Tuesday, December 28, 2010

TWD-Rewind My Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

Well, last week was actually my week to post but I didn't. I had great intentions to make the Cardamom Crumb Cake, but with it being the week of Christmas my good intentions never actually got me into the kitchen to bake. This year I didn't spend the month of December baking away like I usually do. Maybe it has something to do with the baby weight that is haunting me! If I know homemade baked goods are near, I have a hard time resisting so instead I don't bake. That said, I will definitely still make the Cardamom Crumb Cake as it sounds wonderful.

For the TWD Rewind week, I took the simple route and decided on a cookie. For Christmas this year I got a Cuisinart Food Processor so I wanted to see how it can handle cookie dough. The thought had never even occurred to make cookie dough in a food processor. When I was reading through the recipe booklet there were multiple cookie recipes so, I decided to give Dorie's My Best Chocolate Chip Cookie a try in the Cuisinart. I have made the cookies before in my KitchenAid and have thought they were a very good chocolate chip cookie.

Mixing the dough in the Cuisinart was definitely different. My guess is it will take some time to figure out the best way to do it. The butter and sugar had a hard time "creaming" and by the time I added the chocolate chips it seemed that the dough was too wet so I added an extra 1/2 cup of flour. Even then it was still warm so I decided to chill the dough before baking them. I think that if I had put them in the oven straight from the Cuisinart, I would have had pancakes instead of cookies on the tray! After 15 minutes in the freezer the dough was the perfect consistency and they baked up into a soft and chewy cookie. I believe my first attempt of cookies in the Cuisinart was a success!

Because of the late hour, I am not even going to attempt my own pictures of the cookies. I know the lighting would be horrible and I would just frustrate myself. So, I'll share the lovely photo from  Kait's Plate, the original host for this recipe.

Photo from Kait's Plate

If you want to give Dorie's chocolate chip cookies a try, the recipe for My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies can be found here.

Until next week/next year...Happy Baking!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

TWD: Apple-Coconut Family Cake

This was a fun Dorie make. It was easy enough to put together. I love apples and coconut, I do not usually put them together so it was fun try this duo out. The presentation of the cake is lovely. The texture ended up similar to a cake my mother-in-law makes called Belgium cake which is made with cooked oatmeal. I added pecans which made the cake for me. The nuttiness (is that a word?) matched the apple and coconut perfectly. I am not a fan of jam in/on desserts so I did not use apple jam for the topping. After tasting it I decided it definitely needed a topping. So we pulled out the caramel syrup and that worked wonderfully. Next time I will make a homemade caramel sauce. Overall this cake was quite tasty, the kind of cake where when you walk by you take a bite. My kids or husband were not huge fans, but I snacked on it through the afternoon.

If are interested in making this you can visit Amber of Cobbler du Monde for the recipe.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

birthday cakes

We have had a few birthdays within the last month or so. Here are a few pictures of the different cakes made.

Liz made this one. There were lots of boy cousins who had birthdays in September, so here is their collective cake. Nothing special, except a million candles. There was a 12 year old and three 3 year old boys.

Here is my little guys cake from his birthday in October. He turned 2.

His second cake. We were on vacation during his birthday. Family wanted to celebrate so we had a second more simple cake. Turns out candles kind of freak him out.

This cake was a bear to make. While it has MANY embarassing imperfections I am still oddly proud of myself for finishing it. My 7 year old was so excited about it. We had a under the sea birthday party for her so the mermaid went well with the theme.

Just a fun thanksgiving craft that I made with the kids. My 7 year old could make these all day, my 4 year old made two and ate one, my 2 year old just ate the fixings for the turkeys with pure joy and satisfaction. Holidays are so fun with kids.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

TWD: Cranberry Lime Galette

After a little over two years of enjoying Tuesdays with Dorie it is finally our turn to host. The three of us....Elizabeth, Whitney, and myself (April) decided to go with the fall theme. We were able to work out all our schedules and get together last week and bake this beautiful dessert.

There is nothing like fresh cranberries they have such great color and flavor. The holidays just aren't the same with out them.

After mixing all the ingredients together for the filling it smelled so good! It was hard to stay away from that area of the kitchen. Anytime one of us walked past we could not help but hover over the the cranberry ginger bliss!

