Desserts – LaDonna Rose: Cookbooks from Alaska Sat, 24 Mar 2018 04:19:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Chocolate Mocha Baked Alaska Mon, 19 Feb 2018 14:00:32 +0000 The secret to this wonder is in its construction. Cake and ice cream are frozen together, then covered with meringue. The meringue acts as insulation, protecting the ice cream from the heat. The cake acts as a buffer from below and shields the ice cream. Baked Alaska is truly a unique treat. Your family will love it!


8 ounces semi sweet chocolate, broken into pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1 purchased pound cake, (about 14 oz.)
6 tablespoons coffee liqueur, (or 4 Tbl. strong coffee)
1 quart coffee ice cream
muffin pan
muffin liners
chill baking sheet in the freezer

for the meringue
6 egg whites, room temperature
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Heat chocolate and cream in a heavy small saucepan. Whisk over low heat until mixture is smooth. Chill 30 minutes until spreadable. Reserve extra ganache (icing) for plating.

Line muffin pan with muffin liners or pieces of plastic wrap, leaving overhang.

Prepare the pound cake, slicing it horizontally into four layers. Cut rounds from each layer; matching the size of your muffin pan openings.

Press ¼ cup ice cream into the lined muffin tin. Leave ½ inch space on top for the cake round. Pour 1 teaspoon liqueur (or 2 teaspoons coffee) onto each round, then spread with 2 tablespoons ganache. Place a cake round on top of the ice cream, ganache side down. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

the meringue:
Beat egg whites in a mixing bowl until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt.
Beat at medium-high speed until the whites hold a soft peak. Beat in the vanilla. Gradually add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until stiff glossy peaks form. (The meringue needs to be sturdy to form “insulation” and keep the ice cream from melting).

To assemble:
Line the frozen sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the Alaskas on the parchment, cake side down. Quickly, remove the cupcake liners from the frozen ice cream. Generously cover each Alaska with 1 cup of meringue, spreading to form cloud-like swirls. Be sure the meringue reaches the parchment, creating a barrier so the ice cream doesn’t leak. Place in freezer until ready to bake.

To bake:
preheat the oven to 500°F. Take Alaskas directly from the freezer to the oven with rack in the top third. Bake 2 to 3 minutes just until the tips are lightly browned. If a little ice cream leaks, don’t worry about it. Carefully transfer
Alaskas to chilled plates. Spoon warm ganache around dessert and serve.

Makes 12 servings

The name Baked Alaska originated at Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City in 1876 and was created in honor of the newly acquired territory of Alaska.
February 1st is Baked Alaska Day.

Preparation Tips:
Assembling Alaskas ahead (as little as a day or up to a week) insures the ice cream is frozen solid. This is important so it can withstand the heat. A Jumbo muffin pan, custard cups and ramekins (small ceramic bowls) also work great for forming individual portions. Line it with pieces of plastic wrap.

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Lemon Meringue Pie Thu, 18 Jan 2018 14:00:02 +0000 We all have so many fond memories of Kay’s Kitchen in Ketchikan, Alaska. The famous peanut butter pie, apple pie, cherry cream cheese. For me it was the luscious lemon meringue pie. This is a fun and easy recipe to follow, because Kay made her pies sweet, simple and delicious!


1 (9-inch) pie shell, baked
1 ⅓ cups, plus ⅓ cup sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 eggs separated
1 ½ cups boiling water
2 tablespoons butter
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
mint leaves, optional


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a heavy saucepan, combine 1 ⅓ cups sugar and cornstarch; add the lemon juice. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks; add to the lemon mixture. Gradually add the boiling water, stirring constantly. Over medium heat, cook and stir until mixture boils and thickens, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter; stir until melted. Pour into prepared pie shell.

In a small mixer bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form; gradually add remaining ⅓ cup sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Spread on top of pie, sealing carefully to edge of shell. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Chill before serving. Garnish with mint if desired.
Refrigerate leftovers.

Makes one 9-inch pie

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Nanaimo Bars Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:00:28 +0000 Over the years, Ole and I have taken our fishing boat north through the Inside Passage. One of the fun stops along the way is a town called Nanaimo in British Columbia. Many of the local coffee and donut shops along commercial street sell these creamy chocolate treats called Nanaimo Bars. I’m hooked on this slice of heaven, one bite and you will be too!


for the bottom layer:
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup sugar
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup sweetened coconut
½ cup walnuts, chopped

for the middle layer:
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
2-3 tablespoons milk or cream
2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioner’s sugar

for the top layer:
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 tablespoon unsalted butter


Butter an 8 by 8 inch baking dish. Set aside.

the bottom layer:
In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the sugar and cocoa
powder and then gradually whisk in the beaten egg. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens (1 – 2 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, graham cracker crumbs, coconut and chopped nuts. Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom of the prepared dish. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about an hour.

the middle layer:
In your electric mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until the mixture is smooth. If the mixture is too thick to spread, add a little more milk. Spread the filling over the bottom layer, cover and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

the top layer:
In a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the filling and refrigerate until the chocolate has set.

To serve, to prevent the chocolate from cracking, using a sharp knife, bring the squares to room temperature before cutting. Enjoy!

