The Baby Shower Cake

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The cake can be both a dessert and a centerpiece, it will definitely be a part of the shower the mom-to-be will remember.

It's easy to make cakes and cupcakes for occasions like this. Don't get in over your head. Buy a simple decorating package so you have everything you need. Most craft stores and party stores sell decor that requires little more than placing items on top of the cake (or cupcakes) or simple frosting techniques.

On the next few pages are dessert recipes, with the cake recipes first. You don't have to go with a traditional chocolate or white cake….the peach, lemon, strawberry, and other recipes lend themselves to decorating very well.

MINI CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKES

Ingredients:

• 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1 large egg
• 8 oz (1 1/4 cups) semisweet chocolate, melted
• 4 oz (1/2 cup) strawberry yogurt (preferably without fruit chunks)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 24 mini-muffin tins with paper liners. (Spray liners with Pam.)

Beat cream cheese with sugar until well blended. Beat in egg; slowly add melted chocolate and yogurt.

Bake about 25 minutes or until set. Cool on rack and refrigerate overnight.

The cheesecakes can stick to some paper liners, so you might want to spray the liners with nonstick spray before adding the mixture. Number of servings: 24

FLUFFY LEMON CAKE

Ingredients:

Filling:
• 2 packages of cook-before-eating lemon pudding and pie filling mix (Jell-O), Cake:
• 1 package yellow cake mix
• 3 eggs
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/4 cup oil
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise

Frosting:
• 1 container of Cool Whip
• 1 container of vanilla frosting

Directions:

Prepare filling according to package directions for pie filling; cover with plastic wrap and cool thoroughtly.

Meanwhile, prepare cake: Beat together cake ingredients; pour into two 9″ greased cake pans.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until cake tests done. When cake is cooled, put about 2/3 of the cooled filling mixture onto the first layer.

Put on second layer and place the remaining 1/3 of the filling on top.

For frosting, mix together the container of Cool Whip and vanilla frosting. Frost sides, and decorate as desired with mint, lemon slices, etc.
Number of servings: 12

OLD FASHIONED STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 level Tablespoons cold butter
ice water to make a stiff dough (3 to 4 Tablespoons)
soft butter to moisten shortcake after baking
3 cups fresh, sliced strawberries that have been dredged and allowed to stand in sugar at room temperature for an hour (or refrigerate if kept longer).
Heavy cream for topping the cake

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Combine dry ingredients and cut in the shortening until mixture resembles cornmeal.

Add water and mix until a ball of dough forms.

Turn the dough out on a floured board and pat it flat and round until cake is about an inch thick.

Bake until golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and with a sharp, heated knife, carefully split it and butter it as you would a biscuit. Place strawberries inside the still-hot buttered cake.

Pour heavy cream over cake just before bringing to the table.

BANANA CHIP BUNDT CAKE

Ingredients:

1 (18.5 ounce) box banana cake mix (with pudding in the mix)
1 (3.5 ounce) box instant banana cream pudding and pie filling
4 eggs
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup Hershey's miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spritz fluted stoneware pan.

In mixer bowl combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water and oil; beat on low speed until blended. Increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes.

Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into pan.

Bake 45-50 minutes or until a wooden pick tests done. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan.

Cool completely on wire rack. Drizzle with Chocolate Glaze.

Chocolate Glaze: In small saucepan bring 1/3 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water to full boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.

Remove from heat; add 1 cup Hershey's miniature semisweet chocolate chips. Stir with wire whisk until chips are melted and mixture is smooth.

Cool to desired consistency; use immediately. (about 2/3 cup glaze).

BROWN SUGAR CAKE

Ingredients:

1 cup shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 (16 ounce) box light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
5 eggs
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup nuts, finely chopped

Directions:

Cream shortening, butter and brown and white sugars.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add flour and baking powder which have been sifted together alternately with milk.

Add vanilla extract, then nuts dredged in flour. Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours at 325 degrees F.

CARROT SHEET CAKE

Ingredients:

4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups shredded carrots
2/3 cup chopped walnuts

Frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2/3 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, oil and sugar until smooth.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; add to egg mixture and beat well. Stir in carrots and walnuts.

Pour into a greased 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

For frosting, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until smooth; beat in confectioners sugar.

