Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Hello, Friends.

For those of you that celebrate the season & reason I hope it was a merry & blessed one! May 2011 be one filled with peace, joy, prosperity, family, friends, good health & good food!

~Luv, Ingrid & family

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Lollipies or Pie Pops?

Or how about cuteness on a stick! I’m not usually enamored with things mini or too cutsie but these babies pulled at me once I started making them.  :)  


They’re quite easy to make, especially if you go the semi-homemade route like I did. I used a Pillsbury Rolled Pie Crust and some Lucky Leaf Premium Cherry Pie Filling.  Easy!   And they bake up in only 12 to 14 minutes, so they’re pretty quick, too.  Below is what I did.  It’s more of a method than a recipe.  If something doesn’t make sense leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you.


Lollipies/Pie Pops*


  • 1 uncooked pie crust, ready made or homemade
  • pie filling of choice
  • 1/4 water in a small bowl or 1 egg beaten, I didn’t used the egg
  • lollipop sticks, I used 7
  • 1 parchment lined cookie sheet
  • (1) 2 1/2 in. round cookie
  • 1 fork & 1 small paring knife


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Roll out the pie crust.  Cut out an even number of circles, or what ever shape cookie cutter you’re using.  (I got 14 circles, which made 7 lollipies.)  Working with one mini pie cutout, dip one end of a lollipop stick into the water and press into the mini pie crust.  Top the mini pie crust with a heaping teaspoon of pie filling, keeping the filling in the center.  (I used cherry pie filling so I topped mine with one cherry and a teaspoon of the “jelly”.)  Next, dip your index finger in the bowl of water and rub the edge of the crust.  Place top crust directly over the bottom one and gentle press the edges together.  Dip your fork into the bowl of water and gently press the fork tins into the pie crust edges, sealing them closed.   Cut two small slits into top crust to allow steam to escape.  Place on cookie sheet.  Repeat until you have used all your pie crust. (Instead of using water you can use a beaten egg.  You can also coat the tops of the lollipies with the leftover egg wash.  I didn’t on mine & I also forgot to ventilate them.)

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes (or so, I baked mine on a stone so I removed them from the stone right away to keep the bottom crust from over browning.). Gently remove with a spatula onto a cooling rack and cool to room temperature. Note: Until the pie pops are completely cooled do not handle by the stick.  After they completely cooled you can dust with powdered sugar or glaze.



  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp extract (I used almond)
  • 1/2 Tbs melted butter
  • Enough milk or cream to get the glaze to a workable consistency.

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. 


* I saw these many months ago,  I believe, on FoodBuzz Top 9 but do not remember the site nor did I follow their instructions.

Giveaway Winner

The winner of Tate’s Bake Shop cookies & cookbook is…………….

Pam, who says she is definitely a cookie eater!  For those of you that prefer to bake cookies I would be more than happy to eat any cookies you’d like to share.  :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cookies, Anyone?

No, I didn’t bake cookies but the good people at Tate’s Bake Shop sent me 3 packages (Tate’s famous Chocolate Chip cookies, White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut, and Oatmeal Raisin) of them along with their cookbook.  Thank you.   With cookies being sparse around 3B’s they didn’t have to twist my arm to get me to agree to sample their cookies.  :)


I’m not going to twist your arm either but suggest instead, that if you’d like to eat cookies and not have to bake them yourself then leave me a comment for a chance to win Tate’s Bake Shop cookies and cookbook.  For an extra entry hop over to Tate’s Bake Shop Facebook page and become a fan.  And if you don’t want to wait to see if you win, Tate’s has also generously provided you with a discount code (cookies) for 15% off your order, from now until December 31st at


Along with the cookies I also received Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook by Kathleen King.  I really enjoyed it and have several recipes bookmarked to try.  The recipes are straight forward and the ingredients are ones readily available.  My only complaint about the cookbook is, photos are sparse.  There is a section in the middle with 8 photos.  Eight photos and yet there is over a 100 recipes?  I don’t know about you but I’m of the opinion that a cookbook should include photos for at least 25% of the recipes.  (Can I get an Amen?) I know what a chocolate chip cookie looks like. I wanna see your Lemon Cream Cheese Tart (pg. 82) or your Lime Mousse Cake (pg. 129).   And for you chocolate lovers, how about the Chocolate Mousse Cake (pg. 109)?  Wouldn’t you like to see that beauty?  With mousse in the title even I would like to see a photo of it!


