recipe: celebration cake

June 10th, 2016 | Posted by admin in Desserts | RECIPES - (0 Comments)

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This may be my new favorite cake!  It’s an old classic recipe from the 1950’s when cake was the dessert of choice.  It’s called a champagne cake and the recipe was revamped in “Baked from Scratch”.  I also revamped their recipe and I think it should be called “Celebration Cake”!  Whatever the name… it’s delicious!

I have two different frostings. The first is a butter cream and the second is the corrected fluffy strawberry frosting that was referenced in the original recipe incorrectly. I doubled the recipe below to make 4 cakes, so you have a four layer cake.  I made the first batch and then the second.

The cake was tall, impressive, and so delicious!  I am always a fan of a great butter cream frosting but again you can also use the fluffy whipping cream frosting and what’s ever bad with whipping cream!

 

 

CAKE INGREDIENTS: (Makes 2, repeat for a 4 layer)
• 1 cup butter softened
• 2 cups of sugar
• 2 teaspoons of vanilla
• 2-1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, “King Arthur’s Flour”
• 2-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon of salt
• 1 cup of pink champagne or sparkling wine, room temperature
• 5 large egg whites, room temperature

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STRAWBERRY BUTTERCREAM FROSTING INGREDIENTS:
• 2 cups of unsalted butter softened
• 1 2lb bag of confectioners sugar
• 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
• 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
• 1/3 cup of finely chopped strawberries

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WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING INGREDIENTS:
• 1-1/2 cups of chopped strawberries
• 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
• 1 cup of confectioners sugar
• 1/4 cup champagne

 

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS:
• Garnish fresh strawberries

 

 

DIRECTIONS:
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two or four 9″ round cake pans, then dust with flour. Line bottoms with parchment paper and repeat the butter and flour dusting.

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• Mix butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy always stop to scrape down sides of bowl then beat in vanilla.IMG_0375

• In a separate bowl whisk flour, baking powder, and salt.  Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternating with the champagne and ending with the flour beating until combined.IMG950385

• In another bowl beat the egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form then gently fold into the batter on third at a time. Divide batter between pans smooth the tops.IMG_0377

• Bake until wooden tooth pick comes out dry, about 22 minutes.  Let cool in pans for 10 minutes then remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

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• Butter cream frosting: Beat butter at medium speed until creamy 5-6 min then add in sugar gradually with cream and salt beating until smooth. Then add in berries and frost your cake!

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• The Whipped cream frosting requires you to puree the strawberries set aside and whip the whipped cream with sugar until soft peaks form. Add in the champagne gradually and the berries.  Note: I have not made this frosting so I am sharing the “Baked from Scratch” information.

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• When the cake is cool remove the parchment and frost each layer, then put a light crumb frosting the outside of the cake, and finally spread the frosting on top and sides.  Refrigerate 1 hour before serving and garnish with berries.

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This is a beautiful cake that tastes wonderful and is a show stopper on a beautiful cake plate!!

Enjoy!!!

 

 

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recipe: window cookies

January 29th, 2016 | Posted by admin in Desserts | RECIPES - (0 Comments)

We call these “Window Cookies” and they are my younger son’s favorite cookie.  I make them at Christmas and Valentine’s day.  The center shape will change with the holiday but the cookie stays the same… so you can be creative.  This dough can be made with powdered sugar instead of regular and then altered some, but I think the crispness of the sugar cookie recipe makes this cookie taste the best and holds the jam better.  Have fun with this recipe as you can use all different flavors and colors of jam and you can cut out all different shapes.

 

INGREDIENTS:
• 2 sticks salted butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• 1 tablespoon buttermilk or cream
• 3 cups of flour
• ¾ tsp of baking powder
• dash of salt
• One jar seedless jam, raspberry, strawberry, pear, peach, or whatever flavor you prefer.
• 1½ cups powdered sugar, placed in a powdered sugar container.

 

 

DIRECTIONS:
• Beat butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and buttermilk together until smooth.

• Slowly add flour, baking powder, and salt to the wet mixture.

• Make two slabs of dough, slightly flatten and wrap with parchment then with saran wrap.

• Put in fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

• Roll out dough and use with either circle or square cookie cutters.

• For each cookie you will have a bottom that is not cut out and a top that you cut a shape out of.

• Place cookies on cookie sheet in a 350 degree preheated oven, until they are slightly browned on the edges. (10min approx).

• Let cookies cool.

• Once cool, powder the bottom side of the bottom cookie and spread jam on the top.

