Sunday, February 27, 2011
As soon as I read that this recipe not only had streusel on the top, but also in the middle (kind of hard to see in the picture), I had to make it! Two layers of cinnamon and sugar goodness! The original recipe had a cup of almonds mixed in the streusel topping,but I just wasn't feeling the nuts today. So I used the streusel topping mix from my mom's recipe for coffee cake. And I just happened to have a little extra cream cheese frosting in the fridge that I drizzled over the top!
This recipe is also from the All Cakes Considered cookbook. The same cookbook where I found the recipes for Chocolate Pound Cake and Sour Cream Pound Cake. I have loved all three these recipes! And there are many more cakes in this book that I want to try!
Cinnamon Almond Coffee Cake
For the cake:
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon almond extract
For the streusel:
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter
For the streusel, mix together sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Using a fork cut in the butter until mixed throughout.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the sides and bottom of an 8 inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream shortening and gradually add the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, dry whisk the flour and baking powder together.
Add a third of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Then add 1/4 cup of the yogurt. Repeat once more. And finish by adding the final third of the flour mixture.
Stir in almond extract and beat until well combined.
Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the streusel topping over the batter. Layer the rest of the batter over the streusel. Sprinkle the remaining streusel over the top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
cake was called "Cherry Fudge Bars" so I completely passed it during my search. Upon closer inspection, my Grandma does have "cake" written in the margin. I also found a note that this was from a Pillsbury Bake Off. Not sure when though. I adapted this recipe so that I was able to cover it in fondant and create the zebra affect. Ever since my parents went to Africa she has been a little zebra crazy. I'll explain my adaptations after the recipe. This one is so easy. You'll love it!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
How easy could it possibly get! No baking necessary! You literally plop them on some wax paper and let 'em do their thing!
The biggest trick is to have all of the ingredients measured out before you start the whole process. Because once the chocolate mixture starts to boil you will be throwing in ingredients left and right. And there will be no time for measuring at that point. If you don't move quickly the mixture will begin to cool and they won't stick together when placed on the wax paper. Then you will be left eating it by the spoonfuls straight from the bowl! Actually, not such a bad idea!!
1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 cup flaked coconut
1. Measure out the oatmeal into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Measure out the peanut butter and coconut and leave in their respective measure cups.
3. In a medium saucepan, bring cocoa, sugar, margarine, and milk to a boil. Boil for one minute-and not any longer. Remove from heat and immediately stir in peanut butter and vanilla.
4. Add cocoa mixture to oatmeal and stir until combined. Mix in coconut (1/2 cup walnuts can be substituted for coconut if desired.)
5. Drop mixture by the tablespoonful onto wax paper. Let set for about an hour, or until firm, before placing in air-tight container.
Monday, February 21, 2011
This caramel sauce turned out to be the most challenging task for me. It took me 4, yes 4, attempts at getting this right.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp white distilled vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
2-3oz red food coloring
1/2 cup prepared hot plain coffee
1. In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Whisk until combined. Set aside.
2. In a separate large bowl, mix the sugar and oil together.
3. Add in eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and red food coloring. Stir until combined.
4. Next add coffee and vinegar. Stir until combined.
5. Pour the flour mixture into the sugar mixture a little at a time, beating until well combined.
6. Pour the batter into two greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake 30-40 minutes at 325 degrees or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Then remove them from the pan and allow them to finish cooling on a wire rack.
I should let you know that I did end up using 3oz of red food coloring. I'm sorry to say that I don't have a picture of the inside of the cake. While it wasn't bright, bright red, it ended up having a solid red color. I was pleased. Now to tackle the filling.
I have never used white chocolate as a filling so I again had to search for a recipe. I ended up finding this recipe for white chocolate frosting. This filling/frosting had such a good rich vanilla chocolaty flavor. It tasted sooooo good. Somewhere along the way, my execution failed however. I'm convinced that the error occurred when the eggs were beating. I'm not sure if a bit of yolk was mixed or what the deal was, but those babies would not whip up. I should have stopped right then and there. I know better than that. For some insane reason I went ahead with the recipe and then ended up with a runny filling. I will likely try to one again, making sure that the egg whites are fluffy before I continue. :)
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
8 Tbsp unsalted butter
8oz white chocolate chips
3 large egg yolks
1 cup confectioners sugar
Hahaha. Okay well at least I can laugh about it now. I was supposed to use egg yolks NOT the whites. Oooops. No wonder it didn't work.
To make the frosting, heat the sweetened condensed milk, butter and chocolate chips in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate chips melt. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a mixing bowl, beat together the egg yolks and confectioners' sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy.
Add the chocolate mixture and mix until thick.
I spread this between the two 9X13 sheets of red velvet. Then I covered the whole cake with cream cheese frosting. Yum. There were some hiccups along the way, but all in all I think my first red velvet cake turn out pretty well.
Now for the fondant...
