Thursday, November 30, 2023

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE WITH BROWN SUGAR CREAM: Retro 1972 Ad with Recipe for National Mousse Day

Who doesn't love a good Chocolate Mousse? This being National Mousse Day, I thought I'd post this 1972 Ad with Recipe from C&H Sugar for Chocolate Mousse with Brown Sugar Cream. It's the Brown Sugar Cream that really makes this recipe. And, this recipe is still great 50 years later. I usually use a good quality chopped semi-sweet chocolate. The chocolate you choose is so important to taste. I also only use pure vanilla extract. I skip the almonds. No need.

Elegant French dessert,
Easy American recipe,
Secret Hawaiian Ingredient.

Chocolate Mousse with Brown Sugar Cream
Makes 6 servings, 1/2 cup each

1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Brown sugar cream (see below)
Sliced almonds

Combine chocolate, water, and sugar in top of double boiler. Heat over simmering water till chocolate is melted. Beat till smooth. Cool.
Beat egg yolks with vanilla; stir into chocolate mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold chocolate mixture into egg whites.
Spoon into individual serving dishes. Chill 3 hours. Serve topped with Brown Sugar Cream (sprinkled with almonds).

Brown sugar cream: Whip 1 cup of whipping cream with 2 tablespoons of C & H golden brown sugar until stiff.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023


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

Lemon Creme Pie (aka Lemon Cream Pie) with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust 


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

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

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


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

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

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

Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Today is French Toast Day. I love French Toast aka Pain Perdu. This wonderful food used to be a way to use up stale bread by dipping it in eggs and milk and frying it. I make French Toast with Challah, Brioche, or Sourdough, but I've been known to try other breads. And, my breads are usually fresh. We don't have a lot of 'leftover' bread at my house, ut it all works.

Today in honor of National French Toast Day, I'm sharing an easy recipe for Baked Banana Chocolate French Toast! I love Chocolate and Bananas, and this is a great make-ahead French toast recipe! OK, this French Toast is not fried, and it's a bit like a bread pudding, but it's still fabulous! You could always fry it by following the directions and putting the chocolate between two pieces of the bread for stuffed French Toast.


4 ripe bananas
4 eggs
3/4 cups half and half
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 loaf of Challah (or Brioche) cut in thick slices
1/2 cup dark chocolate, 65-75% cacao, chopped 

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Butter a 9" x 13" baking dish.
In large bowl, mash bananas. Add eggs, half and half, melted butter, 3 tablespoons sugar, and vanilla; mix until well beaten. Add bread and turn to coat.
Layer bread in prepared baking dish. Pour remaining mixture over bread.
Sprinkle with chocolate chunks and remaining tablespoon of sugar.
Bake 18 minutes, or until set & golden.

Monday, November 27, 2023

TOLL HOUSE BUNDT CAKE aka Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake: Retro Ad with Recipe

So you've been making lots of Chocolate Chip Cookies for the holidays. Why not mix it up? Make this Toll House Bundt Cake! This Nestle Retro Advertisement and Recipe from the 1980s is terrific anytime!



2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vinegar and enough milk to measure 1 cup (to make sour milk)
1 cup soft butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
2 cups chocolate chips

In small bowl combine flour, salt and baking soda; set aside. Place vinegar in 1 cup measuring cup; fill with milk; set aside. In large mixing bowl combine butter, brown sugar, and vanilla extract; beat till light and fluffy. Add eggs on low speed. Add flour mixture alternately with milk. Fold in chocolate chips.

1/4 lb. soft butter
2 Tbsp sugar
2/3 cups nuts, chopped

Spoon batter into pan and put on topping. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour to set before baking. Bake at 375 F. for 50 minutes.

Sunday, November 26, 2023


Today is National Cake Day, and what better cake to make than Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake? This Retro Recipe always works, and it's rich and chocolatey!

This "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake lends itself to so many variations. See below!


2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.


1/2 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.  


ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

Saturday, November 25, 2023


Here's a great and easy Retro Cookie from Baker's Chocolate. I must admit I don't use Baker's Chocolate, so apologies to Baker. I use high end chocolate, often reducing the sugar in the recipe. I never use margarine, only butter. And, because it's a Death by Chocolate Cookie Recipe, I add both Dark and Milk Chocolate Chips.

So here's a fun and easyrecipe for Death by Chocolate Cookies. Recipe c. 1985. Be sure and incorporate the 2023 recipe changes above.

Friday, November 24, 2023


Black Friday sales have already begun--in the stores and online, but in honor of the 'official'' day, I'm posting this recipe for Black Friday Cake. You'll be the first in line! It's easy to make and delicious to eat. Don't be put off by the thin batter.. it will work!

Black Friday is traditionally the Friday after Thanksgiving when millions of people in the U.S. start their holiday shopping. There are many stories about the origins of the term Black Friday. In the 1950s, some factory managers referred to the day after Thanksgiving as "Black Friday" because so many workers called in sick. The day, noted one industrial magazine, was "a disease second only to the bubonic plague" in its effects on employees. In the 1960s, police in Philadelphia complained about the congested streets, clogged with motorists and pedestrians out shopping, calling it “Black Friday.” By the mid 1970s, newspapers in and around Philadelphia used it to refer to the start of holiday shopping. But its usage also has negative associations. In the 1980s, some enterprising merchants turned it around. They pointed out that there was a "black ink" that showed up on balance sheets as a result of the day. “Black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black,” back when accounting records were kept by hand, and red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit--a short hop to the idea that Black Friday was the day when retailers came out of the red and went into the black by beginning to turn a profit.

As retailers began to realize they could draw big crowds by discounting prices, Black Friday became the day to shop, with lots of bargains. Black Friday is a long day, with many stores opening at 5 p.m. the night before or 3 a.m. in the morning on the actual Friday. It's just amazing to me that hordes of people stand in line for items they may or may not need, just because it seems to be a bargain. For those of you who don't want to stand in an actual line, there are plenty of Black Friday sales online. Not to mention Small Store Saturday and CyberMonday.

Planning to be at the stores today? Bring some chocolate to give you energy throughout the day. At home in your jammies shopping online? You'll have plenty of time to make and enjoy this delicious Black Friday Cake! This is an adaptation of the original Hershey's Black Magic Cake.


1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups DARK cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee, cooled
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp purevanilla extract

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 oz melted very dark or unsweetened chocolate, cooled
3 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla

Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in large mixing bowl or stand mixer.
Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
Beat at medium speed for two minutes. Batter is thin.
Pour batter into greased and floured 9x13 pan or two 9 inch cake pans.
Bake at 350 degrees 35-40 minutes for 9x13, or 30 -35 minutes for layer pans.
Combine frosting ingredients and mix with hand or stand mixer.
Spread frosting on cooled cakes.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER TURKEY: 2 Recipes for Turkey Molé

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

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

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

Quick Turkey Molé

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

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

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

This second recipe is from the Grand Velas Riviera Maya Hotel. I finally made this one, and it was delicious, and not complicated, at all!

Turkey con Molé Sauce

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

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

Wednesday, November 22, 2023


Still looking for the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving. This recipe from Ghirardelli is perfect. It's delicious and easy. 

Flourless Chocolate Torte with Pumpkin Spice Caramel Sauce

1 cup Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips 
3/4 cup Sugar, granulated 
1/4 teaspoon Espresso powder 
1/4 teaspoon Salt 
1/2 cup Butter, unsalted 
1/2 cup Ghirardelli 100% ground cocoa powder, unsweetened 
3 Eggs, large, beaten 
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract 
1 Bottle Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce 
1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice 


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease, and line with parchment, a 9-inch spring form pan. Place foil under baking pan then press up the sides to seal the bottom edges. This ensure no leaks. 
In a large heat proof bowl, melt chocolate and butter in microwave in 30 second increments until whisked smooth. Whisk in espresso powder. Whisk in sugar and salt until combined. Add vanilla and eggs, whisk until thoroughly combined. Fold in sifted cocoa powder until mixture is homogeneous. 
Pour batter into prepared pan. 
Bake 25 minutes until crust starts to form. 
Remove from oven, let sit for 10 minutes. 
Loosen the edges gently, then unclip the pan to remove the sides. 
Invert on plate, remove the parchment, and then flip again onto serving platter. Let sit another 10 minutes. 
Can be served warm, room temperature, or prepared the day before. Store covered at room temperature. 

