Saturday, September 30, 2023


Today is the beginning of Sukkot, one of the most joyful holidays in the Jewish calendar. Sukkot is the Fall harvest festival, a time of giving thanks for abundance. The Hebrew word Sukkot means 'booths' or 'huts.' 
People erect sukkothsmall, temporary booths or huts (open to the sky) in which one entertains, eats, and sometimes sleeps. The holiday lasts 8 days

One of the fall fruits that might be in your sukkah would be apples.  And, since this is a chocolate blog, how about Chocolate Covered Apples? What could be better? Tart apples enrobed in a covering of sweet dark chocolate, and maybe an extra coating of crunchy chopped nuts! Oh yes!

So in celebration of Sukkot (you can also bookmark this recipe for Halloween), here is a recipe for Chocolate Covered Apples. Enjoy!

Chocolate Covered Apples

6 firm Gravenstein Apples (or medium sized Fuji or Granny Smith)
6 sturdy lollipop/popsicle sticks
10 ounces Dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup nuts, chopped coursely (optional.. but great for additional crunch and texture)*
Waxed paper

Twist off stems of apples, and insert sticks into apple cores.
Place apples in refrigerator while preparing chocolate.
Melt chocolate in double boiler or saucepan over saucepan (I use a metal bowl over simmering water for this recipe, so it's easy to dip and roll the apple in the same bowl)
Dip apple into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Roll around in chocolate, turning with stick, until entire apple (or 3/4 way up) is coated.
Optional: Put Nuts into separate bowl and roll apple until completely covered in nuts.
Place chocolate/nut coated apples on cookie sheet lined with wax paper, standing upright.
Refrigerate 25 minutes or until chocolate is set.

Friday, September 29, 2023

COFFEE Gâteau: Retro Ad with Recipe for National Coffee and National Mocha Day

Today is National Coffee Day, not to be confused with International Coffee Day on August 29, but it's also National Mocha Day. So here's a great Retro Ad & Recipe from Nescafe for Luscious Coffee Gâteau that includes both coffee and mocha. Coffee is used in the cake, there's Mocha Icing, as well as the Creamy Coffee Filling. See the recipes below. Of course, I would substitute 'real' coffee in the recipes to bring it up to date and improve flavor! BTW, Regulo 5 is equal to 375 degrees.

Nescafe, by the way, is the name of an instant coffee made by Nestle. It comes in different forms. It was first introduced by Nestle in 1938. The name was used in the U.S. until the late 1960s when Nestle introduced a new brand called Taster's Choice.

So grab a cup of coffee while you make this fun Coffee Gâteau!

Cake recipe is aloe the Mocha Icing Recipe.

Coffee Gâteau

Thursday, September 28, 2023


Today is Strawberry Cream Pie Day. Strawberries are still fresh in the market, and this Strawberry Cream Pie with Oreo Cookie Crust is easy and delicious. There are lots of recipes out there, but I really recommend this one. I've adapted the recipe from, and of course, I added a Chocolate Crust--and for this pie an Oreo Crust.

Strawberry Cream Pie with Oreo Cookie Crust

25 Oreo cookies
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Crush cookies or whirl in food processor. Stir cookie crumbs and melted butter together.
Press crumbs into bottom and upsides of 9" pie plate. Bake for 8 minutes at 350. Cool before filling.

1 quart strawberries, sliced
1 (13.5 ounce) container strawberry glaze  (or you can make your own by boiling down strawberry jam with a little water and straining)
1 (4 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Stir strawberries with glaze in bowl and place in refrigerator to chill.
Stir cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract together in bowl.
Beat cream in separate bowl with electric mixer until it just begins to thicken. Add cream cheese mixture and continue beating until thick.
Pour cream mixture into baked pie crust. Top with strawberry mixture.
Chill for 1 hour before serving.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023


I love Key Lime Pie. One vacation, when my sister and I were visiting the Florida Keys, we tried over 25 different key lime pies. A piece of pie at every meal! Why not? We never did decide which was the best, but we sure had fun tasting! 

I've posted Key Lime Pie recipes with emphasis on Chocolate Key Lime Pie, but I thought to celebrate Key Lime Pie Day this year, I'd post a recipe for Key Lime Pie Truffles. You can always dip these truffles in dark chocolate, but this easy recipe utilizes only  white chocolate in the truffle itself. Recipe from FoodNetwork with a few tweaks.


