Mom’s Rich Cocoa Crinkle Cookies

About a year ago, Mom moved from Oregon back to Texas.  There’s a saying that you can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the girl! We are all VERY happy to have her back here where she belongs!  With that said, Mom loves to bake! I’m not saying we wouldn’t love her just as much if she didn’t, but let’s just say we love it that she does!  These chocolate crinkle cookies are TO…DIE…FOR!  Rich chocolate bites of chewy goodness that completely satisfy that chocolate craving!  Be careful…they’re so good you might find them disappearing just as quickly as you take them out of the oven!

Mom's Rich Cocoa Crinkle Cookies

Mom’s Rich Cocoa Crinkle Cookies

Mom & Me at Tyler Florence's Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco

Mom & Me at Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco

Mom’s Rich Cocoa Crinkle Cookies

makes about 6 dozen cookies


  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Hershey’s cocoa
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ⅓ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • powdered sugar


Stir together sugar and oil in a large bowl.  Add the cocoa, beat until well blended, then beat in the eggs and vanilla. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt, then gradually add the cocoa mixture, beating well. Cover and refrigerate until dough is firm enough to handle, at least 6 hours.

Heat oven to 350°, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (if no parchment, spray with nonstick spray). Shape dough into 1-inch balls, roll in powered sugar to coat then place about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched lightly and tops are crackled. Cool slightly, then remove  to a wire rack to cool completely.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂



Fresh Peach Coffee Cake w/Pecan-Cardamom Streusel

Fresh peach season is quickly coming to an end, but, luckily I had enough left for this amazing Fresh Peach Coffee Cake. Southern Living Magazine featured the recipe earlier this summer, and it looked amazing!  Cinnamon and cardamom are perfect partners for the juicy peaches, and the streusel takes it over the top! Who doesn’t love the smell of coffee cake baking in the oven?  If you’re a peach lover like me, I think you’ll love this cake.  Bake it up, grab yourself a slice early in the morning and snuggle up with a cup of coffee…PERFECT!

Fresh Peach Coffee Cake w/Pecan-Cardamom Streusel

Fresh Peach Coffee Cake w/Pecan-Cardamom Streusel

Fresh Peach Coffee Cake w/Pecan-Cardamom Streusel

Southern Living Magazine


  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces


  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2-3 ripe peaches


Pecan Streusel: Preheat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, stir together pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, flour, sugar and cardamom. Add cold butter pieces, and combine with fingers until a sandy texture is achieved.

Cake: Sift together baking powder, flour, sugar, and cardamom. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream, vanilla, egg, and melted butter until frothy, about 1 minute. Fold in the flour mixture with a spatula until blended, taking care not to overmix.

Slice each peach into 8 wedges. Transfer the batter to a lightly greased and floured 9-inch springform pan, and smooth the surface. Arrange peach slices evenly over the batter, and cover the top evenly with the streusel, pressing lightly.

Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in pan on a rack 1 hour. Remove sides of pan before serving.
If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂


Fresh Peach and Blackberry Trifle

I just love Sundays when I can spend all day in the kitchen trying out new recipes.  Now that it’s summer, our neighborhood produce stand is up and running, and this week they had their fresh Fredericksburg peaches.  Yay!  I wait all year long for these, and when they finally arrive, it’s time to pull out all the stops and…BRING ON THE PEACH DESSERTS!!

This trifle is not only pretty, but really delicious.  It’s perfect for a large crowd or to take to a potluck.  Leave your diets at home…you won’t be sorry! 🙂

Fresh Peach and Blackberry Trifle

Fresh Peach and Blackberry Trifle

Fresh Peach and Blackberry Trifle


  • ¼ cup plus ⅔ cup sugar, divided
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 pre-made angel food cake or pound cake
  • 2 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 2 cups heavy cream (room temperature)
  • 3 cups fresh peaches
  • 3 cups fresh blackberries


In small saucepan, heat lemon juice, ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup water over medium high heat.  Stir until sugar dissolves, then remove from heat and stir in almond extract.

Cut cake into 1 inch slices, brush both sides with the lemon/sugar liquid, then cut into 1 inch squares.

Beat cream cheese and remaining ⅔ cup sugar with mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Slowly add in the cream, beating constantly, until mixture is smooth and the consistency of whipped cream.

Cut peaches into small pieces and combine with blackberries.  In a trifle bowl, lay about ⅓ of the cake squares on bottom, followed by ⅓ of the fruit, then ⅓ of the cream mixture.  Continue these layers ending with fruit on top.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • Try this with any combination of fruit you desire.  Try strawberries and blueberries for the 4th of July!  🙂

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

Spicy Quinoa Cucumber and Tomato Salad


Lately, I’ve been determined to make more room in my pantry, so I’m making a concerted effort to use ingredients I already have to plan my meals. It’s kind of like an overcrowded closet…until you start cleaning it out, you really don’t even know what all you’ve got!  Such is the case with my pantry, so when I ran across some organic red quinoa, I decided it was time to make a meal! Hubby had the Traeger Smoker fired up and ready to smoke some chicken breasts, so I thought a nice healthy quinoa salad topped with a bit of protein sounded like perfect way to top of a beautiful day of sunshine!

Spicy Quinoa Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Spicy Quinoa Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Spicy Quinoa Cucumber and Tomato Salad


  • 1 Cup Organic Red Quinoa (or use any quinoa you like)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (can use vegetable broth or water)

Rinse quinoa thoroughly before cooking. Combine broth and quinoa and pinch of salt in medium saucepan.  Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender.


