Beacon Hill Brownies (from the wrapper of Baker’s chocolate)

1 package or 8 oz of unsweetened Baker’s chocolate

1 cup butter or margarine

5 (five) eggs

3 (three) cups sugar

1 TB vanilla

1 ½ cups flour

2 cups chopped walnuts

Melt chocolate with butter on low heat. Stir until smooth. Cool.

Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla in large bowl at high speed for 10 (ten) minutes.

Blend in chocolate at low speed.

Add flour, just beating to blend in.

Plus walnuts

Spread in a greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes. (I have even done this at 350. Depends on your oven.) DO NOT OVER BAKE!

Cool in pan. Cut.




Aunt Troy’s Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe has been around for at least sixty years.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

1 cup shortening

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup peanut butter…crunchy is best

3 cup flour

2 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

Cream shortening and sugars

Plus eggs, vanilla, and peanut butter

Plus dry ingredients, stir.

Drop onto  a greased cookie sheet, press down with a fork.  (dip fork in flour before each cookie)


Skillet Pancake, Dutch Pancake, Cast Iron Skillet Pancake…

Preheat oven and your 10-12 inch cast iron skillet to 425 degrees F (You could use any heat proof dish similar in size and shape as long as it does not have plastic handles.

In a bowl whisk:

1 cup milk

1 cup  flour (bleached, unbleached, etc…just as long as it is not self rising)

3 large eggs

2 TBs sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp salt

(You can also add in a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg if you want to top with some type of sautéed apple.  For a savory, perhaps some fresh ground pepper and some finely minced onion and parsley mixed into the batter.)

Remove skillet from oven and coat the bottom and sides, thoroughly, with either butter (about 2 TB’s, should melt on contact), Crisco or Pam.

Pour into skillet and bake for about 12 minutes or puffy and golden brown.  I just serve this right out of the pan.  And oh, that is one pan per person around here. LOL. If the pan is greased properly, it will  slide out, somewhat like a crepe. (If it is not greased properly, it is going to stick. Just say’n…) This is yummy topped with sweet: (fresh fruit, honey, yogurt, pie filling… or savory: sautéed vegetables, gravy, or some tasty left over in the fridge.

Of course, just some powdered sugar sprinkled on top and some fresh squeezed lemon is a tasty thing as well.

Lemon Cake Pudding

1 ¼ cups sugar
3 TBs flour
2 TBs softened butter
4 eggs separated
1 1/2 cups milk
1 TB grated lemon peel
Juice of two lemons
Pinch of salt

Combine sugar and flour.
Cream butter and sugar, blending well until smooth.
Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add the milk gradually.
Then add the seasonings.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the yolk mixture.

Pour into a well greased 9 inch square cake pan.
Bake at 325 for 40 minutes or until top is golden and firm.
The pudding will separate, forming a lovely lemon custard on the bottom and a cake like texture on the top.

This was my mother’s recipe. Suet…yes…that is the fat you trim off the meat. She never boilded a cow’s neck bone. She would buy a cheap roast, instead.
Homemade Mincemeat
2 pounds beef neck (before it is cooked)
1 pound suet
4 pounds tart apples
4 cups sugar
2 pounds currents
3 pounds seedless raisins
½ pound citron, chopped fine
juice and grated peel of two oranges
juice and grated peel of two lemons
1 pint fruit juice or cider (Yes, 1 pint of fruit juice…I no longer remember what she used. It could have been oraange…but I can not say for sure.) Cider would be apple cider.
1 TB salt
1 ¼ teaspoons grated nutmeg
½ tsp mace
Simmer beef necks in enough water to cover until tender, about three hours.
Cool; put through coarse blade of food chopper with suet and apples. Place all the ingredients in a large pan, mix well. Simmer 1 hour.
To make the pie:
This recipe says enough pastry for a top and bottom eight inch pie.
Two cups of mince meat for an eight inch pie plate. Fill bottom pie crust. Adjust top crust to fit. Crimp…cut a cute design in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake for 35 minutes in a 450 degree oven.

