Christmas Chocolate Fudge

Sweet and silky smooth chocolate fudge with crunchy pistachios and slightly tart raspberries! Incredibly easy to prepare with very few ingredients. It’s a great addition to your homemade holiday treats!

Oh my gosh folks… these are incredibly delicious!


With all the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, parties, cookie swaps and gift giving, we can use a few simple yet delicious recipes that we can proudly share with friends and family! This is one such recipe! Insert the fudge into clear treat bags, tie with a pretty ribbon for adorable homemade treats!


With just two main ingredients- sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips, this fudge takes less than 5 minutes to cook. Pour into a pan and let firm up in the refrigerator. How easy is that? So, let me get to the process right away….

—Melt sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips in a non-stick saucepan, until melted

—stir in vanilla

—pour into greased pan, sprinkle chopped pistachios and freeze dried raspberries (press lightly) and chill

—cut into wedges and enjoy!

I used Trader Joe’s Freeze dried raspberries


Christmas Chocolate Fudge


1 x 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons raw pistachios, chopped

1/4 cup freeze dried raspberries

12 popsicle sticks (optional)


Line a 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil and grease with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Combine sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips in a medium non-stick saucepan.

Place over low heat and stir for 2-4 minutes, until all the chcolate is melted and the mixture becomes smooth. Take pan off heat and stir in vanilla.

Pour mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle chopped pistachios and freeze dried raspberries and gently press with the palm of your hands for the nuts and raspberries to adhere well. Place pan in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or until firm.

Remove fudge from pan, remove foil and cut into 12 wedges. If desired, inserted one popsicle stick into each wedge.

Store fudge in the refrigerator.

makes 12 wedges







San Francisco Style Garlic Tater Tots

Addictive tater tots made with Yukon gold potatoes and crushed potato chips and then tossed in a garlicky goodness! San Francisco AT&T Park’s Gilroy garlic fries style.


This is pure indulgence peeps!!!!

Crispy, soft, hot, spicy, garlicky, salty…. YUMMY

This recipe is a far cry from the package of tater tots in your freezer! We begin with the best of the best potato, The yokon gold! It is less starchier and more creamier than the usual Russet. Cooked and grated potato is mixed with…..hold on folks… take a deep breath….POTATO CHIPS….!!!! Then, the deep fried nuggets are coated with garlic, red pepper flakes and parsley.

The Gilroy garlic fries concession stand in AT&T Park, San Fransisco is a Fan favorite! The crispy French fries are dredged with a heavy dose of fresh minced garlic, olive oil, and parsley! This is my humble attempt to recreate that but with Tater tots instead!


Let us get to the prep part—-

—-Cook peeled Yukon gold potatoes in a large pot of water until just tender. Do not overcook. A knife inserted in the middle of a potato should have some resistance. Drain and cool potatoes

—Add some Lay’s classic potato chips in a gallon size ziplock bag, seal and crush with a rolling pin, until it is crushed well

—Mix grated potatoes, crushed chips and seasonings together and shape into tots

—Deep fry until golden

—Saute chopped garlic, parsley and red pepper flakes in some oil and coat the tots in this mixture.




San Fransisco Style Garlic Tater Tots


1 pound yokon gold potatoes, peeled

1 cup finely crushed potato chips, I used Lay’s classic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon paprika

vegetable oil, for frying

10 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes


Cut large potatoes in half or leave them whole if  medium or small. Add potatoes into a large pot of water, bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are just cooked (do not overcook them).  Drain potatoes and let cool completely.

Place some potato chips in a gallon size ziplock bag, seal and crush with a rolling pin, until  crushed well and measure 1 cup for the recipe.

Coarsely grate the potatoes and mix well with crushed potato chips, salt, pepper powder, garlic powder and paprika, until thoroughly incorporated (clean hands are your best friends). Divide them into 1 1/2 tablespoon measure portions and shape each portion into a 1 – 1 1/2 inch cylinder (the shape of a traditional tot).

Add oil in a deep skillet or dutch oven until it comes to about 1 1/2 inches height up the sides of the pan. Heat over high heat until it reaches 375 degrees.

Deep fry tots in 2 batches, until each batch is deep golden on all sides (turning them occasionally, 3-4 minutes per batch). Drain them on a paper towel lined plate.

Add 2 tablespoons of the same oil in a small skillet and stir in the garlic, parsley and red pepper flakes. Place the skillet on low heat and cook just until the raw flavor of garlic is gone. Scrape off every last bit of this garlicky goodness over the cooked tots and toss them around.

