Category Archives: Dessert

Muddy Buddies (Puppy Chow) – The Not So Messy Way

Muddy Buddies

We’ve been making Muddy Buddies for as long as I can remember. I can’t even remember where I got the recipe but I sure am thankful for it! Holidays are not the same in our family with this sugar-coated yumminess. I made it for years and dreaded making it until I finally figured out a way to keep it from being so messy.

Plan to double the recipe. Making a double batch takes the same amount of time and it’s something you’ll want to share.

P.S. This is not calorie free but it is gluten free. 🙂


1 12 oz. pkg (2 cups) semi sweet chocolate chips

1 stick butter

1 cup creamy peanut butter

9 cups (21 oz. box) rice chex cereal

3 lbs powdered sugar

Melt chocolate chips, butter and peanut butter in a microwaveable bowl. 30 seconds at a time and stir until melted.

Put the cereal in a very large bowl and pour the chocolate mixture over it. Stir gently until all cereal is coated with chocolate mixture.

A little unconventional but brilliant…  this keeps this from being incredibly messy… Pour the coated cereal in a clean, unscented trash bag. Then pour the powdered sugar in over the cereal mixture. Twist up the bag tight and carefully toss the cereal inside back and forth. You can peek inside to make sure you have enough powdered sugar to coat and add more if needed. When you’re tossing, feel around for any large clumps from the outside of the bag and break them apart. Toss a little more to make sure they get coated.

Then cut a hole in the corner of the bag and pour into your storage container(s).

Throw away the messy bag.

Enjoy! And of course, share!!

Cranberry Butter

There are lots of recipes out there for Cranberry Butter. I read a few and did my own thing. Shocker, I know…

I’m using this to give as gifts to our neighbors this Christmas. And of course saving some back for me. 🙂 Here is what I’m printing out to add with the gift.

Cranberry Butter
Enjoy this on toast, biscuits, scones, or add it to a cheese plate. Use it as a glaze for grilled chicken or pork, or on sandwiches. Or just eat a spoonful of it. Merry Christmas from the ***** family!

P.S. It will be good kept in the refrigerator for up to a month – if it lasts that long.

Cranberry Butter, Andrea Stunz

Yields 4 half pint jars (ok to double to recipe)

  • 2 12-oz bags of fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar or coconut sugar/crystals (palm sugar)
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cups organic apple cider


  1. Put all the ingredients in a crockpot and stir to combine well. Turn on high. Let it cook for about 2 hours or until the cranberries are soft.
  2. Remove the cinnamon sticks and puree until creamy using the emersion blender.
  3. Replace the cinnamon sticks and cook with lid ajar until thickened, approximately another 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the cinnamon sticks. Using a large strainer and ladle (like a really large tea strainer) or straining cloth, strain out the stringy bits.
  5. Put the cranberry butter into clean jars with tight fitting lids and let cool. Store in the refrigerator and use within a month.

cranberry butter

Festive Cranberry Poppers

(This is a picture of the “in progress” cranberries before the powdered sugar. I’ll track down a picture of the finished product soon and update.)

I don’t know when or why I started making these but it’s been many years. Every time I make them people are fascinated by them. They ask what it is. I smile and say, “try it”. They say, “Is that a cranberry?” And then, “Oh my goodness! These are SO good!” And then, “How did you make these?!?!” And then again, “Are these FRESH cranberries???”  I hear all the time, “I didn’t know you could eat fresh cranberries.” The thing is, who would want to? haha! They are so tart they have to be in something…. or coated with sugar. 🙂 The antioxidant goodness outweighs the sugar badness, right?

So here is how I make these. They make a huge impact treat with very minimal effort.

2 egg whites
1 bag of Ocean Spray fresh cranberries
1 2lb bag of powdered sugar

Prep: wash the cranberries ahead of time and give them plenty of time to dry completely. If they are wet the egg whites won’t stick.

1. Beat your egg whites with a whisk or electric beater until they are light and fluffy, not too stiff.

2. Carefully fold the fresh cranberries into the egg whites just enough to coat.

3. Place half of the bag of powdered sugar in the bottom of a gallon sized ziploc.

4. Give the cranberries one last quick fold in the eggs whites and then spoon them on top of the powdered sugar in the ziploc. Leave any excess egg whites in the bowl.

