Archive for February, 2016

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Coconut Pecan Cake

February 26, 2016

Over Valentine’s weekend, I felt like baking a cake. D loves coconut, and I love pecans, so that was the inspiration. That and I am fairly sure it will be awhile before I find the quiet time to bake a cake once Baby gets here!

You will need:

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 2 c unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 4 t vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 t almond extract, divided
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 14 oz sweetened flaked coconut, toasted, divided
  • 2 c pecan pieces, toasted, divided
  • 1 packages (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 lb powdered sugar

20160215 Pecan Cake 04

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. Mix together the flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the 1 cup of the butter, sugar, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of the vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of the almond extracts.
  4. Beat until light and creamy.
  5. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well before adding the next egg.
  6. Mix in the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk.
  7. Beat until fully combined.
  8. Stir in half of the coconut and 1 1/4 cups of toasted pecans.
  9. Split the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Cool 15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
  12. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese and remaining cup of butter until light, fluffy and smooth.
  13. Mix in the remaining 2 teaspoons of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of almond extracts.
  14. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until creamy and smooth.
  15. Place one layer of the cake on a serving plate.
  16. Frost the top of the layer and sprinkle with pecans and toasted coconut.
  17. Place the second layer on top of the first.
  18. Frost the top and sides of the cake.
  19. Sprinkle the top and sides of the cake with pecan pieces and toasted coconut.
  20. Store chilled due to the cream cheese frosting.

20160215 Pecan Cake 01

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Cheddar Twice-Baked Potatoes

February 25, 2016

20160222 Cheddar Potato

We are always looking for new ways to make a potato. D hadn’t had twice-baked potatoes before, and I have fond memories of them making a regular appearance on my family’s dinner table growing up. They are a fun way to combine baked potatoes with the deliciousness of mashed potatoes.

You will need:

  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/3 c sour cream
  • 1/4 c milk
  • 1/2 c cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Scrub the potatoes. Place on the lined baking sheet.
  3. Lightly coat the potatoes with the olive oil and some salt and pepper on all sides.
  4. Bake for 60 minutes, flipping every 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven.
  6. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise to create two long halves.
  7. Scoop the middle of the potatoes into a medium mixing bowl. Leave enough in the shell so that you can still move the shell without tearing it. Transfer the shells bake to the baking sheet.
  8. Add the butter, sour cream and milk to the potato and mash together until smooth, light and fluffy.
  9. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  10. Add the filling into the shells.
  11. Bake another 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden.
  12. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

 

 

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Walnut Coffee Cake

February 18, 2016

 

20160122 Walnut Coffee Cake 03D and I enjoy coffee cake, especially when we are having a quiet weekend at home. This one has a lovely layer of cinnamon and walnuts in the middle that works well with the nutmeg-spiced cake batter.

You will need:

  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 c sugar, divided
  • 1 T + 1/2 t ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 c walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 c butter, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 1/2 c yogurt (plain or vanilla)

 

 

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter a bundt pan liberally.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar with 1/2 cup of the sugar, the walnuts, and 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter with the remaining 1 1/4 cups of sugar until lightly and fluffy.
  4. Whisk in the eggs until light and creamy.
  5. Whisk in the vanilla, nutmeg, remaining cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  6. Mix in the flour and yogurt, alternating, until smooth.
  7. Spread 1/3 of the topping on the bottom of the bundt pan.
  8. Top with half of the batter
  9. Top with the remaining topping.
  10. Spread the remaining batter on top.
  11. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean. It should be golden.
  12. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to continue cooling.
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Prosciutto and Rosemary Potato au Gratin

February 10, 2016

This is a treat of a side dish: cheesy potatoes au gratin mixed in with caramelized onions, rosemary and crispy prosciutto will warm you up from the inside out.

You will need:

  • 8 red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 T fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 4 oz prosciutto, roughly chopped
  • 1 c cheddar, shredded
  • 1 c mozzarella, shredded
  • 3/4 c Parmesan, shredded
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 c milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

20160118 Potato Gratin 02.JPG

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and rosemary and lower the heat to medium-low. Allow the onions to caramelize, stirring occasionally for the next 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. Saute the prosciutto in the same skillet until crispy. Turn off the heat.
  5. Remove the prosciutto from skillet and set aside.
  6. Layer about half of the potatoes along the skillet bottom.
  7. Top with half of the onions, prosciutto and cheese.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Create another layer with the remaining potatoes.
  10. Top with the remaining onions and prosciutto.
  11. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Pour the cream and milk over the top.
  13. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  14. Season with salt and pepper.
  15. Cover the skillet with aluminum foil.
  16. Bake for about 75-90 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender to a fork.
  17. Remove from the oven and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
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Baked Oatmeal-Cranberry Apples

February 4, 2016

We used to have baked apples as an afternoon school snack; it was a treat best enjoyed in the fall and winter on a cool day. This variant can be prepped ahead of time and then popped in the oven just before you want them. If you have extra filling and topping, don’t fret! Place it in a little baking dish and cook alongside the apples to get a mini apple crisp.

You will need:

  • 4 apples (I used honeycrisp)
  • 4 T unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 c brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 c walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 4 T flour
  • 1/4 c old-fashioned oats
  • Pinch of salt

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil.
  2. Using a spoon, core and scoop out the middle of each apple. You want to leave at least a 1/4 inch of the sides left and no more than a 1/2 inch from the bottom. This will create a shell to fill and bake.
  3. Discard the seeds and pieces with core. Cut off any peel from the apple bits.
  4. In a small sauce pan, combine the apple bits with 2 tablespoons of the butter, 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon, the nutmeg, walnuts and cranberries.
  5. Heat over medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes. The apple should be tender and most juice cooked off. Remove from heat.
  6. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, oats, remaining brown sugar, salt and remaining cinnamon.
  7. Cut the remaining two tablespoons of butter into rough pieces. Cut the butter into the dry ingredient mixture until it is integrated and crumbly.
  8. Fill the apple shells with the apple-walnut filling.
  9. Top generously with the crumb topping.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the topping is golden and crispy.
  11. Serve warm with a little ice cream (or even fresh cream or yogurt!).

20160118 Baked Apple 01.JPG

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