Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Green Velvet Cake

This weekend was the celebration of mine and my father's birthday, which was on St. Patrick's Day. My dad's favorite cake is Red Velvet, but I thought I'd change it up slightly by making a green velvet cake with cream cheese icing. It was quite good, though my husband seems to think that eating green food is a big disconcerting. Though it was just him that thought so.


2-1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup softened butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 - 1 oz bottle green food coloring
2 tsp vanilla

2 - 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 cup softened butter
4 tsp vanilla
8 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat Butter and sugar in a bowl until creamed.
Beat Eggs in one at a time.
Mix in sour cream, milk and vanilla.
Slowly add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
Add food coloring, beat until mixed through.

Be careful that food coloring will stain your clothes!
After you mix it all together pour into 2 - 9 inch pie pans.
Bake 20 - 25 minutes.

In the meantime let's make some icing!
Cream together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Make sure it's nice and mixed then slowly add the powdered sugar add enough to get the desired consistency. This is a double batch of icing, that a way there is plenty for the center and to ice the cake.
This is my favorite frosting right now! It is so yummy!

(Ok so this isn't the greatest picture!)
After both cakes cool completely use a cake leveler to level off both cakes.
Put the icing on the leveled top of the first cake then flip the other cake over, so the bottom is on the top.

Then you just ice the cake like regular.
I tried to do a shell border and zig-zag on the top, but I was rushing and trying to finish it. It turned out alright I suppose!
Cut in and enjoy!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Apple Loaf

Ok, so this is a yeast bread, and it was a bit daunting. I've never made a yeast bread, so why not try it now! It's some work, it didn't rise as much as I thought it would or as fluffy as I'd like but it was pretty good, it smells really good cooking. This is good at breakfast with a large cup of milk or dunk it in some coffee. It makes 2 loaves and it could use some more sweet to it. Maybe your experiment will turn out perfectly.


(For Bread)
2 (1/4 oz) active dry yeast pkgs
1/4 cup warm water around 110 degrees
1/2 cup warm milk (110 degrees)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp salt
4-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

(For Filling)
1/4 cup softened butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1-1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground allspice
4 cups (4-5) organic thinly sliced peeled tart apple

(For Icing)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp clear vanilla
2 Tbsp orange juice

Ok so empty your packets and warm water into a large bowl and let the yeast dissolve.
Add the milk, butter, eggs, sugar, salt and 2 cups of flour. Beat those on low speed until mixed well. Slowly start adding the rest of the flour together. When it gets nice and doughy put on your silpat mat and knead four 6-10 minutes until it's soft and elasticy.

In large greased bowl put your dough in and then turn it over so it's greased up.
Cover it put it in the fridge for 2 hours.
Then "punch" down the dough and stick it back in the fridge overnight.

So take out the dough divide it in half then roll out your dough into a rectangle type shape about 13x10 on a greased baking pan.

Spread 2 Tbsp of butter into the center of the rectangle.
Do this to both loaves.

In a separate large bowl mix together all of the filing ingredients (except apples).
After it's all mixed together throw your apples in the bowl and cover them with the powder.
Take out the apples line on each of your loaves (over the spread butter).

Cut on each side 1/2 inch strips all the way down the long sides of the dough.
"Braid" the dough in a diagonal pattern over the apples.
Cover the loaves and let them rise (about an hour)
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
(Mine didn't rise right)

While the loaves are cooling slightly, go ahead and mix together the ingredients for the icing.
An easy way to do the drizzle is put the icing in a sandwich bag cut a small part off the edge and drizzle.
There you go yum. Good luck! I hope it turns out better than mine!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

St. Patrick's Day often comes and goes without people giving it much thought. St. Patrick's Day has always been a little more than just a holiday for me, growing up. It just so happens to be my birthday and my father's as well. So, I decided to make something for this St. Patrick's day as well. I actually had originally planned to make a plain chocolate cupcake with butter cream icing, but then I thought I hadn't made carrot cake in a while. This carrot cake is a hodgepodge of several recipes and it is really, really great and the cream cheese frosting is always a classic and so yummy.

