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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Quick Fixes with Mixes, Cupcakes and Cones

I made a deal with myself one day last week. QVC day to be precise. It may surprise you to know that this girl does not own or has never possessed a Kitchen Aid. It may not surprise you at all in fact. It isn't as if I share a whole lotta cooking on this blog. On the contrary, rarely do I subject you to the going ons in my kitchen. There's a reason for that. Have you ever heard the expression about how the plumber usually has a leaky faucet or the shoe maker who doesn't have any new shoes? (well that one may be a bit outdated:) Anyway, I'm the cookbook collector who doesn't cook. Well, sorta kinda...

It isn't as if Marion and I are starving. Have I told you about Marion's shopping escapades? Some of the food does eventually "land" in our bellies. However, truth be told, confession time, dinner around here usually goes down without much of a fanfare. Simple and quiet, are the usual tone.

I enjoy cooking. I do. I just don't enjoy it as much as I use to. I was once the "susie homemaker" of my neighborhood, the hostess with the mostess to our friends and the healthy cookie baking mom to my children and their friends. I was "CEO" of the Hospitality Department of the PTA and was even showcased not once but twice as the local Coupon Queen! (in a local newspaper and a national magazine:) And could I throw a party!!! Intimate or grandeur, a party at our house was one not to be missed.

I'm not sure when things changed. Did it begin when I started working full time? Or was it when the children became teenagers with schedules to keep? Sometimes I think it all shifted when my husband passed away suddenly in 1998.

The other night, while eating my dinner, I was playing with the remote looking for something light and entertaining to watch when I happened upon QVC and the introduction of the new Kitchen Aid 6 qt 575 Watt Glass Bowl Lift Stand Mixer. WOWZA! I felt a stir, a wonder of amazement, one I haven't felt in years. I found myself shouting, out loud mind you, "I want one of those!"

It's a funny thing about want. It is totally different than need. As a young married bride, I was fortunate, I wanted everything, I needed nothing. That wasn't the case while growing up. My father had a "good" job. My mother didn't "have" to work but she did. Having been born in New York City, my mother didn't adapt well to the suburban life of Long Island. Relatives thought it would be my father who would have the difficult time. He always had in his heart that the choice to move from the city to the "country" was better for his family. My sister and I must have know this to be true because when we moved to Long Island way back in 1956 my paternal grandmother stilled lived on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, not far from the infamous Delancy Street and Katz's Delicatessen thoroughfare. My father didn't like leaving my grandmother in the city by herself. After moving to Long Island, I can remember each and every Sunday, after church, the family would pile into the car and make the one hour and half trek to grandma's house. (depending on traffic of course) Did we want to go all that way all those times? No. Did he need to go. I would have to say Yes.

My husband was more than patient when it came to my culinary whims. I found myself resisting his gentle kindness more often than I probably should have. I can't tell you how many times he wanted to buy me a Kitchen Aid. Many...I suppose my young personality got in my way; I had to "earn" it. That decision led me to becoming Long Island's "Coupon Queen." With the money I was saving and earning, I looked forward to the day I would be able to buy my very first stand up mixer. Except, I didn't. A friend of mine had just become a Shakelee dealer and in order for her to be able to pay for her new "kit," she had to obtain a certain amount of sales. From her, I bought a combination stand-up shredder, chopper, do it all, no name brand, that I can't remember, machine. I rarely used it.

When I saw that new Kitchen Aid on QVC that night, a flood of memories, some good, some not, rushed over me. I wanted that machine, I can certainly afford to buy that machine. However, once again, I needed to "earn" it.