It was even better baked. First off Dorie's crust recipe is AMAZING. Everyone has their tried and true crust and this beat mine out of the water. It was so buttery and delicious. I would have been happy with just the crust. Then for the wonderful cranberry, ginger, lime filling. When baked it melted in your mouth. We split the dessert three ways sending a third home with each of us. Later we learned that very little if any was shared with husbands or children. Two of us even ate it for breakfast the next day and guilt free may I add. It was so delicious and is sure to be made again, very soon...if not this week definitely for Thanksgiving. We hope everyone else enjoyed this as much as we did.

We also made another version with pears, cinnamon, orange zest, and cranberries. It too was delicious, but I did use a store bought crust, which was a big mistake and did not compare at all with Dorie's crust.

Cranberry Lime Galette (pg 364)

Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough for a single crust (pg 442), chilled
3 TBsp ground nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans or skinned hazelnuts)
3 TBsp dry bread crumbs (unseasoned, store bought)
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (let thaw and pat dry)
1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 cup moist, plump dried cranberries (optional)
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
a 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
grated zest of 1 lime
juice of 1/2 lime
3 Tbsp raspberry jam or jelly

decorating (coarse) or granulated sugar, for dusting
confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment (see below) or a silicone mat.
To make it easier to move the pie dough onto the baking sheet, roll it between sheets of parchment (in which case, you can use one of the rolling sheets to line the baking sheet) or wax paper or plastic wrap. Alternatively, work on a well-floured surface, taking care to keep the dough moving by turning it and flouring the surface often.
Roll the dough into a large 1/8-inch circle. Using a pastry wheel or a paring knife, trim the dough to a 13-inch diameter. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and keep it covered in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
Mix together the nuts and bread crumbs.
Toss together the remaining ingredients (except the decorating and confectioners' sugars for dusting) in a bowl, stirring just to mix.

Good for Everything Pie Crust

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 Tbs. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 stick (10 Tbs.) very cold (frozen is fine) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
2 1/2 Tbs. very cold (frozen is even better) vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces
about 1/4 c. ice water

Put the flour, sugar and salt into a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Don't overdo the mixing- what you're aiming for is to have some pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley. Pulsing the machine one and off, gradually add about 3 Tbs. of water. Add a little water and pulse once, add some more water, pulse again and keep going that way. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If, after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn't look evenly moistened to form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. Big pieces of butter are fine. Scape the dough out of the work bowl onto a work surface.

Shape dough into a ball and then flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour before rolling. (If your ingredients were very cold and you worked quickly, you might be able to roll the dough immediately: the dough should be as cold as if it had just come out of the fridge.)

Remove the crust from the refrigerator. Using a cake pan or pot lid as a template and the tip of a blunt kitchen knife as a marker, gently trace a 9-inch circle in center of the dough--this is the area for the filling. Sprinkle the center circle with the nut and crumb mixture and top with the filling. Now gently lift the unfilled border of dough up and onto the filling: as you lift the dough and place it on the filing, it will pleat. Brush the dough very lightly with a little water, then sprinkle it with a teaspoon or two of decorating or granulated sugar.
Bake the galette for 35-40 minutes, or until the crust is brown, the cranberries have popped and the filling is bubbling. Place the baking sheet on a rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Very carefully slide a small baking sheet or a cake lifter under the galette and slip the galette onto a rack to cool. Serve the galette with it is just warm or when it has reached room temperature, lightly dusted with confectioners' sugar.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Molasses Cookies

I LOVE ginger cookies and had been on the lookout for a fabulous recipe for quite some time. I found this one a couple of years ago and it has become a favorite. It is perfectly chewy on the inside with a little crisp ring around the outside. When I made them with my kids last week, I had a very proud parenting moment. I had my 5-year-old smell the ginger and asked her what spice it was. Without hesitation she smiled and said, "Ginger!" That's my girl! 

Molasses Cookies

1 cup butter, soft
2 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
a pinch of allspice, nutmeg and cloves
extra sugar for rolling

Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add molasses, eggs, and vanilla. Sift together remaining dry ingredients and add, mixing until just combined. Refrigerate dough at least a half hour. Shape dough into balls, roll in sugar, and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes at 275°F or until cookies are cracked on top. Cool on the sheet.

Scrumptuous Cake

My sister-in-law asked if I would be willing to create a cake and post on the blog, so here it goes for the first time ever!

