Wednesday, May 31, 2023


Today is National Macaroon Day. Now I know that macaroons are not really the same thing as the "French" macarons, but the word has the same root.

The words both come from the Italian maccarone or maccherone which is derived from ammaccare, meaning crush or beat -- referencing almond paste as the principle ingredient. Most macaroon recipes contain egg whites, almonds or nuts. Sometimes coconut -- and definitely sugar! I grew up with macaroons that were mainly coconut.

The 'French' macaron is a sweet meringue-based confection filled with ganache, buttercream or jam and is between two 'cookies'. It's smooth and domed. Lots of flavors, including, of course, chocolate! Although French, there has been much debate about its origins. Larousse Gastronomique cites the macaron as being created in 1791 in a convent near Cormery. Some have traced its French debut back to the arrival of Catherine de' Medici's Italian pastry chefs whom she brought with her in 1533 upon marrying Henry II of France.

In the 1830s, macarons were served two-by-two with the addition of jams, liqueurs, and spices. The macaron as it is known today was called the "Gerbet" or the "Paris macaron" and was created in the early 20th Century by Pierre Desfontaines of the French pâtisserie Ladurée, composed of two almond meringue discs filled with a layer of buttercream, jam, or ganache filling.

But for today's post, I thought I'd focus on MACAROONS, since it's National Macaroon Day!

First, you should know that there is an Almond & Macaroon Museum in Montmorillon, France. This museum pays homage to the generations of craftsmen who built the reputation of Montmorillon, Cité of Macaroons.  The Museum reveals the history of the macaroon, from the culture of the almond tree (and the multiple uses of almonds), to the arrival of the macaroon in France.

There are informative panels, interactive terminals, and machines and old instruments used in the kitchen. At the end of the exhibition, a film summarizes the broad outlines of the visit, and dwells on the arrival of the Macaroon of Montmorillon, and on the creation of Rannou-Métivier House. The visit culminates in the opportunity for tasting in the Winter Garden of the museum.

And, a few recipes to help you celebrate the day! 


1 1/3 (8 ounces) cups dark (70%) chocolate, chopped, divided
2 large egg whites
pinch of salt
1/4-1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sweetened fresh flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 1 cup chocolate in microwave-safe bowl; microwave on low setting at 10-second intervals until chocolate is melted, stirring occasionally (or melt in a double boiler). Cool just to room temperature.

Using electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, then vanilla, beating until whites are thick and glossy. Fold in melted chocolate and coconut, then remaining 1/3 cup chocolate (broken into small pieces the size of mini-chips).

Drop batter by heaping teaspoonfuls onto prepared sheets, spacing 1-1/2 inches apart.
Bake cookies 10 minutes. Reverse sheets. Bake until tops are dry and cracked and tester inserted into centers comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 10 minutes longer.

Cool cookies on sheets on racks.

Three More Chocolate Macaroon Recipes:



And for those of you who like to drink your Chocolate Macaroons: 

Chocolate Macaroon Martini

6 ounces vodka
1 ounce chocolate-flavored liqueur
1 ounce Amaretto
orange twist

Combine liquid ingredients in cocktail shaker with cracked ice and shake well.
Strain into chilled martini glass and garnish with orange twist.

Monday, May 29, 2023


This Memorial Day, get that barbecue/campfire taste to your s'mores without actually using the barbecue. Here's an easy way to make this All American Campfire Treat indoors: S'mores Indoors, easily made in a heavy skillet in your oven. You can also make this in a skillet on the grill. The final results end up being almost like a dip. It's a delicious and easy dessert for Memorial Day--or any time.

Skillet S'mores

Marshmallows  (cut in half)
2 bags Chocolate Chips
1 box Graham Crackers 

Preheat oven to 350*F
In 9" ovenproof skillet, put chocolate chips in even layer across bottom.
Put marshmallow halves on top so all chocolate chips are covered.
Bake in oven for 10 minutes, until chocolate has melted and marshmallows are starting to toast.
Do Not over bake!
Serve with graham crackers for dipping. 

You can use a torch to get the burned look/taste or put under the broiler for a minute or less.  

Sunday, May 28, 2023


Planning a Memorial Day Barbecue? Here's an easy recipe for Ancho Chile Chocolate Rub. Use this on Brisket or Flank Steak -- or whatever! And, since today is also National Brisket Day, this is perfect! .


1 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Ancho Chile, ground
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Kosher Salt
1/4 Cup Black Pepper, freshly ground
1/4 Cup Cumin, ground

In medium size bowl, add all ingredients and mix with whisk, until you have uniform mixture.
Put in quart size jar and seal until ready to use on brisket (or other meats). Or take the jar to the barbecue as a gift for the Chef!


I love Bonne Maman preserves, jams, and jellies. There's nothing quite like them for flavor -- and I love the jars. I use the jars for layering 'Brownies in a Jar' and other fun gifts, as well as presenting various 'foods' on a stick. I also use several jars for flavored sugars. And, on my desk, I have a few jars filled with office supplies and pencils and pens. The jar is such a great shape (see end of post), I always find a use for them. They never end up in the recycling bin because I "recycle" them 'in-house.'

But loving the jar shouldn't take precedence over the taste of the Bonne Maman delicious preserves and jellies. They are truly fabulous. The Bonne Maman website has lots of great recipes using their products. You'll want to have a peek. One of my favorites is this recipe for Chocolate-Berry Sandwich Cookies. If you don't have time to make the cookies from scratch, just grab your favorite chocolate cookies, make the filling, and assemble.