Spread over cake. Sprinkle with nuts.

Makes 24-30 servings.

CHOCOLATE BUTTERMILK SHEET CAKE

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 heaping Tablespoons cocoa
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Place in large mixing bowl, flour, sugar and salt.

Place in saucepan butter, water, vegetable, shortening and cocoa.

Bring to boil and pour over flour mixture. Mix well.

Place in another bowl eggs, baking soda, buttermilk and vanilla extract.

Stir well and add to previous mixture.

Bake in greased and floured 13 x 9-inch pan at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

Icing:

1/2 cup butter or margarine
3 heaping Tablespoons cocoa
1 (16 ounce) box confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts
6 Tablespoons milk

Directions:

Melt margarine and cocoa in a 2-quart pan, but do not boil.

Remove from heat and add confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, nuts and milk.

Stir well. Ice cake while hot.

MOCHA SHEET CAKE

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, divided
1 cup strong brewed coffee or 1 Tablespoon instant
coffee, dissolved in 1 cup hot water
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
6 Tablespoons milk
1 pound confectioners sugar
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1-inch jellyroll pan.

Stir 1/2 cup butter, coffee, 1/2 cup cocoa and vegetable oil in heavy, small saucepan over medium heat until smooth. Remove saucepan from heat.

Stir flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in large bowl until blended. Whisk in cocoa mixture.

Whisk buttermilk, eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in medium bowl until blended. Add to flour mixture and blend well. Spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cake to rack.

Meanwhile, stir milk and remaining 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup cocoa in heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat until smooth. Bring mixture to boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Add powdered sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and whisk until smooth.

Spread frosting over warm cake. Sprinkle with pecans. Cool cake completely and serve.

Makes 16 to 20 servings.

PHILADELPHIA BUTTER CAKE

Ingredients:

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Crisco
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 envelope active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix sugar with shortening and salt. Add egg and beat with mixer 1 minute.

Dissolve yeast in warm milk. To sugar mixture, add flour, then yeast-milk mixture and vanilla.

Mix 3 minutes by hand. Turn onto floured board and knead 1 minute.

Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled. Meanwhile prepare topping.

Divide dough in two and roll or pat each to fit two well-greased 8-inch square pans.

Crimp edges halfway up the pan to hold topping. When dough is spread, prick well with a fork to prevent bubbling.

Divide topping and spread over each dough. Let cakes stand for 20 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes or until done.

Do not overbake. The topping will be crusty, but gooey.

Let cool before cutting.

Topping:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
2 extra large eggs
4 to 5 Tablespoons milk

Directions:

Cream butter; mix together flour and sugar and gradually beat the sugar mixture into the butter.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.

Add the milk gradually until all ingredients are at an easy spreading consistency, being careful not to make it too runny.

PEACHES AND CREAM CAKE

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2 large eggs
2 (3.4 ounce) package vanilla pudding mix
2 (16 ounce) cans sliced peaches in syrup, undrained
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large mixing bowl; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Pour batter into a greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan.

Drain peaches, reserving 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons syrup. Set reserved syrup aside.

Arrange peach slices over batter. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy, gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating well. Add reserved syrup, 1 Tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth.

Spoon cream cheese mixture over peaches.

Combine remaining 2 Tablespoons sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over cream cheese mixture.

Bake 45 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Serves: 12

ORANGE FILLED ORANGE CAKE

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter (or margarine)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon orange peel (grated)
2 1/4 cups flour (sifted)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
4 egg whites (beat stiff)

Directions:

Beat butter (or margarine) with sugar until fluffy. Add orange peel. Sift flour, baking powder, soda, and salt and add to butter mixture.

Combine water and orange juice and add alternatively with dry ingredients, beating well. Fold in egg whites.

Pour into two 8-inch round greased and floured cake pans. Bake in 375 degree F oven about 30 minutes (or until cake tests done).

Cool five minutes and remove from pans.

When cool, spread Orange Filling between layers and frost top and sides with Orange Buttercream Frosting.

Orange Filling:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons orange peel (grated)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup water
2 egg yolks
2 Tablespoons butter

Directions:

Combine sugar, cornstarch, orange rind and salt in heavy saucepan. Gradually blend in orange juice, water and beaten egg yolks.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Cook three minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in butter. Cool before spreading between layers.

