Billie here with Epicurean Delights!

I've always thought New Orleans was the only spot in the world to have a complete Mardi Gras experience.

Maybe that's because of stories I heard from a couple of my favorite people who grew up in New Orleans. One of those friends even had an authentic King cake delivered to our office in honor of Fat Tuesday.

I can't promise you the real thing. However, I can promise you is a semi-homemade version of the King cake that is guaranteed to taste delicious and be a big hit with your family and friends.

If you aren't familiar with the King Cake, it's a New Orleans tradition that involves a pastry, a small plastic baby that represents the baby Jesus, and a party.

Our pastry cake contains all that. Well, except for the party. That part is up to you!

We used Rhodes frozen cinnamon rolls for our King Cake.

Confession: I've been fooling my family for years on Christmas morning with these yummy rolls. I always baked them with unconditional love. However, I never told them they were not made from scratch. The love makes up for it, right?

You can make people believe you spent all day in the kitchen making our version of the King Cake. Or you can let them know it's semi-homemade. I'll leave that up to you. Either way, your secret is safe with me.

Semi-homemade King Cake


  • 1 package Rhodes frozen cinnamon roll dough with icing packets

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar and white sugars

  • 1 stick butter, melted

  • 2 teaspoons Saigon cinnamon

  • Green, purple and yellow sanding sugar**

  • Small plastic baby (Note: I don't actually bake the baby into the cake.)

  • Large Bundt pan

**You can create your own sanding sugar colors by using a white sanding sugar and powdered food coloring.

The prominent colors for Mardi Gras are purple, yellow and green. We used The Sugar Art coloring and the Lucks Food Decorating white sanding sugar. If you can't get ahold of Luck's awesome sanding sugar you can also use Wilton's.

All you have to do is put the sugar in a Ziplock baggie with the color and shake until combined. It's that easy!


  1. Place the rolls on a cookie sheet and allow the rolls to thaw.

  2. Grease the Bundt pan with butter.

  3. Mix the brown and white sugars and cinnamon together in a separate bowl.

  4. Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly.

  5. Roll the cinnamon rolls in the butter, and then in the sugar mixture.

  6. Lay the rolls in the pan as shown in the first picture.

  7. Place the Bundt pan in a warm place to rise. NOTE: If you set your oven to the lowest temperature and allow it to heat for 5 minutes, you can use it as your proofing area. Just be sure to turn the oven off before you put the pan in to proof!

  8. Allow the dough to rise until it has doubled (approximately 1 1/2 hours). Take out of oven.

  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes. The top will be nicely browned.

  11. Remove from oven and invert on a large plate.

  12. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

  13. Open the icing packets and drizzle over the top of the cake.

  14. Find a spot to hide the baby. Make sure you cover your tracks!

  15. Sprinkle the sanding sugar on the top and sides of the cake.

Now Get Your Party On!

Once your guests arrive, serve the cake one slice at a time to heighten the suspense on who gets the slice with the baby Jesus in it.

The person who gets the baby Jesus has to make the cake next year. Be sure to share this recipe with them!

#madigras #kingcake #celebrate #epicdelights #epicureandelights #BloggerBillie

"Grandma's" Chocolate Chip cookies were one of my favorites as a kid. I couldn't wait to get to Grandma's house and pull one of her delicious cookies out of the glass cookie jar. Her cookies were slightly crunchy around the edges and chewy in the middle. No other cookie has compared to hers!

I baked up her recipe and sold them in my shop in New Hampshire. These cookies didn't last long once they hit the shelf!

I used grandma's recipe and I often wonder what she would have thought when she took a bite of one of mine.

I would say my Uncle Lary's cookies are a close second to Grandma's. He keeps the tradition of Grandma's glass cookie jar alive and it's almost always filled with her recipe for his grandkids.

Most of the time the cookies are devoured while still warm and never make it inside the jar.

Grandma's Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup butter flavored or regular shortening

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. In a large bowl, cream the shortening, sugars, vanilla and eggs together until fluffy.

  2. Shift dry ingredients together. Gradually stir into the creamed mixture.

  3. Fold in the chocolate chips.

  4. Use an ice cream scoop to drop the cookies onto the cookie sheet. Make sure the dough is even with the top of the scoop.

  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

  6. When you take the pan out of the oven, drop it on the counter. This will make the cookie flatten a bit and it will be extra chewy!

  7. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

My mom's chocolate chip cookies are a spin-off of Grandma's cookie.

While I insist on following Grandma's recipe to a "T" -- Mom substitutes butter for the shortening in her version.

Sometimes her impatience for a hot cookie gets the best of her and she'll bake the first batch before chilling the dough.

The cookies always end up spreading too much but secretly, I think that's intentional. After all, you can't share a cookie that doesn't look just right!

Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup (2 sticks butter)

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 package semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 package mini M&Ms

Honey roasted pecans, crushed


  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugars, vanilla bean paste and eggs together until fluffy.

  2. Shift dry ingredients together. Gradually stir into the creamed mixture.

  3. Stir in crushed honey roasted pecans until blended.

  4. Fold in the chocolate chips and Mini M&Ms.

  5. Chill for 2 hours.

  6. Use an ice cream scoop to drop the cookies onto the cookie sheet.

  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

  8. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Now you be the judge. Mix up a batch of Mom's and Grandma's cookies and have your family do a taste test.

I know which one I'd pick. Oops ... no offense Mom!

#chocolatechipcookies #epicureandelights #epicdelights #memories #loveyoumom

When I was in grade school, my mom was a room mother and always baked fresh goodies for our Valentine's Day party. She baked individual heart shaped cakes, iced them with her homemade frosting and wrote each student's name on them. Why yes, that was a ton of work, but she loved doing it.

Have you been tasked with bringing treats to your kids Valentine's party at school but are running out of time? These tasty brownie bites are super easy to make and it's a project you can do with your kids. The plus side is they get to brag to their friends about their creations!

What you need:

  • 1 box Ghirardelli triple chocolate brownie mix (or your favorite brand)

  • Small cupcake liners (available at JoAnn's Fabrics or Michael's)

  • Mini cupcake pans

  • Hershey's kisses

  • Hershey's mini cookies and cream bars

  • Red, white and chocolate sprinkles


  1. Mix brownies according to package directions.

  2. Place liners into cupcake pans and fill each 1/2-2/3 full.

  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE!

  4. Remove from oven and place a piece of candy on each brownie bite. If you place the Hershey's kiss upside down you'll have a flat surface on top.

  5. Allow the candies to melt. Use a small utensil to spread the melted candy around the top.

  6. Add sprinkles.

  7. Enjoy!


Wishing you all a Valentine's day filled with love and lots of sweetness!

#eipcureandelights #ValentinesDay #semihomemade #sweettreats