I love making cakes and I'll take any excuse I can to make one. The cake I decided to do is two layers. One a classic white and the other a rich dark chocolate with semi-sweet chocolate chips added to the batter. I filled the cake with a dark chocolate syrup and marshmallow cream. Yummy, yummy. I used a basic vanilla frosting to cover the cake and decorated it with dark chocolate shavings, sugar beads and the same vanilla frosting tinted blue. I used tip #2D to add the swirl across the top.

Some cake baking tips that I have learned:
1. Always place wax paper at the bottom of your pan so that you have a flat surface for layering and decorating.

2. Give your layers a "tummy tuck" by inverting them on a cooling rack right after they come out of the oven. This helps to decrease the bulge on top.

3. Make your layers before hand so that they can be frozen. Pull them out of the freezer in the morning if you are going to work on them that afternoon. The cakes stay moist and are much easier to work with. (keep in mind that you need to let them thaw a little. Working with a frozen cake is like trying to work with a rock)

4. When torting and filling the cake put a dam around the edge to prevent the filling from oozing out the sides.

5. Place a little bit of frosting on your cake board so that the cake stays in place and does not slide all around.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Snickerdoodle Blondies

Okay, yes, you heard me, a snickerdoodle blondie bar. I had these at my friend Alexis' house. She introduced me to the blog cjaneinthekitchen where there is a much more attractive picture of these delicious goodies. I made a batch of these and rushed off to deliver half of them to a friend who just had a baby. Came home and found this....

the crust. While it still looks delectable I am a little dissappointed not to give you a pic of just how wonderful these are. Apparently my husband had to fight off little fingers to save just these morsels for me. If you give this recipe a try, put it in a 9x13 pan (the recipe doesn't specify). I didn't use any vanilla or cinnamon in the glaze because I knew they were cinnamon-packed and I wanted to keep the contrast - you can use white vanilla if you want though. Mmmmmm...they were so good - even just the crusts :)

Easy and Delicious Cheesecake

Okay so there are a million recipes out there for a million different types of cheesecake and admittedly I probably would love all of them. What I like about this one is that it is so insanely easy that anyone can do it. It does not require a springform pan, water bathing, an hour of baking, or even eggs. So easy and it works every time.

I acquired this recipe at a church function a few years ago and we have loved it ever since. Especially my husband. Sometimes, I bake them in ramekins, cover them and freeze. Then my hubby can pull one out at will on a Sunday evening and enjoy a treat when I have not baked.

Easy and Delicious Cheesecake

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 c. sour cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 prepared graham cracker crust (if you make your own, add a little cinnamon)

1. Beat or food process cream cheese until very smooth.
2. Add everything else. Mix until well combined.
3. Pour into prepared graham cracker crust. Bake at 350 for 10-15 min - just until it is barely set.
4. Refrigerate for a few hours or freeze until cold (30 min?)

Enjoy with fresh or frozen fruit
(we just used frozen blueberries and the blueberries and cinnamon in the crust were a seriously good combo)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mike's new birthday cake!

Ever since Mike was a child, he has requested German Chocolate cake for his birthday; however, the last few years he requested this chocolate beauty! I have to admit, it's wonderful and amazing, and the confession....it includes a cake mix (gasp)!!!
I beg you not to be a cake mix snob and just make this cake, if only once! It's decadent, rich, and delicious. Mike likes it best the next day when it's been chilled, I prefer it warm with a dollop of whipped cream on top.

Chocolate Bundt Cake

1 dark chocolate cake mix

1 small box instant chocolate pudding

¾ c. oil

¾ c. water

4 eggs

1 c. sour cream

4 oz. cream cheese

1 12oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients until smooth. Pour into greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake at 350 for one hour. After cooling, drizzle with chocolate ganache and caramel.

Chocolate ganache glaze:

½ c .heavy cream

½ Tbs. butter

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Over medium-low heat, bring cream and butter to boil. Pour over chocolate chips and mix until smooth.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

TWD-Not-Just-For-Thanksgiving Cranberry Shortbread Cake

I love Fall baking! I love cranberries, pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. The smell of something-warm- and-tasty-in-the-oven filling the house is heavenly. It seems that the cool Fall weather finally hit us in Utah this week. On Saturday, it was a beautiful 70 degrees and we were working in the yard in t-shirts. This morning, we woke up to SNOW! So the chilly weather was just perfect to pop this lovely little dessert in to the oven.

