Tag Archives: Desserts

Easy, Peasy, Yummy Brownies on the menu at The BamaSteelMagnolia(TM) Bistro, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Today over at the Bistro is a recipe for brownies that is so yummy and so good it ought to be against the law. I made a pan this weekend and they’re already gone…thanks in a large part to Tall & Handsome. They were his Turkish Delight for a couple of days…

Hope you enjoy Easy, Peasy, Yummy Brownies

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Filed under Cooking, Desserts, Fast & Easy Food, recipes, The BamaSteelMagnolia's(TM) Bistro

On the Menu at The BamaSteelMagnolia’s Bistro(TM) – Homemade Coconut Cake

Today over at The BamaSteelMagnolia’s Bistro(TM) I’m serving Home-made Coconut Cake. This recipe brings back fond memories of a late friend who was an ace at making this cake. Hope you enjoy!

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Filed under Baking, Cakes, Cooking, Desserts, food, recipes

Cookie Road Trip: Florida, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Cookie Road Trip: Florida

By Beverly Hicks Burch

It’s been a while since we traveled down the Cookie Road Trip. I have to admit, time, life and a misplaced cookie cookbook intertwined to cause that lapse. But, never fear, my “road map” had resurfaced.

This stop takes us to Florida, the most “tropical” of the contiguous 48 states.

Florida is located in the southeaster part of the USA. At one time it was truly a “Southern” state populated with many idyllic little Southern towns. I’m sure there are still many generational Floridians who consider themselves Southern, but over the years Florida has become like California. There are so many transplants from other areas of the country (especially “snowbirds”) and from other countries that Florida no longer has the pace, feel or accent of the South.

Florida has a subtropical climate and is warm if not down right hot most of the year. It also very humid since it juts out into the Gulf of Mexico. Although gripped by drought and water shortage conditions at the present, Florida has been known for its daily passing afternoon thunderstorms…which of course add to the humidity. The state also can get slammed by the mother of all storms…a hurricane.

For many people, Florida is viewed as “vacationland”. It started with the famous beaches, which believe me are different from the East coast of Florida to the West coast situated on the Gulf of Mexico. As a former “Gulf Coast gal” (Alabama has in common a Gulf Coast position) I can vouch for the white sandy beaches on the Gulf Coast. There’s just not many in the world as beautiful. It’s a shame I’m not a beach gal…it’s “mountains for the win” for me!

Later the tourism industry continued to thrive and grow in Florida, especially after Walt Disney tapped Orlando in the central Florida area for his Disney World and Epcot. Later additions included MGM studios, Universal Studios, Sea World, Hard Rock Café and many other attractions to siphon the money from tourist and visitors wallets.

Florida’s Cape Canaveral is the home of NASA and the US space program. All of NASA’s major launches take place at the Cape. There are many interesting tours and exhibits for visitors, and if you’re really lucky, your visit might coincide with a shuttle launch.

Today’s cookie was a recipe Ruth McInvale discovered when she was visiting in Vermont. One day while dining at a little inn in Vermont, Ruth sampled these little treats and managed to wrangle the recipe out of the chef…as long as she promised to not share the recipe as long as he was alive. That was over 25 years ago. Ruth was good for her word, and after the chef passed away, she was able to share the recipe with delighted friends and family. Her recipe comes from the Christian Heritage Church in Tallahassee…which also is the capital of Florida and the home of my Tall & Handsome’s alma mater, Florida State University.


© 2009 Beverly Hicks Burch

Maple Flavored Crescents

2 cups flour

½ cup confectioner’s sugar

½ teaspoon, scant maple flavoring

2 sticks butter

1 ½ cup chopped pecans

Mix together all ingredients.

Shape a teaspoon full of cookie dough into a crescent shape with your fingers. Make the crescent shape as uniform as possible to insure even baking.

Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake on 250° for 40 minutes.

Remove from pan and roll in confectioner’s sugar.

Cool on wire racks.


Filed under Cookie Road Trip, Cookies, Desserts, Florida, Florida State University, food, recipes, Tall & Handsome

At the BamaSteelMagnolia’s(TM) Bistro – Red Velvet Cake Made Easy, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Today I’m serving on the menu over at The BamaSteelMagnolia’s(TM) Bistro a recipe for Red Velvet Cake Made Easy. This cake is a Southern perninnal favorite and I’ve made it for years from scratch.

This new recipe is a quick and easy recipe I’ve adapted using some low-fat products. I also include a little background on the lore and history of the cake. It’s a favorite in my family and I made it for Tall and Handsome this past Christmas…every crumb was eaten!

Hope you enjoy!

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Filed under Bakin, Birmingham, Chocolate, Cookbooks, Cooking, Desserts, food, Holiday Food, Knoxville, Knoxville News-Sentinel, recipes, Southern Cooking, Tall & Handsome, The Cake Doctor

Cookie Road Trip – District of Columbia, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Cookie Road Trip – District of


By Beverly Hicks Burch

It just so happens that the next stop on our Cookie Road Trip takes us to the District of Columbia…or as we also know…Washington, DC. This seems appropriate considering we are in the heat of a current election year here in the US.

