PECAN COOKIES

pecan cookies (2)

 I considered calling these Pecan Surprise cookies, cause you could add different surprises every time you make them. I might go crazy next time and do white chocolate chips. They’d be great with the pecans.

       Here’s a brand new one bowl, mix, scoop ‘em on the cookie sheets and bake delicious cookie for you!  You can customize them any way you want.  Don’t you just love that?  The recipe makes a lot, so I’m NOT counting them for you.  Sorry.  Bob guesstimates 75 cookies.  I’m still not gonna count.

INGREDIENTS:    PLEASE KNOW THAT I COPIED AND PASTED THIS FROM MY FACEBOOK PAGE.  THE SPACING ON THE INGREDIENTS LIST POSTED WEIRD.  THE LIST IS  CORRECT THOUGH.  THERE IS NOTHING MISSING.

 

2 sticks salted butter

1 cup Canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup confectioner’s sugar (sifted)
2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ tsp salt

4 cups AP flour

1 ¾  cups pecans (chopped)

1 ½ cups chopped (or whole chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)

1 cup Heath bits

PREPARATION:
Preheat oven to 335 ° F.  (You want a relatively low baking temp so they don’t spread).
In mixer bowl, beat softened butter for 30 seconds.  Add Canola oil, and both sugars.  Beat til smooth.

Add eggs and beat until combined.  Add vanilla, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.  Beat until combined.

Add flour and beat until just combined.

Stir in chopped pecans, chopped chocolate chips, and Heath bits.  For the last sheet, I mixed in some coconut.  Holy cow!  Outstanding.

Using a large cookie scoop, place dough balls approximately 2” apart on ungreased cookie sheet or stoneware sheet.  Bake for 14  – 17 minutes.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES,CHEWY BROWNED BUTTER

img_1830

     There’s something homey and comforting about Chocolate Chip Cookies. Everyone loves them, and for good reason. They’re delicious. For years though, I was plagued by flat cookies. You know the ones I mean. They’re beautiful when they come out of the oven, but as they cooled, they became flatter than a fritter. What was wrong that it happened time and time again? Time to put my thinking cap on to figure this out.

     It had to be the recipe on the bag. Something or some things needed serious adjustments. I decided that browned butter was the first place to start. Eureka! It made all the difference. The texture is wonderful, the cookies are chewy, and the best part is they stay soft for days. And the flavor? Delish!! So here is my all-new recipe and how I did it. (Yes, of course I had to change almost everything. You know me too well.)

     The cookies will remain soft for days if kept in a covered plastic or glass container. Of course, that’s providing they last that long.

INGREDIENTS: YIELDS 30 LARGE COOKIES

1 ½ sticks salted butter, roughly chunked

¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed

½ cup granulated sugar

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 eggs

1 – 1 ½ tsp Saigon Cinnamon

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 cups AP flour

1 rounded cup chocolate chips, I like semi-sweet

OPTIONAL: Pecans, walnuts, raisins, dates, coconut. Bob doesn’t like coconut and I love it. I sometimes bake one normal tray and save a bit of dough for me, to which I add 1/3 – ½ cup coconut before baking.

PREPARATION:

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium/low heat. It will begin to foam, and that is due to the moisture escaping. Swirl the pan every minute or so. The color will change from yellow to light brown. You will also notice a difference in the scent. Some people say it smells nutty when it’s done. I can’t say that I smell nuts, but the scent definitely changes to something much richer. To me, it smells like brown sugar. Sediment will begin to form at the bottom. Either strain that out or leave as much as possible in the pan. Set aside to cool, and then refrigerate for about an hour.  Remember, starting with hot ingredients will make your cookies spread.

Add the browned butter to your mixer bowl and beat for about a minute. Then add the sugars and beat until the batter is smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat again. Add cinnamon, baking soda, and salt, giving it a quick mix to incorporate. Add the flour and beat on low speed only until incorporated. Add chocolate chips and nuts. Chill dough for an hour.

NOTE: Chilling the dough and baking at a lower temperature along with using the browned butter keeps the cookies from spreading into a flat cookie.

