Pumpkin Pecan Pie…

Oh my, did I ever goof!! I ruined an entire batch of a wonderful dessert. Ohhhh, yes I did. But more about that in a minute.

My favorite Thanksgiving dessert is this pie. I love this pie. I only make it at Thanksgiving even though I love it so much. It would be dangerous to make it more than once a year. It is so rich and sweet. It’s decadent. Did I mention that I love this pie?? Now, I am not a huge pumpkin fan. I like my pumpkin bread…..only mine… and well….that’s it for the pumpkin. But one year I made a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie for Thanksgiving dessert. My son in law (at the time), was putting his pecan pie on top of his pumpkin pie. I tried it too and I was in heaven. The combination was deeeeeeeelicious. So I experimented. It’s pretty much your basic pecan pie, with some pumpkin spread on the pie crust before adding the pecan pie filling. It’s a subtle taste of pumpkin. Your first bite is like “hmmmmm, ok, it’s not just a pecan pie….what is this stuff??”

You just have to try this!!!!!!!

Ok, so you want to hear about my big goof?  Wasted ingredients….all that butter, pecans….corn syrup…oh big sigh. I ended up making 2 of these pies. I ruined the first one. I mean, it smelled great….it looked beautiful….I could hardly wait to dig in. I waited….and waited for 4 long hours. (not enough time) Cooling time ya know?  I ever so gently cut a nice slice. Fork met pie…pie in mouth. Holy crap!!! YUCK. What in the heck! That is when I noticed the measuring cup full of sugar, on the counter. I forgot to add the sugar!!!!! How in the world do you forget to add sugar. I am a baker…..and I failed. My, my, my…oh my pie. Oh my crappy pie! I just couldn’t believe it. It was ruined. After uttering some pretty bad words, I started over. 😦 Please don’t forget the sugar.

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look at all that yummy, sticky, gooey stuff!

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

1 unbaked pie crust

1 cup pumpkin (canned)
1/2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 eggs
1 cup corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup minced toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Line a deep pie plate with your unbaked crust and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together pumpkin, cinnamon and 1 tablespoon sugar. Spread this pumpkin mixture on the bottom of your pie crust. Sprinkle the nuts all over the pumpkin.

In a bowl, whisk together the 1 cup sugar, brown sugar, eggs, corn syrup, salt, vanilla, melted butter . Pour it into the pie plate on top of the nuts. Bake for 50-60 minutes. But check it at 45 minutes, since oven temps vary.  It should only slightly jiggle when you take it out of the oven.

Now for the bad news…you have to let it cool for hours….like 6 hours minimum. Maybe even over night. But trust me, the wait will be worth it.


Edible Candy Bowl…..

Here is a wonderful holiday gift idea. Not only is it pretty and useful, but you can eat it too! Yes! Wouldn’t you love to get a gift like that? So easy to make. I just made one for a dear friend of mine for her birthday. I made it with both dark and white chocolate and then I filled it with some buttery caramels. She loved it!! Yay! It’s so nice to give someone a gift that you’ve made and then watch them smile. It makes my heart so happy.

I’ve made edible bowls before. I have filled them with candies,  chocolate mousse, cookies, and ice cream. I even make them filled with non edible items like jewelry, little kitchen gadgets, a nice scarf. You get the idea. It really is a unique gift that always surprises people. Christmas is coming! Know someone you would like to surprise?

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Edible Candy Bowl

Wilton candy melts (1 bag per little bowl) Melted and poured into a pastry bag or zip lock bag (snip off corner to drizzle)
a bowl to use as a mold
foil paper or plastic wrap

Tear off a large sheet of foil paper or plastic wrap, large enough to cover your bowl completely. Make sure it is snug against the bowl. There are 2 ways you can do this:

  • place the bowl rim side down, on a sheet covered with foil or parchment. Start drizzling melted chocolate all over the bowl.
  • pick up the bowl with your hand under the bowl and start drizzling chocolate with your other hand. You can get a more precise design this way. Use enough chocolate and avoid having large gaps or spaces, so that your candy bowl will be sturdy enough to hold any items you plan to put inside of it.
Once you are satisfied with your design, Place it back on your sheet pan, rim side down. Place the sheet pan in refrigerator so the chocolate can set up quickly. Once set, you can add another layer or flavor. Chill completely……at least half an hour.
Once your chocolate bowl is set up, very carefully remove the foil or plastic wrap away from the rim of your mold (bowl). Your mold (bowl) should lift right out. Now, carefully remove the foil or plastic wrap away from your chocolate bowl. If you used foil, tear it in pieces if you have to. There you have it!! A beautiful chocolate bowl. Gently move it to serving plate or gift box. Chill it if you aren’t giving it away right away.
Note: If you are not comfortable drizzling the chocolate, you can also just melt your chocolate in a bowl, and then take another smaller foil lined bowl and dip it into the melted chocolate. Then, place it on a foil lined sheet pan, bottom side down, and chill.
A balloon works too! Just blow up the balloon, dip it into the chocolate, set it on a sheet pan. Once it has set up, simply pop the balloon and remove the balloon piece. Easy right?

