Category Archives: Dessert

Red White and Blue Berry Trifle Cake

Berry Trifle with Spring Form PanRed White Blue Trifle Cake

Berry Trifle
Compliments of JennaDish
4 to 5 cups berries, rinsed, dried, cut to the size of red berries (raspberries, cherries, strawberries)
1 to 1 1/2 cups blueberries for the top
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
4 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz Cool Whip
1 Angel Food Cake
Prepare a 9-inch spring form pan by cutting a round piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan.
To get the paper to stick better, lightly spray cooking spray on the pan.
Cut 1 or 2 pieces of parchment paper that will fit around the sides, extending about 1″ above the rim.
In a medium bowl, fold 1/4 cup sugar into the red berries and let sit.
In a separate bowl, fold cream cheese and cool whip until smooth.
Cut the cake in pieces, of uniform height, and place half the cake in the bottom of the pan, as shown in photos above. Make sure not to leave large gaps for the fruit to fall through.
Next, spoon half the red berries mixture over the cake.
Next smooth half the cream cheese spread over the berries.  Repeat the cake, berries, cream cheese layering.  Place blueberries on the top.Refrigerate for about 3 hours or more.
When ready to serve, remove the side of the pan, remove the parchment paper on the side.
The dessert will cut smoothly and the parchment paper on the bottom will stay on the bottom, as long as you are reasonably careful not to gouge it.

Almond Cake by Marcella Hazan

Almond Cake

Made this cake to take to work.  Didn't have enough daylight in the morning to get a good photo.

Maybe next time.

But it got rave reviews.


Almond Cake
Compliments of JennaDish

from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

10 ounces shelled, unpeeled almonds, about 2 cups
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
8 egg whites
The peel of 1 lemon grated without digging into the white pitch beneath
6 Tablespoons flour
An 8- or 9-inch springform pan
Butter for greasing the pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Put the almonds and sugar in a blender or food processor and grind to a fine consistency, turning the motor on and off.

Beat the egg whites together with 1/2 teaspoon salt until they form stiff peaks.

Add the ground almonds and the grated lemon peel to the egg whites, a little bit at a time, folding them in gently, but thoroughly. The whites may deflate a bit, but if you mix carefully there should be no significant loss of volume.

Add the flour, shaking a little of it at a time through a strainer, and again, mixing gently.

Thickly smear the pan with butter.  Put the cake batter into the pan, shaking the pan to level it off. Place the pan int he middle level of the preheated oven and bake for 1 hours. Before taking it out of the oven, test the enter of the cake by piercing it with a toothpick. If it comes out dry, the cake is done. If it does not, cook a little longer.

When done unlock the pan and remove the hoop. When the cake has cooled somewhat, and it is just lukewarm, loosen it from the bottom of the pan. Serve when it is completely cold. It will keep quite a while if stored in a biscuit box. [or a cake taker, I presume]



Raspberry Trifle with Toasted Coconut and Slivered Almonds


Raspberries and Cream TrifleRaspberry_Cream_Trifle


Had an office luncheon today with Indian food.  

Thought the berries and cream would work well well to cleanse the palate.

Here's a summary of the steps…


Lightly Toasted Coconut


Toast sweetened flaked coconut on a baking sheet at 350 degrees until lightly toasted, about 4 minutes.

Set aside to cool.

Raspberries_Lemon Zest_Sherry


Placed thawed raspberries in a bowl with sherry and lemon zest.  Set aside.

Store Bought Pound Cake


Cut store-bought pound cake or angel food cake in 3/4" slices.

Toasted Coconut_Almonds


Coarsely chop slivered almonds.

You can serve immediately but it will take on more of a tiramisu texture if it sits, covered, overnight in the fridge.

Don't put the coconut and almond topping on until ready to serve.


Raspberry Trifle
Compliments of JennaDish

adapted from Martha

1/3-1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 packages frozen raspberries (12 ounces each), thawed
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 store-bought pound cake (12 ounces), cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
1/3 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350o. Spread coconut on a baking sheet; toast until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Set aside. In a bowl, combine sherry, berries, and lemon zest; set aside. In another bowl, with a whisk or an electric mixer, beat cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Line the bottom of a 4-quart glass serving bowl with a layer of cake slices, packing them tightly. Spreading evenly, top with half the raspberry mixture, then half the cream.