Preheat oven to 350° F. It’s always best to use a stoneware baking sheet, but if you don’t have one, use a silicone mat or parchment paper. I make large cookies and they need to bake about 14 minutes or until edges are set.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you’re using regular baking sheets instead of stoneware, always make sure your baking sheets are cool before you drop a new batch of dough on them, even if you used silicone or parchment paper. Otherwise the dough will get hot and begin to spread before you put the sheet in the oven. This will mess with baking time, and possibly give you flat cookies.

WHY BROWN THE BUTTER? When butter melts, the water evaporates and the milk solids are exposed to heat and start to turn brown. They will sink to the bottom of the pan and begin to brown. You should see dark bits in the bottom. While you’re busy messing with Mother Nature’s perfect butter, it is taking on not only color, but flavor and aroma! It smells SO good!!

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

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TEXAS SHEET CAKE, MY FAVORITE

Texas Sheet Cake

     This is the best Texas sheet cake I’ve ever had, and therefore, the only recipe I ever use.  It’s very easy to make, however, I would like to caution you to the fact that the butter, condensed milk, cocoa, and vanilla are all divided, so please pay attention to the prep instructions when adding your ingredients. 

INGREDIENTS:

1 ¼ cups butter (divided)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, divided

1/2 cup brewed coffee

½ cup water

2 cups AP flour

1 ½ cups brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

1 (14 oz can) sweetened condensed milk (divided)

2 eggs

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract (divided)

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

¾ cup chopped nuts (I like walnuts)

 

CAKE PREPARATION:

In a small saucepan, melt 1 cup butter, add ¼ cup cocoa powder and coffee.  Bring to a simmer, stir well and remove from heat.  (Save the pan, you’ll use it again later.)

In mixer bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix with whisk until incorporated.  Add cocoa/butter mixture and beat well.  Add 1/3 cup condensed milk, eggs, and 1 tsp vanilla.  Pour into greased 15” x 10” pan.  (A cookie sheet work great.  Just measure it first).

Bake at 350° F for approximately 15 – 17 minutes.  Cake will spring back when it’s done.  Remove from oven and make frosting.

FROSTING:

In the same small saucepan, melt remaining ¼ cup butter, ¼ cup cocoa powder, remaining condensed milk, dash of salt, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar.  Stir over medium/low heat until smooth and no lumps of sugar or cocoa remain.  Add the nuts and pour over warm cake.

Texas Sheet Cake (2)

Texas Sheet Cake Frosting

Texas Sheet Cake Frosting (2)_crop

Texas Sheet Cake Frosting (2)

Texas Sheet Cake Frosting (3)

Texas Sheet Cake

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

 

TRIPLE LAYER CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE

Chocolate Cake (6)_crop

     When all you can think about is chocolate and cake . . . or chocolate in a cake, this is it!  Decadence supreme.  I promise.

INGREDIENTS:

2 extra large eggs, at room temp

2 cups sugar

½ cup Canola or vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

¾ cup Hershey’s cocoa powder

1 cup buttermilk (you can use a few TBSP of white vinegar in a cup, then fill the cup with milk)

1 cup brewed coffee (hot)

1 ¾ cups AP flour

NOTE:  You will NOT taste the coffee in the finished cake.  It merely enhances it.  If you have leftover coffee, that’s fine.  Just pop it into the microwave to heat it.

 

PREPARATION:

Grease three 9” round pans and dust with a little cocoa powder.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 350°F

In mixer bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla.  Add soda, powder, salt, cocoa powder and mix.

Add buttermilk, coffee and flour.  Mix well.

Bake at 350°F for 25 – 30 minutes, using toothpick test to check for doneness.  Cool in pans for ten minutes, and then remove.  Cool completely and frost with Tika’s frosting.

The cake recipe has been adapted from Hershey’s Perfect Chocolate Cake.  The frosting recipe is Tika’s.

 

TIKA’S PERFECT FROSTING (This recipe is for a triple layer cake and enough for decorations on top and sides of cake). It starts out as vanilla so you can frost between the cake layers with a white frosting.