In a microwave safe bowl, heat Ghirardelli caramel. Whisk in spice. Drizzle generously over each torte slice.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023


Today is National Gingerbread Cookie Day! I usually think of Gingerbread Cookies for Christmas, but since it's today's holiday, I'm making Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies. I guess they're great for Thanksgiving, too. My favorite recipe for these Gingerbread Cookies is Martha Stewart's Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies. What really makes this recipe and the final results so great is the use of fresh ground ginger! These cookies should be a staple on your Christmas cookie list.


7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses (the type you use will affect taste)
1 teaspoon baking soda (dissolve in  1 1/2 tsp boiling water)
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Line two baking sheets with parchment. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch pieces; set aside. In medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.
In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours (3 hours to overnight is better)
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll balls in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

SPICY CHOCOLATE RUBS: 2 Recipes for Thanksgiving Turkey!

I live in Northern California where we barbecue turkey all year round, so it's not surprising that we also barbecue the turkey for Thanksgiving. I love the smokiness and flavor that the barbecue brings to the bird. Barbecuing the turkey also leaves the ovens free for all those side dishes and pies.

Several years ago we started barbecuing our turkey with spicy chocolate rub. Here are two great recipes. I've made some adaptations, but the first recipe for Spicy Chocolate Rub Recipe is adapted from  The BBQ Report. Just combine everything in the Cuisinart until finely ground and pat on turkey. Very easy!

This recipe is for chicken, so if you're planning a 20 lb. turkey, you'll need to increase the amounts.


1 cup natural unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tsp dried red pepper flakes, chopped fine
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 Tbsp granulated sugar

Want to get a little more sophisticated with the Rub? Kunde Family Estates (great wines to accompany your turkey) has a recipe for BBQ Turkey with Ancho Chile/Chocolate Rub. This recipe includes brining the turkey first. If you buy a kosher turkey it will already be brined. This recipe is for a 12-16 pound turkey, so if yours is bigger than that, you'll need to adjust the measurements.


3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp chile powder
1 Tbsp unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp chipotle chile powder
2 tbsp softened butter


In small bowl, combine all dry rub ingredients. Mix well. In another small bowl, mash butter together with 2 Tbsp rub – set aside.

Place turkey in large roasting pan. With fingers, gently loosen the skin over breast meat and insert butter/rub under skin; gently rub over breast meat. Rub the outside of bird well with olive oil; then sprinkle generously inside and out with rub. Loosely pack  cavity with lemon and orange slices. Tie drumsticks together with kitchen string. Place in refrigerator and let sit; uncovered, 5 – 6 hours, or until ready to cook.

When ready to cook, prepare grill. If using charcoal grill, prepare for indirect cooking. For gas grills, heat to medium high. Put turkey in roasting pan on grill; add 2 cups water; cover. Turn all gas setting to low. Grill-roast turkey, basting with pan juices and rotating pan 180 degrees every hour, for 3 hours. (If using charcoal grill, add briquettes or mesquite every hour to maintain an even temperature). After 3 hours, insert instant-read thermometer in fleshy part of inner thigh to check for doneness. Thigh meat should register 175° F and the juices should run clear when thigh is pierced. If not done, cover and continue to cook; checking every 20 minutes for doneness.

When done, transfer turkey to heated platter, cover loosely with foil and allow to sit for 20 minutes before carving.

Monday, November 20, 2023


Want to make a variation on Pecan Pie Pie for Thanksgiving? Make this easy Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Bundt Cake.  If you have any left over, this cake is great to toast the morning after Thanksgiving. This recipe is slightly adapted from an older Betty Crocker recipe. As always, use the very best ingredients for the best cake. This recipe calls for a chocolate bourbon glaze, but I think that's just too much. I like my bundt cakes plain. Nevertheless, I included the Glaze recipe below, in case you want to do this!



