Tra – di – tions…Traditions!

Chocolate MousseI love that song from the “The Fiddler on the Roof! I can just hear Teyve belting it out – especially this time of year when we are surrounded by traditions.

It was playing in my head on Saturday as we moved the boxes of Christmas decorations from the attic and started to decorate.

The first of many Christmas traditions were about to begin – decorating the Christmas tree – followed, of course,  by Chocolate Fondue.

But this year, I have departed somewhat from the usual “after- the -party” traditions. Normally, I would put the left-over fondue in a small container and hide it in the back of the refrigerator. Then I would slowly enjoy it one bite at a time in the days to follow.

But this year – you might want to sit down for this – this year I shared.

I know it’s shocking, but really I did!

Actually, Angel girl and I took the  left-over fondue and whipped it up with 3 ounces of cream cheese and one tub of Cool Whip.

Then Angel Girl put them in pretty dishes and we called them Chocolate Mousse.

We served them as dessert that night after our evening meal of Broccoli-Cheese soup – which was a good thing because we all knew that a spoonful of chocolate helps the green vegetables go down!

So has a new tradition been born? Time will tell!

Chocolate Fudge Birthday Cake

Feathery Chocolate Fudge CakeI can’t believe it is Buddy’s 9th birthday already! When did my baby turn nine? It seems like yesterday I was watching him take his first steps and now he’s reading Redwall books, writing in cursive and begging to drive the 4 wheeler by himself.

At least he is still young enough to enjoy a traditional birthday cake – chocolate cake with Cool Whip frosting and decorated with M & M’s and his own Lego creations.

This year I tried a new chocolate cake recipe – Feathery Chocolate Fudge Cake – from the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook.

Although it had great flavor, it didn’t quite live up to it’s “feathery” name. It seemed a little dense and heavy to me – but Buddy didn’t seem to mind – he loved it as did the rest of the birthday party guests!

Feathery Fudge Cake

2/3 cup soft butter of margarine
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate (melted and cooled)
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup cold water

Cream together butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla till fluffy (beat 5 minutes at high speed on mixer, scraping bowl occasionally to guide batter into beaters, or beat 5 minutes by hand).

Blend in chocolate.

Sift flour with soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with cold water; beat after each addition.

Bake in 2 paper-lined  9 X1-1/2 inch round pans in moderate oven (350 degrees) 30 to 35 minutes or till done. (We used a 9 x 13 pan, would have made a difference in the texture of the cake.)

Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely. Frost with your favorite frosting. (I use extra creamy Cool Whip – it’s fast, easy, and no-fail!)

Enjoy!

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

Chocolate ICe Cream LogAngel girl shares a June birthday with one of her friends. So when our families enjoyed a meal together this weekend – I knew a special dessert was in order.

Since we were enduring some intense heat and I didn’t really want to turn the oven on – I decided that an ice cream cake would be perfect!

I found a yummy recipe for a peanut butter ice cream cake – but Angel Girl is not on the peanut butter kick that her older sister is – so I made some chocolate alterations.

The final result –

Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

Crust :

2 cups oreo cookie crumbs
1/2 cup melted margarine or butter

Filling:

6 cups of vanilla ice cream (divided)
4 ounces cream cheese (softened)
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar
8 ounces Cool Whip

Line the bottom and sides of a 9 inch x 5 inch 3 inch bread pan with aluminum foil.

Mix together the Oreo cookie crumbs and melted margarine. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared bread pan.  Freeze for 30 minutes. Set aside the remaining crumbs.

Spread half of the ice cream over the crust and freeze for one hour or until firm.

Put the chocolate chips and milk in a microwave proof container and microwave until melted, stirring till smooth. Cool.

Beat cream cheese with the powdered sugar. Add the melted chocolate chips and mix well. Stir in the Cool Whip.

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the vanilla ice cream layer and freeze for one hour or until set.

Carefully spread the remaining ice cream over the cream cheese layer and freeze for one hour.

Press the reserved cookie crumbs on top of the ice cream and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze at least one hour before serving.

To serve, use the foil to carefully remove the ice cream cake from the pan. Slice with a serrated knife.

What a cool and yummy treat to celebrate the birthdays of two special 11 year old girls!

Mint Brownie Pie

I was thrilled to hear that my good friend and college roommate was planning a stop at my house in route to pick up her daughter!

I haven’t seen Kimmie in 6 years! This called for an amazing chocolate dessert!

Dagmar and I scoured our cookbook collection to discover the perfect “I haven’t seen you in so long- I’m so glad you are here” dessert. (Chocolate of course.)

The winner and huge hit at our meal was this rich chocolate brownie with a creamy mint topping.

Mint Brownie Pie
from Taste Of Home Annual Recipes- 2000

Melt together in a saucepan 6 tablespoons of butter and 2 squares (1 oz. each) unsweetened chocolate.

Stir in 1 cup of sugar until well blended.

Add 2 eggs and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Mix well.

Stir in 1/2 cup flour until well blended.

Pour into a greased 9 inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Filling:

In a mixing bowl, beat 8 oz. of cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar until smooth.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of mint extract and green food coloring (optional).

Fold in 1 carton (8 ounces) of Cool Whip.

Spread evenly over brownie layer, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Remove sides from pan just before serving.

Melt 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and drizzle over the top. Garnish with more Cool Whip and chocolate chips.

Dagmar used her cake decorating kit to make the top extra special. She piped melted chocolate chips into stars and refrigerated them until they were hard.

It was a very special dessert, perfect for our very special company!

Oreo Pudding and Brownie Parfaits

I wanted a treat to tell my children “thank you” for their good attitudes and hard work after a very busy day of working in the garden, mowing the lawn, and washing mounds of laundry.

As I was putting away the dishes, my eyes fell on the parfait glasses that I had picked up at a garage sale and never used.

A quick look through my pantry revealed a package of Oreo pudding and Bingo! I had my idea.

First I baked some very simple fudge brownies and let them cool. Then I mixed up the Oreo pudding according to the directions on the box.

To assemble, Angel Girl helped me put chunks of brownies in the bottom followed by a layer of pudding, more brownie, then some Cool Whip. We continued the layers all the way to top, finishing off with a dollop of Cool Whip.

They were delicious! A perfect treat after a long hot day of hard work!

My Classic and Favorite Fudge Brownies

Combine: 1 1/3 c. flour, 2 c. sugar. 3/4 c. cocoa, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 cup chopped nuts.

In separate bowl combine 2/3 c. oil, 4 eggs, 2 tsp. vanilla.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients, Do not over mix!

Spread into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.