Friday, June 30, 2023

CHOCOLATE COCA COLA CAKE for a Retro Fourth of July!

It's July Fourth Weekend. Celebrate with a Chocolate Cake. Get out your 'Pyrex' dish and bake a Retro Chocolate Coca Cola Cake for the holiday! I've also included a recipe for Chocolate Coca-Cola Icing.


2 cups unsifted cake flour
2 cups sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 Tbsp cocoa
1 cup Coca-Cola
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Sift together flour and sugar. Heat to boiling point the butter, cocoa, and Coca-Cola. Add to flour and sugar mixture. Stir to blend. Add buttermilk, soda, eggs, salt, and vanilla. Stir with spoon until well blended. Pour into greased and floured oblong pan (Pyrex dish). Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Batter will be thin. Ice while hot.


1/2 cup butter
6 Tbsp Coca-Cola
1 box confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp cocoa

Heat to boiling point -- butter, cocoa and Cola-Cola. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; stir to blend. Using a fork, make holes in hot cake and pour hot icing over it.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

HOME-MADE ALMOND ROCA: National Almond Buttercrunch Day!

Today is National Almond Buttercrunch Day. Almond Roca is also known as Almond Buttercrunch.

I first had Almond Roca as a young girl. A neighbor who drove us to school always had Almond Roca on the coffee table in his recreation room. This neighbor didn't have the same rules as in my household (No candy until after dinner--and never unthinkably BEFORE school!). So I always enjoyed Almond Roca when this neighbor was driving. So for today's Buttercrunch Day holiday, I suggest you make the following recipe for Homemade Almond Roca. This recipe for Home-made Almond Roca is adapted from Elizabeth LaBau on

No time to cook? Pick up a bar of Almond Roca.

Home-Made Almond Roca

4 ounces unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups toasted whole almonds, coarsely chopped
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

Prepare 8 x 4 loaf pan by lining with aluminum foil and spraying foil with nonstick cooking spray.
In small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt, and stir until brown sugar dissolves.
Once brown sugar melts, start timer and cook candy for exactly 6 minutes, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. If you use candy thermometer, stir and boil toffee until it reaches 290 degrees.
After six minutes, take toffee (buttercrunch) pan off heat and stir in 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds. Scrape toffee into prepared loaf pan—it should be in layer about 1/2-inch thick.
Let toffee set for about 3 minutes, then use pizza cutter or paring knife to cut toffee into thin bars about 1/2-inch by 2 -1/2 inches. They will look small, but once they're dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts, they'll be bigger. After another 2 minutes, go over your cuts again as toffee continues to harden.
As you wait for toffee to set, chop remaining 1 cup of toasted almonds very finely, or put in food processor and pulse for several seconds until becomes very small pieces. Pour finely chopped almonds into shallow bowl.
Once toffee is completely cool and set, break into pieces along lines you made, and trim off any jagged edges with knife.
Melt chocolate. Dip each piece of Almond Buttercrunch in melted chocolate, then place in bowl of nuts. Roll it around until coated with nuts on all sides, then take it out of nuts with fork and place on baking sheet. Repeat until all toffee pieces are coated with chocolate and nuts.
Optional: To make it 'really' look like Almond Roca, wrap individual pieces in gold foil.
Refrigerate tray to set chocolate (about 10 minutes).
Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Bring to room temperature before serving.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

NATIONAL TAPIOCA DAY: TAPIOCA: Tapioca Uses & Vintage Tapioca Ads

Today is National Tapioca Day. I grew up with tapioca as a once a week dessert. It was not a favorite, but times and recipes have changed, and it may have been how my mother prepared it. If you're into boba or bubble tea--all the rage now--know that it is made with big pearl tapioca. That tapioca starch turns into a chewy gummy ball when cooked.

But what is Tapioca? I consulted Spruce Eats for answers.

Tapioca has a neutral flavor and strong gelling power, making it effective as a thickening agent in both sweet and savory foods. Unlike cornstarch, tapioca can withstand a freeze-thaw cycle without losing its gel structure or breaking down, making it an ideal thickener in ice cream recipes.


