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Treat Mom to a nice dessert

Lindsey Turner, Wikimedia Commons

Pair some tender fresh-baked pound cake with a few fresh strawberries for a great Mother’s Day dessert.


I know that not all moms are able to enjoy baked goods due to dietary and health restrictions, but for those who can, I thought I would share some of my favorite recipes.

I am a diabetic, but I have it under control enough to indulge in some treats once in a while. One good thing about having cut back on the amount of carbs I consume is that a little goes a long way.

It doesn’t take much more than a few little bites to make me feel like I have enjoyed a sumptuous dessert. I won’t get into how much I used to eat to get that same feeling of satisfaction, but you can use your imagination.

For moms everywhere, may you have a beautiful Mother’s Day holiday.

7-flavor pound cake

This makes enough to freeze some for another occasion if you wish.

2 sticks butter, room temperature

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

3 cups sugar

5 eggs

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon each of the following extracts: vanilla, coconut, rum, butternut (or butter flavor), almond, orange and lemon

Flavor glaze:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon each extract used in pound cake

1. Preheat oven to 300. Grease and flour a tube or Bundt pan. In large bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugar until smooth. Add one egg and mix well, repeating with all remaining eggs.

2. In another bowl, mix flour and baking powder. Slowly add to dry mixture, alternating with the milk. Add the extracts and mix well.

3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare glaze: Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until sugar melts. Cool.

4. Cool cake in pan for a few minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool. Drizzle or brush glaze over cooled cake.

Apricot date squares

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 cup chopped dates

1/2 cup apricot spreadable preserves or jam

1 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup flaked coconut

1 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup cold butter, cut into cubes

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar and dates. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 1 1/3 cups and is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.

2. Remove from heat. Stir in spreadable fruit until blended; set aside. In a food processor, combine the oats, flour, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add butter; cover and process until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3. Press 3 cups crumb mixture into a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Spread date mixture to within 1/2 inch of edges. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture; press down gently.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares. Makes 3 dozen.

Caramel apple bread pudding

While many people only bake with apples in fall, I am not one of them. I love apples all year around.

1 15-ounce loaf cinnamon-apple or cinnamon-raisin bread, torn into pieces

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

4 eggs

2 1/2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 1/2 cups fresh apples, chopped

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Rum sauce (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and extracts and beat until combined.

2. Slowly stir in milk and whisk until well blended. Place the bread pieces in a buttered 3-quart baking dish and pour the milk mixture over the bread; stir gently to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.

3. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over top of the apples. Stir apples evenly into bread mixture. Place baking dish in a larger baking pan filled with 2 inches of water.

4. Bake in a preheated oven, for about 45 minutes or until set.

Rum sauce

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons dark rum

1. Melt butter in saucepan then add sugar and whisk on medium heat until smooth.

2. Gradually add cream and whisk together; continue to cook for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in rum and vanilla. Pour over warm bread pudding.

Chocolate whiskey cake

I first tasted this cake at an after-the-funeral gathering, of all places, where attendees were treated to a vast array of food. I was never all that much of a chocolate cake fan, but this one transformed me and now it’s a favorite.

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process), plus 3 tablespoons for dusting the baking pan

1 1/2 cups brewed coffee

1/2 cup whiskey

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325. Butter a Bundt cake pan well, then dust with 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, knocking out excess.

2. Heat coffee, whiskey, butter and the 1 cup of cocoa powder in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, whisking, until butter is melted. Remove from heat, then add sugar and whisk until dissolved, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool 5 minutes.

3.While chocolate mixture cools, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Whisk together eggs and vanilla in a small bowl, then whisk into cooled chocolate mixture until well combined. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined (batter will be thin and bubbly). Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.

4. Cook cake completely in pan on a rack, about 2 hours. Loosen cake from pan using tip of a dinner knife, then invert rack over pan and turn cake out onto rack.

Note: This cake improves in flavor if made at least 1 day ahead and kept, in a cake keeper or wrapped well in plastic wrap, at cool room temperature. It can be made up to 5 days ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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