With Kathleen famous for her cookies I probably should have tried one of the cookie recipes but you know me.  I dived into a bar one instead and whipped up the White Chocolate Brownies (pg. 58).  Kathleen says, “They are like a dense, yummy vanilla bar with cranberries and almonds.”  I agree except without the cranberries.  You can see from my bottom photo the texture and crumb is reminiscent of a pound cake.  The “brownies” are extremely dense but tender and surprisingly moist.  I thought perhaps I had over cooked them and that they would be dry but they were perfect.  To kick things up a notch I drizzled warm raspberry jam over individual pieces. Yes, I’ll definitely be making these again.  They were a great change from our usual banana, caramel, butterscotch, or cinnamon filled dessert!


White Chocolate Brownies, adapted from Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook, by Kathleen King

  • 9 Tbs. butter, cut into pieces
  • 9 oz white chocolate; I used Valrhona, which I had saved for a special occasion.
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dried cranberries;  I left out
  • 1/2 cup of almonds chopped; I used sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray and place waxed paper in a 9 inch square baking pan. (I used an 8 inch pan and lined it with aluminum foil that I lightly sprayed with Pam. I suggest sticking with the 9 inch pan.)

In a small pot combine the butter  and white chocolate. Over low heat melt the butter and chocolate slowly.  Remove pot from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.  Add the vanilla. (Normally I would take the easy route and use the microwave but I’ve over heated white chocolate too many times that way.  On the stove I have more control and can tell when to take it off the stove.)

Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.  With an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until they are thick and pale.  Add the chocolate mixture and mix until it is combined.  Add in the flour mixture and mix until it is combined.  Stir in the cranberries and almonds if adding.

Spread evenly into the pan (or sprinkle sliced almonds evenly across the top of batter, as I did) and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Don’t under bake. 

Refrigerate the brownies overnight. Remove them from the pan and cut into squares.


Giveaway Rules & Info

  • For the first and main entry, answer this question, “Are you a cookie baker or eater?”
  • For a second entry, become a “fan” of Tate’s on Facebook. Come back and leave a comment telling me.
  • The giveaway ends on Saturday, December 11th and a random winner will be selected on Sunday, December 12th. 
  • Please leave an email address where you can be reached.  Once a winner has been selected he/she will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be randomly selected.

At this time the giveaway is only open to U.S residents.

For a 15% discount at use the discount code, cookies.  Offer good through December 31st, 2010.

Disclosure:  I received Tate’s cookies and cookbook free of charge.  The opinions stated here are completely my own.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pecan Cutie Pies

pecan-cutie-piesI first saw these “cuties pies” on Monica’s blog months ago and had every intention of making them straight away.   I didn’t.  By the time I got home, cooked dinner, helped with homework, and was ready to bake I had forgotten about them. It’s usually the last recipe I see  before I head into the kitchen that winds up being pulled out of the oven.  Does that happen to you, too? Or is just me?  Sometimes I even have this nagging feeling that I wanted to make something but can’t think of what it was.


Unlike myself Avril didn’t wait so long .  After hearing her rave about them I added pecans to my grocery list.  I bought the pecans but promptly forgot about making the cutie pies. Again.  It wasn’t until rearranging the fridge and freezer last week that I came across the bag of pecans. This time I was gonna tie the bag around my neck and wear it as a reminder to make the kids and I some pecan cutie pies.  Okay, so I didn’t tie the bag around my neck but I did set it on the counter as a reminder to make them.


Made ‘em.  Ate ‘em.  All gone.

