I have about three thousand loose leaf papers with different recipes on them stuffed into my cupboards or stuck inside various cookbooks. I just want to have them all organinzed. This is my attempt to get them that way.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dark Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcakes

When school shopping for my teenage daughter, R, we popped into Sprinkles cupcakes in Scottsdale and there I tried the dark chocolate marshmallow cupcake. It was amazing, of course. However, I knew it couldn't be that difficult to make at home. So I went to work. I compiled three different recipes from 3 different websites to create one cupcake and, I believe, the results are awesome!

Dark Chocolate Cupcake:
Yield 12 cupcakes
*adapted from browneyedbaker.com

8 T. Unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 C (1.5 oz) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 C. (3.75 oz) All-purpose flour
2 eggs
3.4 C. (5.25 oz) Granulated Sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. table salt
1/2 c. Sour Cream

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 350*. Line a standard-size muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Combine butter, chocolate and cocoa in medium heatproof  bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until the butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and combined. Set aside, and allow to cool until it is no longer hot to the touch.
Whisk flour, baking soda and baking powder in a small bowl to combine.
Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; ass sugar vanilla, and salt until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about 1/3 of the four mixture over the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined, then sift the remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is combined and thick.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners (I use 1/4 C. measure) Bake until toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean but do not over bake, about 18-20 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack & make the Marshmallow Cream.

Marshmallow Cream
Makes: about 2 cups
adapted from Food.com

3 large egg whites
1/4 t. cream of tartar
2 T. granulated sugar
1/3. C. water
3/4 C. light corn syrup
2/3 C. granulated sugar
1 T. Vanilla

In a metal or glass bowl beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric (hand) mixer on high until light and foamy.
With the mixer still running gradually sprinkle in the 2 Tablespoons of sugar. Continue beating until soft peaks form.
In a saucepan, mix the water, corn syrup, and granulated sugar together. Cook over medium heat until it boils and then comes to the firm ball stage (246 degrees). DO NOT OVERCOOK!
Drizzle the hot syrup into the egg whites with the mixer on low.
Turn the mixer to high and beat for 5-6 minutes, or until the sauce is very fluffy and the consistency of marshmallow cream. Beat in the extract.
Fill a piping bag with a large circle tip with the cream.

Using a paring knife cut out a hole in the center of each cupcake, discard the center.
Fill each cupcake to the top with the marshmallow cream.
Using a damp finger, pat down any points that the marshmallow cream has made on the top of the cupcake.

Dark Chocolate Ganache
adapted from Allrecipes.com
9 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 C. heavy cream

Place the chocolate into a medium bowl.
Heat the cream in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to just barely a boil. Pour over the chopped chocolate. Whisk until smooth

Holding each cupcake by the bottom, dunk the top into the chocolate ganache. Swirling the cupcake when to bring it out of the chocolate, to ensure that it is evenly coated. Continue with all the cupcakes. Dip the in the ganache a second time. You may need to stir the ganache a few times to ensure it stays at a good temperature. Allow cupcakes to sit for a few hours, allowing the ganache to harden. (or if you can't wait, I am sure a little stint in the fridge could help with that!)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

I found this amazing recipe on the Internet, some awesome wife/mother/baker had adapted this recipe from several that she had tried out through the years. These cupcakes are heaven. I wish I could remember where I found this recipe at, but really, I am just happy I saved the recipe.

Makes 15 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins with papers. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
Cream butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.  Add vanilla.  Mix and scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway full.  Bake for about 25 minutes. When done, transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.

Salted Caramel Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter cubed
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
Melt the sugar over medium  high heat in a large pot.  Whisk the sugar as it melts and cook until it becomes a deep amber color. Add the butter and stir it in until melted. Pour in the heavy cream (mixture will foam) and whisk until you get a smooth sauce. You may have some lumps but keep stirring until they have melted.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Cut a small round piece out of the tops of each cooled cupcake and pour in 1 teaspoon of caramel.  Replace the cake piece and set cupcakes aside.

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick salted butter
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color.  Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth.  Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.
In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar.  Mix until thoroughly combined.
Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel.  Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes).  Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration.  If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny.  If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. 
Top caramel-filled cupcakes with frosting.