We had grand plans to do a double baking day at April's house today, but Lizzie's kiddos were sick so April and I got together to bake today, and we are all gathering on Friday to bake for next week. We missed you Liz!

This was a simple recipe to prepare. I made the "jam" while April made the dough. The "jam" was wonderful, a little too tart for our tastes so we added a bit more sugar when it was done cooking. I might just use it as a cranberry sauce recipe for Thanksgiving, it was that good. The dough came together quickly and it was easy to see what Dorie meant when she said the dough was a delicate one. After chilling the dough we assembled the cake in the springform pan. It was a tricky dough to work with. For the bottom layer we rolled it out a little and then pressed it into the bottom of the pan with our hands. After putting the filling in, the challenge came in putting the top layer on. It rolled out alright, but was hard to put on without having it crack. So, we ended with a bit of a rustic top layer. 

When it came out of the oven it smelled wonderful! I sent a piece with April and then kept the rest here. My hubby loved it and he isn't normally a huge cranberry fan. He said that he liked the contrast between the sweet shortbread and the tangy cranberry filling. I thought it was a wonderfully simple dessert and will definitely make it again. It will be fun to play around with the fillings too. If you are interested in the full recipe, head on over to Jessica's blog. She also did the apple version and has some beautiful pictures as well.

Next week we it is finally our week to host TWD! We are super excited and are getting together on Friday to bake up a storm. Leading up to our hosting day, we are going to post some of our favorite recipes. So, until next week, Happy Baking!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

TWD: Double Apple Bundt Cake

Welcome Fall!! Some of the best baking happens during the fall. It competes pretty evenly with Christmas. The picks for this month for Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) are fabulous. Or at least fabulous sounding. I made the Double Apple Bundt Cake. Dorie spoke VERY highly of this cake. She even said that you can go ahead and put a blue ribbon on it, because it will beat out any apple cake at the county fair (or something like that). So expectations were high.

sorry, it was getting dark.

This did not disappoint. It was delicious. It calls for two shredded apples as well as apple butter. So the apple flavor comes through nicely. It had the perfect mixture of spices. I am pretty sensitive to spices so if there is a smidge too much of one spice I can taste it and it bugs me. This was perfect. I must say my favorite part about this apple cake which makes it stand out above other apple cakes was the icing. The icing was fresh lemon juice mixed with powdered sugar. It added just the right amount of tart to such a sweet dessert. I did double the amount of icing though, which still isn't much.

I must admit, while this apple cake did not disappoint it did not earn the blue ribbon according to my taste buds. I have been using Aunt Lyn's apple butter cake for the last three years and I am hooked. Even though blue ribbon goes to The Apple Butter Cake I truly enjoyed the Double Apple Bundt Cake. Dorie's cake is surely much more beautiful in presentation and the taste is stellar, but the butter cake has a warm sweet butter sauce poured on top that warms you right up. I am positive it will be made this fall and most likely posted on....so look for the recipe.

If you are interested in this delicious Bundt you can visit Lynne of Honey Muffin

Happy Baking!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

TWD-Tarte Fine

Apples and puff pastry. The two are a magical combination. I threw this beauty together in 15 or so minutes and a half-hour later had a great little Autumn dessert for me and Josh after the kiddos were in bed. I did the sweet and buttery version and it hit the spot. The simplicity sealed the deal and made this a real winner.  I was too tired to do any pictures tonight so if you want the recipe and some lovely pictures, head on over to Lethally Delicious where Leslie has some great tips as well as pictures of the finished tarte.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

TWD: Peanut Butter Crisscrosses

A delicious classic cookie. Kids love it. I love it and I am guessing that my hubby will love it too.

If you want to check out this Dorie recipe you can visit Jasmine of Jasmine Cuisine.
Happy Baking!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

TWD-Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart

Well, it's my turn to do TWD this week and lucky me, my turn this month ended up falling on my birthday. Yes, today I am one year older. I'm still not quite sure what to think of birthdays at this stage of my life, but I can say that it has been a pretty good day.

This tart sounded divine when I first read the recipe. There is nothing quite like the perfect peach and I absolutely love things that are almond flavored so I knew this combination would be something very "Whitney" and therefore be a perfect birthday treat. I also love Dorie's Sweet Tart Dough. It is the perfect crust.