The Giveaway winners are #18 Sherry G. & #38 Lorie.  Congratulations!  Please email me your info.  If I don’t hear from you by Saturday.  I’ll have to chose another winner.

Thanks to everyone that entered!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Program


I was just sent this email from a board member of ITMS PTSA.  I know many of you have school age children and even if you don’t, you know of  a local school that could use the help.

Borders will donate $15 gift card to the school of your choice for any in store purchase you make regardless of amount of purchase. It doesn't even have to be a book - food items count as well. Please take advantage of this on Saturday and Sunday. See details below.

Borders gives schools free gift cards worth $15 The much discussed documentary "Waiting for Superman," which offers a harsh portrait of the country's public schools, has inspired a promotional collaboration among the Borders Group superstore chain, an education fundraiser and the publisher of the movie's companion book.

On Dec. 4 and Dec. 5, any Borders customer making an in-store purchase, whether of a book or a bagel or a latte, will receive a $15 gift card to donate to a public school of choice through, an Internet-based charity.

Anyone purchasing the book "Waiting for 'Superman': How We Can Save America's Failing Public Schools" will receive a second $15 card. The companion text was published by PublicAffairs, part of the Perseus Books Group, which along with Borders and announced the campaign Sunday.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Desserts


Libby’s Pumpkin Roll


Brownies with PB Chips, Mini PB Cups, & Chocolate PB Ganache


Cherry Almond Pie Bars

Here are the three desserts I made for Thanksgiving.  They were all very good but the surprise standout was the almond cherry pie bars.   Everyone thought thought they were amazing.  Even those that normally go for the pumpkin or chocolate desserts went back for seconds of the pie bars.  Another plus, besides their overall deliciousness they are also waaaay easier than baking an actual pie!

This recipe comes by way of Amanda’s Cookin’ and her blackberry pie squares recipe.  (If you haven’t yet, check her out.  I’ve made a few of her recipes and have been please with each one.  She also has a pretty cool craft blog. )  I’ve adapted her recipe twice now.  The first time I used Lucky Leaf’s blueberry pie filling and upped the lemon factor by adding the zest of one lemon to the sugar. This time around I used Lucky Leaf’s cherry pie filling and subbed in almond extract for the vanilla. 

Almond Cherry Pie Bars, adapted from Amanda’s Cookin'


1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temp
4 eggs, room temp
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
30 ounces cherry pie filling,* (21 oz. is one can of pie filling but I added another half a can)


1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons heavy cream, enough to make the glaze pourable

1/4 teaspoon of almond extract


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cream sugar and butter in mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add the almond and beat well. Whisk together flour and baking powder. Turn mixer speed down to lowest setting and slowly add flour mixture until completely combined.

Spread half of mixture onto an ungreased 15x10 jelly roll pan. (Amanda weighted hers out.) Spread pie filling over the top of the batter. Drop remaining batter onto the pie filling layer by spoonfuls.  Spread gently.  (I use a damp offset spatula to do this. Don’t worry about it not being perfect.  It all works out.)

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. (I took mine out at 38 minutes. Do not under bake. Remove to a wire rack.

Whisk together the powdered sugar, melted butter, and heavy cream.  Drizzle over warm bars. (Toasted almond slices would be nice sprinkled on top.  I didn’t add them because my Dad doesn’t care much for nuts. He’s weird! :))

Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Printable recipe



I have been very fortunate to receive Lucky Leaf’s pie fillings.  Each one I have tried has been wonderful.  In the past I’ve never cared for the other brands I’ve tried. I found that they were too sweet and artificial tasting.  Not so with Lucky Leaf.  And for those of you staying away from high fructose corn syrup you’ll be happy to hear that Lucky Leaf’s does not contain any!

Disclosure:  While I received Lucky Leaf pie fillings to try.  The opinions expressed here are all my own.

If you haven’t yet, click here to enter my Thankful Giveaway! 


