Joanne Fluke’s Gingerbread Cookies

Joanne Fluke's Gingerbread Men

Joanne Fluke’s Gingerbread Men

Joanne Fluke’s Gingerbread Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) softened, salted butter 

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup hot strong coffee

2/3 cup dark molasses

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2  1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. cinnamon

4 3/4 cups flour (DON’T SIFT IT — pack it down in the cup when you measure it)

In a large bowl, mix the softened butter with the white sugar.

Add the half-cup of hot strong coffee and then stir in the dark molasses.

Mix in the baking soda, salt, salt, ground ginger, ground cloves and cinnamon.  Stir well.

Add the flour in half-cup increments, mixing after each addition.  Give everything a final stir and then cover your bowl with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, rack in the middle position.

Divide the dough into four parts for ease in rolling.  Roll out the first part of the dough on a floured board.  If you plan to use gingerbread men or reindeer-shaped cookie cutters, roll your dough out to 1/4 inch thick. (Arms and legs tend to snap off when you frost them if they’re rolled too thin.)  Otherwise roll your dough out to 1/8 inch thick.

Dip the cookie cutters in flour and cut out cookies, getting as many as you can from the the sheet of dough.  Use a metal spatula to remove the cookies from the rest of dough and place them on an UNGREASED cookie sheet.  Leave at least an inch and a half between cookies.

Once you’ve cut out your cookies, there will be leftover dough.  You can gather it into a ball, re-flour the board, and re-roll it.  (I’ve done this up to 3 times — the 4th time the dough got too stiff to roll well.)

If you want to use colored sugar or sprinkles to decorate, put it on NOW, before baking and press it down just a bit with your fingers or with a spatula.  If you’d rather frost the cookies, wait until they’re baked and completely cooled.

Bake 1/4 inch thick cookies at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.  Leave them on the sheet for a minute or two and then transfer them to a wire rack to complete cooling.

Bake 1/8 inch thick cookies at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.  Leave them on the cookie sheet for a minute or two and then transfer them to a wire rack to complete cooling

Cookie Icing

2 cups sifted confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)

1/8 tea. salt

1/2 tea. vanilla (or other flavoring)

1/4 cup cream

Mix up icing, adding a little more cream if it’s too thick and a little more powdered sugar if it’s too thin.

If you’d like to frost the cookies in different colors, divide the icing and put it in several small bowls.  Add drops of desired food coloring to each bowl.

Use a frosting knife, or use a brush to “paint” the cookies you’ve baked.

Yield: 3 to 4 dozen cookies made with small cutters, 2 to 3 dozen cookies made with large cookie cutters.


Caramel Apple Crisp Squares

caramel apple crisp squares

caramel apple crisp squares

Caramel Apple Crisp Squares

Simple Holiday Joys by:

6 Tbsp. butter, divided

1 cup finely CRUSHED square shortbread cookies

3 Tbsp. sugar, divided

1 pkg. (8 oz.) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

2 cups chopped Granny Smith apples (about 2 apples)

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats

10 Kraft Caramels

2 Tbsp. water

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 8 inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides; spray with cooking spray.  Melt  2 tablespoons butter; mix with cookie crumbs and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.  Press onto bottom of prepared pan.

Beat cream cheese in medium bowl with mixer until creamy.  Blend in eggs.  Gradually beat in milk.  Add dry pudding mix; beat 2 minutes.  Pour over crust.

Mix cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining granulated sugar; toss with apples in medium bowl.  Spoon over cream cheese batter.

Melt remaining butter.  Combine flour, brown sugar and oats in separate bowl.  Add butter; mix well.  Sprinkle over apples.

Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely.

Microwave caramels and water in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds.  Continue microwaving and stirring in 10 seconds-intervals until caramels are completely melted.  Drizzle over dessert.

Refrigerate several hours or until chilled.  Use foil handles to remove dessert from pan before cutting into squares.

TIPS:  Variation:  For a slated caramel  topping, stir 1/2 tsp. salt into melted caramels before drizzling over dessert as directed.


Black and Blue Cobbler


Black and Blue Cobbler

Black and Blue Cobbler

Recipe provided courtesy of Taste of Home magazine.  Find more great recipes at


It never occurred to me that I could bake a cobbler in my slow cooker until I saw some recipes and decided to try my favorite fruity dessert recipe.  It took a bit of experimenting, but the tasty results are “berry” well worth it.

           Martha Creveling                                                                            Orlando, Florida


Black and Blue Cobbler Recipe


Black and Blue Cobbler

1 cup flour

1 ½ cups sugar, divided

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg (ground)

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 Tbsp. milk

2 Tbsp. canola oil

2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

¾ cup water

1 tsp. grated orange peel

Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, optional


In a large bowl, combine the flour, ¾ cup sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Combine the eggs, milk and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Spread the batter evenly onto the bottom of greased 5 quart slow cooker.

