“Better-than-sex” cake

Better Than Sex Cake_1

Better Than Sex Cake_3

Better Than Sex Cake_2
Prep Time: 10 min.
Total Time: 40 min, plus cake cooling time.

Ingredients

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 cup 35% whipping cream
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup toffee pieces
1 cup desiccated coconut flakes

Preparation Instructions

1. Cook chocolate cake in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan according to package directions. Let cool completely.
2. Whip cream with an electric hand mixer until stiff. Mix in sugar and vanilla. Spread whipped cream over top of cooled chocolate cake. Top with toffee pieces and coconut flakes.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Strawberry Jello Salad_1

Strawberry Jello Salad_2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Total Time: 4 to 5 hours

Ingredients

Bottom Layer:

2 cups finely crushed pretzels
¼ cup sugar
½ cup butter, melted

Middle Layer:

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese
1 pkg (8 oz) cool whip
¼ cup sugar

Top Layer:

1 pkg (6 oz) Strawberry Jello
2 cups boiling water
1 ½ cups cold water
4 cups sliced strawberries

Preparation Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
2. Mix crushed pretzels with sugar and butter. Press mixture evenly into prepared baking dish. Press with the back of a spoon or measuring cup. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool.
3. With an electric mixer beat together cream cheese, cool whip and sugar until well combined and smooth. Spread mixture evenly over cooled pretzel base. Refrigerate while you make the top layer.
4. In a large bowl mix together Jello powder with boiling water. Whisk well to combine and have powder completely dissolve. Whisk in cold water. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until thickened slightly. Stir in sliced strawberries. Pour over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until completely set, about 3 to 4 hours. Slice into squares to serve.

Classic Apple Pie

Apple Pie

Apple Pie finished
Prep Time: 15 min.
Total Time: 2 ½ hours plus cooling time.

Ingredients

Pie Dough:

2 ½ cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3- 4 tbsp ice water

Filling:

5 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter, cubed

1 egg, beaten

Preparation Instructions

1. In the bowl of a food processor pulse to combine flour, salt and sugar. Add cubed butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 1 tbsp ice water at a time, pulsing to combine. Mixture should hold together when pressed together but will still look a bit crumbly. Transfer crumbly dough to countertop. Press into two discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. While dough is chilling make apple pie filling. In a large bowl combine apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and flour.
3. Preheat oven to 400F. Roll out 1 disc of pie dough into an 11-inch circle. Place in a 9-inch pie dish. Top with filling. Dot filling with cubed butter. Roll out remaining disc of dough to a 10-inch circle. Brush rim of pie dough with beaten egg. Top with dough and press edges to seal. Trim edges so there is a 1-inch overhang. Crimp edges of dough. Brush top of pie with egg.
4. Cut four or five slits in top of pie. Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake pie in bottom third of oven for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and continue baking until pie is bubbling and golden, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Apple & Apricot Kugel for Passover

With Passover fast approaching, we thought we should ask our friend Norene Gilletz of Gourmania.com for some traditional recipes. She suggested this apple Kugel and I’m glad to report that it’s simply delicious. Apple kugel

Ingredients

6 eggs, beaten
1/2 c sugar
6 apples, peeled and grated
1/4 cup matzo meal
juice of 1 lemon
1 c dried apricots, cut up
2 tbsp sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs with sugar, mix well. Add apples, matzo meal and lemon juice. Mix until smooth. Soak apricots in hot water for 5 minutes, then drain.
Spray a 7×11 pyrex casserole dish (Virginie’s note: I used individual ramekins, baked them for 45 minutes) with non-stick spray. Spread half of the mixture on the pan. Add the apricots in a single layer over the batter. Top with remaining apple mixture. Spread evenly. Sprinkle cinnamon with sugar mixture. Bake for about an hour, until golden.

This recipe comes from Healthy Helpings by Norene Gilletz (formerly published as MealLeaniYumm!)

Note

. If you are not making this for passover, or are not jewish and can mix dairy with your meal, try it with a vanilla custard sauce. It’s divine!

