Saturday, December 7, 2019

CARAMEL FUDGE BALLS: Retro Ad & Recipe for the Holidays

I love all the Vintage/Retro Cookie Ads for the Holidays. So much fun, and recipes that are still so delicious and easy to make. Here's one from Diamond Walnuts for Caramel Fudge Balls. This recipe definitely earns a place on the Cookie Table!

Friday, December 6, 2019


It's National Cookie Week, and I've been posting Cookie Tips and Cookie Recipes.

Since it's early in the month, I thought I'd post some Tips on Packing and Shipping Cookies for the Holidays. If you're sending cookies to friends and family here and overseas (military), you'll want to get started. I've put together a few helpful hints, and I welcome any other tips that have worked for you. There are many ways to actually send homemade cookies -- USPS, FedEx, UPS.

Tips on how to Pack Cookies to Ship.

Starting with the right type of cookie is the key.

Cookies to avoid:
Fragile, buttery cookies that could end up as crumbs.
Cookies with jam or cream-filled centers.
Cookies that will be smudged or broken if stacked together.

Cookies to include:
(Drop Cookies) Chocolate Chip or ( Bar Cookies), Biscotti, Gingersnaps, Sugar Cookies, Shortbread or Oatmeal.

Always Double-Box your cookies.
You can use plastic containers or a a sturdy carton or box to hold cookie containers. Always add packing materials around the first container. More on that below.

Now for the actual cookie box.
I'm partial to decorative tins. I pick them up at the flea market, garage sales, and the White Elephant Sale. They're pretty and useful. However, you may want to use locking plastic containers which create a good seal every time. Alternatively, you can use a shoebox or a coffee can. Either must be clean and 'scent' free.

Be sure and line the container with parchment paper or crumpled wax paper.

I probably don't need to remind you, but you should wrap different types of cookies separately, so the flavors and textures don't 'leak'. Crisp cookies get soggy next to soft ones. You can use plastic wrap between layers--and over the top.

Even better is to cushion each cookie. Wrap them in pairs or individually in plastic wrap or small plastic bags. Then put them in ziploc bags. Stack them in your container vertically or horizontally, packing tightly to avoid them moving, but not too tightly that you crush them.

Here's a great tip to keep your cookies fresh and moist. Add some marshmallows to the tin--loosely not in plastic.

If you're not using plastic sealed boxes, put plastic wrap over the top of the box before you close the lid, letting it drape over, to create an airtight seal. If you're using a tin, tape around the lid to add to the seal.

Before putting your container of cookies in the shipping box, put packing materials around for cushioning. Use a heavyweight cardboard shipping box, if you can. Bubble wrap or crumpled newspaper or foam peanuts are great for cushioning. Add at least 2 inches on each side of your cookie gift box write fragile and perishable on all sides of the box.

Send overnight if you can, so they don't end up sitting in a warehouse. If not, be sure and mail early in the week, so they don't end up in the warehouse for extra days.

What cookies are you sending? Any packing and shipping tips to add?

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Yesterday was Cookie Day, but the cookie making continues throughout this week which is National Cookie Week! Well, really, the baking continues throughout the month!

Yesterday I posted Tips for Making the Very Best Cookies. I can never have enough cookies--or cookie recipes. As much as I love Chocolate Chip cookies, Rich Dark Chocolate Cookies are my favorite. I love a good crisp chocolate cookie with a rich chocolate-y taste. As always that is achieved by using an excellent quality chocolate or cocoa and a perfect recipe.

I saw this recipe in the New York Times a few years ago as the cover story of The Holiday Issue, and I realized I'd made this recipe in the past. And, since the holidays are coming up, I advise you to get out your holiday cookie cutters for this cookie. Reindeer Cookie Cutters are my favorite, and I have several because my last name is Rudolph! For the red noses on chocolate cookies, use a bit of red icing. You can make it, or buy a can or mix at the store. These cookies can be decorated, but why mess with a good thing? I like my cookies unadulterated. If you do decorate these cookies, use royal icing. Of course, you can use other shaped cookie cutters, such as Santa, Stars, Christmas Trees. Get creative with your cutters!

This recipe was sent to The New York Times several years ago by Mari Pfeiffer, a reader in California; it’s from the cookbook “Great Cookies,” published in 2003 by Carole Walter. The cookies have the great flavors of cocoa powder, unsweetened chocolate, and espresso powder.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sifted Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup superfine sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1/2 tsp boiling water
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted in double boiler (I use 90% cacao from Guittard and cut back a bit on sugar)
Optional: Royal icing, for decorating

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In large bowl of standing mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy and light in color, about 3 minutes. Add sugar in steady stream, continuing to beat for 2 minutes. Add egg, vanilla, and espresso mixture. Continue beating, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, then mix in melted chocolate.

Reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients in two batches, mixing just enough to combine after each addition. Divide dough in two and form into two flattened disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Roll out chilled dough between 2 sheets of parchment or wax paper until it's 3/16-inch thick. Cut into shapes, using cookie cutters of different sizes to use as much dough as possible. (The dough will not be as good if it is rolled out a second time.) Transfer cookies to baking sheets, 1/2 inch apart.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, rotating sheets once to ensure even baking, or until cookies look set on top and have slight sheen. Remove from oven and wait 2 minutes before transferring cookies to wire racks to cool.  

Frost with royal icing, if desired.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019


Today is National Cookie Day! Perfect holiday--just in time for the Holidays. I've seen some wonderful new recipes and decorating techniques this season. Be sure and do a few searches to expand your Cookie Repertoire! You can never have too many cookie recipes!

Here are a few Cookie Making Tips. Love to hear any tips you have.


1. For me the most important 'rule' (this is not a tip, it's a rule) is to make sure you Chill the Dough. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Put the dough in the refrigerator for a few hours or put it in the freezer for 10 minutes. While you're working, if the dough becomes soft, just pop it back in the freezer for a few minutes.

2. Use the Correct Ingredients. If you haven't made the recipe before, follow it exactly and measure the ingredients carefully. You can experiment on your next attempts.

3. Up for debate: Some say that you should always roll out your dough between sheets of Wax Paper, not Parchment, because wax paper peels easily off the top of the dough. If you do this, you can then cut out the cookies, and they'll peel right off the bottom sheet. And, yet, some people swear by parchment. Give them both a try and see what you think.