Tapioca starch (from the cassava plant) can be purchased as flour or instant flakes; it's opaque prior to cooking but turns translucent upon hydration. Tapioca pearls and powders are most often white or off-white, but the pearls, frequently used in desserts, can be dyed to just about any color. Tapioca pearls come in large and small sizes. Boba are large sweetened pearls often dyed black and used for bubble tea. 

Tapioca Uses 

Traditional uses for tapioca include tapioca pudding, bubble or boba tea, and other candies and desserts. Both tapioca pudding and boba tea are made with pearled tapioca, or small balls of tapioca starch that turn into a chewy, gummy ball when cooked. In addition, tapioca adds body to soups, sauces, and gravies; it has more thickening power and generally costs less than flour and other thickeners. Tapioca can be added to ground meat products, such as burger patties and chicken nuggets, as a binder and ingredient stabilizer. It traps moisture in a gel, so it's often added to baked goods to prevent the pastry from becoming soggy during storage. Tapioca is a common ingredient in gluten-free products because it helps lighten the texture and maintain moisture in the absence of gluten. 

How to Cook With Tapioca 

Tapioca pearls must be soaked for up to 12 hours and then cooked in boiling liquid to form a gel. Quick-cooking or instant tapioca, with a more granular texture, can be whisked into soups, gravies, jams and jellies, pie fillings, and other creamy concoctions to act as a thickener. Tapioca flour can be used in place of other flours and as a 1:1 replacement for cornstarch. 

What Does It Taste Like?

Tapioca does not have much flavor on its own, but when sweetened and added to desserts such as pudding, it adds texture and heft. The lack of flavor is an advantage when it's used to thicken savory dishes such as soups and gravies. 


Tuesday, June 27, 2023


I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Especially if it's chocolate. Add Chocolate Cake], and you have even more of a good thing.

This is perfect for National Ice Cream Cake Day! This recipe adapted from Silvana Nardone's recipe on Rachael Ray Everyday is for Triple Chocolate Ice Cream Cake.

Whatever you do, you won't go wrong if you use chocolate ice cream! I adapted the following recipe by using Ben & Jerry's Brownie Batter & Chocolate Fudge Brownie, mainly because I can never have enough chocolate. Another possibility is to make your own Chocolate Pound Cake. Here's a link to a favorite chocolate poundcake recipe. Marble pound cake works, too!


1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy cream
12 ounces dark chocolate --70% cacao, chopped
1 12-ounce marble pound cake, such as Entenmann's, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices (or your own chocolate pound cake)
1 pint Ben & Jerry's Chocolate ice cream, softened
20 chocolate wafers, plus 4 crushed wafers
1 pint Ben & Jerry's Brownie Batter or Chocolate Fudge Brownie, softened

In small saucepan, bring heavy cream to boil over medium-high heat. Put chopped chocolate in heatproof medium bowl and pour boiling cream over chocolate. Let sit until chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Stir mixture with fork until ganache is smooth.

Line nonstick 9 x 5 x 3 3/4 inch loaf pan with 2 overlapping sheets of plastic wrap, allowing 4-inch overhang on all sides.

Pour half of ganache (1 cup) evenly into lined pan and spread to cover base. Cover ganache with single layer of tightly packed cake slices; be sure layer is flat and even. Working quickly, spread first chocolate ice cream evenly over pound cake. Cover ice cream with layer made of half of the chocolate wafers. 

Spread remaining ganache evenly over wafers, then top ganache with another layer, using all of remaining wafers, and place cake in freezer for about 30 minutes to chill and firm up.

Remove cake from freezer and spread second chocolate ice cream over wafers. Top with another flat, single layer of tightly packed slices of pound cake, trimming 1 or 2 slices to fill in gaps (there might be a few slices left over). Cake may be slightly higher than pan. Cover cake completely with plastic overhang and freeze until firm, at least 5 hours or overnight.

