Archives for category: sweet

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Gingerbread Cheesecake
(Martha Stewart)
Serves 10

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1/4 recipe of the dough for Molasses-Gingerbread Cookies
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 6 gingerbread men (see above)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap exterior of a 9-inch springform pan in 2 layers of foil.
  2. On a generously floured piece of parchment, roll dough to a 13-by-10-inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Brush off excess flour. Slide dough and parchment onto a baking sheet. Bake until firm and golden brown, about 14 minutes. Let cool completely on sheet on a wire rack. Break into large pieces, then pulse in a food processor until finely ground.
  3. Combine butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 cups cookie crumbs in a bowl. Press mixture firmly and evenly into bottom and one-third of the way up sides of prepared pan. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Let cool on rack.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and the vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping sides of bowl as needed. Beat in molasses, salt, spices, and lemon zest. Pour filling into cooled crust.
  5. Place cheesecake in a large, shallow roasting pan. Transfer to oven, and carefully add enough hot water to roasting pan to come about halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake until cheesecake is set but still slightly wobbly in center, 60 to 65 minutes. Carefully remove springform pan from roasting pan, and let cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 8 hours (preferably overnight).
  6. Before serving, run a hot knife around edges of cheesecake to loosen, and remove sides of pan. Arrange gingerbread cookies in center of cake in a circle (with heads facing inward and arms touching, alternating light and dark.

*THIS is the gingerbread cookie recipe I used.  I doubled it and used a 1/4 of it for the crust

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waffleqwaffle1 waffle2

Lucky J’s Waffles

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1 Tb. baking powder
• 3 large eggs
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• Vegetable oil spray (optional)

Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl and whisk to mix. Place the eggs, oil and 1 cup of water in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk in dry ingredients, adding up to 1/2 cup more water until the batter has a loose consistency. Let the batter rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

Coat a waffle iron with vegetable oil spray. Pour about 1/2 cup of the batter into the waffle iron and cook the waffle until both sides are golden brown but not crisp, about 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.

IN waffle taco:

  • add 2 breaded, fried chicken breasts using your favorite recipe
  • 2 slices of swiss cheese
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • drown with maple syrup and drizzle the sriracha sparingly
  • fold and enjoy!

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cookie1 cookie2 cookie3 cookie4 cookie5 cookie6 cookie7 cookie8

1234 Cake

Adapted from Paula Deen

A delicious,  easy, all-purpose yellow cake  that stays nice and moist.

 Cake Batter Ingredients:

1 cup butter (2 sticks), room  temperature

2 cups  sugar

3 cups  self-rising  flour*, sifted

4 large  eggs, room  temperature

1 cup milk, room  temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp butter flavoring  (optional)

*An easy  substitute for self-rising  flour is to add  1-1/4 tsp baking  powder and 1/4 tsp salt for EACH cup of flour. That’s what I did.



Preheat oven  to 350°F.

Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) cake  pans.  Here’s how! On parchment paper, trace around the bottom of each  pan and trim just inside the line. Spray  pan with cooking spray,  then line with trimmed parchment. Spray  again, making  sure to coat entire pan. You can smooth it out with a pastry brush  if you want. Then sprinkle  with flour, tapping the edge of the pan with the heel of one hand  as you rotate the pan with the other. This ensures that the flour is evenly  distributed over the entire surface. Don’t skip this step. You’ll be sorry  – trust me!

Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. This will take a few minutes. Scrape the bowl and continue mixing.

Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes, scraping down  the bowl a couple of times to make  sure it’s all getting mixed  in and fluffy.

Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each  addition. Scrape.

Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and butter flavoring  and continue to beat until just mixed.

Divide batter equally  among prepared pans.  Level batter in each  pan by holding  pan 3 or 4 inches  above counter, then dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more  level cake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done.  Cool in pans  5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling  racks  lined with plastic wrap. Wrap  tightly and put in the freezer for at least 1 hour prior to decorating.


Buttercream  Frosting

1 cup sugar

6 Tbsp flour

1 cup milk

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

1 tsp vanilla extract (you could  use any flavoring  you want)



Measure  sugar and flour into a medium sauce pan. Whisk together to incorporate the flour into the sugar.  This makes it easier  to dissolve.  Add milk to pan and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. It will seem like nothing is going  to happen, when  all of the sudden, it thickens up. Cook for just a few minutes after it begins to set up. Keep stirring; you don’t want it to burn-and it will.

Remove from heat and let cool completely.

Once  cooled, combine with butter in large  mixing bowl or stand mixer and whip like crazy  (use  whisk attachment). Beat for at LEAST 5 minutes (closer to 10) until the mixture is light and fluffy. (The original instructions I got from the woman that gave  this to me said, “beat the hell out of it.”)

