October 30, 2010

Halloween Goodies!

DH is in St. Louis to see the band, Umphrey's McGee do their annual Halloween Mash Up show.  I sent along a box of goodies with him.

From MyRecipes.com: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=10000001661173:

Cinnamon Pumpkin Brittle

1/4 cup butter, cut into chunks, plus more for pan
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups toasted hulled pumpkin seeds (Pepitas)

1. Lightly butter a 10- by 15-in. baking pan. In a small bowl, stir baking soda in vanilla to dissolve; set aside. In another bowl, stir together cinnamon and salt (to help the cinnamon distribute evenly when it's stirred into the sugar mixture).

2. In a 4- to 5-qt. saucepan over medium-low heat, use a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon to stir together sugar, 1/2 cup water, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup butter until butter is melted and sugar is completely dissolved. Increase heat to medium and boil sugar mixture, stirring occasionally, until it turns a deep amber and measures 335° to 340° on a candy thermometer, 8 to 12 minutes.

3. Remove sugar mixture from heat and carefully stir in vanilla and cinnamon mixtures (they will bubble up). Immediately stir in pumpkin seeds and pour into prepared pan, using spatula or wooden spoon to evenly spread and fill pan. Let brittle cool at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes.

4. Gently twist pan to release brittle (if necessary, run a heatproof spatula underneath brittle to help release it), then chop or break it into chunks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

From McCormick Shilling at: http://www.mccormick.com/Recipes/Desserts/Caramel-Pumpkin-Oatmeal-Bars.aspx

Caramel Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars

2 cups flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground
3/4 teaspoon McCormick® Ginger, Ground
1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Nutmeg, Ground
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
7 ounces (1/2 of 14-ounce package) caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons milk


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, salt and spices in large bowl. Add butter; stir until mixture is well blended and forms coarse crumbs. Reserve 1/2 (about 2 1/4 cups) for the topping. Add pumpkin and vanilla to remaining mixture in bowl; stir until well blended. Press evenly into bottom of greased foil-lined 13x9-inch baking pan. Set aside.

2. Microwave caramels and milk in medium microwavable bowl on HIGH 2 to 3 minutes or until caramels are completely melted, stirring after every minute. Let stand 1 minute. Pour over pumpkin mixture in pan, spreading to within 1/2-inch of edges. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Lift from pan. Cut into bars.

TipsTest Kitchen Tip: Prepare as directed, using 1 tablespoon McCormick® Pumpkin Pie Spice in place of the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

From BettyCrocker.com at: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/caramel-smore-cups/9916aa44-083c-4507-8db9-49d0a92f62f7

Caramel S’more Cups


1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® chocolate chip cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
24 round chewy caramels in milk chocolate, from 3 (1.91-oz) rolls, unwrapped (Rolos)
72 mini marshmallows (about 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1.Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 24 mini muffin cups with cooking spray.

2.Make cookie dough as directed on package, using butter and egg. Shape dough into 24 (1 1/2-inch) balls. Place 1 ball into each muffin cup.

3.Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove from oven; firmly press 1 candy into center of each cookie until flush with cookie top. Top each with 3 marshmallows. Bake 2 to 4 minutes longer or until marshmallows are puffed. Cool 10 to 15 minutes. Loosen edges of cookie with small metal spatula and remove to cooling racks. Cool completely.

4.Place chocolate chips in small resealable freezer plastic bag. Microwave on High about 1 minute or until softened. Gently squeeze bag until chocolate is smooth; cut off tiny corner of bag. Squeeze bag to drizzle chocolate over marshmallows. Let stand until hardened, about 10 minutes.

Also from Betty Crocker at: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/cinnamon-bun-bars/b64ffc29-891d-493b-84cf-a330aff19697

Cinnamon Bun Bars


1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® butter recipe yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, softened

2 tablespoons milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup caramel topping
1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1.Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.

2.In large bowl, beat cake mix, softened butter, milk and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until blended. Spread evenly in pan.