To loosen ice cream cake from pan, open plastic wrap and invert pan over flat serving platter. Remove plastic wrap. Scatter crushed chocolate wafers over ice cream cake, slice, and serve immediately.

Monday, June 26, 2023

CHOCOLATE COCONUT SNOWBALLS: National Coconut Snowballs!

Snowballs in Summer? Yes, if they're made with chocolate and coconut. These No Bake Chocolate Coconut Snowballs are perfect for National Coconut Day! They are actually wonderful, easy, truffles. The flavor of your Chocolate Coconut Snowballs will depend on the quality of your ingredients. Use the best!

Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil
6 Tbsp pure maple syrup
4 Tbsp unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup dark chocolate, melted with 1 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil
Additional coconut for dusting if desired.

Place shredded coconut and coconut oil in food processor. Process on high speed, scraping down sides occasionally, until reaches almost buttery consistency. Add maple syrup, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and salt, and process on high speed until ingredients are combined.
Shape coconut mixture into 1” balls.
Place on wax paper, and refrigerate for at last an hour, or set in freezer for 30 minutes.
Once coconut balls are very firm, melt dark chocolate and coconut oil in  small saucepan over medium heat for just a minute or two, stirring constantly. Once chocolate is melted, carefully dip coconut balls into melted chocolate and sprinkle with small amount of shredded coconut.
Put coconut balls back into refrigerator for 5-10 minutes to harden.
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer, for up to a week.

NATIONAL CHOCOLATE PUDDING DAY: History and Retro Ads with Recipes

Today is National Chocolate Pudding Day. You can make your own pudding from scratch. I usually do, but it's amazing the revolution that powdered chocolate pudding made on the American food landscape. 

According to Jell-O history, chocolate was introduced into the Jell-O family early on but discontinued in 1927. In 1936, chocolate returned to the Jell-O lineup, this time as an instant pudding made with milk. Just an FYI, today there are several Jell-o chocolate pudding flavors including Devil's Food, Double Chocolate, Chocolate Fudge and Oreo Cookies 'n Creme.

Jell-O Pudding in the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s jumped on the advertising bandwagon of this easy yet versatile dessert. I was especially taken by the Jell-O Chocolate Pudding Ad campaign in 1967-68. So for your pleasure on this yummy holiday, I give you the Jell-O "Now, pudding is..." Each advertisement includes a recipe, too. Advertisements appeared in Life Magazine.

Now, Pudding is: 1967 Pudding Ads:

Now, pudding is pop: June 23, 1967

Now, pudding is napoleons: April 28, 1967

Now, pudding is torte: September 15, 1967

Now, pudding is eclairs: January 19, 1968

Now, pudding is fudge: March 8, 1968

Now, pudding is Boston Cream Pie: March 29, 1968

Now, pudding is brownies: October 11, 1968

Now, pudding is Bavarian: July 12, 1968

Sunday, June 25, 2023

CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY PARFAITS: National Strawberry Parfait Day

Today is Strawberry Parfait Day. I usually add chocolate to my parfaits. The following recipe can be made with ice cream, of course, but give it a try with some vanilla yogurt for a healthier alternative.

A parfait is a dessert that alternates layers of ice cream, fruit, sometimes gelatin, and/or liqueur, and is topped with whipped cream. It is usually served in a stemmed glass. Parfait in French means "perfect," and this is certainly a perfect dessert. The following recipe has a lot of baking and making from scratch, but if you're in a hurry substitute a store-bought chocolate pound cake and some strawberry sauce. The fact that it adds cake makes it a bit more of a trifle, but it still qualifies.

Chocolate Strawberry Parfaits
Use clear containers. Small mason jars are 'perfect' and look great!

Chocolate Pound Cake  *this can be made in a rectangular pan rather than in a Bundt Pan
2 cups vanilla yogurt
1 cup fresh strawberries
optional: Whipped Cream

Strawberry Sauce 
1 pint strawberries, divided
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla


Strawberry Sauce 
Wash and chop strawberries. Add honey, vanilla, and 2/3 of the chopped strawberries to medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until juices are released and slightly thickened (about 15 minutes). Sauce thickens more while cooling. Stir in remaining strawberries and remove from heat. Cool completely.