Orange Buttercream Frosting:

6 Tablespoons butter
4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
1 Tablespoon orange peel (grated)
Dash salt
4 to 6 Tablespoons orange juice

Directions:

In small deep bowl, cream butter, confectioners sugar, orange rind, salt and orange juice to spreading consistency.

Beat until smooth and creamy.

RED VELVET CAKE

Ingredients:

Cake:

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1 (2 ounce) bottle red food coloring
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk

Icing:

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Cream sugar and oil. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Add baking soda salt, vinegar, cocoa, food coloring and vanilla extract. Mix well.

Add flour alternately with buttermilk. Pour into 3 (8-inch) well-greased cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until done.

Mix together cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Frost cooled cake.

SOUTHERN FRESH BANANA LAYER CAKE

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs, well beaten
5 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped pecans

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans. Sift together flour and baking soda, and set aside.

Put butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream together until smooth.

Slowly pour in the eggs, mixing well between each addition. Stir in the mashed bananas.

Add dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Stir in vanilla extract and pecans.

Divide batter among prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops all brown and the edges pull away from the pans, or a wooden pick inserted in the middle of a cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool completely.

Frosting and Filling:

1/2 cup mashed bananas
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, sliced thin

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix mashed bananas and lemon juice together and set aside.

In another bowl, with an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add mashed bananas, blending well. Stir in vanilla extract.

To assemble, spread a layer of icing on one of the cake rounds, then top with a layer of sliced bananas.

Place the second cake layer on top of the bananas and repeat with more icing, then bananas.

After placing the third layer on top, smooth the icing over the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting.

TEXAS SHEET CAKE

Ingredients:

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine
4 Tablespoons cocoa
1 cup water

Directions:

In bowl, mix flour, sour cream, salt, sugar, baking soda and eggs.

In a pan, bring to boil margarine, cocoa and water.

Add boiled mixture to dry ingredients, mix well, and pour into a large sheet cake pan, 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches, that has been greased and floured well.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. This batter is very thin.

Frosting:

1 box confectioners sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
4 Tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
6 Tablespoons milk

Directions:

Mix sugar, vanilla extract and nuts in a pan.

Boil margarine, milk and cocoa and add to dry ingredients, beating until smooth.

Frost cake while cake is hot, as the frosting is very thick.

ANGEL FOOD CAKE WITH FRESH STRAWBERRY SAUCE

Ingredients:

• 1 store bought angel food cake
• 1 container (16 oz) frozen sliced strawberries, unsweetened, thawed
• 2-3 cups fresh sliced strawberries
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/2 cup Splenda
• 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
• 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
• 1 container low-fat Cool-Whip thawed

Directions:

In a saucepan combine the Splenda and cornstarch; then add the frozen strawberries and water.

Bring mixture to a boil. Cook on low heat,stirring constantly until mixture thickens.

Remove from heat and stir in the fresh strawberries and lemon juice. Serve sauce over sliced angel food cake. Sauce can be served warm or cooled.

Top with cool-whip.

STRAWBERRY HEAVEN

Ingredients:

• 1 2-layer pkg white cake mix
• 1 pkg Strawberry Jell-O
• 2 Tbsp flour
• 1/4 cup water
• 3/4 cup oil
• 4 eggs
• 1 box (10 oz) frozen strawberries, thawed
• Icing:
• 1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
• 1/2 of a (10 oz) box frozen strawberries, thawed
• 1 lb powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a large mixer blend boxed cake mix, flour, dry Jello, oil, water and 1 box thawed strawberries & syrup.

Mix well at low to medium speed.

Add eggs, one at a time, and beat at medium to high speed until mixture is smooth and silky, about 2 minutes. Do not overbeat.

Grease a 9×13″ cake pan. Pour mixture into pan and place in oven.

Bake about 30-35 minutes or until cake does not jiggle when moved. Cool cake only partially.

This cake is best left in the pan so you can pour your icing onto the cake. Icing: Melt butter (without getting it too hot).

Mix melted butter and the 1/2 box of thawed strawberries & syrup with mixer.

