Showing posts with label Treats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Treats. Show all posts

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fairy Fizz and Angel Food Cupcakes!

Wednesday - leprechauns, Thursday - fairies... it’s been a busy week here at our house. My daughter has a fairy tea party book that she absolutely loves so, of course, she has to have her own fairy tea parties. In the book there is a pop out kitchen and in the kitchen is a recipe for the famous and very secret fairy Fizz. If you promise not to tell I’ll share the recipe with you... remember SHHH! Oh, and because it's so secret I can’t share a photo with you, or maybe I forgot to take one?? Hmmm??? One of those. Also because I love you all so much I’ll share a great LOW cal cupcake recipe with you.

Fairy Fizz


  • Pineapple Juice (can’t remember what size the container is)
  • 2 liter Cherry 7UP
  • Cherries


  • Pour ½ a container of pineapple juice in a punch bowl.
  • Add the 7Up
  • Pour into a fun see through cup and drop in a cherry or two.

Angle Food Cupcakes

Recipe from”Betty Crocker’s Just Cupcakes” Cookbook.


  • 1 ½C powdered Sugar
  • 1C Flour
  • 12 Egg whites
  • 1 ½ tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1C Sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp Almond Extract
  • ¼ tsp Salt


  • Place the oven rack on its lowest setting and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Line cupcake tins with paper and set aside.
  • Combine the powder sugar and flour and set aside.
  • Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together until foamy.
  • Beat in the granulated sugar 2 tablespoons at a time.
  • Add the vanilla, almond extract and salt with the last sugar addition.
  • Beat until stir and glossy.
  • Fold the flour mixture in ½ a cup at a time until the flour disappears.
  • Divide evenly into the cupcake cups and bake for 15-20 mins or until the cupcakes feel dry and the cake springs back.

Note: I didn’t use the angle food cupcake recipe for our party. It just felt like too many eggs for a fairy party.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Breakfast Muffins

Here is a slightly healthy take on the breakfast Muffin. I love the cheery, wheat and pecan mix in these muffins.

Cherry Pecan Muffins
Recipe adapted from Stoneyfield Farms

  • 1 C flour
  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 C frozen cherries, drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C yogurt
  • 1/4 C butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 C Pecans

  • Preheat oven to 375℉.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flours, sugar, and baking soda.
  • Stir in cherries and pecans, then set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, butter and vanilla.
  • Gradually stir dry ingredients into wet.
  • Divide batter evenly amongst a 12-cup muffin tin that has been greased or lined with papers.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

Friday, February 12, 2010


My son, the chocoholic, is on the couch recovering from his latest surgery. In addition to making sure he is taking his pain medication and that the other kids are letting him rest, I made him one of his favorite treats, Éclairs! Instead of filling them with custard these are filled with chocolate cream! YUM!

Pastry Ingredients:

1C Water

1/8 tsp Salt

½ C Butter

1C Flour

4 Eggs


  • Bring to a boil the water, salt and butter.
  • Add the flour and stir until a ball forms. This happens very quickly.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Stir the eggs in one at a time until they are fully incorporated.
  • pipe onto a lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 400 until golden brown and puffy.

Chocolate Cream filling Ingredients:

Heavy Whipping Cream

Powdered Sugar

Cocoa Powder


  • Add all ingredients and whip until firm peaks form.
  • pipe into pastry shells.

Chocolate glaze Ingredients:

½C Semi Sweet Chocolate chips

2 Tbls Butter

1C Powdered Sugar

2 Tbls Boiling Water


  • Melt the butter and chocolate together over low heat.
  • Add the boiling water and sugar.
  • Stir until smooth.
  • Dip or drizzle over éclairs.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Coconut Cupcakes

It’s Barefoot Bloggers time. Barefoot Bloggers are a community of bloggers that get together twice monthly to make, eat and post about Ina Garten’s recipes. Today’s recipe was chosen by Jamie of Jamie’s Green Kitchen. Jamie chose Coconut Cupcakes, which can be found in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook or on the food network site.
I make coconut cake often; in fact I’ll be making a bunny shaped coconut cake here in few weeks for Easter. Anyway, I make them often but never do I add the coconut into the batter so I was excited to give her recipe a try. I followed her recipe with the exception of the cream cheese icing, which I didn’t use due to the refrigeration requirements and the fact that I will be giving away most of the cupcakes. I was not overly impressed with these cupcakes. I found them to be a bit dry. They had a “commercial” taste to them. I don’t really know how to describe them except that I think many of the box cake mixes are better than this recipe. SO, there you have it, my review. Sorry it’s not more favorable.