To Assemble:
Layer 1/4 cup fresh strawberries in bottom of each container.
Cut chocolate pound cake into cubes. Make a pound cake layer over the strawberries.
Top with 1/4 cup yogurt and 2 tablespoons strawberry sauce.
Repeat layers.
Optional: Top with whipped cream

Saturday, June 24, 2023

CHOCOLATE PRALINES: History, Recipes, and More!

Today is National Pralines Day! I love Pralines, and I always buy them when I'm in New Orleans. Friends who know me bring them back from New Orleans, too. But I've also made them. They're fabulous!

There are so many variations of Pralines, so I'm posting several recipes, for you to make at home. Of course, if you're in the Big Easy or other cities in the South (River Street Sweets!), you'll want to sample, as I do, and buy a few different kinds. Each of the following recipes has its virtues, and none has any vices. I, of course, add Chocolate to my Pralines. No big surprise there! So all three recipes feature chocolate and nuts!

1) a confection of nuts and sugar: as in almonds cooked in boiling sugar until brown and crisp
2) a patty of creamy brown sugar and pecan meats

If you associate Pralines with the South, you'd be right! The original praline was a sweet confection made of almonds and some sort of creamy sugary caramelized coating. Lots of stories about how the Praline came to New Orleans and the South. One is that Pralines were first concocted in the home of 17th century French diplomat Cesar du Plessis Praslin by one of his chefs. The name "Praslin" eventually evolved into "praline." I don't buy that story since they were already popular in Europe in a slightly different version. Another story is that pralines were brought over from France by the Ursuline nuns, who settled in New Orleans in 1727. This makes sense since Pralines were already in the French tradition. Almonds were in short supply, so cooks began substituting the nuts of the native Louisiana pecan trees, thus the modern pecan pralines were born. Praline pecans were known as individual pecans covered in the sugary coating. The new pecan pralines quickly spread throughout New Orleans and became a common confection in the area.

Pralinières were women who used to sell pralines on the streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans during the mid-to-late 19th century, providing a unique entrepreneurial opportunity to les gens de couleur libres (free people of color). Not only was being a pralinière a source of income, it was a means of providing for oneself without any strings attached. This was a rare situation for economically less-fortunate, but resourceful women of that time period, who were often employed as indentured servants or forced by need and without choice into plaçage, as kept-women of wealthy businessmen. (Read more about Praline Sellers of Old New Orleans here)

Because New Orleans was a thriving port, people from all over the world came through, and the praline spread with them. Many people are unaware of the candy’s historical origin, and the praline is thought of as a southern confection not necessarily specific to New Orleans. Some believe the pecan praline is a Texan candy, whereas others assume it came from Savannah. The pronunciation of the candy is a bit of a point of contention as well. In New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast, where there are many communities settled by the French, the pronunciation is prah-leen, with the long aaah sound, which is closer to that of the candy’s namesake du Plessis-Praslin. Other regions of the country, including parts of Texas, Georgia, and New England have anglicized the term and pronounce it pray-leen. Other terms for pralines include pecan pralines, pecan candy, plarines and pecan patties.

Whatever you call it, you're going to love these recipes for Chocolate Pralines. They're simple to make. The first recipe doesn't call for a candy thermometer, but get one ready for the next two recipes. Candy thermometers are easy to use, and if for some reason you don't have one, you can always use the water test.

This first recipe is adapted from Sunset Magazine.


1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1 1/2 tsp milk
1 1/2 tsp unsweetened DARK cocoa

Place almonds in 9-inch pie pan. Bake in 300° regular or convection oven, shaking pan once, until nuts are golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Coat 12-inch square of foil lightly with vegetable oil (about 1 teaspoon).
In 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, butter, corn syrup, and milk. Stir occasionally until mixture is bubbly and golden, about 5 minutes. Add cocoa and stir until smooth, then stir in toasted almonds. Pour mixture onto oiled foil and spread about 1/4 inch thick. Let cool until solid, about 10 minutes. Break praline into 6 to 8 large chunks.