Add a second layer of cake slices, raspberry mixture, and cream; sprinkle with coconut and almonds if serving immediately.  However, for best texture, refrigerate, covered, overnight without toppings.  Add toppings just before serving.


Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting


I kind of hate that term.

But that's what these are. 

Made these strawberry cupcakes from a Pillsbury Strawberry box mix for a baby shower.  Made the frosting from scratch.

The taste of both are smashing, I must say.  The cupcakes are light and flavorful and the frosting is so smooth and creamy.  Tasted better than the shortening-based frostings of many bakeries. 

Semi-homemade is a great idea if you want to make something a little more special but don't have the time or know-how for a full-blown, day-long kitchen project.

I doubled the recipe below to frost 24 cupcakes and had icing left over.

Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Compliments of JennaDish

from the Food Network

Makes enough to frost 12 or more cupcakes heavily, and more than 12 if frosted as in the photo – not edge to edge

3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream

In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

Martha Stewart’s Earl Grey Tea Cookies

  Martha Stewart Earl Grey Tea Cookies

Earl Grey Tea Cookies!  How Pride & Prejudice sounding!  

I wonder if they actually taste like Earl Grey tea?

Basket of Cookies
Nope!  Not really.  But they are good, basic shortbread-type cookies.  Next to the Chocolate Anise

Biscotti on the left and the Iced Ginger Hermits on the right, they faded into the background.

Earl Grey Tea Ground
But with hot tea, sliced oranges, other delicate tea cookies, they'd be much more at home.

Earl Grey Tea Cookies Dough




Earl Grey Tea Cookies
Compliments of JennaDish

from Martha Stewart's Cookies


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons finely ground Earl Grey tea leaves (from about 4 bags)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest

Whisk flour, tea, and salt in a small bowl; set aside.

Put butter, sugar, and orange zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture until just combined.

Divide dough in half. Transfer each half to a piece of parchment paper; shape into logs. Roll in parchment to 1 1/4 inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow the log and force out air. Transfer in parchment to paper towel tubes; freeze until firm, 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut logs into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment.

Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Dark Chocolate and Anise Biscotti from Joy the Baker Cookbook

 Joy the Baker Chocolate and Anise BiscottiJoy the Baker Dark Chocolate Anise Biscotti


I learned something today. I learned that dark chocolate is "synonymous with" semi-sweet chocolate.

I thought dark chocolate was dark chocolate and semi-sweet was semi-sweet.  Dang.  I was going to

correct Joy the Baker for offering up a Dark Chocolate and Anise Biscotti recipe, then listing semi-sweet

chocolate chunks in the ingredients list. 


Chocolate Anise Biscotti


I've only made biscotti once before, about 7 years ago.  I've avoided it for some reason.  I guess it was a

scary experience.  Wait.  I just remembered it was from a Mary Engelbreit's Cookies Cookbook.  So it

can't be that.  I am not askeered of Mary Engelbreit.

Anyway, Joy the Baker is an up and coming baker, blogger and cookbook author.  She's cute.  And she has

tattoos.  So….gosh I'm feeling really old right now.


Here's the Recipe Overview


Anise Seeds Mortar Pestle


Lightly crush anise seeds with mortar and pestle, or put in a baggie and use a rolling pin, or place it on

your driveway and run over it. Come back in the house and mix anise with dry ingredients in a bowl.



Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, add eggs and mix thoroughly.



Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.



Mix in chocolate chips.  I used Enjoy Life Vegan Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips.  I like them better than

regular chips. I have my reasons. 


Dark Chocolate Anise Biscotti Dough

Divide dough and place the halves on separate baking sheets. I actually used a scale to be accurate.

One half was about 12.5 ounces.


Anise Chocolate Biscotti


Shape each half into a log about 8 inches long and 1 1/2" tall.  The width may be about 2 inches. 

Beat an egg and brush lightly onto each half.  Sprinkle logs with sugar.  Bake awhile, switch the two trays

around in the oven, bake a bit longer.


How to Make Biscotti


This reminds me of a crocodile.  Remove logs from oven to cool until able to handle.  Cut in 3/4" to 1"

widths.  Note to self: 1" thick was a tad too wide for me.  Another note to self:  1 cup of mini chocolate

chips would have been enough vs. the 1 1/2 cups called for.  Either way.


Joy the Baker Dark Chocolate Anise Biscotti


Lay these biscottis cut side down on baking sheet and place back in oven to finish baking.  Let cool.

And yer done.


