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Chocolate Drizzle Cookies (pumpkin)

In Cookies, Candies & Sweets, Holidays On November 11, 2023 0 Comments


Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 13 to 18 minutes
Makes: 24 cookies

It’s lots of fun to prepare festive desserts but when your crowd keeps growing before the day of, you may need to add a sweet treat here and there. This year, along with my pies on Thanksgiving Day, I decided to make these soft pumpkin cookies. And check out that chocolate drizzle (photo is on FB/TheKitchenBuzzz and Instagram/TheKitchen Buzzz). Looks like they’re from a bakery, right?

Chocolate Drizzle Cookies are easy and quick to make. Enjoy them on Thanksgiving Day!

2-1/2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 cup pureed, canned pumpkin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Mix & Bake the Cookies:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 18 X 12-inch baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a 6 to 8-cup bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt; set aside.

3. In a separate 10-cup bowl, beat sugar with the softened butter until mixture is uniform.

4. Beat in the pumpkin, egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until well-blended.

5. Gradually (a little at a time) add the flour mixture, beating well after each addition.

6. When dough is mixed and uniform, drop it by rounded tablespoonful onto prepared baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart (12 per baking sheet).

7. Set cookie sheets with cookie dough on top and bottom oven racks; bake for 7 minutes.

8. After 7 minutes invert the baking sheets on oven racks (top to bottom and bottom to top); bake for an additional 6 to 7 minutes.

9. After 6 to 7 minutes, check top of one cookie. If it springs back and feels almost solid, the cookies are done. If tops are too soft and your finger leaves an indentation, bake the cookies for an additional 3 to 5 minutes.

10. Make sure the bottoms are golden brown and do not become dark brown.

11. When done, set the baking sheets with cookies on a rack on counter to cool to room temperature.

Melt & Drizzle the Chocolate:
1. Place the chocolate chips in a double boiler with at least 1-1/2 inches of water in pot,

2. Bring water to a boil; melt and stir the chocolate chips until completely melted.

3. Immediately dip a fork in the melted chocolate and drizzle a cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies.

4. Serve cookies on a flat platter. Alternatively, if making the cookies a few days ahead, when chocolate drizzle has hardened, gently place each cookie in gallon-size double Ziploc bags.

5. Seal bags completely and freeze. On the day of serving, remove cookies from freezer and place them on a flat platter for approximately 2 hours. Serve.
Text & Photograph ©2023 Nancy DeLucia Real

Fun Halloween Pie

In Desserts, Creams & Sauces, Holidays, Pies & Sweet Tarts On October 12, 2023 0 Comments


Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 15 minutes at 425°F and 45 minutes at 350°F
Makes: One 9-inch pie

Every year, pumpkin pies can become redundant, routine and plain boring, right? This year, for Halloween, I decided to change the “look” of my pumpkin pie by adding some decoration to it. I hope you make this Halloween pie – it’s so easy and fun!

Ready-made, frozen pastry for one 9-inch pie (thaw per manufacturer’s directions & set in a 9-inch pie plate)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
One can (16 ounces) pureed pumpkin
One can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
Halloween pumpkin face sticker decorations
ready-made whipped cream

1. Set oven rack in middle of oven; heat the oven to 425°F.

2. Using 2-inch wide aluminum foil strips, cover edges of pastry in pie pan.

3. With a fork, poke a few holes in bottom of pastry; set aside.

4. In a blender, combine the eggs, sugar, spices, salt, pureed pumpkin and evaporated milk.

5. Blend until ingredients are combined and look uniform; set aside.

6. Pour the blended, liquid ingredients in pie pan.

7. Gently transfer the filled pie pan to a rack set in middle of oven.

8. Bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, lower oven temperature to 350°F.

9. Bake for an additional 30 minutes. During last 5 minutes of baking, carefully remove and discard the aluminum foil strips.

10. After 30 minutes of baking, using oven mitts, carefully transfer the pie to a cooling rack or wooden board. Let pie cool completely.

11. When pie is cool, refrigerate it for 3 hours or overnight.

12. At serving time, decorate the pie by transforming it into a pumpkin face!

13. Set it on table for all to admire. When ready to serve, remove stickers, slice the pie and serve on individual plates.

