Wednesday, December 31, 2014


BP and I love game nights. And because we didn't want to go out on New Year's Eve, we decided to have game night at our house with some friends. A night filled of good food, great games and friends that we love. 

Now this fudge is delicious and ridiculously easy. If you have 10 minutes you can make this. I made some Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Fudge a couple weeks ago for BP's office Christmas party and poker night at our house. Needless to say it was a hit and gone in minutes. 

To get ready for game night, my prep started with the fudge. Since it takes a while to cool I knew this would be first up. I got two pots out and started baking. This required me to constantly stir both pots for 5 minutes. Not an issue for me at all. I've been ambidextrous all my life. I remember sitting at the dinner table when I was little and my mom telling me that I needed to choose a dominant hand for writing and using utensils. I eventually did (she was worried I wouldn't) and it never came in handy until I got into massage school. It also came in handy when my right hand got injured and left me with permanent nerve damage in two fingers and half of my arm. And then again today. Never fear mom, it's a good thing you let me naturally develop those skills. Stirring two pots at once was easy. But I recommended you have a helper if you want to make Chocolate and White Chocolate Swirl Fudge like I was. 

Makes one 9x13" pan

1/2 stick butter
4 cups (1 bag) marshmallows
2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt
3 cups chocolate chips (milk, semisweet, dark or white) 


1.  Line a 9x13" pan with foil. Crimp foil around the edges so foil will stay in place. Set aside.

2.  In a large pot, combine butter, sugar, heavy cream, marshmallows and salt over medium-high heat. Stir until everything is well combined and marshmallows are melted.

3.  Simmer, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.

4.  Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips. Mix until smooth.

5.  Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly. Let cool completely and then cut into squares. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Homemade French Dip Sandwiches

I apologize for my lack of posting lately. Things have been hectic to say the least. Work has been stressful and last week I baked every single night once I got home from work. And since last night was so busy for us, we ended up eating out every night last week. Something we don't like to do but our schedules forced us to do it. So this week we have been making dinner at home every night (minus going out to celebrate BP's birthday earlier this week). 

This is the second time I've made this, so when I threw the idea out for them, the guys were excited for it. And seriously these things are amazing - especially once you realize that prepping for this is 5 minutes. You read that right, 5 minutes.

Now as we were eating dinner tonight we started thinking of ways to make these even better: carmelized onions, horseradish mayo, endless options. But trust me when I say once you make this it will be on your menu again and again. Proof of this is when BP's Dad came downstairs and we were talking and I said I will make this again, he looks at me  and gives me a thumbs up and says its a winner and he's looking forward to when we have it again. 

Homemade French Dip Sandwiches 



  1. 1. Trim excess fat from the rump roast, and place in a slow cooker. Add the beef broth, onion soup and beer. Cook on Low setting for 7 hours.
  2. 2. Take meat out of crock pot and slice thin. Transfer sliced meat back into crock pot. 
    3. Preheat oven to broil. Split French rolls and set aside. 
    4. When oven is ready, take sliced meat and fill sliced rolls. Place cheese over the tops and bake in oven until the cheese is melted. Pour au jus  into small bowl for dipping. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bourbon Bacon Jam

When I'm bored I look on the websites of the baking blogs that I follow. I usually find recipes here that sound great and I want to try out. And as always, I tweak the recipe. I can't help it - I look it over and instantly my mind starts going this needs to be added or swap this out for that. I do try the recipes the way they are intended to be, but I usually end up always making my version instead. 

So one day I'm looking through things and there it is, Bourbon Bacon Jam. My minds first thought - this is either going to be amazing or awful. There will be no in-between. I told BP about it and he agreed that it could only go two ways. And I knew that I was going to make it now, especially since my parents and one of my sisters were coming into town to finally visit us. 

Thursday night was full of cleaning and baking. My dad had requested Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes (he also requested his favorite chocolate cupcakes but I didn't have enough time to make both. He had to choose one - and my dad being my dad teased me about why I couldn't make both for him). 
On my list was this jam. 

Cooking this stuff smells amazing. I have never made jam before so I was a little worried that it would turn out to be a horrible mess. Once it was done cooking, time for it to cool. I took a bite of it warm and it was tasty - but this is jam and it needs to be cold.

Hours went by and BP was growing impatient about taste testing it. So on our way to bed he tried a little...he took two bites it was so good. The nerd in me started doing a little dance inside my head. 

Saturday we had everyone over for breakfast before our long day of fun filled events. And the star of breakfast was this jam. Amazing. It can go on anything - any bread, sandwich, hamburgers, you name it, it can go on it. Sweet and tangy and oh so amazing. Worth the wait for it to cool all the way. 

