Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

The best way to make this cake is in a cast iron skillet, but I have no idea what happened to mine, so I ended up making my upside down cake in a 9x12 glass pan. Only I didn’t turn it upside down after it was finished because I thought it wouldn’t work. And I didn’t have any sliced pineapples, only crushed pineapple and decided, what the heck. What could it hurt? Turns out, I think, it’s actually better with the crushed pineapple because you get the pineapple-y taste all over the cake rather than in little hunks. It’s also not as decorative, but since I didn’t turn mine upside down, it didn’t matter anyway. What does matter is taste.

Just thinking off the top of my head, so you may want to check recipes for exact measurements, but maybe a stick of butter melted with about ½ cup brown sugar. Even if it’s too much butter, it’s going to soak in the cake and well, we all know what butter does for things. Okay besides adding extra poundage on the hips, it makes things taste better.

Dump your drained crushed pineapple on top of the brown sugar and add maraschino cherries and pecans, if you want. Or just one or the other. Then you can cheat and use a boxed cake mix, yellow of course and pour that on top of the goods. Bake according to the box’s directions or until done.

I know the most important part of this dessert blog is the pictures. But this picture is just going to look like a plain ole yellow cake. Whoopee. Make the cake and enjoy. Forget the picture. Check out the other desserts for something more exciting.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Apple Tart

Apple Tarts aren’t for the faint of heart. You need to be willing to put in some effort when baking one these babies.

After I watched the movie Julie and Julia, I fell in love with Julia Childs. I of course had to go out and purchase Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Then of course I had to make this Apple Tart.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking will give you step-by-step detailed information on how to make an Apple Tart.

Everyone that tasted my Apple Tart found it to be most pleasing to their palate (do I sound like Julia?). Pretend I’m speaking with a French accent. That might help. Oh wait, Julia wasn’t French. Pretend anyway.

At any rate, in order not to infringe on copyright laws, go and purchase Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It’s a nice book to have and it’ll teach you a lot. I thought I knew a lot about cooking, but I learned quite a few tricks myself. Just goes to show you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Bon Appetite! Ruff Ruff!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sugar Cookies - The Very Best

My best friend owned The Very Best Cookie store for 5 years. During that time I'd help out around the holidays—their busiest time, and boy would there be cookies being made! They released their sugar cookie recipe in the local paper, however, folks still ordered cookies for Christmas. Something I never could understand since I bake.

Recently my granddaughter made “pixie sticks” out of different colored sugars—and what to do with all that leftover sugar mixture? Why make colorful sugar cookies of course. They look like a spring cookie, don’t they?

I use real butter for this recipe. I’m not sure, but I think the cookie store used partial butter/margarine. And although this recipe was in the paper, I still asked my friend if I could blog about it.

I cut the recipe in half because it makes plenty of cookies. I think I got 10 dozen (120 cookies) by cutting it in half.

Mix dry ingredients:
3 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Set aside
3/4 pound (or 3 sticks) butter
1 jumbo egg or 2 small
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Add flour mixture a little at a time, mix thoroughly.
Put dough in refrigerator for a while so that it makes it easier to handle when you roll the dough in small balls. Plop them in sugar.

then onto a cookie sheet

and bake until desired doneness.

I’m more of a crispy cookie person so I baked these longer – at least 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. If you like them soft, then probably bake around 8 minutes.

Make sure you leave space between the balls as these cookies will spread.

Use any colored sugar you like… red and green for Christmas. Cinnamon and sugar for Snicker Doodles. Use a color that goes with your child’s school for graduation. Use pink for Valentine’s Day. Or blue and pink for a baby shower. You get the idea.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Breath of Spring Cake

My older sister Sue made my litter sister and me a scrapbook type book with recipes from our mom.

And my momma's handwriting.

I decided to make Breath of Spring Cake for Mother’s Day—after all it was my Mother’s recipe, and it is spring.

My little sister Ruth already tried this cake and informed me that icing was not necessary. She sprinkled hers with powdered sugar. There wasn’t anything about icing in the recipe. But that ruined my idea of embellishing the cake with candied flower decorations. I got creative and placed them on the cake anyway by using a dab of light corn syrup to make them stick.

Hopefully you can read the recipe from the above scrapbook page and if not, let me know and I’ll send it to you or write it up on here.

Here’s how the batter looked after the fix mixing.

After the second (final) mixing.

I searched my recipe books for the lemon filling that was to go in between the two layers of cake and couldn’t find any. I got on the Internet and found a simple one by I think the idea of the Internet would make my mom’s head spin if she were alive.

Here’s my lemon filling.

The cake after it baked.

Breath of Spring Cake decorated.

I think when I bake this again, I will make it a three layer cake with the filling in each layer. Or make one of the layers with real strawberry filling. Maybe even blueberry. I guess the possibilities are endless. Whatever makes you think of spring.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

The great thing about this dessert, you can eat it for breakfast!

I could eat pumpkin bread any time of the year even though we only think about eating this in the fall. Starbuck’s carries it most of the year round and it’s how I became addicted to it. One day I wondered why I never made this treat. Now I know why because mine is much better than Starbuck’s and well, I’ll eat more of it. But I won’t eat another Starbuck’s again, not after eating mine.

This recipe was on the Internet and I changed it slightly. When I make it, I triple it. I don’t triple the ingredients, I make three batches. It doesn’t last long now that my stepdaughter lives with us. She could live on pumpkin bread. Seriously.

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Grease and flour three large loaf pans or 7 mini loaf pans.

In a large bowl, mix these ingredients together:
1 can pumpkin
4 eggs
1 cup canola oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups sugar

In a separate bowl, mix:
3 ½ cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg (or 1 teaspoon regular)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until well blended. Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. If you bake in the mini pans, you can cut the time down.

If you stuff your oven with many loaves, increase the time.

I switch them around periodically during the baking. After they cool a little, take out of the loaf pan.

When cooled completely wrap and freeze (if you don’t eat right away). It freezes well.