Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Blossoms

Chocolate Peanut Butter Blossoms

Today I made them with chocolate, for a rich chocolate and peanut butter taste. In this recipe I would say the peanut butter taste is stronger than the chocolate. Sometimes I just like them with peanut butter alone ... so a recipe for that cookie follows the first one. Other options: you can also roll them in sprinkles for a festive holiday look if you use them as part of your Cookie Exchange.

1 package of Hershey's Kisses - Milk Chocolate
1/2 cup of shortening
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/3 cup of Hershey's cocoa
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt


Heat oven to 375 degrees
Beat shortening and peanut butter in a large bowl until well blended (I used my electric mixer with the paddle attachment) Add brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat until fluffy. Ad egg, milk and vanilla and beat well. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

Shape into 1 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until set.

Immediately press 1 unwrapped chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Cookie will crack around the edges. Remove from the cookie sheet to a wire rack and let them cool completely.

For Peanut Butter Blossoms without the Chocolate Base

1/2 cup Butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 Egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup sugar (optional for rolling the cookie dough in)
48 milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped

Heat oven to 375°F. Combine the butter with 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, and peanut butter in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and salt; continue beating until well mixed. Add flour and baking soda. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. (If dough is too soft, refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes.) Roll balls in 1/4 cup sugar. (optional) Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until very lightly golden brown. Immediately press 1 chocolate kiss in center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheets; cool completely on wire racks.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Magic Cookie Bars

Some things are so easy, they make me feel just a little bit guilty. Making Magic Cookie Bars is one of them. They look like something that should have taken a lot of effort to prepare .... but they're just so easy to make. The bad part is that my husband saw me throw them together last night, so I can't fool him anymore. He thought I was a master baker. Now he knows the truth.

1/2 cup butter
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 12 ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 9 x 13 inch pan melt the butter in the oven. Sprinkle crumbs over the butter. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crumbs. Top with the remaining ingredients in layers. Press down. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool. Cut into squares.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Christmas Wreaths

It's a little early to put up the Christmas Wreaths, but as those who craft know, you have to make them early in order to obtain all the supplies. Christmas supplies are in stock in October. If you wait until December to start putting together a wreath you'll find all the best materials are long gone. Every year I put together 2 Christmas Wreaths, but spend the whole year gathering the ornaments that I need to make them. There's not a month during the year that my mind isn't sliding over to Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse. Each year I've had a more and more difficult time finding the gold leaves and mini mirror ball ornaments that I need to complete the wreaths. I fear this may be my final year for the wreaths. Sad, because I find that children of all ages seem to enjoy these wreaths. Looking at the ornaments brings back memories. Memories of sitting on the floor, watching The Mickey Mouse Club. The joy of hearing a fairy tale or watching a Disney movie on a black and white TV. Saturday morning cartoons! Later, the joy of that first trip to Disneyland ... and how I still get that foolish happy grin on my face each time I wander down Main Street. Life is good!

In just a few weeks most will be gathering with family and friends to celebrate our fall and winter holidays. When I lived in New England, these holidays are what made the bitter cold bearable. Now I have sunshine most of the year. Still, I found that the holidays are still just as special as they were in my frost-bound years. I Hope you all have a blessed holiday season.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Dulce De Leche Duos
Cookies for breakfast? For Dinner? Sure, why not! I'm eating one now, and I think any excuse will do just fine. Picture a cookie with the subtle taste of vanilla and a filling of Dulce De Leche. Okay, that's enough talking. Let's make them so we can get to the good part. Eating them!

Adapted from 'Baking From My Home To Yours', by Dorie Greenspan

350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper

2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter - room temperature
3/4 cup store-bought dulce de leche, plus 3/4 cup for filling (Or make your own like I did - recipe follows)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside

Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until soft. Add the 3/4 cup dulce de leche and both sugars and continue to beat until it's light and fluffy. (approximately 3 minutes) Add the eggs and beat for 1 minute. The mixture may look a little curdled, but it'll smooth out after the flour mixture goes in. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients. Mix only until they disappear into the batter.

