Recipe: Glazed Orange Brownies

It’s recipe time! This one is easy and delicious.

orange brownies

Glazed Orange Brownies
A Paula Deen recipe, with modifications (in parentheses) that cut down on the sugar and fat


  • 2 cups sugar (I use 1)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened (I use 1 stick instead)
  • 4 large eggs (I use 2 instead)
  • 2 teaspoons orange extract
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest, divided (1 for the batter and 1 for the glaze)


  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice, fresh

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 13×9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. (This pan is too big! I use a smaller one.)

2. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, and salt. Add butter, eggs, extract, and 1 teaspoon zest, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake for 30 minutes or until light golden brown and set. Remove from oven, and pierce cake all over with a fork.

4. In a small bowl, combine confectioners sugar, orange juice, and remaining teaspoon zest until smooth. Pour over warm cake. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.


Until next time,
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Jumbo Island Cookies, aka Don’t Let Those Bananas Go Bad!

I used to hate when the bananas at my house got a little too ripe. Then I discovered this mouth-watering cookie recipe. With bananas, chocolate chips, coconut and macadamia nuts, how can you go wrong?

macadamia cookie

Jumbo Island Cookies

1 2/3 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
6 Tbsp butter at room temperature
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup mashed banana
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Sift together flour, baking power, baking soda, salt and nutmeg; set aside.  Using a mixer at high speed, beat butter for 2 minutes.  Add sugar and mashed banana.  Beat for 3 minutes.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Turn speed to low and add flour mixture.  When incorporated, turn off mixer.  Stir in chocolate chips, coconut, and macadamia nuts.

Using an ice cream scoop (coat with oil so this gooey batter doesn’t stick), drop onto a greased cookie sheet (I use Silpat instead).  Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees, until lightly golden.  Let cool 1-2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.

island cookies

These won’t last long enough to store, but if you must, use an airtight container.

Until next time,

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Valentine’s Day Cookie Recipe

This Giant Fudge-Filled Cookie is easy and delicious–perfect for Valentine’s Day!


Giant Fudge-Filled Cookie

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Flour and grease a large heart pan or a 9 x 12 pan
12 ounces chocolate chips
8 ounces cream cheese cut into chunks
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1- 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla

Filling: In the top of a double boiler, melt chocolate chips, cream cheese and milk.  Set aside to cool slightly and make cookie dough.

Cookie: In electric mixer, cream together sugar, butter. Add eggs, mix well. Add flour, salt and baking powder and vanilla, mix well. Divide dough in half. Spread half of dough evenly over bottom of pan. Spread chocolate mixture over dough. Dollop spoonfuls of remaining dough on top, pressing lightly.

Bake approximately 30 minutes or until done. When cooled, remove from pan. Serve at room temperature.


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Let them Eat… Chocolate Icebox Cake

I got this recipe from my mother and although I always loved it, I haven’t made it in years. Recently, I pulled out the recipe. I’m glad I did!




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New (Actually Old) Recipe

tea cake

Mrs. Lawrence’s Scrumptious English Tea Cake

Around Christmas, I was listening to NPR’s Found Recipes program. Love that series! The story I heard intrigued me so much that I headed for the website to download the recipe for Mrs. Lawrence’s English Tea Cake.

I’ll be honest here. As I made it, I had my doubts. Could this unusual recipe possibly be as tasty as the woman in the story claimed it was?

As soon as it was ready, I tested it on my husband and sampled some myself. The unanimous conclusion: delicious!

This cake takes a little time–it contains yeast and needs to rise twice–but otherwise, it’s easy to put together, and well worth the time and effort.

Note: I tinkered with the instructions a bit to make them more clear. Also, italicized notes and information in the parentheses are mine.