Ina Garten’s recipe



  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the frosting:


  • 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Decadent Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cheesecake!

Looking for a yummy and easy Valentine dessert? Well I have one! This Cheesecake is so simple to make and not all that time consuming. It turns out perfect each and every time too! Just remember to cut a small piece; you don’t want your Valentine to be passed out in a coma.


From” Better Homes and Gardens “

  • 18 chocolate graham cracker squares, finely crushed (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • Peanuts (optional)(I didn't add these)


1. Preheat oven to 300 degreesF. Combine crackers, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar. Press into bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch springform pan; set aside. In bowl beat 1 package cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in peanut butter and 1/4 cup sugar until combined. Fold in 1 lightly beaten egg; set aside.

2. In saucepan stir chocolate over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Cube remaining cream cheese; add to chocolate. Stir to combine. Stir in milk and vanilla until smooth. Fold in 2 lightly beaten eggs. Spread half the chocolate mixture into pan. Carefully spread all the peanut butter mixture over layer. Evenly spread remaining chocolate mixture.

3. Bake 45 minutes or until top is set when lightly shaken. Outer 2 inches of the top will be slightly puffed and dry-looking; center will look darker and wet. Cool in pan on rack 15 minutes. Use a small sharp knife to loosen crust from sides; cool completely on rack. Cover; chill 4 hours. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with peanuts. Makes 16 servings.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

English Toffee Take 2

Even though our first attempt to make toffee ended so terrible, we were not ready to throw in the towel. We received some insider tips from Mrs. Fowler and other tips from our loyal readers. What we walked away with is that our heat was too low and it should take less than 30 minutes to make. Oh, I almost forgot mention that we were able to sample Mrs. Fowler's toffee. You know how it is, you need a sample so you’ll have a benchmark. This toffee is SOOO O good. I actually had to hide it from myself so that I could save it for Anthony to enjoy! Anyway, armed with this information, we tried again. This time our results were MUCH better. We still need some practice. I think that I got scared and took it off the heat a touch too soon. It’s very yummy and has the right texture but Mrs. Fowler's was still a little more brittle than ours. We’ll try again soon but this batch will go into our bellies and not our trash can, so we’ll count it a success


Mrs. Fowler’s English Toffee.


  • 1lb Real Butter
  • 1 T. Water
  • ½ t. Vanilla
  • 2 C Granulated Sugar
  • ½ lb Slivered Almonds (we used Pecans)
  • Dash of Cinnamon


  • Melt butter in heavy kettle.
  • Add sugar, stirring briskly with a large spoon.
  • Add water, cinnamon and almonds, stirring constantly.
  • Add Vanilla.
  • Mixture will thicken and fall way from the sides of the kettle when nearly done.
  • Cook until it turns a toffee tan.
  • Pour onto well-buttered tray and spread to a thin layer.
  • When cooled, break into pieces

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snowball Cookies

Getting my bake on!

This is one of my mom’s favorite cookies. I always think about her when I make them. Merry Christmas mom!