3 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for shaping and rolling
2/3 cup natural cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Strawberry or Cherry Filling 
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves or Cherry Preserves 


Make the cookies:
In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until pale yellow and airy, about 5 minutes.
Add egg and vanilla and beat just until incorporated. Reduce mixer speed to low, add flour mixture and mix until evenly combined.
Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface and divide into two equal pieces. Shape each mound of dough into ball, flatten into disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350° and line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Use rolling pin to roll one of chilled cookie dough discs into a 1/4 inch thick sheet.
Use 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter to cut dough into circles and place them 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.
Bake cookies until their edges are firm and centers are slightly soft and puffed, 8 to 10 minutes.
Use metal spatula to transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
Repeat with remaining cookie dough.
Cool cookies completely before filling.

Make filling: 
In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar together on medium speed until light and airy, about 5 minutes.
Turn off mixer, remove bowl from the mixer stand and stir in strawberry (or cherry) preserves.
Transfer filling to a piping bag fitted with small tube tip and pipe 1 to 2 tablespoons of the filling on the center of half of the cookies (or use spoon to scoop the filling).
Top each filling-topped half with another cookie and press down slightly to evenly distribute the filling.
Serve immediately. 

Saturday, May 27, 2023


Here's another easy dessert for Memorial Day --  Patriotic Chocolate Cookies! You probably have everything in your pantry already--well, maybe not the Red, White, and Blue Holiday M&Ms Mix, but you can pick up a bag at the market, Target, the baking store, or on-line. This is an easy recipe that makes a big impact. So colorful!


1 cup butter, unsalted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 1/4 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla
1 Bag Red, White, & Blue M&Ms Holiday Mix

Mix together dry ingredients and set aside. Cream together butter and both sugars. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Add in dry ingredients, 1 cup at time.
Add 3/4 of bag of Red White and Blue Holiday Mix M&M’s to chocolate cookie dough.
Take spoonful of cookie dough and roll into ball. Press some Red White and Blue M&M’s onto cookie dough ball.
Bake cookies in 350 degree oven for 9-11 minutes.

Friday, May 26, 2023

CHOCOLATE CHERRY PUDDING: National Cherry Dessert Day!

Today is National Cherry Dessert Day, so, of course, I went to my favorite Cherry Preserves site:
Bonne Maman! And what did I find? A fabulous recipe for Chocolate Cherry Pudding! You're going to love this today.. and any day!


2 cups Whole Milk 
3 oz Bittersweet Chocolate 
½ cup Bonne Maman Cherry Preserves (remove large cherry pieces, and set aside) 
1/3 cup Sugar 
1 Tbsp Cornstarch 
5 Egg Yolks beaten 
⅛ tsp pure Vanilla Extract 
¼ tsp Salt 4-6 
Chocolate Wafers 
Whipped Cream

Melt chocolate in double boiler over medium high heat. In small saucepan, heat 5 Tablespoons of Bonne Maman Cherry preserves (with the large pieces of cherries set aside) over low heat. In medium saucepan, warm the milk until it just simmers, then remove from heat. In large bowl, mix together  sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks, vanilla, and salt. Slowly pour warm milk into egg mixture, whisking continuously, to temper eggs. Return to saucepan and cook over low heat until mixture coats back of a spoon, about 4-5 minutes.

Pour melted chocolate into egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Slowly add cherry preserves liquid and whisk until incorporated and smooth.

At bottom of serving platter or dish, place layer of chocolate wafers (either whole, or cut in half as necessary to fit the bottom of dish). Add  layer ofremaining Bonne Maman Cherry Preserves to coat the wafers. Pour a layer of pudding into dish to fill almost to top, and refrigerate until set. 

When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and a reserved cherry.

Thursday, May 25, 2023


Today is National Wine Day and tomorrow is National Cherry Dessert Day. Celebrate both holidays by making these easy Double Chocolate Wine Cherry Cookies? I always have dried cherries on hand (they keep well in the refrigerator). What could be better than chocolate, cherries, and wine! This is a recipe adapted from one I found on the These cookies will also be a big hit at your Memorial Day BBQ, so bookmark this page. As always, use the very best chocolate!

Double Chocolate Cherry Wine Cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup good quality dark cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dry red wine, Zinfandel (I've used Pinot and Merlot)
10 ounces dark chocolate (65-75% cacao--the best you can find), chopped in small chunks or dark chocolate chips
1 - 1/4 cup dried tart cherries (unsweetened are more tart but use what you have)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in bowl.
In bowl of electric mixer, or with a handheld mixer, combine butter and sugars until fluffy.
Add egg, vanilla, and wine, and combine.
Slowly in batches, add flour mixture until just combined.
Fold in chocolate and cherries.
On nonstick cookie sheet, place heaping tablespoon of dough for each cookie about 2 inches apart.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until tops are still soft looking but edges look firm.
Cool on sheet for 5-8 minutes.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023


I just love S'mores! Memorial Day heralds in Summer, and nothing says Summer more than S'mores. Maybe you won't be camping this weekend..or barbecuing, but you can still have S'mores. There are so many great ways to eat --and drink--your S'mores, and S'mores Fudge is perfect for the holiday. Easy to make ahead.

The first printed S’mores recipe appeared in 1927 in the Girl Scout handbook called, Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. Folklore tells us the name “S’mores” came about because everyone who tasted one asked for “some more.”

The first recipe below actually has three distinct layers...and it sure tastes like fudge. One caveat: This fudge is sweet, but then we're talking S'mores, aren't we? The second recipe is quicker to make (and eat) and the ingredients are all mixed together. Whichever you make, you won't be disappointed!

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!



Graham Cracker Crust
4 sheets of graham crackers
1/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp melted butter

Chocolate Fudge Layer
1-1/2 cups milk chocolate, chopped (or milk chocolate chips)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk

Marshmallow Layer
1 cup 'real' white chocolate chips
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Line 8 by 8 square pan with aluminum foil, with extra foil hanging over (to help lift out later).
Crush graham crackers and mix in melted butter and sugar.
Pour into aluminum foil lined pan and push down with glass cup to make even layer.
Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
Melt chocolate in small saucepan over medium low heat.
Remove from heat and add half can of sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.
When smooth, pour immediately over graham cracker crust.
Melt white chocolate in small saucepan over medium low heat and add in marshmallow fluff and rest of sweetened condensed milk. Stir until smooth and consistent. Pour over chocolate layer.
Refrigerate overnight.
Next day, lift fudge out of pan using aluminum foil.
Carefully remove foil and carefully cut into squares.


