Chocolate Chip-n-Walnut Pie

From the Waites’ Women (Sissy, Reggie, and Gwennie)

Two of my Abbies, Reggie and Gwen, have told us an amazing story and have blissfully blessed us by baking this pie recipe for us over the years. Their Mother, Sissy Waites, worked at the Melrose Inn in Prospect, Kentucky in the summers and after school in 1957 and 1958.

Sissy would gather the ingredients for the pie and take them to Mrs. Kern to bake. Mrs. Kern’s husband, George, was the manager of the restaurant. The story goes that George developed the Derby Pie recipe with the help of his parents, Walter and Leaudra.

Although Sissy no longer makes the homemade crust (frozen pie crusts suffice), the ingredients are all the same:

1 cup English walnuts (These may be substituted with regular walnuts and they should be in small pieces, not whole.)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
½ cup flour
1 stick BUTTER, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 deep dish pie crust


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Mix flour and sugar, add eggs, and mix.
  • Add cooled BUTTER, mixing thoroughly by hand.
  • Add chocolate chips, walnuts, and vanilla.
  • Bake pie shell approximately three minutes.
  • Pour ingredients into pie shell and bake for 45 minutes at 325 degrees.
  • If your oven doesn’t run very hot, you may need to bake the pie at 350 degrees or a little bit longer than 45 minutes.
  • Pie should be golden brown on top, and just a little jiggly.
  • Let cool before serving.

We Kentucky folk like to serve the pie with either vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.


Chocolate Nemesis (Gluten Free!)

(also from Nancy Sleeth)

One delightful discovery in my friendship with Almost Amish Nancy is we also both love chocolate. A superb, “What? You, too?” This recipe is also from Nancy.

It’s a bonus for all of us because not only is it crazy good, it’s gluten free and loaded with chocolate!

½ cup of water
¾ cup of sugar
6 ounces of unsweetened chocolate (chopped)
3 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate (chopped)
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) of BUTTER, sliced
3 large eggs

Frozen strawberries with sugar (defrosted)
8 ounces of heavy cream whipped with 3 Tablespoons of sugar until stiff
1 ounce of semi-sweet chocolate (shaved)


  • BUTTER a 10-inch springform pan and line with wax paper.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In medium saucepan, bring water to a boil and stir in sugar until dissolved. Turn down the heat to lowest setting and stir in chocolate and BUTTER until melted. Remove from heat and cool slightly before whisking in eggs.
  • Pour chocolate into spring form pan. Place spring form in a larger pan. Fill larger pan with ½ inch of water and bake for thirty minutes until the middle is set.
  • Refrigerate until firm before serving. Top each slice with defrosted strawberry slices with some juice, a dollop of fresh whipped cream and the semi-sweet chocolate shavings.



Coffee Ice Cream Dessert

(from Nancy Tinnell)

Guardian Angel Nancy blessed me abundantly by giving me this recipe. It’s already a favorite for two reasons: I’ve always adored coffee anything, plus, chocolate’s included and well, that’s a combination you can’t resist. Furthermore, it only takes a few minutes to throw this dessert together. This would be great at your next dinner party.

2 ½ cups vanilla wafer crumbs, divided (**Nancy has tried this two other different ways, by varying the crust. One time she made it with graham cracker crumbs and the other time with chocolate wafers. Can you guess my preference???)
1 cup BUTTER, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 egg whites, stiffly beaten
1 cup chopped pecans
½ gallon coffee ice cream, slightly softened


  • Spread 2 cups of the vanilla wafer crumbs onto the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish.
    Combine BUTTER, sugar, chocolate, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
  • Fold in the egg whites and pecans.
  • Spread the mixture over the vanilla wafer crumbs and top with the ice cream.
  • Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the top.
  • Freeze until firm. To freeze for longer periods, wrap in freezer wrap.
  • Cut into squares, yielding 15-18 Servings.


Decadent Chocolate Topped Cheesecake Bars

(from Susan Bugh)

One of the many reasons I love Susan Bugh (our Theme Queen) is because she loves chocolate as much as I do. She keeps bowls (note plural) of m and m’s in every room. You think I’m kidding. No wonder we have so many gals show up at her house for Bible study!

Susan brought these cheesecake bars for dessert at one of our many Ya Yo gatherings. They were a hit and I begged her for the recipe. Don’t be swayed by the number of steps. Because of the time needed for the different layers to cool, making this the day before you serve it would be easier unless you’re the Pioneer Woman and wish to begin baking at 5:00 in the morning. Give this a try. The combination of the layers makes a heavenly match.

