Wednesday, July 19, 2017


1 cup butter flavored shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cream shortening and sugar together in a large mixing bowl with mixer on medium speed. When well blended add egg, salt, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir in the flour. Place dough in cookie press using your preference of shapes. Press about 2-inches apart on cooled, ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 400 degrees 5 to 7 minutes or until set. Do not brown. Cool for a minute on baking sheet then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Decorate as desired.

Note: You may use a few drops of food coloring to the dough if desired.

 Note: File Photo

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


1 lb confectioners' sugar
3 tbsp Just Whites*
6 tbsp water

In a large mixing bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat confectioners' sugar and the Just Whites. Add water, beating until blended. Increase mixer speed to high; beat 8 minutes or until icing is very thick and white. Beat in small amount of food coloring as desired.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups

*Just Whites is available in the supermarket by the eggs.

Note: This is a file photo of cookies decorated with royal icing.

Monday, July 17, 2017


1 pkg double fudge brownie mix
1/3 cup canola oil
2 eggs
2 tbsp water
28 chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped
1 can chocolate and/or vanilla frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 28 mini-muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a bowl, combine the brownie mix, canola oil, eggs, water, and fudge packet from the brownie mix. Stir with a spoon to blend well. Drop one heaping teaspoonful of batter into each muffin cup; top with the candy kisses. Cover candies with the remaining batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Carefully loosen brownies and remove from pans. Cool completely on a wire rack. Frost after cooled. Decorate if desired.

 Note: File Photo

Sunday, July 16, 2017


1-oz square unsweetened chocolate
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Hot water

In a small saucepan melt chocolate and butter over low heat while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and extract. Blend in enough hot water (1 to 2 tbsp) to make an almost pourable consistency.

 Note: File Photo

County Fair Fried Dough

This recipe and photo are from King Arthur Flour. In Texas we call these elephant ears.


  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, in 1/2" cubes
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • *See "tips," below, to make this recipe using King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour.


  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Work in the cold butter, using a pastry blender, your fingers, or a mixer.
  3. Stir in the warm water to make a soft dough. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into eight pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll into a thin 5" round, about 3/8" thick.
  5. Heat about 3/8" vegetable oil to 375°F in an electric frying pan, or in a pan over a burner. If you're using a 10" diameter pan, this is 2 cups of vegetable oil. If you're not using an electric frying pan, use a candy thermometer to take the temperature of the oil; or guesstimate it by seeing if the first piece of dough fries nicely in the time specified.
  6. Pick up one dough disk, and carefully lower it into the pan. Let it cook for 60 seconds (it'll puff up on top and become light brown on the bottom), then flip it over and cook until light brown on the other side, about 60 seconds. You don't want to cook these too dark; they'll become overly crisp.
  7. Remove from the oil and set on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Place in a 200°F oven to keep warm while you make the remaining fried doughs.
  8. Serve warm, with maple syrup or cider syrup; confectioners' sugar, or cinnamon sugar; or the topping of your choice — some folks enjoy a savory version, with marinara sauce and cheese.

Friday, July 14, 2017


2/3 cup butter-flavored shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
48 Maraschino cherries, well drained

Dipping Chocolate:

1 cup dark melting chocolate, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp butter-flavored shortening
finely chopped pecans
slivered white chocolate for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the butter flavored shortening, sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl with mixer on medium speed. Cream until well blended.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Beat into creamed mixture with mixer at low speed. Take a piece of dough and press into a thin layer around a maraschino cherry. Repeat with the remaining cherries. Place on an ungreased baking sheet about 2-inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for a minute then remove to wire racks to cool. Cool completely while preparing the dipping chocolate.

Dipping Chocolate: In a glass measuring cup melt the dark chocolate and shortening together in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and blended. Drop one cookie at a time into the chocolate mixture using a fork to turn and coat. Lift the cookie out of the chocolate with the fork and allow the excess chocolate to drain back into the measuring cup. Place on a waxed paper covered baking sheet or tray. Sprinkle the top with chopped pecans. Sprinkle with the white chocolate while still wet, if using. Chill in the refrigerator to set the chocolate.