1-12 ounce bag milk chocolate chips or 12 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
5 regular sized graham crackers, broken into small pieces
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup mini-marshmallows

In small saucepan, melt chocolate, butter and sweetened condensed milk. Remove from heat. Cool slightly.
Add graham crackers until combined.
Fold in marshmallows.
Pour into greased 8x8 inch baking pan.
Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Cut into squares.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023


Today is National Taffy Day. I must admit that I haven't made taffy since I was a child, and then it was always with my Aunt Annie. She was an inspiration for all things foodie, woodsy, and crafty, so taffy was a natural. She'd gather all the cousins, and we would make and pull taffy.

At the same time, I wasn't adverse to store bought candy. It was a treat, really. There was a penny candy store I used to stop at after lunch (yes, we went home for lunch at my first elementary school) and buy some penny candy. One of my favorites, and I think it may have cost a nickel, was Bonomo's Turkish Taffy. My favorite was banana, but I also liked chocolate. You can still buy Bonomo's Turkish Taffy online, although the price is now $1.20. Times change. Be sure and scroll down for the 1960s Bonomo's Turkish Taffy Advertisement below.

So without a chocolate taffy recipe of my own, I went to Alton Brown on the Food Network. Knew he'd have one. Love to hear if you have used his recipe or if you have one of your own.


2 cups sugar
2/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, plus additional for greasing pan and hands


In heavy medium saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add corn syrup, water, and vinegar to pan and place over medium heat. Stir until sugar and cocoa dissolve, raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low, clip candy thermometer to side of pan and cook until mixture reaches 260 degrees F. Remove pan from heat, add the butter and stir. Butter edges of sheet pan, line with silicone baking sheet and pour on taffy. Allow to cool until you are able to handle it.

Once you are able to handle the taffy, don vinyl gloves, butter them, and begin to fold taffy in thirds using the silicone mat. Pick up taffy and begin to pull folding the taffy back on itself repeatedly twisting as you go. Taffy is done when it lightens in color, takes on a sheen, and becomes too hard to pull. Roll into log, cut into fourths, roll each fourth into a 1-inch wide log, and cut into 1-inch pieces. Making sure to keep pieces separated or they will stick to each other. Wrap individual pieces of candy in waxed paper. Store in airtight container 3 to 5 days.

Love this Retro Ad!

Monday, May 22, 2023

HOME-MADE EASY VANILLA PUDDING for Chocolate Eclairs: National Vanilla Pudding Day!

Today is National Vanilla Pudding Day, and I just had to post this Retro Ad for Jell-O Pudding Eclairs. The recipe on the advertisement uses Jell-O Vanilla Pudding & Pie Filling, but scroll down for a recipe for easy and delicious Home-made Vanilla Pudding that you can use in Eclairs or chocolate cups.


1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons sweet butter, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium saucepan and whisk together. While continuing to whisk, slowly add in 1/4 cup of milk until smooth. Whisk in egg yolks and rest of milk.
Place saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking often, until pudding begins to thicken and just starts to bubble, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and switch to rubber spatula. Stir constantly, scraping  bottom and sides of pan, until pudding makes ribbons when drizzled over surface, about 5 minutes. 
Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla until butter is melted and completely incorporated.
Transfer pudding to container or individual cups (depends what you plan to do with the pudding). Carefully press piece of plastic wrap on top of pudding to prevent skin from forming.
Chill in refrigerator until set, about 2 hours.

Use in recipe above ... replace packaged vanilla pudding!

Sunday, May 21, 2023

STRAWBERRY CHOCOLATE FOOL: National Strawberries and Cream Day!

Today is National Strawberries and Cream Day. To celebrate, you can always have some lovely fresh strawberries with cream or whipped cream, but you can also take it up a notch without much extra work. 

Strawberry Chocolate Fool is one of the easiest desserts to assemble and just perfect with all the fresh strawberries in the market right now. What's great about this dessert is that there are only really three ingredients--and I usually have them in the pantry and fridge -- Chocolate, Strawberries, and Cream. Ok, you can add a bit of salt and vanilla, but you don't have to.

What's a Fool you ask? It's a classic British dessert of fruit and whipped cream, and it's perfect for the warm summer weather. The word fool actually comes from the French word fouler which means to crush. You crush the strawberries! Then you whip the cream and add some chopped chocolate. It's kind of like a mousse. Want to elevate your presentation? Serve this Strawberry Chocolate Fool in clear individual containers such as wine glasses--either stemmed or short. Another serving option would be to serve in short clear mason jars. I have tons of those! 


2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped finely
2 cups fresh sweet strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla (optional)
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Put sliced strawberries in bowl (save some for layers and garnish). Add sugar, vanilla, and salt. Mash berries and chill for 30 minutes.
Whip cream to stiff peaks. Fold chilled strawberry mixture and chopped chocolate into whipped cream.
Spoon into serving dishes, alternating layers with remaining chopped strawberries. Garnish with chopped chocolate and a strawberry.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

World Bee Day: Triple Chocolate Honey Fudge

Today is World Bee Day, and the bees in my garden are celebrating! So glad they're back!

I've posted several recipes which feature chocolate and honey, but this Triple Chocolate Honey Fudge is the Bees Knees! It's delicious and it draws attention to the essential role bees play in facilitating and improving food production, thus contributing to food security and nutrition.

