Tag Archives: dessert

Jewish Coffee Cake












The other day I was torn in my mind. I wanted to bake something… maybe muffins? Eh… I love muffins but we already have some in our freezer… maybe a quick bread of sorts? Nah… man, maybe I should just make some coffee. Gah, shouldn’t have coffee (More on that later). But if I HAD coffee… I’d want cake to go with it. Ah-HA!! Coffee cake! Game, set, MATCH!

And of course there’s only one coffee cake I’ll make from scratch. And that’s my dad’s Jewish Coffee Cake. I have no idea why its called ‘Jewish Coffee Cake’… I googled it and it seems like the rest of the world doesn’t really know either! It doesn’t have any butter in it- but typically butter is okay as long as it isn’t eaten with any meat. Aaand there is no meat in this coffee cake, thank goodness. Yuck. My husband was so excited when he heard the name of this coffee cake- he is quite certain that he has Jewish blood in him and is exceedingly proud of that possibility! I don’t recall seeing any of this cake in Israel earlier this summer, but oh well- a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, eh?

My dad making Jewish Coffee Cake way back in the day!









K and I grew up with this coffee cake- it is moist, full of cinnamon, melts in your mouth, and perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack. My dad loved to make this for us, and we could hardly wait the hour it took for the cake to bake. Especially with the wonderful aroma that filled the house while we waited! I can’t count how many times we burned our fingers and mouths trying to eat it too fast out of the oven. I would love to say that I have developed more patience in that area as I have grown, alas… my tongue is slightly burnt and my fingers are bright red. Guess how that happened.










Anyways, this is a totally simple recipe to throw together and is such a crowd-pleaser. The only time-consuming part of the process is letting it sit in the oven for an hour- but in the meantime there are a number of things you could do… Bible study… make soup… fold laundry… watch 2 episodes of Seinfeld… I’ll let you choose.










By the time you’ve finished a few chores or laughed with Jerry, the wafting smell of cinnamon and sugar will let you know that its time to pull that baby out of the oven and cut yourself a slice with your morning cup of joe. Or afternoon cup of joe. Or milk. Or just all by itself. I’m letting you make all the decisions here.













Jewish Coffee Cake

serves 10-12


1 cup shortening

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

3 tsp. baking powder

3 cup all purpose flour

1 cup milk

for the topping:

3 Tbsp sugar

3 tsp. cinnamon

(add Turbinado sugar, if desired for texture) ** do not completely substitute the Turbinado sugar for regular sugar!


Blend the shortening, sugar and eggs thoroughly. Then add the remaining baking powder, flour and milk. Mix until fully incorporated, then set aside. Prepare the topping by mixing the cinnamon and sugar together. Grab your bundt pan and grease it well with butter. (If you want some added texture, add some turbinado sugar to the bottom of the pan, and each layer). Layer 1/3 of the batter in the pan, then sprinkle 1/3 of the topping. Alternate batter and topping until finished. Make sure the top of the cake is covered with the topping- mix more if you need to!

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Poke with toothpick to make sure that cake is done before taking it out.

Enjoy warm!


Filed under Coffee, Food Stuffs.

4th of July Rhubarb Pie


Its so good to be BACK!!!

Let me tell you, going to Israel was the trip of a lifetime. If you ever have the opportunity to go, seize it. I will tell you guys all about it very soon, but you’ll have to wait just a bit longer. Takes a while to go through all those notes and pictures! I was sooo close to doing a post on bacon cheeseburgers. With milk. And more cheese. (We could not have dairy and red meat together EVER in Israel, because it is not considered kosher.) Was I ever a die-hard cheeseburger fan? Did I always HAVE to have milk with dinner? No… but its one of those things where, once you aren’t allowed to have it, its all you can think about. It clouds your mind. You start to see visions of cheese dancing dangerously close to steak. Just kidding, it never went that far. But I did have a delicious cheeseburger on Sunday afternoon with milk.

Anyways, now that I got that out of my system, on to one of my favorite holidays!! I love everything about the 4th- bacon cheeseburgers with milk, the fireworks, BBQs, swimming, freedom, popsicles, family time, hot dogs, and PIE.


Especially the rhubarb kind.


