Category Archives: Desserts

Halloween Sugar Cookies!


These cookies are a labour of Love.  They do take quite a bit of time but they are so worth the effort when they are done!  These are the cookies that I used for Steven’s Birthday bash this weekend and his Grave Yard Cake

I use Martha Stewart’s Sugar Cookie recipe for all my sugar cookies.  I have been using it for years and it really is the best sugar cookie recipe I have ever used.  I am a bit of a Groupie…… I mean really who doesn’t love all things Martha?? I couldn’t really consider myself a True Preppy Girl if I didn’t, right?

4 cups AP flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 cup unsalted butter room temp

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

In a mixer blend sugar and butter till creamy and fluffy.  Mix in eggs and vanilla.  Gradually add in flour and baking powder.  Mix till combined and dough is formed.  Divide dough in half and form 2 disks wrap in cling film (saran wrap) and chill overnight. (or at least 1-2 hrs) I like to make my dough one day and cut out and bake the next.  With my busy schedule this seems to work best for me.  When you are ready to bake. Take the dough out of the fridge for 10-15 min and let rest.  Pre Heat oven to 325.  Lightly flour your rolling surface and roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut out shapes.  For this party I made, Candy Corn, Pumpkins, Tombstones, Ghosts, Coffins.  Only re roll your scraps once or you will over work the dough and they will be tough and not as tasty.  Bake the shapes for 15 min. Cool on a wire rack.  Once the cookies are completely cool you can frost them.  For these cookies I used Ashley at Kitchen Meets Girl’s recipe.

3 cups powder sugar

6tbs milk

6tbs corn syrup

1/2 tsp almond flavoring

1 tsp vanilla flavoring

Combine all in a mixer. Divide into batches and tint to the colors you plan on using. (use Gel food coloring or you will thin the frosting out too much with the liquid kind)  This is a bit unwieldy to work with, but once you get the hang of it you will love it.  The trick is to use a bottle to apply it.  You know those Ketchup and Mustard plastic bottles that you can keep refilling, yeah use that!  She forgot to tell me that little trick and the first time I used it I called her crying and screaming How do you control this Stuff?!! It was EVERYWHERE!!!!!  She laughed and goes “oh yeah it is really messy. Use a bottle.”  Now you would have thought I could have thought of that myself….. But it was one of those days.  Needless to say she is still one of my best friends! I first outline the cookies to make a dam.  Let that dry about 30 min.  Then you can flood the middles.  I had every intention of making the Tombstones more decorative and write names on them.  These were for a surprise birthday party and I did not have the time I needed before I had to stash them away.  Even though they were not as “fancy” as I would have liked them to be they still were great and the party went off without a hitch!!!


Champagne Cupcakes


Oohh did someone say Champagne and Cupcakes?!  Oh My Goodness! Two of my favorite things combined in one little package of happiness!!! When entertaining family that have not been over in 11 years it is time to celebrate and have a little fun!  Michelle celebrated her “29 again” birthday with us and this was the delicious little treat that I served for her Celebration!
I wish I could say that this was my original recipe but I have to give proper credit to Kystina Castella and her Crazy About Cupcakes cookbook.

For the Cupcakes:
2/3 cup butter at room temp
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 3/4 cups AP flour ( I wish I had used Cake Flour as the cupcakes were very dense and I think they would have been lighter if I had used Cake Flour. So use Cake Flour not AP)
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup champagne
6 large egg whites at room temp
For the Frosting:
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 sticks butter at room temp
3-6 tbs champagne
4 1/2 cups powderd sugar
3 tbs merguine powder

Pre heat oven to 350 and place liners in cupcake pan.  In a large bowl cream together the sugar and the butter till fluffy.

  Add the dry ingredients alternately with the champagne on low spead to med low spead til combined.

Oh and by the way you know my saying as long as you are cooking with wine, go ahead and have a glass!

In a large bowl beat the egg whites on high until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter and then fold in the remaing egg whites.  This will be hard to do as the batter is very dense.  I really think the Cake Flour would have made a big difference.  Fill the cupcake lines 2/3 full and bake at 350 for 20 min.

