Greek Style Gingerbread Cookies (NO CHILL, NO SPREAD)

Mavrodaphne wine adds a Greek twist to an all-time favorite Christmas cookie! These gingerbread cookies are slightly crunchy on the outside and chewy inside. They are easy to make and hold their shape perfectly. This recipe is also a real time-saver because you don’t need to chill the dough! 

greek gingerbread cookies on a wooden tray surrounded by christmas decorations on a red satin cloth

Nothing says Christmas like gingerbread cookies! I make them together with the traditional Greek christmas cookies, Melomakarona and Kourabiedes. They also make really nice gifts, too, because they keep so well!

This year, though, I wanted to experiment and make something we could also have during the Orthodox Christian Nativity fast, which is mostly vegan. So, this recipe is vegan, although you could adapt it for non-vegans, as well. For example, you could use regular butter instead of vegan butter/margarine, or regular milk instead of vegan/plant-based milk.

I introduced a Greek flavor to this recipe by adding some Mavrodaphne wine. In my opinion, the result is extraordinary! 

Mavrodaphne wine gives these cookies a beautiful subtle flavor. It really pairs well with the spices, too! It’s a unique flavor combination!

grek gingerbread cookies on a plate with a candy cane and candle in the background

WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE STAND OUT FROM TRADITIONAL ONES:

  • NO CHILLING REQUIRED! Unlike classic gingerbread cookie recipes where you need to chill the dough, this recipe is pretty quick and convenient because you don’t have to do that. Just roll it out, cut out the cookies and bake! It’s a HUGE timesaver! How many of us actually have a couple of hours to spare to wait for the dough to chill??
  • You don’t need a stand mixer OR a hand mixer! No creaming the butter and sugar here! You just fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones! It really couldn’t be any easier than that!
  • You don’t have to flour your work surface or rolling pin! Just roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper. No extra flour, no mess, no fuss! This also makes cleanup a breeze! 
  • Amazing dough! The dough is a DREAM to work with! It doesn’t even crack while you roll it out (*check out the picture tutorial below)!
  • The cookies DO NOT spread! The cookies really hold their shape well. They don’t really puff up or spread at all. I took pictures of the cookies before and after I baked them. As you can see, there’s not much of a difference – they really maintained their shape! Check out the photos below!

greek gingerbread cookies on tray before and after baking

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Mavrodaphne wine?

Mavrodaphne wine is a traditional Greek wine. It’s sweet and dark brownish red in color. It’s also known as a dessert wine, similar to Port. It’s most commonly made from a dark grape variety from the Peloponnese, an area in Greece that is famous for its wine-making since ancient times. It is an excellent aperitif, but it’s also used in cooking and baking today.

What does Mavrodaphne wine taste like?

Mavrodaphne wine has a unique exotic aroma and flavor. It’s rich and sweet with subtle hints of caramelized raisins.

Can I omit the wine?

Of course! If you don’t want any alcohol, you could easily replace the Mavrodaphne wine with regular milk or a plant-based, non-dairy milk for a vegan option.

What’s a good substitute for molasses?

If you don’t have molasses, you could replace it with equal amounts of good-quality honey. The taste will be different, though, as molasses has a very distinct flavor. I’ve made these cookies with honey and they were much lighter in flavor, but I much prefer them made with molasses! Molasses and Mavrodaphne wine really compliment each other!

Can I freeze the dough?

Yes! Just wrap the dough in some plastic wrap and then put it in a freezer-safe container. You can freeze the dough for about a month.

Can I make these gingerbread cookies crunchy?

Sure! There are 2 ways to get crunchier cookies. You could either roll the dough really thin before cutting them out and baking them. Or, you can bake them a few minutes longer.

How long will these gingerbread cookies stay fresh?

These cookies will last for about 2 ½ weeks in an airtight container.

How do you store these gingerbread cookies?

I store them in an airtight container. You could also put a small piece of parchment paper between each cookie to prevent them from sticking together.

Can I freeze these gingerbread cookies?

Yes! I always freeze my cookies undecorated. I wrap each cookie in plastic wrap and then I put them in a freezer-safe container. You can store them in the freezer for a couple of months.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THESE GREEK STYLE GINGERBREAD COOKIES

  • Flour: I  use all-purpose flour. 
  • Margarine: I always use block margarine, not the spreadable tub kind because there’s too much moisture in it. Margarine makes the dough really pliable. If you want, you could use vegan butter or regular butter.
  • Mavrodaphne wine : This is the secret ingredient! If you don’t have it, you could omit it from the recipe, but it will have a different flavor. I’ve tried it with and without the Mavrodaphne wine and it’s still delicious, but the Mavrodaphne wine really gives it a richer flavor!
  • Spices: I use a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, of course!
  • Sweeteners: I use molasses and dark brown sugar.
  • Salt: I use a little to boost the flavors.
  • For the Eggless Icing I use powdered sugar, cornstarch, and some milk.

5 IMPORTANT SUPER TIPS! 

SUPER TIP #1: MAKING THE DOUGH 

In the recipe, I started off with 2 ½ cups flour and ended up adding ½ cup more to get the right consistency. You should just add enough flour, a little at a time, until it comes together and doesn’t stick to your hands. This dough should be thick enough to pick up and hold in your hand (see the picture tutorial below). 

SUPER TIP #2: PREP YOUR COOKIE CUTTERS 

Have a small bowl of flour nearby and dip each cookie cutter in it before placing it on the dough to cut out shapes. This will help prevent any dough from sticking to the cookie cutters.

SUPER TIP #3: HOW TO MAKE USE OF AS MUCH DOUGH AS POSSIBLE

Whenever I make these cookies (or any cut out cookies), I need to use up as much dough as I possibly can, because I don’t want to roll it out too many times, as this would risk overworking the dough. If you overwork the dough, it can make the cookies tough and hard.

Here’s what I do to avoid this:

After I roll out the dough, I place my cookie cutters as close together as I can. That way I make use of as much dough as possible because I have fewer scraps to re-roll.

SUPER TIP #4: HOW TO PREVENT THE COOKIES FROM SPREADING WHILE BAKING

I don’t use any baking powder or baking soda in this recipe, so they aren’t very light and airy. However, I found that omitting the leaveners made a stronger cookie – perfect for packing and shipping them without sacrificing the flavor.

SUPER TIP #5: HOW TO PREVENT THE COOKIES FROM LOSING THEIR SHAPE WHEN TRANSFERRING THEM TO A BAKING SHEET

Here’s a trick I do that keeps the cookies from falling apart or getting misshapen when I transfer them onto a baking sheet! It’s really simple! 

First, cut some parchment paper the same size as your baking sheet.

Place your dough on top of the parchment paper and then place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough. If you want, you could use plastic wrap on top, instead.

Roll out the dough to your desired thickness.

Then LIFT OR SLIDE the entire sheet of parchment paper onto your baking sheet.

Remove the top parchment paper & cut out your shapes with your cookie cutters.

Then carefully remove all the scraps.

Voila! 

This trick is perfect for whenever you’re making really intricate cookies, too, because you don’t touch the cookies at all!

HOW TO MAKE THESE GREEK STYLE GINGERBREAD COOKIES

greekgingerbreadcookiessteps1-3

greekgingerbreadcookiessteps4-5

ABOUT THIS EGGLESS ICING

This eggless icing isn’t runny like a glaze, it’s much, much thicker.

The reason why I wanted to make it thick is because I wanted to make detailed designs on the cookies, like I would with royal icing. However, whenever I made regular glazes (which are great to use in squeeze bottles), the design would often spread on the cookie. 

