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Saturday, April 14, 2012

French Yule Log Cake

This recipe is very good and not all that hard to make.
My sister found this recipe online and had been begging me for weeks to make it.  I had made a few changes to it (for instance, i did not put almonds in the cake and i doubled the recipe).
I also did not make the whipped cream filling because I did not have any heavy whipping cream on me at the time.  Instead, I put buttercream icing between the layers.


This cake has a really good and light texture.  It was very fluffy when it came out of the oven, but for some reason started to shrink some as it cooled.  Even though this cake turned out really thick, it was still fluffy with a marvelous texture.


This cake was rather small but pretty tall. In fact, it was so tall (since i doubled the recipe) that it fell over once i had iced it!

This cake was easy to assemble and looked gorgeous!


Decorate it any way you want and it will be the perfect cake for any occasion.


Ingredients (original recipe):

4 eggs, divided
3/4 cup sugar, divided
3/4 cup ground blanched almonds
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Whipped Cream Filling (recipe follows)
Creamy Cocoa Log Frosting (recipe follows)

Whipped Cream Filling:

1 1/2 cups cold whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat until cream is stiff.

Creamy Cocoa Log Frosting:

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened.
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk

Combine powdered sugar and cocoa.  Beat butter, 1/2 cup cocoa mixture, corn syrup, and vanilla in medium bowl until smooth.  Add remaining cocoa mixture alternately with milk, beating until smooth and of spreading consistency.


Directions:

Heat oven to 350ºF.  Line 15x10 1/2 inch jelly roll pan (i used a rectangular cake pan) with foil and generously grease.
Beat egg yolks in medium bowl 3 minutes on medium speed of mixer.  Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating another 2 minutes until thick and lemon-colored.  Combine almonds, flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; add alternately with water to egg yolk mixture, beating on low speed until blended.  Stir in vanilla extract and almond extract.
Beat egg whites in large bowl until foamy (I used a fork).  Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold chocolate mixture into beaten egg whites.  Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched.  Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan onto wire rack.  Carefully remove foil.  Coll completely.
Cut into four equal rectangles about 3 inches across.  Chill layers while preparing filling.
Spread 1/3 of the filling across the first layer of cake, then put the next layer on top of that and so on. (do not put filling on the top layer).  Frost generously with Creamy Cocoa Log Frosting and garnish any way you wish.
ENJOY!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Buttercream Frosting

For those who would prefer to make their own icing instead of using store bought!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups shortening
1/2 cup butter
8 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla extract (must be clear or else the icing will be tinted brown)
3/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions:

Using an electric mixer, cream shortening and butter together until light and very, very fluffy (about 8 minutes).  Add confectioners' sugar and continue creaming until extremely well blended.
Slowly add salt, vanilla, and heavy cream on a low speed until moistened.  Then beat at high speed until the frosting is once again fluffy.
Use on any baked good of choice! :)

Hearty Raisin Nut Bread

This is a hearty bread recipe that has dried cranberries, raisins, and different kinds of nuts in it!  It is very good if you don't have that much of a sweet tooth, but also has the cinnamon to satisfy those who do!  Makes 2 loaves.


Ingredients:

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons white sugar
2 eggs
3 cups whole wheat flour
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 egg white
2 tablespoons cold water

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water (about 5 minutes.)  Add the milk, butter, honey, salt, cinnamon, sugar, eggs, and whole wheat flour.  Beat until smooth.  Stir in enough all purpose flour to form a soft dough.
Place raisins and cranberries in a bowl of tepid tap water.  Let soak until needed.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface.  Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes).  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour).
Punch dough down and turn onto a floured surface.  Sprinkle with raisins, cranberries, walnuts, and pecans and knead them in.  Divide dough in half.
Grease two 8.5" x 4.5" loaf pans.
Place loaves into greased pans.  Cover and let rise until doubled (about 1 hour).
Beat egg white and cold water.  Brush over loaves.
Bake for 40 minutes.  If top browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil for the last 15 minutes.
Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
ENJOY!

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

My mother used to make these all the time for me and she has now passed the recipe on to me.  These are the PERFECT cookies!  They are not overly sweet and easy to make.  Make your childhood memories come back again with these classic cookies.

