Tag - dessert

Strawberry Pie Goodness
Gingerbread Cake
Balloon Buns
Maple Sugar Candy
Pumpkin Girl Bakes
Pumpkin Bars

Strawberry Pie Goodness


Note: This is a repost from June 2007.  This recipe for strawberry pie is just too good not to share again!

My Mom is a Baker, with a capital B. There were always baked goods in our house. I think her love language must of have been Baking Sweets. Luckily, my Dad’s love language appears to be Eating Baked Love Offerings.

Of all the things that my Mom baked, one of my all time favorites is her strawberry pie. One of the major advantages of living in California is that it is a veritable cornucopia of strawberry goodness. Philip and I had the good fortune to live in the same region once during strawberry season, taking advantage of the bounty with many a pie.

Suzanne at Blessed Among Men and Kristen of Small Treasures hosted a Strawberry Festival on June 27, 2007  on their cooking blog The Virtual Kitchen In honor of the occasion, I shared my mom’s strawberry pie recipe. Besides, any opportunity to combine SAT vocabulary words and overused blogisms into a phrase like “veritable cornucopia of strawberry goodness” is too good to pass up.

My Favorite Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Glace Pie

Strawberry Glace Pie


  • 1 pastry shell (frozen from the store or make your own)
  • 8 cups medium strawberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch


  1. Bake pastry shell according to directions/recipe.
  2. Meanwhile, remove stems from strawberries. Cut any large strawberries in half lengthwise; set aside.
  3. For glaze, in a blender container or food processor bowl, combine 1 cup of the strawberries and 2/3 cup water. (*note from me-if you don't have enough fresh strawberries, you can use frozen strawberries for the glaze. Just make sure you defrost them first.) Cover and blend or process till smooth. Add enough additional water to the mixture to equal 1 1/2 cups.
  4. In a medium saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in blended berry mixture.
  5. Cook and stir over over medium heat till mixture is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes without stirring.
  7. Spread about 1/4 cup of the glaze over bottom and sides of baked pastry shell.
  8. Arrange half of the remaining strawberries, stem end down, in the pastry shell.
  9. Carefully spoon half of the remaining glaze over fruit, thoroughly covering each piece of fruit.
  10. Arrange remaining fruit over first layer.
  11. Spoon remaining glaze over fruit, covering each piece.
  12. Chill for 1 to 2 hours.
  13. Eat up the whole thing or the filling may begin to water out. It still tastes delicious, though.


Gingerbread Cake

My mother made this gingerbread cake many, many years ago.  I was in college or late high school,  I don’t remember exactly. We thought she’d misplaced the recipe, but then it turned up and she shared it with me.  I’m not sure why, but I never made it.  The recipe just sat in my box, waiting for just the right time.

The day before Pipsqueak was born, Pumpkin Girl and my mother made this gingerbread cale.  After an afternoon of just sitting around, chatting with my mid-wife and some of her assistants, waiting for anything to actually happen, we went down to the kitchen to enjoy some dessert.

I did mention Pipsqueak was born at home, didn’t I?  No?  Heh-heh.  He was – thus allowing me to sit in my room, chatting with my midwife and eating homemade gingerbread for dessert.

In honor of this, The Day Before Pipsqueak Turns One, I present to you the recipe for what is certain to become a late-October tradition.

Gingerbread Cake


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup light molasses
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon each salt, ground cloves and freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons each cinnamon, and ground ginger
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease 9"x11" baking pan.
  3. Combine all ingredients except boiling water and baking soda in large bowl in order given, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Combine boiling water and baking soda in a small bowl and stir until dissolved. Blend into molasses mixture.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  6. Bake until tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly.
  7. Cut into squares. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


Balloon Buns

I was fortunate to attend a junior high that had required home ec and industrial arts classes. We learned to cook and bake, sew, draft (technical drawing), and work with wood and metal. Several of my projects from those classes still survive! Actually, I just took possession of them again, as we upsized our house while my parents have been downsizing. Hmm, I think I feel another blog post in that!

I was looking for a recipe in a magazine the other day and I came across my original copy of a recipe from my junior high cooking class. It’s for “balloon buns” – a quick and simple snack.

Check it out –

Can you see the discoloration around the drawing of the balloon? That’s because you can measure your dough right on the balloon, so that’s years of grease traveling across the page!

I thought I’d share this recipe, not because it is any great culinary achievement, but because it is something kids can learn to make. And because balloon buns make me smile.