3. Add Salt and Leavening to Butter and Sugar Mixture. If you really want your salt and leavening well distributed throughout the dough, beat it in with the butter and sugar.

4. Fats are major to the spread of a cookie. Generally speaking, fat equals flat, crispy cookies while less fat equals higher, cake-like cookies. Speaking of fats: Whipped spreads are not good for baking. Use butter, margarine, or shortening (Crisco). I mostly use unsalted butter, and I add salt as an ingredient.

5. Sugars: White sugar makes a crisper cookie than brown sugar or honey. Cookies made from brown sugar absorb moisture after baking, so they stay chewy. Most chocolate chip cookie recipes contain both brown and white sugars.

How to keep brown sugar soft? Put a marshmallow or a piece of white bread in the container. The white bread won’t get moldy nor will the marshmallow, and you’ll always have soft brown sugar. I like marshmallow better .. maybe it's just aesthetics.

6. Mixing: Proper mixing is important. Some recipes have a creaming step in which the fat and sugars are beaten together until light-colored and fluffy. Other cookies require a sandy texture, so the fat is cut into the flour. Over-mixing can incorporate too much air into the dough, resulting in flat, overly spread-out cookies. Follow the recipe instructions.

7. Temperature: Unless specified, ingredients should be at room temperature before mixing. Yes, Virginia, take the butter out the night before. For cut cookies, chill the cookie dough before baking. The cookies will hold their shape better. For drop cookies, you can keep them at room temperature before baking; the spoonfuls of dough will spread and flatten out.

8. Equipment and Baking: Not surprising to anyone who bakes, different baking sheets and ovens produce different results. I use rimmed baking sheets (jellyroll pans) for cookies rather than thin flat sheet pans, although some people swear by flat unrimmed cookie sheets. Instead of greasing each baking sheet, I use parchment for easy cookie removal and clean-up. Some of my friends use a silipat liner, but I don't.

9. Use fresh ingredients. I always replace baking soda, flour, spices, and baking powder at the beginning of the cookie making holiday season. This goes for chocolate, too, of course! You're working hard on these cookies, and you want the very best ingredients.

10. Making a big batch of cookies? Be sure and cool the cookie sheet before baking another batch. Otherwise your dough might melt, and you'll have weird looking cookies.

11. Be sure and cool cookies on a wire rack. Don't skip this step or the bottoms might become soggy. And, definitely cool completely before storing them.
However, my friend Patti swears by using brown paper grocery bags instead of wire racks. She says the cookies come out well, and the paper absorbs any greasiness.

Love to hear other tips! Please comment!

Illustration from Lyle the Crocodile.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019


I love when my mystery and chocolate worlds collide. Here's a guest post from a new mystery author but old friend, Carol Glaser. Yum!

Carol Glaser:

This Chocolate Orange Marzipan Cake was my 60th birthday treat. I started with a recipe for Salted Chocolate Rye Cake that I found at Baking with Aimee and made changes based on our household's dietary restrictions (less salt, spelt flour instead of wheat flour, blood orange olive oil instead of butter, orange juice instead of cream). I added marzipan because, well, you know, it's marzipan.

When I had all my ingredients gathered and thought I was ready to start baking, I realized that the original (British) recipe measures the ingredients in grams and milliliters, rather than the ounces and cups I'm used to. I set to work converting the measurements but then thought, Wait—I could be shopping for new measuring cups! This calls for a trip to the kitchen store! Yippee! I love shopping for new gadgets. And I almost made it to the car before I realized, Wait—I already have a scale that will weigh in grams and a measuring cup with mils conveniently located opposite ounces. So, no shopping. Which was just as well because I already have plenty of kitchen stuff. I never get rid of anything. (I still bake my Passover sponge cake in the dented aluminum pan that I inherited from my grandmother 30 years ago. She watches over the baking.)

(Can be made ahead)
1 ½ cups confectioner's sugar
1 ½ cups almond flour
1 egg white (save the yolk for the cake)
1 tsp almond extract

In a food processor, combine the dry ingredients and pulse to mix. Add the wet ingredients and mix until a ball is formed. It should be pliable but not sticky. Wrap and store in the fridge.

157 grams spelt flour
157 grams rye flour
95 grams cocoa powder
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 baking soda
1 tsp salt
Zest from one orange

150 ml blood orange olive oil (available from Rancho Olivos)
300 grams sugar
2 whole eggs plus one yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

600 ml orange juice

Sift the dry ingredients (flours, cocoa, baking powder, and soda), and stir in the orange zest. Set aside. Using a stand mixer, beat the olive oil and sugar for a couple of minutes. Add the eggs and extracts. On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and orange juice, alternating. Divide the batter evenly among three oiled and floured 8" cake pans and bake in a preheated oven (325 in my convection oven). The cake is done one when a toothpick comes out clean and the center springs back when touched. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from pans and finish cooling on racks.

370 grams dark chocolate (I used bittersweet chocolate chips)
240 ml boiling orange juice
60 ml blood orange olive oil (available from Rancho Olivos)

Place the chocolate in the bowl of a stand mixer. Pour the hot OJ over the chocolate and let sit for a minute to let the chocolate melt, then mix at low speed until combined. Slowly add the oil.

Constructing and decorating the cake: 
Three layers of cake
½ pint or more of orange marmalade
Yellow and red food coloring

Roll out the marzipan and cut out two 8" circles, using your cake pans as a guide. Spread the top of the first layer with orange marmalade, add a layer of marzipan, spread another layer of marmalade, add another layer of cake. Repeat. Spread the frosting on the top and sides.

The leftover marzipan can be used for decorations. The oranges on this cake were my first attempt. I had a lot of fun and was happy that they got the general idea across. I put a piece of undyed marzipan aside for the pith and kneaded orange dye (about 20 drops of yellow to one drop of red) into the remainder, adding a bit of almond flour when it got wet. I rolled the dyed marzipan into a tube, cut slices from the tube, and decorated with the undyed "pith."

Despite the many substitutions, the cake itself came out dense and fudgy, as described in the original recipe, and was delicious with the orange and almond flavors.


