Thursday, December 25, 2014

Classic Southern Caramel Cake





I was very ambitious and made this cake for Christmas. The cake turned out very well. Everyone loved it. I did a few things differently though, I didn’t have light brown sugar, I used dark brown instead, didn’t have self rising flour only Arcade my own self rising. Everything turned out fine.

Recipe >> Classic Southern Caramel Cake @ basilandbubbly.com

Monday, December 22, 2014

Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins




The perfect combination of spicy pumpkin and dreamy cheesecake married together in a bite-sized muffin.  It's the treat you've been waiting for!

These soft muffins with a saucy swirl of cheesecake make for the perfect treat to bring to all of your holiday gatherings.  Whether your into jumbo muffins, or bite-sized minis, these muffins are sure to be an instant hit !


Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

MUFFINS:
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (200g) cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

FILLING:
  • 8 ounces (200g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 5 tablespoons (75g) sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans) (optional)

Muffins:

Preheat oven to 350F (180C)

Mix canned pumpkin, oil, and sugar together, either by hand or with a mixer on low.
Add in eggs, one at a time, combining thoroughly after each.
Add vanilla.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

Slowly add flour mixture to liquids, combining thoroughly and scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula until well combined.

Filling:

Mix together cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla until well combined.

Assemble:

Grease your muffin tins or line with paper cups.

Drop in spoonfuls of pumpkin mixture.
Add smaller spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture on top.
Swirl with a skewer.

Optional:  top with crushed nuts.  Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are also a great topping!

Bake:

Bake as follows, turning the tins half way through baking times:

mini muffins: 20-25 min
standard muffins: 25-30 min
jumbo muffins: 30-40 min


Wasn't that easy?

Enjoy!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Soft & Thick Snickerdoodles






Made these for a holiday party with my family — everyone went NUTS! They. Are. So. Good. A little crispy on the outside, perfectly chewy and soft on the inside. I also substituted in 1 cup whole wheat flour, and it added a really nice flavor and texture. These are perfection — snickerdoodles aren’t even my kind of cookies (I’m more of a funfetti chocolate chip girl). Oh, forgot to add, I made them for a holiday party, but my family ATE THEM ALL beforehand so I had to make a second batch — the recipe is so easy and fast though, I didn’t even mind! You’ve gotta make these….right now..

Recipe >> Soft & Thick Snickerdoodles @ sallysbakingaddiction.com

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hottokēki (Japanese Hot Cake)




The Hubs and I just devoured a plate of these delicious cakes. I used buttermilk and a banana in the batter and topped mine with a honey and mixed berry compote. Let them eat cake! Amazing recipe! I may never eat pancakes again!

Recipe >> Hottokēki (Japanese Hot Cake) @ goodatcooking.net

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls Recipe





Hello my Christmas recipe loving foodies! Tonight, we are making another recipe near and dear to my heart. Each year, while I lived with my best friend, my sister-in-law, we always psyched ourselves up for the Christmas season. We knew that when the time rolled around, we would be making peanut butter balls. It was a tradition. The first time we made them, the chocolate was perfectly melted. It was magical! The second time, the chocolate was very difficult. There were other times we made them, but those two times are the times that stick out to me. We made a great team, and I hope you and your family can find the same enjoyment and feelings of doing something as a family as we did! Now that I don't live with my big sister, I wanted to do something to remember the great holiday times. This will be my first holiday without her. This recipe is for you, Jei Jei!

Just a note…I was having a bit of a sticky issue when making the balls, but if anyone else has a problem you can just solve it by using some powdered sugar on your hands…like dipping your cookie cutters in flour…same effect.

Recipe >> Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls Recipe @ momfabulous.com

Cinnamon Roll Cake





So I made the cake and it is VERY good! Perfect with a hot cup of coffee. I made a couple of mistakes – 1) of adding one too many Tablespoons of cinnamon, but really, I love cinnamon so it was a good mistake (lol) and 2) I didn’t measure the powdered sugar – tried eyeballing the two cups, but clearly it wasn’t enough. The glaze wasn’t thick enough like this photo but i think its still amazing.