1/4 cup heavy cream 
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk 
Zest of 3 limes  (I use key limes--they're different--yellow, by the way). They're small, and I can get them at my market
2 cups (about 11 ounces) white chocolate chips  (make sure it's 'real' chocolate--I use Guittard)
Juice of 2 key limes (about 2 tablespoons) 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature 
5 whole graham crackers, crushed (about 1 cup) 

Combine the heavy cream, condensed milk, and lime zest in a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat until the mixture just barely reaches a simmer, about 4 minutes. 
Remove from heat and allow the lime zest to steep in the cream for about 20 minutes. 
Place the cream back over medium-low heat and cook until it just barely reaches a simmer, about 3 minutes. 
Put the white chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Pour the warm cream over the chips and let sit for about 2 minutes. Whisk the mixture until smooth; if there are lumps, microwave the mixture in 15 second intervals, stirring in between intervals, until smooth. Stir in the lime juice. Stir in the butter. 
Cover with plastic wrap so that the plastic lays directly on the surface of the ganache. 
Refrigerate until the ganache is firm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. 
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
Put the graham cracker crumbs on a plate. 
Scoop up 1 tablespoon of the ganache filling and roll it between your hands to form a ball. Roll the ball in the graham-cracker crumbs until completely coated, then place on the prepared baking sheet. 
Repeat with remaining ganache. 
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Monday, September 25, 2023


Today is the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, so this recipe may be a little late, but maybe because of covid you're watching services at home, so you might get a chance to make this for the Breaking of the Fast. It's quick and easy. Or save this recipe for another time. I love this Chocolate Chip Noodle Kugel  (aka Noodle Pudding)

A bit of  history about Kugel. Kugel is a traditional Ashkenazic Jewish dessert or side dish. Kugel is Yiddish for ball, but it is sometimes translated as pudding or casserole, and related to the German Gugelhupf. The first Kugel were plain -- made from bread and flour, and salty rather than sweet. About 800 years ago, the flavor and popularity changed when cooks in Germany replaced bread mixtures with noodles or farfel. Eventually eggs were incorporated. The addition of cottage cheese and milk created a custard-like consistency which is common for today's dishes. In the 17th century, sugar was introduced, which gave the option of serving kugel as a side dish or dessert. In Poland, Jewish women sprinkled raisins and cinnamon into recipes. Hungarians took the dessert concept further with a hefty helping of sugar and sour cream.

Today many people add corn flakes, graham cracker crumbs, ground gingersnaps, or caramelized sugar on top. Some people layer the dish with sliced pineapples or apricot jam, but since this is a chocolate blog, here's a recipe that includes chocolate chips! Enjoy this for the Breaking of the Fast or any time!

Chocolate Chip Noodle Kugel

12 oz pkg medium wide noodles boiled & drained
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
8 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 pint (16 oz) cottage cheese (large curd)
2 cups sour cream
1 tsp pure vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.
Butter sides and bottom of 9 x 13 Pyrex or another Pan.
Beat together eggs and sugar. Add cottage cheese, sour cream, melted butter, and vanilla, and mix with wooden spoon.
Fold in noodles and chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into buttered pan.
Bake at 350°F for 40-60 minutes until just set.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE: Yom Kippur, Crypto-Jews, & Mexico

The drinking or eating of Mexican Chocolate on Yom Kippur (at the pre-fast meal and at the breaking of the fast) has its roots in the Inquisition in 17th century New World Mexico. According to Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz, Crypto-Jews lived in Mexico in the 17th century, under the surveillance of the Inquisition. They developed subterfuges to avoid being discovered for their undercover Jewish practices, including those related to chocolate eating and drinking. They also took an active role in the cacao trade.

Read More Here.

Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz lectures about chocolate and Jews around the world. Her book, On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao, was published in 2013 by Jewish Lights and is in its second printing.

Mexican Hot Chocolate 
(a pareve version would have been used in the seventeenth-century)
Serves 8

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
4 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
3⁄4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder (or to taste)
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (or to taste)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon Mexican vanilla extract

Melt chocolate in large bowl over simmering pan of water.
In separate heavy saucepan, heat milk and cream on low until hot, but not boiling.
Add 3 tablespoons of hot milk to chocolate in bowl and mix well.
Stir rest of  milk mixture, sugar, chile powders, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla into chocolate.
Whisk chocolate briskly for 3 minutes, over double boiler to thicken.

Saturday, September 23, 2023


Photo: Judie Siddall
It's the Fall Equinox, and Fall is all about harvest, and, for me, apples.  And to celebrate, here is my favorite Applesauce Cake. It's a Chocolate Applesauce Cake, of course. This recipe is adapted from Kristin Donnelly and was in Food and Wine in 2007. I love that it's a one bowl cake, and when you bake it in a bundt pan, it's pretty, as well as easy. Applesauce cakes are usually spice cakes, so this recipe may remind you of the holidays. Nevertheless, it's great all year round! It's also great toasted with cream cheese in the morning!

I usually make my own applesauce from my Gravenstein apple trees. It's nothing but apples--no sugar added. I had a great harvest this year, so lots of applesauce. Gravenstein apples have a wonderful tartness. Some years, I pick up a flat or bushel along the road in Sebastopol in Sonoma county, famous for its Gravenstein Apples. Sometimes, I also buy my applesauce from Trader Joe's. They sell First Press Gravenstein applesauce. How great is that? Of course, you can always use your favorite applesauce in this recipe.

