Kiwi Cupcakes

When its hot outside I love fresh fruit and I love incorporating them into my recipes as well. Fruit is so light and natural and thats what I love. My husband brought a box of kiwis how so I really had to figure out how to play with them. As you know kiwis do not last long so you have to work fast. I thought I would try some kiwi cupcakes and I am so glad I did because I struck pure gold with this recipe. I could not imagine any other frosting tasting better then this one. A mixture of all things that go into a common fruit dip these two compliment one another perfectly. cakes: 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature 1/4 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 cup self-rising flour 1 kiwi, diced frosting: 1/4 cup cream cheese juice of 1/2 lemon 3/4 cup powdered sugar 1 kiwi, finely diced 1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl add butter and sugar. With an electric hand mixer beat until fluffy. Add eggs, mix well. Sift flour into bowl and add kiwi, fold together. 2. In a paper lined muffin pan fill each cup with a full teaspoon full. Bake 12-15 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool. frosting: 3. In a large mixing bowl add cream cheese and powdered sugar. With a hand mixer mix well. Add juice of 1/2 lemon, mix well. Store in refrigerator until needed. 4. Frost cupcakes then decorate tops with kiwis. Yields: 14

Cheese Rolls

This is quite possibly the best dough that I have ever tasted little on made. I have been trying to perfect dough for awhile now and I can finally stop trying. These rolls are perfect, delicate and soft. You can fill them with practically anything. Try feta-sumac, cinnamon-brown sugar, zatar-olive oil. Make sure to follow my yeast instructions to obtain a good rise. Dough: 5 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup warm milk 1/2 cup sunflower oil + 1 tablespoon 2 tablespoons yeast 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup warm water (separate) 1/2 cup sugar 3 eggs, room temperature and beaten 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon black seeds 1 tablespoon sesame seeds 1 egg yolk 1 cup La Vache Qui Rit cheese 1. In a small bowl add 1/4 cup warm water, pinch of sugar and yeast. Allow to sit for 5 minutes until small bubbles appear. 2. In a large mixing bowl add flour, 1/2 cup oil, sugar, eggs, salt and milk. Add yeast mixture. Combine until soft dough forms add water using small amounts at time if needed to achieve dough consistency. Place 1 tablespoon of oil into hand and rub all over dough (do not work into dough). Place in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for 30 minutes. 3. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Punch dough down. On a non stick baking mat make dough into balls the size of plums. Roll each piece into a long oblong shape (about 6-7inches). With a butter knife spread cheese all over the top of dough. Long ways roll tightly into a long roll. At the end of the roll start coiling into a circle shape. Place rolls onto a greased baking pan. Place the seams inwards touching the other rolls. Brush egg yolk on top of rolls then sprinkle black and yellow seeds on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Yields: 1 dozen.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Sinking your teeth into these luscious red cupcakes and sticky white Italian meringue frosting is a sheer taste of bliss. I paired mine with a steaming cup of my European coffee . cakes: 1-1/4 cup all purpose flour 1 cups sugar 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa 1/2 teaspoon baking powder dash of salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 cup butter, softened 3 eggs 1/2 cup buttermilk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 tablespoon red food coloring 1/2 cup shredded chocolate (garnish optional) frosting: 3/4 cup sugar 2 egg whites 1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add butter, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, red coloring, salt and with a hand mixer on low beat until well combined. 2. Line a muffin pan with paper cupcake papers. Add a tablespoon of batter to each paper (make sure do not fill over half full). Bake approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool at least 30 minutes. frosting: 3. Add sugar and egg whites in a steel bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water. With a hand mixer, blender or whisk beat constantly for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens and has glossy peaks. Add some between finger tips to make sure sugar has dissolved, keep mixing until it has. To make firm frosting must be refrigerated at least 30 minutes. 4. Carefully ice the top of cupcakes then sprinkle with shredded chocolate. Yields: 2 dozen

Hot Nutella

When your in the mood for a fancy coffee house drink this drink will defiantly do. The hazelnut mixed with the chocolate gives an exotic taste that will bring you back for more. Even though their is no actual coffee in this drink no one would know unless you told them. A recipe can not get any more simple. 1-1/2 cups milk 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 tablespoons nutella whip cream for topping (optional) 1. In a 1-quart pan on medium heat add milk, vanilla and nutella. Whisk until well blended and hot. Carefully pour into cups. Scoop a dollop of whip cream on top of each cup. Yields: 2 servings

Orange and Lemon Sweetmeats

In the 17th and 18th century people used to flavor their baking with sweetmeats. Now most people have never even heard the word sweetmeat. So what is a sweetmeat? A sweetmeat is peel that has been boiled several times to soften the texture and then rolled in sugar. It makes the peel like a candy. The lemon peel taste exactly like lemon heads, if you remember those. You can not only add these in your baking but they are absolutely delicious along side tea or coffee. Do each one separately of course but the directions are exactly the same so I will only add it once. As you see in the pictures they look almost the same so make sure you label them. The top is lemon and the bottom is orange. orange: 5 cups water 4 oranges 1/4 cup sugar plus more for sprinkling lemon: 5 cups water 10 lemons 1/4 cup sugar plus more for sprinkling 1. In a 1-quart pan on high heat add 1 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar and peels. Allow to come to a full boil and stay. One water has evaporated add another cup. Continue doing so until all 5 cups are finished. 2. On a clean surface such as wax or parchment paper dump peels. Sprinkle sugar atop peels. Allow to sit about 1 hour or overnight in refrigerator (covered). On a cutting board carefully cut into small strips. Place in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a small glass jar. Store in refrigerator. Yields: 1/2 cup each

