Archive for the ‘Baking Recipes’ Category

No Rise Cinnamon Rolls

July 13, 2010

Skip to Cinnamon Roll Recipe

No matter what drama or problems you’re going through in life, one thing is certain.  Carbs are comforting.

More specifically -for me at least – a cinnamon roll is akin to the yellow “comfort blankey” of my early childhood.  There’s just something about the smell of cinnamon, sugar and YES butter, that warms the heart, calms the mind… and admittedly grows the love handles :-).

The only problem is that for some reason I HATE working with bread dough, roll dough… or any other kind of dough that involves yeast (don’t ask b/c I honestly don’t know).  For obvious reasons, this has somewhat limited my cinnamon roll baking frequency.  Until now.

I actually stumbled upon this recipe in a cookbook a friend loaned me recently: The Ladies Aide Society Cookbook from the Central Schwenkfelder Church (Pennsylvania).

What fascinated me about this recipe was that there was no egg and no yeast.  I was, admittedly, skeptical about how good this type of recipe would actually taste… but I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup crushed pecans

What you’ll need to clean up afterward:

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Baking Sheet

Step One: Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Step Two: In mixing bowl cream butter and cottage cheese (helps if butter is room temperature before attempting to cream).

Step Three: Stir in flour and mix together with hands.

Step Four: Refrigerate for 2-3 hours (I leave it in overnight).

Step Five: Sprinkle dough and rolling surface with flour (on both sides of dough).  Roll dough into a rectangle… should be about 1/8 inch thick (as thin as you can make it without it falling apart).

Step Six: Sprinkle, cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar and pecans evenly across rectangle.

Step Seven: Beginning at one of the shorter ends of the rectangle, roll the dough into one log (as you would for pinwheels).

Step Eight: Cut 1/2 inch medallions and place on well buttered cookie sheet.

Step Nine: Bake for 28-30 minutes.  Remove when a light golden color.  Cool on rack before serving.

-Eat Hearty!




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Passionfruit Buttercream Frosting

July 1, 2010

Frosting Recipe

The  Coral Reef Cooler inspiration effect strikes again.  I’m really not sure what it is about this drink that makes me want cupcakes…. but for whatever reason, I wound up – once again – whipping up some basic white cupcakes at 11 pm and dreaming up a new frosting.

This time, the frosting flavor was born completely out of necessity.  I had butter, powdered sugar, but no milk.  As I pondered this problem and mulled over the idea of putting on some clothes suitable for the streets of New York (i.e. NOT my stretched out sweatpants), I happened to look at my cocktail and inspiration struckWhy not use my leftover passionfruit juice instead of milk?

After tinkering around I ended up with a rather delightful – if not a TINY bit too sweet – frosting.  I ended up adding a little lemon juice and extract for a kick and red and yellow food coloring to get the tropical color I felt passionfruit frosting should have.


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened to room temp (6-10 seconds in microwave works nicely
  • 1 1/4 lb of powdered sugar (1 1/4 boxes – the conversions of this are tricky, it’s going to be around 3 1/2 cups if you pour the sugar into the measuring cup and don’t pack)
  • 1 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons passionfruit juice (no pulp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoons lemon extract

What you’ll need to clean up afterward

  • 1 Mixing bowl
  • 1 wooden spoon (if you’re going hard core… if not, a hand mixer)
  • Measuring cup, tablespoon and teaspoon

Step One: Cream the butter with a whisk

Step Two: Combine the butter and powdered sugar and one tablespoon of lemon juice in the mixing bowl.  You can continuously stir with a spoon, use a mixer, or use your hands to mash sugar and butter together into one large lump (the quickest method).

Step Three: Start stirring (or mixing on medium speed) and adding the passionfruit juice  one tablespoon at a time.  If, after adding the remaining 5 tablespoons of liquids, the frosting is too thick, add additional juice one teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. WARNING: the juice gives the frosting a lower “melting temp” so you may want to leave it a little thicker than you normally would.

