Decadent Brownie Dessert

Easy to make and so delicious!

Makes about 16 bars

1 box fudge brownie mix
1 egg
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla
21 oz can cherry pie filling

Prepare brownies as directed on box. Meanwhile, combine cream cheese and egg. Whisk in milk and vanilla.

Pour mixture over hot brownies; bake additional 25 minutes. Cool 2 hours; top with pie filling.


Picture Perfect Ginger Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen cookies

2¼ cups flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1¼ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg white
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the 1 cup sugar. Beat until smooth, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and molasses until combined.

In medium bowl stir together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Add flour mixture to molasses mixture and mix until smooth. Refrigerate for about an hour.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Dip balls into ¼ cup sugar and place 1½-inches apart on un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned and tops have puffed up and cracked. Do not overcook! Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.

Peanut Butter Cups or Bars

6 tbsp butter
1 cup peanut butter
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
½ lb powdered sugar
Chocolate frosting or chocolate chips

Cream together butter and peanut butter in medium bowl. Mix in crumbs. Add powdered sugar and mix until combined.

Cups: Roll about ¾ - 1 teaspoon of peanut butter mixture into balls. Melt chocolate chips and pour a bit of chocolate into mini cups. Place a peanut butter ball in each cup. Pour about 1 tbsp of chocolate over each ball. Let cool completely.

Bars: Line a 9”x13” baking pan with foil. Press peanut butter mixture into pan. Frost with chocolate frosting. Remove from pan and cut into bars.


Coconut Cream Cake

I couldn't believe how awesome this cake is! WOW!! The flavors are perfect! The frosting isn't too sweet and with the added coconut flavor it is heavenly. I didn't have the extract, but I didn't miss it. Use the unsweetened coconut so it's not too sugary. If you don't have or can find the unsweetened coconut, I just rinsed the sweetened kind and slightly toasted it to dry it out quickly. It ended up having a nice toasted flavor and slight crunch. It blended nicely with the creaminess of the cake. I then grated some chocolate over the top. Words don't do this justice. You HAVE to try it!!

1 18.25 oz pkg white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
½ tsp coconut extract
1 14 oz can coconut cream milk
1 3.5 oz pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 8 oz container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1½ cups unsweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 9” round cake pans.

In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, eggs, oil, water and coconut flavoring. Beat for 2 minutes and divide into pans. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

In a medium bowl, combine coconut cream with a few tablespoons of milk and stir until smooth and slightly runny. Let cake cool slightly and remove from pans. Line bottom and sides of cake with foil; poke holes in cake using chopsticks. Pour milk mixture over (reserving about 2 ounces), allowing it to soak into the cake. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix with milk, vanilla and reserved coconut cream. Mix until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping until no streaks remain.

Spread about 1 cup of frosting on top of one cake. Place second cake on frosting. Spread remaining frosting evenly over sides and top of cake. Press coconut onto sides and top of cake.

Buttery Soft Pretzels

I made these for my husband's birthday. They are so good!! Be prepared for an arm workout while rolling out the dough. But it's all worth it!!!

4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp white sugar
1¼ cups warm water (110 degrees F)
5 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup white sugar
1½ tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ cup baking soda
2 cups hot water
¼ cup coarse salt, for topping

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let proof 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, ½ cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450°. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, dissolve baking soda in hot water. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake for 8 minutes, until browned.


Chicken Noodle Soup

This is a delicious and easy soup. Very good on cold nights...mmmm....

2 chicken breasts
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cups carrots, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
¾ onion, chopped
1 can evaporated milk
2-3 cups egg noodles
Salt and pepper

Boil chicken in 2 quarts of water until tender. Remove chicken and add carrots, celery and onion. Cook until tender.

Add milk. Cube chicken and add to mixture. Add noodles. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until noodles are soft.


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

This bread is so moist and so easy you really can't go wrong!

1¾ cups flour
1 to 1½ cups brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp ginger
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup butter, melted
1 egg
1/3 cup water
½ cup chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350°. Grease 2 medium loaf pans. Combine dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients and then stir in dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour into pans. Bake 45-50 minutes. You can replace chocolate chips with nuts, dried cranberries or raisins.


