It’s girl scout cookie season or at least it was when I made this cheesecake, not so much when I actually posted it. 😀 I have never seen a girl scout selling cookies here in this area though – not even sure there are any troops. 🙁 I do miss that! Since we can’t buy them, why not make our favorite flavor cookie into a RICH, CREAMY and YUMMY cheesecake? BEST OF BOTH WORLDS!!!!

40 chocolate wafer cookies
1/4 cup butter, melted
32 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 LARGE eggs
8 ounces FULL fat sour cream
1/4 cup AP flour
1 teaspoon coconut extract
3/4 cup caramel sauce
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup chocolate sauce

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Fill a roasting pan halfway with water and place on lower rack of oven.
  • Use a food processor to crumble the chocolate wafer cookies.
  • Wrap a 9 or 10 inch spring form pan with a double layer of heavy duty foil.
  • Spray the inside of the spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Mix together the cookie crumbs and melted butter until well blended.
  • Press crumb mixture into the spring form pan and 1 inch up the side of the pan.
  • Chill 10 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl at medium speed cream the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and fluffy.
  • Lower speed to low and add eggs, sour cream, flour and coconut extract for one minute JUST until blended.
  • Pour into chilled spring form pan.
  • Bake on center rack 1 hour and 10 minutes until center jiggles only slightly.
  • Run a knife around the outer edge to loosed the cake.
  • Let cool COMPLETELY on a wire rack.
  • Cover with saran wrap and chill AT LEAST 8 hours or overnight.
  • JUST before serving transfer to a serving plate.
  • Spread the caramel sauce over the top of the cake.
  • Sprinkle with coconut.
  • Drizzle with chocolate sauce.


This is the BEST recipe for the upcoming fall season. I made it last year for both Thanksgiving AND Christmas!! And I will again this year it was so good 😀

DOUGH (ingredients for single crust, but you’ll need 2!!)
2 1/2 cups AP flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup COLD butter
1/2 cup COLD crisco stick
1 LARGE egg yolk
1/4 cup COLD vodka**

  • Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.
  • Grate the butter and shortening into flour mixture.
  • Using a pastry cutter make a crumbly mixture.
  • Whisk egg into vodka.
  • Gradually add egg mixture into flour mixture, tossing with a fork until dough holds together when pressed, adding more cold vodka or cold water as necessary.
  • Shape dough into a disk, wrap with saran and refrigerate for an hour.
  • Repeat the steps above for a second crust.

**NOTE: Vodka while being liquid will also evaporate as it bakes leaving a flakier crust.

2 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup AP flour
7 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and sliced thin (about 8 cups)
3 cups FRESH cranberries
1 tablespoon FRESH orange zest
2 teaspoons FRESH grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons QUALITY cinnamon
6 cups FRESH or frozen raspberries

  • Roll out 1st disk of dough between 2 sheets of wax paper 13×18 inches.
  • Remove top sheet of wax paper.
  • Turn a 15×10 inch baking sheet upside down on the crust.
  • Using the wax paper lift carefully inverting crust into pan.
  • Remove wax paper and press crust onto bottom and up sides of the pan.
  • Allow to chill while preparing filling.


  • In a LARGE saute pan whisk together the flour and sugar.
  • Fold in apples, cranberries, orange zest, nutmeg and cinnamon.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil over medium high heat.
  • Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes until apples are tender and juices are thickened.
  • Remove from heat and stir in raspberries.
  • Cool mixture.


  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Add cooled filling to prepared crust.
  • On a floured surface roll out the remaining dough disk into a 1/8 inch rectangle.
  • Cut and decorate as desired into strips or shapes to decorate the top.
  • Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  • Bake 45 minutes on the lowest rack until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.
  • Cool on wire rack.

NOTE: You can change up the pie’s top crust with fall themed shapes or braids or basket weave. Sprinkle with granulated sugar to add a crunch and glisten to the crust.


1/4 cup PACKED brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
1 tablespoon salted butter
1/2 cup dried figs, diced
3 CRISP apples, cored and diced
1 orange, juiced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon FRESH grated nutmeg

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Grease an 8×8 baking dish.
  • In a LARGE skillet melt 1 tablespoon of butter.
  • Add apples, brown sugar, orange juice, figs, cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of salt.
  • Saute 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced.
  • Add Wondra flour cooking and stirring 2-3 minutes more until appleas are tender and everything is well coated.
  • Transfer to prepared baking dish, spreading into an even layer.
  • Let cool 5-10 minutes.

2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons small chopped walnuts
4 tablespoons salted butter, chilled and small cubed

  • Mix the flour, oats, sugar, salt, walnuts and butter together. Use your hands to work the butter into the dry ingredients until coarse crumbs form.
  • Sprinkle crumble evenly over the fig mixture.
  • Bake 24-28 minutes until topping is browned and filling is bubbly.
  • Let stand 10 minutes before serving.



