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We hosted the monthly Boy Scout Troop committee meeting at our house, and I made and set out a dessert selection, along with cheeses and various bottles of wine for the group to enjoy.


banana split brownies

8 ounces chocolate, chopped

3/4 cup butter, cubed

3 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of flour

1 cup maraschino cherries, chopped


1 package (8-ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup mashed banana

1/3 cup strawberry preserves

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts

Heat oven to 350F. Melt chocolate and butter, stir until smooth.

In a bowl, beat eggs and sugar on high speed 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla and chocolate mixture. Gradually stir in flour. Fold in cherries. Spread into a greased 13-by-9-inch baking pan.

In a bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in mashed banana and strawberry preserves. Add egg, beat on low speed just until blended. Spread over brownie batter, sprinkle with peanuts.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until topping is set and a toothpick inserted in brownie portion comes out mostly clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars.


Recipe adapted from Taste of Home, June/July 2015



dried apricot balls

200 grams dried apricots, finely chopped

100 grams white chocolate, chopped

1/2 tin sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup icing sugar

3/4 cup desiccated coconut

grated rind of 1 orange

extra desiccated coconut to roll

Mix apricots, white chocolate, condensed milk, icing sugar 3/4 cup desiccated coconut and orange rind together. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Form the mixture into small balls (each about the size of a walnut), and roll the balls in desiccated coconut.

Keep refrigerated until needed.


Recipe adapted from New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, March 2009



chocolate chip and almond slice

150 grams butter, chopped at room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 cup chocolate chips

3/4 cup almond meal

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup self-raising flour

1 tablespoon milk

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Heat oven to 160C. Lightly grease an 18-by-28 cm baking pan. Line with baking paper.

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in chocolate chips, almond meal, flours and milk until well combined.

Spread the mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Set aside in the pan to cool completely. Cut into squares.


Recipe adapted from Woman’s Day



salted caramel cupcakes

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk


1/3 cup sugar

4 teaspoons water

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cups cream

Heat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.

Divide among paper lined muffin cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water and salt. Cook over medium-low heat until sugar begins to melt. Gently pull melted sugar to the center of the pan until sugar melts evenly. Cook without stirring until mixture turns and amber color.

Remove from heat, gradually stir in the cream until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. Beat until stiff peaks form. Frost cupcakes.


Recipe adapted from Taste of Home Cupcakes, 2013