The Deal

Since today is not only National Cupcake Day, (some say National Lemon Cupcake Day) but also the day the first patent was granted to Italo Marchiony for the ice cream cone mold, I've decided to challenge myself to create something special to celebrate and quench my need for earning a brand new Kitchen Aid. If I reach my self inflicted goal, I will finally buy myself a brand spanking new stand-up mixer, a Kitchen Aid. Should I not be satisfied with my current "susie home maker" status, I shall not. Simple...Perhaps an Ice Cream Cone Cupcake. For a brief introduction to ice cream cupcakes, check out Stefani's Cupcake Project blog. (Stef is a former Long Islander now living in Missouri:)

The Criteria

Not only did I want to challenge myself by making something I have never made before, I also wanted it to be to my liking. Back in the days when I "played" miss susie, I was always concerned with pleasing my family or my guests. Rarely did I cook or bake something I was craving or "dying" to try. This challenge would be different. Since I was attempting to satisfy myself both mentally and physically, it just had to be chocolate. Chocolate and Kahlúa to be exact because it is one of my favorite, if not my very best favorite flavor combination when it comes to sheer indulgence.

I also wanted to bake. As many of you know, I'm not much of a baker. I never really was. In my day, I did manage to "produce" some mighty fine desserts. Believe it or not, I was "famous" for my cheesecake which I actually don't consider a baking accomplishment:) However, for this challenge, I wanted to focus more on the preparation of design and novelty rather than on the batter for the cupcakes. I have had success with doctoring up cake mixes in the past so I decided to consult Quick Fixes with Mixes by Lia Roessner Wilson first published in 2001.

After much consideration, I finally decided on a recipe titled Self-Frosting Mexican Chocolate Cake.

It was the caption that captured my attention."The marshmallow mixture cooks to a pudding like consistency with an intense chocolate flavor." It did!

Perfect, I was dead set on having a cupcake cone that not only looked like an ice cream cone but satisfied like a cupcake. It just had to have a filling!

I made a few adjustments to the cake recipe though. I didn't have a Devil's Food Cake mix so I used Betty Crocker's Triple Chocolate Fudge mix. Instead of using one and one third cups of buttermilk, I substituted 1/3 cup of Kahlúa for the third of a cup of buttermilk. I also omitted the pecans. It looked pretty dreamy:)

I just couldn't have an Ice Cream Cone Cupcake without at least trying to make my very own cones. If you have never made homemade ice cream cones, reconsider. My mistake was not making them large enough for what I had in mind for this creation. Otherwise, they "whisk" up quite easily and if you are experienced with crepe making, you can certainly master the rolling of the cone. I didn't master it but then I didn't try with all my might once I knew they weren't going to work for this particular recipe. I did add crushed cinnamon candies to the cone batter though which really lifted the taste of the cones. Instead I filled my cones with a Kahlúa chocolate truffle mix to snack on while I was busy in the kitchen:) I figured it was way better than sipping one too many White Russians:)

And of course, an ice cream cone must have ice cream! Since I was indulging anyway, why not splurge on some Ben & Jerry's! I can't tell you the last time I raised my calorie count with any kind of ice cream especially Ben & Jerry's! I scooped out tiny balls of ice cream from both of the above flavors and froze them on a tray. When they were frozen enough, I popped them on top of the baked cupcake cones and "frosted" with just the right Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting which I doctored up with more Kahlúa, heavy cream and a pinch of cinnamon.

I'm pleased with the way the Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes came out. Pleased, not thrilled! While I was hopping from site to blog gathering information for the actual construction of an Ice Cream Cone Cupcake, I saw some beauties out there. My problem? I didn't have as much fun as others seemed to have when making theirs. The enthusiasm just wasn't there. They say stressed spelled backwards equals dessert, well for me, at this time in my life, I would much rather have the dessert without all the stress! I don't see a Kitchen Aid in my future.


