Category Archives: Baking

Boy Scout Blue and Gold Banquet Cookies (Fleur-De-Lis)

My son joined the Cub Scouts last  year, we used these cookie for his Derby
event however they would be perfect for the Blue and Gold Banquet as well.

Here is my standard roll-out cookie recipe.

Nordic roll-out Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 ¾ cups raw sugar
¼ Cups Agave Nectar
4 cups Unbleached flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cardamon
½ orange Tablespoons orange zest/oil
½ scraped vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350

Royal Icing

2 Tablespoons Crisco
2 Tablespoons Light Karo Syrup
7 Cups Powdered Sugar
4 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
1/2 Cup Water
Flavoring of your choice
Color of your choice

Now that are cookie dough and icing is made it’s time to really get to work.

I rolled them out about 1/4 inch thick. For complete step by step instructions
for my Nordic Roll out cookies and icing follow this link:

Pumpkin Face Cookies

One you have baked your cookies you will begin to flood them.

I chose blue and gold to tie in with the Boy Scout Fluer De Lis.  Meaning Duty to God,
and Country, Duty to Self and Duty to Others.

Once you have allowed the cookies to dry for atlas 8 hours you can bag them.

I continue to allow them to air for another 4 to 6 hours before
sealing them.

Another great addition would be to add the Chapter # on top of them.
I simply  didn’t have time.

Peach Crisp w/ peach drizzle

We all know I have a peach tree by now.  Here is a great Peach Crisp recipe to impress a crowd.

5 cups thinly sliced peaches, reserve syrup
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup raw sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
2/3 cup e flour
2/3 cup oats can be quick or old fashion
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup toasted pecans broken in larger pieces
1/2 cup unsalted butter melted


Measure out your ingredients.

Drain your peaches but save juice for your drizzle.

Make the filling: Combine peaches with the flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a large bowl. Toss gently until combine.

Spoon into prepared baking dish or dishes.

Make the topping: Whisk the brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, salt, and pecans together.

Add the butter and stir with a rubber spatula until the mixture is crumbly.

Evenly sprinkle topping over peaches.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes depending on size of pan at 350 degrees. The topping should be golden brown, and the peach juice is bubbling on the edges. Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack while making your drizzle.

Take your peach juice from your drained peaches and place in pan.

Reduce for about 10 minutes and add 1 tablespoon cornstarch to 2 tablespoons water then stir into your reduced peach juice.  Continue to stir for a couple of minutes and util it thickens.

Serve warm, with a scoop of ice cream and your peach reduced syrup drizzled over top.

You can reheat in oven t 350 degrees for 20 minutes and just cover your top so it doesn’t continue to brown. This crips will freeze nicely for up to 3 months but I have to be honest ours never hit the freezer.

Instant Pot Jack Daniels Pumpkin Cheese Cake

This is a variation of This Old Gal’s Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake.

3/4 cup  Graham Crackers
1/4  cup Pecans
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoon Molasses
1/4 cup raw Sugar
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted

16 oz 1/3 fat  Cream Cheese, room temperature
2 Whole Eggs,  room temperature
1 Egg Yolk, room temperature
¾ cup canned Pure Pumpkin
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 Tablespoon Molasses
½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
1.5 Tablespoons Bourbon
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1.5 teaspoons Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground Ginger
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ cup Heavy Cream
1 cup Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon raw Sugar
½ Tablespoon Jack Daniels Tennessee Fire


Add graham crackers, sugar and pecans to the bowl of food processor and pulse a couple of times, until small crumbs form.

Melt butter in microwave or on stove top and add to graham cracker mixture. Pulse until just combined.

It will look like this.


Pour cookie mixture into bottom of greased 3, 6-inch cheesecake pan and press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan and one inch up along the sides. Place pan with crust into freezer for 15 minutes.

Blend together cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin, Cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, Bourbon and vanilla extract until smooth.

Add eggs and yolk, one at a time, mixing until just combined. Do not over mix the eggs.

Hand blend in cream thoroughly.

