Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

Box Brownies from scratch

October 26, 2016

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Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love brownies. If I go to a frozen yogurt sundae bar, a brownie is my first choice in my cup. I have written before about how much I love boxed brownies. For someone who bakes most things from scratch that may be odd. But I grew up on brownies from scratch so a box mix at a party was my favorite treat. Though I do love my mom’s brownies, the texture and stickiness of box brownies is my favorite. I have an awesome college friend who shares my love of brownies, my brownie husband recipe is one of her favorites.

I googled homemade brownies that taste like a box mix and found an amazing recipe. I would say I have made it a dozen times since I found it last year. It is perfect for any occasion and people can’t believe they are from scratch. I recently made them and used the Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa instead of regular cocoa and it made them even more decadent. So if you are a closet Betty Crocker box brownie junkie like me, you need to try these! They are super easy and only have a few ingredients instead of ones you can’t pronounce, which is something I always look for when recreating stuff at home.

Quick and Easy Brownies {Like a Box Mix!}

Yield: 12-16 brownies

Ingredients

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup + 2 1/2 tbsp cocoa
1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9 square baking pan, or line it with parchment paper.
2. Mix together the oil, sugar and vanilla extract.
3. Add eggs and mix until well combined.
4. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
5. Slowly add to the egg mixture until well combined.
6. Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly.
7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.

Recipe modified from AllRecipes.com

 

Coffee Cake Adventures

June 22, 2016

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First off I would like to apologize to my readers, we bought a home, moved to a new town, I started a new job and my husband deployed in the last few months so I have been so busy I have not had time to post. That does not mean of course that I did not have time to bake. I always have time to bake. I even baked just this morning, it is part of my weekly routine. Lately I have made lots of favorites from my blog, wacky cake, sour cream coffee cake, black moons, blueberry buckle, and more. Those are staples that are always crowd pleasers. I have also been enjoying a new brownie recipe I found that tastes like box mix, that is going to be my next post, along with my Kentucky Butter Cake I have been making a lot. I am getting back on track for regular posting, I promise! Since I love coffee cake in any language I was excited to recently try a new recipe. I subscribed to King Arthur Flour’s email newsletters and often yummy recipes catch my eye. I highly recommend you sign up if you are a baker.

This recipe for Norwegian Sour Cream Cake looked right up my alley. I made it for a church potluck and have to say it was a big hit. At first people were going for a dry brick like corn bread concoction till the word got out about my tasty cake. If you love pound cakes and bundt cakes you have to try this easy recipe. It was a light, moist cake with just the right sweetness and a great vanilla flavor. I had made a berry compote I use often for my cheesecakes from Martha Stewart to top it but I left it at home by mistake. I definitely think that would be a perfect topping, or even just sliced strawberries and cream. The texture of the cake would be perfect for strawberry shortcake and delicious for tea time. You can travel to Norway right in your own kitchen with this tasty new recipe!

NORWEGIAN SOUR CREAM CAKE

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, salted or unsalted
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt*
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla, to taste
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups sour cream

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a full-size (10″) tube pan, bundt-style pan, or angel food pan.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well combined.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
Stir in the salt, baking powder, and vanilla.
Add the flour alternately with the sour cream, starting with the flour. Add the flour about 1 cup at a time, the sour cream 1/2 cup at a time. Mix at medium speed between additions, until ingredients are thoroughly combined. The finished batter will be quite stiff.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, leveling it with your wet fingers or a spatula.
Bake the cake for 60 to 75 minutes, until a cake tester, bamboo skewer, or long toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven, and gently loosen its edges.
After 15 minutes, carefully turn the cake out of the pan onto a rack to cool.
Store the cooled cake, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days. For longer storage, wrap securely and freeze.
Yield: 1 cake, about 20 servings.