So, this the part where my husband became quite involved and boy was I thankful. Not only did he make 2-3 runs to the local grocery store when I ran out of ingredients during the project (do to the frosting failure) but he took the time to create the silhouette scene with me. Him and Brian often go duck hunting together, along with our dog, Jack. This scene perfectly depicts that. Justin was so proud. Together we looked up ducking hunting decals online. He helped me (more like insisted that I) place the ducks in the right position for landing which is when a hunter would shoot at them as shown in the scene. Likely the average person wouldn't have notice this and maybe not even a hunter, but it was so cute seeing him get all involved in one of my projects. So we printed out a bunch of decal images. Justin cut them all out for me and then we taped them together to create the scene. Not to shabby, huh? I laid the paper cut-out on my fondant and went about the tedious task of cut out the silhouette. It all turned out perfectly except my paper stuck a bit to the fondant in a few spots and pulled a bit up when I removed it. It upset a perfectionist like me, but I took a few deep breaths and moved on. For the background, I had covered the cake in white fondant. Then I took a bottle of orange and yellow Wilton Color Mist and created the sunrise scene. I dipped my fingers into a few drips of red food coloring to add a few touches of a deeper color here and there. The few ducks up the top right corner of the cake were drawn by yours truly using a black edible marker.
Brian was utterly surprised when I showed him the cake. Everyone at the party was amazed. I think some even Twittered about it. Ahhh, feels so good. Another sweet success.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Vanilla cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting! The pacifiers are made out of marshmallow fondant. And these could quit possibly be the easiest fondant decorations I have made! Love when I actually have a cookie cutter in the shape and size that I need! Makes the process so much easier!
Monday, February 14, 2011
Two of our co-workers have deemed themselves as our "official taste testers." We have hired them on under one circumstance, they don't expect to be added onto the payroll. Rather, the sweets are their form of payment! Its a win-win situation! We get some much needed feedback on our recipes and they get some yummy sweets!
Well yesterday was one our taste testers birthday. Sounds like a requirement for a little baking. It needed to be something fairly easy being that I would be making it the morning after working a full weekend of night shifts. And the chocolate chip cookie pie recipe fit just that criteria. And man was it good! Our official taste testers voted for this one to be a keeper!
Pretty sure I would be totally fine eating it in this form. Baking really isn't necessary is it?
Nice and golden brown! Don't let the crunchy outer shell fool you with what is inside...
Ooey gooey chocolate chip goodness! When I brought it into work it had only been cooling for a little over an hour, meaning it was still warm and super ooey-gooey! Almost looked as though I had undercooked it. It was definitely good this way, but I would recommend refrigerating it for a couple of hours before serving. This way it won't come out of the pie pan and land on the plate in a clump. Presentation does matter.
This recipe has been linked to:
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Kind of hard to blog about a cake or recipe when I didn't have the chance to actually taste it. I made this cake for my mom's birthday, but wasn't able to celebrate with her due to working the weekend. Darn work gets in the way of everything fun.
I can however tell you that our house smelled absolutely amazing after baking this cake. Zach said he could smell the chocolate immediately after getting out of his truck.
I told my mom she had to give me a full report of the cake. And these are the phrases she used to describe it: light and fluffy, moist, decadent, and overall just delicious. Love my mom's report, but you know how it is, moms never have a bad thing to say about something their child makes. But she tells me that I have piece waiting for me in the freezer so I can try it this weekend. I will give you the full scoop afterwards!
Chocolate Pound Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 large eggs
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottom of your pan with parchment paper and spray the sides and bottom with baking spray--I had a decorative bundt pan so I used the Pam Baking spray and skipped the parchment paper.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, dry whisk the flour, sugar, and cocoa.
3. Gradually add the butter, shortening, and m ilk. Beat on medium speed until smooth.
4. Add the baking powder and beat until incorporated.
5. Still on medium speed, add the vanilla extract and then add the eggs, one at a time. Beating well after each addition.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Level off the top of the cake using a bread knife before flipping the cake out of the pan.
8. After the cake has completely cooled, you can dust with powdered sugar. I chose to drizzle a little ganache over the top. Caramel would be a delicious option as well. Really, the options are endless.
Source: All Cakes Considered by Melissa Gray
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Well, well, well, another chocolate cupcake recipe that disappoints. Through out all of our chocolate cupcake troubles, Michele and I have come up with three criteria that would lead us to the perfect chocolate cupcake. We named it the trifecta to perfecta-- moisture, structure, and chocolaty goodness! Usually a recipe meets one or two of the standards, but lacks in the third area. As was the case here. This recipe was outstanding as far as chocolate flavor and structure, but was very dry. The weird thing is that when Zach and I taste tested them the night they were baked they were perfect, but the following day they were dry as could be.
I am just baffled by how chocolaty these cupcakes tasted with such a small amount of cocoa. We have made previous recipes with three times as much cocoa and they all ended up lacking the chocolaty-ness factor.
Well it is a good thing these cupcakes look so darn good on the outside. Being that the cupcake isn't anything grand and they don't have the typical cream filling like the original hostess cupcakes. When I tried to inject the cream filling into the cupcakes using a pastry bag I met complete resistance- even causing a few of them to crack down the middle. I probably should have just cut a hole out of the tops and squirted in the cream filling, but for some reason that night I didn't feel like going through the bother. Maybe next time...