4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (50-65% cacao)
1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed firmly
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup pecan pieces

In heavy saucepan combine the sugar and cream.
Heat to 240 degrees (115 C) on candy thermometer (stirring constantly).
Remove from heat, stir in butter and chocolate.
Cool mixture to 110 degrees F (43 C).
Stir in pecans.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper and allow to cool and harden.

Want a kick with your Chocolate Pralines?  Homesick Texan has a terrific recipe for Mexican Chocolate Pralines. Here's her recipe, but be sure and read her post about her first attempts.. and to see her sensational photos. Yes, bacon can become an ingredient!

3. Mexican Chocolate Pralines 
(adapted from Aprovecho)

1 disc of Mexican hot chocolate (Ibarra)
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
2 cups pecans, 1 cup chopped and 1 cup whole
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp fresh orange zest or 1 tsp dried orange zest
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Set oven at 350 degrees, roast pecans for 10 minutes.
In large pot, melt together on medium heat - chocolates, sugars, pecans, milk, butter, cinnamon, orange zest, Cayenne, and sea salt, stirring occasionally. Place candy thermometer in pot to monitor heat. When it reaches 235 degrees, remove from fire and add vanilla and stir pot for two minutes. There should be bit of shine to the candy but candy will be a bit more thick.
Scoop pralines onto parchment paper. (If too stiff, add warm water to mixture.) Let cool for an hour and remove. They will still be a bit shiny but will lose that shine after a few hours. 

Note from Homesick Texan: If you want to add bacon to these, fry up four slices, crumble them and stir into praline when you add the vanilla.

These are unbelievably fabulous!!!!


O.K. no time to make your own? I recently sampled River Street Sweets pralines, and I have to tell you they're my new favorite. Not too sweet, perfect! 

Here are some Praline Sweet and Surprising fun Facts:
The world's most expensive chocolate praline is worth $240,000! Carved by chocolatier Paul Wittier and newer Fabienne Lascar, this chocolate rains also sports a 3.63 carat diamond. I won't be eating this any time soon.

Pralines and Cream is a common ice cream flavor in the U.S. and Canada

Friday, June 23, 2023


Today is National Pecan Sandies Day. Pecan sandies are great shortbread cookies, and all I've done is add chocolate to make them all that much better.

Pecan Sandies: A shortbread cookie with ground pecans added to the flour. The cookies are easy to make -- flour, butter, sugar, salt, vanilla -- and pecans. The name Sandie might have something to do with the color or texture--or not. 

I have two recipes for Chocolate Pecan Sandies. The first is the full recipe for Chocolate Pecan Sandie Cookies. The second would be to use a 'regular' pecan sandie recipe (BrownEyedBaker's recipe for "non-chocolate" pecan sandies. ) and add chocolate chips.

Pecan Sandies are simple to make and taste delicious. They're not too sweet. Some people like to chop the pecans coursely, and that works, but you can also pulverize the pecans. To form the cookies, I use the drop method, but some people like to make logs and then slice them. Either way, they'll taste great!

Chocolate Pecan Sandies

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) ground pecans, divided use
1/2 cup unsweetened good quality DARK cocoa powder
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease cookie sheet or line with parchment.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla until well blended.
Mix together flour, 1 cup ground pecans, and cocoa powder, then beat flour mixture into butter mixture.
Chill dough for 30 minutes.
Combine remaining 1/2 cup ground pecans and 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar in a bowl.
Form dough into 1-inch balls.
Roll in pecan sugar mixture (reserve any leftover sugar mix) and place on baking sheets.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool, then dip pecan sandy cookie tops in any remaining pecan sugar.