I meant to share this recipe with you guys yesterday, to give you enough time to make it for wherever you are going for the 4th, but jet lag is really doing a number on me. Good news is, you can whip this baby up and have it in the oven within an hour. So, you still have time!


You might ask, why make a rhubarb pie (isn’t that a vegetable!??!) when you can make a strawberry pie?? Or blueberry pie? That’s a valid question- because those are all delicious. However, there is something about this pie that reaches just a little further than the other ones… also, there’s streusel topping. And it makes your house smell sooooo good. And tastes even better than how it makes your house smell! And it’s basically healthy for you because it’s technically a vegetable. Just don’t ask questions.


Your 4th of July peers will love you. And probably invite themselves over for more later.

My mom took the time to show Linds and I how to make her “never fail pie crust” too. Think buttery, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. If you don’t have time to make this crust, a storebought one will work fine. I would recommend the Pillsbury frozen crust, not a graham cracker one. That being said, the homemade pie crust really does made a big difference in the end product. You won’t regret making the extra trip to the store for lard. Yup, you heard me. LARD.




Man, I’m doing a horrible job of convincing you to make this pie. Just please do it, this lard-y vegetable pie will knock you to your knees. Promise. It might even be better than dutch apple pie. If that doesn’t convince you, then I don’t know what will.


What a little snooper.



P.S. Did I tell you guys how much I missed you?

Rhubarb Pie

serves 8

To prepare fresh rhubarb, wash it well, trim all the dry ends of the stalks, and slice. (Like celery)


1 recipe Mom’s Never-Fail Pie Crust (see below)

1 recipe Crumb Topping (see below)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

4 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened sliced rhubarb



Prepare and roll out pastry crust. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pastry (no need to grease the pan). Trim and crimp the edges as desired. Prepare crumb topping, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together granulated sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add rhubarb. Gently toss to coat. (If using frozen rhubarb, let mixture stand for 15-30 minutes or until fruit is partially thawed, but still icy.)

Transfer rhubarb to the pastry-lined pie plate. Sprinkle crumb topping over the filling.

To prevent overbrowning, cover the edge of the pie with foil (We did not do this, and ours turned out fine). Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes with fresh fruit (50 minutes for frozen fruit). Remove foil. Bake for 20-25 more minutes for fresh fruit (20-30 more for frozen) or until topping is golden. Let cool completely.

Crumb Topping

In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup AP flour, and 1/2 cup packed brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in 3 Tbsp. butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Mom’s Never-Fail Pie Crust

makes 2-3 crusts

3 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup lard (can find this in refrigerated section at any grocery store)

10 Tbsp Crisco

1 egg

1 Tbsp vinegar

5 Tbsp ICE COLD water.

(Lard and Crisco should be refrigerated. Temperatures are very important!)

Combine flour and salt. Cut in lard and Crisco with pastry blender until crumbly. Slighty whip egg with a fork in a separate bowl, then mix in cold water and vinegar. Add liquid to crumbled mixture until ball is formed.

** When rolling out this crust, make sure you sprinkle ample amounts of flour on your work surface and rolling pin- otherwise the crust will tear and stick to the counter. This crust can handle a good amount of extra flour, so don’t be shy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Food Stuffs.

a nice surprise and green monster

I got called on Wednesday night and was told that the provider at the Escalon clinic was sick and therefore we could not open the clinic on Thursday. “Aw, what a bummer… I hope she feels better soon…” was what I said. And what I truly meant! But I was secretly SO excited to have the day off! What a nice surprise- I was starting to get a little nervous that I wouldn’t have time to shop for a fanny pack for my trip?!


Yes, you heard me right. I was an avid lover of fanny packs in my younger days, and I still am. Pretty sure I always will be. It’s so much more convenient than lugging around a purse all day, and it can probably double as a belt. Just kidding, I don’t know about the belt part, but it sure is nice for hiking! Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. Just in case you are wondering, because I’m sure you guys all secretly want one too, they are only $5 at WalMart! Score.

On to more important things! My day off yesterday was just beautiful. Started out the day with a walk with my dogs and my favorite green monster smoothie. Man, all my recipes are green lately. Time for a new color!


As I walked, I planned out my mental to-do list and thought about adding a wood-burning tool to my shopping list so I could make this. Did not buy one, because the first attempt at wood burning turned out like this. (I need a few more lessons from Master K before I invest) 20120615-094358.jpg








Hardly very intricate detailing there, but you were warned that I am not crafty!