I used a '1 level tablespoon cookie scoop', and baked the cookies for 14 minutes.
The cookies will be honey brown with a light crust, but they will still be soft. Remove the sheet from the oven, but leave them on the hot sheet for a couple of minutes. Then remove them onto a rack to continue cooling.

When the cookies are completely cool spread the flat bottoms of half the cookies with a small amount of dulce de leche, and sandwich the flat side sides of the remaining cookies

Homemade Dulce De Leche

I can never find Dulce De Leche, so I have to make my own. It's easy to do!

Empty 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk into a large microwave safe bowl. I used a very large Pyrex mixing bowl. It will overflow in anything smaller than a large bowl.

Microwave on medium power for two minutes.

Remove from the microwave and stir with a wire whisk. Be very careful; the mixture and bowl will get very hot! Once it gets hot putting in the cool whisk may make it boil up a bit, so use a pot holder

Microwave on medium power for another two minutes. Remove and whisk again

Microwave on medium-low power for 16-24 minutes or until it turns thick and caramel color, stirring every two minutes.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Millionaires Shortbread Bars

Millionaires Shortbread. My first thought was that I couldn't afford to make something with that name ... but it turns out they're just made with the usual suspects that I always have on hand. Butter, Sugar, Chocolate, and so forth. They're made with a simple shortbread dough, with homemade caramel Dulce De Leche on top of it, and then another layer of bittersweet chocolate on top of that. Sounded like something I could get into.

Line a 9 x 9 inch pan with aluminum foil so edges are sticking over on all sides. Grease the pan with butter or non-stick spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3/4 cup of butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups of all purpose flour

Beat the butter and sugar until it's fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour and mix until the dough just comes together. Press into the bottom of your prepared pan, and make several pricks with a fork. Bake for 20 minutes.

Caramelized Milk Layer, also called Dulce De Leche.
Empty 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk into a large microwave safe bowl. I used a very large Pyrex mixing bowl. It will overflow in anything smaller than a large bowl.

Microwave on medium power for two minutes.

Remove from the microwave and stir with a wire whisk. Be very careful; the mixture and bowl will get very hot! Once it gets hot putting in the cool whisk may make it boil up a bit, so use a pot holder

Microwave on medium power for another two minutes. Remove and whisk again

Microwave on medium-low power for 16-24 minutes or until it turns thick and caramel color, stirring every two minutes.

Chocolate topping

6 ounces of good quality bittersweet chocolate
1 teaspoon of butter

Melt them together and then pour the chocolate over the caramel layer.

Let the chocolate set before cutting with a sharp knife.
Here's the finished product, with it's rich ingredients and fancy name.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Let's take a vote! Is Carrot Cake Health Food? Yes or No? When I'm trying to justify slicing myself a big piece of carrot cake, I remind myself that it has: carrots, which are a vegetable, nuts which are a protein source, and in this case even has pineapple, which we all know is a yummy fruit. I try to forget about the fat that's also hidden away in each delightful piece. Oh well, all things in moderation. Right?
I like to make them in disposable pans so that I can give one away.

If you're ready to use my selective reasoning, let's make carrot cake!

Carrot Cake

3 cups of all purpose unbleached flour
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
Mix these ingredients with a whisk to aerate and incorporate. Put aside

In a large bowl mix together:
2 cups Sugar
1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts
3 eggs, unbeaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 8 oz. can of crushed pineapple, drained
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups grated raw carrots

Add the two groups together and mix well.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes in prepared 8 inch pans.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 pound of confectioners sugar
1 stick of real butter softened
4 ounces of cream cheese
Just enough milk to make it spreadable.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Chicken Tortellini Soup

Got some left over chicken? Let's make Chicken Tortellini Soup!

The weather in San Diego County has been strange lately. Gray, wet, and cold. Not at all like we expect at this time of year. In other words, perfect soup weather. There's nothing like a hearty bowl of soup to comfort you when you just want to stay inside and get cozy. I made this soup today, and Harry says it's the best one yet.

Messy cook, aren't I?! This is the soup simmering, before adding the tortellini.