3.In medium bowl, mix brown sugar, caramel topping, melted butter, pecans and cinnamon. Drop by spoonfuls on top of batter, and spread evenly.

4.Bake 25 to 28 minutes or until topping is deep golden brown and slightly puffed throughout. Cool completely, about 1 hour. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store covered.

The last recipe I don't have a photo.  I simply took a pan of brownies, and spread the top with 7 oz. of caramels melted with 1 Tbsp. milk.  Then I pressed Autumn colored M&M's and honey roasted peanuts into the caramel.  It sort of looked like birdseed, lol!  Hopefully, it tastes better than that!

October 15, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Today is DH's last day at his current employer.  For his final Friday cake, he wanted Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes.

I got this recipe from the website http://www.bakeitinacake.com/
I won't reprint the recipe here.  Just follow the link.  Lots' of great goodies there!

October 01, 2010

Butterscotch Zucchini Cake

I haven't baked in awhile, but an excess of zucchini and the mention of this cake on a music forum prompted me to try this recipe.

2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 cake pan.
Sift flour, sugar, soda, powder, salt and cinnamon into a large bowl. 
Add eggs and oil and mix well.  Mix in grated zucchini and nuts.
Pour into pan.  Sprinkle butterscotch chips on top of batter.
Bake for about 45 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

May 29, 2010

Summer Camp Festival Goodies

DH is here this weekend. Since I couldn't go with him this year, I sent along for he and his "crew" some baked goods to keep the sugar rush going :-)  I didn't take any pictures before I packed them up but the recipes are below.

The Coconut Almond Bars I have posted before.  The only change I made was to "frost" them with pure, melted semi-sweet chocolate.

Peanut Butter Three-Chip Cookies is something I adapted from another recipe.


1 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts, rough chopped

Preheat oven to 350F

Cream butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.  Combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt.  Gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.  Stir in chips and peanuts.

Drop by rounded tablespoons 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheet.  Bale for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely.  Makes 4 1/2 dozen.

The Sugar Cookie came from Taste of Home website.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
additional sugar

Preheat oven to 350F

Cream butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla.  Mix well.  Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda.  Add to creamed mixture.

Shape into 1 inch balls.  Roll in sugar.  Place on greased baking sheet.  Flatten with the bottom of a glass (I used a cookie stamp).  Bake 10-12 minutes until set and lightly browned.  Cool for a moment and them remove to a wire rack to cool completely.  Makes 5 dozen.

Rum Cashew Biscotti is an old favorite that used to be available from bettycrocker.com but they took it off the website.  It is also in the Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook.


2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2  tsp. rum extract
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsalted cashew pieces. (if all you can find are salted nuts, omit the salt in the recipe)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350F

Beat sugar, oil, rum extract and eggs.  Stir in remaning ingredients.  Turn out unto lightly floured surface and gently knead unitl smooth.  Shape half the dough at a time into a log 10 x 3 inches.  Place on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on baking sheet 15 minutes.  Cut each log crosswise into 1/2 inch slices.  Place slices, cut side down back on baking sheet.  Bake about 15 minutes, turning once, until crisp and lightly brown. Immediately remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 3 dozen

The Raspberry Swirls are from the Taste of Home's The Ultimate Cookie Collection Book.  It is also available online here


1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 jar (12 ounces) seedless raspberry jam
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and extracts. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and chill dough for at least 2 hours.
Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half into a 12-in. x 9-in. rectangle. Combine the jam, coconut and pecans; spread over rectangles. Carefully roll up, starting with the long end, into a tight jelly roll. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or freeze for 2-3 hours.
Preheat oven to 375F
Cut into 1/4-in. slices; place on greased baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool cookies on baking sheet for a minute before transfering to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 8 dozen.

May 08, 2010

Mojito Cake

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I made a cake from http://www.bettycrocker.com/.  Make sure you use strong mint leaves.  The mint I got from the grocery store wasn't strong enough to give a good flavor.