5. Put the rest of the powdered sugar on top of the cranberries.

6. Seal up the ziploc really well and gently toss the berries around. Carefully try to break up any clumps. You might need ot open the bag to find clumps by hand and break them up. Then reseal the bag and gently toss some more. Repeat this until they are all individually coated. You’ll end up leaving a decent amount of powdered sugar in your ziploc to throw out. Does that make you feel any better about the sugar part? 🙂

7. Put them in cute holiday dish and serve and enjoy the smiles as these little sweet and sour surprised pop in your mouth.

They will be nice and pretty for about a day before getting soggy. Don’t put them in the refrigerator as they will get soggy as they get back to room temperature.

Flourless Nutella Cake

Flourless Nutella Cake

This cake is really really good! Now that I’m eating gluten free it’s a great dessert that I can make to take to gatherings or when I host a gathering that I can enjoy as well as others. They won’t even know it’s gluten free so don’t tell them!

Flourless Nutella Cake Pic

My notes:
*Don’t add anything extra. I’ve tried adding extra chocolate but it’s too creamy. Stick to the measurements in the recipe.
*You can also make it in an 8″ cake pan and even double the recipe for a 13×9 but it takes a little longer to cook so turn the temp down a bit so it doesn’t burn the outside.
*One more thing, I used the Starbucks Via instant coffee.


Note: Below the recipe is a pic showing how the batter looked during various points of preparration. Getting an electronic scale is one of the best investments you can make for your kitchen. In case you don’t have one, you can convert the grams in this recipe to ounces with Google. Credit where credit’s due: David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Cake heavily inspired me.

Note: the better the quality of ingredients you use, the better the cake will be. Organic, cage free, etc.

200g unsalted butter, cut into chunks (this is all of two 8oz sticks minus about 1.5 tsps. Use that portion to grease the pan with.
200g dark chocolate
200g Nutella (just under 1 cup)
100g white sugar (just under 1/2 cup)
6 eggs, separated
1 t. instant coffee or espresso powder

  1. Butter a 9″ springform pan. Preheat the oven to 350F / 175C, and move your baking rack to the lowest rung in the oven.
  2. Cut the butter into chunks and the dark chocolate as well, and melt in a double boiler or in the microwave until smooth. If melting in a microwave, take out to stir every 30 seconds or so until smooth.
  3. Remove from heat/microwave and add the Nutella to the still-warm chocolate mix and mix well, until incorporated completely with a small whisk or fork. Add the instant coffee/espresso powder as well and mix.
  4. Separate the egg whites and egg yolks into two separate bowls. Add the white sugar to the yolks and beat for a minute or two with a hand mixer or a whisk.
  5. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg yolks and mix thoroughly.
  6. Whisk/beat the egg whites until peaks start to form, tending toward stiffer peaks rather than just soft peaks.
  7. Add the beaten egg whites to the chocolate mixture, folding gently with a whisk or spatula until fully incorporated (this may take a few minutes).
  8. Pour the mixture into the springform pan and place into the oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes (mine was done closer to 30 minutes). Test after 20 minutes how jiggly the center of the cake still is – you don’t want the cake to be completely solid when finished but the center should not sway when moved. Stick a toothpick in a few places to make sure it’s cooked through and the toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Let cool (the cake will probably deflate quite a bit) at least 30 minutes before serving, and garnish with chopped hazelnuts or hazelnut halves.


Candied Yams (Sweet Potatoes)

Candied Yams (Sweet Potatoes)

Submitted by Andrea Stunz, recipe from Anita Stunz

This is definitely the easiest thing I make for our Thanksgiving dinner. It’s one of those dishes where you either like it or you dislike it but I happen to like it. A lot! Only you can’t eat a lot and you’ll see why when you read the ingredients, so I don’t make too much of it.


About 8 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 sticks (1 cup) or 250grams of butter/margarine, cut up in chunks

A ton of brown sugar J – about 2-3 cups

3 or so cups of miniature marshmallows

*Place peeled/cubed sweet potatoes in a saucepan, large enough to leave a little room for the butter and sugar.

*Cube up the butter and put on top of the sweet potatoes.

*Pile in the brown sugar and stir as best you can just to get a little bit of it down to the bottom.

*Put the lid on the pan and simmer on low to medium, stirring occasionally, for about 30-45 minutes or until potatoes are cooked soft.

*Mash with either a fork or a potato masher.

*At this point you can either leave in the saucepan or put into a baking dish.

*Place miniature marshmallows on top to generously cover.