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

January 30, 2016

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Sugar cookies are always a delicious treat. From just plain ones dipped in milk, to ones dipped in chocolate, to ones frosted with all sorts of decorations, it is a very versatile cookie. As a kid I remember making my mom’s sugar cookies that were thick and buttery. The best part was the butter dipped glass pressed in a mixture of sugar and nutmeg, that you used to smash down the cookie before baking. My mom is a phenomenal baker, her pantry is always stocked with the best quality ingredients. Even if she is on a tight budget you won’t see anything but Ghirardelli chips in her chocolate chip cookies, she would never skimp on her cooking ingredients.

As the years went by she switched to a new favorite sugar cookie recipe, her brown butter sugar cookies. Anytime she made it for me we ate up the cookies in record time. But I never tried making them myself until recently. These brown butter sugar cookies are delectable. They are sweet and savory and the brown sugar adds a whole other level of flavor, with rich molasses and maple notes. I made them for a recent visit from our best friends to our new ranch, we recently relocated and that is why I have not posted in a bit. So if you are a sugar cookie fan and you want to try something new, you need to check these out!

Brown Butter Sugar Cookies

14 Tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter

1/4 Cup granulated sugar

2 Cups packed dark brown sugar (fresh brown sugar is best, older sugar will make a drier cookie)

2 Cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. Heat 10 tablespoons of butter in a 10 inch skillet (if you use a dark non-stick skillet it will be hard to see when the butter browns) over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly until butter is a dark golden brown color and has a nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. This is an easy way to make the brown butter you see in many recipes. Remove skillet from heat and transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir in remaining 4 tablespoons of butter into hot butter to melt; set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large, 12×18, baking sheets with parchment paper. In a shallow baking dish or pie plate, mix granulated sugar and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, rubbing between finders, until well combined, then set aside. Whisk flour, baking soda and baking powder together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Add remaining 1 3/4 Cups brown sugar and salt to the bowl with the cooled butter; mix until no sugar lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined, about 1 minute. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed.
  4. Divide dough into 24 portions, each about 2 Tablespoons, rolling between hands into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Working in batches, toss balls in reserved sugar mixture to coat and set on prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart, 12 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be uses but it will take 3 batches).
  5. Bake ONE sheet at a time until cookies are browned still puffy and the edges have begun o set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone; see photo), 12-14 minutes (depends on oven, I did mine 10), rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Do not overtake.
  6. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes, use wide metal spatula to transfer cookie to wire rack to cool to room temperature. Then pour a big glass of milk and enjoy!

 

 

Your Turkey will Thank you

November 26, 2014

Every year I make the same amazing turkey recipe given to me by my bestie. I wanted to share it with you and also repost the link to the cobbler I am making, a fan favorite in my family.  This turkey has amazing flavor with the combination of fresh herbs, fruit and also the Herbs de Provence. Make sure you use authentic Herbs de Provence, with lavender, as the imitation version does not have the lavender and that makes the dish.

Turkey with Herbs De Provence & Citrus

Ingredients
  • 1 (14 to 15-pound) turkey, neck and giblets reserved
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • 1 head of garlic cut in half
  • 1 granny smith apple, cut into wedges
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 6 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 6 fresh sage sprigs
  • 6 fresh oregano sprigs
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth (approximate amount)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Directions

To make the turkey: Position the rack in the lowest third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

Rinse the turkey and pat it dry with paper towels. Place the turkey on a rack set inside a large roasting pan. Place the orange and lemon wedges, onion, and 2 sprigs of each fresh herb in the main turkey cavity. Tie the legs together to hold the shape of the turkey. Stir 2 tablespoons of butter, the herbes de Provence, oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of each the salt and pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat just until the butter melts. Rub the butter mixture all over the turkey and between the turkey breast meat and skin. Place the turkey neck and giblets in roasting pan. (Recipe can be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before roasting.)