NO MESS FROSTING INSTRUCTIONS:  Tear off a sheet of wax paper so there is enough to hang over your serving dish by a couple of inches.  Cut the paper into quarters and lay on the plate so it overhangs the dish.  Place the first cake layer on top and frost the top only.  Continue with second and third layers.

When the cake is all decorated, slowly pull each piece of wax paper out.  Ta da!  Clean plate with no frosting goobers or cake crumbs on it.

 

INGREDIENTS:

4 OZ cream cheese, softened

5 TBSP butter

½ tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup milk

7 cups confectioner’s sugar

 

PREPARATION:

Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy.  Add salt, vanilla, milk and confectioner’s sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Frost between the layers.

TO CHANGE TO CHOCOLATE NOW:

1 CUP Hershey’s cocoa powder

2 TBSP butter

¼ cup milk

½ cup confectioner’s sugar

 

PREPARATION:

Add all ingredients to vanilla frosting and beat well.  Frost sides and top of cake.  Remaining frosting will make decorations.

NOTE:  This is one of my never measure recipes. I did measure this time, so I could write it down for you. If the consistency is too dry, add another TBSP milk.  If it’s too wimpy and limpy, add another TBSP cocoa powder. It should be nice and fluffy.

 

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

Chocolate Cake (2)Chocolate Cake (3)Chocolate Cake (4)Chocolate Cake (5)Chocolate Cake (7)Chocolate Cake (8)

 

 

EASY STOVE-TOP CANDIED PECANS

CANDIED PECANS, STOVE-TOP
EASY STOVE-TOP CANDIED PECANS

       I was on a mission to create a brown sugar and butter flavored cinnamon candy pecan that was both quick like a bunny, as well as delicious.  By Jove; I think I’ve got it! I had some on a bowl of ice cream, and it was excellent! 

     They would make a lovely hostess, teacher, mailperson, bus driver, beautician, neighbor, or anyone else that you would like to give a little gift to.  My only suggestion would be that you pack them up quickly.  Tasting just one could be the beginning of an empty batch of candied pecans.

INGREDIENTS:

3 ½ cups pecan halves (12 oz)

5 TBSP salted butter

5 TBSP brown sugar

1 TBSP cinnamon

Dash of salt

1 ½ tsp vanilla

PREPARATION:

In a large skillet over medium/low heat, melt butter.  Add brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon.  Bring to a simmer and turn the heat to low.  Add vanilla and nuts, stirring well to coat all sides of the nuts.  In about five minutes, the liquid should be gone and the nuts well coated.  Turn out onto a piece of wax paper. (No need to grease it).  Easy?  You bet!

CANDIED PECANS, STOVE-TOP (2)CANDIED PECANS, STOVE-TOP (3)CANDIED PECANS, STOVE-TOP (4)

CANDIED PECANS, STOVE-TOP
EASY STOVE-TOP CANDIED PECANS

 

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE, TIKA’S BEST

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE (3)
PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE. LOOK AT THE EDGES OF THE ROUND CAKE. THIS WAS BAKED IN A CAST IRON SKILLET

     This has been my only pineapple upside down cake recipe forever.  I cannot count the times I made it for my parents for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthday dinners, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.  It was their very favorite and I made sure they had it often.  If you can bake it in a cast iron pan, you’ll end up with a slightly crispy outside that you will go crazy over, as well as a tender moist cake.  It isn’t necessary to use a cast iron pan, but as with cornbread, cast iron will give you the best results. It is truly a beautiful cake, and if baking it for guests, trust me; they WILL be impressed. 

     You will note that my recipe calls for crushed pineapple instead of rings.  I’ve done this for years because you get a full taste of pineapple with every bite, instead of hit or miss.  I chop my nuts for the same reason.  Cherries?  I really don’t count them. I just drain some on a flat dish, cut them in half, and place them all over until it looks pretty, and call it good. 