Add powdered sugar gradually while beating. When icing is somewhat thick but still able to pour, it is ready.

Pour icing over the partially cooled cake. Icing should not be as thick as traditional icing. You should be able to pour the icing onto the cake.

Serve warm.

TOFFEE COOKIES

Ingredients:

• 1 cup (crystal) sugar
• 3/4 cup butter
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 2 cups flour
• 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1/4 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 cup toffee bits
• Granulated sugar to sprinkle on top

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix sugar, butter, egg and vanilla. Beat until creamy (2 minutes).

Add Flour, baking powder and soda, beating on low until combined, about 2 minutes. Stir in toffee bits.

Shape into 1″ balls and roll in additional sugar.

Place 2″ apart on ungreased cookie sheet; flatten with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar.

Bake for 9-11 minutes until edges are brown. Sprinkle with more sugar while warm.

Remove from cookie sheet while still warm; cool on wire rack.

CHOCOLATE DREAM BROWNIES

Ingredients:

• 1/4 cup Butter
• 1 cup Sugar
• 1/4 cup Milk
• 1/2 cup Broken Walnuts
• l cup Flour
• 2 Eggs
• 1 teaspoon Vanilla
• 2 Squares Melted Chocolate
• 1/8 teaspoon Salt

Directions:

Cream butter and sugar for 2 min. Add Rest of ingredients, beat hard 2 min.

Bake 25 min. at 350 degrees.

FROSTED BANANA BARS

Ingredients:

• 1/2 cup nonfat margarine — softened
• 1 1/2 cup sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup fat-free sour cream
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 med. bananas, ripe, mashed,
• 1 cup

FROSTING:
• 1 pkg. fat-free cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 cup nonfat margarine, softened
• 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar

Directions:

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to creamed mix. Stir in bananas.

Spread in greased 15x10x1 baking pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick near center comes out clean. Cool.

Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually beat in enough sugar to achieve frosting consistency.

Frost bars. Store in refrigerator. Number of servings: 36

CHERRY BABY CAKES

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup cherry marmalade or cherry preserves,
large pieces snipped if necessary

Icing:

2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons milk
60 maraschino cherries with stems, drained

Directions:

To make cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 60 (1 3/4-inch) muffin cups with miniature paper bake cups; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Add milk, butter, egg and vanilla. Beat on low speed until combined. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute.

Spoon 1 scant teaspoon of batter into each muffin cup. Add 1/2 teaspoon of cherry marmalade and top with 1/2 teaspoon additional batter.

Bake cupcakes about 12 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean.

Cool in pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire rack.

To make icing: In a small bowl, combine confectioners sugar, vanilla extract and milk.

Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing reaches drizzling consistency.

To garnish: Pat cherries dry with clean paper toweling.

Drizzle each cupcake with about 1/2 teaspoon icing. Dip half of each cherry into remaining icing; place on top of cakes.

Makes about 60

FAIRY CAKES

Ingredients:

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 Tablespoon hot water

Filling:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Food coloring, as needed

Directions:

To make cakes: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (12-cup, 1 1/2-inch) muffin tins (to make 24 cakes). Set aside.

Sift together flour and baking powder; set aside.

Place eggs and sugar in a bowl and whisk until thick. Fold in flour mixture gently.

Add melted butter and hot water. Blend thoroughly, using spoon. Divide mixture into muffin tins. Bake 8 to 10 minutes.

To make filling: While whipping the cream with an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, gradually add sugar and vanilla extract.

Beat until the texture of shaving cream. If desired, divide mixture and stir in food coloring.

To assemble cakes:

With a sharp, pointed knife, cut away risen area from the top of each cake and set aside (do not discard).

Fill hole with a dollop of whipped cream. Cut reserved top sections in half to form “wings.”

Place wings on top of cream and you have fairy cakes.

Makes 24 cakes.

CINNAMON ROLL COOKIES

Ingredients:

Cookie dough base:
• 1 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 Tablespoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 egg
• 2/3 cup butter, margarine or shortening
• 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (you can grind the walnuts as they are used for flavor, not necessarily texture)

Cinnamon roll cookie dough base:
• 1 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 Tablespoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 egg
• 1 cup butter, margarine or shortening
• 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 cup cinnamon
• 1/4 cup raisins soaked in hot water and Tbsp sugar (allow these to steep while you make the doughs)

Powdered Sugar Glaze:
• 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
• 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
• 1-2 Tablespoons condensed milk

Directions:

For the Regular Cookie Dough:

Combine sugar, butter, egg, vanilla and dry sifted ingredients. Cream until smooth.