This was never a big deal for me when I made really big cookies, but for smaller ones, I could never get the intricate details I wanted and I didn’t want to make traditional royal icing because it uses egg whites.

So, after a lot of experimenting, I came up with this eggless, vegan icing. 

One thing to keep in mind with this icing is that it’s really thick. As a result, it doesn’t spread on the cookie and the design dries hard. The consistency needs to be so thick that it won’t come off the spoon unless you shake it off! 

Then you can use a pastry bag to decorate the cookies. I used a Wilton tip #4 for the cookies in the pictures.

Here’s a picture tutorial:

HOW TO MAKE EGGLESS ICING

eggless icing four steps

MORE TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • The size of the cookies will affect the overall baking time. Smaller cookies will need less time as opposed to larger ones.
  • Don’t bake them longer than 10 minutes unless you want really crunchy cookies. The cookies will harden as they cool on the baking sheet.
  • The egg free icing can be colored. I would suggest using a thick gel paste, so it doesn’t affect the consistency of the icing. I use Wilton gel food coloring. You only need a really tiny amount. Start off with a small amount using a toothpick.

greek gingerbread cookies on a wooden table with some kitchen twine

MORE CHRISTMAS RECIPES!

Let me know how these Greek style gingerbread cookies turn out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

Have a Merry Christmas!

~Voula

Greek Style Gingerbread Cookies (NO CHILL, NO SPREAD)

Mavrodaphne wine adds a Greek twist to an all-time favorite Christmas cookie! These gingerbread cookies are slightly crunchy on the outside and chewy inside. They are easy to make and hold their shape perfectly. This recipe is also a real time-saver because you don’t need to chill the dough! 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Greek
Keyword: greek, gingerbread, vegan, cookies, Christmas, holidays, mavrodaphne wine, eggles icing, icing
Servings: 30 cookies, approximately*

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 2 ½ cups (254 g / 9 oz) all purpose flour (+ up to ½ cup more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½  teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼  teaspoon salt
  • ½ cups (113 g / 4 oz) block margarine (not spreadable kind)  
  • ¾ cup (150 g / 5.3 oz) packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons / 2 fl oz) mavrodaphne wine

For the eggless icing

  • ½ cup (60 g / 2.1 oz) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1-2 teaspoons vegan/plant-based milk

Instructions

For the cookies

  • In a large bowl, sift the flour, salt and spices together. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan, add the margarine, sugar, molasses and wine and whisk everything together over low heat until the margarine melts and the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones (I start byusing a spatula & then I use my hands). If the mixture is too wet, add more flour, about ¼ cup at a time, until it comes together and doesn’t stick to your hands. You may need up to ½ cup more to get the right consistency. The dough should be just stiff enough to pick up and hold in your hand (see the picture tutorial in the post). Don’t overwork the dough.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° F / 180° C.
  • Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it out to your desired thickness (I roll out mine about ¼ inch / 0.5 cm thick).
  • Then lift or slide the entire sheet of parchment paper onto your baking sheet.
  • Dip your cookie cutter in some flour.
  • Remove the top parchment paper and cut out different shapes as close as possible.
  • Carefully remove all the dough scraps.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes.
  • Allow cookies to cool completely before decorating with icing.

For the eggless icing

  • Mix the powdered sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl.
  • Stir in the milk, a FEW DROPS at a time, until it’s smooth, but thick. Use the back of the spoon to remove any lumps. If necessary, add more milk or powdered sugar to get the right consistency. If you accidentally add too much milk, just add more powdered sugar. The consistency is perfect when the icing doesn’t fall off the spoon unless you shake it off (see the picture tutorial in the post).
  • Put the icing in a pastry bag fitted with a tip and decorate.
  • Allow the icing to dry, about 1 ½ - 2 hours.
  • Store the cookies in an airtight container for about 2 ½ weeks.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • The number of cookies will depend on the size of your cookie cutters.
  • If you bake these cookies longer than 10 minutes, they become harder and crunchier.
  • The cookies harden as they cool on the baking sheet. 
Freezing Options
  • The dough can be frozen for up to a month. Just wrap it in some plastic wrap and then put it in a freezer-safe container. 
  • Undecorated cookies can be frozen for a couple of months. Just wrap each cookie in plastic wrap and then put them in a freezer-safe container. 
© Pastry Wishes
Adapted from  https://www.hotforfoodblog.com/recipes/2014/11/06/gingerbread-snowflakes/
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Warm Pomegranate and Apple Mocktail

This warm pomegranate and apple mocktail is a perfect spiced drink for a cozy evening at home! It only has 5 ingredients and it’s incredibly easy to make! A delicious non-boozy winter drink that’s healthy and sugar free!

two cups pomegranate and apple mocktail with cinnamon sticks, rosemary sprigs and fairy lights

Nothing beats a warm drink on a cold winter day! This mocktail really fits the bill! It’s bursting with all of my favorite flavors and is absolutely perfect on a cold winter’s night! I’m not much of a tea drinker, so this is also a great alternative to hot tea!

two glasses pomegranate and apple mocktail with cinnamon sticks, a sliced apple and pomegranate

The best thing about this recipe is that you only need 5 ingredients!

Here’s what you need:

  • Apple &  Pomegranate juice : I use unsweetened 100% apple & pomegranate juice without added sugar or spices.
  • Spices: I use a few cinnamon sticks and whole cloves.
  • Orange peel: This is totally optional, but I think it really adds a nice citrus touch.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is pomegranate and apple mocktail healthy?

Yes! Apples and pomegranates are one of the healthiest fruits around! They’re loaded with all kinds of nutrients, like fiber, protein, and various vitamins! They also offer many health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties.

What does this pomegranate and apple mocktail taste like?

It’s very similar to hot mulled apple cider, but the pomegranate juice adds a nice tartness. What I really like the most about this mocktail, though, is how well pomegranate juice pairs with the spices! It’s delicately spiced and the overall flavor is balanced by the sweetness of the apple juice. It’s such a delicious combination! If you like , you can make it sweeter by adding sugar, honey or maple syrup.

How long does this pomegranate and apple mocktail last?

This drink lasts about 2-3 days in the fridge. It can easily be reheated. If you want you could even enjoy it cold.

Can I use freshly squeezed pomegranate juice?

Yes! For this recipe you’d need the juice from about 3 pomegranates.

HOW TO MAKE WARM POMEGRANATE AND APPLE MOCKTAIL

 

I usually have picture tutorials in my posts, but this recipe is so simple that I didn’t think having pictures was necessary! All you do is put everything in a saucepan and simmer! Then you strain it into a mug and enjoy!

WHAT TO SERVE WITH WARM POMEGRANATE AND APPLE MOCKTAILS

I think these mocktails are great with some apple or pear slices.

Or …

perhaps a slice (or 2) of this amazing apple rose tart with dulce de leche  OMG!!! What a combination!

 

VARIATIONS

  • I think that mint really goes well with pomegranate. You cold just add a few sprigs of mint in the saucepan with the other ingredients.
  • For a Greek twist, add 1-2 drops of food grade orange blossom water or rose water in each mug!
  • Add some red wine or Mavrodaphne wine for a mulled drink, or turn it into a cocktail by adding some bourbon!

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • You need to simmer everything for at least 20 minutes. This allows all the flavors to infuse.
  • If you find the mocktail too tart, feel free to add your favorite sweetener. I think honey, dark brown sugar, or maple syrup all go well with this mocktail.