Carol Glaser is the author of Down the Well: A Trump Era Mystery, which was longlisted for the 2019 CWA Debut Dagger and is now out in the world, looking for an agent. It is set in a kitchen store.

PEPPERMINT MOCHA LATTE: National Peppermint Latte Day's cold and wet all over the U.S. today. Perfect for a Peppermint Mocha Latte to celebrate National Peppermint Latte Day! Here's an easy and delicious recipe. Bookmark it for the holidays, too! Don't have time? Starbucks sells Peppermint Mocha Caffe Latte in cans (limited holiday edition). Following is the Copycat Starbucks recipe that appeared in Parade Magazine.


1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup brewed coffee
2 Tbsp chopped chocolate, milk or dark
1 tsp sugar, honey, or agave
1/8-1/4 tsp peppermint extract, NOT mint extract
Aerosol whipped topping
Crushed up candy canes or peppermint candies and mini-chocolate chips

In small saucepan, heat milk, coffee, sugar, and chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted. Simmer for 1 minute. Add peppermint extract. Stir and simmer for a minute more. Pour into mug. Top with whipped cream and crushed peppermints.
Serves 1.

Monday, December 2, 2019


I'm a huge fan of Fritters, of any kind. Well, I'm happy with just about anything that's fried. I heard a chef on Chopped say, "I'm from Kentucky. If I don't know what an ingredient is, I fry it." Love that motto!

So today is National Fritter Day. According to Wikipedia, a fritter is "any kind of food coated in batter and deep fried. Although very similar to a doughnut, a fritter differs in the fact that it requires some base ingredient beyond the dough it is cooked with." Want to know more? Read about Fritters from Renee Shelton at The Pastry Sampler.

In the past I posted a recipe for Easy Chocolate Fritters, and they're wonderful, but here's another recipe for Chocolate Chip Fritters that also included 'orange' in the liqueur -- Grand Marnier-- and a lot of orange zest. How great is that? Fritters are usually served best when they're still warm, so invite a crowd! This would be perfect for a holiday gathering. They remind me of canolli! Not surprising since this recipe is adapted from "Proud Italian Cook," a great source for terrific recipes!


3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp sugar
1 pound ricotta or marscapone
1 cup flour
4 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp Grand Marnier
Zest of 1 orange
Mini DARK chocolate chips
Dash of salt
Canola oil
Confectioners sugar

Combine eggs, sugar, ricotta (or marscapone), flour, baking powder, Grand Marnier, zest, chocolate chips, and salt in medium bowl. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Pour oil into wide but shallow saucepan, couple inches deep, and heat over medium-high heat.
Drop (be careful!) rounded teaspoons of batter into hot oil and fry, a few at time, until golden, about 5 minutes.
Drain on paper towels, dust with powdered sugar, and serve right away!

How easy is this?!

Sunday, December 1, 2019


Who doesn't love Pie? Fried Pie? Oh, yes.. Chocolate? Be still my heart ... literally. Chocolate Fried Hand Pies! What a great way to celebrate Fried Pie Day!



Chocolate Pudding (filling) 
1/2 cup Dutch unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/8 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
3/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups milk
1-1/2 cups half & half
2 tsp pure vanilla
2 tsp butter
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Buttermilk Crust 
2 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
 2/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 Tbsp water


Chocolate Pudding

In medium saucepan, mix cocoa, sugar, cornstarch, and salt, whisk well. Gradually add milk and half & half to dry ingredients in saucepan. Whisk until smooth and well blended. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly. Bring mixture to a boil and boil for 1 minute, remove from heat.
Add butter, vanilla, and chocolate chips.
Whisk until chocolate and butter is melted, pour into bowel and place plastic wrap pressed onto surface to prevent skin and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

Pie Dough/Crust 
Mix all dry ingredients and cut in the shortening. Beat egg with buttermilk and add in all at once. Stir just enough to form a ball. If it feels like you are forcing it into ball, you made need to add 1 more tablespoon of water. Roll out dough 1/8-inch thick, cut your shapes with cookie cutters (heart shapes for Valentine's Day?). Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of cooled pudding, brush water around edge of bottom dough. Gently stretch top over bottom, press edges down with fingers and crimp with fork.
Fry for about 1-1/2 minutes on each side in hot oil.
If using a deep fryer, total frying time is about 3 to 3-1/2 minutes at 365.
If you bake, brush tops with a beaten egg or milk & bake for 20-22 minutes at 425.

Saturday, November 30, 2019


Today is National Mousse Day. Of course for me that means chocolate mousse. Chocolate Mousse is easy to make and simple to enjoy! I came across this recipe for No Bake Chocolate Mousse Pie a few years ago. What a great way to enhance chocolate mousse -- add more chocolate! The cookie crust made with Italian wafer sandwich cookies is fab and adds some zip, but you can also make a regular chocolate cookie crust if you don't have any Italian sandwich cookies! You can also make an oreo cookie crust. This recipe is adapted from Fine Cooking, a great resource for recipes.


1 ounce unsalted butter, melted; more for the pan
8 ounces Italian chocolate wafer sandwich cookies (Quadratini) (if you don't have these you can use Famous Chocolate Wafers or Oreos)
9 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 1-1/2 cups); more for garnish
1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch kosher salt
3-3/4 cups heavy cream

Butter 9-inch springform pan.
Grind cookies in food processor until they resemble wet sand, 20 to 30 seconds; you will have about 1-3/4 cups. Transfer to small bowl and mix in butter. Spread crumbs in pan, cover with plastic wrap, and press evenly into bottom. Refrigerate.

Combine chocolate, 1/2 tsp of vanilla, and salt in large bowl. In small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup of cream to barely a simmer. Pour cream over chocolate, let sit for 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to cool.

Beat 1-1/2 cups of cream in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium-high speed to stiff peaks, about 2 minutes. Whisk chocolate mixture to loosen, and fold into whipped cream with large silicone spatula until no streaks remain.