1/3 cup of real butter
1/4 cup finely diced onion
2 cloves of crushed garlic
2 cups diced chicken breast, cooked
1/3 cup of flour
1/2 of a carrot, shredded
1 stick of celery, shredded
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3 chicken bullion cubes
pepper to taste

Over medium heat melt butter then add the onion and saute until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and continue to saute for another minute. Add chicken and stir. Add the flour and stir until it's all incorporated into the chicken mixture. Next add the milk and cream. Stir well, and add in the carrot and celery. Add in the bullion cubes and stir until they're dissolved. Crack some fresh pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Lastly, add about 2 cups of cooked tortellini, stir and serve.

Do Not Add Any Salt, as the bullion makes it salty enough.

Mix it up - you could substitute gnocchi instead of tortellini.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore

Cheap and easy to prepare. While this is simmering you can put your feet up, or read a good book. Maybe both.


6 Chicken thighs, with the skin still on
Kosher Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black Pepper, to taste
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 medium Onion, halved and sliced
2 cloves of garlic finely minced
6 ounces White Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup of dry White Wine
28 ounces diced Tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon Basil (dried)
1/2 teaspoon Thyme (dried)
1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
2 tablespoons of dried Parsley

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet or dutch oven. Salt and pepper the chicken and place chicken, skin side down in the hot oil and butter. Brown on both sides and then remove from the pan. Pour off excess oil, leaving just enough to sauté with. Sauté the onions for a few minutes and then add the mushrooms and garlic, and sauté for two minutes. Once tender add the white wine and let it bubble for a minute or two. Then add the diced tomatoes, basil, thyme, red pepper flakes and parsley. Stir to combine, and then put the chicken back into the pan. Simmer for 45 minutes with the cover on, and 15 minutes with the cover off to reduce the juices. Drain off any excess fat, if desired.

Serve over cooked egg noodles.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Creamy Lemon Crumb Squares

Creamy Lemon Crumb Squares

A brown sugar and butter crust, with the crunch of oats - Combine this with a creamy lemon filling, and this makes an irresistible treat. I could have eaten the whole pan myself.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Bake: 30 minutes for a 9 x 9 pan (no need to grease it)

Crust and Topping

1-1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick of butter, slightly softened
1 cup of brown sugar (lightly packed)
1 cup of oats


1 can (14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
zest of one lemon


Mix the butter and brown sugar until well combined
Stir together oats, flour, salt and baking powder
Add the oats and flour mixture to the butter & sugar mixture. Combine well.
Press half the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan

Mix together the condensed milk, lemon juice and lemon zest. Beat until it's creamy. Pour over the bottom layer of crumb mixture. Top with the other half of the crumb mixture, but don't press down.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Allow the pan to sit on the counter for 30 minutes after baking. Cut into squares, but don't remove from the pan until it's been refrigerated for at least 2 hours.
Serve cool.

This recipe was adapted from the recipe on The Pioneer Woman Cooks website. For step by step instructions, please go to her site at:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Your Momma's Best Apple Pie!

Who's Momma? I had no idea. My Mom was a great cook, but she never made this for me. (Do you feel sorry for me yet?) I've been making this since the late 80's with nary a clue where it came from. Since then I figured out, thanks to genius-level mathematical skills, that if it wasn't my Momma, it must have been yours! Tell me if I'm wrong. If I'm right, give her a big hug for me, because her genius made it possible for me to make this marvelous pie!

Pie Filling

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 large, or 7 medium apples. Peeled, cored and sliced

Combined the sugars, flour, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add sliced apples and toss well to mix.


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) of real butter

Combine the flour brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Scatter the topping thickly over the apple filling

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until the crust and topping are nicely browned.

First make your favorite pie shell. The recipe I used follows. Then peel 6 large or seven medium apples. Use your favorite. I used Red Delicious.
Chop up those apples!
Here's what it looks like after the chopped apples have been spiced and put in the pie shell.
The uncooked pie topping is now on.
All done. Now we just have to wait until it cools.

My easiest pie crust

This recipe was given to me by my Mom. Not yours.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk.

Combine ingredients, and roll out between sheets of wax paper. Take the top sheet of wax paper off. Place an empty pie pan upside down on the exposed dough. Put your hand under the bottom layer of wax paper and tip it all upside down so it ends up in the pie pan. Fit and crimp as desired.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cashew Brittle

You'd better make friends with your dentist fast! You're not going to be able to resist this buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cashew brittle. You may find yourself popping a piece into your mouth every time you break it apart. Guilty as charged here.

