Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

Salted caramel apple cheesecake galette on the grill

Salted caramel apple cheesecake galette


I love caramel. I love salted caramel even more.

Check out my recipe for this beautifully easy Salted caramel apple cheesecake galette on the grill:

Boston Cream Whoopie Pies

Every once in a while Ill see something on Instagram, Facebook, or twitter that I just need to make.  In fact sometimes its almost midnight and I can’t sleep then this happens:

Boston Cream Whoopie Pie Diva Q


Just to be clear I didn’t come up with the Boston Cream Whoopie Pie concept. The recipe however is one that I compiled completely on my own. A friend of mine Ron Lewen had a great dinner at Real Urban BBQ. He posted his dessert picture. Darnit all I was obsessed. . . . I just had to come up with a version.

If you are in the area I would suggest you go to Real Urban BBQ. I have always wanted to go and I hear the food is fantastic.

Real Urban BBQ You can make these on a parchment lined baking sheet and try to get your tops to match the bottoms or you could just use one of these muffin top pans. 


Boston Cream Whoopie Pie Diva Q

For the Cakes: 

  • 1 1/4 cup All Purpose flour sifted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter
  • 2 teaspoons banana or vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F

Sift the sugar, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Cut in the butter until the flour has a rough crumbly texture.
Whisk the eggs, canola oil,  milk and extract in a separate bowl.  Add the wet to the dry ingredients and beat with an electric or stand mixture for a few minutes until its pale and thickened.

Butter then flour your muffin pan generously so the cakes do not stick.

Bake 10-20 minutes (depends on how large your tops are) until the edges are golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes clean. Ours took about 15 minutes.

Remove from pan and cool on a bakers rack.

This recipe will be enough to make 12 muffin tops (6 total – very large whoopie pies)

For the Pastry Cream Filling:

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  1. In a small heavy bottomed pot heat the milk and vanilla until just below a simmer.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch.
  3. Place butter in a bowl and add a strainer on top of it.
  4. Slowly whisk the hot milk into egg mixture and then return it all to the pot. Whisk this constantly (dont stop!!) over medium heat until thick and glossy, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Pour the mixture immediately through the strainer, whisking it through if needed, and stir in the butter.
  6. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the surface of the custard. Chill until ready to use.

For the Ganache:

  • 4oz semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  1. Place the chocolate chips, canola oil and corn syrup into a medium bowl.
  2. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Pour over the chocolate chips, let it rest for a minute then whisk until smooth.
  4. Cool for 5-10 minutes before use.


Place the pastry cream into a piping bag fitted with a large tip. Pipe equal amounts of pastry cream onto 6 of the cakes. Top with an additional cake and press down gently. Place the whoopie pies on a baking rack onto a baking tray. Using a large spoon pour ganache over half of each cake. Chill cakes until the ganache has set.  Serve to happy happy people.

Boston Cream Whoopie Pie Diva Q


Crown Royal Maple Whiskey & Sweet Potato Pie , Crown Royal Maple Whiskey Sweet Potato Pie

I have a thing for pie. I seriously love pie. A few years ago I had the pleasure of being a pie judge for two years back to back at the Best of the Best BBQ Competition in Georgia. The memory of that still makes me smile. I really think more people should be making pies and swapping recipes. This is one I ended up coming up with today. This is what happens when I notice I have a few sweet potatoes kicking around that I really need to use up and of course a fully stocked bar that has a lot of whiskey.

I think desserts like pie, banana pudding and a few others are the perfect ending to any BBQ meal. Seriously though pie is darn good for breakfast as well.

Just a note it is super important to use steamed sweet potato chunks in this recipe and not boiled. You don’t want to end up with a soggy pie. Crust texture is really important. This recipe makes 2 pies. Simple reason … I made too much filling for one… Sweet Potato Pies freeze well.

Crown Royal Maple Whiskey Sweet Potato Pie



  • 3 cups Steamed Sweet Potato Chunks
  • 2 Whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 ¼ cups white sugar
  • 1 cup half & half cream
  • ½ cup Crown Royal Maple Whiskey
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger


  • 2 Frozen 9” pie shells

Whiskey Whipped Cream Topping:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup glazed or toasted pecans
  • ¼ cup Crown Royal Maple Whiskey


Preheat oven to 350F

In a large bowl, mash sweet potatoes until smooth.  Whisk in all other filling ingredients for 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.  Press the filling mixture through a sieve into another bowl so that there are no potato lumps. Whisk a couple minutes more then pour equal amounts into the frozen pie shells.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until a knife inserted in the centre of the pie comes out cleanly.

While the pies are baking place a medium size stainless steel bowl in the freezer

When the pies are ready to come out of the oven remove the stainless steel bowl from the freezer.

With an electric mixer whip the heavy whipping cream and the Crown Royal Maple Whiskey together until medium peaks form.

To serve top slices of cooled pie with the Whiskey whipped cream, some powdered sugar and a few pecans.

Jack Daniels Honey Truffles Perfect for Christmas!

