Archive for the ‘Sweet Tooth (Desserts)’ Category

This is my friend Roqaya’s recipe, and I love it. She is always generous enough to make it when I am over at her place.

You will need:

1) a box of fudge brownie mix [Betty Crocker works great]

2) 1 can of table cream

3) small can of sweetened condensed milk

4) 1 tbslp unsweetened cocoa powder

5) 2 tbslp of powdered milk

6) 1/2 tsp of vanilla

7) 1 tsp instant Nescafe

8 ) unsweetened coconut

Start by following the mixing and baking instructions for the fudge brownie. Bake and let cool. Then with your fingers dig out a thin layer off of the top of the fudge  brownie, crumble and place with the rest of the ingredients in a blender. Blend. If it is too thick, just add a little milk until it starts moving. Be careful, not too much milk just enough to get the blender going. Blend well until it is a thick smooth mixture. Pour on top of the baked fudge brownie, and sprinkle the shredded coconut. Chill and serve.

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Very popularly made during Ramadan especially.

You will need:

1) 3 cups milk
2) 1/4 cup sugar
3) 2 1/2  tblsp custard powder
4) 1/2 of tsp banana flavoring essence (liquid)
5) I 20 oz. can of crushed or diced pineapple in syrup (peach works beautifully as well).
6) Unsweetened coconut for decoration

Let’s start:

Pour the 2 cups with sugar into a saucepan and place on low heat . Mix one cup of milk with the custard powder using whisk. Mix well until well incorporated ( no lumps allowed) . Add to the milk and sugar while still luke warm and bring to boil, while continuously whisking. If you don’t,  it will burn at the bottom and will affect the taste.

As it starts to boil it will thicken. Continue until desired thickness. I don’t like it very thick– I prefer gravy thickness. Turn the heat off , and add the banana flavoring essence and pineapple syrup.

 Divide and arrange the pineapple pieces in individual bowls and pour the custard on top. Sprinkle  coconut for decoration. Refrigerate DO NOT FREEZE. Serve cold.

Enjoy !

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You can make this in two ways–a light or regular version.

For the light you will need:

1) 1 can of Nestle table cream

2) 1 cup of oil

3) 1 tblsp of cocoa powder [unsweetened]

4) 1 tblsp of instant coffee

5) 1 tblsp of baking powder

6) 1 and 1/2 cup of semolina [cream of wheat]

7) 1 cup of sugar

8 ) 1/2 cup of coconut

9) 2 bars of dove milk chocolate–they should be hard, so store in refrigerator

10) can of sweetened condensed milk [can use fat free if you like]

Preheat oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit. In a mixer add the cream, oil and sugar. Then add the dry ingredients 1 by 1 and continue mixing–cocoa powder, instant coffee, baking powder, coconut, and semolina. Spray  an oven dish with baking spray [4 QT] and bake in oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. When warm–not piping hot–pour as much of the sweetened condensed milk as  you prefer. I did not use the whole can–but rather half. Grate the chocolate on top and voila. It’s ready to serve. It goes so well with vanilla ice cream.  The texture is brownie like and airy.

For the regular version [ spongy, cake like]:

1) 4 eggs

2) 1/4 cup powdered milk

3) 1 can of Nestle table cream

4) 1 cup of oil

5) 1 tblsp of cocoa powder [unsweetened]

6) 1 tblsp of instant coffee

7) 1 tblsp of baking powder

8) 1 and 1/2 cup of semolina [cream of wheat]

9) 1 cup of sugar

10 ) 1/2 cup of coconut

11) 2 bars of dove mil chocolate–they should be hard, so store in refrigerator

12) can of sweetened condensed milk [can use fat free if you like]

Preheat oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit. In a mixer add the eggs, cream, oil and sugar. Then add the dry ingredients 1 by 1 and continue mixing–milk powder, cocoa powder, instant coffee, baking powder, coconut, and semolina. Spray  an oven dish with baking spray [4 QT] and bake in oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Pour as much of the sweetened condensed milk as  you prefer. I did not use the whole can–but rather half. Grate the chocolate on top and voila. It’s ready to serve.


