chocolate crackles

Cover Crackle

These are by far my favorite cookies, though when I mentioned making chocolate crackles to the husband, he looked up and asked what they were. I guess I never make them? I just loved them at grandma’s house, and that’s it. It’s probably because you need to know your oven well, very well for this cookie to be a success. They are a wonderful fluffy, chewy cookie, but if you bake them too long you end up with a flat crunchy cookie… and if you under bake them, they are raw/doughy inside, and trying to re-cook them will only cause you pain. It’s my own version of goldilocks over here. These cookies have to be juuuust right. Knowing your oven is key or some dumb-luck is even better!

Grandma Anne's Recipe

grandma’s original typed recipe



  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packedChocolate Chips
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup powered sugar

Melt chocolate chips. Combine with sugar and oil. Add eggs, one at a time; beat well. Add vanilla.

Chocolate Mixture

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to chocolate mixture. Stir in nuts (optional).


Chill dough until firm and easy to handle. Drop teaspoons of dough in powdered sugar. Roll to coat surface. This is what makes the crackle.

powdered cookies

Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° degrees for 10 – 12 minutes. Watch closely, DO not over bake! After taking them out of the oven place them on a cooling rack, I think they fluff up better that way! Enjoy!!

Single Crackle

apple cheese crisp

apple cheese crisp

Oh my goodness, I cannot believe I haven’t put this fabulous recipe on the blog! I made it during Thanksgiving, here and haven’t talked about it since. I’m so sorry for the delay!

Usually this creation is my Grandma Anne’s tradition to make in the fall when her apple trees are pouring over with apples and she’s trying to find fun ways to use them. Unfortunately, I don’t have an apple tree in my backyard, but then again I don’t have to wait for fall to make this delicious dish either. Win? I think so: it’s February and I’m eating apple cheese crisp. I win. It has this salty – sweet combination that most people love. Like pretzels and chocolate, cheese and sugared apples are amazing. Make it.


  • 6 cups cored, pared and sliced applescore apples
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or mixed cake spice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese


Place apples in greased, shallow baking dish, 9×9. Sprinkle apples with cinnamon. Pour lemon juice and corn syrup over apples.

sauced apples

Combine sugar, flour, and salt; cut butter until mixture is the consistency of coarse corn meal. Lightly stir in cheese. Top apples with this mixture.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until apples a very tender.


Serve warm with cream or ice cream. Or I prefer mine straight with a side of coffee.

paradise pumpkin pie

Paradise pie has been another wonderful family tradition, this one coming from my Aunt Diane. As a youngster, she would always be the aunt with that great pie. But when I got older, I realized she brought other things to the Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve table. Red wine. It made for a fabulous Christmas Eve every year. Thank you, Aunt Diane for sharing your pie recipe and love for red wine! I appreciate both equally.

For cheesecake:

  • 1 8 oz. Philadelphia brand cream cheese
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 9-inch unbaked pastry shell

For pumpkin:

  • 1 1/4 c canned pumpkin
  • 1 c evaporate milk
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Dash of salt

Optional toppings:

  • Maple syrup
  • Pecans

Combine softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla, mixing until well blended. Blend in egg. Spread onto bottom of pastry shell.

Combine remaining ingredients; mix well. Carefully pour over cream cheese mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees, 1 hour and 5 minutes. Cool. Brush with maple syrup and garnish with pecan halves, if desired. I desire maple syrup not pecans. Enjoy!

almond biscotti

I made these biscottis as a party favor for our Italian-themed wine club night.  I was a little nervous to make biscottis (again, it looks fancy), but with a little research, it didn’t seem that challenging.

I used the recipe taken from Smitten Kitchen.


3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 cup whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped or sliced almonds

1 large egg white

First, position rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350°F.

Start by sifting flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl.

Mix sugar, melted butter, 3 eggs, vanilla extract, orange liqueur, and zest in large bowl.
Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir with wooden spoon until well blended.
Mix in almonds. I used Honey Toasted Glazed Almonds from Central Market which I chopped in my Cuisinart mini food processor; this machine has been such a versatile tool in my kitchen.
Divide dough in half. Using floured hands, shape each dough half into 13 1/2-inch-long, 2 1/2-inch-wide logs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Whisk egg white in a small bowl until foamy; brush over top and sides of each dough log.
Bake logs until golden brown (logs will spread), about 30 minutes. Cool logs completely on sheet on rack, about 25 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.
Transfer logs to work surface; discard parchment paper. Using serrated knife, cut logs on diagonal into 1/2-inch-wide slices.
Arrange slices, cut side down, on same baking sheet.
Bake 12 minutes. Turn biscotti over; bake until just beginning to color, about 8 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool. Yum!!
This recipe said you can bake them up to one week ahead of time and they have kept even longer. Store in airtight container at room temperature.  This recipe yields about 40 biscottis!

Considering these were a party favor for our wine night, I bought clear bags and more twine to put them in, Italian colored twine, of course. I added a note to each; “enjoy these homemade biscottis with coffee or wine” and attached them to the bag.

I added the twine and note to each bag of four biscottis to present to our guests.

Yum, right?!  These were surprisingly easy and so yummy.  They have a little hint of orange with the almond, which was also a surprising mix of goodness.  I have ideas of making them again and adding a chocolate drizzle to them!  Either way, they were delicious!