You're going to need this recipe, because I can't think of a better gift you could give to your sweet-loving friends over the holidays. Keep that in mind for the holiday season, and you're sure to stay on everyone's 'Good Girl List.'
You'll need these simple pantry staples and some roasted un-salted cashew pieces
It's just started to boil and the butter has been added.
Now it's reached the thread stage.
We've just added the cashews. Now it'll be stirred until it reaches 300 degrees.
Spread out on the buttered pan.
Yummy! Let's make cashew brittle

1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of corn syrup
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup real butter (1 stick)
1-1/2 cups of roasted unsalted cashew pieces.
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Cooking time will be approximately 30 minutes at medium heat. Use a thermometer for best results.

In a heavy saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Blend in the butter. Stir frequently when it reaches the thread stage. When the temperature reaches 280 degrees on the candy thermometer add the cashews. Keep stirring. When it reaches 300 degrees remove from the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda. Pour into a buttered jelly roll pan. Spread it out fast! As the candy cools, stretch it out thinner by lifting and pulling at the edges with a fork. Loosen it from the pan as soon as possible, and turn over. Break it into pieces when hardened.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cappucino Cheesecake Bars

For all you coffee lovers out there -- here's a creamy cheesecake bar with coffee flavor baked into the crust and the cheesecake body. Mello it out just a bit with a dollop of whipped cream, this is sure to please!

Cappuccino Cheesecake Bars
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Butter an 11 x 7 inch pan

9 whole graham crackers ground up (1-1/2 cups crumbs)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick) chilled/cubed
1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
Grind the graham crackers in a food processor. Add the butter, sugar and espresso powder. Pulse until the crumbs are uniformly moist. Then remove 1/2 cup of the graham cracker mixture and put aside in a pie dish. Press the remaining mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust and the separated crumbs in the pie dish for 10 minutes until golden.

Cool 10 minutes. Maintain the oven temperature.

5 teaspoons of espresso powder
1 tablespoon of cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 8 ounce packages of cream cheese - room temperature.
2/3 cup of sugar
1 large egg

Stir 5 teaspoons espresso powder with 1 tablespoon of cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla in a small bowl until coffee dissolves.
Beat cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Add 2/3 cup of sugar and beat to blend. Beat in coffee mixture, and then the egg.

Spread filling evenly over crust in the metal baking pan. Bake until set: 20-25 minutes. Chill uncovered until cold and firm, for at least 2 hours.

Topping (optional)
Beat 1 cup of heavy whipping cream until firm peaks form. Cut cheesecake bars and transfer bars to a platter Put a dollop of whipped cream atop each bar and sprinkle with the crisp crumb mixture from the pie dish. Another option is chocolate curls or chocolate shavings

Suggestion for cutting the bars: Cut cheesecake lengthwise into 3 strips. Cut each strip into 6 bars.

Adapted from bon appetit October 2010 issue.

"Everything I eat has been proved by some doctor or other to be a deadly poison, and everything I don't eat has been proved to be indispensable for life. But I go marching on." - George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pineapple Cheesecake Squares

This recipe has been around for at least as long as the internet has, although I'm pretty sure I originally found it in the food section of a long defunct newspaper. A few years ago when my pile of recipes had become just a bit too messy, I sorted through them and typed up the ones I wanted to keep. This one made the cut.

Prepare: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or butter a 9 inch square pan

1 Cup flour
1/2 cup butter (softened just enough to work with)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a bowl add the flour, butter,sugar, and vanilla. Stir and mix until it's crumbly. Press into a greased 9 x 9 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 8 oz. can of crushed pineapple, drained

In a mixer bowl, or with lots of elbow strength, mix the cream cheese, and sugar till smooth. Then add the milk, egg, and vanilla and mix well. Turn off the mixer and gently fold in the crushed pineapple. Pour over cooled crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Take out and add the topping.

