Thursday, February 27, 2014

Raspberry Cream Parfait

February is known as the 'love month'.  In keeping with that is a tasty little parfait that we enjoyed at a luncheon earlier this month.  Served up in wee Mason jars or mini-parfait is the perfect 'afterthought' to a lovely meal.

Chocolate Crumb Base:
  • 1 cup oreo baking crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter

Cream Filling:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 oz. / 125 ml cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar (confectioners sugar)

  Raspberry Sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  1. Prepare raspberry sauce.  Combine raspberries, sugar and three tablespoons of water. Blend cornstarch with 1 1/2 tablespoons water until smooth; stir into berry mixture. Cook until mixture thickens and boils, stirring regularly. (Can be done in the microwave).  Add lemon juice. Set aside to cool.
  2. To prepare the base, combine cookie crumbs and butter.  
  3. Pack crumbs into the bottom of 10 parfait glasses (or 10 x 125 ml. mason jars).
  4. For cream filling...combine whipping cream, sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff.  In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese and icing sugar; beat until smooth.  Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and whip to combine well.
  5. Carefully add cream layer to the parfait glasses. * 
  6. Spoon cooled raspberry sauce over whipped cream layer.
  7. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  8. Just before serving, garnish with additional whipped cream, fresh raspberries and chocolate garnish or sprig of mint.
 Serves 10.

*Tip. Put whipped cream mixture into a Ziploc bag, seal and snip corner. Squeeze into serving dishes without making a mess.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Since I am not really the biggest chocolate fan...I often reach for sweets that are pale in colour...and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies are hard to resist. Macadamia nuts are sometimes hard to find in the grocery store...but I have friends who bring them back from their Hawaiian vacation.  That makes the cookies all the more special!  Since tomorrow is Valentine's Day...I've added a variation below with a splash of red just for the occasion.

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate (about 8 ounces, coarsely chopped) *
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped roasted macadamia nuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed until smooth.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until creamy.
  4. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, stirring until blended.
  6. Add white chocolate chunks and macadamia nuts.
  7. Drop by rounded tablespoon two inches apart on prepared cookie sheet...or use a cookie scoop. 
  8. Flatten slightly with dampened hands.
  9. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown around the edge. 
  10. Remove from oven and let cool for several minutes.
  11. Move to wire rack to cool completely.
Yield: 2 1/2 dozen large cookies
*White chocolate chips can be used instead, though the chunks are much preferred over here.

Valentine Version: 

Add 1 cup of dried cranberries along with the white chocolate chunks and the macadamia nuts.

* If you have a special occasion to celebrate...they bake up fabulously for a cookiegram! Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 9" round cake pan or pie plate...and form an 8-inch cookie with about one cup of cookie batter, spreading evenly. Bake for about 15 minutes...or until golden. Cool. Write your message with melted chocolate or decorator icing. I used a 'writing tip' on a Ziploc bag...and then there's no mess to clean up.

Speaking of special happens to be Marg's birthday today.  Feel free to make her day...and leave her a birthday wish in the comments today.