Fantasy Fudge
3 cups sugar
¾ cup butter or margarine
1 can, 5oz evaporated milk
12 ozs milk chocolate chocolate chips
1 jar 7 ozs marshmallow crème
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla
Line a nine inch pan with foil. Spray the foil with Pam.
In a large pot, bring sugar, butter and milk to a roiling boil on medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 4 minutes or until 234 degrees on candy thermometer. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips, vanilla, marshmallow crème and nuts. Stir until melted. Pour into pan and cool.
Repeat the process but substituting butterscotch chips for the chocolate ones.
Pour over the top of the chocolate fudge. Cool….with the foil, you can lift the whole thing out of the pan, flip it out and removed the foil and slice…..or shoot, you can just disregard that and with a fork, have a go at it.
Once you slice it and separate out the pieces and let it set out for a bit, the slices will dry out a bit and firm up even more.


Irish Soda Bread
4 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
½ tsp salt
1-2 tsp caraway seeds ( I use two cause I like caraway)
1 to 1½ cup raisins (I use one cause I’m not so crazy about the raisins)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350
Place all dry ingredients in a bowl. Plus raisins and caraway seeds. Mix well.
Add butter, eggs and milk. Mix well. The dough will be sticky. This makes two loaves.
Put down about a cup of flour and spread it around on your cabinet top or board and turn out. This will absorb a bit more flour as you work the dough into a round loaf shape. Cut it in half, re work, pat it down fondly, and then place on a well greased 8 by 8 pan with a lip/side or larger. The recipe says you can bake this in a loaf pan but I never have. First of all, this is a lot of dough. I think it would take two loaf pans…
I do, however, put both loaves equal distance apart on my 9 by 11 stoneware baker. As they bake, they spread and they will touch.
Bake it for 45 minutes but because of the high butter fat and sugar content, start checking it at around forty. I bake mine on stoneware which slows down the bottom turning brown the fastest.
What you have just made is a giant scone….call it what you will. There are a gazillion other soda bread recipes out there but I have had one or two where the soda is overpowering. I do not enjoy that. Since adjusting this recipe, this is the one I have stuck with. The Irish in me seems to be at peace with it…the French part of me says to spread on a bit more butter when I eat it….
Regardless, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!


Any Alcohol (for St Paddy’s use Irish Crème) Bundt Cake
(As a rum cake, this recipe made the rounds about thirty five years ago.) Must be as large as ten inch Bundt pan…do not go smaller
1 cup chopped pecans (or favorite nut….the pecans give it a praline topping)
Into a large mixing bowl place:
1 yellow cake mix (18.25 ounces ) DO NOT MIX ACCORDING TO PACKAGE DIRECTIONS!
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix (3.4 ounces) DO NOT MIX ACCORDING TO PACKAGE DIRECTIONS
4 eggs
¼ cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup Irish Crème liqueur (use the less expensive brand….save the Bailey’s for drinking)
½ cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
¼ cup Irish crème Liqueur
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165c… that’s for you Miss Trudy! ;-))
1.Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over bottom of the pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Mix in the 4 eggs, ¼ cup water, ½ cup oil and ¾ Irish Crème liqueur (or the alcohol of your choice). Beat for 5 minutes at high speed. Pour batter over nuts in the pan.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes or until a long thin knife, wooden skewer, etc. inserted into it comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes. Then invert the cake onto a serving dish. Prick top and sides of cake. Spoon hot glaze over top and brush onto sides of the hot cake. Allow to absorb glaze and then repeat until all the glaze is used.
4. To make glaze. In a saucepan, combine butter, ¼ cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in ¼ cup Irish cream.
It will take a bit to work the pan of glaze onto the cake but well worth the effort! Work on something, glaze, work on something, glaze….etc.


Pumpkin Spice Bars
I have seen and been given variations of this recipe. I just decided to go straight to the source. This recipe is from the good folks at Libby’s. If you have not tried their pumpkin roll that is on the inside of the pumpkin label, you should. It is a killer!
1 can (30 oz.) LIBBY’S® Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix / ( I use just plain pumpkin and buy a spice cake mix)
2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
If you can’t find a spice cake mix, use 1 pkg. (18.25 oz.) yellow cake mix, use the (30oz ) can Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Mix for the spice flavor or using a can of regular pumpkin, go to your recipe for pumpkin pie and use the spices from that to put in the yellow cake mix.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Whipped topping (optional)
PREHEAToven to 350° F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
COMBINEcanned pumpkin pie mix, evaporated milk and eggs in large bowl. Pour into prepared pan.
COMBINEcake mix, melted butter and nuts in large bowl until crumbly (clean hands may be used). Sprinkle over filling.
BAKE for 50 to 55 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Top each serving with whipped topping, if desired.

