Still A Great Cookie

Roca Cookies

Many years ago I was having an early Sunday breakfast with my friend Charles. He had purchased the major newspapers of the day for us. While he was reviewing the whereabouts of Jimmy Carter, and the continuing news of Watergate (Deep Throat) I was focusing on Food and Entertainment. Frank Sinatra had married again, and Julia Child and her recipes remained newsworthy. Somewhere in all these newspapers I came across a recipe for Roca Cookies, not Julia’s. Since my father’s favorite candies included Almond Roca I took a second look.

In the 1970’s I began baking these cookies. The recipe has changed over the years but remains very different from any other Roca Cookie recipe I have reviewed. I hope you will try this recipe and enjoy these cookies as much as my sons, Steve and Ian, do.

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Cream Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

Italian Cream Cake Undone

Cream Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

This delicious yellow cake is a simple version of my Italian Cream Cake. When the coconut and pecans in the original recipe are removed the crumb of the cake changes to a light fine texture. Coconut is a taste and texture not all appreciate. The cream cheese frosting has been changed as well for the same reason. Yep, this was changed up for a special birthday.

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Tomato Soup Mystery Cake Now Pumpkin SpicE

Spice CakeThis was Marc’s choice for a birthday cake … The Mystery Cake for the mystery man.

I have tested alternatives to the main ingredient, canned tomato soup. With this recipe I substituted pumpkin with terrific results. The idea of pumpkin puree just sounds better for several reasons.

The cake is called a mystery because of the hidden tomato soup ingredient that cannot be detected in the flavor of the cake. As for the pumpkin substitution, it is hard to determine if the spices used take the palate to a pumpkin place as in pumpkin pie.

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A Cake To Drizzle Or Not

Chardonnay Cake With Buttercream or Citrus Drizzle


This is a rich tasting but light in texture yellow cake … A cake I made for my daughter’s birthday today. I have added just a touch of drizzle … But did not pour a chardonnay glaze over the cake as in the original recipe.

I’m not sure who to give the credit to for this recipe. It was given to me many years ago but I fail to remember the details. With a little research I have found it has been recorded by Cindi Leive, 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know.

Changes have been made to the glaze only. I like to make all cakes from scratch. So, with this recipe I experimented with replacing the vanilla pudding with ingredients like extra eggs and cream for the whole milk with disasterous results. I did a little research here but all the suggestions were very chancy. Dry whipped topping was suggested, too. But if using this topping I might as well use the pudding mix as in the original.

Try this Chardonnay Cake with Buttercream or Citrus Drizzle! After all it has been recommended as 1 in 100 recipes women should know! That says something, doesn’t it?

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Moist and Chewy

Molasses Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies, Vegan or Not

Molasses Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

This is a cookie my daughter would appreciate … The nutritional value is not outweighed by the calories. This is now a family recipe but the origin is unclear. I am going to give a vegan version; and then again with the changes that created this taller, less molasses tasting cookie with cranberries instead of raisins. Did you know almost all brown sugar we use for baking is stripped to white and then the molasses is added back? So, in reality we are more or less doing that here. This is a great breakfast on the run, Hint of Molasses Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies, Vegan or Not!

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Delicious, rich, cinnamon Spicy

cinnamon cocoa Sheet Cake

Cinnamon Cocoa Sheet Cake

This rich cake is a favorite of Aubree’s. Dressing up a sheet cake is difficult because the batter is very rich and meant to be baked in a thin layer. But if it is a special birthday what do you do? I have layered this cake … Not so pretty. Here I used a 12 section quiche pan with 12 false bottoms. And at the end of baking I had twelve blobs of very cooked batter at the bottom of the oven. Small cupcakes did pretty well. So, this is what I suggest for a birthday if this is the favorite cake, a tower of cupcakes. This recipe will make 24 small cupcakes.

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A Country School favorite, tommy’s cookies

No Butterscotch Chips Butterscotch Cookies

Butterscotch Cookies


Delta View Elementary School District was in the middle of Kings County agriculture. It was country school small but Ag wealthy. It wasn’t an unpleasant place to teach … My first real job after college. The children were extraordinary. I briefly had our future 1991-2005 congressman in a math class. I would guess many of these students went on to promising careers.

Today, as I look back, how unaffected I was by all the craziness. Not quite Peyton Place!

My position was to teach kindergarten in the morning; and 5th and 6th grades, or was it 4th and 5th, in the afternoon when the principal took over his principal duties.

In kindergarten birthdays were celebrated with homemade cookies and milk. This cookie recipe was introduced to me at one of these birthdays. I have made changes to the original recipe but I still like to call these Tommy’s cookies. They are still delicious in today’s competition.

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An almond cluster chocolate Chip cookie

These Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies are crisp around the edges with just enough shortening to give them a little lift in the middle … making for a chewy center. The almonds add the crunch. Milk chocolate chips as well as raw almonds get lost in this cookie. So, I’ve added salted roasted almonds, and half semi-sweet and half milk chocolate chips instead. This cookie is my creation. I’ve been a lover of chocolate chip cookies and chocolate covered almonds for years. This is my attempt to bring the two together.

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