Boost your happiness with these great recipes for International Day of Happiness

Celebrate International Day of Happiness on Monday, March 20th with three delicious dessert recipes, courtesy of La Lechera (Courtesy Photo)

International Day of Happiness lands on March 20th and sad faces are not allowed.

Being happy is crucial to get you through your daily routine with a positive attitude, better focus and and it’s also proven to boost your immune system.You might think that being happy is exclusively related  to external factors, such as watching a good movie or having a date with someone, but reality is that happiness is also the result of chemical processes taking place within our bodies.

A crucial player in this mix is dopamine, a neurotransmitter often known as our “motivation molecule”. High levels of dopamine in your body will make you feel motivated and focused to go after your goals. It also allows you to have feelings of enjoyment, bliss and  euphoria. Low levels of dopamine will have the opposite effect, making you feel demotivated and depressed.

Lucky for us, it is possible to increase our levels of dopamine naturally by including in your diet certain kinds of foods such as chocolate, oranges, berries and apples. La Prensa would like to offer you three dessert recipes, courtesy of La Lechera, that include key ingredients to celebrate International Day of Happiness.


Pavlova with Sweetened Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries

12 Servings

  • Parchment paper
  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup NESTLÉ LA LECHERA Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Fresh berries (raspberries, sliced strawberries, blueberries, blackberries)

PREHEAT oven to 300° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

BEAT egg whites and salt together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or beaters until soft peaks form. With mixer running, gradually add sugar beating until meringue is stiff and glossy. Fold in cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla extract.

SPOON mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Using a spoon, shape the meringue into a 10- to 12-inch circle and with the back of the spoon, create a slight indent in the middle (this will hold the sweetened whipped cream and berries). Place in oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 200° F.

BAKE for 1 hour, 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and keep the pavlova in the oven for about 1 hour or until the oven has cooled down. The idea is to dry out the pavlova and not bake it any further.

PLACE whipping cream in chilled bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in sweetened condensed milk.

SPOON cream over center of cooled pavlova. Top with berries. Serve family-style.

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Slow Cooker Apple Spice Cake

20 Servings

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Parchment paper
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 can (14 ounces) NESTLÉ LA LECHERA Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 can (12 ounces) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped, peeled apples

SPRAY the inside of a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Line with parchment paper, cutting any excess off the top. Spray the paper with cooking spray. Whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl. Whisk eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and oil in a large bowl. Add flour mixture to egg mixture; stir until combined.

POUR batter into prepared slow cooker. Add apples on top.

PLACE 3 to 4 sheets of paper towels on top of the slow cooker (this will catch any drops of water due to condensation). Place the lid tightly on top.

COOK on HIGH for 1 ½ hours or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove slow cooker from base and allow to cool slightly.

REMOVE cake from slow cooker using parchment paper and place on a serving platter. Delicious served warm or cooled sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon, if desired.

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Chocolate Orange Truffles

Servings: 54 truffles

  • 3 cups NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 can (14 ounces) NESTLÉ LA LECHERA Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 6 tablespoons orange liqueur
  • 1/2 cup NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Cocoa

PLACE morsels and sweetened condensed milk in medium saucepan; heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until morsels have completely melted and mixture is smooth.

REMOVE from heat; stir in liqueur. Freeze for about 45 minutes or until firm enough to handle.

LINE a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop chocolate mixture by rounded teaspoon and drop onto prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Roll into balls.

DUST truffles with cocoa. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.