Cover the turkey breast with foil. Roast for 20 minutes. Pour 3 cups of broth into the pan and stir to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining sprigs of fresh herbs to the pan. Roast the turkey for 40 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Remove the foil from the turkey; pour 1 more cup of broth into the pan. Continue roasting the turkey until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F to 175 degrees F or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 1 hour and 30 minutes longer. Transfer the turkey to a platter and tent with foil. Let stand 30 minutes while preparing the gravy.

To make the gravy: Strain the turkey pan juices from the roasting pan through a sieve and into a 4-cup glass measuring cup; discard the solids. Spoon off the fat from atop the pan juices. Add enough chicken broth, about 1 to 2 cups, to the pan juices to measure 4 cups total. Melt the remaining butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the broth. Simmer until the gravy thickens slightly, whisking often, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the turkey with the gravy.

Mug Cake Mania

June 28, 2013

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After my recent post on delicious Nutella mug cake I decided to delve further into the world of mug cakes. I found a great link that had every flavor of mug cake you can imagine, including some healthier options. When looking at some of the other sites, a chocolate and caramel recipe caught my attention. The first reason I like mug cakes is because they require little ingredients and little effort. The second reason is that it is just a few spoonfuls of deliciousness and then you don’t feel like you overindulged, especially when you share with a spouse, like I did. This recipe was perfect because I had all the ingredients in the house, I hate having to run to the store for last minute missing ingredients. It usually kills my baking mojo. Also, I used some Marzetti caramel apple dip for the caramel ingredient listed. This cake was amazing, so moist and warm, like a brownie straight out of the oven, but in under 2 minutes time! The caramel was like a surprise filling that made the cake taste even more decadent. So if you need just a few spoonfuls of something sweet get out your favorite jumbo mug and try this recipe

Chocolate Caramel Mug Cake

ingredients:

4 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 tablespoons white granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 1/2 tablespoons milk
splash of vanilla extract
3 1/2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 tbsp caramel (or 2 caramel candy squares)

directions:

Combine all ingredients except caramel in an oversized coffee mug. Whisk well with a fork until smooth. Microwave on high for 50 seconds. Cake should have started to turn solid form but still somewhat liquidy. Remove cup from microwave and add in caramel to the center of the cake. Push it slightly down so that the chocolate batter covers the caramel, but you don’t want to push it too far down as the caramel will sink while cooking. Cook for an additional 40 seconds and check if batter is done. If it is is still gooey, cook for an additional 30 seconds. Mine was done at 1 min 45 seconds (total cook time including 50 seconds before adding caramel sauce). Cool for a few minutes before serving while still warm.

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Celebrate with Cake, C’mon!

May 26, 2013

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My husband got a special twinkle in his eye the other night after he received some good news on a promotion. I know what that twinkle means, it means “what are you gonna bake me?” Usually he has a specific treat in mind but this time he left it up to me. I wracked my brain thinking of the yummy things he likes and the first thing that came to mind was mayonnaise.  Mayonnaise Cake that is, I have heard of recipes using mayo as your moistening agent and your oil. So I went to Hellmann’s website and was surprised to find how many yummy mayo recipes there are for all sorts of things. I went with their famous chocolate cake. They also have a box version but I rarely use a box mix because taking the time to make it homemade for a special occasion shows you care.

Of course I needed a killer frosting to top it off. But by killer I don’t mean the jar of frosting that you get at the store which will probably literally kill you with all the crap they put in it. My hubby likes cream cheese frosting the most but I was feeling chocolatey. So I went to the king of all chocolatier’s websites – Ghirardelli, and what do you know, they have a great recipe section too! (I printed their chocolate bread pudding recipe to make in the future). Their chocolate frosting recipe was simple and so incredibly rich, creamy and delicious. It was like you melted a candy bar and put it on a cake. As you can see above, my cake is not super pretty, but I threw it together quick, we were too hungry for Cake Boss perfection. The cake combined with the frosting did not disappoint, it was so moist from the mayo and the frosting paired perfectly with it. So here is my celebration cake combination:

Hellmann’s Chocolate Cake
Ingredients
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2/3 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1-2/3 cups Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  • 1 1/3 cups Water

Baking instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and lightly flour two 9-inch round cake pans*; set aside.

