Five Flavor Pound Cake

Pound cake, it’s a southern staple.  Pound cake isn’t just a delivery system for strawberries, but a dessert appreciated on its own.  Many southern families have a favorite recipe.  This one was given to me by a friend, it is FANTASTIC and addictive.  Seriously, I can’t stop picking at it.

I hadn’t heard of five flavor pound cake until I moved to the south and to be honest, I didn’t know what to think of it, I was suspicious.  Turns out that it is wonderful, a flavor that you can’t quite figure out.  All five flavorings meld into this unique taste sensation, and did I mention that it’s wonderful?

If you are a pound cake purist, look the other way, this recipe isn’t for you.  For those who like to eat cake, read on!  Basic pure pound cake is 1 pound flour, 1 pound butter, 1 pound eggs, and 1 pound sugar with a little flavor.  This is a “modern” take on pound cake.

This cake is made with the traditional creaming method.

Grab your fixin’s, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease and flour 1-10″ tube pan or 2 9×5″ loaf pans  Having all ingredients at room temperature is recommended for this recipe, so take out everything at least an hour before starting the cake.

Why yes, I did happen to have all of these flavors hanging around, and anyone who knows me wouldn’t be surprised.

Start off by beating together the shortening and butter.  Have a hydrogenated fat phobia (I usually do) then go with all butter, it’ll be fine.  I’m making it just as the recipe was given to me, why mess with a great recipe?

Then gradually add the sugar while the mixer is running.  Cream the mixture until very light and fluffy, don’t skimp on this step, let the mixer run for about 5 minutes scraping the bowl as needed, until it looks like this, fluffy and lighter in color.

Now beat the eggs well, and add them slowly to the creamed butter and sugar mixture.

Beat until well incorporated, scraping the bowl as needed.

Now measure out the milk, and add the flavorings to that.

Measure out the flour and other dry ingredients and whisk or sift together.

Add approx 1/3 of the flour and blend well

add approx 1/3 of the milk mixture and mix well. Scrape bowl if needed

Repeat alternating the flour and milk mixture until everything is blended in.  The reason that we alternate like this, is to help avoid lumps.  If you added the milk and flour all at once it could end up making lumps that you would have to beat out, incorporating air bubbles, and developing gluten and that’s not what we are going for here.

Now you should have a velvety smooth batter, ready for the pans.  This recipe makes 4 pounds of batter, enough for a standard tube pan or two standard 9×5″ loaf pans.  Make sure that they are greased and floured well.  I’m using 2 loaf pans today.

If you bake 2 loaves like I did, they will take about an hour to bake, if you bake all of the batter in a large tube/angel food cake pan, it will take about 1 1/2 hours.  Remember every oven is different, so these times are approximates, bake them until they test done!

The cake may fall a bit as it cools, but that’s OK, it will fall a little less in a tube pan.  Let cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to a cooling rack.

Slice and serve.  It’ll have a delicious, crisp sugary top.  This cake really needs nothing extra, it’s great on its own.  This pound cake is even better the next day when the flavors have had a chance to get to know each other.

 

Now go make it!

Click here for printable recipe

 

 

Posted in Cakes | 2 Comments

Cinnamon Baking Chips

You know those bits that you find in muffins and scones, the ones that you can’t really find anywhere in stores?  Well instead of paying a bunch of money and shipping for chips online, why not make your own?

I love cinnamon muffins, and scones, and when I find the chips, I snag them.  The kind I usually find are Hershey’s, but funny thing, there is no actual cinnamon!  Come on Hershey!

Let’s get at it, this is easier than you would think

Nothing crazy there, right? Now preheat the oven to 300 degrees

Now just combine everything in a bowl

Stir it up, so that it looks like mud!  Channel your inner child!

I used parchment for this, but a greased pan might work too, the parchment makes for quick cleanup though.  Pat out this mixture to about 1/4 inch thickness.

Bake for 20-30 minutes.  You’ll want to bake until it is actively bubbling all over.  Be careful not to burn it.

Here is what you end up with

Next, let it cool completely.  Then chop it up into bits, go small, these are intense with cinnamon flavor.

There they are.  I stored mine in a zip top bag in the fridge.  I made some scones with them.

I used this recipe, which is an awesome one Scones

After I had cut in the butter with the dry ingredients, I stirred in the bits, and the proceeded as instructed in the recipe.

Check them out, they were delicious!

Click here for printable recipe!