Thursday, June 22, 2023


Today is National Eclair Day, and I just had to post this Retro Ad for Jell-O Pudding Eclairs. The recipe on the Ad 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 your Eclairs. You can follow the rest of the recipe for the 'eclair' part...or use a different recipe. 


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 unsalted 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 with your own homemade pudding!

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH TRUFFLES: National Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Day

I love chocolate chip cookie dough.  And, since today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Day, here's a great recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles. This will be an easy favorite--and it doesn't use raw eggs, so no worries!


1/3 cup unsalted (aka sweet) butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Sea salt

Line baking sheet with wax paper or parchment.
In bowl mix together butter, sugar and vanilla. Add flour and mix until just combined. Fold in milk chocolate chips.
Make one inch balls with dough and place on baking sheet. Freeze for about 30 minutes.
When dough is firm, melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in microwave or top of double boiler.
Dip cookie dough in chocolate with fork, two spoons or dipping tool.
Tap off excess chocolate.
Put back on lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Put back in freezer to harden.
Store in refrigerator.

Cartoon of the Day: Biscuits

Tuesday, June 20, 2023


I love Midsummer, and how perfect is it that today is also Ice Cream Soda Day. Here's an easy way to celebrate Midsummer with this Mid-Century Midsummer recipe for Chocolate Coca Cola Ice Cream Soda.


For each Chocolate Coke Ice Cream Soda, you'll need a tall glass, 3 Tbsp chocolate syrup, 2 Tbsp half & half, Coca Cola, chocolate ice cream, whipped cream.

Chill glass in freezer.

Pour chocolate syrup into bottom of glass. Add half & half and blend together. Add coca cola to 3/4 of glass.

Add 2-3 scoops of chocolate ice cream. Stir.

Top Ice Cream Soda with whipped cream and maraschino cherry.

Sunday, June 18, 2023


A special cake 
a special way 
To reach his heart 
on Father's Day...

I love this Retro Father's Day Ad for Buttercake. A good Butter Cake should be in every baker's repertoire, especially with chocolate butter frosting! As always use the very best butter and chocolate!

The following recipe for Butter Cake with Chocolate Frosting is from Betty Crocker, tweaked slightly. This cake is perfect for Father's Day!



2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350°F.
Grease bottom and sides of 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with shortening; lightly flour.
In small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In large bowl, beat 3/4 cup butter and the granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, about 2 minutes or until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until smooth. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. On low speed, beat flour mixture into sugar mixture alternately with 3/4 cup milk, beating after each addition, until smooth. Scrape side of bowl occasionally. Beat in sour cream. Pour evenly into pans. Tap pans on counter 2 to 3 times to eliminate air bubbles from batter.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

In medium bowl, beat frosting ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and spreadable. Place first cake layer on plate, and spread 1 cup frosting over top. Place second cake layer on top of first. Frost side and top of cake with remaining frosting. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Cartoon of the Day: Father's Day Chocolates: A Savory Sampler

CHERRY TART ICE CREAM: National Cherry Tart Day

Today is Cherry Tart Day! I recently posted a recipe for a Rustic Cherry Tart that's easy and delicous! But here's something fun and Vintage for the day from Elsie the Cow: Cherry Tart Ice Cream from Borden's, a great Retro Ad.  
"Steal a heart with new Borden's Cherry Tart Ice Cream!"

Want to make your own "Tart" Cherry Ice Cream? Try this recipe from King Arthur's Flour. Fab!

Add Chocolate Sauce to keep with the theme of this blog. :-)

Friday, June 16, 2023


Today is National Fudge Day. You know I've posted many fudge recipes, but for today's holiday here is a special recipe for Fudge Truffle Cheesecake from a Retro Hershey's/Eagle Brand Ad with Recipe. Make it this weekend and let me know what you think. I love it!

Wednesday, June 14, 2023


Today is National Bourbon Day, and with Father's Day coming up this weekend, why not make Dad a  Bourbon Ball Martini and celebrate both holidays? Better than a necktie!


