Chocolate Pudding Pie Filling – A Bonus Recipe

November 2014 147

We will have snow for Thanksgiving again this year!  Last year was the same way.  We traveled up north to my oldest sister Rebekah’s house.  As usual, she had even more snow then we did as she lives near the shores of Lake Michigan.  Our whole family was having a giant sleepover.  Fun times were ahead!

The snow glittered off of the trees as we drove.  We’d packed all of our winter gear.  A massive snowball fight, including teams and forts, was in the plans for the afternoon.  Of course it ended up being boys against girls!  But I don’t think that the cousins (or my husband!) would have had it any other way!  The sun was out, and warmed us as we packed snowballs and created our team hideouts.  The boys were ruthless and nailed us with snowballs when they attacked.  They of course were rewarded by their devious acts as we girls screamed and ran…..mission accomplished!   We did however hit them with our snowballs as we darted away!  The boys declared a win that day, but we girls knew better than to ever admit defeat!

It was time to warm up and to make a truce, so we headed inside for some pie.  Chocolate Pudding Pie from scratch is my absolute favorite.  I had brought that to share.  We pulled out all of the pie varieties and started serving up everyone’s favorites.

This week I again made my favorite Chocolate Pudding Pie with a delicious and effortless Pat In Crust that I shared in our last post.

Chocolate Pudding Pie Filling

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 2 tbl corn starch
  • 2 tbl flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 2 tbl butter/margarine
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Stir together sugar, cocoa, corn starch, flour and salt.  Blend in milk and eggs.  Cook over medium heat until it begins to boil, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir for one minute.  Remove from heat .  Stir in butter and vanilla.  Pour into baked pie crust.  Press plastic wrap directly onto filling surface.  Cool and refrigerate.  Place in freezer approximately 2 hours before serving to ensure beautiful slices.  Top with Cool Whip if desired.

Pie Pudding PowderI started by measuring the sugar, cocoa, corn starch, flour and salt right into my saucepan and whisking them together.

Pie Pudding MixtureThen I blended in the milk and eggs.  I stirred continually until it began to boil and then timed it for one minute.

Pie Pudding after last two ingredientsAfter it had boiled and thickened, I pulled it off the heat and whisked in the butter and vanilla.  The pudding turned glossy as the butter melted.

Pie Pudding ThickenedIt was thick and oh so chocolatey!  It was also ready to be poured into the pie shell!

Pudding pie pouringI poured the smooth pudding into the pie shell.  I had actually doubled it because I have a deep 9 inch pie plate and always like the filling to go right up to the edge of the crust.

Pudding Pie Ready to be chilledI covered my pie with plastic wrap, letting the plastic touch down and stick onto the pudding.  The plastic ensures that the pudding doesn’t form a “skin” layer on the top.  Then it went into the refrigerator to set.

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After it was completely chilled I took it out of the refrigerator and put it in the freezer for about two hours.  When I pulled it out, It was nice and firm and it sliced easily.  You can also put it into the freezer and let it harden completely, but you’d need to take it out a few hours before you planned to serve it to make sure it was thawed enough to slice.

Pudding Pie Piece2As always, I topped it with a generous amount of Cool Whip!

Pudding Pie Piece4The crust was perfect and crumbly.  The Chocolate Pudding Pie Filling was thick and rich! It’s so much better than pudding from a box.  You really can’t even compare the two.

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This pie is different than traditional apple or pumpkin that are usually at Thanksgiving dinner. There’s nothing wrong with tradition, but if you want to change things up a bit, try making a Chocolate Pudding Pie to share and enjoy at your Thanksgiving table this year!

Happy Cooking!


Pat In Pie Crust – A Bonus Recipe

It’s THAT time of year again.  Grocery shopping with a list a mile long, cleaning the house from top to bottom and scouring through recipes trying to pick out the perfect dish.  I love Thanksgiving!

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Our family enjoying Thanksgiving dinner together. — Please excuse us, everyone looked liked that in the 80s!

Growing up, it was always my favorite holiday.  We rarely got together with extended family, so it was always a quieter day at home as a family of six.  Our mom would get up early and work hard to get the turkey roasting.  We rotated each year, taking turns assisting her to ensure that we learned how to make a turkey dinner.  We loved “helping” her as she made the stuffing from scratch.  The best part was pulling out and eating croutons that had soaked up warm butter before she added anything else to the bowl!

