Special Kwanzaa Breads, Cakes and Cookies
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Benne Cakes

You will need: oil to grease a cookie sheet
1 cup finely packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup toasted sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 325. Lightly oil a cookie sheet. Mix together the brown sugar and butter, and beat until they are creamy. Stir in the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and sesame seeds. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto the cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 mintues or until the edges are browned. Enjoy!

Benne cakes are a food from West Africa. Benne means sesame seeds. The sesame seeds are eaten for good luck. This treat is still eaten in some parts of the American South.

Cocoa Kwanzaa Cake


1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
3 cups sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 eggs
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups buttermilk or sour milk
MOUNDS Sweetened Coconut Flakes or pecan or walnut halves (optional)


1. Heat oven to 325F. Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube pan or 10-inch tube pan.
2. In large mixer bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla 3 minutes on medium speed of electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; add alternately with buttermilk to butter mixture, beating well just until blended. Pour into prepared pan.
3. Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely.
4. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or glaze with VANILLA GLAZE or BUTTER RUM GLAZE. Garnish with pecans or walnut halves, if desired.


1/3 cup butter or margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons hot water

In small saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat; blend in powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until glaze is of desired consistency. Spoon onto cake allowing some to drizzle down sides.

BUTTER RUM GLAZE: Omit vanilla; substitute 2 tablespoons light rum or 1 teaspoon rum flavoring. Stir in hot water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until glaze is of desired consistency.

NOTE: Two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans may be substituted for tube pan. Bake at 350F. 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Kwanzaa Corn Bread Squares

1  cup all-purpose flour
1  cup cornmeal
2  tablespoons sugar
1  tablespoon baking powder
1/2  teaspoon salt
2   eggs, beaten
1  cup buttermilk
1/4  cup cooking oil
3/4  cup finely chopped red sweet pepper


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture; set aside.
2. In a small mixing bowl combine the eggs, buttermilk, and cooking oil. Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture. Stir just until moistened. Gently stir in chopped red sweet pepper. Spoon batter into the prepared pan.
3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm. Makes 9 servings.


Colourful Kwanzaa Brownies


3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted

1-1/2 cups sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 eggs

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)

CHOCOLATE CREAM (recipe follows)

Assorted fresh fruit, sliced or cut up (banana, mango, papya, peaches, pineapple, strawberries)



1. Heat oven to 350F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan or 12-inch round pizza pan.
2. Combine butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually stir into egg mixture until blended. Stir in pecans, if desired. Spread batter into prepared pan.
3. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool completely. Spread CHOCOLATE CREAM over top. Refrigerate about 30 minutes. Garnish with fruit just before serving. Store covered in refrigerator, without fruit topping. 12 to 15 servings.


1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1 tablespoon milk
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Beat all ingredients in bowl until smooth.

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