There are as many recipes in the South for Ambrosia Salad as there are ways to make a mint julep. (I can hear some of you saying “What…no there is only one way to make a mint julep, the way my Momma taught me….my point is made.) This was my Mom’s recipe. I like more coconut, nuts and marshmallows because I like coconut, nuts and marshmallows but ’tis The Season and to honor The Old Grandma Woman, I’m putting it out there as she has it written down.
I’ve subbed non fat Greek Yogurt for the sour cream and I’ve used non fat Cool Whip to help lighten the calorie load and sometimes both at the same time.
Ambrosia Salad
2 cans pineapple chunks, drained (20 ounce can)
2 cans mandarin oranges, drained (15 ounce can)
1 jar maraschino cherries, drained (16 ounce)
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup chopped pecans
Six ounces sour cream
16 oz container of Cool Whip (thawed, please)
Combine the Cool Whip and Sour Cream.
Mix in the other ingredients. Serve.

Served at Hunter’s First Day of School Breakfast
Make Ahead French Toast
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. melted butter
Dash nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
(In the winter time, I use a dash of ground cloves and all spice as well.)
Combine ingredients.
Slice loaf of French bread (26-28″ long) or your favorite bread, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
Place the bread in bottom of the greased 13 by 9 inch baking dish. I have, when feeding a crowd, overlapped the bread, just a bit. As long as it absorbs the moisture, it is going to taste good.
In a bowl whisk:
6 eggs
 2 c. milk 
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Add the brown sugar mixture.
(Because I like pecans, I’ll chop up half a cup and put that into the mix. My sister uses chocolate chips as well. Yikes! That is not for me but she likes it.)
Beat together and pour over bread. If the bread wants to float, push it down with a spoon a bit. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350°F for 35 to 40 minutes. My convection oven does this nicely right at 40 minutes.
Please Note: This makes more of a custard-ee French toast. All those eggs and milk…mmmm-mmmm. This really reminds me of a New Orleans bread pudding recipe I wrangled off a mom and pop gas station nice lady that had a couple of picnic tables around on the side when we stopped to get gas and eat her crawdudes about thirty five years, ago, as we were passin’ through. Oh yes, had her bread pudding, as well.
She used day old cinnamon rolls, the yeast bread variety, not the ones you buy in the can like biscuits, and tore them into pieces. (Really? They don’t get eaten?) Eight eggs, 2 cups heavy cream (yikes and yum!) , 2 tablespoons vanilla, a half cup of melted butter and a cup of chopped pecans. Of course, she explained, it all depended on the size of the pan she was using. If she was making a bunch, like during tourist season, she told me, she used a bigger pan. She just upped the eggs and cream and butter and vanilla. Made sense to me. Yes indeed-ee, you can’t go wrong with that! She said it was all about covering the bread with the eggs and milk. The end product….it makes a lovely vanilla custard around those broken up cinnamon roll pieces…. I love bread pudding….sigh…no to the raisins, though!
So, if you if happen to have some day old cinnamon rolls, you know, just lying around, taking up precious counter space and not doing anything…tear them into pieces so that they come almost to the top of your well greased 13 by 9 inch pan. Pour on the well whisked cream, eggs, vanilla, butter, pecans. This bakes at 350 for 45 to fifty minutes. I had one oven it took an hour and ten minutes. Depends on how cold the eggs/milk are at the time and how user friendly your oven happens to be. After the holiday season, my oven goes on vacation. Yeppers, just says, “Yo, woman, I’m done. See ya!” So I won’t be seeing it after 12th Night until it returns in time for St. Paddy’s Day to make Soda Bread. I should have such a life!
My mom used to make during the winter for breakfast on Saturday mornings what she called Cocoa Gravy. She served it over biscuits hot from the oven. I have made this and I’ve had folk turn up their nose and say…”Oh, no thanks…” and that’s just fine. Leaves more for me.