Pies were always on the agenda, though I believe that my mom made them the day before.  I always remember her making apple and pumpkin pies, but I think when I was young, I was more interested in the Cool Whip that went on top!  As we got older, we made other kinds, our favorites of course.  She had no problem having us take over the pie baking responsibilities!

My mom has the most simple pie crust recipe, one that requires no rolling out!  She’s used it for years and taught us to make it.  I still use it.  It’s a great recipe because there is no shortening in it and it’s really fast to make….and did I mention that you don’t have to roll it out?!

Pat In Pie Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 2 tblsp. milk

Measure all ingredients into pie plate.  Combine with fork.  Press into pie plate with fingers.  Prick with fork many times.  Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Pie Crust IngredientsI started out by measuring all of the ingredients into my pie plate.  It’s so nice to not use other dishes or especially, THE ROLLING PIN!!  The mess stays contained!

Pie Crust doughNext, with a fork, I combined all of the ingredients until they came together as a dough.

Pie Crust PattingUsing my fingers, I pressed the dough down flat and up the edges to form the crust.  Once it was shaped the way I liked it, I crimped the sides along the top, though you wouldn’t have to do that.

Pie Crust ForkI pricked the bottom of the crust in several places with my fork.  This is done so that the crust won’t bubble up and look uneven when it’s baked.

Pie Crust Done2

I popped it into my preheated oven and baked it for 10 minutes.  The edges turned golden brown.  It only took about 20 minutes total and I had a beautiful pie crust that looked like I’d spent hours on!

I went on to make a Chocolate Pudding Pie Filling from scratch to fill this pie shell.  (I’ll explain how I did that in our next post.)  If chocolate doesn’t suit your fancy though (which really, how couldn’t it?!) you can fill this crust with any filling.  If you want to make a fruit pie, don’t pre-bake the crust before you add the fruit filling.  Add a crumble topping crust to the top for a great match with this Pat In crust bottom.

So before you start panicking about the homemade pie you are supposed to be bringing to your Thanksgiving meal, but don’t know when you’ll ever get the time to make. Take a deep breath and start patting out this quick easy crust.  It will look great and taste even better.  Plus, the best part is that they’ll think you spent HOURS making it!

Happy Baking!




My dad lived on a dairy farm when he grew up, so I imagine my grandmother made a lot of big hearty breakfasts for after the morning milking.  I’ve always liked making big breakfasts too.  When my niece and nephews come stay overnight at my house, before they go to bed they usually say, “Auntie, what are you going to make for breakfast?”  Pancakes is one of their usual requests so when I saw this recipe in my grandmother’s recipe box, I decided to give it a try.



  • 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cups white flour
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sour milk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons melted shortening


I started by souring the milk.  I put 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (vinegar can also be used) in the bottom of a 2 cup liquid measuring cup.  I then filled the measuring cup up to the 1 1/2 cups mark with milk.  I let that sit while I put the other ingredients together.


I combined all of the dry ingredients and stirred them with my whisk.  In another bowl I combined the now soured milk, eggs and melted shortening (I actually just used canola oil because it was easier.).


I then added the wet ingredients into the dry and stirred them all together.


I heated up the griddle and made pancakes!


These were simple to put together.  I wasn’t sure how the whole wheat flour would affect the taste, but they had a good, wholesome flavor.  These pancakes are great for a Saturday morning family breakfast.  I hope you give them a try.


Happy Baking!


Fluffy Icing

Grandma Wichtermans with Dad

The heritage of Grandma Dora’s cooking and baking skills.  Grandma Dora (standing on right), with her Mother (standing on left), her Grandmother (sitting) and my Dad (sitting on her lap).





















My grandmother was always baking up desserts.  And, she made it look like the simplest thing to do.  My mom said she would watch her roll out a pie crust so quickly and perfectly, it was amazing.  So, I’m sure this fluffy icing was something she did quickly and with perfection.

On the back of the brown sugar loaf cake recipe there was the recipe for fluffy icing.  I decided my grandma must have thought this was the right icing for this cake since she put them together.  So, I decided I would try putting them together too.  I’m glad I did because it turned out to be just the right thing for the library bake sale.

Fluffy Icing

  • 2 unbeaten egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4  cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Combine in top of double boiler.  Place over rapidly boiling water and beat with rotary egg beater until mixture is light, fluffy and holds in peaks – about 7 minutes.  Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Beat until stiff.