In a large saucepan, combine the berries, water, orange peel and remaining sugar; bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat; immediately pour over batter.  Cover and cook on high for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until a toothpick inserted into the batter comes out clean.

Turn cooker off.  Uncover and let stand for 30 minutes before serving.  Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.           6 servings


(Recipe for Black and Blue Cobbler was in, 2015)


Apple Cinnamon Bread

Apple Cinnamon Bread

Apple Cinnamon Bread


This recipe, Apple Cinnamon Bread, was posted on facebook by my cousin, Julie Lincks.


Apple Cinnamon Bread Recipe


Apple Cinnamon Bread

1/3 cup brown sugar (not packed)

1 tsp. cinnamon

2/3 cup sugar

½ cup butter, softened

2 eggs

1 ½ tsp. vanilla

1 ½ cups flour

1 ¾ tsp. baking powder

½ cup milk

1 apple, peeled and chopped


Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease and flour 9×5 inch loaf pan.  Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl; set aside.  Beat sugar and butter in bowl with electric mixer until smooth and creamy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Combine flour and baking powder in another bowl; stir into creamed butter mixture.  Mix milk into batter until smooth.  Pour half of the batter into loaf pan; add ½ of apples and brown sugar mixture.  Lightly pat apples into batter.

Pour remaining batter over apples layer; top with apples and add the rest of sugar and cinnamon; then swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using a spoon.

Bake 30 – 40 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.


(Recipe for the Apple Cinnamon Bread, is from Julie Lincks, 2014)


Layered Mocha Cheesecake

Layered Mocha Cheesecake

Layered Mocha Cheesecake


Recipe provided courtesy of Taste of Home magazine.  Find more great recipes at


In my search for the perfect mocha cheesecake, I ended up with combining a few of my favorite recipes to create this delicious version.  It’s as much a feast for the eyes as for the palate!

Sue Gronholz                                                                     Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

Layered Mocha Cheesecake Recipe


Layered Mocha Cheesecake

1 ½ cups Oreo cookie crumbs

¼ cup butter, melted

Filling:       2 Tbsp. plus 1 ½ tsp. instant coffee granules

1 Tbsp. hot water

¼ tsp. cinnamon

4 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened

1 ½ cups sugar

¼ cup flour

2 tsp. vanilla extract

4 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Glaze:       ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

3 Tbsp. butter

Chocolate-covered coffee beans, optional


Place greased 9 inch springform pan on double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 inch square).  Securely wrap foil around pan.

In a small bowl, mix cookie crumbs and butter; press onto the bottom of prepared pan.  In another bowl, mix the coffee granules, hot water and cinnamon; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla until smooth.  Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.

Divide batter in half.  Stir melted chocolate into one portion; pour over crust.  Stir coffee mixture into the remaining batter; spoon over chocolate layer.  Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 inch of hot water to larger pan.


(Recipe for Layered Mocha Cheesecake was in, 2015)


Apple Dumplings


Apple Dumplings

Apple Dumplings

This recipe, Apple Dumplings, came to me in a mailing from Family Circle.    I hope you enjoy it.

Apple Dumplings Recipe


Apple Dumplings

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

¼ cup butter or margarine

¼ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

¾ cup shortening

2/3 cup milk

¼ cup sugar

½ tsp. cinnamon

3 cups shredded, peeled cooking apples (3 to 4 medium); Golden Delicious, Rome, Granny Smith,

Johathan or Newtown Pippin

Sauce:  In large saucepan, combine 2 cups sugar, water, butter, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg.  Bring to boil.  Boil 5 minutes; set aside (should have about 2 cups sauce).

Dough:  In large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Using pastry blender, cut in shortening until pea-size.  Make a well in the center.  Add milk all at once.  Stir just until moistened.  Knead dough on lightly floured surface 10 to 12 strokes or until nearly smooth.  Roll out to 12×10 inch rectangle.

Filling:  Combine ¼ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon; set aside.  Sprinkle apples evenly over dough.  Sprinkle with sugar mixture.  Roll dough into spiral, starting from long side.  Pinch seam to seal.  Cut into twelve 1 inch thick pieces.   Place in a 13×9 inch baking pan.  Pour sauce over dumplings.  Bake in 350 F. oven about 50 minutes or until golden.  Cool in pan 30 minutes before serving.        12 servings


(Recipe for Apple Dumplings was in, 2015)


Gingerbread Cake Mix


Gingerbread Cake Mix

Gingerbread Cake Mix

Gingerbread Cake Mix Recipe


Gingerbread Cake Mix

Mix:      6 2/3 cups flour

1 ½ cups sugar

¾ cup plus 1 Tbsp. nonfat dry milk powder

¼ cup baking powder

1 Tbsp. salt



½ – 1 ¼ tsp. GROUND CLOVES (the original recipe calls for 1 ¼, but our cloves are super strong)


1 ½ cups shortening

CAKE:       1 egg

½ cup water

½ cup molasses



In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients; mix well.  Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.