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They are simplest of all cookies in the Arab world. I even noticed that the Oromo community in the Twin Cities makes them as well. They are called Ghurayba in Yemen. Simple to make, and very very delicious. You will need:

1) 4 cups of white all purpose flour

2) 1 cup Canola oil

3) 1 stick butter melted (salted or unsalted, whichever you prefer)

4) 1 tblsp of powdered cardamon

5) 1 tbslp of powdered clove

6) 2  cups of powdered sugar (less if you so desire)

You will  also need a mold of your choice–I have the traditional wooden mold, but really any will work. Line it with plastic wrap press the dough in (a little at a time), take it out, and arrange it onto a cooking tray.

But first for the dough–sift the flour and the sugar into a big bowl. Mix well. Heat the oil and butter in a pan with the cardamon and cloves–once the butter has melted, and the mixture is heated through–NOT BOILING–sift it all onto  the dry mix (the flour and sugar). Mix with a wooden spoon (be careful it is hot) and then once it warms down a little you can use your fingers.

Using whatever mold you like start shaping them, and arranging them onto trays. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven–for about 15 min–just until they turn a little golden in color. If you cook them more than that, they will either burn from the bottom, or they will be hard as rocks. So, watch ’em.

Enjoy  with Arabian coffee, or tea–preferably sugar-free.

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This is a Palestinian dessert–so I have heard– and it is befitting that i fell in love with it during my attendance to Palestine Day in Minneapolis. Palestinian or not, it is DELISH !!!

First make the sugar syrup–for this dish it needs to be a little thicker so the pastries stay nice and crunchy. I used 1 cup of sugar and 1 and a 1/4 cup of water and let them boil under medium heat for about 15 minutes. Then turn it off add a couple of drops of fresh lemon juice and a tsp of orange blossom water. Let it cool down.

For the pastries you will need:

1) half a box of fillo pastry dough (they make about 16 )

2) about a cup of Canola Oil (you can also use ghee–clarified butter–but NOT butter TRUST ME)

3) 1 and 1/2 cup of whole milk

4) 1/4 cup of fine farina (semolina)

5) 1/4 of a tsp of cornstarch

6) 1/4 cup sugar

7) tsp of orange blossom water

8) Finely ground pistachios for decoration

To make the FILLING: In a small pot add ingredients 3-6 and mix well. Place on low heat and keep on stirring (with a wooden spoon) until it thickens. Make sure you do not leave unattended as it will burn from the bottom or form lumps which you DEFINITELY don’t want. Once it thickens–a little looser than ricotta cheese–turn off –add the Orangel Blossom water, mix in well and pour onto a plate and let it cool.

Open up the packet of fillo pastry dough and cover with a damp cloth so it does not dry out. On the working surface take one rectangle of the fillo dough and lay it on the surface (cover up the rest) and brush it with the canola oil–BRUSH WELL, COVER IT ENTIRELY. Keep on doing that until you have ten layers. The tenth layer leave un brushed.

Taking a pizza cutter cut the dough first lengthwise into four columns and then widthwise to make 8 squares. Spoon some of the filling onto each square and fold to make triangles.

Arrange them on a baking dish and brush with more of the canola oil and place in a preheated oven at 375 degree fahrenheit until golden in color–about half an hour.

Take them out of the oven, drizzle the sugar syrup mixture–all, a little depending on how SWEET OF A TOOTH you have. Wait for it to soak in and then decorate with the ground pistachio. I USUALLY POP IT BACK IN THE OVEN (that is turned off now) for so they stay nice and warm. They are DELISH while they are still warm.


