Almond Roca

I finally did some holiday baking today!

This is Recipe Girl’s Almond Roca, and it is buttery and chocolatey and everything a holiday should be. Rave reviews from both hubs and 10yo.


Frozen Dinners – Biscuits

And this is chapter two in making my own frozen junk food for kids.

Hubs often bakes up these prepackaged biscuits for the kids’ breakfast in the AM.

They’re raw dough and you bake them from frozen.

To duplicate this trick, I made up a batch of these biscuits (in this case I used 3 parts AP flour and 1 part whole wheat as well as half shortening and half butter because I ran out of the regular ingredients), then froze them unbaked. When you want to eat them, just preheat the oven to 425. After it’s heated, put as many biscuits as you want on your baking sheet.

Bake for 15 or so minutes, until they are just browned on top.

Look how nice and puffy they bake up!

I like mine swimming in milk gravy.

Recipe swap: Cranberry sammies and/or Bourbon Balls

About a month back, I was searching for a caramel apple recipe. I never did make them, but I did find this recipe for caramel apple bites. Click that link and tell me those aren’t the most adorable little treats you ever saw.

While reading that post, I discovered that those teeny sweet caramel bites were part of a recipe swap hosted by Burwell General Store. The Recipe Swap is a fun exercise, where Christianna (mastermind behind the Burwell blog) sends us a recipe from a vintage cookbook, and we reinterpret it as our own. This month’s assignment: Toll House Cookies.

I had my usual decision paralysis over sweets, and decided to go in two directions. For both, I started with a basic cookie:

  • 1/2 C butter
  • 12 T granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 1/8 C cake flour
  • 1/2 t salt

Cream butter and sugar, add egg. Mix dry ingredients, then blend with wet. Drop by teaspoonful onto a baking sheet and bake at 375 for 15 – 20 minutes.

The bottom cookie in the picture below was baked for 15 to get something nice and chewy, the top cookie I baked for 20 minutes to get something more dry.


While those were cooling off, I made a quick cranberry jam:

  • 1 C cranberries
  • 1 T orange juice
  • 1/4 C sugar

Combine all and bring to a boil over medium high heat until cranberries start to pop. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. It should get pretty thick.

I combined my chewy cookies with the cranberry jam for these rich cranberry sammies.

I used the crispy cookies instead of the traditional vanilla wafers to make bourbon balls.

  • 2 C cookie crumbs (I ground them in a food processor)
  • 2 C almond flour
  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • 1/2 C bourbon
  • 1.5 T corn syrup
  • 2 T cocoa powder

Combine all. Roll into balls, then into cocoa powder or powdered sugar. Refrigerate.

These are delicious, but pretty strong. Make sure you don’t give them to kids!

Chocolate Coca Cola cakes

It’s time again for another episode of…

Secret Recipe Club

Each month, every Secret Recipe Club member gets a secret blog assignment. From this secret blog, they choose a secret recipe to make in secret. Only on Secret Recipe Club day are all these secrets revealed.

Friends – today is that day.

This month, I was lucky enough to be assigned Join Us, Pull up a chair, a lovely blog by Heather. Although I really had my eye on these Jalapeno Popovers, I couldn’t resist these Guiness cupcakes. I made a few substitutions (including Coke for Guiness – hardly a fair trade I admit) and came up with these wonderfully moist, dark beauties. They would be fabulous with buttercream or cream cheese frosting, but I couldn’t resist the Halloween perfection of those rich dark tops and bright orange liners.

Plus without frosting, you can pretend they’re muffins and eat them for breakfast, yes?

Chocolate Coca Cola Cupcakes

  • 1 cup Coca Cola
  • 1 stick, plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners (this recipe makes 24 cupcakes).

Combine the coke and the butter in a microwavable bowl. Heat to melt the butter. Once it’s melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Set aside to cool.

In a bowl, combine the mayo with the eggs and vanilla. Once combined, add to the coke mixture. Sift the flour and baking soda together and fold into the batter. Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan. Cool completely on a rack.

Piecrust cookies

My grandma made the most delicious cobblers ever. And the best part was, she would always take the leftover crust and make an entirely new treat just for me. Sometimes she’d sprinkle it with sugar and cocoa, and roll it up into a “chocolate roll.” Other times, she’d bake it in strips with cinnamon and sugar. These are sweet memories.

Left with dough after my Steve Jobs apple pie, I did the very same thing. Because my children are averse to such strong flavors as cinnamon (whose children are these?), I just left them plain. Still a hit.

To make them, simply roll out any dough left over from baking a pie (I always use Ina’s recipe). Brush it with egg wash (also left over from pie baking), and cut it into strips. You’ll want to cut an even number so no one will fight over the last one. Sprinkle with sugar and bake at 400, along with aforementioned pie, until golden brown – about 15 minutes.


Olive Flatbread

A lovely addition to a happy hour menu, or the perfect crunch alongside a salad.

Olive Flatbread

Preheat the oven to 425. Roll the pizza crust out as thin as possible. Pop it in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove it and (without burning yourself) spread the garlic oil all over the crust, and sprinkle on the olives. Bake for 10 more minutes. Serve warm.