Makes about 25 squares

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Mystery Bars Thu, 04 Jan 2018 14:00:50 +0000 I have made a lot of bar cookies in my life, but these Mystery Bars are definitely the best. Don’t be surprised if someone asks you for the recipe!


40-50 saltine crackers
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, chopped


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the saltine crackers in a row on the baking sheet, without any gaps.

Combine the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Stirring constantly, boil for 3 minutes.

Spread the mixture over the crackers to cover completely. Bake until the caramel is bubbling, about 3 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and quickly sprinkle with the chocolate chips, let them melt a bit and spread evenly around. Sprinkle nuts over the top.

Allow them to cool in the refrigerator for a few minutes before breaking apart into pieces.

Makes about 2 dozen pieces

Add or substitute peanut butter chips.

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Banana Cream Pie with a Peanut Butter Cookie Crust Thu, 28 Dec 2017 14:00:11 +0000 Banana cream pie is one of the yummiest things on earth and this is a great one!


½ lb. peanut butter sandwich cookies, coarsely crumbled
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tablespoon rum, optional
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ripe, firm bananas, quartered
whipped cream


Coat a 9” tart pan with removable bottom with nonstick spray.

Process cookies and salt for the crust in a food processor until fine. Drizzle in butter while machine is running. Transfer crumbs to prepared pan and lightly press to cover bottom and sides; set aside.

Whisk eggs and rum for the filling in a small bowl.

Combine sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt in a saucepan, whisking to break up lumps. Gradually add milk and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thickened, about 8 minutes. Temper some of the hot custard into the egg mixture, then add the egg mixture to remaining custard. Continue to cook until thick and bubbly, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add unsalted butter and vanilla. Assemble pie by arranging bananas in the crust, cut side down. Pour filling over bananas and smooth to cover. Wrap loosely in plastic and chill overnight.

Serve pie plain or with whipped cream.

Makes one 9” pie

Chill pie overnight, then remove sides of pan. To slice, dip a knife in hot water before making cuts, rinsing the blade clean each time.

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Cream Puffs with Coffee Ice Cream Thu, 21 Dec 2017 14:00:03 +0000 Sometimes a recipe is so very exquisite, so very delicious, that you just have to cook it for friends. This Cream Puffs with Coffee Ice Cream is that sort of recipe.


for the puffs:
1 quart coffee ice cream
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for baking sheets
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, lightly beaten

for the chocolate sauce:
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
7 ounces 60%-cocoa bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ teaspoon vanilla extract


make the cream puffs: Chill a small metal baking pan in the freezer. Form 24 ice cream balls (2-3 tablespoons each) and freeze at least 1 hour (this will make assembling it faster).

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Bring butter, water and salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring until butter is melted. Reduce heat to medium, add flour and cook, beating with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from the sides of pan and forms a ball, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and cool 1 minute. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well with an electric mixer after each addition.

Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto baking sheets (you should have 24-28), about 2-inches apart. Bake, rotating sheets between racks halfway through, until puffed and brown, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven; (turn off oven). Prick each puff once with a skewer, then return to oven to dry, with door propped open, for 10 minutes.

fill the puffs: When cool, halve each puff horizontally, then fill each with a ball of ice cream. Arrange 3 filled puffs on each plate and drizzle generously with warm chocolate sauce. Serve immediately.

make the chocolate sauce:
Heat sugar in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, swirling pan occasionally so sugar melts and is dark amber. Remove from heat, add cream and a pinch of salt. Return to medium-low heat and cook until caramel has dissolved. Remove from heat and add chocolate, whisking until melted; whisk in vanilla. Keep warm.

Recipe hint:
The ice cream balls can be frozen up to a day. The puffs can be baked 1 day ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container. The chocolate sauce is perfect for chocolate covered strawberries.

Serves 8 (three puffs each)

Brownie Cheesecake Torte Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:00:22 +0000 This Brownie Cheesecake Torte is dramatic and decadent, a real crowd-pleaser. You may be wondering, why the puréed carrots? Brownies can be a bit dry, the carrots add moisture and extra flavor.


1 (18-ounce) package fudge brownie mix
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (4-ounce) jar carrot baby food
Cooking spray
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) package Neufchȃtel cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 large egg whites
3 tablespoons milk, divided
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
chocolate syrup (optional)
fresh raspberries (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine the fudge brownie mix, coffee granules, cinnamon and purêed
carrots in a bowl. Firmly press mixture into bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch spring form pan coated with cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine ½ cup sugar, flour, vanilla and cheeses; beat at low speed with an electric mixer until well-blended. Gently add the egg whites and 2 tablespoons milk. (Take special care not to whip air into the batter, as it will cause the cheesecake to puff in the oven and then fall when removed).

Combine ½ cup batter, 1 tablespoon milk, 2 tablespoons sugar and cocoa in a small bowl; stir well. Spoon remaining batter alternately with cocoa mixture into prepared crust. Swirl together using the tip of a knife.

Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250°F; bake 45 minutes or until almost set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Garnish with chocolate syrup and fresh raspberries, if desired.