Bourbon Bacon Jam
Makes 8 oz


1 pound uncooked sliced bacon, cut into tiny pieces (freeze it slightly to make it easier to cut into tiny pieces 
1 small yellow onion, diced
2/3 cup strongly brewed coffee
1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar 
2 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp bourbon (whiskey would work well here too)
Tiny pinch of ground cloves


1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until brown and crispy. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. 
2. Carefully remove all of the oil from the pan except for 1 tbsp. Add the onions and cook until soft. 
3. Add the coffee, vinegar, sugar and molasses. Stir until combined. 
4. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, add the bacon. 
5. Reduce the temperature to low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
6. Turn off the heat. Add maple syrup, bourbon and cloves. Mix well, making sure you scrape the bottom of the skillet. Transfer mixture to 8 oz jar. Let cool completely and be chilled before serving. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pumpkin Pot de Crème

Oh fall baking, how I've missed you. Nothing is better than the leaves changing color, the weather getting cooler, apple and pumpkin picking, and the aromas of fall baking. Now there are only really two seasons in Northern Virginia - summer and winter. There really isn't a fall or a spring here. It's the end of September and we're still having days in the low 80's. But pumpkin is out and since in our house the men only like it from September until the end of November it's time to bake it up with pumpkin.

Earlier this week BP was on Facebook and came across '25 Pumpkin Desserts To Bake This Fall'. Of course we looked at it and BP asked for these to be the first thing I make.  We all know how much I love requests from people, I can't really say no to it sometimes. 

Even though today was rather warm (low 80's again here), these were getting made. And they are pretty simple too. Make the custard and let it chill. Total time about 30 minutes of your time for a delicious dessert that is easily summers up as "pumpkin pie without the crust". 

Yep - a hit in our house. And way easier than worrying about making a pie crust look good - something I'm still working on. 

Pumpkin Pots De Crème

2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract


Pot de Creme:

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring heavy cream and sugar to a boil, whisking constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Put aside and let cool for five minutes.
  2. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks.  Add ¼ cup of heated cream mixture to egg mixture and whisk to combine. Continue adding cream mixture in ¼ cup increments to eggs until the two are fully combined. Place fully combined mixture back in to a pot and cook over moderate heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the custard coats the back of the spoon, about 4 minutes. Add in pumpkin puree, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until very smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the finished custard through a strainer.
  3. Refrigerate until chilled about 2 hours.
  4. Serve topped with whipped cream and favorite toppings.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Banana Bread

There were no more excuses today. Vacations were over, all the laundry was done - it was time to clean the house. It needed it. It had been a while since I'd last cleaned. I had every intention of cleaning before we left for our cruise, but being sidelined in a walking boot threw me a curve I wasn't fully expecting. So cleaning had to wait and resting and staying off my foot took top priority. 

After going to the doctor for a follow up, I was cleared to not wear my boot and should only wear it if I'm having a lot of pain. So I knew cleaning the house would be the first thing I needed to do. Wishing I had a hazmat suit to wear (I seriously would wear one while I clean - if anyone has one send it my way), I donned my rubber gloves and off I went. 

When I got to the kitchen all I could smell was the bananas. I took one look at them and saw that they were turning brown and slightly smooshy. I knew BP and his dad weren't going to eat them, I knew this was my time to make Banana Bread. 

If you are a fan of the Quickbread mixes, trust me you need to stop. In about the same amount of time using a boxed mix, you can have a from scratch batter. And once you do this you will never make a box mix again. Plus the smell of it baking is just intoxicating.  I love fall scents in the house - and yes it's still summer and in the 90's here in Northern Virginia, but part of me can't wait for fall baking. 

BP came home and saw the loaves cooling and his eyes lit up. I knew he was excited. I cut him a piece and he was hooked. Later his dad had a piece and he said the bread was a winner.  Let's just say this makes two loaves and both are staying inside this house. :) 

Banana Bread
Makes two 9x5" loaves

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 eggs 
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
2 tbsp vanilla extract 
4 medium ripe bananas, mashed up (if you want to mix things up, leave some chunks of banana while mashing to add a little something extra to the bread)
1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside. 

2.  In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking sida and salt. Set aside.

3.  In the bowl of an electric mixer or large bowl with handheld mixer, beat eggs, sugar and vegetable oil together until combined. Slowly add in flour mixture; mix until combined. Add vanilla, bananas, milk and nuts and mix until combined. 

4. Divide batter evenly between prepared loaf pans. Bake, rotating halfway through, 60-65 minutes. Check to see if they are fully baked by sticking a cake tester or toothpick halfway through the middle of the loaf.  Let cool for 20 minutes, remove from pans and let cool completely. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Twix Truffle Brownies

I am a lover of caramel. Rolo's Milky Ways and Twix are among my favorite candy bars. And dessert wise I usually order anything that has caramel in it. What can I say, it's just too good to pass up. If you throw some chocolate in with that, I'm in. 

After a fantastic 8 day cruise with BP and his dad we had little time to rest. A weekend getaway with our friends for the holiday weekend was planned. And honestly, it couldn't if come at a better time. We had a very stressful week and needed the time with friends away. So of course, it was time to bake. 

Mallowmores were requested by them and I was going to make something else as well because there was going to be 8 of us. And these bars were going to be made. 

Let me just say that this picture doesn't do them any justice. Flat out amazing. Seriously. Amazingly decadent and a tad bit addicting. These were a huge hot with everyone. I know I have a hit on my hands when BP tries something and looks at me and says "These are no good. We shouldn't give them to anyone". And he smiles afterwards - I know he's hooked on it. And this is saying something about how great they are because BP isn't a fan of things with caramel in it. 

So if you are a Twix lover or a lover of anything with caramel in it, these are a must make.  Trust me you will be sure to wow anyone with these.