When looking for recipes, it's fun to search out food collectives, associations, and brand sites. This recipe for Triple Chocolate Honey Fudge is adapted from the Dupage Beekeepers Association from the cookbook Home is Where Your Honey Is.


1 cup sugar
1 Jar (8oz.) marshmallow cream
2/3 Cup evaporated milk
1/4 Cup local honey
1/4 Cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 Cup milk chocolate chips
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 Cup toasted nuts chopped
1/2 Cup white chocolate chips (make sure they're real chocolate)

Spray an 8 x 8-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
In medium saucepan, combine sugar, marshmallow cream, milk, honey, butter, and salt.  Bring to boil; stir occasionally. Boil for 5 minutes; stir constantly. Remove from heat and stir in semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips until melted. Stir in nuts and vanilla; pour into pan. Sprinkle white chocolate chips over top and allow to melt. Using small spatula swirl white chocolate.
Cool. Cut into 1-inch pieces.

Friday, May 19, 2023

GINGER CREAM DEVIL'S FOOD CAKE: Retro Ad with Recipe for National Devil's Food Cake Day!

Today is National Devil's Food Cake Day! Here's a great Blast from the Past recipe for Ginger-Cream Devil's Food Cake. This Retro Magic Baking Powder Recipe is for a great and easy Devil's Cake (use butter not margarine) with a Ginger-Cream Frosting.

Thursday, May 18, 2023


Today is I Love Reese's Day. Who doesn't?  I've posted Peanut Butter Chocolate Pies before, but this Reese's Peanut Butter No-Bake Pie from The Novice Chef is terrific. I adapted several things, as well as making my own chocolate cookie crust (see recipe below). I substituted my own hot fudge sauce, but as always, feel free to use what you have. I also use whipped cream rather than Cool Whip, but again, it's a choice you can make. The Novice Chef uses Smucker's Hot Fudge Topping.



Chocolate Cookie Crust
1-1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs -about 25 (chocolate wafers that have been crushed)
1/4 cup sweet butter, melted and cooled

Directions for Crust:
In bowl, combine cookie crumbs and butter until moistened and pat evenly into bottom and up side of 10-inch deep pie plate. Bake in preheated 350 °F oven for about 10 minutes or until firm. Let cool.

Pie Ingredients
24 unwrapped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, divided
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
12 ounces whipped cream (whipped into stiff peaks) or Cool Whip, divided
12 ounces hot fudge sauce

Line bottom of pie crust with whole Reese's cups in flat layer. Set aside.
In stand mixer, beat peanut butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar until smooth.
Fold in 8 ounces of whipped cream (or cool whip) into peanut butter mixture by hand, until well combined. Spoon mixture into pie shell and smooth mixture to edges of pie using spatula or back of spoon.
Heat hot fudge topping for 1 minute in microwave. Stir. Pour on top of cake and spread until reaches the edges.
Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
Once pie is set, spread remaining whipped cream over hot fudge layer.
Chop up remaining Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and sprinkle on top.
Refrigerate until ready to serve!

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

CHOCOLATE CHERRY COBBLER: 2 Recipes for National Cherry Cobbler Day!

Today is National Cherry Cobbler Day and fresh cherries are just starting to hit the market, so today I'm posting a recipe for a fresh cherry cobbler and a second recipe that uses natural cherry pie filling in case you don't have fresh cherries available in your area yet. I love Chukar Cherries Sour Cherry Fruit Filling -- whole and tangy Montmorency cherries for the cherry pie filling. Red and delicious!

So what exactly is a Cobbler? Cobblers traditionally have a biscuit topping on top of fresh fruit. The biscuits are dropped onto the fruit in small rounds, giving it the appearance of a cobbled road and hence the name Cobbler.  

Happy National Cherry Cobbler Day... and as I always say, everything tastes better with Chocolate!



6 cups tart red cherries, pitted
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
4 tsp cornstarch
3/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped

1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp milk 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In saucepan combine filling ingredients and cook, stirring until bubbling and thickened. Pour into an 8-inch square baking dish. Cool. After cooled, sprinkle chopped chocolate.
In bowl, stir together flour, sugars, baking powder, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly.
Mix together egg and milk. Add to flour mixture and stir with fork just until combined.
Drop topping by tablespoonfuls onto filling.
Bake for 25 minutes until browned and bubbly.



18 ounces Chukar's Sour Cherry Fruit Filling
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp flour
1 cup dark chocolate (60-75% cacao), chopped

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Mix cherries, sugar and flour. Spread evenly in 11 x 7 baking dish.
Sprinkle chocolate over top.

For topping
Mix together flour, sugars and pinch of salt.
Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.
Sprinkle topping over cherry filling.
Bake cobbler until filling bubbles and topping is golden brown.
About 40 to 45 minutes.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023


Today is National Barbecue Day. This Ancho Chile Chocolate Rub is great on Brisket or Flank Steak--or whatever! And, with Memorial Day coming up, you'll want to Bookmark this recipe. It's so easy and so delicious!


1 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Ancho Chile, ground
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Kosher Salt
1/4 Cup Black Pepper, freshly ground
1/4 Cup Cumin, ground

In medium size bowl, add all ingredients and mix with whisk, until you have uniform mixture.
Put in quart size jar and seal until ready to use on brisket (or other meats). Or take the jar to the barbecue as a gift for the chef!

Monday, May 15, 2023


Today is National Chocolate Chip Day! To celebrate the holiday, here's an easy recipe for Bourbon Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies! These cookies contain all the food groups! You can't go wrong with bourbon, bacon, and chocolate! Bourbon Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies are perfect for Father's Day, too, so hang on to this recipe!

Maker’s Mark has a website that gives fans more of the content and information highlighting the culinary versatility of Maker’s Mark. The site features recipes selected by chef Lee Anne Wong. She explains, “My goal in compiling this recipe collection for Maker's Mark was to show the versatility of their handcrafted whisky behind the bar and inspire people to incorporate bourbon into food in ways they may have never thought to. From soups and appetizers to entrees and desserts, I've included it all.” The collection includes appetizers, desserts, entrees, sides and soups, all created by a variety of world renowned chefs and restaurants.

