Mocha Brownie Nut Torte

Coffee CakeHaving my parents visit over the weekend was the perfect excuse to try a new recipe.

And – of course – that recipe needed to be a rich, decadent, and chocolate dessert worthy of a Papa Jim and Nana Shirley visit!

Dagmar took this challenge on willingly. She pulled out all of her favorite cookbooks and spent an hour looking for the perfect recipe.

(I know it was an hour – because she confessed to doing this while listening to a business DVD for school. I’m thinking she probably didn’t get much out of that lesson!)

From all of those cookbooks, she narrowed it down to 3 different chocolate desserts, and then asked her siblings to help her choose. All three of them voted for number 3,  so of course, she made number 2! 🙂

Nobody complained when it was served though! It was just as rich and decadent as the picture promised – and the mocha cream on top was – as Dagmar put it, “One of the best spoonfuls I have ever put in my mouth, just saying…”

Yep. It was that good.

Mocha Brownie Nut Torte
(original recipe from The Hershey’s Chocolate Cookbook)

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
4 ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans (we were out, so we substituted almonds)
1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup chilled whipping cream
2-3 tablespoons powdered instant coffee

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9 inch round cake pan with foil, extending the foil beyond the sides. Grease the foil.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a double broiler. Stirring till combined. Let cool 5 minutes.

Beat eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until foamy. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar. Blend in the chocolate mixture. Fold in the flour and pecans.

Spread the mixture in the prepared cake pan and bake 40 – 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.

Remove the brownie from the pan using the aluminum foil. Discard the foil and place the brownie on a serving plate.

Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a bowl until well-blended.

Beat whipping cream and instant coffee until stiff. Gradually fold in the cream cheese mixture, blending well.

At this point you can spread the luscious coffee cream over the brownie and refrigerate it until serving time.

Or you can do what we did – serve the brownie naked and let each guest put either the coffee cream on top, or just plain whipped cream, or both!



I’ve linked this post with Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday on Blessed With Grace.


Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake

Peanut Butter CakeEvery year before Dagmar’s birthday – she pours over cookbooks and websites to find the perfect ice cream cake.

Her only requirements are chocolate and of course – peanut butter.

This year’s concoction was no exception.

It was a veritable feast of peanut butter – chocolate goodness with creamy peanut butter ice cream and crushed up peanut butter cups.

Warning – this is NOT low calorie. Sure is good though!

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake

Original recipe from Kittencal

1 quart chocolate ice cream
16 ounces peanut butter
6 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped and frozen
2/3 cup chopped salted peanuts


1-1/2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter

Combine all the crust ingredients in a a bowl and then press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool. Put in the freezer until ready to fill.

in a large bowl combine the softened ice cream with peanut butter until well combined. Then mix in 4 of the chopped peanut butter cups and 1/3 cup of chopped peanuts. Spread in the frozen crust.

Sprinkle with the remaining peanut butter cups and chopped peanuts.

Freeze until firm.


This post linked up with Tempt my Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Dessert

DessertIt’s summertime!

The days are longer.

The temperatures are higher and my days are busier!

It sounds like the perfect time to make a yummy ice cream dessert!

This recipe was the inspiration for two of our family favorites, Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Dessert and Chocolate Ice Cream Dessert.  Both of which we’ve enjoyed often.

But would you believe that we have never made the original?!

It was past time to try it.

And it was delicious!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Dessert

1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped peanuts
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
6 cups chocolate ice cream, softened, divided.

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup peanut butter, either crunchy or smooth
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped (I cheated and used about 4 ounces of Cool Whip)

Line the bottom and sides of a loaf pan (9 inch x 3 inch x 5 inch) with heavy duty aluminum foil.

Combine the vanilla wafer crumbs, chopped peanuts, melted butter and 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar. Press half into the bottom of the foil lined pan. Freeze for 15 minutes.

Spread half of the ice cream over the crust and freeze for 1 hour.

(Here’s a hint for the ice cream: a half-gallon carton is the perfect size! Open it up lengthwise and cut the rectangle of ice cream in half. Then cut one of the halves into thirds and squish them into the loaf pan. Put the rest of the ice cream in the freezer till later.)

Meanwhile, for the filling, beat cream cheese and peanut butter in a mixing bowl. Add powdered sugar and milk. Mix well. Fold in whipped cream.

Spread over the ice cream and freeze for 1 hour or until firm.

Spread with remaining ice cream – the pan will be very full. (Just cut the remaining half of the carton of ice cream into thirds and start squishing it in!) Press the remaining crumb mixture on top. Cover and freeze for several hours of overnight.

Remove from the freezer about 10 minutes before serving. using the foil, remove the loaf from the pan and discard the foil.

Cut into pieces with a serrated knife.  It should yield 10-12 large slices, or 15 smaller ones.


I’ve linked this post up with Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Peanut Butter Mousse

Chocolate Peanut dessert

I must confess – I have a weakness for mousse.