Snowball Cookies

Adapted from Fleishmann’s


  • 1 C Butter
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 ½ to 2 C Roughly Chopped Pecans
  • 2 C All-purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Powder sugar for dusting


  • Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and blend until creamy.
  • Shape into 1 inch ball and place on a ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350 until they start to brown slightly.
  • Cool completely on wire rack.
  • Dust with powdered sugar.
  • Invite your mom over for cookies and milk!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Every year for our Christmas dinner I buy pastries from Maria's Pastry shop. One of the items I buy is Marzipan fruit. This year I decided to try my hand at it. Not as good as Maria's but a good start. What do you guys think?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Every magazine that I have opened in the last several months has had the same Hersery’s kisses ad and recipe. I clipped it out the first time I saw it and finally made them last night. They are very easy to make and not all that time consuming. Try them and give them to the peanut butter lovers you love.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Adapted from"the Hersery Company"


  • 48 Hershey kisses Milk Chocolates
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup Creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Granulated sugar


  • Heat oven to 375 F.
  • Remove wrappers from chocolates.
  • Beat shortening and peanut butter in a large bowl.
  • Add 1/3 cup granulated and brown sugar; beat until fluffy.
  • Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into mixture.
  • Shape dough into 1 inch balls.
  • Roll in sugar; place on un-greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Immediately press a kiss into center of each cookie.
  • Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
  • Cool completely.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I’m back! Did you miss me? Well, I missed you guys! We were displaced from our home while repairs were being made and without a computer. We survived and our house is ALMOST whole again. I’m back in my kitchen and my heart is filled with joy. We are finally getting our tree up and I made this SMIPLE treat as a welcome home for us.

If you have never made flan, do so. It really is very easy and takes little time to make. It’s one of those desserts that people think you spent your entire day working on. Truth be told, it is no harder than making rice crispy treats. I topped mine with Cranberry sauce to make them festive and because I was dying to use the fresh berries in my refrigerator.

Recipe from Better Homes and Garden Cookbook


  • 1/3 C Sugar
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 ½ C Milk
  • 1/3 C Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla


  • Caramelize 1/3 cup sugar in a sauce pan over med heat.
  • Slide the sugar around by shaking the pan until the sugar starts to melt.
  • Once it starts to melt reduce the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until it is all melted.
  • Pure the melted sugar into individual custard cups, or one large tart pan and set aside.
  • **This is the hardest step. If the sugar gets over cooked it can taste bitter.
  • Combine eggs, milk, 1/3-cup sugar and vanilla.
  • Beat till well combined but not foamy.
  • Pour into the custard cups.
  • Place the cups into a large baking and dish and pour boiling water into the dish until the custard dishes are surround by about an inch of water.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until a butter knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from bath and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm or refrigerate.

To plate:

  • Run a butter knife around the sides of the flan.
  • Place a plate on top of the dish and flip.
  • If the flan does not instantly fall onto the plate tap the dish with the knife.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Creative jucies not flowing!, Pumpkin Cupcakes and Turkeys

My creative juices are not really flowing right now! You see we had a minor flood which has caused major damage to our home. I will do my best to cook, bake, post and to visit your sites, but as the jackhammers come in and the wood flooring and walls go out I'm not sure how consistent I'll be.

I did make some yummy mini cupcakes last week that I would like to share with you guys.

Pumpkin Cupcakes
adapted from Martha Stewart.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (added a bit extra)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (didn't use)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (didn't use)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
  3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Not wanting to worry about refrigerating the cupcakes I made the following icing for the cupcakes. It didn't have the same exact taste as cream cheese icing but it was close.

  • Powdered Sugar
  • 3/4 of a can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 stick of Butter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract

My measurements are not exact except for the butter. I really just dumped everything into my bowl and added ingredients until it was the taste and consistency I wanted.

Thanksgiving Turkeys

Here is how I used the left over Oreos and Halloween candy.
they are cute and easy to make.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rocky Road Shortbread Cookies

My husband and our sons have been busy collecting pecans from a local park. We now have several pound in our freeze. While looking for new ways to use them I found this recipe in the latest issue of Family Circle. All I can say is YUM!This cookie will go on my favorite cookie list. The only change that I will make in the future is to omit the marshmallow. Oh, I almost forgot the original recipe calls for walnuts not pecans.