For the Cinnamon Cookie Dough:

Combine sugar, butter, egg, vanilla and once creamed add dry sifted ingredients, and mix until smooth.

Add raisins to this dough. After making both doughs, chill them for 1/2 hour to firm them up.

Remove both types of dough and cut them in half.

Using a marble board and pin, roll out plain cookie dough and cinnamon cookie dough separately.

Once each has been rolled flat to about 1/2 to 1/4 inch thickness, gently lay cinnamon dough on top of cookie dough, roll together and cover tightly with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator for at least 10-15 minutes to firm up before cutting.

To bake slice 1/4″ sections, just like regular chocolate chip cookies.

Lay each section flat on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes on top rack of oven, then put them on bottom rack with oven turned off for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Remove cookies from sheet and allow them to cool, than cover with a simple powdered sugar milk glaze.

For the glaze add milk slowly to sugar and vanilla until proper consistency is achieved, a smooth, glossy glaze. Save a few of the steeped raisins to decorate your finished cookies.

Number of servings: 24-48 cookies (depending on size)

CINNAMON ROLLS

Ingredients:

• 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
• 2 packages yeast
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup warm water
• 1 3/4 cup buttermilk
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
• 1/2 cup sugar

Icing:
• 1 stick butter
• 6 Tablespoons milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 package powdered sugar
• 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

Place yeast and 1/4 cup sugar and warm water in a bowl, and mix until it is well dissolved.

Let rise for about 30 minutes.

Mix flour, soda, and powder together.

Warm buttermilk, oil, salt, and sugar together.

Once it is lukewarm, add yeast mixture, then add to flour mixture.

Mix well, then place on a well floured surface and knead for about five minutes.

Roll out dough in a large circle, add margarine to dough, then cinnamon and sugar.

Roll up and cut about 1/2 inch roll and place in an oiled pan. Let rise for about 20 minutes.

Once risen put in a preheated 350 degrees F oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Mix icing together in a stove top pan.

Once it is melted, add powdered sugar and pecans and top cinnamon rolls. Number of servings: 20

CANNOLI

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 lbs. Ricotta
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup citron (optional)

Directions:

Blend first 4 ingredients and add 1 Tablespoon of butter.

Blend with your fingertips as you would a pie crust.

Add 2 Tablespoons cold water and 2 Tablespoons of vinegar. This makes a hard dough. Chill 1 hour.

Roll dough to 1/2 inch and cut into 4×5-inch rectangles. Roll dough around tubes, 1 inch diameter.

Fry at 360 degrees until brown. Drain; cool.

Beat Ricotta, vanilla, sugar until smooth, then add chocolate chips and citron. Chill.

Fill crusts at both ends with filling, then sprinkle ends with chopped nuts and dust with powdered sugar. Makes 12 cannolis.

CHEESE CAKE PETITE FOURS

Ingredients:

3 (8 oz.) pkgs. Philadelphia cream cheese
5 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Cream cheese should be room temperature.

Gradually mix each cheese package in mixer and add eggs one at a time, then add sugar and vanilla.

Pour into 2 inch foil cups (almost to top) which have been placed in cupcake tins and bake in a 300 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Do not let edges get brown.

When they are removed from oven, they will drop in center. This is ok.

Leave oven turned on and make topping  by combining 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

Put 1 teaspoon of topping on each foil cup and top with maraschino cherries (which have been drained on paper towels), jelly or nuts.

Put back into oven for 5 minutes. Makes 30.