Carefully peel plastic wrap off crust and scrape mousse into pan, gently spreading to edges. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

Just before serving, beat remaining 1-1/2 cups cream and 1 tsp vanilla in medium bowl to medium-stiff peaks. Run knife around pie to loosen edges and then remove side of pan. Slide spatula under crust and transfer pie to serving plate. Mound whipped cream over mousse and top with chocolate curls, shards, or shavings. To serve, dip knife into hot water and dry before slicing.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Turkey Molé: 2 Recipes for Leftover Thanksgivng Turkey

If you have Turkey Leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner, make Turkey Mole! According to common legend molé was originally created for turkey. At the Convent of Santa Rosa in Puebla, the nuns had to rush to prepare a meal for a visiting archbishop so they killed an old turkey, cooked it, and mixed everything else they had in a sauce to top it. That sauce was the original mole.

So if you have leftover turkey--or fresh turkey you've just made, you will love these two Quick Turkey Mole recipes. I make the first recipe with Taza Chocolate Mexicano (my favorite daily chocolate) or their Chipotle Chili Chocolate Mexicano, but any good chocolate will work!

The first Quick Molé recipe is adapted from Paula Deen's Quick Chicken Mole. Perfect with Turkey. The second recipe is from Grand Velas Riviera Maya in Mexico, a Five Diamond resort.

Quick Turkey Molé

2 Tbsp good quality olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 chipotle peppers, roughly chopped
1 (10-ounce) can chicken broth
2 Tbsp peanut butter
4 ounces Taza Chocolate Mexicano, chopped
Leftover Turkey
Toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), for garnish

Heat oil in heavy saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and spices and continue to saute to toast and develop flavor. Add diced tomatoes, peppers, chipotles, broth, peanut butter, and chocolate. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and puree until smooth.

Take left over Turkey and either add to oven friendly sauté pan or put in another pot and then cover with the Molé sauce. Braise in 350 oven for 45 minutes. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds.

This second recipe is from the Grand Velas Riviera Maya Hotel. I haven't made this one yet, so let me know if you do!

Turkey con Mole Sauce

1 1/4 lbs Turkey Breast
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1 1/4 cup Mole Paste
3/4 cup Chicken Broth
1/4 cup Nopal, peeled and cubed  (cactus!)
1/4 cup Tomato, seeded and cut
1/4 cup Onion, diced
2 Tbsp Coriander leaves, finely diced
1/2 cup Lemon Juice
1 large Avocado
2 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

(If using fresh turkey): Cut turkey breast into 4 pieces and season with salt and pepper.
In frying pan, add oil over medium-high heat and brown both sides. Remove from pan and finish cooking on  baking sheet at 350 ° F for about 8 minutes. Set aside.  (or use turkey from Thanksgiving's meal)
In pan over medium heat add mole paste. Add chicken broth slowly, bringing to boil and then simmering until you’ve achieved hick consistency. Set aside.
Combine nopal, onion, tomato and coriander in bowl, add 1/4 cup lemon juice and season.
Blend pulp of avocado with remaining lemon juice and season.
Plate some sliced turkey over layer of mole and dress with some drops of mashed avocado and pico de gallo.


Today is National Lemon Creme Pie Day. This is not the same as Lemon Meringue Pie. This pie has a smooth fresh lemon filling and dollops of whipped cream on top (not meringue). I'm lucky enough to have four Meyer Lemon trees in my garden, and they're all loaded with fruit right now. I make this pie from scratch. It's really easy. But, if you don't have time, you can buy a store bought crust and whipped cream in a can.

Lemon Cream Pie with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust 


Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust:
1-1/2 cups chocolate graham crackers
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbsp granulated sugar

Lemon Filling:
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 large eggs yolks, lightly beaten
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1 -1/2 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1-1/4 cups sour cream

Whipped Cream: 
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°F.
Break up graham crackers and put them in  food processor. Pulse until chocolate graham crackers are processed into fine crumbs. Pour crumbs into bowl and stir in melted butter and sugar. Once all graham cracker crumbs are moistened, press crumb mixture into bottom and halfway up sides of 9-inch pie plate. Bake the crust for about 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Lemon Filling: 
In heavy saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in milk and lemon juice. Place over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened and bubbling. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Put egg yolks in bowl. Slowly add cup of hot mixture into egg yolks, whisking as you pour (this will slowly bring up the temperature of the eggs).
Add egg mixture back to pan and bring to gentle boil for 2 minutes, whisking constantly.
Remove from heat.
Stir in butter and lemon zest, mixing until completely combined.
Transfer to bowl and cool to room temperature.
Once cooled, whisk in sour cream. Whisk vigorously to maintain creamy texture.
Pour lemon filling into the crust. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Before serving, whip heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Top  pie with whipped cream (pipe on in stars or spread using butter knife or spatula).
Garnish with finely grated lemon zest.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


I love scones, and they're so easy to make, and these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones are perfect for the Thanksgiving Weekend. Mix up a batch! Do not overwork the dough! Use frozen butter!


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour*
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup salted butter frozen (frozen butter is key to a good scone!)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Coarse sugar

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in bowl.
Add cold butter to flour mixture and combine with pastry cutter, two knives, or stand mixer with paddle attachment on low speed until mixture resembles coarse meal.
In bowl whisk together egg and pumpkin puree.
Add wet ingredients to flour and butter mixture and stir with rubber spatula until just combined. Be careful to not over mix!
Carefully fold inmini chocolate chips.
On  floured surface, shape dough into disk about 3/4 inch thick.
Place dough on prepared pan and slice dough (like a pizza to create 8 scones)
Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Put baking sheet in freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
When scones are chilled, bake for 14-16 minutes until very light golden brown.
Serve warm with clotted cream!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


If you're like me, you'll have a lot of Thanksgiving Leftovers. I posted 2 recipes yesterday for Turkey Mole to use with leftover turkey, but here's another great recipe for those delicious leftover mashed potatoes. This Mashed Potato Chocolate Cake recipe is easy and absolutely delicious. WARNING: This recipe won't work if you seasoned your potatoes with herbs or garlic. Mashed potatoes with butter or cream or cream cheese will work perfectly.

In case you want to make this as its own dish (not using leftovers), try this recipe for White Chocolate Mashed Potatoes.

I've never met a potato I didn't like!