This comforting drink would be great to have when you want to wind down at the end of the day! It’s perfect in front of a blazing fire or enjoy sipping it next to a firepit! And your house will smell amazing, too!

a cup of pomegranate apple mocktail with cinnamon sticks, some rosemary sprigs, an orange slice, an apple and sliced pomegranate

MORE POMEGRANATE RECIPES!

 

Let me know how this Warm Pomegranate and Apple Mocktail turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

Warm Pomegranate and Apple Mocktail

This warm pomegranate and apple mocktail is a perfect spiced drink for a cozy evening at home! It only has 5 ingredients and it’s incredibly easy to make! A delicious non-boozy winter drink that's healthy and sugar free!
Prep Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pomegranate, pomegranate juice, apple juice, holiday, hot winter beverages
Servings: 2 -3 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened 100% apple juice (no added spices)
  • 1 cup unsweetened 100% pomegranate juice 
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks + 2-3 additional cinnamon sticks for garnish
  • 1 slice orange peel (optional)
  • sweetener of choice (optional)

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a saucepan and bring the mixture to a low boil on medium heat.
  • Turn heat to low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. 
  • Strain and serve warm. Taste and add your favorite sweetener, if using.
  • Pour into glasses or mugs and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

This pomegranate and apple mocktail can be stored in the refrigerator for about 2-3. It can easily be reheated or you can enjoy it cold.
 
© Pastry Wishes
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Chocolate Pomegranate Bark

This dark chocolate pomegranate bark is the perfect indulgent sweet treat! It’s easy to make and only has 3 ingredients! This festive bark would also make a beautiful edible Christmas gift!

chocolate pomegranate bark broken into pieces

I really love making this chocolate bark around Christmas. There are so many things you can do with it! It’s a nice little snack, but it also looks great on a holiday platter, too!

It has an amazing combination of flavors: dark chocolate + pomegranate! Dark chocolate goes so well with pomegranate!  If you haven’t tried it before, you really should! It’s amazing!

What does this chocolate Pomegranate bark taste like?

This bark has a crunchy texture, but the best part is when you bite into the pomegranate seeds! The contrast between the crunchy chocolate and the juicy pomegranate seeds is incredible! It just melts in your mouth! The pistachios give a nice salty undertone!

This Chocolate Pomegranate Bark is

SO simple to make.

made with only 3 ingredients.

a no-bake dessert.

ready in less than an hour.

colorful and festive with ruby red pomegranate seeds and green pistachios.

low in sugar!

vegan friendly!

an ideal homemade gift!

absolutely delicious!

chocolate pomegrante pistachio bark pieces stacked in a pile

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What kind of chocolate can I use?

You can use your favorite kind of chocolate, milk, dark, or white! The only thing I would avoid is using chocolate chips because they’re not really ideal for melting. Use high quality chocolate bars, like bittersweet chocolate. For this recipe, I use couverture chocolate.

What kind of mix-ins and toppings can I use?

The options are endless! You can get really creative! Here are a few ideas:

Dried fruit will not only add sweetness, of course, but it will also add a nice, chewy texture. You could try raisins, chopped mango, or figs.

Nuts and seeds always go great with chocolate. I personally love pistachios, walnuts, almonds and sesame seeds. Caramelized nuts would be great, too! Nuts and seeds also add a nice crunch.

Other add-ins you could try are sea salt, crushed candy canes or pretzels, mini marshmallows, or shredded coconut.

White chocolate can be used to make gorgeous designs. Add some melted white chocolate on top and swirl it around with a knife or a toothpick to create beautiful patterns.

How do I store this chocolate pomegranate bark?

I always store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week because of the fresh pomegranate seeds that are in it. Other mix-ins that are dried and don’t contain fresh fruit can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Can I freeze this chocolate pomegranate bark?

YES!!! After I break the bark up into pieces, I always wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Then I put all the pieces in a larger freezer bag or container and freeze.

TOP TIP

This bark can also be frozen for a couple of months. You don’t even need to thaw it! It’s absolutely DELICIOUS frozen! Just pop a piece out of the freezer whenever you get a craving! It’s definitely a healthier way to get your chocolate fix!

HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE POMEGRANATE BARK

First you melt the chocolate.

Then you spread it on a sheet of parchment paper. I like my bark thin (about ¼ inch), but you could make it thicker by not filling the entire sheet of parchment paper.

Then just add the pomegranate seeds and the pistachios.

I press them into the warm chocolate so that they don’t fall off when the chocolate sets.

pressing pomegranate seeds and pistachios into melted chocolate

After that you chill it for half an hour and then break it into pieces.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Have all your add-ins and toppings ready before starting because the chocolate hardens fast.
  • Drain the pomegranate seeds on a paper towel and then blot them dry with another paper towel as much as possible. Doing this before adding it to the chocolate will prevent the chocolate from seizing (becoming clumpy, like thick paste).
  • If you’re using any dried or candied fruit, use your fingers to break any clumps before adding it to the chocolate.
  • Press your toppings firmly into the warm, melted chocolate. This will prevent them from falling off.
  • Chilling the bark before cutting it helps to set chocolate. That way it’ll be easier to cut into pieces.
  • I suggest breaking or cutting the bark immediately after it’s been chilled. You can use a knife or just snap it using your hands. It’ll be easier to do so once it comes out of the fridge.

GIFT IDEAS

You can really get creative when gifting this dark chocolate bark! Here are a few ideas:

Bags

I like putting this bark in cellophane bags and then tying them up with a cute ribbon. You could also put them in small gift bags.

Boxes

Boxes are really festive, especially the vintage tin ones! All you need is some parchment paper to line inside the box before adding the bark. Paper boxes are also cute as they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Mugs

You could fill some holiday mugs with the bark, and then wrap it with cellophane! Coffee lovers would appreciate it, too, as this chocolate pomegranate bark is AMAZING with coffee!

Plates 

Small wooden or antique plates would be a nice, classy way to give someone this chocolate bark. Just wrap some cellophane around it and add a cute ribbon!

chocolate pomegranate bark in antique plate

MORE POMEGRANATE & HOLIDAY RECIPES!

Let me know how this Chocolate Pomegranate Bark turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

~Voula

chocolate pomegranate bark broken into pieces
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5 from 8 votes

Chocolate Pomegranate Bark

This dark chocolate pomegranate bark is the perfect indulgent sweet treat! It’s easy to make and only has 3 ingredients! This festive bark would also make a beautiful edible Christmas gift!
Prep Time10 mins
30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, pomegranate, bark, edible gift, Christmas, festive, vegan, low sugar, easy, no bake dessert
Servings: 15 pieces (approximately)

Ingredients

  • 8.8 oz / 250 g bittersweet chocolate (I use couverture), chopped
  • 1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds, (from 1 large pomegranate) 
  • ¾ cup (2.6 oz / 75 g) pistachio nuts

Instructions

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Melt the chocolate either in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of just simmering water, or in the microwave in 10 second increments.
  • Pour the melted chocolate on the parchment sheet and smooth it out into an even layer, about ¼ inch thick (or thicker, if you like).
  • Add the pomegranate seeds and the pistachio nuts and press them firmly into the warm chocolate.
  • Put it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to set.
  • Break the bark into pieces with your hands or cut it with a knife.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

This Chocolate Pomegranate Bark is absolutely DELICIOUS frozen! You don’t even need to thaw it! Just wrap each piece in plastic wrap and put in a larger freezer bag or container. It can be frozen for a couple of months. 
© Pastry Wishes
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Easy Egg-free Chocolate Salami – Greek Kormos/Mosaiko (No-bake + Vegan Option)

Chocolate and salami together? Well, there’s no actual salami in this recipe, it just looks like salami! It’s a delicious combination of chocolate, cookies, and nuts! It’s so easy to whip up and it would also make a nice gift!

chocolate salami covered in powdered sugar and cut with two slices

I often make chocolate salami at different times during the year and it’s a great accompaniment for coffee or on its own. It’s a no-bake dessert made with crushed cookies, chocolate and nuts.