Mrs. Lawrence’s English Tea Cake

For the Cake

1/3 cup melted butter, cooled
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 egg, at room temperature
1 yeast cake, or 1 package of dry yeast
1/2 cup water, at 110 to 115 degrees
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup golden raisins
3 tablespoons citron (I had to look up citron: a citron is a large, fragrant citrus fruit known for its aromatic smell and flavorful peel. I also had to ask someone at the grocery store to help me find the stuff-comes in a container and I doubt it ever goes bad.)
3 cups bread flour (I used all-purpose flour and had no problems)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg

For the filling
Note: Double this!!
1/4 pound butter (1 stick), very soft
1 cup powdered sugar
A dash of vanilla

Stir softened butter, powdered sugar and vanilla together until it reaches a spreading consistency. (I waited to make this until the cake was cooling, but you can make any time.) Set aside.

Making the cake:
(Note: You’ll need several bowls or containers for all the mixing and setting aside.)

Following directions on the package, dissolve yeast pack in warm water. Let sit 3 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix warm milk, raisins and citron  together. Set aside.

Sift together flour, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

Mix melted butter, sugar, orange peel and egg together in a large  bowl. Make sure the butter has cooled so as not to cook the egg. Set aside.

Now it’s time to mix these things together! Add yeast mixture to sugar-butter mixture and stir to blend. Stir in flour mixture, a little at a time, until all is added.  (No kneading required at this point.) Let dough rise until doubled in bulk, about 1-2 hours.

Knead the dough with additional flour (up to 1/2 cup) for about 10 minutes. Dough will be very elastic and light. Divide in half and form two balls. Press dough into two 8-inch round pans and let rise again for 1 to 2 hours. (I only had 9″-round cake pans, which were too big, but they worked well enough. The end result isn’t as pretty as it could have been, but I like how it looks! See photo above.)

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Cool thoroughly, split each cake in half (I used a large, serrated knife and some patience) and spread with filling mixture. Store in the fridge in a plastic bag to keep it fresh. Before serving, wrap loaves in foil and reheat at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Mrs. Lawrence’s granddaughter, Laura

To hear the intriguing story that goes with this recipe, visit

Happy eating, and until next time,


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Tunnel of Fudge Cake


Years ago, I cut this recipe out of our now-defunct, and dearly missed daily morning pager, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ( The paper has since moved online, but I really liked reading the hard copy over breakfast and coffee. Anyway… I finally got around to trying this recipe. Wow. Scrumptious, and rich, with a lovely, fudgy center.  The directions are a bit wonky in places (I mean, if the mixing bowl doesn’t feel cool, stop mixing and place in the freezer for 5 minutes? Give me a break!) , so I made a few changes.

Note: the amount of sugar in this thing is staggering. I worried that it would taste too sweet. But it came out just right. I will definitely make this one again.

Tunnel of Fudge Cake

Adapted from a recipe by Shirley O. Corriher

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a Bundt pan.

1 cup softened butter (original recipe called for more, but 1 cup is enough!)

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 cup white sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 c vegetable oil

2 egg yolks

4 whole eggs

2 cups confectioners sugar (I used scant cups)

2 1/4 cup all purpose, unbleached flour (I avoid the bleached stuff–who wants to ingest anything that has been bleached?)

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup cocoa powder

In a bowl, mix together flour, and salt; set aside.

In mixer, cream butter and sugar and beat until airy. Add eggs and yolks and mix for about 20 seconds. Add vanilla and oil. Mix for about 30 seconds; add flour mixture. Mix until incorporated; add confectioners sugar and cocoa powder.  When incorporated, pour into prepared Bundt pan. Bake about 38-45 minutes. Note: Because of the gooey center, there is no way to insert a toothpick to see if done. I have a convection oven, and baked for 38 minutes.

Place on a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Then gently press on the top with the palm of your hand to eliminate the air pocket that formed while baking. Cool in the pan for 2-3 hours; then invert pan onto a serving platter to finish cooling. Or serve warm.

Until next time, and droolingly yours,


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Scones: They do the body good.

You may recall that about a month ago, I made pumpkin puree from sugar pumpkins. The puree went into the freezer for later. The other day, I thawed some and made pumpkin scones.

Scones, baking in the oven

Scones, baking in the oven

They smelled great, and I couldn’t wait to taste one.

The finished product

The finished product

I wasn’t disappointed. These babies are buttery and flavorful.–all around delicious!