Twix Truffle Brownies
Makes one 13x9 pan 


Favorite homemade or boxed brand brownies - use ingredient called for 

Shortbread Truffle Layer
1 (10 oz.) box Lorna Doone's 
Shortbread Cookies
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar

Caramel Layer
14 oz. bag of caramel cubes, unwrapped
2 Tablespoons milk

Chocolate Layer
2 cups semi-sweet milk chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon shortening



Make your favorite homemade or boxed brownies. Follow directions and let cool completely.

Shortbread Truffle Layer

Place cookies in a food processor until fine powder. Mash in cream cheese and sugar until mixture is well combined.
Gently press shortbread truffle evenly over cooled brownies.

Caramel Layer

Place caramel cubes and milk in a medium microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments until melted, stirring in between each increment until melted and smooth.
Evenly pour over shortbread truffle layer.
Place in fridge to let it cool.

Chocolate Layer

Combine chocolate chips and shortening together in a medium microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between each increment until melted and smooth.
Evenly spread over the top of cooled caramel layer.
Let set up in fridge before cutting into. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Cake Batter Cookies

After a long absence from baking something new (let's face it, a couple of weeks is a long time for me), it's time for a new goodie.  And why not go with something that's been on my list for a while. 

I had left over cake mix from when I made Cake Batter Ice Cream, so these cookies were perfect to make. And we were going to our friends house - perfect chance for our friends to be test tasters. I mean who wouldn't like cake batter in a cookie!? 

These were a huge hit with everyone. We went with a full batch and came home with maybe 10 cookies left. A true sign of a cookie hit. Thanks for being taste testers last night guys - another great night. 


If you want more of a cake flavor, make sure to use a yellow cake mix, otherwise a white cake mix works perfectly. 

And a huge tip for adding in the sprinkles - add at the very end and don't over mix. You want the dough to look the same, like this.....

 .....if you over mix it will turn grey...and that's not pretty. 

Cake Batter Cookies 
Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies 


1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup  yellow or white boxed cake mix (yellow will give you a stronger cake like flavor)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips 
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup sprinkles or 2 packages of Wilton's Color Colorbursts Batter Bits 


In a large bowl, sift together flour, cake mix, and baking soda. Set aside.

Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and beat on high until combined. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low-medium speed until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and sprinkles. Mix on low until the add-ins are evenly disbursed. DONT OVER MIX. If you find the dough changing to a grey color you've over mixed. 

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days. 

When ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Using a 1 1/2" cookie scoop, scoop out dough onto prepared sheets. Keep a cup of warm water nearby to dip the scoop in when needed. 

Bake the cookies for 8-12 minutes until edges are slightly browned. The centers will still appear very soft, but the cookies will set as they cool.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for a week.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Jack Daniel's Marinated Pork

Things here have been busy to say the least. And on top of things, I've been making a lot of dinners lately and not so many desserts. Dinners ranged from homemade French Dip Sandwiches (which were amazing - definitely making them again and will post a blog post about them), Chicken Pot Pie, French Onion Soup and a personal favorite that is flat out amazing, Jack Daniel's Pork. 

Oh yes - this meal is amazing. My parents have made this for years and one night I made it for BP and his dad. It went head to head with a pre-flavored pork loin and needless to say mine won. So when BP brought home another pork loin, I knew this was going to be made. 

Sadly our grill died last year and we are still grill-less. Hopefully we will get one soon. I know BP is missing grilling in the summer big time. Look at how happy he was using my parents grill last summer.

This meal is best on the grill, but just as amazing made in the oven. And this marinade works great for seafood, chicken and beef as well so you can mix it up if you don't want pork. It's so easy and tasty you will want this all year round. And how do I know it's that good? When BP turns and looks at me after dinner and lets me know that we can have this anytime I want to make it. I think he's liking me making dinner. 

Jack Daniels Marinated Pork

1/4 cup Jack Daniels Whiskey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup minced green onions (with tops)
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (not salt)
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Blend all ingredients in small bowl. Place meat in a large Ziplock bag and pour marinade over meat. Mix up marinade all over meat and seal up the bag and place in fridge.  Use as a marinade for shrimp, scallops, beef, chicken or pork.

Marinate seafood for 1 hour. Marinate beef, chicken or pork in refrigerator for 2-12 hours.

After marinating, reserve marinade. Stir in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into cold marinade. In a saucepan, bring marinade to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. 

Use as a sauce for basting while cooking seafood or meat while it is being grilled or broiled.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mini Cake Batter Ice Cream Pies

Last week was a busy one to say the least. Within the span of three days, both of my sisters got engaged. BP and I are thrilled for them. And I can't wait to call them family. I mean they really already are, but now it will be official. My sisters couldn't be with better men, and I couldn't be happier for them. 

And on top of it, it was a holiday weekend! And what did we plan? Game night with some friends. We finally got to play Cards Against Humanity with some of our expansion packs....and did we ever laugh. One round left all of us laughing so hard we couldn't breathe, our stomachs were hurting and our faces were red. It will be tough to ever beat that round. 

And of course because we were having people over, I made dessert. And at the suggestion of BP, dessert was individual sized. 