Pour filling into the pan, on top of the graham cracker crust.
Add 1.5 cups of water to the bottom of your pressure cooker and then place a trivet inside the pot. Gently cover the cheesecake first with a paper towel and then with a piece of aluminum foil to tent.
I was able to stack 2 at once and then process the last one by itself.
High Pressure for 40 minutes. Allow a 15 minute natural release. After all pressure has been released, open pressure cooker and gently remove the pan. Remove the foil and paper towel and dab off any liquid that may have accumulated.

Mix together the sour cream, sugar and whiskey and then spread on the hot cheesecake.

Let cool on wire rack for one hour. Then
cover and place in refrigerator overnight.
Remove Cheesecake from pan and serve. Instant Pot makes the most amazing creamy cheese cakes.  I also love that you can make smaller ones and freeze them!

Instant Pot Rum Cake….Because we all have that one relative…


When we travel to the Bahamas we always bring back rum cake.  Here’s a great adaptable recipe for your Instant Pot.  Because we all have to deal with Aunt Fran at Thanksgiving!  If you don’t know who she is, than it may be you…

1 cups Bakers Flour
3/4 cup raw sugar
1/4  cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix, dry
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup coconut rum.  I use Malibu but do as you wish depending on the relative….
1 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon butter rum flavor
1/8 cup almond flour, for dusting baking pan

1/4cup unsalted butter
1/8 cup water
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup coconut rum
1/4 teaspoon vanilla


Spritz your small Bundt pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle on the almond flour and turn the pan to coat evenly. Set aside.

Place all of the cake ingredients except the rum, vanilla and butter rum flavoring in the bowl of your stand mixer and blend on medium speed for 2 minutes. Be sure to scrape down the bowl after one minute.

Add the rum, vanilla and flavor if using to the batter and blend for another minute. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and spread level with a spatula.

Place batter into your small sprayed bunt pan and wrap a paper towel over the top followed by foil just like you would with cheese cake. Make sure you place a cup of water in the bottom of your Instant Pot.  YOU HAVE TO USE WATER IN ALL INSTANT POT pressure recipes.


Set your Instant Pot to manual for 35 minutes.


In a medium-sized saucepan combine the syrup ingredients, except vanilla.


Bring to a rapid boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the syrup thickens slightly.


Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Use a long skewer to poke holes all over the cake.


Pour about 1/4 of the syrup over the cake (still in the pan). Allow the syrup to soak in, then repeat again and again until all the syrup is used.

Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and allow the cake to sit out overnight to cool completely and soak in the syrup.


When ready to serve, loosen the edges of the cake and invert on to your serving plate.

The cake is very moist, fragrant and potent…As it should be!! See that ring of alcohol?  That’s what will get us all through the visit with Fran.

You can  store at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage, up to 1 month.

Halloween Petite Cakes with a spin

img_5287Who wants to see another pumpkin head cake.  NOT ME!

For this cake you can use any of my cake recipes or any of your own. Just make sure to chill your cake and crumb coat it before frosting it as you don’t want your cake to crumble.

I used the following recipe

2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lightly packed finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups raw sugar

For the cake:
Heat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in upper third. Butter and flour two (8-inch) cake pans. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a mixing bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, combine vegetable oil, water, lemon zest, vanilla extract, egg yolks, and 1 1/4 cups of the sugar. Whip on medium speed, until mixture is airy and light in color, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl; add dry ingredients and whip until smooth, about 1 minute more.

In a clean bowl, whip egg whites to medium peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute more. Using a rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the cake batter until evenly incorporated; gently fold in remaining egg whites until just combined.
Divide batter between prepared cake pans. I added blue coloring to half of the batter. Bake until surface of cakes springs back when pressed and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove cakes from the oven, and let cool 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of each, and turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely.

DSC_0024Here are the springform pans I used. It’s important to spray them with easy release prior to placing batter in them.

While the cake is baking go ahead and mix all of the frosting ingredients. I usually add milk as needed in order to get a spreadable crumb coat for the cake.

