Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars

Cookie Dough:
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 c. mini chocolate chips

1 c. creamy peanut butter
2/3 c. milk chocolate chips


In a large bowl, mix together butter and light brown sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).  Add vanilla extract and beat until combined.
With the mixer on low speed, alternate mixing in flour and sweetened condensed milk and mix until combined.  Gently fold in mini chocolate chips with spatula.
Line 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper.  Press the cookie dough into the pan (the cookie dough may be sticky, so lightly flour your hands).
Cover the bars with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight until firm.  
For topping, combine the peanut butter and milk chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat until smooth.  Spread the mixture over the cookie dough bars.  Chill the bars for 1 hour or until topping is firm.  
Yield: 16 large bars

Pecan Bars

1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent rolls
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, beaten

How to make it

Heat oven to 350°F.

Unroll dough and press in bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of a 9x13-inch pan.  Firmly press perforations to seal.  Bake 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Pour filling over partially baked crust.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes longer or until golden brown.

Cool completely, about 1 hour, and cut into bars.

A Christmas Lasagna

For the meat sauce:
1 pound Italian sausage
1 1/2 pound lean ground beef
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 cups marinara sauce
1/2 cup water
Note: depending on the seasoning of your sausage, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of an Italian dried herb blend.
For the cheese filling:
2 egg, beaten
2 lbs ricotta cheese
8 oz mozzarella cheese, cubed
2/3 cup freshly grated Reggiano-Parmigiano
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
big pinch of cayenne
The rest:
1 lb lasagna noodles
8 oz mozzarella cheese, torn in small pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese to top

How to make it

Place sausage and ground beef into a large saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until meat is browned and crumbly, about 10 minutes. Break the meat apart as it cooks. Stir in mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, Italian herb seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Turn heat to medium-high and cook until mushrooms have given off their juices and bottom of pan is almost dry.
Pour prepared marinara sauce into meat mixture. Pour water into marinara sauce jar and shake to get all the sauce out of the jar; add to mixture. Reduce heat to low and simmer until meat is extremely tender, about 2 hours. Add a little more water if sauce becomes too thick. Skim excess fat from surface of the sauce and season with more salt and black pepper, if needed. Turn off heat.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Beat eggs in a large bowl and stir in ricotta cheese, 8 ounces diced mozzarella cheese, and 2/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Season cheese mixture with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and cayenne pepper; mix in parsley.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse noodles and set aside in a bowl of cold water.
Spread 1/4 the sauce into the bottom of a 10x15-inch baking pan. Top with 1/3 the noodles and spread 1/2 the ricotta cheese mixture over noodles. Spread 1/4 the meat sauce over the cheese, top with 1/3 the noodles, and spread remaining 1/2 the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Spread 1/4 the meat sauce over the cheese filling. Tap the casserole dish lightly on a sturdy work surface to settle the layers. Arrange last 1/3 the noodles over sauce and spread remaining 1/4 the sauce over the noodles. Dot top of the casserole with 4 ounces diced fresh mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Cover casserole with aluminum foil, being sure not to touch the top of the casserole with the foil. Place casserole onto a baking sheet to catch spills.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook until lasagna is golden brown and bubbling, 30 to 35 more minutes. Let set for 20 minutes before cutting into squares.

Prep 20 m
Cook 2 h 45 m
Ready In 3 h 25 m

Lemony mini cake loaves with a delicious lemon glaze!

3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon extract
⅓ cup lemon juice
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup powdered sugar (for the glaze)
2 tablespoons half and half
½ teaspoon lemon extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray bottoms only of 4 mini loaf pans with Bakers Joy.
In a KitchenAid or a food processor combine 3 large eggs, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons softened butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon lemon extract, and ⅓ cup lemon juice. Blend until well mixed.
Add 1½ cups flour to the ingredients and mix until just combined. Add ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon baking powder, and ½ teaspoon salt and mix until just combined. Add ½ cup vegetable oil and mix until combined.
Spread into prepared pans.
Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick test is clean
Cool on wire rack while you make the glaze.
Mix 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons half and half and ½ teaspoon of lemon extract. Add more sugar if you prefer a thicker, sweeter icing.
Glaze the cake, slice and enjoy!

PREP TIME 20 mins
COOK TIME 30 mins
TOTAL TIME 50 mins

Orange Coconut Cake - Aroma Espresso Bar Style

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup wheat semolina
1 cup coconut (shredded)
2 tsp (flat) baking powder
4 eggs (divided into egg whites and yolks)
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup orange juice
¾ cup vegetable oil
Coconut for sprinkling
Cinnamon for sprinkling
For the Syrup:
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
Squeezed juice form ½ lemon


Preheat oven to 300F (150C)
Brush cake pan with butter/oil and spread flour on it or cover with parchment paper.
In a bowl, mix dry ingredients (flour, wheat semolina, coconut, baking powder)
In a mixer bowl beat egg whites and sugar until they form stiff white foam with peaks.
In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients (egg yolks, vanilla extract, orange juice, oil)
Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients and mix well until combined
Add egg foam into cake mix and using a wooden spoon fold gently into the mix until fully combined.
Pour the mix into the cake pan, sprinkle with cinnamon and place in the pre-heated oven for about 30-40 minutes or until cake is golden brown and a toothpick you test it with, comes out dry. Let the cake cool.
While it’s cooling, poke a few holes using a skewer. This will allow the syrup to be absorbed better and faster.
To prepare the syrup, boil the syrup ingredients over medium heat while stirring until sugar melts.
Pour hot syrup over cool (room temperature) cake using a ladle or a big salad spoon. Make sure you pour the syrup evenly all over the cake.
To top the cake, generously sprinkle with finely shredded coconut.

 *This cake is baked using an 8.5 inch round springform cake pan
 **Optional - you can top the cake by sprinkling icing sugar instead of the shredded coconut

Quick Blueberry Biscuits

2 1/4 cups Bisquick (I used HeartSmart)
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup wild blueberries (can use regular)
3/4 - 1 cup buttermilk (I used fat-free)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 450.

How to make it

Stir together bisquick, sugar and buttermilk until soft dough forms. Fold in blueberries. Scoop dough with large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop (3 tablespoons) onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9-12 minutes or until golden brown. 

Combine powdered sugar and milk. Drizzle over biscuits.

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

1 cupbrown sugar
1 cupvegetable oil
3 eggs
2 cupsself raising flour
1 tspground cinnamon
1 tspground nutmeg
1/2 tspbicarbonate of soda
2 cupscarrot, grated
1/2 cupwalnuts, finely chopped, plus extra to serve

250 gsoftened cream cheese
50 gsoftened butter
2 cupssifted icing sugar

How to make it

Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease and line a 22cm round cake pan with baking paper.
In a large bowl, whisk sugar and oil together until thick. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking between each addition to combine.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in sifted combined flour, spices and soda. Fold in carrot and walnuts. Pour into pan. Smooth top.
Bake 55-60 minutes until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in pan 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter together until pale. Add icing sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy.
Split cooled cake in half horizontally. Place base of cake on serving platter. Spread with half frosting. Top with remaining half of cake. Spread with remaining frosting. Sprinkle with extra nuts.

You will need about 4 carrots for this cake.

To make cupcakes, use 12 paper patty cases and bake 15-20 minutes.