Esther Thorpe

I’m not sure why these are called Esther Thorpe – it’s what the woman I used to work with who gave me the recipe called them and what we have always called them. I’ve heard people call them “Christmas Crack” also. It is such an odd recipe but they are so good.

the salty saltines are what make this so good I think
you want it nice and bubbly when you take it out of the oven
add the melted chocolate
et voila

Esther Thorpe Saltines

Helen Gutin

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar -light or dark works fine
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • saltine crackers
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips – milk or semi-sweet work fine
  • 1 bag of toffee bits – or crushed up heath bars
  • preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease it. Lay out the saltines so they cover the sheet in a single layer.
  • In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and brown sugar. Let cook until bubbling and then cook at the bubbling stage for a few more minutes. Make sure you are constantly stirring this for the entire time.
  • Pour the bubbling brown sugar mixture onto the crackers and spread it evenly as best as you can.
  • Bake for 5-10 minutes. Time may vary – keep a close eye on it. You want the mixture to be bubbling over the entire sheet and once at this point let it cook for another 2-3 minutes. If you smell the sugar mixture burning take it out of the oven for goodness sake.
  • Once out of the oven immediately cover the saltines with chocolate chips evenly. Let this sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Spread the melted/melting chocolate evenly over the saltines until you have coated the crackers in a layer of chocolate.
  • Sprinkle the toffee bits on top. (I put some crushed up candy canes on the ones I just made too for holiday spirit.)
  • Let sit until firm and cut and serve.

Cappuccino Bon Bons

Kirsten Gail

  • Duncan Heinz brownie mix for 9 x 13
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ c water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 ½ T. instant coffee
  • 1 t ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients.  Use mini cupcake papers and tins.
1 T batter in each cupcake holder.  Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Top w artfully dollop of cool whip.

Ice Box Pudding

Jane Camplejohn

Going on its fifth generation as everybody’s favorite dessert.

  • 2 bars German sweet chocolate
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 3 T. water
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • large angel food cake
  • whipped cream or cool whip

Melt 2 bars of chocolate with sugar and water in double boiler.  When melted, take off burner and beat until cool.  Drop in 4 egg yolks, one at a time, and beat after each addition.  Beat egg whites until they are stiff and add to the mixture.  In a 9 x 13 pan layer bottom with half the cake, (cut into thin slices), pour half of the chocolate mixture over this.  Repeat layering, top with whipped cream and chill for at least several hours.

Grandma Holzheimer’s Chocolate Cake

Nancy Holzheimer

Bake a Duncan Hines dark chocolate cake mix in 2 round cake pans.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Poke holes in and pour mixture of:

  • 1 small package cherry jello
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • ½ cup cold water

over cakes.  Refrigerate until set.


  • 1 package instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 package dream whip
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 T. instant coffee

Beet until the desired consistency.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Martha Stewart Living

  • 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 ½ T. granulated sugar
  • 4 T. butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt

1. Heat oven to 350.  In an electric mixer, combine brown sugar, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, butter, and vanilla, and mix on medium-high speed until well combined.  Add egg white, and mix until combined.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, and salt.  Add to sugar and butter mixture, and mix on medium until flour is completely incorporated.  Turn this mixture out onto a piece of parchment or wax paper and roll into a 1 ¾ by 8 ½ inch log.  Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
3. Remove paper, and slice log crosswise into ¼ inch thick pieces.  Place remaining 1 ½ T. granulated sugar in a small bowl, and dip each piece of dough in sugar, coating all sides;  transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet 1 inch apart.  Bake about 14 minutes for chewy cookies;  for crisp cookies, bake 2 to 3 minutes longer.  Slide the paper and cookies onto a wire rack to cook completely.

To slightly reduce the number of calories in these cookies, coat just the edges with sugar.

Chocolate Fondue

  • 16 ounces chocolate (milk, dark or semisweet) broken into pieces
  • 1/2 pint whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup caramel topping
  • 3 T. favorite liqueur

Place all ingredients in a ceramic fondue pot over low heat.  Stir constantly until the mixture is melted and smooth. Do not allow to bubble.  Suggestions for dipping: strawberries, bananas, apples, grapes, cherries. marshmallows, cream puffs, pound cake, nuts …

Chewy Oatmeal Toffee Crunch Cookies

Bon Appetit

Makes about 13 BIG cookies

  • ¾ cup pecan halves (2 ½ oz.)
  • ¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups old fashioned oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ t. baking soda
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • 6 1.2 oz. Heath bars, chopped into ½ inch pieces

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets

Process sugar, brown sugar, butter, egg, vanilla until fluffy, stopping once to scrape down sides of work bowl, about 1 minute.  Add oats, flour, baking soda, salt and mix until just combined using 2-3 on/off turns.  DO NOT OVERPROCESS.  Transfer to bowl and stir in toffee and pecans.

Mound dough in ¼ cup portions onto cookie sheets.  Flatten slightly with fingers.  Bake until dry in appearance and centers are slightly soft to touch, about 20 minutes.