Candied Salted Caramel Rounds
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup water
2-4 tablespoons of large-crystal sugar
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
Lay out a large piece of parchment on your work surface and spray with cooking oil (such as canola). Fill a large tub (or your sink) partially full of ice water.
Put sugar, salt and cold water in a heavy pan; stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat and bring syrup to a boil.  Lower heat slightly and swirl the pan once or twice so the syrup colors evenly; do not stir.  When caramel is a deep amber color, plunge the base of pan into iced water for about 2 seconds to stop further cooking.
Dip a spoon in the caramel and let it fall onto the parchment paper in a drizzle.  Move the spoon in a circular motion as the syrup falls from the spoon. Repeat 15 times.  When caramel has hardened (it will still be sticky) sprinkle over large-crystal sugar.  Remove from paper and adorn cupcakes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes


  • 3 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (recommended: Valrhona)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 7/8 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 fluid ounce red food coloring
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Almond Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans with 24 cupcake liners.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder in a medium bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the vegetable oil, buttermilk, sugar, eggs, food coloring, applesauce, vinegar, and vanilla on medium speed until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Turn the mixer to medium-low speed, and add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Mix until just combined.
Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely.
Generously frost the top of each cupcake with the Almond Cream Cheese Frosting.
This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

Almond Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 11 1/2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

  • 24 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the butter and cream cheese on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer on medium-low, and slowly add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. Once the ingredients are all incorporated, turn the mixer to high, and beat for 1 additional minute.

    Coconut Cupcakes


    • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
    • 3 cups flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

    For the frosting:

  • 1 pound cream cheese at room temperature

  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

  • 1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

  • Directions

    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
    In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
    Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
    Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.
    Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

    Apple-Cinnamon Custard Pie

    This recipe is from a cookbook that I got when when I got married. It is called Portland's Palate and it is a delicious collection of recipes from Portland, Oregon.

    1 3/4 C. All-purpose flour, sifted
    1/4. C. granulated sugar
    1 t. cinnamon
    2/3 C. butter
    1/4 C. cold water

    1 egg
    1 1/2 C. sour cream
    1 C. granulated Sugar
    1/4 C. all-purpose flour
    2 t. vanilla extract
    1/2 t. salt
    2 1/2 lbs Macintosh apples, pared, quartered, cored and sliced*

    1/2 C. butter, room temperature
    1/2 C. all-purpose flour
    1/3 C. granulated Sugar
    1/3 C. brown sugar, firmly packed
    3 t. cinnamon
    1 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped

    In a large bowl or food processor fitted with the dough blade attachment, combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the butter (if using the bowl: use a pastry blender to evenly distribute the butter) until the mixture is the consistency of corn meal. Sprinkle in just enough water to moisten the dough. More or less water may be needed.

    Pre-Heat oven to 450 degrees
    Roll out the dough on s lightly floured surface to a 12-inch diameter circle. Fit into a 10 inch pie plate. Fold under overhanging pastry flush with rim. Flute to make a stand-up edge. Chill until ready to fill.

    In a large mixing bowl, beat egg slightly. Stir in sour cream, sugar, flour, vanilla and salt until mixture is smooth. Add sliced apples**, stirring gently just to coat apples. Spoon filling into shell.

    Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake 35 minutes longer. While pie bakes prepare the topping.

    In a small bowl, combine butter, flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. Blend well.

    Remove pie from oven and sprinkle topping evenly over filling. Return to oven.

    Bake for 15 minutes longer or until topping is lightly browned. Cool pie on a wire rack.

    * For whatever reason, I always have a hard time finding Macintosh apples so I have used Fuji and Braeburn (I think Braeburn is my favorite). Just look for an apple that bakes well and that has a firmer texture, also make sure that it is a little tart - but it doesn't have to be sour (like a Granny Smith).
    ** Make the custard before you peel and slice the apples. Then as you slice the apples you can place them directly into the custard preventing them from browning. I know they say to place them in a bowl of ice water with lemon juice but they end up absorbing too much water and then you have a watery pie. no bueno.


    1 C. sugar
    1 C. white karo
    1 c. peanut butter
    6 c. rice krispie cereal
    1 12oz pkg milk chocolate chips
    1 12oz pkg butterscotch chips

    Bring sugar and karo to a boil in a large pan, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute - NO LONGER or the cookies will be hard. Take off the heat and stir in peanut butter. Blend well. Stir in rice krispie cereal. Press into a greased 9x13 pan.
    Melt the butterscotch and chocolate chips together in the top of a double boiler. Spread on top of the cereal bars. Cool. Cut into squares.

    My Mom's Chocolate Mint Cookies

    3/4 C. butter
    1 1/2 C. brown sugar
    2 T. hot water
    2 C. chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
    2 eggs
    2 1/2 C. flour
    1 1/4 t. baking powder
    1/2 t. salt
    Ande's mints

    Melt together butter, brown sugar add water. Add chocolate chips and let stand 10 minutes. Beat in eggs. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Chill 1 hour. Roll into balls. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. As soon as you take them out of the oven, press 1/2 of an Ande's mint into the center. swirl. Cool

    Holly Cookies

    I love these -but they are only appropriate at Christmas since they look like Holly. They remind me of my Aunt Susie-the first time I ever ate one I was in her kitchen. In fact she forced me to eat it because I was unsure about their green color. I sure am glad she told me to take that first bite!

