Category Archives: Desserts and Sweets

Cakes, cookies, bars, puddings, candies, and other succulent sweets.

Lemon Cheese Tarts

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 T grated lemon rind
  • 6 T lemon juice
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 8 tart shells, baked

Beat eggs in top of double boiler until light; stir in all of the other ingredients. Cook over hot water, stirring frequently, until it thickens enough to coat a silver spoon (about 10 minutes). Chill for 30 minutes or more; pour into tart shells and chill.


A Mexican-style milk and egg custard with caramelized sugar similar to Creme Caramel.

  • 2-1/4 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Combine milk, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla. Bring to boil and cool 20 minutes.

Place remaining sugar in small pan. Over low heat, leave without stirring until sugar browns, then stir with a wooden spoon until melted and caramel colored. Pour quickly into a 1-quart ceramic mold and swirl to cover bottom.

Beat together the eggs, yolks and salt; beat in milk. Strain to remove foam.

Pour into mold. Tie buttered waxed paper and foil on top. Cover with lid. Pour boiling water in a steamer pan to just below rack. Cover steamer. Cook 1-1/4 hours.

Cool completely. Invert to serve so caramel is on top.

Squamish Bars

Squamish is a community on the Pacific coast of Canada, just north of Vancouver, British Columbia, not far from the place of my birth. It is known as the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada.”  What’s there to do in Squamish? Hike, climb rocks, watch the bald eagles and other wildlife, go kayaking, and simply enjoy the incredible coastal landscapes.

Squamish bars are a variation on Nanaimo Bars, named after another west coast community.

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup Rice Crispies cereal
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup Cornflakes cereal
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 T light cream
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 t vanilla
  • 3 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 1 T butter

In a large pot over low heat, beat peanut butter, sugar, and corn syrup until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; stir in cereals. Press into a lightly oiled square pan and let cool.

In a bowl, beat icing sugar and butter; beat in cream and vanilla. Spread over cereal base and chill for 1/2 hr.

In double boiler over hot water, melt chocolate and butter. Let cool and spread evenly over filling.

Chill for 20 minutes. Cut into squares. May freeze.

Grandma’s Cottage Cheesecake

This is such a special cheesecake, different from any other cheesecake I have ever eaten. The cottage cheese keeps its lumpy texture, so it doesn’t have the dense solidity of cheesecakes made with cream cheese. It’s like curd cake, and it’s almost a meal in itself. Even though I loved the sweeter cookies and other baked goods Grandma used to make, her cheesecake was ever so satisfying.

Ingredients for Grandma’s Cottage Cheesecake

  • 1 recipe baking powder biscuit base
  • 1 container creamy cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1/2 to 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Spread baking powder biscuit dough in large shallow pan, pinching up dough around edges for about 1/2 inch. Mix together rest of ingredients. Spread on dough base and bake at 350 F for 1/2 hour or until set.

Note: The original Grandma version calls for a yeast dough base rather than baking powder dough; however, baking powder dough is easier.

Cottage Cheese Cake
Cat at the Zoo

Sweet Strawberry Omelet

4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup yogurt
2 T sugar
1 T butter
1/4 cup whipped cream
3 T milk
2 t sugar
2 cups sliced strawberries

Beat egg whites until frothy; add 2 T water and 1/4 t salt. Beat stiff. Beat yolks until thick. Add 1/4 cup yogurt and 2 T sugar. Fold yolks into whites.

Melt the butter in a large pan. Pour in eggs, reduce heat and cook 8 minutes. Place in over until top is set (10-12 minutes). Slide onto a warm platter.

Combine rest of yogurt, whipped cream, milk and sugar and spoon on top of omelet. Top with some of the berries and serve the rest on the side.

Servings: 4

Turtle-Shaped Chocolates

These homemade chocolate candies are modeled after DeMet’s (formerly Johnston Candy Co.) Turtles® brand chocolates, which were candies fashioned into turtle shapes by combining pecans halves, caramel, and chocolate into the appropriate shape.

