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Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

26 Feb

Peanut butter swirl brownies02  My favorite baked dessert.  Period.


  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter chips
  • 2/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease 9x13x2 inch pan. Mix white and brown sugars, butter, milk and eggs in medium bowl. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.

Divide batter in half (about 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons for each half). Stir peanut butter and peanut butter chips into 1 half. Stir cocoa and chocolate chips into remaining half.

Spoon chocolate batter into pan in 8 mounds, checkerboard style. Spoon peanut butter batter between mounds of chocolate batter.

Gently swirl through batters with knife for marbled design.

peanut butter swirl brownies4

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely about 1 hour. For 32 brownies, cut into 4 rows by 8 rows.

Peanut butter swirl brownies01

Recipe from Betty Crocker Cookie Cookbook

Photos by me, My Little Food Spot

Gluten-free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

26 Sep

The majority of gluten-free baked goods are “good” in name only.  My grandma and aunt suffer from celiac disease and so are always trying new dishes and desserts.  Most of the time I pass.  These have become one of my grandma’s staples, so, after tasting them many times, I finally had to get the recipe.  I don’t require a gluten-free diet and still choose to bake AND eat these.  My grandma’s only note on their preparation is to make sure you allow them to cool on the pan.  Without flour, they crumble easily, especially while warm.


  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine ingredients. Place in balls on a baking sheet.  Use the back of a fork to flatten slightly with a criss-cross pattern and bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes.  Allow to cool before taking them off the baking sheet.

Makes about 2 dozen.

Recipe from my Grandma Ruth

Photo from

Gooey Turtle Bars

12 Sep

I have made this a few times over the years (another recipe from my favorite cookbook).  I took some up to Derek’s parents’ place for the first time over Labor Day weekend and got a special request for more.  Tamra is following a low-carb diet for the remainder of her pregnancy.  She snuck a sliver or two of these but couldn’t eat much.  I have been instructed to bring her a tray, first thing, once the baby arrives.  They are definitely best right out of the fridge because, as it sits out, the caramel quickly becomes, well, gooey, as the name implies.


  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker, vanilla wafer, or shortbread crumbs
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar caramel topping
Combine butter and cracker or cookie crumbs in a 13×9-inch baking pan; press into bottom of pan. Sprinkle with chocolate morsels and pecans.
Remove lid from caramel topping; microwave on HIGH for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until hot, stirring after every 30 seconds. Drizzle over pecans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until morsels melt; cool in pan on wire rack. Chill at least 30 minutes; cut into squares.

Recipe from: Southern Living: Easy Weeknight Favorites Cookbook

Photo by me, My Little Food Spot

Cannoli Cream Cups

7 Aug

The filling in these is really tasty; I could eat it on its own, like pudding.  They look pretty in these little cups but, the next day with the leftover cream, I decorated graham crackers.  That was way easier than baking cups and I preferred the flavor.  Derek missed the cinnamon flavor from the cups so perhaps using cinnamon grahams would be a success.  The key point is that they’re totally customizable.  I think they would be great on waffles with strawberries as well.  Or, instead of topping them with mini chocolate chips, you could use colored sprinkles.  I’ve even heard of people replacing the vanilla extract in cannoli cream with almond or orange extract.  The sky’s the limit.

The ricotta should ideally be drained over night so plan ahead.  I drained it for an hour which took off some moisture, so, if you don’t have all night, some time is better than none.  Even with the drained ricotta, cups should be filled shortly before they are eaten so they don’t get soggy.  If you wish to make them ahead of time, you can make the cups and the cream and keep them separate. Once you are ready to eat, you can fill, decorate and serve.


For Cups

  •  2 refrigerated pie crusts
  • 3 tablespoons coarse natural sugar (Turbinado)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

For Filling (If you want the cream to be extra thick see my tips below)

  • 1 (15oz) container of whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting finished cups
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


Line a colander with cheese cloth.  Spoon ricotta into cheese cloth and tie cloth closed around cheese.  Place colander in a bowl and allow ricotta to sit in colander overnight to drain excess water.  This step may be omitted if you don’t mind a softer cream.  If omitted, it is important to fill cups immediately before serving or the pastry will become soggy very quickly.

Remove the ricotta from the cheese cloth and, in a large bowl with an electric mixer, combine all ingredients for the filling except the chocolate chips and mix well until creamy.  Mixture will not be completely smooth.  Cover and chill the filling while you make the cups.

Heat oven to 425°F.  Unroll the piecrusts onto a lightly floured surface and sprinkle the top of each crust with the natural sugar and the cinnamon.  Lightly roll over it with a rolling pin so that sugar and cinnamon are pressed into the dough.

With a 2 1/2-3 inch round biscuit cutter or cookie cutter (or the rim of a drinking glass), cut out circles and lightly press them inside an ungreased mini muffin or mini cupcake pan to create a pastry cup.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until cups are golden. Remove from oven and allow cups to cool. Once cups are cool they can be removed from tin and filled.

Remove filling from refrigerator, and spoon slightly less than a tablespoon into the cooled cups.  If desired, using a gallon ziploc bag, cut one of the bottom corners off the bag and pipe the filling into the cups.

Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips, dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Recipe inspired by

Photos by me, My Little Food Spot

Best Ever Sugar Cookies

11 Mar

This is my Grandma Kapke’s recipe.  They are a soft, chewy sugar cookie.  When I made them I baked them right away, without chilling the dough, and they turned out well.  Trevor had fun rolling them into balls and pressing red sugar on them.  Oh yeah, and eating them, too :0)


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup salad oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cream butters, sugar and oil.  Add egg and vanilla.  Add sifted dry ingredients.

