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Chocolate, Cherry , Banana chip Cookies

14 Feb


This is a Duncan Hines recipe.

I had to delete the walnuts because my grandchidren are allergic to them but when I make a secret batch for me the walnuts are going in.

Most of Duncan Hines mixes are dairy free so I use them all the time plus they are a no fail simple mix.

One box of Duncan Hines brownie mix

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1 tbsp. cherry juice

1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries plus another 1/2 cup of whole cherries for garnish

1 cup dried banana pieces cut into smaller pieces

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Spray two cookie sheets with non stick spray cooking spray.

Combine the brownie mix, egg, cherry juice and oil together.

Add the cherries, banana chips and walnuts.

The dough may seem dry but keep on mixing it and it moistens up.

Take one big heaping tablespoon of filling and roll into a ball. Flatten out a little and place a whole cherry in the middle.

Place them two inches apart on the cookie sheet.

Bake for about 12 minutes

Cool on a rack

You can add chocolate chips if you want.

This is such a little and big kid recipe.

I used to steal my Moms maraschino cherries all the time when I was little.

I still like Shirly Temples with extra cherries.


Chocolate Mint Egg Cream

7 Feb


If you are from New York you know what an egg cream is.

It was made at every soda fountain.

One tall glass

3 tablespoons chocolate syrup

6 tablespoons cold milk

Fill the rest of the glass with peppermint flavored cold seltzer

Mix with a spoon

The seltzer and milk should make a foam on the top.

Try to drink it slowly but its so good its impossible.

If you use different flavored seltzer and syrup you can make different flavored drinks.

Chocolate and Toasted Marshmallow Cake

24 Jan




This cake is a SAVER.

I have made it three times now and it gets better and better.

I wish I can give someone credit for it but I do not know the creator. The frosting is from William Sonoma. All I can say is THANK YOU.

I don’t even feel guilty eating it because it is so heavy I feel as if I had a workout just lifting it.

This is a special occasion cake because it takes forever to make and so worth it.

Chocolate Cake:

2 1/2 cups  plus one tablespoon all purpose flour

3 cups granulated sugar, yes I said three cups

1 cup plus one tablespoon premium cocoa powder

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

3 egg at room temperature

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 1/2 cups strong hot black coffee

3/4 cups vegetable oil

1 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, never use imitation

Malted Chocolate Frosting:

One pound of unsalted butter, yes I said one pound

4 cups powdered sifted sugar

3/4 cup Ovaltine Classic

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

pinch of salt

8 ounces quality dark chocolate, chopped, melted and cooled

1/2 cup whipping cream

Toasted Marshmallow Frosting:

16 large white marshmallows

1 cup sifted powdered sugar

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 jar [213g] marshmallow fluff

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put the oven rack in the center of the oven.

Get three 8 inch cake pans and cut parchment paper to fit the bottom.

Butter and flour each pan and make sure to shake out any extra flour.

Sift all the dry ingredients together.

Mix the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla together in a separate bowl and mix well.

Add the wet mixture to the dry mix and beat on low with your splash guard down.

Scrape down the sides and beat on medium for two minutes.

Evenly divide the batter into the three pans.

The batter is very thin.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Rotate the pans and bake for another 8 to 12 minutes.

Test with your cake tester till clean.

Cool for twenty minutes and then invert until completely cool.

Set aside.

Chocolate Frosting:

Put the paddle attachment on your mixture.

Combine sugar and butter and beat at low speed for one minute till it is incorporated.

Add Ovaltine powder, vanilla and salt.

Mix well.

Add the melted chocolate and beat till smooth about two minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and whip another minute.

Add the whipping cream and beat on low then high for a minute.

This is tricky because you have to keep this cool but don’t refrigerate it or it will stiffen up. So I take a cold towel and wrap it around the bowl until I make the marshmallow frosting. The other frosting only takes about 5 minutes to make.

Marshmallow Frosting:

Put the marshmallows on a piece of parchment paper sprayed with non stick spray.

Place on the low rack in the oven and broil till a nice light brown crust forms.

Turn over and toast the other side.

This takes only 30 to 60 seconds

Put the paddle attachment on your mixture.

Mix the butter and sugar on low till smooth.

Add vanilla and beat for 3 minutes.

Add the marshmallow fluff and toasted marshmallows and mix at low speed till smooth.

Cut the three cakes horizontally into six layers.

Put a small dollop of frosting on a cake plate.

Place one layer of cake on the plate

Start with the marshmallow frosting and use 1/3 of it. Make a nice even layer but don’t go over the edge of the cake.

Layer with more cake.

Top with 1/6 of the chocolate buttercream. Spread evenly.

