I love to bake and I do it well…this is why I’m not allowed to bake, or I must give it away to someone …who unlike my husband apparently gets fat from a little cookie! Geesh.

This is the best pie crust ever!

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies – These are the best Chewy Cookie, and such a healthy alternative. In a bowl combine 1 cup softened butter, 1/4 cup of coconut oil, 3/4 cup white sugar, 3/4 cup brown sugar. Cream together and add, 1 tsp vanilla & 2 eggs. In a separate bowl combine, 1 & 1/2 cups of flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 & 1/2 tsp of salt (sift together). Mix the wet and dry ingredients until combined well and then add, 2 & 1/2 cups of oatmeal. 1/2 cup shredded cocoanut, 1 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup of chopped toasted almonds. Mix well. Drop by spoonfuls and press with a fork, to spread them out a bit. Bake in a 375 degree oven (middle rack) for 8-10 minutes. They will be flexible and breakable at 8 minutes but trust me, jiggle a spatula under there and get them off the sheet around 8 minutes. They get firm when they cool and they stay nice and chewy. Bake them any longer and they are too crunchy. This recipe makes about 24 large cookies.

Nectarine & Blueberry Torte – Using the pie crust recipe from above, (you can cut it in half as were only using half the recipe here, or freeze the other half.) Roll out your dough on a floured surface and place it in a pie dish. Next get 5 large nectarines, washed, pitted and chopped (I leave the skin on). Put the nectarines into a pot to simmer with 1/2 cup of sugar & 1 tbsp of flour. Add 1 tsp of cinnamon. After they have cooked down a bit add 1 cup of frozen or fresh blueberries. Set aside to cool. Have your oven preheated. When the filling is not hot any longer pour it into your pie shell. Now fold the edges of the crust over top of the pie – you’ll end up with a semi-top. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes then turn the oven down to 350 and bake for another 30 minutes. Allow to cool a bit before serving.

Irish Guinness Chocolate Cake – Since I was baking a cake for a party of 40 people – I started with a 13×18 cake pan. When your planning a big event you have to take some easy shortcuts without compromising taste. I started with 3 boxes of Betty Crockers Devilled Chocolate Cake mixes and added 8 large eggs, 1 tall Guinness Beer, 1 & 1/2 cups vegetable oil, 1 & 1/2 cups of cream. I added 2 boxes of instant pudding powder. Blended until smooth and popped it into a greased 13×18 cake pan. Baked in a 350 oven for 40 minutes and then turned the oven down to 325 and baked for an additional 30 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean) don’t over bake it though! Allow cake to cool before icing. As shown below…

Bailey’s Icing – I make the cake the day before it’s going to be eaten as it seems to increase in moisture if it sits a day. I cut my cake in half horizontally (it was tricky) flipped it over and using a wooden spoon pushed little dents into the inside of the cake to make little tunnels where the pudding could be pressed into. This helps the cake from sliding apart as well with too much filling. So I used 2 packages of instant Chocolate pudding for the middle of the cake and the icing recipe is as follows; 1 cup of butter (room temperature) 1 cup of virgin coconut oil (if you prefer, just use 2 cups of butter), 1/2 cup of cream cheese, 5 cups of powdered icing sugar, 1 cup of Bailey’s Irish Cream. Beat well with a hand blender until creamy. Ice cake and add shaved chocolate to the top. Don’t store it in the fridge or your icing will get hard as a rock! Keep it at room temperature. It was a crowd pleaser and no one will know you used a boxed cake mix!