Here is the recipe, courtesy of Joy of Baking. com.

Pumpkin Scones

Makes 8 scones– I doubled the recipe and froze the extras for later.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1/3 – 1/2 cup buttermilk (in doubling the recipe, I used 2/3 cup)
1/2 cup fresh or canned pure pumpkin (if using canned pumpkin make sure there are no spices or sugar added)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Egg Wash:
No need to double this– it was more than enough for my doubled recipe
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk or cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Stir in the raisins and pecans, if using. In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, pumpkin puree and vanilla and then add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches round and about 1 1/2 inches thick. Using a table knife, cut circle in half, then cut each half into 4 pie-shaped wedges (triangles). If the triangles are too big, feel free to halve them. Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops with the egg wash.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Or give in and have one hot from the oven! I did. 🙂

Until next time, and happy eating,


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A recipe for…. chocolate chip pumpkin cookies!

If you like pumpkin and chocolate, these cookies are for you. I made a batch recently and oh! Are they yummy.


Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Original recipe found at

Note: I tweaked the original recipe a bit. The recipe below incorporates my changes.

Yield: about 5 dozen

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup sugar
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (I used Silpat) and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar and sugar until creamy. Add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla; beat until smooth and well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix into the pumpkin mixture. Fold the chocolate chips into the dough. Using a cookie scoop, drop dough onto the baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown. Allow to cool on the pan for 3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Store leftover cookies in a covered container.

Until Monday, and Droolingly Yours,


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Pie, Pie, Beautiful Pie

deep dish apple pie

It’s fall, and I’ve got a yen for pie. Not just any pie–apple pie. Several years ago, I tried the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for deep dish apple pie. After tweaking amounts and ingredients a bit, I can truly say without a doubt, that this is the best apple pie I’ve ever made or tasted.

The crust (makes top and bottom crust):

1/1/2 sticks chilled, unsalted  butter

3 cups unbleached flour

1 scant tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp sugar

1/3 cup cold shortening

approximately 8 Tbs ice water

Dice butter. Dump into the bowl of a food processor, along with flour, salt, sugar and shortening. Pulse until butter is the size of peas. With the food processor running, slowly pour in ice water until the dough begins to form a ball. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.

While the dough chills, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and make filling.

Note: This is a large amount of filling, so be sure you have a large pie pan. Or just pile high like a mini-mountain. 🙂

The pie:

4 pounds apples (I use a mixture of Granny Smith, Honey Crisp and any other apples that look good), cored and sliced and peeled if you prefer. (I don’t peel mine.)

1 Tbs lemon zest plus 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Tbs orange zest plus 2 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup unbleached flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp allspice

Roll out half the pie dough and fit into the pie tin so that about a half inch of dough extends over the rim. Save the other half for the top. In a large bowl, combine apples, flour, sugar, salt and spices. Pour carefully into prepared pie tin. Place top crust over the apples, again with extra dough extending over the edge. With your fingers, crimp the crusts together. Slit the top dough in several places to allow steam to escape. Bake at 400 for approximately 40 minutes, then without opening the oven, lower heat to 350. Bake for 30 minutes more, until crust is browned and the juices are bubbling out. Serve warm or cold with ice cream if desired.

I am drooling now :-), so please excuse me while I run to the store for the ingredients and make this myself…

Until Monday, and wishing you good pie,


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Recipe: Pumpkin Chocolate Tea Bread

I love to bake in the fall and winter. The house always smells so good! This is a delicious, easy to make recipe that my family loves.

choc pump spice bread

Pumpkin Chocolate Tea Bread

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon each cloves and nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter, then whisk in the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the remaining ingredients, except for the chocolate, then stir them into the pumpkin mixture until just combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Pour into the prepared pan. Bake in the center of the oven for about an hour, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. (At this point, I’m busy, licking the pan. Because even the batter is yummy.) Cool for at least 10 minutes.
  • To remove the loaf from the pan, run an offset spatula around the edge, then invert it onto a cooling rack. Turn right side up and serve in thick slices.

Until Monday, and wishing you baking aromas that make your mouth water,


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