This is one of my favorite treats to bake.  I think it's good enough to sell in a bakery.  These bars are also special for me because I made them and took them along on the picnic my husband and I went on when my husband asked me to marry him.  A few days ago (and three years after that picnic), we went on a little hike and brought them along again.  I think I will probably decrease the sugar to 1/2 cup the next time I make them because they are very, very sweet. 
Source: Real Simple

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats, such as Quaker
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (I leave this out!)
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberry jam (~18 oz jar) 

  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Place the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until the ingredients are combined and a crumbly dough is formed. Add the oats and lemon zest. Pulse quickly twice to combine.
  2. Press 2/3 of the dough firmly into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Spread the jam evenly over the crust. (Don't worry if I doesn't seem like a lot; it is plenty.) Sprinkle the remaining dough over the jam, gently pressing down.
  3. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Cut into 24 bars. Store in airtight containers
This is it.  THE classic cheesecake recipe.  I made this with reduced fat cream cheese and it was still incredibly rich and decadent.  Let the cream cheese come to room temperature before you use it so it mixes smoothly. 
I've made this twice. The first time, it cracked.  Womp womp.  This happened because I over beat the eggs which caused too much air in be incorporated into the batter.  As it baked, it came out and cracked the cake.  To correct this, I just mixed the eggs and folded them in at the very end and it turned out beautifully.  Also, take care to let it set in the oven for at least three hours before you take it out to prevent cracking.  
You'll want to make this the day before you serve it so it has plenty of time to cool.  This takes a bit of time to make but is worth the result and is bound to impress.
Source: "Chantal's New York Cheesecake"

  • 15 graham crackers, crushed

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving.
This is a great holiday dessert if you want a taste of pumpkin but don't necessarily want to make a pumpkin pie which really isn't my favorite dessert.  This is very rich and decadent.  Feel free to use reduced fat cream cheese. Use a food processor to reduce the gingersnaps to crumbs - this is so much more efficient than smashing the heck out of them with a rolling pin (though not as therapeutic).  The ice cream recipe is not the one that comes with the ice cream maker I have though I found it on the Cusinart website.  It is the BEST vanilla ice cream I have ever tasted.  It would make a wonderful base for whatever you wanted to add to it (e.g. cookie dough, your favorite candy, etc). 
Source: Rachael Ray Mag
  • 1 3/4 cups gingersnap crumbs

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 3 packages  ( 8 oz. each) cream cheese at room temperature

  • 3 eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees . Grease an 8-inch springform pan. In a medium bowl, stir together the gingersnap crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and the butter. Press the mixture over the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake the crust until set, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees .
  2. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and remaining 3/4 cup sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the pumpkin puree, sour cream, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice; beat until combined. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.
  3. Place the springform pan on a baking sheet and pour the filling into the shell. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees and bake for 1 hour longer. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool in the oven with the door ajar for 2 1/2 hours. Transfer to a rack and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate uncovered until thoroughly chilled, at least 10 hours or up to 2 days.
  4. Remove the side of the pan and let sit at room temperature for an hour. To serve, cut the cheesecake into wedges with a sharp knife thats been dipped in hot water and wiped clean after each cut. Serve the cheesecake slightly chilled or at room temperature.
Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

1-1/2 cups whole milk
1-1/8 cups granulated sugar
3 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Turn the machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

Lindsey's hints for better ice cream:
1. The bowl has to be completely frozen.  No exceptions.  If your freezer can't do it, turn the setting to colder.  I keep mine in the freezer at all times in a gigantic zip lock bag to keep out freezer burn.  As soon as the bowl comes out of the freezer, you have to start using it.  Move it!
2. The mixture has to be almost frozen itself.  Try to put it in the freezer for a few hours until a little slushy.
3. The vanilla extract has to be alcohol free because alcohol is like antifreeze.  I buy this at Trader Joes.  Also, add this during the last five minutes of churning.
4. Try covering the ice cream maker with a dish towel to keep the temperature low.

A delicious fall treat.  I am posting the directions for the frosting, but I really didn't care for it.  In the picture I used ordinary vanilla frosting.  However, these guys are so sweet, they really are good without any frosting at all.  Freeze the rest of your pumpkin to make them again or for another seasonal recipe.
Source: Rachel Ray Mag

  • 1 8 ounce package  cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 2 large eggs, plus 5 large egg whites

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups flour

  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 cup light brown sugar

  • Simmering water

  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces and chilled

  1. Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees . Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking liners. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar for 3 minutes. Beat in 1 egg white and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. In another bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, 2 eggs, granulated sugar, oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture.
  3. Layer each muffin cup with some of the pumpkin batter, then the cream cheese mixture, then more of the batter. Bake until springy to the touch, 25 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Using the electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, remaining 4 egg whites and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Fill a medium saucepan with enough simmering water to reach a depth of 1 inch; place the mixing bowl on top. Whisk the mixture until it registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
  5. Transfer the bowl back to the mixer and beat at high speed until fluffy; lower the speed and beat to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, then beat at high speed for 5 minutes. Beat in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
  6. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag; pipe large rosettes on top of the cupcakes.
Finally got around to using those apples my husband and I picked at a local orchard.  This recipe is simple and delicious - the way an autumn crisp should be.

