Cook’s Corner

Replicating Starbucks’ fruit-packed oatmeal cookie

Bake-Off Contender: Naylet LaRochelle’s Mini Tuscan Vegetable Wraps.
Bake-Off Contender: Naylet LaRochelle’s Mini Tuscan Vegetable Wraps.

Sleuth’s Corner

Q. I’m hoping an old-time cook can tell me how to make St. Honore pie. This was a favorite of my grandmother’s she used to get at a restaurant in Charleston.

Becky Gardner, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Bake-Off finalist

Miami’s Naylet LaRochelle has made it to the finals in the $1 million Pillsbury Bake-Off next month with a recipe for a prosciutto and vegetable wrap she created for her son’s graduation party. LaRochelle, a Kendall psychologist, credits her Cuban grandmother with giving her a love of cooking. “I recall making an outdoor play kitchen when I was a little girl and pretending to cook with ingredients my grandmother would bring me — beans, spices and vegetables. I learned many things from my grandmothers, both of whom were great home cooks!” LaRochelle has successfully entered a lot of cooking contests, but never taken away the top prize at the Bake-Off, the granddaddy of cooking contests.

Linda Cicero


Could be Starbucks Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (not quick cooking)

1/3 cup dark raisins

1/3 cup golden raisins

1/3 cup dried apricots

6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

More information

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the oats. Toss the two kinds of raisins and apricots in this mixture. Set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter with the brown and white sugars until light and fluffy and no grains of sugar remain. Beat in the egg, cinnamon and vanilla.

Add the flour and oat mixture to the creamed mixture, beating just until combined.

Coat 2 baking sheets with vegetable oil spray or line with parchment paper. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoonful onto the cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches between as the cookies will spread.

Bake 14 to 16 minutes, until cookies are golden but still soft. Cool on sheets before serving. Makes 24 large cookies.

Per cookie: 179 calories (18 percent from fat), 3 g fat (2.0 g saturated, 1.0 g monounsaturated), 15.3 mg cholesterol, 1.6 g protein, 36 g carbohydrate, 0.9 g fiber, 101 mg sodium.


Chocolate Better than Sex Cake

1 standard box chocolate cake mix (butter recipe devil’s food preferred)

3/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips

4-serving-size package instant chocolate pudding mix

1 cup sour cream

4 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup coffee or water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


12-ounce package chocolate chips

1 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cake, toss the pecans and half the chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons of the cake mix; set aside. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the remaining cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, eggs, oil, coffee and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula fold in the nut and chocolate chip mixture.

Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Pour in the batter and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until cake tests done. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn onto wire rack and cool completely before glazing.

For the glaze, combine chocolate chips with 1 cup water in the top of a double boiler over simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. (Or do this in the microwave.) Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Let cool until slightly thickened, then drizzle over cake . Makes 16 servings.

Per serving: 510 calories (47 percent from fat), 28 g fat (5 g saturated), 60 mg cholesterol, 6 g protein, 64 g carbohydrates, 0.3 g fiber, 455 mg sodium.


Naylet LaRochelle’s Mini Tuscan Vegetable Wraps

7-ounce box frozen broccoli, carrot and sweet pepper blend

2 tablespoons basil pesto

2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto (about 5 slices)

1 can seamless refrigerated crescent roll dough (Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations)

2/3 cup peach or apricot preserves

2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil leaves

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Microwave vegetables as directed on box; cool 2 minutes. Finely chop vegetables. In medium bowl, mix vegetables and pesto; set aside. Cut prosciutto into thin strips.

Unroll dough. Cut into 18 squares. In center of each square, spoon about 2 teaspoons vegetable mixture. Top each with prosciutto. Pull 2 opposite corners of each dough square over filling; pinch to seal.

Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Mix preserves, mustard and basil. Serve with warm wraps. Garnish with additional basil sprigs, if desired. Makes 18.

Per wrap: 90 calories (30 percent from fat), 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 0 cholesterol, 190 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 1 g protein.


Lemon Dream Pie

4-serving-size box lemon pudding mix (not instant)

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups water, divided

1 egg

1 baked graham cracker crust

1 envelope Dream Whip

1/2 cup cold milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons sugar

Combine dry pudding mix, sugar and 1/4 cup water in pan. Blend in the egg. Add remaining 1 3/4 cup water. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a full boil and is thick, about 5 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Measure out 1 cup and set aside to cool completely. Pour remaining mixture into prepared pie crust

Prepare the Dream Whip with the milk, vanilla and sugar. Fold about two-thirds of the cream into the cooled reserved pie filling, and spread on top of first layer. Chill thoroughly and garnish with remaining cream. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 156 calories (13 percent from fat), 2.3 g fat (1.2 g saturated, 0.4 g monounsaturated), 24.8 mg cholesterol, 1.4 g protein, 32.4 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 198 mg sodium.

I agree that these cookies are delicious and hearty enough to justify as a breakfast splurge. But if you’d like to make them at home, I think I’ve come up with a recipe that comes pretty close.

I looked at the ingredient list — oats, butter, raisins, brown sugar, sugar, eggs, liquid sugar, apricots, cinnamon, baking soda, salt — and did a little fiddling. My result is perhaps not as sweet as the Starbucks version, and I certainly didn’t add liquid sugar, but with all the dried fruit I think they are just sweet enough. You may want to increase the brown sugar if you like the cookies very sweet. I also was pretty light on the cinnamon — again, a personal preference.

The cookies may look a bit underdone when you take them out of the oven at 14 minutes, but they crisp up as they cool. Leave them in the full time if you like a very crisp cookie. If you like your cookies more chewy you may even want to pull them at 12 minutes.

Q. Does anyone have a recipe from the 1970s for a very light dessert of lemon Jell-O, Dream Whip and a graham cracker crust? I cannot remember the rest.

Mrs. A. Capers, Elyria, Ohio

There are a lot of pies that could fit that description, but I think it’s the one here since it was prominent in magazine advertising in that time period. If you can’t find Dream Whip, you can substitute 2 cups already-whipped cream or defrosted frozen topping.

Q. I am trying to get the recipe posted in 2009 for Better Than Sex Cake.

Crystal Buckingham

I’d have to bet that this is our most requested recipe, going back over the 25-plus years I’ve been writing Cook’s Corner. We first published it in 1986. There have been vanilla and pineapple versions, but the chocolate takes first place by a wide margin.

Send questions and responses to or Food, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172. Replies cannot be guaranteed.

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