Category Archives: Dessert

Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies For Mom

Back home in Hawaii, we can get these a~maz~ing Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies from The Big Island aka Hawaii Island.  Now that we’ve moved to the mainland, NOPE, NADA, NO CAN GET!  So once again the mother of need raises her head and says, MAKE YOUR OWN!

My Mom no longer lives 12 miles away from my DH and I, so I make up my version of a care package for her every so often.  I’ve added these to her most recent box.

Auntie Doni’s Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies

½ C. Macadamia Nuts, Roasted, unsalted and coarsely chopped

1/3 C. granulated Sugar

½ C. Unsalted Butter, softened

½ tsp. Salt

1 ¼ C. Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

½-1 C. Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers

In a food processor, pulse the nuts until ground fine, set aside.  In a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, salt and those ground nuts.  Mix in the flour, just until combined.

Macadamia Nut Cookie logs

Form the dough into two 14 X 3 X 1” logs and wrap them in plastic.  Stash them in the `fridge for 1-24 hours.  Preheat the oven to 350⁰.  Line a **baking sheet** with either parchment paper or a Silpat® Mat (optimum choice).

place slices 1 inch apart

Slice the dough in ¼ inch widths; place on the sheet pan one inch apart.

Bake for 10 or until just lightly golden on the edges.  Place on a cooling rack.  Melt your dipping chocolate as directed on the package.

Chocolate dipped Macadamia Nut Cookies

Dip half of the cookie in the melted chocolate;

Place back on the Silpat® Mat (or parchment paper),

oh my, garnished chocolate dipped macadamia nut cookies

Add optional garnish of ground Macadamia Nuts;

Allow to cool completely, wrap and gift.

ALOHA!

**It’s best to use a light colored baking sheet for lighter colored baked goods**

a lighter colored pan makes for lighter colored bottoms on my our baked goods

Impossible Pumpkin Pie

I’d been seeing many posts all over the social media places for Impossible Pumpkin Pie.  Do you remember Impossible Pies?  Bisquick™ introduced them back in the 1970’s.

Impossible Pumpkin Pie Impossible Pumpkin Pie

I don’t recall which recipe I used for this, um,  (there’s many and I don’t want to embarrass the author), pie, but, ACK!  Really not good.  Mr&Mrs Landlord’s dogs liked it though, HA!!!

Speaking of Ice Cream Sandwiches

I was at our local “Wally World” the other day and spied something different in the freezer case.  I recall there being three flavors of house brand Ice Cream Sandwiches, but the Cherry one was calling my name, no really! “Auntie, you need to try this, AUNTIE!!  Even my cashier commented on my purchase, “Uuuuhhhhh, what’s this?  I don’t think I’ve seen this before, this is looks delicious!”  RIGHT?!  Cherries and Chocolate, such a fabulous combination.

That night, DH was poking around the kitchen, as he will do on occasion, looking for something sweet.

DH: Uuuuuhhhh, what’s this?  This looks delicious!

Me: Right?!  That’s what my cashier said too, HA!!!

So it was unanimous, these cuties are superb!

Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches

Waffles for Sunday Brunch

I made Waffles for Sunday Brunch again, but just a few too many.  That’s alright, I simply freeze the leftovers for later, as in later that night for dessert.

My DH grew up eating Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches at various locations back East.  They use Neapolitan Ice Cream in a brick.  Remember those square blocks of Ice Cream in cardboard containers?  Yup, cut those into slices and place between 2 toasted Waffles, dust with Powdered Sugar and you’ve got a childhood memory in your hand.

Oops, I forgot the Powdered Sugar

Oops, I forgot the Powdered Sugar

I have a heck of a time finding that kind of Ice Cream any more, but we do love Tillamook, any flavor will do really.  This fine Sunday evening, it was Marionberry Pie, oh my gravy all over my two scoops rice (that’s OMG! in my world).

DELICIOUS!!

More Food As A Gift

PIE!!!

Actually it’s Apple Crostata

Apple Crostata

Just a follow up to Food As A Gift the other day…

Taco Tuesday at Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant in Chino Valley Arizona

Okay, so we talked about Taco Tuesday out with friends before, but that was in Catalina, what about in Chino Valley Arizona?

We met Mister and Missus DF’s at Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant in Chino Valley for a second time.  The first was for Sunday breakfast, yes, I said breakfast and it was GOOD!  I didn’t get any photographs, because I did a face plant into my food before I could reach for my camera.  Not tonight though, Mrs. DF reminded me, “Where’s your camera? You forgot to take pictures on Sunday.”  Thank you Holly!

