Fruit Desserts

Hawaiian Pineapple Bars

 

I’m loving these Hawaiian Pineapple Bars!  They are really easy to make and a fun change from the usual bar recipes.  The pineapple gives them a perfectly chewy edge with a soft center.

Tenaiya found this recipe on the Lost American Recipes website and sent it to me.  It originated in a compilation cookbook by the “Maui Extension Homemakers Council.”

Ingredients:

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

4 eggs

20 oz. can crushed pineapple, well drained

1 cup chopped walnuts, optional

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs and mix well.  In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking soda.

Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and mix well.   Add the pineapple and optional walnuts and stir until well-combined.

Pour batter into a greased 9 x 11 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let bars cool completely.  Cut into squares and store in an airtight container until potluck time!

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Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

I was feeling like a non-chocolate potluck dessert (a very rare occasion!) and Pineapple Upside Down Cake sounded really good.  I’ve never made it before and I thought cupcakes would be even better.  (I tend to prefer cupcakes over cakes because the ratio of toppings to cake is much more evenly distributed.)  Found this recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes on the Betty Crocker website.  The brown sugar butter glaze caramelizes the tops and the pineapple perfectly to make these cupcakes sweet and luscious!

Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker’s Extra Moist Yellow Cake and highly recommend it!)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

20 oz. can of sliced pineapple, drained and reserve the juice

1/3 cup butter, melted

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

12 maraschino cherries, cut in half

24 baking cups

Spray the baking cups really well with non-stick cooking spray.

Drain the pineapple slices and set the juice aside.  Cut the pineapple rings into four pieces each.  Cut the maraschino cherries in half.

On low speed for 30 seconds, mix the cake mix, oil, eggs, and pineapple juice.  Continue mixing on medium speed for two minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar.  Put 1 1/2 tsp. of butter mixture into each baking cup.  Add a maraschino cherry in the center (round side down) and then add two pineapple slices on top of the cherry.  Lastly, add 1/4 cup of batter on top of everything.

Bake the cupcakes in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Flip the cupcakes upside down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Carefully remove the baking cup liners

Serve warm or at room temperature.  You’re ready for potluck time!

Lime Pecan Bars

lime-pecan-bars

Neighbors gave us some key limes from their tree, so I made these Lime Pecan Bars for the Super Bowl party yesterday!  I love the pecan shortbread crust and the filling is a sort of lime curd that is especially good with the key limes, but will work great with regular limes, too (either way, just make sure that you use fresh lime juice).

The party was hosted by a gluten-free household this year, so I made them with Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour  and they were a big hit.  Accidentally doubled the recipe below (that means I quadrupled the original – long story!), so I also took a batch into work today.  There were zero leftovers, so I think that means everyone liked them as much as I did.

This recipe is from my Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts.  The ingredients are doubled from the original, and use a larger pan, because when you’re making it for a potluck,  the regular version just isn’t enough!

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 cup pecans

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 1/2 cup flour

2/3 cup brown sugar, packed

Filling:

6 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup fresh lime or key lime juice

2/3 cup flour

Grated lime peel, optional

To make the crust, chop the pecans in a food processor until fine.  Add in the butter, flour, and brown sugar and pulse until it forms a crumbly mixture.  Press the mixture into a buttered 9 x 13 pan and bake at 325 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown along the edges.

Meanwhile, make the filling by whisking together the eggs and sugar.   Using a hand mixer, add in the lime juice and flour and mix until combined.

When the crust comes out of the oven, immediately pour the filling over the crust.  Cook the bars for another 20 minutes until the top is firm to the touch.

Let cool for one hour and cut into bars.  You can also top them with the optional grated lime peel (makes them look prettier).

If you’re going to the potluck that same day, you can leave them out at room temperature.  Otherwise, store in the fridge in an airtight container.  Then, take them out of the fridge an hour or two before potluck time!

Mini Lemon Tarts

Mini Lemon Tarts

These Mini Lemon Tarts are scrumptious with a sugar cookie crust, lemon pie filling, and topped with a dollop of Cool Whip!

Ariel brought these to a potluck at my house recently.  Since then, I have made them a few times for neighbors and everyone has asked for the recipe.  Thank you, Ariel, for sharing this recipe!

