Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars These bars are a perfect finger food holiday dessert. Cut the bars into whatever size or shape you prefer. I made several versions of this recipe trying to develop a caramel layer that would … Continue reading

Chocolate Caramel Brownies

                             Chocolate Caramel Brownies These bars have a divine, rich layer of caramel between layers of chocolate brownie! Chocolate caramel heaven! Chocolate Caramel Brownies 2 boxes … Continue reading

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

I can still remember earning enough money to buy frozen treats from the ice cream truck. It would come down our street once a week and you never knew what day or time it would appear. I kept a pile … Continue reading

Black Bear Crumble Bars

When Doc and I travel we stop at roadside produce markets to buy fresh fruit, vegetables and preserves they sell. One of the preserves we buy is called black bear preserves. It is a mixture of berries that black bears love. … Continue reading

Rhubarb Strawberry Upside Down Cake

This is a gorgeous cake! It makes just enough to eat after dinner. The strawberries and rhubarb have just the right amount of sweetness and sauce. The cake is the perfect thickness to get equal amounts of topping and cake … Continue reading

Jane’s Carrot Cake

This is probably the best carrot cake I have ever tasted! It is from my dear friend Jane Howell. She says grating whole carrots instead of purchasing them pre-grated makes this cake exceptional.

Carrot Cake

3 cups grated carrots
2 cups granulated sugar
1¼ cups canola oil
4 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon iodized salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Garnish: 1/2 cup chopped pecans toasted 300ºF
for 7 minutes and cooled for top of cake

Preheat oven to 300ºF. Grate carrots with a box grater using large holes or with a food processor using grater disc, then chop strips of carrot with metal blade. Set aside. With a mixer combine sugar, oil, and eggs. Combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture. Mix. Add carrots and pecans. Mix.
Pour batter into a 9 X 13 inch pan.

Bake 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven. Cool completely. Ice with Cream Cheese Icing. Garnish with toasted chopped pecans. Slice cake cold and serve at room temperature.

Cream Cheese Icing

8 ounces regular cream cheese, not Neufatchel or low fat, softened
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 (16 ounce) box powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Mix cream cheese and butter together 3 minutes with a mixer on medium speed. Gradually add powdered sugar on low speed mixing 3 minutes or until icing is light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again.

Variation: Divide cake batter into three 9-inch round pans that have been lined with parchment paper and sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake layers 300ºF for 40-45 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool on wire racks. Ice with Cream Cheese Icing between layers and on top and sides. Decorate with a ring of toasted pecans around top edge of cake. Refrigerate. Slice cake cold. Serve at room temperature. Makes one 3-layer 9-inch cake. Enjoy!

Published in The News and Neighbor on April 26, 2017

Kakie’s Peanut Butter Cookies

My aunts, Katharyn Noble and Vorita Isaacs, didn’t have any children of their own so all their niece’s and nephews became their children. They loved us dearly and we became who we are as a result of their love. They … Continue reading

Chocolate Mounds Bar Cake

This cake has all the elements of a mounds candy bar. Rich chocolate cake layers with creamy coconut filling, coconut buttercream icing and topped with dark chocolate truffle ganache. Who could ask for more? Chocolate Mounds Bar Cake– Makes one … Continue reading

Chocolate Pudding

Sometimes the easiest recipes are the very best, and ones that involve kitchen “power tools” are even better! My kids’ favorite appliance in the kitchen was the blender! It’s no wonder that my son, Bill, became a bartender to earn extra money in college.  One of their favorite recipes to make in the blender was (as we say in the south) choc-lit-puddin’.

This recipe takes less than 5 minutes to prepare and is perfect for young cooks. I mean, really, who needs to spend more than 5 minutes to make a yummy dessert? A note of caution is advised here… the first time my kids made the recipe without supervision they didn’t put the lid on the blender. Needless to say there was chocolate everywhere, even on the ceiling!!

Now let me warn you of the dangers of this pudding…. Once you taste it you will guard it with your life. If others try to touch it or heaven forbid eat some of your precious pudding, words of shock and disdain will spew out of your mouth! In other words, it would be best to let your family know in advance that your pudding is off limits and advise them to make their own!!

I cannot even begin to recount how many accusations and fights ensued over this pudding in my house. As a result, it was eaten hot, right out of the blender. No one’s personal bowl ever made it to the refrigerator for fear of losing one precious bite!

Chocolate Pudding

¾ cup whipping cream
¼ cup pasteurized egg whites in a carton
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
⅛ teaspoon iodized salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat whipping cream in the microwave just to the boiling point (it will be steaming but not boiling). In the blender place the egg beaters, chocolate chips, salt and sugar. Blend for 20 seconds on high speed.

Remove the screw top cover from the center of the blender lid to expose the hole in the blender lid. (The hole you can pour liquids through.) With the blender running, slowly pour the hot cream through the opening in the lid (this is where my kids made their big mistake… they took the whole lid off not just the cover in the center)!

Turn the blender off. With a spatula, scrape chocolate bits off the sides of the blender downward into the pudding. Add the vanilla then blend a few more seconds to combine all the ingredients. Pour the chocolate pudding into coffee cups or ramekins for individual servings.  Mmmm….

Published in The News and Neighbor on March 15, 2017