melted and divided
1 tablespoon turbinado or granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 425°.

Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Roll 1 dough portion into a 12-inch circle; place on foil. Combine peaches, blueberries, and 1/4 cup sugar.

Arrange half of peach mixture in center of dough, leaving a 3-inch border. Fold edges of dough toward center, pressing gently to seal (dough will only partially cover peach mixture). Brush half of melted preserves over peach mixture and edges of dough.

Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° (do not remove galette from oven); bake an additional 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Repeat procedure with remaining dough, peach mixture, and preserves. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cut each galette into 8 wedges.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 153.5
Total Fat: 6.2 g
Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 130.5 mg
Potassium: 133.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 25.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.5 g
Sugars: 12.2 g
Protein: 0.5 g

Watermelon Pops

It’s definitely summer here in Texas, and the temperatures are rising!  And we’re also entering watermelon season, and the farmer’s markets and grocery stores are FULL of watermelons!

As much as I love to eat watermelon, sometimes we just have TOO much of it.  So, when that happens, I blend it and make popsicles out of it.  Easy and delicious!  Enjoy!

Watermelon Pops

A Karen original
Servings vary

Watermelon, cut into cubes (about 4 cups of cubes to make 4-6 pops)

Place watermelon cubes in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into popsicle molds.  Freeze until firm.

Cut-out Cookies

This is a cookie I’ve made practically my whole life, and I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t posted this recipe yet. I typically make these for Christmas, but if you use different cookie cutters, you can use this recipe for Valentine’s, St. Patty’s Day, Halloween, etc. Enjoy!

Cut-out Sugar Cookies

Recipe from Mom
Makes 12 dozen cookies (144) Make different shapes for Christmas, Valentine’s, St. Patty’s, Halloween, etc.

1/2 cup Spectrum organic shortening
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
3 1/2 cups flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp skim milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Cream butter and shortening and add sugar gradually.

2. Add eggs and beat well.

3. Blend in sifted dry ingredients and vanilla.

4. Chill dough 3 hours or overnight.

5. Roll dough to 1/8 – 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters.

6. Bake at 400 on ungreased cookie sheet for 6-7 minutes.

7. Let cool on wire racks. Frost and decorate.

Nutritional info (per cookie):
Calories: 32.0
Total Fat: 1.5 g
Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 5.7 mg
Sodium: 13.3 mg
Potassium: 5.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 4.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.1 g
Sugars: 1.7 g
Protein: 0.5 g

Maple Spice Cookies

We’ve been making these for years, as part of our usual Christmas cookie baking, and they are always a hit! Enjoy!

Maple Spice Cookies

Adapted from Cooking Light, Dec 2005
Makes 30 cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 large egg

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon fat-free milk
2 teaspoons butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cookies, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through cloves) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

Place brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Add 2 tablespoons syrup and egg; beat until well blended. Beating at low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined.

Can refrigerate/freeze at this point (if you don’t want to make the cookies right away).

Spoon batter evenly into 30 mounds (about 1 tablespoon) 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

To prepare frosting, combine powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons syrup, milk, and 2 teaspoons butter, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Spread frosting evenly over cooled cookies.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 81.8
Total Fat: 2.0 g
Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 10.9 mg
Sodium: 58.2 mg
Potassium: 36.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 17.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g
Sugars: 12.9 g
Protein: 0.8 g

Oreo Truffles

These are not necessarily good-for-you treats, but are definitely a favorite for holidays! This year I used peppermint cookies (the Trader Joe’s version of oreos – JoJos), and they were even more festive. These are always a hit – enjoy!

Oreo Truffles

Original Source unknown
Makes 60 truffles

1 12-oz package white chocolate chips or candy melts
1 pkg (8oz) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1 pkg Oreo cookies (regular, not double-stuff), 15.5 oz package

Chop entire package of Oreos with a food processor or a food chopper (like Pampered Chef hand-held food chopper). Mix with cream cheese. Scoop balls of the mixture using a small handheld cookie scoop. Place balls in freezer (on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper) until firm.

Melt chocolate chips in microwave (30 second intervals) or double boiler.

Dip balls in melted chocolate one at a time, and place on parchment paper until set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

**Note** Do NOT use good white chocolate chips (even Ghirardelli), since these are more likely to seize and not melt properly. Use the cheap white chocolate chips or white chocolate candy bark/candy melts – they melt best!

Nutritional info:
Calories: 67.7
Total Fat: 4.3 g
Saturated Fat: 2.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.8 g
Cholesterol: 2.7 mg
Sodium: 54.8 mg
Potassium: 9.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 8.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g
Sugars: 3.8 g
Protein: 0.6 g