 

Posted in Ingredients, Quick Breads and Muffins | 5 Comments

A Holiday Chuckle…

Once again this year, I’ve had requests for my Tequila Christmas Cake recipe so here goes:

1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup water
1 tsp. salt
1 cup brown sugar
Lemon juice
4 large eggs
Nuts
1 bottle tequila
2 cups dried fruit

Sample the tequila to check quality.

Take a large bowl; check the tequila again to be sure it is of the highest quality.

Repeat.

Turn on the electric mixer.

Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.

Add 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Beat again.

At this point, it is best to make sure the tequila is still OK.

Try another cup just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy.

Break 2 eegs and add to the bowl and chuck iin the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the fruit up off the floor.

Mix on the turner.

If the fried druit getas stuck in the beaterers, just pry it loose with a drewscriver.

Sample the tequila to test for tonsisticity.

Next, sift 2 cups of salt, or something.

Check the tequila.

Now shift the lemon ice strain your nuts.

Add one table.

Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink.

Whatever you can find.

Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 s and try not to fall over.

Don’t forget to beat off the turner.

Finally, throw the bowl through the window.

Finish the tequila and wipe the counter with the cat.

Cherry Mristmas

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Sugar Cookie Cutouts!

Here is another recipe from my childhood.  I grew up eating these every Christmas.  My mom would let me decorate them.  They have a nice flavor beyond just a plain sugar cookie with the addition of the lemon extract.  Don’t worry, they won’t taste “lemony”

The recipe card from my mom said “Dot’s Sugar Cookies”.  That cold only mean the lady that made legendary divinity fudge in our small little town, her recipes were always excellent!

This makes a nice and sturdy sugar cookie, easy to decorate, they won’t crumble while being handled.

Let’s get at it.

Simple enough, right?  Yes I use shortening in this recipe, it’s how it was written.  I’ve never veered away from the original recipe, I see no need to.  If you want a non-hydrogenated product, Spectrum Organics makes an excellent non-hydrogenated shortening, it’s what I buy and it works well for these cookies. Otherwise just use plain ‘ol Crisco.  You can try butter, but the cookies may spread a bit, but otherwise it should work.

First cream the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy

Add the eggs and flavorings and beat again to combine.

Next sift together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Of course if you have no sifter, a bowl and whisk works great to combine.

just add that to the wet mixture and mix just to combine

Now take that dough and wrap it up in plastic wrap.  Pop in the fridge and chill for at least one hour, before rolling.

When ready to make cookies, preheat oven to 350.

Sprinkle the counter top with a light dusting of flour, and sprinkle the dough with flour.  Roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thickness and get to cutting.

I’m doing snowflakes here.

Now a good trick to getting the dough off the counter is to take a small spatula and using a “jiggling” motion, slide the spatula under the cutout dough.  This might take a little practice.  Now place on an ungreased cookie sheet or one lined with parchment. They can go close together because they shouldn’t spread.

Bake until they’re very light brown and feel firm to the touch and don’t look doughy.  For tiny cookies like this, it only took 6-8 minutes, but larger or cookies rolled thicker will need more time.  Once baked, let them rest on the pan for about 5 minutes before removing.  Remove to cooling rack and cool completely before decorating.

Wanna see an easy way to decorate snowflake cookies?  Make some of this royal icing, and get some of this sparkling sugar, I found mine at the craft store, it’s more coarse than the regular colored sugar, and has more sparkle, who doesn’t need more sparkle in their lives?

Now take some of that royal icing and do a random zig zaggy pattern on the snowflake.

And let it take a nosedive into those sparkling sugars that you’ve mixed together

And there you have it, a glitzy little snowflake!

Now set them aside and let them dry for at least an hour.  At this point the royal icing will be hard and you can pack these cookies up for giving and the icing will stay intact.

Now go make ’em!

Click here for printable recipe

 

Posted in Cookies and Bars | Leave a comment

Royal Icing, great for cookies!

You know that “cement” type icing that holds gingerbread houses together?  That’s called royal icing.

It’s really simple to make with little effort required.

You can use raw egg whites from fresh eggs if you wish, but I prefer buying pasteurized liquid egg whites, they have been heated enough to kill the bad stuff, but not so much that it cooks them.  This makes for a safer product.

Get your stuff!

Yup, just 3 simple ingredients.

Combine the egg whites and vanilla in a medium bowl and beat until frothy.