Serve hot and watch them disappear.

Makes about 28 tots


Honeyed Persimmon and Brie

Baked persimmons with honey, walnuts and rosemary and gooey melted brie on top! An easy and elegant appetizer for the holiday parties.


Nothing is more luxurious than hot melted cheese!! What if that cheese is melted over sweet fruit and honey? YUMMO


Sweet, salty, hot, fruity and a bit of crunch!! This dish is incredible easy and is sure to impress your guests. You really don’t need a written recipe – place some very ripe persimmons in a pan, sprinkle chopped rosemary and walnuts and then drizzle honey on top. Bake for the fruit to soften and then top with brie and let melt. Inspiration for this recipe is from Baked brie with honeyed apricots from America’s Test Kitchen.



-very ripe persimmons are perfect! Fuyu or Hachiya will work

-baking time for the persimmons depends on the ripeness of your fruit. Riper fruit wouldn’t take as much to time to soften when compared to firmer ones.

If you love persimmons like me, then check out Persimmon Bread


Honeyed Persimmon and Brie


3-4 large ripe persimmons, peeled and sliced or chopped

2 teaspoons minced rosemary

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

3-4 tablespoons honey, divided

1/2 pound triple cream brie

sliced baguette, to serve


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Have a 9-inch oven safe pan ready.

Arrange cut persimmons in the  pan, sprinkle rosemary and walnuts and then drizzle 2 tablespoons honey evenly over the persimmons.

Bake for 15-25 minutes, until the fruit is soft.

Remove pan from oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees.

Cut the rind off the brie and cut into big chunks and place on top of the persimmon.

Bake for 3-6 minutes, until cheese melts. Drizzle leftover honey on top.

Serve after 5 minutes with baguette slices.

Serves 10-12


Cocoa glazed Nutella-Sweet Potato Rolls

Not your everyday cinnamon rolls! A soft, sweet potato dough filled with Nutella and chocolate and glazed with a cinnamon-cocoa glaze.


Messy and not-too-sweet rolls that is finger licking good, literally!


First things first, make sweet potato puree. Wash 2 medium sweet potatoes, prick with a fork and place on a baking sheet (line it with foil or parchment for easy clean up). Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes to one hour or until soft to touch. Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely. Peel skin off and mash sweet potato with a potato masher until smooth. Measure 1 cup for the recipe.

The dough is a basic enriched bread dough with the addition sweet potatoes. A stand up mixer is essential! Combine all ingredients in the bowl of the stand mixer and knead for few minutes. Let rise, roll into a rectangle, spread Nutella and chocolate chips, roll, slice and let rise again. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. Cool completely.


Whisk all glaze ingredients together and drizzle over rolls.


-Sweet potato puree can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Bring puree  to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe.

-First add about 1/2 cup + 3 tablepoons milk and then 1-2 tablepoons more if the dough does not look soft.

-Consistency of the glaze can be adjusted to desired thickness. Add more milk for a thinner glaze and more sugar and cocoa powder for a thicker one.

Serve rolls with plenty of napkins.


Cocoa glazed Nutella-Sweet Potato Rolls


Sweet potato dough

3 1/4 cups all purpose flour

2 tablepoons sugar

3 teaspoons yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 tablepoons unsalted butter, room temperature

3 /4 cup lukewarm milk, approximately

1 cup sweet potato puree

1/2 cup Nutella

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Cocoa glaze

1 cup confectioners sugar

1/4 cup dutch process cocoa powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3-4 tablespoons milk


To make sweet potato dough,

Combine first 5 ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and whisk together.

Add butter, milk and sweet potato and knead with the dough hook for 3-5 minutes.

Shape dough into a ball and place in a large greased bowl, cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let dough rise for 1 1/2 hours or until double in size.

Grease a 9 x 13 inch rectangular baking pan with non stick cooking spray and set aside.

Transfer dough on the kitchen counter, roll gently into a 15 x 12 inch rectangle, spread Nutella evenly and sprinkle chocolate chips on top.

Roll tightly into a jelly roll, cut into 12 equal slices and place cut side up in the prepared pan, spacing evenly.

Cover pan with a kitchen towel and rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake rolls for 45 minutes until golden brown.

Place pan on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make cocoa glaze,

Whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl, until smooth. Adjust milk to get desire thickness.

Drizzle glaze on top of the rolls and enjoy.

