Tag Archives: Dessert

Easy Delicious Dessert


Chocolate, marshmallows, more chocolate….how does it get better than that????   My wonderful little neighbor/friend Gabby made this for us recently, and I had to share here.  It’s super easy and delish, and everyone gets their own little portion.  (I love my own individual portion, and I think you’ll agree).

Start with instant chocolate pudding, and let it set up in the fridge.  Before you assemble these little devils, let it sit out for a  bit so as to come to room temp.  Couple spoonfuls in your graham cracker crust, marshmallows on top with a little hunk of chocolate bar, broil briefly and YUMMMMY.  Gabby’s recipe will be a hit for all.

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BTW – I love love the Gabster or I wouldn’t put her on here with a KU t-shirt….seriously?  I know what she’s getting for Christmas.  A little K-State purple!!!!  Anyway, here’s the final product.  Oh yeah, and put them on a couple racks below the broiler as things happen really really fast.  A.K.A. they burn quick!

Final product!

20150706_193316_resizedGabby used the little individual chocolate candy bars on these, but we both agreed that a thin Hershey’s chocolate bar might work best.  Hope you enjoy as much as we did, and appreciate you stopping by to visit Gab and I!  If you make these and have tips and tricks, please take a moment to comment below.  Gotta jump off here to talk to my daughter – she’s entered in a rodeo in Missouri tonight, and I’m hoping she kicked some bootie in the roping and barrel race!

~Connie Kaye

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Instant chocolate pudding
Individual graham cracker pie crusts
mini marshmallows
chocolate bars

Make pudding as directed on package and chill.  Prior to assembling, let pudding come to room temperature.  Fill crusts with pudding, top with marshmallows and piece of chocolate bar.  Broil on lower rack to melt chocolate and lightly brown marshmallows.


Upside Down Apple Pie


Summer is a fantastic time for apple pie.  Well, actually anytime is good for apple pie.  This recipe appeared originally in a Taste of Home magazine (credits below).  Although it sounds a little weird and complicated, it’s really simple and your guests will love you forever!

Start with a 9” pie plate and coat it with cooking spray.  Line the pie plate with parchment paper, and coat IT with cooking spray.

Now I’m not going to share how to make a pie crust.  I’ve NEVER made one and don’t intend to start now.  I good friend, Jeannie, gave me a wonderful pie plate and the recipe for crust for a wedding present, but I gotta tell you, that pie plate has made many dishes but never a pie.  (sorry Jeannie)  The boxed ones are so simple and fit into my life WAY better!

Combine your brown sugar, butter and pecans and sprinkle on parchment paper (told you this a little odd).  You can use either halved pecans with the round side down, or chopped, whichever you have handy and prefer.  Take one of your handy, dandy pie crusts that have softened, and press into bottom of pie plate, against pecans and up the side.  Trim crust.


IMG_0506 Crust pressed against pecans, ready for apple mixture!

 Combine remaining ingredients, throw in your pie plate, top with crust, seal edges and slit the top.  You’re ready to roll, and closer to Upside Down Apple Pie.


Once your hot dish of deliciousness is done, loosen parchment paper around the edges, flip ‘er upside down on serving plate, and let it cool while you get out your fine china (paper plates.)  Serve with or without ice cream.  Yum Yum Yum.  I hope you enjoy as much as we do.  Making this for the kids and in-laws tomorrow.  I think they will be happy happy!


Thanks Becky Berger, Deerfield, Illinois for this delicious recipe!

~Connie Kaye

Upside Down Apple Pie

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½ Cup packed brown sugar
¼ Cup melted butter
1 Cup pecans

1 Cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 TBSP butter, melted
¼ tsp cinnamon
4-6 cups peeled, thinly sliced tart apples (depends on size of pie plate)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray pie plate with cooking spray.  Line plate (sides and bottom) with parchment paper.  Spray parchment paper with cooking spray.