Fluffernutter Brownies

Thanks Rachel Ray!! These are WAY easy and so delicious! They are good as is, but the marshmallows get REALLY chewy after they've cooled. So I think I will mix the marshmallows in the batter next time and see how that tastes. Enjoy!

Makes about 30 brownies

1 box brownie mix
1½ cups peanut butter chips
2 oz chopped nuts
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 9”x13” baking pan.

Mix brownie mix according to directions. Stir in peanut butter chips. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread in even layer. Sprinkle with nuts.

Bake according to brownie mix directions. Scatter marshmallows on top during last 3-5 minutes of bake time. Let cool completely in pan.


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are delicious! I've been craving these cookies for a while now and finally found a recipe that I love! After I mixed the batter, I split it and added 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips to one half and 1 cup of walnuts to the other (for my non-chocolate self). This isn't a difficult recipe, so enjoy!

Makes about 6 dozen cookies

2½ cups canned pumpkin
2 cups sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup applesauce
2 eggs
4 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp milk
2 tbsp vanilla
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, applesauce and eggs. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop by two tablespoonfuls on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.


Swedish Cinnamon Twists

This recipe is one from my cooking group that I've wanted to make since I tried them. They are delicious! TIPS: If you don't have buttermilk, add 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar to a glass measuring cup and add enough milk to make 1 cup. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. Also, I let the dough rise on it's own the first rising, but used my dough rising techniques from my bread recipe for the second. When they doubled, I removed the bowl of water and just raised the temp to 375° and started baking them. They turned out great! You could probably substitute raisins for the nuts as well. Enjoy another favorite!

Makes about 24 twists

1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
¼ cup warm water
1 cup buttermilk
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ cup instant nonfat dry milk
1 tsp salt
½ + 2 tbsp sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
2 eggs
4 cups flour
3-4 tbsp melted butter

½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup nuts, chopped (optional)

Mix yeast, sugar and water together until dissolved. Let proof for 10 minutes.

Bring buttermilk to boiling (in a small saucepan or in the microwave); buttermilk should curdle and separate. Let cool slightly. Pour into large mixing bowl and add baking soda, milk, salt, sugar, butter and eggs; beating well after each.

When mixture is lukewarm, add yeast mixture and stir well. Gradually stir in flour until dough forms a ball. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough about 5 minutes, adding additional flour as necessary to make dough smooth and soft. Lightly butter a large bowl. Place dough in bowl turning once to butter the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).

Preheat oven to 375°. Generously grease two baking sheets. Punch down dough. Let rest for about 10 minutes. Roll dough out into a 12”x20” rectangle. Brush dough with melted butter. Sprinkle filling lengthwise over half of dough to within ½ inch of long edge. Fold rectangle in half lengthwise to cover filling. With a pizza cutter, cut dough into 24 strips, about ¾” wide. Twist each strip twice and place strips on prepared baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 30-40 minutes.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Prepare glaze and brush on while rolls are still warm. You may want to double this recipe—they go fast!

Powdered Sugar Glaze
1½ cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp hot water
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.


Ranger Cookies

I did a bit of research on these cookies and noticed that most have crushed corn flakes or rice crispies in them. I wasn't that brave. So I guess this is just a glorified oatmeal raisin cookie... But hey, it's something different. And in this case, different is good. :)

½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1¼ cup flour
1 cup quick oats
1 cup coconut
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 375°. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with electric mixer on high about 30 seconds. Add sugars, baking powder and soda; mix well. Add egg and vanilla; beat until combined. Add flour. Stir in oats, coconut and raisins.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet 1 minute then transfer to cooling rack.

Butterscotch Brownies

Sorry, no picture. I ate them all! It's my alternate to chocolate brownies. And they are delicious! TIPS: These are really easy, but you will ruin them if you use a larger pan. They will come out hard and dry instead of soft and chewy. To remove them, invert them onto a lightly oiled cooling rack, remove parchment paper, then flip them onto a cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares with a pizza cutter.

