NO BAKE Raspberry Cream Pie with Bittersweet Chocolate Crust


My adaptation of a recipe that appeared in Bon Appetit a few years ago … cool, creamy, rich, decadent, delicious! And no baking needed! 

7 ounces Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer cookies, coarsely broken
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
6 Tbsp. butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup sugar

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup Crema Mexicana (seriously, where has this stuff been all my life?!? … It’s wonderful!) 
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 1/4 cups frozen unsweetened raspberries, partially thawed

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp. Lyle’s Golden Syrup (If you haven’t tried this yet … do yourself a favor! A lovely taste like no other …)
1 6 oz. container fresh raspberries, rinsed and thoroughly dried

Place broken cookies in processor. Using on/off turns, process until finely ground. Heat together chocolate chips, butter and sugar, stirring, until just melted and smooth. Add to processor and blend until combined. Press crumb mixture gently onto bottom and up sides of a 9-inch glass pie dish (do NOT pack firmly – it will firm as it chills). Chill crust while preparing filling.

Whisk condensed milk, Crema Mexicana, lemon juice, and lemon peel in large bowl to blend. Add the partially thawed raspberries. Stir, pressing gently on the raspberries, until the berries begin to break apart and the filling turns pink. Transfer filling to crust. Chill until filling is set, about 2 hours.

Whip together the heavy cream and Lyle’s Golden Syrup until stiff enough to spread. Spread over top of chilled pie. Top with the fresh raspberries. Serve on a hot summer night to oooh’s and aaahhh’s!


Tres Leches (Three Milks) Cake

I only found out about this delicious cake after moving to the Southwest a few years ago … and recipes for it abound. I got lucky the very first time … easy, delicious and got rave reviews. Some said it was the best they had ever tasted … so I won’t be looking farther for other recipes! 🙂 You should make this at LEAST one day ahead of time to allow the flavors to blend and the milks to soak thoroughly into the cake. This is comfort food at its best! 

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups whole milk
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk

For topping:
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan.

Sift (or whisk) together flour and baking powder. Set aside.

Cream butter and 1 cup sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Beat in 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, mixing until blended. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and pierce WELL with a fork. (You want to cover the cake with holes!)

Combine whole milk, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk, stirring until well combined. Pour over the hot cake. Let cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Whip together whipping cream, 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla until thick and spreadable. Spread over cold cake. Refrigerate at least two hours before serving.

Coconut Bread with Salted Honey-Brown Butter


This is AMAZING stuff! Hats off to for this one! I just made it today and I’m addicted already. 


2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Salted Honey-Brown Butter:

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 Tbsp. raw honey
Sea salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt 6 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan until beginning to brown and smell nutty, stirring up browned bits from bottom of pan. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Add sugar and coconut, and stir to mix. Make a well in the center, and pour in egg mixture, then stir together until just combined. Add browned butter, and stir until just smooth — be careful not to overmix.

Butter and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or coat it with a nonstick spray. Spread batter in pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, anywhere from 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool in pan five minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Serve in thick slices, toasted, with butter and confectioners’ sugar or salted honey brown butter spread.

For the spread: 

In a small sauce pan, melt 1 stick of butter until beginning to brown and smell nutty, stirring up the browned bits from the bottom. Set aside to cool slightly.

With an  electric mixer, whip the other stick of softened butter until fluffy. Slowly add the melted browned butter, honey, and sea salt to taste (I used a combination of fine salt and coarse salt … I love the surprise of a coarse grain of salt in the sweet spread!) and whip until smooth.

This will be good on ANYTHING, by the way. Toast … pancakes … biscuits … mmmmm.


Danish Oatmeal Cookies


These are amazing cookies – unlike any oatmeal cookie you may have tried before. Feather light, crisp and buttery … my new favorites! 

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1 cup chopped pecans
Additional confectioner’s sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream together the butter, 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture; gently stir in the oatmeal and pecans and lightly mix until just combined.

With a spoon, drop dough by slightly rounded teaspoons onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove to rack and let cool completely. Sift confectioner’s sugar over the cookies before serving.

Classic Coconut Custard Pie

Coconut-Custard-PieI grew up eating, and loving, coconut custard pie at diners, or the frozen Sara Lee type. In fact, I liked them so much it never occurred to me to try baking one from scratch. But that is what I did yesterday, and I’ll never go back! This is comfort food at its best! Creamy homemade egg custard, and a satisfying stash of coconut. And it’s almost as easy as taking a frozen pie out of the box and putting it in the oven. Almost. If coconut custard pie is on your list of favorite things, try this one! You won’t be disappointed. 

1 9-inch deep-dish pie shell, unbaked
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
Pinch ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup whole milk
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg and vanilla. Whisk in milk, evaporated milk and whipping cream until well combined. Stir in coconut, and pour into pie shell.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes, until just set in center (look for a VERY slight wiggle in the center 1″ of the pie). Cool on rack, and be sure to refrigerate promptly. Serve chilled.

Easy and Amazing Christmas Stollen


This recipe is adapted by me from one found in Bon Appetit nearly 30 years ago. I’ve been making it ever since. Absolutely mouthwatering, and very easy, because you use the food processor to mix the dough. Enjoy!

1/2 cup sugar
2 envelopes dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 1/3 cups mixed candied fruit (about 1/2 pound)
1/3 cup dried cranberries (I use Eden Organic apple-sweetened cranberries … wonderful!)
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted*

3 cups bread flour
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, room temperature
2 egg yolks
1 egg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp. rum

2 Tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the sugar and the yeast over the water in a small bowl (make sure the bowl is large enough to allow for a LOT of foaming!). Stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Combine the candied fruits, cranberries, and toasted almonds in a large bowl.

In food processor, combine the flour, remaining sugar, 6 Tbsp. butter, egg yolks, egg, salt, nutmeg and yeast mixture. Blend for five seconds. Combine cream and rum. With machine running, pour cream mixture through feed tube and process for about 20 seconds, until a smooth, resilient dough forms. Add to fruit in bowl, and knead to combine. Cover with a warm, damp kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled, about 2 hours.

Oil a large baking sheet. Punch the dough down and divide it in half. On a well-floured surface, roll each half out to a 10×7 inch oval, with edges slightly thicker than the center. Fold one long side over to 1/2 inch from the opposite side. Transfer to prepared sheet, spacing about 3 inches apart. Gently shape each into a crescent. Cover with oiled plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled, about 1 1/4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush stollens with melted butter. Bake until well browned, about 25 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool. Before serving, dust generously with powdered sugar.

* To toast almonds, spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for about 5 minutes at 300 degrees, until just lightly golden. 

Pumpkin Bread

Makes three 9×5 inch loaves, or four 8×4 inch loaves. Make at least one day before serving – it gets better as it sits. While the unadorned bread is classically delicious, you could also add a handful of raisins, dried cranberries, nuts or chocolate chips (or all of them!) to this recipe – it couldn’t hurt! 

1 29-oz. can pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 cups sugar
6 eggs
4 3/4 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp.cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9×5 inch loaf pans (or four 8×4 inch loaf pans).

In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, oil, sugar and eggs and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking power, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir into pumpkin mixture until well blended. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until top springs back lightly when pressed. Let cool completely in pans, then wrap well.

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