I got home, ran a few errands, and fit in a quick shopping trip to Old Navy for some comfy capris and last minute travel items. K, I really needed Lindsey with me for the whole ‘avoiding over shopping thing’. I haven’t packed yet for Israel, and it’s not a good idea to go shopping when you’re worried you don’t have the right kind of clothing for your trip. You end up buying things that you know you’ll never wear again. (Thank goodness for their bomb return policy!) Then got home and made a quick lunch of maple almond butter oatmeal. Have you guys tried this combo? Do it and thank me later 🙂


1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup milk, water, spoonful of almond butter, 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup (and a pink lady apple!)

I grabbed a quick and low-key workout and then spent the rest of the day on the phone with K and cleaning the house like a mad woman- I love coming home to a clean house 🙂

Dinner was those meatballs that I made a while ago. I have not been cooking as much these past few days because we have been avoiding grocery shopping and trying to use up what we have in the fridge before we go. Joey’s brother came over for dinner after his first day of his internship and was starved, so we were glad that we had something that was ready to be popped in the oven and ready in a few minutes! That along with some roasted veggies and garlic bread made for a pretty filling meal. Instead of meatballs for me, I had a hankering for some of my mom’s homemade chili. She made me some months and months ago, and I had stuck in the freezer for instances such as this. I roasted some cubed sweet potato and mixed it in with the chili and wow, that was the best decision I’ve made all day! SO good! I will come back with a recipe for you guys, I promise. The chili and sweet potato mixture is incredible!

Finished up the day with the Heat vs Thunder game (c’mon Thunder!?) and a nice big bowl of brownies and ice cream. Sorry, I ate that way too fast so there’s no picture.

What a nice day off.

Happy Friday!


Green Monster Smoothie

serves YOU!

2-3 big handfuls of fresh spinach

4 oz. plain Greek Yogurt

1Tbps PB2 (or regular peanut butter)

1 frozen banana

1 cup ice

water or milk to thin out


Blend it all together in a blender! I would recommend starting with the liquid at the bottom, then spinach, and then the heavier ingredients on top so that it pushes the spinach down, making it easier to blend. The more ice you use, the more smoothie-like it will be!


P.S. sorry for the blurry picture- I freeze my ‘naners with the peel on, so it looks pretty gross there. Also, you will learn as you read my posts that I like to try new weird food products. (Don’t ask why I like some ingredients and are scared of others) PB2 is something I ordered from Amazon because I heard good things about it from  Jenna. Its basically peanut butter that has all of the oil pressed out of it- so it is in a powdered form. I have grown to adore this stuff! You can sprinkle it on apples for a snack, mix it in brownies, and countless other things.

Leave a comment

Filed under Food Stuffs., Vacation

Cookies & Cream Oreo Cake











It’s Monday, and you guys deserve a cake! All this past weekend, I could not get enough chocolate. I kept reaching for another handful of pretzel m&m’s here, or some chocolate chips there… and then some more pretzel m&m’s. Seriously, have you guys tried those little stinkers? They are incredibly and so rudely addicting! Anyways, they just weren’t filling the  chocolate void in my heart.










So then I began the desperate rummage through the cupboards, and found OREO’S!! I knew just Oreo’s wouldn’t be enough to satisfy the chocolate monster living in my tummy, so I made a cake. They say not to fight the cravings, but to embrace them. Whoever said that must be an expert, so I’m just listening to the experts here. Also, it was Joey’s Grandpa’s 71st birthday last week, and I wanted to bake something special for him! So my craving + grandpa’s birthday=  dangerously chocolate oreo cake with cookies & cream filling.

There are so many great recipes out there to go from, but I decided to take a little bit from a few different recipes I found. To keep it simple, I used a boxed mix for the cake, of the triple chocolate fudge variety. I wanted it to look pretty, so I decided to cover the whole thing in chocolate ganache- not just the top (That could just be the choco-monster talking). I also wanted it to be a good ratio of filling to cake- that is KEY! Who wants all cake and no filling? And on the other hand, too much filling can be pretty overwhelming. Don’t ask me when cakes became rocket science- I don’t make the rules!










