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Carrot Cake


  • Unsalted butter, for the pan
  • 12 ounces, approximately 2 1/2 cups, all-purpose flour, plus extra for pan
  • 12 ounces grated carrots, medium grate, approximately 6 medium
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces sugar, approximately 1 1/3 cups
  • 2 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup firmly packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 ounces plain yogurt
  • 6 ounces vegetable oil
  • Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Butter and flour a 9-inch round and 3-inch deep cake pan.
  • Put the carrots into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • In the bowl of the food processor combine the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and yogurt.
  • With the processor still running drizzle in the vegetable oil, then add the dry ingrediants and mix until combined. Stir in carrots.
  • Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake for another 20 minutes or until the cake reaches 205 to 210 degrees F in the center.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and allow cake to cool 15 minutes in the pan. After 15 minutes, turn the cake out onto a rack and allow cake to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting after cake has cooled completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 9 ounces powdered sugar, sifted, approximately 2 cups

In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter on medium just until blended. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. With the speed on low, add the powdered sugar in 4 batches and beat until smooth between each addition. Place the frosting in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes before using.

- courtesy of Alton Brown

Kahlua Cake

  • 1 package of yellow cake mix
  • 1 small package of instant chocolate pudding
  • 3/4 cup of oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup kahlua
  • 3/4 cup orange juice


  • Mix above ingredients at a slow speed then beat at medium speed for 4 minutes.
  • Grease and flour a Bundt pan.
  • Bake at 350’ for 45 minutes (test at 40).
  • Let cool and dust with powdered sugar.

- from Susanna Cunningham, my host-mom.

Pumpkin Cookies

Ingredients (amounts are coming)

  • oatmeal
  • flour
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • cinnamon
  • brown sugar
  • sugar
  • margarine
  • eggs
  • pumpkin
  • vanilla
  • chocolate chips


   * Mix margarine and sugars, then add the rest of the wet ingredients
   * Blend dry ingredients together, then add slowly into the rest of the cookie dough
   * Mix in chocolate chips
   * Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit

Peanut Butter Bonbons


Ingredients (makes 2/3 a bonbon mountain)

  • 1 lb peanut butter
  • 2 cubes softened margarine
  • 1 1/2 lbs powdered sugar
  • 18 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cake paraffin wax
  • (optional: white chocolate chips, food coloring)


   * Blend peanut butter with margarine
   * Mix in 1/2 the sugar and add more to taste
   * Place balls of peanut butter mixture (about 1 tbsp each) on wax paper on a cookie sheet, and put in freezer
   * Melt chocolate chips in top of double broiler, flaking in wax to make thin enough for dipping
   * When peanut butter balls are hard enough to spear with a toothpick, dip each in chocolate and put back in freezer to set.
   * Eat
   * Melt white chocolate chips with paraffin wax
   * Remove a small amount of chocolate to another bowl and mix in food coloring with a spatula
   * Put colored chocolate in icing bag (a.k.a. a plastic bag with a hole in it, or the corner cut off), ice to taste
   * Repeat with additional colors


Recipe will go here.

Spiced Nuts

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1/3 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1-2 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound walnut or pecan halves or whole peeled hazelnuts
  • 1 egg white, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix sugars, salt, paprika, and cinnamon, making sure there are no lumps; set aside. Beat egg white and water until frothy but not stiff. Add nuts, and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle nuts with sugar mixture, and toss until evenly coated. Spread sugared nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet fitted with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, and separate nuts as they cool. When completely cool, pour the nuts into a bowl, breaking up any that stick together.

Impossible Cake (aka Chocoflan)

Recipe from Rick Bayless


For the pan

  • some butter and flour for the edges
  • 1 cup liquid caramel

For the cake

  • 5 oz (10 tablespoons) butter, slightly softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 9 ounces buttermilk (1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp vinegar works, too!)

For the flan

  • 1 12-oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


1. Prepare the mold. Turn on the oven to 350 degrees and position the rack in the middle. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch round cake pan (you need one that's 3 inches deep), sprinkle with flour, tip the pan, tapping on the side of the counter several times, to evenly distribute the flour over the bottom and sides, then shake out the excess. Microwave the caramel for 30 seconds to soften it, then pour over the bottom of the pan, tilting the pan to coat the bottom evenly. Set a kettle of water over medium-low heat. Set out a deep pan that's larger than your cake pan (a roasting pan works well) that can serve as a water bath during baking.

2. Make the cake. With an electric mixer (use the flat beater, if yours has a choice), beat the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light in color and texture. Scrape the bowl. Beat in the egg. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa. Beat in about 1/2 of the flour mixture, at medium-low speed, followed by 1/2 of the buttermilk. Repeat. Scrape the bowl, then raise the speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute.

3. Make the flan. In a blender, combine the two canned milks, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend until smooth.

4. Layer and bake.Scrape the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and spread level. Slowly, pour the flan mixture over the cake batter. (I find it easiest to pour the mixture into a small ladle, letting it run over onto the batter.) Pull out the oven rack, set the cake into the large pan, then set both pans on the rack. Pour hot water around the cake to a depth of 1 inch. Carefully slide the pans into the oven, and bake about 50 to 55 minutes, until the surface of the cake is firm to the touch, except for the very center. Remove from the water bath and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

5. Serve. Carefully run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cake/flan to free the edges. Invert a rimmed serving platter over the cake pan, grasp the two tightly together, then flip the two over. Gently jiggle the pan back and forth several times to insure that the cake/flan has dropped, then remove the pan. Scrape any remaining caramel from the mold onto the cake.

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