These were a huge hit.  Everyone had a couple and took some on their way out as well. I mean who wouldn't want an individual mini pie/sundae?! These don't disappoint. So next time you're having people over, make these. 

Mini Cake Batter Ice Cream Pies
Makes about 24

1 quart of your favorite ice cream, softened but not melted
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough - store bought, homemade - doesn't matter
Whipped cream
Chocolate sauce

1. Preheat oven to correct temperature. Spray cupcake tins with cooking spray; set aside. Make cookie dough according to directions. Place 1tbsp and a half of cookie dough in each hole and press dough evenly along bottom and up the sides. (Wet your fingers so dough doesn't stick). Bake until golden brown 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely. 

2.  Let ice cream soften so it's easy to handle. Take cookie pies out of the tins and onto a cookie sheet or large tray lined with waxed paper or parchment paper. Fill pastry bag with ice cream and pipe ice cream into each cookie, filling up until just over the top. Freeze at least 3 hours to set.

3.  When ready to serve, take out of freezer and pipe a dollop of whipped cream on top of each mini pie and then drizzle chocolate sauce on top of each mini pie. (Let sit out for 5 minutes before you eat one).

Friday, June 27, 2014

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of nuts in cookies or candy bars. Well anything dessert wise really. I love them on their own, but for some reason when they are in a dessert I can't stand it. Strange, I know. My sisters never failed to let me know that I was a weirdo for it. 

BP and I were talking about his dads upcoming retirement and how I said I wanted to make him anything he wanted to celebrate it. (The lobsters I had shipped down from the Cape a couple weeks ago was also a nice surprise for them). We were throwing around ideas and these came up and immediately we both knew that I had to make them. 

A couple of days pass and I get around to making them. So there we are, BP's dad and I watching the World Cup (USA vs. Germany) and I tell him about the cookies. What happens next was priceless. This is truly where BP gets this from. BP's dads eyes light up and he says 'I like those a lot'. He finishes eating lunch and looks at me again 'So those cookies are ready to eat?". I say yes and off he goes to get some. He comes back, eating one and a few more on his plate, telling me how great they are. 

He's a huge fan of macadamia nuts - and I have to admit, these cookies are the only acception to my no nuts in cookies rule. So rich and delicious. 

BP makes it home and got to try a few as well - huge hit with him too. Absolutely on my list to make again. 

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies
Makes about 30 cookies 

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped salted macadamia nuts

1.  Preheat oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats. Set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3.  In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract.

4.  Add flour mixture, mixing until completely combined. Stir in white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts until evenly distributed (you can do this by hand or with the stand mixer).

5.  Using your 1 1/2" cookie scoop, evenly scoop dough onto prepared sheets. 

6.  Bake for 12 minutes, or until the edges are very slightly browned. The cookies will not look cooked in the center, but they will finish cooking while cooling on cookie sheet.  Remove from oven and let cookies rest on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Milky Way Chocolate Chip Cookies

As you all know, my love for caramel runs deep. The Milky Way candy bar has always been one of my favorites. When Halloween rolled around I knew I was going to hit the jackpot with them. So many people would hand them out. I loved it, my sisters not so much. We would trade candy at the end of the night or the next day - I would give them all of my Snickers (still to this day I don't like Snickers or any candy with peanuts in it. Those two things should be separate in my mind.), and I would get all of their Milky Ways. Heaven. So needless to say when I saw these bad boys, I snatched that recipe up and made a few tweaks. 

Some of our friends were having a BBQ and of course I was going to bake things for it.  The hosts had requested some Slutty Brownies (in one of the best baking requests I've ever gotten) and I wanted to make something else just incase - always better to be over prepared than under prepared. 

Oh man - these guys are awesome. I have to admit, I ate way more cookie dough than I should of while making these....but so tasty. Next time I might use more Milky Ways in them  since I felt like it wasn't enough, but the 12 mini ones I used did them justice. 

Milky Way Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen 

2 sticks butter, softened
¾ Cup sugar
¾ Cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ¾ Cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 mini milky ways, coarsely chopped
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.  In a large bowl cream the butter and sugars with a mixer. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Once combined, add the chopped milky ways and chocolate chips. Mix until combined. 

2. Scoop cookies onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a cooling rack.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Ice Cream Cake

Chances are that if your birthday is in the summer, you get an ice cream cake for your birthday every year. My birthday is in the end of July and I'm pretty sure I actually only had real cake two or three times for my birthday. The rest of the time it's always been an ice cream cake. 

Over the years my mom got adventurous with the cakes: Ben and Jerry's, Coldstone and Carvel. Carvel ones have always been my favorite. The icing and those chocolate crunchies in the middle - awesome. 

I found out one of our friends wanted an ice cream cake for his birthday - and me being the baker of our group (and now official birthday cake maker of our group), knew that I was going to make my feat ever ice cream cake for him.  Start to finish - bust out Izzy and make some ice cream, find out how to make the crunchies and assemble the cake. 

Little did I know this was ridiculously easy. Now you don't have to make your own ice cream, your favorite store bought ones will work just as well. 

So because I went the extra mile (let's face it I have a lot of time on my hands since I'm still out of work), it took me three days from start to finish. But it was so worth it. 

Let's just say that it didn't last long between all of us.  By the end the cake looked like it belonged at a murder scene. 