Banana Caramel Napoleon

Here’s a quick and easy four ingredient recipe (five if you count the optional rum!) that you can throw together in a flash. It’s sure to impress guests!
IMG_2583_edited-1

Ingredients

1/4 package of frozen puff pastry
4 ripe bananas
1/2 cup Dulce de Leche
1 tsp rum (optional)
1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped
1/4 cup sugar

Preparation Instructions

Thaw puff pastry, roll out, and cut into 2″ squares. Bake according to package instructions. Let cool completely.
Cut bananas into slices or quarters. Place in a saucepan with Dulce de Leche and rum. Heat until boiling, and let boil 3 minutes.
Whip cream until almost stiff. Add sugar and continue whipping.
To assemble Napoleons, pull one puff pastry square in half. Layer warm bananas, whipped cream, and pastry top. Top with more whipped cream and drizzle caramel sauce over top.

Hint: Puff pastry makes a wonderful topping for a meat pie. I often use if when I’m making leftover chicken or turkey pot pie…

Decadent molten chocolate cake

I grew up knowing this cake as Flourless Chocolate Cake, so was amused as an adult to learn that it actually does have flour in it! It’s a rich, thick cake that’s almost like a brownie, delicious served with custard sauce, raspberries, whipped cream, or just plain.
A glass of bubbly is always nice on the side too!
Decadent chocolate cake

Ingredients

6 oz good quality baking chocolate (dark, not milk)
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter
3 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 320. Grease and flour an 8 or 9″ pan.
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Add butter and stir until melted. Beat egg yolks with sugar until soft ribbon forms. Add to chocolate mix and stir. Add flour and mix.
Beat egg whites until smooth. Gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture.
Bake 40 minutes, or until just set.

Gingery pumpkin cheesecake bars

These decadent treats have a chewy gingery crust, a creamy layer of pumpkin cheesecake and crunchy spiced pecans on top. And they’re surprisingly easy to make!
pumpkinsquares_edited-1

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups crushed ginger snaps (about 30 cookies)
1/2 can sweetened condensed mil

1 brick of cream cheese
2/3 cup of pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 sour cream

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
100 gr (small bag) chopped pecans

Preparation Instructions

Preheat over to 350.
Line a 9″ square baking pan with parchment paper.
Place crushed cookies into bottom of pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk over top. Place in over for 5 minutes. Remove from over and mix until combined.
Mix cream cheese with pumpkin and brown sugar. Beat until smooth. Gradually add eggs one at a time, and beat each time until smooth. Pour over cookie base.
Bake 35-40 minutes, until set. Cool completely.
Prepare spiced nuts: (you could just as easily add store bought pralines here!)
In a frying pan, add sugar, spices and butter. Heat until melted. Pour pecans in. Cook until sugar is dissolved, about 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour out onto parchment paper to cool.
Before serving, top squares with cream cheese and pralines. Cut and serve immediately.

Oreo cookie balls

from Mandy D.’s book, Colton, SD
Try this three ingredient treat this Halloween! Decorated with a Jelly bean, they make perfect mini pumpkins!
halloween pops_edited-1

Ingredients

1 (20 oz.) pkg. Oreos
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese
12 oz. of chocolate coating

Preparation instructions

Place cookies in food processor; cover and process until finely crushed. In small bowl, beat cream cheese and crushed cookies until blended. Roll into 3/4 inch balls. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Dip into melted chocolate. Drizzle with white chocolate if desired.

Submitted by: Kim D

Virginie’s note: I used Orange Candy melts. Before they were completely dry, I used a toothpick to draw the lines of the pumpkin.

 

Waffle cookies

from Mandy D.’s book, Colton, SD

Ingredients

1 Stick Margarine
3/4 C. Sugar
1 Egg
2 squares chocolate ( or 3T cocoa & 1 T fat for each sq of choc.)
1/2 t Vanilla
1/2 C. Milk
2 C. Flour
1/2 t soda
1/4 t salt

Preparation instructions

Mix all of the ingredients together and bake in a waffle Iron

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting:
6 T Butter (softened)
3/4 C. Cocoa (or less)
2 2/3 C. Powdered Sugar
1/3 C. Milk
1 t vanilla
Mix all together with an electric mixer

Submitted by: Rebecca P

Congo bars

from Mandy D.’s book, Colton, SD

Ingredients

2 3/4 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup butter or oleo
1 lb. brown sugar
1 12 oz. pkg. of chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1 c. nuts (if desired)

Preparation instructions

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Melt butter; add sugar and blend well. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Add flour mixture, nuts, chocolate chips, and vanilla. Pour into 9X13 inch pan and bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Do Not Overcook! Should be chewy. Will be thick to spread in pan so you may have to use a little water to spread them.

Submitted by: Kim D

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