1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 box (3.4 ounces) INSTANT Vanilla Pudding Mix (just the mix, don’t make the pudding)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup red and blue sprinkles (or any colors)

3/4 cup 4th of July M&Ms (or any color of M&M)


1. Note: This dough requires chilling.

2. Cream butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (You can also use a hand mixer.) Mix in egg and vanilla until smooth. Add pudding mix, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined. Mix in flour, then stir in sprinkles and M&Ms.

3. Scoop 2 tablespoon balls of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment or a silpat baking mat. There’s no need to space them out, you’re going to chill them. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat baking mats. Place chilled cookie dough balls 2” apart on cookie sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes or until the edges just start to turn brown. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to one month.


If you have trouble finding the 4th of July M&Ms, check in the regular candy aisle, that’s where I found mine. You can substitute and color or flavor M&M you want for these cookies!

Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding


  • One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 12 ounces water
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 loaf of bread
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup apple, finely chopped
  • Topping:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 F. In large bowl, mix milk, water and eggs together. Add sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon; mix together. Tear bread into small bite-sized pieces and add to milk mixture. The bread should soak up the majority of the milk, but leave some. (To test: lower spoon slowly into milk mixture. Liquid should slowly seep onto spoon). Add raisins and apples. Pour into 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish. Cook at 350F for 1 hour until golden brown. Cool slightly. To prepare topping, bring sugar and water to a boil. Mix cornstarch with a little water and then add to sugar water. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly Pour topping over bread pudding. Serve warm.

Hackberry Louisiana King Cake


For the cake:

  • 1 cup lukewarm milk, about 110°F

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons dry yeast

  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup melted butter

  • 5 egg yolks, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest

  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon

  • Several gratings of fresh nutmeg

For the icing:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1/4 cup condensed milk

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • Purple, green, and gold decorative sugars

  • 1 fève (fava bean) or plastic baby to hide in the cake after baking


1. For the cake, pour the warm milk into a large bowl. Whisk in the granulated sugar, yeast, and a heaping tablespoon of the flour, mixing until both the sugar and the yeast have dissolved.

once bubbles have developed on the surface of the milk and it begins to foam, whisk in the butter, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the remaining flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg and fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a large rubber spatula.

2. After the dough comes together, pulling away from the sides of the bowl, shape it into a large ball. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it is smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes.

3. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a draft-free place to let it proof, or rise, for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in volume.

4. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough between your palms into a long strip, making 3 ropes of equal length. Braid the 3 ropes around one another and then form the braided loaf into a circle, pinching ends together to seal. Gently lay the braided dough on a nonstick cookie sheet and let it rise until it doubles in size, about 30 minutes.

5. Once it’s doubled in size, place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake until the braid is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven, place on a wire rack, and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

6. For the icing, while the cake is cooling, whisk together the powdered sugar, condensed milk, and lemon juice in a bowl until the icing is smooth and very spreadable. If the icing is too thick, add a bit more condensed milk; if it’s a touch too loose, add a little more powdered sugar.

7.Once the cake has cooled, spread the icing over the top of the cake and sprinkle with purple, green, and gold decorative sugars while the icing is still wet. Tuck the fève or plastic baby into the underside of the cake and, using a spatula, slide the cake onto a platter.

Banana Peanut Butter Brownie Pizza

  • One 21-1/2 ounce package brownie mix
  • One 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 large bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 2 squares semi-sweet chocolate (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons butter

Preheat oven to 270F. Prepare brownie mix as directed. Spread batter evenly in greased 12 inch pizza pan. Bake, then cool.

Mix cream cheese, sugar, and peanut butter with electric mixer on medium speed until blended well. Spread mixture over brownies. Arrange banana slices over cream cheese mixture, sprinkle peanuts. Cook chocolate and butter in heavy sauce pan on very low heat, stirring constantly. When completely melted drizzle over peanuts.

Banana Cake


  • 3/4 lb butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 bananas, sliced
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda


  • 1-1/2 bars cream cheese
  • 3/8 lb butter
  • 1-1/2 boxes powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Toppings:
  • 10 bananas 1/4 slices
  • 1-1/2 cups Pecans, chopped
  • Preheat oven to 350F.


Beat butter and sugar, Add, eggs, bananas and buttermilk. Add flour and baking soda. Mix well after each addition.. Spoon batter evenly into four greased 9-inch baking pans. Bake 30 minutes. Cool completely before icing cake.

For icing:

Soften butter and cream cheese. Mix well with electric blender. Add vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar. Use first as filling between layers. Add sliced bananas between cake layers. Add pecans to remaining icing and ice cake. Refrigerate to make cutting and serving easier. Makes one very tall cake.

Serves 20.

Pearl’s Blackberry Cobbler

An elderly Cajun couple lived up on the corner across the street from the lodge. Pearl and Francis Tousan had lived there for many years and you had better be paying attention when they were talking to you because they were talking in their language but mostly broken Cajun. During this time of the year (when they were ripe in the field across the street) Francis would pick Blackberries for Pearl and his eyes would light up as he walked back to the house. I have a lot of fond memories about this couple but none more than this one.