1 Cup of flaked coconut
1 tablespoon of melted butter

Combine the coconut with the melted butter and sprinkle all over the cheesecake. Put it back in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the coconut is lightly browned here and there.

Cool, refrigerate and cut into squares when it's cold.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lemon Bars

I want it, I need it, I gotta have it! Ever feel that way? If I had a Genie, I would have wished for these buttery crusted lemon bars. Since I couldn't find a lamp, never mind a Genie, it took an hour or so before I could indulge in these great lemon bars. They were easy to make, and I got to try out my new microplane grater.

While I can't say that these bars are good for you, they taste darn good, and have no chemicals or preservatives in them. You'll go to your grocery and produce retailers, not an industrial chemical supply house.

Let's get to them before your diet counselor makes you chicken out.

Lemon Bars

1 cup of unbleached flour
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest

3/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs
3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons of finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons of unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Sprinkle with powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine all the crust ingredients in a bowl. Beat at low speed using the paddle attachment until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 8 inch square pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the edges are lightly browned.

While the crust is baking combine all the filling ingredients at low speed, until well mixed. Scrape the bowl often. Pour filling over the hot baked crust. Continue baking for 20 minutes until the filling is set.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar while it's still warm, and again when cool. Cut into bars.

Lemon Bars on Foodista

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies

This comes from one of those recipes my Mom and I came up with years ago in an experiment. It was in an old folder that was stashed away out of sight. I haven't made them since the early 90's, when I had settled on Chocolate Crispers as being my go-to chocolate fix. I thought they were due for another try. Cookies are a favorite thing to make around here.... so why not?! I'm happy to report that they came out absolutely great! I don't know if it's the improved quality of chocolate, or if my memory is just bad. Maybe I just didn't remember how good these are. You can be sure I won't forget them now!

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 Sticks of butter
3/4 Cup of light brown sugar, packed
1 cup of fine granulated sugar (Sometimes called Castro Sugar or Bakers Sugar- just a finer granulation.) Regular granulated sugar can be substituted.
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon of baking soda
12 ounces (1 bag) semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 to 3/4 chopped walnuts

Cream the butter with the 2 sugars until fluffy
Add vanilla
Add both eggs and beat well
Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking soda
Add to mixture and mix until just combined
Fold in chocolate chips and nuts
Refrigerate over night, or at least a couple hours

Take a rounded tablespoon of the batter (approximately 1-1/2 tablespoons)and roll it into your hands to make a ball.

Bake at 350 degrees on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper,
for 11-12 minutes. They'll look slightly underdone at that point but take them out of the oven and let them sit on the baking sheet a couple minutes before removing them to cool completely on a wire rack.

I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chips this time. 'Back in the day' I would have used Nestles Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips because that was all that was available to me. This time I used my Kitchen Aid mixer with the paddle attachment. I didn't have that luxury before.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Individual Tiramisu Cups

Tonight we made individual Tiramisu cups!
Yummy coffee soaked ladyfingers topped with a Zabaglione mixture sprinkled with cocoa, and then finished off with fresh whipped cream and some chocolate curls. I'm not a real 'coffee person' but I enjoyed these quite a bit. My husband, who is, thought they were great.

Keeping them in the little plastic cups keeps them neat. The only thing I would do differently is to pipe out the whipped cream to make them prettier.

The Assembly Line

Ladyfingers soaked with coffee

Zabaglione with a sprinkle of cocoa on top

An individual Tiramisu finished off with some whipped cream and chocolate curls

Making the Ladyfingers for individual Tiramisu
Adapted from

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Line Cupcake tin with Cupcake liners, or pipe them out in the shape of a circle on a parchment lined cookie sheet. I just used the cupcake tin with liners for mine.

4 eggs, separated
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
7/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

Place egg whites in bowl and beat on high until soft peaks start to form. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and continue beating until stiff and glossy. In another bowl beat egg yolks and remaining sugar. Whip until thick and very pale in color.

Sift flour and baking powder together.

Fold half the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
Fold in flour, and then add the remaining egg whites.
Be gentle or you'll end up with flat tough ladyfingers

Fill the cupcake tin liners about 1/4 full. You'll end up with more batter than you need to do 12 individual tiramisu, but you could double the recipe for the Zabaglione and make more tiramisu ... or use the ladyfingers for another desert.