This one is a keeper.

Recipe >> Cinnamon Roll Cake @ lilluna.com

Salami and Cream Cheese Roll-ups

My favorite late night indulgence is salami and cream cheese on crackers. Salty cured sausage, sweet creamy cheese, crisp buttery crackers, served with a refreshing chilled beverage...doesn't get much better than that! However there are a few problems translating this delicious little snack into the ideal appetizer for a crowd. The traditional method of applying cream cheese to the cracker and adding a piece of salami results in a soggy cracker if left in the refrigerator for any length of time. The sodden cracker was the most important hurdle to overcome, but then came the painstaking effort and endless trials I had to put myself and the family through to get the salami to cheese ratio just right. Somehow we endured and these addictive little roll-ups have solved all the problems inherent to serving these tasty tidbits to guests, as a bonus they came out rather beautiful in the process.  Feel free to add additional ingredients to/instead of the green pepper, such as jalapeno, shredded cheddar, thinly sliced swiss, or hot pepper cheese depending on your mood.

 



The three ingredients needed are raw, no actual cooking involved, but you will need a good sharp knife to cut the rolls. When entertaining I make up the roll 1-3 days ahead and on the day of the party I slice them thin and stack them in rows between wax paper, returning them to the refrigerator. To serve, I line a platter with crackers and then simply lay a sliced roll on each, they can be stacked pretty high with this method and it makes an impressive display. This keeps the crackers fresh and crisp but also makes assembly super quick and easy. Each roll will make between 55-70 crackers.

Salami and Cream Cheese Roll-ups

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 -3/4 pounds salami sliced thin (thinner is better as it rolls easier)
  • 1/2 green pepper, thinly sliced


Directions:

Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap on the work surface. Place the cream cheese on top of the plastic wrap and cover with another piece of wrap the same size.  With a rolling pin roll the cream cheese out into an even layer, approximately 1/4-inch thick. Watch the edges of the cream cheese as it rolls out because the top wrap can work its way under the cheese. To avoid this, occasionally pull the wrap off and replace it to continue rolling the cheese into a rectangle.

Remove the top layer of plastic wrap and add the salami, overlapping the slices until all the cream cheese is covered, lightly press the salami into the cream cheese to make it stick. Replace the plastic wrap and carefully flip the salami and cheese so that the cream cheese is again on top.  Remove the wrap and place the sliced green peppers over the cheese.

Roll the salami over the cream cheese being careful not to leave any air space (this make it harder to cut later) and use the plastic wrap to pull it tight as you work. Roll the meat log and press the outer layers tight to hold it all together.  Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate 4-6 hours or overnight (it can be cut without chilling, but the longer it chills the easier it is to cut.)  Cut the meat slices thin, taste one on a cracker, as large crackers may need a thicker slice, while smaller crackers will need one cut thinner. Enjoy with your favorite beverage.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Chocolate Coconut Pecan Pie





I made this recipe for Thanksgiving. It was absolutely wonderful. I followed the filling recipe exactly as written, but I used a store-bought crust. I would definitely make this again and I wouldn’t change anything about it. It was rich, decadent, chocolatey, and delicious.

Recipe >> Chocolate Coconut Pecan Pie @ bakerbynature.com

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pineapple Whip





I made this, was really good, but made it with almond milk the first time, and with soy almond the second. I have a “Bullet” blender, the new one with the ice shaver blade which works well for this.

But I cut down on the amounts so it wasn’t so much at a time though, more like a single serving size and added some vanilla protein powder to it too. It actually mixed well, nice and thick! I also made my last one with some frozen mango, added a little more tropical flavor to it, tasted really good too! I used trivia instead of honey though? No extra calories added that way. I enjoyed it so much! I’ll be making it all summer long, and even through the winter! Maybe I’ll add some more and different fruit too it and see what I can come up with.