Top with another layer of cake

Press down on the cake gently to make sure the cake is stable and not tilted.

Alternate the two frostings and the cake till you get to the last layer.

This is a six layer cake so you want it to be stable.

Gently press down to stabilize the cake and make sure it is even.

Frost the top with 1/6 of the frosting.

Frost the sides of the cake

Put the remaining chocolate frosting in a pastry bag.

Start decorating….

Thats it!

You are now a proud mother.

Let this cake chill till the frosting sets before you cut it.

Garnish with chocolate curls, malted milk balls, marshmallows or whatever you want.

This is my children’s favorite cake.

So I will make it again for them with more love.






Cranberry Walnut Bread

11 Jan


There is a blog called Once Upon a Chef

It is fabulous.

This is her recipe with a couple of changes

1/2 cup orange juice

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

2/3 cup buttermilk

6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

One large egg

2 cup all purpose flour

One cup sugar plus two tablespoons

3/4 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups fresh chopped cranberries

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 teaspoons almond extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Use a 9 x 5 pan and spray the bottom with cooking spray.

Stir together the orange juice, orange zest, buttermilk, butter, almond extract and egg.

In another bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and then add the cranberries and walnuts.

Do not overmix

I love things when I don’t have to pull my mixer out.

Pour into  the pan

Even the top out with a spatula

Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Check with a cake tester to make sure it is clean and the bred is cooked.

I have made a ton of breads and this is one of my favorites.





Cream Cheese Danish

8 Jan


When I first started cooking a very long time ago, I remember making danish.

I found my old recipe that was yellow and tattered and made them for breakfast.

This is too easy.

The dough is two cans of crescent rolls

One 8 ounce room temperature cream cheese

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

Roll out the crescent roll dough and pinch all the perforated lines together

Cut into 9 equal squares

Mix the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and sour cream till smooth.

Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each square

Fold the two opposite edges together and pinch closed

If you want to add jam this is the time to do it.

Make a little indentation where you pinched the dough together and put  a small  1/2 teaspoon of jam on top

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until the bottoms are brown.

You can also frost the danish but I usually keep them plain.

Thats it .

A fifty year old recipe that hasn’t changed.



Cranberry- Apple Crostata

28 Dec


This is the best apple crostata ever.

The recipe is from Alforno’s Restaurant in Providence R.I.

I changed some of the amounts and cooking time but the taste is the same.

One recipe of the Food Processor Tart Dough

This dough is the best ever and so easy.

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup superfine sugar

8 tablespoon cubed chilled unsalted  butter


3 pounds peeled, cored and sliced apples

1 cup cranberries

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

One tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Two tablespoons butter cut into small cubes

To make the crust;

Mix the flour, superfine sugar and butter together until it starts to stick together and you have small clumps. Do this in the food processor.

Roll out the dough to a 12 inch circle.

Place the dough in a pie plate

Mix the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugars and flour together

Fill the dough with the thin apples

Add the cranberries on top

Sprinkle the butter cubes over the apples

Fold the edges of the tart crust over the edges of the apples

Try to pleat the dough so it stays up

This looks so pretty.

Bake on the bottom rack in the oven.

Bake at 400 degrees for at least forty minutes

Make sure the bottom crust is nice and brown.

If the top is burning place a piece of foil on top while the crust is browning.

Serve with slightly melted good vanilla bean ice cream as a sauce.

Candy Cane Cookies

13 Dec


I love Sandra Lee.

She makes life easy by always using a prepackaged cake mix or sauce.

She combines things so they still taste homemade.

This is one of her recipes.

One box of sugar cookie mix

1/2 stick of melted butter

1 large egg

1/3 cup softened cream cheese

1/2 cup all purpose flour

red food coloring

1 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

Put the cookie mix, butter, egg, cream cheese and flour in the food in a food processor.

Pulse till a dough ball forms

Divide the dough in half

Put half back into the processor and add the peppermint extract

Pulse till it is mixed in about 6 or 7 pulses.

Take out of the bowl and set aside.

Put the other half of the dough in the same bowl and add about 10 drops of food color.

Processor till the color is combined and you have the color you want.

Separate the dough into 25 balls of each color

Roll the balls into six inch ropes

Take one red and one white rope and carefully twist them together and then form the candy cane.

Place on a non stick pan with parchment paper

Bake at 325 degrees on the middle rack  of your oven for 9 to 11 minutes.

Start checking the cookies at 9 minutes because you do not want them to brown. They are supposed to be white and red.

If they do brown just dust some powdered sugar on them.

This is going on my Christmas cookie list.

I thought I would make the cookies smaller next time but then I finished the entire cookies and wished it was bigger. OINK OINK!