Dessert

Coconut Bon-Bons

Coconut Bon-Bons

This is the about only “Christmas” candy recipe from my childhood that I still make. I have no idea where my mom got the recipe, and I've been making it from memory. About the only change I've made is to use melted coconut oil in place of butter, and also to reduce the sugar a bit as well as add more coconut. I use unsweetened coconut, but you could use the sweetened kind.

Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut Butter Cups

This is the most recently added treat to my holiday repetoire. The original recipe called for powdered milk and lots of added sugar, and I was never quite happy with it. Once I discovered peanut butter powder, which is now available in most groceries (or you can order it from Amazon), the way became clear. You need the dry ingredients so you end up with a dough you can form into balls or squares that will hold their shape.

Lemon-Tequila & Cocoa-Nocino Balls

Lemon-Tequila & Cocoa-Nocino Balls

It's coming to that time of year when I start making my holiday treats. I generally begin well before Thanksgiving because some of the things I make, like these little adult confections, require some time to age before they're best to eat. This recipe started out as a basic rum ball, but over the years I've experimented with different cookies, crackers and alcohols. These two recipes represent the ones I think are the best.

Orange-Date Cake

Orange-Date Cake

My mother wasn't a great cook. She was competent enough, but not very creative. This is one of a handful of recipes I copied from her card file before I first left the states. I have no idea where this originated. It's an unusual recipe, and one I haven't seen replicated in the varied bakery scene in contemporary Portland. Perhaps that's because of the unusual preparation method. You really do need to use a meat grinder to get the orange and dates chopped and combined with the right consistency.

Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse

This has been one of my go-to desserts for many years. It can be made the night before needed, and unless you get fancy with the crust when making a larger portion, it doesn't take much time to prepare. The recipe as shown is good for intimate dinners. If you need to make enough for a larger group, double the recipe and make a base of ground graham crackers or biscotti.