Reuben on Braided Rye Danish

Leftover Corned Beef on a simple Rye Dough puts these Reubens right over the top! Our newest Westover Leftover

                The newest Westover Leftover, using leftover Corned Beef.

     Almost everyone loves Reubens.  We had some leftover Corned Beef and I decided to make a Braided Rye Danish.  It was out of this world.  If you don’t have leftover Corned Beef, buy some from your local Deli.  The Dough is simple to make, so don’t be afraid to give this a try.  Serve with a nice Garden Salad or a bowl of Homemade Soup and you’re good to go! 

     The Dough is very forgiving.  Today I got interrupted so many times by the telephone, the doorbell, the dogs, etc.  Bob wasn’t here, or you can be sure he would have interrupted me too.  It normally isn’t the most advantageous thing to have to keep stopping during the kneading process or on the second rise, but it was perfect to spite everything.  I really enjoyed making this.  I hope you will too!

     We’re kind of crazy, but we used Bob’s homemade Corned Beef and homemade Sauerkraut.  I’ve posted the recipes before.  If you need either you’ll find them in Google, Pinterest, or WordPress.  (or message me). 

YIELDS ENOUGH FOR 1 LARGE REUBEN BRAIDED DANISH.  It will serve 5-6 people, easily. 


2 tsp Brown Sugar

1 ½ cups Warm Water, divided

4 ½ tsp Dry Yeast

1 cup Whole Wheat Flour

1 cup unbleached AP Flour

1 tsp Salt

3 TBSP Olive Oil

2 cups Dark Rye Flour

1 tsp Dried Minced Onion (Optional)

1-2 tsp Caraway Seeds (Optional)

FILLING INGREDIENTS: Everything is estimated because I didn’t measure

4 cups Corned Beef, shredded

6 slices Swiss Cheese

1 ½ cups Sauerkraut

I didn’t put any Thousand Island Dressing on it because I didn’t want to be in danger of having soggy Danish.  In addition, Bob likes Thousand Island, I like Catalina, others like Mustard.  Serving the Dressing on the side at the table allows everyone to choose their favorite.


     Dissolve Brown Sugar in 1/2 cup barely Warm Water.  Sprinkle Yeast over the Water, and using the blade of a butter knife, stir well.  Scrape any Yeast that remains on the blade into the Water. (the small blade allows you to retain all the yeast instead of having it stuck to a spoon).  Let it sit for 5 minutes.  It will become very bubbly.

     Fit your dough hook on your heavy-duty mixer.  In mixer bowl, add all 3 Flours and Salt.  You can either turn the mixer on very low speed or use a whisk.  You want everything well incorporated.  Create a well in the center and pour in the Olive Oil, remaining 1 cup Water, Dried Minced Onion, Caraway Seeds, and Yeast/Water mixture. 

     Begin on low speed until mixed well and a dough ball forms.  Turn the speed up a little and mix for 6-7 minutes.  This is a heavy dough, so it will flop around on you.  I usually turn the mixer off every minute or so and let the dough fall back to the center of the bowl. If you want o knead by hand, feel free.  It will take a good 10 minutes depending on how fast you knead. I knead like Speedy Gonzales.

     Roll dough into a ball and place back into the mixer bowl which you will have greased with a light coating of Olive Oil.  Cover with Plastic Wrap and a Towel.  Give it 1 – ½ hours to double in size.  Time will depend a lot on the temperature in your kitchen.  When it’s ready, remove towel and Plastic wrap.  Make a fist and with the back of your fingers push the dough down to release a lot of the air.  With this dough you’ll have to do it in 3 or 4 places.  Cover again and let it rise for another 15 minutes or so.

     Preheat the oven to 500° F now.  If you have a large stoneware baking sheet, that goes in the oven while you’re preheating. You can dust it with corn meal if you’d like.

     If you don’t have a large stoneware baking sheet, use a half sheet and lay Parchment Paper on it.


     I don’t like to roll dough.  I think it squishes all the lovely air pockets out.  It was very easy to spread the dough into a 12” x 20” rectangle just using my hands and finger tips.  So, lay out a sheet of Parchment Paper and press the dough trying to keep the edges straight.  (Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos of the beginning process because my camera battery was dead.)  If you’re baking on a half sheet, lay that on the counter, Parchment on top and continue on with the next steps.

