Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

Foodie: Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles

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Before I go into specifics, I just have to say, I hate the color of my walls. They’ve been slowly driving me more and more bonkers the longer I’ve lived here. In photographs the walls take on this awful magenta tan. #firstworldproblems amiright?


Last Saturday (our weekly cheat day) I was in the mood for some good junk food, but we hadn’t bought anything the night before. So I went to the pantry and decided to make something. We were limited as we didn’t have chocolate chips, but that didn’t stop me!

After recently acquiring a cream whipper, we’ve amassed some awesome Torani flavorings so I thought I would experiment with my favorite of the bunch: Salted Caramel.

After sifting through my mom’s cookbook, I found a snickerdoodle recipe and a lightbulb went on. We just bought Swedish pearl sugar for our liege waffles, why not roll the cookies in that?


At first glance, the white granules look like oversized salt, the kind that you coat your pretzels in. But it’s the exact opposite. When biting into one of these cookies you get a blend of opposites, the crunchy exterior and a soft, pillowy interior and a splash of sweet with a hint of savory.


I cooked up a dozen cookies Saturday night, thinking that would be enough for our little binge treat, but they disappeared so fast! I had to make up a second batch this morning because Chris ate all the cookies and Penelope didn’t get a chance to eat any. Poor girl, missing out on the deliciousness.


Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles

from | makes 18-24 cookies
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup Torani Salted Caramel
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Whip butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and Torani syrup. Sift together dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture slowly. Chill dough for 10-20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Roll out 18 1/4 cup balls. Roll each ball in pearlized sugar or raw Turbinado sugar and cinnamon. Bake on a lined cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes.


Recipe: Mango Sticky Rice


This stuff is so good. And takes little time and effort to make. I’m all about easy recipes these days since often I’m cooking one-handed (holding a baby has improved my juggling skills tremendously).


Not long ago, Chris bought us a rice cooker. It’s one of those unitaskers that I wasn’t particularly jazzed about. Rice? Come on, it’s hardly the show-stopper for any meal. Ice cream and popcorn makers are far more glamorous. But it dawned on me that I could use this to quickly cook rice to use in soups, stir fry, and to make pudding. Ooo, I love my puddings!


Mango sticky rice, even for non-mango lovers, is a real treat. The subtle coconut flavor melds with the rich sweetness of the mango. Top it with smooth unsweetened cream, mint and a little lemon juice and you have yourself an opera of flavors. You know, because it sings all vibrato, fancy-like in your mouth and has a taste range of several octaves. Yum!


I didn’t have any fresh mango on-hand, so I used frozen chunks and diced them smaller for the presentation. As tedious as it is to chop cubes into smaller cubes, the texture was much better with the smaller chunks.


Rice Cooker Mango Sticky Rice

Makes about 6 servings

  • 1 1/2 cups Calrose Rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup raw turbinado sugar (regular sugar is great, but this adds a more complex flavor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk or half and half
  • unsweetened whipped cream
  • lemon juice (a fresh lemon would be ideal)
  • mint
  • diced mango


Rinse the rice and put in the rice cooker with the water.

In a saucepan, heat coconut milk, sugar and salt until incorporated.

When the rice is about 10 minutes away from being done, open the cooker and add the coconut milk mixture. Close to cook. The rice will absorb all of the liquid. Just before it’s done, add about a 1/2 cup of milk or half and half. Stir to incorporate.

Serve warm with diced mangos, unsweetened whipped cream, mint chiffonade and lemon juice (lemon zest optional).

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.



Food: Texas Sheet Cake


A favorite tradition of mine growing up involved driving to grandma and grandpa’s house (either one, both sets lived about 15-20 minutes away), hanging out with cousins and eating dessert. My parents and aunts and uncles would sit around in the front room, while us cousins would play outside (swinging from the rotating clothes dryer, despite my grandma’s scoldings) or whine at the kitchen table for something sweet to eat.

My grandma cooked the best desserts for us. Texas sheet cake being one of them.


It’s been about 7 years since she passed, and I miss her still.

My grandpa Scott sends out weekly email updates to his kids and grandkids. He often leaves us with little stories about her, but this week it was a several-paragraphed tribute to her and her legacy. I’ve been thinking about her a lot and the things that she taught me.