Everything came together quickly. I loved that the custard didn't have to be cooked on it's own and that it cooked right along with the rest of the tart. My only complaint came with my peaches. You see, peach season in Utah hits it's peak in September. That is when they are about the best thing you could eat on the planet earth. I made the mistake of buying them at the grocery store, mid-August, from California. They were gross, mealy and unripe so I made another trip to a local fruit stand and got some Brigham City peaches. Although they weren't quite perfectly ripe, they were much better than the alternative.

I have yet to taste this wonderful creation. My sweet hubby is on his way home from work right now, we have a great friend on her way over to watch the kiddos and we can go out to dinner. I think one of the best "presents" is to not cook dinner on my birthday, especially when cooking for kids. I love them dearly but sometimes it is pulling teeth to get them to try new things.

Sorry for the tangent. I will be treating myself to a nice slice when we get home from dinner tonight. If you're interested in the full recipe, head on over to sweet tarte. Until next time, Happy Baking!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

TWD: Oatmeal Breakfast Bread

I love crumb toppings. They can make any bread good. What a moist little bread. This bread has the perfect amount of spices. They give the bread a little deliciousness, but they are not overpowering. I used dried apricots which work well with the cinnamon, nutmeg,and cloves flavors.

I made mini loaves, because they are so cute and fun. That way I don't over eat and I can give some to neighbors and friends. I am off to go do deliver some goodies to neighbors.

If you are interested in this recipe you can visit Natalie of Oven Love. Happy Baking!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

TWD: Chewy, Chunky Blondies

This was a fun make. Mainly because my sister, Rachael, was in town and visited for one day and we hung out, chatted, and made these chewy chunky blondies. We were happy to have the company of KT (sister-in-law), but Whit was regrettably out of town.

I must admit two things with this recipe. First....I did not personally make the recipe. I don't know what I was doing. Cleaning up lunch or something. Rachael made these blondies. And secondly...We were talking a lot and maybe not paying as much attention to our baking. These were yummy....come on they are full of chocolate and toffee....yum, but I don't think they were as fluffy as they should have been. We may have undercooked them. Or missed something else... I don't know.

The kids inhaled them. We might have inhaled a few too many too. So even with getting a little less attention these blondies still turned out decent.

Note: We added skor toffee bars instead of the butterscotch chips. I think it would be delicious either way.

If you are interested in trying these blondies out head on over to Cookies on Friday. Happy Baking!

Also: Liz posted an apple crostada recipe she made about a month ago. I made the same recipe, but with blueberries. Yum! It looked super fancy too. I thought I would post a picture as well.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Brownies. Who doesn't like brownies? Especially brownies and mint. One of my all-time favorite brownie recipes is for what I called As Good as BYU Mint Brownies but have more recently started to refer to as Magnificent Mint Brownies. They really are magnificent and I am always asked for the recipe when I take them to any event.

I got a little sidetracked here! Back to this weeks Brrr-ownies. I thought I had double checked to make sure I had all the ingredients but when I went to make them I realized I didn't have any unsweetened baking chocolate so instead I used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder. I used 3 T cocoa power and 1 T vegetable oil for each ounce. I don't think it made any difference in the final product. These came together quickly and I loved that it was a one bowl deal.

My hubby said they were "stellar" and he would definitely want me to make them again. I liked that they were fudgy with little mint surprises mixed throughout.

Because I used the dark cocoa powder, my brownies came out nearly black! That said, they weren't much to look at so I didn't even bother taking a picture because I don't think any amount of "dressing up" would have made them look appetizing. The photo would not have done the brownie justice as to how good it really was. Next time around I will definitely use normal cocoa powder.

This will be another Dorie recipe that will go into my favorite recipes. I saw some people used peanut butter cups instead of peppermint patties so I think the next time I give these a try that is what I will use. If you're interested in the recipe and some great photos head here.

Until next time, Happy Baking!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Cinnamon Roll Trick

Cinnamon rolls are one of our favorites around here. Definitely a special occasion treat. I will admit making these babies has taken a little practice and a good amount of instruction from a few baking experts (aka:mothers and mother like figures, susie). Last fall Liz and I had a bake off to see whose cinnamon roll recipe was better. I cannot really say who won, because I am pretty sure that we had too many kids in one house to be able to properly pay attention to our rolls. Sometimes mothers do too much at one. Both turned out great and I think we are both partial to our own recipes and our husbands are definitely partial to their own wife's recipes. So really with no clear judge who is to pronounce the winner? Can you really go wrong with cinnamon and sugar with fresh rolls. NO WAY!!