4 ounces dark chocolate (65-75% cacao)
1 cup sweet butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup mashed potatoes
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp Madagascar or Mexican vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 ounces dark chocolate chopped into chunks (or chocolate chips)

Melt chocolate with vanilla; cool slightly.
Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.
In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar and beat in eggs, one by one.
Add chocolate and mashed potatoes.
Beat in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk.
Fold in dark chocolate chips or chunks.
Pour into greased 13x9 x 2 inch pan (or Bundt Pan) and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes. 

Cartoon of the Day: Pie

Love this! Thanksgiving Pie

HT: Mette Hansen-Karademir


Today is National Cake Day, and that means Chocolate Cake to me. You know I love these Retro Recipe Ads, and here's a perfect one for Hershey's Prize Chocolate Cake! This recipe uses Hershey's Cocoa, and claims that "108 women baked up their favorite chocolate cake recipe twice..once using baking chocolate as called for, then the identical recipe using Hershey's Cocoa instead... The cakes made with Hershey's Cocoa were richer, moister, more chocolatety." Why don't you try it and see?

Monday, November 25, 2019

PUMPKIN PIE TRUFFLES: Perfect for Thanksgiving

If you read this blog, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I love Truffles. With Thanksgiving coming up, I was thinking about what kind to bring to the Feast. Pies are great, but Truffles can double as dessert as well as a hostess gift.

Luckily you have the choice of buying or making them. They're easy to make, but I am also quite fond of  See's Candies Pumpkin Pie Truffle. Other premium Pumpkin Truffles are delicate with a combination of burnt caramel (Socola Chocolates Pumpkin Burnt Caramel Chocolate Truffles) or smooth 'unrobed' Pumpkin Spice Milk Chocolate Truffles from Neo Cocoa. Check out your local chocolatier for seasonal Pumpkin Truffles or scroll down for some favorites at the end of this post. Get your order in quickly, though, before they run out.
I always have 'natural' pumpkin in the cupboard. Besides using it for pies, truffles and cakes, it's great for doggie upset stomachs. I also have Libby's pumpkin puree because I grew up with it, and sometimes it's just what I want. I'm not much for making my own pumpkin puree.

Truffles are simple to make. The first recipe is from FoodNetwork for Easy Pumpkin Truffles. They are just that--easy and delicious. The second recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake Truffles is adapted from a recipe from Kraft. And, in case you want to experiment, I've added links to other Pumpkin Truffle and Pumpkin Pie Truffle recipes.

1. Easy Pumpkin Truffles

1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground gloves
2 cups cream
1 pound dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 ounce unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
See's Pumpkin Pie Truffles
6 ounces melted dark chocolate
3 ounces cocoa powder

In medium saucepan over low heat, combine pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until mixture reduces by half and pumpkin looks dry. Set aside.
In medium saucepan over high heat, add cream. When cream boils, take off heat.
In heatproof medium bowl, add chocolate and hot cream. Let mixture sit for minute, then slowly begin to stir, starting in center of bowl and working outwards.
Once chocolate and cream are evenly mixed, add pumpkin mixture and whisk to combine.
Add butter (and liqueur, if using) and whisk.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled.
On parchment-lined cookie sheet, scoop mixture into small balls using melon baller.
Place in refrigerator for 1 hour, or until chilled.
Remove truffles from refrigerator and dip each in melted chocolate.
Roll in cocoa powder and serve. 

2. Pumpkin Cheesecake Truffles

1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, divided
8 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, broken into small pieces

Beat cream cheese in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Add graham crumbs, sugar, and 3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice; mix well.
Scoop cream cheese mixture into 22 (1-inch) balls, using about 1 Tbsp cream cheese mixture for each ball. Place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Freeze 10 min.
Melt chocolate. Dip cream cheese balls, 1 at a time, into melted chocolate, turning until evenly coated with chocolate. Return to baking sheet; sprinkle with remaining pumpkin pie spice.
Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

Other fun Pumpkin Truffle Recipes to check out:

Pumpkin Pie Truffles from Cake, Batter, and Bowl: Robed in orange white chocolate with insides of dark chocolate pumpkin ganache. Love the walnut half as a pumpkin stem.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles from The Yummy Mummy: White chocolate, gingersnaps, cream cheese and more. What's not to love?

Pumpkin Pie Truffles from Shugarysweets: Pumpkin-y centers robed in white chocolate.

Pumpkin Truffles from Cara's Cravings. Yum!

Pumpkin Spice Truffles from Elizabeth LaBau at (these look like little pumpkins!)

Pumpkin Pie Oreo Truffles from WillBakefor Books

No time to make Truffles? Try these fabulous Pumpkin Truffles:

Socola: Pumpkin Burnt Caramel Chocolate Truffles: A rich blend of pumpkin pie spices, burnt caramel, Hawaiian sea salt and a splash of brandy.

Neo Cocoa: Pumpkin Spice Milk Chocolate Truffles. Infused with classic blend of spices traditionally used in making pumpkin pie. I love these smooth ganache shell-less truffles.

Coco Delice Pumpkin Spice Chocolates: Made with a ganache of white chocolate, pumpkin puree, and seasonal spices, enrobed in dark chocolate.

Godiva: Pumpkin Patch Truffles filled with creamy pumpkin-spice ganache and enrobed in milk chocolate.

See's Pumpkin Pie Truffles: Sweet spicy flavors of cinnamon and allspice combine with the rich mellowness of real pumpkin in these one-of-a-kind Truffles. Enrobed in See's traditional milk chocolate.

Seattle Chocolates Pumpkin Spice Truffles.

Godiva. Pumpkin Spice Truffle

What's your favorite?

Sunday, November 24, 2019


I always think that alcohol escalates chocolate, so I was excited when I found this recipe a few years ago in People Magazine. The original recipe for this Chocolate Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake is from Betty Crocker. The recipe is a Triple Threat: Chocolate, Bourbon, Cheesecake. Wow! Perfect for Thanksgiving.