Amazing Marshmallow Frosting……

Let’s chat about frosting. I have 3 or 4 frostings that  I really like. Otherwise, I’m more about the cake and not so much about the frosting. Too sweet. But I do love marshmallow…..anything marshmallowy. This is one of my favorite frostings. It’s like a cloud…..a big, sweet, fluffy cloud that just floats around in your mouth. Kinda like when you shove a big ol giant marshmallow in your mouth and your cheeks puff out…and you get all happy. Yes, I like that.

Now, of course you  have to start with a good cake. Unless you’re one of those people who just eat all the frosting and leave the cake all bare. If that’s the case, go ahead and make a crappy cake and just eat the frosting. This frosting.

Now this frosting is often referred to as 7 minute frosting, or sea foam frosting, but rather than granulated sugar, you use powdered sugar. But don’t try to make this on a rainy or humid day. The humidity really affects the lift of the egg whites.

Use your favorite cake (best with chocolate cake) or use one of my recipes.  I hope you enjoy this frosting.

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Amazing Marshmallow Frosting

1/3 cup hot water
2 cups confectioners sugar
2 LARGE egg whites at room temp
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt

Make a sugar syrup in a small saucepan by whisking the confectioners sugar and water together. Bring it to a boil for 1 full minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

Add the egg white, cream of tartar and salt to a mixing bowl. Using a mixer (hand or stand) mix at high-speed. Slowly drizzle in the sugar syrup mixture. Beat at high-speed until thick and luscious. (to your liking)

Spread it on your favorite cake or a crappy cake if you’re just going to eat the frosting anyway and toss the cake. 🙂


Easiest Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies……….

Cookies. I think I love cookies more than cake, more than candy. I love making cookies and I love passing out cookies to neighbors and friends. I’ve come across a lot of cookie recipes on line, that are made with a boxed cake mix. Now, you know I am not a fan of cake mixes. But twice in the past week, I have used them. I have been so curious about these cookies so I had to try it. Even if you are not a baker, you can do this. It is the easiest thing ever! There are so many variations. I made chocolate this time……..rolled in powdered sugar. Remember the Chocolate Crinkle cookies that people have been making for years? Well, these are like those. They are chewy, soft and delicious. Did I mention they make a great ice cream sandwich? I may have made one….or two.

Seriously, I do not like the processed taste of boxed mixes. I have several ways of getting rid of that chemical taste if ever I use a boxed mix, (future post) but I really prefer a cake from scratch. But I will definitely make these cookies again. In fact today I think I will do a snickerdoodle version for my neighbor who is feeling a bit under the weather.

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Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

1 box of devils food cake mix (any brand)
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil (you can use 1 stick of softened butter, but I used oil)
powder sugar for rolling

Dump everything in a bowl and stir well with a wooden spoon. Scoop into golf ball sized balls, roll in powdered sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. I made slightly bigger cookies and baked them for 11 minutes.

That’s it!!!! Can you believe it?? ok, my non baker friends….do this!! you can, you can!!!


  • add chocolate chips, m&m’s or nuts
  • use a white or yellow cake mix and mix in confetti candies or sprinkles (great for kids)
  • use a white or yellow cake mix and add a tsp of vanilla. Then roll balls in cinnamon sugar



Mandarin Orange Pineapple Cake….

There are so many versions of this cake out there. You may even have your own version. But I happen to like my version. I LOVE mandarin oranges. I love pineapple….heartburn and all. Put them together…and you get THIS cake. OHHHH, this cake. It is definitely a very favorite cake of mine. Oh, and it works well in cupcakes  too. It’s super moist……melts in your mouth. The frosting is incredible. I could just eat the frosting by itself. In fact, I have served the frosting as a dessert, scooped into some fancy serving dishes! Now, I don’t like boxed cake mixes, but I will use it for this recipe. It works. So, grab a boxed mix, a can of pineapple, a can of mandarin oranges and a tub of cool whip. You are about to make something that you will want to make over and over again!

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Mandarin Orange Pineapple Cake

1 box of white cake mix ( I use Pillsbury)
4 large eggs
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges with juice
1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple, with juice
1 tub (8 oz) of Cool Whip (that has softened in the refrigerator)
1 small box (3.5 oz) of instant vanilla pudding mix

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with non stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, eggs, oil and mandarin oranges (with juice). Beat until smooth and pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake middle, comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

The topping: In a large bowl, beat together the Cool Whip, pineapple (with juice) and the dry pudding mix, until well blended. Eat a big ol spoonful and spread the rest on the cake.

Purely OPTIONAL, but the way I prefer it:

Instead of dumping in the can of mandarin oranges with the juice to the cake mix, I add the juice to the mix, but I break up the oranges into chunks and fold them into the cake batter after everything else is all mixed together. This way you actually get little bits of oranges that you can see in the cake.
I also use another small can of mandarin oranges (drained) to top the cake with.