Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Missionary Brownies

Who doesn't love a good brownie recipe with a creamy chocolate frosting? Well these little guys will make you weak in the knees. Missionary Brownies are a Nelson family favorite. When I was a teenager, we moved to France for a couple years for my dad's job. We use to have the missionaries from our church over a lot and our house sort of became a safe haven for them. My mom was like their second mom and would make them some good homemade "American" food which was hard to come by in France. For dessert she would make these buttermilk brownies and they became such a hit with the missionaries that we started to call them the missionary brownies.

Years later they have continued to be a Nelson dessert favorite. I made them for Thad recently and he said these were the best brownies he had ever had. What I love about this recipe is the buttermilk and how moist they are, and the creamy frosting tops them off and makes it so just having one piece is almost impossible.

Missionary Brownies

2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
2 sticks butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

Start off by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Then grease and flour either a jelly roll pan, which is best or a 9 x 13 inch pan which will make the baking time vary. Set aside.

Begin by sifting together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. Next bring the 1 cup water to a boil; then add the butter and cocoa. Mix well. Once the liquid mixture in combined, pour into the dry ingredients. I usually do this recipe with a good old fashion bowl and spoon. Stir all ingredients together, making sure to get the sides and bottom on the bowl. Then add the buttermilk. Get out a separate bowl and beat the eggs with a fork and then incorporate into batter. Lastly add vanilla and nuts. Mix well.

Pour the prepared batter into greased and floured pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes if in a jelly roll pan and then about 30-35 minutes if baking in a 9 x 13 pan. Either use a toothpick or butter knife to check for doneness, when inserted if comes out clean then it is done. Watch closely to prevent from over cooking. Once done remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack until completely cool.

Once completely cool frost with your favorite chocolate frosting or to use my favorite chocolate frosting click

Missionary Brownies will become your new favorite brownies, and who doesn't need a killer brownie recipe.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Some good ol' Banana Puddin'..........

Before moving to the south I really never gave banana pudding much thought, I just thought it was an artificial jell-o pudding mix and did not have much of a desire to sample it. Then I moved to the south, where many restaurants serve banana pudding.

The first place I had banana pudding was at a place called Dreamland which also happens to be my favorite place in town for ribs and it is quite recognized as a must eat when in Tuscaloosa. Dreamland serves their banana pudding in these little bowls that are the perfect size for just finishing off a plate of ribs. Their banana pudding is so light and creamy and this is where the addiction began. Also our neighbor who we lovingly call "Neighbor Becky" makes a killer banana pudding that Thad loves.

Thad and I at Dreamland.....I have a craving for Dreamland about once a month

Dreamland's to die for Banana Pudding

So with all these inspirations, I had been wanting to make a good banana pudding and had been searching for a recipe when I was visiting one of my fav blogs....Bakerella where she had posted a banana pudding recipe that looked scrumptious. I made it for Thad and he loved it AND got a thumbs up, which is great since Thad is a connoisseur of good banana pudding.

So here it is, creamy, rich and so easy to make and I think what gives this one a great taste is the sweetened condensed milk which gives it its richness....

Cold & Creamy Banana Pudding

1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant pudding and pie filling
2 cups (1 pint) whipped cream, whipped*
36 vanilla wafers
3 medium bananas, sliced and dipped in lemon juice

In a large mixing bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and water, mix well. Then add pudding mix and beat until well blended. Once mixed place in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.

Then in a stand mixer, mix 1 pint whipping cream until thick. I used a little powdered sugar and vanilla to give it a little taste. Once whipping cream is thick, fold into the pudding mixture (Do this slowly and as few times as you possible can to combine, so the mixture will retain its thickness.)

Then using a nice glass serving dish (about 2-3 quarts), spoon 1 cup pudding mixture into serving bowl. Top with 1/3 each of wafers (I did twelve wafers per layer but Thad said he would have liked more wafers per layer, so maybe 20-22 per layer), then bananas and then pudding. Repeat twice. On the very top I just put a nice thick layer of whipping cream on top and garnished with vanilla wafers and then chilled it over night.

You can also layer in individual serving dishes, which I would like to try next time.

So if you want a light but rich dessert, that is a crowd pleaser, you need to make this southern favorite.

Recipe from Great American Favorite Brand Name Cookbook, 1993.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Glazed Carrot Cake to die for......

Ok so are you ready for the best carrot cake recipe ever? Well here it is. My mom gave me a copy of a cookbook that she loves and it's called "A Pinch of Salt Lake". There is a recipe in the dessert section called "Glazed Carrot Cake" and beside the recipe my mom wrote "this is the best carrot cake", so with an endorsement like that from my mom who is a fabulous cook, I had to try it.

We were having my mother-in-law Pat over and my niece Claire who has recently moved to Tuscaloosa to attend the University of Alabama and I wanted to make sure to welcome her with a great dinner and a delicious dessert. This cake is moist, rich and full of flavor and truly melts in your mouth. Trust me on this one.....you will not be disappointed.

Glazed Carrot Cake

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups grated carrots (approximately 5 large carrots)
3 1/2 ounces flaked coconut
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans

Start off by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Then grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch pan. Set aside.

Combine the first 4 ingredients, the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Sift these the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Then in a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer) beat the eggs, add in the vegetable oil, buttermilk, sugar, vanilla. Mix well. Then add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Mix on Medium unit barely blended. Lastly add the pineapple, carrots, coconut and nuts. Mix on low for 1-2 minutes. Before I pour out the batter into the prepared pan I use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are blended fully. Pour the mixed batter into the prepared pan. Place in the oven for 50-55 minutes, checking it often to make sure that it does not over cook. I use a toothpick or butter knife and insert it until it comes out clean, that is how I know it is baked to perfection.

About 10-15 minutes before the cake is done baking, start working on the glaze for the cake.


1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small sauce pan combine the sugar, buttermilk, butter and corn syrup. Cooking over low heat, stirring constantly bring to a boil. Then remove from the heat and add in the vanilla.

Once cake is done and remove from oven, pour the warm glaze over the hot cake. Let the glaze absorb and the cake cool completely.

Then to top it off, I decided to add a cream cheese frosting to make this cake even more delicious than it already was. I used my favorite cream cheese recipe which is below.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
16 ounces confectioners sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a stand mixer combine cream cheese, butter, sugar. Mix at high speed for 5-6 minutes. The longer you mix frosting, the smoother the texture will be. Then lastly, add in the vanilla. Mix until completely blended.

Chill the frosting for about one hour and then spread onto a completely cooled carrot cake. And voila, you are done and ready to serve. So if you are a lover of carrot cake you have to try this recipe, it will be one of your new favorites...and that is a Rozlynn guarantee.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My mom and The Purple Apple

As many of you know my mom is my inspiration when it comes to cooking. She has always been a fabulous cook and has been known in the land for her fabulous cooking abilities. And because of that very reason she was featured in the Deseret News which is one of the two major newspapers here in Utah. They came up and did a whole article about her and her lavender fields and cooking with lavender.

My parents about three years ago sold their home in Park City and moved to Cache valley where they live on 5.5 acre farm and my mother grows lavender and has over 800 lavender plants, and about 80 apple trees. She has created many recipes that incorporate her lavender (and apples). My mom also sales her lavender at local farmers markets and calls it The Purple Apple...check out her blog

So clickhere to read the article written about The Purple Apple and my mom........