Delicious - and I'm sure I will be making these cakes again and again.

Ice Cream Cake

4 quarts of your favorite ice cream (1 or 2 flavors)
One box Oreo Cones or one container Oreo crumbs
One container Magic Shell (chocolate)
One container Cool whip
One 9" spring form pan with wax paper on the bottom

1. Freeze springform pan with wax paper over the bottom and sides of pan.

2. Let 2 containers of one flavor melt a little bit.

3.  Crush cones and mix with about 1/2 container of well shaken Magic Shell, should be wet, but not soaking wet. Feel free to taste.

4.  Take out springform pan and spread ice cream over the bottom half (if you have ice cream left over, feel free to eat it)
Add "crunchies" and press down on them. KEEP CRUNCHIES AT LEAST 1 CENTIMETER FROM THE EDGES. There needs to be some ice cream to ice cream contact.
Freeze a couple of hours. 

5. Let 2 containers of the other flavor soften up a little bit (like the above).

6.  Take the springform pan out and plop ice cream down on top of the bottom layer (you don't want to put it all in one space as you'll need to spread it out to cover it all evenly - if you plop it all down in the center, it tends to pull the cruchies up here & there).
Smooth out the top as best as possible with a long spatula (or bread knife).
Freeze overnight.

7.  Take out of the freezer and dip the whole springform pan in hot water very quickly (as much as you can dip without it coming over the top). This should melt the sides just enough to release the cake from the pan.

8.  Decorate with cool whip. Freeze a couple of hours or overnight. 

When ready to serve, like any ice cream cake, let sit out for 15-20 minutes before you are ready to cut into it. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Easy Egg Casserole

BP and I have been on a breakfast kick lately. Baked French Toast, egg sandwiches and now this egg casserole. Saturday mornings here are awesome. 

Now if you think you can't handle this or just don't have any breakfast skills at all, then this is for you. Trust me when I say that anyone can make this. And how good is it? I made it for a friends baby shower and 2 trays of it went within minutes. 

Now if you aren't a fan of using breakfast sausage, then use whatever you want in this - it works amazing well with everything you put in it. I made ours with garlic, onion and ham. Delicious.  BP loved it. 

So try it out this won't be disappointed. Also a great meal to make with your kids. 

Easy Egg Casserole 
Makes one 13x9 pan


1 pound breakfast sausage or whatever meats/vegetables you want to use 
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls (8 oz)
4 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper


1.  Preheat oven to 425F. Crumble and cook sausage or meats/vegetables in skillet over medium heat until browned. Drain sausage. 

2.  Line bottom of greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish with crescent roll dough, firmly pressing perforations to seal. Sprinkle with sausage and cheese. 

3.  Combine remaining ingredients in medium bowl until blended, pour over sausage. 

4.  Bake 15 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into squares; serve hot. Refrigerate leftovers.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Chocolate Ganache

I'm the first to admit it that I can't decorate a cake AT ALL. We've seen many examples of this over the years - the latest example was my Darth Vader Cake that I made. All I could say was it tasted good and it was still in the shape of Darth Vader. Points for trying right? 

So for all of you that are like me out there (I'm hoping I'm not alone in this boat), welcome to your new way to decorate cakes. Simple and delicious an everyone will be extremely impressed. Trust me - it will turn any cake into an amazing cake. Homemade, out of a box, whatever you prefer, this is going to be a staple in your recipe box. 

I made this cake for our friends birthday. It was a huge hit. Everyone loved it. Before I knew it, half of the cake was gone. Trust me - it's worth the time and effort. 

Chocolate Ganache 
Makes about 7 cups 

4 cups heavy cream
4 cups semisweet chocolate, chips or finely chopped
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 coffee extract (optional)

1.  In a medium size saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the heavy cream to a full boil.  Turn off heat and add chocolate slowly to the pan. Slowly whisk mixture until smooth. Add corn syrup, salt and extract, and stir until combined.

2.  Transfer half of mixture (3 1/2 cups) into a large bowl. Pour remaining mixture into small bowl. Let cool completely, stirring frequently, about 40 minutes. 

3.  Once fully cooled, take mixture in large bowl and beat on medium-high speed until ganache holds soft peaks, 5-7 minutes. 

4.  Taking your cake layers - place whipped ganache on one layer of cake and spread evenly. Top with remaining layer and repeat with more whipped ganache. Repeat if 3rd layer. Spread remaining whipped ganache in a thin layer over the entire cake. Refrigerate until set, at least 30 minutes. 

5.  Once cake is set, transfer cake to wire rack with a rimmed baking sheet under it. Take small bowl of ganache and slowly pour on top of cake. Take an offset spatula to evenly distribute ganache over the top and sides of cake.  Keep pouring ganache over cake until cake is covered entirely. Refrigerate until ganache is set, at least 30 minutes. At this point you can transfer it to a cake platter. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Baked French Toast

Ah weekends. Nothing beats sleeping in. Not that we sleep in like we did in our college days. Long gone are the days of sleeping in past noon. Now we're lucky if we make it to 10 AM....usually it's somewhere around 9 AM. Getting old means waking up earlier right? Might have to fight that as hard as I can.

