Pirate Kitchen

Chocolate Chip Crunchy Cake

Baking, Cakes, Chocolate, Desserts, General | February 24, 2013 | By

Chocolate Chip Crunch Cake

There is a light at the end of the tunnel:  4 days until March! And to celebrate, anything with chocolate is in order. Thank you to my friend Patty and her daughter Rachel for sharing this lovely cake recipe (I tweaked it just a tiny bit!) – a dense, moist yellow cake with a cinnamon, sugar and chocolate chip filling and topping. The sugar is what gives it the slight “crunch” and I just love a cinnamon/chocolate combo, don’t you?


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Easy Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate, Desserts, General, Holiday | February 10, 2013 | By

Mousse and Hearts

To me, Valentine’s Day is chocolate. This simple mousse is oh heavenly chocolate, but now a word about the white chocolate hearts…be warned about white chocolate chips! White chocolate is a bit difficult to work with:  it gets lumpy and seizes very easily. If you’re planning on making cute white chocolate decorations to embellish a dessert, cocktail, etc. I would use white chocolate melts which are much easier to work with. Craft stores that sell cake supplies carry them.


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A Truck, A Tree & Alton’s Hot Cocoa

Beverages, Chocolate, General, Holiday | December 13, 2011 | By

Truck & Tree

Our truck is one of my favorite things ever. We just returned from getting our Christmas tree (9 feet-YAY!), with the four of us crammed in the cab, and it is so proud. It should be. This truck has assisted in numerous landscaping and home improvement projects and this past Summer we fit one whole above ground pool in it (minus water, but still…). We not only lived to tell, but actually enjoyed swimming the rest of the Summer. The truck is also our magic carpet for joyrides in the countryside and who knows what yard sale or cool stuff you might see when you’re out and about? So, thank you Truck, we love you.


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Killer Birthday Cake

Baking, Cakes, Chocolate, Desserts, General | October 26, 2010 | By

Killer Birthday Cake

A very special birthday requires a very special cake and Killer Cake was definitely it. It was Rob’s (the LOML) birthday and this cake is way over the top:  dense and slightly chewy and chocolaty. I got started and melted the butter and chocolate in a double boiler


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Million Dollar Chocolate Chip Cookies

Baking, Chocolate, Cookies, Desserts, General | September 5, 2010 | By

Remember the myth of the Neiman-Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies? How about the $250 Cookie Recipe? Well, at the height of this myth/controversy/craze I got sucked in and made the $250 Cookie Recipe. Why? Because it had an 8 oz. Hershey bar listed in the ingredients. I missed the word “grated” next to it and 4 cups of flour and 5 cups of oatmeal, etc! However, I tackled this beast of a recipe in that same tiny kitchen from my youth with tenacity, naivete and inexperience. It was a good cookie, but a better learning experience and not worth the effort and frustration caused by the fact that my kitchen was not the size of a football field.

In the late 1980’s, early 1990’s, I worked in Center City, Philadelphia and just happened to be right around the corner from The Frog Commissary storefront which is no longer there, but they continue to thrive in other incarnations. May it Rest In Peace. They made and sold an amazing oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. Of course, The Frog Commissary Cookbook is still one of my favorites and thankfully the recipe for that cookie (among other fantastic recipes) is in it.

My recipe hits the “million dollar” mark because I add a secret ingredientcinnamon. Whoa. I noticed that the Neiman Marcus recipe used espresso powder, but since that’s not really my favorite flavor combination with chocolate, I thought I would try cinnamon. It adds a warm richness and your whole house will smell divine when they’re baking in the oven.

The recipe is large enough to make a substantial amount (3 dozen), but not so big to become an exercise in frustration.  It also supports those stealthy cookie dough eaters.

Million Dollar Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Even better than the stuff of urban myth and legend

Makes 3 dozen


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (not instant)
  • 12 ounces (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter with the sugars. Add the vanilla, milk and eggs. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and blend. Add to the creamed mixture and combine. By hand, stir in the oats, chips and nuts. Drop the dough on parchment lined baking sheets, using a nifty 1 3/4-inch-diameter ice cream scoop or a rounded tablespoon. Flatten lightly to make them a bit more compact and bake for 12-15 minutes. Let sit for 1 minute, then remove to cooling racks.

I like to store these in large zip top bags and they freeze well. For that just-out-of-the-oven goodness, pop one (or 2!) in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Try substituting other nuts like pecans or macadamias.

Credit: Recipe inspired by The Frog Commissary Cookbook’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

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