Chocolate Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake 

2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (35 to 40 cookies)
1/4 cup butter, melted

4 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
4 Tbsp bourbon
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 1/2 tsp aromatic bitters
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted  (or chopped dark chocolate)

Toppings  (I consider topping's great without, but if you want to)

1/2 cup caramel topping (I have used Recchiuti)
2 tsp bourbon 
Dash aromatic bitters 
Toasted pecans (optional) 

Heat oven to 300ºF. Grease 9-inch springform pan with shortening or cooking spray. Wrap outside bottom and side of pan with foil to prevent leaking. In small bowl, mix crust ingredients. Press mixture into bottom and one inch up side of pan. Bake eight to 10 minutes or until set. Cool for five minutes.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy; do not overbeat. On low speed, gradually beat in sugar, then flour and then eggs (one at a time), just until blended. Remove half of cream cheese mixture (about 3 cups) into another large bowl; reserve.

Into remaining cream cheese mixture, stir 2 Tbsp bourbon, pumpkin, 1 1/2 tsp bitters, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg with whisk until smooth. Spoon over crust into pan. Into reserved 3 cups of filling, stir 2 Tbsp bourbon, vanilla, and melted chocolate. Pour mixture over pumpkin layer directly in middle of pan. (This will create layers so that each slice includes some of each flavor.)

To minimize cracking, place shallow pan half-full of hot water on lower oven rack. Bake cheesecake 80 to 90 minutes minutes, or until edges are set but center of cheesecake still jiggles slightly when moved.

Turn oven off, and open oven door at least four inches. Leave cheesecake in oven 30 minutes longer. Remove from oven; place on cooling rack. Without releasing side of pan, run your knife around edge of the pan to loosen cheesecake. Cool in pan on cooling rack for 30 minutes. Cover loosely; refrigerate at least six hours but no longer than 24 hours.

To release: Run knife around side of pan to loosen cheesecake again; carefully remove side of pan. Put cheesecake on serving plate.

I considered adding the rich topping, but I don't top this already rich cheesecake. Here's the original recipe in case you want it.  
Stir together caramel topping, 2 tsp bourbon and dash of bitters. To serve, drizzle with caramel and sprinkle with pecans. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cheesecake. 

Photo: Betty Crocker

Saturday, November 23, 2019


Today is National Cranberry Day I love cranberries--in muffins, in bread, in brownies, and cookies--and, of course, cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving. I like both fresh and dried cranberries. You can buy Chocolate Covered Cranberries from lots of chocolatiers and stores (Trader Joe's) or you can make your own. It's really easy! 

History of Cranberries (from the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers' Association)

The cranberry, along with the blueberry and Concord grape, is one of North America's three native fruits that are commercially grown. Cranberries were first used by Native Americans, who discovered the wild berry's versatility as a food, fabric dye and healing agent. Today, cranberries are commercially grown throughout the northern part of the United States and are available in both fresh and processed forms.

The name "cranberry" derives from the Pilgrim name for the fruit, "craneberry", so called because the small, pink blossoms that appear in the spring resemble the head and bill of a Sandhill crane. European settlers adopted the Native American uses for the fruit and found the berry a valuable bartering tool.

American whalers and mariners carried cranberries on their voyages to prevent scurvy. In 1816, Captain Henry Hall became the first to successfully cultivate cranberries. By 1871, the first association of cranberry growers in the United States had formed, and now, U.S. farmers harvest approximately 40,000 acres of cranberries each year. 

Here are two recipes for Chocolate Covered Cranberries: One uses fresh cranberries and one uses dried cranberries. You'll love the tart and sweet together! Put them out on the Thanksgiving table or serve them while watching the game!


4 ounces Dark or Milk Chocolate
1/2 cup dried, sweetened Cranberries

Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt chocolate in double boiler or in glass bowl in microwave. Once melted, remove from heat.
Add cranberries to chocolate. Stir until coated. Remove coated cranberries with two forks or slotted spoon (this works very well), shaking off excess chocolate on side of bowl. Transfer to lined baking sheet.
Put baking sheet in refrigerator until chocolate hardens, about 20 minutes.
Store in refrigerator.

Want to make Chocolate Covered Cranberries with Fresh Cranberries? Here's another great and easy recipe. 

Recipe adapted from Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association.

1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
1 (12 ounce) package milk chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate-if very dark, add a little sugar when melting the chocolate with shortening)
2 tablespoons shortening (butter)

Melt chocolate and butter (and sugar if you're using dark chocolate) over low heat, stirring frequently until melted.
Dip cranberries in chocolate until coated (remove from mixture with slotted spoon or two forks).
Place on wax paper (or parchment paper on a cookie sheet).
Refrigerate until firm.


Today is National Espresso Day, and it's a great day to celebrate. Love this recipe from the Nielsen-Massey website for Decadent Chocolate Pudding with Espresso Whipped Cream. Easy and delicious. I love Nielsen-Massey extracts. They're pure and strong and perfect for cooking and baking. This would be a great make-ahead Thanksgiving dessert.

Decadent Chocolate Pudding with Espresso Whipped Cream  

2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 1/2 tsp Nielsen-Massey Mexican Pure Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Pure Chocolate Extract
1/2 tsp Nielsen-Massey Pure Coffee Extract

In heavy saucepan, combine cornstarch and milk. Bring to boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool.
In small bowl, beat egg yolks with powdered sugar until pale yellow and have thickened. Gradually pour into cooled milk mixture. Place saucepan back onto low heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not let simmer or boil.
Remove from heat and add melted chocolate, vanilla, chocolate, and coffee extracts.
Pour into individual serving bowls or ramekins.
Chill 3-4 hours until set.
Serve with Espresso Whipped Cream.

Espresso Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Nielsen-Massey Pure Coffee Extract

In chilled bowl, combine all ingredients, and whip with an electric mixer until fluffy. Serve with Decadent Chocolate Pudding.

Recipe and photo from Nielsen-Massey with permission.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Retro Pumpkin Cake Roll for Thanksgiving

Here's a great Retro 1984 Thanksgiving dessert recipe for Pumpkin Patch Cake Roll. It's a pumpkin spice cake roll with cream cheese filling and frosted with chocolate! This would look and taste great on your Thanksgiving table.