Ingredients:

Lemon pie filling (If you can’t find it pre-made, then make a batch of Jell-O Lemon Pudding and Pie Filling. You will need white sugar, eggs, and water if you do this)

Sugar cookie dough (You can buy a pre-made dough, make a box dough, or make your favorite recipe from scratch)

Cool Whip

Butter a mini muffin pie tin.  Put a heaping tablespoon (or a melon baller scoop’s worth) of cookie dough in each tin.  Press the dough up the sides of each tin and make sure there is a little indentation in the middle for the pie filling.

Put a heaping teaspoon of lemon filling in each crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until the edges are golden.  Let cool completely.

Top each tart with a dollop of Cool Whip.  Store in the refrigerator until Potluck Time!

Strawberry Dream Cake

Strawberry Dream Cake

Strawberry Dream Cake is luscious, sweet, moist, light, and absolutely delicious!  EVERY time I make this cake, everyone goes crazy for it.  It is one of my favorite cake recipes and is perfect year round for any potluck, but I especially like to make it for spring and summer occasions.

Mary Lou, a former co-worker, gave this recipe to me years ago and it has been a staple in my recipe book ever since.

Ingredients:

1 package white cake mix

1 small box strawberry Jell-o

2 T. flour

3 eggs

1/4 cup water

10 oz. box frozen strawberries, thawed (I have only ever been able to find a 16 oz. container of frozen strawberries.  Make sure you buy the kind with sugar added.)

2/3 cup canola or vegetable oil

1/4 cup softened margarine (I haven’t tried this with butter yet.  So, if you do and it works out, please let me know!)

3 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Beat the cake mix, Jell-o, flour, eggs, and water in a large bowl on medium speed for two minutes.  Add 6.5 oz. of the strawberries including liquid (I use my glass measuring cup that has cups and ozs.) to the mix and beat 1 more minute.  Add the oil and beat 1 more minute.

Put the batter in a greased and floured 9 x 13″ pan. Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  It will get golden brown on top and that’s normal. Let cake cool completely.

To make the frosting, mix the margarine, powdered sugar, and 3.5 oz. of strawberries including liquid until well blended.  This frosting is in somewhere in between a glaze and a frosting, so you may need to add a little more powdered sugar to thicken it up.  Frost the cake, cover it, and immediately put it in the fridge.

An hour of so before potluck time, take it out of the fridge and serve it at room temperature.

* Alternate serving suggestion:  Make them as cupcakes.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean!

Classic Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

This classic lemon bar recipe has been in my recipe book for years.  The combination of the fresh lemon juice and zest give the filling a luscious lemon taste along with a buttery shortbread crust.   This is great potluck dessert for any occasion and for any season!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar plus a little extra for the top

3/4 c. butter, softened

4 eggs

1 1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

2 T. flour

2 to 3 tsp. grated lemon peel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with parchment paper, extending up the sides of pan.

Combine the 1 1/2 cup flour, powdered sugar, and butter with a mixer on low speed until crumbly.  Press the mixture evenly into the pan.  Bake for 20 minutes or until very light brown.

Using the same mixer and bowl (no need to wash or rinse them!), beat together the eggs, white sugar, 2 T. flour, and lemon peel until well blended.  Pour over the warm crust and return to the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the filling is set and the bars are just beginning to brown around the edges.

Let the bars cool completely.  Lift the edges of the parchment and place on a cutting board.  Cut into bars.

Store in an airtight container (in the fridge if you’re making them the day or two before).  Dust them with sifted powdered sugar right before potluck time!

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie3

Key Lime Pie is one of my favorite pies and this recipe does not disappoint!  The filling is perfectly creamy, smooth and not too heavy with a buttery, nutty, graham cracker crust.  And it’s very quick and easy to make.

Thank you to Jamie G. for sharing this recipe!

Ingredients:

2/3 cups slivered almonds, sliced

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup white sugar

1 pinch of salt

1/4 cup butter, melted

4 egg yolks

14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup key lime or regular lime juice

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp. grated lime zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pulse almonds in a food processor until finely ground.  Combine the almonds with the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt.  Pour in the melted butter and mix until evenly moistened.  Press into a 9 inch pie plate.

Bake crust in oven until golden brown, approximately 10 to 13 minutes.

While the crust is baking, beat the egg yolks in a bowl with the condensed milk, cream, and lime zest.  Whisk in the lime juice a little at a time to thicken the custard.  When the crust is finished baking, pour the custard into the pie crust and return to the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes to help the custard begin to set.

Cool to room temperature on a wire rack before covering loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.