Combine pecans, butter and brown sugar.  Line bottom of pie plate with pecan mixture.  Trim edges.    Assuming your boxed pie crust is softened, place over pecan mixture, pressing firmly against the pecans and sides of pie plate.  Combine filling ingredients and place in crust.  Trim edges and seal crust.  Cut several slits in top of pie crust with sharp knife.  Place a foil lined baking sheet on the rack below the pie to catch any spills.  Bake for 60-70 minutes or until golden brown.  Carefully loosen the parchment paper and invert on serving plate.  Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Cracker Candy


We actually call this Christmas Crack because I first made it in December, and it’s really good, and it’s on saltine crackers.  However, give these a whirl and your friend population will RISE!!!!  And if you don’t want to share, keep within the fam and everyone will totally enjoy it!  You can also customize with toppings, but I stick with toasted nuts.  I mean toasted pecans 🙂

I am sure you all have your favorite brand of saltine crackers, but we are cracker snobs, just as I shared that I’m a Hellman’s mayonnaise snob.  ZESTAS.  They are the total bomb.  I used to think that they are all the same, but at the Beene ranch, we consume Zestas.  (they really should sponsor me or something).

So back to the chocolate treats.  I don’t always toast the pecans when the recipe dictates, but in this case, I really do recommend it.  You get a much deeper, nutty flavor.  Just be super careful that you don’t burn them.


Oh so yummy, and you will never believe they are saltine crackers!

This pic shows the batch I made with almonds, but I actually favor pecans more.  However, you can use either and even experiment with other toppings.  (like peanut butter things…which I’m not a fan of, so I refuse to discuss it because this is MY blog) 🙂

I am really pumped up because all the kids will be in my casa this weekend, so I plan to make some for them to take home.  The votes are currently out to them as to what they want for their home cooked meal, so I don’t know what that looks like now.  However, I’ll probably brew up several favorites!  Enjoy!

~Connie Kaye

Chocolate Cracker Candy

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35 (approx) saltine crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 15 x 10 x 1″ pan with foil, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Arrange saltines in single layer on foil, keeping them as close together as possible.

In large heavy saucepan, melt butter and stir in brown sugar.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir until brown sugar is dissolved – about 3 to 4 minutes.  Spread evenly over crackers.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until bubbly.   Immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips and allow to soften for a few minutes.  Spread over top with a spatula.  Sprinkle with pecans and allow to cool briefly.  Refrigerate, until set.  Break into pieces and store in airtight container.

To toast pecans:  Place chopped pecans on baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally.


Grilled Peaches!


I love love love grilled pineapple – it brings out the sweetness and flavor.  Oh so yum.  We tried grilled watermelon in salsa last year, but I wasn’t a fan.  HOWEVER, you take a peach, throw it on the grill, dress it up and WOW.  It will knock your socks off, if you happen to be wearing any.

I bought a few peaches – not smushy but fairly ripe.  Cut them in half with little help from my (our) friends (Beatles song 🙂 :


Gab and Gen here to assist (and taste)!

I removed the pits and then sprayed with a little bit of “it’s not really butter but tastes like it”.  We put them face down on the grill:


Peaches chillin’ on the grillin’

and then grilled until soft (NOT mushy..I despise mushy food) and had nice grill marks, like this:


Peaches on fancy “Beene china”

We then added a little spray of fake butter, and sprinkled on some brown sugar and just a touch of cinnamon.  Back to the grill, my little delights!


Close the lid with the grill off and let the brown sugar melt.  We brought our little gems in the house, drooling.  DELECTABLE.  We thought MB might like them with a spoon of ice cream, and, well, no words to explain it.  They are really good without the ice cream – that’s how my helpers and I ate them.  I’ll be making this at the lake this summer.  Nothing easier and more delicious!



~Connie Kaye

Grilled Peaches

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Brown sugar

Cut peaches in half, and remove pits.  Oh yeah, you might wanna wash them also.  Brush or spray with butter, and place on low temp grill, face down.  Grill until soft, but not smushy.  Sprinkle about a TBSP of brown sugar in the well of the peach, and around the top, and then lightly add a cinnamon sprinkle.  Back to the grill, face up with grill off.  Sugar melts and delish!  Eat as is, or serve with vanilla ice cream.


Weird name for a cake, but easy and delicious!

Weird name for a cake, but easy and delicious!