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Esh Assaraya

This is an easy and quick dessert recipe. I learnt it from my friend Marwa when I met her for the very first time. She and her husband had invited me and my husband over for Ramadhan Iftar, which was delicious. When it was time for dessert she disappeared into the kitchen and looked flustered. I asked her, “What’s wrong?” and she said that the dessert she had prepared had not turned out right. I told her i did not mind, and that I would eat her dessert anyway. But she had plan b and it was this dessert. It was so quick and delicious that every time i saw her, i begged her for it. Too bad she left for Lebanon, and that I have to now make it for myself. LOL.

Well, here is the recipe everybody. You will need:

1) 2 cups of sugar

2) 3 cups of water

3) 3-4 tblsp of Orange Blossom Water

4) 1 bag of regular sliced white bread (20 oz bag)– break up the slices of bread with a knife or with your fingers and place in a bowl.

5) 2 cups of crushed pistachios (more or less as desired)

6) 2 small cans of Quishta(cream–Quishta is Arabic for Cream–you can get the Nestle brand labelled “Table Cream” in the Mexican food section at Cub Foods or of you course the easiest way is just to get it at one of the Middle Eastern stores around town)

Alright, start by making the sugar syrup. Boil the water and the sugar together until it is reduced to about 2 cups and a half of even 2 cups–it has to be a little thick. Once it is done, add one tblsp of Orange Blossom Water. Take 1/2 a cup of the sugar syrup and place in a frying pan and place on high heat and carmelize it. CARMELIZE IT AND DO NOT BURN IT. You want it a beautiful golden brown color.

Once it is carmelized, put it back into the rest of the syrup and mix well. If it starts to harden, boil it under low heat a little and keep on stirring. With that done, let it cool. You want it warm when you pour it over the bread.

Once it is warm, pour on the bread a little at at time and knead the two together either with your hand or with a spoon. How much sugar syrup you add will depend on how sweet you want it to be–I just stop when the bread is all moist. You do not want it to be wet and runny, you want to be able to

With that done, then divide the bread and sugar mixture into two. Take one part and pat it onto a regular dinner plate. You want to make a layer about 2 inches thick. Then take one of the cans of cream and smear it onto this layer, and sprinkle one tblsp of the Orange Blossom Water . Now you want another layer of the bread and sugar syrup on top of these two layers.

For the last layer, you can make the layer (of course it has to be the same size as the first) on a sheet of foil and then flip it onto the other two–BE GENTLE or else it will fall apart. Once you get this last layer on top then smear it with more cream and the rest of the Orange Blossom Water, and the pistachio. Leave in the refrigerator until it is time to serve. It does not necessarily have to be cold.

I cut it into triangular slices, as you would a cake and serve with unsweetened turkish coffee. It is ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS !

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This dessert reminds me of my best friend Roro–I ate this at her place the first day I met her. It was a start of a great friendship, of course this dessert helped a lot . Now we are great cooking buddies as well and we talk endlessly about new recipes.

You will need:

1) 2 packets of Marie Cookies (if you can find digestive cookies from  those are even better). Note: if you would like a thinner crust use one packet and one finger of unsalted butter. 

2) 2 fingers of unsalted butter melted (you can less for a crumbly crust)

3) 1 small can of cream (Quishta) or table cream [see pic below for a pic of the can]

4) 1 and a 1/2 tblsp of milk powder

5) 20 small pittted dates (if you only have those huge California Medjool dates use 15)

6) 2 small cans of evaporated sweetened milk (or one big one) –if you don’t like it too sweet you can reduce this amount and substitute it with the table cream. 

7) 1 tsp baking powder

8) 1 egg

Place the cookies in a food processor and process until crumbly, add the melted butter and mix in well. Press into a pyrex dish (8×11.5) and place in preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes.

In a blender place all the rest of the ingredients except for the dates. Once they are all blended drop in the dates one by one. When they are well blended take the mixture and pour onto of the crust in the pyrex.

Place in oven at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes–just as you see if rise. Do not over bake. Take out of the oven and sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on top. Enjoy with bitter turkish coffee.

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