3 eggs, separated
3/4 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate buttercream frosting
Candied leaves or candied pumpkins for decoration


Preheat oven to 350 F. In small mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until thick, about 5 minutes. Gradually add sugar; beat well. Stir in pumpkin.
Sift together dry ingredients; fold into egg mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter.
Spread evenly into greased and floured waxed paper-lined 15-1/2 x 10-1/2 x 1-inch jelly roll pan. Bake 14 to 18 minutes.
Immediately loosen sides of cake. Invert onto towel lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Remove waxed paper.
Starting from narrow end, roll cake in towel. Cool on wire rack.
Unroll cake; spread with cream cheese filling.

Combine cream cheese and butter. Cream until fluffy.
Gradually add sugar and vanilla; beat until well-blended. Spread over cool, unrolled cake.
Roll; frost with your favorite chocolate frosting.
Decorate cake roll with large or small orange gumdrops or leaf candies. Use your imagination. Treat this like a Thanksgiving Buche!

Thursday, November 21, 2019


According to The Nibble today is National Gingerbread Day, but June 5 is also designated as National Gingerbread Day. I think today is more in keeping with Gingerbread Day. (Just an FYI, December 12 is Gingerbread House Day). I associate Gingerbread with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the Fall/Winter season in general. That being said, I hate to miss posting a Chocolate Holiday Recipe, so I know you'll like this Vintage recipe for "Chocolate Gingerbread" from this 1919 Crisco Advertisement.

I grew up with Crisco, and I still use it in many recipes. Crisco was introduced by Procter & Gamble in 1911 to provide an economical alternative to animal fats and butter. Crisco was the first solidified shortening product made entirely of vegetable oil. This was the result of hydrogenation, a new process that produced shortening that would stay in solid form year-round, regardless of temperature.

I love that the Crisco Cookbook in this Advertisement was only 25 cents (or 10 cents in stamps)! Check out this recipe for Chocolate Gingerbread Cake. Gingerbread season is almost upon us. Get Baking!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

BROWNIE TIPS: How Temperature, Butter, & Sugar Affect Your Brownies

I recently came across this handy dandy chart at Delish on How Temperature, Butter, and Sugar Affect Your Brownies. All you need to know in one place. So helpful! Thanks, Delish! Be sure and check out lots of Brownie Recipes here on, as well as at

Tuesday, November 19, 2019


I love a good Pecan Pie at Thanksgiving. Since I add chocolate to just about everything, Chocolate Pecan Pie is one of my favorites.

Here's a Mini Round-up of Recipes for Chocolate Pecan Pie. Be sure and check out the following Chocolate Pecan Pie Recipes before making your decision of which to make for Thanksgiving (or any time!) And, if you don't have a lot of time, I've added two more Easy Chocolate Pecan Pie recipes below.

Chocolate Chunk Pecan Pie for Mardi Gras
Kentucky Derby Chocolate Bourbon Nut Pie
Kentucky Derby Bourbon Chocolate Pie Recipe Round-Up
Fudge Brownie Pecan Pie
Kentucky Chocolate-Nut Pie Mix in a Jar  
Chocolate Pecan Torte
Frozen Chocolate Pecan Pie 
Chocolate Pecan Pie Truffles
Chocolate Pecan Pie Fudge


1 1/2 cups sugar
Dash of Salt
4 Tbsp unsweetened DARK cocoa
2 large eggs
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 can (6 ounces) evaporated milk
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup toasted pecan halves
1 unbaked deep dish pie shell (make yourself or prepared--prepared is faster!)

Mix sugar, salt, and cocoa together.
Whisk together eggs, vanilla, and milk; stir into dry ingredients.
Add melted butter and stir until totally blended.
Sprinkle toasted pecan halves in pie shell.
Pour filling over pecans.
Bake at 350° for 45 to 55 minutes, or until filling is set and center is just slightly jiggly (don't overbake).


1 unbaked pie shell (I like Trader Joe's pie dough, but you can make your own or use another pre-made brand)
3 eggs
1 cup light or dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar (can be 1/2 brown & 1/2 granulated)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cup Pecans
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or 4 ounces chopped dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter, salt and vanilla in large bowl using spoon (not in mixer). Fold in pecans and chocolate.
Pour into pie shell.
Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until top is slightly puffy.
Cool completely before serving.

Monday, November 18, 2019


Happy Birthday, Mickey! Today Mickey Mouse is 91 years old. Last year on Mickey's 90th birthday, Oreo released Limited-Edition Birthday Cake Flavor cookies. Not sure they're still making them, but I did see them for sale on Amazon and eBay. What's the shelf-life of Oreos?

Mickey Mouse made his debut in the Disney cartoon Steamboat Willie on November 18, 1928. The Oreo Birthday Cake Flavor Cookies have cake-flavored creme filling with fun colored spriknles and the chocolate wafers have three different designs: one with the mouse wearing a party hat and the others are a party horn and the number 90. The packaging is also a retro-styled image of Mickie that harkens back to Steamboat Willie.

Sunday, November 17, 2019


Today is National Homemade Bread Day. I could make a good loaf of Sourdough Chocolate Cherry Bread, but I don't want to wait that long (yeast, kneading, rising, etc). I plan to make one of my go-to recipes for a quick bread: Double Chocolate Banana Bread. Recipe adapted from Hershey's Kitchens. As always, use the very best chocolate and cocoa for the best flavor.


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch Process Cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips or Dark Chocolate Chopped, divided

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
In large bowl, add softened butter, brown sugar, and white sugar and beat until combined. Add egg, vanilla, bananas, and sour cream and continue to beat until mixture is smooth.
In separate bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to banana mixture and stir until well combined. Mix in half of dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and evenly sprinkle remaining dark chocolate chips over loaf.
Bake for 65–70 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
NOTE: you might get a bit of chocolate on your toothpick; make sure you insert the toothpick where there are no chocolate chips.
Remove loaf pan from oven and let cool completely. Run knife around the edges of the bread and invert onto cutting board.

Saturday, November 16, 2019


No time to make a Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving? Make these easy Pecan Pie Truffles. Great for dessert or as a gift for your host! Recipe adapted from 2012 issue of Southern Living for Kentucky Derby Truffles! As always, use the very best ingredients for the best flavor!