BANANAS FOSTER CHEESECAKE SQUARES

Ingredients:

2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Filling:
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons rum extract or 2 Tablespoons dark rum
3 eggs
1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas

Topping:
2 bananas, sliced
2 teaspoons lemon juice
25 caramels, unwrapped (about 1/2 of 14 ounce package)
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon rum extract (optional)
1/2 cup pecan halves

Crust: Mix crumbs, pecans, butter and sugar. Press onto bottom of 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

Filling: Mix cream cheese, sugar and rum extract with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; mix until blended. Stir in mashed bananas. Pour over crust. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

Topping: Toss bananas with lemon juice; arrange over cheesecake. Microwave caramels and milk in microwavable bowl on HIGH for 2 minutes; stir until smooth. Stir in 1 teaspoon rum extract, if desired. Drizzle evenly over cheesecake. Sprinkle with pecan halves. Cut into squares. Refrigerate any leftover cheesecake.

Makes 2 dozen.

CHOCOLATE CREAM CUPS

Ingredients:

16 fluted paper baking cups
1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons shortening
1 (3 or 3 1/4 ounce) box regular vanilla pudding mix
1 envelope unflavored gelatine
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
Chocolate sprinkles
16 maraschino cherries, drained

Directions:

Same day or several days before serving: Put cups in muffin tins.

In double boiler over hot, not boiling water, melt chocolate pieces with shortening; keep warm.

Starting from top rim of each paper cup, drizzle chocolate 1 heaping teaspoon at a time down inside of cup. About 3 teaspoons will cover entire inside of each cup. Refrigerate.

Early on serving day; remove a few cups at a time from refrigerator.

Gently, but quickly peel paper away from each, leaving a chocolate cup. Refrigerate.

In medium saucepan, combine pudding mix, gelatine and coffee powder. Stir in half-and-half. Cook as label directs.

Cover surface with wax paper and refrigerate until cool.

With rubber spatula gently fold whipped cream into mixture. Fill chocolate cups and refrigerate.

Sprinkle each cup with chocolate sprinkles; top each with a cherry.

GRASSHOPPER BARS

Ingredients:

1 box chewy fudge brownie mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4 plus Tablespoons crème de menthe, to taste
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
Andes mints

Directions:

Prepare fudge mix as directed on package. Let cool completely before frosting.

Combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and crème de menthe. Spread over brownies.

Melt chocolate chips and butter. Pour over frosting and tilt pan to cover completely. Refrigerate until cool. Garnish with Andes mints. Cut into squares.

LEMON PUDDING BARS

Ingredients:

Crust
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter

Mix flour and butter. Press into a 15 x 2 x 1-inch jellyroll pan. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. Let cool.

First layer
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup confectioners sugar
16 ounces whipped topping, such as Cool Whip
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Beat cream cheese and confectioners sugar together. Fold in 1 cup whipped topping and chopped pecans. Spread over crust.

Second layer
3 small boxes cook-and-serve lemon
pudding and pie filling
Milk

Cook pudding according to package directions. Cool.

Pour over the first layer. Use remaining whipped topping to spread over the pudding. Chill and serve.

PEACH CHEESECAKE BARS

Ingredients:

Cake Layer:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 large egg

Cheese Layer:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

Additional ingredients:

2 peaches
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

Directions:

Cake layer:

Into a bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Add butter and combine the mixture until it resembles coarse meal.

Add the egg; blend the mixture well and spread it onto the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

Cheese layer:

In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract until the mixture is combined well; add egg, lemon juice, flour and salt.

Beat the mixture until it is smooth. Spread the mixture evenly over the batter.

Slice the peaches thin. Arrange them in one layer on top of the cheese layer and sprinkle the top with 1 Tablespoon of the sugar.

Bake the cheesecake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until it is just golden.

Sprinkle the cheesecake with the remaining 1 Tablespoon sugar. Let it cool and cut it into 3 x 1-inch bars.

Transfer the bars to a container, separated by sheets of wax paper.

The bars may be made 2 days in advance and kept in an airtight container, separated by sheets of wax paper and chilled.

Makes 36 bars.

STRAWBERRY SQUARES

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 small box strawberry gelatin
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 cups strawberry slices
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 (8 ounce) container Cool Whip

Directions:

Combine crumbs and margarine; press into bottom of 9-inch square pan. Chill. Dissolve gelatin in water; chill until thickened but not set.

Fold in strawberries, marshmallows and 1 1/2 cups topping. Pour over crust. Chill until firm. Top with remaining whipped topping. Just before serving, garnish with additional strawberry slices and chopped nuts.

Serve 9 to 12.