Yield: 4 dozen

 Note: File Photo

Thursday, July 13, 2017


1 lb bag frozen pitted tart red cherries, thawed
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
6 milk chocolate-covered cherry candies
Hard shell chocolate ice cream topping
Maraschino cherries as garnish, if desired

In a blender container, puree tart red cherries with the sugar and corn syrup. Refrigerate mixture until cold, about 1 hour.

Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and put into an ice cream maker. Freeze mixture according to the manufacturer's directions. Remove mixture to a freeze-proof container and freeze for two hours. Place a nonstick foil-lined baking sheet in the freezer.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop sorbet into the scoop filling it completely. Make an indentation in the center and insert one of the chocolate-covered cherry candies. Cover the cherry with more sorbet. Release the scooped sorbet onto the frozen baking sheet. Repeat to make 5 more scoops. Return to freeze and freeze.

To serve the sorbet servings, place each on a serving plate. Squeeze some of the chocolate ice cream topping over the sorbets. Top each with one of the long-stemmed maraschino cherries, if desired. Serve immediately.

 Note: File Photo

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


1 cup walnut pieces, divided
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
1/2 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan and set aside.

Coarsely chop 1/2 cup of the nuts for topping; set aside.

Finely chop the remaining walnuts.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar. Cut in the butter flavored shortening until mixture forms fine crumbs. Stir in the finely chopped walnuts and the coconut; mix well. Remove 1/2 cup of the crumb mixture and set aside. Press the remaining mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.

2 pkgs (8-oz each) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsps vanilla
1 can (21-oz) cherry pie filling

In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla at medium speed until smooth. Spread over the hot baked crust and return pan to the oven. Bake another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and spread the cherry pie filling over the cream cheese layer. Combine the reserved coarsely chopped walnuts and the reserved crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the cherries. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. To serve, cut into 36 bars.

NOTE: You can make this recipe diabetic friendly by substituting 1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend for the brown sugar in the crust. For the filling, substitute an equal amount of Splenda granular for the granulated sugar. Substitute "No sugar added", Splenda sweetened cherry pie filling.

 Note: File Photo

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and dust with flour. Shake over the trash to eliminate any excess flour; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together until well blended the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture in three additions alternating with buttermilk. Begin and end with the flour. Beat 1 minute after all additions. Divide batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Gently tap on countertop to remove any air bubbles. Bake at 350 degrees for about 36 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes before removing cakes. Turn the cakes out onto the racks and let cool completely.

When cakes are completely cooled trim cake tops to level. Cut each layer in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Place one cut layer on a cake plate and top with 1/3 of the filling (recipe below), spread evenly over top. Repeat with 2 more layers and the remaining filling. Top with the last layer, cut side down. Refrigerate 20 minutes for the filling to set.

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
16 oz powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons milk

In a large mixing bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar, then 3 tablespoons milk. Beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. During this process, add the other tablespoon of milk if needed. Use to fill cake layers as directed above.

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups crushed Oreos
Extra whole Oreos for garnish, if desired

In a large mixing bowl, with mixer on high speed, beat heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Generously spread whipped cream all over the cake, using the back of a spoon to make swirls and peaks on the top. Gently press the Oreo crumbs onto the sides of the cake to cover sides completely.

Note: File Photo

Monday, July 10, 2017


This is a recipe by Barbara Pool Fenzl an author and teacher at a Southwest Cooking School. I do not personally drink or cook with alcohol so I have never tried this.

2 cups water
1 cup sugar
4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled OR 20-oz bag frozen whole strawberries, thawed
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup tequila
1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur
Fresh mint sprigs for garnish

Bring water and sugar to boil in a medium saucepan over high heat; cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Puree strawberries in blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in lime juice, tequila, orange liqueur and sugar syrup. Refrigerate until cold.

Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. If you do not have an ice-cream freezer, pour the mixture into a 13 x 9-inch pan and freeze until almost solid, about 5 hours, stirring with a whisk every 1 1/2 hours. Refreeze.

Yield: 6 cups