If you put into a baking dish put it in the oven until the marshmallows brown. If you’re leaving it in the saucepan, the marshmallows will just melt.

This is a typical part of our meal but it’s sweet enough to be a dessert.

Now eat and enjoy!

I think it’s funny that the categories for this are both vegetable and dessert. 🙂

Spice Cookies and Pumpkin Dip

These are definitely one our of family’s holiday favorites! One batch of the dough makes like a billion bite-sized cookies so you will have plenty in your holiday cookie jar and plenty to share.

Note: This recipe can be made gluten-free by simply substituting the flour with all-purpose gluten free flour.

Spice Cookies and Pumpkin Dip
submitted by Andrea Stunz (recipe from a friend, Teresa W.)

1 1/2 cups butter or margarine (softened) – conversion chart if you need it for grams

2 cups granulated sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup molasses

4 cups all-purpose flour (or substitute all-purpose gluten-free flour)

4 teaspoons baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp each ground ginger and cloves

1 tsp salt

additional sugar

PUMPKIN DIP (I don’t advise doubling. Even though it’s delicious, the cookies always disappear faster than the dip)

1 pkg 8 oz Cream Cheese (softened)

1 can pumpkin pie mix (18 oz)

2 cups conf. sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add molasses and other ingredients; mix well. Chill overnight. Shape into 1/4 inch balls; roll in sugar or cinnamon sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 Celsius) for about 6 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire rack.

For dip, beat softened cream cheese till smooth. Add pumpkin pie mix; beat well with electric mixer. Add sugar, cinnamon, and ginger; beat till smooth. Serve with cookies. Store leftover dip in the refrigerator.

Makes about 20 dozen cookies and 3 cups dip.



Note: These amazing little dough balls can be made ahead and frozen or kept in the fridge for a while until you need them for a party or gathering.

Mango Sticky Rice

I posted recently on our family blog about how a sweet friend from Thailand had me over and taught me how to cook some of our favorite local Thai dishes. Among those dishes was Mango Sticky Rice. She didn’t really use a recipe so I’m going to give you one that I came up with after I made it on my own.

For the sauce, you really should use the head milk from freshly grated coconut (Tekka Market for $5/kilo) for the sauce but after my Green Curry Chicken first attempt fiasco I didn’t have any left so I used a coconut cream from the grocery store and it was still really delicious. I’ll post photos of the supplies and ingredients at the end of the post.

So here it is. When you try it out, let me know if it works for you or if something in the recipe should be altered or written more clearly.

Mango Sticky Rice
submitted by Andrea Stunz via Paunnee

Supplies you’ll need:
Glutinous Rice cooking set (About $8 SGD at the Golden Mile Complex)
2-3 cups uncooked Glutinous Rice
2-3 really sweet mango’s
200ml (or 7-8 oz) Coconut milk (the head) or processed coconut cream
Caster/Granulated sugar (start with 1/4 cups and keep adding until it’s as sweet as you like it.)
1 tsp Sea Salt

Cooking the rice:
Soak the rice overnight or for at least 3 hours. Do not skip this part. When you’re ready to cook it, wash the rice 3 times. Bring the water to boil in the lower pan and place the drained rice in the cooking basket above. Put a lid from one your cooking pots over the rice and allow it to steam completely untouched for 30 minutes. While the rice is cooking you can make the sauce.

After 30 minutes place the rice in your serving bowl and begin to pour the sauce over it a little at a time. Cut in the sauce rather than stirring so the rice does not become too damaged. The rice will start to soak in the sauce and become really glossy. Reserve some of the sauce to pour over your rice and mango just before serving.

Cooking the sauce:
Put the coconut milk or cream in a small saucepan, add sugar and salt and bring to a low boil. Stir it occasionally until it thickens up a little, maybe about 7-10 minutes. The sauce should be very sweet. It absorbs into the unsweet rice so it needs to be very sweet. Set it aside until you’re rice is finished cooking. It does need to be hot when pouring in over the rice, though. Cut in the sauce a little at a time so it absorbs into the rice. Save a little bit of the sauce out to pour over when serving.

Keep the finished sticky rice covered until you’re ready to serve it. It will continue to get a little more of a glossy look.

You can sprinkle a few roasted sesame seeds over the top if you like.

Enjoy!! It is super delicious and really very easy. Your family and/or guests will think you slaved for hours. 🙂

This is a pretty good post that I used when I was making mine for the first time. I used more sugar than she did. 🙂