I add chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips, but use what you have and what you like. I always have good chocolate around, so I tend to chop it up and use it in cakes and cookies. It changes things up in terms of taste! Also, always make sure your spices are fresh.


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 cups unsweetened applesauce  (applesauce from Gravenstein apples- my favorite!)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped, or a 12-ounce bag semisweet-chocolate chips
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Optional: Crème fraîche or whipped cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour 12-cup Bundt pan.
In large bowl, whisk flour with granulated sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, cloves, and pepper. Whisk in applesauce, eggs, oil and melted butter. Fold in chocolate chunks or chips.
Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs attached.
Transfer pan to a rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto rack and cool completely, about 20 minutes. Sift powdered sugar over cake, slice and serve with crème fraîche or whipped cream--or plain.
This cake also tastes great toasted for breakfast with unsalted butter or cream cheese!

Friday, September 22, 2023

WHITE CHOCOLATE AFTER LABOR DAY? White Chocolate Angel Food Cake

White after Labor Day? Yes, when it's White Chocolate Angel Food Cake. Here's a recipe from Godiva Chocolate. Perfect to celebrate White Chocolate Day! 

White Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries

1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 cup sifted cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups egg whites, at room temperature (about 11 to 12 large eggs)
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 bars (1.5 ounces each) Godiva Ivory Chocolate, grated or finely chopped (if you substitute a different white chocolate, make sure it's a 'real' white chocolate!)

Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup fresh red raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
White chocolate curls 

Make The Cake:
Position oven rack in lower third of oven. Heat oven to 350°F.
Sift together confectioners sugar, cake flour, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper.
Place egg whites in clean, dry bowl of electric mixer. Beat egg whites at medium-low speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add granulated sugar in steady stream, beating just until whites are thick and form slightly stiff peaks. (Do not over-beat)
Gently fold in 1/3 of sifted dry ingredients over whites just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in remaining dry ingredients with vanilla and grated white chocolate in two additional batches.
Gently pour batter into ungreased 10" angel food or tube pan, spreading evenly. Tap gently on counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake 35 minutes or until top is firm and springs back when lightly touched. Invert pan on a large bottle (such as wine bottle or olive oil bottle) and cool completely.
To remove cake from pan, run long knife or thin metal spatula around outside edge of cake and gently remove side portion of pan. Then, run knife around inside of center tube, loosen bottom of cake with long knife or thin metal spatula and remove cake from remaining portion of pan. Place on cake plate; cover with plastic wrap if not serving immediately.

Make Whipped Cream:
Combine heavy cream and granulated sugar in a medium, chilled bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer until soft peaks form; whisk in vanilla.
Place sweetened whipping cream in refrigerator until ready to serve cake, up to 2 hours.
Combine berries in a medium bowl and toss lightly.

Cut cake with serrated knife using a sawing motion. Serve with sweetened whipped cream and berry mixture. Garnish with white chocolate curls.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies: National Pecan Cookie Day

Pecans and chocolate
are a marriage made in heaven! I've posted recipes for Chocolate Pecan Sandies, definitely a pecan cookie, but I thought I'd post a different one today to celebrate National Pecan Cookie Day!

This recipe is adapted from Woman's Day, April 1, 2006. As always, I suggest you use the very best ingredients. I use crumbled toffee in the recipe, and I use 15 ounces of 70% chocolate in place of the original 2 10-oz milk chocolate bars. I also use DARK cocoa. And, an FYI, there are over 1000 varieties of pecans. Whichever you choose, you'll go nuts for this recipe!


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2⁄3 cup packed light brown sugar
2⁄3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3⁄4 tsp baking soda
3⁄4 tsp salt
2 1⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
2⁄3 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
10 oz English toffee bits
1-1⁄2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
15-oz dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped coarsely (or dark chocolate chips)

Heat oven to 375°F. Have baking sheets ready.
Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla in large bowl with mixer on medium speed 1 to 2 minutes until fluffy. Beat in eggs, baking soda, and salt until combined. Add flour and beat on low speed until blended.
Stir in cocoa powder,  English toffee bits, pecans, and chocolate.
Drop rounded tablespoons dough about 1 1⁄2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake 8 to 9 minutes until edges are golden brown.
Cool on sheet 1 to 2 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

CHOCOLATE MARBLE COFFEE CAKE for Breaking the Fast: Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the most important holiday in the Jewish calendar. It starts Sunday night and concludes Monday evening. This holiday involves fasting, but at the end of the holiday there's a Breaking of the Fast that usually involves a big feast. Chocolate Marble Coffee Cake is perfect for the Breaking of the Fast. You can make it ahead and have it ready when the group assembles at the end of the day. The following recipe includes butter and sour cream, so if you're bringing something for the Breaking of the Fast, check to see if your hosts are Kosher and whether or not they're planning a meat or dairy meal. Everyone else, this is a fabulous chocolate marble coffee cake for just about any time! It even tastes great sliced and toasted for breakfast!