Jack Daniels Honey is one of my favorite libations from 2011. I love chocolate too. So it only makes sense that these two wonderful things come together in a truffle.

Jack Daniels Honey Truffles

2 cups Ghirardelli semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup Jack Daniels Honey
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Coating options:
Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa
Ghirardelli sweet ground chocolate & cocoa
powdered sugar
finely shredded unsweetened coconut
finely chopped pig candy
honey powder
finely chopped pecans or other nuts
gold leaf

Pour chocolate chips in a glass bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan bring the cream up to a simmer but not boiling. Remove pan from heat and pour cream over the chocolate chips. Add the butter, salt and Jack Daniels Honey. Stir until the mixture is incorporated and the chocolate has melted to a smooth consistency. Place in fridge for a minimum of 2 hours or even overnight.

Using a 1 ounce ice cream scoop or a teaspoon spoon out the truffles. Roll in preferred coating. Serve immediately or refrigerate to serve later on.

My favorite topping was chopped glazed pecans. I love having these on hand for salads and more.

Absolutely delicious. Just remember these truffles are for adults only! Enjoy!

Deep Fried Apple Hand Pies

I fell in love with deep fried hand pies as a kid travelling with my family to or place in Florida. I had commercially made ones from lots of convenience stores and they were an ooey gooey delight. A few years ago on one of our trips to a BBQ competition I had a homemade hand pie. Its ragged edges super crispy and flakey. The filling wasn’t overly sweet and was packed full of fruits.

On our recent trip to the Jack I missed having Mary Ruth’s Fried Pies while we we there. When I came home I knew I was going to have to attempt making these.

There was one problem with all of this. I seriously have an inability to make really great pie crust. So… I opted out of that step altogeher and bought these.

Then for the recipe…

I went here… Emeril Lagasse Fried Apple Pie Recipe


I made the filling the day before Halloween. Then on Halloween night I assembled the pies and followed the instructions for deep frying.

They came out awesome.

Super flaky not too sweet and uber easy to make.

I may not ever go back to making a regular pie again. …. Enjoy.

Smoked Pig Candy Shortbread

I made a lot of pig candy yesterday. THere are lots of great uses for it. One of my all time favorites is in Shortbread.

In my world a basic plain shortbread only ever has 4 ingredients.  Salted butter, flour, vanilla  and sugar. Thats it.   No cornstarch no fillers nothing else. I only like to eat real buttery shortbread. This should come as no surprise.  The key to a good shortbread is whizzing the regular granulated white sugar in a food processor.

Or better yet buying berry sugar to make the cookies with. The texture is in between granulated and powdered sugar. You end up with a much softer shortbread even after a couple of days.  I have been using the same recipe for years. It was given to me by a wonderful lady Stephanie.

Here is my recipe for a batch of shortbread:

1 cup soft salted butter

1/2 cup berry sugar (or granulated white sugar whizzed in a food processor for a minute)

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup finely chopped pig candy

300F for 30-35 minutes until the edges are just barely starting to turn brown.

Cream the sugar and the butter together until fluffy. Working with 1/4 cup at a time add in the flour. One the flour is completely mixed in the texture should be crumbly and just barely hold together. Add the bacon. I used the a glass that I dip in flour to press the shortbread into the pan. Do not compress hard. Just enough so that it comes together in the pan.

I personally like to use spring form pans for my shortbread. It makes it easy. I was making jumbo shortbread cookies last night so I used my 6 mini spring form pans.

Pulled Pork Empanadas

One of the challenges of practicing is what to do with the leftovers. I practice. A lot. So I am always up for trying new recipes to use leftover competition practice meats.
Tonight I decided to make some empanadas.

One batch was fried and the other baked.

Recipe for easy empanada dough from :

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons shortening


1. In a bowl, beat the water, egg, egg white and vinegar together. Set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the 3 cups of flour and salt.

3. Cut the shortening into the flour mix with a pastry blender or two butter knives. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and pour the liquid ingredients from the first bowl into the center.

4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients with a fork until it becomes stiff.

5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it just until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth.

6. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but never more than 24 hours.

I used a batch of leftover pulled pork out of the freezer. After letting the dough chill out for an hour I rolled it out to about 1/4 ” thick. I used my largest biscuit cutter to cut out the discs of dough. I then rolled them out again to make them nice and thin (approx 1/8th inch). I placed the pulled pork on the center then I used a fork to crimp down the edges. It is really important to make sure the edges are sealed to hold in the pulled pork.

I fried them at 350F for a couple minutes per side. Until nice and golden.

The other batch I placed on a tray and gave them an egg wash. Then into the oven at 400F until golden (approx 15 minutes).

Both methods yielded some goodness on a plate.

Served with a side salad and some Dinosaur Honey Creole Mustard they made a nice dinner.

Empanada Dinner

We had a bit of leftover dough so we decided to use it to make some deep fried yummies.. these were terrific sprinkled with powdered sugar with a batch of easy & fast caramel sauce. I would highly recommend this. It was a fun activity to do with the kids as well.


This recipe and dessert made a great meal .

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