Bake for 8 minutes

While the ladyfingers are cooking make 2 cups of strong coffee, and let it cool

Take the ladyfingers out of the cupcake liners and put them in individual cups.
Soak them with the the cooled coffee, a little at a time. Add a little more until it stops absorbing. I used close to 2 tablespoons per ladyfinger - yours may vary.

For the Tiramisu Custard, sometimes called Zabaglione - but no raw eggs in this one!

6 egg yolks
3/4 Cup Sugar
2/3 Cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 pound Mascarpone cheese

In a saucepan, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in the milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil gently for one minute, and then allow to cool. Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for one hour.

After cooling, combine the chilled custard mixture with the Mascarpone cheese and whip until smooth. I used my Kitchenaid mixer with the whisk attachment to do this.

Put the custard mixture on top of the soaked ladyfingers

The Final Finish

Whip up 2 cups of Whipping Cream
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

Spoon or pipe the whipped cream over the tiramisu custard mixture.

For Garnish: Make chocolate curls or sprinkles.

This week we're linked up to Kelly can tell you all about cooking with Real Food and how much healthier it is for you and yours than the McDonalds 'Happy Meal'.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Today we made Cheesecake Brownies. This recipe is adapted from a recipe by David Lebovitz. I first found this recipe on his wonderful website, and you'll also see it featured in his latest cookbook, 'Ready For Dessert.' Buy the book and visit his website at:
Everything I've ever baked from his website and cookbook has been superb. I ran, didn't walk, to my local bookstore shortly after the release date and purchased this cookbook. I'm so glad I did! If you're always ready for dessert, as I am, (and apparently Mr. Lebovitz is) you should pick up a copy of his book too. You won't regret it. The photography is marvelous and his concise directions will make you look like a professional.

Let's make his famous Cheesecake Brownies!

First line a 9 inch square pan with foil, making sure it goes up all four sides. Mist with a non-stick cooking spray, or grease lightly with butter. Using the foil makes for an easy cleanup and allows you to remove the brownies easily when they're cool.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and beat in the sugar and then the 2 eggs. In the same pan mix in the flour, cocoa powder and salt, then the vanilla and chocolate chips.
To make the cheesecake topping: In a separate bowl beat/whisk the 8 oz. cream cheese, the egg yolk, 5 tablespoons of sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla until smooth.
Spread the brownie mixture evenly in the prepared pan
Distribute the cream cheese mixture in 8 or 9 globs/dollops across the top of the brownie mixture.
Take a dull knife or spatula and swirl the cream cheese with the chocolate batter. Resist the temptation to mix and swirl too much or you'll just make the brownies look muddy. You want big pockets of cheesecake.
The finished product. The brownie base is really rich and moist, and the cheesecake topping is just heavenly. Can we nominate someone for Sainthood based on his recipes? I don't see why not! He needs to come home from the sweet life in Paris .... they can't possibly love him as much as we do! Meanwhile I'll visit his website, and devour his cookbook page by page.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch pan with foil (see photo) and spray with cooking spray, or lightly grease it with butter.

Brownie Base

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces (only use real butter)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped. (use good quality chocolate)
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Cup semisweet chocolate chips

Cheesecake Topping

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
5 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the brownies melt the butter, then add the chopped bittersweet chocolate and stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, followed by the 2 eggs. Mix in the flour, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla. Then add the chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and spread evenly.

To make the cheesecake topping: In a medium bowl beat or whisk together the cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla until smooth.

Distribute the cream cheese mixture in 8 or 9 dollops across the top of the brownie batter. Take a butter knife or spatula, and lightly swirl the cream cheese mixture into the brownie batter. Resist the temptation to mix and swirl too much or you'll make the brownies muddy. You want to have big pockets of cheesecake.

Bake the brownies until they're just set in the center. About 35 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan before lifting out the foil to remove the brownies.

Eat and enjoy! If you're feeling generous, share with friends. These are pretty rich, so you can get your full share of chocolate addiction in a small piece, and still have some to spread around to your friends and acquaintances. If they didn't love you before, they'll love you now.