This recipe is adapted from Carole Walter's recipe for Chocolate Ripple Coffee Cake in Fine Cooking, October 29, 2008. You're going to love it! It's one of my favorite go-to recipes! I'll bet you have most of the ingredients in your pantry and fridge. This coffee cake also freezes well.



For the cake:
3 cups sifted cake flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1-1/4 cups unsalted butter, slightly softened
1-1/2 cups superfine sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sour cream

For the filling:
1/2 cup toasted pecans
6 oz coarsely chopped dark chocolate (64-75% cacao)
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
3 Tbsp light brown sugar
3 Tbsp Dutch-processed or natural cocoa powder  (Tip: Natural vs Dutch-processed

For the streusel topping:
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp table salt  


Position rack in center of oven -- 350ºF.
Butter and flour 10-inch tube pan with removable bottom.

Make topping: In 2-quart saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until almost melted. Remove from heat and cool to tepid. In medium bowl, combine flour, pecans, both sugars, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt, and stir with fork. Add flour mixture to butter and stir until evenly moistened and crumbly.

Make filling: In food processor, pulse pecans, chopped chocolate, both sugars, and cocoa until chocolate is finely chopped, 12 to 14 pulses. Set aside 1/2 cup of mixture as additional topping.

Make cake: In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add sugar slowly, beating until combined. Scrape bowl. Beat in eggs one at a time, blending each one completely before adding each. Scrape bowl and blend in vanilla. On low speed, alternate adding dry ingredients and sour cream, adding flour in four parts and sour cream in three parts, beginning and ending with flour, and scraping  bowl as needed.

Layer and marble batter and filling: Spoon 2 cups of batter into prepared pan. Smooth with back of big spoon, spreading batter to side of pan first and then to center. Sprinkle 1/2 cup filling evenly over batter. Cover filling with about 2 cups batter, dropping chunks around pan and smoothing with spoon. Sprinkle another 1/2 cup filling evenly over batter and cover with 2 more cups batter. Layer on another 1/2 cup filling and then remaining batter. (four layers of batter and three layers of filling.) Insert table knife 1 inch from side of pan straight into  batter going almost to bottom. Run knife around pan two times, without lifting up blade, spacing circles about 1 inch apart. Smooth top with the back of spoon.

Top and bake the cake: Take a handful of streusel crumbs and squeeze firmly to form a large mass. Break up mass into smaller clumps, distributing streusel evenly over batter. Repeat with remaining streusel. Clump reserved chocolate filling mixture together with your hands and sprinkle over streusel. Press both toppings lightly into surface of cake. Bake until top of cake is golden brown,  sides are beginning to pull away from pan, and skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 70 to 75 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool for an hour before removing from pan.

Monday, September 18, 2023

CREATE-A-CAKE MIX: Mayonnaise Cake, Peppermint Pie, & More: Retro Ad with Recipes

I never tire of these Retro Ads with recipes. This one is from Pillsbury for Create-A-Cake mix. You can, of course, use any cake mix. I  have tried the recipes for the Mayonnaise Cake and the Peppermint Pie which both use a chocolate cake mix. Maybe too retro for you? You can always make your own with natural ingredients. No problem! 

Sunday, September 17, 2023

APPLE DUMPLINGS: Apple Dumpling Day: Retro Ad with Recipe

Today is Apple Dumpling Day"Now is the Season for this All-American Dessert!" Anything Apple is great for Fall. So for today's holiday, here are two Vintage Apple Dumpling Ads from Betty Crocker and the recipe from her flour sack (or her cookbook). No chocolate? You can always add dark chocolate sauce on top instead of whipped cream!



2 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour 
1 teaspoon salt 
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold butter or margarine 
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water 6 baking apples, about 3 inches in diameter (such as Braeburn, Granny Smith or Rome) 
3 tablespoons raisins 
3 tablespoons chopped nuts 
2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar 
1 1/3 cups water 


Heat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Cut in the butter, using a pastry blender or fork, until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle with the cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well with fork until all flour is moistened. Gather the dough together, and press it into a 6x4-inch rectangle. 

Lightly sprinkle flour over a cutting board or countertop. Cut off 1/3 of the dough with a knife; set aside. On the floured surface, place 2/3 of the dough. Flatten dough evenly, using hands or a rolling pin, into a 14-inch square; cut into 4 squares. Flatten the remaining 1/3 of the dough into a 14x7-inch rectangle; cut into 2 squares. You will have 6 squares of dough. 

Remove the stem end from each apple. Place the apple on a cutting board. Using a paring knife, cut around the core by pushing the knife straight down to the bottom of the apple and pull up. Move the knife and make the next cut. Repeat until you have cut around the apple core. Push the core from the apple. (Or remove the cores with an apple corer.) Peel the apples with a paring knife. 