A candle holder works great for holding the cones. As you can see, a bit of the chocolate marshmallow began to show through the wafer cones. I had to rush them back to the freezer:) Coating the cones might be a tasty solution:)

I am a cookbook collector, among many things. I like it that way. I love sharing my cookbooks with all of you. It's what I do, it is what I enjoy. When I get the urge to cook, whether it be a special dinner for Marion and myself or a memorable dessert for company, I'll just wing it and seek guidance from you and the many other fabulous cooks out there. You inspire me to dream about "playing" in the kitchen. I've muddled through without a Kitchen Aid for all of these years, and been quite content with it I may add, I'm fine with doing it my way whether it be with an old fashioned mixer or even my hands. I don't even have to "earn" it anymore because, I don't need it and better yet, I don't really want it either:)

I'm sending today's post over to Joyce's Cook Your Books Event. (I sure hope I'm doing it right:)

cyb12 photo 77951578-1914-4b72-8eda-9e40a91183ac_zps331eb4b4.jpg

Resources
1. Homemade Sugar Cones
2. Sweet Teacup Cookies (adorable and made with sugar cones)
3. Joy Sugar Cone Pinterest Board for Inspiration (an upside down sugar cone makes a wonderful tree when decorated with white icing)
4. Creamsicle Ice Cream Cupcakes
5. Ice Cream Filled Cupcakes
6. How to Make Ice Cream Filled Cupcakes
7. Black Raspberry & Lemon Crush Ice Cream Cupcakes
8. Ice Cream Cupcake Peanut Butter Cups

63 comments:

  1. I don't have a kitchen aid either - I've always got by with little hand held electric beaters and I don't use them enough to jusitfy a stand mixer - was offered one a while back and decided I didn't have the room. But I am impressed at all your baking esp making the ice cream cones and making yourself a little appetiser for while you baked - and I am sure your cup cake cones tasted as yummy as they looked cute. Enjoyed hearing a little about your culinary past.

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    1. Thank you Johanna, I'm so glad you enjoyed this post. It seems I am not the only one without a Kitchen Aid.

      Marion is eating one of the cupcake cones right now. She said they taste like a Party, lol...I haven't had one yet, I guess I should give them a try:)

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  2. I sure hope you reached the bar that you set and now will get that mixer!

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    1. Thanks Mae. I think I'll pass on a new mixer. I am thrilled however, to hear Marion's glee as she eats one those cupcake cones. She thinks they are terrific! A bit messy but a "Party" she said:)

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  3. ... I think you should get it even if you aren't sure you want it.

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  4. Good morning Louise , this was truly wonderful and a very enjoyable post , loved reading a bout your days as a young mother and wife , I know your kids really enjoyed having a wonderful childhood and your dear husband sound just marvelous .
    Your cupcakes looks so delicious , I am debating on trying them after the holidays , my girls will love them , my boys will eat them if they melted together :D . Get the mixer , you can with up a lot of easy thing , thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Hi Nee!

      I'm so glad you liked it Nee. I was very lucky, still am, I have wonderful kids who didn't give me too many gray hairs, lol...

      I just got the verdict on the Cupcake Cones from Marion and she described them as a "Party." She said they were messy but she ate the whole thing!!! Each layer offers a different taste and texture. She really enjoyed them and that makes me happy. I think your kids will love them and they are so cool too:)

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  5. I got a Kitchen Aid mixer a little over a year ago when I found a '70s orange color model on clearance. As much as I love it (perfect color for me and the remembered rush of getting a deal on it), I've only used it once so far! I understand the allure of things that are probably not really needed....

    When I was a child, someone often brought cupcakes in ice cream cones to pot lucks. I loved them, but forgot all about them until now. Thanks for the memory.

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    1. The allure is just what I was wondering about, Poppy. I think you should make yourself some ice cream cone cupcakes for ol' time's sake!

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  6. IMHO, you DESERVE that kitchenaid mixer. They have a 475 watt bowl lift KA at Sam's for $299.00. Bob got me my first one for Christmas. I rarely cook anything near as exceptional as you, dear friend.
    Merry Christmas, Ginger