She had a rough childhood, her parents both dying when she was only 14. She moved from one sibling’s home to another, ending up in Elko. Despite her misfortunes and poor circumstances she was well-educated, motivated and had amazing self-discipline. The kind that I wish I had when it comes to housework. She made dresses and suits for all 6 of her kids (I loved playing with her manual sewing machine – you know the kind with the iron push pedal on the bottom). She was stern, but oh so loving. Oh how I wish I could talk to her now and hear her stories about her childhood and her sewing. I’ll just eat some of her texas sheet cake instead.


Grandma Scott’s Texas Sheet Cake

makes one 17×23 jelly roll pan
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspon soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • cinnamon and chipotle powder, optional

Melt butter and cocoa powder in a sauce pan, slowly stir in milk and stir until smooth. In a small bowl dissolve soda, buttermilk, salt, eggs and vanilla (and spices). In a large bowl, sift together flour and sugar. Pour chocolate mixture and buttermilk mixture into the large bowl and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured jelly-roll cookie sheet. Bake at 375º F for 20 minutes.




  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • cinnamon and chipotle powder, optional

Pour melted butter and cocoa powder and mix until smooth. Add remaining ingredients one at a time, stirring until smooth. Frost while the cake is warm. Add sprinkles.



the original recipe calls for 1 cup boiling water instead of milk, the milk makes it really creamy. I also added cinnamon to this cake yesterday and it is divine. Next time I will be adding cinnamon and chipotle. Penelope will hate the spicy chipotle, but that just means more cake for me!

Do you have any traditional recipes that your parents/grandparents would make for you when you were little?

Molasses Ice Cream


We had some friends over on Saturday & while the kiddies were playing with playdough, one of them asked for ice cream. I remembered that I had heavy cream on hand, so I thought I’d whip up a batch. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my ice cream recipe book. Before I looked up a recipe online, my friend told me that she had a recipe that would be great. The recipe called for 1/4 cup of maple syrup – which I didn’t have – so I ended up with this happy little discovery:


Molasses Cookie Ice Cream!


I used molasses instead of maple syrup. Since the ice cream doesn’t call for much sugar at all, it’s not incredibly sweet. Which I like. But to add a little bit more sweetness & depth to the simple ice cream, I rolled each scoop in ginger, cinnamon & sugar. Oh, it’s good. It’s the perfect amount of sweet. This particular recipe (probably because of the 2 cups of cream it calls for) sets up really well in the ice cream maker.



  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Mix the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and molasses well. Add the milk and blend well. Stir the cream just until blended. Pour into ice cream maker! Once it’s just about set, put ice cream in the freezer to finish setting up– about 2-3 hours. Scoop balls of ice cream onto a cookie tray & put them back into the freezer for a couple minutes. Add cinnamon, sugar & ginger (to taste) into a bowl. Remove ice cream scoops from freezer & roll in sugar mixture. Serve. Makes about 18 scoops. (adapted from this recipe)

Now that it’s finally warming up, I’m going to be making ice cream & granitas quite often. Growing up, we made it a tradition to make ice cream often during the summer. My favorite was making blackberry sorbet out of the fresh berries from my mom’s incredible garden. Do you make home made ice cream?

Yule be glad you did it.


Honestly, many thanks to my Mother-in-law for keeping me motivated for this mammoth DBers Challenge. I wouldn’t have been able to do it in 12 hours if it weren’t for her. Overall: I’ll likely never make this again, but it was absolutely delicious.

This month’s challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu Pour Etre Heureux.
They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand.

If you want the recipe, go here (it’s 18 pages of hair-pulling, eye-gouging fabulousness) because I don’t want copy down the colossal recipe. Sorry. I will, however, tell you what the layers are. . .

  • Almond Dacquoise
  • Dark Chocolate Mousse
  • Dark Chocolate Ganache
  • Praline Feuillete
  • Vanilla/Nutmeg Creme Brulee
  • Dark Chocolate Icing

It was great to have my mother-in-law’s help, plus her enormously huge kitchen and sweet glass servingware.

Brother-in-law, Eric, seemed to like it.

Also, thanks to Chris and father-in-law, Cordell, for getting me the amazing D200 and 50mm Lens for Christmas. You can almost taste the creaminess of the mousse and the crunchiness of the feiullete through the screen.

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