There are lots of different versions of chocolate salami all around the world. It’s very popular here in Greece, too. It’s called kor-MOS, which means a tree log. It’s also called mo-sa-ee-KO, which means mosaic, because of the design inside.

What I love most about this recipe:

You only need a few ingredients.

It’s super simple to make.

It’s adaptable.

It’s a no-bake dessert.

It’s egg-free.

It lasts for up to 2 weeks in the fridge or 2 months in the freezer.

There’s a vegan option.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What kind of chocolate can I use?

I use couverture chocolate, which is just perfect for baking. I think it produces the best texture and flavor for this recipe. You could use good quality bittersweet chocolate, too.

What kind of cookies can I use?

You can use your favorite plain cookies, like vanilla wafers, graham crackers or tea biscuits. If you don’t use plain cookies, you won’t get the same “salami” look inside.

How do you store chocolate salami?

You can store this chocolate salami in the refrigerator or the freezer. I like to have some in the freezer for unexpected guests.

To freeze, wrap it well in plastic wrap and then put it in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Then slice it and allow it to soften up a bit at room temperature. Or, you can put it in the refrigerator a day before to thaw.

How long does chocolate salami last?

Chocolate salami keeps really well in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just make sure it’s in an airtight container.

chocolate salami sliced and wrapped in kitchen twine

ADD-INS & ADAPTATIONS

  • There are lots of different things you could add, although I don’t usually go overboard with a lot of add-ins, because I want more of a chocolate flavor. Pistachio nuts adds some color and a savory touch. You could also add caramelized nuts or even crushed pretzels. Dried fruit, like cranberries, raisins would be nice, too. Feel free to add whatever you like – this recipe is very adaptable!
  • Instead of cognac or brandy, you could use whiskey, or rum. The touch of alcohol really brings out the overall flavor, but you could omit it if you don’t drink alcohol.

VEGAN OPTION

For a vegan option, just replace the butter with vegan butter or margarine and the milk with a non-dairy vegan milk alternative.

HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE SALAMI :

how to make chocolate salami in six steps

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Most recipes require placing the salami in the refrigerator for hours (or even overnight) to firm up and harden, but I found that freezing it is MUCH faster.
  • When the salami has set, it’s usually flat on the bottom. Some people don’t mind this, but I like making a perfectly round log shape, especially if I’m going to give it as a gift. To do this, I simply re-roll it after it has set and then put it in the fridge for a few minutes before removing the plastic wrap and rubbing it with powdered sugar.
  • Make sure it’s stored in an airtight container so it doesn’t absorb other smells in the fridge or freezer.

MORE NO-BAKE DESSERTS!

Let me know how this chocolate salami turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

 

chocolate salami sliced and wrapped in kitchen twine
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5 from 2 votes

Easy Egg-free Chocolate Salami – Greek Kormos/Mosaiko (No-bake + Vegan Option)

Chocolate and salami together? Well, there’s no actual salami in this recipe, it just looks like salami! It’s a delicious combination of chocolate, cookies, and nuts! It’s so easy to whip up and it would also make a nice gift!
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: chocolate, no-bake, easy, dessert, kormos, mosaiko, egg-free, vegan option
Servings: 10 -12

Ingredients

  • 8.8 oz / 250 g bittersweet/semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I use couverture chocolate)
  • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter
  • 7 oz / 200 g plain vanilla cookies, coursely crushed
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 oz / 56 g walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cognac/brandy (optional)
  • a pinch of salt
  • powdered sugar (for the coating)

Instructions

  • Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl over a pot of just simmering water. Stir until they've melted.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients except for the powdered sugar. Mix until well combined.
  • Spread the mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a log. Fold the plastic wrap over and shape like candy by rolling it back and forth a few times. Tie the ends.
  • Put it in the freezer for an hour to firm up. When it sets, the bottom is slightly flat. Take it out of the freezer and roll it again to make it all round.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and rub it with the powdered sugar. For an authentic salami look, wrap it with kitchen twine.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

You can store this chocolate salami in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or the freezer for up to 2 months.
To freeze, wrap it well in plastic wrap and then put it in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Then slice it and allow it to soften up a bit at room temperature. Or, you can put it in the refrigerator a day before to thaw.
© Pastry Wishes

 

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Greek Pumpkin Hand Pies – Kolokithopita (Vegan, No Mixer)

These Greek pumpkin hand pies are made with fresh pumpkin and shaped into pretty spirals. They’re vegan and they don’t require a mixer! 

greek pumpkin hand pie on a plate with cinnamon sticks and a pumpkin

Pumpkin season is officially here! I absolutely love pumpkin desserts! 

This recipe has been in our family for generations and has been handed down to me from my Yiayia (Grandma). It’s a traditional Greek pumpkin pie recipe, but instead of making one large pie, I adapted it and made hand pies. If you’re a pumpkin lover, you should definitely give this recipe a try!

What is kolokithopita?

The name is a real tongue twister:  ko-lo-kee-THO-pee-ta!

The word kolokithi has different meanings in Greek. It can mean squash, zucchini (or courgette for my British friends), or pumpkin. Generally speaking, any variety of pumpkin or squash is called a kolokithi in Greece! Pita means pie and together you get kolokithopita, pumpkin pie (or kolokithopites in the plural form)!

 

Greek pumpkin hand pie on a plate with pumpkin, leaves and kitchen towel

What’s in Greek pumpkin pie?

In Greece, there are both sweet and savory versions of pumpkin pie. The savory ones often have feta cheese in them. This recipe is a sweet pumpkin pie with sugar and spices. It’s very popular this time of year in Greece. 

What kind of pumpkin is used for kolokithopita?

Most parts of Greece traditionally make it with butternut squash, but other pumpkin varieties are used, as well.

For this recipe I use a tan skinned pumpkin, which is similar to the Buckskin variety in the States. You could use any sweet pumpkin or pie pumpkin. Butternut squash would be great, too.

What do you need to make Greek pumpkin hand pies?

There are only a few ingredients in these Greek pumpkin hand pies!!!

Here’s what you need:

  • Phyllo dough – I only use 7 sheets of phyllo dough, one per pie. 
  • Pumpkin or butternut squash, grated & squeezed – It only took me about 10 minutes to grate the pumpkin & 1-2 minutes more to squeeze out the liquid!
  • Olive oil – I use olive oil to grease the baking pan and the phyllo dough sheets.
  • Sugar – I use a combination of light brown packed sugar and white granulated sugar for the filling, but you can use just granulated sugar, if you want. I also use powdered sugar for dusting before serving.
  • Spices – I use a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves.

That’s it!

Why squeeze freshly grated pumpkin?

Pumpkins and squash have a high water content. In order to avoid soggy pies, traditional Greek recipes usually include one of 3 methods to remove the excess water.

One method involves adding rice, breadcrumbs, or semolina flour to the filling. This helps absorb any extra liquid from the pumpkin.

Another method is to put the shredded pumpkin in a skillet  and cook it for a few minutes. This helps evaporate the excess water.

The third method is to squeeze out the liquid by hand.