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cranberry Cobbler


Are you wondering what to do with that “buy one get one” bag of cranberries? Are you’re looking for a quick recipe and love the tart and tanginess of cranberries?  If you answered yes to either question then I’d give this recipe some serious consideration.  Besides the glorious reds of the cranberries the true beauty of this cobbler is the ease in which it comes together.

The Pioneer Woman called this Nantucket Cranberry Pie and when I did everyone kept asking how was it a pie. To save you the aggravation may I introduce you to cranberry cobbler?


Before we move on to the recipe I’d like to mention that I did think the “cobbler” part a tad too sweet.   On the other hand my parents, specifically my Dad thought the filling a little too tart.  Depending on how tart or sweet you like things I would adjust the amount of sugar used in the filling and/or the cobbler. 
Cranberry Cobbler
  • Butter, For Greasing
  • 2 cups (heaping) Cranberries
  • ¾ cups Pecans, Chopped (measure, Then Chop)
  • ⅔ cups Sugar, (Next time I would bump this up to 3/4)
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar, ( Next time I would cut this to 3/4)
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 2 whole Eggs, Lightly Beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Almond Extract,  (I used vanilla) 
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar For Sprinkling (I used Turbinado)


Preparation Instructions
*Adapted from a recipe by Laurie Colwin*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Generously butter a cake pan or pie pan. Add cranberries to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle on chopped pecans, then sprinkle on 2/3 cup sugar.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 cup sugar, melted butter, eggs, almond extract, and salt. Stir gently to combine.

Pour batter slowly over the top in large “ribbons” in order to evenly cover the surface. Spread gently if necessary.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes (Mine was done in 40 minutes). 5 minutes before removing from oven, sprinkle surface with 1 tablespoon sugar for a little extra crunch.

Cut into wedges and serve with ice cream or freshly whipped cream.

Click here for printable recipe with my changes.

Click here if you haven’t entered my Thankful Giveaway.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Double Apple Bundt Cake w/Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce & A Giveaway

We have lots to talk about today but let’s talk about double apple bundt cake over first.  I’m sure you saw it as it was all over the blogosphere last month when the baking group TWD made it. I don’t recall anyone going crazy over it but I was intrigued by the addition of apple butter.  I didn’t want to buy any just to make cake so I set the recipe a side.  As luck would have it I not only received homemade apple butter from Maranda but soon after I also received some from Musselman’s.  Score!


The cake recipe suggests allowing the cake to sit overnight.  Do it.   The flavors need time to develop.  The first night I baked the cake and we tried it we were all underwhelmed.  We changed our minds after we tried it again the next night but if you really want your taste buds to sit up and take notice pour on some bourbon butterscotch sauce. 

When Kristen over at The Kitchen Sink Recipes blogged about this sauce she said she couldn’t get it out of her head.  I believed her because I made her Salted Caramel Sauce and it was every bit as good as she said it was so, I knew I had to try this one.  This sauce is even better than it sounds I think you could pour it on a bowl of raisins and I’d eat ‘em.  Okay, that may be a bit extreme but you get my drift.  I’m not gonna lie to you though I had issues making it. It seized up when I slowly poured in the bourbon and water. To say that I was disappointed was an understatement.  Instead of this wonderful sauce, I had a big lump of  caramelized sugar sitting in my pot.  Because I couldn’t just toss the whole thing into the sink I set it a side.  When I came back to check if it had cooled enough to clean. I noticed that my lump of sugar was smaller.  I put it back on the stove with the heat set at low and stirred it off and on for almost an hour! In the end it was worth. 


