Ronnie Woo: Delicious Desserts - New York News

Ronnie Woo: Delicious Desserts

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If you're planning on making some sweet treats this holiday season, The Delicious Cook Ronnie Woo is here with a few tasty suggestions.

The holidays are all about making delicious, mouthwatering dishes and something I love to do is make a combination of both decadent and healthy dishes.  Today I'm showing you a few of my favorite holiday recipes, a couple that are more indulgent and a couple that could very easily become a nutritious weekly staple.

Cinnamon-Sugar Donuts (Malassadas): If you've never made donuts before, you are missing out! Homemade donuts may seem complicated and difficult, but in fact are quite simple and easy to make, not to mention completely delectable.  These are sure to start your Christmas morning off right!

Makes about 15 donuts

2 ½ tablespoons of warm water

1 package of active-dry yeast

2/3 cups + 1 tablespoon of evaporated milk, scalded, then cooled

¼ cup of sugar

½ teaspoon of salt

1 egg

2 ½ tablespoons of vegetable shortening

2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

Canola Oil for Frying


1 cup of unsalted butter, melted

¼ cup sugar

1 tablespoon of cinnamon



  1. In a stand mixer, sprinkle all of the yeast into the warm water. Let it rest for 2 minutes before mixing. Let rest for 10 minutes until it begins to foam.
  2. To the yeast mixture, add the evaporated milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 1½ cups of flour. Attach the dough hook and turn on low speed for 30 seconds, remembering to scrape the sides every once in a while.
  3. Slowly add the rest of the flour, ½ cup at a time and mix for about 2 more minutes. Again, remembering to scrape the sides down. Add more flour, if needed, just until the dough is soft but no longer sticky.
  4. Form dough into a ball and place back into the stand mixer bowl.
  5. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.
  6. After the dough has risen, turn the dough onto a floured surface and with a floured rolling pin gently roll dough to about ½-inch thickness.
  7. Cut with into 3-4 inch strips, or whatever shape you desire.
  8. Cover and let rise until double in size, about 30 minutes.
  9. In the meantime, in a shallow bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar.

10.  In a deep pan or cast-iron skillet, use a candy thermometer to heat up about 2-3-inches of canola oil to 350 degrees.

11.  When the oil is properly heated, gently place the donuts in the oil, cook each side for about 45-60 seconds, until they are golden brown.

12.  Place donuts on rack to drain and cool.

13.  When warm enough to handle, brush the donuts (one or both sides) with the melted butter and coat with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

14.  Serve and enjoy!!!


Puff Pastry Fruit Tarts: These puff pastry tarts are literally two-step desserts. Since they are made using pre-made pastry puff dough, most of the work is already done for you! The end result is a beautiful and delicious sweet treat that makes you look like a master pastry chef.

9x12 puff pastry sheets, store-bought/frozen

Fresh fruits (apples, pears, peaches, berries, etc.)

Granulate sugar

Ground vanilla

Ground cinnamon

Ground nutmeg

Butter, divided into ¼ tablespoon pieces


Light Caramel Glaze:

¼ cup of granulated sugar

¼ cup of water



  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Using a knife, divide the puff pastry sheets into 3x4 rectangles.
  3. Peel any fruits that need to be peeled and then thinly slice them, using a mandoline, if possible.
  4. Arrange 5-7 pieces of fruit on the puff pastry sheets.
  5. Sprinkle each square with about 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar. Then sprinkle each with ground vanilla, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg.  Place one piece of butter on top of each square.
  6. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are puffed and golden brown.
  7. In the meantime, make the light caramel glaze. In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil and boil until it is the color and consistency of honey. Keep on the lowest heat until pastry squares are ready to be glazed (to prevent the glaze from prematurely hardening).
  8. When the puff pastry squares come out of the oven, cool for 5-10 minutes and using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops with the glaze, to give it a shiny look. Let the glaze harden before serving. Enjoy!

Pancetta Brussels Sprout Leaves with Cashews and Goat Cheese: I always say that if you didn't like Brussels sprouts before, you will definitely be singing a different tune after you try this dish! Separating the leaves allows them to cook quicker while also catching the bits of pancetta, cashews, and goat cheese, creating an irresistible bite.

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of canola oil

½ cup of thinly sliced pancetta or prosciutto

¾ cup of crushed cashews

4-5 cups of Brussels sprouts leaves

Freshly ground black pepper

2 ounces of goat cheese



  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the brown sugar into the balsamic vinegar. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the canola oil and pancetta and cook for 10 minutes until pancetta is golden brown. Stir in the cashews and cook for 5 minutes, until the cashews turn golden brown as well.
  3. Add the Brussels sprouts leaves, a 4-finger pinch of freshly ground black pepper and the sweetened balsamic mixture. Gently toss with the pancetta and cashews, making sure to coat the leaves in the sweetened balsamic vinegar. Cook for about 7-8 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the leaves are tender.  
  4. Transfer to a serving bowl, toss with the goat cheese, serve, and enjoy!

Quinoa with Persimmons, Almonds, Mandarins, and Feta Cheese: Persimmons are generally in season from October to February and are a really fun and interesting fruit to utilize during the holidays.  They add a subtle sweetness to this quinoa dish and pairs perfectly with the crunchy almonds, juicy mandarin segments, and salty feta cheese.

4 cups of cooked quinoa

2 persimmons, peeled and thinly sliced

4 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented

½ cup of sliced toasted almonds

½ cup of crumbled feta cheese

1 teaspoon of orange zest

Juice of 1 orange

¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil

4-finger pinch of kosher salt

4-finger pinch of freshly ground black pepper



Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Gently toss until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Serve and enjoy!

Follow Ronnie Woo on Twitter: @RonnieCWoo, and check out The Delicious Cook on Facebook.

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