Chill overnight.  Roll dough into balls the size of small walnuts and arrange on a baking sheet.  Press down gently with bottom of glass dipped in sugar (we used red sugar!).

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes (or less).


Recipe from Grandma Kapke

Photo found at

Homemade Snickers

22 Feb

These were a big hit at my house.  And bunco.  And my grandma’s.  If you have a nut allergy, I am SO sorry.  The four different layers need to cool in between adding new layers, so you need to allow for that in the total preparation time, but each layer is so easy to make so that the time actually spent in the kitchen is so worth the result.  I would even go so far as to say it is beyond worth the result.  So yummy.

For bottom chocolate layer

  • 1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

Thoroughly grease your 9×13 baking pan. Melt ingredients together in a saucepan or microwave, then pour into the baking dish and spread until even. Let cool and harden completely.

For nougat layer

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in sugar and milk, stirring until dissolved and bring to a boil. Let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in fluff, peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Turn off heat and fold in peanuts, then pour over bottom chocolate layer. Let cool completely.

For caramel layer

  • 1 14-ounce bag of caramels
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream

Combine ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Let melt, stirring occasionally, until smooth – this took about 10 minutes for me. Pour over nougat layer and let cool completely.

For top chocolate layer

  • 1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

Melt ingredients together in a saucepan or microwave, then pour over caramel and spread until even. Let cool and harden completely.

Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving, then cut as desired. These can stay at room temperature, but they do get gooey. I like them refrigerated best!

Note: for easiest results, buy one of the half-sheet aluminum cake pans at the grocery store. That way, you can pop the entire square out and cut from there!

Recipe taken from How Sweet Eats

Photo by mylittlefoodspot

Mint-Oreo Frozen Dessert

28 Jan

My former roommate, Lori, introduced me to this recipe.  I introduced it to Derek and now we re-introduce ourselves to it every now and then.  You can’t really go wrong with Oreos, mint-chip ice cream and Cool Whip.  One process improvement I have made over the years is an upgrade to a food processor to crush the Oreos.  I no longer have to break out the Ziploc bag and hammer.  No matter how you crush it, though, it’s mighty addictive.  Betcha can’t eat just one piece.


  • 1 pkg. Oreo cookies, crushed, divided
  • 1 can Hershey’s chocolate syrup
  • 4 T melted butter
  • 1/2 gallon mint-chocolate chip ice cream, softened
  • 8 oz. whipped topping

Press the Oreos (reserving 3/4 cup) and melted butter into a 9×13 inch pan; freeze.  Spread softened ice cream over frozen crust.  Layer chocolate topping and whipped topping.  Sprinkle with remaining Oreos. Freeze overnight.

Recipe from Lori Morin

Photo by mylittlefoodspot

Peach Crisp

28 Dec

OMG, this baby is to die for.  I recently made this with the last of Grandma Geraldine Knorr’s fresh (frozen) sweet, sliced peaches and it was superb.  Since peaches aren’t in season and I don’t really like peeling and cutting them, I think I will try it next with frozen sliced peaches.  I know it won’t be the same, but I’m counting on the amazing crumbly topping to compensate.  I have also made it successfully with fresh Bartlett pears from Grandma Kapke’s backyard tree; I just need to remember to bake the pears a bit longer if they’re not yet completely ripe.  I tweaked her original….but thank you Anne Burrell!!!


For the filling:

  • 5 large ripe peaches, pitted and cut into chunks (or 3 cups frozen peach slices, thawed)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch kosher salt

For the topping:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pea sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cold water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the filling:

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into a 9×9 stoneware baker.

For the topping:

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor except the water. Using the dough blade, pulse until combined, this will take about 30 seconds. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time until mixture is clumpy but crumbly.

Top filling with the topping. Be sure to loosely sprinkle the topping and not pack it down. The idea is to look very crumbly and craggy.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the filling is hot and bubbly and the topping, brown and crispy.

recipe adapted from Anne Burrell’s peach crisp

Photo by me, My Little Food Spot

Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake

5 May


I must say, for something chock full of buttery Oreos, cream cheese and sour cream, it was pretty good.  (I did use fat-free sour cream…that makes it healthy, right)?  I immensely enjoyed licking out the bowl and the beaters.


  • 20 OREO Cookies, crushed (about 2 cups)
  • 3 Tbsp.  butter, melted
  • 4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup  sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup  BREAKSTONE’S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 squares  BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted, cooled


HEAT oven to 325°F. Mix cookie crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of foil-lined 13×9-inch pan. Bake 10 min.

BEAT cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing after each just until blended.

RESERVE 1 cup batter. Stir chocolate into remaining batter; pour over crust. Top with spoonfuls of reserved plain batter.

SWIRL batters with knife. Bake 40 min. or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Recipe and photo by

Caramel-Pecan Pie

27 Nov


  • 1/2  (15-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts
  • 28  caramels
  • 1/4  cup  butter
  • 1/4  cup  water
  • 3/4  cup  sugar
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1/2  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  cup  coarsely chopped pecans, toasted


  1. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp. Prick bottom and sides of piecrust with a fork.
  2. Bake piecrust at 400° for 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned; cool on wire rack.
  3. Combine caramels, butter, and 1/4 cup water in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 to 7 minutes or until caramels and butter are melted; remove from heat.
  4. Stir together sugar and next 3 ingredients. Stir into caramel mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in pecans. Pour into prepared crust.
  5. Bake pie at 400° for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°, and bake 20 more minutes, shielding edges of crust with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Remove pie to a wire rack to cool.