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Nutella Mug Cake

8 Apr

So it’s been a long day. The husband’s sick. The baby’s teething. And Adrienne is 3. What else can I say? I needed chocolate and I needed it quick. I found this recipe for a single serving Nutella Mug Cake via Pinterest. I thought, why not? It’s a single serving so it won’t be staring at me for a week and hey, I deserve this. Here’s the recipe:

4 tbsp self rising flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp Nutella (mmmm)
3 tbsp skim milk
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp oil
1 egg

Cast of Characters

I added all of my ingredients to my enormous Year of the Ox mug

Whisked everything up with a fork

And popped into the microwave for 1 minute…then 20 seconds…then 15…then 10. Do the intervals so that you don’t overcook.

End result

Verdict – this is pretty tasty. I think I cooked it a bit too long so maybe cut off that 10 second interval at the end. And I wish I’d had the forethought to have vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on hand to top with. Also, this is a bit more than a single serving…so don’t eat the whole thing.

One other note…I’ve decided that single serving microwaveable mug desserts are evil. Sure it sounds good on paper. Only one serving. And you can cook it in the microwave (speaking of which, I’m pretty sure I just read an article about how cooking things in microwave pretty much makes them not food anymore. Whatevs…I’m not dead yet.). However, you can whip one up in less than 5 minutes people!!! If you’re desperate (selfish?) enough to consider making a single serving dessert, you’re desperate enough to make one every night. That can’t be good.


Peppermint Truffles

16 Dec

Peppermint Truffles

So my mom and I were doing some holiday shopping and decided to stop at Starbucks for a refreshment.   Refreshments we got, as well as these guys:

Starbucks Pop

Taste test:

Starbucks Pop

Tasty.  And then I thought to myself, I just spent $3 on 2 of these guys.  That’s cray cray!  And I don’t get it, they are called Peppermint Brownie Cake Pops at Starbucks, but I looked it up, and it’s chocolate cake mix.  No brownie in it at all.  So it’s more of just a cake pop.  I know, I’m just hating.  Anyway, I went to the store and decided to try it my way.

You will need:

Favorite brownie mix (with all the ingredients to make them)

3/4 Package cream cheese


White chocolate


Brownie Mix & White Chocolate

Make the brownies according to the box and let cool completely.  Then use a food processor to grind it really fine.

Crushed Brownies

Throw in 3/4 of a package of cream cheese and turn on the food processor until mixed.  Start balling up your truffles whatever size tickles your fancy.  Once balled, chill in the freezer for 5 minutes or the fridge for at least 15.  If you stick a toothpick in without cooling, it will probably slide right off.  No fun when dipping time comes.

Balled Up

Grind up the peppermints and set aside.

Crushed Peppermint

Melt your chocolate.  I put about 8 blocks in a bowl and microwave in 30 second increments.  I’ve found that white chocolate is much easier to burn and ruin than milk chocolate.  So take it slow.  30 seconds, stir.  Repeat as needed.  To make it more candy coated-like, add some canola or veggie oil to thin it out.  Stir in a teaspoon and mix well.  Use your spoon and make sure the chocolate drizzles off fast.  No oil means too thick and can be a little too much bite.  Thin makes your chocolate go a lot further, and it has that quick “pop” when you bite into it, if that even makes sense.  Start dipping.  Toothpicks are my favorite tool.  Stab one, dip in, and use a spoon to cover.


Once dipped, sprinkle immediately with your crushed peppermint.  If you wait too long, the chocolate will harden and the peppermint won’t stick.  I dip 1 or 2 and sprinkle.

Peppermint Truffles

All done!  And more satisfying than Starbucks.  They’re coating was more sugar with a little peppermint.  But kudos for the idea!  Keep in the fridge until serving!  Perfect for the holidays!  Enjoy!

Peppermint Truffles

Chocolate Eclair Cake

8 Dec

This simple no-bake dessert is hands down one of my husband’s favorite treats. He literally has been known to dance a little jig and throw high fives once he figures out what I’m putting together in the kitchen. For those of you who know my husband, you know that I’m not exaggerating.


Reminiscent of Boston Cream Pie, tiramisu, and eclairs, I love it this creamy delight, as well.

