Gorilla Bread

Delicious. Divine. Dangerous. 
Basically, this sums up how wonderful this recipe is! I skipped monkey bread all together this year and tried out Paula Deen's delicious Gorilla Bread. I love the taste of cinnamon, brown sugar, nuts, & butter all mixed up together with a touch of cream cheese! Now you know why I call it dangerous. The New Year hadn't quite rang in yet, so I didn't feel quite as guilty. It's simply irresistible! Easy to make and smells heavenly. 


1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese
2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits (10 count)
1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside. Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes. Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan. Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of nuts. Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate on top and invert.


The Classic Christmas Cake

When my husband and I lived in South Africa one of our favorite holiday desserts was Fruit Cake. Pamella Mitchell-Innes would begin baking months ahead and feed the cake with brandy until Christmas. It was moist and delicious! Several times I found myself having to fight my cravings and cut another piece! This Christmas Tyler and I wanted a bit of South Africa with us here in Oklahoma, so Pam was kind enough to send the recipe and I started baking! It turned out great - now to find people to share it with! Fruit Cake is much too large for two people :)

*Note: All ingredients are UK and might need to be converted.

I realize the post is quite late for anybody to do anything with it! But there is always next year - besides, fruit cake is never out of season. :)

6 oz raisins
2 oz glace cherries, rinsed, dried and finely chopped
2 oz mixed and candied peel, finely chopped
3 Tbsp brandy
8 oz plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
8 oz unsalted butter
8 oz soft brown sugar
4 eggs
2 oz almonds, chopped
1 tsp black treacle
the grated zest of 1 lemon
the grated zest of one orange
4 oz whole blanched almonds
(only if you don't intend to ice the cake)

1 lbs 2 oz icing sugar, sifted
3 large egg whites
1 tsp glycerine 

Cake Directions:

You need to begin this cake the night before you want to bake it. All you do is weigh out the dried fruit and mixed peel, place it in a mixing bowl and mix in the brandy as evenly and thoroughly as possible. Cover the bowl with a clean tea cloth and leave the fruit aside to absorb the brandy for 12 hours.
Next day pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C). Then measure out all the rest of the ingredients, ticking them off to make quite sure they're all there. The treacle will be easier to measure if you remove the lid and place the tin in a small pan of barely simmering water. Now begin the cake by sifting the flour, salt and spices into a large mixing bowl, lifting the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing. Next, in a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the butter and sugar together until it's light, pale and fluffy. Now beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add them to the creamed mixture a tablespoonful at a time; keep the whisk running until all the egg is incorporated. If you add the eggs slowly by degrees like this the mixture won't curdle. If it does, don't worry, any cake full of such beautiful things can't fail to taste good!
When all the egg has been added, fold in the flour and spices, using gentle, folding movements and not beating at all (this is to keep all that precious air in). Now fold in the fruit, peel, chopped nuts and treacle and finally the grated lemon and orange zests. Next, using a large kitchen spoon, transfer the cake mixture into the prepared tin, spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon and, if you don't intend to ice the cake, lightly drop the whole blanched almonds in circles or squares all over the surface. Finally cover the top of the cake with a double square of silicone paper with a 50p-size hole in the centre (this gives extra protection during the long slow cooking).
Bake the cake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 4½-4¾ hours. Sometimes it can take up to ½-¾ hour longer than this, but in any case don't look till at least 4 hours have passed. Cool the cake for 30 minutes in the tin, then remove it to a wire rack to finish cooling. When it's cold 'feed' it – make small holes in the top and base of the cake with a cocktail stick or small skewer, then spoon over a few teaspoons of brandy, wrap it in double silicone paper secured with an elastic band and either wrap again in foil or store in an airtight container. You can now feed it at odd intervals until you need to ice or eat it.

Icing Directions:

Place the egg whites in a bowl, then stir in the icing sugar, a spoonful at a time, until the icing falls thickly from the spoon. At this stage, stop adding any more sugar and whisk with an electric whisk for 10 minutes or until the icing stands up in stiff peaks, then stir in the glycerine.

Now spread the icing all over the top and sides of the cake as evenly as possible using a palette knife. Switch to a broad-bladed knife (or smaller palette knife) to 'spike' the icing all over to give a snow-scene effect. Leave the cake overnight for the icing to dry out before placing it in a container till needed.


Gingerbread Cake with Caramel Sauce

Last week I was able to spend time with family back in Utah. The one thing on my mind was baking something delicious for everybody - unfortunately the night I picked hardly anybody was home, more goodies for the rest of us! This Gingerbread Cake was scrumptious! I absolutely loved it and it has become my new favorite, year-round, recipe!