  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup fresh mint, chopped (or more to taste)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ¼ – ½ serrano pepper, minced (can use jalepeno for milder spice or omit altogether)
  • 1 lime, zested then juiced
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


Combine cucumber, tomatoes, mint, shallot, serrano, lime zest and lime juice.  Toss together, and drizzle with olive oil.  Add cooked quinoa, fold to combine and add salt & pepper to taste.  Add more lime juice if desired.

  • If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 

Chocolate Truffle Tart with Kahlúa Whipped Cream

If there’s one dessert that’s most often requested from me, it’s this one.  A simple crust of chocolate wafers filled with a creamy dark chocolate ganache then glazed with a layer of more chocolate and Kahlúa makes for a showstopper of a dessert!   I like to top it with Kahlúa whipped cream, but it could also be served with fresh berries or even a white chocolate cream sauce.  This is a chocolate lover’s HEAVEN!  Think DARK, RICH VELVET-Y CHOCOLATE!  Your guests will be amazed.  🙂


Chocolate Truffle Tart with Kahlúa Whipped Cream

Chocolate Truffle Tart with Kahlúa Whipped Cream

Chocolate Truffle Tart with Kahlúa Whipped Cream


  • 32 chocolate Nabisco wafers, finely ground
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 9 ounces (1 1/2 cups) bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I use Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet baking bars)
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 13/4 ounces (1/3 cup) bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Kahlúa


  • Kahlúa Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
  • Chocolate-covered coffee beans

For Crust: Heat oven to 350°. In medium bowl, stir together cookie crumbs, butter and sugar until moistened. Press evenly onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom. Place tart pan on baking sheet and bake until firm, about 10 minutes. Cool on rack for 15-20 minutes.

For Filling: In small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Place the chocolate in medium-sized bowl and pour hot cream over chocolate; let stand for 5 minutes. Gently stir mixture until smooth. In separate bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla, espresso powder and salt. Stir egg mixture into chocolate mixture.

Pour filling into cooled crust. Bake until filling is set about 3 inches from edge but center is still wobbly, about 20-25 minutes. (The filling will continue to set as it cools). Cool completely in the pan on a rack for at least 1 hour.

For Glaze: In small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Add chocolate and stir until smooth. Stir in corn syrup and Kahlúa.

Pour glaze onto cooled tart, tilting and rotating so glaze evenly coats the top. Allow tart to stand until glaze is set, about 1 hour.

For Garnish: Garnish with rosettes of Kahlúa Whipped Cream and chocolate-covered coffee beans if desired.

Kahlúa Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Kahlúa

Chill mixing bowl and beaters. Add cream to chilled bowl and whip with powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Add Kahlúa and combine.

Liz’s Tidbits:

  • Tart can be chilled up to 3 days. Cover loosely after tart is completely chilled (covering before may cause condensation).
  • Crust, without filling, can be made 1 day ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature.
  • If you like a really dark bitter chocolate, then use a higher percentage chocolate.  I’ve used up to 72% with success, but I’ve found the 60% bars to be the most widely available and to most chocolate lovers’ liking.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

Chocolate Drizzled Cappuccino Macaroons

I’m a huge fan of both coffee and coconut, so when I saw these Cappuccino Macaroons in my Fine Cooking Magazine, I knew they’d be on my kitchen counter soon!

Not to be confused with the French Macarons (pronounced mah-kah-ROHNS), the delicate meringue sandwich-like cookies made with egg whites and almond flour, these macaroons (pronounced mah-kah-ROONS) are a southern coconut cookie made with egg whites and shredded coconut (NO flour).  They have a soft pillowy center with a golden crisp outside, and they’re very easy to make in comparison to the French Macaron which takes far more finese on the part of the baker.  I decided to make them a little more decadent and drizzled them with dark chocolate. They were a HIT! 🙂

Chocolate Drizzled Cappuccino Macaroons

Chocolate Drizzled Cappuccino Macaroons

Chocolate Drizzled Cappuccino Macaroons

Chocolate Drizzled Cappuccino Macaroons

Fine Cooking Magazine

makes about 20 cookies


  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk (a little less than the whole can)
  • 1-½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4-½ cups (14 oz) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt


Place oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°.  Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with Silpat or parchment paper.

Combine the condensed milk, espresso powder, cinnamon, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the coconut and stir with a large silicone spatula until thoroughly mixed.

Beat egg whites and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes. Using the spatula, fold the whites into the coconut mixture pushing it together into a mound.

With wet hands or two wet spoons, gently form rounded tablespoonfuls of batter into balls about 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Arrange 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.

Bake, rotating and swapping the positions of the pans halfway through, until the macaroons are golden brown in spots and their undersides are lightly browned, 20-25 minutes. Start checking them at about the 15 minute mark.

Cool briefly on the baking sheets, then transfer the macaroons directly to the racks to cool completely.

Liz’s Tidbits:

Mine were done and sufficiently browned at about 17 minutes.  Keep a close eye on them or they will get too brown.

The macaroons will keep, uncovered at room temperature, for up to 3 days, or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. They can also be frozen for up to 6 months.

If you like this recipe, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

Still Haven’t Made Valentine’s Reservations?

By now, if you haven’t made dinner reservations for Valentines, it’s a pretty safe bet that you won’t be dining out! Don’t sweat it, though, as I have a few last minute ideas for cooking at home! Let’s face it, restaurants are going to be packed, and even if you could get reservations, who wants to fight the crowds? Stay home, light some candles and enjoy a nice dinner with your sweetie!

How about

Steak with Brandy Mustard Sauce

Not in the mood for steak?  How about

Shrimp Scampi Pasta


Pan Sautéed Redfish with Corn Tomato Avocado Relish

For dessert, this might just satisfy your chocolate craving!

Easy Chocolate Kahlua Mousse




Double Heart

If you like this post, feel free to Tweet it, Facebook it, or just email it by clicking the “share” button below. 🙂

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