Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
These were almost too decadent, if that is possible. Don't worry, we managed. The whole point of these is to mimic the sticky goodness of brown sugar caramel buns but with chocolate. Next time I would like them just as well without the topping; I mean, they're still chocolate cinnamon buns! And super, super yummy either way.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Not that I'm knocking regular doughnuts, or even saying these are better. But they are easier to make at home - as simple as cupcakes or muffins. And they do cut some of the bad-for-you stuff. Now that I've tried these, and know they work, I'm excited to try other possibilities, like a favorite muffin batter - does it transfer? Or a doughnut recipe that is usually fried - can I just pipe it in a pan and bake it? Or can I make something super healthy, like a bran muffin, bake it in doughnut shape and put sprinkles on it and my kids will eat it? Will I eat it? All in good time; we shall see.Vanilla Cake Donuts
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- For powdered donuts, place 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar in a sifter and gently sift over cooled vanilla donuts. Flip and cover the other side with sugar.
- For cinnamon sugar donuts, toss still-warm vanilla donuts in cinnamon-sugar to coat.
- For white-frosted donuts, in a small bowl combine 1 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 T of milk. (I also add vanilla extract but that will make it beige. You could flavor it with orange, lemon, coconut, peppermint, maple extract or anything your heart desires. Even food coloring for a holiday or for fun.) Add a little more milk if it's too thick to stir. Dip cooled donuts into bowl and allow excess frosting to drip back into bowl. Transfer to rack. Top with sprinkles, coconut, or mini chocolate chips.
- For chocolate-frosted donuts, combine 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 T unsweetened cocoa powder and about 2 T milk. Stir until smooth. Dip cooled donuts into bowl and allow excess frosting to drip back into bowl. Transfer to rack. Top with sprinkles, coconut or mini chocolate chips.
Recipe from Family Circle, April 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
I worried because the cake and buttercream weren't very sweet, but since the jam is, the final product is perfecto. I am still kind of blown away by the meringue buttercream. I'd never made anything like it; I was suspicious. But Little Miss Famous Baker Dorie Greenspan really came through and I am a believer. However, I DO NOT know how her photographer got perfect pictures in the cookbook because after slicing through four layers, it's going to be smeary. They probably used styrofoam and glue, but MY pictures are real!
Monday, April 12, 2010
Drool. I skimmed the rest of the article. My tummy grumbled. I quick-checked the ingredient list - oh my gosh, I have all that! - and the directions to make sure there was nothing time-consuming or tricky - oh my gosh, are they that easy? A quick check of the clock told me I had time - I could have these biscuits TONIGHT! So we did. And just as the author claimed, they were craggy, pillowy, moist, golden clouds. Heaven. Heaven I tell you!
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and softened
4 T vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Makes 6 big ol' biscuits. They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
It's Grandmother's birthday and Granddad loves her so much he wants to make her a Whopper Cake! So he sends her away for the day, dons a big apron, and gets out the recipe. He soon decides this recipe is just too limiting and begins to make it up as he goes along, throwing in bags of flour, boxes of cocoa, dozens of eggs. Soon it becomes too big for the bowl so he moves it to the pick-up bed. And so on. The illustrations are as charming as the rhyming story and Granddad himself. It's especially fun for a baking family like ours. We gave it to my Mom for her birthday this year.
At the end of the book, Granddad provides a real recipe for Whopper Cake, one that will actually fit in a 9x13 pan. We've been meaning to try the recipe for awhile, so when Hazel requested chocolate cake for dessert for a recent Family Home Evening she was in charge of, well, Whopper Cake seemed just the thing to make.
When I took my first bite, the first word to come to mind was, velvet. The second was fudge. If that doesn't recommend it, I don't know what will.
Chocolate Pan Frosting
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup butter
1 cup very hot water
1 cup buttermilk
1 T vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups white sugar
3 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon, optional (in the spirit of Granddad, I just added it in for a little something extra)
1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan, or else, Granddad says, "the cake will stick to it like a bear's nose to honey!"
2. Mix cocoa powder, butter and hot water until all the lumps are gone. I sifted my cocoa powder to avoid those hard lumps it sometimes gets. Next add the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and stir until light and creamy.
3. Sift all dry ingredients together, then add to batter and mix for at least 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pan.
4. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool, then frost with your favorite frosting. Serve "piled high with heaps of fresh vanilla ice cream!"
Granddad didn't provide a frosting recipe, so I used one of my favorites that I don't think I've posted before.
8 T butter
4 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup whole milk
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1. Place butter in a medium saucepan and melt over low heat, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cocoa powder and milk. Let the mixture come just to a boil, stirring, and then remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the confectioners' sugar until the frosting is thickened and smooth.
2. Pour the warm frosting over the top of a cooled cake, spreading it with a spatula so that it reaches all sides of the cake. Work quickly because this frosting goes on best while still warm. Makes 4 cups, enough to frost a 2 or 3 layer cake.Cake recipe from:
Frosting recipe from The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
I looked at Trader Joe's for Meyer lemons - sometimes they have them- but they didn't this time so I went with regular lemons. Be sure to only trim the tip off so it sits flat; do not cut all the way through the rind or else you won't have a cup for your souffle once it's hollowed (and a grapefruit spoon is almost a must for that task.) Also, Martha thinks she's so clever saying to serve these immediately, but that's totally impractical if you're having company. If you were to serve them immediately you would have spent the previous hour or so in the kitchen instead of eating dinner with your friends. It is flexible - if you served them within an hour or so they would be fine.Little Lemon Souffles
8 large lemons, preferably Meyer