• Powder the top of the cookie (the one with the cut out) and place on top of the jam.

• Repeat until you are done with the dough.  I keep the second slab of dough in the fridge until I am done with the first slab.

This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies.  They are delicious as well as a great looking cookie.  Who doesn’t like jam on a crisp butter cookie?  Enjoy!

 

 

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recipe: mixed berry chocolate slab pie

September 10th, 2015 | Posted by admin in Desserts | RECIPES - (0 Comments)

I made this pie for my Labor Day party and it was a hit!  This time of the year the berries at the market are in abundance and I love this recipe because it serves a crowd.  I picked up fresh eggs and butter for the dough, and I always use King Arthur’s Flour. I pulled this recipe from a wonderful cookbook “Bountiful” by Todd Porter and Diane Cu. With the sweetness of the berries I cut the sugar down to ½ cup, and I use salted butter and don’t add the kosher salt.  Also I mixed the chocolate chips into the fruit so it was not a layer of chocolate on the crust but rather immersed in the fruit! It’s easy and delicious and makes a statement due to its size! I also like an egg wash on the dough. Enjoy!

 

FILLING INGREDIENTS:
• 3 lbs mixed fresh berries, larger berries halved and quartered
• ½ cup sugar
• 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
• 1 ½ cups chocolate chips

DOUGH INGREDIENTS:
• 8 cups flour
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
• 1 lb cold unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces
• 3 eggs
• ½ cup cold water
• Heavy cream, for brushing the crust or egg wash
• Turbinado sugar, for dusting

 

Directions:
• Preheat oven to 400° F. Butter one 13-by-18-inch sheet pan.

• Start the filling: Put the berries in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together pie filling sugar and cornstarch until well combined. Add sugar mixture to the berries and gently toss to coat berries. Add chocolate chips. Set aside.

• Make the crust: In a large bowl, whisk together dough flour, sugar, and salt. Pinching with your fingers or using a pastry blender, incorporated butter into mixture until no large pieces of butter remain and mixture has a crumbly texture.

• In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the cold water. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture, then pour the egg mixture into the well. Working from the center out, combine egg and flour mixes together until the dough holds together. If necessary, adjust with a little additional flour or cold water if dough is too sticky or not holding together.

• Divide dough into two portions, one twice the size of the other.

• On a large floured surface, roll out the larger portion of dough to an 18-by-22-inch  rectangle (I’ll roll out slightly larger then trim edges straight to the dimensions), dusting the underside and top of dough with flour a few times while rolling out to keep dough from sticking.

• Gently wrap the dough around the rolling pin, then unroll it over the first sheet pan. Adjust dough so it sits evenly in the sheet pan.

• Roll out the smaller dough portion to a rectangle just larger than 13 by 18 inches. Flip the second sheet pan upside down and gently press it into dough, then lift the pan off. Use impression to cut dough to size.

• Place in oven and bake 30-40 minutes or until top is golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Dust with Turbinado sugar, slice and serve.

 

 

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I love the flavor of Cardamom so when I saw this recipe in “Bountiful”, a beautiful cookbook by Todd Porter and Diane Cu, I had to try it.  Sometimes you want something just a bit sweet, not too sweet, and not a large portion… maybe a little something with your afternoon tea.  This is that something!

 

 

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 cup flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp cardamom
• ½ teaspoon of aniseed
• Pinch of kosher salt
• ½ lb of grated zucchini
• 1 egg
• ½ cup sugar
• ½ tsp of grated lime
• ½ cup of unsalted butter, melted
• Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

 

 

DIRECTIONS:
• Preheat oven to 325° and lightly oil the muffin tins.

• Whisk together the dry ingredients and set a side.

• Squeeze the grated zucchini dry to remove excess moisture.

• In a separate bowl whisk the egg, sugar, and lime zest. Whisk in the butter and stir in the zucchini, then fold in the flour until just combined.

• Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tins (you can also use individual tartlet molds).

• Bake for 20-25 minutes until cakes are light golden.  Allow then to cool and dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Enjoy!

 

 

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recipes: blackberry crisps

April 15th, 2015 | Posted by admin in Desserts | RECIPES - (0 Comments)

Spring makes me think of fresh berries, and blackberries were on sale!  So I used the plump sweet and tart blackberries in my crisp recipe.