Double Apple Bundt Cake

From Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From my home to yours”

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup apple butter
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and grated
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (I left out)
  • ½ cup plump, moist raisins (You could add these but WHY?)
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9- to 10- inch (12 cup) Bundt pan. If your pan is not nonstick, dust the interior of the pan with flour, then tap out the excess. Don’t place the pan on a baking sheet – you want the oven’s heat to circulate through the Bundt’s inner tube.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed, scarping the bowl as needed, for 3 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth, thick, and pale. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition; you’ll have a light, fluffy batter. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the apple butter – don’t worry if it curdles the batter. Still on low, add the grated apples and mix to completely blend. Add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the batter. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the nuts and raisins. Turn the batter into the Bundt pan and smooth the top of the batter with the rubber spatula.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a think knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes before unmolding and cooling the cake to room temperature.  If possible, once the cake is completely cool, wrap well in plastic and let it stand overnight at room temperature to ripen the flavors.


Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce, The Kitchen Sink Recipes

Yield: 1 3/4 cups

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup bourbon
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
pinch salt
2 tablespoons heavy cream

In a dry 3-quart heavy kettle cook sugar over moderately low heat, stirring slowly with a fork (to help sugar melt evenly), until melted and pale golden. Cook caramel, without stirring, swirling kettle, until deep golden. Remove kettle from heat and carefully add water and bourbon down side of kettle (mixture will bubble and steam). Simmer mixture, stirring, until caramel is dissolved. Stir in butter and a pinch of salt until incorporated and cool sauce to warm.  When the sauce has cooled to warm, stir in the cream.

Butterscotch bourbon sauce may be made 1 week ahead and chilled covered. Reheat sauce to warm before serving.

Can you believe next week is Thanksgiving and Christmas is not far behind?  I’ve been thinking a lot about the things I’m thankful for in my life and outside of the obvious ones (family, health, & a job) one of the things I’m grateful for is my blog.  It has given me so much.  The most important thing it has  given me is an opportunity to “meet” and interact with all of you.   So, to show my thanks for sticking with me through the “quiet” times, for your words of praise and encouragement I’m giving away two $35 William Sonoma* gift cards to two commenters. 

Giveaway Info


  • Leave a comment on this post by midnight December 1st. (Please be sure to leave contact information.)

Yes, it’s that easy.  You don’t need to be a follower, you don’t have to “like” or “fan” me, and you don’t need to tweet about how awesome a giveaway this is.  :) I mean, you can if you want but you’ll only get my appreciation and not another entry.


  • This is my giveaway and it is being funded by me
  • *The giveaway is open to everyone.  For those of you overseas I will send you an Amazon gift card.  It appears Amazon is the only one that will ships overseas. Sorry.
  • Two names will randomly be selected on December 2nd. 

Good Luck!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Wanna Bite?


Come back tomorrow for the whole cake and giveaway info!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Flourless Chocolate Cake With Spiced Cranberry Sauce


Did you do a quick double check to see if you were on the right blog? lol Yes, you read that correctly.  Chocolate, here on 3B’s.  :)  It doesn’t happen often but it does happen.  See here and here.   I know that for some of you it doesn’t happen often enough.  And that is why you are now seeing a flourless chocolate cake. (Naomi, I made this cake before I saw your/my tart.  Had I seen it first I would have been ALL over it!)  I’m trying to keep my chocolate lovin’ peps happy. For those of you that are  raisin lovers don’t hold your breath for them as it ain’t happenin’!  Sorry.  :)


So about this cake.  I’d like to say that it changed my opinion on chocolate but it didn’t.  That’s not to say you chocolate lovers wouldn’t go crazy for it;  just that it didn’t have me or the kids rethinking our position of chocolate.   (94% of the 259 reviewers would make it again)Because we found the cake super rich and chocolatey we topped it with whipped cream and Faith’s delicious spiced (and tart) cranberry jam.  Once we did, the cake slices were quickly eaten with no complaints of it being too chocolatey.


The flourless chocolate cake recipe is from Epicurious and the spiced cranberry jam/sauce is from An Edible Mosaic.  If you haven’t been to Faith’s blog yet you need to stop and click here.  She has a wonderful variety of recipes and lovely photos to go along with them.


Here’s Babygirl in her Halloween costume.  She was a Hogwarts's student.