While I certainly can’t take credit for inventing this dreamy sweet, I’m sharing with you my favorite personal rendition of it. Mix up the flavor of graham crackers and pudding for a tasty twist, or add a layer of luscious ripe raspberries.

A few words of advice… this is not a recipe to rush. It must sit in the fridge for several hours so the graham crackers soften. Be patient! It’s well worth the wait, I promise.

Chocolate Eclair Cake


  • Approximately 1 (14oz) box graham crackers (Honey used here, but any flavor will work)
  • 1 large box regular or sugar free vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 C milk
  • 8 oz low-fat Cool Whip
  • 15 oz low-fat ricotta
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 1/4 C milk
  • 2 T melted butter
  • 3 oz melted semi or bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a 13 x 9-inch dish, arrange a layer of graham crackers.


In a large bowl, combine 3 C milk, vanilla pudding mix, ricotta, and vanilla. Whisk or beat on low with a mixer until thickened, approximately 1 minute. Fold in the whipped topping. Spread half of the pudding mixture over the layer of graham crackers. Arrange another layer of graham crackers over the pudding mix, top with the remainder of the pudding mix. Add a final layer of graham crackers.


To make the topping, whisk together milk, butter, chocolate, honey, and vanilla. Add the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Pour over the final graham cracker layer, and smooth to cover.074

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.

Almond & Cherry Shortbread Cookies

30 Nov

Almond & Cherry Shortbread Cookies with Vanilla Drizzle
For the  cookies:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp  vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp  fine sea salt
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chopped  dried cherries
1/2 cup slivered, toasted, and chopped almonds

For the  icing:

2 3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp  water

With a mixer beat butter, sugar, both extracts, cinnamon, and salt until fluffy.  Beat in egg.  Add flour and beat until blended.  Stir in almonds and cherries.

Shape into a log and cover with plastic  wrap.  Refrigerate for 2 hours.

After refrigerating, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut 1/2 inch thick slices and bake about 15 minutes.  Allow to  cool completely.

Mix all icing ingredients. Using a fork, drizzle the cookies with the icing.  Allow to set 1 hour.
Shortbread Cookies
The  verdict:

I found this recipe on the Food Network site and decided to give it a whirl. Nothing in the recipe said anything about shortbread, but they certainly have that texture.  So, I call them shortbread cookies.  And they were a success!  I put dried cherries in half of the batter, and dried cranberries in  the other. The recipe is very versatile, so add your favorite goodies!  Makes  about 20-24 cookies. Enjoy!

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

27 Nov
A few years ago, we Jue sisters started a little cookie blog. Sadly, we were not dedicated and allowed it to perish. The recipes, though, live on! Here’s one of my favorite old posts.

I’m a great lover of gingerbread and gingersnaps… soft and chewy, snippety-snappity, sweet and spicy with a bit of bite. I love both equally. So when I saw this recipe for Big Soft Ginger Cookies, I thought “Yeah, baby!”. Best of both worlds, right? I figured I’d give them a try… boy was it worth it.

Big Soft Ginger Cookies


3/4 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Additional sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.

Beat in egg and molasses.
Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. If you’re me, double to triple the spices ’cause you know you want these zesty.
Roll into 1-1/2-in. balls, then roll in sugar. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.


These babies baked up absolutely beautifully, with perfect lightly puffed domes and pretty crackles along the tops. Delicate, sugary outside with a nice chewy center, they’re keepers for sure based on texture alone. My only complaint is that these cookies are on the mellow side spice-wise. Even with my heavy-handed spicing, they’re lacking that bite that I so love in a gingersnap. Next time I’ll be tweaking the spices to get a more robust flavor.

These were a hit at work, and are great the next day unlike some cookies that are only good right out of the oven. The spices develop a bit more… mmm. Wonderful with a cup of joe any time of day.

Rad Tech Week

14 Nov

I’m only a few days late, but happy National Radiology Technology Week for my fellow comrades!


On November 8, 1895, Mr. Wilhelm Roentgen took the first ever x-ray of his wife’s hand.


