Monday, February 28, 2011

Strawberry Coffee Cake

8 oz cream cheese, room temp
8 T (1 stick) butter, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk (I used Almond Milk because it was all I had)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped almonds or walnuts (I used sliced, again, it's all I had)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter and flour a 9 x 13" baking pan. 

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter and sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Stir in milk, eggs and vanilla.  Beat until well combined.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir well to blend.  Add to the cheese mixture and beat until smooth.  Spread half the batter in the prepared pan.  Scatter strawberries evenly over the batter.  Dot the remaining batter over the berries.  Mix the brown sugar and nuts together and sprinkle evenly over the batter.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan on a wire rack.  Serve warm, or at room temperature.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls Extraordinaire

These are so good, they should be illegal.  It's got some CRAZY ingredients, but trust me, they're amazing.

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup hot mashed potatoes
1-1/2 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
7-8 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/3 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
Vanilla icing, optional

In a large bowl, combine sugar and mashed potatoes. Add water and yeast; mix well. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine filling ingredients and set aside. Stir dough down; beat in the butter, eggs and salt. Pour into mixing bowl with dough hook attachment. Gradually stir in flour. Start with 7 cups and slowly add 1/4 cup at a time until flour is no longer sticky. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Divide dough in half. On a floured surface, roll each portion into a 12 x 15" rec square. Spread half the butter to within 1 in. of the edges of each square.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle with walnuts if preferred.  Roll up jelly-roll style. Cut each roll into 12 slices. Place in a greased 9 x 13" baking pan. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. For the first 30 minutes, I cover the pans with foil to make sure they don't get too dark on top before the inside is baked. 

Drizzle with icing if desired.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes that may be the best thing I've ever eaten!!

I follow a fun little blog called A Cup Full Of Cake.  Last month she posted this recipe and they were incredible.  I was blown away.  You must try them.  I used my Vanilla Buttercream recipe to top them.  I double the buttercream to get enough for the 30 cupcakes this recipe makes.

Best Chocolate Cupcakes Ever

By a Cup Full Of Cake
Makes 28 cupcakes (I got 30)

Dry Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ( Dutch process like Droste or another GOOD brand)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate melted and cooled (cooled for about 15 min make sure its still melted though don’t want it to harden back up)
½ cup plus 1 tbsp water, heated to boiling ( have a kettle of water on the stove boiling ready to go)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs room temp
2 tablespoons vinegar (not wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon vanilla

Instructions :
This can be done with a stand mixer or by hand with a hand mixer or whisk but it is more of a 2 bowl method than one if going the hand mixing route.

1. Preheat oven to 350F with rack in the center.
2. Place paper baking cups in regular sized muffin tins, spray edges around
cup slightly with cooking spray. If you have a small 6 cup muffin tin and you only
get 27 or 28 cupcakes fill the rest of the wells halfway with water and no baking
3. Whisk together the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt)
in a large bowl.
4. In a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer whisk eggs till slightly thickened and a pale
5. Add in the milk, vanilla, oil and vinegar and whisk/beat well
6. Add in the melted and cooled chocolate and whisk/beat until combined well
7. Either add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients OR the wet into the flour and mix
just to combine. Add in the boiling water and mix again just to combine. Scrape
down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure all the dry ingredients are
8. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups
9. Bake 15-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and free
of crumbs or the cupcake tops bounce back when lightly pressed. Mine baked for
18 minutes.
10. Let cool for 5 min in pans and then remove carefully to a wire cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mmmmm, Donut Muffins

These are so darn good, I can't even stand it.  The recipe does make 24 mini muffins and they'll last about 24 minutes, literally.  It will seem like a lot of nutmeg, but use it.  It makes a huge difference, for the better.

1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 24 mini-muffin cups.

Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Stir in the milk, then mix in the baking powder and flour until just combined. Fill the prepared mini muffin cups about half full.

Bake in the preheated oven until the tops are lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes.  I always like mine extra crispy on top, so I go the whole 20 minutes.

While muffins are baking, place 1/4 cup of melted butter in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of sugar with the cinnamon. Remove muffins from their cups, dip each muffin in the melted butter, and roll in the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Attempt to let cool and serve.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies for my Jeffrey

These have become his favorite cookie. After 11 years of playing with a basic chocolate chip cookies recipe, I perfected it for his tasting. They really are yummy.

1 stick butter, room temp
4 oz shortening
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
2 extra large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 c bread flour
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 c semisweet chocolate chips
1 c walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with partchment. In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking soda.

Cream butter and shortening until smooth. Add sugars and cream until very fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.

Dump in flour and mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Place 1T dough 2" apart on baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Swedish Visiting Cake

This morning, I received an email from a blog I subscribe to with a recipe for a "Swedish Visiting Cake".  The recipe comes from an amazing baker by the name of Dorie Greenspan.  I couldn't wait to make it. I'm such a sucker for almonds. All I can say, is yum. It is a simple, yet elegant cake and you will love it.

Here's a little lemon zest shortcut....
When I have a bunch of lemons, I zest them all at once.  I take the zest and put it in ice cube trays, add a little juice to it and freeze.  Once frozen, I put it in a ziplock bag.  When I need some zest for a recipe, I remove it from the freezer, place it on a paper towel and let it thaw.
Voila.  Lemon zest.

Ok, so here's the list of ingredients for the cake.

1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
Grated zest of 1 lemon, or 1 cube
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup sliced almonds (blanched or not)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a seasoned 9-inch cast-iron skillet or other heavy ovenproof skillet, a 9-inch cake pan or even a pie pan.

Pour the sugar into a medium bowl. Add the zest and blend the zest and sugar together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic.

Whisk in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Whisk in the salt and the extracts.

Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the flour. Finally, fold in the melted butter.

Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Scatter the sliced almonds over the top and sprinkle with a little sugar. If you're using a cake or pie pan, place the pan on a baking sheet.
Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is golden and a little crisp on the outside; the inside will remain moist. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife around the sides and bottom of the cake to loosen it. You can serve the cake warm or cooled, directly from the skillet or turned out onto a serving plate.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The best granola bars EVER!!

I bought this at Costco a month ago. It has several different kinds of dried fruit slices in it. I just cut the slices into bite size pieces.

I have to say, when you make these, you will love me forever. They are SO easy and SO yummy. I originally found this recipe in a magazine. I tore it out and couldn't tell you what magazine. Over the years I've made quite a few changes to it.

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup dried fruit (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey, I use Miller Brand Honey, creamy style, but any will work
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. I usually line it with parchment, but most recently found a 9x13 inch silpat that I've been using.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.