Cocoa Gravy
2 cups milk
3 TB cocoa powder
½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 Tb flour/put in leak proof container with some of the milk and shake till smooth
1 TB vanilla
¼ cup butter/ margarine can be used but changes the taste
Place the ingredients into a pan on top of stove. Heat until thick. A gentle boil for a couple of minutes should do the trick. This will pour easily.
Please note: What you have in essence made is a very simple chocolate pudding without the eggs. And you are serving it over a “short cake”. If this was called Sauce Cacao avec Shortcakt, you’d be standing all day over the stove making it for those who were too good to have some Cocoa Gravy. If, there is any left over, put it in the fridge. It sets up like a soft pudding.
Chocolate as a breakfast food. God Bless America.

This is the pie recipe that Eric copied down at Hoyt’s wake after the funeral from Momma Fortenberry. It is Eric’s favorite and will be Hunter’s as well.
German Sweet Chocolate Pie
This recipe is from the chocolate-tey good folk at Baker’s. Forty years ago I clipped it off their bar of German Sweet Baking Chocolate.
4 oz Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate
¼ cup butter
1 2/3rds cups (13 oz can) evaporated milk
1 ½ cups sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/8th teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell, highly fluted
1 1/3rd cups Flake Coconut
½ cup chopped pecans (I will up that amount to a cup. We like pecans!)
Melt chocolate with butter over low heat, stirring until blended, only. You are only melting the chocolate and butter. Remove from heat.
Gradually blend in milk.
Place in a bowl the sugar, cornstarch and salt; mix thoroughly. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Gradually blend in the chocolate mixture. (You don’t want to cook the eggs. The pan in a cold water bath in the sink takes the temp down in a hurry.) Then add the coconut and nuts. Pour into pie shell.
Bake at 375 for 45 to 50 minutes. (Filling will be soft but will set while cooling.) Cool at least 4 hours before cutting. If the top browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil the last fifteen minutes of baking.
This recipe, thanks to the internet, has been passed around since it showed up at Bunco. I know this is from one of the Bunco Babes that lives in Virginia. I wish I could give credit for from whence it came. Sadly, I can not but it does not keep me from enjoying it. Yummy good without anything, just all by itself! Have it with a champagne brunch, even better.
Orange-Champagne Cakes
Prep: 30 min.
Bake: 30 min.
Oven: 325°
Stand: 10 min.
1.5 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1.5 cups unsalted butter, softened (three sticks of butter)
2 cups sugar
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup orange juice
3 cups finely ground almonds (pulse mood when using the food processor…with the blender, pulse small batches. Be careful not to turn it into almond butter!)
1 tablespoon finely shredded orange peel (small side of your grater)
1.5 cups champagne or sparkling wine or a sweet wine
¼ cup sugar
Orange marmalade (optional)
Shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)
Thin orange peel strips (optional)
Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease and flour twelve 1-cup individual tube pans or 4-inch muffin cups; set aside. (If you have muffin tins that only hold ½ a cup, you are going to make twice as many corn muffins. You can do these in the muffin papers. Because of all the nuts in this batter, I grease the muffin papers as well. I just hit them with Pam. Not as pretty but works.)
In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the 2 cups sugar; beat until well mixed. Add eggs, beat until combined. Beat in orange juice (mixture may appear curdled). Beat in cornmeal mixture just until combined. Fold in almonds and shredded orange peel. Spoon the batter into prepared pans (about 2/3rd’s full in each). Bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine champagne and the ¼ cup sugar. Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 1 cup.
Remove cakes from pans. Transfer cakes to a large platter. Prick cakes with a toothpick. Carefully spoon or brush the champagne mixture over cakes. Cover to keep from drying out.
Serve cakes at room temperature. If desired, serve with orange marmalade and shaved Parmesan cheese. If desired, garnish with orange peel strips. Makes 12 servings, if using the 1 cup pan.
To bake ahead: Bake and cool cakes. Cover, and store at room temperature for up to 4 hours. Garnish as directed above.
*Note-(from the original Bunco Babe) When I made these for Bunco, I used a mini-muffin pan and baked for around 15 minutes. This recipe makes A LOT! I ended up with about 60 mini-muffin sized cakes!
You ever get a craving for a caramel apple, try this instead. I am always amazed at how many kiddos like this. Also good with any meal with pork….or a hamburger…or just right out of the bowl….lolololol…..
Caramel Apple Salad
One 16 oz. container Cool Whip, thawed
One 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, do not drain
One 1 oz sugar free, fat free, instant butterscotch pudding….or the traditional instant butterscotch pudding (the package makes 2 cups of pudding)
½ cup salted peanuts, chopped coarse…
4 apples sliced and chopped…if I am having a few more for dinner, I’ll use up to six apples.
In a large bowl: Mix the pineapple (do not drain) and the butterscotch pudding, together. Mix until all pudding is dissolved. Add the apples and the peanuts.
Fold in the Cool Whip (if you use the fat free Cool Whip, you can eat it for breakfast without the guilt…great way to start your day….just say’n…)
This is delightful! You do not so much taste the pineapple, which keeps the apples from turning. It does though, remind me of a caramel apple….yum!

