Coffee Cake with a Twist: Apricot and Almond Coffee Cake

Coffeecakes have always been one of my favorite baked items. Serving and eating a piece with a cup of coffee or tea always make me feel warm and comforted. A friend recently shared a version of this recipe for Almond-Apricot Coffee Cake with me from the “Cooking with Paula Dean” magazine. I lightened it up a bit substituting egg white for some of the eggs, used reduced-fat cream cheese instead of regular and nonfat Greek yogurt for the sour cream. Apricots and almonds are two special ingredients to twist this recipe a bit, and they make this coffee cake even better. This is a great breakfast treat to serve to the kids, special snack, brunch recipe, bridal or baby shower recipe and, of course, dessert recipe.

Valentine’s Dessert: Easy Molten Lava Cakes

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Chocolate lava cakes are one of my favorite desserts, and I worked hard to develop a simple way to prepare them. With just a few ingredients and not much effort, these come out fabulous and are perfect for Valentine’s Day! I made them for television yesterday on WBRC Fox 6 in Birmingham, Alabama, and they were an instant hit. To prepare for television, I made over 20, which was fun for my kids and my son’s friend, Sergei, to watch and taste. See the link below for the television video.

 

http://www.myfoxal.com/myfox/pages/InsideFox/Detail?contentId=8348712&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=5.2.1

 

Easy Chocolate Lava Cakes

Dark chocolate may be substituted for semisweet in this recipe. These can be made at least a day ahead least one day ahead. Pour the mixture Pour the mixture into ramekins, cover and refrigerate. Be sure to bring to room temperature 30 minutes before baking. I also had a couple of baked and prepared ones left over, and I left them in the ramekins and reheated them in the microwave for 15 seconds, and they worked great!

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate or 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate morsels (I used Ghirardelli for both)

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup confectioners sugar

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Lightly grease 4 (8-ounce) ramekins (custard cups or souffle dishes). Place on a baking sheet.

2. Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwaveable bowl on High 30 seconds or until butter is melted. Whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Whisk in vanilla and confectioners sugar until well blended. Whisk in eggs and yolk. Stir in flour and pour batter evenly into prepared custard cups.

2. Bake 13 minutes or until sides are firm but centers are soft. Let stand 10 minutes. Carefully loosen edges with a knife. Invert cakes onto serving plates and sift powdered sugar over the top. Serve immediately.