Makes 12 rolls


Malted Milkshakes with Homemade Pumpkin Caramel

An old fashioned malt milkshake with a homemade pumpkin caramel sauce.


Milkshakes are probably one of the first recipes that kids learn to master. No cooking required and it involves scoops of ice cream, duh! Milkshakes are basically milk blended with ice cream, so it is a white canvas for infinite flavor combinations. Malted milkshakes seems to have lost the popularity these days. Malted milk powder can be found in the baking aisle of your supermarket. So, let’s recreate this old soda fountain favorite but with pumpkin caramel drizzled all over, YUM!


Homemade caramel is much easier than you might think and no caramel from a jar can come remotely close to the homemade version. This is just a basic caramel recipe with the additional pumpkin. If you wish not to avoid pumpkin, then just omit the pumpkin and proceed with the same recipe. There are few important pointers to keep in mind while making caramel-

– use a large saucepan, the caramel will boil over vigorously when we add the cream

– Add butter as soon it gets a light amber color. Caramel tends to get bitter when cooked for longer period of time.

– Caramel will thicken as it cools. Pop the bowl in the microwave for a few seconds to get it to a flowing consistency.



Malted Milkshakes with Homemade Pumpkin Caramel


Homemade pumpkin caramel

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 tablepoons  canned pumpkin puree

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Malted milkshake

1 cup milk

3 regular scoops vanilla ice cream

3 tablepoons malted milk powder

Additional ingredients

whipped cream, to serve

malted milk balls, to garnish (optional)


To make homemade pumpkin caramel,

Heat sugar in a stainless steel large saucepan over medium-high heat. Sugar will melt and then turn into a light amber color (stir often).

As soon it gets an amber color, stir in the butter. As soon as all the butter is melted, add heavy cream (the mixture will boil vigorously and then subside).

Take pan off heat and then stir in the pumpkin puree, salt and vanilla extract.

Transfer caramel into a different container or a bowl and let cool completely.

To make malted milkshake,

Combine milk, ice cream, malted milk powder and 2 tablepoons pumpkin caramel in a blender, blend until smooth.

Pour into a tall glass, top with whipped cream, additional pumpkin caramel and a malted milk ball.

Serve immediately.

Makes 1 drink




Rasmalai Cake

One of the most delectable Indian desserts is all dressed up in the form of a layer cake! Spongy cake soaked with a saffron-cardamom milk, filled and topped with a creamy homemade ricotta cream.


Rasmalai is a chilled dessert that consists of soft and fluffy paneer dumplings soaked in a thick milk syrup, flavored with cardamom and saffron. One creamy, dreamy dessert! Now, transitioning to our cake, it has three components – a spongy cake, saffron milk  and ricotta cream and garnished with nuts.


The cake recipe is a tweaked one from Joyofbaking. Stephanie creates such perfect baked goods in her blog and she does an incredible job. The cake is very spongy and airy is perfect to soak up all the saffron milk. To make the cake…

— beat eggs whites until soft peaks form

—beat egg yolks and sugar until thick

—warm butter and milk until butter is melted

—sift all dry together

—fold beaten yolks into whites…fold in flour and finally fold in melted butter-milk

— bake and cool

Try to fold very gently, so we don’t lose much of the air.


The saffron milk  is very similar to the traditional milk in the actual dessert. Milk is simmered with saffron, sugar and cardamom powder. This can be made up to a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.


Finally ricotta cream, rasmalai dumplings are made with fresh panner kneaded until very soft and then cooked in a light sugar syrup until soft and fluffy. Paneer is milk curdled with vinegar and then drained to get all the whey out. Ricotta is a creamier version of that. The obvious question here is, why not store bought ricotta? I found that homemade ricotta is so much fresher, creamier and better tasting! Go ahead and take that extra step. It’s worth it! Whip fresh ricotta with heavy cream, sugar and cardamom.

Liberally brush saffron milk in the cakes, and then fill and top with ricotta cream, and garnish with chopped nuts!


Let sit in the refrigerator for few hours for all the flavors to mingle and cake soften.



-Eggs are much easier to seperate when they are cold, so seperate them when cold and leave it at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. They whip up to full volume when at room temperature.

-Ricotta can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator. It also helps in firming up a bit.

-Saffron milk can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator as well.