2 ounces Bourbon
2 ounces Crème de Cacao
1 oz. hazelnut liqueur

Fill shaker with cracked ice and blend bourbon, creme de cacao & hazelnut liqueur.
Strain into a martini glass.
Garnish with two Bourbon balls on a mini-skewer.

O.K., maybe you want to give Dad a home-made gift. Make these fabulous Bourbon Balls! 


1 ½ pounds pecans
8 ounces of Maker’s Mark Bourbon
2 ounces water
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
3 pounds semisweet chocolate
3 ounces paraffin

Break and combine pecans with bourbon, cover and set aside for 4 hours or more. Sift confectioners’ sugar and add pecans, adding sugar gradually to a working consistency until a small ball can be made ½ to ¾ inch in diameter. Water is to be used only to bring mixture to desired consistency. Add water only to prevent ball from falling apart. Mixture should be semi-dry. Prepare balls and place on a waxed papered cookie sheet. Place in freezer to cool. (Approx. 2 hours)

Melt chocolate and paraffin and mix well. Chocolate should not be too hot, just warm enough to work up. The warmer the mix, the thinner coating the bourbon balls will have.

Remove formed balls from the freezer when ready to coat with chocolate. With fingers dip each ball to cover half of ball and return to cookie sheet. After this step return to refrigerator to harden chocolate. (Approx. 1 hour)

To coat top half of ball when ready insert toothpick in the bottom that has already been coated and dip top in chocolate. Remove toothpick and return ball to cookie sheet. Refrigerate again to harden chocolate.

Store bourbon balls in refrigerator until ready to eat!

Tuesday, June 13, 2023


Today is National Cupcake Lovers Day. Who doesn't love a great cupcake? Now that people are traveling again, the Disney Theme Parks are open, but maybe you haven't made reservations? Don't fret. The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook will bring a bit of the Walt Disney magic into your own kitchen. This book features 100 Disney-inspired recipes ranging from the classic Dole Whip and Mickey Pretzels to new favorites like blue milk from Star Wars land and Jack Jack’s Cookie Num Nums from Pixar Pier. 

The cookbook is organized by park — from Disneyland to Epcot, Hollywood Studios to Disney’s Animal Kingdom — and showcases recipes for some of the amazing foods you can find from Main Street USA to Galaxy’s Edge. With The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook, you can explore every delicious nook and cranny the parks have to offer, all without leaving the comfort of your own home. 

And, since this is a Chocolate blog, here's one of my favorites from the cookbook:

Cookies and Cream Mickey Mouse Cupcakes

Main Street, U.S.A., Disneyland

Candy Palace on Main Street, U.S.A., was renovated in 2012 and given a very sweet interior. Many of the features are meant to look edible, such as the chandelier that seems to be dripping ice cream, and the exit sign shaped as a wrapped candy. And among its actually edible creations are delectable, supersweet Cookies and Cream Mickey Cupcakes. Topped with the iconic mouse ears, these popular treats are easy to whip up and sure to please.



For Cupcakes

3 tablespoons salted butter, softened

1 12 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 13 cups all-purpose flour

14 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

34 cup cocoa powder

14 teaspoon salt

1 cup whole milk

1.      ‌To make Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two standard muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside.

2.      ‌In the bowl of a stand mixer, add butter and sugar. Using the flat beater attachment, cream together well. Add eggs and vanilla. While mixer is running, add flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt; continue mixing until well combined. Add milk slowly.

3.      ‌Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins, filling cups just above halfway.

4.      ‌Bake 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely, about 1 hour, before frosting.

For Frosting

12 cup salted butter, softened

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons heavy cream

10 chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed

48 mini chocolate sandwich cookies, whole

1.      ‌To make Frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, add butter, confectioners’ sugar, cream cheese, and heavy cream. Using the flat beater attachment, whip until light and fluffy. Add crushed cookies and mix until combined.


2.      ‌Scoop frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Swirl a generous amount of frosting on each cupcake, creating a pointed mound. Stand a mini sandwich cookie upright on either side of pointed mount to create Mickey Mouse ears.