I have tried all 3 methods and I found squeezing the liquid out by hand is the best one. It’s A LOT quicker than cooking it in a skillet! Plus, I don’t need to add any rice, breadcrumbs, or flour, which could affect the texture and overall flavor of the pie!

HOW TO MAKE GREEK PUMPKIN HAND PIES 

They may look complicated, but they are really simple to make. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial:

how to peel a pumpkin, remove seeds, grate and squeeze it

greek pumpkin pie filling and assembly

how to coil greek pumpkin hand pies

Can I make one large pie instead of hand pies?

Sure! Just double my recipe first and bake it in a bigger pan. The only thing you need to be careful of is the phyllo dough.

There are two ways to use the phyllo dough for a large pie:

  1. Put half of the phyllo dough sheets on the bottom, then add the filling, and then top with the remaining dough sheets. Just remember to drizzle each sheet with oil before adding the next one. 
  2. Place all the phyllo dough sheets in a pan, one at a time, drizzling each with oil, until they finish and then add the filling. After that, just fold all the overhanging sheets of dough on top! Then brush the pie with oil and cut it into pieces (but not all the way through) before baking.

VARIATIONS & ADD-INS

  • You could add chopped walnuts, sesame seeds, and/or raisins in the filling.
  • Soaking the raisins in some cognac or brandy adds additional flavor. Just make sure to drain them before adding them to the filling.
  • After it’s cooled, I like to dust it with powdered sugar and sprinkle it with some cinnamon before serving.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS 

  • Use a clean kitchen towel to squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Any excess water can make the hand pies soggy.
  • When you add the sugar and spices to the shredded pumpkin, you’ll notice some liquid remains in the bottom of the bowl. Discard this liquid or put the filling in a a fine mesh strainer before making the hand pies.
  • Make sure the phyllo dough sheets are covered with a damp towel so that they don’t dry out while you’re making the hand pies. Try and work as quickly as you can because the phyllo dough can dry out fast!
  • Don’t coil the pies too tightly, otherwise the centers won’t bake evenly.
  • Whenever I bake with phyllo dough, I don’t usually line my pan with parchment paper; I just oil it with olive oil. If you want to make cleanup easier, though, you could line your pan with parchment paper before baking.
  • The baking time will depend on how much moisture is in your pumpkin. It usually takes around 50 minutes, but it could take up to an hour and ten minutes. Keep an eye on it after 45 minutes.

~Voula

greek pumpkin hand pies, one on a plate and one in a hand with pumpkin and leaves

MORE GREEK DESSERTS!

Let me know how these Greek Pumpkin Hand Pies turn out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

Greek Pumpkin Hand Pies - Kolokithopita (Vegan, No Mixer)

These Greek pumpkin hand pies are made with fresh pumpkin and shaped into pretty spirals. They're vegan and they don’t require a mixer! 
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 12 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: greek, pumpkin, pie, vegan, no mixer, sweet
Servings: 7

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups (14 oz / 400 g) freshly grated pumpkin, squeezed to remove excess water (see picture tutorials in the post to see how to do it)
  • 7 phyllo dough sheets (about 8 oz / 225 g)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • powdered sugar and ground cinnamon for dusting (optional)

Instructions

  • Generously grease a pan with olive oil. Alternatively, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease it with olive oil. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F.
  • Put the shredded pumpkin in a bowl.
  • Add the sugar and the spices and mix with a spoon until everything is combined. Discard any liquid that remains in the bowl or put the filling in a a fine mesh strainer.
  • Place a sheet of phyllo dough on a work surface (the long edge facing you) and drizzle with some olive oil. Cover the other sheets with a damp towel so that they don’t dry out.
  • Spread 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin filling lengthwise, starting about 2 inches (5 cm) from the bottom and the sides.
  • Fold the left and right edge of the phyllo dough over the filling.
  • Fold over the bottom part of the phyllo dough and roll into a log, starting from the bottom.
  • Starting at one end, loosely roll the log into a spiral.
  • Place the hand pie in the baking pan and brush with olive oil.
  • Repeat with the remaining 6 sheets and filling.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use a clean kitchen towel to squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Any excess water can make the hand pies soggy.
  • Try and work as quickly as you can because the phyllo dough can dry out fast!
  • Don’t coil the pies too tightly, otherwise the centers won’t bake evenly.
  • Whenever I bake with phyllo dough, I don’t usually line my pan with parchment paper; I just oil it with olive oil. If you want to make cleanup easier, though, you could line your pan with parchment paper before baking.
  • The baking time will depend on how much moisture is in your pumpkin. It usually takes around 50 minutes, but it could take up to an hour and ten minutes. Keep an eye on it after 45 minutes.
© Pastry Wishes
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Easy Healthy Watermelon Slushie (2 Ingredients + Vegan)

There’s nothing like a refreshing watermelon slushie on a hot summer day! This easy, healthy ice cold drink is a perfect way to beat the heat! And with only 2 ingredients, you’ll be making it all summer long!

 

homemade watermelon slushie

Summer wouldn’t be summer without watermelons! They’re cool and refreshing on their own, but they also make AMAZING, thirst-quenching slushies.

This frosty, watermelon slushie recipe is pure summertime in a glass!

Slushies bring back a lot of memories from my childhood! I used to drink them all the time, but I never made my own. When I first made this slushie, I gulped it down so fast I got a brain freeze, just like when I was a kid! 🤪

You will love this recipe because:

  • it’s healthy.
  • it’s great for kids.
  • there’s no added sugar.
  • it’s refreshing.
  • it’s SO easy to make.
  • it’s DELICIOUS!!!

To make it, you only need some watermelon and a little water. That’s literally it!

It can’t get any easier than that!

homemade watermelon slushie

If you want, of course, you could add a few other ingredients to kick it up a notch according to your preferences. Here are some ideas:

Sweetener: Depending on how ripe the watermelon is, you may not need to add any sweetener. But, if it’s not that sweet, you could add a little sugar, stevia, maple syrup, or honey. 

Lemon/Lime: You could use a little bit of lemon or lime juice to add a little tang and enhance the flavor.

Mint: I love mint! You could blend a few leaves to the slushie to make it even more refreshing, if you like!

HOW TO FREEZE WATERMELON

1 Cut the watermelon into even-sized cubes and remove any seeds.

2 Place the watermelon cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

3 Freeze for about 1-3 hours and then make the slushie or freeze overnight and make the slushie the next day.  I prefer freezing it overnight.

HOW TO MAKE EASY HOMEMADE WATERMELON SLUSHIE

1 Put the frozen watermelon in a food processor (or a high-powered blender).

2 Add a splash of water and blend.

That’s it!

homemade watermelon slushie

 

WATERMELON SLUSHIE VARIATIONS

Even though this slushie is great as is, there are lots of different variations you may want to try. 

  • You can use basil instead of mint. I think basil goes really well with watermelon.
  • You can add some strawberries. I also think blueberries would be nice, too. Of course, it would be better if the berries were frozen, but fresh would also work.
  • Coconut milk would give it a really nice tropical twist.
  • For those who drink alcohol, a splash Ouzo would add a nice Greek touch. You could also add Vodka, white wine, or your favorite liquor.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • I have made this without freezing the watermelon, but it turned out more like a juice, rather than a slushie. For best results, freeze the watermelon overnight before you make the slushies.
  • Start off by pulsing for about half a minute and continue until there aren’t any big chunks left, or it reaches the consistency you like. If it’s a bit too thick, you could add a little bit more water. You don’t want to overblend the mixture, though, otherwise it will end up too watery.
  • It’s best served immediately.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

MORE SUMMER DESSERTS!

