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Mud Pie for Grandpa

I am a long-time collector of recipes. Cookbooks, magazines, recipe cards – I love them all. For years I copied or clipped recipes from all of the above, and I keep them in a set of binders. More recipes than I’ll ever get around to making. As I was looking through those binders looking for inspiration, I came across an old recipe for Mud Pie. It came out of a children’s cookbook, Alpha Bakery by Gold Medal Flour.

Sometime in roughly the mid-90’s, I made this recipe for a family dinner. I don’t remember the exact occasion, but my grandparents, and maybe others, had come to dinner. Anyway, I made the mud pie and we all thought it was delicious. Several months or maybe even a year later, my grandfather asked about the dessert. He wanted me to make it again. He described it as a brownie or cake with whipped cream on it. Well, neither my mom nor I, or anyone else, could remember such a recipe. (I know – that really makes you want to try a recipe we couldn’t remember a relatively short time later.) He continued to talk about it on occasion, and how much he liked it. But we just could not figure out what that recipe was.

My grandpa passed away in 2006, and I still hadn’t figured out what dessert he was remembering. Fast forward several years, when my parents were moving into their current house and I was helping them to pack up. I was looking through all of my mom’s cookbooks while packing them when I came across the Alpha Bakery cookbook. I flipped through it to see if there were any recipes worth saving, and as soon as I saw the Mud Pie recipe I knew that was recipe Grandpa kept asking about. I copied it then and put it into my binder, to be forgotten again until this past weekend. Since his 95th birthday would have been later this week, I knew it was time to make it again.

The base is a rich brownie with chopped nuts. I used slivered almonds because I had some on hand. But you can of course use the nuts of your choice, or leave them out. Replace them with chocolate chips (any flavor) if you’d like. You top the brownie with hot fudge sauce. I used a homemade sauce, but you can definitely use a jarred sauce – fudge sauce, not chocolate syrup. I also think this would be delicious with a caramel sauce instead. Then top it all with whipped cream. I used a stabilized whipped cream, since I knew we wouldn’t eat it all at once. You could use regular whipped cream if you have enough people to serve that there won’t be leftovers. Or Cool Whip works too. But if you are making your own whipped cream, consider playing around with the flavors. Personally, I think a little almond extract in it would be perfect. But strawberry or cherry extract and a little red or pink food coloring would be delicious. Or peppermint extract and green food color for a grasshopper type of pie. The possibilities are endless.

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

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Mud Pie
A dense, fudgy brownie topped with hot fudge sauce and whipped cream. Lightly adapted from Gold Medal Flour's Alpha Bakery
Course Dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Brownie Base
Whipped Cream
Course Dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Brownie Base
Whipped Cream
Instructions
Brownie Base
  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F and grease an 8-inch cake pan or pie plate.
  2. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Stir in flour, cocoa powder, and nuts.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted halfway between the center and the edge comes out clean. Time will depend partly on the size of your pan.
  5. As soon as the brownie comes out of the oven, poke it all over with a skewer or fork. Spread the fudge sauce over the brownie and let cool completely.
Whipped Cream
  1. For stabilized whipped cream, combine gelatin and water in a small saucepan and let sit until thick.
  2. Melt gelatin over low heat, stirring constantly. Once melted, remove from heat and cool slightly.
  3. While gelatin cools, whip cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Add vanilla. (At this point, for regular whipped cream, whip a little longer until stiff peaks and use immediately.)
  4. Beating slowly, gradually add the cooled gelatin mixture to the whipped cream. It will start to look a little curdled, but beat at low to medium speed just until combine and peaks are stiff.
  5. Spread or pipe onto cooled brownie base.
  6. Serve with shaved chocolate or additional hot fudge sauce.
  7. Store in refrigerator.
Recipe Notes
  • Use any nuts you like, or substitute with any flavor of chocolate chips.
  • Jarred or homemade hot fudge sauce works great. Experiment with flavors. Try caramel sauce, or chocolate-mint fudge sauce instead.
  • Use Cool Whip in place of whipped cream.
  • Or flavor your whipped cream with any extract you like. Enhance with food color if desired. Think mint, strawberry, etc.
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Coffee Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking you don’t need another chocolate chip cookie recipe. But you’re wrong. Because not only is this cookie delicious and different than most of your chocolate chip cookie recipes, this one doesn’t have to be a chocolate chip cookie.

This recipe is based off of a recipe we made all the time as kids. We always had homemade cookies in our school lunch. Always. (My mom is the best. 🙂 ). The oatmeal chocolate chips cookies were a regular and a favorite. I was thinking about them the other day, and I thought they might be improved with a bit of coffee. (I was right). I made a few other changes (took out one egg white, used all brown sugar, melted the butter) to make them even chewier. Also a good idea.

But as I said, these don’t have to be chocolate chip cookies. In fact, the original recipe called for either chocolate chips OR shredded coconut. You could absolutely make that substitution here. Or add chopped nuts. Or dried fruit (you know, like raisins, if you’re in to that kind of thing). Or any combination of the above. The coffee is not an overwhelming flavor, but it really does add an interesting element to the cookie. Yes, you can leave it out. Or, if you want a real coffee punch, use up to twice the amount I’ve called for.