Pink Lemonade

Strawberry lemonade also known as pink lemonade is such a refreshing drink on a hot day. The tang of the lemon and the sweetness of ripe strawberries is a perfect combination. 4-5 large lemons 7 large ripe strawberries, halved 5 cups water 1/2 cup sugar 1. Juice lemons. In a large mixing bowl, add water, lemon juice, sugar and strawberries . With a hand mixer blend well or place all ingredients in a blender and blend. Yields: 2 liters

Sunshine Scones

I have wanted to substitute a banana for an egg for awhile now and I thought this recipe was the one to test it on. The banana goes perfect with this combination. I was fascinated when I did my final taste test. You would never know that this recipe has no eggs what so ever. These scones are perfect for breakfast or brunch. They are filled with ingredients to jump start your day and give you a little 'sunshine'. Remember that scones work the same way biscuits do and you will go wrong when you handle them to much. Even though you will be tempted to make the dough come together more trust me and just leave it alone. The more you touch it the flatter it gets. And nothing is worse then a flat scone. 2 cups all purpose flour 1/3 cup sugar + more for dusting 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup butter 2/3 cup milk 1 banana, mashed 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon shredded orange peel 1/2 cup raisins 1. Pre-heat oven to 400F. In a large mixing bowl add flour and baking powder. Cut butter into small pieces and mix with hands until flour is course like cornmeal. Add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, banana, vanilla, orange peel, raisins and milk. With a large spoon quickly combine with a few stirs. 2. On a baking sheet with a baking mat carefully dump mixture. Quickly make into a round 8x8inches. With a large knife cut into 8 slices (like a pizza or cake). Sprinkle sugar on top of scones. Bake in oven until golden about 15 minutes. Yields: 8 scones

Creme Horns

I have always loved creme horns. I finally found some at a bakery here but unfortunately like most things from the bakery here in Saudi they were severally freezer burnt, ugh. So I decided to make my own, they were quite simple. If Dream Whip by Kraft is not avaliable where you are them use chocolate mousse or even whip cream. You will be able to find the metal cones at most kitchen shops and if you live in Saudi they are really all over. I am sure you could even make your own cones out of aluminum foil if you need to. 1 packet ready made puff pastry 1 sachet Dream Whip 1/2 cup cold milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 1/4 cup chocolate sprinkles 1. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Carefully roll out puff pastry and cut into long strips 3cm wide. Starting from the bottom of the metal cone carefully wrap pastry around. Repeat until all cone are done. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or baking mat. 2. Bake cones wrapped with pastry in oven until golden (5-15 minutes). Remove from the oven and carefully pull the cone out. Allow to cook. 3. In a large bowl add Dream Whip, cocoa powder, milk and vanilla. With a hand Mixer beat on medium speed until peaks form (about 3-5 minutes). Place in refrigerator until cones are cooled. Fill the creme into a pastry bag then carefully fill each cone. Sprinkle chocolate sprinkles on creme. Yields: 20 creme horns

Day And Night Cake

Can't decide between chocolate or yellow cake then why not both? This pretty cake is filled with rich custard that really brings it all together. The fresh lemon zest in this cake gives it a summer fresh zest that cannot be missed. cake: 5 eggs 1 cup sugar 1 cup flour 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, grated 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup shredded coconut filling: 1-1/2 cups milk 1 cup sugar 1 tablespoon butter 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, grated 3 tablespoons flour 2 eggs, beaten cake: 1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. In a large bowl add eggs and whisk until blended. Add sugar, whisk well. Blend in flour, baking powder, lemon zest, salt and vanilla. Whisk until well blended. Grease two 9-inch baking pans. Pour half of cake batter into one pan. Add cocoa to remaining batter, whisk well and add to empty cake pan. Bake 10-15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cakes. filling: 2. In a 1-quart saucepan on medium heat add milk and lemon zest. Whisk well. In a medium bowl add sugar, flour, vanilla, butter and eggs, mix well. Add mixture into milk. Raise to a full boil whisking continually until mixture thickens. 3. Carefully remove cakes from pans. Lay on a flat surface and with a long bread knife carefully cut in between each cake to make 4 layers. Place bottom layer on cake plate and fill the top of each layer with custard filling until all layers are filled, including the top of the cake. Sprinkle coconut on top. Yields: 1 cake

Saudi Tea Cakes

I love this easy to make dessert and its a great idea for serving to guest. If qashta is not avaliable where you live you can substitute chocolate mouse or even pudding. Any sweet chocolate mix will work in place of the Nestles as well, make sure it is sweet however. My little one helped make this one as well, hes on a roll. I think we were eating more then we were making though :). 32 (1-1/2 packs) tea biscuits 2 (175 gram) cans qashta 8 tablespoons Nestle chocolate mix 1/4 cup shredded coconut 1. In a large bowl add qashta and chocolate powder, mix well. Place a 8x8 inch pan down. Take a tea biscuit and with a butter knife carefully spread chocolate qashta atop, continue doing this making each stack each have 4 tea biscuits. Place each stack into pan. Pour remaining qashta mix on top and spread evenly. Sprinkle coconut on top. 2. Cover top and allow to sit in refrigerator overnight. Next day carefully cut small slices (about 2x1 inch). Serve with tea.