Here’s a recipe to which you can apply your artistic turtle-making abilities. Good luck.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 6 oz. pecan halves
  • 2 bars (4 oz. each) German chocolate

Line an 8×8″ pan with foil. Butter lightly. In pot, combine all ingredients except vanilla, nuts, and chocolate. Cook, stirring with wooden spoon, over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Continue cooking to firm ball stage (244ºF).

Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Turn into pan; let cool 30 minutes. With sharp knife, cut into 26 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball; place on buttered cookie sheet 1/2″ apart.

Press 5 pecan pieces into each side to form head and feet. Melt chocolate in double boiler. Spoon 1 t melted chocolate over each caramel. Refrigerate to set chocolate.

Linzer Schnitten Prune Bars

Ingredients for Linzer Schnitten: spiced prune bars

  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter or oil
  • 3-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • thick Hungarian-style plum (prune) jam
  • 1 egg beaten with 3/4 cup sugar

Preparation of Linzer Schnitten: spiced prune bars

Beat eggs until light. Beat in sugar. Melt and add butter. Sift together the dry ingredients. Blend with egg mix. Add lemon rind and juice. Turn onto a board and knead until smooth. Let stand for 1 hour.

Roll 1/2″ thick. Cut into strips 1-1/2″ x 10″. Mark a groove lengthwise down the center of each strip with the handle of a wooden spoon. Fill grooves with jam.

Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 F for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and immediately brush tops with egg/sugar mixture to glaze. Cut diagonally into bars and cool.

Carrot Bread

No one in our family was terribly inclined toward overly sweet desserts. Sweets were luxuries, not to be regularly partaken of. Mom’s and Grandma’s cakes and cookies were made more often of nutritious rather than decadent ingredients, with plenty of  nuts, poppy seeds, cottage cheese, and dried fruits rather than just sugar and flour.

It’s not surprising, then, that we  often opted for carrot bread  when we wanted a comforting snack or a satisfying breakfast: moist carrot bread with a touch of cinnamon, never too sweet, and laden with grated carrots and chopped nuts.

Ingredients for Carrot Bread

  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup finely grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Combine the oil and the sugar. Add the eggs and beat till fluffy. Add dry ingredients. Stir in grated carrots and nuts. Bake in oiled loaf pan at 350 F (180 C) for 55 to 60 minutes.

Wheat Germ Squares

This is a fabulous recipe using pure wheat germ and no regular flour at all. The taste is nutty and delicious.

This recipe is originally from the New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook by Jean Hewitt and became one of our favorites in the 1970s. Carob is not a common ingredient in Mexico and the recipe in our hands suffered ingredient adaptations. Cocoa was used in place of carob, sunflower and sesame seeds were often mixed in with the nuts, toasted wheat germ used instead of raw, and vegetable oil used interchangeably with the melted butter.

Ingredients for Wheat Germ Squares

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups raw sugar
  • 2 T carob or cocoa
  • 1 T melted butter
  • 2-1/2 cups raw wheat germ
  • 1 cups chopped nuts (or combined with sunflower and/or sesame seeds)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 t vanilla

Beat eggs until thick and fluffy. Beat in sugar. Dissolve carob/cocoa powder in butter and add to eggs. Stir in wheat germ, nuts, salt and vanilla. Pour into a buttered 13 by 9″ pan.

Bake 20 to 30 minutes at 375 F.

Allow to cool in pan. Cut while warm.

Carob or chocolate is used in these wheat germ squares

Apple Crisp

  • 4 cups peeled apples, sliced
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 6 T butter
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/8 t nutmeg

Place apples in a deep oven pan. Sprinkle with lemon juice and bake at 325 for 10 to 15 minutes. to soften. Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, butter and spices. Sprinkle on top of applies. Bake for about 20 minutes. or until softened and browned.