Recipe adapted from “Family Circle, November 2009 issue”


  • 1 ¼ C All-purpose Flour
  • ½ C Pecans, finely chopped
  • ¼ Salt
  • ½ C Butter
  • 1/3 C Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • ¾ C Mini Marshmallows
  • ½ C Coarsely chopped Pecans
  • ½ C Semisweet Chocolate Chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a cookie sheet or use silt pads.
  • Blend all ingredients until well combined.
  • Roll by the tablespoon the dough into balls.
  • Gently flatten each ball to ½ - inch thickness and smooth edges.
  • Bake for 16 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile melt the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute, stirring halfway.
  • Remove cookies form the oven and spread the chocolate, then sprinkle with the marshmallows and pecans.
  • Return the cookies to the oven and bake for TWO minutes more or until the marshmallow become soft.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Easy to make, delicious and pretty on a plate, what more can you ask for?


  • Puff Pastry Dough
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Sugar
  • Cocoa


  • Wrap thawed dough around aluminum foil in the shape of a cornucopia.
  • Bake according to pastry direction.
  • Allow the cornucopias to cool then carefully pull them away from the foil.
  • Meanwhile whip the cream, sugar and cocoa until it becomes very thick.
  • Pipe into the cornucopias and serve.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pear Bread and Breakfast Mummies

My good friend Kerri has been raving about this banana bread that her friend, Kay, has been making and sharing with her. Kay finally shared the recipe with her, either to quiet her or to keep from having to make bread for her weekly, who knows. Anyway, now that Kerri has the recipe and is making it, all I hear is “MMMM this is so good”. I started to feel left out then Kerri shared the recipe with me and now you guys have to hear “MMMM this is so good” from me. I didn’t have any bananas so, Kerri and Kay, I changed your recipe a bit and it is still very yummy!

Banana Bread Adapted from a recipe from Kay who thinks she got it from ALLRecipes. I'll make all my changes in red so that you guys will have both recipes.
1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
4. 1/2 cup butter
5. 3/4 cup brown sugar
6. 2 eggs, beaten
7. 2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas Cooked Pears
8. 2 Tbsp Butter
9. 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
10. 1C Chopped Pecans
11. ½ Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
2. Peal, core and slice pears.
3. Boil pears in the butter until they are tender.
4. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. I throw everything in at the same time and mix. To the mix I add the pecans, cinnamon and chocolate chips.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Breakfast Mummies

  1. Ingredients:
  2. 1 can of Crescent rolls
  3. Fully Cooked Breakfast Sausage Links


  1. Open and separate rolls.
  2. Cut the dough in half length wise.
  3. Cut a small piece off to cover the head.
  4. Wrap the dough around the majority of the sausage. Leave the top section unwrapped.
  5. Wrap the small piece around the top of the sausage leaving a small gap where eyes or a face would be.
  6. Bake according to the package directions.
  7. Mustard can be use to make small eyes.

Both of our boys celebrated their birthdays this week. Since their birthdays are only 3 days apart they usually have a combined birthday party at the park. This year they wanted to take a trip to Arkansas to visit the caves instead. Here is a picture of how we spent our weekend.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Beatty's Chocolate Cake

I’m finally back. Still nursing a slight headache but the Barefoot Bloggers recipe that I missed is helping me get back on track. You know chocolate therapy! This last recipe of the month was picked by Mary of Passionate Perseverance. Mary chose Beatty’s Chocolate Cake which can be found in Barefoot Contessa at Home or at the bottom of this post. This cake is out of this world. It will now be my go to chocolate cake recipe. My one and only complaint is that the espresso was a bit too much. I will reduce the amount next time but definitely keep it in. The comment to the side of the cookbook recipe states to make sure you use two 8 inch by 2 inch cake pans or the batter will run over. I used three 9 inch pans and I was very happy with the appearance of the cake and had no oven fires to put out. Yummy cake! Thank you Mary for choosing this recipe. Don’t know what Barefoot Bloggers are? Click here Barefoot Bloggers.