Bourbon Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
by Lee Anne Wong, Editor and Culinary Director, Maker's Mark® Virtual Recipe Cookbook

3 Tbsp Maker's Mark® Bourbon
3/4 pound bacon, 1/4-inch dice*
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup reserved bacon fat, chilled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
8 ounces dark chocolate chips

In large sauté pan, cook out diced bacon until bacon pieces are golden and crisp. Remove bacon pieces from fat and drain on paper towel. Strain fat through fine sieve and measure out 1/2 cup of bacon fat and chill bacon fat until it congeals and sets.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, chilled bacon fat, granulated sugar, light and dark brown sugars, vanilla and Maker's Mark® Bourbon in large mixer bowl until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in cooked bacon pieces and chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto parchment-lined baking sheets at least 3 inches apart.
Bake in oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
Let stand for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Keep in dry, airtight container for up to 5 days.

* A fattier sliced bacon is preferred, as lean bacon and turkey bacon will not work for this recipe. ** Use a dark chocolate with 65% cocoa or higher. Anything from a 65%-85% chocolate will work well.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

As American as Mom and Apple Pie

One of my favorite children's books by Alison Murray
Today is National Apple Pie Day, and it's only fitting that it comes a day before Mother's Day.  "As American as Apple Pie" and "'for Mom and apple pie" - what's the origin of these catch phrases?

 From Wikipedia: 
Although apple pies have been eaten since long before the European colonization of the Americas, "as American as apple pie" is a saying in the United States, meaning "typically American". In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, apple pie became a symbol of American prosperity and national pride. A newspaper article published in 1902 declared that “No pie-eating people can be permanently vanquished.” The dish was also commemorated in the phrase "for Mom and apple pie" - supposedly the stock answer of American soldiers in World War II, whenever journalists asked why they were going to war.

My Grandmother made an awesome apple pie. I've written about this pie before. It did not contain chocolate. She made it in a huge rectangular pan. She made it because it was "American," and when she came to these shores, she became an American! My grandmother was born in Ukraine (then part of Russia), married in London, and settled in Philadelphia, the Cradle of Liberty. She took her new citizenship to heart, and she baked apple pie for her family every Friday. She did it because she saw herself as a true American. 


Pastry for a double-crust 9-inch pie, unbaked
8-10 tart apples (peeled, cored and sliced thinly--number of apples depends on their size)--Gravensteins aren't available this time of year, but they're my favorite, especially for pies!
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup 65-75% dark chocolate, chopped

Apples: peel, core, and slice thinly.
Combine cinnamon & sugar = cinnamon sugar. (you may need a tiny bit more). I've also used the chocolate cinnamon sugar from Trader Joe's
Place 1 layer apple slices on bottom crust. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar. Repeat twice.
Spread chopped chocolate pieces over top.
Using remaining apples, make 3 more apple/cinnamon sugar layers.
Top with 2nd crust and seal edges. Make cut on top--or prick with fork in a few places.
Bake in preheated 450 F oven for 15 minutes (until golden).
Lower heat to 350F and continue baking for another 25-30 minutes, or until apples are tender.

Friday, May 12, 2023

NUTTY FUDGE: Recipe and History for Nutty Fudge Day

Another holiday, another recipe. Today is National Nutty Fudge Day. My Aunt Annie made the best fudge in the world, but now that I know more about candy nomenclature, I think she actually made truffles. They were dark chocolate balls rolled in cocoa. She called it fudge, and  I'll always remember her truffles as fudge.

But I had my first taste of 'real' fudge down the shore in Atlantic City. Fudge was sold along with Salt Water Taffy at many of the Boardwalk candy shops. 

History of Fudge: Fudge was supposedly invented in the the late 1880s. Historians believe the first batch of fudge resulted from a bungled batch of caramels, as in "Oh, Fudge" I don't think so...

According to Wikipedia, the main component of Fudge was similar to the traditional recipe for Scots Tablet found in The Household Book of the Lady Grisell Baillie (1692-1733). The term 'fudge' is often used in the UK for a soft variant of the tablet recipe.

One of the first documented examples of American fudge (containing chocolate!) was found in a letter written by Emelyn Batersby Hartridge, a Vassar College student, who wrote that a friend's cousin made fudge in Baltimore in 1886 and sold it for 40 cents a pound. Hartridge asked for the fudge recipe, and in 1888 she made 30 pounds of the fudge for the Vassar Senior Auction. In The Candy Book (Alice Bradley, 1929) an entire chapter is devoted to fudge.

Fudge is a crystalline candy, which means that, unlike lollipops, caramels, and taffy, crystal formation is the key to making great fudge. Tiny microcrystals of sugar in fudge give fudge its firm but smooth texture. The secret to successful fudge is getting these crystals to form at just the right time. Fudge is one of the rare exceptions to the rule that sugar crystals are not desirable in candy. Tiny microcrystals in fudge are what give it its firm texture. When the crystals are small enough, they don’t feel grainy on your tongue, but smooth.

While you ultimately want crystals to form, it's important that they don't form too early. Now it gets tricky! The key to successful, nongrainy fudge is in the cooling, not the cooking. If you disturb the cooling fudge during this cooling phase you increase the potential for larger crystals (seed crystals) of sugar to form too early and thus a grainy fudge results.

So how to make fudge easily? Here are three recipes.