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This frosting was tricky for me to make because I didn’t have a double boiler.  I put some water in one pan and set another pan inside it to improvise.

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Once the water began to boil, I combined the ingredients and began beating them with my rotary egg beater (I actually have one of these – my nephews like to use it as a toy.  I think, though that it would have been easier to just put a hand mixer in the pan and let it go.).  I think because I didn’t have a real double boiler, I had trouble getting it to hold in peaks.

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But, eventually I removed it from the heat, added the vanilla, put it in the Kitchenaid with the whisk attachment and beat it until stiff.

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It was important to frost the cupcakes right away before the frosting cooled.  Once it cooled it got a little harder to frost.

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The frosting turned out great for transporting because once it was cooled it hardened enough so that it didn’t stick to the bags when I packaged them up for the bake sale.  Even though it didn’t stick, it was still a soft and fluffy frosting.  It was such a beautiful white color too.

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This frosting was definitely worth the effort!  I hope my friends at the library enjoyed the cupcakes as much as I did!  I hope you’ll give them a try and let me know what you think!

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Happy Baking!



Brown Sugar Loaf Cake

I love our library!  We go to a tiny little library where I never have to use my library card because the librarians know my name (and library card number) automatically when I walk in the door.  They still use a stamper to stamp the date a book is due in the back of the book.  One of the librarians told me she can’t stand to give it up because she just loves the satisfying sound of the stamper clicking down on the page.  When we check out books, we always chat with the librarians and they remember everything about the people in the small town they service.

Well, it was time for the annual library bake sale.  I almost always participate (except last year when I had strep throat – I didn’t think anyone would want to buy the germs I would have been baking into my baked goods if I had even had the strength to bake!).  I thought it would be nice to try out one of Grandma Dora’s recipes for the bake sale.  When I came across this recipe for Brown Sugar Loaf Cake, I decided to give it a try.

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Crisco’s Brown Sugar Loaf Cake

Measure into bowl.  All measurements level.

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups brown sugar firmly packed
  • 2/3 cups Crisco
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup milk

Mix vigorously for 2 minutes by hand (or mixer, medium speed)


  • 3 1/2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix vigorously by hand or mixer for 2 minutes.  Pour into loaf pan 9x13x2.  Bake in 375 degree oven 40 minutes.  Cool cake on rack 15 minutes.

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This recipe was very simple to put together. I just measured the first set of ingredients into the mixer bowl.

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Then I mixed the ingredients for 2 minutes.

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Next, I added the rest of the ingredients and mixed for two more minutes.  Because the name of the recipe is loaf cake, I was imagining it would go into a bread pan size dish.  After I had stirred all of the ingredients together, I greased a bread loaf pan and started to pour the batter in.  It didn’t even come close to fitting in there!  I looked at the recipe again and noticed that the loaf pan was 9x13x2.  Oh!  They were talking about a 9×13 dish.  Well, that made more sense.  I decided I didn’t want to send my 9×13 pan to the bake sale, so I decided to make the batter into cupcakes.  That would be much easier to package for selling.

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The cupcakes turned out beautifully.  Wendy had recently made a brown sugar cake from the recipe box.  This one was similar, but had it’s own delicious flavor.  I considered using the brown sugar frosting Wendy had made with her cake.  On the back of this recipe, though, there was a recipe for fluffy icing.  I decided to try that instead and I’m glad I did (I will share that recipe with you next week).

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Wendy and I have noticed that a lot of brown sugar is used in these old fashioned recipes.  Maybe that is what gives them such a distinct (and delightful) old fashioned taste.  I hope you give this simple recipe a try.  It doesn’t take much more work than a box cake mix and it is free of all of the preservatives you would find in a box mix.  If you do try it out, let me know what you think!  I think you’ll be glad you did!

The cupcakes all packaged up for the bake sale.

The cupcakes all packaged up for the bake sale.

Happy Baking!



Mrs. Eisenhower’s Sugar Cookies

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Yesterday was election day.  In Grandma Dora’s recipe box I had found a newspaper clipping with some cookie recipes.  One was Mrs. Nixon’s Chocolate Butter Cookies, one was Mrs. Dulles’ Nut Wafers and one was Mrs. Eisenhower’s Sugar Cookies.  I decided election day was an appropriate day to try out one of these recipes.  We’ve posted a lot of Grandma Dora’s cookie recipes:  Drop Nut Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Oatmeal Drop Cookies, Shortbread Cookies, Ice Box Cookies, and Hermit Cookies.  But, you can never have too many cookies recipes, so I thought I’d give Mrs. Eisenhower’s Sugar Cookies a try.