One thing you shouldn’t do is skip the chilling the dough step. Especially when using the melted butter, you really need to chill the dough to get a thicker, chewy cookie. Unless you want a thinner, crispier cookie. In which case, you should bake these as soon as they are mixed. (But seriously, why would you want that??) Whatever way you make these, you should definitely make them soon. I was informed that these are “husband approved”, and that I didn’t need to bring these in to the office to share. (Sorry guys!) 🙂

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Coffee Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Course Dessert
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine melted butter and brown sugar and mix well.
  2. Add egg, egg yolk, coffee (dissolved in water), and vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips or other mix-ins.
  5. Refrigerate dough at least 30 minutes.
  6. Scoop chilled dough by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheets.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and just set. Do not overbake.
  8. Cool completely on wire rack. Store in airtight container up to a week.
Recipe Notes
  • Use any flavor chips you like.
  • Substitute chopped nuts, shredded coconut, and/or dried fruit.
  • Use any combination that sounds good to you!
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Unicorn Pizzelles Three Ways: Cookies, Sandwiches, and Stroopwafels

Hi everyone! Is it too late to jump on the unicorn bandwagon? 

What a busy spring it has been. I was out of town for work most of the last month, and when I finally got back I had this small matter of my wedding to attend to. 🙂 It turned out to be a beautiful day, at least for the few hours we needed it to be. It stormed the night before and then again that afternoon, but in the late morning it dried up and the sun actually peeked out a little bit. It was a small ceremony, with only the two of us and the pastor (and photographer), but it was perfect, and everything we wanted it to be. I made my own wedding cake – I know, everyone says not to do it – but it turned out great. I made one of the geode cakes that has become so popular lately. Do you want to see a picture?

So, as you can see, I have been busy, and I have been baking. I just haven’t had time to do much for this blog. But I got a pizzelle maker from my parents for the wedding, and I knew I had to do something fun with it. Since I hadn’t made any unicorn treats yet, and they seem to be so popular, I decided it was time. And because I just can’t leave something well enough alone, I made a couple of variations.

Of course the “plain” cookie is delicious, but I also used a circle cutter to cut smaller circles and filled those with white chocolate buttercream. Then I rolled them in sprinkles. Because unicorn cookies need sprinkles. And for the larger cookies, I filled some with a caramel stroopwafel filling. Stroopwafels are a pizzelle-like cookie from the Netherlands filled with a cinnamon caramel. I had never had one, but they sounded delicious – and they are. Apparently you can place it over a steamy mug of coffee or tea, and that will warm the cookie and filling slightly, making it even better.

Pizzelles are so easy to make. Yes, you need a pizzelle iron, but they are totally worth it. They are a really simple batter, and they cook up so fast you can make a ton of cookies pretty quickly. And, they work perfectly with a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend if you are GF.  You can flavor them with any extract you want. And you can fill them with almost anything. They make great ice cream sandwiches. Or curl them into an ice cream cone while they are still warm. Or spread on some peanut butter, or Nutella, or cookie butter….

If you aren’t into unicorns, go with darker colors and make galaxy-inspired cookies. Or, with graduation season upon us, color these with your school colors. They would be great for a graduation party! However you make them, you should make them soon!


Print Recipe
Unicorn Pizzelles Three Ways
Basic pizzelles, with two optional fillings.
Servings
Ingredients
Pizzelles
White Chocolate Buttercream
Stroopwafel Filling
Servings
Ingredients
Pizzelles
White Chocolate Buttercream
Stroopwafel Filling
Instructions
Pizzelles
  1. Beat eggs and sugar with the whisk attachment of an electric mixer until light yellow in color, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add vanilla and cooled, melted butter and mix until combined.
  3. Sift together flour and baking powder, and gently stir into egg mixture.
  4. If desired, divide into three equal portions and color each portion a different color.
  5. Place each color into a small disposable piping bag, cut off the ends, and place all three into a larger piping bag.
  6. Or, using a long spatula, place the three colors side-by-side in the large piping bag.
  7. Preheat and grease a pizzelle iron according to manufacturers directions.
  8. Pipe about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter onto each circle and bake 25-35 seconds.
  9. Remove from iron with a spatula and place flat onto a wire rack to cool.
  10. For smaller cookies, use about 1/2 tablespoon batter and cook for 15-20 seconds.
  11. As soon as cookies come off of the iron (you have about 15 seconds tops), use a 2 to 3 inch round metal cookie cutter to cut a circle out of the middle of the cookie. Cool on wire rack as above.
White Chocolate Buttercream
  1. Combine chocolate chips and cream in a microwavable bowl.
  2. Microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until chips are melted. (You are making a white chocolate ganache.)
  3. Cool ganache to room temperature, either on the counter or in the refrigerator.
  4. Place buttercream into a bowl, and beat in cooled ganache.
  5. Sandwich two small pizzelles together with the white chocolate buttercream, and roll edges in sprinkles if desired.
Stroopwafel Filling
  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture reaches the soft ball stage, 234 to 240 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Remove from heat and cool slightly, no more than 5 minutes.
  3. Working quickly, and CAREFULLY (it's hot sugar!), spread about 1/2 tablespoon of the mixture on one full-size pizzelle and top with another cookie.
  4. If the mixture gets too thick before you finish filling cookies, place the pan back on the burner on low until the mixture starts to thin back out.
Recipe Notes
  • Use any extract you like. Anise is a traditional flavor for pizzelles.
  • Use any colors you like, or leave it uncolored and drop by spoonfuls instead of piping the batter.
  • Fill the cookies (or not) with any filling you like. Ice cream, buttercream, Nutella, etc.
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