DO YOU LIKE SNICKERDOODLES? HOW ABOUT CHERRY PIE?  CHOCOLATE?  Who doesn’t like all of those?  We had a difference of opinion on dessert the other day.  I was craving snickerdoodles, but they did seem a bit plain.  Hubby was craving cherry pie and my uncle says you can’t call it dessert unless it involves chocolate. These are perfect for a 4th of July celebration.
So I set about making what will now be known as CHOCOLATE CHERRY DOODLES!  They were supposed to be muffins, but they rise so much they make a much more fun trifle type dessert.
1 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup Crisco
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 can Cherry Comstock pie filling
1 ounce unsweetened Baker’s chocolate
  • Heat oven to 375ºF. 
  • Spray DEEP muffin tin with PURE.
  • Cream together 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup softened butter, shortening and eggs in large bowl. 
  • Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt until well blended, use your hands when necessary. 
  • Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. 
  • Mix together 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. 
  • Roll into 12 balls and then roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. 
  • Place one in each slot and slightly flatten.
  • Divide cherry pie filling among the slots evenly.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • While baking the cookie dough melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan.
  • Add the chocolate and blend well.
  • Whisk in sugar until well dissolved.
  • When you remove muffin tin from oven, let cool 5 minutes.
  • Spoon a dollop of chocolate over each muffin slot.
  • Cool 15 minutes.
  • Spoon out 2 slots per bowl and ENJOY

Originally posted in 2009, but recently revisited and bringing it forward to the here and now.



2 cups AP flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, diced and softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 LARGE egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
Small pinch salt
8 ounces milk chocolate toffee bits
1 cup FINELY chopped pecans

  • Grease bottom of 9×13 baking dish.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the flour and powdered sugar.
  • Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
  • Press mixture firmly into the bottom of baking dish.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla and salt until smooth and well blended.
  • Stir in toffee bits and pecans.
  • Spread evenly over baked crust.
  • Return to oven for 20-25 minutes until set.
  • Cool completely.
  • Cover and chill at least one hour.
  • Cut into bars.
  • Keep stored in refrigerator.


I found this recipe on Facebook originally and it looked so intriguing I just HAD to try it and am so glad I did! You won’t be disappointed either. The original recipe called for strawberries, but we LOVE it with peaches too. The picture on facebook is quite deceptive also – they evidently added a great looking glaze that isn’t included in their recipe. I will be adding the glaze below from now on.


1 white cake mix prepared per box directions
1 cup fruit pieces, chopped
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1/2 cup sweetened and toasted coconut flakes
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, chopped

  • Preheat your oven to 350°
  • Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish.
  • Fold the chopped strawberries into the prepared cake mix.
  • Pour batter into the greased baking dish.
  • In another medium bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese, melted butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Drop spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture over the cake batter in the baking dish.
  • Sprinkle coconut flakes and white chocolate pieces evenly over the top of the batter.
  • Bake 40-45 minutes until the cake is set and the edges have turned golden brown.
  • Allow the cake to cool COMPLETELY before serving. As it cools you’ll notice a beautiful cracked, earthquake cracked effect on the top, with delicious pockets of cream cheese and strawberry throughout. Top with additional chopped fruit if desired.

NOTE: Change up the fruit flavor as desired, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or cherries work well also.

GLAZE (optional)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract

  • Whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla.
  • Drizzle over cooled cake and let glaze harden 10 minutes or so before serving.
  • Transfer to serving platter and serve with FRESH blueberries or berry of choice 😀

This is what it looked like on facebook.



There is a series of books by Jana DeLeon called the Miss Fortune series. Personally, I’m on book #26, but in each book pf the series there is a comedic banana pudding race between the Catholics and the Baptists when church lets out each Sunday. I’d had banana pudding before reading the series, but hadn’t had the desire to perfect it before this recipe. Banana pudding makes my heart sing as it is a perfect dessert that speaks to just about everyone no matter the venue you’re serving it in.

Cheesecake is traditionally round like many cakes and pies, but I HATE the shape and use my square springform pan to make it easier to cut and serve.

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract

  • In a large bowl beat cream cheese until fluffy and completely smooth with NO clumps.
    Add sugar and beat until combined.
    Add heavy cream and vanilla and beat until medium-stiff peaks form. Set aside.

3.4 ounce package instant banana pudding mix
1 cup whole milk

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk.
  • Let pudding stand for 3 minutes in the fridge until thickened.
  • Fold into cheesecake mixture until combined.

1 prepared graham cracker crust
3 bananas, sliced, plus more slices for garnish
30 Nilla Wafers

  • Pour half the filling into graham cracker crust.
  • Add a single layer of thick sliced bananas.
  • Top with about 20 Nilla Wafers in a single layer.
  • Pour remaining cheesecake mixture over top and smooth top.
  • Refrigerate until cheesecake is firm, at least 6 hours and up to overnight. (If the cheesecake stills feels too soft to slice, transfer to the freezer for up to 1 hour.)

Whipped topping, for garnish (homemade or store bought)
Crushed Nilla Wafers, for garnish

  • Before serving, top with dollops of whipped topping around the border of the cheesecake.
  • Top each dollop with a banana slice and Nilla wafer.
  • Garnish the whole cheesecake with crushed Nilla Wafers.


A friend and I are making the Cinco de Mayo dinner for the Eagles auxiliary on May 3rd and I have been experimenting with recipes for the dessert. These are dark chocolate cupcakes with a serious bite and are topped with a chili cream cheese frosting that has another back up bite.