2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup Bourbon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
4 oz unsweetened chocolate (or 75-90% cacao) chopped, melted, and cooled
1 cup chopped pecans


Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan
In large bowl, beat all ingredients except pecans with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in pecans. Pour into pan.
Bake 60 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

And, if you want to add the Chocolate Bourbon glaze, here's the recipe:

Chocolate Glaze 

1 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup powdered sugar
5 to 6 teaspoons boiling water
Chopped pecans 

In 2-quart saucepan, melt 1 ounce chocolate and 1 teaspoon butter over low heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in powdered sugar and water until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle cooled cake with Chocolate Glaze. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

How easy is that? Yum!!~!

Sunday, November 19, 2023

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN PIE: Perfect for Thanksgiving

Photo: Annemarie Kostyk
Thanksgiving is coming up this week, and what's Thanksgiving without Pumpkin Pie? Add Chocolate, and you're calling my name! You'll love this recipe!

I've posted this recipe before, but I have to post again. This is by far the best and easiest Chocolate Pumpkin Pie recipe! This is from my friend Annmarie Kostyk, the Chocolate Goddess.

I love making this Easy Chocolate Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving. And, you can always change it up with a Chocolate Crust. You can never have too much chocolate!


2 Tbsp flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 can pumpkin (16 oz.)
1 unbaked pie shell  (or make a chocolate cookie crust)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup half and half
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup dark chocolate (chopped), melted with 1 tablespoon butter

Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin in a medium bowl. Mix well.
Add eggs.
Stir in half and half and chocolate.
Mix thoroughly and pour into pie shell.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake about 40 minutes longer, until custard tests done.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Happy Birthday, Mickey! Mickey Mouse Cupcakes

Happy Birthday, Mickey! Mickey Mouse's
birthday is celebrated on November 18 
because he made his first appearance in the Walt Disney classic 'Steamboat Willie' on November 18, 1928. FYI, Minnie was in this cartoon, too, running along the banks 
of the river, so it's officially Mickey & Minnie Mouse Day. 

From the National Day Archives (a great resource):

From a whistling boat captain in black and white to the full color Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Fantasia, Mickey has captivated the world with his charm and his antics. Mickey Mouse Day celebrates this classic cartoon character’s birthday.

Mickey Mouse took to the screen on November 18, 1928 with slapstick, plot twists, and a full lineup of comedy gold. Walt Disney left Universal Studios with a cartoon rabbit named Oswald, who became a mouse named Mortimer, who eventually became the Mickey we know and love.

Who could have guessed a rodent would become the most well-known character in the world? Mickey may be more globally recognizable than Santa. The first Mickey Mouse Club appeared in 1929, and now kids attend these clubs across the nation. 

Mickey inhabits a world with Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, his nemesis, Pete, and many other memorable characters. It’s a world we can go back to time and time again for a good laugh.

So to celebrate National Mickey Mouse Day, here's a great recipe for Mickey Mouse Cupcakes from The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook. This Cookbook will bring a bit of the Walt Disney magic into your own kitchen. The cookbook 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

4 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.

Friday, November 17, 2023

PUMPKIN PATCH CAKE ROLL: Buche de Thanksgiving!

Want to make something different for your Thanksgiving dessert? Here's a great Retro 1970s Thanksgiving dessert recipe from Libby's for Pumpkin Cake Roll. This is a pumpkin spice cake roll with cream cheese filling and frosted with chocolate! This would look and taste great as your Thanksgiving centerpiece. I like to think of it as a Buche de Thanksgiving!

PUMPKIN PATCH CAKE ROLL: Buche de Thanksgiving! 

3 eggs, separated
3/4 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Libby's canned pumpkin (or another canned pumpkin--but not pumpkin spice)
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate buttercream frosting
Candied leaves or candied pumpkins for decoration


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

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


You can always save this recipe for your Buche de Noel...just decorate with holly, berries, and mushrooms.