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix
1 cup unflavored carbonated water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rum or 1 teaspoon rum extract plus 1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons grated lime peel
3 egg whites


1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup rum or 2 teaspoons rum extract plus 1/2 cup water


1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
15 fresh mint leaves, if desired
Shredded lime peel, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350°F for shiny metal or glass pan (or 325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with baking spray with flour.

2. In large bowl, beat cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter into pan.

3. Bake 28 to 33 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, mix glaze ingredients. Heat to boiling over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium; continue to boil 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until glaze has thickened slightly.

5. Poke warm cake every inch with fork tines. Pour glaze slowly over cake. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

6. In small bowl, beat whipping cream and powdered sugar on high speed until soft peaks form. Garnish each serving with whipped cream, mint leaf and shredded lime peel. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

April 09, 2010

Sweet Potato Pie with Three-Nut Topping

For the last Friday of tax season, I asked DH what kind of cake he wanted.  His response was not a cake but one of his favorite pies.  The recipe originally came from an old raggitty copy of Bon Appetit and is online here http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Sweet-Potato-Pie-with-Three-Nut-Topping-2650 , though I don't use the crust recipe.  I don't like it as well as regular pie crust for this.  

There is a funny story behind this particular pie recipe.  Years ago we lived in this dinky apartment in SF.  One of the notable features of this place was an old gas oven with a broken thermostat.  The only way to regulate the temperature was to open and close the oven door until the temperature was correct.  DH worked for a different firm then, and one of the firm's clients was a sweet potato farmer.  Periodically, he would come home with a half dozen sweet potatoes and they were just the best thing I'd ever tasted.  At the tax season party that year, one of the partners mentioned that he'd heard I liked the sweet  potatoes and I told him that if he got me a whole box, I would make him a sweet potato pie. 

Well, sure enough, some weeks later, DH comes lugging home a 40 lb box!  So I pulled out the special recipe for sweet potato pie.  But DH felt we couldn't just single out one partner, so maybe I should make one for each of the four partners.  Ok, no problem.  Then it was, maybe I should make one for each of the managers too, uh, then maybe the senior accountants...  I ended up making a pie for each person at the firm, a grand total of 23.  In a broken oven.  And I used less than half the box of potatoes.  But every pie came out perfect and this has become a favorite recipe!  I only made two pies today;-)


1 deep dish 9 inch pie crust.  (I used Marie Calendar's premade crust, thawed.  I never have been able to make a decent scratch pie crust).

18 oz. sweet potatoes
3 large eggs
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed dark browm sugar
2 Tbsp. Honey
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup whipping cream


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp. honey
1/3 cup whole almonds, toasted
1/3 cup whole hazelnuts, toasted
1/3 cup walnut halves, toasted

Preheat oven to 350F.  Poke skins of the potatoes with a knife and microwave for about 20 minutes, until very tender.  Cool until able to handle.  Scoop potato out of skins into mixing bowl.  Beat until smooth.  Add eggs and beat.  Cook butter over medium heat until melted and brown.  Add sugar, honey and pumpkin pie spice.  Boil for one minute, stirring constantly.  Whisk in cream.  With mixer on low, slowly pour cream and sugur mixture into sweet potato mixture.  Pour filling into crust.  Bake until center moves only slightly when pie is shaken, about 40 minutes. 

Toward the end of the baking time, prepare topping.  Melt butter in saucepan with brown sugar and honey on low heat.  Once sugar has dissolved, turn up heat to medium and boil one minute.  Stir in nuts and coat completely.  Quickly spoon hot nut mixture over pie.  Continue baking until topping bubbles, 5-10 minutes.  Cool completely before serving.

April 02, 2010

Lemon Burst Cupcakes

This recipe came from http://www.bettycrocker.com/.  I used a French Vanilla cake mix and decorated the cupcakes with green coconut and "Robin's Eggs" (Whoppers). 