There’s something very comforting about it’s creamy and rich texture.

There’s also something wonderful about a recipe that takes only moments to whip up and tastes heavenly!

This recipe is so easy that my 10 year old son made it himself. It was so yummy that my peanut butter loving daughter was in speechless wonder as she ate it!

So was her mom. 🙂

Beware – it’s addicting. Once you’ve tried it you will be craving it often!

Peanut Butter Mousse

1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1- 8 ounce container Cool Whip
1 cup of mini chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

Fold in the Cool Whip and chocolate chips.

Spoon into dessert cups and refrigerate.

Garnish with whipped cream and chopped Reece’s peanut butter cups.


I’ve linked this post up with Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace,  Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff and Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale.

Deep Dark Chocolate Mousse

Ahh..February,  how I love you!

When you arrive it means that nasty cold and overcast January is history for another year.

You are the short little month that bridges the gap between the arctic wind of winter and the warmer breezes of spring. At least we hope so….

You bring us the legendary Groundhog’s Day and the holiday that celebrates romance – Valentine’s Day.

And you remind me of chocolate.

Well, all right – so everything reminds of chocolate!;)

Since we’re talking about chocolate anyway – how about something rich, and creamy and smooth?!

Something so decadent that it would chase away the winter doldrums!

Something that said “Chocolate” with every bite.

Enter the legendary Chocolate Mousse.

Made with a rich dark chocolate, this one will make you smile no matter what the thermometer says !

Deep Dark Chocolate Mousse

From the Hershey’s Chocolate Cookbook

1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup milk
1 cup dark chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cold whipping cream (1/2 pint)
Sweetened whipped cream or Cool Whip (optional)

Stir together the sugar and gelatin in small saucepan. Stir in the milk. Let stand 2 minutes to soften the gelatin. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture just begins to boil.

Remove from heat and immediately add the chocolate chips, stirring until melted. Add the vanilla and cool to room temperature.

Beat whipping cream with electric mixture on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Add half of the chocolate mixture and gently fold until nearly combined.

Add the remaining chocolate mixture and fold until just blended.

Spoon into pretty bowl or individual serving dishes. Refrigerate.  Garnish with sweetened whipped cream just before serving.


Black Forest Trifle

pudding In the midst of our busy week with all the extra kiddos – I read that it was National Cupcake Day.

Being the wonderful person that I am – I knew it would be a tragedy for all those precious children to miss such an important holiday.

(What – you don’t believe me?! Okay, okay – so the real reason is that I’m a confirmed chocoholic and will use any excuse to make some chocolate!)

I used a new recipe for the cupcakes and surprised the kids at supper. They were really good! The frosting – however – was not. I fudged a little – okay a lot – on the frosting because I didn’t want to use the package and half of cream cheese the original recipe called for.

This recipe made a lot of cupcakes and those kids chowed down on them the first day. Slowed down a little on the second and pretty soon I noticed that no one even opened them.

It wasn’t until after the extra kids returned home and we were putting things away that I discovered why.

I opened the cupcake container and discovered that the frosting had dissolved and puddled at the bottom. I was left with 9 sad naked cupcakes with a few colored sprinkles on top.

Major frosting fail.

My first thought was “Just chuck them out to the chickens”.

But then my frugal side kicked in.  There was no way I was going to waste all that yummy chocolate.

So with Buddy to assist me – we turned the massive cupcake disaster into a fabulous Black Forest Trifle.

We started by crumbling half of the sorry looking cupcakes in the bottom of my pretty glass bowl. (I’m still on the look-out for a real trifle bowl!)

Then we took 2 cups of frozen cherries from the freezer (remember when we picked them with friends back in June?).

I thawed them, added 1-1/2 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of corn starch and brought them to a boil. When they were slightly thickened, we poured half of them over the brownies and let it cool. That thickened juice just soaked right up into the cupcakes!

Meanwhile we mixed up a small box of instant chocolate pudding.

When the cherry/brownie mixture was cool enough that it wouldn’t melt the pudding, we put half the pudding down followed by a layer of Cool Whip.

We then repeated with the layers in the same order – cupcakes, cherries, chocolate pudding and Cool Whip.

Yum. Yum. Double Yum.

Those poor rejected cupcakes were transformed into a delicious dessert that disappeared within 24 hours.

Waste not, want not – that’s my motto – especially when there’s chocolate involved! 🙂

I’ve linked this post up with Chocolate Friday over at Stop and Smell the Chocolates and with Foodie Friday over at Designs by Gollum.

Pumpkin Mousse

Pumpkin Mousse
Last week when my folks were here, I was digging in the freezer for a hunk of meat to throw in the oven for supper and discovered a lone bag of pumpkin puree.

It looked at me and said dessert.

I looked at it and said mousse!

Quick and easy, this mousse recipe reminded me of pumpkin pie with whipped cream, with out the hassle of a crust and baking time.

