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Desserts

'healthy' Brownies

Made you look didn't I? B) If there is such a thing as healthy Brownies, these might be them. With half the amount of sugar normally used and oatmeal flour substituting for half the flour, these gooey and chewy brownies will leave you wanting just one more piece. Warmed, of course.

Baklava

A sweet, rich and nutty dessert that goes very well with tea.

Cherry Crisp

This is my favorite substitute for Cherry Pie due to its reduced preparation time. Crunchy and tasty, perfect with vanilla ice-cream.  I have recently updated this recipe to reduce the amount of sugar used.

Chocolate Brownie Cake

A simple, rich chocolate cake with all the flavors of a brownie and the texture of a cake.  Serve plain, with icing sugar, with whipped frosting or with ice-cream.  **UPDATE** I have recently tried this recipe substituting 1/4 cup of the flour with cocoa powder.  The rest of the recipe stayed the same.  The substitution of 1/4 cup cocoa powder made the cake more intensely chocolaty. so if you are a chocolate-lover, this might be a favorable change.  If on the other hand, you're not a big fan of super chocolaty deserts, then feel free to stick with the original recipe.

Cinnamon Butter Mochi - Hawaiian-inspired

One of my favorite things about cooking is bringing home a taste of our vacation.  I enjoyed Butter Mochi while on vacation in Hawaii this last summer. When I returned home, I wanted to make some myself.  After a few tries, I decided to give it a crusty top, much like a brownie.  My version adds a couple of tablespoons of sugar as a topping. I also added cinnamon to the topping, but feel free to omit the cinnamon if you're not a cinnamon-lover. 

Coffee Vanilla Frappucino

Nothing beats a cool coffee frappucino on a hot sleepy day.  The combination of caffeine and blended ice work together for a perfect pick-me-up.

Cookies And Ice Cream

Your favorite cookie recipe, served right out of the oven, add some ice-cream and heaven.

Easy New York Inspired Japanese Style Cheesecake

Like the Japanese style Cheesecake, this cheesecake uses a meringue to create volume without the density and richness of a New York Cheesecake.  Like the New York Cheesecake, I have added sour cream (instead of milk or cream), to give it a little more richness and added a little more sugar to sweeten it, compared to a typical Japanese style Cheesecake.  I tend to like very moist cakes, so feel free to bake your cake 5-10 minutes longer if you prefer yours not-so-moist. I have tried to simplify this recipe as much as possible, hopefully without compromising taste, so you will find this recipe to have less ingredients needed than most other Japanese Cheesecake recipes, and hopefully a little easier to make, utilizing everything that a 21st century kitchen offers, while at the same time minimizing steps whenever possible.

Easy Raspberry Shake

The hot summer weather has forced me to try out quick, cold recipes to appease my warm kids.  Raspberry Shake is an easy one I do often.  It takes only 3 ingredients and one ice-crushing blender.  I substitute frozen raspberries for frozen pineapple, frozen blueberry or frozen strawberry.   Pretty much any of your favorite frozen fruit in your freezer will work well in this recipe if you can conceive of it tasting good in a shake.

Ginger Honey Tea

My Japanese-American friend, Alison introduced this tea to me as a non-caffeinated option for a warm drink.  Both warming and soothing, it's been a popular drink for my family, especially on cold winter nights. Thanks Alison!

Homemade Lemon Creamsicle

With hot weather upon us, I am constantly looking for new ways to keep my kids cool.  Here is one that we came up with when we had too many lemons in the house.  Feel free to use lime if you prefer, add the higher end of the sugar range if you prefer a sweeter version.  My husband is a big fan of tart, so he was perfectly happy with the smaller amount of sugar.

Hot Chocolate

Great tasting and warming for a cool winter's night. Great for the holidays too!

Jamaican Inspired Sweet Coco Bread

This bread recipe is inspired by the Jamaican Coco Bread recipe. Some changes made to the traditional recipe is the shape and an increased amount of sugar, so that it is now a sweet bread. Though sweeter than the original, it is only mildly sweet, so topping it with some honey completes the flavor. Goes very well with some tea.

Malaysian Style Lighter Sugee Cake

This cake is something that my Eurasian family makes for special occasions. It makes an appearance during weddings and Christmas. Sugee cake, as I remember it, is a very dense pound cake. In this recipe, I've lighten it up with some baking powder to make a less dense form of the cake I remember so fondly. It is best enjoyed warm.

Malaysian Style Pineapple Tarts

Pineapple tarts are a treat we had every Christmas as a child in Malaysia. It has come to symbolize Christmas for me. Nowadays, I make it for my kids to enjoy. I use 1 inch molds to make the job easy, and the small molds make for crispy bite-sized tarts, gone in 2 bites. Sweet and tart, the pineapple jam can be store bought or home made. Enjoy!

Marbled Brownies

A rich, moist and delectable brownie dessert made with nuts, white and dark chocolates topped with a chewy layer of melted marshmallow.

Milk Tea

I got this recipe from one of my dear friends who brings this tea in a thermos to our weekly tea parties.  Rich and warm, this tea was just the comfort drink we needed. Thanks Powen!