Step Four: Apply frosting to your cake, cupcake… or eat with a spoon 🙂

-Eat Hearty!

Gma’s Chocolate Sheet Cake

June 25, 2010

Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe

You know how there are those images that cause an instant involuntary reaction – puffy clouds, a bunny, a crazy woman wearing fur on 8th avenue in the middle of July – and leave a lasting impression.  Well the sight of a plain cookie sheet messily covered with several sheets of aluminum foil puts a big smile on my face and starts my mouth “awaterin’ ” (pardon the country slang… sometimes you just need a “feel good” word).

Why does a messy foil wrap job make me happy? Good question.  The answer is my Grandma Millie’s Chocolate Sheet Cake.  Early on, Millie discovered that the best way to transport a sheet cake in your car* is to simply leave it in the pan in which you baked it and cover it with foil.  Fortunately, the cake is so good, you rarely have to leave the pan b/c it’s usually eaten in one sitting.  To this day, I see a wrapped cookie sheet and hope for chocolate cake — I seem to find myself hoping for cake a lot 🙂

*I should mention, this method of transport only works if you actually get the cake into the car (klutzy baking disasters run in the family).

Ingredients:

For Cake:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 stick oleo
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup oleo
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoon milk (guess at this)
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)

Step One: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Step Two: Sift flour and white sugar into large mixing bowl.

Step Three: In a sauce pan bring 1 stick oleo, cocoa powder, and water to a boil.

Step Four: Add hot ingredients (from step 3) to dry ingredients (from step 2) and mix in oil, buttermilk, egg, baking soda and vanilla.  Mix well.

Step Five: Pour into a greased cookie sheet.

Step Six: Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Step Seven: While cake is baking make frosting.  In a saucepan bring 1/4 cup oleo, cocoa powder, vanilla and milk to a boil.  Remove from stove and combine with powdered sugar in a mixing bowl and mix well.

Step Eight: Spread frosting over hot cake and let cool.

-Eat Hearty!

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

June 9, 2010

Frosting Recipe

When life gives you leftover lemon twists… make lemon cupcakes?

Keith and I decided to make Coral Reef Coolers this weekend and the recipe calls for lemon twists as a garnish.  Now those of you who have tended bar (in what would have to be a ridiculously pretentious “mixology” throwback lounge), or just love classic drinks, know what a pain in the butt it is to cut a lemon twist — which is essentially a curlicue of lemon peel.

At any rate, I ended up with close to 30 lemon twists, and CLEARLY Keith and I weren’t going to have 30 Tropic Coolers and live to tell about it.  So I did the sensible thing with my leftover garnish… made lemon cupcakes to go with them.

After 3-4 drinks (which are deceptively delicious btw), I wish I could say I was in the mood to make cupcakes from scratch… but I’m just not that good.  I used a Williams & Sonoma lemon cake mix someone gave me as a gift *GASP*… which was actually pretty good.  I like to think I wasn’t totally bad — I did mess a bit with the instructions, adding zest, lemon extract, almond extract, some extra butter and a little sour cream — but I won’t claim the cake recipe.

I did, however, draw the line at canned frosting and made my own lemon buttercream that turned out deliciously, if I do say so myself.


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened to room temp (6-10 seconds in microwave works nicely
  • 1 1/4 lb of powdered sugar (1 1/4 boxes – the conversions of this are tricky, it’s going to be around 3 1/2 cups if you pour the sugar into the measuring cup and don’t pack)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract (I like mine very lemony… so I use 2)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest

What you’ll need to clean up afterward

  • 1 Mixing bowl
  • 1 wooden spoon (if you’re going hard core… if not, a hand mixer)
  • Measuring cup, tablespoon and teaspoon

Step One: Cream the butter with a whisk

Step Two: Combine the butter and powdered sugar and one tablespoon of milk in the mixing bowl.  You can continuously stir with a spoon, use a mixer, or use your hands to mash sugar and butter together into one large lump (the quickest method).