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  7. Really enjoyable post - learned some stuff about you that I didn't know. Those stand mixers are really great. We bought a KitchenAid 30+ years ago, and it finally conked out a few months ago (well, started to conk out - it got really, really noisy). So we replaced with (with a Cuisinart stand mixer, actually - the current crop of KitchenAids just aren't as good as the ones that Hobart used to make). Anyway, I rarely use it; Mrs KR uses it at least once a week, though, and at this time of the year more. She loves to bake, although I suspect she'd find the Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes a bit too fiddly for her taste. They do look awfully good, though! The kind of dessert one is always pleased to be served. Anyway, enough rambling - thanks for an entertaining read.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this post, John. I do manage to try to come out from my shell everyone now and again:) I did have the opportunity to buy an old Kitchen Aid at an auction a few years back. It had all the parts and as you say, the quality showed. It went for $100 with all the attachments. According to QVC, even the older attachments work on the newer machines. Good to know when yard sailing:)

      The cone cupcakes did require a lot of fiddling. I'm sure in Mrs. KR's capable hands they would have gone much more smoothly. Marion says they are really good. She enjoyed one this evening and is still asking for more!

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  8. Hi Louise -- I was so taken with Cupcake Day that I did my own post about it and borrowed your photo (with credit) --
    http://maefood.blogspot.com/2013/12/happy-cupcake-day.html

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    1. What a fun post, Mae. Thank you so much for sharing!!! Hope you had a delicious Cupcake Day!!! Loved those images you shared too!

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  9. Dear Louise, Fabulous post truly from the heart. I laughed and cried at the same time. <3 You are a wonderful writer. I also do not own a Kitchen-Aid mixer. I have a Mix-Master from the year one. I always wanted a Kitchen-Aid, and said someday I will have it! But like you it just doesn't interest me anymore. I am happy with what I have, and my Mix-Master has given me much pleasure plus delicious food all these years. You love the same flavors as what I love. I give you accolades for your cupcakes. They look really good! Love the idea of the marshmallows. Love your recipes, and Happy Cupcake Day! Blessings...Dottie :)

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    1. I suppose the time of year has to do with me thinking about it again, Dottie. The "allure" as someone mentioned:) I've had my hand mixer forever! It does the job and when necessary, there are always the hands. Some say cookies taste better when made by hand. I'll have to try it one day. Look what it does for meatballs! Thank you so much for visiting, Dottie. Your Twelve Days of Christmas posts are joyous! Love those songs of past Christmas'

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  10. What a tremendous cupcakes you have made!! They look lovely Louise!
    I don't have a Kitchen Aid either and sometimes I wonder whether it would make my life easier. I am so used to make things by hand! I only use a mixer to whip cream or eggs.
    Thank you for this inspiring post Louise!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed this post, Alida. It sure was a challenge and so much fun!!!

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  11. Loved hearing about your childhood ~~louise~~...
    I don't have anything named Kitchen-Aid either....
    I have a food processor, that I use once a year, to make my shortbread!
    Your cupcakes look awesome!!! Good job♥
    Enjoy your Sunday....
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. I'm thinking maybe I would be better off looking into a better food processor. Although, I do have one now I rarely use, lol...Your fairy lit yard looks amazing, Linda! My Sunday was cozy and warm:)

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  12. My hubby is always reminding me the difference between my wants and needs...LOL...though I very certainly know the difference, but he likes to give me a hard time. Your cupcakes look fantastic...something my family would go nuts for. I may make the pan recipe! Thanks for the delicious inspiration, my friend.

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  13. You know the Knight and I both enjoy my KA. But confessions abound; I don't cook much at all anymore. Fortunately, my lack of interest collided with his desire to play in the kitchen, so we aren't starving. I do still do all of the baking and candy-making though!

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    1. I'm sure the Knight is a whiz in the kitchen, Channon.

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  14. I don't if its kismet or karma or what, but I have that cookbook too. Thanks for dropping by EEs. This cake recipe is one of my faves.