Thursday, November 16, 2023


I’m Sarah (Husmann), and I am an amateur baker, bread maker, mixologist, and chef. I also LOVE books, cats, and trash tv. Janet and I became friends through our love of books. 

I always loved cooking with my mom, but I never really did any serious baking--until last year. With the holidays fast approaching, I was looking for new recipes to try. I’ve always wanted to make Biscotti, but I thought they would be too complicated. They're so delicious! So this year I decided to try. And, I was pleasantly surprised by how very easy they are to make.

The recipe for Pumpkin Pecan Biscotti (Barley & Sagethat I used calls for browned butter, and I have to say who DOESN’T love browned butter? Browned butter is easy to make, and I loved how it enhanced the taste of the biscotti.

The only adjustments I made to this recipe for Pumpkin Pecan Biscotti was adding 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips and using melted semi-sweet chocolate instead of white chocolate for drizzling on or dipping the biscotti.



1/2 cup unsalted brown butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (you can always make your own!)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans optional

4 ounces semi sweet chocolate melted (original recipe uses white chocolate)
chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), beat together the softened brown butter, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth.

Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Then beat in the pumpkin puree.

Add in the flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, and salt and mix until fully incorporated.

Then stir in the chopped pecans if desired. The dough should be sticky.

Scoop half the dough onto one side of baking sheet and pat it into a 10 inch x 2 inch rectangle that’s about 1 inch thick (lightly wetting your hands helps a lot with this step). Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown all over. Remove from the oven and let cool for 25 to 30 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Carefully transfer the logs to a cutting board and use a spray bottle filled with room-temperature water to very lightly spritz them (just one spray on each section of the logs). Wait about 5 minutes before using a very sharp serrated knife to slice biscotti ½ inch wide.

Return the pumpkin biscotti slices to the baking sheet, standing them up with ½ inch in between them, so air can circulate around them. Bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, until dry and golden.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

Dip or drizzle the pumpkin biscotti in the melted semi sweet chocolate (or white chocolate) and sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Let the chocolate fully harden before storing.

Store biscotti in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

To make brown butter:
Melt unsalted butter over medium heat, stirring frequently. Watch closely for the butter to develop brown specs and a nutty aroma. Once you start seeing brown specs, let cook for just a few seconds longer (watch very carefully or it will burn). Remove from the heat and pour into a small bowl so that it doesn't continue to cook. Set aside and let cool for about 20 minutes in the fridge until soft and pliable.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023


Today is National Bundt Day. According to Nordic Ware, the original makers of the Bundt Pan, "if there is a kitchen in the home, there is a Bundt pan." I have all kinds of bundt pans. I find the shapes so versatile and fun. I'm always buying unique bundt pans at the Flea Market, Estate Sales, or the White Elephant Sale. Because of the popularity of the Bundt pan, Nordic Ware designated November 15 as National Bundt Day several years ago.

Want to make a bundt cake (see below) for Thanksgiving? Here are some great Nordic Ware Pumpkin Bundt Pans!

For National Bundt Day, here's a recipe from Sunset Magazine (Charity Ferreira: 2003) for Chocolate Pumpkin Marble Bundt Cake. This marbled bundt cake features two separate batters: chocolate and pumpkin. The original recipe calls for a chocolate glaze, but that's optional. The cake is rich enough as it is.


1-1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin (I use an all natural canned pumpkin without spices)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cup buttermilk

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 14, 2023


Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Here's a great Retro recipe for Mini German Chocolate Brownie Pecan Tarts. This recipe originally appeared in Woman's Day in 1965. Use the very best chocolate and other ingredients for updated flavors! This is a great make-ahead dessert.

