Bon Bons

The other day I took out the tattered, hand written cookbook that sits in the book rack near my recliner. Coffee stained pages, marks where spoons were set on it by sticky little hands, a book of the past. I have looked through it many times and checked a recipe or two but have never really thought about what it means to me. Many of the pages are hanging by a thread and others are torn and faded. There is no cover or binding and it is a sad looking example of a cookbook! I left this book behind with everything else in Saudi. It came in a shipment the year after our relocation and stands as a reminder of what was and how far we have come. I found this recipe for Bon Bons which I had not made in many years, they were fantastic!

The book




2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup butter

1 – 14 ounce can  sweetened condensed milk

2 cups flour


One bag of white kisses

White chocolate for drizzling

powdered sugar for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray

Melt chocolate and butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Move to a bowl and add condensed milk, mix well. Add flour and mix in until well combined.

Place a piece of dough in hand and flatten, place kiss in the middle and wrap up. Roll into a ball and placed on greased baking sheet. Put in oven for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Drizzle with melted white chocolate or roll in powdered sugar.

Tip- Do not over bake or they will be hard. Let cool before rolling in powdered sugar


Cream cheese brownies

This is my favorite recipe for brownies that I have used for many years. I add the cream cheese for extra flavor and texture.


1 cup butter softened not melted

2 cups white sugar

4 eggs

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 level cup flour


1– 8 ounce package cream cheese

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Lightly grease and flour 9 X13 pan

Mix butter and sugar very well, add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Turn mixer to low and add cocoa, flour and salt, mix until smooth, beat well until fluffy.



In a separate bowl mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth and well blended. Use a spoon to fold chocolate chips into cream cheese. 


Spread  basic chocolate batter into prepared pan.


Use a spoon to put cream cheese on batter in small amounts as seen in picture. Cream cheese mixture will be thick but I like to spread it out a little so that each area has some cream cheese.


Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until done in the middle.

Let cool and cut into squares. You can frost but they are delicious without frosting.


Peanut Butter Pie

When I hosted dessert nights on the compound and had a bakery, one of the things I  made was Peanut Butter Pie. On a recent visit my mom requested peanut butter pie. I looked around but realized once again that my book with the hand written recipes was left behind in Saudi! So, I made this one trying to remember the exact ingredients and mom loved it! Of course now we will be back to making numerous Peanut Butter Pies!



2- 8 ounce packages cream cheese

3 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups peanut butter

1/4 cup butter softened but not melted

1 small whipping cream- 2 cups unwhipped

1/2 cup sugar


15 plain chocolate cookies

2 Tbs. butter


2 cups semi sweet Chocolate chips

1 cup cream


Mix cream cheese until smooth, add powdered sugar and mix well. Add peanut butter and mix until fluffy.

Add butter and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Put this mixture into the refrigerator.


Crush cookies and add melted butter, press into spring form pan. Chill until needed.


Beat the whipping cream and 1/2 cup sugar until firm.

Fold whipped cream into peanut butter mixture.


Pour over crust and put into freezer.

I usually let this chill for (minimum) several hours, this can be kept in the refrigerator

as well if you prefer, but you will not be able to easily transfer pie to a serving dish.

I freeze the pie so that I can easily transfer to lovely serving plate.


When pie is set, remove ring from spring form pan. Using a spatula to loosen pie, carefully transfer to a plate. Return pie to refrigerator. Melt chocolate chips and cream stirring until chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate. When chocolate is cool but not set pour over the pie and let it drip down the sides. Return pie to refrigerator.




Mocha cookie Mousse

This is a special dessert that I have made for many years.  It became a favorite of my British neighbor while we were residing on a Western compound in Riyadh. She asked me to make it for her weekly and said that it was her husband’s all time favorite dessert. It has a light mocha flavor and a chocolate cookie crust.


2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup strong coffee or espresso

2 egg yolks

1 small jar marshmallow fluff

1 small container whipping cream

1/2 cup white sugar


15-20 chocolate cookies made into big crumbs


Pour crumbs into small spring form pan, press down and even out.




In sauce pan mix chocolate chips, water and coffee. On low heat whisk until smooth and chips are melted. Remove pan from heat and let cool slightly while doing the next step. Separate 2 eggs and use only yolks, discard egg whites. I personally do not use raw egg whites in my desserts. Whisk egg yolks well. Now you are going to use 2 to 3 Tablespoons of the warm chocolate mixture and whisk it into the egg yolks.


When well combined put this egg and chocolate mixture back into the saucepan.  Whisk well. Put pan back on medium heat and whisk constantly until low boil, cook chocolate at low boil for 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully so it does not burn.  After cooked remove from heat, cool for a few minutes.

Open jar of marshmallow fluff and put into a large bowl. Add chocolate mocha mix to marshmallow fluff and fold lightly. Do not mix, FOLD. Refrigerate chocolate mixture until cool. Meanwhile put whipping cream in mixer and add sugar. Mix well until stiff. When chocolate mix is cool fold 3 cups of  whipped cream in. FOLD do not mix! Pour into crust. Freeze for several hours.




Use left over cream to decorate your cake. I sprinkle cookie crumbs over the whipped cream. You can decorate in the way you like. Remove ring from pan and you have a beautiful dessert. I usually slide this onto a fancy platter for serving. You can use a pancake turner to loosen crust and slide the mousse onto platter. Make sure it is frozen before trying this.



