Apple Caramel Crunch Cake

September 23, 2010 Comments Off on Apple Caramel Crunch Cake


On Monday evening I baked a German chocolate cake for my dads birthday. I don’t eat chocolate so I wanted to make something that I could also enjoy. I went to DC last weekend to visit my sis and nephew and picked up some delicious and sweet honey crisp apples at the local farmers market. Theses yummy apples were the inspiration for this cake.

I made mini cakes but this can also be prepared in a bunt or loaf pan.

Enjoy your weekend!



Apple Caramel Crunch Cake 


– Any brand of vanilla cake mix plus ingredients to make the cake.
– One large honey crisp apple
– 1 cup of caramel sauce

-1/2 cup of flour
– 1/8 cup of sugar
– 1/4 Brown sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
– 4 tablespoons of butter, melted
– 1/4 cup cashews or pecans, crushed


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare cake according to instructions. Peel and dice the apple into tiny pieces then add apples to the cake batter. Pour into the pan of your choice. Spoon caramel by the teaspoon evenly into the batter. Use a knife to blend the caramel do not stir. Set a side. For the topping, whisk flour, sugars, nuts, and cinnamon. Melt the butter and stir into the mixture until it becomes crumbly. Sprinkle on top of the cake batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and a tooth pic comes out clean.


Burger Mania

July 7, 2010 § 1 Comment



I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend and it was filled with great food, family, friends, and fun fireworks. We unfortunately experienced wet weather so no fireworks for me. To get everyone excited for the holiday weekend we through an “indoor” BBQ at work .  My contribution to the party was mini cupcake brownie sliders. What’s a picnic without a great burger, right.       

I got the idea to make these here . They are very easy to make. The great thing about these mini burgers is, they can be made for any occasion.        


Cupcake Brownie Burgers          


1 Box of yellow cake mix        

1 Box of brownie mix         

2 Containers of vanilla frosting         

Wilton red, yellow, and green icing colors         

Sesame seeds for garnish        


When finished baking the cupcakes and they have cooled cut them in half


Cut the brownies with a round cookie cutter



Put the icing in ziplock bags and clip the tip


Squeeze out an equal amount of ketchup and mustard first and slightly more for the lettuce


Here are a few helpful tips for making these:      

– Make it a two day process. Bake your cupcakes and brownies the night before and assemble and decorate the next day.      

– If baking the day before, as soon as brownies and cupcakes are finished cover with foil and do not unwrap until you are ready to decorate. Do not refrigerate them. This will keep them nice and moist.      

– If possible, purchase pre mixed colored icing. Wilton sells most of their icing in ready-made colors.      

– Boil a 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. If you brush this on top of the cupcakes the sesame seeds will adhere better.      

– Last it’s your Burger, have fun with it. Be as creative as you want!      

Pasteles De Guayaba

June 7, 2010 § 3 Comments

It’s difficult to live in S.Fla and not notice the melting pot of different cultures. The diversity is so influential at some point without realizing it you start to fuse parts of other cultures into your own life.

One of my mom’s favorite desserts is Pasteles De Guayaba or as we americans call them Guava and Cheese pastries. This popular Caribbean dessert is found at most chain grocery stores and latin markets. I have had them several times and thought they were just okay. Then I got this bright idea that maybe she and I could do a better than the grocery stores. 

So after 4 hours of trial and error, a little bickering, and some frustration. We conjured up a final product that is truly to die for.  It has a tender interior texture  with a perfect mixture of guava and cream cheese. Also the simple syrup mixture bakes the crust so flaky it crumbles in your mouth when you bite into it.

But…..let me tell you. The puff pastry we used was such a complete (bleep!) to work with I have vowed to not make these for a long time. So if any one has any tips on working with puff pastry I’m all ears 🙂

They do take a little work but the result is well worth it.







Pasteles De Guayaba

16 oz Cream Cheese
2 Tablespoons Milk
1/4 teaspoon Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Sugar
3 Eggs

2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons Water
250 grams Guava Paste
Puff Pastry Dough
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Water

Preheat the oven to 350°F

In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, milk, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1/4 cup of sugar. Mix very well and set aside.

In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and 2 tablespoons of water.

Slices the guava into  thin strips.

Cut the puff pastries into large pieces

In the center of each piece place 1 to 2 strips of guava paste and about 2 tablespoons of cream cheese mixture.

Fold the other half of puff pastry over the filling either making a triangle or square and press closed. Make sure to securely close the sides or the mixture will come oozing out.

Cut three slits in the center.Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and brush with egg wash and bake 30 minutes. In the mean time, in a small pot, mix the 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

After the pastries have baked for 30 minutes, brush with the sugar syrup and bake for another 6 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.

Let completely cool before eating.

Depending on the size the recipe should yield between 8 to 16

Blueberry Crumb Pound Cake

April 27, 2010 Comments Off on Blueberry Crumb Pound Cake


This is a monster of a cake, if you want to make a smaller size you can cut the recipe in half and bake it in a loaf pan. You can also experiment with your favorite fruits. I think because of the texture of the cake berries work best. My first instinct was to use strawberries but one of my taste testers is allergic. So blueberries won. 



