Tuesday, March 29, 2011

[Insert Color of Your Choice] Velvet Cake

I have had a Red Velvet obsession as of late that morphed into a green velvet cake for St. Paddy's Day.

To make Velvet Whoopie Pies, add 1 cup of flour to recipe.

2.5 C all purpose flour
2 C sugar
1 tbs cocoa
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1C oil
1C buttermilk
1 tbs vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 oz food coloring of color of choice

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Whisk eggs in medium bowl. Add in oil, buttermilk, vinegar, food coloring and vanilla until well mixed.
  3. Put all dry ingredients in mixing bowl.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix on med-high for 2 minutes until well combined.
  5. Pour batter into well greased pans.
  6. Cook 15-20 minutes depending on type of pan.
  7. Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Frosting

Modification of the filling recipe, a little thinner than the filling.

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4C butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 lb powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk

  1. In mixer cream butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and milk.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar until smooth.
  3. If too thick, add more milk to make it the desired consistency.
  4. Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Filling

I used this for the whoopie pie filling and it is pretty much delicious!

1/2 C butter, softened,
8oz cream cheese, softened
3 3/4 C confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla

  1. In a mixer cream butter, cream cheese, and vanilla.
  2. Gradually add confectioners sugar until smooth.
  3. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chocolate Lace Cookies

These are always the first cookies I grab out of the assorted box of Italian bakery cookies.
I made these last night. Turned out pretty good, I think I could have spread them thinner to make them a little more true to form.

2/3 C butter, melted
2 C quick oats
1 C sugar
2/3 C flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 C light corn syrup
1/4 C milk
1 tsp vanilla
12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In large bowl, combine butter, oats, sugar, flour, cinnamon, milk, corn syrup and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  4. Use teaspoon to drop cookies onto foil, spread into thin circle.
  5. Bake 8 minutes.
  6. Move foil to cooling rack and continue for additional batches.
  7. Melt chocolate.
  8. Using a spreader (I definitely used a cheese spreader), spread chocolate onto smooth side of one cookie. Sandwich another cookie (smooth side) onto the chocolate.
  9. Chill for at least 10 minutes, for chocolate to harden.
  10. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Rolls

This is my signature recipe -- they are a major hit with everyone I make them for.
for dough
1 C warm milk
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 C butter, melted
4.5 C bread flour (though, when I don't have it I use all-purpose flour with hardly any difference)
1 tsp salt
1/2 C sugar

for cinnamony middle
1 C brown sugar
2.5 tbsp cinnamon
1/3 C butter, softened

for icing
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 C butter, softened
1.5 C confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix sugar, butter, salt, and eggs in large bowl.
  3. Add flour and mix well.
  4. Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour.
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  6. In small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
  7. Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle.
  8. Spread dough with 1/3C butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture.
  9. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls.
  10. Place rolls into a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan.
  11. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  12. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4C butter, confectioner's sugar, vanilla extract, and salt.
  13. When rolls are done baking, remove from oven and flip pan onto serving tray (this allows for the cinnamony goodness to run over the rolls instead of getting stuck in the bottom of the pan).
  14. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.
  15. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Muffins

These were a hit with my G and GGLittles for Rockathon.

for muffins:
1/2 C butter
1 egg
1 C sugar
1.5 C flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C milk

for topping:
4 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In large bowl cream sugar and butter until well blended.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon to bowl.
  4. Whisk egg and milk together.
  5. Add milk mixture to flour mixture.
  6. Mix until well combined dough is formed.
  7. In bowl combine topping ingredients until well mixed.
  8. Pour batter into greased muffin cups or liners.
  9. Sprinkle topping evenly on top of batter.
  10. Bake 30 minutes.

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

I used these to make Phi Mu cookies for Danielle's GGLittle. This recipe worked pretty well with cookie cutters.

2 C confectioner's sugar
1 C unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tsp baking soda
3 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 C butter, chilled and cubed
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 C chopped semisweet chocolate

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine confectioner's sugar, cocoa, baking soda, flour, and salt until well blended.
  3. Add butter, eggs, and vanilla until well mixed and stiff dough forms.
  4. Fold in chocolate pieces.
  5. Chill dough for 10 minutes.
  6. On floured surface, roll out dough to desired thickness and cut into shapes.
  7. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes on ungreased baking sheet.
  8. Enjoy!