Let me know how this easy homemade watermelon slushie turned out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

~Voula 😀

 

Easy Healthy Watermelon Slushie (2 Ingredients + Vegan)

There’s nothing like a refreshing watermelon slushie on a hot summer day! This easy, healthy ice cold drink is a perfect way to beat the heat! And with only 2 ingredients, you’ll be making it all summer long!
Course: Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine: American, Greek
Keyword: healthy, watermelon, slushie, frozen, vegan, refined sugar free
Servings: 2 -3

Ingredients

  • 2 cups watermelon, cubed
  • about ½ cup water
  • lemon/lime slices (optional)
  • fresh mint sprigs (optional)

Instructions

Freeze the watermelon

  • Cut the watermelon into even-sized cubes and remove any seeds.
  • Place the watermelon cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  • Freeze for about 1-3 hours or overnight. I usually freeze the cubes overnight.

Make the slushies

  • Put the frozen watermelon cubes in a food processor (or a high-powered blender) and pulse for about half a minute, adding a splash of water. Continue until there aren’t any big chunks left, or it reaches the consistency you like, adding more water if necessary. Don't overblend.
  • Serve immediately.
  • If you like, garnish with lemon/lime slices and fresh mint sprigs.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

© Pastry Wishes
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EASY HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE SYRUP (WITHOUT CORN SYRUP)

This incredibly easy homemade chocolate syrup is the perfect topping for all your favorite desserts! Make it without any corn syrup in less than 15 minutes! You won’t go back to buying store-bought ever again!

homemade chocolate syrup

Don’t you just want to lick that spoon?!?!?

This homemade chocolate syrup is AMAZING! 

It’s NOT to be confused with hot fudge, which is usually made with butter and cream. This chocolate syrup is like the popular one you would buy in a bottle, only MUCH BETTER!

It’s thick, but pourable!

It’s velvety!

It’s chocolaty!

It’s silky smooth!

It’s sooo delicious and rich in flavor!

AND… 

There is absolutely NO corn syrup in it!

homemade chocolate syrup

I’m not totally against using corn syrup in baking (because there is a difference between corn syrup and high fructose syrup), but I always prefer simple, easier methods, which include few ingredients and produce excellent results.

This recipe is one of them! Perfect, chocolate syrup with basic pantry ingredients!

Why you’ll love this homemade chocolate syrup recipe

  • You know EXACTLY what’s in it! There are only 4 ingredients and NONE of them are artificial!
  • It’s super inexpensive and remarkably easy to make!
  • It tastes so much better than store-bought chocolate syrup!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • Cocoa Powder: I use good quality, unsweetened cocoa powder. I prefer Dutch processed cocoa powder, but you could use natural cocoa powder, instead.
  • Sugar: I use granulated white sugar. You could adjust the sugar by using more or less, depending on your preferences.
  • Salt: I use a pinch of salt to enhance the chocolate flavor.
  • Cornstarch: I use it because I like my chocolate syrup on the thick side, but if you don’t want it too thick, you can omit it altogether. 
  • Water: I use water instead of cream or milk so that the syrup lasts longer.

HOW TO MAKE EASY HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE SAUCE IN 3 EASY STEPS

STEP 1

Whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, water, and salt over medium high heat. Stir constantly until it begins to simmer.

STEP 2

In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and water to make a slurry.

STEP 3

Add the slurry to the saucepan and stir until it thickens.

VARIATIONS

  • Add a shot of your favorite liquor.
  • Use light or dark brown sugar for a more caramel flavor.
  • Add ½ – 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
  • Make it spicy! Add a dash of cayenne pepper for a Mexican twist or a dash of black pepper for an ancient Greek twist.   Yes, you read that right! (Check out my post where I explain it!)

How long does it take to make?

It takes about 10 – 12 minutes to make this chocolate syrup. Then you need to wait about an hour for it to cool down before storing it.

What can you use it for?

There are SO many ways you can use this homemade chocolate syrup. Here are a few of my all-time favorites:

Stir it into hot or cold milk.

Stir it into coffee. 

Dip cookies in it.

Drizzle it over buttered toast topped with cinnamon. OMG! It’s one of my faves for breakfast! 

Drizzle it over your favorite desserts, like ice cream, cheesecake, cinnamon rolls, or warm brownies. 

Drizzle it over pancakes, waffles, or French toast.

Pour it over your favorite fruit salad.

Impress your guests by drizzling some on a plate before serving your favorite dessert for a fancy, gourmet food styling presentation!

 

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Try and get the best quality unsweetened cocoa powder you can!
  • Make sure you stir it constantly to prevent it from burning.

HERE ARE A FEW MORE AMAZING CHOCOLATE RECIPES YOU MAY WANT TO TRY: 

Ouzo-spiked Chocolate Orange Cake 

Cheater’s chocolate Mousse (+ Easy Chocolate Garnishes)

Sugar Free Whole Wheat Chocolate Cupcakes 

~Voula

Let me know how this Homemade Chocolate Syrup turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

 

homemade chocolate syrup
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EASY HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE SYRUP (WITHOUT CORN SYRUP)

This incredibly easy homemade chocolate syrup is the perfect topping for all your favorite desserts! Make it without any corn syrup in less than 15 minutes! You won’t go back to buying store-bought ever again!
Cook Time12 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, easy,, homemade, syrup
Servings: 1 1/2 cups (approximately)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (110 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • a pinch of salt

For the slurry

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons water

Instructions

  • In a saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and the cup of water over medium high heat.
  • Stir constantly until it begins to simmer.

Make the slurry

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water to make a slurry.
  • Add the slurry to the saucepan and stir until the syrup thickens, about 10 - 12 minutes.
  • Serve warm or allow it to cool completely (for about an hour) and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Notes

The chocolate sauce will thicken as it cools.
This homemade chocolate syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container (like a glass jar) for about 3 weeks.
If you want, you can reheat it over the stove or in 5 minute increments in the microwave, stirring regularly.
© Pastry Wishes
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Easy Strawberry Mint Sorbet – No Ice Cream Maker – Refined Sugar Free (+ Vegan Option)

You don’t need an ice cream maker to make this refreshing strawberry mint sorbet! This simple recipe is made with fresh strawberries and mint leaves and includes a vegan option, too!

strawberry mint sorbetSummers in Greece are HOT! So when strawberries are in season, I love making this easy strawberry mint sorbet. It’s sweet, slightly tangy, yet cool and refreshing at the same time! This healthy summer snack is a perfect way to beat the heat!

What is sorbet?

Sorbet is a combination of pureed fruit or fruit juice, and a sweetener which is then frozen. It’s typically made without eggs or milk. Classic sorbet is usually made with a simple syrup consisting of sugar and water.

This recipe, however, is much healthier because it’s made with honey! For a vegan sorbet, just replace the honey with maple syrup!

What you’ll need to make strawberry mint sorbet

  • Strawberries: I use fresh strawberries.
  • Sweetener: I use good quality Greek honey. For a vegan option, use equal amounts of maple syrup, instead.
  • Mint: I use fresh mint leaves.
  • Lemon juice: It really adds a nice tanginess.
  • Liquor: I use Vodka, but you could use your favorite liquor of choice.

How to make strawberry mint sorbet.

There are two different methods I’ve used to make this sorbet.

Method #1

This method is for those who don’t want any seeds or pieces of fruit or mint in their sorbet.

All you do is put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Taste and adjust the sweetness, adding more honey/maple syrup if needed.

