Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Surprisingly Cold Cake

This year for Father's Day I asked Andy what he might want to do - he requested Corned Beef and Cabbage. He made an actual request! That does not happen people... hardly ever. So we had Corned Beef and Cabbage!
For dessert, I picked a dessert we'd talked about what he said sounded good. Drumstick Dessert looked pretty easy. When we talked about it, I told him it had a cream filling that was taking the place of ice cream. His question - why not just use ice cream. Yeah - why not? So we did! I made a half recipe in a small springform pan. Since it was only 4 of us, we didn't want a giant 9 x 13 dish of ice cream cake. Also, I couldn't imagine trying to get the first piece of that cake out of the 9 x 13 pan. Oof! I have a hard enough time with a casserole - let alone a frozen brick.
Bronwyn, my ever-ready helper, did lots of crushing, stirring, and sprinkling. The end results were delicious. I think next time I would let the cake thaw a bit. Trying to cut it frozen and eat it was SO cold! I know - ice cream - cold - freezer - cold - right? Still surprisingly cold... and hard.
I would love to try this again with the cream filling. Perhaps to a family potluck where a 9 x 13 isn't a HUGE dish.

Drumstick Layered Dessert
2 cup vanilla wafer crumbs
1 cup chopped peanuts divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup [1 stick] butter melted
2 [3.4] oz box white chocolate instant pudding
4 cup cold half & half
1 [16] oz whipped cream cheese softened
2 cup sweetened fresh whipped cream or [8] oz frozen whipped topping thawed
2 cups mini chocolate chips divided (Set aside 1 cup total for the ganache)
1/2 cup heavy cream for the ganache
5 sugar cones roughly crushed

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spritz the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a small mixing bowl, toss together the vanilla wafer crumbs, 1/2 cup chopped peanuts, melted butter and granulated sugar. Press onto the bottom of the baking dish.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden and set. Cool completely.
In a medium mixing bowl, whip the 2 boxes of white chocolate instant pudding with 4 cups of half & half for 2-3 minutes until it's beginning to thicken.
Add the whipped cream cheese and continue to whip until smooth and combined.
Fold in the fresh whipped cream or thawed whipped topping by hand. Spread evenly onto the crust.
Sprinkle the filling with 1/2 of the reserved mini chocolate chips, 1/2 of the chopped peanuts and 1/2 of the crushed sugar cones. Set aside the remaining to garnish the top.
To make the ganache: Melt 1 cup mini chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of heavy cream in the microwave in 20 second increments, stopping to stir each time. Repeat this process until smooth.
Cool the melted chocolate slightly. Drizzle over the first layer of chocolate chips, sugar cone pieces and peanuts.
While the chocolate is soft, garnish the top with reserved peanuts, chocolate chips and sugar cone pieces.
Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight before cutting. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Yes, Nicholas... we don't say "stupid"

Bundt Cake. I love them. They cut into a bunch of pieces, serve lots of people, and it's fun to say! Bundt! Like BOOOOnt! Yep, I'm a dork - it's true.
I knew my birthday was coming - Yep we are talking back in August - I schedule these posts WAY out... Anyway... birthday coming - I knew I wanted to bake something for work, well I kept looking and kept not having anything pop out at me saying "bake me!" so I went down to the wire. Birthday was Thursday, Wednesday 6 PM I was finally picking something to make. Went to the fridge... well I don't have 2 packages of cream cheese like it suggests and only a stick and five tablespoons of butter... not the 2 full sticks. Ugh. I did have a few half packages of cream cheese... one was super gross, the other was workable. Done! Found the recipe. This was a different Cinnamon Bundt Cake - not the same as I made a few months back. I substituted 3 tablespoons of butter for margarine - because that's what I had. Finished off my cinnamon... more to add to the shopping list.
I sprayed my bundt pan - the spray was from Target and said it had flour in it. Baking spray. It didn't spray like others I've used. That should have been my first clue. Can you see where I going here? Well, you see the above picture - you know where this is going. The cake was in the oven, I made the glaze, had the powdered sugar out and turned around to find Bernard - aka our black lab - with his snout in it full bore... He became our black lab with a white snout. Oh, Bernard.
The cake was done, time to turn out - wouldn't budge. Considering all the other things that went wrong in the evening that had brought me to tears - why NOT this dumb cake. At the point of giving up, I gave it one big SLAM. Well... some of it came out of the pan. What the hell... honestly? So I used a serving spoon - scooped it out of the pan, put the puzzle back together and called it good. Done. No more. But Bernard in his bed and I went to bed too.
The next morning I bundled up my cake, tossed the icing in my lunch bag and took it off to work. Drizzled the icing there and took a slice. Heaven. It may look a little rough - but man it tastes good. Everyone devoured the cake and hardly noticed it's less than sturdy structure. So... Happy Birthday to me a few months late. Make this cake... substitute anything you don't have because your cupboards are bare like mine for some stupid reason. Yes, Nicholas... we don't say "stupid"...