If you do a little web search, you’ll find that Gooey Butter Cake is a St. Louis tradition.  (And that’s the actual name of it).  Some friends of ours initially brought it to the lake, and it’s like HEAVEN.  Super delicious starts with this:


It starts with a boxed yellow cake mix, and butter recipe is even better!  The only thing I learned to do differently is to actually mix the cake in the baking pan.  If you don’t, it’s nearly impossible to get this sticky mess to stay in the pan.  Once you get the cake ready, you’ll use your mixer for the next layer.



Pour it over the top, and bake.  Follow the baking times pretty closely…..the outside will be crunchier and the middle gooier, but it’s all really yummy.  Some recipes say sprinkle with confectioners sugar, but I stop while I’m ahead.  Here’s the final product, cooling.


We just call it “Gooey Butter”


~Connie Kaye

Gooey Butter Cake

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1 pkg yellow cake mix
½ cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 8 oz. cream cheese
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups conf. sugar

Preheat oven to 350. In 13 x 9 pan, mix cake mix, melted butter, 1 tsp vanilla and 2 eggs with a spoon. Pat down.
Mix cream cheese, 2 eggs, and 1 tsp vanilla with mixer. Slowly beat in conf sugar. Pour over cake layer.  Bake 40-45 minutes.  Let cool before cutting for best results.

Delicious cookies from a family friend! (with a smoked sausage surprise)


Look at this delicious little morsel:

carrot cookies

Carrot cookies with orange icing!

When I met my husband, Mike, I didn’t realize how I was really getting the whole package.  By that I mean I gained a wonderful mother and father-in-law.  Two of the nicest people you will ever meet!  Over the course of the years, Debbie has brought some delicious treats to my house.  (One that we never let her forget is her homemade dinner rolls until now since I’ve stolen her Kitchen Aid :))  So back to the cookies — I didn’t realize that these yummy delights were the product of her friend, Betty.  Recently I had the opportunity to snarf a few of these and request the recipe.  Today is kind of a cooking day at the casa, because we are smoking a bunch of meat, so I thought I might brew up these cookies.

It calls for boiled, mashed carrots.   So, I started with boiling water and just threw in a whole bag of baby carrots.  What I didn’t use I ate:


I threw them in my (Debbie’s) 🙂 Kitchen Aid and within just a few minutes, they were ready for the oven:

carrots ready to bake

Don’t let the carrots scare you….there’s just a hint of taste and combined with the light flavor of the orange juice, they are delish!  A really nice light-textured cookie.  And, I SUCK at making cookies, pretty much, and these came out really good.

Also, I wanted to share a really yummy invention that we threw on the smoker, that’s super delicious EASY!  We buy the cheapest 1 lb. roll of breakfast sausage at the grocery store, and wrap it in thick cut bacon, securing with toothpicks soaked in water.  Next liberally douse it with a Wild Cherry Chipotle seasoning (we purchased at a grilling store) and throw on the smoker at 225-250 degrees for about 4 hours.  When it comes out, place on a rack to cool, then wrap it in plastic wrap, then foil and freeze it.  Once it’s frozen, it makes it easy to slice.  Just remove from freezer and let it defrost.  GREAT with cheese and crackers.  And, a word of advice:  be sneaky when it comes out and score a little piece of the bacon…WOWSER!  Here’s a pic:


Thank you, Betty, for the recipe, and Debbie for being a wonderful part of our family!


~Connie Kaye

Carrot Cookies

  • Servings: 24
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1 Cup shortening
3/4 C white sugar — mix these two together.

1 egg
1 C cooked mashed carrots
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Mix and drop by heaping teaspoonfuls on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Mix the zest of 1 orange and enough orange juice with confectioners sugar to frosting consistency.

An Amazing (Chocolate) and Easy Dessert!

An Amazing (Chocolate) and Easy Dessert!

My career in higher education administration began at a community college that happened to be my alma mater, and one of the best things that happened during my time there (other than meeting my future husband), was meeting my friend Kari.    We embarked on many productive projects during our time there, many with some very significant, positive results.  (Hey…we invented fortscott.edu on a whim)   I cannot remember which one of us came up with this, but we told someone one day that “fun follows us.”  That’s kind of stuck with us throughout the years and still remains true I’m proud to say.  Here’s my buddy Kari:

Kari west

Meet Kari!

