What better way to end our first recipe rotation with an ethnic pastry, and a delicious looking one at that!  From the looks of the recipe, I’m guessing this will be like a Bismark. Thanks, Yvette, for the recipe! See her comment below on where this recipe originated.
This is a Brazilian pastry that was my absolute favorite when we went to Brazil. Brandon finally found me a recipe, and we made them yesterday. He had to translate the recipe to English, so everything is in grams and liters.
500g all purpose flour
1 tbs yeast 100g butter or margarine
100g granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup water
1 liter milk
250g granulated sugar
75g all purpose flour
4 egg yolks
1 tbs vanilla
Powdered sugar to dust finished sonhos
Dough:  Mix 50g of flour with yeast and enough water to make a wet sponge. Let the sponge rest for 15 minutes. Add the remaining dough ingredients and mix. The dough should be soft and tacky, but not overly sticky. Add flour or water as necessary to obtain this consistency. Knead and let it rest for 10 minutes. Form dough into 30g balls (appx 1.5” in diameter) and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Mist with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap to rise. Allow dough to rise until double in size. Deep fry in low-temperature oil. The oil should bubble when you slide them in, but not splatter. When they are lightly browned, turn them over. When both sides are cooked, remove the sonhos and place them on a paper towel to cool.
Creme: Mix the milk with half of the sugar and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the remaining sugar and the flour. Sifting the flour first will help prevent lumps. Cook for about 2 minutes, whisking constantly, until smooth. Add the yolks and vanilla and cook on low, whisking constantly, until it thickens. Remember that it will thicken more when it cools. Once it’s cooled, slice the sonhos in half, leaving the last 1/4” or so of the two halves connected. Open far enough to spoon in the crème and fill ’em up! Dust the tops with sifted powdered sugar and enjoy!
Makes: appx 20 sonhos

Comfort Foods


This past weekend was Mother’s Day, as I’m sure you’re all very well aware! For my Mother’s Day gift, my sweet husband took me to dinner on Saturday night, let me have a nice relaxing bath with a Lush bath bomb, then messaged my feet with some awesome lotion. What a guy! The evening was perfect! The only thing that would have been able to put the cherry on top would have been a Frozen Hot Chocolate from Dairy Queen.

I’m not sure what it is about those Frozen Hot Chocolates, but when I was super pregnant with James, one of my favorite activities was having a Dr Teals Eucalyptus Epsom Salt bath while sipping on a Frozen Hot Chocolate. YUM. Since the good ol’ DQ isn’t always available, I even tried making one from scratch, following Paula Deen’s recipe. While I admit it’s not quite as yummy as DQ’s cocoa hot fudge, it is a fun, unique drink!

What are some of your favorite comfort foods?


3 ounces best-quality chocolate (or a variety of your favorites)
2 teaspoons store bought hot chocolate mix
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups ice
Whipped cream, for garnish

Chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a small heavy saucepan or in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Add the hot chocolate mix and sugar, stirring constantly until blended.

Remove from heat and slowly add 1/2 cup of the milk, stirring until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

In a blender, place the remaining 1 cup of milk, the chocolate mixture, and the ice. Blend on high speed until smooth and the consistency of a frozen daiquiri. Pour into a giant goblet and top with whipped cram and chocolate shavings.

Fabulous Chocolate Cake

Trying to think of the perfect dessert to make this weekend extra special? Well look no more! This weeks recipe, provided by Rachael, is chocolate cake. This is Rachael’s favorite chocolate cake, and if I’m remembering correctly, she made it for James’ baby shower almost 2 years ago! Yummy! Give this recipe a try, and let us know what you think!

Chocolate Cake

1 3/4 cups (220 g) all-purpose flour
2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (90 g) Droste Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons (10 g) baking soda
1 teaspoon (5 g) baking powder
1 teaspoon (9 g) salt
2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup (237 mL) strong, hot black coffee or espresso or Nestle Caro/Postum
1 cup (237 mL) buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup (119 mL) vegetable oil
1 tablespoon (15 mL) pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 2 x 9″ (or 3 x 8″ for slightly shorter layers) cake pans with butter and flour or parchment paper. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift all dry ingredients. Add remaining ingredients to mixture and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splashguard that comes with mixer). Divide among prepared pans. Batter will be liquidy. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate pans in oven. Cakes are done when toothpick or skewer comes clean, about 35 minutes. Try not to overbake. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until completely cool.

Hilton Family Favorites II

I recently returned from a trip to Las Vegas to see my sisters, Becca and Whitney. What a fun time we had! Lots of time spent at parks, chatting, shopping and eating yummy food. It’s so sad that all of us sisters can’t live close to each other and our parents!

Anyway, while I was there, Whitney whipped up a delicious Hilton Family Favorite for movie night. Growing up (and obviously still to this day), this was always such an exciting FHE or movie night treat. Dad always requested the biggest cup possible, though we all usually ended up getting a mug’s worth (for our own good, too. Thanks Mom!)


It’s so simple, yet so delicious, I just can’t get enough! We call it…


1 mug-size serving

2 cups vanilla icecream
5 honey graham cracker halves
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Place everything in a blender and mix until smooth. If necessary, add more of whichever ingredient is needed for your taste preference.

Hilton Family Favorite Desserts

Dessert! Oh how I love my desserts. My sisters and I have often puzzled over the fact that our husbands didn’t grow up having dessert after lunch and dinner each day.  I think we can all agree that we have our Mom to thank for our sweet tooths! It’s no wonder, since the recipes we grew up with were so scrumptious! For the next few weeks, I’m going to post some of our favorite Hilton (and Ipsen) family dessert recipes. They’re too yummy to keep to ourselves!