Rhubarb Custard Pie– Probably the best recipe I ever inherited from my husbands Mother. A custard pie that no one would guess the ingredient other than Rhubarb, because there’s no custard in it at all! The taste is incredible and you’ll make this one over and over again! I made this for Jean Pare from Company’s Coming Cookbooks the last time she visited for tea. Ingredients: 4 cups of finely chopped rhubarb, 1 & 1/4 cups of sugar, 1/4 cup of flour, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of vanilla, 3/4 cup of evaporated milk. Method: This recipe is for a large glass pie plate. The pastry recipe makes 2 crusts, so if you double this custard recipe it makes 2 pies, as there is 2 – 3/4 cups in a tin of evaporated milk. Chop the rhubarb  fine, put in a bowl and add the sugar to the rhubarb while you prepare the rest. Sugar will start to melt into the rhubarb, stir it well. On medium heat, warm up the evaporated milk. Measure out your flour & salt, stir it in with your rhubarb. Take your hot evaporated milk off the heat, add 1 tsp of vanilla to the milk. Stir your hot evaporated milk over the rhubarb mixture. Mix well. Pour your rhubarb batter into your pie shells. Bake in a 425 oven for 12 minutes, then reduce ovens temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 35 minutes. Until center is set. This is our favorite spring time recipe. Serve chilled in the fridge as it is like a custard. You don’t need to serve ice cream with this pie.

Chewy Banana Oatmeal Cookies Ingredients: In a bowl combine; 1 &1/2 cups of flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of nutmeg, 1 tsp of baking powder. Sift together and cut in 3/4 cup of butter. In a separate bowl combine: 1 cup of mashed ripe bananas, 1 egg, 1 & 3/4 cups of oatmeal. Method: Mix thoroughly and combine together with the dry ingredients. Beat until well blended. Drop by spoonfuls on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Do not over bake. A recipe that dates back to my great-great grandfather. These are healthy enough for people who need quick breakfast on the run! Try adding your favorite nuts…the cookies have a wonderful soft banana bread like texture while remaining a bit chewy.

Chocolate Crack CookiesIngredients: 1 cup of cocoa, 5 tbsp of cooking oil, 2 cups of sugar, 2 tsp of vanilla, 4 eggs, 2 tsp of baking powder, 1/2 tsp of salt, 2 cups of flour. Method: Mix first 3 ingredients together in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients one at a time. Blend well. Chill dough slightly as it is the stickiest dough I have ever had to handle. I found it easiest to make a log roll in wax paper and refrigerate then cut 1/2″ slices…Drop each cookie into a bowl of icing sugar, then transfer to a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, do not over bake. They puff up and then drop. The insides taste like chewy brownies, and they look really cool!

Blueberry Peach Cobbler – Now you can use fresh or frozen blueberries or fresh or canned peaches – if you don’t have fresh fruit it’s a good desert to make in a pinch! This recipe is for the frozen & canned fruit. Ingredients: In a saucepan heat, 1 cup of frozen blueberries, 2 tsp of lemon juice, 1/2 cup of sugar (bring to a low boil for 10 minutes). Pour blueberry mixture into a greased 9×12 glass baking dish. Open a 28 oz can of peach slices, pour juice and peach slices over the blueberries evenly. Dumpling Topper: In a bowl combine: 1 cup of flour, 2 tsp of baking powder, 1/2 tsp of salt, 2 tbsp of shortening, and 1/2 cup of milk. Mix the dry ingredients together and cut in the shortening. Until mixture is crumbly, add milk. Drop by spoonfuls into the pan on top of the fruit mixture. Sprinkle the top with 3 tbsp of brown sugar and 1 tsp of cinnamon. Bake in a 350 oven for 25 – 30 minutes. Serve hot: Scoop out 1 dumpling with the fruit and top with vanilla ice cream. It’s awesome!

Cinnamon Pastry Rolls – A great little way to use up that leftover pastry, or make a new batch! Everybody’s Mom (that baked) made these Pastry Rolls after the pie was in the oven to use up all the scrap pastry. Roll the leftover pastry out on a floured surface. Try to aim for a rectangular shape. Butter the surface of the pastry, as you would a piece of toast. Sprinkle generous cinnamon with just a touch of nutmeg & ground cloves – over the surface of the butter. Sprinkle brown sugar over the surface. Roll the pastry up into a nice long roll. Make sure the ends are pinched so nothing escapes. Slice 1″ bundles from the roll and place them on a baking sheet on the same side that you cut them on. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes until they are slightly golden.