INGREDIENTS:

This recipe makes a 9 x 9.  Double to make a 9 x 13 (The batter will be too much for an 8” pan. It’s very fluffy. If you only have 8”, make a mini cake with the leftover batter)

 Cake:

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup shortening

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

¾ cup milk

½ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp allspice

¾ tsp cinnamon

1 ¼ cup AP flour

Topping:

¼ cup butter

½ cup brown sugar

1 small can (8 ½ oz) crushed pineapple in juice, drained

12 maraschino cherries, cut in half

6 pecan halves or walnuts (I like to chop them)

 

PREPARATION:

In mixer bowl, beat sugar and shortening until light and fluffy.  Add egg and beat well.  Add vanilla, milk, salt, baking powder, allspice and cinnamon.  Mix well.  Add flour, and mix. Set aside.

In whatever metal cake pan you’re using, put it right on the burner to melt the butter.  (If using glass pans, melt butter in microwave). Remove from heat.  Sprinkle brown sugar over butter and make sure to spread the butter and sugar evenly.  Next, add the drained pineapple.  (I hope you drink the juice.  My kids always fought over it when they were little). Evenly spread out the halved cherries and nuts.  Pour batter on last and bake 35-45 min at 350° F.  Use the toothpick test.

Here comes the fun part.  Put the cake on a wire rack.  Place whatever gorgeous serving dish you’re going to serve your cake on, upside down on top of the cake. Wait ten minutes.  Using pot holders, pick up plate and pan together.  Flip it over, and like magic, the cake will pop right out.  Every once in a while you’ll get a small bit of the topping that stays in the pan.  No problem.  Since this cake needs to look perfect, take a butter knife and scrape it out of the pan.  Spread it on the cake and blend it in.  Nobody will ever see it.

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE (3)
PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE. LOOK AT THE EDGES OF THE ROUND CAKE. THIS WAS BAKED IN A CAST IRON SKILLET

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2015

MINI PUMPKIN MUFFINS WITH 2 DIFFERENT TOPPINGS

MINI PUMPKIN MUFFINS WITH SNICKERDOODLE TOPPING AND MAPLE GLAZE TOPPING
MINI PUMPKIN MUFFINS WITH SNICKERDOODLE TOPPING AND MAPLE GLAZE TOPPING

These mini muffins are quick to prepare, and so flavorful.  I have two different toppings listed below.  One is the traditional snickerdoodle cinnamon dip, and the other is a maple glaze.  Both are very good.  The best part is no mixer is required.  One large bowl and a whisk are all you need!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup canned pumpkin or puree (NOT pie filling.  You don’t want the spices in it).

1 large egg

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup vegetable or canola oil

½ tsp vanilla

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp cloves, ground

1/8 tsp mace or ginger powder

1 tsp baking powder

(+ flour, which you’ll add later)

PREPARATION:

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients (except flour), and beat with a whisk until everything is well blended.

Add 1 cup AP flour and whisk until incorporated.

Bake in prepared pan, filling each one ¾ full. (Either spray pan or use mini cupcake papers.

Bake at 350* 17-19 min (depending on how much batter you use in each one).

YIELD:  Approximately 32 mini muffins

Use your muffin tin as a drip-catcher.  You’ll have a few drippies.

FOR SNICKERDOODLE MUFFINS, Dip warm muffins in ½ stick melted butter mixed with ¼ cup sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon.

FOR MAPLE GLAZED MUFFINS, Dip warm muffins in mixture of   2 TBSP pure maple syrup, 3 TBSP confectioner’s sugar, a couple of dashes of nutmeg, and ½ tsp ground cinnamon

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT?

Mini Pumpkin Muffins
Mini Pumpkin Muffins

Mini Pumpkin Muffins (2)

MINI PUMPKIN MUFFINS (3)_crop

PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH MOCHA LATTE FROSTING, by Tika

PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH MOCHA LATTE FROSTING
PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH MOCHA LATTE FROSTING

Fresh out of my kitchen, are moist, flavorful pumpkin cupcakes topped with my mocha latte frosting.  The cupcakes are made in one bowl with a whisk.  Can’t ask for anything easier.  I love that the spices are not overpowering.

YIELD: 12 Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup canned pumpkin or puree (NOT pie filling.  You don’t want spices in it.)

2 large eggs

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup sugar (regular granulated)

½ cup canola or vegetable oil

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp cloves, ground

1/8 tsp mace or ginger powder

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

PREPARATION:

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and beat with a whisk until everything is well blended.