When I asked my sisters what some of their favorites were, all of their responses included this one. An absolute favorite that some of you may already be familiar with! We grew up bringing this dessert to swim day with the Thaxtons, family reunions, and other functions. Not to mention the regular, old, school day afternoon treat! This is a little dessert we like to call…

No Name Treats

½ c sugar
1 c flour
½ c cold butter

4 c oatmeal
1 c brown sugar
½ tsp salt
2/3 c melted butter
½ c Karo syrup
1 Tbsp vanilla

1 c Chocolate Chips
½ c Peanut Butter

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together sugar and flour. Cut butter into mixture until crumbly. Pat in the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan, and bake for 20 minutes. While crust is baking, mix together oatmeal, brown sugar, and salt, then add melted butter, Karo syrup, and vanilla. Mix well. Lower oven temp to 325. Spread mixture over crust, and press so it is compacted. Bake for 10 minutes. Melt chocolate chips in microwave, then add peanut butter and stir until combined. Carefully spread over hot mixture, and let cool before cutting and serving.

*Here’s a comment from someone who’s mastered this recipe. Thanks Becca! For some reason when using butter, the bottom layer separates from the rest, so I always use margarine and it holds together great.

Raspberry Pistachio Cheesecake

This weeks recipe, provided by Rachael and SoNo, features a dessert! Not just any dessert, but one of Rachael’s favorite cheesecake recipes! I personally haven’t had much success in baking cheesecake, but I did buy a springform pan a couple of years ago…so it’s about time I try it again. The combination of pistachios, raspberry, vanilla, and apricot sounds very interesting to me, and it makes such a beautiful dish! Give it a try, and let us know what you think!

**Rachael left this comment on the post, but I’m adding it here to make sure everyone sees it! “I know it says not to use a springform, but I always do! Just make sure, if you use a springform, to wrap it up tightly in tinfoil (the extra wide is best so there aren’t seams) so that the water bath doesn’t seep in!”

Raspberry Pistachio Cheesecake

Pistachio Graham Cracker Crust

  • ¼ cup shelled, unsalted pistachios
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled


  • 2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature for at least 6 hours
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla paste, or seeds from 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup apricot jam
  • ½ cup shelled, unsalted pistachios, pulsed in a food processor until coarsely ground
  • 3 (1/2-pint) containers raspberries
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Bring water to a boil for a water bath. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 by 2-inch cake pan; set aside.

2. To make the crust: In a food processor, pulse the pistachios with the sugar and the salt until coarsely ground. Transfer to a large bowl, add the graham cracker crumbs and butter, and mix to combine. Press the graham cracker mixture over the bottom of the buttered pan. Set aside.

3. To make the filling: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and vanilla paste or seeds on medium-high speed, scraping down the bowl several times, until the mixture is completely smooth, about 5 minutes.

4. Turn the mixer to low and beat in the eggs one at a time, until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the sour cream until blended.

5. Place the cake pan in a roasting pan. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the cake pan-it will come all of the way to the top of the pan. Place the roasting pan in the oven and pour in the boiling water to come about ½ inch up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the filling is set but still jiggles slightly in the center, 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from the water bath and let cool to room temperature. Chill for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight, in the pan.

6. To finish, heat the bottom of the pan over a flame or an electric element to loosen the crust. Invert the pan onto a 9-inch cake round or large plate. Remove the pan from the cake and invert once more onto a 9-inch round or large plate so the crust is on the bottom. In a small saucepan, warm the strained jam over low heat until liquid. Strain through a fine strainer. Brush the top and sides of the cheesecake with the strained jam. Cover the top of the cake with a single layer of raspberries. Holding the cake with one hand under the bottom, and working over a sheet pan to catch the excess, gently press the ground pistachios all around the side of the cake. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

TECHNIQUE TIP: Cheesecakes are traditionally made in springform pans wrapped in aluminum foil and placed in a water bath. Water often leaks into the pans, creating a soggy crust. Instead, as with this recipe, try making cheesecakes in a regular cake pan to ensure that water won’t leak into the pan. To serve the cake, remove it from the refrigerator, then heat it over a flame or electric element just enough to warm the sugar and butter in the crust; invert the pan and the cake will release easily.

The Master Chocolate Chip Cookie

Lets start off Kitchenchums with a classic; a chocolate chip cookie! Not only a chocolate chip cookie, but the chocolate chip cookie. Whether it’s the abnormal measurements, or the mixing method, this really is one of the most successful recipes I’ve tried! Thanks, Mom, for sending me the recipe! And thanks, HappyMoneySaver, for creating the recipe! For a fun Valentines twist, add some Valentines M&M’s!

Master Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 3 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 ¼ cups real unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 (11.5 oz.) bag Ghiradelli chocolate chips, or other quality chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix to combine and set aside.
  3. Using paddle attachment on mixer, cream butter and sugars together just until blended.
  4. Add eggs, one a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Add the vanilla.
  6. Put mixer on low speed, and add in dry ingredients.
  7. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
  8. Stir in chocolate chips by hand gently.
  9. It’s best to make bigger cookies for the right texture – Use a 4 Tablespoon size scoop to form your cookies.
  10. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the edges are browned but the middle is still slightly undercookied; finish cooking on the cookie sheet while they cool, then move them to a cookie rack to continue cooling.
  11. If freezing these cookies: Form into balls, and freeze on a cookie sheet. After frozen remove and add to a ziploc freezer bag. They will last for about a month in the freezer. To bake just take out and bake as directed, adding a few extra minutes of baking time.