Captain Crunch Bars

Capt. Crunch BarsCan I admit here and now that I am not a sugared cereal person.

Buddy- however – loves it.

So twice a year when we go camping I let him pick out one box to bring along.

This year’s choice for the our July 4th Family Camp-Out was Captain Crunch.

And it came home unopened.

Oh dear – now what to do. An entire box of sugared cereal that only Buddy likes.

I know! I’ll feed it to the youth group! They’ll eat anything!

A quick google search and I had several recipes for Captain Crunch Bars. I picked one.

Dagmar (who shares my disdain for sugared cereal) took one look at the recipe and said, “Gross”.

But she made them anyway – and hasn’t stopped eating them since.

They are really yummy!

Suddenly – sharing them with the youth group no longer seemed like such a good idea. 🙂

Captain Crunch Bars

1/2 cup melted butter
1 box yellow cake mix
3-1/2 cup mini marshmallows
8 ounces chocolate chips
3-1/2 cup Captain Crunch cereal
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Pout the melted butter over the bottom of a jelly roll pan.

Sprinkle the dry cake mix on top, followed by the marshmallows, chocolate chips, and Captain Crunch cereal.

Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over the whole thing and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Run a knife around the edge as soon as you remove it from the oven.

It will set up as it cools. If you can wait that long.



Cream Cheese Cut-Outs

Sugar CookiesIt’s hard to believe that Matt’s high school graduation and party are in less than 2 weeks!

Although if you were hanging around our kitchen lately – you might guess that something is in the works!

The girls and I have been baking up a storm and filling the freezer with cookies for his big day.

We are making our staple cookie – oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip, our family’s favorite gingersnaps, and these cream cheese cut-outs.

We love these sugar cookies! The recipe originally came from my sister-in-law, who got it from her husband’s grandma. (I guess that means I got the recipe from my husband’s sister’s husband’s grandma!)

They are so moist and easy to roll out and the cream cheese adds a great flavor. We did a sprinkle of just white sugar on these – but have used colored sugars in the past and even frosted them.

Cream Cheese Cut-Outs

1 cup butter
2 cup sugar
2 – 3 ounce packages cream cheese
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add  the cream cheese, eggs and vanilla.

Add the flour and baking powder. Mix well.

Chill for at least 2 hours. Roll and cut out.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Makes about 3 dozen 2-1/2 inch cookies.


I’ve linked this post up with Mingle Monday at Add a Pinch, Tasty Tuesdays at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff and Tempt my Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace.

Surprise Meringues

Surprise MeringuesSpring on the farm usually means eggs – lots of eggs.

But my chickens have reached the age of retirement (either that or they are still on strike for better working conditions!) and slowed down their egg production drastically.  I’m thankful that our friend Martha has kept us well supplied.

It just wouldn’t be spring without homemade angel food cake, lots of puddings and custards, and of course – meringues!

Since Dagmar is gone for the week at Teen Pact Iowa – I spent some time this morning perusing her new Taste of Home Cookbook. (Shhh! Please don’t tell!)

While I absolutely love my go-to chocolate meringue recipe – I found a new one that sounded promising.

I made one recipe and divided it in half so I could try two variations. The first with chocolate chips and nuts, the second with a hidden chocolate kiss.

Oh my! Both were wonderful!

Surprise Meringues

3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Place egg whites in a large bowl and let stand for 30 minutes. Add vanilla, cream of tartar and salt; beat on medium high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at at time until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved, about 6 minutes.

Fold in chocolate chips and nuts.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 250 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes or until firm to the touch. Turn oven off; leave meringues in the oven for 1 – 1/2 hours. Remove to wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

Variation : Meringue Kisses – Omit the chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop the meringues by tablespoonful on parchment lined baking sheets. Press a chocolate kiss into the center of each one and cover with meringue. Bake at 375degress for 30-35 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove immediately to a wire rack.

The original recipe said they would make 4 dozen cookies – but I just made mine bigger and got 2 dozen.

They were still only 57 calories a cookie! 🙂

Now that’s a guilt free cookie!


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

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

 Cookies I will be the first admit that I hadn’t expected much when Dagmar first showed me the recipe for these cookies.

And they sure didn’t look like much sitting there on the cooling racks.

But – oh my – was I wrong! It just took one bite to make them a new favorite!

They are a cross between a meringue and a cookie – crispy on the outside and moist and chewy on the inside.