Use immediately. It can be kept  in the fridge,  but it hardens considerably and will need to warm  up a bit before being  spreadable.


Chocolate Chip Cookies


Recipe adapted from Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes, by David Lebovitz (Ten Speed Press) Yield:  about 4 dozen cookies



2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups nuts (such as walnuts, pecans, almonds or macadamia nuts), toasted and coarsely chopped

14 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into roughly 1/2-  inch chunks



Combine flour, soda and salt it small bowl.

In large mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine butter and both sugars. beat until smooth-does NOT  need to be light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time scraping sides of bowl as needed, then add in vanilla.


Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat on low  JUST until incorporated. Add nuts and chocolate, blend on low  until just mixed in or mix  them in by hand with spoon.


Scrape dough out onto the counter that’s been dusted with flour. Divide in 4 pieces and shape into logs. Wrap tightly in wax paper, then in plastic wrap. Place in fridge and chill overnight or at least a few hours. You can also put the logs in a freezer bag and have dough on hand when the urge strikes. They’ll keep at least a month tightly wrapped.


The next day (or two or three – it’s SO  handy to have this dough made ahead!), preheat the oven to 350°F, unwrap dough logs and slice in 1/4”  slices, keeping them as close to the same size as possoble so they bake up evenly. Place on parchment lined baking sheets a couple of inches apart.


Bake about 10 minutes, checking half  way to see if the pans need to be turned to bake evenly. Cookies should be lightly browned and centers just set.


Let cool on pans about 5 minutes then transfer to cooling racks.


Cookie Dough Filling (to make ‘dough’ balls)



4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

7 ounce sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup mini  semisweet chocolate chips


Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy,  about 2 minutes. Add in the flour, sweetened condensed milk  and vanilla until smooth. Stir  in the chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture has firmed up. Can make ahead and keep in fridge a few days before use.

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cookie1 cookie2


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 10 tbsp salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 dozen caramels, unwrapped
  • coarse sea salt
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar (optional)


  1. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  2. In another bowl whip together the butter, granulated sugar and light-brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition until combine. Mix in vanilla.
  3. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combine.
  4. Scoop dough out 2 tbsp at a time and roll into a ball. Press one caramel into the center, sprinkle top of caramel with a small pinch of coarse sea salt then fold cookie dough around caramel and salt (make sure the caramel is fully covered with dough around all sides).
  5. Shape into a ball once more then roll in powdered sugar (I actually skipped this step and added the powdered sugar afterwards).
  6. Align cookies on a parchment paper lined or greased baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350F oven 12-13 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing.  Sprinkle another thin layer of powdered sugar on top if necessary. Store in an airtight container.

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peanut1 peanut3


8 slices of bacon

3 small bananas

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup blackberries

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 lemon, juiced

Or 1/4 cup tart blackberry jam

8 slices soft, French Bread

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup peanut butter


1.  Cook the bacon in a medium sized frying or saute pan. Drain on paper towels.

2.  Meanwhile, place the blackberries, sugar and lemon juice in a small pot and cook over medium heat until the berries give off their juice when mashed with a fork and sugar is dissolved. Stir and cook to desired thickness Or, use a tart blackberry jam.

3.  Slice the bananas crosswise into 2 to 3 inch segments and then lengthwise into slices a little thicker than 1/4 inch. Dust the bananas with flour and fry in the bacon fat remaining in the saute pan until golden brown.

4.  Butter one side of each slice of bread. Spread 2 tablespoons of peanut butter on the other side of 4 of the slices. Layer bacon, bananas and 1 tablespoon of blackberry jam on top of the peanut butter. Top with the other slice of buttered bread with the butter facing out.

5.  Wipe out the saute pan and grill the sandwiches until golden brown.

6.  Serve the sandwiches warm from the pan.

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Homemade Nutella

Yield: About 2 cups


1 cup hazelnuts
12 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast the hazelnuts until they’re slightly browned and the skin is slightly blistered, about 12 minutes. Wrap the hazelnuts in a kitchen towel and rub vigorously to remove as much loose skin as possible (some skin may not remove, that’s fine). Let cool completely.

Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Let cool completely.

In a high-powered blender or in a food processor, grind the hazelnuts until they form a paste. Add the oil, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt and continue to process until the mixture is as smooth as possible. Add the melted chocolate and blend until smooth. Press the mixture through a fine strainer to remove any chunks of hazelnuts that might be left behind. Allow the mixture to cool (will be warm from blending or processing). Store the mixture in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Nutella Frosting Variation

  • Here’s what you do. Just grab your stand mixer and beat 1/2 cup of homemade Nutella, 3 tablespoons room-temperature butter, and 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar until creamy. Jack up the speed to medium-high and slowly, slowly drizzle in 2 tablespoons heavy cream, beating just until smooth and fluffy and irresistible. Use immediately.

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