Strain the mixture using a fine mesh strainer or sieve, pressing the pulp with a spatula. Discard whatever remains in the strainer.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the sorbet mixture onto it. Make sure you evenly spread the mixture on the tray. Then put the tray in the freezer for about 2-3 hours.

After it has frozen, take the tray out of the freezer and break it into small chunks. The chunks should be small enough to fit into your food processor or blender.

Blend or process the pureed chunks using a spatula to scrape the sides and push all the chunks down so that they’re all well blended.

Put it in a freezer-safe container and put it back in the freezer for about 1-2 hours or until frozen.

Method #2

This method is my favorite because it’s quicker and easier! It doesn’t involve any straining, so all the pieces of fruit and mint are in it. Personally, I like the seeds and the tiny pieces of mint and I think they’re healthy. It’s the method I used for all the pictures, too. That’s why you can see the tiny pieces of mint in all the pictures!

Here’s how to make it:

strawberry mint sorbet

Then you put it in the freezer for about 1-2 hours or until frozen.

Why use Vodka in sorbet?

I use Vodka because alcohol reduces the sorbet’s freezing point and it prevents the sorbet from freezing solid. So, the more alcohol you add, the softer the sorbet, which means it can melt fast. That’s why I use a small amount of Vodka. Also, you cannot taste the Vodka at all in the sorbet; I only use it to help give the sorbet a smoother texture and to prevent any ice from forming.

strawberry mint sorbet

 TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Use the best fruit you can find.
  • I really love mint, that’s why I use quite a lot in this recipe. If you’re not crazy about mint, I suggest starting out with a few mint leaves and then tasting the processed/blended mixture to see if you want more. Of course, you could reduce the amount in the recipe or omit it altogether. You could also use basil leaves, instead.
  • Instead of Vodka, you can use your favorite liquor of choice, just keep in mind that it might affect the overall flavor of the sorbet. I use Vodka because you can’t taste it in the sorbet at all, but other liquors might have an aftertaste.
  • Before freezing, cover the sorbet mixture with plastic wrap making sure it’s touching the surface. Then cover securely with aluminum foil or a tight lid. The plastic wrap together with the lid/aluminum foil will prevent ice crystals from forming and it will also protect the sorbet from absorbing odors.

I hope you enjoy this easy strawberry mint sorbet!

~Voula

Let me know how this  Easy Strawbery Mint Sorbet turns out for you in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

strawberry mint sorbet
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5 from 1 vote

Easy Strawberry Mint Sorbet – No Ice Cream Maker – Refined Sugar Free (+ Vegan Option)

You don’t need an ice cream maker to make this refreshing strawberry mint sorbet! This simple recipe is made with fresh strawberries and mint leaves and includes a vegan option, too!
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Greek
Keyword: easy,, frozen dessert, no refined sugar, no sugar, honey, maple syrup,, strawberry mint, sorbet,, vegan option
Servings: 3 - 4 (about 1/2 a quart/liter)

Ingredients

  • about 15 strawberries (350g / 12.3 oz) washed, stems removed
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (plus more to taste)
  • a handful of fresh mint leaves (10 g / 0.4 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Vodka (or your favorite liquor of choice)

Instructions

  • Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender.
  • Process/Blend until smooth. Taste and add more honey/maple syrup or mint if necessary.
  • Pour into a freezer-safe container. Even out the mixture.
  • Cover with plastic wrap making sure it’s touching the surface. Then cover securely with aluminum foil or a tight lid.
  • Put it in the freezer until it’s frozen (about 1-2 hours).
  • Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Store in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
The recipe can easily be doubled.
© Pastry Wishes

 

 

 

 

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EASY STRAWBERRY JAM (Without Pectin + Tips)

This homemade strawberry jam is made with only 3 ingredients! Learn how to make this delicious jam from scratch, without using a thermometer. It really is easier than you think!

strawberry jamHomemade strawberry jam is one of my favorite things to make this time of year! I never buy store-bought jam because it just cannot compete with homemade! And I’m not just talking about the intense flavor, but also the fact that there are only 3 ingredients in it and NO pectin! Also, many store-bought jams and marmalades have artificial preservatives and even dyes! 😱  Of course, you could just buy organic ones, but I find most of them way too expensive.

What is pectin?

Pectin is a substance that is naturally found in fruits and vegetables. It is used for thickening jams and marmalades.

Why I avoid using commercial pectin

There are 2 main reasons.

First, commercial pectin is often genetically modified.

Second, you need a lot of sugar when using pectin. Pectin is bitter, so in order for jams to set you need more sugar to compensate, sometimes up to 80%  more! In the end, your jam has more sugar than fruit!

So, I avoid all that and I’ve NEVER had a problem with my jams or marmalades!

The Benefits of Making Homemade Strawberry Jam

1 – 100% control over the quality & taste

When strawberries are in season, I go to the farmer’s market and pick the freshest ones possible. Fresh strawberries offer more flavor and they have a beautiful vibrant color. I can also control how sweet I want my jam to be. This gives me complete control over the quality and flavor of my homemade jam – something I never have with store-bought jam. The flavor of homemade jam is simply unbeatable when compared to commercial jams!

2 – It’s healthier

Homemade jam is definitely much healthier than store-bought jam. First of all, I know exactly what’s in my jam. There are absolutely no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. Also, store-bought jams usually have a lot more sugar than fruit (probably because of the added pectin).

3 – Save money

When strawberries are in season, they are much cheaper. Making jam when they’re in season is also a great way of having it throughout the year.

4 – It’s easy

This is the best reason of all – making homemade strawberry jam is really simple! You don’t need any fancy equipment, either.

5 – It’s the perfect consistency

This jam isn’t too thick or too runny – it’s the perfect consistency. That’s why it can also be used as a simple strawberry sauce, too!

This is a tried & trusted strawberry jam recipe.

strawberry jam

Here’s what you’ll need:

Strawberries: I use fresh strawberries.

Sugar: I always use regular, granulated sugar because it dissolves easily. Most recipes use a ratio of 1:1 regarding the amount of sugar and fruit used by weight, but I find this is too sweet for strawberry jam. I always weigh the strawberries and add half the weight of sugar.

Lemon Juice: It has lots of pectin, which is needed to thicken the jam naturally.

2-3 small plates: I always put 2 or 3 small plates in the refrigerator when I start making the jam. They are needed to test when the jam has set and they have to be really cold. The reason I use 2-3 is because if I start to test the jam on a plate and it’s not ready, I’ll need another really cold, clean plate to test it again in a few minutes. So, I like putting 2 or 3 in the refrigerator when I start making the jam.

HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY JAM

Cut the strawberries in half and put them in a large bowl.

Add the sugar and cover all the strawberries.

Cover the bowl and put in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Put the plates in refrigerator.

Pour the strawberry mixture into a large, deep saucepan or pot. Start cooking on low heat, stirring occasionally. Add the lemon juice and gently bring to a boil and continue boiling steadily, uncovered, until the mixture thickens, about 30-40 minutes.

Start testing to see if the jam has set. Transfer the jam to clean, sterilized jars.

How do you know when the jam is set?

Most experts suggest boiling the jam until it reaches a temperature of 220°F (105°C). But what do you do when you don’t have a thermometer?