Place 1 apple on the center of each square of dough. In a small bowl, mix the raisins and nuts. Fill the center of each apple with raisin mixture. Moisten the corners of each square with small amount of water; bring 2 opposite corners of dough up over apple and press corners together. Fold in sides of remaining corners; bring corners up over apple and press together. Place dumplings in a 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. 

In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the brown sugar and 1 1/3 cups water to boiling over high heat, stirring frequently. Carefully pour the sugar syrup around the dumplings. 

Bake about 40 minutes, spooning syrup over apples 2 or 3 times, until crust is browned and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. 

Serve warm or cooled with syrup from pan.

Top with whipped cream or dark chocolate sauce

Saturday, September 16, 2023


I love Fall with its infinite variety of apples. Here's a great way to make the most of your Autumn Apple Harvest. This fabulous Chocolate Chip Apple Cake (recipe originally from Sunset Magazine) is also a great cake to make to celebrate the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashana. Here's to a Sweet New Year!

I use tart apples in this recipe because I like the combination of tart and sweet. Try different apple varieties. Also, you can use your favorite dark chocolate instead of chocolate chips. Chop into chunks. This cake also tastes great toasted for breakfast.

Chocolate Chip Apple Cake

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups apples - peeled, cored and diced
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or chocolate chunks)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease and flour one 9 or 10 inch Bundt Pan.
In large bowl, cream butter with sugar. Beat in eggs. Add water and vanilla.
Stir flour, cocoa, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg together. Beat this mixture into creamed mixture.
Fold in chopped apples and semisweet chocolate chips (or chocolate chunks).
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cake tests done when toothpick is inserted near center. Do not overbake. Start checking at one hour.
Transfer to a rack to cool.

Friday, September 15, 2023

CHOCOLATE HONEY CAKE for a Sweet New Year!

Here's a wonderful recipe for Chocolate Honey Cake to celebrate Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. Honey is a traditional food that symbolizes a Sweet New Year. Add Chocolate, and the year is bound to be even sweeter! Heaven knows, we need it to be!

This recipe is adapted from Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Honey Cake aka Honey Bee Cake. She decorates her Chocolate Honey Cake with the most adorable marzipan bees, but I never get quite that involved.

FYI: Honey cake doesn't have to be dry and heavy. This cake is incredibly moist! As I've mentioned many times, though, your final product will be different depending on the type and brand of chocolate and the type of honey you use.

Chocolate Honey Cake


4 ounces dark chocolate (50-65% cacao), chopped
1 1/3 cups soft light brown sugar
8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup local honey
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp DARK cocoa
1 cup boiling water

Sticky Honey Glaze:
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup honey
6 ounces dark chocolate (60-75% cacao), finely chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp confectioners sugar

Have all ingredients at room temperature.
Melt chocolate from cake part of ingredients list in large bowl, either in microwave or bowl over pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and line 9-inch springform pan.
Beat together sugar and softened butter until airy and creamy, and then add honey.
Add 1 of eggs, beating in with tablespoon of flour, and then second egg with another tablespoon of flour.
Fold in melted chocolate, and then remaining flour and baking soda.
Add cocoa pushed through tea strainer to ensure no lumps, and last of all, beat in the boiling water.
Mix everything together well to make smooth batter and pour into prepared springform pan.
Bake for up to 1 -1/2 hours, checking cake after 45 minutes. If it's getting too dark, cover top lightly with aluminum foil and keep checking every 15 minutes.
Let cake cool completely in pan on rack.

To make glaze, bring water and honey to boil in pot, then turn off the heat and add finely chopped chocolate, swirling around to melt in hot liquid.
Leave for few minutes, then whisk together.
Add sugar through sieve and whisk again until smooth.

Putting it together:
Choose plate or stand, and cut 4 strips of parchment paper and form square outline on plate. Reason: So when you put cake on it and ice it, icing won't run all over the plate (you can always cut the excess off later).
Unclip springform pan and set thoroughly cooled cake on prepared plate.

Pour glaze over cold chocolate honey cake. It might dribble a bit down the edges, but don't worry too much about it. Glaze stays tacky for some time (which is what gives it its melting goeyness) so ice in time for glaze to harden a little, at least an hour before you want to serve it.

Nigella Lawson decorates this great cake with marzipan bees. For the recipe for them, and for her exact recipe, go HERE.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies: National Peanut Day

Today is National Peanut Day. I have many fond memories of the Peanut. My nickname as a child was Peanut. Only one person called me that, but she was so special to me. All these years later I can still hear her chuckle as she called me Peanut. 

I also loved Mr. Peanut. I couldn't wait to see him when we went down the shore. Mr. Peanut would walk the boardwalk in Atlantic City, shaking hands with all and sundry. I'm sure I believed he was a large peanut.... but that's for another post. So if you want to celebrate National Peanut Day, eat some chocolate covered peanuts. It's easy to dip them in chocolate.. of course, remove the shell. The saltiness of the peanuts goes so well with dark chocolate.