Frosting swirls are adorable, but if you prefer less frosting on your cupcakes, you can just use a knife to spread a thinner layer of frosting on top of the cupcakes—enough to push in the mouse ears.


Excerpted from The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook by Ashley Craft. Copyright @2020 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Photography by Harper Point Photography. Used with permission of the publisher, Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 12, 2023


Today is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day. Make these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies to celebrate! 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies 

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup chunky or smooth peanut butter (I like chunky organic stone ground for texture)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup chocolate chips (Guittard) (for me, the darker the better)

Preheat oven to 375°.
Cream butter and sugars until light. Add egg and vanilla and mix until fluffy.
Add peanut butter and beat until combined.
Blend flour, baking powder, soda and salt together well.
Add dry ingredients to butter mixture.
Fold in chocolate chips and stir to combine.
Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets.
Bake 10-12 minutes at 375°.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE: History and Recipe for National German Chocolate Cake Day!

Today is National German Chocolate Cake Day. It may sound odd that's there's an American National Holiday for German Chocolate Cake, but German Chocolate Cake is not German. German Chocolate Cake is an American creation that contains the key ingredients of sweet baking chocolate, coconut, and pecans.

In 1852, Sam German created a dark baking chocolate bar for Baker's Chocolate Company, and in his honor, the company named it "Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate."

The story goes that the first published recipe for German's chocolate cake showed up in a Dallas newspaper in 1957 and supposedly came from a Texas homemaker. The cake quickly gained in popularity and the recipe together with photos spread all over the country. America fell in love with German Chocolate Cake, and food editors were swamped with requests for information on where to buy the chocolate. In one year, there was a 73% sales jump in German's Baker Sweet Chocolate sales (then owned by General Mills). 

However, the cake most likely didn't originate from the Dallas housewife. Buttermilk chocolate cakes were popular in the South for over 70 years, and pecans were plentiful, also, to make the frosting. Point of fact: German's chocolate is similar to a milk chocolate and sweeter than regular baking chocolate.

Here's the "Original Recipe." I found this specific recipe in many places on the Internet, and I daresay no one can claim it as their own. So even if you think you're making Grandmom's recipe--and it might be with a few changes over the years, the following recipe is a basic one that millions use. That's not to say I didn't find several unique recipes for German Chocolate Cake that peaked my interest. But those are for another time.


For the Cake
1 pkg. Baker's German’s sweet chocolate (4 oz.)
1/2 cup water, boiling
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour, all-purpose
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup buttermilk
Coconut-pecan frosting

Approx. Cook Time: 30 min
Melt chocolate in water and cool.
Cream butter and Sugar.
Beat in egg yolks.
Stir in vanilla and chocolate.
Mix flour, soda, and salt. Beat in flour mixture, alternately with buttermilk.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Pour batter into three 9-inch layer pans, lined on bottoms with waxed paper.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed in
Cool 15 minutes; remove and cool on rack.

For the Filling & Topping:
1--14 oz. can of condensed milk such as Eagle Brand
1/2 cup water
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butte
1 1/3 cup pecans; chopped reserve
10 whole pecan halves for garnish.
1 3/4 cups angel flake coconut

Cook milk, eggs, and water over double boiler until thickened.
Cook it over direct heat if you use complete concentration.
Then add vanilla and butter and whisk in until melted and smooth.
Add chopped pecans and coconut.

Divide filling evenly between 3 cakes putting 1st layer down, then spread filling evenly. Repeat with  other layer.
Frost side or top of the cake only. (Maybe--but make more, and you can frost everything)
For garnish, place pecan halves around top edge.

My late friend Iris used to make the best German Chocolate Cake. She said it was an African American traditional cake that was made and served at New Year's. I can't find any information on that tradition in the African American community, so I think it was only a tradition in her family. Sadly, Iris never shared her recipe. Some people keep family recipes within the family. The photo in this post is Iris's German Chocolate Cake. It was always fabulous!