 

INGREDIENTS:
Fruit:
• 4 cups of washed and drained fresh blackberries
• 2½ tsp of fresh lemon juice
• 1 tsp lemon zest
• ¼ cup of whole wheat flour
• ¼ cup of sugar

Crisp:
• ¾ cup of oats
• ¾ cup of brown sugar
• ¾ cup whole wheat flour
• ⅓ cup butter melted
• ½ tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp baking soda

 

DIRECTIONS:

• Mix “Fruit” ingredients (blackberries, lemon juice, lemon zest, and ¼ cup whole wheat flour, and ¼ cup sugar) together and place in ramekins.

• Mix “Crisp” ingredients together and place over the fruit in the ramekins.

• Bake in 350° oven for about 25 minutes.

Enjoy!

 

 

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recipe: butterscotch brownies

October 9th, 2014 | Posted by admin in Desserts | RECIPES - (0 Comments)

I was looking for an easy recipe to make that I could freeze if I had left overs.  My thinking was then I wouldn’t be tempted to finish the left over dessert.  So I have made variations of this recipe but the one below is out of a cookbook “Southern My Way” by Gena Knox, it’s her grandmother Dot’s recipe.  Of course brown sugar and butter made into a bar… there were very few left overs! Four bars made it into the freezer and were eaten several days later with a dollop of ice cream.

 

 

INGREDIENTS:
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons of baking powder
• 1 lb of light brown sugar
• 1 ½ sticks of butter
• 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
• 2 large eggs
• 1 ½ teaspoons of “good” vanilla
• 1 cup chopped pecans
• ¾ cup of chocolate chips or butterscotch chips (optional)
• Preheat oven to 350˚

 

DIRECTIONS:
• Sift dry ingredients together and set aside.

• Melt butter and brown sugar in a large saucepan over a low heat till melted.

• Let cool slightly then whisk in eggs and vanilla.

• Transfer to a larger bowl and add in dry ingredients ½ cup at a time.

• Fold in pecans and chips then pour into a greased (buttered) 8 ½” x 11” baking dish.

• Bake for 40-45 minutes until center is a bit gooey but somewhat set.

• Let cool and then cut into squares… or whatever shape you prefer!

Enjoy!

 

 

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recipe: cranberry apple cake

January 28th, 2014 | Posted by admin in Desserts | RECIPES - (0 Comments)

Easy and delicious are the best words to describe this dessert.  We were having another couple over for a very casual pizza & chopped salad dinner and movie.  I had picked up several flavors of gelato but just had that feeling that I needed something else to add to the dessert menu.  (I am a lover of all things sweet!!!)

I had these wonderful fresh cranberries that were frozen and I had wanted to use them… sitting on the counter were a bunch of honey crisp apples.  So I Googled easy dessert recipes using my two fruits… Ina Garten’s “Easy Cranberry Apple Cake” appeared on my screen.  I have included Ina’s recipe for you to follow, but I did add another 1/2 cup of cranberries and an additional 1/2 of an apple.  I like the fruit and it worked perfectly filling up my deep-dish pie pan.

I popped this cake in the oven only a few minutes before my guests arrived.  The recipe took maybe 20 minutes… so fast, east, and I have to say, delicious!  The cake was so good my guests took two helpings of dessert.  I hope you try this recipe and let me know what you think.  Enjoy!

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

• 12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over for stems
• 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
• ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
• 1 tablespoon grated orange zest (2 oranges)
• ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
• 1-1/8 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
• 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
• 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
• ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• ¼ cup sour cream
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

 

 

DIRECTIONS:

• Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

• Combine the cranberries, apple, brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.

• In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer on medium, add 1 cup of the granulated sugar, the butter, vanilla, and sour cream and beat just until combined. On low speed, slowly add the flour and salt.

• Pour the fruit mixture evenly into a 10-inch glass pie plate. Pour the batter over the fruit, covering it completely. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and ¹/8 teaspoon of cinnamon and sprinkle it over the batter. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean and the fruit is bubbling around the edges. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

 

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recipe: snicker brittle butter cookies

December 9th, 2013 | Posted by admin in Desserts | RECIPES - (0 Comments)

The combination of Snickers and cookie dough is a match made in heaven.  Any left over candy… some still in my freezer from Halloween can be used to make these cookies.  Use your imagination and have fun!

 

INGREDIENTS:
• 2 sticks softened salted butter
• 3/4 cup light brown sugar
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 Tbsp good vanilla
• 2-1/2 cups flour
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 3/4 cup toffee brittle
• Snickers, either mini or regular, cut up into approx. 24 cubes

INSTRUCTIONS:
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

• Whip together softened butter, light brown sugar, and white sugar.