DC is the national capitol of the United States. Article one of the Constitution provided for such a location to hold the seats of the three branches of the US Federal Government. (These would be the executive, legislative and judicial branches.) The provision limited the size of the district to not exceed 10 square miles and was established with land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia. Although it does have a city government, ultimate governmental control belongs with United States Congress.

The current population of the district is approximately 588,000. Taking this into consideration, there are some remarkable facts to consider about the district. If it was a state, it would be the smallest in the country, but, be first in population density. It also ranks first in minority population having the largest percentage of Black African American.

In addition to being to home of the National Government, DC houses 170+ foreign embassies, and the headquarters of the World Bank. Many of this nation’s most important national monuments and significant museums are also located in DC, along with the National Zoo.

The cookie from DC comes from Elizabeth Saunders of the Simpson – Hamline United Methodist Church. I’m not quite sure why Pecan Sticks are the cookies for DC…maybe it’s all the nuts that live there! (Just kidding all of you pols out there…) It does look like it would have a nice butterscotchy taste…or better yet a blond brownie…my favorite since I’m not a particular favorite of chocolate. (I will eat some chocolate occasionally…rarely.) If you give it a try let me know how it was…


© 2008 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

Pecan Sticks

¼ cup butter

1 egg

1 cup cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup chopped pecans

Blend butter, sugar and egg. Beat well. Sift dry ingredients together.

Add vanilla and the dry ingredients. Mix well.

Add pecans.

Spread into an 8 x 8 inch pan which has been buttered and lined with wax paper.

Bake at 350° until firm and light brown and the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan. (Sorry time for baking was included in the original recipe, but I would estimate between 15 – 25 minutes. I would look in on them at 15 mins. And go from there.)

Let cool for 5 minutes and cut into bars.

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Filed under Cookies, Cooking, Desserts, District of Columbia (DC), food, recipes, Travel

Heirloom, by Beverly Hicks Burch


By Beverly Hicks Burch

Over at Helium.com I wrote an article about collecting cookbooks. Of course, as many of you know Tall & Handsome and I enjoy cooking and collecting cookbooks. We both have our own individual cookbooks, and then ones we have gotten together since we’ve been married.

In the Helium article I mentioned a special cookbook. My mother gave me this cookbook several years ago and it just happens to be a cookbook she had when she was a young mom and wife.

The name of the book is The Modern Family Cookbook, by Meta Given. The original copyright was 1942 and there is a later copyright of 1953 and it has been out of print for a long time now. Interestingly, the inside hard cover of the book is also stamped with a copyright that says, “H. J. Heinz, Co.”

The cookbook is clearly reflective of its time. References are made at the beginning of the book to the US Government’s seven basic food groups, menu planning, and of course the obligatory dedication to Drs. Evelyn G. Halliday and Lydia J. Roberts of the University of Chicago for their contribution on the field of Home Economics. Nowadays, that may be a field held in disdain by some women, but in the 1940’s and 1950’s it was a respected and legitimate field of study and profession for many women and it did provide many helpful and useful purposes.

As you can see the book has seen better days. I can remember this cookbook from as far back as when I was in first grade in the early 1960’s. This cookbook represents a lot to me. It stirs up memories of my mother when she was young with two young daughters. And, it takes me back to a certain treat from the cookbook and an escapade involving my middle sister and that treat…

Momma used to make a brownie for us from this cookbook. It was unlike most other brownies…a cake brownie and not a fudgey type brownie. One cold winter day Mom made a pan of these brownies while I was at school. My sister Pam was home and Aunt Korinne was visiting.

This was in the days before it was common for every household to have a cloths dryer. Momma had done some laundry that morning and even as cold as it was, the laundry had to hung on the line to dry. Aunt Korinne stepped out with Momma to help make it a fast job…they hadn’t even slipped on a jacket. When they returned to the door did they ever have a surprise!

Pam, who was about three years old, had locked the door. Not only had she locked the door, but she had no intention of unlocking the door…at least until she finished off the pan of brownies. As they stood there, pounding, begging and pleading for Pam to open the door for them they could watch as she paced back and forth eating brownie after brownie until she polished off the whole pan! Needless to say, Pam had found her Turkish delight…

When I unpacked this cookbook and that memory came flooding back from the recesses of my mind, I thought I might share the recipe with you. The brownies are called Cocoa Indians. Hope you enjoy the little trip down nostalgia’s road…

© 2008 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

The Modern Family Cookbook, by Meta Given

Inside an Heirloom

Pam, age 8

Aunt Korinne

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Cocoa Indians, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Cocoa Indians

From The Modern Family Cookbook

1 cup all purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt, scant

¼ cup cocoa

¼ cup shortening

¼ cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup milk

2/3 cup raisins (*we have used all nuts…which of course we know are healthy, or you could use a combination of nuts and raisins)

Sift  the one cup of flour, measure and resift with baking powder, salt and cocoa.