Taco Tuesday at Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant

Oh my GAWD!  Come on Man, for $3 you can have Carne Asada, Carnita, Fish or Shrimp tacos.  For $2 you can have Ground Beef, Chicken, and, ummm, I forget now, HA!  But there were I think 2 other choices for $2.  Oh, AND $2 Margaritas that weren’t bad.

Chicken Taco Salad at Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant

Also on our table were two salads, an Avocado Salad and a Chicken Taco Salad.  The Cilantro Ranch dressing was outstanding.  Make sure if you go to ask for the “secret stash” of the Green Salsa, muy caliente, but very tasty.

Cheesecake Chimi at Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant

Mrs. DF said that I needed to try the Cheesecake Chimi, oh baby!  GOOD!

We’ve already made a date for the four of us to meet at Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant again in two weeks!

Tunnel Of Fudge Cake, Oh My!

I’ve fallen behind on my blog, I know I know, so to make this is up to you I give you,

CAKE!

I love a good cake, really, but not the ones with oodles of icing on it or that are overly sweet.

I think I told you folks that I ordered The Complete Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook.  Fabulous!  I watched the episode where they made this cake; I was drooling the entire show.  This recipe makes a large, rich, moist, over the moon, delicious chocolate Bundt cake with a ganache like glaze dripping down the sides.  I did have to share some of this cake with neighbors, as well as freeze a huge hunk of it, just to keep both my husband and I from devouring it.  And I’ll be honest with you, as the cake sat on the counter, it got better.  After the second day, I put it in one of those Dollar Store plastic cake carriers, they’re great.  Then I stashed the whole thing in the `fridge.  On the fourth day, I cried uncle and froze the last of it.  About a week or so later, I defrosted the cake in the `fridge for a couple of days and it was FANTASTIC!  I will be making this cake again.

Tunnel Of Fudge Cake

For the Cake:

2 ¼ oz. Dutch-processed Cocoa plus extra to dust the pan

½ C. Boiling Water

2 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped

10 oz. All purpose Flour

2 C. Pecans (or Walnuts), chopped fine

8 oz. Confectioner’s Sugar

1 tsp. Salt

5 Eggs, room temperature

1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract

20 Tbsp. (2 ½ sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened

7 oz. Granulated Sugar

5 ¼ oz. Light Brown Sugar

For the Glaze:

¾ C. Heavy Cream

¼ C. Light Corn Syrup

8 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped

½ tsp. Vanilla Extract

Preheat your oven to 350⁰, with the rack at to the lower-middle position.  Grease a 12 cup Bundt pan and dust with some cocoa powder.  Set aside.

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl and then pour the boiling water over it; whisk gently until it’s smooth.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, nuts, confectioner’s sugar and salt.  In a medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla.

In your stand mixer fixed with the paddle, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high until it’s light and fluffy, this will take about 2 minutes.  Turn it down to low; add the egg mixture and beat just until combined.  Add the chocolate mixture and beat until incorporated.  Beat in the flour mixture for about 30 seconds, don’t over work it.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out with an off-set spatula.  Bake until the edges start to pull away from the pan, about 45 minutes.  Testing for doneness with a toothpick won’t work here, because the cake is so fudgy.  If the cake springs back when you press gently with your finger, it’s done.

Cool the cake in the pan, set on a wire rack for 1 ½ hours, then turn it out on to a serving plate and let it cool completely for at least 2 more hours.

(I made the cake one day then glazed it the next.)

For the Glaze: Heat the cream, corn syrup and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it’s smooth.  Off heat, stir in the vanilla and set aside to thicken, about 30 minutes or so.  Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it flow down the sides.  Let the glaze set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

This cake will keep at room temperature for 2 days, but that’s about when it really gets good, I think anyways.

CAKE!

CAKE!

Sliced Tunnel of fudge cake

*I’m sure that you noticed that this recipe uses weight rather than volume (ounces vs. cups) for some of the ingredients.  It’s much more precise this way and your baked goods will come out perfect!

I do think that the next time I make this cake, I’ll make only ¾ to ½ the amount of glaze though.  You see how it’s puddling a bit?  But, yeah, I mean, aren’t you drooling now too?

Please let me know if you try this recipe by taking a photograph and posting it on whatever social media site you use, with the hashtag, #mykitcheninthemiddleofthedesert.  I’d love to see what you’re making in your kitchen.

ENJOY!