McKenna Halloween 10

Everyone meet Jeter the newest member of our family. We’ve had him for almost a month and needless to say Babygirl is beyond thrilled!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cinnamon Chip Banana Coffee Cake

This baby got gobbled up the very night I made it.  It didn’t even get a chance to come to room temperature before the kiddos and several of their friends came running to the kitchen to see if it was done.  I did manage to save a piece to photograph the next day so you could see its lovely inside.  I barely managed. I had to boxed it up, tape a note to the top, and hide it. :)


I have Monica to thank for emailing  me the recipe along with a request that I make it and send her some.  At my house in order to get a piece of anything you have to be there when it’s being served or run the risk of losing out.  Sorry, Monica.  The piece I saved was eaten with breakfast by Devon who called “dibs” on it the night before.


Cinnamon Chip Banana Coffee Cake, adapted from Lovin’ From the Oven


  • 1 cup cinnamon (or butterscotch or chocolate) chips
  • 2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, I left out as I used cinnamon chips
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • about 4 mashed bananas, I used 3 but would have used a 4th if I had it.
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter and flour 8x8x2-inch baking pan. Stir chocolate chips, brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon in small bowl until well blended; set streusel aside.
  3. Mix the all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Set aside.
  4. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, room temperature butter, and egg in a separate bowl until fluffy. Beat in mashed bananas and buttermilk.
  5. Add dry ingredients and blend well.
  6. Spread half of batter in prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with half of streusel. Repeat with remaining batter and streusel.
  7. Bake coffee cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool coffee cake in pan on rack.

Printable Recipe


Devon topped his warm cake with vanilla ice cream.  I like how he thinks. :) 


Thanks for all your kind words on my new “look” and a special thank you to Monica who made my new header!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars


Jamie from My Baking Addiction described these as tasting like her nana’s pumpkin roll and while I’ve never tried her nana’s pumpkin roll they didn’t taste like any of the pumpkin rolls I’ve eatened.  They were however still  very good.  Good enough, in fact, for my pumpkin disliking son, Jalen to gobble up two and tell me pumpkin’s not so bad.  :)

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars



6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (288 grams)

2 large eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin (240 grams)

1/3 cup water

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (220 grams)

1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice*

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Cream Cheese Layer

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar (48 grams)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg

*Pumpkin Pie Spice mix, makes 1 tablespoon

1  1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoons ground ginger

3/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/8 teaspoon ground allspice


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with non-stick foil or parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until smooth. Beat in 2 eggs, pumpkin, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/3 cup water until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
3. In another bowl, mix flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until and combine until well blended. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan
4. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/4 cup sugar, and  ½ teaspoon of vanilla until smooth.
5. Drop cream cheese mixture in evenly spaced portions over the pumpkin batter. Pull a knife tip through filling to swirl slightly into batter.
6. Bake in a 350° oven until center of the pumpkin batter (not cream cheese mixture) springs back when touched, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan, then cut into 24 bars.

Printable Recipe


~ Notes ~

~ I did not swirl my cream cheese filling directly into the batter.  Here’s how I did things.  I put 2/3 of the pumpkin batter into my pan and spread  the filling over it.  With the balance of the batter I dolloped it over the  cream cheese layer in small amounts and smoothed out as best I could.  After smoothing it out I then dragged a chop stick through the batters to get a swirled effect.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Apple Pie Caramel Apples

Apple Pie? Caramel apple?  It’s the best of both worlds!  For me anyway. I get the apple pie taste but not the mushy fruit texture that all to often goes along with it plus  there’s homemade caramel.  See? Win-win! You with me?


I got the idea to turn my caramel apples into an apple pie version after visiting a local farmer’s market.  There was a vendor selling caramel apples and I got to sample her apple pie one.  It was really good and I was tempted to buy one but I knew I could make my own.  :)

I googled for a good caramel apple recipe but only found  adaptations of Kraft’s, which uses their caramel candies. Nope, ain’t happen.  It was those candies and jar caramel sauce that had me believing I didn’t like caramel and I wasn’t about to ruin perfectly good apples.  Eventually I found a few recipes but it wasn’t until I saw Jonna’s  caramel apple post that I made my decision.  I’m so glad I did.  It was very good and it makes plenty of caramel.