Recipe >> Pineapple Whip @ detoxinista.com

Pineapple Cheesecake





It's super light and creamy, made with cream cheese, whipped topping, and a packet of gelatin.

Pineapple Cheesecake

Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients:
  • 30 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (about 1 cup)
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 env. KNOX Unflavored Gelatine
  • 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, drained with juice reserved, divided
  • 3 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed

Directions:

Mix wafer crumbs, butter and cinnamon; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.
Sprinkle gelatine over reserved pineapple juice in small saucepan; let stand 1 min. Cook on low heat 3 min. or until gelatine is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Gradually beat in gelatine mixture until blended. Refrigerate 30 min. or until slightly thickened.
Whisk pineapple and COOL WHIP into cream cheese mixture; pour over crust. Refrigerate 5 hours.

Cannoli Poke Cake





This cake was delicious, but the topping was much too runny, even after sitting in the fridge. I followed the recipe exactly, and then added extra powdered sugar when I saw how soupy the topping was, but I think in the future I would either strain the ricotta first or else greatly decrease the proportion of ricotta to mascarpone. Maybe I just used a particularly runny brand of ricotta, but that was definitely what made the topping too thin.
It was a bit of a sloppy mess, but it tasted great!

Recipe >> Cannoli Poke Cake @ lifeloveandsugar.com

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Triple-Chocolate Cheesecake




Triple-Chocolate Cheesecake

Yields one 9-inch cake

For the crust:
  • 1-1/2 cups very finely crushed chocolate cookie crumbs (I use about 30 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee granules or espresso powder
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature (I use Philadelphia)
  • 3 Tbs. natural, unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

TIP:
Melt chocolate in the microwave

This shortcut is a great alternative to the traditional method of melting chocolate in a double boiler. Microwaves vary greatly, so you may need to adjust the timing to suit your machine. Put the finely chopped chocolate in a wide, shallow bowl and heat it in the microwave on high or medium high until it just starts to melt, about a minute. Give the chocolate a good stir and microwave it again until it’s almost completely melted, about another 15 to 30 seconds. Remove the bowl and continue stirring until the chocolate is completely melted.

Make the crust: Heat the oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon (if using) until blended. Drizzle with the melted butter and mix until well blended and the crumbs are evenly moist. Dump the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides of the pan (to press, use plastic wrap, a straight-sided, flat-based coffee mug, or a tart tamper). Bake for 10 minutes and set on a wire rack to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.

Make the filling and bake: Mix the sour cream, vanilla, and coffee granules in a small bowl. Set aside and stir occasionally until the coffee dissolves.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat (or in a microwave; see the tip at right). Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, cocoa powder, and salt until very smooth and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl and paddle frequently (and with each subsequent addition). Add the sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth. Scrape the cooled chocolate into the bowl; beat until blended. Beat in the sour cream mixture until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just blended. (Don’t overbeat the filling once the eggs have been added or the cheesecake will puff too much.) Pour the filling over the cooled crust, spread evenly, and smooth the top. Bake at 300°F until the center barely jiggles when nudged, 50 to 60 minutes. The cake will be slightly puffed, with a few little cracks around the edge. Let cool to room temperature on a rack and then refrigerate until well chilled, at least a few hours, or overnight for the best texture and flavor. (This cake freezes well, too: Put the unmolded cake in the freezer, uncovered, until the top is cold and firm, and then wrap it in two layers of plastic and one layer of foil.)

To serve: Unclasp the pan’s ring, remove it, and run a long, thin metal spatula under the bottom crust. Carefully slide the cake onto a flat serving plate. Run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and cut the cake into slices, heating and wiping the knife as needed.

Lemon VeIvet Cake




I made this recipe for a birthday cake for my mother in law this weekend. Everyone loved it! This will now be my go to recipe for lemon cake.

The cake was tender in texture and flavourful. I did substitute the lemon extract with a lemon baking emulsion though. I multiplied the recipe 1.5 times and got two 2″ high 8″ rounds. The cake held up well to being covered in ganache and fondant. I’m looking forward to trying to stack cakes with this recipe, and the other variations. .