1 box devil’s food chocolate cake mix
1 ½ – 2 teaspoons ground ancho chile pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon

1 ¼ cups water
⅓ cup vegetable oil
3 LARGE eggs

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  • Whisk together the cake mix, ground ancho chile, cayenne pepper and cinnamon.
  • Beat in water, oil and eggs with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them 2/3 full.
  • Bake 18-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  • Cool completely before frosting.

1 teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper
⅛ – ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon QUALITY ground cinnamon
1 small, dried red chili, chopped after seeds removed (optional – if you dare)
4 cups powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
½ teaspoon clear PURE vanilla extract, or to taste
24 small dried red chiles (optional)

  • Sift together the ground ancho chile, cayenne pepper and cinnamon with the powdered sugar in a large bowl.
  • Beat in softened cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  • Add vanilla extract.
  • Spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes in attractive swirls.
  • Poke a small dried chile, stem-side up, into frosting as a garnish if desired.


2 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2/3 cup dried cherry pieces or crasins
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup AP flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon milk

  • Preheat oven 375°.
  • Lightly grease 15 x 10 baking sheet.
  • In a large bowl toss apple slices with flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Unfold one sheet of the puff pastry, roll and stretch to fit pan.
  • Spread filling over pastry to within and inch of the edge.
  • Unfold the second sheet of puff pastry, rolling and stretching over the top.
  • Moisten the edges of the bottom sheet with the milk and gently press edges together, sealing the pastry.
  • Slit several air vents in the top crust.
  • Brush the top with the remaining milk and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  • Bake 50-60 minutes until filling is bubbly and pastry is puffed, golden and is flaky.

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla
4 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup ground walnuts, for sprinkling

  • Whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk to desired consistency for drizzling.
  • Drizzle over warm pie and then cool completely before slicing.

NOTE: substituting lemon juice for the milk in the glaze makes a nice tangy bite.


Caramel Apple Pie Bombs are a version of Monkey Bread that SCREAMS YUMMY!  The beauty of this recipe is the ease of changing up flavors by changing the seasonings (Pumpkin Pie seasoning and pears or cherries and a little vanilla or black peppercorns and a cream cheese glaze) as well as baking it as either a pull apart bread or individual rolls just as easily.  As you pull one open and a river of sweet caramel runs out over the apple pieces you know you’ve found heaven.  😀

CARAMELS APPLE PIE MONKEY BREAD BOMBS adapted from the Slow Roasted Italian
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, divided
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled cored and diced
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon QUALITY ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
18 caramels, unwrapped and divided
12 frozen Rhodes dinner roll dough balls, defrosted

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 9×9 baking dish.  Set aside.
  • Combine the apples, 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon in a ziploc bag.  Toss to coat.  Set aside.
  • Unwrap the caramels and cut into quarters. Set aside.
  • Melt remaining butter in a small bowl.
  • Mix together the remaining brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinamon in another small bowl
  • Lightly flour your counter top.
  • Using a rolling pin flatten each dough ball into a circle about 3 inches across.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of the apple mixture and 6 of the cut caramel pieces.
  • Carefully pull each side over the center to create to seal and then roll the dough into a ball. Be careful not to make it too thin.  You do NOT want to be able to see through the dough.
  • Roll each ball in the remaining melted butter and then the cinnamon mix before placing seam side down in the baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with any of the remaining cinnamon brown sugar mix.
  • Bake the bombs for 30 to 35 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and they are no longer doughy.

12 caramels, unwrapped
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream

  • Place the caramels and the heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until melted, 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each interval.
  • Once you have a smooth mixture, set aside to cool.
  • Remove the apple pie bombs from the oven and drizzle with the caramel sauce.
  • Serve and enjoy!


MANY moons ago at a funky little bistro in Silver Lake California I used to order their dessert tamales.  They were soft, silky and TOTALLY delectable full of pineapple and raisins.  At the time I was entering county fairs with my homemade jams and eating these tamales with a spoonful of jam drizzled over top was just pure HEAVEN, at least to me 😀

I CANNOT remember anything else on the menu, I can’t even remember the name of the bistro, but those tamales were worth the drive out of my way just to buy several to take home for later.

I’ve been working to recreate the recipe for years and I think I’ve come as close as I can!

PINEAPPLE RAISIN TAMALES yields 2 dozen tamales
40 corn husks
4 cups corn masa flour
2 sticks salted butter, melted
2 large cans DOLE crushed pineapple, drained (reserve juice)
1 cup of reserved pineapple juice (make yourself a cocktail with the rest) 😀
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups golden raisins
2 dozen marbles

  • SOAK corn husks for 1 hour before beginning.

  • SET UP large dutch oven.
  • Invert a pie tin into bottom of dutch oven.
  • Arrange marbles around the pie tin edge.
  • Fill with water JUST to cover.
  • Arrange a second pie tin right side up on top.
  • Layer several corn husks over top pie tin. Turn flame to low heat and cover while you prepare tamales.

  • Combine masa, butter, juice, sugar and baking powder in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
  • Add pineapple and raisins, blending with gloved hands until well distributed.
  • Spoon about 1/2 cup of mixture in your corn husk into a 1×3 log shape.
  • Roll up tightly and tie ends with a piece of corn husk or string.
  • Place half of the tamales in the dutch oven and cover, steaming for 45 minutes.
  • Serve warm topped with blueberry sauce.

NOTE: They reheat easily in the microwave.