• Add 2 eggs and vanilla and mix well until blended.

• Add flour and baking soda and mix.

• Add toffee brittle.

• Take a small scoop of dough, put snicker cube in the middle and roll into a round ball.

• Place on the cookie sheet and bake 10-15 minutes until edges are brown.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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recipe: peach dumplings with bourbon sauce

September 13th, 2013 | Posted by admin in Desserts | RECIPES - (0 Comments)

If there is one dessert you need to try it’s this one.  It’s peaches to perfection!  I happen to loves peaches simply sliced off the pit, nothing added.  But when you fill it with a mixture of brown sugar and butter and wrap it in a wonderful puff pastry, then top it with an amazing bourbon sauce… you have the best dessert ever!  The crust is warm and crunchy, the sauce is melting over the dumpling, and a caramel goodness is oozing out of the dough.  It’s so good!  I credit another blogger Deb Perlman of Smitten Kitchen with this recipe.  I used premade dough, only Dufour, but it’s not hard to make your own.  Enjoy!  Let me know what you think.

 

FILLING INGREDIENTS:
• 3 large peaches
• 1/3 cup (65 grams) light or dark brown sugar
• Pinch of salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• Few fresh gratings of nutmeg, or a pinch of ground
• 1 tablespoon butter, cut into 6 pieces, kept cold
• 1 large egg, for glaze

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
• 4 tablespoons (55 grams or 1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
• 3/4 cup (95 grams) confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tablespoon bourbon

CRUST INGREDIENTS:
• Dufour pastry dough or make your own!

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS:
• Roll pastry dough to a 12″x18″ rectangle, and divide into six 6-inch squares.  If dough gets too soft or warm while you’re rolling it, continue to the square stage, but then transfer the squares to a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill them in the freezer for a couple minutes, until they firm up again.

• Halve peaches, and remove pits.  Scoop a little but extra out of the pit so that there is more room to pack the filling.

• Mix brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a little dish.

• Spoon 1 lightly packed tablespoon on top of each peach, smooshing as much of the sugar mixture as you can into the center.

• Dot the top of each with a piece of the cold butter.

• Center a peach half, cut side up, in your first pastry square.  Bring corners up to meet each other over the center (if it feels tight, or as if you’re short of dough, make sure that the dough underneath is flush with the peach curve; it tends to get slack) and seal the seams together, pinching with your fingertips.

• Arrange peach dumplings in a buttered 9″x13″ baking dish, and chill for 30 minutes.

• Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

• Whisk egg together with 1 teaspoon water to form a glaze.

• Brush glaze over the tops and exposed sides of dumplings.

• Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until pastries are puffed and bronzed on top.

• While baking, make the sauce.  Beat softened butter, confectioners’ sugar, and bourbon until smooth.

• Scrape into serving dish.  When pastries come out of oven, dollop each with a heaping spoonful of the sauce, and serve pastries with the sauce melting over the sides.

 

 

 

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recipe: ice cream whopper dessert

July 9th, 2013 | Posted by admin in Desserts | RECIPES - (0 Comments)

This is such an easy delicious dessert for a crowd.  I usually revisit this recipe in the summer when ice cream just seems to be the perfect ending to a barbecue.  This can also be made a few days ahead of time so when cooking for a crowd, it helps.  I have also used Butter Fingers instead of Whoppers… but I love the flavor of malt so this is my favorite candy to use.  But be creative… this is just so easy and sooo good!

 

 

INGREDIENTS:
• 12 ice cream sandwiches (2 boxes)
• 2 containers of Cool Whip
• 1 (milk) container of Whoppers
• 1 container of Whopper Chocolate Malt Syrup (or regular chocolate sauce)

DIRECTIONS:
• Using a 9”x11.5” glass dish, place ice cream sandwiches in bottom of dish.  See the pictures, as I usually have to cut a few to fit and cover the entire dish.

• Crush the Whoppers place in a plastic bag and crush.

• Defrost the Cool Whip.  Mix with ½ of the crushed Whoppers.

• Drizzle the sandwiches with the Whopper Chocolate Malt Syrup.

• Then smooth the Cool Whip over the ice cream sandwiches and sauce.

• Next sprinkle the crushed Whoppers on top of the Cool Whip and drizzle with more sauce.  Cover and freeze.

Serve and enjoy!!

 

I originally had this recipe at Martha’s house and loved it since then I have seen several versions and have continued to keep it in my summer dessert file.

 

 

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