Oreo Truffles

These are my sister's favorite. They are pretty delicious and can easily be tweaked to have different flavors using the various types of Oreos!

16oz package of Oreos
8oz cream cheese, softened
16 oz Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted

  1. Crush 9 Oreos, reserve for later use.
  2. Crush remaining cookies (~36) into fine crumbs.
  3. Combine crumbs with cream cheese until well blended.
  4. Refrigerate mixture for 10 minutes.
  5. Roll cream cheese mixture into 42 balls, about 1 inch in diameter.
  6. Dip balls into chocolate and place on wax paper.
  7. Sprinkle with reserve cookie crumbs.
  8. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Macaroni and Cheese

I love mac & cheese. Personally, I think shapes taste better than regular noodles. Shells will do the trick too!

4 tbs butter
1/4 C flour
2 C milk
8 oz cheddar, cubed
8 oz Velveeta, cubed
1 box of pasta
8 Ritz Crackers
1/2 C shredded cheddar
Salt & Pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta according to directions, drain.
  3. In sauce pan, melt butter.
  4. Add flour and milk to sauce pan, bring to boil.
  5. Stir in cheese cubes.
  6. Add salt & pepper to your liking.
  7. Combine pasta & cheese sauce.
  8. Pour pasta and sauce into a baking dish. (The bigger the dish, the shorter the cooking time)
  9. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar and Ritz crackers.
  10. Bake to desired level of brownness, ~20-30 minutes.
  11. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

White Cake

For Tash's birthday I made a tiedye cake. In order to get all the layers in different colors, I had to make white cake batter. I didn't have a box on hand so this is what I made.

Use either 2 9" round pans or 1 9x13 pan.

12 tbs butter, softened
1.5 C sugar
2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 egg whites
3/4 C milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  3. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In another bowl, mix egg whites, milk and vanilla extract.
  5. Combine milk mixture with butter mixture and flour mixture.
  6. Beat until well combined.
  7. Pour batter into greased pan(s).
  8. Bake 25-30 minutes.
  9. Cool completely.
  10. Enjoy!

To make a tiedye cake, just separate the batter in varying amounts into different bowls and dye each bowl a different color. Pour each bowl in the pan, right on top of each other in the center of the pan.

Rainbow 7 Layer Cookies

adapted from smittenkitchen

4 eggs, separated
1 C sugar
7oz tube almond paste
1.25 C butter, softened
1 tsp almond extract
2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
red food coloring
green food coloring
12 oz apricot preserves, heated and strained
7oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease 13x9 pan and line with wax paper leaving over hang on both ends. Grease paper.
  3. Beat egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Add sugar slowly while beating at a high speed.
  4. In another bowl, mix almond paste and 3/4C sugar until well blended. Add butter and beat until fluffy. Add yolks and almond extract and beat until well combined.
  5. Add flour and salt to mixture. Mix until well combined.
  6. Combine egg white mixture with almond paste mixture.
  7. Divide batter into 3 bowls. Add red food coloring to one bowl and green food coloring to another. Chill green batter in covered bowl. Set white batter aside. Pour red batter into pan and spread evenly.
  8. Bake red layer 10 minutes.
  9. Transfer layer to cooling rack. Cool 15 min.
  10. Take green batter out of refrigerator.
  11. Clean pan, grease pan and line with greased wax paper.
  12. Bake white layer 10 minutes.
  13. Transfer layer to cooling rack. Cool 15 min.
  14. Clean pan, grease pan, and line with greased wax paper.
  15. Bake green layer 10 minutes.
  16. Transfer to cooling rack. Cool 15 min.
  17. Flip green layer onto a wax paper lined baking sheet. Throw out paper from layer and spread 1/2 preserves onto green layer. Flip white layer on top of green layer. Take off paper and spread remaining preserves onto white layer. Flip red layer onto white layer and throw out paper.
  18. Cover with plastic wrap and weight with a large baking pan. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
  19. Remove weight and plastic wrap. Melt chocolate.
  20. Trim edges of layers so that assembled layers make a rectangle.
  21. Spread 1/2 of chocolate in a thin layer on top of assembled layers.
  22. Chill uncovered 15 minutes.
  23. Cover with wax paper and flip onto another baking sheet.
  24. Remove paper and spread remaining chocolate on top.
  25. Chill 30 minutes.
  26. Cut lengthwise and crosswise into pieces.
  27. Enjoy!