1. Easy Million Dollar Fudge 
Adapted from Stephanie in All Recipes

4 - 1/2 cups white sugar
1 pinch salt
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
2 cups chopped nuts
1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips (or good quality dark chocolate, chopped)
12 (1 ounce) squares German sweet chocolate
2 cups marshmallow creme

Butter two 9 x 9 inch baking pans and set aside.
Place chocolate chips, German chocolate, marshmallow creme, and nuts into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
In 4 quart saucepan, combine sugar, salt, butter, and evaporated milk. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil, and cook for 6 minutes.
Pour boiling syrup over ingredients in bowl, beat until all chocolate is melted. Pour into prepared pans. Let stand a few hours before cutting.

2. Foolproof Dark Chocolate Fudge Recipe

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (or dark chocolate, chopped)
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
Pinch of salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1-1/2 tsp vanilla

In heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt. Remove from heat; stir in walnuts and vanilla.
Spread evenly into aluminum foil lined 8 or 9 inch square pan.
Chill 2 hours or until firm.
Turn fudge onto cutting board; peel off foil and cut into squares.

3. Nutty Chocolate Fudge
Alton Brown had a great show on the Food Network on making fudge, so I thought I should include one of his recipes for nutty chocolate fudge (slightly adapted)

2- 3/4 cups sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
1 cup half-and-half
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1 Tbsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1 cup chopped, roasted nuts

Grease 8 by 8-inch pan with butter.
In heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine sugar, chocolate, 1-1/2 Tbsp  butter, half-and-half, and corn syrup. Over medium heat, stir with a wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved and chocolate is melted.
Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and boil for 3 minutes.
Remove cover and attach candy thermometer to pot. Cook until thermometer reads 234 degrees F.
Remove from heat and add remaining butter. Do not stir.
Let mixture cool for 10 minutes or until it drops to 130 degrees F.
Add vanilla and nuts and mix until well-blended and shiny texture becomes matte.
Pour into prepared pan.
Let sit in cool dry area until firm.
Cut into 1-inch pieces.

And, there are websites that are just devoted to fudge. and and Fudge Recipe Collection. In addition there are many, many other nutty chocolate fudge recipes on various food blogs, including this one!

Have a Nutty Fudge Day!

Thursday, May 11, 2023


I adore Retro Advertisements, and this one is particularly close to my heart. My mother had a Sunbeam Mixmaster. So many cookies, cakes and brownies were made with that Mixmaster. I don't have my mother's Sunbeam Mixmaster, but I have my Mother-in-Law's -- the same model with all the attachments. I use my own Kitchenaid Mixer, but I love the functionality of that old Mixmaster work horse. It still works, and I'll bet my mother-in-law got it in the early 1950s.

So, for Mother's Day, here's a Sunbeam Mixmaster Mother's Day Advertisement from Life Magazine, May 1, 1950, complete with Chocolate Cake recipe. What are you making for Mother's Day?

Wednesday, May 10, 2023


I haven't posted many Cake in a Mug recipes (Cakes for 1) since the pandemic, but I was talking with a friend the other day whose spouse does not eat sweets. She was craving something easy and simple ... and just enough for one, so she wouldn't have the temptation to eat an entire cake. The solution? Cake in a Mug. 

Here's a delicious and easy recipe for Red Velvet Cake in a Mug. I use Wilton's red food coloring (natural) rather than the ones in the small bottles, but it's up to you. Looking for a different Cake in a Mug recipe? Search my blog. :-) FYI: you can use a ramekin or mug. Both work. Just make sure the container is microwave safe.


4 Tbsp all purpose flour 
2 Tbsp sugar 
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder 
1/4 tsp baking powder 
3 Tbsp whole milk 
1/4 tsp white vinegar 
1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
Red Food coloring


Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking power in mug. Stir in milk, vinegar, and oil. Slowly stir in food coloring until you like the color. It is red velvet cake, after all. Maybe 4 drops? 

Microwave for 60 seconds, and continue microwaving 10 second increments until cooked through.  Top with powdered sugar. OK, you might want to top with cream cheese frosting, but that's another step. You can always top with whipped cream.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023


Little Miss Muffet, sat on a tuffet,

Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider, who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.

The other day someone asked me about the absence of eggs in this recipe for Little Miss Muffet Chocolate Cake that I posted in 2010. Wow, 2010! Nice to know this blog's been around for awhile. Well, there are no eggs in this recipe.The recipe is made with whey, and that's what gives it its tangy flavor. But if you don't have the time to make whey, you can substitute 1 tsp white vinegar and a cup of water. But try making the whey!  You'll feel like Miss Muffet!

This simple and delicious chocolate cake is made with whey, the liquid leftover after making yogurt cheese. Whey contains valuable nutrients, and this recipe puts them to good use. You'll be making yogurt cheese just for the whey to make this delicious treat. Don't know exactly what whey is or how to get it? Check out the recipe below for Making Whey.


1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or stone ground whole wheat)
1 cup sugar
¼ cup DARK Cocoa
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup whey  (see instruction for how to make whey below)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl beat the liquid ingredients together. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and mix together until blended. Pour into a greased 8 inch square or round pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with frosting, whipped cream, or by itself.  (Whipped cream is great!)

How to Make Whey from Yogurt: The Cheeseslave

2 cups of yogurt
Clean cheesecloth (or thin dishtowel)

Set a large steel mesh strainer in a large glass bowl or pitcher (do not use metal) and line it with some cheesecloth or a very thin dishtowel (if you use a thick one, it will soak up too much of the liquid)
Transfer the yogurt into the strainer.
Let it drip for a few hours. When the dripping slows, tie the cheesecloth or towel to a wooden spoon (or any big spoon) and place the spoon on top of the pitcher to where the towel of yogurt is hanging suspended in the pitcher from the spoon. You can also tie the cheesecloth to a cupboard handle and let it drip into the bowl below.
Let it drip overnight.
When it is has completely stopped dripping, pour the the liquid whey that dripped into the bowl or pitcher into a clean glass mason jar and store in the fridge. It will keep for about 6 months.
The white creamy stuff (Yogurt Cheese) in the towel is similar to cream cheese, and can be used in recipes or spread on toast. It will last a few weeks to a month in the fridge.