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    1. Oh that is so funny, Debra. Let's call it Kismet:) Drop by anytime. I will certainly be back to your blog for more goodies. Say that retro dip for instance:)

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  15. Hi Louise,
    Thank you for sharing your stories and thoughts about yourself. I love reading this post. You have a way with words. It really is wonderful to read about your younger days and your culinary stories!
    I am really impressed that you've made your own ice cream cones, it is something that I have always wanted to try. Your ice cream cupcake looks really delicious, these would be gone in a jiffy if served in my house! I can see why Marion loves it so!
    I guess one can be without a stand mixer, but not without cookbooks! LOL! I bought myself a dozen cookbooks at the recent booksale!
    Despite that being said, I cannot do without my stand mixer! Mine is a Kenwood, bought many years ago, and have made hundreds of bakes using it. Though I would recommend having a stand mixer which is ready handy, I can understand your own judgement in not needing one, only you know whether you need one!
    Meanwhile, pass some of that yummy ice cream cupcakes over! :)
    Thank you for sharing with CYB!

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    1. You said a mouthful, Joyce. One can definitely do without a mixer but definitely not without cookbooks! Marion suggested putting the Cupcake Cones in the freezer for safe keeping. she says they are even better frozen! You really should try to make your own ice cream cones. You are more than capable of making them Joyce. And, you can flavor them anyway you like. Let me know if you want a recipe. Or, there are tons of ideas online!

      I hope I did CYB right. I'll be over to your blog. There are so many goodies I want to visit!

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  16. I love your cupcakes, they are super duper adorable and so creative! Can I have some milk with that? ;) My brother-in-law was telling about that commercial on QVC for the KitchenAid stand mixer. He found it so interesting, considering he doesn't cook or bake. I got my KitchenAid stand mixer last year and I use it at least once a week, sometimes more. It's truly a lifesaver for me because I used to and still kind of suffer from chronic back pain. My husband got it for me to help me out in the kitchen so I don't suffer as much hand mixing my batters. Anyway, have a great week Louise! :)

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    1. That makes me feel so much better, Anne, It was the "allure" that got me if your brother was attracted and he doesn't even cook, lol...I did consider it for my hands too, Anne but I still think for the little baking that I do, the hand mixer will work just fine and if not, my hands could probably use the exercise:)

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  17. That is such a great idea! Those cupcakes are very original.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  18. The cupcakes looked really good but the one but open, yummy. I like the gooey chocolate on the bottom. Great idea.

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    1. Marion says the goeey chocolate at the bottom was the best part, Lady Lilith. I haven't tried one yet!

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  19. What a fabulous post! I, too, don't cook the way I did when I was younger. I'm interested, but more so in the cookbooks that I, too, collect. Love this recipe (and step-by-step comments and photos) for the ice cream cone cake.. Wowza... I won't make my own cones, but I see this as a possiblity for the Christmas cookie party. Best for a wonderful holiday to you all!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it Janet. I'm pretty sure the recipe for the sugar cones could easily be adapted to chocolate. They are really easy to bake up and the possibilities are endless. I saw a cone turned upside down and trimmed like a tree! They make great "cups" for goodies too!!!

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  20. talk about decadence! this is a fantastic creation, louise, from top to bottom.

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  21. I love thesessss Louise! look amazing I love the chocolate marshmallows!xxx

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    1. I know how you love chocolate marshmallow, Gloria. Come on over, I'll "whip" up some!

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  22. I remember when my children were young making something similar for their birthdays! A favorite with everyone! Yours look so lovely…I love the marshmallows in the bottom of each cone! Nice post, Louise!

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    1. My kids sure did miss out, Kathy! I never made them that I can remember but I sure will be trying again when the grandkids visit!

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  23. Great job:) Very ambitious making your own cones. Your post is truly inspirational. I need to make these next week with the kids. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It was so easy, Geraldine. I surprised myself!

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  24. a lovely post....these cupcakes look so dreamy good...we bet they are going to be finished off to the last crumb as they get plated...it is a brilliant idea to use candle holder as a cupcake stand...seriously how could we miss this...truly inspirational idea and lovely treat,thanks so much for sharing :-)

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    1. I was so proud of myself for thinking of using the candle holder, Kumar. It was in the shed ready to be sold at the yard sale next Spring!

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  25. Hi Louise,

    What!!!??? After pictures and pictures of your seductive chocolate cakes, you reckon that you have NOT "earn" enough to buy your KA... hmmm!