Recipe >> Lemon Velvet Cake @ RockRecipes.com

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Buttermilk Pound Cake





This cake came out perfectly! I’m always looking for a new cake recipe, especially bundt cake. I’ve baked this two times already and it was a hit both times. The first one I topped with powdered sugar and the second I topped with homemade whipped frosting. I love that its a simple recipe with only a few ingredients. This will be a part of my favorite recipe collection.

Recipe >> Buttermilk Pound Cake R @ Chocolatechocolateandmore.com

Peanut Butter Pound Cake



Sometimes there is nothing better than a glass of milk and a slice of pound cake. A pound cake's dense texture can satisfy almost anyone's sweet tooth.

Pound cakes are one of my favorite desserts to make because they are usually not too sweet and a small piece goes a long way. They are also easy to take to parties and are always a crowd pleaser.

Peanut butter is another favorite of mine, and many other people, and peanut butter pound cake makes for one of the best treats you will ever eat.

This recipe produces a dense, not too sweet, pound cake that packs plenty of peanut butter flavor. It is also rich and moist.

For a simple, traditional pound cake, just sprinkle some powdered sugar on top and serve. For even more peanut butter flavor, add a peanut butter frosting. For those of you who love peanut butter and chocolate together, add chocolate to the frosting for a taste that can't be beaten.

Whichever way you choose to serve this cake, you will not be disappointed.

Peanut Butter Pound Cake

Yields: 12 - 16 slices


Ingredients:
  •     1 cup butter, softened
  •     2 cups sugar
  •     1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  •     1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
  •     5 eggs, room temperature
  •     1 tbsp vanilla
  •     3 cups flour, all purpose
  •     1/2 tsp baking powder
  •     1/2 tsp salt
  •     1/4 tsp baking soda
  •     1 cup milk, whole or low fat

Directions:
  1.     Preheat the oven to 325°. Prepare a large tube or bundt pan by greasing and flouring it. Set pan aside. Update: A couple people have commented that their cake overflowed while baking. This recipe makes a large cake and I used a large tube pan. Only fill your bundt/tube pan up about 3/4 full. Don't let the extra batter go to waste though, make some muffins or a small loaf.
  2.     In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  3.     On medium speed, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the brown sugar and peanut butter and continue mixing. Add the eggs, one at a time. Wait until one egg is fully mixed in before adding the next one. Add vanilla.
  4.     Add the dry ingredients and the milk to the creamed mixture. Alternate between the flour mixture and the milk, using about a fourth of the ingredient at a time. Always begin and end with the dry ingredients. Mix completely.
  5.     Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60 - 70 minutes. Start checking to see if it is done at 60 minutes using a wooden toothpick. Continue checking every 5 minutes to make sure it does not overcook. When the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.
  6.     Remove from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then remove it from the cake pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
  7.     Dust with powdered sugar or frost as desired.
  8.     Note that this recipe makes a large cake. For smaller pound cakes, use loaf pans or even mini bundt cake molds. Adjust the cooking time accordingly since they will not need as much time to bake.

Peanut Butter Frosting Recipe

Ingredients:
  •     1/2 cup butter, softened
  •     1 cup peanut butter, creamy
  •     2 cups powdered sugar
  •     Milk (amount varies based on consistency desired)


Directions:

Cream butter and peanut butter.
Add powdered sugar and milk while mixer is set on low. Add the milk one tablespoon at a time until you are happy with the consistency.
Pour over the top of the cake.

For Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting, melt 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate squares, cool slightly, and add to the butter and peanut butter mixture. Proceed with the rest of the instructions.

Don't worry if the frosting is too thick or thin, just add small amounts of milk to thin, or powdered sugar to thicken.


How to prepare a cake pan

One of the keys to a successful cake is preparing the pan correctly. Everyone has had a cake stick at one time or another and it is not fun.