Step Three: Start stirring (or mixing on medium speed) and adding the remaining milk and lemon juice  one tablespoon at a time.  If, after adding the remaining 3 tablespoons of liquids, the frosting is too thick, add additional milk or lemon juice (depending on how tart you like your frosting) one teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Step Four: Stir in lemon zest for that final lemon “kick.”

Step Five: Apply frosting to your cake, cupcake… or eat with a spoon 🙂

-Eat Hearty!

A taste of the Caribbean…vacay in St. Thomas

May 27, 2010

Let me just say… There’s nothing more relaxing than an island vacation. I’ve been knocking the “typical beach vacation” for YEARS.  Examples of things I might have said:

“Beach vacations just SOUND boring, who wants to lay around all day?”

“What’s there to SEE on an island?  Sand, water… maybe a snake?”

“I don’t like rum… “

I was so mistaken.

I’ll spare you all the rubbing it in about laying in the sun, snorkeling, sailboats, jet skiis, etc. (I guess I just did it… ).  But what I have to share with you over the next week (I just got back so it’ll take some time with the one billion work emails waiting for me) are a couple of the recipes I picked up on the island… watch out there’s some dangerous one’s in there 🙂

Bushwacker (the perfect beach drink)

Coral Reef Cooler

Jerk Chicken

Caribbean Stewed Chicken

-Eat Hearty!

Peanut-Buttercream Frosting

May 10, 2010

Frosting Recipe

For the BBQ on Saturday, I decided to make another batch of the Peanut-Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes I made last weekend (I realize it’s only been a week… clearly, I have a problem).

The only difference is that this time I didn’t drop my frosting bowl and get powdered sugar all over the floor.  The result? I was finally able to make the Peanut-Buttercream Frosting that I had wanted to try on the cupcakes.

One word: Delicious.

Now, if you’re not a peanut-butter fan – clearly – you won’t like this frosting.  Everyone else is sure to enjoy on pretty much any type of cupcake (barring Red Velvet, Carrot Cake, or Lemon cake).   You might have to finesse the amount of peanut butter you use depending on how you want to apply the frosting and what consistency you’re looking for (more PB makes a denser frosting).

Interesting Frosting Anecdote: As usual, I was running WAY behind getting ready for the BBQ and -more importantly – the requisite commute to Jersey City (thank GOD my friend Lianne drove). By “running late” I mean I was supposed to arrive at 1:30 and STARTED making the cupcake batter at 12:30, which clearly meant we arrived at 3* (traffic in the tunnel… I swear).  Obviously, this meant I did not have time to cool and frost the cupcakes at home, so I brought my handy frosting knife and my freshly made frosting and did a little “on site frosting demonstration” – margarita in one hand cupcake in the other.

In my somewhat tipsy state, I came up with the phrase “press and swirl” to describe how to adequately frost a cupcake a la Magnolia or Billy’s.  I had a small crowd watching and even had a couple “first timers” try their hand at frosting their own cupcake.  So Fun!  Press and Swirl – remember that. 🙂

*Fortunately they “fake timed us” (the party didn’t start until 3 anyway) so we were fine.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup smooth (not chunky) peanut butter – I used Skippy
  • 1 1/4 lb of powdered sugar (1 1/4 boxes – the conversions of this are tricky, it’s going to be around 3 1/2 cups if you pour the sugar into the measuring cup and don’t pack)
  • 4-6 tablespoons of milk (depending on desired consistency)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

What you’ll need to clean up afterward

  • 1 Mixing bowl
  • 1 wooden spoon (if you’re going hard core… if not, a hand mixer)
  • Measuring cup, tablespoon and teaspoon
  • *hopefully not* the floor 🙂

Step One: Combine the peanut-butter and powdered sugar and one tablespoon of milk in the mixing bowl.  Using your hands (or mixer, but honestly hands are easier at this point) mash the sugar and peanut-butter together into one large lump (if you feel like there’s too much sugar to combine everything, add a little more peanut butter – 1/8 cup at a time).