I don’t get to see her often, but as with forever friends, we’re always there for the other person and when we do get time together, it’s like it was just yesterday.    She shared a recipe for Hot Fudge Pudding Cake that sounds really delicious, and I plan to make it soon.  Coming from the Hershey’s website, it cannot be anything BUT amazing.   Ironic that when I was little, you could buy this on the cake mix aisle – I cannot remember who made it, but it was really good and it frequently appeared in the Baker household.  So, no pic yet, but if you make it, please return to this page and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.   Enjoy!


Photo courtesy of Hersheys.com

~Connie Kaye

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

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1 ¼ C sugar, divided
1 C flour
½ cocoa, divided
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ C milk
1/3 C butter or marg, melted
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract (or I use the real thing)
½ C packed light brown sugar
1 ¼ C hot water
Whipped topping (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine ¾ cup granulated sugar, flour, ¼ cup cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Stir in milk, butter and vanilla, beat until smooth.

Spread batter in ungreased 9” square baking pan.  Stir together remaining ½ cup granulated sugar, brown sugar and remaining ¼ cup cocoa; sprinkle mixture evenly over batter.  Pour hot water over top, do not stir.

Baker 35 to 40 minutes or until center is almost set.  Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes.  Serve in dessert dishes, spooning sauce from bottom of pan over the top.  (You can use a spoon to remove from the pan, and just flip it upside down in the dessert dish).  Garnish with whipped topping if desired.

The BEST Buttermilk Brownies

The BEST Buttermilk Brownies

I believe that many people also call this Texas Sheet Cake or a variety of other names, but a key ingredient is BUTTERMILK, so I’m sticking with this Baker family favorite.  Brice loves these, and since he’s coming in town to rope this weekend, I thought I’d brew up a little treat to send home with him.  MB also thought that a few of these would be an awesome idea.  He quickly volunteered to test them to make sure they were ok for Brice.  (he gave them thumbs up 🙂

This is the little plate of deliciousness that MB soon devoured:


I’ve included the recipe below, and maybe my favorite is scraping the batter bowl – yum!  I hope you enjoy as my family has for many, many years.  ~Connie Kaye

Buttermilk Brownies


Preheat oven to 400 degrees; grease and flour jellyroll pan.

In large bowl, combine 2 cups each flour and sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt

Bring to boil:
1 stick butter or margarine
1 C water
1/4 C cocoa
1/2 C shortening

In small bowl, mix lightly:
1/2 C  buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Pour hot ingredients over sugar and flour, and mix well.  Add buttermilk mixture, scrape bowl, and mix well.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Bring to boil 1 stick butter, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1/3 cup buttermilk..  Add 4 cups confectioners sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 cup of pecans.  Frost brownies while warm

Streamlined Strawberry Pie!

Streamlined Strawberry Pie!

I had mentioned in an earlier post that the strawberries now available are super sweet, so when it was 70 degrees the other day, it seemed like a Strawberry Pie day!  I originally made this pie, then changed it up a little bit, and it’s so easy and quick.  I see those containers of strawberry pie goop often times placed near the strawberries in the grocery store, and although that may be good, red goop is not appealing to me.  (Remember, if the cook doesn’t like, probably not showing up on the table.)

One of my good friends that lives down the street, Donna, has a son who loves to cook.  SO, I invited him over to make strawberry pie with me.  We also watched the KU basketball game at the same time, so we definitely had to multi-task.


Meet Connor!

Now prior to chopping the strawberries, he PROMISED me that his mom let him use a knife.  I told him we weren’t losing a finger on my watch!  He said it was ok, but I’m not sure that was the complete truth.  Anyway, I armed him, and he went to work – me washing, him chopping.  Also, to expedite the process, I had Connor pre-bake his pie shell and bring it with him.


Pierce frozen pie shell with a fork and pre-bake.

You can use a boxed pie shell, which I frequently purchase, or make a homemade one, which is something that is not up my alley!  We chopped up the strawberries, and I taught Connor that he should taste as we go.  He did kinda give me “the look” but kept on rolling.