And this is the one I made especially for Zach. I know, pretty cheesy, huh?
Source: Annie's Eats
Monday, February 7, 2011
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk
Cream together first five ingredients. Stir together flour, soda, and 1/4 tsp salt. Add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Stir in oatmeal. Pat firmly into a greased 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Bake at 375 degree for 12-15 minutes. Cool and frost with a mixture of the remaining ingredients.
Clearly, from the picture you can tell that I didn't follow this recipe exactly. I made these bars in a 9x13 inch pan and they were a little past done at 12 minutes. I can't imagine what they would have been like had the dough been spread even thinner in a 15x10 inch pan. I didn't have any powdered sugar in the house to make the frosting so I improvised. After I took the pan out of the oven. I threw most of a bag of dark chocolate chips over the bars. I let it sit for a couple minutes to melt. In the meantime I took about 1/2 cup of peanut butter and melted it for about 20-30 seconds in the microwave. I drizzled this over the chocolate chips. By now the chips had melted so I spread the PB/chocolate mixture over the bars. I'm convinced that this frosting saved the recipe. Had the bars been baked a few minutes less this recipe could have been a winner. For now, I'm sure I will move on. There are plenty more PB/choc recipes out there to tackle.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Figured the super bowl was the perfect excuse to bake up a cake. These days I look for any little opportunity to do a little baking. And a red velvet cake it was! Being this will probably be my only chance to bake anything red velvet before Valentine's Day.
The recipe is the same one that I used in the Red Velvet Cupcakes. This time I only had about an ounce and a half of red food coloring and it was still vibrant. I think using one ounce would probably still be efficient. I baked the cake in two eight inch cake pans for about 25 minutes. And used our classic cream cheese recipe to fill and frost the cake.
These cookies are mighty tasty! Crunchy around the outside, but soft and gooey on the inside! My only disappointment was that they came out of the oven as little fluff balls and within minutes of cooling the flattened into mini pancakes. Dang. They looked so much more appealing when they were round and plump looking. The looks may have disappointed, but the taste did not!
I think the next time I make these I am going to try adding butterscotch pudding mix instead of melting butterscotch chips. My mom has a chocolate chip cookie recipe that uses vanilla pudding and those are the softest cookies ever. Maybe butterscotch pudding would do the trick for these cookies as well! Worth a shot.
Peanut Butter Butterscotch Cookies
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter
1 cup melted butter scotch chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter scotch chips (next time I plan to add a little extra)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt butterscotch chips. Stir every thirty seconds until smooth. Add melted butterscotch chips and peanut butter to creamed mixture. Beat in egg and vanilla. Sift together flour and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to mixture. Pour in butterscotch chips and mix until evenly distributed.
Roll into one inch balls. Roll in sugar. If desired, press top of cookies with tines of fork. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before placing on cooling racks.
Makes approximately four dozen cookies.
Source: Picky Palate
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Even though penguins have absolutely nothing to do with my grandma, we decided to make this cake for her birthday! Zach and I were heading over to her house on Sunday to celebrate her birthday and I had already planned on making her a birthday cake. But it was just going to be a boring throw-it-in-a-9x13-pan type of cake. I know, pretty lame huh? That's why we figured we might as well take it up a notch and add some fondanty goodness to make it all cute and stuff!
Started with just three layers of eight inch banana cake, but soon realized that it was going turn into one short and fat penguin. Ended up making another batch of cake and adding a fourth layer to the top! This was one tall cake! Filled and frosted the cake with cream cheese frosting. Holy yum!
Now for the fun part, or in our case not so fun part, covering the cake with fondant. I think we have covered about four or five round cakes with fondant now and every single time we end up with a nice smooth top but a skirting effect around the bottom. As we smooth our way down the cake we reach a point where the extra fondant starts bunching up and creates a ruffled look. This time we were able to cover up part of our imperfections by adding a little coconut around the bottom of the cake to look like snow. But we seriously need to figure this out. There has got to be some kind of trick that we are missing out on....
Anyways, here is our little guy. Ruffled look and all.
The eyes, nose, tummy, and feet are all made out of fondant as well. Cutting this stuff out was the easy part!
My grandma loved him! And that is all that matters! Don't ya love how grandparents look past the imperfections! I was telling her about our fondant difficulties and her response was "I would have never even noticed!"
Yum, yum, yum! Everyone said it tasted like frosted banana bread! But the cake was definitely more moist that the typical banana bread.
adapted from recipezaar
1 1/2 cups bananas, mashed, ripe
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 1/8 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 300°. Grease and flour three round eight inch cake pans. I also cut out a piece of parchment paper to place in the bottom of the pan.
2. In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
4. In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in 2 tsp vanilla.
5.Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in banana mixture. I also added in a sprinkle of cinnamon.
6. Divide batter among prepared pans (about 2 1/2 cups per pan) and bake in preheated oven for about fourty-five to fifty minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
7. Let cake cool for about ten minutes and then remove from pan and immediately wrap in saran wrap. This will help keep the cake moist.