Step Two: Start stirring (or mixing on medium speed) and adding milk it one tablespoon at a time.  If, after adding the remaining 3 tablespoons of milk, the frosting is too thick, add additional milk one teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Step Three: Apply frosting to your cake, cupcake… or eat with a spoon 🙂

-Eat Hearty!

Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

May 5, 2010

There’s nothing better than peanut butter filling.  I remember the first time I had this epiphany was eating one my Mema’s (Dad’s mom) peanut butter bon bons.  DELICOUS.

I do not have the time, or the space to make homemade peanut butter bon bons (especially not in the rapidly heating summer months), but I had a craving for the chocolate/peanut butter combination on Sunday, so I decided to combine a REALLY simple chocolate cupcake recipe from the folks back in Kansas with some Reese’s peanut butter I had laying around.  The results were decadent to say the least.

DISCLAIMER: this is a TOTALLY midwestern cupcake recipe.  I’m not denying that the ingredients look disgusting and frankly, a little weird.  However, these will be some of the most moist and delicious chocolate cupcakes you’ll ever have… I promise! (I don’t know how it works…)

*sheepish* I attempted a peanutbuttercream frosting, which ended in total disaster when I dropped the mixing bowl on my kitchen floor BEFORE mixing and had powdered sugar, milk and butter ALL OVER MY TINY KITCHEN.  So I used Duncan Hines Chocolate Frosting.  My apologies.

Ingredients (for 15 cupcakes)

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tabelspoons jelly (grape, strawberry or a combo)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon dark chocolate extract (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter

What you’ll have to clean up after:

  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • Measuring cup and spoons
  • Frosting knife
  • Pastry bag

Directions

Step One: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

Step Two: Grease 15 muffin cups or line with paper baking cups.

Step Three: In large mixing bowl, mix together white sugar, flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Make a well in the center of the dry mix.

Step Four: Into the well (within the dry mix), pour in the water,  jelly, mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 teaspoon dark chocolate extract. Mix just until blended.

Step Five: Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.

Step Six: Fill the pastry bag with 1/2 cup of peanut butter and place a standard frosting tip on the end.  Pipe 1-2 teaspoons of peanut butter into the chocolate batter in each cupcake paper.

Step Seven: Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes.

Step Eight: Cool in the pan set over a wire rack.

Step Nine: While cupcakes are cooling, make your frosting.  As I said above, I had a minor disaster while trying to create my peanutbuttercream, so I used a Duncan Hines milk chocolate frosting I had sittting around.  Frankly, any frosting you want to use from a vanilla or chocolate buttercream to a cream cheese frosting would be delicious.

-Eat Hearty!

Help! What to bake for an unusual bride…

May 2, 2010

So I’m preparing for a tasting for a wedding I’m catering in October, and the bride doesn’t like chocolate, white, or lemon cake.  I want to bring three tasting options, suggestions?

Thanks!

-Eat Hearty

Millie’s Ten-Minute Donuts

April 28, 2010

Watch out people, this is a Millie Original. In fact, the first time I actually had these little “gems” (get it “gem donuts”… eh.. EH) was on a ski trip with my parents, sister, and Grandma Millie.  It was Christmas morning and after opening stockings, Grandma starts whipping these up and informs me that she used to make them with my Mom all the time (imagine my outrage at having never before been treated to homemade donuts).

Since then, I have now trotted these out at a couple of brunch parties.  Donuts make a fantastic party: simply give everyone there own brown paper bag with a coating of their choosing (powdered sugar, cinnamon and sugar, etc.) and everyone can coat their own hot donuts.  Make sure to brew a big pot of coffee and prepare yourself for swiffering after 🙂

Ingredients:

  • Canned biscuits (one biscuit is one donut… I usually do at least 20… often 30 if we’re being honest)
  • Enough vegetable oil to float a biscuit in a stock or soup pot.
  • Cinnamon and Sugar for coating (can also use powdered sugar or make a glaze from powdered sugar and a little milk)

What you’ll have to clean up after:

  • Soup or stock pot
  • Fork or tongs (for turning)
  • Your counter, floor… maybe yourself?

