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Sometimes the best way to beat the cold is to snuggle up with a warm blanket and a savory dessert.
There are dozens of recipes that make for a great end to a satisfying meal, and the right sweet is a great companion for diving into a book or watching a movie in the evening. Here are some after-dinner treats that are certainly worth trying:
Chocolate and Olive Oil Fig Cakes
This dish is sure to delight and dazzle any guests. Figs have essential nutrients like potassium and calcium, and ripe figs are sweet and delicious. The chocolate cake, meanwhile, is an irresistible indulgence.
For the cake:
For the glaze:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush a muffin pan with olive oil and top with a dusting of flour. In a small bowl, combine hot water and cocoa powder and whisk. Set aside to cool slightly. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda.
In a larger bowl, mix sugar, egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract and lemon zest, and using an electric mixer, beat on medium for 1 minute or until the combination is pale and thick. Continue to mix while adding in olive oil and the cocoa mixture. Lower the speed and combine flour and continue to mix until the batter is smooth.
Fill the muffin tin and bake for 10 minutes. Cut figs into halves and top each cake with a fig half. Continue baking 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then remove cakes and let cool separately.
Meanwhile, chop the chocolate into small pieces and combine with honey, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small, microwave-safe bowl. In intervals of 30 seconds, alternate between microwaving and stirring until the chocolate is smooth. Drizzle the glaze over each cake, along with any remaining fig halves.
Banana-Raisin Bread Pudding
This recipe calls for challah, but white or Italian bread can be used as well. Either way, this is a tasty and savory treat that is perfect for a cold winter evening.
Make sure oven rack is set to its lowest level and preheat to 350 F. Butter a shallow baking dish and set aside. Cut bananas into thin slices, and cut challah into bite-sized chunks.
Whisk eggs, vanilla extract, salt and 1/2 cup of sugar in a bowl until well combined. Continue to whisk while pouring in milk. Next, add challah pieces, banana slices and raisins. Gently stir and set aside for 10 minutes to let bread absorb liquid. Stir occasionally.
Add mixture to baking dish and top with remaining sugar. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes and let cool for an additional 10 minutes before enjoying.
These delicious little cookies are the perfect companions for a glass of milk or mug of hot chocolate. They can also be brought to a family party without any hassle at all. They are a tasty winter treat and easy enough that you can have your kids or grandkids help.
Stir flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
In another bowl, beat shortening with an electric mixer for 30 seconds before adding brown sugar. Beat in egg and molasses and mix until well combined. Next add flour mixture and beat on low. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place granulated sugar in a small bowl. Shape the cookie dough into small balls and coat with sugar. Place each ball about 1 1/2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes and allow to cool for 2 minutes.