Desserts on the mind

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It just happened to work out that all of the recipes for today are desserts. Occasionally there is a theme for this column, and today is one of those days. Some of these desserts have a flavor of fall, others are great all year. I hope you enjoy this extra sweet variety for you today.

Tres Leches Cake (Three Milk Cake)

My brother Wes Kinsey retired from My Daddy's Cheesecake earlier this year and now after his retirement, he has enjoyed playing in the kitchen for fun and auctioning off several desserts for his church as fundraisers. Recently he combined a couple of cake recipes to come up with his favorite Tres Leches cake. It is a very heavy, wet cake but is quite delicious.

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

6 large eggs (separated)

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup of whole milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk

3 cups heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 by 13 pan and flour for easy release. Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside to use later. In a bowl beat egg whites at medium/ high speed to soft peak. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the granulated sugar with the mixer running. Beat on medium/high speed to stiff peak. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each egg is added on medium speed. Add the flour mixture to the batter in stages, alternating with the whole milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Do this quickly so that the batter does not lose its volume. Add the vanilla extract and turn mixer off. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. In a blender combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and heavy whipping cream. Cover and blend on high for 45 seconds. Using a large meat fork, poke holes into the cake about 1 inch apart. Start pouring the milk mixture into the cake. This will take several minutes for it to soak in between each addition. After all the mixture has been poured into the cake refrigerate overnight.


2 cups heavy whipping cream

8 ounces granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat heavy cream on high until soft peaks form. Reduce speed and blend the granulated sugar and vanilla, return to high speed and beat to stiff peek. Do not overbeat. Remove from mixer and ice the top of the cake and form peaks on the top of the cake as decoration. Return to refrigerator and store until ready to serve. This cake tastes like homemade ice cream.

Chocolate Crunch Brownies

I recently took a couple of desserts to a friend's birthday party. Lori Trepasso turned 50 years old last week, and a group of friends gathered to help her celebrate. I offered to bring a couple of quick and easy desserts, and during the evening several people wanted the recipes, so I decided to add them here today.

1 cup margarine, melted

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

6 tablespoons cocoa

1 cup flour

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

7 ounces marshmallow cream

1 cup peanut butter

2 cups (12 ounces) chocolate chips

3 cups crispy rice cereal

Combine the first seven ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir with a spoon to mix. Spread into a 9-by-13-inch pan with the bottom greased. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool and spread marshmallow cream over top. Melt chocolate chips slowly in the microwave and stir in peanut butter, heating again if needed to be smooth and completely melts. Stir in rice cereal until well combined. Spread over top of marshmallow cream.

Pumpkin Squares

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

4 eggs

1 (16-ounce) can pumpkin

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees for glass baking dish. In a bowl, mix together well the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside. In a separate bowl beat together the remaining ingredients by hand with a whisk. Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture; stir briskly to combine. Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake for 40 minutes or just until done. Cool completely before frosting with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter or margarine, softened

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix in. Add powdered sugar and beat until well combined.

Pumpkin Mousse

Jodi Thompson from Jackson sent me this recipe and I thought it sounded too good. I enjoy the flavors of fall so much, and can't wait to try this recipe.

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix

1 package instant vanilla or butterscotch pudding mix

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup cold milk

1 small tub of Cool Whip

Gingersnap cookies

Begin by creaming a package of cream cheese in the mixer for about 3 minutes. Add 1/3 cup of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla. Mix until the consistency is even. Add 15 ounces of canned pumpkin. Mix until combined. Add 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, a 3.4-ounce package of vanilla or butterscotch pudding and 1 cup of milk. Mix for another 3 minutes until consistency thickens. Remove from mixer and use spatula to fold an 8 ounce tub of Cool Whip into the pudding mixture. Add a spoonful of pumpkin mousse to your dessert dishes, a tablespoon of crushed gingersnap cookies, followed by another spoonful of pumpkin mousse. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Have a great week, and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

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