Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

Poppy Seed/Nut Roll

This is another of Greg’s favorite desserts from his Pennsylvania Dutch upbringing.  It is a soft yeast dough with either a poppy seed or ground walnut filling.

4 to 4 1/2 C. flour

1/2 C. sugar

1 cup warm milk/soymilk

1/4 cup warm water

2 sticks butter/margarine softened

4 egg yolks

2 t. salt

1 t. vanilla

4 t. yeast

Filling: 1 jar/can poppy seed filling or jar/can of nut filling.

1 egg beaten with 1 t. water

Combine in a large non-metal bowl: water, milk, vanilla, egg yolks, yeast and butter.  Stir to blend.  Combine 4 C. flour, sugar and salt and gradually add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture.  Stir in flour with a sturdy spoon till it is too stiff to stir.  Flour a cutting board or the clean counter and put the soft dough on the flour.  Knead gradually adding up to 1/2 C. more of flour till it is soft but not too sticky to handle.  Grease a large non-metal bowl and place dough in it turning the dough to grease the top then cover the bowl with a clean cotton towel.  Preheat the oven to 175 degrees and turn off the heat.  Place the bowl in the oven for the dough to rise till doubled-about and hour.

Punch down dough and place on floured surface.  Divide the dough in two and roll out each piece till a 5″X10″ rectangle.  Spread a generous layer of filling almost to the edges and fold into thirds to make a log.  Place on greased cookie sheet.  Prepare the second roll the same as the first.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Allow the rolls to sit  on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes to rise.  Brush each roll with the beaten egg mixture and bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown.  Cool, slice and serve.


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Oh My Fudge Brownies

These brownies are for those who want to improve on what Betty Crocker has to offer.  A little more work but a lot more bang for your buck!

2 sticks butter/margarine

4 squares unsweetened chocolate (are you smiling yet?)

2 1/2 C. sugar

4 eggs

1 C. flour

1 1/2 t. vanilla

2 Hershey bars with almonds

Melt butter and chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler

Stir in sugar, eggs, flour and vanilla.  Pour into a greased and floured 9X13″ pan.  Break the Hershey bars into small pieces and scatter over the top.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes

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Ginger Snaps

Spicy cookies for the holiday season.  My friend from work, Diane, shared this family recipe with me.  Thanks.

3/4 cup shortening for crispy cookies or margarine/butter for softer cookies

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1 egg

2 1/4 cup flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cinnamon

crystallized sugar crystals

Cream together shortening/butter, brown sugar, molasses and egg.  Mix dry ingredients together.  Stir into wet mixture. Roll into small balls and place on greased baking sheet.  Flatten slightly and sprinkle on crystalized sugar crystals.

Bake at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes

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My Dad’s mother immigrated from Russia as a young woman.  She never learned to read or write English, so none of her recipes were written down.  My Aunt Millie took the time as an adult to watch her and measure  the ingredients.  They are both deceased, but the recipes live on.

1 cup oil

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

3 eggs

3 tsp. baking powder

Pinch salt

1/3 cup poppy seeds

3 cups flour

Beat eggs, sugar and oil.  Mix in all dry ingredients, add vanilla and mix well.  Make 2″ balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Flatten lightly.  Sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon if desired.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

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This recipe is from Greg’s mother, Anna, a great baker.

1 Cup butter or margarine

1 1/2 Cups sugar

2 eggs

3 1/2 Cups flour

1 1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1 tsp white vinegar

2 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar till well mixed.  Add other ingredients and mix well.  Refrigerate dough at least 3 hours, better if overnight.  Roll out dough about 1/2 cup at a time.  I roll them on a cloth pie crust mat.  The thinner the cookies, the crispier they come out.  The trick is to find a happy medium between thin and manageability of the dough.  I use cookie cutters that do not have small extensions to them-just makes it harder to have it all hold together.  Cut with cookie cutters and transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  They can be decorated with colored sprinkles, if desired.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes till lightly browned.  Let cool a couple of minutes before removing them to a cooling rack.

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Coconut Pumpkin Bread


  • 1  1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1  1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree ( NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1  1/4 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
  2. Mix together sugars, oil, and eggs. Mix in pumpkin. Add flour, salt, soda, and spice, and then water. Stir together until just moistened. Stir in coconut and nuts. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Ultimate Banana Bread

1 1/2 Tbs. milk/soymilk

1 tsp. lemon juice

3 ripe bananas

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup sugar

1 stick butter/ margarine, softened

2 Cups flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup chopped nuts, dried cranberries or raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour a large loaf pan or bundt pan

Combine milk and lemon to sour

Mash bananas in a large bowl.  Add eggs, sugar and softened butter.  Stir till smooth-can use mixer or food processor.  Add milk/lemon mixture. Combine dry ingrediants and add to batter.  Stir in chopped nuts and/or fruit.  Pour batter into greased and floured pan and bake for 1 hour a@ 350.  Let cool 15 minutes before removing from pan.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

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