But if you want to take it a step further, make this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies and serve them on a bed of salted peanuts! I love Whoopie Pies whatever their origin. See a previous post on Whoopie Pies. The following recipe is from Martha Stewart's recipe for miniature Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies. As always use the very best chocolate, and in this case the best cocoa, too. Same goes for the peanut butter. The better the products, the better the taste.

Here's a tip for Presentation: Serve the Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies on a bed of peanuts. And, you can also sprinkle the Whoopie Pies with confectionary sugar!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

For the Cookies:
1 - 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa powder, not Dutch-process  (I use Ghirardelli)
1- 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (Kosher salt)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling:
3/4 cup cream peanut butter
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
Coarse salt, optional


Make cookies: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in small bowl; set aside.
Put butter, shortening, and sugars in bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add egg; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in half flour mixture, then milk, and vanilla. Mix in remaining flour mixture.
Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies spring back when lightly touched, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks using a spatula; let cool completely.

Or you can use a Whoopie Pie Pan (I have several): Whoopie Pie Pan post

Make filling: Put peanut butter and butter in bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add confectioners' sugar; mix until combined. Raise speed to high, and mix until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, if desired.

Assemble cookies: Spread 1 scant tablespoon filling on bottom of 1 cookie. Sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. Cookies can be refrigerated in single layers in airtight containers up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023


Today is National Chocolate Milkshake Day. Here are 5 unique and quirky chocolate milkshake recipes.

The easiest way to celebrate is to mix a little Milk with Chocolate Ice Cream and Chocolate Syrup and put it in the blender. Or you can mix Milk with Vanilla Ice cream and Chocolate syrup and blend. Measurements are up to you, but I have a few quasi-measurements below for Special Chocolate Milkshakes. 

If you're absolutely Dying for Chocolate, use 1 cup chocolate ice cream, 1/4 cup chocolate syrup, and 1/2 cup chocolate milk. Mix in Blender.

A Chocolate Malted Milkshake is a variation on your traditional chocolate milkshake. Add a Tbsp of malted milk powder to milk, chocolate syrup, and chocolate ice cream, and blend.

Like bananas? Make a Chocolate Banana Milk Shake: 1 cup milk, 1 scoop banana ice-cream, 1 scoop chocolate ice cream, 1/2 ripened banana, and some chocolate syrup, and blend.

And, if you really want to be daring, celebrate with a Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake. Blend 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/2 cup chocolate syrup, 1/4 cup milk, 12 cubes ice. Blend until smooth. (Ice cubes instead of ice-cream).

Have a great day!

Monday, September 11, 2023

Sunday, September 10, 2023


Today is National TV Dinner Day. When I was growing up, the idea of eating in front of a TV was a totally foreign concept for my family. We weren't allowed to have TV dinners for so many reasons.  I saw them advertised on TV and in the magazines, but dinner was a sacred time for our family. We ate promptly at 5:30. (I learned later that that was really early for dinner.) From 5:30-6:00 no one answered the phone (landline!); everyone was at the table. My mother insisted that my father, a pediatrician, call his 'exchange' and sign out for the half hour. It was 'family' time, a time to discuss the day, to relate to each other. 

Also, the concept of using frozen ingredients was alien to my Mother. My mother shopped daily for fresh meat, fish, and bread. I know we had a freezer in the utility room when I was little and in the garage later, but that was for meat or fish she might need in an emergency. So there were absolutely no TV Dinners at our house.

Event if TV dinners had been allowed at our home, I would have been the only one who wanted to eat dinner off a tray in front of the TV. My father might have wanted to watch Westerns or Cop shows, but they weren't on at 5:30. My sister would have loved to bring a book to the table, but that, too, was banned. It was family time -- time to talk about the highlights and problems of the day.

But today is National TV Dinner Day, so I thought I'd post a bit of history. Swanson TV Dinners were introduced in the U.S. in 1953. Seven years later, the company stopped calling them TV dinners because they didn't want to discourage people from eating their meals anytime. The generic title TV Dinners, though, did not disappear.

The original TV dinners were on foil trays with foil wrapping and little sections delineated in the tray for different foods. You just heated the entire tray in the oven. O.K. you're saying why not the microwave? Because there weren't any microwaves at that time. The TV dinner --heat and serve-- was new and innovative.

According to Wikipedia, the first Swanson-brand TV Dinner produced in the United States was a Thanksgiving meal of turkey, cornbread dressing, frozen peas and sweet potatoes packaged in a tray like those used at the time for airline food service. The trays proved to be useful: the entire dinner could be removed from the outer packaging as a unit; the aluminum tray could be heated directly in the oven without any extra dishes; and one could eat the meal directly from the same tray. The product was cooked for 25 minutes at 425°F and fit nicely on a TV tray table. The original TV Dinner sold for 98 cents, and had a production estimate of 5,000 dinners for the first year. Swanson far exceeded its expectations, and ended up selling more than 10 million of these dinners in the first year of production. 