                                5 batches (10 cups total)

To prepare the cake:  Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg, water and molasses.  Add 2 cups of the cake mix; beat until well blended.  Spread into a greased 8 inch square baking pan.  Bake at 350 F. for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.        9 pieces per cake


(Recipe for Gingerbread Cake Mix was in Penzeys Spices catalog)


Gingerbread Cheesecake


Gingerbread Cheesecake

Gingerbread Cheesecake

This recipe for Gingerbread Cheesecake came from the “cooking club” magazine.  It’s the perfect cheesecake for this time of year.  Anytime in the month of December, I think, would be fine.


Gingerbread Cheesecake Recipe


Gingerbread Cheesecake

Crust:          2 cups finely ground gingersnaps

6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

2 Tbsp. sugar

Filling:        4 (8 oz. each) pkg. cream cheese, softened

½ cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup sugar

4 eggs

½ cup sour cream

½ cup molasses

2 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground cloves

Topping:         1 cup whipping cream

½ cup powdered sugar

1 Tbsp. rum, if desired


Heat oven to 300 F.  Line outside of 9 inch springform pan with heavy-duty foil.  Combine crust ingredients in medium bowl.  Press onto bottom and halfway up sides of pan.  Refrigerate 30 minutes or until chilled.

Pulse cream cheese, brown sugar and ½ cup sugar in food processor 30 seconds or until smooth and creamy.  Add eggs, one at a time, pulsing after each addition.  Add all remaining filling ingredients; pulse to combine.  Pour into crust.

Place pan in large baking pan.  Add enough hot water to baking pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan.  Bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes or until edges are puffed and top is dry to the touch.  Center should move slightly when pan is tapped but should not ripple as if liquid.  Remove cake from water bath; remove foil.  Cool on wire rack 1 hour.  Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.

Beat whipping cream and powdered sugar in large bowl at medium-high speed until soft peaks form.  Beat in rum until firm but not stiff peaks form.  Spread over top of cake.  Sprinkle with finely ground gingersnaps or ground cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.


(Recipe for Gingerbread Cheesecake was in cooking club magazine, winter 2014)


Bourbon Pumpkin Tart with Walnut Streusel


Bourbon Pumpkin Tart with Walnut Streusel

Bourbon Pumpkin Tart with Walnut Streusel

Recipe provided courtesy of Taste of Home magazine.  Find more great recipes at


Because my husband loves pumpkin pie, I’ve looked high and low for that “perfect” recipe.  Bit as soon as he tasted this tart, he told me to stop searching, declaring this the best he’s ever tried!!

              Brenda Ryan                                                                       Marshall, Missouri


Bourbon Pumpkin Tart with Walnut Streusel Recipe


Bourbon Pumpkin Tart with Walnut Streusel

2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp. grated orange peel

½ tsp. salt

2/3 cup cold butter, cubed

1 egg, lightly beaten

¼ cup heavy whipping cream

Filling:       1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin

3 eggs

½ cup sugar

½ cup heavy whipping cream

¼ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup bourbon

2 Tbsp. flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. cloves

Topping:        ¾ cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ cup cold butter, cubed

¾ cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger


In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, orange peel and salt.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  Add egg.  Gradually and cream, tossing with a fork until a ball formsCover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry into a 13 inch circle.  Press onto the bottom and up sides of an ungreased 11 inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom.

In a large bowl, combine the filling ingredients.  Pour into crust.

For topping, combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  Stir in walnuts and ginger.  Sprinkle over filling.

Bake at 350 F. for 45-55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.  Refrigerate leftovers.       14 servings


(Recipe for Bourbon Pumpkin Tart with Walnut Streusel was in, 2014)


Sweet Potato Cinnamon Bread


Sweet Potato Cinnamon Bread

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Bread

Recipe provided courtesy of Taste of Home magazine.  Find more great recipes at


My family loves quick breads.  This one is moist and spicy.  If you don’t have don’t have mini loaf pans it works just as well in regular size pans.

         Nancy Foust                                                                       Stoneboro, Pennsylvania


Sweet Potato Cinnamon Bread Recipe

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Bread

3 ½ cups flour

2  2/3 cups sugar

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. baking powder

1 ½ tsp. baking ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. ground cloves

4 eggs

2 cups mashed sweet potatoes

2/3 cup canola oil

2/3 cup 2% milk

1 ½ cups raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a large bowl, whisk the first eight ingredients.  In another bowl, whisk eggs, sweet potatoes, oil and milk until blended.  Add to flour mixture; stir until just moistened.  Fold in raisins and walnuts.

Transfer to four (4) greased 5 ¾ x 4x3x2 inch loaf pans.  Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool.

4 loaves (6 slices each)

For larger loaves:  Prepare recipe as directed, using 2 greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.  Bake in preheated 350 F. 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


(Recipe for Sweet Potato Cinnamon Bread was on, 2014)