3/4 cup canned plain unseasoned black beans, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup applesauce
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, FINELY chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup QUALITY cocoa powder
1 LARGE egg
2 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon FINE sea salt
Powdered sugar, garnish (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line an 8 inch baking dish with foil, leaving enough hanging over the edge to be used as handles.
  • Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Combine beans, applesauce and chopped chocolate in food processor and process until smooth.
  • Add sugar, cocoa powder, egg and vanilla. Process again until well combined.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
  • Add flour mixture to bean mixture processing JUST until combined.
  • Spread batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake 20 minutes or until center is firm and edges are puffy.
  • Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  • Lift by foil and cut into squares.
  • Garnish with powdered sugar.


1 Betty Crocker SuperMoist BUTTER PECAN cake mix
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

  • Preheat oven to 350°. 
  • Line the bottom of your 10 inch spring form pan with parchment paper. I cut a square sheet and close it into the seam of the bottom with the latch and then trim into a circle. Lightly spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray.  
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix, melted butter and egg until well blended.
  • Press batter into the bottom of your spring form pan.

8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
15 ounce can pumpkin puree
8 tablespoons UNSALTED butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1/2 teaspoon orange peel 
3 LARGE eggs
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Caramel sauce (recipe below) 
Candied pecans (I used Fisher’s Cinnamon Pecans) 
Kraft Caramel Balls 
Smucker’s Pineapple Sauce, slightly warmed (optional)

  • In a large mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth.
  • Add melted butter, vanilla and eggs, beating until well combined.
  • Fold in powdered sugar, orange peel and pumpkin pie spice until just mixed. 
  • Pour batter over cake base and smooth even.
  • Bake 60-75 minutes until cake is set and top is only slightly wobbly (similar to a cheesecake consistency)
  • COOL COMPLETELY on a wire rack BEFORE removing the pan.
  • Serve sliced with Caramel sauce, pineapple sauce, caramel balls and pecans. 

NOTE: You can use a 9×13 pan, but, YOU WILL NEED LESS BAKING TIME!

1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
2+ tablespoons water
  • Combine the cream and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. 
  • Remove from the heat. 
  • In a medium saucepan cook the corn syrup over a medium heat until bubbly. 
  • Fold in 1/4 cup of the sugar and continue to cook until the edges begin to turn a light amber color. 
  • Add in 1/4 cup sugar more and repeat until all the sugar is blended in. 
  • Continue cooking until amber color darkens stirring constantly. 
  • Remove from the heat and carefully fold in the cream mixture.
  • Cook over medium heat stirring frequently until caramel is bubbling. 
  • Serve warm. 
  • Makes 1 1/2 cups. 

Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Microwave 20-30 seconds to soften refrigerated caramel before serving. 


1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, DIVIDED
2 JUMBO eggs
1 tablespoon QUALITY cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut flavored rum
1/2 cup golden raisins
8 ounces crushed pineapple, drained WELL
1 cup rustic chopped strawberries
2 LARGE, RIPE bananas

1/2 cup crushed walnuts (optional)

1/4 cup sugar

2 1/4 cups AP flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with rum. Set aside to soak for 10 minutes and then drain WELL.
  • Combine 1 stick of the butter, brown sugar and bananas in a sauce pan cooking until smooth and sugar is dissolved.
  • Fold in strawberries, pineapple, nuts and raisins.
  • Stir until well coated & set aside to cool.
  • Cream softened butter, sugar and eggs until fluffy.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  • Add this to the creamed mixture gradually until well blended.
  • Add cooled banana mixture.
  • Pour into greased and floured pan(s)*
  • Bake at 350° for 45+ minutes.

*NOTE:* This recipe will make 2 large loaves or 1-2 snack cakes or 18 muffins…

FROSTING (optional)use this if you want to turn it into a snack cake.
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
Juice of 1 SMALL lemon
1 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • In a medium bowl beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Add lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until blended.
  • Add powdered sugar gradually until well blended and smooth.
  • Frost snack cake.
  • Refrigerate 1 hour to set icing before serving.


I took a Ricotta cheese making class several months ago at a local winery, Joseph Jane. It was a wonderful night that culminated in this cake after a tasty lasagna meal. I also discovered my new favorite wine, Pink Panik.

1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 LARGE eggs
16 ounce container of FULL fat ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups raspberries, plus a few for garnish
1/4 cup sliced almonds

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line a 9 inch spring form pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • Whisk together the eggs, ricotta cheese and vanilla until smooth.
  • Stir egg mixture into the dry mixture.
  • Fold in cooled melted butter until smooth.
  • GENTLY fold in raspberries.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Scatter the almonds and remaining berries over the top of the batter.
  • Bake 50 minutes or until golden brown and center is cooked through.
  • Let cool 20 minutes BEFORE unmolding.