For the frosting:
7 Cups confectioners sugar
2 Cups Butter
2 Tablespoons princess flavoring
2 Tablespoons Milk for second coat of frosting

img_5243Once your cakes have cooled you can place a layer of frosting or filling in between your cakes. I happened to have some Pumpkin butter in my fridge and use it. After all it’s fall.

img_5245Yes, you need to crumb coat your cakes. The greatest mistake I see is people saying I can’t frost a cake.  Yes you most certainly can.  You need to crumb coat them first and place them in the fridge then add your smooth layer.

img_5248From here you will decide what shades you want to use.  I am working with several shades of gray and a purple for Halloween Glamour look.

img_5254No that your cake is out of the fridge yo are going to place large globs of different shades around your cake like this.  Then smooth them with your spatulas that are sitting in hot water.

img_5249The warm water will allow you to smooth your sides and top of cake.

img_5264These are the tips I have chosen for the flowers on top the cakes.  These Russian Tips make your life very easy.  You will need  a large pastry bag since these are the larger tips.

img_5257Then you simply start squeezing out flowers.  I did a total of four cakes and would go back and fourth between the cakes to use up the gray shades then worked with purple flowers.

img_5256If you make a mistake you simply squeeze another flower on top.

img_5287Here is the end result and I think they’re adorable.  Spooky shades yet attractive.  Also you won’t feel the need to eat a huge cake.



Halloween Stencil Cookies

img_5198It’s that time of year again.  When I am looking around and thinking “I don’t want to be ordinary”  Here is my spin on Halloween Cookies.

If you have a favorite roll out cookie dough than feel free to use it.  This is mine.

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 ¾ cups raw sugar
¼ Cups Agave Nectar
4 cups Unbleached flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cardamon
½ orange Tablespoons orange zest/oil
½ scraped vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350

Fit mixer with paddle attachment. Cream butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy. Add agave and combine.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Add zest and vanilla to and egg to butter mixture and beat until smooth.

Add dry ingredients but do not over mix or cookies will be tough.

Roll out your cookies and cut into desired shapes.  I usually chill my shapes for around 10 minutes before baking them.


img_5156Once you’ve baked our cookie you will need a food grade stencil.

Royal Icing is hard to work with and I use what works for me.

Royal Icing

2 Tablespoons Crisco
2 Tablespoons Light Karo Syrup
7 Cups Powdered Sugar
4 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
1/2 Cup Water
Flavoring of your choice
Color of your choice

img_5198Simply place stencil of your choice over frosted cookie then drag your color of choice across the stencil.  .

img_5208I allow my icing to dry for several hours before attempting to stencil them.

img_5205Once they have dried to touch I place them in bags and don’t tie them for a few more hours to ensure the icing is dry.  Do not worry these cookies will keep for several weeks in these bags and be just as good.  Do you honestly think Starbucks bakes their decorated sugar cookies daily?


Marla’s Moist Chocolate Cake

DSC_0074One of my girlfriends was asking about moist cakes the other day.  This is another great dark chocolate moist cake.  I am dedicating it to her.  Hope you like it Marla!

What you will need:


1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups raw sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup strong hot coffee

Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes in two round pans.

IMG_1124Mix your flour, baking soda, salt and dark cocoa powder together in a  bowl and set aside.

IMG_1126In your mixer place your raw sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and eggs and mix well.

IMG_1128Then add your dry ingredients.

IMG_1131Once your batter is blended well add your hot coffee.

IMG_1133Now pour your batter into two well greased round pans. Your batter will be runny.

Once your cakes come out of the oven allow them to cool.  Then apply a crumb coat with the frosting recipe below.

For your frosting you will need:


6 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp princess extract (feel free to use a different flavor)
2 tsp meringue powder

Once your cake has come out of the fridge and the crumb coat is hard you can began frosting and decorating.

DSC_0069I’ve had these Russian tips laying around that were ideal for Marla’s cake.  I started with pink chances are she likes the color, me I can’t stand it!  LOL

DSC_0083Since I don’t like pink I added Orange because Marla is always happy, she’s reminds me of what it would be like if sunshine had legs and smile!

DSC_0093Marla also wouldn’t be described as one type of flower so I added three types.

DSC_0096Then I finished it off with a leaf tip #70 wilton tips.

DSC_0075I hope you like your cake Marla, I can tell you that it was delicious!

Lemon Mousse with Strawberry Roses


8 ounces 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
8 ounce container light cool whip
1/3 cup lemon juice

DSC_0065Beat softened cream cheese and condensed milk in large bowl until smooth and creamy.Then fold in  your cool whip and lemon juice.  Once your mousse is made you can chill for a day or more.

