Monthly Archives: April 2016

Chocolate Matzo Madness Toffee


Take a crack at this Southern spin on a traditional Passover treat. But it’s not only relegated to the holiday. In fact, you can make this sweet snack year-round using saltine crackers for a crispy, salty base that makes the chocolate and pecans pop in your mouth. So do yourself a favor and indulge!



1 cup (8 oz.) salted butter, plus butter to grease pan
4 to 5 sheets lightly salted matzos
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 (12-oz.) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 teaspoon Maldon sea salt, if desired


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 18- x 12-inch rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Grease foil with butter. Arrange matzos in prepared pan, breaking as necessary to fit and completely cover bottom.

2. Bring 1 cup butter and brown sugar to a boil in a heavy saucepan over medium, whisking occasionally. Boil, whisking constantly, 3 minutes. Carefully pour mixture over matzos; spread over matzos.

3. Bake in preheated oven until bubbly all over, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully remove baking sheet from oven to a wire rack. Let stand 1 minute. Sprinkle chocolate chips over top; let stand until chips soften, about 2 minutes. Spread chocolate over brown sugar mixture. Sprinkle with pecans; sprinkle with salt, if desired. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Chill toffee until firm, about 30 minutes. Break or cut into about 36 pieces. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week in refrigerator.


Sunday Reflections


Happy Sunday #friendsofTenaciousM!! Have a love-filled week.


Chocolate-Key Lime Cupcake Pies


This cupcake version of a chocolate-key lime pie is an ideal pick-up dessert for entertaining. Make a crumb crust with chocolate wafers and top with a sweet cream cheese mixture with fresh key lime juice. Try cupcake pies with sweetened whipped cream, fresh cherries, blackberries, and mint leaves.



12 jumbo-size aluminum foil baking cups
Vegetable cooking spray
1 (9-oz.) package chocolate wafer cookies
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons key lime zest
1/3 cup fresh key lime juice
3 large eggs
Garnishes: sweetened whipped cream, fresh cherries and blackberries, fresh mint leaves


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place 12 jumbo-size aluminum foil baking cups in lightly greased muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray.

2. Pulse chocolate wafer cookies in a food processor 8 to 10 times or until finely crushed. Stir together cookie crumbs and butter; firmly press on bottom and two-thirds up sides of each baking cup (about 3 Tbsp. crumbs per cup).

3. Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add lime zest and lime juice, beating at low speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Spoon mixture into prepared cups, filling completely full.

4. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until set. Cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and let cool 15 minutes or until completely cool. Cover and chill 4 hours. Garnish, if desired.

Go… And Find Yourself Some Happiness


I am so thrilled that my book, “Go… And Find Yourself Some Happiness” is now in reprint. It’s available at amazon and lovelier than ever! #goandfindyourselfsomehappiness


Chocolate Peanut-Butter Icebox Cake


This crowd-pleasing icebox cake uses already prepared cookies; the only real work is having to wait to eat it while it chills.



2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup smooth natural peanut butter (not unsalted)
1 box (9 ounces) chocolate wafer cookies


1. In a large bowl, whip 1 1/2 cups cream with sugar until soft peaks form. In a small bowl, whisk peanut butter until soft and smooth; whisk in 1/2 cup cream until light and fluffy. Fold peanut-butter mixture into whipped cream until incorporated.

2. Dab the bottom of 6 cookies with a very small amount of cream mixture and arrange in a circle on a serving plate; place 1 cookie in the middle of circle. Top with cup cream mixture, spreading outward to cover all but outer edges of cookies. Repeat process 5 more times (staggering the cookie layers), ending with cream. Cut 3 cookies in half; decorate top of cake with cookie halves.

3. Refrigerate cake at least 8 hours (or up to overnight). To serve, cut into wedges with a serrated knife.

Dutch Oven Cheesecake


A creamy, delicious marshmallow cheesecake that you can make in a dutch oven! With a fun topping bar including chocolate ganache, Honey Maid Graham Crackers, and more!

Hero-Smores-Cheesecake 2


10 inch dutch oven
8 inch spring form pan
aluminum foil
2 cups water
30 pieces of charcoal (more may be needed)

1 cup Honey Maid Graham Crackers
¼ cup butter, melted
2 Tbs sugar

2- 8 ounce packages of cream cheese
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
⅓ cup marshmallow fluff
½ cup heavy whipping cream


1. Start your charcoal. Light it, and get it going so it is hot. Depending on weather conditions, make a foil tent around it to keep it hot.

2. Crush graham crackers

3. Mix with melted butter and sugar to form a crust

4. Press the Honey Maid graham cracker mixture into the bottom of a springform pan

5. Put 2 cups of water in the bottom of a 10 inch dutch oven

6. Place 8 charcoal pieces under the dutch oven, and 12 on the lid, put the lid over the top and start heating the dutch oven and water.

7. While that is heating, mix together the filling. Use a hand mixer, or just mix really well, and mix the cream cheese and sugar, vanilla, marshmallow fluff, and heaving whipping cream.

8. When well mixed, add the eggs, one at a time, and blend until just incorporated. Do not over mix. Pour over crust into springform pan. If your pan is not airtight, put foil around the bottom edge so the water bath does not seep in and ruin your cheesecake.

9. Carefully lift the lid to the dutch oven, and place the springform inside the heated water.

10. Replace lid and let cook for about 1- 1½ hours, until no longer jiggly in center. Replace coals as needed to keep the dutch oven hot and heating evenly.

11. Once cooked, remove from dutch oven, and let cool. Then top as you wish. For me it was chocolate ganache and graham crackers.

Chocolate Turtle Bundt Cake


This irresistible chocolate turtle bundt cake is a made-from-scratch chocolate caramel pecan delight. It’s drizzled with a buttery pecan-caramel sauce and a healthy drizzle of silky chocolate ganache. It’s a cake that’s dressed to impress even the pickiest of dessert eaters.



1 recipe Chocolate Buttermilk Cake made in a bundt pan
1 cup roughly chopped pecan pieces, toasted
Caramel-pecan sauce:
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup butter (1/2 stick or 4 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Chocolate ganache:
1½ cup milk chocolate chips
½ cup heavy cream



1. Prepare the chocolate buttermilk cake per the directions. Bake in a buttered and floured bundt pan for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack.

2. Spread the pecan pieces in a single layer on a sheet pan. Toast in a 350°F oven for 6-8 minutes Set aside to cool.

4. To make the caramel-pecan sauce: In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat melt together the brown sugar, heavy cream, butter, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly.

4. Remove the caramel sauce from the heat then add the vanilla and toasted pecans. Stir until the pecans are coated. Set aside to cool slightly.

5. To make the ganache: in a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips and heavy cream in 20 second increments stopping to stir each time. Repeat until completely smooth.

6. Place the bundt cake on a cake pedestal or platter. Drizzle with ⅓ of the chocolate ganache and ⅓ of the caramel pecan sauce. Repeat drizzling the cake on all sides until both of the sauces are used.

7. Store chilled bringing to room temperature for serving.

The caramel-pecan sauce and chocolate ganache should still be warm but still pourable before drizzling onto the cake.