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Mrs. Eisenhower’s Sugar Cookies

Sift together:

  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 1/2 cup butter

Beat in:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks

Add dry ingredients alternately with:

  • 1 tablespoon cream

Blend in:

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mrs. Eisenhower’s sugar cookie recipe consisted of a list of ingredients, but no baking instructions.  I wasn’t sure if they were going to end up being roll our cookies or drop cookies or how I was going to bake them.

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I started by combining the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  I just used a whisk to mix them together as the flour I used is already sifted.

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I then creamed the butter in the Kitchenaid.  I then beat in the sugar and egg yolks.  After that I added the dry ingredients alternately with the cream (actually, I didn’t have any cream, so I just used milk and it worked fine).  At the end, I added the vanilla and I came out with some very nice dough.

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It definitely looked more like roll out dough than drop dough.  I decided to refrigerate it for awhile before I rolled it out.  I had to go teach a class that night, so I decided to throw dinner in the crock pot while the dough was chilling.

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I pulled the dough out of the refrigerator and rolled it out.

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I then cut circle shapes out of the dough, put it on an ungreased cookie sheet and sprinkled the tops with sugar (the cookies could also be frosted if desired).  I decided to bake them at 375 degrees and they looked done at about 8 minutes.

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They are a very thin cookie.  I tasted one and decided right away that Mrs. Eisenhower was a good cook!  I decided I would take some to share with my students at my class last night.  I was giving them an exam, so I thought the cookies might make the night a little better for them.

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I am glad that I chose Mrs. Eisenhower’s Sugar Cookies for election day.  They get my vote!

Happy Baking!


Drop Nut Cookies

My oldest sister came with her family for the weekend.  Today we spent the day all together at my parent’s house.  The cousins all played and were SO excited to go trick-or-treating in the evening.  My sister Amy had put lasagna in the crockpot so dinner would be done early and we could eat quickly, get the kids dressed up and get outside before it got dark.  Nancy Drew, Luke Skywalker, a pirate, Sherlock Holmes and a knight were all anxious for the evenings events to unfold!

Since dinner was already made, I decided to try a new cookie recipe for dessert.  Though, with all of the candy that was about to enter the house, it probably wasn’t necessary.  In all honesty though, are cookies ever “necessary?!”  I knew with all of the family together, it would be a good time to make them, so I wouldn’t end up eating them all myself!

Drop Nut Cookies Recipe

Drop Nut Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 2/3 cups pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts

Cream brown sugar, butter and eggs.  Add cream and vanilla, mix well.  Blend in flour and baking powder.  Chop and mix in nuts.  Bake at 375 degrees for 12-13 minutes.

Drop Nut Cookies Dough No NutsI began by creaming the brown sugar, butter and eggs.  Rather than cream, which I didn’t have, I added in 2% milk and the vanilla.  Next I added pastry flour and baking powder.  The dough seemed a little too sticky, so I added another half cup of flour.

Drop Nut cookies Crushed Nuts

I chopped up 1/2 cup of walnuts, but I think that pecans would also be really good in this recipe!

Drop Nut Cookies - Finished DoughI poured the chopped walnuts into the dough and mixed them in.

Drop Nut Cookies Dough BallsThe dough balls were a little sticky, but still easy to work with.  I got them ready on the trays and put them into my preheated oven.

Drop Nut Cookies on TrayThe cookies came out beautifully!  They had a light maple scent.  I couldn’t wait to try one!

Drop Nut Cookies on Cooling RackAfter setting on the tray for a few minutes, I transferred them to a cooling rack.

Drop Nut Cookies StackedThey were delicious!  One of the comments about them were that they “tasted like an old-fashioned sugar cookie.”  Which is weird, but it was true.  How can something taste old-fashioned?  I think we’ve changed the way we cook and bake and there are so many great old recipes and flavors that we are missing out on!

Drop Nut CookieThe cookies and the evening were both a success!  We all loved the cookies and as usual, the kids made happy memories raking in a huge haul of candy in the freezing cold temperatures of a Michigan Halloween!

Happy Baking!


Drop Nut Cookies Spiral