12 ounces dark chocolate (70-85% cacao), chopped
1 -1/2 Tbsp unsalted cold butter, cubed
2 tsp vanilla extract
9 Tbsp heavy cream
1/4 cup good Kentucky Bourbon
1 (5.3 ounce) package pure butter shortbread cookies, crushed (I use Walker's)
2 cups finely chopped roasted, salted pecans

Combine first 3 ingredients in large glass bowl. Cook cream and bourbon in small saucepan over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture is hot but not boiling. (Mixture will steam, and bubbles will form around edge of pan.) Pour cream mixture over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute.

Stir chocolate mixture until melted and smooth. (If mixture doesn't melt completely, microwave on HIGH 30 seconds.) Stir in crushed cookies. Cover and chill 3 hours or until firm.

Shape into 1-inch balls (about 2 tsp per ball). Roll in chopped pecans. Place on wax or parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Chill 1 hour. Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to 5 days.

Friday, November 15, 2019


Today is National Bundt Day. According to Nordic Ware, the original makers of the Bundt Pan, "if there is a kitchen in the home, there is a Bundt pan." Even if there's not one in your pantry, I think my kitchen makes up the difference. I have all kinds of bundt pans. I find the shapes so versatile and fun. I'm always buying unique bundt pans at the Flea Market or the White Elephant Sale. Because of the popularity of the Bundt pan, Nordic Ware designated November 15 as National Bundt Day several years ago.

Here are some Nordic Ware Pumpkin Bundt Pans for Thanksgiving!

Nordic Ware: Great Pumpkin Bundt Pan
And in keeping with the National Bundt Day Holiday Spirit, here's a recipe from Sunset Magazine (Charity Ferreira: 2003) for Chocolate Pumpkin Marble Bundt Cake. This marbled bundt cake features two separate batters: chocolate and pumpkin. The original recipe calls for a chocolate glaze, but that's optional. The cake is rich enough as it is.


1-1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) sweet butter, room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin (I use an all natural canned pumpkin)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cup buttermilk

In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Scrape half mixture into another bowl.

To make pumpkin batter: Beat pumpkin into half the butter mixture until well blended. In another bowl, stir together 1 3/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and beat on low speed or fold in with flexible spatula just until blended.

To make chocolate batter: In another bowl, mix remaining 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cocoa. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the other half of the butter mixture (starting and ending with flour mixture), beating after each addition just until blended.

Spoon half pumpkin batter into a buttered and floured 12-cup bundt-cake pan. Drop half chocolate batter by spoonfuls over (but not entirely covering) the pumpkin batter. Repeat to spoon remaining pumpkin and chocolate batters into pan. Gently run the blade of a butter knife around the center of the pan several times, then draw the knife across the width of the pan in 10 to 12 places to swirl batters.

Bake in 350° regular or 325° convection oven until wood skewer inserted into center of cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cake cool 10 minutes in pan, then invert onto rack, lift off pan, and cool cake completely.
Nordic Ware: Turkey Bundt Pan

Thursday, November 14, 2019

6TH ANNUAL TRUFFLE ARTISTRY AWARDS: International Chocolate Salon

6th Annual Truffle Artistry Awards:

Was so sorry to miss judging the Annual Truffle Artistry Awards this year. So glad I am able to announce the results. 


The International Chocolate Salon Awards for the 6th Annual CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE ARTISTRY AWARDS are based on the combined total number of votes received by each entrant from the Judging Panel. The Judging Panel consists of National and Regional Magazines, Newspaper and Blog Editors, plus Topic Experts, Local Chefs and Food Gurus.

The award winners below have the honor of being able to display and use the Official Award Winner title and award logos.



  • Bella Sophia Chocolates Yuzu Chiffon
  • St. Croix Chocolate Co. Fall flavors collection
  • St. Croix Chocolate Co. Koi Inyodo (Japanese yin and yang duo)


  • BON CHOCOLATIER Creative truffle
  • Baetz Chocolates Simply Sakskatoon
  • Beth's Chocolate Limesicle
  • Michael's Chocolates Bourbon Caramel Pecan
  • flying noir the teaer box
  • SELEUSS Chocolates Coffee & Chicory


  • Beth's Chocolate Crème de Cassis
  • SELEUSS Chocolates Porter 75% Dark Chocolate Truffle
  • Baetz Chocolates Sublime Espresso Lime
  • Craft-Chocolate Craft-Chocolate with Wright & Brown's Rye Whiskey
  • SELEUSS Chocolates Peaches and Cream
  • Beth's Chocolate Spiced Honey Orange


  • Chocolatier Gjeruldsen Truffle artistry / « Passion Fruit»
  • Delysia Chocolatier Fig baklava chocolate truffle
  • Delysia Chocolatier History of Chocolate truffle collection
  • ian scott confections Smokebomb (Islay whisky, Lapsang souchon tea and milk chocolate)
  • Banyan Tree Chocolate Rosie
  • Banyan Tree Chocolate Be Still My Heart
  • Panache Chocolatier Caramel Apple Brandy
  • Panache Chocolatier Ruby Sugar Plum
  • Shokolate Haven Holiday Plum in Dark Chocolate

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

MARSHMALLOW FUDGE CAKE: Vintage Thanksgiving Ad & Recipe

I love Vintage Ads with recipes. This one came out in Good Housekeeping November 1926. The recipe for Campfire Fudge Cake is still perfect for Thanksgiving in 2019. And who hasn't had Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows? Campfire Brand! Three recipes in all for your holiday! Marshmallow Fudge Cake, Campfire Apple Mallows, and Sweet Potatoes Southern. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019


Let's face it, there's nothing like Tollhouse Cookies aka Chocolate Chip Cookies. Well here's a wonderful Retro Recipe & Ad for Tollhouse Pie from Nestle circa 1985. The top of the pie is crispy like a crispy chocolate chip cookie, and the inside reminds me slightly of cookie dough. The marriage of two great tastes. This would be a great alternative pie for Thanksgiving!


1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell *
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup (6 oz.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels (or whatever chocolate chips you like best)
1 cup chopped nuts
Sweetened whipped cream or ice cream (optional)

PREHEAT oven to 325° F.
BEAT eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spoon into pie shell.
BAKE for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired.

* If using frozen pie shell, use deep-dish style, thawed completely. Bake on baking sheet; increase baking time slightly.