Cheesecakes are among the most frequently overcooked foods, they are the most deceptive when trying to figure out when they are done baking. When it’s done, it never “looks” done. To test if a cheesecake is done baking, gently shake the pan. The top of the cake should move as one solid piece, but its center should still be wobbly (not soupy) in about a 3-inch circle in the center.

Makes 6-8 servings

Rustic Apple-Maple Galette Mon, 20 Nov 2017 14:00:36 +0000 I love the simplicity of this dessert and it reminds me of home, warmth and love. Rustic Apple-Maple Galette is so simple to prepare and never fails to impress friends and family.


for the galette dough:
3 tablespoons sour cream
⅓ cup cold water
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pats

for the filling:
3 to 4 apples, peeled, cored, halved and sliced crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoon light brown sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 tablespoon butter, diced

egg wash:
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon

2 tablespoons raw sugar


make the dough:
Whisk the sour cream and cold water together in a small bowl, set aside. Mix the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in a bowl. Using a pastry blender, blend in butter until the mixture resembles small peas. Drizzle evenly with the sour cream mixture and gently stir until incorporated. Dough should be soft and moist. Remove the dough from the bowl and press into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for thirty minutes.

make the filling:
Toss apples with the lemon juice, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon and flour.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Unwrap dough and place on a 16-inch piece of parchment paper that has been dusted with flour. Roll dough into a 14-inch circle. Place dough and parchment on a rimmed baking sheet, (dough will hang over the parchment) arrange apples in center, leaving a 2-inch border around the edges. Dot apples with butter. Fold the edges of the crust over the fruit, pleating the dough as you go and leaving the center exposed. Brush the outside edges with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake for 45 minutes or until crust is golden, filling is bubbly and apples are tender. Cut into wedges and serve.

Serves 4-6

Filling ideas
To be honest, you could pretty much use anything with a galette, as long as it’s not too much liquid. Here are some ideas: plums, pears, peaches or nectarines.

Wow your dinner guests with simple, bite-size pastries. Serve each slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Substitute one 9-inch unbaked pie crust.

Raspberry Fool with Cardamom Cookies Mon, 09 Oct 2017 13:10:46 +0000 This Raspberry Fool turns tangy raspberries and luscious whipped cream into a simple yet elegant dessert in a snap. Fold fresh raspberries—either lightly mashed or fully puréed—into a good quality whipped cream for a light, fluffy dessert that will wow your guests (and leave them disbelieving the dessert’s simplicity). The liqueur is optional, but note that orange liqueur adds a lovely sweet citrus note that deepens the rich, berry flavor of this fool.


for the cardamom cookies:
1½ cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons ground cardamom
½ teaspoon sea salt

for the fool:
2 cups fresh raspberries
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon orange liqueur, optional
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract


make the cookies:
Using a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended. Add the zest, flour, cardamom and salt. Turn the mixer on low speed and blend until the dough comes together in a ball. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for an hour.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a thickness of about ½ inch. Use a 2-inch cookie cutter to cut out circles of dough. Place the cookies on baking sheets with about ½ inch between the cookies. Bake on the center rack of the oven until the cookies are lightly browned, 12-15 minutes. Let the cookies cool before removing from pan. Serve with Raspberry Fool.

make the fool:
Set a medium-mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Use the back of a wooden spoon to push 1 cup of the raspberries through the sieve, smearing the berries back and forth across the mash until only seeds and pulp remain. Scraping any purée from the bottom of the sieve. Stir in the sugar and orange liqueur into the purée.

In a medium metal bowl, combine the cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat with an electric hand mixer on high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.

Pour the raspberry mixture over the cream. Use a butter knife to gently stir the mixture so that thin streaks of raspberry juice runs through the cream. Spoon the mixture into four glasses or small dessert bowls and top with the remaining raspberries.

Makes 4 servings

Variation: Feel free to substitute blackberries, salmonberries, strawberries or blueberries.

Rhubarb Crumble Mon, 11 Sep 2017 13:00:42 +0000 This Rhubarb Crumble is quick and easier to make than pie. It’s versatile, too, because you can add strawberries in the spring or apples in the fall. I usually pop it into the oven shortly before we sit down to eat so it’s still warm for dessert!


for the topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
½ cup old-fashioned oats
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
sea salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces

for the filling:
7 cups fresh rhubarb (about 2 lb.)
⅓ inch-thick sliced
1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
sea salt


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Evenly coat an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

make the topping:
In a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon salt and pulse several times to combine. Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture has the texture of course meal and clumps together when squeezed lightly, about 1 minute.

make the filling:
Combine the rhubarb, brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, lemon zest and ¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl and stir with a spatula until evenly mixed. Transfer the rhubarb mixture to the baking dish and sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit; the pan will be very full, but the crumble will settle as it bakes.

Bake until the topping is lightly browned, the rhubarb is tender (probe in the center with a skewer to check) and the juices are thick and bubbly around the edges, 45-60 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool and to allow the juices to thicken, at least 15 minutes.

Serves 4

Recipe hint
If using frozen rhubarb, I would just make sure the rhubarb was well defrosted and drained first.