Honestly making your own ricotta is easy, but ALSO time consuming and in my opinion not really worth the trouble when there are so many less expensive options. That said, if you really want to give it a try, here’s the recipe. The original recipe came from Career Girl Meets.

You will need some cheesecloth and a candy thermometer for special equipment.

1 gallon WHOLE milk
1 quart buttermilk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt

  • In a LARGE pot stir together the above ingredients.
  • Clip a candy thermometer to the pot. This is a crucial step as you are looking for an exact 195°.
  • Cook over low to medium heat and stir liquid occasionally. You will begin to see the milk separate and the curd form.
  • When the temperature reaches 195°, REMOVE the pot from the heat and let it sit for 35 minutes. DO NOT STIR DURING THIS TIME.
  • Line a colander with three layers of damp cheesecloth.
  • Place colander over a large bowl. This bowl will catch the excess whey as it drains.
  • Pour the cooled curds into the colander.
  • Use a spatula and GENTLY stir the ricotta to drain the whey from the cheese.
  • Wrap the cheese in the cheesecloth and GENTLY squeeze to allow the excess whey to drain.
  • Place the cheese in the refrigerator for several hours.
  • After several hours, unwrap the cheese and discard the cheesecloth.
  • Keep refrigerated.

TASTE: Just sweet enough, but not overly sweet.
TEXTURE: Tender crust with a pop of berry here and there and crunchy almonds.
EASE: Easy to hard – depending on whether you make your own ricotta cheese.
APPEARANCE: Appetizing and visually appealing.
PROS: Great meal for company.
CONS: None that I found!
WOULD I MAKE THIS AGAIN? DEFINITELY Yes. BUT, I would use store bought ricotta for the ease.



12 cups combination of torn croissant pieces and sourdough pieces
6 cups half and half
12 LARGE eggs
2 cups VERY ripe mashed bananas (about 6 LARGE)
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons PURE vanilla
1 tablespoon QUALITY cinnamon
2 cups mini chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray 9×13 pans with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Toss bread and croissant pieces with the chocolate chips.
  • Mash bananas.
  • Whisk together the eggs, half and half, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
  • Fold in bananas.
  • Arrange bread and croissant mixture loosely in the pans.
  • Pour banana egg mixture evenly over bread pieces.
  • Gently press the the bread into the custard mixture so bread absorbs the custard.

1 1/2 cups toasted chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups PACKED brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter

  • In a small bowl combine brown sugar and chopped walnuts.
  • Drizzle butter into brown sugar nut mixture, stirring to mix well.
  • Sprinkle the nut mixture evenly over the bread pieces.
  • Bake 40-45 minutes until golden and cooked through and set well.

1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup PACKED brown sugar

  • In a sauce pan whisk together the maple syrup and brown sugar 5-7 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and mixture ALMOST boils.
  • Remove from heat and serve over warm banana bread.


  • Mash bananas, but leave them a bit chunky.
  • A powdered sugar sprinkle makes a good alternative to the maple sauce if serving for a potluck or buffet.
  • Adding rum soaked raisins gives it a real kick too!



yields 24 cupcakes PREP 15 minutes COOK 15 minutes TOTAL 30 minutes

A fun and easy apple pie cupcake recipe made with a spicy cinnamon roll dough, spicy apples and a sweet crumble topping. Is there anything better than the sweet smell of an apple pie baking? I think not.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced in to 1/4-inch cubes
6 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons QUALITY ground cinnamon (I use red ape)
3/4 teaspoon FRESH ground nutmeg
SCANT 1 teaspoon salt
Juice from LARGE lemon

  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the diced apples and cook 5 minutes or so, tossing occasionally, until they start to soften.
  • Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and the salt.
  • Cook 5 more minutes, or until tender.
  • Stir in lemon juice.
  • Set aside.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup WONDRA
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1 teaspoon FRESH grated nutmeg

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

  • Add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and walnuts to a medium bowl.
  • Grate the butter with a cheese grater over the bowl.
  • With a pastry cutter work the butter in until crumbly.
  • Set aside.

3 cans (8 count) refrigerated cinnamon roll dough (store bought or home made is up to you!)

  • Heat oven to 400°.
  • LIGHTLY spray muffin tins with cooking spray.
  • Separate cinnamon roll dough into 24 rolls.
  • Flatten each into 4-inch round then place into each muffin cup so it comes up the sides evenly.
  • Divide the cooled apple filling mixture evenly into muffin cups.
  • Top with the crumble topping.

  • Bake the cupcakes 15 minutes or until bubbly and tops are light brown.
  • Cool in the pan 5 minutes then transfer to a cooking rack.