1 box French Vanilla cake mix
1 jar (10-12 oz.) Lemon Curd
1 large container white frosting
3/4 cup coconut
few drops green food coloring
1 bag "Robin's Eggs"

1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Make and bake cake mix as directed on box for 24 cupcakes, using water, oil and eggs. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

2. By slowly spinning end of round handle of wooden spoon back and forth, make deep, 3/4-inch-wide indentation in center of top of each cupcake, not quite to bottom (wiggle end of spoon in cupcake to make opening large enough).

3. Spoon lemon curd into corner of resealable heavy-duty food-storage plastic bag. Cut about 1/4 inch off corner of bag. Gently push cut corner of bag into center of cupcake. Squeeze about 2 teaspoons lemon curd into center of each cupcake for filling, being careful not to split cupcake.

4. Frost cupcakes with frosting.

5. In a small bowl, mix ccocnut with a few drops green food coloring.  Once coconut is an even color, lightly press the tops of the frosted cupcakes in the coconut.  Press a few "Robin's Eggs" in center of each cupcake.

March 27, 2010

Classic Carrot Cake

This is the recipe my Mother always used.  I don't know where she got it.  Probably the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.  I like it because it is a plain carrot cake.  No nuts, or pineapple.  I love the smell of this as it bakes.  Almost sent it off with a piece missing ;-)


2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cup canola oil
4 eggs
3 cups grated carrots

Cream Cheese Frosting of your choice.  I used Duncan Hines Homestyle.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a 9 x 13 pan.

Beat eggs, oil and sugar until well mixed and smooth.  Add carrots and cinnamon.  Mix flour, baking soda and salt together.  Add to wet mixture and beat until smooth.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes or until cake tests done.  Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting.  I occasionally use coconut pecan frosting and that goes well too.

March 19, 2010

Irish Coffee Pound Cake

This is another variation of several recipes from the internet morphed into one cake.


1 box French Vanilla cake mix
1/2 cup very hot water
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
1/2 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
1 - 3 oz box vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
4 eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 tsp instant coffee granules
2 tbsp. very hot water
1 tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup slivered, toasted almonds

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour a bundt pan.

Combine coffee granules and water in a small bowl.  Stir to dissolve.  Cool.

Beat eggs in mixing bowl.  Add coffee and Bailey's.  Beat well.  Add softened butter in chunks.  Add cake mix and pudding mix.  Beat at medium speed for 5 minutes.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until cake tests done.  Cool in pan 15 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool completely.

Once cake is cool, prepare glaze.  Dissolve coffee granules in hot water.  Add Bailey's and sugar.  Beat until smooth.  Drizzle cake with glaze.  Top with toasted almonds.

March 12, 2010

Chocolate Chip Mint Cake

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, we have a touch of green.  I sort of scanned recipes form the internet, borrowed a few ideas and threw them together into one cake.  The problem with this approach, of course is that, as I don't actually taste these cakes before sending them out into the world, I don't know how successful the result is until I get feedback.

I used a Maryann Cake Pan .  I don't know how the pan got it's name but it gives you a nice depression in the top of the cake where you can put any kind of filling you like.  I just filled it with a thick layer of mint frosting today.  You can use a bundt pan or a 9 x 13 cake pan as well.

Chocolate Chip Mint Cake


1 box white cake mix
2 eggs
2 tbsp. oil
1 1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. mint extract
1 12 oz. bag mini chocolate chips
A few drops green food coloring
White frosting of choice

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour pan.  Beat together cake mix, eggs, oil, water and mint extract.  Set aside one cup of batter.  Add mini chips to the rest of the batter.  Pour into prepared pan.  Take the cup of batter you set aside and add green food coloring to desired tint.  Drop green batter on top of batter already in the pan and use a knife to swirl the two together.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cake tests done.  If using a Maryann or bundt pan, cool cake for 10-15 minutes before turning out of pan.  Let cool completely.