Spicy Caramel Corn

3 tbs canola oil
1/2 C popcorn kernels
2 C peanuts
1.5 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 C sugar
3 tbs butter
1.5 tbs sea salt
1/2 C water

  1. heat oil over medium heat in large saucepan
  2. add kernels to pan and cover. move saucepan around for ~5 minutes until all kernels have popped.
  3. Add popcorn and peanuts to greased mixing bowl.
  4. Mix together baking soda and cayenne pepper in small bowl.
  5. Grease a large baking sheet.
  6. Mix sugar, butter, salt and water to saucepan over high heat. Cook for 12 minutes.
  7. Remove from stove and mix in baking soda / cayenne mixture.
  8. Pour immediately over popcorn in mixing bowl.
  9. Use spatulas to quickly toss caramel and popcorn together until popcorn is completely coated.
  10. Spread popcorn onto baking sheet and separate into small pieces. Cool for 15 minutes.
  11. Enjoy!

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

I dyed these green for St. Paddy's Day and modified a recipe from Betty Crocker. I would say leave out the green, or just do a better job of dying so that they don't turn out looking babypoop-green.

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
1 egg
1 cup Andes creme de menthe baking chips (I could only find them @ Walmart)
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In large bowl, combine cookie mix, butter, mint, egg until well mixed.
  3. Fold in Andes chips and chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop dough into balls, 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake 10 minutes.
  6. Cool ~3 minutes before eating.
  7. Enjoy!

Rose Sauce

This recipe is by far my roommate Danielle's favorite. We put it over 5 cheese tortellini for "Tortellini Rose". This recipe is good for 1-1.5 lbs of tortellini.

1 pint heavy cream
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 C Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dry parsley
Pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbs tomato paste

  1. Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat
  2. Stir in cream, garlic, parsley, and pepper
  3. Stir in cheese and tomato paste until well blended
  4. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring regularly.
  5. Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash Dip

I am *trying* to eat healthier. In my efforts, I have relied on spaghetti squash as a substitute for various things. This dip is similar to a spinach-artichoke dip in texture.

1/2 spaghetti squash (cut top to bottom aka long ways)
2 tbs butter
1/4 cup mayo
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup shredded mozz
1.5 tbs grated parmesan cheese on top

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Lightly grease an 8x8 baking dish.
  3. Place squash cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 35 minutes.
  4. Scoop out cooked squash (careful, you may burn yourself if you don't use a mitt) and place in a large bowl.
  5. Add butter, mayo, garlic, cheese until well blended.
  6. Pour into baking dish, sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake 20 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

Vodka Sauce

1/2 C butter
1/2 white onion, diced
1 C vodka
2 (28oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 pint heavy cream
1/4 tsp dry oregano
2 tsp dry parsley
1 tbs dry basil
4 cloves garlic, minced

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in butter until onions are slightly brown and soft
  2. Pour in vodka. Let cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Mix in tomatoes and spices. Cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Pour in heavy cream. Cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!
As with any sauce, the longer you cook it the more the flavors blend together. Overall, this takes me about an hour of cooking & has very little prep.

And away we go :)

I love baking. And cooking. And testing out new recipes on my roommate, boyfriend, and friends. They like it too, at least I think so.

I recently bought a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and now my baking obsession has reached an all time high. I'm serious, my Stand Mixer is like a child that I waited a very long time for.

I am starting this blog so that I can put all my successful recipes in one place, for others to try and indulge in the deliciousness. I am a computer geek by trade but given the choice (and maybe a winning Mega Millions ticket) I would open up a bakery/cafe in a heartbeat. I cook when I am stressed. I bake when I am sad. I bake when I'm happy. I cook when I'm excited. I just love it.

I have a small galley kitchen and no culinary training so don't be scared off by the recipes because if I can do it, you can too!