Speaking of rocket science… Sometimes, no matter how well you grease and flour the pan, it just doesn’t come out nicely. See example above. Don’t worry! Your oreo cake will survive. With a little reconstructive surgery, you can make her face look brand new.










Still a few scars, as you can see.












But put on a little cream cheese make-up and she’s more beautiful than ever! My other layer fell out of the pan perfectly, so she gets to be on the top. This oreo cream cheese filling tastes just like a Hershey’s cookies & cream candy bar- it goes on nice and thick so it can handle being in between two fudgey chocolate layers all by itself.




Kinda looks like a giant oreo cookie right there! The fun doesn’t stop here though.



For the ganache, I melted equal ratios of butter to good quality bittersweet chocolate- 1 oz. of chocolate for every TBSP of butter. If that much butter makes you uncomfortable, just remember its National Dairy Month. And Grandpa’s birthday! And it’s sooo good.




The ganache will stay at a liquid consistency for quite a long time if you make it right- you can see from that picture how smooth it is! That was about 15 minutes after it had been melted. (Have you guys ever seen the beginning of the old Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie? Where they show all the chocolate being made in the factory? I felt like I was in that movie!!!) Totally drooling.












The rest is decoration- I used up a whole package of oreo’s because I wanted an over-the-top cake. If you are a little more for the simple approach, you can use half the amount and just do the halves on the top. But just keep this in mind… how many times in your life will you make a cake like this? Might as well go all out.

I wish I had gotten a picture of a slice for you, it was so pretty! But to be honest, once we sliced it up, it was gone before I had time to snap a picture! All in all, this was such a fun cake to make- if I bake it again, I’ll double the layers and filling, because the taller the cake, the better!

In case you were wondering, this definitely silenced the chocolate monster. In fact, I think this cake exploded him.







Cookies & Cream Oreo Cake

adapted from Brown-Eyed Baker

serves 10-12

for the cake:

1 box of Betty Crocker triple chocolate fudge cake mix, plus ingredients on box


for the filling:

8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup heavy whipping cream

12-15 oreo cookies, coarsely chopped


for the ganache:

8 oz good quality semisweet chocolate

8 TBSP butter, cubed



To make this cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 if using a dark non-stick pan). Mix the oil, water, and eggs into the mix and divide evenly into two 8×8 cake rounds that have been greased and floured. (Since this was a chocolate cake i dusted the pans with cocoa powder.) Do not overbake!! Test done-ness of cake with a toothpick- once it comes out clean from the center, they’re done. Let cool completely.

To make the filling, with a stand or hand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the heavy whipping cream on low until it starts to become frothy and thick. Gradually increase the speed and whisk until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat together the cream cheese and sugar until well-blended and smooth. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in ¼ of the whipped cream to lighten the cream cheese mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream, and then the chopped Oreos.

Place one layer of the cake on a serving plate, spread the filling mixture on top, and top with the second cake layer.

To make the ganache, microwave the chocolate and butter in a small microwavable bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until the butter is melted. Cool for 5 minutes.

Spread the ganache over the top of the cake and decorate with oreo’s as desired! Keep refrigerated.

1 Comment

Filed under Food Stuffs.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

These, my friends, are what you’ve been waiting for. All of the classic deliciousness of chocolate chip cookies, all the richness and creaminess of a peanut butter cookie, and a bit of salty pretzel crunch as a curveball that scores the home run. I’ve had this cookie recipe bookmarked for months- but kept putting off baking them because I knew that once that mixer got those ingredients combined, there was no stopping the energizer bunny that is my mouth.

I love love love cookies. My great-aunt Kathy used to bring me cookies every once in a while at college, and they were always gone within a few days. She made the puffiest peanut butter chocolate chip cookie you ever saw, and the chewiness and melt-in-your-mouth taste left me licking the plate clean wondering why in the world I shared them with my roommates. Ever since then, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies have been my absolute favorite. Until I saw this recipe, which added crushed pretzels!!

I can’t resist the salty-sweet combo- I promise I only had seven  two bites of cookie dough.