BP is a fan of breakfast in bed, especially when he has played poker until the early hours the night before. So while he was playing poker, I prepped an excellent breakfast for us. Nothing beats a easy and delicious breakfast. 

I got up and got myself ready and then headed down to the kitchen to make breakfast while BP slept a little more. All I had to do was sprinkle the topping ontop and put it in the oven - can't beat that. While it was baking away I had some coffee and got ready for the day. I have to say that this smells so amazing while baking. I couldn't wait for it to be done. 

Oh man was this a huge hit! And it reheats amazingly well! So if you have leftovers don't worry. Mix it up with your favorite bread: Challah, Cinnamon Raison, Pumpkin, your choices are endless. So go ahead and make this over the weekend, you won't be sorry. 

Baked French Toast

French Toast
 Butter, For Greasing
1 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread
8 whole Eggs
2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt
 Freshly Grated Nutmeg (optional)
1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces
 Warm Syrup, For Serving
 Butter, For Serving

For the French toast: Grease 13x9" baking pan with butter. Tear the bread into chunks, or cut into cubes, and evenly distribute in the pan. Crack the eggs in a big bowl. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover the pan tightly and store in the fridge until needed (overnight preferably). Or you can make it and bake it right away---delicious no matter what!

For the topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and some nutmeg in a separate bowl. Stir together using a fork. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, and mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.

When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture or for 1 hour-plus or more for a firmer, crisper texture.
Scoop out individual portions. Top with butter and drizzle with warm pancake syrup. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Holiday weekends are the best. Since we had an extra day to sleep in and hang out with friends, BP and I decided to have Game Night at our house with some friends. Out of the 10 we invited, 8 were coming over. Full house for us - that means I had to make enough food to feed all 11 of us (this includes myself, BP and his dad). Spaghetti and Meatballs for dinner and two desserts. 

BP had requested something with coconut. But when our search for the ingredients I needed came up short we had to change it up - and Pineapple Upside Down Cake it was. 

This was my first time making this and I have to say, it's incredibly easy. And the fact that it's pretty as well is always a bonus. 

I mean look at that - it's wrong how easy this was for it to be so pretty looking. And since there were so many of us, I made some Slutty Brownies as well. 

After a heated battle of Risk on the guys end and a hilarious version of a Scattegories on the ladies end it was time for dessert. Both were a huge hit. Not much of either were left at the end of the night after we finished playing Cards Against Humanity. 

Overall, an excellent night with great friends. We love a good game night. 

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar
sliced pineapple (6 canned slices or use fresh)
15-20 maraschino cherries

1 and 2/3 cups  all-purpose flour, careful not to overmeasure
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup  light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature preferred
1/4 cup yogurt
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
1/4 cup pineapple juice (reserved from the canned pineapple or use fresh)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Prepare topping first. Place 1/4 cup of melted butter into a 9-inch pie dish or 9x2 inch round cake pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Top with pineapple slices and arrange cherries between the pineapple slices.

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in the sugars vigorously getting out any brown sugar lumps - mixture will be gritty. Whisk in egg, yogurt, milk, pineapple juice, and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick.

Pour/spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil (loosely to avoid the top from sticking to the foil). Bake for 20-25 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Invert cake on top of a cake stand or a large serving plate. Slice and serve warm, room temperature, or even cold. Try serving with vanilla ice cream - it's a delicious combination. Cover cake and store for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

Growing up, getting a Hostess Cupcake was a treat. I still have one or two a year. But once you make these at home, I promise you will never want the store bought ones again. 

BP's boss is leaving and he asked me to bake something for her last day. I had total free reign and this came to mind right away - mainly because I was craving one. Once he approved them, off I went. 

Oh how I couldn't wait for these to be ready to try. Time seemed to inch by, it was like torture. But man was it worth the wait. 

I took some to my ladies night dinner with me and they were a huge hit. BP also couldn't wait to get home from work and try one as well. Of course he loved them. A beloved cupcake by all. 

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes 
Makes 18

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
3 tbsp vegetable oil 
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup warm water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake trays with paper liners. Set aside.
2. In large bowl add all dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add all wet ingredients and mix, until smooth and combined. 
3. Divide batter into cupcakes evenly. Bake, rotating halfway through, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely. 

Make icing:
8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp light corn syrup

In a small heatproof bowl place chocolate chips and set aside. In a small saucepan combine heavy cream and corn syrup and heat over medium heat until just boiling. Pour mixture over chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir mixture together until smooth.

While chocolate mixture is melting - make filling. 

3/4 cup shortening
1/3 cup butter
1 cup marshmallow fluff
1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Beat butter and shortening together until smooth and creamy. Add marshmallow fluff, confectioners sugar and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Mix on high for 10 seconds to make light and fluffy. 

2. Cut a slit on the too of each cupcake. Fill pastry bag with filling and pipe mixture into each cupcake. Save remaining filling for topping.

3. Dunk the tops of filled cupcakes into ready chocolate ganache and let set for at least 30 minutes. 

4. Decorate tops of cupcakes with swirls or writing. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Best. Cookie. Ever

Things have been hectic to say the least. Between being constantly sick and so much stress at work I felt like I was going to break. My parents raised me to always give 110% with everything I do. I felt like I was going to burn out at any moment, and then my boss sat me down and told me they had to let me go. So now I'm trying to find a new job and once again have a lot of free time on my hands. What do I do to fill it? Bake. 