Mini German Chocolate Brownie Pecan Tarts

2 refrigerated rolled pie crusts (or make your own)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate  (I use very dark chocolate and cut down on the sugar)
1 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
8 tart pans with removable bottoms

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place tart pan upside down on piece of paper and draw circle 1 inch larger than the pan; cut out.
Roll each pie crust into 12 1/2-inch circle. Using stencil, cut 4 rounds from each crust, chilling and re-rolling scraps as necessary. Fit rounds into bottom and up sides of tart pans. Cut away any overhanging dough and place pans on baking sheet. Using fork, prick bottoms of crusts, and bake until just cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Cut 6 tablespoons butter into small pieces and place in microwave-safe bowl. Add chocolate and microwave on high for 1 minute, then stir. Repeat at 30-second intervals until melted and smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Using electric mixer, beat sugar, 2 eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla on high in large bowl until pale, about 3 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture. Reduce speed to medium and add flour mixture, mixing just to combine.

Divide mixture among the tart shells. In medium microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining tablespoon butter. Whisk in corn syrup, brown sugar, salt, remaining 2 eggs, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in  pecans and coconut. Spoon mixture over brownie batter and bake until brownie is cooked and pecan filling is just set, 25 to 30 minutes.

Let tarts cool 10 minutes, then remove from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, November 13, 2023


I've made a lot of Birthday and Holiday cakes in odd shapes, mostly without the use of wonderfully 'shaped' cake pans. Yes, Jonas, you may remember the Crab you wanted for your birthday one year, although I'm not sure why you wanted a crab. Wish I could find the photo. Lots of cutting up and piecing together with icing, but also lots of fun. But now you can find all kinds of great cake pans, perfect for every holiday!

So I thought today it might be fun to post a few  specialty cake pans. Most of these are readily available at local shops and on Amazon and eBay
And, with Thanksgiving coming up this week, I'm post ingsome Turkey Cake Pans! If you don't want to use a Turkey Cake Pan, you can always make your own cake and cut it and shape it and frost it to resemble a turkey! See the links below to some fabulous photos of "Turkey Cakes" with directions and recipes. 

Who says you can't have cake for dessert at your Thanksgiving meal? Just make it chocolate!


NordicWare Platinum Collection 3D Turkey Cake Pan

Check out Baking Bites finished Turkey Cake using the Nordicware 3-D Turkey Cake Pan 

CK Products Turkey Pantastic Plastic Cake Pan
Chicago Metallic Silicone Turkey Cakelet Pan with stencils
You can also make muffins in this pan and use them for place settings!

Wilton Thanksgiving Turkey Cake Pan 
(1979/Retired-but available on Amazon and eBay)

Want to make your own Turkey Cake? Chocolate, of course! Scroll down to see the Coolest Homemade Thanksgiving Cake Ideas on

Disney Family Fun has a great recipe for Turkey Cake and how to make it. The Body of the Cake is yellow cake with the 'drumsticks' a spice cake. I would do the drumsticks in chocolate cake for the dark meat, but then I'm all about chocolate.  Here's a link to this Turkey Cake Recipe.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

PECAN PIE BROWNIES: Thanksgiving or Any Time!

Thinking about Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving? How about Pecan Pie Brownies instead? This recipe from Betty Crocker for Pecan Pie Brownies is easy and delicious. It uses a brownie mix, but you can always make your own brownies and just use the recipe for the topping. Want a totally home-made recipe? Scroll down for a link to an amazing recipe from The Food Network below.


1 box Brownie mix; Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box

Pecan Topping 
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Line 9-inch square pan with foil, allowing some to hang over edges of pan. Grease bottom and sides of pan with shortening or cooking spray. Make brownie batter as directed on box. Spread in pan.
Bake 28 to 31 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. 

In 1-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir in flour until smooth. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and 1 egg until well blended. Increase heat to medium; cook 2 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture just begins to boil. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and pecans.
Spoon pecan topping evenly over baked brownie.

Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling along edges. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 2 hours. 

Using foil to lift, remove brownies from pan, and peel foil away. 

Cut into 4 rows by 4 rows. If desired, garnish each brownie with a pecan half.


And amazing Brownies from Scratch..  I made a batch of these, and I have to say they are outstanding.. 

PECAN PIE BROWNIES FROM SCRATCH (recipe from The Food Network)