Ina’s Recipe:


  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee


Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Chocolate Frosting:

6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Marshmallow Muffins

Today a friend of ours is celebrating the birthday of her son, James, who died at birth. James touched the lives of his family very deeply and they are forever changed. James taught his family to remember how precious life is and enjoy each and every moment of it. James has also touched me. I can’t stop thinking about him and how wonderful it is that he is giving the gift of inspiration and endless love to so many. Many people live for decades and never touch anyone the way James has. I am inspired by him and by the strength and grace of his family.

As I spend my day thinking about them. I wonder what balloons his brothers and sister will pick to give to him today and I wish that I could find some small way to let his mom know that I’m thinking about them. The only thing that I could come up with is to bake a small treat for them. I will see his mom at the gym in the morning and I don’t want to burden her with refrigeration or a big messy cake so I’m going with Marshmallow Muffins. They can be packaged neatly and transported without a mess.

With that I leave you with this recipe and a BIG Happy Birthday James!

Marshmallow Muffins

From “Chocolate” cookbook


  • 5 tbsp Butter
  • 2 Cups All-purpose Flour
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened Cocoa
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 6 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/ C Milk Chocolate Chips
  • ¼ C mini Marshmallows
  • 1 egg, Beaten
  • 1 ¼ c Milk


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Line a 12-cup muffin pan with papers.
  • Melt Butter in a saucepan, I use the microwave.
  • Sift flour, cocoa, and baking powder together in a large bowl.
  • Stir in sugar, chocolate chips and marshmallows until thoroughly mixed.
  • Whisk the egg; milk and melted butter together in a separate bowl then gently stir into the flour to form a stiff batter.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the lined muffin tin.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen.
  • Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan then allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Birthday Cake Ina Style

It’s Barefoot Bloggers time. Barefoot Bloggers are a community of bloggers that get together twice monthly to make, eat and post about Ina Graten’s recipes. Today’s recipe was chosen by Susy of Everyday Gourmet. Susy chose Birthday Sheet Cake. Happy Birthday to Susy, who will be celebrating a birthday this month.

I followed the recipe to the letter with the exception of halving it. We will be celebrating my husband’s birthday on Sunday and frankly it’s just too much cake for me. Can you hear the sound of the button on my pants popping? If not, have no fear you’ll get to hear yours after you eat this cake. Holy Smokey's the calories in this cake are outrageous. It is yummy and chocolaty so if you put in an extra day at the gym treat yourself to this cake.

Oh and it’s messy!

Here is Ina’s recipe.


For the cake:nocoupons

  • 18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

For the frosting:nocoupons

  • 24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Chocolate candies for decorating (recommended: M&M's)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest, scraping

down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until smooth. Finish mixing by hand to be sure the batter is well mixed. Pour evenly into the pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan to room temperature.

For the frosting, place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chips are completely melted. Off the heat, add the corn syrup and vanilla and allow the chocolate mixture to cool to room temperature. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the chocolate mixture and softened butter on medium speed for a few minutes, until it's thickened.

Spread the frosting evenly on the cake. Have the children decorate the cake with chocolate candies.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Blogger Finds: S'mores Cookies and Chocolate Chiffon Cupcakes

Chocolate Chiffon Mini Cupcakes

S'mores Cookies

Are you guys like me, wondering where the month went? Before I know it I’ll be making stews, Halloween treats, cooking a turkey and planning for Christmas dinner. I also forgot to post the Barefoot Bloggers recipe last Thursday so this Thursday I’ll play catch up and post

my version of Ina’s pizza. I also have 4 awards/tags that I need to address so I’ll do that on Sunday. Right now I want to take time to pay tribute to other food bloggers out there that are working, creating and sharing their wonderful recipes for the rest of us to try. I am always so amazed and humbled by all the recipes that you guys create.