2 ½ cups crushed cinnamon graham crackers
8 Tablespoons BUTTER, melted
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons of flour
3 large eggs
1 8-ounce container of sour cream
2 Tablespoons of milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 13 x 9 dish with parchment paper. Spray with non-stick baking spray with flour.
  • In medium bowl, stir together graham crackers, BUTTER, and salt. Press crumb mixture into pan. Bake ‘til brown, about twelve minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Reduce oven to 275 degrees.
  • Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add flour, then eggs, one at a time. Add sour cream, milk, and vanilla. Pour batter over cooled crust.
  • Bake ‘til center is set, about forty-five minutes. Turn off oven. Let cool in oven for forty-five minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  • In small saucepan, heat cream to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until it’s melted and smooth. Let cool for fifteen minutes. Pour over cheesecake.
  • Refrigerate until cooled and set, about four hours.
  • To serve, cut into squares.

Gluten Free Kentucky Chocolate Chip Pie

(from Pam VanArsdall)

Pam’s priceless advice of giving experiences vs. things for birthdays beautifully enhances our Ninth Stop in my book. Always experimenting with recipes, Pam recently came up with this gluten free option. She called me after she made it again and was taking this pie over to Lauren and Gordy. She said, “It works and my taste testers approve!” Since we have the original derby pie recipe from some of my Abbies, I thought those of you who need a gluten free option might like to have this. Enjoy!

1 gluten free unbaked piecrust (Whole Foods carries a good one in the freezer section.)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup white sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
4 Tablespoons of tapioca flour
6 Tablespoons of BUTTER melted
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 cup of pecan halves
1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips


  • Do not preheat oven.
  • Spread pecans and chocolate chips over the bottom of the unbaked piecrust.
  • Stir together all other ingredients and pour over the pecans and chocolate chips into the unbaked piecrust.
  • Place on the bottom rack of the oven.
  • Bake at 325 for approximately 50 minutes.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars

(from Betsy Heady)

Betsy from the Abbies now has to eat gluten free after many years of not knowing she needed to. On a quest to find recipes where you can’t tell they’re gluten free, Betsy and her friends and family rave about this one. This recipe is also trustworthy. These bars are great any time of year, not just in the fall.

4 eggs
1 2/3 cups vegetable oil
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend (wheat free)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
½ cup BUTTER, softened
2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Add these dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Let cool before frosting.
  • Cut into bars.


  • Combine cream cheese and BUTTER in a medium bowl.
  • Mix with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Add the sugar and mix at low speed.
  • Then add vanilla and mix again.
  • Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.

** NOTE** from Betsy: Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend is key!!

She also says, “This is the BEST gluten free flour blend I’ve found that can be substituted in any recipe that calls for all-purpose flour using equal amounts. When I make these, our family devours them! You cannot tell they are gluten free!”


Homemade Fudge Cake and Chocolate Sauce

(from Meredith Myers)

Moving to a new home in Lexington, Kentucky when I was in second grade, I discovered I was blessed with an across-the-street neighbor named Meredith. She was a year younger than I was and had not one, but two older brothers. Life was grand.

Not only was her Mother a great cook, her Grandmother was too. They called her Grandmother, “Mom”. Seems confusing now, but I never thought a thing about it growing up.

Mom and Meredith’s Mom (Oh, we’re having fun now!) made fudge cake and chocolate sauce on a regular basis. Depending on how many children were in the house, they would draw a line in the mixing bowl, giving us each rubber spatulas, and we could lick up our “section”. I quickly learned to pray Meredith’s brothers would be away for a scouting or sports event. That meant more batter to lick. (Selfish little second grader…)

Meredith and I no longer live across the street from each other. Meredith, a/k/a Madge (just to throw you one more name) lives in Nashville. We try to meet up here in Louisville or there in Nashville as often as we can.