Okay so not to tempt and leave no recipe, but out of request from the owner of my cinnamon roll recipe I have agreed not to share her recipe. However I will share with you one of my favorite tips that you can use with your cinnamon roll recipe.

First off here is my average cinnamon roll. Yummy!

My favorite tip is: Make your own homemade caramel sauce and pour on top of chopped pecans in your pan before adding your cinnamon rolls and after it bakes flip them over and enjoy AMAZING caramel pecan rolls, which we happen to like better than regular. And if you want you can make it easier and even just pour in some store bought caramel icecream topping (blasphemy, I know....store bought) over your pecans and you will still be in heaven. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Barefoot Contessa's Crostata

I think I'm in love! A few weeks ago a friend of mine passed along Barefoot Contessa's Apple Crostata recipe. I made it and loved it, seriously loved it! The crust is so easy to throw together in my food processor and it's buttery and flakey. The apples with the orange zest--a great combination.

A couple of weeks later, I stumbled upon BC's recipe for her Summer Fruit Crostata. It's truly heavenly. I omitted the plums and made it with peaches and blueberries and it was wonderful! So delicious, beautiful, and packed full of flavor.

Check out the apple recipe as well as the summer fruit version and hopefully you'll enjoy as much as we did!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TWD-Dressy Chocolate Loafcake

This weeks TWD recipe was for Dressy Chocolate Loaf Cake. When I read the recipe I knew this was going to be a winner and it did not disappoint. This simple recipe was rich and moist and just an all-around wonderful cake. The sour cream in the cake makes it moist and in the frosting makes the chocolate a bit tangy. It was a great combination.

Our friends came over for Sunday night dessert and they couldn't stop talking about how good it was and I have to agree. This is a definite keeper. For the full recipe, which you won't want to pass up, head on over to Amy Ruth Bakes.

Happy Baking!

Monday, June 14, 2010

TWD: Raisin Swirl Bread

I LOVE raisin bread! It is such a treat in our house, only you can have it for breakfast and feel okay about it.

I made two loaves of this bread. My kids and husband don't like raisins so I did one loaf with and I couldn't bear going without them myself so I did a second laof with raisins. Hands down the loaf with raisins was better. I made the mistake of cutting the bread and eating it while warm, because I think bread is best when it is warm. It kind of fell apart and the flavor did not pop. This bread was best after it cooled and then toasted and buttered. I loved it so much I think this is what I ate for all three meals for two days. Let's just say I am not counting carbs. Yum!

My dough did not look as Dorie described it (satiny). It looked like most roll dough does, but it still turned out great. I loved that the sugar and cinnamon were pre measured so I let my 4 year old sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on top. It was a fun make, but it did take time. It wasn't too difficult, but as always for homemade bread you have rising times and such.

My little guy woke up from his nap in my last stages of baking so I set him on the counter and let him play with the flour. At first he wasn't too happy about getting flour all over himself, but he quickly got over it.

If you want to give this a try you can go over to food.baby for the recipe.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

As Good as BYU Brownies

Many of the Bakers on celestial confections attended BYU for our undergraduate degrees. And those that did not have had their fill of BYU experiences as Mom and Dad Alumni took us there many times as children. One specialty BYU has are their brownies....both regular and mint. And if you have not noticed chocolate is kind of the main squeeze around our house. So a good brownie is essential. Whitney found this recipe....I am not sure where, but she has been making it for years and shared it with all of us. These babies will not last 24 hours in your house...I promise!

As Good As BYU Brownies

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
4 eggs
1/2 cocoa powder
2 sticks butter
1/2 tsp salt

Chocolate Frosting
4 T butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups powdered sugar
2 T milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mint Frosting
4 T butter
2 T evaporated milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp peppermint or mint extract

Chocolate Glaze
6 T butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at
a time. Add flour, cocoa powder and salt. Spray
9x13 pan with cooking spray and bake at 350
degrees for 28 minutes. (The 28 minutes is very
important according to the owner of the recipe.)

-April note: I have made these before when they ended up dry. This time I added a smidge less flour and a tiny bit extra cocoa powder and underbaked them slightly. They turned out fabulous. Do what you need to bakers!