Surely they won’t miss a few……

We placed chopped strawberries on the bottom of the shell and placed the rest in the saucepan with sugar to bring to a boil.  The end goal is macerated strawberries which is what occurs when you add sugar and it gradually draws the juice out.  As this was occurring, we used a potato masher to smush them up.  After this delicious mixture came to a boil (word of caution to Connor occurred – stir easy because that hot mixture will BURN you) we added the thickening agent and kept simmering until thick.  Dump this on the strawberries in your pie crust, and voila, you have amazinglicious Strawberry Pie.

My little addition that I’ve used is to add a tablespoon of strawberry jello mix after the cornstarch as it just adds a little more flavor.  Connor and I forgot to (of course, he didn’t know he was supposed to 😉  and the pie still came out really good.  I put a box of strawberry jello in this cute container for just this purpose:

photo 3

Finished product once it’s chilled.  Connor wanted to eat it immediately and I told him that wouldn’t work out so swell!  I convinced him to take it home.  Feedback from the fam was good, so I hope he will be making it for them again in the future.

So, so good!

So, so good!

You might even throw some blueberries in the bottom of it, or blackberries.  Don’t think you can mess it up.

Hope you enjoy, Connie Kaye

Strawberry Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
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1 baked pie crust
1 qt fresh strawberries
1 cup white sugar
3 TBSP cornstarch
3/4 cup water
whipped cream
1 TBSP strawberry gelatin

Arrange half of the strawberries in baked pastry shell.  Smush remaining berries and combine with sugar in saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.  Whisk together cornstarch and water.  Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into boiling mixture.  Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, stirring, about 10 minutes.  Add gelatin if desired.  Pour mixture over strawberries in pastry shell.  Chill for a few hours.  Serve with a blob of whipped cream.

An Easy Dessert……and a lifelong friend!

An Easy Dessert……and a lifelong friend!

Meet Oreo Stuff.  Yep, that’s the name it was given many years ago when my college roommate, rodeo partner and long time friend, Jeanne Anderson, made it for me.  I was trying to think of something kind of unique but easy for a work dinner party tonight, and thought of Oreo Stuff.  Of course, I didn’t have the oreos, so a trip to the local grocery store ensued.  I even took it up a notch by making individual dessert cups instead of using the normal 9 x 13 or 8 x 8 pan.  I laugh when I remember making it for my mother-in-law who has never met a sweet or dessert that she didn’t love.  Long story short – I gave her the remainder to take home.  Not sure if Mike’s dad got any….you gotta be quick when it comes to sweets.  I always make sure i have some sweet concoction when she comes to visit (hmmmm…..maybe that’s why she recently gave me her KitchenAid???)  I love that thing, and I love her, so I’m not asking…I’ll just keep cooking!!!

So I assembled the ingredients:


Oreos, hot fudge sauce, peanuts, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate shot.   And what in the world is chocolate shot you might ask??  Chocolate shot, aka chocolate sprinkles are something I grew up eating on the chocolate cream pie that my dad served in his restaurant.  YUMMO.  That’s actually my favorite topping on sugar cookies.  They are the pile set aside that nobody had better touch!!

Break up your oreos in the bottom of your pan or individual dishes, and lightly drizzle with melted butter.  Layer with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge sauce (melt just a little and stir – makes it easier to spread), sprinkle with peanuts and cover with whipped cream.  I like to decorate it a little with some crumbled oreos on top, and if you have it, chocolate shot.   Pop it in the freezer, and voila!


Oreo Stuff

So from where did this delicious creation evolve?  Meet my friend Jeanne:


Jeanne, longtime pal and college roommate

PRCA Rodeo 2010 - Dec 03 - Wrangler National Finals Rodeo

Competing at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas

I’m sharing these two pics of Jeanne, cuz i promised her that nothing from college or anything that occurred in our trailer house would appear here 🙂  There are a few other specialties from those days that could wind up on this site as well, but I had some good memories when whipping this up last night  I hope you and yours enjoy as much as we do.

Happy St. Patty’s Day!  ~Connie Kaye

Oreo Stuff

  • Servings: a hungry crowd
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1 package of Oreos
vanilla ice cream
4 tbsp melted butter
Container of whipped cream
Hot fudge sauce
Chocolate shot, if desired, for topping

Crumble oreos in dish, and drizzle with melted butter.  Layer with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge sauce, peanuts, then whipped cream.  Dress up with crumbled oreos and/or chocolate shot.  Freeze and serve.