Step one: Place oil in soup or stock pot and heat on medium-high heat.  Oil is ready when you place one of your donut holes (see below) in oil and it begins to bubble and fry while floating.

Step two: Remove biscuits from can and lay each out on flat surface.  Using a vanilla lid or other small circle, cut a hole in the center of each biscuit (keep the cut out piece for donut holes later 🙂 ).

Step three: When oil is ready, place prepared biscuit into hot oil and let float and fry until golden on one side (depends on heat of oil, but watch closely… can be as quick as 15-20 seconds), then flip (using tongs or fork).

Step four: When opposite side is golden remove from oil and place on paper towel to sit for a minute (if you can wait that long… I’ll often down one after 20-30 seconds).

Step five: After a minute, toss in preferred coating and serve.  These are BEST when hot. As they cool they become a little more “biscuit like”… still good, but nowhere near as good as when hot.

Repeat steps 3-5, until you’ve cooked all your donuts.  You can float as many in the oil as you can comfortable turn.  Be extremely careful when frying… it’s VERY hot.

Serve as you go along: drink a lot of coffee, have good conversations… and try not to think of the calories :-).

-Eat Hearty!

Red Velvet Brownie Cupcakes

April 26, 2010

There are two things in life that I know – without a doubt – will cure any case of the blues: brownies and cupcakes. Add in cream cheese frosting and you get downright euphoria.

“Why not combine the two” I asked myself… and so I did.  I remember both my Mom and Grandma used to make a variety of brownie bars that mixed cookie dough and brownie batter together (I believe) resulting in a chewy, buttery deliciousness.  Knowing it was possible, I started experimenting.

Combining some of my own ideas with various recipes from www.allrecipes.com, here’s what I ended up with.

The recipe below is the ridiculously simple method.  You can make both batters from scratch, but having done it both ways… there isn’t much of a taste difference, but purists are purists… so knock yourselves out.

Ingredients:

For Cupcakes:

  • 1 (19.5 oz) package brownie mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 (18.25 oz) package white cake mix
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons dark chocolate extract (optional)

For Frosting:

  • 1 small box confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (room temp)
  • 1 8oz block cream cheese (room temp)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 teaspoons milk

What you’ll have to clean up:

  • 2 mixing bowls
  • 1 regular bowl (for egg whites)
  • 2 cookie scoops
  • 1 frosting knife
  • 1 mixing spoon

Step One: Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Step Two: Line 48 muffin cups with paper liners.

Step Three: Whisk together the brownie mix, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup canola oil, and 1/4 cup water in a bowl – just until fully incorporated, about 50 strokes do not overmix. Set aside.

Step Four: In regular bowl, beat 3 egg whites until frothy. Set aside.

Step Five: Mix the cake mix, 2 tablespoons canola oil, 1 1/3 cup water, and 2 teaspoons of dark chocolate extract (if available) in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until combined.  Fold in 3 egg whites and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Step Six: Using cookie scoop, fill each cupcake paper 1/3 full with brownie batter. Add cake batter over the brownie batter, until muffin cups are each 2/3 full.

Step Seven: Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes.

Step Eight: Make frosting: cut the block of cream cheese into smaller pieces (4-6) and place in mixing bowl.  Cut the butter into 1/8 cup pieces and add into bowl.  Cream the butter and cream cheese together — you can add a little milk to facilitate this process.  Add in the vanilla and 1-2 teaspoons of milk (you can add more if you like a less firm frosting).  Stir until fully incorporated.

Step Nine: Frost your cupcakes using either a knife or piping bag.

-Eat Hearty!