I've been craving these cookies for a while now, but just never had the time to make them. So these were up high on my list of things to make.

I didn't have all of the add ins needed, so I went with what I had on hand in the house. I had accidentally bought butterscotch chips one day and didn't realize it until I opened the bag and poured then into a bowl. I had to set them aside for later use - and these cookies were going to be it. Usually I make these with chocolate chips, chunks of caramel and toffee bits. Today I went with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and caramel bits (these are made by Kraft and are perfect for your baking needs! No more unwrapping and cutting up caramel squares. These are my BFF for any baking needs with caramel. They are in the baking aisle with chocolate chips). And let me tell you, the taste alone from sneaking a bite (ok more like 4) of the dough, these are going to be amazing. 

Oh man are these delicious! Everyone who has tried one loves them. These are a must make. 

Best cookie ever
Makes 72 cookies

2 cups minus 2 tbsp cake flour
1 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
2 cups butterscotch chips
2 cups caramel bits 

1. In a large bowl soft together flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
2. In another large bowl or your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and slowly add in flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Add in chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and caramel bits and mix until incorporated. 
3. Transfer dough to a large bowl and press plastic wrap against the dough. Refrigerate for 24-36 hours. (Can be refrigerated for up to 72 hrs max).

When ready to bake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. 
2. Scoop out cookie dough with 1 1/2" cookie scoop into prepared cookie sheets.
3. Bake until golden brown 10-15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Buttered Rum Muffins

I have to admit, I love when BP looks at me and has a baking request. I'm never anywhere near close to knowing what he wants me to make this time. The man keeps me on my toes, and I love it. So when the request was made for Buttered Rum Muffins, I have to admit I'd never heard of them. Apparently they are huge in the south and Giant makes some really good ones (that's Stop and Shop to all you guys up North). 

And wouldn't you know it, we had rum in the house. And honestly, we all know how I love to bake with booze. It's amazing how it can enhance things. 

With the Captain ready and waiting, off I got to baking. And these are pretty easy. BP was out with some guy friends and I got to baking. BP's dad and I were talking about the muffins and how we weren't too sure about them when BP and his friends came home. Of course the muffins were ready and waiting and the guys zeroed in on them.

They were quickly half gone. Also got the comment that you can really taste the rum. What can I say, there's a glaze that goes on top and seeps into the muffins so you can really taste the rum. 

With the guys downstairs catching up, BP's dad and I tried a muffin. Oh man, I spit mine out. BP's dad wasn't too thrilled with them either. We both joked about how they weren't for us, but we were glad BP likes them. But I'm pretty sure these won't get made again. And I totally want to try Giant's version of these muffins because I'm sure the recipe is completely different from the one I used. So if you're daring try them out. 

Buttered Rum Muffins
Makes 12 muffins 

1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
2 large eggs
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 c milk
5 Tbsp rum, divided
3 Tbsp sugar

Pre-heat oven 350 Beat butter with mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add sugar, beating well, add eggs, one at a time beating just until blended after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cloves and nutmeg together in small bowl. Combine milk and 3 Tbsp rum in measuring cup. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed after each addition. Spoon mixture in each muffin cup 3/4 full, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven, place on cooling rack. Combine remaining 2 Tbsp rum and 3 Tbsp sugar in small saucepan, cook over low heat, stirring constantly until sugar disolves, brush over warm muffins.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Oreo Truffle Stuffed Cupcakes

I thought I was over my kidney infection. Was I ever wrong. After a couple of doctors appointments and one scope, I found out I have a bladder infection. After a slight setback with getting my meds (turns out it's not something a lot of pharmacies keep in stock), I'm on meds and starting to feel better. Not letting feeling less than stellar stop me, it was time to get in the kitchen and bake. 

BP had requested another stuffed cupcake since the Cookie Dough Stuffed Cupcakes I made were a huge hit. So after a little searching for ideas online I found this one and knew I had to make it. 

I'm still on the hunt for a great yellow cake recipe (so if you have one that's tasty, moist and fluffy send it my way), and decided to try a new one out. Not too thrilled with this one, but it works great for these cupcakes.

Now of you're wondering where the other half of the missing cupcake is, that would be the stealth mode of the love of my life, BP. While I was setting up the cupcake halves and shooting the picture, his hand deftly goes in and takes a half and eats it. Patience was not his strong suit when he saw these waiting for him. And how could I be mad at him, he's too cute and I love him too much for that. Besides, the frosting he had on his mustache was just too adorable. 

We brought some with us to church (our pastor shamelessly asked for some when I posted the pic on Facebook) and our friends were so excited to get to try some. They were a huge hit. Gone before we knew it. Always a good sign. 

Oreo Truffle Stuffed Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes

1 package Oreos- 3/4 of package for truffles, 1/4 for frosting 
8 oz cream cheese - room temperature

In medium size bowl let cream cheese come to room temperature. Cut two pieces of parchment paper and put 3/4 of the package inbetween the parchment paper. Take a rolling pin and crush the cookies until all cookies are crushed and no lath chunks remain. Transfer into bowl with cream cheese. Mix until well blended. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Form 24 one inch balls of Oreo cream cheese mixture and place on parchment lined sheet. Freeze for 20 minutes. 

