the Pence family cookbook

Recipes in Category “Dessert”

Cranberry, Apricot and Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

dessert apricot cookie cranberry pecan untested


  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp mace
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, diced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal


Preheat oven to 350º. Cream together the sugars and butter. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture a bit at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix together the pecans, apricots and cranberries in the bowl that used to hold the flour. Alternate adding the oatmeal and the fruit/nut mix to the batter, mixing well after each addition. Form walnut-sized balls of dough and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten the cookies slightly with your hands. Bake for 6 minutes and the flip the cookie sheets from front to back and top to bottom if baking with two sheets at once. Bake and additional 6 minutes. Let cool on a tray. Keep the dough in the refrigerator between batches.


Crostata di Limone

dessert italian lemon untested


  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ground toasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 egg, plus 4 eggs, separated
  • Pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 lemons, zested, plus 3 lemons, juiced


Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan with butter and set aside.

Toss together the flour, almonds, and sugar. Cut the butter into the dry mixture until it is the consistency of fine bread crumbs. Add 1 egg and salt and mix well, kneading slightly. Form the pastry into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate while you make the filling.

Beat the 4 egg yolks with the sugar until very thick, then beat in the lemon zest and juice. Transfer the mixture to the top of a double boiler and set over barely simmering water. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Roll the dough, if you can, between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Place in a pan and prick the dough with a fork all over the bottom, line with waxed paper, and fill with dried beans or rice to keep the bottom from puffing. Place in the oven and bake 10 minutes, then remove the paper and beans, and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat the 4 egg whites until very stiff and fold them into the cooled lemon mixture.

Remove the pie casing from the oven and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F. Spread the lemon filling over the pie shell and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the filling is thoroughly set.

Mario Batali

Brown Sugar Brownies

dessert cookie


  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup pecans


Heat oven to 325. Cream softened butter, add sugar and eggs and mix throughly. Add flour and baking powder to bowl and mix well. Add vanilla and pecans. Bake in well greased 8 x 8 pan for 40 minutes. Cool in pan. Cut into small squares.

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

dessert chocolate cookie


  • 7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar


Line two baking sheets with parchment. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.

In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Martha Stewart

Chocolate Mousse

dessert chocolate


  • 200 g dark chocolate (7 oz)
  • 6 eggs
  • pinch salt


Melt chocolate and let cool. Separate the eggs. Add salt to the whites and beat them into firm peaks. Slowly pour the chocolate over the yolks and beat energetically.

Translated from French by Jenny

Congo Bars

dessert cookie philip


  • 1 lb box brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1 12 oz bag chocolate chips (or other kinds of chips)
  • 2 ¾ cups flour (11 oz.)
  • 2 ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt


Melt shortening, add sugar, and cool. Beat 1 egg at a time into sugar mixture. Add dry ingredients, blend well. Then add chips and nuts.

Use a well greased cookie sheet (with sides). Spread dough evenly with greased hands into pan.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Ott family recipe


dessert chocolate pence


  • 18 oz. chocolate chips
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup nuts, optional


Melt chocolate (I do it in the microwave). Add remaining ingredients and stir until smooth. Spread in 8x8x2" pan and cool.


dessert pence


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup (7 oz.) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans


Melt butter, add brown sugar. Cook over low heat for two minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and continue cooking and stirring until mixture boils. Remove from heat, cool. Gradually add powdered sugar until the mixture is of fudge consistency. Stir in nuts and spread in a buttered 8x8x2" pan. Cool.

Peanut Butter Squares

dessert cookie peanutbutter philip


  • 3 sticks butter, melted
  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 1 lb confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 12 oz chocolate chips


Mix 2 sticks melted butter, peanut butter, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs together and spread in 15 x 10 1/2 in cookie sheet.

Melt chocolate chips and butter together, pour over peanut butter mixture.

Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours, then let stand at room temperature before cutting.

Jackie Ott

Small Batch Chocolate Cookies (Like Milk’s)

dessert chocolate cookie smallbatch


  • 1 1/3 ounces unsweetened chocolate (37 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoon unsalted butter (20 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons flour (21 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder (4 grams)
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder (.7 grams)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (.75 grams)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (65 grams)
  • 1/3 pound bittersweet chocolate (150 grams)


In a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the unsweetened chocolate and butter. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Combine the egg, vanilla and sugar in a bowl and mix with a fork. For puffier cookies, beat egg mixture with an electric mixer on high for 1 ½ minutes (until fluffy).

Add the melted chocolate to the egg mixture and mix just until combined. Stir in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined, then stir in the bittersweet chocolate. Chill batter for one hour.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Divide the dough into 6 portions and shape the portions into balls. They should be about 1 ¼ inches each. Place the balls on cookie sheet and space about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes (I baked mine about 13) and rotate the pan halfway. Take them out before you think they’re done, or they’ll get overcooked.

Cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 6

L.A. Times, via Cookie Madness