Makes 16 squares

½ cup butter, room temp
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp molasses
1 cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter an 8”x8” baking pan and line bottom with parchment paper.

Beat butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and molasses with electric mixer for about 1 minute, until creamy and smooth. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and add to butter mixture. Fold gently with rubber scraper until flour is about half incorporated. Do NOT over mix. Stir in nuts and continue folding gently until flour is fully mixed in.

Scrap batter into prepared pan and spread top until smooth and even. Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning pan 180° half way through. When brownies are done, the center top will be firm and spring back when pressed and the sides will start to pull away from pan. Let cool completely in pan.

A Most Splendiferous Brownie

I thought the recipe I had for brownies was pretty good. My only complaint was that they would fall. They are very fudgy, but I wanted a thicker brownie. WOW!! These are incredible!!!! They are thick, chewy, fudgy, HEAVENLY!!! Unfortunately, I can't eat them. But my husband wouldn't shut up about how perfect they were! TIPS: The cooking time on these varies slightly, but makes a HUGE difference. If you leave them in for 50 minutes, they will be very moist, almost fudgy. But if you leave them in for 5-10 minutes more, they will be slightly drier, but chewier. Bake them how you like them. If you really want fudgy, I tried adding chocolate chips instead of walnuts. It may as well have been fudge. They were so rich and chocolatey. I (or my husband) preferred the walnuts as they were already very fudgy and chewy. Lots of different combinations! Enjoy the results!

Makes 16 squares

4 oz unsweetened chocolate
10 tbsp (1¼ sticks) butter, room temp
3 large eggs, room temp
2 tsp vanilla
1¾ cups sugar
½ tsp salt
1¼ cups flour
1 cup walnuts (not optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8”x8” baking pan with foil.

In a small saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over very low heat. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla together. Add melted chocolate mixture and whisk to combine (mixture will thicken considerably). Add remaining ingredients and mix together with a rubber spatula. The batter with be thick and greasy looking.

Scrap batter into prepared pan and press into place with rubber spatula. Bake about 50-60 minutes. Let cool at least 2 hours (if you can handle it) before removing from pan, cutting and serving. They will continue cooking and become chewier as they cool.


Mixed Fruit Crisp

A new twist on crisp! As you can see my family got to it before I could get a good picture! This is really good with the different fruits and the raisins add a good flavor and texture. TIPS: I alternated each fruit one-by-one (peel, core, slice an apple, put in pan; peel, pit, slice a peach, put in pan; peel, core, slice a pear, put in pan, etc) so that I didn't have to mix the fruit and risk it breaking and/or getting mushy. Then I just sprinkled the raisins over the fruit. It worked out nicely and tastes great!!

3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
4 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
3 fresh pears, peeled, cored and sliced
½ cup raisins
¼ cup water
½ cup rolled oats
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch salt
¼ cup butter

Preheat oven to 375°. Combine apples, peaches, pears, raisins and water in a 9”x13” baking pan.

In small bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Cut in butter using a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over fruit.

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until topping starts to brown. Serve warm.


European Style White Bread

So here is another non-dessert recipe, but it's so good!! I got this from a cooking group I attend. It's super simple and will be gone in minutes! TIPS: I use my hands to oil the dough instead of a brush. The dough will only lightly brown because of the oil coating, so tap the loaf and listen for a "hollow" sound.

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
3 1/2 - 4 cups flour
Olive oil
Mrs Dash seasoning

Combine water, yeast and sugar in a bowl. Let stand (proof) for 10 minutes. Add salt. Mix flour one cup at a time until dough is soft and silky. Form dough into a long loaf on a cookie sheet. Brush olive oil all over (on the bottom as well) dough and sprinkle generously with Mrs. Dash. Let rise 30-45 minutes or until doubled. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Cool on pan for about 5 minutes then remove to cooling rack.


Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bread

I know it's been a while since I posted, but I just had a baby and baking hasn't been on my list of top priorities. Sorry. Anyway, I'm getting back into a good routine so there should be more deliciousness to come more often!