Ingredients:


3/4 c. Butter Flavor Crisco
1 1/4 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips


Instructions:


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Combine Butter Flavor Crisco, brown sugar, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl.
Beat until well blended.  Beat egg into mixture.
Combine flour, salt, and baking soda.  Mix into creamed mixture until blended.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.  Take out and cool for 2 minutes on the pan, then transfer the cookies to a wire wrack and completely cool.  ENJOY!

Inception Cookies

My friend came up with the name for these cookies.  It is a chocolate chip cookie with a double stuffed Oreo wrapped inside! they are huge, but delicious and VERY easy to make!



Ingredients:

3/4 c. Butter Flavor Crisco
1 1/4 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 package double stuffed Oreos

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Combine Butter Flavor Crisco, brown sugar, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl.
Beat until well blended.  Beat egg into mixture.
Combine flour, salt, and baking soda.  Mix into creamed mixture until blended.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
Take an Oreo and wrap a piece of dough around it until it is completely covered.  Place on greased cookie sheet and repeat until all of the cookie dough is used.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Take out and cool for 2 minutes on the pan, then transfer the cookies to a wire wrack and completely cool.
ENJOY!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Cadbury Cream Egg Cupcakes

I found this recipe on another food blog called Sweet Tooth (http://www.ericasweettooth.com/2012/04/cadbury-creme-egg-cupcakes.html). I made a few changes to the recipe (because not everyone in my family likes coffe like it calls for in the original recipe.) these turned out amazing! Makes 10 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the chocolate cupcakes:
4-1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cups cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cups sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup whole milk
A little bit of chocolate syrup

For the creme egg buttercream:
The centers of 10 Cadbury creme eggs scooped out - save the chocolate shells for decoration
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
About 1/4 cup milk
Yellow and red food coloring (optional)

Instructions:
For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 10 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and beat until fully incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Combine the sour cream and milk in a small bowl.
With the mixer on low, add half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, then add the water and milk.  Add the other half of the dry ingredients and beat until just combined.  Add a little bit of chocolate syrup.
Divide batter among muffin tins, filling liners 2/3 of the way full.  Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.


For the icing:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
Slowly add half of the powdered sugar and beat until incorporated.  Add the vanilla extract.
Add the rest of the powdered sugar and beat well for 2-5 minutes until frosting is smooth and creamy.
Add the creme centers and beat until combined.  Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the frosting is of desired consistency.
Add some yellow and red food coloring to make a very soft orange color and gently swirl color into frosting .  Transfer frosting to a piping bag fit with a large round tip and frost as desired.
Use chocolate candy egg shells for decoration and enjoy!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Slutty Brownies

They are called slutty because they are easy and a little bit dirty but oh so good! Try eating this with your favorite ice cream on top and drizzled with chocolate sauce... AMAZING!


Ingredients:

1 box of chocolate chip cookie mix
1 box of fudge brownie mix
2 packs of double stuffed Oreos
Ingredients called for on the chocolate chip cookie mix and fudge brownie mix boxes

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Grease the inside of your brownie pan with non-stick spray.
Follow the instructions on the box to prepare the cookie dough and add some extra water to keep it moist while baking.
Press the cookie dough into the bottom of the brownie pan. Then line double stuffed Oreos on top of this.
Follow the instructions on the box to make the brownie mix. Pour this overtop the Oreos and cookie dough.
Bake for 30 minutes. Then, take it out and let cool.
Try with your favorite ice cream and enjoy! :)

The Perfect Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Your search for the best vanilla cupcake recipe is over! This recipe is just amazing! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola or extra light olive oil)
1/2 cup buttermilk
(or 1/2 cup milk plus 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice- add acid to the milk then set aside for 5 minutes before using)

Instructions:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir together with whisk, and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs and beat 10-20 seconds.  Add sugar and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds.  Add vanilla and oil, beat.
Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture.  Add half of the milk, then the rest of the flour and the rest of the milk.  Beat until just combined.
The batter will be thin.  Pour batter into a muffin pan prepared with paper liners.  Fill liners about 2/3 full. 
Bake cupcakes for 12-14 minutes. 
Cool in pan, then remove cupcakes from pan and cool on a wire rack.
Ice with your favorite icing and enjoy! :)

Tomato And Basil Soup

This soup is very good but takes a very long time to make. It is the only tomato soup that my sister and I like! I made it for her birthday party and everybody loved it! You can make this chunky or smoothe like I did. (I put mine through the blender to make it very smoothe.) This is a soup that even people who hate tomato soup will love!