Wine Poached Pears
How many pears?
Depends on how many you are serving.
4-6 Peeled, Cored pears. A whole poached pear is a fantastic thing to see. (Just peel it and poach it.)You can sliced them into ¼’s or ½’s and poach. Check your guest list and decide. (It is best to use Bosc or Anjou or any hard winter pear. The soft ones, though yummy, will fall apart.)
1 1/2 cups of red wine or a blended is good, as well. You are adding “ingredients” so save the most expensive red to drink for yourself and use his less expensive brother for this.)
One cup granulated sugar…and if you do ¾ cup granulated to ¼ cup brown sugar and add a couple of cloves and one or two allspice…ohhhh baby….
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
Combine all ingredients, except pears, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to a simmer and add the pears. Simmer pears for 10-12 minutes and then turn pears and simmer for an additional 8-10 minutes – until they are fork tender. (You can poke them with a fork.) Remove pears and let them cool. Boil wine sauce until the liquid has been reduced by half. Pour sauce over pears and serve with vanilla ice cream, any chocolate product, cheese…the blue family, especially….etc…

JJ Men
2 ¾ to 3 cups flour
¾ cup butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (your choice, light or dark)
2 ½ tablespoons molasses
3 TB boiling water
Grated rind of ½ lemon
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsps cinnamon
1 tsp powdered cloves
1 tsp powered cardamom (I don’t always have cardamom)
1 ½ tsps powered ginger
1 tsp powdered all spice (The recipe does not call for all spice but I always put it in)
½ cup sliced almonds
The recipe does not call for almonds, but the Christmas gingerbread men at the Baeckereis in German always had almonds in them.
1 tsp Nutmeg The recipe does not call for nutmeg but I always put some in.(When I bake in the fall, I grate nutmeg into everything.) I use fresh nutmeg so I just grate it over the bowl until I can smell the nutmeg.
Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Mix molasses, water and lemon into butter mixture. Add spices and soda into flour. Plus Flour mix into the butter mixture. Beat.
You want the dough to be smooth and pliable so that it easily rolls. Start with the lesser amount of flour and plus more if needed. Knead briefly on floured surface. Wrap in plastic and place in fridge for 1 hour. (The recipe calls for this but I never do it. I want to get on with the cookie process. Read that to mean the eating of the cookies. And hey, no eggs in this recipe so the kids can sample the dough right along with you.)
Roll out on a lightly floured surface to desired thickness and use cookie cutters.
Arrange on a lightly oiled or parchment paper cooking sheets and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.
I know this does not seem possible, but these taste even better if allowed to age for a couple of days. Takes the cookie to a whole new level. They also freeze nicely.