Blueberry Crumb Pound Cake

Crumb topping:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 

Make the topping:  

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Add the melted butter and mix with a fork, stirring until the butter is fully absorbed by the dry ingredients. Make sure to break up any large pieces. Set aside. 

Cake Ingredients: 

2 sticks butter

3 cups sugar

1 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups all-purpose flour

6 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 325 degrees 

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the sour cream and mix until smooth. Add the baking soda and flour to the creamed mixture. Add 1 egg at a time and beat until mixed then add the vanilla. Gently fold in the blueberries and pour the mixture into a greased and floured tube pan. (Note: I never do this I use cake release  it works better to me)

Bake for 35 minutes then remove the cake from the oven and gently press the crumb topping on top of the cake. Put the cake back into the oven and bake for another 45 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Cake should bake for a total of 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake Squares with Cashew Crumble Topping and Crust

April 13, 2010 § 2 Comments



Although the name is a mouth full and the ingredients and preparation list look a little tedious they are very easy to make. I promise you they are so worth it. Enjoy.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake Squares with Cashew Crumble Topping and Crust


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (packed) Dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 cup cashews (about 4 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats


  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 large Sweet Potato (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon all spice


  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°.  Butter a 9x9x2-inch square metal baking pan and set a side for the crust. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment and set a side for the topping. Using a food processor, blend first 4 ingredients until coarse meal forms. Add cashews and process until nuts are chopped. Add oats process until mixture is moistened but not clumping. Press 3 1/2 cups crumbs on to bottom of prepared square pan. Transfer remaining crumbs to lined baking sheet. Bake crumbs on sheet until golden, stirring once, about 12 minutes. Cool crumbs. Bake crust until golden, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven while preparing filling. Maintain oven temperature.

For filling: *If you don’t want to use fresh sweet potato you can buy canned.
Boil sweet potato in the skin for about 30 min. Peel and measure about 3/4 cup. Blend all ingredients in same processor until smooth. Spread filling over warm crust; bake until set, dry in center, and beginning to rise at edges, about 20 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

For topping:
Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Spread evenly over hot filling. Bake until topping sets and bubbles at edges, about 5 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. Sprinkle crumbs over topping; gently press into topping. Cover; chill until cold, about, 4 hours. But is best when refrigerated overnight. Cut into squares.

Scottish Shortbread Cookies

April 2, 2010 § 2 Comments


My favorite cookie is the shortbread cookie. D.B. turned me on to these when I was a kid, she would buy Lorna Doone cookies once in a blue moon. I can hear her now saying “those cookies are too expensive” which is why when she would buy them it was truly a treat.

When I started working in product development for Disney I was in consumables and I got turned on to Walkers Scottish Shortbread cookies by a colleague. These are so delicious that it left those Lorna Doone’s I craved as a kid in the dust.

Scottish Shortbread cookies are light and crisp almost like a flaky biscuit, but sweeter. The key to getting the right consistency is whipping the dough the longer you whip the flakier they are .

When made correctly they are so crisp the cookie  falls apart when picked up.

Scottish Shortbread Cookies

1 lb. Butter

½ c. Cornstarch

1 c. Powdered sugar

1 tbsp. Sugar

3 c. Flour

1 tsp. Almond extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream the butter and sugars until it’s light and fluffy. This will take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and gradually add the cornstarch. Add the flour gradually.

Whip the mixture until it looks like cream. (Reminder the more you whip, the better they are.) Drop by spoonfuls on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 325 degrees.

Ginger’s bread Bars

March 24, 2010 § 3 Comments


Ginger is a favorite of mine I am always down for trying a recipe containing this spice. There is something about the smell that makes me want to add just a dash of it to whatever I can when I cook and that’s not often. I like my desserts very sweet if I had to rate these for sweetness on a scale of 1 to 10 I would give it a 6. But, everyone’s palate is different. I’ve made these two different ways, with light and dark brown sugar. If you try this recipe and you think it’s too sweet try switching to light brown sugar that should dull it down a bit. Ginger’s bread Bars have a brownie consistency and are pretty tasty by themselves but even better with ice cream.
Yields 24 bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger 
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
(1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup Brown sugar ; (packed) dark brown sugar
7 1/2 tablespoons sugar ; divided
2 large eggs
1/4 cup Molasses 


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 15x10x1-inch baking sheet (I actually don’t butter and flour I find it easier to us cake release ,I know some people are old school so do what you feel fits your baking style)Place 2 cups flour in medium bowl; transfer 2 tablespoons flour to small bowl and reserve for later. Add spices, baking soda, and salt to flour in medium bowl and sift together. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and 6 tablespoons sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then molasses. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and beat to blend. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Sift reserved 2 tablespoons flour evenly over batter, then sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake gingerbread until golden brown about 22 minutes; cool completely in pan on rack. Cut gingerbread crosswise into 4 strips, then cut each strip into 6 pieces, forming 24 bars

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