Friday, July 25, 2008

My last post...

...until after I get back from California which would be August 9th. Anyway. My Dad's birthday was yesterday and of course I was going to make the cake. I knew my Dad likes fishing so I googled a search for fishing cakes. Found one I liked. Ran to the store bought the things I needed and the next day started on the cake. Took me about 4-5 hours, but it was worth it. I bought the fisherman and boat, but the green grass is spray paint you buy in the decorating section. How neat is that?? It saved me having to do extra work, which was great. So, here is the cake:

Now, onto some delicious tasting bread pudding. I am not a big fan of bread pudding. But this recipe isn't your typical bread pudding, which makes it so great! The chips, the maple flavoring, and the cinnamon bread make it taste wonderful. It is really quick and easy too, something that makes this recipe a keeper. Try it, you'll be pleasantly surprised! "Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Swirl Bread Pudding with A Sweet Maple Drizzle"(thanks Jenny for another recipe)!

1 lb loaf Cinnamon Swirl Bread, cut into 1 inch cubes

½ Cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1 1/3 Cups milk

3 large eggs
½ Cup sugar
2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
Pinch of salt
½ Cup powdered sugar
2 ½ Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place bread cubes and chocolate chips into a large mixing bowl. In a medium bowl whisk the milk, eggs, sugar, brown sugar and salt. Pour over bread cubes. Stir to combine.
2. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray and spoon bread pudding mixture evenly into muffin tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center of pudding. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
3. In a medium bowl whisk together powdered sugar, milk and syrup until well combined. Drizzle over bread pudding and serve warm. Enjoy!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Best Cookie Ever & An Award!

Well, second best. First would be the good ol' chocolate chip cookie. This comes in second. My Mom found this recipe on the back of the Nestle white chocolate chip bag, and they were "so" good. Cookies are one of my favorite things to bake, they are so easy and who doesn't like a good cookie?? Next time I am bringing a dessert somewhere, these are on the list. I gurantee you will love them.

"White Chip Island Cookies"

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup (1 -1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 large egg

2 cups white chips

1 cup flaked coconut

3/4 cup macadamia or walnuts, chopped (I used macadamia nuts)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine flour, baking poweder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels, coconut, and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 11 minutes or until edges are slightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Now for the award. Jenny over at Picky Palate gave me the smile award. I was quite surprised, I love getting awards! I won't be passing this on to anyone but thanks again Jenny!

Yup, me. And no. I don't really eat "baseballs"!

My postings will be getting less frequent as I am getting ready for a 10 day trip to California next week. But until then, I'll be back with more goodies.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Your baking can seriously get "no" easier with these cuties. I am a frequent visitor to Jenny over at Picky Palate and once I saw these I knew I "had" to make them. With a brownie mix as the base, hershey chocolate hidden in the middle and butterfingers on top - what isn't to like?? Plus, they take beautiful pictures. Check Jenny's blog out - she makes the best recipes and her blog is so fun to read.

" Chocolaty Centered Butterfinger Brownies"

1 brownie mix 9x13 size
1 6oz bar of chocolate broken into 12 pieces
6 fun size Butterfinger Bars or 2 full size, crushed (I used a rolling pin)

1. Prepare brownie batter according to package directions. Use a cookie scoop and fill paper lined muffin tins ½ full of brownie batter. Place 1 chocolate bar square into each cup and top with remaining brownie mix. Top with crushed Butterfinger.
2. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 29-32 minutes or until brownies are cooked through. Make sure they are cooked through completely or the centers will cave in the middle. I took mine out at about 29 minutes and they were great. Let cool for 10 minutes, then dig in!
One word, YUM!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hold Everything!

Because here is the easiest dessert on the planet. Want a eye-pleasing dessert? Check. Want a super easy reicpe with not many dishes? Check. And of course, one that will have people smacking their lips and think you belong on the Martha Stewart show or maybe even have your own show? Check. This was my first time making parfaits and I can now say I am their #1 fan. Maybe they should start a baseball team...the Pasadena Parfaits??

These layers have me all excited!

"Cherry Cream Cheese Parfaits"
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 12 squares)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
In a bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Divide among eight dessert dishes, about 4 rounded teaspoonfuls in each. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add milk until blended. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Spoon 1/4 cup into each dish. Top with pie filling, about 1/4 cup in each. Yield: 8 servings.
Lewis's buddy - the not "so well" known Clark.