Meredith is an angel to share these heavenly recipes. Aptly described as both her Mother and Grandmother are with the Lord. She gives tips for us cooks along the way:

Mom’s Fudge Cake:
2 sticks BUTTER (The recipe is so old it says “oleo”.)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
4 squares bitter (unsweetened baking) chocolate (4 ounces total)
1 1/3 cup flour
Dash of salt
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
(optional: chopped pecans or chocolate chips for the top)

Mom’s Chocolate Sauce:
1 square unsweetened baking/bitter chocolate (1 ounce)
1 scoop sugar (Meredith uses 1 cup.)
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup milk
12-15 large marshmallows
Dash of salt
1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Fudge Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Grease 2 7” x 11” pans (Meredith says they called them fudge cake pans; you can also use an 11 x 13 size) She actually lines them with wax paper like her Grandmother did.
  • Melt BUTTER and chocolate on stove over low heat; stir until smooth; remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • In a bowl, lightly fork beat the 4 eggs. Add 2 cups sugar, 3 teaspoons vanilla, 1 1/3 cup flour and dash of salt and stir until blended.
  • Add the chocolate/BUTTER mixture to the egg/sugar/flour mixture. (Meredith says, “Mom always stirred some of the egg/sugar/flour mixture into the pan with the melted chocolate /BUTTER first—to cool the chocolate so you don’t scramble the eggs!”)
  • Pour batter into the pans; top with chocolate chips and/or chopped pecans to cover the top if desired.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, until set. (They are too fudgy for the toothpick test.)
  • Allow to cool 10-15 minutes in the pans; If you lined the pans with wax paper, turn them out onto a cutting board, peel the paper off, then cut into squares.
  • Sprinkle tops with sifted powdered sugar.
  • Freezes well.

Chocolate Sauce:

  • Place first 3 ingredients in saucepan over low heat; allow to come to a boil and stir for about 5 minutes.
  • Add ½ cup milk slowly and let mixture return to a boil.
  • Add 12-15 marshmallows; stirring until melted.
  • Remove from heat and stir in dash of salt and 1-2 teaspoons of the vanilla extract.
  • Serve warm. Great on fudge cake or ice cream.
  • Refrigerate leftovers. It will firm up when cold, but reheats in the microwave or on stovetop.


Italian Crème Cake

(from Elizabeth Nardi Jeffries)

My Elizabethan Sister, Elizabeth Jeffries, you may recall from our sixth stop, is Italian from head to toe. No wonder she spent ninety days in Florence. No wonder she’s sharing this incredibly delicious recipe with us. The end result is molto bella e deliziosa!

2 sticks of BUTTER
2 cups of sugar
5 egg yolks
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup BUTTERmilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
5 egg whites stiffly beaten

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
½ stick BUTTER
1 box powdered sugar (you may need a bit more than one box…)
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup chopped pecans


  • Cream BUTTER and sugar and beat ‘til smooth.
  • Add egg yolks and beat well.
  • Combine flour and soda and add to creamed mixture, alternating with BUTTERmilk. (Start with flour and end with flour.)
  • Stir in vanilla, add coconut and pecans.
  • Gently fold in beaten egg whites and pour into three 8-inch greased and floured cake pans.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until done.
  • Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Beat cream cheese and BUTTER ‘til smooth.
  • Add sugar and mix well.
  • Add vanilla and beat ‘til smooth.
  • Spread between layers and top and sides.
  • Sprinkle the top with nuts. (Sometimes I freeze the cakes before frosting them. Holds and frosts better.)

Lemon Apricot Cake

(from Thelma Button)

Yes, well, I’m realizing there are ten recipes with chocolate in them (!!!) in our collection, so I thought a non-chocolate while still delish cake could be fun. Besides, this cake is easy, and everyone loves it, whether for after dinner or for brunch.

I learned of this recipe in my working days at Citizens Fidelity Bank (Now PNC Bank). We had a darling teller who worked in our branch at the time named Jan Button. Well named, she was and still is cute as a button. Her Mother, Thelma, was delightful one night, inviting our crew to come for dinner at Christmas time. Their home is beautiful and the whole evening was magical.

This recipe is the cake she served. I was so taken aback by how delicious it was, surprising in many ways. I was more excited to learn I could reproduce it, pleasing many guests who later came our way.

For the cake:
1 box Lemon Supreme Cake Mix (Duncan Hines)
1 small box Lemon Jello
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon lemon flavoring
5 eggs
1 cup of apricot nectar

For the icing:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
Juice from 1-2 lemons, to taste
Dash of salt

For the cake:

  • Grease a bundt cake pan.
  • Throw all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Beat for five minutes on high speed.
  • Pour into pan and bake at 325 degrees for one hour.
  • Set out on a cooling rack.
  • Remove cake onto a platter.
  • Drizzle with icing. Slice when ready!

For the icing:

  • While cake is cooling, mix together 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar, the juice of 1-2 lemons, to taste, and a dash of salt.