FYI: The early TV dinners did not have dessert, but that changed in 1960 and sometimes there was an Apple Brown Betty, chocolate pudding, or a brownie.

Other brands followed suit, but not for awhile. There were Swanson TV Dinners and Bird's Eye TV Dinners. Now, of course, we have lots of prepared meals that can be nuked in the microwave or baked in the oven. It's all about convenience. On the commercial side, Marie Callendar, Claim Jumpers, Banquet, Stouffers, Heatlhy Choice, Lean Cuisine and Hungry Man (Swansons) sell full dinners, but I've never tried them. It's just not the same. There was something so futuristic about the TV Dinner in the tiny foil tray that intrigued me.

This recipe for TV Dinner Buttermilk Brownies is reminiscent of the TV Dinner Brownie on the tray. These Brownies are cake-like with icing, so they might not be my brownie of choice, but they're tasty. Here's a Blast from the Past.


1 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 pound confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

In saucepan, bring butter, cocoa, and water to a boil. Cool.
In large mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, and salt.
Pour cocoa mixture over dry ingredients; mix well.
Combine buttermilk and baking soda; add to batter along with eggs, vanilla.
Mix until well combined.
Pour into greased 15 x 10 x1 greased and floured baking pan.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Frosting: Melt butter, cocoa and buttermilk in a saucepan. Stir in sugar, vanilla and salt. Spread over warm brownies.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

TEDDY BEAR COOKIES: National Teddy Bear Day!

I love Teddy Bear Day - a holiday not to be confused with Teddy Bear's Picnic Day, another special day I celebrate, usually with scones. But for Teddy Bear Day, here's a wonderful recipe for Teddy Bear Cookies from Land O Lakes. I always check out food product sites for great recipes. I especially like Butter recipes, and this recipe features Land O Lakes Butter. The original recipe also mentions Land O Lakes Eggs, but they're not available in my area. So any good egg will do. Substitute other things as you see fit. I've made a few suggestions. Aren't these Teddy Bear Cookies adorable? And so easy.

Teddy Bear Cookies


1 cup sugar (see below under chocolate)
3/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened (I use unsalted butter)
1  large Land O Lakes® Egg
2 teaspoons pures vanilla 
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted (I use good dark chocolate that is sweetened and reduce the sugar)

Heat oven to 375°F. 

Combine sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt; beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. 

Divide dough in half. Place half of dough into another bowl; stir in chocolate until well mixed. 

Shape each teddy bear using either vanilla or chocolate dough or a combination for two-toned teddy bears. Shape 1 large (1-inch) ball for body. Place onto ungreased cookie sheet; flatten slightly. Shape 1 medium (3/4-inch) ball for head, 4 small (1/2-inch) balls for arms and legs, 2 smaller balls for ears. Attach head, arms, legs and ears by overlapping slightly onto body. Add small balls for eyes, nose and mouth, if desired. Use fork to make claws on paws. 

Bake 7-8 minutes or until body is set. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.

Friday, September 8, 2023

DATE NUT BREAD IN A CAN: National Date Nut Bread Day!

Dromedary Date Nut Bread (in a can) had a Jingle Contest in 1940 to win nylon hose. Here's both the Retro Advertisement and the recipe!
This is perfect for today's food holiday: Date Nut Bread Day. Has this wonderful quick bread fallen out of favor? I think not. It's a great bread to smother with cream cheese or marscapone. Date Nut Bread makes fabulous sandwiches. It's also great toasted and smeared with unsalted butter. Add some chocolate chips or chunks to the recipe, and it belongs on this blog!

This wonderful advertisement from 1940 not only reflects the popularity of this quick bread in the U.S., but it's an historical testament to nylon hose and prepared foods at that time. Want to sell a product in the 1940s? Appeal to women. To win a pair of nylons, all you needed to do was finish the jingle. 1000 lucky women won nylons.
In 1939  DuPont introduced nylon stockings at the New York World's Fair, whose theme was the "World of Tomorrow." DuPont then went into full scale production, and "by May 1940, nylon hose was a huge success and women lined up at stores across the county to obtain the precious goods." Just an FYI, nylon went to war in 1942  to be used as parachutes and tents (as silk had been before nylon) and became in short supply.

Dromedary Date Nut Bread in a Can is no longer in production, but isn't the concept and advertisement fabulous? I used to bake a lot of quick breads in a can, but I never saw any ready baked in a can. FYI: Dromedary Date-Nut Bread in a can did not contain chocolate.

Dromedary Dates, which were also sold at the market, had a recipe on the back of the package for Date-Nut Bread. Here's a recipe that's pretty close to the original Dromedary Date-Nut Bread Recipe -- with the addition of Chocolate Chips. If you want your finished Date Nut Bread to look similar to the ad above, bake the date-nut breads in 4 soup cans!