Cream shortening and butter. Add sugar and continue creaming until mixed well.

Add beaten eggs and vanilla and mix well.

Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the milk, stirring well after each addition. Add raisins (or nuts or nut/raisin combination).

Pour into a 9 x 12 inch greased baking pan. Bake in a 350° for about 25 minutes.

Allow to cool 10 – 15 minutes and then cut into desired bar size.

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Filed under Brownies, Chocolate, Cooking, Desserts, food, recipes

Cookie Road Trip – Arkansas, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Cookie Road Trip – Arkansas

By Beverly Hicks Burch

Ok, all you Razorbacks…this one’s for you. Yep, this cookie recipe is from this state of Arkansas.

Arkansas is another of our Southern states that lies just west of the great Mississippi River. Home of the Ozark Mountains, it also has the traditional humid, and subtropical Southern climate. Arkansas was carved out of land from the Louisiana Purchase, but the 1st European explorer to see Arkansas was Desoto.

Our recipe from Arkansas comes from Marjorie Christian of the Henderson United Methodist Church in Little Rock, the capitol of Arkansas. Called “Cheese Cookies” the recipe reminds me of a shortbread or tea cookie.


© 2008 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

Cheese Cookies

2 sticks butter

1 cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 package cream cheese

¾ cup chopped nuts

2 cups flour

Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar.

Stir in flour, nuts and vanilla.

Roll in damp cloth and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Slice thin and bake at 350º for 15 minutes.


Filed under Arkansas, Cookies, Cooking, Desserts, food, recipes

Cookie Road Trip – Arizona, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Cookie Road Trip – Arizona

By Beverly Hicks Burch

Arizona was the 48th state admitted to the United States. A Southwestern state in the Four Corners region, according to 2006 population statistics it is the US’s fastest growing state. Known for its desert beauty, Arizona is also the home of one of the USA’s natural wonders, the Grand Canyon. The state will also host Super Bowl XLII.

We tend to think of southwestern food when we think of Arizona, but our cookie recipe from this great state would tempt any Southerner’s palette. The recipe for Pecan Pie Bars was submitted to the Capitol Cookies by Cynthia Sellers of Phoenix and St. Augustine Catholic Church. Ms Sellers got her recipe from a friend…who got it from a magazine.

I’d say this is a well travel recipe and its next stop is on the Bama Steel Magnolia’s Cookie Road Trip.


© 2008 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

Pecan Pie Bars

4 eggs

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla flavoring

3 tablespoons butter

1 ½ cups sugar

1 ½ cup corn syrup

2 ½ cup pecan halves

Cookie Crust:

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

2 ½ flour

2 sticks butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350º.

For Cookie Crust:

1. Spray a 10 x 15 x 1 inch baking pan with a cooking spray.

2. Beat on medium speed sugar, flour, salt and butter until mixture is a fine crumb.

3. Press into pan.

4. Bake 20 – 30 minutes or until brown.

5. Top with filling.

For Filling:

1. Beat eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla until blended.

2. Stir in pecans.

3. Pour over hot crust and bake for 25 minutes until filling is firm around the edges.

4. Cool and cut into squares.

Makes about 48 bars.

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Filed under Arizona, Cookies, Cooking, Desserts, food, Grand Canyon, recipes

Cookie Road Trip – Alaska, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Cookie Road Trip – Alaska

By Beverly Hicks Burch

The next stop on our cookie road trip takes us to our largest state which is also one of our youngest states. We tend to think of Alaska as perpetual frozen tundra but there are forests and wildlife and yes, civilization in this great state.

The contribution to the cookie trip was made by the Capitol City Women’s Bowling Association in Juneau, Alaska. Arlene Johnson submitted the recipe for Fruit Cookies and vouches results based on many years of personal experience.

To me this cookie is reminiscent of Fruitcake Cookies and would be wonderful during the holidays.


© 2008 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

Fruit Cookies

2 pounds pitted chopped dates

½ pound diced candied pineapple

4 cups chopped pecans

1 cups butter

2 eggs

1 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoon vanilla

½ pound chopped candied cherries

2 cups chopped walnuts

2 – 4 tablespoons rum or 2 – 4 tablespoons rum extract

1 cup flour

1 ½ cups brown sugar

1 teaspoon soda

Dredge fruit and nuts in 1 cup flour.

Cream butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs and beat until fluffy.

Sift together 1 ½ flour, cinnamon and soda. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, then add vanilla.

Combine with the fruit that has been dredged in flour.

Bake in a slow oven at 325º – 350º for 15 minutes.

*Bev’s note: There wasn’t any instruction provide with the recipe as to what size to make the cookies. I would estimate an average size would be appropriate based on the batter and length of baking time.

I even wondered if you could make this into a bar cookie. If you experiment let me know!

Also, if you’re not fond of cinnamon, I think it would be ok to omit the spice from the batter.

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Filed under Alaska, Cookies, Cooking, Desserts, food, recipes