Mix all together

Melt at low heat in microwave stirring frequently.

For regular brownies just use the chocolate
frosting. For mint brownies chill with mint frosting
before spreading glaze on top.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

White Chocolate Brownies

What a delicious little treat! I thought these brownies came together quickly and I loved the taste of almond, orange, and raspberries. They seemed more like a cake than a brownie, but they had great flavor. I'm not a huge meringue fan and next time I would probably omit the meringue. I'm not sure if I would just dust them with powdered sugar or top them with cream.

If you want the full recipe check out Marthe at Culinary Delight.

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Best Oatmeal Cookies!

April mentioned the other day that I should really post more about the baking happening in my kitchen. Right now, it's happening a little too often! We have gone through 4 lbs. of butter in less than three weeks! I'd feel better if I was taking all these baked yummies to others, but we're currently residing in Ohio for the summer where we hardly know people, so we've consoled ourselves with cookies, cakes, breads, brownies, etc.

This is one of our favorite cookies! A few years ago I was on a quest for the perfect oatmeal raisin cookie and I made lots and lots of cookies trying to find the perfect one. I think I ended up combining a few recipes and came up with this. I took them to a Memorial Day picnic and people were literally fighting over them! Make a batch today, your family with love love love you!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

3 eggs beaten

1 c. raisins

1 t. vanilla

1 c. butter

1 c. brown sugar

1 c. sugar

2 ½ c. flour

1 t. salt

2 t. baking soda

2 c. rolled oats (old fashioned, not instant)

1 c. pecans (optional)

Combine 3 eggs, raisins and vanilla, cover and let sit for 1 hour (sounds gross, but it helps soften the raisins). Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add flour, salt and baking soda. Then stir in raisin mixture and oats being careful not to over mix. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Friday, May 28, 2010

May cooks

We had a birthday this month. 4 years old and she is such a big girl now. Here are some pictures of her birthday bakes.

Flower cupcakes

Butterfly cake

This was my mother's day pick for a dessert. My cute husband made me a no bake rocky road cheesecake. He did a fabulous job. It was super rich. Love that guy!

Here is the recipe from kraft foods.

Rocky Road No-Bake Cheesecake

What You Need!3 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, divided 2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened 1/3 cup sugar 1/4 cup milk 2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping 3/4 cup JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows 1/3 cup chopped PLANTERS COCKTAIL Peanuts 1 OREO Pie Crust (6 oz.) Make It!
MICROWAVE 1 of the chocolate squares in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min; stir until chocolate is completely melted. Set aside.

BEAT cream cheese, sugar and milk in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add melted chocolate; mix well. Gently stir in whipped topping, marshmallows and peanuts. Coarsely chop remaining 2 chocolate squares; stir into cream cheese mixture. Spoon into crust.

REFRIGERATE 4 hours or until set. Store leftover pie in refrigerator.
Kraft Kitchens TipsSize-WiseSince this indulgent cheesecake makes 10 servings, it is the perfect dessert to serve at your next party. How to Soften Cream CheesePlace completely unwrapped packages of cream cheese on microwaveable plate. Microwave on HIGH 15 to 20 sec. or until slightly softened.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ed's Caramelitas

I am still not positive who Ed is, but he is a genius. This is a sinful caramel bar. It has caramel, chocolate chips, and nuts sandwhiched between a oat butter cookie mixture. A must have recipe. No human can eat just one (well, maybe our Dad, definitely not me).

Ed's Caramelitas

32 Kraft caramels
10 T heavy cream
¾ c. brown sugar
¾ c. melted butter
1 c. flour
1 c. quick oats
1 t. baking soda
6 oz. chocolate chips
½ c. chopped nuts

1.Melt caramels in cream on double broiler. Set aside.
2. Mix melted butter, brown sugar, oats, flour and soda.
3. Divide mixture in half. Press ½ into well greased 8x11 pan.
4. Bake 10 minutes at 350°.
5. Remove and sprinkle chocolate chips right away, then nuts. Drizzle caramel mixture on top. Top with remaining crumb mixture.
6. Bake 15-20 min at 350°

Let these caramelitas set up for a while before cutting or they will be too gooey to cut into bars. Or you could just grab a fork and dig in….I won't tell anyone.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

TWD- Quick Classic Berry Tart

Fresh fruit tarts are one of my all-time favorite desserts so I jumped at the chance to make this! Two weekends ago we had Hasler siblings in town from all over the country to celebrate blessing baby Rosie and baby Eli. At our gathering on Saturday night, I brought Dorie's Quick Classic Berry Tart. It was a huge hit!