Ok, I have to  be honest. I didn’t even bake these! Katie and I spent all our time figuring out how we were going to make this combined blog work and the little sister decided she wanted to bake something while we played on our computers. “What should I bake?” dear little sister asked. And my mind immediately went to that wonderful cookie that I knew would cause me to lose all control. I pointed at the poor neglected little recipe on my printer and set her to the task, while we worked hard on our blog all afternoon.
Obviously, hard at work.
And then we had a cookie! And you should, too.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies 
 makes about 3 dozen medium cookies
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs, room temperature
3 cups pretzels, chopped
1 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, and PB and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix until combined. Add flour, salt, and baking soda and mix until combined. Mix in 1/2 cup of crushed pretzels and chocolate chips.
Place remaining crushed pretzels in a small bowl. Using a spoon or cookie scoop, drop balls of dough into crushed pretzels and roll lightly to coat. Then place on cookie sheet.
Bake for 12 min, the cookies will look slightly underbaked when you take them out. This is GOOD! That means they will stay nice and chewy for the whole two days they last on your counter 🙂



Filed under Food Stuffs.

Welcome to our site!

Hi there! After having the idea of starting a blog together in our minds for awhile, it is so nice to finally post our first adventure- a baking day together. We rarely have the same day off with no conflicting schedules, so we made the most of this one by combining baking (our favorite) apple pie with looking through old family photos. Pretty easy to get sidetracked from baking when there are so many hilarious picturesof us with bad haircuts and awkward fashion choices. See?

That’s us in front….yep.

Yeah, not a whole lot we can say about that…just that we hope we’ve improved since then.
Anyways, on to the baking portion of the day. Being that our first post was about a recipe, we wanted to go above and beyond and make a real pie crust from scratch with apples picked fresh from the tree….but we decided Pillsbury Pie Crust would be just fine. Largely due to the fact that we just didn’t want to go to the store. So, we used what was in Monica’s HUGE pantry. *enter a small amount of jealousy from Kaitlin, who has a tiny kitchen with one cupboard*

Putting all jealousy aside, the pies turned out amazing. We talked for while about our favorite apple pies that we’ve tasted and we decided that our version of the perfect apple pie includes super thinly sliced apples (LOTS), an even ratio of streusel crumble topping to apple, and slightly less crust than the average apple pie. Monica’s favorite part is usually the crust, but after tasting the streusel we threw together, that became our obsession. Who needs pie crust when you can have the streusel topping?!

Oh, and by the way, did we mention the secret ingredient? Maple Almond Butter. Oh yes. A thin layer spread on the crust before you pile on the apples really takes it to the next level.

nuff said.

That’s me, Kaitlin, in the spoon. I promise I don’t look like Nemo in real life. Just on the spoon.

Obviously, these turned out amazing. We ate them pretty much right away. Can you see why?

Apples + Streusel = love.

You’re welcome.


Dutch Almond Butter Apple Pies

makes 4 mini pies

1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust

3-4 T. maple almond butter

streusel topping:

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (AP flour is fine too!)

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup old-fashioned oats

2 T. turbinado sugar

pinch of salt

8 T. cold butter, cut into pats

apple filling:

2 large granny smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 cup skim evaporated milk

1 T. cinnamon

dash of vanilla

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Grease the mini pie tins with a light layer of butter and coat with flour, set aside. Then roll out the pie dough and cut out circles that will fill the pie pans and come all the way up the sides. After the dough is pressed into the pans, take your almond butter and spread a thin (or deliciously thick) layer onto the uncooked dough. We did a pretty thin layer for the trial recipe, but it definitely could have handled more! After you’ve eaten all finished with the almond butter part, set those beauties aside.

For the streusel, mix all the dry ingredients together in a medium size bowl, and cut in the cold pats of butter with a pastry  blender. Don’t work it too much- just enough so that everything is combined. The bigger the crumbles, the better! Now onto the filling.

Combine the milk, cinnamon, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the peeled and sliced apples to the wet mixture, and let the apples soak up all the cinnamon-y milk. (we forgot to peel our apples, and it still tasted delicious.)

Now use a slotted spoon (or your fingers) to scoop up the apples and pile them in the almond buttery dough. We didn’t want it too liquid-y, so we left most of the milk mixture in the bowl. But we did pour a little bit in 🙂 Then heap as much of that streusel goodness on that top of those apples as you can! They’ll look pretty tall when you put them in the oven, but as they cook, they condense a little.

Bake for about 35-40 minutes, and let cool.

Or be like us, and eat them right away!


Filed under Food Stuffs.