Native American Sweet Fry Bread

This recipe is intended as an afternoon snack or as part of a hearty breakfast instead of pancakes. They are mini sized to fit the smaller portions that my kids enjoy. Traditionally Fry Breads are eaten as part of a sandwich, taco or just a snack. Feel free to remove most of the sugar if you'd like to enjoy it as part of a sandwich or taco or any savory dish. I think it might be a great side to a spicy curry dish as well.

Nutty Granola

A healthy granola snack or topping full of nutty and fruity flavor.

Peanut Butter Cookies

A chewy peanut butter cookie, with an attempt towards healthy with whole wheat flour. Great for a snack or as a dessert. The addition of walnuts adds an extra layer of flavor to the cookie.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Mixing 2 ingredients that tastes great in a cookie, peanut butter and oatmeal. Great for a snack or as a dessert.

Pineapple Lassi Or Smoothie

With the warm weather upon us, these come in handy to keep cool. I use it as an after-school snack, but could also be used as a dessert. I omitted the ginger usually used in a lassi, since that is my family's preference. I also use frozen pineapple chunks, so I can omit the ice, which helps concentrate the flavor. Enjoy!

Rough Puff Pastry

I have always wanted to try puff pastry but the thought of spending hours in the kitchen refrigerating the pastry between layers has been a deterrent. However this very easy method takes about 30 minutes, and produces many layers of puffiness.  I use this dough to make pot pies (reduce sugar to 1 tbsp for savory pastries), egg tarts and what I call scones.  I think it would go well as a crust for fruit pies too!

Sex In A Pan

A quick yet scrumptious layered dessert made of cream cheese, whipped cream, and pudding on a buttery nutty crust. A favorite in our house.

Streusel Topped Blueberry Muffins

These big blueberry muffins are a hit in my house with cinnamon balancing the flavors of blueberries. Great for breakfast or a warm afternoon snack or even as a dessert as it is in my house.

Sweet And Salty Spanish Peanuts

My kids love the peanuts we get as appetizer at our favorite Chinese restaurant.  This is my attempt at the sweet and salty peanuts they so generously serve us.

Sweet Honey Biscuits

Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside. These go great with fresh berries on a warm summer's day.

Sweet Pancakes

As a mom of messy kids, I cringe any time maple syrup makes an appearance at the table.  Sweet Pancakes are my solution to those sticky breakfast mornings. They're great as an on-the-go breakfast or snack too!

Sweet Potato Fritters

Sweet potato is one of my favorite ingredients to make snacks with.  It goes back to my childhood days when I remember eating something called "goreng keladek" (translated from Malay for "fried sweet potato").  My memory tells me it was a thin slice of sweet potato dunked into batter and deep fried.  I also remember something called "kuih kodok", a deep fried battered mashed banana conconction.  For a long time, I had wondered how a mashed sweet potato version would taste.  So in college, I experimented and came up with Sweet Potato Golden Nuggets.  Though the natural sweet potato flavor came through, the texture needed some improvement.  So I experimented with a malasada version of it.  The texture wasn't as crispy as I would have liked in the malasada version.  I made some substitutions to the flour, adding rice flour and switching out the yeast for baking powder. The texture was crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and not too hard or soft when cooled; my best version of battered mash sweet potato thus far.  As I do with all my recipes, I will continue to make improvements as I go along, and maybe one day in 30 years, I will have a perfect version of a cross between goreng keledek and kuih kodok.  8)  I will keep you posted.  For now, I hope you enjoy these 2-bite sized sweet potato fritters.

Sweet Potato Malasada - Portuguese/hawaiian Inspired

Portuguese malasadas are found readily in Hawaii. They are a fried yeast dough and has the texture of a doughnut, but without the doughnut hole. In this recipe, mashed sweet potatoes are incorporated into the dough of a plain malasada.

Sweet Potato Scones

Sweet potato is one of my favorite ingredients to work with in the kitchen.  Sweet potato has a wonderful natural sweetness that it requires less added sugar compared to its counterparts.  The honey glaze adds a subtle sweetness to the tops of the scones.  Feel free to omit the honey, but do use a melted butter wash over top of the scones to prevent it from drying in the oven.  One medium sweet potato usually produces about 1 cup of mashed sweet potato.  I usually boil the sweet potato whole (with skin on, after being washed) until very tender to the fork.  Then I drain the water, and remove the potato skin after soaking in cold water.  The next step is to mash.  I usually purchase several sweet potatoes at a time, boil, mash and separate into 1 cup mashed sweet potato portions to be frozen and used conveniently in the future.

For this recipe, I use a modification to the rough puff pastry technique to create more layers after each roll, therefor reducing work and time that the butter is at room temperature.  A kitchen scraper also made the entire rolling and folding process a lot more efficient.

Thai Tea Frappucino

With warm weather coming on, what better way to cool down than with a cold icy drink?  I have always loved Thai Tea with a teaspoon or two of condensed milk to make for sweet treat.  Here I have added ice and ice-cream (instead of condensed milk) to make it a luxurious sweet drink perfect for a warm day.  UPDATE:  I added an extra 1/2 cup ice cubes to the recipe below to make for a more "blended" drink.