Category Archives: Dessert

German Apple Cake

This is a very simple, quick-to-make cake that’s helpful for work parties and potlucks.

4 cups peeled, diced apples (about 4 large)
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans work well)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour a 9×13 pan and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and mix well. Stir in the apples and nuts by hand. The batter will be very thick.

Spoon the batter into the pan, smooth the top with the spoon and bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Penzey’s Spices.


Crackle Cookies

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg cup all-purpose flour
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
confectioners’ sugar

Ina large bowl, beat sugar, oil, chocolate and vanilla until blended. Beat in egg. In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into the sugar mixture Refrigerate, covered for 2 hours or until dough is firm enough to handle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With sugared hands, shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in confectioners’ sugar. Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Makes 1 1/2 dozen. From Taste of Home.

Mom’s apple cake

6 tablespoons butter
3 big apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 egg

Melt the butter in an 8×8 pan as you preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and egg in a bowl. Add the melted butter. Stir in the chopped apple and walnuts.

Return batter to pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Mrs. Fountain’s pumpkin pie

4 eggs
3/4 cups sugar (half-white, half-brown, packed)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
pinch salt
15 ounces pumpkin puree (2 cups)
1 pie crust

Beat the eggs. Add sugar and beat some more. Add heavy cream.

Combine the cooked squash purée with the egg batter.

Toss the cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a bowl and then add to the pumpkin mixture. Stir some more.

Pour the filling into the pie crust. (You can partially bake crust in advance if you want.)

Bake the pie at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or more (up to about 50 minutes, but don’t over bake). When the center jiggles, it’s done.

Read more about this recipe.

Basic Bread Pudding

2 cups milk (or half & half)
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups bread, cut in cubes

In medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat milk (or half & half) and butter. Let it warm until butter is entirely melted.

Combine sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 1 minute. Slowly add milk mixture.

Place bread in a lightly greased 1.75- or 2-quart casserole. Pour batter on top of bread.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes. Serve warm.

Rum raisin and custard pie

Rum raisin pie with a rum-flavored crust was the star of our Christmas dinner.

Rum raisin pie with a rum-flavored crust was the star of our Christmas dinner.

We had a big group for Christmas dinner last year: my parents, G’s mom and three friends who live nearby. Earlier in December, we had a canning class at the house, and we learned to make made rum raisin pie filling. Everyone took jars home, but I didn’t think anyone had used them yet to make a pie.

Christmas 2015_0243

I got the rum custard recipe from Martha Stewart. It is delicious.

I decided to take the plunge, making a rum raising pie for Christmas dinner. (I made a pumpkin pie too as a back up in case the rum raisin failed.) My canning teacher told us that most people make rum raisin pie with a custard on top, and she suggested we look up a recipe from Martha Stewart. That was the recipe that I used to make the custard, which had a delicious rum flavor of its own. If you don’t want too much rum, you could back off of it in the custard, cutting the amount in half, because if you use a rum raisin filling like I did, that will have a strong rum taste as well.

If you use plain raisins in the pie, I would put the full amount of rum in the custard. And actually, I used the full amount of rum in the custard even with the pie filling because I really like the flavor of rum.

The pie was a big hit. When it came time to divide up the leftovers, that was what everyone wanted.

Rum Raisin and Custard Pie
a pie crust
2 cups rum raisin pie filling, or 1/4 cup raisins
3 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dark rum

Make a pie crust. Place it in a pie pan, and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

Fill the pie crust with 2 cups of rum raising pie filling, or with 1/4 cup golden raisins soaked in 1/4 cup of rum.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Make the custard by bringing 3 cups of cream almost to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Whisk the granulated sugar, eggs, egg yolks, and salt together in a medium bowl. Slowly pour in the hot cream, stirring constantly; return the cream mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and hold a line when you drag a finger through it. That will take 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the rum.

Carefully pour the hot custard into the pie plate, letting it run over the raisin filling. Bake the pie until the center is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool the pie on a wire rack.

Grandpas’ Pumpkin Oat Pie Squares

Our friend Paul made pumpkin oat squares for a fall party. Here are a few of the leftovers. They made a great breakfast the next day.

Our friend Paul made pumpkin oat squares for a fall party. Here are a few of the leftovers. They made a great breakfast the next day.

I stopped blogging during much of last year simply because I didn’t have time. I was working a lot and trying to keep up our social life, and there just wasn’t a spare minute in the day.

I am a little sad about this because I lost recipes during that time. For example, I made a great butter chicken, and I meant to set aside the recipe and blog it at some point, but I never did. And now I can’t remember what the recipe was or where I found it.

These oat squares are one recipe that I set aside. We had a fall party in which guests were asked to bring dishes that featured either apples, cranberries or pumpkin. Our friend Paul made these oat squares, which were even better a day or two later for breakfast. I’ve been carrying the recipe around in my bag for months, but finally, here it is:

Grandpas’ Pumpkin Oat Pie Squares
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter (cut in pieces)

15 ounces pumpkin puree (1 can)
1 can evaporated milk (12 fluid ounces)
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup whipped cream (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch pan.

To make the crust, mix the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar and butter. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan, and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

While the crust is baking, blend the pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a bowl. Pour the custard into the baked crust and bake it for another 20 minutes.

For the topping, mix the chopped nuts, sugar and butter. Sprinkle it on the custard and then bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until the filling is set. Remove from the oven, allow to cool completely and cut into squares. You can top the squares with whipped cream and more chopped nuts if desired.