Cool on a rack to keep bottoms from getting soggy.
To make the Frosting:
Combine all ingredients in a mixer with the paddle attachment

Frost with a palate knife and tap the frosting while pulling up to form the peaks.  If you don’t want this look you can still frost smoothly.  These were very very good and will make a great showy centerpiece to any event!

Trail Mix Brownies


Oohey Goohey Goodness! As you all know I love my deserts to be easy yet decadent. These brownies fit the bill! SUPER EASY is always a plus! Starting with the best brownie mix you can buy. I used Girhadelli’s. Make sure what ever mix you use has the packet of chocolate syrup in it.  If it doesn’t just add 2 tbs of hot fudge sauce. Brownies, chocolate candies, almonds, peanuts, and raisins……. Ummmmm

1 box of best brownie mix
1 cup plus 1/4 cup trail mix

Make brownie mix according to package and mix in 1 cup of trail mix.  Spread in greased 8 x 8 pan. The smaller the pan the fudgier the brownie!  Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 trail mix on top.

Bake according to your package’s directions. Cool, Cut and Serve Happiness!!!!

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes


So Summer is winding down and we are all getting ready to have the kids head back to school!!! Yippee! All the stores have their fall decorations up and the sweaters are on the shelves.  It is easy to wish the days away when Corporate America has us all brain washed to start thinking Christmas Shopping Season is a mere few weeks away. Then we step outside and the blast of the heat is upon us! Step back Retail Guru’s, I am not ready to head into fall just yet.  It is August for crying out loud! It is HOT HOT HOT out there! So here is my toast to a Summer that I am not ready to give up on just yet!

This is super easy to boot!
1 package white cake mix
3 egg whites
1 cup water plus 2 tbs
1/3 plus 1/4 cup frozen pink lemonade concentrate thawed
2 tbs canola oil
pink gel paste food coloring
4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter softened
1/4 tsp lemon extract
2 1/2 tbs meringue powder
in a mixing bowl combing cake mix, egg whites, water, oil and 1/3 cup pink lemonade and a tiny amount of gel paste.  This stuff is strong so go light on it unless you want a pepto pink cake mix.

Line 24 cupcake liners in 2 muffin tins and divide the batter evenly filling each well about 2/3 full. When done give the pans a little jiggle to settle the batter and a quick tap on the counter to remove any air bubbles.  Cake mixes of today are nothing like the dry air filled mess that they used to be.  You can really jazz up a good mix and they are moist and tasty!

Bake for 20 min at 350 or till the batter is baked through and the cake springs back when you touch it.

Cool cupcakes on a rack.  The air circulation will cool them faster and keep the bottoms from getting soggy.  We have all had that cupcake at pot luck from the poor individual who just doesn’t quite get it.  If you are that individual this is the tip that fixes that!
While cupcakes are cooling make your frosting. If you plan on piping make a double batch of frosting as piping uses more product than just frosting with a palate knife.
Take the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup lemonade, 1/4 tsp lemon extract, 2tbs of water, and 2 1/2 tbs meringue powder in a standing mixer and combine till smooth and creamy.
If you pipe you can use room temperature cupcakes.  If you are going to frost with a palate knife the cooler the cupcake the better.  I would chill them for 30 min first.
Pipe or frost the cupcakes and enjoy your summery delight!!

Croissant Bread Pudding


This is a melt in your mouth, OMG I have died and gone to heaven kind of dessert! The night I made this batch I got home late from work, the boys had been busy all day with soccer practice and getting packed for their yearly camping trip and we were all a bit tired and cranky.  I had two recipes I really wanted to make that night and I almost pushed this off for a bit.  Dear heavens that would have been a huge mistake.  As soon as we could smell the chocolate melting in the oven, our moods started to shift a little.  By the time our spoon with the first bite hit our mouths we were all laughing and the hard day was soon forgotten!  That is the power of a good desert!