Add 1 cup AP flour and whisk until incorporated.

Bake at 350* for about 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  See?  How easy was that?

MOCHA LATTE FROSTING

INGREDIENTS:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tsp Espresso powder

1 tsp Vanilla extract

Dash of Salt

1 TBSP cocoa powder

2 ¼ cups confectioner’s sugar

PREPARATION:

In mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth, add vanilla, Espresso, Salt, Cocoa Powder until light.  Slowly begin adding the confectioner’s sugar until you have the consistency you want.  If it’s too thin, add a bit more sugar.  Too thick?  Add a tsp of milk.

OPTIONAL:  After frosting cupcakes, feel free to dust the top with cocoa powder.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? 2015

PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH MOCHA LATTE FROSTING
PUMPKIN CUPCAKES WITH MOCHA LATTE FROSTING

TIKA’S ALOHA CAKE

Top view
This cake is very moist and so beautiful, you’ll be proud to serve it

INGREDIENTS FOR CAKE:

1 yellow cake mix

3 eggs

1 over-ripe banana

1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple in juice (1 cup)

 So delicious.
So delicious.

1/3 cup canola oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp almond extract

½ cup sweetened coconut

1 tsp cinnamon

½ – ¾ cup of walnuts, chopped

PREPARATION:

In mixer bowl, combine eggs, oil and banana.  Mix well.  Add the cake mix and beat.  Add 8 oz crushed pineapple, coconut, almond and vanilla extracts, and cinnamon.  Mix again. Stir in chopped nuts.

Pour into greased 13 x 9 pan and bake at 350* 25-30 minutes.  Use toothpick test.  Allow cake to cool completely on wire rack.

OR, bake in three 9” pans for  21-22 minutes.  DECORATE TOP WITH TOASTED COCONUT AND CHERRIES, AND SIDES WITH CRUSHED NUTS.

FROSTING:

I never use a recipe for frosting, I just eyeball everything, and then give it a taste to see if it’s too sweet or the consistency isn’t quite right.  Today I tried to measure as I went along, so here goes. I had plenty to frost the top, sides and between all three layers.

INGREDIENTS:

5 ½ cup confectioner’s sugar

6 TBSP butter

6 TBSP cream cheese, softened

Dash of salt

¼ cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp almond extract

I whipped the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.  Then I added everything else and beat three or four minutes on medium speed.

TOPPINGS:

1 1/2 cups toasted coconut

1/8 cup Chopped nuts, I used walnuts

NOTE:  To toast coconut:  As soon as you remove the cakes from the oven, spread 2 cups coconut flakes on a baking sheet.  Bake about 8 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Stir it two or three times during baking.

Tika's Aloha Cake
Tika’s Aloha Cake

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? 2015

RASPBERRY DREAM CAKE

CAKE
RASPBERRY DREAM CAKE BY TIKA
RASPBERRY DREAM CAKE
RASPBERRY DREAM CAKE

INGREDIENTS:

1 Yellow Cake Mix

2 Packages Raspberry Jello

1 small package Vanilla Instant Pudding

1 cup milk

2 tsp Vanilla

3 cups frozen whipped topping

PREPARATION:

Bake the cake as directed in a 9×13″ pan, two square, OR two round pans. Let cake cool completely. Poke holes in cooled cake with the handle of a wooden spoon.  I like to vary the depth of the holes.

Mix 1 package raspberry gelatin dessert with 1 cup boiling water, stirring til dissolved.  Add 1 cup cold water and stir. Pour over cake. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.

In mixer bowl, beat pudding mix with cold milk, the second package of gelatin dessert and vanilla until thickened.  Add approximately 3 cups of whipped topping.  Place in refrigerator to chill along with the cake.
PLEASE NOTE: To get the layered look as in the picture – mix your cake as directed on box.  Pour into well greased and floured pans.  You can use two 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 square pans – OR – use round baking pans.

When cool, remove cakes from pans and place each layer on a dinner plate.  Then poke your holes and pour the Jello over the top. Cover lightly with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for about 3 hours.

Frost cake with pudding/Jello/vanilla mixture.

By Tika 7/24/15

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