And the best news – they are only 143 calories for a nice sized cookie – even with the mini chocolate chips and chopped nuts! 🙂

Chewy Chocolate Cookies
from the Encyclopedia of Baking

4 egg whites
2 -1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup baking cocoa
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 Tablespoon water
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper and spray the paper with cooking spray.

In a large bowl beat the egg whites until frothy.

Sift the sugar, cocoa, flour, and coffee into the egg whites. Add the water and continue beating on low speed to blend, then on high speed for a few minutes until the mixture thickens. With a rubber spatula, fold in the chopped nuts and chocolate chips.

Place generous spoonfuls of the mixture 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets.  Bake until firm and cracked on top – but soft inside – about 12-15 minutes.

With a metal spatula, transfer to a rack to cool.


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

Cranberry Almond White Chocolate Cookies

Cranberry Cookies We had a wonderful Christmas with my husband’s family over the weekend!

The kids loved the time spent with cousins – and I loved my time with my sisters-in-love and my three sweet and very special nieces Katie, Emie and Annie.

My assignment for the weekend was to bring a variety of cookies.  Yes – it was the perfect job for me – and I took it very seriously. 🙂

The girls helped me make several of the traditional favorites – chocolate covered pretzels, gingersnaps, and spritz cookies.

But we also wanted to try something new.

Knowing that my mother-in-law wasn’t big on chocolate, and that one of my sisters-in-law loved cranberries, we went looking for a cranberry cookie.

This is it – and boy – did we pick a winner!

It’s a refrigerator cookie – so you can make up a batch and bake them as needed. We threw in some almonds and a little almond extract for a twist.

Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

1 – 1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3 – 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped

Cream together the butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the extracts, beat well.

Combine the flour, baking powder powder, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl. Gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in the almonds and white chocolate chips.

Carefully stir in the cranberries.

Shape into three rolls and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Cut into 1/4 inch slices and place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Cool on wire racks.


I’ve linked this post up at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday over at Blessed With Grace, Tasty Tuesdays at balancing beauty and Bedlam, and with the Christmas Cookie Exchange at Life As Mom.

Chocolate Kissed Snowballs

Chocolate SnowballsI love these cookies.

Really love them.

I love them so much that I can’t stop eating them.

But since I’ve jumped in the “bottomless pit of Christmas goodies” with both feet – I figured I might as well make these too! 🙂

A sweet friend and co-worker first served me some of these goodies way back in the olden days when we were both still in college. She brought them into work one cold December day and I was hooked! (Bless you Miss Donna!)

They often make it into our Christmas line-up and on our Christmas treat plates. They do freeze well – but are divine fresh from the oven when the chocolate inside is gooey and hot! <drooling>

These are perfect on a cold snowy day!

Chocolate Kissed Snowballs

1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped pecans (I have substituted almonds)
5 ounce bag of Hershey Kisses (unwrapped)
powdered sugar for coating

Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat until fluffy.  Add the flour, salt, and pecans. Mix well.

Shape about 1 teaspoon of dough around each candy kiss and put on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes. Don’t let them get too brown!

Remove from the oven and place cookies on cooling racks.  While still slightly warm, roll in powdered sugar.


I’ll linked this post up with Tuesdays at the Table over at All the Small Stuff and Tempt my Tummy Tuesday over at At The Well.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

My mom – Nana Shirley – shares another yummy cookie recipe with us today – and it’s no surprise that it involves her favorite peanut butter and chocolate!

chocolate peanut putter whoopie pies

It’s a tradition that I travel to our daughter’s and help “babysit” with grandchildren while their parent’s attend the Home School conference for 2 days.

The responsibilities related to the “babysit” part has changed as the children are growing older, but they still like to eat!

My hubby does not share my love of peanut butter, so this was an ideal opportunity to bake Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies from my “stash” of wanting-to-bake recipes!

I had no marshmallow creme jar in my pantry, but I found a great substitution!  Melting 16 oz marshmallows in 3 – 1/2 Tablespoons white corn syrup in a double boiler equals 1 jar of marshmallow creme! I used the microwave, but stopped & stirred each minute.

The cookies are cake-like. Do put them 2 inches apart to keep the desired shape. The filling could use more peanut butter for taste. Be prepared for some filling strings as you spread it!

This recipe was “Grandkid Taste Tested” – and it passed!

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
Makes 30 sandwiches


1 12-oz pkg. miniature semisweet chocolate pieces ( I used regular size, except for sprinkling on top)
2 Tbsp. milk
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 – 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp.baking soda
1 tsp.baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups all-purpose flour


1 cup softened butter
1 cup marshmallow creme
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside 1/4 cup miniature chocolate pieces to sprinkle on cookies.