    Happiness is sometimes what you choose and clearly, your happiness is your cookbooks but not KA :p

    Cheers! ... With your yummy chocolate cakes!

    Zoe

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    1. I do have great fun with my cookbooks Zoe, especially when I share them with you!

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  26. Ha! I'm doing the same thing with a writing class. Even though I can afford it, I've got five more articles to write (and get paid for) before I can take it!

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    1. Oh Miranda, I think you're being a bit harsh on yourself. I mean really just look at your latest book! And I'm loving that give-away of yours. I hope I win a copy of The Cheesecake Queen for my granddaughter!!!

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  27. Louise , the KA standmixer with glass bowl looks gorgeous ! You really need to buy it lol I asked a friend to buy me a KA standmixer when he went to US years ago , sadly , I haven't used it yet , it's back home , in the Philippines , getting rusty *sigh* So for now , I'll just use manual labor when baking bread . I hope Santa's lurking on this blog , right now , who knows , maybe he'll surprise with KA and with another cookbook or three ?! :D

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    1. It seems to me you're doing GREAT with "manuel labor" Anne. I don't know about Santa bringing any cookbooks, Anne, even if I leave him milk and cookies, or perhaps, a cupcake cone:) I do know Marion has been hinting about me needing more cookbooks after eating those Cupcake Cones. There may even be two or three hidden around here somewhere!

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  28. Estupenda realizaciòn estos dulces mamà los hacìa para Navidad en la comunidad norteamericana a la cual pertenecìa en la ciudad de Concepciòn _Chile por eso amo el chocolate marshmallows,hugs,hugs.

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    1. Fáilte Rosita!

      Ba mhaith liom grá a fheiceáil ar dhuine a dhéanamh ar na pearsanta, Rosita. Is breá liom freisin marshmallow! Go raibh míle maith agat sin i bhfad as cuairt a thabhairt. Stop ag am ar bith :)

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  29. You're making me drool, Louise! Love the presentation! Ben & Jerry is my fave ice-cream brand, & I stock up Cherry Garcia in my fridge. Do you have that flavour there?

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    1. We sure do have Cherry Garcia, Shirley! It's one of my favorites. I considered using it in my Cupcake Cones!

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  30. " clap clap* the ice cream cone cupcakes look wonderful and why wasnt you thrilled? if i do not bake often like you and the cupakes and the cones came out like the above, i would be jumping in joy! about the kitchen aid, to me i think it helps to make things a little easier like beating egg whites and kneading bread but it's not a necessity..i see lots of people did extremely well with their bakes without a KA. You know, it's a pleasure reading that you are a cookbook collector and sharing all your cookbooks with us, thank you so much!

    enjoy reading a little about your past and your family. Your father must be very close to your grandma.

    the melted marshmallow and the fudgy part ..yum!

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    1. Thank you for the applause, Lena. That's so sweet:) The melted marshmallow fudgy part was Marion's favorite too!

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  31. Lovely idea to bake cupcakes in ice cream cones, and also a brilliant idea to use the candle holder! I think the KA is over rated too, I don't need to get one either:P I am quite satisfied with my stand mixer to even think of getting one, although I would use it with delight if someone is to present it to me:P

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    1. I was so proud of myself when the light went off in my head to use the candle holders, Jeannie. They fit just right:)

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  32. Dear Louise, I loved reading about you and your family. My parents were from the Bronx and moved out here in the early fifty's. My mom missed the Bronx at the time too. She had to learn to drive, since in the Bronx she didn't have a need to.

    Long Island certainly has changed and is no longer country.

    I don't own a microwave, I guess I am a little like you, I just don't see the need or the hurry.

    This Mexican chocolate cake looks simply wonderful and I like the idea of the cone.

    I think I will give it a try.

    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

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    1. We lived in the Bronx when I was an infant, Catherine. Later we moved to the East side and eventually Long Island. I haven't been down in a while but I know it has changed so much since I was young:)

      I do hope you try that cake. Please let us know if you do:)

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Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise