Category Archives: Dessert

Black Bottom Cupcake Bites

I’ve always felt that black bottom cupcakes are a delicious juxtaposition of flavors.  There’s the dark, dense sweetness of the chocolate and the rich tartness of the cream cheese center.  I was a little wary of trying them at first since I’m not really a fan of cheesecake (I sin to many I know) and the white center sounded suspiciously like the stuff.  Luckily, I was at Steve’s parents house a few years ago and my then future mother-in-law offered me one she had baked.  Thank goodness for eating out of politeness and fear of insulting the mother of the man you love!
For my Christmas baking this year I made these into ‘bite’ form to fit easier into my gift boxes.  Two bites and these things are gone so its a good thing the recipe makes about 36.  Although, since they are so much smaller they have less calories, thus you can eat more of them right?  Right?


Black Bottom Cupcakes Bites
Adapted from the The Great Book of Chocolate

For the filling
4 ounces cream cheese, regular or reduced fat, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

For the cupcakes1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup unflavored vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the filling
1. Beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Set aside.
Make the cupcakes
1. Adjust the rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients, stirring until just smooth.
4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling about 1/2 full. Spoon a teaspoon of the filling into the center of each cupcake.
5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown and the cupcakes feel springy when gently pressed. 


Filed under Dessert, Recipes

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

How cute are these?!  Yes, yes I know it’s past the Christmas season but with the crazy of the holidays I never got around posting them.  I just love the colors in these cookies with the deep brown of the chocolate to the stark white of frosting with that lovely deep red of the cherry.  It doesn’t hurt that they taste fabulous.
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tbs brandy
1 cup powdered sugar
36 maraschino cherries with stems, drained
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp oil
1.  Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  In large bowl, beat sugar, butter, vanilla and egg yolk until light and fluffy.  Add flour and cocoa, beat until well combined.
2.  Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  With index finger, make indentation in center of each cookie.
3.  Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until set.  Immediately remove from cookie sheets.  Cool completely.
4.  Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat the filling ingredients until smooth.  Spoon 1/2 tsp of filling into center of each cookie.  Press cherry into filling.
5.  In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate chips with oil over low heat, stirring constantly.  Spoon or drizzle melted chocolate over the cherry on each cookie.  Let stand until the chocolate is set.


Filed under Chocolate, Dessert, Recipes

Homemade Graham Crackers

Have you ever wanted to make homemade graham crackers?  If there is any required staple in a house with a 16 month old, it’s graham crackers.  They are the calm in the storm, the ear plugs in the rock concert, the mute button on the remote.  The person who invented these slices of goodness needs to be given a metal.
Rose loves them brand name, generic and in teddy form (these are perfect for car rides since they don’t leave as much crumage everywhere).  However, I don’t think she is going to want any of those any more after she tried the recipe for this homemade version.  They are that good.
Baking tip:  I divided the dough into three sections and wrapped them in plastic wrap.  I cooked one and froze the other two.  To bake, remove from the freezer and let defrost for an hour or so.
Graham Crackers
adapted from
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 Tbs molasses
1/4 cup honey 
1/4 cup milk 
2 tsp. vanilla extract 
2½ cups flour 
1/2 cup wheat flour 
1 tsp. baking powder 
1 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1. Beat butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Beat in molasses, honey, milk and extract until smooth.

2. Stir together dry ingredients and stir into batter
3. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough 1/8-inch thick, half at a time, on a floured board. Cut into 2 to 3-inch squares and place on baking sheets.  Puncture with a fork a few times (for looks only).

5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

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Filed under Bread, Dessert, Recipes

S’more Pie

You are just going to have to trust me that this pie is like “sitting by the campfire, roasting marshmallows to golden brown, placing them between two graham crackers with a rich slice of chocolate, and eating them without making a mess” in a pie.  This recipe for s’more pie takes all the mess out of the yummy.
The recipe calls for a graham cracker crust.  Since having a 15 month old means that I have an unlimited supply of graham crackers around I made my own.  However, you can also just use a premade from the grocery store. 
The recipe calls for letting the marshmallow layer chill for at least 3 hours.  Time got away from me when I made this and it was only in the fridge for about 2.  You can see how gooey the marshmallow is in the picture.  Totally ok as the flavor was fabulous but it was easier to serve the next day after it had chilled longer (although very little was left).

Serving suggestion: Slice this pie thinly as it is R.I.C.H.

S’more Pie
adapted from Gourmet Magazine

Chocolate Cream Filling
7 oz milk chocolate, chopped (or chips)
1 cup heavy cream 
1 large egg, at room temperature for 30 mins 

Marshmallow Filling
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin 
1/2 cup cold water 
3/4 cup sugar 
1/4 cup light corn syrup 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
Vegtable oil for greasing 

Making the Chocolate Cream Filling:
1. Make graham cracker crumb crust and reserve.

2. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350ºF. Put chocolate in a large bowl. Bring cream just to a boil in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan, then pour hot cream over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then gently whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Gently whisk in egg and a pinch of salt until combined and pour into graham cracker crumb crust (crust will be about half full).

3. Cover edge of pie with a pie shield or foil and bake until filling is softly set and trembles slightly in center when gently shaken, about 25 minutes. Cool pie to room temperature on a rack (filling will firm as it cools), about 1 hour.

Making the Marshmallow Topping:
1. Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water in a large deep heatproof bowl and let stand until softened, about 1 minute.

2. Stir together sugar, corn syrup, a pinch of salt, and remaining 1/4 cup water in cleaned 1- to 1 1/4-quart heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then boil until thermometer registers 260ºF, about 6 minutes.

3. Begin beating water and gelatin mixture with an electric mixer at medium speed, then carefully pour in hot syrup in a slow stream, beating (avoid beaters and side of bowl). When all of syrup is added, increase speed to high and continue beating until mixture is tripled in volume and very thick, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and beat until combined, then immediately spoon topping onto center of pie filling; it will slowly spread to cover top of pie. Chill, uncovered, 1 hour, then cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap (oiled side down) and chill 3 hours more.

Brown the Topping:
1. Preheat broiler.

2. Transfer pie to a baking sheet. Cover edge of pie with pie shield or foil and broil 3 to 4 inches from heat, rotating pie as necessary, until marshmallow topping is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Be careful as this process can smoke a bit.

3. Cool pie on a rack 10 minutes. Slice pie with a large heavy knife dipped in hot water and then dried with a towel before cutting each slice.

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Filed under Chocolate, Dessert, Recipes

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

If there are bananas in the cookies, that makes them healthy right?  These are a great source of potassium with a good dose of antioxidants in the chocolate chips.
They freeze wonderfully and, according to Rose, can be eating straight from the freezer.  She can hear me taking one of these out from the other room.
The recipe calls for milk chocolate chips, which are very yummy, but the last time I made them I used peanut butter/chocolate chips.  Oh my.  If you can find them, try it!
These are soft fluffy pillows of cookies due to the acid in the bananas reacting with the baking soda.
Baking tip:  I measured the 1 cup of banana in a 2 cup measuring cup so that when I mixed the baking soda in, there was room for it to bubble up.
Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
slightly adapted from Vanilla Garlic
1 cup mashed bananas
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 egg, room temp
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1.  Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix the mashed bananas and baking soda together and let sit for 2 minutes.
3.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and continue to beat until fully incorporated.
4.  Mix the banana mixture into the butter mixture.  Mix the flour, salt and spices and mix into the butter mixture until just combined.
5.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Drop dollops onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  I used my 1 inch cookie scoop.  Bake for 11-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool on wire rack.

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Filed under cookies, Dessert, Recipes

Oreo Truffles

Bottom line, these are creamy, chocolaty balls of yummyness.  End of story.
ps  Don’t do what I did and dry the chocolate on a cooling rack so that the truffle welds itself to the rack thus causing the bottom to stay behind when you attempt to pick one up.
Oreo Truffles
1 package Oreo Cookies
8 oz cream cheese (softened)
Melting chocolate
1.  Finely crush cookies in a food processor.  Mix in cream cheese with a rubber spatula.
2.  Roll the mixture into 1 inch balls and place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet.
3.  Melt chocolate in a double boiler.  Dip each ball in the chocolate and place back on the wax paper.  Sprinkle with toppings if desired.
4.  Let chocolate cool and store in refrigerator.

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Filed under Candy, Chocolate, cookies, Dessert, Recipes

Almond Butter and Chocolate Crispy Bars

These bars take a little time to make.  Not because of complexity but just in the make, wait, make, wait, make, wait steps.  The steps themselves go fairly quickly and in the end, they are sooooo worth it.  Browned butter and rice crispies and almond butter and milk chocolate and dark chocolate.  How can you go wrong?

ps  You can make these with peanut butter in place of the almond butter.  In fact, the original recipe used it and it was quite good.  That being said, I love the nutty flavor of the almonds.  Hmmm, writing the word nutty reminds me of Nutella.  I bet this would be wonderful with Nutella.

pps  This is not a recipe to take to a hot family picnic, or a warmer than normal open house or really anywhere that is going to over 80 degrees.  The nut layer starts getting gooey and very messy.  It still tastes sublime, even licked off your fingers.

ppps You can use regular sized marshmallows instead of the miniature, it just takes longer to get them melted.

Almond Butter and Chocolate Crispy Bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
For the rice crispy layer
4 tbs salted butter
1/2 a bag miniature marshmallows
3 cups rice cereal
Lightly spray a 8-inch square baking pan.
Melt the butter in a medium size saucepan over medium/low heat.  Continue cooking the butter until it has foamed and takes on a medium brown color with lots of lovely browned bits floating around.
Take the pan off the heat and mix in the marshmallows, stirring until they are all melted.  Mix in the cereal until it is fully coated.  Poor the mixture into the prepared pan and use a greased spatula or your hands to press it into the bottom of the pan.  Let cool for 20 minutes.
For the almond butter/milk chocolate layer
6 oz milk chocolate chips (1/2 a bag)
1 cup almond butter
In a medium bowl, mix the chocolate and almond butter together.  Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.
Pour the mixture over the cereal layer, using a spatula to make sure it spreads over the entire surface.  Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour to harden.
For the dark chocolate layer
6 oz dark chocolate chips (or a coarsely chopped bar)
1/2 tsp light corn syrup
4 tbs salted butter
In a medium bowl, combine chocolate, corn syrup, and the butter.  Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate and butter melt and the mixture is smooth.
Let cool slightly and then pour the mixture over the almond butter layer, using a spatula to very carefully spread the chocolate evenly.  Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour until the chocolate layer hardens.
Enjoy with a large glass of milk or cup of tea.

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Filed under Candy, Chocolate, Dessert, Recipes

Peach Cake with Banana Cream Cheese Frosting


For Rose’s 1st birthday cake I wanted something that was at least slightly healthy and low in sugar.  Peaches are in season right now and when I picked up a couple of pounds at the grocery store due to a HUGE sale, I figured it was a sign to make Rose something peachy.  With a few tweaks, this cake fit the bill.  I reduced the sugar and cut out half the oil and replaced it with apple sauce.  For the frosting I added banana to amp up the flavor and make it a little more healthy. You can substitute frozen peaches for the fresh but make sure to defrost them first so as not to mess up the cooking time.  The recipe gives a cook time for a 9×13 pan.  I used 2, 9 inch pans which took about 30 minutes to cook.

The smash cake turned out delicious!  The cinnamon in the cake blended wonderfully with the fresh peaches, bringing out their sweetness.  The banana added a depth of flavor to the frosting that a standard white frosting doesn’t have. Rose gave it two very messy thumbs up.  It was proof to how much she loved me that she was willing to share.


Peach Cake
adapted from Peach Cake II on

  • 3 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups fresh peaches – peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, peaches and pecans. Mix thoroughly by hand.
  3. Pour into prepared 9×13 inch pan and bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 50 minutes or until done. If using 9″ cake pans cook for 30 minutes.

Banana Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  1.  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, banana, sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth. 
  2. In a small bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. 
  3. Fold into the cream cheese mixture.


Filed under Birthday, Dessert, Food, Recipes, Rose

Canned Biscuit Doughnut Recipe

I have been wanting to try making donuts (doughnuts?) for a while now but have been avoiding it due to the time involved mixing, kneading, rising, kneading, rising again, rolling, cutting and frying the things.  I knew that by the time I was done breakfast would be long since past unless I got up way to early.  Thus when I saw these on a few different food blogs I was intrigued. These donuts are as simple as:

1.  Open tube of biscuits. (I used a tube of 10 store brand buttermilk type)
2.  Cut hole out of center. (I used the bottom of a pastry tip)


 3.  Fry in 350 degree oil until golden brown, flipping halfway through.


4.  Stop to admire the beautiful roses your hubby bought you ‘just because’.


5.  Coat in cinnamon and sugar or powdered sugar.


 6.  Devour all 10 (including the cute donut holes) in less than a day.*

Easy peasy.

*In my defense, Steve ate half of them.

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Filed under Breakfast, Dessert, Recipes

THE Chocolate Cake… Oh Yah…

You know how sometimes you come across some recipes where you say “This is the one”? I found one of those with a chocolate cake recipe I found on the Scharffenberger website. This cake was amazingly good. Decently good and sinfully rich.

I would advise to not do as I did while waiting for the cake to cool. Don’t go outside to do a few chores. Don’t mow around the well and find (with the blades of the mower) the hidden faucet you didn’t know was buried in the tall grass. This would create a tall fountain of water. Then you will have to run up to turn off the well, wait for the water to run out of the line until you realize this is the line down from the house not up to the house and thus you are quickly draining the entire house. You will then have to put the peddle to the medal on the mower (at least 2 miles an hour) up the driveway and shut off the line down from the house. Then call hubby to let him know he needs to bring home pipe fixing supplies. Sigh….


* Unsalted butter and flour for pans
* 2 cups granulated sugar
* 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Scharffenberger and it was fabulous)
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
* ½ cup canola oil
* 1 cup whole milk
* 1 cup boiling water


* 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 5 ounces Scharffen Berger 99% Cacao Unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
* 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper, then butter and flour the parchment and the sides of the pans.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, mixing on low speed. Mix in the eggs, oil, and milk.

Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the water. The batter will be soupy.

Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then turn the layers out onto the rack and cool completely.

The Frosting:

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and cream and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer for 6 minutes. Add the chocolate and butter and stir until melted. Pour into a bowl and stir in the vanilla. Let cool to the consistency of mayonnaise.

To Frost the Cake:

Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread the frosting with a hot palette knife or icing spatula to give the frosting a beautiful shine. Run the knife under hot tap water and dry with a towel. Spread about ¾ cup of the frosting over the top of the first layer. Top with the second layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake, heating the knife again as necessary.

Cut the cake. Beware this is RICH so large slices may cause cardiac arrest.

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Filed under Chocolate, Dessert, Recipes