3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped pitted dates (Dromedary chopped dates from the original recipe- one package-8 ounces-equals 2 cups)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp oil  (or 3 tbsp melted butter-original recipe mentions margarine, but I don't use margarine)
3/4 cup boiling water
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup sifted flour, unbleached
1/2 cup dark chopped chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.
With fork, mix walnuts, dates, soda, and salt in bowl.
Add oil and boiling water. Let stand 20 minutes.
With fork, beat eggs slightly, add vanilla.
Stir in sugar and sifted flour.
Mix in date mixture.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Do Not Overmix.
Place in greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan (or coffee can or 4 soup cans).
Bake at 350 for 1 hour until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pan 10 minutes.
Move to wire rack to finish cooling.

Thursday, September 7, 2023


September is National Honey Month. I'm a huge fan of HONEY. Here's a great and easy recipe for Honey Chocolate Brownies to celebrate. And since Rosh Hashana is next week, save the recipe to make Honey Chocolate Brownies for a sweet New Year.

This Honey Chocolate Brownie recipe won the 2000 Huron County Fair Blue Ribbon. I've adapted it slightly. Just as different cocoa will change the taste of these brownies, so will the honey. Try these brownies with different kinds of honey and cocoa.


1 cup softened unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups honey
1 cup flour
3 eggs beaten
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup DARK cocoa

In mixer, beat butter until creamy.
Slowly add honey, mixing constantly.
Add eggs, vanilla, and salt.
Add cocoa.
Add flour.
Fold in nuts.
Make sure the batter is mixed completely.
Pour batter into greased 9x13x2 inch. deep pan and bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023


Happy Coffee Ice Cream Day! I'm not a coffee drinker, but I do like Coffee Ice Cream. And what could be better than Coffee Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips? Don't have an ice cream maker? No worries. This is the recipe for you. 

No Churn Coffee Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips

1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup strong cold coffee
2 cups cold heavy cream
1/3 cup chocolate chips

In medium bowl, stir together condensed milk, vanilla, coffee, and chocolate chips.
In separate bowl of standing mixer, whip cream until soft peaks form.
Whisk one third of whipped cream into coffee mixture.
Fold remaining whipped cream into coffee mixture until incorporated.
Pour into 9 × 5-inch loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm -- about 6 hours or overnight.

How easy is that?

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Cartoon of the Day: Pumpkin Spice


"MIX-EASY' HONEY FUDGE CAKE: Retro Recipe for Honey Month

September is Honey Month. Honey and Chocolate go so well together, and I often substitute honey for sugar. This recipe for Swans Down's New "Mix-Easy" Honey Fudge Cake is just perfect! It's not a cake mix recipe--just a 'mix-easy' recipe.

This Retro Ad from April 7, 1947 offers 30 Lucky Winners the possibility of a new "Servel Gas Refrigerator" installed in the winner's home! All they had to do to win was write 25 words about a Swans Down Cake! "Entries will be judged for originality, sincerity, and aptness, not on fancy or elaborate presentation."

Let me know what you think of Swans Down's New "Mix-Easy" Honey Fudge Cake circa 1947.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Cartoon of the Day: Birds



Happy Labor Day! Instead of posting chocolate barbecue recipes today, I thought I'd post this Retro Recipe for Labor Day Triple Fudge Cake from Betty Crocker's Party Book, copyright 1960. The Party Book is all about being a good 'hostess' with fun, if somewhat dated, with recipes for most holidays: "More than 500 recipes, menus and how-to-do-it tips for festive occasions the year 'round."

So for Labor Day, make this simple Labor Day Triple Fudge Cake, virtually labor-free.

Saturday, September 2, 2023


I saw this Labor Day recipe from the Portland Monthly a few years ago. I've posted variations on Chocolate Pudding Cake before, but this is a slightly different recipe, and, as you know from reading this blog, I can never have too many recipes. This is a great No-Labor Labor Day Dessert. Decadent and delicious. It's also a great chemistry lesson for the kids -- dry ingredients, water, oven .. and a molten treat! You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry and frig. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, and/or fruit and nuts.


1 cup flour (sifting optional)
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2 Tbsp oil (vegetable or corn oil are fine)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups boiling water

Sift dry ingredients together. Mix milk, egg, and oil together in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in big bowl. Stir until smooth. Add vanilla to bowl. Pour mixture into baking dish (1 1/2 - 2 quart casserole dish). Mix together additional dry ingredients (brown and white sugars and cocoa) and pour on top of everything already in baking dish. Pour boiling water on top of whole concoction. (No stirring!) Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 45-50 minutes.

Friday, September 1, 2023


Happy September! September is National Honey Month, and the bees in my garden are celebrating and so can you! 

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 it's 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.