Friday, December 30, 2011

Lemon Lime Mini Berry Tarts

These mini desserts are the perfect addition for your next dinner party. The below recipe makes 45 mini berry tarts and only takes 20 minutes in total to make. You can make the custard the day before so that they are all ready to go the day of the party. This year I am making these tarts for New Year's Eve.

  • eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • teaspoon rum flavoring- can be found in baking aisle 
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • packages prepared phyllo cups (45 cups total)- Can be found either frozen or not. If frozen, defrost before filling.
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries and or blueberries (45 total)
  • Coconut flakes

In a small saucepan, whisk eggs, sugar, rum flavoring and both juices. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, just until boiling and mixture is thickened, about 10 minutes (mixture should register 160 F on instant-read thermometer). Strain lemon-lime curd into bowl; cover surface with plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 hours or until chilled. Can be made a day ahead.
To serve, spoon 1-1/2 teaspoons curd into each phyllo cup; top with a raspberry or blueberry and a pinch of coconut. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 4 hours.

The picture & recipe was derived in part from Family Circle. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cranberry Jello Salad

Looking for the perfect addition to Christmas dinner and need a break from the traditional jellied cranberry sauce this holiday season? If so, this cranberry jello salad is just the solution. This recipe was given to me by B's mom Patti and it was a hit at our last Christmas dinner.

1 package raw cranberries
2 oranges
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon clear gelatin
1 small package cherry jello
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped apples
½ cup chopped walnuts 

Wash cranberries and grind in a food processor. Peel one orange. Add the peeled orange into the food processor. Squeeze the juice from second orange into the food processor. Grind oranges and cranberries until well mixed. Pour into a bowl. Add sugar into the bowl and let mixture set for 2 hours. In a separate bowl, mix gelatin with ¼ cup cold water. Let sit for 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup boiling water with the package of cherry jello. Combine the gelatin mixture and the jello mixture. Add the gelatin and jello mixture to the fruit mixture, stirring until well combined. Add in celery, apples and nuts and stir until well combined. Put into a pam sprayed jello mold, cover and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Throughout my childhood, the first of December meant making holiday goodies. My sisters and mom gathered around the kitchen for hours and baked every sweet imaginable. This year we are all in different cities and states but my mom still wanted to continue on with the tradition. As a result, we are each baking goodies and traveling many hours home this weekend. Once we are home we will engage in our "Holiday Swap". My contribution will be sugar cookies. This recipe has been in my family for as long as I can remember and turns out perfect and delicious year after year. This recipe yields around 3 dozen sugar cookies.

1 cup butter, at room temperature                   
1 cup sugar
¼ cup whole milk                                                
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla                                                
3 cup all purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder

Combine butter and sugar in large mixer bowl.  Beat at medium speed, scraping the bowl often, until creamy.  Add the milk, egg, and vanilla.  Continue mixing.  Reduce speed to low.  Add flour and baking powder; beat until well mixed.  Cover; refrigerate until firm (1 hr.) Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Roll out dough on lightly floured surface.  Cut out cookies and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake 5-8 minutes or until edges are browned.  Cool completely then frost with Powdered Sugar Glaze.

Powdered Sugar Glaze

2 ½ cup powdered sugar                     
 5 Tb. water
1 Tb. light corn syrup                                                                                                                                1 Tb. Butter
½ tsp. almond extract                                                                                                                         food coloring

Combine all ingredients in small bowl – mix at medium speed until powdered sugar is moistened. Tint with food coloring if desired and frost the cookies. Let stand until frosting hardens.  Can be stored in freezer with wax paper between the layers. Enjoy!