Unfortunately there were a few casualties during the making of these cupcakes; my stand-mixer's motor gave way before I could get the carrots in. Then my carrot peeler died, so I had to use a knife to peel the carrots it was an interesting experience. However, everything turned out really well. I shredded my own carrots, which gives the cupcakes an extra freshness.

(For cup cakes)
2 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
1 c canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
4 c shredded carrots (don't use the pre-shredded bags)

(For Icing)

6 oz cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup butter (softened)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
4 - 6 cups powdered sugar

(Other Items)
Cupcake Liners (Shamrock or Green Liners)
Wilton Color Spray in Green
Green Sugar Sprinkles
Wilton 1M Decorating Tip
Decorating Bag

First preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Then beat the eggs until they get foamy.

Next add oil, in a small stream, slowly.
Then gradually add all of the dry ingredients.
Add vanilla.

Then add your (hand) shredded carrots and fold them into the mixture.

Aren't these cupcake holders just cute (you'll need 24 of them).

Fill your cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full. Then bake for 18-2- minutes.
While you're waiting for your cupcakes cool, you can start making your icing. (You can tell when your oven leans when your cupcakes are a little lopsided)

In a medium to large mixing bowl you'll beat together everything except for the sugar. Mix it together until it's nice and smooth.
Add sugar in slowly (I only used 5 cups), if you add it too fast you'll get a face full of a sugar cloud. Continue to add sugar until the frosting is the consistency you are looking for.
Put your icing into your bag (that already has the tip) and in a spiraling movement frost the cupcakes (There is just enough for all 24 cupcakes).

After that's all done you'll spray the tops of the cupcakes with the spray in a circular motion and then sprinkle with the ... sprinkles.

These are great and I hope you enjoy them as much as my family did!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Best Ever Baked Beans

I must say, I've made a lot of different baked beans trying to find the kind that would make my husband happy. This is one I found and changed it almost entirely. So, not only does my husband love it, but I get random requests for these at functions. It makes a lot and doesn't look all that pretty, but it will make you very full and happy.

1 sweet onion
55 oz can of bush's baked beans (original)
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup mustard
2-1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
Bacon (I use turkey bacon)

First you'll want to coarsely chop your onion. (Now I have a no tear technique, I chop the onion quickly and never have watery eyes) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

You will then mix all your ingredients in a separate large bowl, it doesn't look pretty, but the end results are great. (I always remove the bacon that comes in the Bush's can)

This is the all mixed up version. You'll then pour this in a 2.5 quart dish.

I know this bacon looks funny, but its turkey bacon and I personally like the flavor this adds. You'll put enough bacon slices to cover the top of the dish. Then you'll bake for 45 minutes.

After your beans are done, they'll be boiling around the bacon edges. Throw out the bacon and enjoy!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lemon Bread

When I think of Lemon Bread, I cringe a little. I am not a fan of citrus, orange juice is even a little to acidic for me. So, I saw this and thought I'd give it a try. I wouldn't call it lemon bread really. It's almost more of a cake texture with some lemon glaze. To be more specific it's like a pound cake, it's moist, it's easy to make and it's pretty tasty. PLUS the lemon flavor is not too overwhelming.

Ok let's start of with those ingredients:

For the 'bread':

1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 salt
3/4 cup milk

For the Glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp grated lemon peel
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Ok, let's start with creaming together the sugar and shortening, until it's pretty fluffy. (Sorry, the lighting in my kitchen is quite bad).

Then you'll add your eggs, one at a time. You should add one egg, then wait until it's all mixed in then add the other. It makes it a little smoother.

Then you'll want to combine your flower, baking powder and salt. Add that into your mixing bowl alternating with milk. You should always start and end with your dry ingredients.

You'll then add your mixture to your loaf pan (mine was a little large) the website says use a 9x4 inch pan though. Prior to pouring you should spray down you pan with some Baker's Joy.

You'll cook it for 45 minutes at 350 degrees or until it tests done. (you can see my little test spot in the picture here).

While the loaf is cooking go ahead and start your glaze. Pour your sugar in a small bowl along with 2 Tbsp of Lemon Juice. With a microplane grater you'll zest your lemon peel. I just eyeball it and zest it into the bowl.

While the loaf is warm (and still in the pan) pour the glaze over the loaf and try and spread it evenly. Let it cool then remove it from the pan and enjoy!