14. Garnish each slice with whipped cream. Enjoy!
Text & Photograph ©2023 Nancy DeLucia Real

Valentine Strawberry Truffles

In Cookies, Candies & Sweets, Holidays On February 9, 2023 0 Comments


Gearing up for that Valentine dessert or candy? Hope you enjoy these delicious, homemade truffles on February 14th!

Active prep time: 20-25 minutes
Inactive prep time (refrigeration): 2 hours
Makes: 15-20 truffles

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (with or without almonds), broken into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla or rum extract
One 1.2-ounce (34 gr) package freeze-dried strawberries

1. Place the chocolate pieces, heavy whipping cream and butter in a double boiler set over a sauce pot that is filled halfway with water.

2. Heat stove burner to high; when water boils in sauce pot, begin stirring chocolate mixture with a wooden spoon until it has melted and is uniform.

3. Stir in the vanilla or rum extract; carefully pour melted chocolate mixture into a glass or metal bowl and refrigerate (uncovered) for 2 hours or overnight.

4. Transfer the freeze-dried strawberries to a gallon-size Ziploc® freezer bag.

5. Using a rolling pin, with rolling motions over bag set on a counter, crush the dried strawberries to medium-fine crumbs.

6. Transfer the crushed dried strawberries to a wide 8 or 10-inch bowl; set aside.

7. After chocolate has become firm, scoop it out with a spoon or melon ball scooper and shape the truffles into one-inch balls.

8. Gently roll each truffle ball in dried, crushed strawberries.

9. Place truffles on a flat plate and refrigerate until ready to serve.

10. Alternatively, you can freeze the truffles in double, quart-size Ziploc® freezer bags.

NOTE: In general, when using double freezer bags, truffles and other frozen foods will be free of the freezer-burn smell.
Text & Photograph ©2023 Nancy DeLucia Real

Velvety Beet Hummus (Vegan)

In Appetizers / Starters, Fun Foods, Holidays On June 8, 2022 0 Comments


This is the best hummus we’ve ever made- it’s delicate, sweet and velvety. Make this Velvety Beet Hummus in five minutes. It’s a great starter for all palates!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Makes: about 3 to 3-1/2 cups

One 14-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons Tahini (this is sesame seed paste, available in Middle Eastern section of supermarkets)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons sunflower or safflower oil (or your choice of vegetable oil)
Juice from 1 to 1-1/2 limes
1 cup diced, cooked beets

1. In a food processor, combine the garbanzo beans, garlic, Tahini, salt, olive oil, vegetable oil and lime juice.

2. Process to a paste.

3. Add the beets; process the mixture until smooth (you will see tiny specks of beet in the hummus).

4. Taste and, if needed, adjust salt and lime juice levels.

5. Transfer the hummus to a glass or porcelain serving bowl; garnish with olive oil and mint leaves. Serve with pita bread wedges, crackers or tortilla chips.

6. NOTE: This Velvety Beet Hummus can be made up to two days ahead, tightly sealed and refrigerated. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.
Text & Photograph ©2022 Nancy DeLucia Real

Cookies with Raspberry Jam

In Cookies, Candies & Sweets, Holidays On February 3, 2021 0 Comments


These delicious cookies are fun to make. The best part is of all is that they’re Vegan!

Prep time: 20 – 25 minutes
Bake time: 12 to 14 minutes
Makes: 16 cookies

1-1/2 cups almond flour (blanched)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup agave or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ground almonds or pistachios (optional)
1/4 cup raspberry preserves, stirred


1.In a 2-quart mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut oil, maple syrup and salt.

2. When mixture has combined to form a dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 2 hours.

3. After 2 hours, line a 18 X 12-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F.

5. Pull off about a one-inch piece of dough and shape it into a ball.

6. Repeat this with remaining dough until you have made a total of 16 balls.

7. If desired, roll each ball into ground almonds or pistachios.

8. Place dough balls about 2 inches apart on lined baking sheet.

9. Using a melon ball scoop, press down into center of each cookie, making a 3/4-inch indentation.

10. Fill each cookie center with about 3/4 teaspoon raspberry jam.

11. Place baking sheet with cookie dough on a rack positioned in center of oven.

12. Bake cookies 12 to 14 minutes or until light golden brown around edges.

13. When cookies are done, transfer baking sheet to a counter and let cookies cool 5 minutes.

14. When cookies have cooled, transfer them to an airtight container. Cookies will keep, refrigerated, up to 1 week.
Text & Photograph ©2021 Nancy DeLucia Real