Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

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Cranberry Nut Cake

November 4, 2019

This buttermilk cake studded with fresh cranberries and white chocolate and full of ground walnuts. I loved the combination of sharp tartness, creamy sweetness, and nuttiness.

20181229 Cranberry Chocolate Cake 04

You will need:

  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 8 T unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t ground cardamom
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 c buttermilk (substitute: combine 1 T lemon juice with cup of milk and let sit for 5 minutes; stir and use)
  • 1/2 c walnuts, finely ground
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 c white chocolate chips
  • 3 T cinnamon sugar

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and 8 or 9-inch springform and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugars with the orange zest to release the orange oils.
  3. Cream the butter into the sugar mixture.
  4. Mix in the egg, vanilla, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon and salt.
  5. Mix in the buttermilk, ground walnuts, and flour.
  6. Fold in the cranberries and white chocolate
  7. Spread in the pan and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  8. Bake 45-60 minutes, until golden and set in the middle.
  9. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

20181229 Cranberry Chocolate Cake 02

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Pumpkin Cake

October 21, 2019

The weather has turned crisp. The leaves are changing colors, and pumpkins keep popping up on front steps. It’s perfect weather for ooey, gooey desserts.

You will need:

  • 7.5 oz (1/2 can) canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/4 c butter, melted
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 t ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 2/3 + 1/2 c brown sugar, divided
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 c chopped pecans
  • 1 1/2 c boiling water

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×9 baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, milk, butter, vanilla, 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  3. Mix in flour, 2/3 cup of the brown sugar, and the baking soda.
  4. Spread in the prepared pan.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 t of cinnamon, 1/2 c brown sugar, and the pecans.
  6. Sprinkle the pecan mixture on top of the batter.
  7. Pour the boiling water on top.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes. The center will be set, but there should be a softer layer underneath.
  9. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. This softer layer will make a delicious sauce for the cake when you scoop it out.

20191016 Pumpkin Cake 02

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Sour Cream Blueberry Coffee Cake

August 11, 2019

20190728 Sour Cream Blueberry Coffee Cake

I am a sucker for coffee cake, and summer is such a sweet time for blueberries. I love the crunchy exterior of this coffee cake and hope you do too!

You will need:

  • 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 t ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries (or 1 c frozen blueberries)
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a nonstick Bundt pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter together with the sugar and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar. 
  3. Beat in the eggs.
  4. Then beat in the sour cream, vanilla, 1 teaspoon of the ground cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
  5. Beat in the flour until just blended.
  6. Fold in the blueberries.
  7. Gently spread a third of the batter into the prepared Bundt pan.
  8. In a small mixing bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar with the remaining teaspoon of cinnamon and the pecans.
  9. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the batter. Using a knife, gently swirl the mixture into the batter.
  10. Gently spread the remaining batter in the pan.
  11. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes. Tester should come out clean.
  12. Allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before inverting to remove from the pan.
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S’mores Cookie Bars

May 23, 2019

What’s not to love about graham crackers, chocolate and gooey marshmallow? These are simply delicious cookie bars that come together quickly and disappear almost as fast.

You will need:

  • 1 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 c graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 7 oz container marshmallow fluff
  • 1 1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips

20190426 Smores Bars 02

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil and lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth and integrated.
  3. Mix in the vanilla and eggs.
  4. Mix in the cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
  5. Mix in the graham cracker crumbs and flour.
  6. Spread a touch more than half of the dough in the prepared pan.
  7. Spoon drops of fluff on top of the dough; try to spread as much as possible given the stickiness.
  8. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the fluff.
  9. Spread the remaining dough on top.
  10. Bake 35-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bars are set.
  11. Allow to cool in the pan.

20190426 Smores Bars 03

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Strawberry Bunny Cake

April 11, 2019

Growing up, my grandparents made a Bunny Cake every Easter. I recall being dazzled by the cake year after year. It was always so special looking…plus it was served on an extra big tray (and what little kid doesn’t get excited about that?!). This past Easter my mom and I made one at my house. We baked, frosted, and covered it with coconut the evening before. Then my mom added some fresh fruit to make the bunny face before serving. It was a huge hit with the whole family (and inspired some pretty wide toddler eyes too!).

20180331 Bunny Cake 02

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1 c milk, room temperature
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 3/4 c all purpose flour
  • 3 c hulled and chopped strawberries
  • Favorite white frosting (we used two containers of whipped vanilla frosting from the store)
  • 14 oz sweetened coconut flakes
  • Berries for decorating (we used strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)

20180331 Bunny Cake 04

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and grease with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the vanilla and eggs until smooth and well blended.
  4. Mix in the milk, baking powder and salt until well combined.
  5. Mix in the flour and beat until smooth.
  6. Fold the chopped strawberries into the batter.
  7. Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out mostly clean. The sides should be have begun to come away from the pan.
  9. Cook the cakes on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  10. Turn the cakes out from the pans and remove the parchment paper lining.
  11. Allow to cool completely on the wire racks.
  12. Cut one of the cakes into two ears and a bowtie(the cake between the “ears” will become the bowtie; see the first photo above).
  13. Set the cakes on a large serving platter (in a pinch, you can use a large foam board covered in plastic wrap).
  14. Frost with your favorite frosting.
  15. Sprinkle coconut on top and gently press it into the frosting.
  16. Just before serving, decorate with fresh fruit to make the bunny’s face.

 

20180401 Bunny Cake

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Cranberry Cake

December 31, 2018

I am loving cooking with my toddler. He was very excited to help with this cake, and we all loved that it was not ultra sweet. The cranberries and lemon make it a very bright cake, even for the winter.

You will need:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries, picked through to discard any that have gone soft
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Approx. 1 c powdered sugar

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the eggs, vanilla, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  4. Mix in half of the flour and the sour cream.
  5. Mix in the remaining flour.
  6. Fold in the cranberries.
  7. Spread into the prepared bundt pan.
  8. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until golden on the sides. A tester in the middle should come out clean.
  9. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.
  10. Allow to cool another 15 minutes before icing.
  11. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest and juice with the powdered sugar to make a smooth glaze. Drizzle over the cake before serving.

20181125 Cranberry Cake 03

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Pecan Snowball Cookies

December 24, 2018

20181223 Pecan Snowballs

These cookies require a little bit of work, because you add a smidge of jam on the inside. However, the work adds a sweet surprise when you bit into each cookie. Yum! This makes about 18 cookies.

You will need:

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 c powdered sugar
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 c pecans, finely chopped
  • 2 T milk
  • ~1/4 c of your favorite jam
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar

Then you will…

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter with the powdered sugar.
  2. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  3. Mix in a pinch of salt, the flour, and the chopped pecans.
  4. Stir in the milk, so the dough comes together.
  5. Form a ball with the dough and slightly flatten to form a disk.
  6. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for two hours.
  7. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  8. Roll dough into two-inch balls.
  9. Cut each ball in half and use your little finger to make a small indentation in both sides.
  10. Add about 1/4 t of your favorite jam to each dough ball, split between the two sides.
  11. Reseal with your fingers.
  12. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden on the bottom.
  13. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then roll in powdered sugar.
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