This bread is really good! It's not too chocolatey; just enough to make it tastier!!

2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
2 tbsp baking cocoa
½ tsp salt
1 egg
1 1/3 cups milk
1/3 cup oil (or applesauce)
¾ cup chocolate chips
¾ cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease three 5¾"x3" loaf pans. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt in medium bowl. Mix egg, milk and oil in small bowl. Add to flour mixture; mix just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Put one cup batter in each pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes; remove from pans. Cool on wire rack. Enjoy the goodness!


Chocolate Zucchini Cake

So easy!! This was supposed to be brownies, but it turned out more like cake. I'm going to do a little experimenting and try to get brownies next time. The zucchini makes this so moist and you can't even tell it's in there. My husband had no idea. I took them to a BBQ and no one knew but said they were delicious! So don't tell anyone it's in there and you can have a more healthy cake!

2 cups zucchini, grated and drained
½ cup applesauce
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking soda
5 tbsp cocoa

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix zucchini, applesauce and vanilla. Sift in remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Pour into a greased 9"x13" baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely, frost, and cut into squares!

Coconut Caramel Bars

Holy cow these are delicious! They are so easy to make and taste so good they will be gone before the end of the day. I didn't have pecans when I made them, but I'm sure they would be delicious with them as well. If you aren't a chocolate fan, try butterscotch or white chocolate chips instead.

I have also discovered the BEST way to cut brownies, sheet cakes, bars, etc. In this recipe I lined my pan with parchment paper. When the bars where mostly cooled, I lifted them out and put it on my counter. Then I used my pizza cutter to cut the very edges off. Then I cut them into 2" squares. The pizza cutter doesn't drag through the bars like a knife does so you end up with much nicer looking pieces. I did the same with my frosted brownies and they looked store bought! So get yourself a nice sharp pizza cutter and have perfect looking desserts!

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup butter
2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
1 cup flaked coconut
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla
20 caramels
2 tbsp milk
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Press crumb mixture into an un-greased 9"x13" baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle pecans and coconut over hot crust.

Combine sweetened condensed milk and vanilla; pour over pecans and coconut. Bake for 25-30 minutes more or until filling is set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine caramels and milk. Cook and stir over medium-low heat just until caramels melt. Drizzle caramel over filling. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Cool completely and cut into bars.


Authentic Napton Pizza

I got this recipe from Forno Bravo. The real Napton pizza recipe. We finally got the real flour the other day, so now we are trying to get the perfect Pizza Napoletana. We've tried it twice now and the first time did the dough pretty well, and the second time got the sauce. Now we just need to get them both to turn out at the same time. We have enough flour for about 200 pizzas, so we should be able to get it right at some point! I learned (even though it actually says IN the recipe not to use a rolling pin) that you don't want to use a rolling pin. It really makes it come out wrong. And I also learned that having a pizza peel is a VERY helpful thing with an oven this hot. Good luck!

500 gr Molino Caputo Tipo 00 flour
325 gr warm water
2 tsp salt
2 tsp active dry yeast

1 can (28 oz) San Marzano tomatoes
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp of salt
1 tsp of oregano

Mix water and yeast together in large mixing bowl. Let proof 10 minutes. Add salt and flour. Mix slowly for 2 minutes, fast for 5 minutes and slow again for 2 minutes.

Cover dough and let rise 1½ -2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Punch down, knead out bubbles and cut into 4-5 portions. Form into balls and let rest for 1 hour.

Flip dough over so soft bottom faces up. Gently shape the ball into a flat disk, then pull and stretch with fingers. Try to keep working in a circle to keep the thickness of the dough consistent, avoiding thick and thin spots. At the point where it cannot get thinner without making a hole, put your pizza on a floured work surface, and use your fingertips to work out the thick spots by pushing the dough to the outside. Make dough about as thick as a credit card and about 10" in diameter. (The more you handle the dough, the tougher it becomes. Don't use a rolling pin, which is hard on the dough and will give you a thin, but tough pizza. By not being over-handled, the pizza will be both crisp and delicate.)

Preheat oven to highest setting (525º-550º). Place pizza stone in oven while heating. In a saucepan, mash tomatoes with potato masher. Add remaining sauce ingredients, mix until combined and heat until heated through. Place pizza dough on a flour-dusted pizza peel. Spread just enough sauce to lightly cover base (dough should show through), a handful of chopped, fresh mozzarella and a drizzle of olive oil in circular pattern.

Place in oven. Turn pizza 180º after about 90 seconds. Bake another 45-90 seconds. The perfect pizza is bubbling on top with completely melted (and possibly slightly browned) cheese, has a brown outer crust. The crust is crunchy on the outside and soft and delicate on the inside. Throw on some fresh basil and sprinkle with more olive oil.


Honey Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

I know this isn't a dessert, but I've been looking for a good sandwich bread recipe and this is it so I had to share!! I've had issues with wheat bread not rising well and being very dense. I wanted something that was light and fluffy and didn't crumble. This bread has a soft center and the crust is crusty. If you don't like the crust that way, just bake it at 375° for 25-30 minutes. Initially baking at 400° gives it a harder crust. I used 4½ teaspoons of active dry yeast and had to let it rise longer (the first time for 1½ hours and the second time for an hour). I think I will try the rapid rise next time to see if it makes it rise any higher/faster. I brushed honey butter on the tops, which was delicious, but you may just want to do butter. The honey definitely gives the bread a sweeter flavor that may not taste good with sandwiches. Brushing it with butter also softens the crust a bit.

This recipe make 3 loaves. While I was able to do most of the mixing in my 6qt KitchenAid Mixer, I ended up kneading the last cup of white flour in by hand. I also put the dough in a large greased bowl, covered with a damp towel, in the oven and heat to 120° with a smaller bowl of water on the lower rack. Turn the oven off and let it rise until doubled in bulk. The low heat and humidity help it rise better and stay soft. I know that's a lot of information, but I've been trying several recipes to get it right. Anyway, this is the best bread ever! I don't think I will be buying store bought bread anymore! It's perfect!

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 packages yeast (rapid rise)
3 cups milk
½ cup honey
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
4-5 cups all-purpose flour

Combine the 3 cups whole wheat flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. In a saucepan over low heat, combine milk, honey and oil. Heat until about 110°. Pour into flour mixture and blend well until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Add the 1 cup of wheat flour and 4-5 cups of all-purpose flour one cup at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky. Knead dough about 8-10 times and place in a large greased bowl. Cover with damp cloth and let rise for 45-60 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.

Punch down dough and divide into 3 sections. Knead each section 4-5 times before shaping into a loaf and placing into greased loaf pans. Cover pans with a damp cloth and let rise for another 45-60 minutes, until doubled.

Place pans in a COLD oven. Set temperature to 400° and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375° and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans. Brush tops with butter while warm, if desired.


Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

I got a Martha Stewart Cookies cookbook today for Mother's Day. These cookies looked really good, so I had to try them! It is an interesting combination of gingersnaps and chocolate chocolate chip cookies. Think chocolate covered ginger... They are delicious! I didn't have fresh ginger, but they turned out great. I think that if I did add the ginger, it would have given the cookies a better flavor and taken to a whole new level. They are slightly crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle. Just how I love them! Enjoy!

Makes 2 dozen

7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate (I just used chocolate chips)
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
½ cup dark-brown sugar, packed
½ cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons hot water
¼ cup granulated sugar

Chop chocolate into ¼-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.

In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap. Refrigerate until firm (2 hours or more).

Heat oven to 325°. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Roll dough into 1½-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Best Ever Brownies

These are usually gone within hours! They are delicious fudgy brownies. Our favorite!

½ cup butter
6 tbsp cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°. Melt butter and cocoa in medium saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat.

Add sugar beating well. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each. Stir in flour, baking powder, and vanilla.

Pour into greased 8”x8” pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!
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