2. In medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder; set aside.

3. In large bowl, with electric mixer at high speed, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise at low speed until blended. Alternately beat in flour mixture with water, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour into prepared pans.

4. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. On wire racks, cool 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely. Frost when cake has cooled completely

Ghirardelli Premium Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients:

4 ounces Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Bar
4 tablespoon(s) butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup hot milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

In heavy saucepan on low heat, melt broken chocolate with butter, stirring constantly. Beat sugar with milk, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Add melted chocolate, and beat until thick enough to spread on cake.

King Cake Cupcakes, yes please!

January 26, 2013

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My Mardi Gras King Cake Cupcakes recipe was one of my favorites that I discovered last year. So I was not disappointed when I got my King Arthur Flour e-newsletter with a tribute to the King Cake. Imagine my surprise when I scrolled down and found a king cake cupcake recipe! It is like the perfect little version to curb that craving without having to make that gigantic king cake. I assumed it would be a bread dough like the big cake, but this truly is a cupcake recipe, so that was a unique twist. So if you tried my king cake post or you wanted an easier version with the same flavors, make this mini version for a sweet treat. Oh and I have to note, I used the lemon extract (don’t have oil) in the cake part but not the frosting part, since my family is not into super lemony stuff. Also mine were done baking at 18 minutes, so always set your oven for a few minutes earlier than the recipe calls for, just in case.

King Cake Cupcakes

cupcakes

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons soft butter
  • 2/3 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia; OR 1 teaspoon vanilla + 1/8 teaspoon lemon oil
  • 2 large eggs

icing

  • 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (half of an 8-ounce package) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon oil
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk, enough to make a spreadable icing
  • colored sugars, preferably purple, yellow, and green

directions

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour a muffin tin. You can also line the muffin tins with papers, and spray the insides of the papers.

2) To make the cupcakes: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt.

3) Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer at low speed, until the mixture looks sandy.

4) Combine the milk and vanilla and add, all at once. Mix at low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl.

5) With the mixer running at low speed, add 1 egg. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Add the second egg, again beating for 30 seconds.

6) Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and beat briefly, just till smooth.

7) Scoop the batter by heaping 1/4-cupfuls into the prepared muffin tin. A muffin scoop works well here.

8) Bake the cupcakes for 23 to 25 minutes, until they’ve domed, and are a light golden brown around the edges. They’ll spring back when pressed gently on top, and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.

9) Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and place on a rack to cool completely before icing.

10) To make the icing: Combine the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and lemon oil in a medium-sized bowl, and beat them together until light and fluffy.

11) Add the sugar gradually, beating well.

12) Beat in the milk a little at a time, until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.

13) Spread each cake with icing, and immediately dip in gold, purple, and green sparkling sugars, covering about 1/3 of the cupcake with each color sugar.

14) Store at room temperature for several days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze.

Yield: 12 cupcakes.

Straw-ba-ba-ba Berry Shortcake

July 25, 2012

This summer is the best time of year to get your strawberry shortcake on. Each year I experiment and try new recipes. I go back and forth between the biscuit style and the sponge cake style. Please don’t buy those processed “cakes” in your produce section. Both styles are so easy to make from scratch and so worth it. Lately I have been on a biscuit kick so I googled and found this new strawberry shortcake recipe.  I was really happy with how it turned out. I had a flat of delicious ripe strawberries that were just calling for me to use them.

I also made my usual homemade whipped cream (hearing a chant of my mom in my head saying why buy that frozen crap when you can make your own with 3 ingredients) with heavy cream, vanilla and confectionary sugar. The biscuits came out great, we had some left over that we had with jam for breakfast. So if you are looking for a new twist on your typical summer dessert try this southern version from a northern girl.