     After you’ve shaped the Dough lightly score a 4” section right down the middle of the Dough.  Don’t cut all the way through it.  You just need to score it so you have a guide.  Now, cut strips from your score marks to the outer edge of the Dough.  This time you will cut all the way through and you want to do them about ¾” wide.  These will be the strips for braiding.

     Lay the Corned Beef down first, and stay between your 4” score marks.  Swiss Cheese goes next.  I folded each slice in half.  Some of them will overlap, but that’s fine.  Sauerkraut goes on top. 

     Now you will cross the strips you cut across the filling.  Do one strip from the right side, then do one strip from the left side.  Keep going until you reach the end.  To have pretty finished ends, I took the “tail” of the dough, folded that up over the fillings.  Then I crossed the last few strips.  It looked neater that way.  Usually the ends are folded under the Danish, but with all the fillings, I didn’t want the ends to be higher than the rest of the Danish.  This worked out perfectly. You’re going to do the same thing at the other end of the Danish also.

     Your oven should be good and hot now.  Pick up the Parchment Paper and your Danish and quickly lay it on the baking stone.  Make sure you support the bottom while you’re moving it.  It might sag and tear otherwise. I used one hand and let the Danish lay across my other hand and wrist to move it.  If you’re using the half sheet, just put it in the oven.  Baking time will vary.  I believe you should start watching it at about 20 minutes, although it won’t be done yet.  Everybody likes their Rye a little different.  Some like it very browned, others not so much.  I let mine cook for about 30 minutes.

    Serve with a salad or soup.  Always put an assortment of Dips out.  Thousand Island is the traditional, but I like Catalina.  Mustard is another very popular Reuben condiment. 

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Chocolate Chess Pie, a Southern Favorite

Chocolate Chess Pie, a Southern Favorite

     If you’ve never had Chess Pie, you are truly missing out!  Compare the taste to a Brownie Sundae.  Or Creamy Chocolate Custard.  OK, I’ll admit it – It’s like licking the brownie batter.

     I designed my recipe to be nice and tall.  If rich, chocolate decadence is what you’re looking for, get the ingredients out.  This is it!  The end result is a taller pie than most and it has a very, very thin shell on the top. I was told by a Southern lady that you only find the thin crust on a real Southern Chocolate Chess Pie.  It’s one of the quickest pies you can make.  Super simple, too.

    You can use a Regular Unbaked Pie Shell, Graham Cracker Crust, Shortbread Crust, Animal Cracker Crust or whatever strikes your fancy.  Don’t forget to dollop with Whipped Cream or even Ice Cream on the side. 

Ingredients – Yields 1 Pie

2 ¼ cups Sugar

1/3 cup + 1 tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2 Dashes Salt

Optional: ½ tsp Espresso Powder -OR- Cinnamon

6 TBSP Butter melted and slightly cooled

¾ cup Evaporated Milk

1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

3 Eggs 

1 (9-inch) Unbaked Pie Shell


Preheat oven to 350º F.

     In mixer bowl on lowest speed, (You can use a Whisk if you’re afraid of ingredients flying). beat Sugar, Cocoa, Salt and (Espresso Powder or Cinnamon if using) together.  Add Butter and Evaporated Milk and beat on high speed. Add Vanilla and Eggs. Beat another 3 or 4 minutes on high speed.

    Pour mixture into 9 inch unbaked pie shell and bake for 40 – 45 minutes. The center of the pie will be a bit soft, and that’s ok because it will continue to set while cooling.  If it seems very jiggly, let it bake for another 2 minutes and check again.  Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.  Let sit at room temp for at least 2 hours.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

See the thin shell on the top layer? That’s what you want!

Easy Company Cake


1 Layer Cake, baked
1 1/2 cup Jam (A flavor that will go with your cake)
1 1/2 cup Frosting (A flavor that will go with your cake and Jam)


Spread the Frosting on the BOTTOM (level half) of baked cake. Place on serving platter.

Spread slightly warmed Jam on the BOTTOM the second layer of baked cake. Place Jam side down on top of the frosted layer.

Drizzle with Ganache. Serve

GANACHE is so simple to make. I used about 3/4 cup of Dark Chocolate Melting Candy, added enough Heavy Cream (Approximately half of the 3/4 measuring cup to get the consistency I wanted. You want it thin enough to drizzle, but not so thin that it runs off the cake.

Place Chocolate and Heavy Cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 45 seconds. Stir. Heat again for 30 seconds. Stir and let sit until partly cooled. You don’t want to pour it on the cake while hot.

That’s it! Simple!

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019