Dark Chocolate and Anise Biscotti
Compliments of JennaDish

from Joy the Baker Cookbook, 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes

MAKES ABOUT 3 DOZEN BISCOTTI (depends on size of logs – mine made less)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons anise seeds, slightly crushed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chunks (I used Enjoy Life mini vegan choc chips)

Place a rack in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, anise seeds, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.

Reduce mixer speed to low, and add 1 of the eggs and egg yolk and beat until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. 

Add the flour mixture, all at once, to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until well combined.  Mixture may seem a bit dry, but that's ok. (Mine didn't.)  Add chocolate chunks and blend.

Divide the dough between the prepared pans,  If the dough is shaggy and crumbly, that's fine – just knead it together.  Shape dough into logs about 1 1/2 inches wide (high) by 8 inches long. (This is where I felt uncomfortable with the directions.  I think it could easily be about 10"-12" long by 1 1/2" wide).  Beat the remaining egg and brush over the logs, and sprinkle generously with sugar.

Bake biscotti on both racks for 20 minutes.  Swap racks and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and baked through.  (Since I used my convection oven at 300 degrees, I probably didn't need to swap the sheets, but I did need to rotate them 180o because the back browned more than the front). 

Let biscotti rest until cool enough to handle. (Careful, it looks sturdy but will break easily if you lift it by it's ends.)  Use a serrated knife to gently slice biscotti into (3/4" thick) slices. Flip cut side up onto the baking sheet and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.  Biscotti will still be slightly soft to the touch (mine eventually cooled to a very firm bite, so…less time?)

Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks. 




Martha Stewart’s Iced Hermits

Iced Hermits or Ginger Bars

 Iced Hermits could also be called Iced Ginger Bars.

Crystallized Ginger. Raisins. Molasses.

Fun to make.


Iced Hermits

Fun to stack.

Martha Stewart's Iced Hermits

And fun to get a kid's eye view of.


Iced Hermits

Compliments of JennaDish

from Martha Stewart's Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen small squares

For the Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for baking sheet
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/4 cups packed dark-brown sugar
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1 cup chopped candied ginger, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup raisins

For the Icing

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sifted confectioner's sugar, plus more if needed

Make bars: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-by-15-inch rimmed baking sheet. Line bottom with parchment paper, and butter parchment; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and cloves in a medium bowl; set aside.

Put butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add brown sugars; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg and yolk, and molasses. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Mix in 1/2 cup candied ginger and the raisins.

Spread dough evenly onto prepared baking sheet. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until firm, 18 to 22 minutes. (Mine took only 18 minutes). Let cool completely in baking sheet on a wire rack.

Make icing: Put brown sugar, milk, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; whisk in vanilla and confectioners sugar. If icing is too thick to drizzle, stir in more milk, a teaspoon at a time. If icing is too thin, stir in more confectioners sugar, a teaspoon at a time. Let cool slightly.

Drizzle bars with icing; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup candied ginger. Let stand until icing has set, about 15 minutes. Cut into 2-inch squares. Bars can be stored in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature up to 5 days.

Vegan Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies


Finally found some vegan chocolate chips.  That means only one thing.  Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies!


Heart Shaped Chocolate Chip Cookie


… and heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies …




…and big, fat round chocolate chip cookies.

These are cakey cookies, which I love.


Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Compliments of JennaDish

from Vegan Cookies Take Over Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero


1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup almond milk (or nondairy milk of choice)
2 Tablespoons tapioca flour (you can sub arrowroot powder or cornstarch – I used arrowroot)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350oF.

In a mixing bowl, mix together the sugars and oil for about a minute.  Add the almond milk and tapioca flour and beat vigorously until there are no clumps of tapioca left.  Mix in the vanilla.

Add half the flour, the baking soda, and salt and mix well.  Mix in the remaining flour.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, or lightly greased.  Space the cookies about 2 inches apart and flatten them down a bit with your fingers.

Bake 10 minutes for soft, chewy cookies, 12 minutes for crispier ones.  When they're done baking, let th cookies rest on the sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to finish cooling.


Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Blondies


No Dairy Peanut Butter Blondie


This may be one of the quickest, easiest desserts to throw together and bake.  And it's delicious – rich and fudgy, lots of peanut butter flavor – not too sweet.  Just a few tips to keep in mind… Oh yeah.  It's vegan.  No dairy or animal products used in the ingredients.

So here's the tip …


Peanut Butter Blondies Vegan



The blondie will be very moist.  And if you use a natural peanut butter that needs to be stirred, like I did, the oil from the PB will make an even more moist blondie.  After it cools, pop it in the freezer in the same pan you baked it in, well-covered with plastic wrap.  The blondie will become cold, of course, but will not freeze, and will take care of the oil issue.  I froze this for two days then served it at work – it absolutely did not taste frozen or "day old".





Peanut Butter Blondies
Compliments of JennaDish

from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero

3/4 cup peanut butter (see note)
1/3 cup oil (I used canola)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup nondairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup peanuts

Preheat oven to 350oF.  Lightly grease a metal 8 x 8-inch baking dish.

In a mixing bowl, use a fork to vigorously mix together peanut butter, oil, and sugar.  Stir in the nondairy milke and vanilla. Stir in the flour, salt, and baking powder.  Once you get the flour somewhat mixed in, it's easier to just use your hands to knead the dough until soft.  It will be very very thick and won't spread on its own.  Transfer dough to the baking pan and press it into place.  Springkle on the peanuts and lightly press them into the top.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes; the blondie edges should be just barely darkened.  The top will appear soft, and that's okay.  Remove the blondies from the oven and cool completely before slicing.

NOTE: The authors used a salted, no-stir creamy peanut butter but offer that a very well stirred natural peanut butter in which the oil has been incorporated should work as well.  You can use chunky PB also.


Vegan Roll-And-Cut Sugar Cookies

Vegan Sugar Cookies

I was very curious to find out what vegan sugar cookies would taste like and crunch like.  They are very good, very crunchy, and as I like to say, Not Cloyingly Sweet.

I sprinkled some with sanding sugar, and some with cinnamon sugar, since that's what Jillian requested.  The cinnamon sugar caramelizes just enough to crackle the top and look rustic. 

 Dairy-Free Sugar Cinnamon Cookies

The sugar cookies make a better presentation.  My shapes included ribbons (as in pink ribbons), flowers, teapots, elephants, donut shapes, donut holes, and finally, the State of Ohio.  We live about where the bottom-most, left sprinkle is – not the dark sprinkle.  That's a rogue black sprinkle from another cookie.   


The dough is much softer than a regular sugar cookie dough.  I was able to push the dough in a Springerle form, but once it baked, you could barely tell the cookie had a design at all. 

The dough is also sensitive to overworking.  So the trick is to try to roll the dough out once, and be very efficient with how you use your cutters.  When you gather the remaining dough and re-roll it, it's those cookies that are a bit chewier.


My elephant, teapot and state of Ohio shapes turned out great, but the most crispy was the ribbon because the hole in the middle allows for more crisp edges.

Icing would also be nice.  Maybe next time.


 Vegan margarine on the left, vegan shortening on the right.  Whole Foods. 





Roll-and-Cut Sugar Cookies
Compliments of JennaDish

from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero

MAKES ABOUT 3 DOZEN COOKIES depending on the size of your cutters

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 tesaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine, slightly softened
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond, lemon, maple, or other flavor extract (I used lemon extract)
1/4 cup vanilla nondairy milk (I used vanilla almond milk)

In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use electric beaters to cream together the margarine, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy, at least 4 minutes.  Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula.  Beat in the vanilla extract, the flavor extract, and the nondairy milk to combine.  Beat in half the flour mixture until moistened, then carefully mix in the remaining flour mixture to form a soft dough.

Divide the mixture in two and pat into discs about 1" thick. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and chill for several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350oF.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Lightly flour a large, clean work surface.  Roll the dough to a 3/8" thickness and cut into shapes with cookie cutters.  If the dough seems too stiff to roll or cracks too much, let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes, then try rolling again.  Pull away excess dough and use a thin metal spatula to carefully lift cookies onto cookie sheets, leaving an inch of space between cookies.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookies have just started to turn golden around the edges.  Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on sheets for 5 minutes before using that spatula again to transfer them to wire racks.  Use only completely cooled cookies for decorating or filling.  Store in a tightly covered container for softer cookies; store loosely covered for crisper cookies.

Cinnamon Variation: Brush dough cut-outs lightly with non-dairy milk and sprinkle withcinnamon sugar mixture (3 Tablespoons sugar plus 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.  Bake until edges are golden, but not too brown.  Start checking at 6 minutes (although mine took 10+ minutes on convection setting).