Sunday, December 26, 2010

Grandmother Warren's Baked Fudge Pudding Recipe

Baked Fudge Pudding


Ahhh, Baked Fudge Pudding! Growing up this was one of my Father’s all-time favorite desserts and if you are a chocolate lover it will soon become one of your favorites too! (Think the best ever warm, gooey, hot fudge cake!)

In the days leading up to Christmas, as we were taking down our Christmas decorations, I noticed a box labeled "Grandmother's Recipes". This shamefully forgotten box held many of Grandmother's hand-written recipes. I took it inside and we all dug through them. Smiles and heart-warming memories flooded in as we gazed upon her precious recipes, lovingly written in her elegant handwriting that is all so familiar to not only her kids, but her grandchildren as well.

Born on Christmas Day!

My Grandmother, Marlene Warren, was born December 25th, 1930. It must have been hard growing up a Christmas Baby. When she was still with us we always made sure to wish her a Happy Birthday before a Merry Christmas and to do something special to celebrate it.

Our something special this year is to honor what would have been her 80th birthday by giving Christmas gifts of one of her favorites, Baked Fudge Pudding. I think this was one of Grandmother's favorite chocolate treats to make. It’s a fun, easy to make recipe that will delight your family & guest!

Ok, so this is not a traditional kind of a cake. When prepared, Baked Fudge Pudding has a rich layer of warm chocolate fudge on the bottom and a crispy, chocolate brownie cake on top. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and the "Ahhh" factor will instantly kick in!

This unique Baked Fudge Pudding Recipe does not need to be frosted, and you do not remove it from the baking dish. Simply mix the ingredients together, bake, and let it sit for a bit so the fudge soaks into the bottom of the cake. After 30 minutes or so of letting the chocolaty fudge goodness set in, you're ready to serve. It should still be warm enough to gently melt a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a gooey warm treat that will instantly warm you from your head to your toes! It travels well and re-heats beautifully in the microwave or oven.

Grandmother Warren's Baked Fudge Pudding Recipe

We updated a few items to reflect today’s options.

Pre-heat Oven to 350

In a large bowl SIFT together these dry ingredients;
  • 1 Cup flour

  • 2 tsp. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. salt

  • ¾ Cup pure cane, granulated sugar

  • 2 TBS cocoa

  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves

    In a 2nd bowl mix together these wet ingredients;

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (don’t use imitation)

  • ½ cup of milk (We tried Half & Half and it was NOT as good, so use skim milk for best results.)

  • 2 TBS melted butter

  • ½ Cups chopped walnuts (Optional: In case someone is allergic to nuts)

    Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Turn into your baking dish and smooth it relatively flat and uniform across the dish. We have used various size dishes and find that something in the 12” x 8” x 2” works quite well for this recipe.

    In a 3rd Bowl thoroughly mix these ingredients;
  • 1 ¼ Cups of light brown sugar

  • ½ Cup of cocoa

    Sprinkle this mixture over the top of your batter.

    Now you’ll need;
  • 2 Cups of hot water

    Pour the hot water over the entire surface. Place in the oven and bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes. We found that 45 minutes worked best in our oven. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30-45 minutes.

  • We hope that your holiday season is spent with those you love creating beautiful memories that will last a lifetime!

    Enjoy our family recipe and let us know how you liked it!

    From our family to yours, would like to wish you a great holiday season and a happy new year!

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    Grandma's Tender Sugar Cookies Recipe

    Baking Holiday Cookies
    Baking holiday cookies is a great way to enjoy spending time with people you love during the holidays. Friends, family, and kids alike can all participate and have fun being involved in a festive holiday tradition. Sugar cookies are a holiday favorite because they are easy to make and even more fun to decorate!

    Last week I went to hang out with a friend of mine who teaches elementary school. We flipped through an old Woman's Day Magazine from 2009, trying to pick out one recipe out of dozens of amazing holiday recipes. See some of our favorite cookie recipes here at; and there are others we found that make for an amazing tailgating treat that can be found on the Blog (or at

    We chose Grandma's Tender Sugar Cookies to make because we had all the necessary ingredients the recipe called for, plus enough to double the recipe!  Not to mention we wanted to decorate cookies! We also had a recipe to make homemade Sugar Cookie Frosting (look below for recipe) that tasted amazing, and was essential in helping us decorate the cookies.

    Recipe for Grandma's Tender Sugar Cookies
    (Makes 30 Cookies)

    These classic sugar cookies are perfect fillers for gift tins, picnic baskets, wine baskets and portable coffee sets because they are palate-pleasing, easy to pack, festive, and delicious!