The first recipe comes from Baked Perfection. She has an amazing blog that is always fun to look at and inspiring. The recipe is for S’mores Cookies. She baked these cookies way back in May and since then I have seen them pop up everywhere. After seeing them again two weeks in a row I finally broke down and made them. I have been reluctant because I’m not much of a S’mores fan. I like my chocolate straight up. Anyway, the cookies are so beautiful that I just couldn’t hold out any longer. Well, I will say that they were not as easy to make as she made them look. She is a gifted baker. I found that there was a learning curve to baking these cookies. It could be me or it could be the Texas heat, who knows. I found if I placed the chocolate and marshmallows on after baking instead of during then they looked very pretty. When I was finished and tasted them I thought, “OH NO, they taste like a S’mores”. Very sweet and too much mixed with my chocolate but I think that’s the idea of these cookies. When my 4-year-old tasted the cookies all we could hear were the groans of satisfaction. I think that these are a bit more work than the average cookie but I WILL be making them again for my sweet little guy.

Oh and check out the picture below to see what my daughter was doing to these cookies.

As seen at Baked Perfection

S'mores Cookies
adapted from Make and Bake

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 dash of cinnamon

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 cups miniature chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
2 Hershey bars, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, salt, and dash of cinnamon. In a second larger bowl beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowl

y beat in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes, and remove from the oven. Push 3 to 4 marshmallows and a few pieces of Hershey bar into each cookies. Return to the oven and bake an additional 3-4 minutes until fully cooked. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.

The second recipe comes from my new friend at Simple Recipes.

She has such a great blog. Her step-by-step pictures are so incredibly helpful. She needs to collaborate with some of the cookbook publishers and show them how it’s done. I’m not sure my cupcakes would have been so yummy without all her helpful pictures. OK, so her recipe is for Chocolate Chiffon mini cupcakes. I make mini cupcakes almost weekly and was very excited to make her cute, little, chocolate cupcakes. The first day of first grade was a great opportunity to make them and to celebrate the accomplishment of my son. I topped them just as she did with Marshmallow and I’m so glad I did. The cupcakes themselves are so light that the marshmallow added that little bit of sweet that makes them a special treat. I only iced half of them thinking that it would be too much and now I wish I had iced them all. Make them! They are cute, simple and yummy!

Oh and wouldn’t they be great for a shower or party?

As seem at Simple Recipes


4 tablespoon all purpose flour
2 tablespoon chocolate powder
6 tablespoon sugar, divided into half
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tablespoon water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 325F, Sift flour, chocolate powder, baking powder and salt into a small bowl. Separate the eggs carefully. Add the cream of tart to the egg whites and mix using a clean and dry beater until stiff, add the other half sugar and continue to beat until flip upside down it does not fall.
Add the oil to the egg yolk and beat until the color is a pale yellow, add the other half sugar and continue to beat. Add the water and the vanilla extract, beat until well mixed. Add the dry ingredients and beat for more approximately 2 minutes.
Gently fold the egg whites to the batter using a spatula, make sure that you mix very gently. Pour the batter to the cupcake forms and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Frost the mini cupcakes with ready made marshmallow and garnish with cherry.
Makes 24 mini cupcakes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oatmeal Cookies PINK??

Calling all foodies.

Today after school the kids and I took to inventing a PINK version of oatmeal cookies. We start with the basic oatmeal cookie recipe, one that I have used plenty of times, then change it up a bit. We used whole-wheat flour, added strawberry jam and raisins to the cookie dough. The dough looked perfect and our sample of the uncooked dough was yummy, though the kids are sure they’ll get worms if they eat uncooked dough again.

I was very excited about putting them in the oven. The 11 minutes of baking time seemed like 10 years to the four of us. Finally, the timer went off. Kids were jumping, yelling and dancing.


When I opened the oven door the cookies were NOT done and not even close. They did finally finish and they are yummy. So, why should you care?? Well I need your help. WHY ARE MY COOKIES SO DARN FLAT? Is it the flour, the jam or both? Do you know? All of my ingredients were fresh. Help?


  • 2 ½ C Oats
  • 1 ½ C Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 C Butter
  • 2/3 C Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 2/3 C Packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ C Strawberry Jam

Mixed then baked at 325 degrees for 15 minutes or so.