In microwave-safe bowl combine 1 cup of the chocolate pieces and 2 Tbs. milk. Melt. Set aside.
In bowl beat butter & peanut butter with mixer until combined.

Add sugar, soda, baking powder & salt. Beat. Add eggs, milk, vanilla & melted chocolate. Beat. Add cocoa & flour. Beat. Stir in remaining chocolate pieces.

Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with reserved miniature chocolate bits.
Bake 9 minutes or until tops are set. Cool on sheets 1 minute. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

To assemble, spread flat sides of half the cookies with filling. Top with remaining cookies.

Filling: In bowl beat softened butter, creamy peanut butter, marshmallow creme &  powdered sugar with mixer until combined. If needed beat in the milk until spreading consistency.

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Chocolate biscotti I have never been a big Biscotti fan.

I like my cookies really soft and chewy – not crunchy. That all changed at Christmas when my friend shared some cranberry white chocolate biscotti.


So I thought it was time to give up my foolish prejudice and try some biscotti for ourselves.

Dagmar and I dig up a basic recipe and then played around with it to use the ingredients we have on hand.

The result were these yummy cookies.

Yes, I’m a believer now!

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the cocoa and baking powder, beat for 2 minutes.

Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the almond extract. Stir in the flour by hand.

Mix in the almonds and the chocolate chips.

Cover the dough and chill for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Divide the dough into tow parts and roll each part into a 9 inch long log. Place the logs on a lightly greased cookie sheet , about 4 inches apart. Flatten slightly.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool one hour.

Cut each loaf into 1/2 wide diagonal slices. place slices on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 9 minutes.  Turn the cookies over and bake for another 7-9 minutes.

Cool completely and store in an air tight container.


Ginger Snaps

Ginger Snaps

As you know, I am the Chocolate Lady, yet there are certain non-chocolate recipes that really tempt me. This soft and rich Gingersnap is one of them!

Every Monday morning Dagmar makes a double batch of these delectable cookies and their spicy goodness permeates the house!

She sells them at the Farmer’s Market – where they have quite a following.

Both Matt and Pedro have brought them to the fair and received Outstanding Exhibit Ribbons for them.

Sigh. Just writing this makes me really hungry!


2 cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup shortening (we use margarine)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses (we love black strap – but you can use light)
1 egg

Cream together shortening and sugar. Add molasses and egg.

Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the molasses mixture.

Shape dough into balls and dip in sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

When done the cookie will have beautiful cracks across the surface.

Remove to a rack to cool.


Snacky Apple Snickerdoodles: A Snack With A Fun Name

Here’s a heart-healthy recipe from Nana that fits right into any fall menu…

Snacky Apple SnickerdoodlesOur family likes to pass magazines around, round-robin style, and it was in one of those magazines that I found this heart-healthy recipe.

Since we hosting a weekly Bible Study, I need to create a different snack each week and since we had some delicious “handed around” apples, this recipe was the perfect fit!

What is a Snickerdoodle?  It is an old-fashioned cookie using basic ingredients much like a sugar cookie, except it is rolled in sugar & cinnamon.

It probably originated in the late 1800’s in New England with people from a German and Dutch background.  Unfortunately there is no clue as to how they got their name.

This modern “healthy” recipe has no eggs, uses oil instead of butter and has whole wheat flour. The cookie has a cake-like texture.  It’s good with a glass of milk, a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate!

Snacky Apple Snickerdoodles Cookie
From: Heart Healthy Magazine
Yield: 36 cookies


1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
½ Cup Non-fat Dry Milk Powder
½ tsp. Baking Soda
½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 Dash Salt
1 Cup Low-fat Vanilla Yogurt
½ Cup Honey
4 Tbs. Unsweetened Applesauce
2 Tbs. Oil
1 Cup Peeled & Diced Raw Apples

2 Tbs. White Sugar
½ tsp. Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine flour, milk powder, baking soda, ¼ tsp cinnamon, and salt; Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, applesauce, and oil.

Stir the applesauce mixture into the flour mixture all at once, stirring until just combined. Stir in apples until just combined.

Using a rounded tablespoon, spoon dough onto ungreased baking sheets.

Combine sugar and cinnamon to make topping. Sprinkle over dough.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.  After cooled they can be stored in freezer containers in the freezer for up to 1 month, if they last that long!

Until next time,