Monday, July 14, 2008


...they are so easy and yet can be quite eye-catching. These brownies are scrumptious. They have been friend tested. My good friend's (hi Joss)! sister made them and everyone loved them and of course the whole clan here loves them. My Dad was eating the frosting all by itself, it is addicting!

"Frosted Cookie Dough Brownies"

1 tube (18 ounces) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
3 cups miniature marshmallows
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup butter, cubed
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups miniature marshmallows
6 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar
2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate
Press cookie dough into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the marshmallows, chips and butter; cook and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl; cool. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into marshmallow mixture. Stir in nuts. Spread over cookie crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. For frosting, in a small saucepan, combine the marshmallows, milk, butter and chocolate. Cook and stir over low heat until smooth. Remove from the heat; beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Frost brownies. Cut into bars. Yield: 15 servings. **Make sure the frosting hardens completley.**
My brother Steven, I don't think we look alike!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Not Your Average Cookie.

What's so special about this cookie? Not much, beside the fact that you use Reese Cups in these cookies instead of chocolate chips! Maybe it is only me, but I think when you bake Reese Cups in a dessert, they practically take the flavor out of them.?? I still will take Reese in anything, I personally think they taste best simply as a "Reese Cup".

"Best Chocolate Chip Cookies"

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. hot water

1/2 tsp. salt

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used about 1-1/2 cups Reese Cups, chopped)

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional) - I never add these


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans. Bake for about 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.
I knew Lewis was weird, but this weird??

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Way To Make Your Day Sing!

Start off with these eclairs and I gurantee you the day will sing. I love eclairs. Period. I'll take them over cookies, cake, or even ice-cream. Simply put - I "love" them. We were in Bishop, CA (where we are from) a couple years ago and had some eclairs while there. They were absolutely *delicious*. My Dad, sister, and I raved about them. When my Dad had a bite of one, this was the response..."we don't need to go to Bishop anymore!" When you get a comment like that - that dessert has to be good.
"Banana Cream Eclairs"
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
2-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 medium firm bananas
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Directions: In a large saucepan, bring water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil. Add flour all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until dough is smooth and shiny. Insert a 3/4-in. round tip into a pastry bag; add dough. Pipe 3-in. strips about 3 in. apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Immediately split puffs open; remove tops and set aside. Discard soft dough from inside. Cool puffs. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, mash bananas; gently fold in whipped cream. Spoon into eclairs; replace tops. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, cocoa, butter and vanilla. Add enough water to make a thin glaze. Spread over eclairs. Sprinkle with pecans. Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 16 servings.

Can you taste this thru the screen??

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

4th of July Ideas!

I personally think holidays are always especially fun because of all the baking/cooking. I started to think about ways of taking stuff I normally bake and turning it into something creative for the 4th! Happy 4th and try some new recipes!

"Cookie Dough Truffles"

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1-1/2 pounds semisweet chocolate candy coating, chopped

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour, milk, and the vanilla; mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Shape in to 1-in. balls; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Loosely cover and refrigerate until firm, about 1-2 hours. In a microave safe bowl , melt candy coating, stirring often until smooth. Dip balls in coating; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. If desired remelt remaning candy coating and drizzle over candies. Store in the refrigerator.

**To make the star shaped truffles: when shaping the balls, make them much bigger. Big enough to use a cookie cutter on. Refrigerate or freeze them until hardened. Then dip in candy coating and let harden. Trim excess candy coating. The dough may get soft, simply stick them in the freezer for a couple minutes.**
If you don't make the star shaped truffles, this is what they look like

Who doesn't love cupcakes and these are so easy!

"4th Cupcakes"
1 white cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
1 tsp. almond extract

Follow directions on box; adding 1 tsp. almond extract.

What you'll need for the decorating:

  • a #21 tip
  • wilton candy melts (I used red and white)
  • wilton star candy mold
  • frosting

Melt candy according to package directions. Fill candy mold with them and let harden. Frost cupcakes with the tip and stick hardened candys on top. Refrigerate until cold; they taste MUCH BETTER cold!

yeah, Lewis sees things upside-down