Balloon Buns


  • 1 cup biscuit mix
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons soft butter
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon-sugar
  • 4 large marshmallows


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin pan for 4.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine biscuit mix and water to form a ball of dough. Turn dough out onto lightly floured breadboard. Knead 4-6 times. Shape into an even round ball.
  3. Cut dough into 4 equal pieces. Take each piece of dough and flatten with your hand into a 4 inch circle.
  4. Spread dough with 1/4 of the soft butter, sprinkle with 1/4 of the cinnamon-sugar. Place marshmallow in center of circle. Bring up edges around marshmallows and seal tightly by pinching dough together. Place with smooth side up in lightly greased muffin tin.
  5. Bake 10 min. Balloon buns will expand as marshmallow melts. Some of the melted centers may ooze out if not sealed well. Place pan or baking sheet under muffin tin to catch spills.
  6. Serve hot, makes 4

(I doubled this recipe for our family, and the only thing I actually measured was the biscuit mix and water. After forming the dough circle, I just spread butter on them and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar without measuring.)

Maple Sugar Candy

“It’s called a sugar snow, because a snow this time of year means that men can make more sugar.  You see, this little cold spell and the snow will hold back the leafing of the trees, and that makes a longer run of sap.”
-Pa Ingalls in Little House in the Big Woods

In mid-March, after a couple of days of near 70 degree weather, we got several inches of snow, followed by another warm up and even more snow.  We woke up one morning to this:

In anticipation of the sugar snows, I went out and bought some pure maple syrup to make maple sugar candy, just like in “Little House in the Big Woods”.  It’s surprisingly simple and quick to make and very, very yummy.

Here’s our syrup, bubbling its way up to 236 degrees F.
(Don’t you love the drip pans covered in foil?  Classy.  Goes so well with the granite countertops and hardwood floors.)

Pumpkin Girl stirs the slightly cooled syrup.

Thirty minutes later, the hardened and unmolded candy sits ready to be eaten!

Here’s the complete recipe:

Maple Sugar Candy

You will need:

8 1/2 oz pure maple syrup (regular pancake syrup won’t work)

candy thermometer

candy mold


Lightly grease the rim of a heavy 1 quart sauce pan with butter to prevent maple syrup from boiling over.

Pour maple syrup into sauce pan.

Over medium heat, cook maple syrup until candy thermometer reads 236 degrees F (approximately 10-15 minutes).

While maple syrup is heating, put hot tap water into a two cup glass measuring cup.  When syrup is almost 236 degrees, pour out water and dry measuring cup completely.

Transfer syrup to the warm glass measuring cup with pour spout, using rubber spatula to remove as much syrup from sauce pan as possible.

Place candy thermometer in the maple syrup and cool syrup to 200 degrees.

Use a small wire whisk to stir the maple syrup in the measuring cup until it begins to thicken and turn cream.  This is only going to take a couple of minutes, so be ready.  Don’t allow syrup to get too thick.

Place the candy mold on a cool surface and carefully and quickly fill each candy cavity to just full with thickened syrup.

Let the maple candy cool in the mold at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Gently push on the bottom of each cavity to loosen each maple candy and carefully remove pieces, one by one.

Remove any rough edges that remain on the candy (and eat them).

Pumpkin Girl Bakes

This recipe is Pumpkin Girl’s specialty. It’s best eaten the same day, so make it for a crowd or only make half. Though it is still tasty when reheated a day or two later.

Apple Dumpling Bake

2 tubes (8 oz each) refrigerated crescent rolls
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup Mountain Dew
ground cinnamon
vanilla ice cream

Unroll crescent rolls and separate dough into 16 triangles. Cut each apple into 8 wedges. Wrap a crescent dough triangle around each apple wedge. Place in a greased 13″x9″ baking dish.

In a bowl, combine sugar and butter; sprinkle over rolls. Slowly pour soda around rolls. Do not stir. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake, uncovvered at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream.

Serves 16

Here’s Pumpkin putting the sugar mixture over the rolls:

And pouring the soda:

The finished product:

Pumpkin Bars

These pumpkin bars are quite yummy and as an added benefit, they are made with Fiber One cereal.  They are perfect for getting things moving post-partum, if you know what I mean.  I also like to make them when someone gets stuck and needs a little help in that area.

Pumpkin Bars

1 1/2 cups Fiber One Ceral
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 can (15 oz)  pumpkin (2 cups)
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup raisins or chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour jelly roll pan (I just use a 13×9 pan).  Crush cereal. Stir together ceral, sugar, oil and pumpkin in large bowl; let stand 10 minutes.   Stir in eggs until well blended.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Spread in pan.  Back 25 to 30 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly.  Cool completely.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.  Cut into 7 by 7 rows.  Refrigerate any remaining bars.

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