Thursday, November 30, 2006

Chocolate Truffle Cake

This is your basic flourless chocolate cake. That is, if you can say "basic" about anything as rich, delicious and chocolate-y as this dessert!


3 cups (18 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
6 large eggs, at room temperature

Serves 18 Active: 15 min/Total: 55 min plus 3 hr chilling

This flourless cake is dense, rich and deeply chocolaty.

1. Heat oven to 425°F. Coat an 8 x 3-in. cake pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom with wax paper; spray paper. Have a larger roasting pan ready.

2. Melt chips and butter together; stir until well blended.

3. Beat eggs in a large bowl with mixer on high 7 minutes, or until tripled and soft peaks form. Fold in chocolate mixture until blended. Pour into cake pan.

4. Place large pan in oven; place cake pan inside. Pour boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan. Cover cake pan loosely with foil; bake 40 minutes. (Cake looks soft but sets when cold.)

5. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours, or until firm. Invert on serving platter; shake down sharply to release cake. Peel off paper.

6. If desired, lay five 3/4-in.-wide strips of paper 3/4 in. apart on cake. Sift cocoa between strips; carefully lift paper. Repeat in opposite direction, this time sifting on confectioners’ sugar.

Recipe courtesy of 1-2-3 Desserts

Monday, November 27, 2006

Chocolate Pecan Pie

My sister brought this to a post-Thanksgiving laugh fest. Of all of the food that I sampled that day, this pie is what I remember!

Makes one 9 1/2-inch pie

  • All-purpose flour, for work surface
  • 1/2 recipe Pie Dough
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 4 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate (such as Ghirardelli 60% cacao), chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 15-inch round. With a dry pastry brush, sweep off the excess flour; fit dough into a 9 1/2-inch glass pie plate, pressing it into the edges. Trim to a 1-inch overhang all around. Fold under overhang so it extends slightly beyond the edge of the pie plate. Crimp edge as desired. Cover with plastic wrap; chill pie shell until firm, about 30 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, butter, vanilla and almond extracts to combine. Add the sugar, mix until incorporated. Add corn syrups, and mix until thoroughly combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in pecans and chocolate.

3. Pour filling into prepared pie shell, and bake until filling is set, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack at least 20 minutes before serving.

Note: Recipe courtesy of Tom Ribando and Martha Stewart Living

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Not exactly something you'd serve for tea, but one of my most-used recipes!

3 C. cold water
1 1/2 C. salt
1/4 C. oil
3 C. flour
2 T. cream of tartar
1 T. vanilla
food coloring and (if you really want it to smell yummy) a couple of packets of Kool-Aid

Place liquid ingredients in a large pan. Quickly add dry ingredients. Heat on low. Stir constantly until dough pulls away from sides of pan. Cool. Add food coloring.

You're good to go! Store in a tightly sealed container or baggie.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Santa's Surprises

Santa's Surprise Cookies

These cookies are a huge hit around here! The kids can help with unwrapping the Snickers bars and then wrapping the dough around them. Lots of little hands make for quick work!

Makes 4 dozen cookies, approximately, but you mustn't use too much dough on each cookie.


* 1 bag of SNICKERS Miniatures
* 2 sticks butter (softened)
* 1 cup creamy peanut butter
* 1 cup light brown sugar
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (sifted)
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

1. Combine the butter, peanut butter and sugars using a mixer on a medium to low speed until light and fluffy.

2. Slowly add the eggs and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Then mix in the flour, salt and baking soda.

3. Cover and chill dough for 2-3 hours.

4. Meanwhile, unwrap the Snickers.

5. Remove dough from refrigerator. Divide into 1-tablespoon pieces and flatten.

6. Place a Snickers miniature in the center of each piece of dough, and form into a ball.

7. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. (Baking time and temperature may need to be adjusted if using more than 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie.)

8. Let cookies cool on baking rack or wax paper.

9. Sprinkle cookies with with powdered sugar and then drizzle with melted chocolate.

10. Hide until Christmas!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day Cake

Hershey's Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

2 C. sugar
1 3/4 flour
3/4 C. Hershey's Cocoa or Hershey's Dutch-Processed cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 C. milk
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 C. boiling water
2 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour 2 9" round baking pans or one 9x13. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder & soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil & vanilla; beat on med. speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water. (Batter will be thin.) Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30-35 minutes for round pans or 35-40 minutes for the 9x13. Do the wooden toothpick test! Cool 10 minutes then remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely and frost. Enjoy!

One-Bowl Buttercream Frosting

6 T. butter, softened
2 2/3 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. Hershey's unsweetened cocoa
4-6 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat butter in medium bowl. Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency. Stir in vanilla.

This cake & frosting recipe comes courtesty of my dear, dear friend-of-the-heart, Djalaih!

Grandma's Coffee Cake (Also known as Christmas Bread)

This recipe is large enough to make two loafs of bread and a pan of rolls! I will often just make half a batch.

4 C. milk
1 C. half and half
2 sticks of butter
1 1/4 C. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt

Heat 'til very hot and butter is just about melted. Cool to lukewarm and then add three packages of yeast that have been dissolved in 1/2 C. warm water and 1 tsp. sugar.

Stir in 1 tsp. vanilla and about 12 C. flour by hand. Knead until the dough isn't sticky any more. Put in a large greased bowl and let rise for an hour.

You can make a large pan of rolls with the dough as well as a couple of coffee cakes. The "coffee cakes" are really round loaves of bread that will look like the picture. I like to add chopped maraschino cherries to the cake--very Christmassy!

Sprinkle the top of your cakes with sugar & cinnamon and let them and your rolls rise for 1/2 hour to an hour. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Frost rolls with powdered sugar frosting.

Powdered Sugar Frosting

1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
A dash of salt
1/4 C. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla

Blend together, adding milk by the teaspoonful until it's spreading consistency. Enjoy!