Category Archives: Sweet Treats

Spicy Apple Muffins

The weather here in the UAE right now is wonderful.  The air in the mornings are cool and crisp.  I was awake at 4am and wanted to take advantage of this quiet time to make a special treat for my children.

I decided to make some muffins because what better way to wake up to a home filled with the sweet aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg.   (and I love the scent of nutmeg…especially when it is freshly grated!)

Spicy Apple Muffins

2 cups of sifted flour

2.5 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup of sugar

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 egg

1 cup of milk

1/3 cup melted butter

1 large apple (peeled, cored, and shredded)

Preheat your oven to 425F.  Brush muffin tin with some butter.  Add the sifted flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a mixing bowl.  Mix well.

In a small bowl, mix the egg, milk, and butter.  Add this to the dry ingredients and mix just enough until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

This makes 12 moist, delicious muffins!  

Mama Love Chocolate Cookies

The weather is cooler.  The children are all in school.  What better way to welcome them home than with the aroma of freshly baked cookies made with “mama love”?

This is a very easy recipe to make and it is also a wonderful way to spend quality time with your children.

So here is my recipe which will make 96 cookies (8 dozen).  You can make a dozen cookies or more at a time.  I suggest that when you are making the one inch cookie balls  freeze them on a tray and then pop them into ziploc baggies to use whenever you want to make cookies!

I hope that you enjoy the recipe!

Mama Love Chocolate Cookies

2 cups + 2 tablespoons flour

¾ cup unsweetened baking cocoa (I use Cadbury Cocoa in the orange tin)cadbury cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 ¼ cup unsalted, butter…softened

2 cups of sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Extra sugar in a small bowl for rolling the cookies in

  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.flour and cocoa
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy.  butter and sugarAdd the eggs and the vanilla.  Mix well.eggs and vanilla
  3. Add the butter & sugar mix to the flour mixture.  Mix well.butter and chocolate
  4. Chill in the fridge until the dough is firm.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F.  With a melon baller or with a small spoon, scoop up a bit of cookie dough enough to roll into one-inch balls. melon baller and cookie dough Roll each cookie ball into the extra sugar and then place on a Teflon cookie tray or ideally on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper.cookie balls
  6. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes.  Enjoy!!!DSC00959


Liqeemat little balls of batter deep fried in oil and are a staple during Ramadan. This recipe makes a huge batch which is good for two days or as one batch to have for your house and more to share with your neighbors.

During Ramadan, this along with Harees, Madhrooba, and Oatmeal Soup is made in abundance and shared with family and neighbors.


1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water
pinch of flour

4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon cardamon powder
1 generous pinch of saffron
4 tablespoons sugar
2 to 2 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons rose water
date syrup (locally called “dibs”)

In a small bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, and the pinch of flour. Mix well with a small whisk and leave in a warm place to rise.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cardamon powder, saffron, and sugar. After about 30 minutes, add the yeast mixture, 2 cups of water, and the rose water. Using a large-head spoon mix the batter until there are no more lumps. If you need to add an additional 1/2 cup of water you can but do it a little at a time. Your batter will need to be very thick, almost elasticky (it will definitely be thicker than pancake batter).

Now you need to set this batter aside in a warm draft-free place (inside the oven or microwave is ideal) and let rise for at least 2 hours or until it has doubled.

Now for the fun part…

You will need a medium-large wok because you will fill it up half way with oil. Heat up the oil and then reduce the heat to low.

For me, because I hate the feeling of the batter, I use two dinner spoons to make the dumplings. Dip the spoons into a bowl of water (the water keeps the batter from sticking to the spoon and the batter will then easily slide into the oil).

Next, with one spoon scoop up some batter. With the other spoon, you will scrape off the batter into the oil. With this first dumpling, you will be checking the heat of the oil. If the oil is too hot, it will brown very quickly and the inside will not be cooked, so you will need to decrease your fire and then start adding more dumplings.

Put about 11 dumplings into the oil. You will need to constantly turn the dumplings with a big round spatula so that they will all be evenly browned.

Once the dumplings are evenly browned, remove from the oil and let drain on a large baking dish covered with paper towels.

Once all of your dumplings are cooked you can place about 18-24 pieces on a medium-sized bowl plate and drizzle with the date syrup.

There you have it…an absolute favorite for Ramadan.

Banana Pudding

This banana pudding recipe is something that made up this Ramadan 2008. The ingredients I use are ones that are readily available living here in the UAE. Hope you like it.

Banana Pudding

5 cups water
1 1/4 cup of powdered milk
6 heaping tablespoons Fosters Custard Powder
1 package of Ulker biscuits
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 can of Nestle Cream
2-3 bananas

In a large bowl add the water and the powdered milk. Stir well until the milk dissolves. Add the custard powder and stir with a wire whisk until the custard powder has dissolved.

At this point, you can either:

  • Microwave this mixture on “high” for 7 minutes. Stir and then microwave for another 3 minutes….or….
  • Heat on the stovetop and constantly stir until the mixture thickens. Be careful not to scorch.

After you have cooked the custard, stir in the sweetened condensed milk and the Nestle Cream. Mix well.

Using a deep 8-inch square casserole dish, you will now layer the pudding. *Start with 1/2 cup of custard, the Ulker biscuits, and sliced bananas. Cover with another layer of custard and biscuits and then repeat from the * and finish layering the pudding with custard.

Leave in the fridge to cool.

That’s it! Enjoy!