Ingredients:

3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups chopped yellow onions (approx. 2 onions)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
28 oz. canned plum tomatoes with their juices – I used died tomatoes
4 cups of fresh basil leaves, packed
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 quart (4 cups) chicken stock (or water)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, 1/4 cup of olive oil, salt +pepper.
Spread the tomatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes.
In a large stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 Tbsp of olive oil, butter (optional), and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes or until the onions begin to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Then add the oven roasted tomatoes and include any of the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and then simmer (uncovered) for 40 minutes. Use a blender to make it how chunky or smoothe you would like it.
Serve hot or cold. Enjoy!

Cupcakes With A Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Filling

Yes, you heard that right. You are not dreaming. These cupcakes are absolute bliss and VERY easy to make! These yellow cupcakes have a large ball of chocolate chip cookie dough in the middle and are addicting to eat. Just the best cupcake recipe you will ever come across!

Ingredients:

For the cookie dough:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

For the cupcakes:
1 (18.25 ounce) box yellow cake mix (or any other flavor you want)
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup canola oil
3 eggs


Instructions:


Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and sea salt; set aside. Beat the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Add 1 egg and the vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips; mixing just enough to evenly combine. Form the dough into tablespoon-sized balls; place onto a baking sheet, and freeze until solid, about 2 hours. (YOU CANNOT SKIP THE FREEZING OF THE DOUGH OR ELSE THE CENTER WILL BAKE AND BE VERY DRY)
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
Beat 3 eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer to break up. Add the cake mix, water, and canola oil; continue beating for 2 minutes on medium speed. Spoon into the prepared cupcake liners, filling each 2/3 full. Place a frozen cookie dough ball on the top center of each cupcake.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the cake portion of the cupcake (not the cookie dough ball) comes clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Ice with your favorite flavor of icing and enjoy! :)

S'mores Cupcakes

I made these for my friend's birthday. They turned out absolutely perfect. The cake was very fluffy and the graham cracker crust did not stick to the cupcake liner, so it wasn't very messy. These are also very easy to make. Great for any occasion!

Ingredients:


FOR THE GRAHAM CRACKER CUPS
9 sheets graham crackers
2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 56 grams) unsalted butter, melted

FOR THE CUPCAKES
1 cup (127 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (75 grams) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup (153 grams) sour cream



Toasted Marshmallow Frosting:

3 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (do NOT add any more)

Instructions:

To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (165 C). Lightly spray a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
Either crush the graham crackers by hand, until they are like rough sand, or process in a food processor for several pulses. Add the sugar and mix, or pulse, to combine. Add the butter and mix until thoroughly combined and resembling wet sand. Press firmly into the cups of the muffin pan, being sure to push it up the sides of the cups. Bake until golden and fragrant, about 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool completely before filling.

To make the cupcakes: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined. Stir in the vanilla.
Sprinkle 1/3 of the flour mixture into the mixing bowl and mix until just combined. Add half of the sour cream, mixing until just combined. Repeat, alternating the remaining flour in 2 more additions with the remaining sour cream in one more addition (ending on flour).
Place 2 scant tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the tops of the cupcakes spring back lightly when touched.
Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting: Combine sugar, egg whites, and cream of tartar in a medium bowl set over a pot filled with a couple of inches of barely simmering water. Whisk the mixture frequently to prevent the egg whites from cooking. Continue whisking until the mixture reaches 160 degrees. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk the mixture on high until it is shiny and stiff peaks form, then stir in vanilla extract.

Chicken Pot Pie

Yes I know, it's not a dessert. But, this has to be one of the tastiest things I have ever had! It takes a long time to make and if the pie crust dough is too warm, too dry, or too wet, then it won't roll properly so it's a little tricky to make, but so worth the trouble! This recipes make individual pies and I make mine in souffle dishes (which are perfect for this.)


Chicken Pot Pie Ingredients:


Crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/2 cup ice water
*optional: 1/2 tablespoon (2 teaspoons) garlic salt or garlic powder

Filling:
1 rotisserie chicken, boned
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 can cream of chicken soup

Assembling Instructions:

Crust:
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Filling:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, and peas. Add chicken broth to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, poultry seasoning, and pepper. Slowly stir in chicken broth, milk, and cream of chicken soup. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape. I usually brush melted butter on top to make the color perfect and the crust flaky.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 13 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!