Add the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine.

Don’t stop here though, at this point it will be too soupy to decorate with.  Now turn the mixer to high, and beat until peaks form, about 5-8 minutes.  In this time it will become much more like icing and less like a glaze.

And there you have it, royal icing!

Now while you are using this, it’s a good idea to cover the bowl with a damp cloth since it dries out and hardens quite quickly.

Click here for printable recipe

Posted in Frostings, Fillings, and Glazes | 2 Comments

Cinnamon Biscuits!

Here is a quick alternative to cinnamon rolls.  Sure you could pop open a can from the doughboy, but really what fun is that?

If you will be having company this holiday season, here is something to feed ’em for breakfast, it’s so easy that you could do it with your eyes glued half shut!

Grab some stuff

First sift or whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

Then cut in the butter until most of it is blended, a few little pieces of butter left behind is OK.

Now take 3/4 cup of the milk and mix in the vanilla extract.  Pour into the flour mixture.

Stir just until combined.  If the dough looks a bit dry, add up to another 1/4 cup of milk.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle or something that looks vaguely like a rectangle…

And spread it with a 1/4 cup softened or melted butter.

And sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

And give it a roll, starting at the long side.

Guess who rolled the whole thing up and then noticed the chopped pecans over on the cutting board…..

So I unrolled it and put some chopped pecans on it.  This is optional, I’d say about 3/4 cup.

Now roll it up a second time, only if your a blockhead…

Make a log

Slice it into about 1/2 inch slices and place in a greased 8×8 square pan that has been greased.

At this point you can pop the dough in the fridge if you’d like.  You can make this the night before, and bake it in the morning, or you can bake it immediately.  Bake @350 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

While they are still hot, lets make a glaze.

In a small bowl combine 1 cup powdered confectioners sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon of milk.

Give it a stir.  If it’s too thick add up to one more tablespoon milk.

Give it a schmear on the cinnamon biscuits, you don’t have to get pretty with it

Feel free to double this recipe for a 9×13 pan, you’ll probably want to!

Click here for printable recipe

Posted in Bread and Dough | 3 Comments

Brownie Cheesecake!

YUM..

Brownies and cheesecake, that’s all I have to say.

I had a vision, a brownie on the bottom of a cheesecake was great, but why not little brownies all over the top?  Then the light bulb appeared over my head

The filling for this cheesecake comes from Crumbboss.com , This is a professional pastry chef in NJ, and her attention deficit best friend (I say that in the nicest possible way) that make videos on Youtube.  There is a ton of awesome information on these videos, they are a bit chaotic, but I can hardly fault these women for having fun!

Here’s what you’ll need

  • 1 recipe for brownies found here
  • 3 8 oz. packages cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 oz. heavy cream or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

First we are going to make that brownie recipe, mixed just as directed, but divided into two separate pans,   a 9″ springform and an 8″ square baking pan.  We’re going to make the cheesecake “crust” in the springform and tiny brownies in the other.  You’ll only have to bake these for 15-20 minutes since they are quite a bit thinner than when the recipe is baked all in one pan.  If you choose to use a brownie mix (I won’t judge) go for the “family size” that is made in a 9×13 pan.

Let those cool for a bit while we make the filling.

Now this filling recipe was a new one for me.  I was curious about the 6 eggs in the recipe, that’s double the amount that I usually use in a cheesecake this size, but coming from a professional pastry chef, I was confident that it would be awesome, and it was!  6 eggs created a nice firm cheesecake, but was still very creamy.  Lets get the filling started.

This is crazy simple.

place cream cheese (room temperature) in the bowl of a mixer and mix until smooth, add the sugar beat until smooth.

Toss in the vanilla.

Now beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, remember we’re not whipping the tar out of it!

Scrape down the bowl as needed.

Add the cream and mix to combine

Wrap that springform pan with the brownie in it with heavy duty aluminum foil.  Pour batter into pan, place pan in water bath.

bake that for 45 minutes or 1 hour it should jiggle like jello and be slightly firm around the edges.  Try not to over bake, you want a nice creamy cheesecake without cracks.

here’s what you’ll get, let it rest in that water bath for 1 hour before chilling

Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Remove from pan and place on serving plate.

Make the ganache, by bringing 1/2 cup of heavy cream to a boil in the microwave.  Place the chocolate chips into the hot cream and let sit for a minute.

Now whisk lightly, and if all you have is the beater of a mixer because you’ve been cooking all day, that will do too.

