Monday, November 30, 2009


1 regular-size yellow cake mix
1 pkg (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix
2 tbsp canola oil
1 1/3 cups water
2 eggs


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan or a bundt pan; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, blend the cake mix, pudding mix, oil, water, and eggs until well blended. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Spread 3/4of the batter in the prepared pan. Combine the streusel ingredients together well in a small bowl. Sprinkle 2/3 cup of the mixture over the batter in the pan. Spread the remaining batter over the streusel. Sprinkle the remaining streusel over the batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan, right side up, for 25 minutes. Remove cake from the pan and drizzle glaze over the top, if desired.

GLAZE: Blend 3/4 cup of confectioners' sugar with about 1 tablespoon of milk until smooth. Drizzle over the top of the cake allowing to run down sides.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
dash of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tbsps butter

Combine the heavy cream with the milk. In a medium-sized heavy saucepan put 3/4 cup of the combined milk mixture. Add the sugar, brown sugar, salt, and corn syrup to the saucepan. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, over medium to medium-high heat. Cook to the soft ball stage or 235 degrees. At this point, slowly add the remaining milk mixture not allowing the mixture to stop boiling. Continue to cook to the firm ball stage or 244 degrees. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla and butter. Pour into a greased 9 X 5 X 3-inch loaf pan. Cool at room temperature. When completely cooled, turn out of the pan onto a cutting surface. Using a knife dipped in hot water, cut the caramel into squares. Wrap individually in waxed paper or plastic wrap.

Yield 1 1/4 lbs

Monday, November 23, 2009


This icing is edible. It does, however, dry hard. It is great for decorating cookies, especially ones you want to use as decorations. This is not an icing recommended for cakes, except for special trims, if desired.

3 egg whites at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Using an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients together at high speed for 7 to 10 minutes. Use immediately. You cannot restore this icing to its original texture by rebeating. This icing dries quickly so work fast and keep your bowl covered with a damp cloth.

Note: If you are going to pipe delicate stringwork add a teaspoon of light corn syrup to 1 cup of icing.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 (3-oz) pkg lemon gelatin
3/4 cup low-fat milk
2/3 cup canola oil
2 tbsp lemon lemon extract
4 large eggs, separated

In a mixing bowl, sift together 1 1/4 cups of the sugar, the flour, baking powder, and gelatin. In a smaller bowl, combine the milk, oil, and lemon extract. Beat the liquids into the dry ingredients until the mixture is smooth. Beat the egg yolks, one at a time, into the batter.

In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until stiff but not dry. Fold the egg whites, lightly but thoroughly, into the batter.

Spray a ring pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust lightly with flour. Spoon batter into pan and bake at 325 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes until the cake springs back lightly when gently touched. Immediately turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

NOTE: To make into a pretty Christmas cake to use as a centerpiece on your Christmas table or dessert table, place the cooled cake on a pretty cake plate. Using a thin buttercream or your favorite white icing, drizzle over the top of the cake allowing some to run down the sides. Place 6 or 8 drained and dried Maraschino cherries spaced evenly on the top of the cake. Connect the cherries with a thin green vine line or place frosting leaves around the cherries. Thicken the remaining icing and make a ball or shell border around the bottom of the cake. Position a wide red or green candle in the center of the cake.

To use for a Thanksgiving centerpiece color some of the thickened icing in fall colors and make scattered leaves over the top. Make a bottom border the same color as your fall candle. Insert candle in center.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Note: This mix is great to keep in the pantry for your own use. It also makes a great gift when packaged in a pretty jar or container with the instructions for use attached to a pretty ribbon.

2 hard peppermint candies
1/2 cup non-dairy coffee creamer
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup instant coffee granules
2 tbsps unsweetened baking cocoa

In the food processor or a blender, finely crush the peppermint candies. Add the candies to the remaining ingredients and mix together well. Store in an airtight container or jar.

Instructions for use: Spoon 2 tablespoons of the above mix into a cup. Add 3/4 cup boiling water and stir. Garnish with a candy cane for a stirrer, if desired.

Friday, November 13, 2009


This recipe calls for graham crackers but you can easily substitute chocolate wafers or gingersnaps using the same amount called for in the recipe.

1 1/4 cups fine graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar (or Splenda granular for diabetics)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Combine the crumbs and the sugar; mix in the butter. Press firmly onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. For an unbaked pie crust, chill 1 hour before filling. For a baked crust, bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes and cool thoroughly before filling.

Note: For an 8-inch pie pan, use only 1 cup of crumbs, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and 4 tablespoons of butter.