    1 cube margarine
    30 large marshmallows
    1 C. coconut
    2 t. almond extract
    3 1/2 C. corn flakes
    green food coloring

    Melt margarine, marshmallows and flood coloring in a on-stick pan over low heat. Add coconut, extract and cornflakes. Mix well. Drop by spoonful onto waxed paper that has been sprayed with Pam. Use 3 red hots as little berries.

    Yummy Bars

    ½ cup butter, melted                                      
    1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
    1 14 oz. can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
    6 oz. chocolate chips
    6 oz. butterscotch chips
    3-½ oz. coconut
    1-cup nuts, chopped
    Press ingredients lightly into greased pan in order given above.  Bake at 325* for 22 – 23 minutes in a glass pan.  Let sit for ½ our at least before cutting.

    Thumb Print Cookies

    ¾ cup nuts, chopped fine
    ¼ cup butter
    ¼ cup shortening
    ½ tsp. vanilla
    ¼ cup brown sugar
    1 egg yolk, save the whites
    1-cup flour
    ¼ TBS. salt
    1 recipe of butter cream frosting in Christmas colors

    Sift flour and salt together.  Mix together all ingredients except chopped nuts.  Roll dough into balls the size of walnuts.  Beat egg white until frothy.  Dip balls in egg white and roll in nuts.  Bake 5 minutes at 375*.  Press thumb gently in center of each cookie.  Return to oven and bake another 8 minutes.  Drop or pipe frosting into thumbprint while cookies are warm.

    Whoopie Pies


    1 C. shortening
    2 C. granulated sugar
    2 eggs
    1 C. buttermilk
    2 tsp. vanilla
    4 C. flour
    1 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
    2 tsp. baking soda
    2 tsp. salt
    1 C. hot water

    Cream together shortening and sugar; add eggs and beat well.   Add buttermilk and vanilla and beat to blend.   Sift together flour, cocoa, soda, and salt.   Alternately add flour mixture and hot water to creamed mixture until blended.   Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet.   Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 8-10 minutes*; cool completely.   While cooling, make WHOOPIE PIE CREAM.
    *The tops of the cookies will start to get little cracks on them when they are cooked enough - you don't want a doughy cookie.


    2 egg whites, beaten stiff (this is a must)
    2 Tbs. clear vanilla (I use 'brown' vanilla, clear is for looks)
    4 Tbs. flour
    4 Tbs. milk
    4 C. powdered sugar (frosting sugar)
    1 - 1/2 C. shortening

    Add vanilla to stiff egg whites, then add flour, milk and 1/2 the powdered sugar; beat to a cream.   Add remaining ingredients, alternating each.   Beat until fluffy.   Sandwich generous amount between two WHOOPIE PIE COOKIES.

    Grandma Kaye's Chex Mix

    Several Years ago Dan's grandmother gave everyone a cookbook that she had made, complete with all of her favorite recipes that she had collected throughout her life. I love this little jewel of a cookbook. Don't get me wrong - there is some crazy stuff in it too, but then you come across little treats like this one and you are amazed that someone was genius enough to come up with it! I am making this treat this year and passing it out to my neighbors.

    ¾ box golden grahams cereal
    ¾ box corn chex cereal
    ¾ box rice chex cereal
    1 17oz package coconut
    1 large package of slivered almonds – lightly toasted
    1 ½ cubes butter or margarine
    1 c. sugar
    1 c. white karo syrup
    1 t. vanilla

    In a LARGE bowl add the cereals, coconut and almonds. In a saucepan combine butter, sugar and karo and bring to a boil for 2 minutes (you want to time this). After removing this from the heat add the vanilla. Pour liquid over the cereal mixture and mix thoroughly. Pour onto wax paper that has been previously sprayed with cooking spray.  Let dry overnight or all day.

    *If you want to add some color try adding craisins to the batch when combining the cereals.

    5 Pound fudge

    This recipe is so YUM! This fudge is so smooth and creamy, it will just melt in your mouth. This recipe is a two man job because you need someone stirring as you are pouring - so plan for that. Oh... and while you might actually gain 5 pounds while you eat this, it is actually called 5lb fudge because it makes 5- 1lb blocks of fudge.