Not-Your-Average Rice Crispie Treats (Gluten Free option is also easy.)

(also from Bonnie Johnson)

Once again, I learned of this recipe from my cousin, Bonnie. (She has quite the repertoire.) During one of our visits when Bonnie and Steve still lived in Florida, she made this dessert for her kiddos and the five of us. Three for three of our boys, still to this day, cheer loudly upon seeing a plate of these in front of them.

Many times when our boys had friends over during high school I’d make them and they would quickly vanish. During their college years, when we’d visit the boys at UK, the visit vastly improved if I toted a plate of these treats with me.

After college, one time I took a plate to Gordy in his new office at a new job. One of his former bosses, named Greg, was overwhelmed with the discovery of these treats. Next trip to Lexington, I made Greg a plate also and gave him the recipe so his wife could make it. He’s more obsessed with these goodies than our boys are, if that’s possible!

6 cups of rice crispy cereal (You can find gluten free rice crispies if you need to go that route. Easy peasy. There are organic crispy rice cereals and Kellogg’s offers Brown Rice Krispies)
¾ cup peanut BUTTER
2 Tablespoons of BUTTER
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of Karo syrup
1 12-ounce bag of BUTTERscotch chips
1 12-ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • In a saucepan, melt the BUTTER and the sugar and Karo syrup together.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Remove from stove and add the peanut BUTTER, stirring until well combined.
  • In a huge mixing bowl, measure out six cups of the cereal.
  • Pour peanut BUTTER mixture over and stir until cereal is well coated.
  • Pour into a 9 x 13 dish, spreading out until surface is flat.
  • In another saucepan, pour in the BUTTERscotch chips and chocolate chips on low heat.
  • Stir until all the chips are melted.
  • Pour chocolate/BUTTERscotch mixture over top of rice crispy mixture and spread out as if you were icing them.
  • Cool concoction in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes, until chocolate topping has set.
  • Slice into small, square bars.

Makes about forty bars, depending on how big or small you like them.


Pound Cake with a Boatload of BUTTER (gluten free option included)

(Jane Chilton’s finest!)

Our Fearless Leader of the Abbies, Jane, will stop at nothing to get our crew to come to Bible study. (You learned that from the biscuits!) We’ve also learned to beg her to bring this pound cake to any party we throw. She makes us look good in so many ways.

Occasionally Jane will whip this up when we meet for Bible study. Something about the combo’ of the butter and sugar and sour cream launches our brains into overdrive. Discussion has never been more interesting. How Jane keeps us in line is a mystery to us all.

This pound cake would be fab for any occasion. Whoever the recipient is, he or she will undoubtedly ask for the recipe. Just watch…

Jane will explain the method to her madness:

Pound Cake:
3 cups of sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) of BUTTER
6 eggs, separated
3 cups cake flour (or regular flour with 1 Tablespoon of flour removed from each cake. You can do the same with gluten free flour. I think Pamela’s is the best.)
¼ teaspoon of soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 cup of sour cream
2 teaspoons of vanilla (I usually double the amount of vanilla called for in recipes.)

1 cup sugar (1 ½)
¼ cup water (1/3)
¼ cup BUTTER, which is half a stick (6 Tablespoons)
2 teaspoons vanilla (1 Tablespoon)
I make one and a half of the recipes of the glaze, which is what the larger amount of each ingredient above is in parentheses. If you don’t prefer it so sweet, then stick with one recipe. Some prefer no glaze, but the reason my pound cake is popular is due to the glaze!

Pound Cake:

  • Beat egg whites until stiff.
  • Sift flour, soda and baking powder together. Set aside.
  • Cream BUTTER and sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time, then add vanilla. Turn mixer to medium then alternate mixing in 1/3 of flour and then 1/3 sour cream continuing in 1/3 increments until all the flour mixture and sour cream are gone.
  • Fold egg whites into the mixture. Pour into well-greased pan (even if it is a non-stick pan). I prefer “Bakers’ Joy: Baking Spray with Flour”.
  • Bake at 300 degrees for one hour to one hour and fifteen minutes.

**Be sure to read the directions with the glaze before baking the cake.**


  • Bring all ingredients to a boil.
  • As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, punch holes in the cake and pour 2/3 of the glaze onto the cake so it can soak into the cake.
  • Wait for twenty minutes, and then remove cake from the pan.
  • Make sure the remaining glaze is very warm, and then use a baster to coat the cake.