Can’t get enough of Indian style mashups? Try…

Cinnamon Glazed Apple Jalebi

Kulfi Tres Leches Cupcakes


Rasmalai Cake


Sponge cake

4 large eggs

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

Saffron milk

1 cup milk

2 tablepoons sugar

1 healthy pinch saffron threads

1 teaspoon cardamom powder

Ricotta cream

2 cups milk

2 cups heavy cream, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 tablepoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon cardamom powder

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar

Additional ingredients

3/4 cup pistachios, sliced almonds and cashews, chop finely


To make sponge cake,

Seperate cold eggs and place  whites and yolks in two different bowls. Let stand at least for 30 minutes to come to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 x 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray, line with parchment paper and grease again. Set aside.

Place butter and milk in a small microwavable bowl, microwave until butter is just melted (don’t let it get very hot). Set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Beat yolks and sugar with a hand held electric beater for 4 minutes until thick and pale. Set aside. Wash and dry beaters.

Beat egg whites  for 2-3 minutes until soft peaks form. Switch to a rubber spatula. gently fold beaten yolks in 2 additions.

Gently fold flour mixture in 2 additions. Finally, fold all the melted milk-butter mixture.

Divide batter equally in the 2 prepared cake pans, place in oven and bake for 19-20 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes clean.

Place pans on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make saffron milk,

Combine milk, sugar and saffron threads in a small non-stick saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until reduced to 3/4th cup.

Pour into a bowl, stir in cardamom powder and let cool to room temperature.

To make ricotta cream,

Combine milk, 1 cup cream and salt in a medium non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, take off heat and add vinegar. Let milk stand for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, spread cheesecloth on a strainer and place over a bowl. After 5 minutes, pour curdled milk into the cheesecloth lined strainer and let stand for 1-2 hours, until all whey is separated. Transfer ricotta into a covered container and store in the refrigerator for 1-3 days.

Just before finishing cake, add ricotta, remaining 1 cup cream, cardamom powder and sugar. Beat with a hand held electric beater, until soft peaks form.

To assemble cake,

Place one cake on a cake platter, liberally brush about half the saffron milk, spread 1 cup of ricotta cream on top and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of chopped nuts. Gently place the other cake on top, brush remaining saffron milk and spread remaining ricotta cream on top and sides. Smooth and decorate with chopped nuts.

Store cake in the refrigerator for few hours before serving and serve with any remaining saffron milk.

Makes one 8-inch cake







Crunchy Coconut-Pumpkin Butter Cups

A mash up of two candy bars with a Fall twist! Nestle crunch and Hershey’s Mounds come together in one homemade cup with Pumpkin butter. An almost no-cook 4-ingredient treat and no tricks!


Imagine a peanut butter cup minus the peanut butter but with pumpkin butter and coconut and Rice Krispies added to the chocolate shell! One epic candy and it’s homemade!

One essential ingredient in the recipe is Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter. If you haven’t tried this, please stop reading further and drive to your nearest Trader Joe’s. Go ahead, I’ll wait!


It is so AMAZING!!! Sweet, spicy, pumpkiny….a spoon is good enough to savor this butter. Try to use unseewetend shredded coconut because the pumpkin butter is sweet already.

All you need is a microwave to melt the chocolate. So, a fun project for little kiddos. Melt chocolate and stir Rice Krispies cereal in it.

Mix together pumpkin butter and unsweetened shredded coconut together.

Spread some melted chocolate mixture in the bottom of a muffin cup lined with paper liner. Place 2 tablepoons of coconut-pumpkin mixture and then spread some more melted chocolate on top. Sprinkle some shredded coconut on top. Got to make it pretty:) Let set in the refrigerator, but serve at room temperature.

Check out more pumpkin recipes, Browned Butter Pumpkin MadeleinesPumpkin Spice Funnel CakesBrownie Swirled Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet Cake.

featurecup1.jpgCrunchy Coconut-Pumpkin Butter Cups


1 1/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, divided

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pumpkin butter

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup Rice Krispies cereal


Line a muffin pan with 7 paper liners and set aside.

Using a spoon, mix together 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut and pumpkin butter in a medium bowl, until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Melt chocolate chips in a microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes, until thoroughly melted (stir every 30 seconds). Remove from microwave and add Rice Krispies cereal, stir well.

Add 1 tablespoon measure melted chocolate mixture into each muffin cup.

Using a spoon, spread to cover the entire bottom and about 1/4-inch up the sides.

Spread about 2 tablespoons measure coconut-pumpkin filling on top of each chocolate base and then spread 1/2 tablespoon measure remaining chocolate mixture.

Sprinkle some shredded coconut on top of each cups.

Place muffin pan in the refrigerator for few hours to set.

Serve at room temperature.

makes 7 cups