Graham Cracker Crust
10 full sheets graham crackers
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon molasses

DSC_0069Mix melted butter, raw sugar and molasses until incorporated.

DSC_0070Break up 10 sheets of graham crackers.

DSC_0071Blend with butter and sugar mixture until it looks like wet sand.

DSC_0073I placed about 2 heaping tablespoons per canning lid. These are wide size canning lids.

DSC_0072Then I took the bottom of my measuring cup and pressed the crust into each lid making a small indent to place mousse.

DSC_0074This is how they should look going into the oven for 7 to 9 minutes at 350 degrees.  I placed foil over them so they wouldn’t burn.

DSC_0075Once they are baked they won’t look much different.  Now allow them to cool.

DSC_0068I used a large pastry bag to fill the lids but you could easily use a ziploc bag that was cut on the corner.

DSC_0001Then I began to cut the strawberries into flowers.  You will make four initial cuts towards the bottom of the strawberry.  With each cut you will push the sides out to open up into flower petals.

DSC_0006One the second row you will cut in between and above the first rows two sides.  You can see the diagonal cut here. If your strawberries are larger you can get three rows.  Mine were small so I was only able to cut two rows of petals.DSC_0018You want to leave your stem attached so your flowers don’t fall apart but remove the leaves and make candy melt leaves.  I didn’t have time to do anything fancy and just made some basic leaves.

DSC_0008Here’s the final results.  These will be perfect for our February 85 degree days here in Arizona.


Tropicranberry Granola

DSC_0093I love all things tropical. One of my favorite combinations is pineapple, toasted coconut and pecans.  So I couldn’t help but try this combo in granola.

4 cups old fashion or steel oats
3/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup oat bran
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pecans
3/4 cup walnuts
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup dried pineapple
3/4 cup dried unsweetened coconut flakes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup coconut oil



Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the oats, wheat germ, oat bran, pecans, and walnuts, dried pineapple, unsweetened coconut flakes, and cranberries in a large bowl.

DSC_0069Stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan.

DSC_0071Once it melts it should look like this.

DSC_0073Bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat.

DSC_0076Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets.

DSC_0084Bake in the preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 45 minutes. Stirring every 15 minutes.

DSC_0096Cool, overnight on your counter and you will wake up to a wonderful aroma throughout your house.  Add some vanilla yogurt and enjoy a healthy tropical parfait.

Boy Scout Derby Car Cookies

DSC_0069My son joined the Cub Scouts this year, and tomorrow night is Derby Night.  How can you properly celebrate Derby Day without a Race Car Cookie?

Here is my standard roll-out cookie recipe.

Nordic roll-out Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 ¾ cups raw sugar
¼ Cups Agave Nectar
4 cups Unbleached flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cardamon
½ orange Tablespoons orange zest/oil
½ scraped vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350

For complete step by step instructions for my Nordic Roll out cookies and icing follow this link:


Royal Icing

2 Tablespoons Crisco
2 Tablespoons Light Karo Syrup
7 Cups Powdered Sugar
4 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
1/2 Cup Water
Flavoring of your choice
Color of your choice

Now that are cookie dough and icing is made it’s time to really get to work.

DSC_0049Let’s get to rolling, cutting, baking, decorating and bagging shall we?

DSC_0054Dough is rolled out to 1/4 inch thick.

DSC_0056Once I cut them I place them on parchment paper and throw the into the freezer for 10 minutes.

DSC_0055Fresh out of the oven.

DSC_0057I like to dry mine on a rack to ensure the cookies are dry and don’t stick to the parchment when I’m decorating them.

DSC_0050Here’s our color choices and the bottles I prefer to use for decorating.

DSC_0060I didn’t waste a lot of time with making sure the flow was perfect.  I flooded them and then brushed the sides with a wet brush.

DSC_0064The wheels were made out of reversing my frosting caps.  You don’t have to have a steady hand but being creative sure helps.

DSC_0066I drew a small white line across the window and brushed it to give the allusion of a reflection.

DSC_0067Just a small dot for the center of your wheels.

DSC_0069We chose Red, Blue and British Racing Green.

DSC_0073Lets bag these cars!

DSC_0076Good luck boys, especially mine…

Note* If you have a preferred cookie or icing recipe than use it….I’m not in your kitchen!