I think the title is a bit misleading because I certainly wouldn't call this a quick dessert. I used Dorie's sweet tart dough for the crust and received many compliments as to the flavor and texture of it. Pastry cream comes together quickly, but then has to cool down before the tart can be assembled. Once you have all the parts prepared, it is easy to put them all together and serve. So I guess in that respect it could be considered quick.

I chose to top it with strawberries and blackberries. There is something just perfect about the combination of a crisp, sugary crust, smooth pastry cream and fresh, sweet berries. There wasn't any left when we went home. It was that good. The kids wanted some but I had dubbed this a dessert for the adults. I'm sure the kids would have gobbled it up and loved it, but they wouldn't have appreciated it the way the adults did.

This is a recipe I am sure to make time and time again. It is that good. If you're interested in the complete recipe, check out Cooking With Cristine.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

TWD: Burnt Sugar Icecream ....not really

Well....I must say I gave this one a try. Maybe too much of a try. I am sorry to say I am done trying to make this Dorie treat. It sounds incredibly delicious. I was curious to see how it turned out. However for the life of me I could not get the caramel mixture to turn to that nice amber color Dorie speaks of. Very frustrating. I have made homemade caramels before and been successful, but not this time I guess. Sometimes making my TWD the day of doesn't work out so well. I can't take my time as much as I would like. After three batches of what ended up as dry white chunks instead of amber thick liquid I decided my kitchen was a mess my kids have been plopped down in front of the TV for too long while my attempts failed. I think this ice cream session is over and maybe will resume another time. Off to play with my kids or weed in the yard. I hope the other and surely better TWD bakers did much better than me.

For pictures of the real deal which I am sure was spectacular you can visit Becky at Project Domestication.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

TWD: Chockablock Cookies

Well, it has been a couple of months since I last did a TWD post. Our sweet baby girl was born March 1st and the past two months have been a bit crazy at our house as we adjusted to life with a baby again.

We did our monthly TWD Dessert Night a few weeks ago and I chose to bring the Chockablock Cookies. When I read the recipe I was intrigued and wondered what these cookies would be like. I had high expectations and hoped they would be just fabulous, but ended up thinking they were just OK. I think that was the overall consensus of the group. I really love molasses but felt that the molasses flavor was far too strong. It was worth a try but these cookies won't be ones I will make again. If I'm going to make cookies, I'm making ones that I know will be a hit.

I wasn't going to be the one to post on these, but Liz is making her way across the country with her little family for a summer internship so I decided, last  minute, to fill in for her. I didn't take any pictures because I wasn't going to post. So, if you really want pictures, head on over to Popsicles and Sandy Feet, where Mary has pictures and the full-recipe.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

TWD: Sweet Cream Biscuits

Well....I realize it has been a good long time since we have posted a Tuesday with Dorie. Some recipes have been made and not posted on. I guess life gets busy with new babies in most houses here on Celestial Confections and I really have no excuse other than life is still busy even without a baby in my life. Anyhow I am finally posting about a delicious recipe.

I think our home has been overloaded with treats lately so it was a nice change to make biscuits for my Tuesday with Dorie. I was shocked that these biscuits were so flaky and delicious even without butter. I suppose replacing butter and milk for heavy cream still allows for a good amount of fat and richness so the biscuit is bound to be good.

These were a cinch to throw together. Dare I say....just as easy as a mix, truly. Mix the dry ingredients...pour in the cream...blend with fork, roll out, cut in circles. Bake and enjoy! Holy easy and so tempting straight out of the oven.

I made our favorite honey butter recipe and together the combination was heavenly. The Honey butter recipe is from my good friend Susie whom I lived with in Arizona during my husbands internship. Here is the recipe for any who would like to try it out next time they make, biscuits, rolls, or bread.

Honey Butter

2/3 c. butter, softened (10-11oz)
1 1/3 c. honey

Beat until fluffy
1 cup whipped, whipping cream
Shake in a little cinnamon

Anyone who is interested in making these sweet cream biscuits visit Melissa at Love at First Bite