    13 oz. Hershey's milk Chocolate bars
    3 -6oz package chocolate chips
    1 pint marshmallow cream
    12 oz. evaporated milk - not sweetened condensed
    4 1/2 C. sugar
    dash salt
    2 T. vanilla

    Mix the sugar, salt and milk in heavy large pan (pressure cooker type). Bring to a boil - stir to keep from burning. After it comes to a boil cook 5 minutes (exactly) - stirring occasionally.  In the meantime break up the chocolate bars (the finer the pieces the easier it will be)  and put them in a bowl with the chocolate chips. Pour hot sugar mixture over chocolate pieces and beat until smooth. Add marshmallow cream and vanilla. Mix well. If desired add peanut butter,nuts or mint flavoring when adding marshmallow and vanilla for different flavor options. Divide evenly onto 5 separate sheets of wax paper and roll into logs and refrigerate until hardened.

    will make 5 - 1lb rolls of fudge

    Coconut Almond Joy

    1/8 tsp. salt
    ½ cup water
    1-cup light karo syrup
    2/3 cup white sugar
    12 oz. coconut
    ½ TBS. flour

    Bring salt, water, karo syrup, and sugar to a boil at 226*.  Take off heat.  Add coconut and flour.  Pour in buttered pan.  Cool.  When cool. Slice off sections and place an almond in the center then wrap the side of the coconut mixture around it (like a blanket) then dip in chocolate. Let dry on a wire rack over wax paper.


    Soft delicious creamy caramels can turn to hard tack candy in a matter of seconds, so be sure to be completely prepared and ready with no distractions when making these.

    2 cups sugar
    2 cups light Karo syrup
    1/8 tsp. salt
    2 cups evaporated milk, room temperature
    1 TBS vanilla

    Bring sugar, karo and salt to a boil – boil to hardball stage. (Use a candy thermometer. *Takes 25 minutes to get to firm ball stage)  Stir occasionally.  Wipe, with a wet pastry brush, (DO NOT SCRAPE) sugar crystals off sides of pan.  Take off heat and add butter and evaporated milk.  Mix well and put back on burner.  Stir to firm ball stage, and then add vanilla.  Pour in a buttered 9 x 13 pan.  Cool to room temperature.  Wrap in wax paper.

    No Bake Cookies

    1/2 C. butter or margarine
    2 C. granulated sugar
    1/2 C. milk   (I often use canned evaporated milk – for a smoother cookie)
    3 C. oats
    4-6 Tbs. cocoa powder
    1/4 C. peanut butter

    It's best to measure all ingredients first.   Melt butter, sugar and milk together over medium heat, stirring until mixture begins to boil.   Boil one minute; remove from heat.  Add oats, cocoa and peanut butter and stir to mix well.   Drop by tablespoonful onto waxed paper.   Let cool - if you can!!

    chocolate chip cookies

    I honestly, have at least 4 chocolate chip cookie recipes, and I use them all. It just depends on the texture and flavor that I am looking for on that particular day. This recipe, however, is my standby. Generally speaking, it is my favorite. Plus - the butter doesn't have to be room temperature so I can make them on a whim!

    2 C. + 2 T. Flour
    1/2 t. Salt
    1/2 t. Baking Soda
    1 C. Butter
    1 C. + 2 T Brown Sugar
    1/2 C. Granulated Sugar
    1 large egg
    1 large egg yolk
    1/2 T. Vanilla
    1 1/2 c. Chocolate Chips
    1 C. Toasted Walnuts

    -Whisk together the flour, soda and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
    - In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter (DO NOT BOIL) Turn off the heat and add both sugars - Whisk until combined. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
    - Whisk eggs and vanilla into butter mixture. Fold in the reserved flour mixture with a wooden spoon. Fold in the chips and nuts. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 30 minutes or until firm. If you have a small ice cream Scooper then use that to make balls with the dough. If not, then you can cut the dough in a grid-like pattern and break off the squares and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 325 for 12-14 minutes.

    Number Of Servings:3 dozen
    Preparation Time: an hour

    Cori's Cocoa Fudge Cookies

    My Aunt introduced this little delights into my life, and it has been years since I made them, I am glad that I found this recipe - it was a "OH YEAH" moment. Plus! these little jewels are low fat and low cholesterol.