Peanut Butter Balls

My adorable 7th child, he rolled them and dipped them for mom!

This is my version of peanut butter balls. I made them about 30 years ago and the recipe included dates and walnuts but my kids did not care for that! I changed things and added cereal instead. They are a family favorite and my oldest son requested we make him a pyramid of peanut butter balls for his wedding!!!

Now please keep in mind, when it comes to cooking I usually go by how it looks and tastes but baking is totally measured out! Peanut butter balls are an exception in the dessert area and I just add this and that. I tried to measure this very carefully but sometimes I add a little more or less so please remember this is a bit rough.


2 cups peanut butter

3 cups powdered sugar

1 cup crushed up crispy rice cereal



3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup butter

Melt together until smooth


Mix peanut butter, powdered sugar and cereal well.

Roll into balls and place on baking sheet.

_DSC0959 - Copy

Dip in chocolate and then refrigerate or freeze to set.

Remove from tray and place in container and store.





Best Chocolate Chip Cookies with a bit of peanut butter

This cookie recipe is dedicated to my second oldest son, Yusuf,  who is now grown and married, working as an Engineer, and a fantastic cook. Arabic school starts early and so the kids got up each morning at around 5:30. a.m. I made eggs, cream cheese sandwiches, bought cereal, but the kids could not eat that early. One morning I made cookies and that worked out well. While cookies might not sound like the best breakfast, at least a glass of milk and a cookie was a start. Yusuf liked this and wanted them every morning. I decided to make huge batches, divide the dough into baggies and freeze them. So, each morning I just popped a bag out and made him cookies. This went on until he went off to college! This is the recipe and it has worked well for me! I like the combination of butter and shortening. This makes the cookies soft but firm.

Now that he is grown and makes his own cookies, I have a new fan, my mother! My mother has always loved chocolate! So, when we moved back to the States I started making cookie dough for her. The difference is that she loves walnuts and chocolate. So, the kids laugh and say that Grama has some cookie dough with her nuts and chocolate chips. I make my huge batch, bag it up and off it goes to Grama’s freezer.



1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 cup butter softened

3/4 cup shortening

1/8 cup peanut butter

3 eggs

4 1/4 cups level flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. soda

1 package semi sweet chocolate chips


Mix together sugars, butter and shortening. Mix well until fluffy, add eggs, continue mixing. Add peanut butter, mix well. Add salt and soda. Mix very well. Add the flour and finish mixing.


Using a spoon mix in chocolate chips. I always do a test cookie, or several for my large family haha! So test a couple and see if you need an extra spoon of  flour.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place dough by spoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until done




Yusuf                                Yusuf and Grama (lynz mom)






Chocolate jelly roll

I love making jelly rolls. I usually put whipped cream in the middle but sometimes ice cream. They can be dusted with powdered sugar or frosted. I freeze my jelly rolls to help them stick together and also they are super yummy when frozen. I love the contrast of chocolate jelly roll filled with whipped cream. I used to make jelly rolls all the time, I made mousse cakes lined with slices of jelly roll, ice cream cake jelly rolls, jelly rolls with jam and the list goes on.  Then I quit making them for a few years. I decided a couple of years ago to get back to jelly rolls. I like them because they look great and are fairly light.  I started out one Sunday trying to get my jelly roll back and ooops, the jelly roll stuck. I made it the next Sunday then it was in the wrong pan, too thin! I made it for a month every Sunday until it was perfect. My middle child (this is his badge) did not like this jelly roll testing at all. I used to ask him when he was little, but dear how can you be in the middle, there are 9 kids? Well his explanation was that, he is the 5th and there are 4 above him and 4 below him, the one and only middle child!  He came in each Sunday when I was testing jelly rolls, at this time an adult and said “what’s cookin ma” His face dropped “not another jelly roll!” So, this recipe is dedicated to my middle child!


5 eggs( separated)

1 cup sugar divided equally into 2– 1/2 cups

1/4 cup flour

3 Tbs. cocoa powder

1/4 tsp. salt


1 cup whipping cream and 1/4 cup white sugar– mix and beat until stiff.

powdered sugar


For this recipe I use a jelly roll pan. I have tried other pans of various sizes but this pan gives the best results. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place wax paper on pan.Lightly grease and flour. _DSC1603 Separate the egg yolks and whites. Place the whites into a mixing bowl. With your mixer start beating the egg whites. After they look a little fluffy gradually add 1/2 cup white sugar (part of the 1 cup to be divided) Beat this until stiff peaks form. _DSC1605

Beat egg yolks with whisk, add 1/2 cup sugar, cocoa, flour and salt, mix well.

_DSC1595 (2) Gently mix the chocolate egg yolk mixture into the stiff egg whites. Fold this carefully do not beat! Spread in pan._DSC1607

_DSC1614      Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes._DSC1615

Use a clean kitchen towel and place a long piece of wax paper over the towel. Sift with powdered sugar.


Carefully pick cooled jelly roll up and turn onto wax paper. Gently remove wax paper from cake and roll up.



Unroll the cake when cool and spread whipped cream on the cake. Roll cake back up and freeze. Slice when firm.