And if I ever shot one like that today, I’d get fired. And the recipient would probably lose their hand. But any who, every year rad techs around the world celebrate a week with food and imaging gear. This year we were too broke for gear, but I’ll go for food before a femur pen anyway. It was a week of pizza, Moe’s, BBQ, and lots of homemade goodies. And being 2nd shift we tend to get the leftover pickings or nothing at all. So my favorite night was Greek. We have an awesome Greek restaurant across from the hospital. Ah-mazing.


Thank you head honcho ER doc. Another day was everyone make a dessert, so it was an interesting day of rad techs bouncing off the walls. I made my mom’s classic Congo Squares. Everyone I work with has this recipe and for good reason. So pay attention.

Congo Squares

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray 9 X 11 pan with nonstick cooking spray.

1 – 1 lb. box light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 ½ sticks margarine or butter, softened
2 ½ Cups self-rising flour
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Pecans or walnuts, chopped, if desired

Mix first three ingredients until well blended. Add flour and mix well. Add chocolate chips and nuts. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

Easy. Quick. Always a good go-to recipe when you want something quick and endless compliments.


So the week before, I made the classic buffalo chicken dip and pondered, has anyone ever made a BBQ chicken dip. So I googled. And much to my disappointment it has been done. Many times. So, I looked at a bunch or recipes and came up with a mixture of them all.

BBQ Chicken Dip

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray 9 X 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2 – 12 oz cans of Swanson’s chicken
1 – 8 oz block cream cheese (softened)
3/4 cup favorite BBQ sauce
1/3 cup ranch
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese
Green onion (chopped)
Ritz crackers

Mix all ingredients except green onion. Pour into baking dish. Top with green onion. Bake 30 minutes until bubbly. Serve with crackers.


The verdict? Tasty. However, my guilty pleasure stays with buffalo chicken dip. My tastebuds crave spice. I add cayenne, jalapeños, hot sauce, and crushed red pepper to whatever I can. So the BBQ chicken dip was good, but a little on the sweet side. My
coworkers enjoyed it, especially the ones that don’t care for zesty dishes. If I ever make it again, I’ll choose a spicier BBQ. But a good snack in the end.

And to close, here is my buddy and mine’s bulletin board for the week. We would be awesome kindergarten teachers. Our boards are epic. And way better than ultrasound’s.


Easy Peasy Mini Cheesecakes

28 Oct

So it was almost midnight when I got the urge to bake something.  I found a             box of Jello No Bake Cheesecake, but I wanted to dress it up a little bit.  So I               raided the Halloween candy bowl – cha ching!  Toppings galore!

From top to bottom toppings are as follows: Dark Chocolate Snickers, Peanut Butter Snickers, Almond Snickers, and good ole fresh blueberries for a fruity touch.

Mix it all up according to the box, chill, and top with your favorites.  Or in this case, whatever is on hand at midnight!

Easy peasy and delish!  And just for you guys, I made myself devour one of each to let you know which one was the best…….  The dark chocolate snickers was my favorite, simply because I heart dark chocolate.

Aunt Pam’s Apple Cake

26 Oct

I recently bought a whole bag of organic apples so that I could make apple sauce for Baby J. He’s just starting solids and has really enjoyed everything we’ve given him so far…especially the apples. But the expensive organic apples were spoiling faster than he could eat them. So in true Kimberly fashion I decided to bake with them as opposed to just eating them the healthy way. My aunt is an excellent baker and my mom had emailed her apple cake recipe over awhile back so I thought I’d try it out.

You’ll need:

4 cups of apples peeled and chopped (recipe calls for Granny Smith, but I used golden delicious)

1 1/2 cups of sugar

2 eggs

3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup canola oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp nutmeg (I didn’t have any so I doubled the cinnamon)

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp baking soda

1 cup chopped nuts

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a bundt pan or two loaf pans.

Mix your chopped apples with the sugar and let it sit while you assemble the rest of the recipe.


Sift the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and soda together.


Add the oil, eggs, and vanilla to the flour mixture. It ends up looking like this :


Then add the nuts and the apple mixture.


Pour into your greased pan (pans in my case). Bake for about 50 minutes.




Excellent cake/bread that you can eat for breakfast or dessert. I did both today. Yum.

Chocolate Covered Katie

The Healthy Dessert Blog

The Pioneer Woman

Plowing through Life in the Country...One Calf Nut at a Time