Whisk until smooth.

now resist dragging your finger through it..

Remember those brownies in the other pan?  Now is time to use them.  Cut ’em into little mini brownies

with your ganache, you’ll want to glaze the top of the cheesecake.  Pour some into the middle and gently spread over the top pushing just a little over the edges for a drizzled look.

Now place those tiny brownies over the top of the cheesecake. and drizzle with more ganache

Yay for artistic blur….

and here is the finished product sans blur

Click here for printable recipe

 

 

 

Posted in Cakes | 1 Comment

Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

Here are some past recipes to go with your Thanksgiving feast!

Pumpkin Cream Pie

Pecan Pie

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Stuffing Bread

Mom’s Rolls

Potato Rolls

 

Hope everyone has a Fantastic Thanksgiving!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Mom’s Rolls

How about some nice homemade rolls for holiday dinners?

This is my mom’s recipe, the one she made for every holiday dinner.  I can’t eat these without thinking about her.  The next morning, my dad would split them and butter them then fry in a frying pan, so that’s what I do with the leftovers.

This recipe makes enough for a crowd.  Don’t put it all in one pan, you could have an “I Love Lucy moment”…

This should make enough for at least 4 loaves of bread, or 4 dozen good sized rolls.

gather your stuff!

The evaporated milk is the unique ingredient in this recipe and I think that it gives these rolls their great flavor.  You CAN substitute regular milk too, but this is how ma does it, so that’s how I do it!  Don’t mess with mama’s recipes!

First combine the lukewarm water (not too hot, you’ll kill the yeast) about 110-120 degrees, sugar and yeast.

Let it sit for about ten minutes to get all bubbly and frothy, just to make sure that the yeast is alive.

See it’s alive, if it doesn’t do this, toss it and start with fresh yeast.

Now add evaporated milk, 1/2 of the flour and the salt, remember don’t add the salt right to the yeast, yeast doesn’t like salt much.

Give it a stir.  Stir in as much flour as you can easily do with a spoon.

Then plop that shaggy mess out onto a well floured board and toss some flour on top.

And knead adding enough flour so that it is no longer wet and sticky.  Try not to add too much flour, you still want a soft pliable dough.

Once the dough is smooth and elastic, place in a large greased bowl.  Grease the top of the dough too, you can spritz it with a Pam type of spray, this will help keep it from drying out while it rises.

Let rise until doubled in size.

Now shape into rolls or bread, like this recipe, or this recipe.  Let rise until doubled, or almost as large as you would like the final product.  Bake @ 350 degrees until golden brown, 20-25 minutes for rolls, or 30-35 minutes for loaves of bread.

If you are making bread loaves, 1 1/2 pounds of dough will fill a standard loaf pan nicely.

here’s the finished product!

Click here for printable recipe

 

Posted in Bread and Dough | 7 Comments

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

If the pumpkin bread wasn’t decadent enough, lets make some bread pudding out of it….

The best bread pudding that I have ever had was made with cake, not bread.  I’ve had some great bread puddings made with bread, but last year when I saw a Bobby Flay recipe using pumpkin bread, I knew I had to try it.  Having an already perfect pumpkin bread, I set out to make my own, and here it is.  This is a dish that my beloved aunt would call fat ass on a plate….

 

Here’s what you’ll need.

  • 1/2 recipe of pumkin bread (one of the two loaves in this recipe)
  • eggs
  • milk (or half and half if your feeling frisky)
  • pumpkin
  • vanilla
  • eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Start of by taking one loaf of pumpkin bread and cutting it into cubes, and spreading out on a cookie sheet.  Bake that for 15-20 minutes or until it starts to dry out and brown lightly.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes.

While that is in the oven, prepare your water bath.  Place a greased 9×13 or similar sized casserole into a larger roasting pan.  Place enough water into the roasting pan to come half way up the smaller 9×13 or casserole.

Next, take the milk, sugar, vanilla, eggs and pumpkin and place in a large bowl

Whisk to combine

Mix in the cubed bread

moosh it down good so that it soaks up some of the custard.

Dump into the greased casserole.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the custard has set.

And viola, I give you more calories than you really need…

Eat this warm with some freshly whipped cream, your friends and family will think that you’re some kind of genius.  This is going to probably make the pumpkin pie jealous.

click here for printable recipe

Posted in Quick Breads and Muffins | 1 Comment