Cinnamon Roll Bundt Cake
For Cinnamon Sugar
½ cup Granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Ground cinnamon heaping

For the Pound Cake
3 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Salt
1 cup - Unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups Granulated sugar
1 cups Sour cream
1 Tbls Vanilla bean paste
3 Tbls Heavy cream
6 Eggs, large
For the Icing
3 oz Cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup Heavy cream or whole milk
1 tsp Vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 cups Confectioners’ (powdered) sugar

Make the cinnamon sugar:
In a small bowl combine granulated sugar and ground cinnamon. Whisk quickly with a fork to combine and set aside.

Bake the pound cake:
Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit and place oven rack in middle of the oven. Butter and flour a 10-cup Bundt cake pan. Shake the excess flour and set aside.
In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy over medium/high speed, about 3 minutes. Stop and scrape the mixer and add the sour cream, followed heavy cream and vanilla bean paste. Turn the mixer on and beat over medium speed until combined. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stop and scrape the mixer once more. Turn the mixer onto low speed and add the flour. Mix until just combined, no longer than 45 seconds.
Remove bowl from the mixer and give the batter a couple of folds, making sure you scrape the sides of the pan. Pour about 1/3 of the pound cake batter into the Bundt cake pan. Bang it a couple of time on your counter to even out the batter. Sprinkle about 1/2 of the cinnamon sugar over the batter. Add cake batter over the cinnamon sugar, followed by second half of the cinnamon sugar. Finally, add the remaining batter to the pan. I like to leave a bit of cinnamon sugar to swirl in the batter, but you do you, boo.
Place the Bundt pan in the oven and bake for about 50-55 minutes (I usually remove at around 53 minutes) until an inserted bamboo skewer or knife comes out clean. If the cake has not baked through, check every 3-5 minutes until the tester comes out clean.
NOTE: I wouldn’t trust the toothpick test here, as a toothpick isn’t long enough to penetrate the pan fully.
Remove pan from the oven. Allow the cake to cool out of the oven for about 3 minutes or so, then gently run a knife over the edges and slowly pulling towards you to loosen the cake from the batter. Be as gentle as possible. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for another 5-10 minutes, then carefully invert in a wire rack to cool completely. While the cake is cooling slightly, make the icing.
Make the icing:
In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (a hand mixer rocks here too), combine the cream cheese, heavy cream, vanilla bean paste, and confectioners’ sugar. Whisk on high until combined then pour over the pound cake while it is still slightly warm. Allow the cake to cool completely then slice into that bad boy with abandon.
NOTE: Baking times do vary by altitude and climate, which is why I suggest after the suggested baking time of 50 minutes you check every 3-5 minutes to ensure the cake has baked through. Mine usually bakes at 53 minutes, but in other climates baking times can extend as long as 80 minutes.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Endless Rolls of Rainbow Color

Ice cream cake is good. Rainbow ice cream cake is better.
Recently I ordered new gel food colors because my old ones are either out or gunky. Nobody wants anything that's gunky - let's be honest.
We celebrated Bronwyn's birthday on a weekend with a fancy cake - but I still wanted to do something special for her actual birthday - even if it was on a Tuesday. She loves rainbows, I love rainbows - it worked out.
We were able to make the cake together with little fuss. She loves cracking the eggs, mixing up the food colors. We did a sponge cake in a way I've never done before - but it worked really well. I piped all the colors on the pan - we even had extra batter left so we made some fun cupcakes with the extra. We ate those right away. :)
The original recipe calls for a buttercream filling with sprinkles. I would have loved to try out my new favorite buttercream inside but the birthday girl requested vanilla ice cream - so we did ice cream. Thankfully the ice cream scoop we have scrapped it into somewhat flat sections so it was easy to layer the pieces of ice cream in without having it melt too much.
On her actual birthday, we go the cake from the freezer, sliced and served. It was gorgeous! All the colors were so bright! Nicholas had a few choice words for the cake - but he's anti-baked goods so his comments go into the "things I don't care about" category.
This was a fun and honestly easy cake to make. It makes me want to do other fun designs on a rolled cake. Now that I have better quality gel colors - you never know what we might roll up.