For the caramel apple recipe you’ll need to click here (or use one you’re happy with) and visit Jonna.  If you wanna know how to make ‘em into apple pie caramel apples here’s how I did it.  This is more a method than a recipe.  After prepping my apples I crushed up a package of Maria cookies  (Thanks Eliana!) and added apple pie spice (add to taste) to the crushed up cookies.  I set it aside until I was ready to dip my apples. After dipping my apples into the caramel I popped them into the fridge for  about 5 minutes or so to get the caramel to firmed a bit.  Once the caramel firm up some but was still soft I rolled the apples into the crushed cookies.  I gently  pressed the cookies into the caramel and set aside on silpat lined pan to pop into the fridge. That’s it!     A couple of things I want to share.  My caramel didn’t really want to stick to the apples so I didn’t really get a nice thick layer of it on them.  I missed the part in the recipe that said to chill the apples while I made the caramel.  They were at room temp.  I don’t know if that was the sole reason the caramel didn’t stick so well but I wanted to make sure you knew.  The recipe makes a lot of caramel.  Also, I didn’t have apple pie spice and made my own. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bananas Foster Bread, Better Late Than Never


Have you guys met Maranda from Jolts & Jollies?  A month or so ago she blogged about making apple butter and in her post she mentioned having more jars of it that she knew what to do with.  In my comment to her I might have begged mentioned that I would happily take a jar off her hands.  Lucky me;  she immediately emailed asking for my address and not too long after I received a package from her with TWO jars of homemade apple butter and a Cooking Light magazine loaded with banana bread recipes.   Now if you know me at all, you know I love me some bananas so, that was a welcomed surprise.  :)  I immediately called Maranda to thank her for the package and during the course of our conversation she mentioned wanting to make this bread.  I quickly flipped and found the recipe for myself and concurred that it did look and sound good. 


Jumping ahead a couple of weeks…during an exchange of texts Maranda said that she had made the bananas foster bread and that it was really good.  Not to be left banana breadless I quickly resolved to make the bread myself and we agreed to blog about it together this Friday (today!).  Sorry, I’m so late Maranda!


This isn’t your mama’s banana bread.  It has ground oatmeal,  allspice, and dark RUM in it. Definitely stuff not found in your everyday banana bread and to top it off it has a dark rum glaze that’s poured over it while still warm from the oven. 


I made several changes to the recipe but Maranda on the other hand stuck to it so hop over and see what she thought of her bananas foster bread.

Bananas Foster Bread,adapted from Cooking Light


  • 1 1/2  cups  mashed ripe banana
  • 1  cup  packed brown sugar, divided
  • 6  tablespoons  butter, melted and divided
  • 1/4  cup  cognac or dark rum, divided (I used Meyer’’s Dark Rum) 
  • 1/3  cup  plain fat-free yogurt (I used sour cream)
  • 2  large eggs
  • 6.75  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4  cup  ground flaxseed (I used old fashion oatmeal that I ground in my mini food processor)
  • 3/4  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground allspice
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3  cup  powdered sugar
  • splash of heavy cream, optional


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine banana, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 5 tablespoons butter, and 3 tablespoons cognac in a nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat; cool. Place banana mixture in a large bowl. Add yogurt, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, and eggs. Beat with a mixer at medium speed.

3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan  (I baked mine in 3 mini loaf pans.) coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour (my minis took 28 minutes) or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; place on wire rack.

4. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter, remaining 1 tablespoon cognac, and powdered sugar; (I found my glaze too thick and added a splash of heavy cream to thin it out.) stir until well blended. Drizzle over the warm bread.


Truth…all the adults that tried the bread said it was very good but my three were not impressed.  More for me then!  :)

Click here for a printable recipe.