Hollywood Cheesecake for Dad

When I was a child I made cheesecake from a No-Bake Cheesecake mix. I remember pouring the packet of powder into a bowl with milk and then beating it until it formed a pudding-like substance. I spread the pudding on top of a graham cracker pie crust and then put it into the fridge to chill. I was so excited about my first dessert! It became a family favorite.

Fast forward a few years and I learned that the cheesecake recipe on the back of a package of real cream cheese is far superior to the boxed mix. Luckily I had parents who supported my baking hobby and they provided a pantry stocked with supplies. (Sorry mom and dad for dramatically increasing the cost of this dessert!)

Obviously, this recipe became the family's new favorite. I doubled the recipe to make an extra thick New York style cheesecake.  It is delicious and moist even without a topping.

My dad is no longer here to enjoy this dessert so I dedicate this piece to him on Father's Day.

Thanks dad for always being ent…

Truffle Brownies

Brownies and truffles.  A perfect combination!

The secret to this recipe is to use your absolute favorite baking chocolate.  This recipe is a modified version of one I found on the back of a bag of Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate (63% Cacao).

Valrhona or any high quality baking chocolate that tastes amazingly good straight from the bag would be perfect in this recipe.
The flavor of the chocolate inside the center of these brownies is delicious!  The texture is slightly crisp on top with a smooth truffle center.  Chocolate chips can be added to the batter to create an even more intense flavor.

Truffle Brownies

1 2/3 cups (10oz) chocolate chips
(or chopped chocolate)
Additional 1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons water
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/4 cup unsifted all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.

In a small pot heat 10 oz of chocolate, butter and w…

Brownie Sundae

This recipe is made with what I like to call brownie pancakes - not the kind that you would put maple syrup on and eat for breakfast.  These pancakes taste like brownies.

I call them pancakes only because I cook them in a pan.  I decided to cook them this way because it was too hot in the house to even think of turning on the oven!

The dessert can be stacked as high as you desire (or at least as high as you can go before it topples over!)  In any case, it is absolutely delicious.

It is mouth-watering to watch the chocolate sauce dripping down over the soft vanilla ice-cream as it is served, but even more amazing than that is when you get to take a spoon and dig into this delicious chocolate dessert!

Brownie Sundae
Vanilla Ice Cream (or try chocolate, mint or strawberry)
Brownie Pancakes (plan on about 4 cakes per serving)
*Chocolate Sauce (or ice-cream topping purchased at the store)

Brownie Pancakes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon baking p…

Favorite Valentine Cookies

Baking Valentine sugar cookies has become a family tradition.

I don't know about you, but when I bake, I don't want to have a lot of extra time-consuming steps like waiting for cookie dough to chill. Through the years I have experimented with recipes to find one that did not need to be refrigerated.  This is my favorite.

Basic Sugar Dough Recipe

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg and vanilla.  Mix.  Stir in flour and salt.

The dough will look very dry but do not worry, you can easily form a ball with your hands.

Scoop up a bit of the dough.  Roll to desired thickness (about 1/8 inch - slightly thinner if attaching wooden skewers).  There is no need to use flour when rolling.  Use parchment paper if you want an easy clean up.

Cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters.  If you do not have cookie cutters you can cut out a heart from parchment paper or wax paper.  Place the paper on top of the dough and…

My Favorite Cake for National Chocolate Cake Day

My Favorite Cake for National Chocolate Cake Day

This is a recipe I have posted before and it is definitely what I want to eat on National Chocolate Cake Day! 

A few years ago I saw a recipe on a container of ricotta cheese claiming to be the "Best Chocolate Cake Ever" so of course I had to try it.  It is actually quite simple because it uses a cake mix, but I found a way to make it even better.  
I decided to make 2 1/2 inch mini cakes and fill them with three different cream fillings:  sweetened whipping cream, ganache and chocolate whipping cream. 

The ricotta cake mix recipe is light and quick to mix. If, however, you prefer to make everything from scratch, then use my favorite chocolate cake recipe listed below.  I actually prefer it to the ricotta cake recipe because it is heavier and it is a great contrast to the light cream filling.
Favorite Chocolate Cake 
1 cup flour 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup chocolate chips 3/4 cup butter …