    Make sure your cake pan is completely clean. Using a paper towel or a piece of wax paper, spread a layer of shortening on the inside of the pan. Coat the entire inside of the pan, including any crevices found on fancier pans. Don't forget the center of tube/bundt pans.
    Pour in a generous amount of flour and carefully spread it around the entire pan. You'll need to roll the pan around a lot. Do this over the sink because the flour will spill out. Tap pan to get flour to spread around. To get the center of tube pans, pour a little flour on your hand and sprinkle where needed. Tap out excess flour.
    Make sure that every area is covered. If you miss a spot, just use your finger to add a little shortening and tap the pan to cover with flour. If there is a corner where there is too much flour, tap it out so the cake does not bake with a lump of flour in one corner.

Even if your pan says it has a non-stick coating, take the time to prepare it. Cakes tend to stick to any pan. There are other things people use, like sprays, or the wrappers from sticks of butter, but after many years of baking, the method above has never let me down.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake




This absolutely made my mouth water. Rich and creamy,,!

Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake

Ingredients:

CHEESECAKE:
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pure pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs


TOPPING:
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces sour cream, at room temperature
  • Caramel ice cream topping (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup crushed milk chocolate-toffee pieces
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon


CRUST:
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed shortbread cookies
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9" springform pan with cooking spray and place on baking sheet.

FOR CRUST: Combine cookie crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press onto bottom and 1-inch up side of 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes (do not allow to brown). Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.

FOR CHEESECAKE: Beat cream cheese and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, cream, eggs, cornstarch and cinnamon; beat well. Pour into crust. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until edge is set but center still moves slightly. Remove from oven.

FOR TOPPING: Combine sour cream, granulated sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract in small bowl; mix well. Spread over warm cheesecake. Sprinkle with milk chocolate toffee pieces. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes. Cool for 10-15 minutes in pan on wire rack. Gently run a thin knife between cheesecake and pan and allow to cool completely. Cover cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Remove side of springform pan. Drizzle with caramel topping before serving.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Southern Pecan Praline Cake




Made this for a family gathering as a three layer round cake-mixed the glaze in with some buttercream frosting to use as filling between layers-frosted the cake thinly with buttercream and pressed chopped pecans up the sides..,, it was a HUGE hit..! :)

Recipe >> Southern Pecan Praline Cake @ cantstayoutofthekitchen.com

Friday, December 5, 2014

Edible Egg-less Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough



Delicious! I added in half a package of vanilla pudding mix (the powder) after I had creamed the butter and before I added the sugar. I also do this when I make cookies that I’m going to bake. It adds such a lovely flavour and makes baked cookies nice and soft for days. I didn’t need the milk for this recipe – mine was a perfect consistency when I added just the flour. Also, this recipe gets even more delicious after you’ve let it sit covered in the fridge overnight. Yum!

Recipe >> Edible Egg-less Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough @ centercutcook.com

Thursday, December 4, 2014

"Ho Ho" Cake







"Ho Ho" Cake


For the cake:

    1 box of your chocolate cake mix, plus the ingredients called for on the box or use your favorite chocolate cake recipe


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray, set aside. Prepare chocolate cake according to package directions. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread around until it's even. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Remove cake and let cool for 30 minutes. While cake is cooling, prepare the middle layer.

For the middle layer:
  •     1/2 cup butter, softened
  •     1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  •     4 cups powdered sugar
  •     2-3 tablespoons milk

Cream butter and shortening in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add remaining ingredients and beat until mixture is thick, combined, and spreadable. Spread in an even layer on the chocolate cake. Set in the freezer for 15 minutes while you make the chocolate glaze.

For the chocolate glaze:
  •     1/2 cup butter
  •     1/2 cup cocoa powder
  •     2 cups powdered sugar
  •     2-4 tablespoons milk


In a medium size pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and mix in the powdered sugar and milk. Remove cake from freezer and evenly frost with the glaze. Store in the refrigerator.