  • 10 cups all-purpose apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 8 apples) 

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C).
  2. Place the sliced apples in a 9x13 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over all.
  3. Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes.
Oh. My. God.
Source: "Brook's Bombshell Brownies"
CORRECTION: I now make this with 2/3 cup less sugar because I found the original amount to be too sweet.  Don't cut down on the butter; you will lose the richness this recipe is great for.

  • 1 cup butter, melted

  • 3 cups white sugar (I will reduce this by at least 1/2 c the next time I make these)

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
  2. Combine the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, until thoroughly blended.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl. Gradually stir flour mixture into the egg mixture until blended. Stir in the chocolate morsels. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove, and cool pan on wire rack before cutting. *** My toothpick did not come out clean...I think it was because of the chocolate chips (obviously they will be melted).  I considered it done when the edges were firm.  The center remained very moist and incredibly chocolaty, but this is why everyone loved it.
A delicious, light dessert.
Source:  EatingWell

Peel pineapple. With a sharp knife, cut it crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices. Brush the slices lightly with 1 teaspoon oil and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Broil until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Turn slices over, brush with and additional teaspoon oil and broil for 5 to 7 minutes longer. Immediately sprinkle pineapple with brown sugar. Cut into chunks and serve with lime wedges.
It's sort of healthy!  This dessert features whole wheat flour, doesn't have too much fat and sugar, and is full of fresh, delicious fruit.  Have two servings.
Source: Shine by Yahoo!
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup reduced-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ripe but firm peaches (about 1 pound), pitted and sliced into eighths, or 3 1/2 cups frozen
  • 2 cups (1 pint) fresh or frozen blueberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place butter and oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Heat in the oven until melted and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add milk, sugar and vanilla; stir to combine.
  4. Add the melted butter mixture to the batter and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the hot pan. Spoon peaches and blueberries evenly over the batter.
  5. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the top of the cobbler is browned and the batter around the fruit is completely set, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Here's a very moist and flavorful Latin dessert.  While I really did like it, it was just too soggy for me.  One of the reviewers of this recipe suggested omitting the milk and just using two cans of sweet condensed milk and I think this would be a great idea.  If I try this again, I'll definitely do that.  Make sure to let the milks saturate the cake overnight before you add the whipped cream.

Source: Allrecipes.comIngredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
  3. Cream butter or margarine and the 1 cup sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat well.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time; mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Pierce cake several times with a fork.
  6. Combine the whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake.
  7. Whip whipping cream, the remaining 1 cup of the sugar, and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla together until thick. Spread over the top of cake. Be sure and keep cake refrigerated, enjoy!
More baking!  This chocolate cake recipe is delicious!  It has a secret ingredient - one cup of hot coffee.  This keeps the cake very moist and flavorful.  If you don't like coffee, you might want to cut this down to 1/2 cup because you can definitely taste the coffee.  
I would not use the frosting recipe again.  There is so much butter in it , that when it is refrigerated, it turns to it's previous butter state - which is solid.  Yuck.  Also, the coffee in the frosting is too much; I would omit it completely.
Finally, I decided to stuff the cake with Bavarian cream.  I like it a lot, but it made too much.  I would cut this half.  
Overall, the cake recipe is great - I will definitely make it again.
By the way, this is a terrible picture - don't judge the recipe by what it looks like, I promise it's good!

Source: Food Network
  • Butter, for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch roundcake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Chocolate Frosting:
  • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut)
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

Bavarian Cream Filling
Source: Recipe Goldmine
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 small boxes instant French Vanilla pudding mix
3/4 cup cold milk
1 (12 ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed

Blend the cream cheese until smooth, then add milk slowly. Beat in pudding mixes until completely blended. Fold in the whipped topping. Refrigerate until needed.

Use for filling cream puffs, clairs, sweet yeast rolls, coffee cakes or cakes, etc.

Note: You can make a chocolate version by using chocolate puddings and chocolate flavored whipped topping, or by adding chocolate milk drink powder or even cocoa (add confectioners' sugar in the cream cheese) or by melting milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate to add with the cream cheese.

Many variations can be made using this basic recipe. A coffee version can be made using instant coffee dissolved in the milk. Mocha is made using instant coffee in the chocolate version. Try butterscotch or lemon pudding mixes.

Keep refrigerated after mixing or using in a recipe.