No worries! If you don’t have a thermometer to test the jam, here’s a foolproof method I use. Check out the photo below!

how to test when jam is set

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Use ripe, undamaged strawberries.
  • You want to keep the strawberries and sugar in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or (better yet) overnight because the strawberries release juices and dissolve the sugar, creating a thick syrup. Because the sugar is dissolved, making the jam is much faster and easier. Also, you don’t risk burning the fruit when boiling it. You could skip this step completely, but there would be extra time on the stove stirring continuously until the sugar is dissolved.
  • When you start bringing it to a boil, you want to do it slowly and gently so you don’t scorch or burn the fruit. So be patient and don’t rush this step.
  • When you start testing the jam to see if it has set, make sure you take it off the heat first.
  • If you don’t like thick chunky pieces of fruit, mash the strawberries with a potato masher or pastry blender.

strawberry jam

WHERE TO USE HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY JAM

Of course, there are lots of ways to use homemade strawberry jam besides peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Here are just a few ideas:

  • spread it on plain or buttered toast
  • spoon some over Greek yogurt
  • use it to top vanilla ice cream
  • mix it with some cream cheese and spread it over sourdough bread
  • spread some over cheesecake or  brownies
  • spoon some over fruit salad
  • surprise someone and give it as a gift

Let me know how this strawberry jam turned out for you in the comments below!

I’d love to hear from you!

~Voula

EASY STRAWBERRY JAM (Without Pectin + Tips)

This homemade strawberry jam is made with only 3 ingredients! Learn how to make this delicious jam from scratch, without using a thermometer. It really is easier than you think!
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy,, homemade, strawberry, jam, no pectin, no thermometer
Servings: 2 - 3 small jars

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) strawberries
  • 500 g (2 ½ cups / 17.6 oz) sugar
  • juice from 1 lemon

Instructions

  • Wash the strawberries. Remove the stems and any bad spots.
  • Cut the strawberries in half and put them in a large bowl.
  • Add the sugar and cover all the strawberries.
  • Cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Put the plates in the refrigerator.
  • Pour the strawberries into a large, deep pot. Start cooking on low heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Increase heat to medium and stir to completely dissolve the sugar. Remove any foam that forms on the surface.
  • Add the lemon juice and gently bring to a boil and continue boiling steadily, uncovered, until the mixture thickens, about 30-40 minutes.
  • If you don’t like thick chunky pieces of fruit, mash the strawberries with a potato masher or pastry blender.
  • Take the jam off the heat and start testing to see if it has set.
  • Take out a plate from the refrigerator and put a teaspoon of jam on it. Put the plate back in the refrigerator for 1-2 minutes. Then take it out of the refrigerator and push the jam with the back of a clean spoon. If it crinkles and wrinkles and remains separated, it’s set (see photo in the post). If not, put the jam back on the heat and continue cooking. Test it again every 2-3 minutes until it’s reached the setting point. Be careful! It can set really fast!
  • Transfer the jam to clean, sterilized jars.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use ripe, undamaged strawberries.
  • You want to keep the strawberries and sugar in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or (better yet) overnight because the strawberries release juices and dissolve the sugar, creating a thick syrup. Because the sugar is dissolved, making the jam is much faster and easier and you don’t risk burning the fruit. You could skip this step completely, but there would be extra time on the stove until the sugar is dissolved.
  • When you start bringing it to a boil, you want to do it slowly and gently so you don’t scorch or burn the fruit. 
  • When you start testing the jam to see if it has set, make sure you take it off the heat first.
  • See the photo in the post to help you know when the jam is set.
  • You can store the jam in the refrigerator for up to 5-6 months.
© Pastry Wishes
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HEALTHY TAHINI BREAKFAST COOKIES – VEGAN, GF, REFINED SUGAR FREE, OIL FREE

These healthy tahini breakfast cookies are soft and chewy and made with wholesome ingredients. They are also vegan, naturally gluten free, refined sugar free, oil free, and totally fuss-free!

healthy tahini breakfast cookies

Cookies for breakfast?  Of course!  Don’t worry; no one will scold you for having these cookies for breakfast! Trust me!

These healthy tahini cookies are a great way to start the day. And they are a cinch to make!

healthy tahini breakfast cookies

You’ll absolutely fall in LOVE with these tahini breakfast cookies because they are

  • incredibly easy to make.
  • nutritious.
  • made in only one bowl.
  • customizable.
  • perfect for both lunch boxes AND cookie jars!
  • great for grab-and-go mornings!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Tahini: I use sugar free organic Greek tahini.

Oats: I use old-fashioned oats.

Nuts: I use walnuts.

Maple syrup: It really has a nice, rich flavor without making the cookies overly sweet.

Spices: I use a combination of cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground cloves. I think they go great with maple syrup!

Vanilla: I use pure vanilla extract.

Fruit: I use dried cranberries.

HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY TAHINI BREAKFAST COOKIES IN 4 EASY STEPS

STEP 1

Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well combined using a silicone/rubber spatula.

STEP 2

Form balls with a cookie scoop or spoon, about 25 g / 0.88 oz each and place them on a baking sheet.

STEP 3

Gently press each ball with the palm of your hand to flatten them slightly.

STEP 4

Bake.

That’s literally it!

healthy tahini breakfast cookies

 TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • I suggest weighing each ball of dough so that the cookies bake uniformly. For this recipe, each piece of dough I weighed was around 25 g / 0.88 oz each, which resulted in 16 cookies.
  • Don’t make these cookies too flat. There aren’t any leaveners in them, so they won’t puff up or rise much in the oven.
  • These cookies tend to turn light brown on the bottom, rather than on the edges. So, I wouldn’t bake them longer than suggested. This way they stay soft and chewy, even a few days later. If you overbake them, they’ll get hard.

CUSTOMIZABLE VARIATIONS

  • Honey: You could replace the maple syrup with honey, but keep in mind that it will be a bit sweeter.
  • Add-ins: Feel free to add in some of your favorites, like raisins, shredded coconut, chopped almonds, dried apples or apricots! OR…chocolate chips!! The sky’s the limit, really!
  • Flavorings: Orange or lemon zest would bring out a nice citrus flavor.

I hope you enjoy these healthy tahini breakfast cookies!

~Voula

Let me know how these healthy tahini breakfast cookies turn out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

WANT TO TRY MORE HEALTHY RECIPES? Check these out!

Greek Baklava Rolls (Saragli) – Refined Sugar Free 

How to Make Homemade Peanut Butter (Step-by-step Tutorial)

Sugar Free Whole Wheat Chocolate Cupcakes

Easy Apple Chips

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

HEALTHY TAHINI BREAKFAST COOKIES – VEGAN, GF, REFINED SUGAR FREE, OIL FREE

These healthy tahini breakfast cookies are soft and chewy and made with wholesome ingredients. They are also vegan, naturally gluten free, refined sugar free, oil free, and totally fuss-free!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time22 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Greek
Keyword: breakfast, cookies, easy,, gluten free, healthy, oil free, sugar free, tahini, vegan
Servings: 16 cookies

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (125 g / 4 oz) sugar free tahini
  • ¼ cup (75 ml / 3 fl oz) maple syrup
  • ¾ cups (70 g / 2.5 oz) old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup (70 g / 2.5 oz) walnuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup (40 g / 1.4 oz) dried cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and mix until just combined using a silicone/rubber spatula.
  • Form balls with a cookie scoop or spoon. Each ball should weigh about 25 g (0.88 oz). Place them on a baking sheet.*
  • Gently press each ball with the palm of your hand to flatten slightly. Don't make them too flat.
  • Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. They will turn light brown on the bottom rather than the edges. Leave them on the baking sheet for another 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for about 5-6 days.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

* The size of your cookies before you bake them will determine the overall servings. I suggest weighing each ball of dough so that the cookies bake uniformly.
For this recipe each piece of dough I weighed was about 25 g / 0.88 oz,  which resulted in 16 cookies.  
© Pastry Wishes 

 

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