Take your white frosting and add a few drops mint extract and green food coloring.  Frost top of cake. 

I had a bar of Ghirardelli Intense Dark Mint Bliss on hand so I added a few shavings of that on the top.

March 05, 2010

Lemon Blueberry Gooey Butter Cake

This is based on a recipe called Gooey Butter Cake that I got from http://www.pauladeen.com/.  It lends itself beautifully to many variations based on the flavor cake mix that you use and what you put in the filling.  I have used chocolate/mint, chocolate/Baileys, vanilla/pumpkin, etc..  Today I am doing a lemon/blueberry variation.

1 package lemon cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 16-ounce box powdered sugar
1 15 oz. can blueberries (NOT pie filling)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan. Prepare filling.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, butter and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar and mix well. Spread over cake batter. 

Drain blueberries and pat dry.  Get the berries as dry as possible.  Sprinkle the berries over the cream cheese mixture and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.

February 26, 2010

Orange Streusel Loaves

Today's recipe came from http://www.duncanhines.com/.  Orange pound cake that smells heavenly as it bakes.  Next time, I will use a bundt pan not loaves.  It doesn't slice well in the loaf format, not dense enough for that.

Streusel topping
1 pkg Duncan Hines® Moist Deluxe® Orange Supreme Cake Mix
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1 (3.4 oz) pkg vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup oil

1/3 cup Duncan Hines® Creamy Home-Style Classic Vanilla Frosting
2 tbsp milk or orange juice
(I used cream cheese frosting with milk and grated orange rind.  Before juicing oranges, I grate the rind and save in the freezer so I always have it on hand.)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease two 8 x 4 loaf pans
1.For streusel topping, place 2 tablespoons dry cake mix, brown sugar, cinnamon and margarine in medium bowl. Mix well with fork until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Set aside.

2.For cake, combine remaining cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream and oil in large bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer for 2 minutes. Pour batter into pans. Sprinkle with streusel mixture.

3.Bake at 350 ºF for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 15 minutes. Loosen loaves from pans. Invert onto cooling rack. Turn right side up. Cool completely.

4.For glaze, combine frosting and liquid in small bowl. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over cooled loaves.

February 23, 2010

Coconut Almond Bars

I got the urge to bake last night.  I've had two boxes of brownie mix sitting in the cupboard since Christmas, so I decided to use one of those.  I found  this recipe and tweaked it to use what I had on hand.

Brownie Ingredients:

1 box family size Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix (makes a 9 x13 pan)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs

Filling ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cup powdered sugar
4-6 tablespoons milk
1 cup toasted finely chopped almonds
1 cup flaked coconut

1 can chocolate fudge frosting

Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix the brownie ingredients and pour into a greased 9x13 pan.  Bake 30 minutes unitl done.  Let cool completely.

For filling, beat butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer.  Add milk and beat until creamy.  Add coconut and nuts.  Spread over cool brownies. 

Microwave canned frosting for 1 minute to make a pourable consistancy.  Spread evenly over coconut filling and let set until firm enough to cut.

February 19, 2010

Apple Dumplings

Todays offering is not really a cake, so I digress from the format but this is so good, you will eat it until you make yourself sick! This recipe came from the The Pioneer Woman Cooks!  I used less Mountain Dew than called for in the original, otherwise I followed the directions exactly.    The photo shown is a double batch.  These are not difficult and I baked them just before DH left for work so they should still be warm upon arrival.


2 whole Granny Smith Apples (I used Honey Crisps)
2 cans (8 Oz. Cans) Crescent Rolls
2 sticks Butter (I used unsalted)
1-½ cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Cinnamon, To Taste
1 can (12 Oz.) Mountain Dew Soda ( I used the little 8 oz. can)

Preparation Instructions:

Peel and core apples. Cut each apple into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan.

Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

WARNING: Prepare this dish at your own risk. It is beyond good.