Monday, May 8, 2023


Love these food holidays! Today is National Coconut Cream Pie Day! Add a Chocolate Crust and now you're talking! The advertisement on the right is from 1953 for "Coconut Cream Dreams -- in Minutes,"  but believe me, take a few more minutes to make your own. It will be 100% better!

The recipe below is from Southern Living and also appeared in one of the Best of Southern Living collections. It's worth the time to make this great Coconut Cream Pie from Scratch.


Coconut Cream Pie Filling
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups half-and-half
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Garnish: toasted coconut


Chocolate Pie Crust:
2 cups chocolate wafers (in a pinch use Oreos)
6 tbsp butter

Melt the butter.
Put the chocolate wafers in plastic bag. Close bag and crush with spoon or rolling pin until you have tiny pea-sized chocolate bits.
Combine melted butter with chocolate bits.
Press ingredients into 9-inch buttered pie pan. Be sure and go up sides.
Bake 10 minutes at 325°F. 

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in heavy saucepan. Whisk together half-and-half and egg yolks. Gradually whisk egg mixture into sugar mixture; bring to boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat.

Stir in butter, 1 cup coconut, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap, placing plastic wrap directly on filling in pan; let stand 30 minutes (or put it in the refrigerator). Spoon custard mixture into prepared crust, cover and chill 30 minutes or until set.

Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add 1/3 cup sugar and remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla, beating until soft peaks form. Spread or pipe whipped cream over pie filling.

Garnish with toasted coconut

*To make toasted coconut, heat oven to 350. Put coconut in a pie pan and spread out to about 1/4 inch thick. Toast in oven for about 3-5 minutes.. check to make sure it doesn't burn.

Sunday, May 7, 2023


What a grand coronation! Did you attend? Did you watch? Charles has been crowned King of England! He has to have had the longest apprenticeship in English history. What pageantry! I hope you had tea and scones, but if not, don't fear. It's never too late to celebrate! Here's a great recipe for Coronation Chocolate Cherry Scones!


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup whipping cream, divided
1/4 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 450°.

Stir together first 4 ingredients in large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with pastry blender until crumbly and mixture resembles small peas. Freeze 5 minutes. Add 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp cream, dried cherries, and chocolate, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Turn dough out onto wax paper; gently press or pat dough into 7-inch round (mixture will be crumbly). Cut round into 8 wedges. Place wedges 2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush tops of wedges with remaining 2 Tbs. cream just until moistened.

Bake at 450° for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden.


Saturday, May 6, 2023


Today is National Crepes Suzette Day. Ooh-la-la! What could be more French than Crepes Suzette?

To add a chocolate elementadd chocolate sauce to your traditional crepes suzette, and even better, make Chocolate Crepe!

History of Crepes Suzette from What's Cooking America?

Probably the most famous crepe dish in the world. In a restaurant, a crepe suzette is often prepared in a chafing dish in full view of the guests. They are served hot with a sauce of sugar, orange juice, and liqueur (usually Grand Marnier). Brandy is poured over the crepes and then lit. The dish was created out of a mistake made by a fourteen year-old assistant waiter Henri Carpentier (1880-1961) in 1895 at the Maitre at Monte Carlo's Café de Paris. He was preparing a dessert for the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII (1841-1910) of England. 

According to Henri Charpentier, in own words from Life A La Henri – Being The Memories of Henri Charpentier:

“It was quite by accident as I worked in front of a chafing dish that the cordials caught fire. I thought I was ruined. The Prince and his friends were waiting. How could I begin all over? I tasted it. It was, I thought, the most delicious melody of sweet flavors I had every tasted. I still think so. That accident of the flame was precisely what was needed to bring all those various instruments into one harmony of taste . . . He ate the pancakes with a fork; but he used a spoon to capture the remaining syrup. He asked me the name of that which he had eaten with so much relish. I told him it was to be called Crepes Princesse. He recognized that the pancake controlled the gender and that this was a compliment designed for him; but he protested with mock ferocity that there was a lady present. She was alert and rose to her feet and holding her little shirt wide with her hands she made him a curtsey. ‘Will you,’ said His Majesty, ‘change Crepes Princesse to Crepes Suzette?’ Thus was born and baptized this confection, one taste of which, I really believe, would reform a cannibal into a civilized gentleman. The next day I received a present from the Prince, a jeweled ring, a panama hat and a cane.”


For the Crepes: 

2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 1/2 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
2 ounces dark chocolate, melted
1-1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup DARK cocoa
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt


Melt butter and chocolate together, mixing to combine and smooth out  chocolate. 
In large bowl, combine milk and eggs. 
In separate, smaller bowl, combine dry ingredients.
Whisk together milk and eggs with dry ingredients, continue whisking as you incorporate butter and chocolate mixture.
Cover and refrigerate at least an hour, or overnight. Be sure to re-whisk batter before you cook  crepes.

To Cook Crepes:
Butter hot skillet (small or medium, not large) or crepe pan, then wipe out excess butter with paper towel so it's dry-ish. Pour in small amount of crepe batter and tilt pan as needed so batter spreads and covers bottom of pan. As edges begin to turn up, flip crepe with a spatula for few seconds to cook other side.


4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
Juice of 6 oranges (with zest from one)
3 Tbsp Cointreau
3 Tbsp Cognac
12 dark chocolate crepes
Grated chocolate for garnish

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in sugar, zest, juice, and liqueur. Stirring constantly, reduce sauce to 2/3 cup. Carefully add each cooked crepe to  pan—one at a time—and coat with sauce.
Fold each crepe into quarters, and arrange on plate (3 per plate if you're serving four)
Sprinkle crepes with orange zest and grated chocolate chocolate.