Rainbow Cake Roll
6 eggs
1 White Cake mix
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon each red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple gel food color
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 rainbow chip frosting
1 1/2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 packages (2.2 oz each) Betty Crocker™ Candy Shop decors rainbow chips, if desired

Heat oven to 350ºF. Line two 15x10x1-inch pans with cooking parchment paper.
In large bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer on high speed until thick and lemon-colored, about 6 minutes. Add cake mix, sour cream, water and oil. Beat on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 1 minute.
Divide batter into 6 small bowls, about 3/4 cup batter per bowl. Add red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple gel food colors, one to each bowl; mix. Pour each colored batter into a decorating bag or resealable food-storage plastic bag, and cut one corner off each bag. For better control with cake batter, be sure to cut small opening on end of each resealable bag.
Starting with purple batter, carefully squeeze a thin diagonal line of colored batter onto each pan; repeating with blue, green, yellow, orange and red to make a rainbow-striped pattern. Continue until all batter has been used and pans are equally filled. It's ok to leave small spaces in between colors, as batter will fill in during baking.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until top springs back when touched. Meanwhile, sprinkle powdered sugar over two clean kitchen towels. Remove cakes from oven. Run metal spatula around edges of pans; carefully turn one on to each kitchen towel. Peel away parchment paper. Immediately roll up cake and towel from narrow end. Allow cakes to cool 30 minutes.
In medium bowl, mix frosting and whipped topping. Mix in Betty Crocker™ Candy Shop decors rainbow chips, if desired.
Carefully unroll cakes; spread half of the filling over each cake. Roll cakes up into logs; refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
Cut into slices to serve. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Nope, nope and more nope.

Anyone see a recipe video on the internet and say - I can do that?
That was me.
The recipe? Chocolate chip cookies and brownie batter rolled together, sliced beautifully to create a delicious swirled cookie.
Not so much.
I looked for the recipe - they wanted me to install an ap - yeah - no. I googled a little bit - didn't see anything. I figured I could wing it.
I made my standard chocolate chip cookie recipe with mini chocolate chips - yum. Then I made up a brownie mix - not thinking how liquidy brownie batter is. There's your first clue as to how this all went down.
I split the cookie dough in half and rolled it between two pieces of parchment paper and stuck it in the fridge for easy rolling. Yes... easy peasy... Right?
I tested pealing the parchment before I put some brownie batter on it and it peeled back just fine. Well... apparently cookie dough + brownie batter application turns the cookie dough into mush in an instant and the cough dough was like glue on the parchment. Ugh! So I rolled one and made a gigantic mess. Got it the freezer as soon as I could.
Rolled the 2nd - much like the first - a mess, but into the freezer.
The next night I envisioned slicing the cookies, baking them up and having beautiful swirled cookies.
I had almost chocolate pancake looking messes that melted into one another. They had to set on the Silpat until they were firm enough to peel off and moved to the rack. The upside of this mess - they were delicious - HUGE and delicious.
I decided to leave that second roll in the freezer a while and used a cookie scoop and baked another set. They worked better on parchment paper and placed the dough WAY far apart. I think I'll search harder for the actual recipe and try again. So... if you want a mess on your hands - follow directions as above - favorite cookie dough + boxed brownie batter = gigantic delicious mess.
I'll report back when I have something workable and less messy to report.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Drop Dog - I mean Biscuits

Some weeks we eat all leftovers, some we make a full on new recipe and full meal, this week we were somewhere in the middle. I saw a recipe for drop biscuits and decided we needed these in our lives.
A lot happened the night of the drop biscuits - a lot. We'll start with the ingredients, which I had to fight Bernard over. That dang dog thinks he can be all over the counters and he's long enough to reach just about everything. Ugh! I went into the garden to cut some chives, and he was trying his darndest to get into the garden. Since we have a fence around it, I use two chairs to get up and in - I guess Bernard figured out how to get in there with those two chairs. Ugh! After I got in the house, I found he'd taken the Sour Cream container off the counter, went across the room with it, opened it and started lapping it up, without spilling a drop. Ugh! Bernard!!! Thankfully the making the biscuits was very easy.
While biscuit making was in progress - the kids were playing with their slime they made at Slime Day at school. Don't you have Slime Day? Well, Bronwyn's was too sticky, Nicholas' was just perfect. Andy tried to "fix" her slime - no luck, instead he made some new slime for her. What a process that was! But he made it and she was thrilled. Both kids were glued to the slime, made it easier to do things in the kitchen, like dealing with a thief of a dog who kept taking my ingredients! Ugh!!
My kids proclaimed "I love these" - aka the biscuits. Andy said I should make them every night. They turned out great. Add some butter or vegetable spread whatever you use, very good. WELL worth making again and again.

Sour Cream Cheddar and Chives Drop Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter, frozen, grated
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fresh chopped chives
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 450-degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper.
Cut in grated butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add shredded cheese and chives; toss to combine.
Stir in buttermilk and sour cream until just combined. Don’t over mix.
Drop dough in 1/4 cup rounds onto prepared baking sheet. Bake at 450-degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until slightly browned. Serve warm.
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