    • 1 cup shortening
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs (recommend: hormone free or brown eggs)
    • 1/4 cup milk (recommend: skim milk)
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 1 1/2 tsp. salt (recommend: sea salt)
    • (Optional) Powdered Sugar or Flour for dusting
    • (Optional) Icing to decorate cookies
    • (Optional) Cookie Cutters - various designs

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). In a large mixing bowl, beat together shortening and sugar.
    2. Add eggs, milk and vanilla.
    3. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to shortening mixture and beat until smooth.
    4. Dust surface with powdered sugar (or flour) and roll out dough to a 1/2 inch or less. Cut with cookie cutters (or cut into strips if not using cookie cutters) and place on parchment-paper-lined cookie sheets (or non-stick baking pan).
    5. Bake in preheated oven for 9-11 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies looks light brown.
    6. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool.
    7. When cookies are cool, dust with powdered sugar or frost them with Sugar Cookie Frosting (look below for recipe). Further icing decorating can be done if desired.

    The recipe was very easy to make, and we went ahead and made a double batch so there would be enough that she could take to give to her class of elementary school students. We mixed up the batter and stuck it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes so that it would be easier to cut with cookie cutters. While it cooled down, we headed to the store and bought an interesting glitter gel icing that came in 4 different colors (silver, blue, green and red), along with a staple green and red tube of cookie icing so that our sugar cookie designs would really stand out!

    After getting back, we sprinkled some flour (instead of powdered sugar) on the rolling pin and the countertop and got busy rolling out the dough and cutting out designs using various cookie cutter designs.

    We had cookie cutters shaped like gingerbread men, christmas trees, bells, snowflakes, candy canes, hearts, angels and wreaths. Batch after batch came out of the oven, perfectly baked and filling the house with the tantalizing aroma of holiday cookies.

    After letting them cool, we got to work decorating them. First we mixed up a homemade batch of Sugar Cookie Frosting that was simply amazing. I've never enjoyed such a delicious icing before this recipe!

    Recipe for Sugar Cookie Frosting
    (Makes Frosting for 12 Cookies)

    • 1/4 cup shortening
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 tsp. almond extract

    1. In a medium bowl, beat together all ingredients. Thin with a little water, if desired. (Ours was thick, so we added a little water and it worked out beautifully.)


    Baking these holiday sugar cookies was a wonderful experience, I can't even remember the last time I spent an evening having fun decorating holdiay cookies! Using the tubes of colored icing, and glitter gel icing (wonder how healthy that is for you?), we spent time and love on each cookie, creating our own unique creation of our own imagination.

    Most of the cookies we put the Sugar Cookie Frosting on, then decorated with tubes of colored icing. Others we omitted the frosting and just went straight to decorating them. Either way, they were addictive simply because they melted in your mouth and left you wanting more!

    Enjoy this holiday cookie recipe, and make enough to share! They are great additions to slip into picnic baskets, picnic backpacks, lunch totes, coffee totes, and wine baskets! Remember to check out for more great holiday ideas and gift ideas. Make this holiday season one to remember!

    Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    Holiday Cookie Recipes and Activities

    Holiday Baking Activities
    Baking together is a family activity that bonds kids and adults. Spend some quality time together this holiday season and invite everyone to join in the baking activities. Try a healthy holiday treat with a Pumpkin-Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe that melts in your mouth; or enjoy an Orange Spiced Shortbread Cookie recipe that compliments your cup of coffee like no other with it's exquisite blend of citrus and spice!

    Create a picture of Christmas by making Candy Cane Twists with the kids! This holiday recipe lets kids twist and form candy canes from dough and decorate them using chopped peppermint candy, or red sugar!

    Roll out some fun and assign tasks according to abilities so that everyone gets a chance to contribute. As you bake, remember that taste-testing is half the fun! Double or quadruple the recipes so that you can share yummy treats fresh from the oven, have enough to give as gifts, and stock up for people to enjoy through the holidays.

    Holiday Cookie Recipes
    Click here for more on our Holiday Cookie Recipes Article, including recipes for Candy Cane Twists, Pumpkin-Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, and Orange Spiced Shortbread!

    Baking holiday cookies is a tradition that runs deep during the holidays, so remember to teach other generations your recipe secrets and enjoy creating special moments that will last a lifetime!

    From's family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Holiday Season! It's the best time of the year, so laugh, love, and be merry!