Blackberry pie filling

  • 1 stick oleo

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 2 tsp. Baking power

  • 3 cups flour

  • 1 tsp. Salt

  • 1/2 cup milk

Pour filling into buttered baking dish. Cream together the next 4 ingredients. Mix dry ingredients well and add milk. Mix together and roll out. Cut in 2 inch strips and criss- cross them on top of the filling.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes

NOTE: You can leave the vanilla ice cream off of the second helping. YUM YUM

Louisiana Swamp Pie


I have never had one of these in fact until Thursday of last week I have never even heard of a Louisiana Swamp Pie. I found this recipe and it sounded like I might would like it. So here is the challenge ………….one of you make it and let me know how good or not so good it is. It looks pretty easy so let me know.

I’m told it won some kind of  baking contest in 1989 in Crowley Louisiana. Here we go

  • 4 – eggs

  • 2 cups of sugar

  • 2 sticks of butter (melted)

  • 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar

  • 1 cup of coconut

  • 1 cup of pecans (chopped)

  • 1 cup of golden raisins

  • 2 uncooked pie shells

Preheat oven to 300 F. Beat eggs. Add sugar melted butter vinegar and some vanilla in a bowl and mix well. Add coconut, pecans and raisins. Pour into pie shells dividing  mixture evenly between both pies. Bake a t 300 F for 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of pies comes out clean.

Actually it’s pretty ugly


Cajun Honey Bread Pudding

Cajun Honey Bread PuddingCajun Honey Bread Pudding

  • 8 cups day-old bread, cubed
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup half- and-half
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tbs grated orange peel
  • 1 tsp each vanilla and ground cinnamon Honey Cream Sauce

Arrange bread in bottom of lightly greased shallow 2-quart baking dish. Beat remaining ingredients until well blended. Pour over bread cubes in baking dish and let stand 1 hour or until liquid is absorbed by bread. Bake at 275F for 45 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

Makes 8 to 12 servings.

Recipe can be halved.

Honey Cream Sauce:

Beat 1 cup whipping cream until fluffy; add 1/4 cup honey slowly and beat until stiff. Fold in 1 tbs rum. (One-half tsp rum extract can be substituted.)

Makes about 2 cups.

Amaretto Rice Cheesecake


1 cup graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup almonds, finely chopped

1/4 cup butter, melted


2 cups rice, cooked with sugar and cinnamon

Three 8-ounce blocks cream cheese

1/4 cup whipping cream

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup Amaretto


1 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon Amaretto

1 tablespoon sugar

Toasted almond slices and crumbs


Preheat oven to 350F.

To prepare crust:

Combine all crust dry ingredients in un buttered 9 inch spring form pan. Pour melted butter over crumbs. Mix well and press into bottom and up 1 inch of sides of pan. Refrigerate.

To prepare filling:

Combine rice, two blocks cream cheese and whipping cream in food processor or blender until well blended and set aside. Beat remaining block of cream cheese and sugar in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Blend in Amaretto. Add rice mixture and mix well. Pour filling into prepared crust. Place in water bath and bake at 350F for 1 hour and 5 minutes.

To prepare topping:

Blend sour cream, sugar and Amaretto. Spoon over cheesecake. Bake 10 minutes more. Cool. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. Garnish with almond slices and crumbs.

Bananas Fosters Bread Pudding with Custard Sauce and Banana Rum Sauce


12 cups cubed stale or dried bread
5 egg yolks
7 egg whites separated
5 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 bananas, mashed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup dark rum
1 cup raisins
2 bananas, sliced

1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup half-and-half
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup dark rum

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dark rum
Dash of ground cinnamon
1/3 cup of above custard
1 cup pecans, chopped


Soak the raisins in the dark rum for at least one hour, then drain and set ingredients aside separately. For the bread pudding, beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale, about 2-4 minutes. Mix in half-and-half, drained dark rum, vanilla, cinnamon, mashed bananas and beat until well combined.

In a large, clean bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Slowly fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, then add the raisins and sliced bananas. Make sure you do not deflate the egg whites!

Place the bread pieces into a deep bowl, pour half of the egg mixture over the bread and let sit for 10 minutes. Top with remaining bread and eggs, then soak another 10 minutes. Coat a 9? x 12? baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Add bread mixture into the dish, cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for one hour. Remove foil and bake until the center and edges set, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle the remaining melted butter on top. As the pudding cools and sets, pour the sugar, corn starch and egg yolks into a heat resistant bowl and whisk until they become light and ribbony. Mix in the half-and-half, rum, and vanilla and whisk well. Set the bowl over a bit of simmering water in a pot and cook until thickened, and the sauce coats the back of a spoon, approximately 12-14 minutes. Stir constantly. Reserve 1/3 cup of the custard for the sauce.

Prepare the final rum sauce by melting the butter and brown sugar in a skillet over medium heat until the sugar has melted and dissolved. Carefully mix in rum and continue to heat. If desired, carefully tip the edge of the pan towards the stove flame and watch for a bit of a flare! Stir in the cinnamon followed by the custard sauce and pecans.

To assemble, place a pool of custard onto a dessert plate topped by a square of the bread pudding. Drizzle the rum sauce over the dessert to finish.