    1 C. flour
    1/4 tsp. baking soda
    1/8 tsp. salt
    5 Tbs. butter
    7 Tbs. cocoa
    2/3 C. granulated sugar
    1/3 C. packed brown sugar
    1/3 C. plain low fat yogurt or sour cream
    1 tsp. vanilla

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   In a small bowl combine flour, soda and salt; set aside.   Melt butter in microwave in a large bowl.   Stir in cocoa and sugars; mixture will resemble coarse sand.   Add yogurt and vanilla; stir to combine.   Add flour mixture and stir until moist.   Spray baking sheets lightly with cooking spray.   Drop cookies by level tablespoons onto cookie sheets.   Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until almost set.
    Number Of Servings: About two dozen
    Preparation Time: 15 minutes

    Strawberry-cream cheese cupcakes

    1  box betty crocker supermoist yellow cake mix
    1- 8oz container sour cream
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1/2 cup water
    2 eggs
    3 T. strawberry preserves
    1- 3 oz package cream cheese
    1 container betty crocker Rich & Creamy cream cheese frosting
    fresh strawberries

    *Heat oven to 350, place paper baking cups in 24 regular sized muffin cups. In a large bowl mix cake mix, sour cream, oil, water and eggs with a spoon until well blended (batter will be thick). Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups.
    *In a small bowl stir the strawberry preserves until smooth. Cut the 3 ounces of cream cheese into 24 equal pieces (squares work better than rectangles)
    *Place 1 piece of cream cheese on top of better in each cupcake, press in slightly, place 1/4teaspoon of preserves over the cream cheese.
    *Bake 18-23 minutes or until tops are golden brown and spring back when touched slightly. Cool 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
    *Just before serving - frost and garnish with sliced or diced fresh strawberries. Store covered in the refrigerator.

    Texas Sheet Cake

    2 C. Sugar
    2 C. Flour
    ½ t. salt
    1 t. baking soda
    2 cubes butter
    1 c. water
    4 T. cocoa powder
    ½ c. Sour cream
    2 eggs

    Melt butter, water, and cocoa together. In a separate bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Pour the hot liquid into the flour mixture and beat well, add sour cream and eggs. Blend well – bake at 350* for 25 minutes in a greased 11x14 pan. Pour frosting over warm cake.

    Texas Sheet Cake Frosting

    1 C. butter
    4 T. Cocoa
    6 T. canned milk (evaporated)
    1 t. vanilla
    1 box powdered sugar

    Bring butter, cocoa, milk, and vanilla to a slow boil, simmer a minute or two then add powdered sugar. Beat well and pour over warm cake.

    Serve over Texas Sheet Cake

    Kim's Caramel Corn

     When we lived in Texas, my friend Kim introduced me to this quick, easy and delicious caramel corn recipe. The only downside to this recipe is that my kids ask for it EVERY TIME we watch a movie.

    1 cube of butter
    18 large marshmallows
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 bag of plain microwave popcorn – popped

    Melt butter in a medium saucepan add the marshmallow and boil for a minute. Turn off the heat and add vanilla. Pour over popcorn. Yum.

    Dad's Disappearing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

    1 cup butter softened
    1 cup brown sugar packed
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 1/2 cups flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp salt
    3 cups oatmeal
    1 cup raisins

    Mix butter and sugars until combined
    Add eggs and vanilla beat well
    Add flour and dry ingredients Mix well
    Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes

    Sugar Cookies

    ¾ cup + 2 T. butter – room temperature
    1-cup sugar
    2 eggs
    1 ½ t. vanilla
    2-½ c. flour
    1 t. baking powder
    ½ t. salt

    Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and then the vanilla. When well combined add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour. Roll out to desired thickness (the thinner it is the crunchier the cookie will be) then cut into desired shapes. Bake at 400* for 6-10 minutes.

    Double Chocolate Baby Lava Cakes

    3/4 C. Butter
    1 C. Semisweet Chocolate Chips
    1 recipe praline sauce (recipe follows)
    3 eggs
    3 egg yolks
    1/3 c. sugar
    1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
    1/3 C. flour
    3 T. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
    1/3 C. pecan halves - chopped

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease and flour six 1 - 1 1/4 Cup souffles dishes or 6 - 10 oz custard cups. Place dishes in a shallow baking pan an set pan aside. In a heavy small saucepan melt butter and semisweet chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool. Meanwhile, prepare praline sauce; cover and keep warm until needed. In a large mixing bowl beat eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer until thick and lemon colored. Beat in cooled chocolate mixture on medium speed. Sift flour and cocoa over chocolate mixture; beat on low until just combined. Divide batter evenly among prepared dishes. Bake 10 minutes. Pull cakes from oven. Using a table knife, puncture the top of each cake and gently enlarge to make a dime sized hole. Slowly spoon about 1 Tablespoon of praline sauce into each cake. Return to oven. Bake 5 minutes more or until the cake edges feel firm. Cool in dished on a wire rack for 3 minutes. Loosen edges with a knife and slip out onto dessert plates. Stir the pecans into the praline sauce and spoon sauce onto cakes. Serve immediately.