February 12, 2010

Rum Cake in a Jar

As an extra this week I am going to post my old holiday favorite, cake in a jar.  You can use any cake recipe you like, but I have found the most popular flavor is a modified version of the Bacardi Rum Cake.  You need 8 pint size wide mouth canning jars with lids for a standard 2-layer cake recipe.

Cake Ingredients:

1 yellow cake mix
1 small box (3.75 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup rum (sometimes I use spiced rum)
1 cup chopped pecans


1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup rum

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease inside of canning jars (I spray with PAM).  Mix first six cake ingredients and beat for 5 minutes with a mixer.  Divide batter evenly between the 8 jars.  Sprinkle the pecans on top of cake mix.  Place jars on a cookie sheet for easier handling and bake for 30-35 minutes until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  The cake may rise above the top of the jar, but that is ok as the cake will shrink as it cools.

Place canning lids in a pan of boiling water and simmer on low while the cakes bake and you make the glaze.  Melt butter in a saucepan.  Stir in water and sugar.  Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in rum. 

Immediately when you remove the cakes from the oven, poke each cake throughly using a long bamboo skewer.  Slowly ladle small amounts of the rum glaze into each jar.  If you do this too fast the glaze will overflow.  Let each ladle of glaze absorb before adding more.  Take lids out of hot water and quickly dry.  Place lids on top of hot jars and screw on the jar rings.  Use a towel to hold the jars while you do this as they will still be HOT!  You will hear the jar lids begin to "ping" as the heat from the cake causes the jars to seal.  Once the jars are cool, you can screw down the rings tightly.  After it cools it will pull away from the jar and when you are ready to eat, open and pop out the cake and enjoy!

Strawberry Cake

I am afraid I wasn't very inspired this week.  It was a long, tough week and I was tired.  It is a pink cake in honor of Valentine's Day; strawberry cake mix, pink frosting and lots of sprinkles.  I tried to make it special by using a specialty pan but my frosting choice sort of obliterated the pretty curves of the cake!

February 05, 2010

Apricot Rum Cake

This one is from Flora's Recipe Hideout .  I forgot to take a photo before sending it off this morning, but it wasn't much to look at anyway ;-)  I baked it in a 9 x 13 pan instead of the bundt pan the recipe calls for.  I think a flat cake allows more of the glaze to absorb.  The recipe on the website has the ingredient list mixed.  I have corrected that in the recipe below.

Cake Ingredients:

1 pkg yellow cake mix
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup apricot nectar

Glaze Ingredients:

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/3 cup rum (I used spiced rum)

Grease a 9 x 13 pan.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Combine cake ingredients and beat with a mixer 10 minutes.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. 

While cake is baking, prepare glaze.  Place glaze ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. 

When cake tests done, remove form oven and let rest for 10 minutes.  Prick cake with a long-pronged fork.  Slowly spoon glaze evenly over top of cake.  Let cool completely and serve.

January 31, 2010

Kahlua Cake

Here is the first cake of the season.  This is a variation of one that has been around for quite awhile.  This version appears in the book "I Like Food, Food Tastes Good: In the Kitchen with Your Favorite Bands" by Kara Zuaro and is attributed to Brendan Bayliss, lead vocalist and guitarist for the Chicago-based band, Umphrey's McGee.

Kahlua Cake:

1 package chocolate fudge "pudding in the mix" cake mix
16 ounces sour cream
1/4 c vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 c Kahlua
12 ounces chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 325 F
2. Grease your Bundt pan
3. Blend all ingredients with mixer and pour into pan
4. Bake 45-55 min
5. Let the cake cool in pan for at least 15 mins before you flip it out
6. Sit down and eat half the cake

I couldn't find a pudding-in-the-mix cake mix so just used a cake mix and a small box of instant chocolate pudding.  I also used mini-chips instead of regular ones.  In my oven, it took a lot longer to bake, over an hour, so watch it carefully.  This makes a very moist dense cake.