My only complaint was my own pumpkin puree which was still a bit stringy. If I had used canned pumpkin the texture of the mousse would be been much smoother.

Thankfully my folks are not picky people and everybody loved it!

Pumpkin Mousse

1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 small (3.75 oz) package instant butterscotch pudding
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup whipped cream (I used Cool Whip)

In a large bowl mix the milk and pudding until it is soft set.  In a another bowl mix the pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, and allspice.  Fold the pumpkin and the whipped cream into the pudding.

Refrigerate until set.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a quick dust of cinnamon.


I’ve linked this post up at Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday over at Blessed With Grace, and Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff.

Frozen Kool-Aid Dessert

Frozen Kool-Aid DessertI love history.

I love food.

I love food that has a history!

This recipe was originally published in a 1940 era Kool Aid advertisement (now that’s some history!) but I found it reprinted in a old issue of Reminisce Magazine .

Since it’s a depression-era recipe, the ingredients are few and frugal.

It was really simple to make – and my children declared it delicious.

We’ve made two batches – first an orange batch followed by a strawberry one – and we loved them both!

I’m sure that the home cooks making this in the 1940’s used their own cream to whip up for whipped cream – but I did not. I took a shortcut in the heat and humidity and used Cool Whip.

I can only imagine how wonderful it be with the real thing!

Frozen Kool-Aid Desert

1 cup sugar
1 package (.13 ounces) Kool-aid any flavor
2 cups milk
1 cup whipping cream

In a bowl, combine the sugar, Kool-aid and milk; stir until the Kool-aid and sugar are dissolved. Pour into a freezer container and freeze for one hour or until slushy.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream until stiff. Add the Kool-aid mixture ; mix just until combined.

Return to the freezer container. Freeze until solid, about two hours.

Yields one quart.

I’ve linked this post with Mouthwatering Mondays over at A Southern Fairytale, Tasty Tuesday at Balancing beauty and Bedlam, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace, and Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff.

Ice Cream Sundae Bars

chocolate ice cream dessert True confessions here. I don’t remember making or eating this dessert.

That should give you some idea of how crazy life has been around here lately!

Seriously – Angel girl and I were looking through the pictures on the computer and found this one.

I had no idea what is was or why we made it.

Then a few days later I found the remainder of this frozen dessert in the freezer.

So I put my finger in it to see if I could tell what it was. Yum. I put another finger in to further test my taste buds. Then the girls saw me and put their fingers in to check it. After we had eaten at least 2 of the 4 pieces, Angel Girl remembered making this treat on her night to cook – months ago.

We had been trying to use up some of the many things left-over from the Golden Anniversary (which was in April).

Yes. It’s been in my freezer since then.

But it’s gone now. Devoured in the basement in front of the freezer using our fingers. 🙂

Since we created this dish ourselves, I’m not sure what we should call it – Left-over Surprise, Freezer Special? Hmm… maybe not.

Since we were using the left-over fixings for ice cream sundaes – let’s go with Ice Cream Sundae Bars.

Ice Cream Sundae Bars

1 sleeve of Oreo cookies (about 14)
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
1 quart ice cream, any flavor (we used the left-over vanilla)
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup chocolate sauce (we used Nana’s amazing recipe)
Cool Whip (as much as you want)
chocolate sprinkles (just because we could!)

Mix the oreos and melted butter and press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. Freeze for an hour.

Spread the ice cream over the oreo’s and cover with the peanuts and the chocolate sauce. Freeze for another hour.

Frost with Cool Whip and sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles. Freeze.

This will obviously keep for months in your freezer if you should happen to forget that you made it! 🙂


Pink Lemonade Dessert

Pink Lemonade Dessert

It’s hot and humid here at Windy Ridge.

So hot and humid that I don’t want to use the oven – even if the AC is on!

A search deep into the back of my recipe file yielded this recipe for Pink Lemonade Dessert that I had copied from an unknown source sometime ago.

It’s one of those recipes that has been in my recipe file for years and I’ve never tried it – until now.

What was I waiting for?

It was sweet and cold and creamy and easy!

And it was a big hit with all my kids and all the extra kids hanging around last weekend!

Pink Lemonade Dessert

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup pink lemonade concentrate
12 ounces Cool Whip
red food coloring

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and melted butter. Press into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Refrigerate for an hour.

In a blender, combine the sweetened condensed milk, and pink lemonade concentrate. Add red food coloring to achieve the pink color you like.

Pour the lemonade mixture into a bowl and fold in the Cool Whip.

Carefully spread the mixture evenly over the crust. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until firm.

This disappeared really fast over the weekend! One niece said, “It’s like  drinking pink lemonade, you don’t want to stop – and I don’t want to stop eating this!”  🙂

Score for Aunt Melinda!

I’ve linked this post up with Tempt My Tummy Tuesday over at Blessed With Grace, Tasty Tuesday over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, and Tuesdays at the Table over at All the Small Stuff.