    Monday, December 06, 2010

    Gingerbread Houses & More Family Holiday Activities

    The holiday season is full of much needed time off for everyone. It's the time of year when kids are home from school and parents are off work. There will be time for everyone to simply hang out, even between all of the shopping to finish up gift lists, attending holiday parties, traveling, cooking (recipes), putting up decorations, and countless other holiday season activities.

    Enjoy some play time for both adults and children this holiday season by creating Gingerbread Houses & Towns! Get an ingredients list, Gingerbread-making tips, and more holiday activity ideas for kids of all ages.

    Gingerbread Houses & Towns
    This is the perfect opportunity to stay warm inside, turn on some Christmas music, make some hot chocolate and get in the spirit of the holidays by creating something unique together. Turn off the TV and shut off the video games; it's time to have fun creating one-of-a-kind masterpieces of art!

    Momma's Gingerbread Town
    As described in Holiday Activity Ideas for Children, my Mom and sister would have a Gingerbread House Party over the holidays to celebrate both my sister's birthday and Christmas. It's an activity that children and teenagers alike enjoy because they are free to be as creative and festive as they want. Building a masterpiece worthy of eating and showing off with pride through the holidays is an activity every kid enjoys. Transform your holiday experience with your children and create some lasting memories this holiday season!

    Momma's Gingerbread Town Ingredients:
    • Graham Crackers
    • Gingerbread
    • Powdered Sugar
    • Food Coloring
    • White Icing (that's where food coloring comes in)
    • Pretzel sticks
    • Tootsie Rolls
    • M&M's (plain & p-nut)
    • Skittles
    • Raisins
    • Marshmellows (small)
    • Toothpicks
    • Old birthday cake figurines (ex: Snow White & The 7 Dwarfs)
    • Animal Crackers
    • Gummies
    • Gumdrops
    • Licorice
    • Peppermint
    • Candy Canes (miniature)
    You can add any ingredients you like, those are just a few of the ones used most. If you are too busy to bake your own gingerbread, there are ready made kits in stores you can buy. More than likely, you'll want to make sure you add some more ingredients (listed above) to really make an extraordinary house. Get friends and family to join in on the fun and create Gingerbread Houses & Towns of unique design and imagination!

     [ It took 2 pictures to capture this one-of-a-kind Gingerbread Town. There is so much detail!]

    Gingerbread Tip 1
    To make railroads or walkways, you can take Tootsie Rolls and roll them between your palms until they are stringy like spaghetti then lay them around or through your Gingerbread Town!

    Gingerbread Tip 2
    If you have to stop building and don't want your house and materials to dry out, seal it in plastic wrap.

    Gingerbread Tip 3
    Use an old shoebox, or cardboard box to put your Gingerbread house on that way it is easier to transport. has numerous ideas for creating your Gingerbread experience. Click here and find gingerbread recipes, no-bake alternatives, gingerbread house blueprints, tips for designing landscapes and model houses. There is no limit to imagination, so dive right in with your kids and have fun building, designing, eating and shaping your own Gingerbread houses and towns over the holiday break!

    Family Holiday Activity Ideas
    Holiday activity ideas are meant to heighten a family's bonding experience and create a lifetime of cherished memories. There are many ways you can get creative this holiday season. Here are a few more ideas you can bring to life with your kids this holiday season.
    • Hand-Crafted Ornaments: Buy blank ornaments from an arts & crafts store, a little paint, some newspaper and you're ready to go! Kids love making their own creations, and being able to show off their handy work on trees and wreaths makes it even better. A perfect opportunity for kids to make gifts for grandparents, parents, siblings and friends. Plus, it's a memory worth creating when they can look back 10, 20, 30 years from now and admire their childhood creations every holiday season.
    •  Snow Flakes: Remember folding up construction paper and cutting snowflakes and angels to hang on your Christmas tree? It's an easy activity that allows your children to entertain themselves and contribute to holiday decorations. All you need is some construction paper, kid-safe scissors, glue, crayons, or markers. After they've cut out designs, have them decorate them and then hang them on the tree, give as gifts, or send them in Christmas cards!
    •  Christmas Coloring Pages and Printable Activities: We found a ton of Christmas themed printable activities at that are sure to keep you and your kids having some relaxed fun over the holidays. Just print them out and get set up with colored pencils, crayons and washable markers and let them create their own masterpieces! Make sure to stay involved with praise and questions while they color, or better yet join in on the fun!
    From our family to yours, would like to wish you all a very Merry Holiday Season. It's the best time of the year so laugh, love, and be merry!