Make the cupcakes while truffles are freezing: 

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
One 5.9 oz (or two small packages) instant vanilla pudding

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners and set aside.

Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the softened butter and sugar together until fluffy and light, then add the eggs and beat until fully incorporated and light. Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, and finally the milk and vanilla. Beat everything together on low for 30 seconds, then high for 3 minutes. Add in vanilla pudding and mix until incorporated.

Scoop 1 tablespoon of batter into bottom of each cupcake. Place 1 frozen truffle into each cupcake and then cover with batter, making sure you cover the truffle completely. 

Bake for 18-22 minutes, rotating halfway through, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Let cool completely. 

Oreo Frosting
3 sticks butter, room temperature
2 pounds of confectioners sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
4-6 tablespoons of milk
Remaining Oreos from truffles, crushed 
Mini Oreos to top cupcakes

Beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add confectioners sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until incorporated each time. When all of the confectioners sugar is incorporated, add salt, vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons of milk. Beat until well blended. Add more milk until desired consistency is reached. Beat on high for 10 seconds. Fold in remaining crushed Oreos and mix until well blended. Transfer to piping bag and pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Top each cupcake with a mini Oreo. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Almond Sweets

I have to start this post off with an apology for not posting in over a month. I had a minor illness. A severe kindney infection sidelined me for awhile. Two trips to the ER, lots of meds, fluids and rest and I'm feeling good again. BP was amazing and took such good care of me. He was there to come get me, both ER visits, making sure I was getting my fluids and meds and keeping my family informed while I was constantly napping - those meds were intense. 

Finally it was time to get back into the kitchen....and what was on the menu - something for Ween. And of course BP and his dad got to try these out too. Both are fans. If you love almond cookies this is a must. This is a repost cookie wise. I apologize for some reporting of things. Most of my cookbooks are packed up and it's hard to find exactly what I'm looking for when I have to pull out 2 bins of cookbooks. 

Ween's boyfriend just had a pretty intense hand surgery and is recovering at home. So BP and I put together a themed care package for him and added these cookies for Ween. And the cookies are mainly a hope that she can figure out how to send us some muffins that BP loves and we can only get on Cape. 

Now I will say that Ween and her boyfriend have no clue we sent this off to them. We've talked about it but never said it would happen since there were issues with shipping the muffins. So when Thursday rolls around you two will have a great care package waiting for you. There is a whole tin of these cakey, almond deliciousness for you ween. Share if you want, I know how you love these :) 

Almond Sweets
makes about 48 cookies

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
Almond Icing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpats; set aside.  In a bowl stir together flour, baking powder and salt; set flour mixture aside.
In a large mixing bowl beat eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla and almond extract with an electric mixer until combined.  Beat in the flour a little at a time until completely mixed.
Drop dough by the teaspoon 1" apart on cookie sheet.  Bake for about 10 minutes until golden.  Transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool.  Frost with Almond Icing.

Almond Icing

In a medium bowl stir together 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp almond extract and 2-4 tsps milk to make a smooth, spreadable icing.  If desired, tint with food coloring. 
I highly suggest doubling this! 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bread Pudding

Goodbye 2013, hello 2014. Last year was full of ups and downs, but through it all I had the love of my life by my side. We have decided that this year is going to be our year, so bring it on. 

New Years Eve came and we had plans with BP's dad for dinner and then off to some friends house for a night filled of games. Yes, low key and nerds but we love it. Dinner was great. And dessert was had by all 3 of us, which is a rarity. I went for the bread pudding while the guys went with creme brûlée. And the conversation came about how BP lies bread pudding, but only when it's cold. When it's all warm and amazingly delicious he doesn't want anything to do with it. So I knew the request was coming. And sure enough it came the next day....I know my man so well :) 

All we needed was bread and eggs, we had everything else so this was a simple mission. BP was very excited for this one. And when he found out we had to let the bread get stale overnight I could tell he wasn't expecting that one at all. So a day was added on to him waiting....but it was worth it. So worth it. This smells amazing in your oven while it's baking....and I had a piece straight from the oven. 

Oh my, amazing. BP was sitting next to  me while I ate it and I could tell he couldn't wait for his piece. But that was hours away while it chilled in the fridge. Finally his time came, and oh man his reaction was a good one. This is now ranked in his top 5 treats of what I've made for him, so this is saying a lot. And I can tell there will be requests for this one again and again. Which I love :) 

Bread Pudding 
Makes one 13x9 pan

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large beaten eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cubed Italian bread, allow to stale overnight in a bowl (I used Challah bread, feel free to use what you like)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (I substituted the pecans for raisins instead, but use what you like here)
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brandy (again I used something different, Disarrono. Any sweet liquor will do)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.

Mix together granulated sugar, eggs, and milk in a bowl; add vanilla. Pour over cubed bread and let sit for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, mix and crumble together brown sugar, butter, and pecans.

Pour bread mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.

For the sauce:

Mix together the granulated sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until the sugar is melted. Add the brandy, stirring well. Pour over bread pudding. Serve warm or cold.