Tag Archives: Dessert

Savor summer with Peanut Butter Chocolate Pudding Pops

On my list of ways to savor the flavors of summer in this strange pandemic season, I listed “make homemade popsicles.”

I remember my mother making popsicles long ago in the ’70s. It’s exactly the type of recipe Jell-O would have popularized back then to promote sales among homemakers. Nowadays, people just buy popsicles.

But on the theory that making them myself would help savor the popsicle, I made some. Fortunately, Mom gifted me some extra molds she described as being forty years old, meaning they were the same ones she used back in the ’70s. If that isn’t a testimony to Tupperware, I don’t know what is.

I wanted to make fancy, three-layer pops with peanut butter being one of the layers (because I love peanut butter). I could not find such a recipe several pages deep into Google search results, so I made one up and it turned out great (despite my father’s skepticism about the structural integrity of such fancy pops). If you like peanut butter and making a big mess in the kitchen, you might like it, too.

Popsicles in process

June 28: Make homemade popsicles.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pudding Pops


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder


  1. Beat milks, pudding and sugar in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Fill popsicle molds one-third full.
  2. Remove two cups of vanilla pudding mixture to a new bowl and beat in peanut butter. Fill popsicle molds with resulting mixture to two-thirds full.
  3. Remove one cup of peanut butter pudding mixture to another bowl and beat in cocoa powder. Fill popsicle molds to full and freeze until firm, about three hours.
  4. Depending on the size of your molds, you may have extra pudding. Spoon it carefully into glass dishes (so you can see the layers), and enjoy with whipped cream.
  5. Release mold from popsicle with the heat of your hands. To really savor your popsicle, you’ll lick it. But I like eating it in bites. You do you.
Pudding Pop





Boy turns 18; baker turns to Betty Crocker

All the world is birthday cake,
so take a piece, but not too much.

~ George Harrison

Guess who’s officially an adult today?

My stepson Caswell turns 18! He’s now entitled to vote, buy cigarettes, register with Selective Service, get a motorcycle license without taking a motorcycle-rider training course,  bear arms (some types anyway), own property, marry without parental consent and serve on a jury.

How better to celebrate this magic milestone than with cake!

I mentioned to my friend Jill that Cas was celebrating his birthday this week. Ever the mother (she has two boys) and consummate baker, she asked, “Are you making a cake?”

Eek. It never dawned on me to make a cake.

I hate cake, for one thing, so it’s not very high on my personal priority list. And I’m camping this week. Have you ever seen an oven in 1983 camper? And even when I have the best equipment, I haven’t had a lot of success with cakey cakes. Cheesecake? I’m good at cheesecake. Cakey cakes? Hardly.

A couple of years ago, I made a cake for my Beloved’s birthday and it was a disaster (read about it here).

“Do you think I should make a cake?” I asked Jill.

“What’s a birthday without cake?” she said like a baker who’s whipped out six dozen cookies for a Boy Scout outing with 8 hours notice. “How about cupcakes? You can borrow a pan from me, and I have a FUN da-Middles mix you can have. It’s like homemade Twinkies.”

So she set me up with a pan, celebration-themed cupcake liners and this foolproof mix. Bonus: The secret filling means no frosting required. The tagline, which is as perfect for this baker’s intentions as it is for this confection invention, is “It’s what’s inside that matters.”

The hardest part of the whole process was lighting the pilot light, it worked so slick! And FUN da-Middles are delicious (if you’re into cakey cakes).

Mm … creamy filling …

I get stepmother points (thanks to Jill and Betty), and Cas gets his cake and can eat it, too! Yay!

Happy birthday, sweet stepson.

Sweet treat: Fudgy brownies made without butter

Well, the universe didn’t deliver any big boxes today, but I did make some delicious brownies! I don’t think I’ve shared this yummy recipe for a chocolately dessert you might consider good for you — or at least — not bad for you.

They’re made with just a little canola oil, instead of butter, and the original recipe called for dried cherries. I used walnuts today (which are full of good fats). The recipe originally appeared in the Daily Herald.

These brownies were delicious with “War Horse” tonight. Keep the Kleenex nearby.

Dark Chocolate Brownies


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1/4 granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, blended with 3 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries or chopped walnuts


  1. Position a rack in the center of oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coast an 8-inch-square baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
  3. In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the oil and half of the chocolate chips.Place the pan over the lowest heat and cook, stirring constantly, until just melted and smooth (be careful that the chocolate does not overheat).
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the granulated sugar, corn syrup mixture, almond extract and salt until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the egg until smoothly incorporated. Gently stir in the dry ingredients. Fold in the cherries or walnuts and the remaining 3 ounces chocolate chips just until well blended. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spreading evenly.
  5. Bake until almost firm in the center and a toothpick comes out with some moist batter clinging to it, 25-30 minutes. Let cool. If you cut too soon, you’ll make a mess of things so don’t get too anxious.