Cut into small pieces:
½ orange peel
½ lemon peel
1 stick cinnamon
¼ cup whole cloves
1 bay leaf
Place in pan, add water. Simmer. When water cooks out, add more. Place in fridge and use over and over.
This cookie recipe has been around since I was a kid. So for over fifty years it has been making mouths happy!
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup margarine
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups (12 ozs) candy orange slices (wedges) snipped into small pieces (Brach’s, along with others, make these)
1 cup flaked coconut
Cream together margarine and sugars. Add eggs and beat thoroughly. Add vanilla.
Plus in flour, baking powder and soda and salt. Mix thoroughly.
Add oats. (A pair of scissors in a glass of hot water makes cutting the candy easier.) Plus orange candy bits. Add coconut.
Using about 1 TB of dough, roll into balls. Bake at 350 on a greased cookie sheet for 12 minutes or until done. Do not over bake. You can roll in powdered sugar when cool.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad
(When was the last time you had a pretzel salad? This was very popular about 20 years, ago. It was proudly displayed on get together tables, everywhere.
2 ½ cup crushed pretzels
¾ cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (I use a ½ cup)
8 oz cream cheese
2 cups whipped topping (Cool Whip, thawed)
6 ozs. Strawberry Jello
1 ½ cup boiling water
2 10 oz. packages of frozen strawberries (Because the Jello is already sweet, you really don’t need the strawberries that you can buy frozen mixed with sugar.)
Mix pretzels and butter. Press int 13 baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes at 375. Cool.
Beat sugar into cream cheese. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over crust and seal along edges.
Put Jello in mixing bowl. Pour in boiling water and stir until dissolved. Place frozen strawberries into Jello. When partially set, spoon carefully over cream cheese. Chill. Serve.
Vanilla Sauce
There are a lot of vanilla sauce recipes out there. Very easy to turn this into a “hard sauce” to go over anything!
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp all purpose flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup of vanilla ice cream.
In a pan, add the cream and sugar, bring to a boil to dissolve sugar.
In a bowl, place the two egg yolks, flour, vanilla, salt. Beat until smooth.
Then, pour a little of the hot cream mixture into the yolk. (If you added the yolk directly to the hot pan of cream, the yolks would cook and you’d have big bits of egg yolk in your sauce.) Whisk! And Whisk! Some more until smooth them pour all the mixture back into the pan stir, stir, stir! Cook over a very low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
The yolk is going to make some mini lumps…so pour it through a fine mesh sieve. Add the vanilla ice cream. At my house, I’ll add maybe a ¼ cup of Grand Marina to the sauce. On Derby Day, I use Bourbon, of course.
In a hurry? I’ve done this as well…..buy a box of vanilla pudding you have to cook on top of the stove. Follow the directions. Take off the heat and add 1 cup of milk or half and half or heavy cream….yippee! Then a cup of vanilla bean vanilla ice cream….(your friends will think you scraped out those vanilla beans just for them! And if they ask make sure you tell them yes you did!) Heat and stir and add the alcohol of your choice. Yum….I love it over waffles with strawberries on top!
Cheese Torte
From time to time I wander into Wegman’s. That’s a grocery store in the North East.
In their cheese section, they have what they call a cheese torte. Yooooo Momma!
Being the good girl that I am, I purchased a sliver of this bit of heaven on earth. Then I brought it home and took it apart. Here is what I learned:
For the base: They used a triple cream Saga Blue cheese….I have bought a triple crème blue cheese at Costco…you can also substitute a Brie….
In a bowl put:
8 ounces / ½ of the 16 oz the container or Marzetti Caramel dip….you could also melt 8 ozs of Kraft caramels
Chop fine 1 cup dried apple rings
Chop fine, ½ cup dried cranberries….also goes by Craisins, I believe
Chop ¾ cup of pecans.
Mix all of this together and place on top of cheese.
Please Note: If you like blue cheese….if you put this on top of a triple cream blue cheese and it needs to be a triple cream for easy spreading….my darlings….you are never going back…just say’n…..
I have had friends serve this at parties on top of Brie and people who did not like Brie came up to them and said….I don’t like Brie but that is really good.
Now, at Wegman’s this sells for a fortune…and they get really fancy with it. So can you. Refrigerate the caramel mix for a couple of hours. Center the cheese on a plate. Put on some latex gloves or using your spatula mound this on, patting it into place. You can then cover it with clear plastic wrap and even it up more. I’ve done this with rounds of cheese and it is not only tasty but spectacular!
Let it come to room temp before serving. Or if you forget, bringing it out cold is not bad, either.
Please note: If you heat the Brie so that it is warm and almost melt-ee before you serve it and if you heat the caramel mixture just a little bit and then put it on the Brie…people are never leaving your house…they are moving in….

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