1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
6 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup boiling water

Grease an 8 inch square pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices together. Cream the butter, gradually add the brown sugar and cream thoroughly. Stir in molasses.
Beat egg until thick, and beat into the creamed mixture. Stir in the vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture a third at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Gradually add boiling water, stirring after each addition. Turn into prepared pan.
Bake for about 50 minutes. Serve warm with lemon sauce.

Caramel Sauce
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup cream
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together in a sauce pan and simmer for about 5 or 6 minutes. Serve over warm gingerbread, and butter pudding, apple pie, ice cream, and more!


White Chocolate Oreas with Peppermint

Christmas came too fast this year! I found myself running up against the clock with a fun, cute, yummy treat to give to friends and neighbors & was so relieved when I came across this great idea, dipping oreo cookies into white chocolate and sprinkling with crushed candy canes! I dipped a whole pan in about five minutes and had them bagged and ready to deliver. Merry Christmas!

Ingredients Needed:

White Almond Chocolate Bars
Oreo Cookies
Crushed Candy Canes

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for two minutes. Remove and stir. Put back into the microwave for 12 second intervals, stirring after each one. Once chocolate is liquid enough to dip, start dipping the oreos.

Place Oreo's on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with candy canes. Place in the freezer for one hour.


Fried Ice Cream

I've always wondered how fried ice cream was made and always thought about someday attempting to try. Finally, I felt I needed some challenge and variety to my desserts, so I went searching and came across this amazing recipe! The first time around I learned the hard way - my oil wasn't hot enough and my ice cream started to melt! Disaster. The second time around was a success and absolutely a blast to make! AND it's delicious. So, learn from my mistake and make sure your oil is hot, hot, hot. You will come out with amazing results and a very fun recipe for friends/family. Good Luck!

Fried Ice Cream

Prep Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Serving Size: 1 fried ice cream ball

1 quart vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
4 cups CornFlakes cereal, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tablespoon milk
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
caramel and chocolate syrup, or honey, for topping (optional)


Spoon four ice cream scoops onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Place the pan into the freezer and allow to firm up for 1 hour. Meanwhile, place the crushed CornFlakes cereal into a bowl and mix with the cinnamon. Mix the eggs and milk in a separate bowl; set aside.

Remove the frozen ice cream scoops from the freezer and use your hands to mold them into uniform sized rounds. Working with one at a time, roll an ice cream ball into the crushed cinnamon cereal to coat and place back on the wax paper. Repeat with remaining ice cream.

Roll each round into the egg mixture, then coat again in the cereal and place back onto the wax paper lined baking sheet. Return to the freezer for about an hour.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet to 365°F – 375°F. Remove the ice cream from the freezer and fry each coated ice cream round for 20 to 25 seconds, turning to fry evenly. Transfer to a paper towel then quickly place on individual plates and drizzle with caramel, chocolate or honey.


Magic Cookie Bars

There is nothing better than being able to put together an all time favorite dessert recipe in less than 5 minutes! Growing up my Dad always made these and substituted the graham crackers for oats. In keeping tradition, I love the yummy taste of these Magic Cookie Bars! They are good right out of the oven with ice cream or put them in the fridge and serve them cold later on - which is what I prefer. There are no tricks and no possible way you can mess up. Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs or oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 (14-ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. 
In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; mix well. Press crumb mixture firmly on bottom of 13x9-inch baking pan.
Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumbs. Layer evenly with remaining ingredients; press down firmly with fork.
Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Chill if desired. Cut into bars. Store covered at room temperature.

Substitute 1 cup butterscotch flavored chips, peanut butter flavored chips or white chocolate chips for 1 cup semi-sweet chips and proceed as directed above.


Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Craving cookies tonight. After another long weekend I wasn't feeling up to it, but this recipe sounded worth it and after I threw in a few twists it was definitely satisfying. They are soft, fluffy, and melt in your mouth. It only took me max, 10 minutes, to have this whipped up and into the oven! You will love these!

3/4 cup butter, softened
2/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking  soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
*chocolate chips are optional, but will definitely do the trick if you're craving chocolate and the husband wants oatmeal raisin.


Preheat oven to 375° F. 
In a large bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually beat into butter mixture. Stir in oats and raisins and chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Cool slightly, remove from sheet to wire rack. Cool Completely.

*I've found mixing with electrical mixing bowls tends to make the cookies less fluffy and soft. You beat out all the air. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula and don't beat the ingredients to death - guarantee you'll have better cookie turnouts!