Pineapple Upside Down CakeIngredients: (batter) 1 & 3/4 cups of flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 tbsp of baking powder, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/3 cup of shortening. Mix those ingredients together in a bowl and then add; 3/4 cup of sour cream, 1/2 cup of pineapple juice (reserved from the can) 1 tsp of vanilla, 1 egg, and any leftover pineapple rings cut into small bits. On the stove top melt together in a pot; 2 tbsp of butter, 2 tbsp of flour, 1 tsp of lemon juice, 1/4 cup of the reserved pineapple juice & 1/3 cup of brown sugar. Heat until all the sugar crystals have dissolved and it has a thick consistency. Grease a bundt pan and place pineapple rings on the bottom with maraschino cherries in the centers. Pour your warm sugar mixture into the pan to coat the pineapple rings. Now pour your cake batter evenly over top of that. Bake in a 350 oven for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Peanut Butter Bars – In a large pot bring the following ingredients to a boil; 3/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of butter, 1/2 cup of corn syrup. When sugar is dissolved add, 3/4 cup of peanut butter, 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts ( optional ), 1 tsp of vanilla, 4 cups of cereal. ( I like to use 2 cups of Corn Flakes and 2 cups of Rice Krispies, but you can use almost anything that’s not sugar coated- experiment!) Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Butter a 9 x 12 glass pan. Press cereal mixture evenly into the pan. Melt a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips and pour evenly over the cereal bars. Allow to cool for a couple of hours before cutting. This is actually a fast & easy recipe to make. Peanut Butter and Chocolate…a heavenly combination!

No-Bake Cheesecake – Simply the best! Why cook it when it’s this easy and sinfully tasty? Crust: In a bowl combine; 2 cups of oreo cookie crumbs, 1/2 cup of melted butter, (Mix together and press into a 9×12 glass pan and refrigerate) Topping: In a separate bowl combine; 3 packages of cream cheese ( softened ), 2/3 cup of fine berry sugar, 2 tbsp of lemon juice (whip together until smooth, and evenly spread it on top of the oreo mix),
* Follow the directions on a package of instant banana pudding and spread over the cream cheese mixture.
* Choose 2 ( 19 oz ) cans of pie filling, such as cherry or blueberry. Spread the berries of your choice over top of the banana pudding & Store in the refrigerator to chill. Makes 12 – 15 servings.

Peanut Butter Cookies – Ingredients: Cream together 1/2 cup of butter, 1 cup of peanut butter, 1/2 tsp of salt, 2 eggs, 2/3 cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of white sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla, and 1/2 cup of milk. In a separate bowl combine: 2 cups of flour, 1/2 tsp of baking powder, 1/2 tsp of baking soda. Sift together. Slowly combine wet & dry ingredients. Mix well. Can be formed into small rolls and wrapped in wax paper and stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours. ( Can keep in the refrigerator up to 1 week. ) Cut into slices and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 – 12 minutes. Do not over bake so they will be chewy. Change up the texture, try using chunky peanut butter!

Sour Cream Apple Torte – A simple Pie to take out to a friends and fill their house with the aroma of Apples & Cinnamon. Using the crust recipe at the top of this page (you can make 2 of these tortes and freeze one – or better yet keep one for yourself and bring the other to a friends house). Roll out the pastry so it’s a few inches beyond the actual pie plate. Gently place the pie crust in the pie plate. Filling: about 5 sliced apples per pie (use a tart apple such as Granny smith.) Toss the sliced apples in a bowl with 1 tbsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp of cloves. On a stove top melt together 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of flour. Stir until it thickens, remove from heat and set aside then add 1/4 cup of sour cream (allow to cool). Put your sliced and spiced apples into the pie shell. Pour your chilled sauce over the pie and fold in the edges of the pastry. Bake in a 350 oven for 35 – 45 minutes until crust is golden. Serve with ice cream.

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