Only if you're really careful: Flambé sauce: reserve two tablespoons and add three more tablespoons of Cognac. Stir together and remove the pan from heat. Ignite with match and pour flaming sauce over crepes.

Friday, May 5, 2023

KENTUCKY DERBY PIE: Recipes, History, Bourbon, Nuts, and More!

The Kentucky Derby will take place tomorrow. Be prepared. Make Kentucky Derby Pie! Over the past few years, I've posted several chocolate recipes that are perfect for Kentucky Derby Parties. I have more than one recipe for Derby Pie, the traditional chocolate, nut, bourbon pie, so here's a re-post of the three most popular --plus a Pie in a Jar to take to your Kentucky Derby party!

Kentucky Bourbon Chocolate Walnut Pie has been served at the annual Derby Horse Race for over 60 years. It was a special recipe that was first made at the Melrose Inn in Prospect, Kentucky. * Note: You can't legally call it a "Derby Pie" recipe. The name "Derby Pie" is trademarked, and the owners of the name are very aggressive protecting the name "Derby Pie." is not a commercial site, but to be safe,  I'm calling it Kentucky Derby Pie. Similar Pies to the one above are sometimes called Brownie Pie or Tollhouse Pie, but it's really Derby Pie. There have been many modifications over the years, but the most important ingredient is Kentucky Bourbon.

I'd love to hear about your favorite Kentucky Derby Pie. Do you use Pecans or Walnuts? How much chocolate? What kind? How much Bourbon? What kind?

1. Kentucky Derby Chocolate Pecan Pie

1 pie crust (homemade or store bought)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup light corn syrup
4 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup Kentucky Bourbon
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1-1/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, shelled and chopped in half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll crust out.
In large mixing bowl, on medium speed with whisk attachment, whip butter, sugars, corn syrup, eggs, vanilla, and bourbon together until frothy.
Remove bowl from mixer, and fold in chocolate chips and pecans or walnuts. Blend well.
Pour into prepared pie crust and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until set.
Serve warm or cool completely before serving with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

2. Kentucky Bourbon Chocolate Walnut Pie

1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar (1/2 brown/1/2 white)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup melted butter
2-4 Tbsp Kentucky bourbon (it's a matter of taste)
1 cup chopped English walnuts (you can vary this by using pecans)
1-1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
dash of salt
1 - 9 " deep-dish pie shell (pre-made crust or make your own)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix flour and sugar.
Add eggs and melted butter; mix to combine.
Stir in bourbon, walnuts, chocolate chips, vanilla, and salt.
Pour mixture into unbaked piecrust.
Bake for 35-40 minutes.
Pie should be chewy but not runny. 

Another variation: don't add the chocolate chips to the mix: Arrange them on the bottom of the unbaked pie shell. Pour over chocolate chips and bake.

Several years ago my friend Janet Appel sent me this recipe. Leave it to someone from Kentucky to make the 'real' thing. I miss Janet. She was the quintessential Kentucky belle.

3. Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie
(Originally called Derby Pie)

1 stick melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
4 eggs beaten
1 Tbsp Wild Turkey Bourbon
1 cup whole pecans
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1- 9 or 10 inch unbaked pie shell

Mix above ingredients and pour into pie shell.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until fairly firm at 350 degrees.
Let cool and set up before serving.
Garnish with sweetened whipped cream.

Note from Janet Appel: We soak the pecans in bourbon over night and use a jigger of bourbon. We still add the tablespoon of bourbon to the mixture. White corn syrup is Karo.

No time to bake? Going to a Kentucky Derby Party? You can assemble and take this Kentucky Derby Pie Mix in a Jar! 

For this recipe, I substitute Bourbon for the vanilla in the directions. You can always write vanilla (or Bourbon optional) on your recipe gift card.

4. Kentucky Derby Pie in a Jar!

1 cup granulated sugar (or use half brown and half granulated)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup coursely chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

Pour sugar into lightweight food storage bag. Tie bag and cut off some of the excess and fit bag into bottom of a 1 quart wide-mouth canning jar.
Pour in half of nuts, then put in layer of chocolate chips, and then add remaining nuts.
Into food storage bag, add flour and pinch of salt.
Tie with twine or ribbon and cut off excess plastic bag end, if necessary.
Fit into the top of jar and screw on top.

Directions for gift tag or label:

Kentucky Derby Pie in a Jar!
Here's what to add:

1 9-inch pastry shell, unbaked
4 ounces melted sweet butter
2 large eggs
1 tsp Bourbon

Preheat oven to 325°.
Remove bag of flour from jar; set aside.
Pour nuts and chocolate chips into pie shell, spreading evenly.
In small mixing bowl, whisk 2 eggs.
Remove sugar bag and empty sugar and flour bags into bowl, stirring to blend well.
Whisk in 1 tsp Bourbon or splash more (or vanilla) and 4 ounces melted butter. Blend well.
Pour batter evenly over nuts and chocolate chips.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until nicely browned.
Chill thoroughly before cutting.
Serve with whipped cream.

If you're a mystery fan, you'll want to read my list of Kentucky Derby Mysteries on my other blog, MysteryFanfare because we all know there's always murder and mayhem at the races.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Kahlua Mexican Chocolate Cake: Cinco de Mayo

I love Kahlua. It's such a versatile liqueur. Kahlúa is a Mexican coffee-flavored rum-based liqueur. It's dense and sweet, with the taste of coffee, from which it is made. Kahlúa also contains sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla bean, so you see why it's often matched with chocolate in drinks, cakes, pies, and candy.  

I found a great Kahlua promotional cookbook at the Flea Market a few years ago: The Best of Kahlua: A Guide to Food and Entertaining (1970). There are some really great recipes in this book, and for Cinco de Mayo, I think this recipe for Mexican Chocolate Kahlua Cake is perfect! It's so easy and delicious!