6 mini croissants
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
1 tbs powdered vanilla and 2 tsp of powdered vanilla beans (you can substitute with 2 split vanilla beans or you can try with liquid extract)
6 ounces semi sweet baking chocolate chopped in small pieces

Heat oven to 325.  Cut the croissants into 1″ pieces and place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes.  Shake and toss around and bake 8 minutes more. Til nice and golden and crunchy.Beat yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl. Heat both the creams and the vanilla in a sauce pan till just almost hot. Pour into the egg mixture.  Don’t let the cream get too hot or the eggs will curdle.
Divide the cubed croissants and the chocolate evenly in  6 ounce ramekins or make one batch in a 1 quart baking dish. Pour custard mix evenly in each ramekin.  To make sure your pudding cooks evenly you need to bake it in a water bath.

Place filled ramekins in a 9×19 baking dish and pour in HOT water till about 1/2″ to top of ramekins. Be careful not to splash any water into the ramekins. Place in the oven uncovered and bake at 325 for 40 min.  Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Delish! Decadent! Amazing! Family Mood Lifter! Dessert!

Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Cones


Not all desserts need to take all day to make, nor do the need to be fussy souffle’s, (although I  do love a good fussy souffle).  Sometimes you just want a fun and fast desert! A trip to the local ice cream shop will not only cost you in the $5 a cone ridiculous price, but time and gas.  So why not bring the ice cream shop home to your family?  Considering the day that I made these is was 112 outside, so hot I could barely move!  Everyone Cheered! Everyone Cheers for Ice Cream!

1 tub microwavable dipping chocolate
6-12 sugar ice cream cones
a variety of colored sprinkles, chocolate jimmies, crushed nuts.  Really any flavors that your family likes.
1/2 gallon ice cream, on this occasion I used no sugar added banana split flavored ice cream.

Place different toppers in separate bowls.  Microwave chocolate according to package directions. Take a cone and dip in the melted chocolate and let excess drip off.  Quickly roll dipped cones in a single flavor or mix flavors for variety. ( If you do you will be bolder than this traditional preppy girl)
If you have a rack to place cones in that would be best.  If not you may have to enlist family members, a dangerous proposition in my family.  Let chocolate cool and hardened it only takes a couple of minutes or so.  Scoop out one, two, hey go for three scoops! It is Summer after all! Enjoy!

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake


Growing up my mom made a home made meal every night and we almost always had a yummy home-baked dessert! This was a family favorite and she made it quite often.  The funny thing is she made it so often that she no longer needed the written recipe.  Well years have passed and we just moved on to other favorites and this was kind of forgotten like so many other childhood treats and memories.  Mom was here visiting me for Father’s Day a few weeks ago and we were going through my grandmother’s recipe books and lo and behold this popped up!!!!  The original recipe cut out from a magazine in 1974!!!!

Well I just had to make this again!! My Step-Son, Steven will just love this, I told myself and you know what? I was so right!!!

Here is the recipe exactly as printed!

1 cup Gold Medal Flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tbs cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk

2 tbs salad oil

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup chopped nuts, if desired

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 3/4 cup hottest tap water

Favorite Ice Cream

Heat oven to 350.  In an ungreased square pan, 9 x 9 x2 inches, stir together flour, granulated sugar, 2 tbs cocoa, the baking powder and salt.  Mix in milk, oil and vanilla with fork until smooth.  Stir in nuts. Spread evenly in pan.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa.  Pour hot water over batter. Bake 40 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes; spoon into dessert dished or cut into squares. Invert each square onto dessert plate. Top with ice cream and spoon sauce over each serving.  9 servings.

So that is how it is written. I did a few different steps. I did not mix in the pan, but used a mixing bowl.

The batter will become thick, very thick, but no worries.  This is what makes the cake so fudgey and gooey!  After you mix and spread the batter in the cake pan sprinkle the brown sugar and cocoa on top.

Pour the hot water over the whole cake. It will look like muddy water sitting on top. Bake in the oven for 40 min. When the cake comes out it will look like it is heaving. That is all the good gooey fudge underneath boiling.

Let the cake stand for 15-20 minutes to cool then serve with ice cream.  I used Breyer’s natural vanilla bean