TOPPING – your choice – store bought or home made is up to you!
Whipped cream
Ice cream
Caramel sauce drizzle

  • Serve the cupcakes with topping of choice.


Soft, chewy and yet crispy and golden. YUM!

COCONUT MACAROONS yields 2 dozen cookies

14 ounces sweetened Baker’s Angel Flake flaked coconut
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
2 LARGE eggs whites
¼ teaspoon salt
4 ounces QUALITY (GHIRADELLI) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • Arrange oven racks near the center of the oven.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the coconut, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  • Beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form.
  • Use a large rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
  • Using a mini ice cream scoop or gloved hands sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, form heaping tablespoons of the mixture into mounds on the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart.
  • Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back, until the tops and edges are ALL golden.
  • Let cool on the pans for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at medium power, stopping and stirring at 30 second intervals, until just smooth and creamy or melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water.)
  • Dip the bottoms of the macaroons in the chocolate, letting any excess drip back into the bowl, and return to the lined baking sheets. Place the macaroons in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.


  • A drop or two of food coloring can make these festive for any special occasion – red for Valentine’s Day, green for St. Patrick’s Day, pink or blue for a baby shower, etc…
  • The cookies keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week or they can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • If freezing, DO NOT DIP in the chocolate until you thaw them out. Remove the cookies from the freezer and let them come to room temperature before dipping in chocolate or serving.


This has been a family favorite for many years and is the first dessert I taught my niece, Amber how to bake with so it has some seriously “sweet” memories 😀

2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup packed golden brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup butter, softened
3 JUMBO eggs
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract
1/4 cup golden rum** SEE NOTE
3 cups grated carrots
8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained well
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • Pour rum over raisins and set aside for at least an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Grease and flour 2-9 inch cake pans or line cupcake tins.
  • In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugars.
  • In another bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar, vanilla and 1 egg.
  • Add additional eggs and beat until well creamed.
  • Add dry ingredients gradually until well blended.
  • Add carrots, pineapple and walnuts until well blended.
  • Drain raisins and fold in last.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool 10 minutes.
  • Invert cakes onto rack and cool completely.


  • As an option you could soak the raisins in orange juice instead of the rum and then substitute 1 teaspoon maple flavoring for the rum.
  • This recipe also makes scrumptious cupcakes.

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

  • In a medium bowl beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Add lemon juice and vanilla, beating.
  • Add powdered sugar gradually until well blended and smooth.
  • Ice first layer and then add 2nd cake top and ice again including sides of cake.
  • Refrigerate 1 hour to set icing before serving.

Save Room for dessert new badgeOriginally posted 7-26-2010 for OURkRazZykitchen a food blog a friend and I hosted 😀
Update posted 7-26-2022


July 17th was National Ice Cream Day. So I made ice cream of course 😀

Hot where you are? What better way to beat the heat than to make some homemade ice cream? The best part about this recipe is that it’s a completely no churn, soft serve recipe.  It’s so good!! It disappears pretty quickly, so why not make a double batch. It is also great to change up in flavor by using flavored Oreos, freeze dried fruit flavors or a FRESH berries coulee! This one is plain with a hint of color and chocolate sauce.

NO CHURN ICE CREAM ALA Duff Goldman serves 6

One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract **See NOTES
Pinch kosher salt
2 cups heavy cream
Your favorite toppings, such as sprinkles, caramel syrup, etc. for serving

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and salt.
    In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks, about 3 minutes.
  • Gently mix a scoop of the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture. Fold in the rest of the whipped cream very gently. Be careful not to overmix and deflate the mixture.
  • Transfer to a freezer container or a loaf pan, smooth the top, then press a piece of wax paper against the surface. This will prevent ice crystals from forming.
  • Freeze until the ice cream is frozen and scoopable, 6 hours to overnight.
  • Scoop the ice cream into bowls and serve with your favorite toppings or with a pie or cobbler. Enjoy!

NOTE: A great alternative is using 1/2 vanilla extract and 1/2 mint. And if you are using mint, why not add some mini chocolate chips too?



2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon PURE vanilla extract
HALF of a 3 ounce package of vanilla pudding mix (or your flavor of choice)
1/2 normal package of Oreos, crushed (flavor of choice)

  • In a bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream and whip until stiff peaks begin to form.
  • In a separate bowl, pour in 1 can sweetened condensed milk.
  • Add the vanilla and the vanilla pudding.  Mix well.
  • Add in half of the crushed Oreo cookies and mix.  
  • Pour this mix into the whipped cream, and fold it in gently.
  • In a metal loaf pan, pour about half of the mixture.
  • Add a layer of crushed Oreos, and then top with the remaining ice cream mixture.
  • Sprinkle the top with the remaining crushed Oreos.
  • Cover with press and seal or plastic wrap and freeze for 24 hours.

NOTE: Make this any flavor you want by using flavored oreos.