Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

applecake1

One of my all-time favorite cakes is Apple Spice Cake. I loved when my mom baked them growing up. My favorite two desserts that she made were apple cake and banana pudding. I always requested them and my chances that she’d make them got a lot better when I moved away from home :).

Now that the weather is getting cooler and apples are coming into season I found myself craving an apple cake. The recipe my mom uses calls for a lot of vegetable oil and I decided to try a new recipe that featured butter instead. I researched recipes for a while and found this recipe from Cooking Light that sounded great and had received awesome reviews since it was originally printed in 1997. Now, I kind of disagree that this is a light recipe but if they say so…I guess I’ll let myself feel better about it. But how can a cake be light when the recipe includes a stick of butter and cream cheese?

All that matters is that this cake is so good I ended up baking it three times last week. Once for us, once for my sister-in-law (who is expecting her second soon!) and once for my mom. The cake received outstanding reviews from everyone. My sister-in-law texted me the day after it was dropped off and said she’d already had two pieces for dessert and one for breakfast. And she used it as a bargaining tool to get our niece to eat her meals. She said that Emerson loved it so much she would tell her she could have one bite of cake if she ate a bite of her dinner. And I’m very happy to report that my mom approved of the new recipe and even asked for it. So it was a success all around.

The directions call for baking this cake in a springform pan and it gives it a great height that you can’t get from a standard cake pan. I changed the recipe up a bit by changing the mixing method and adding extra cream cheese, nutmeg and chopped pecans. I think the pecans are a must in this cake.

This Apple Cinnamon Cake stays moist for days and is definitely a fall crowd pleaser.I admit that I ate it for breakfast and dessert! It’s delicious served warm with ice cream!

Apple Cinnamon Cake
(Recipe adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients:

1 1/2  cups  sugar, plus extra for cinnamon sugar mixture for pan
8 ounces (1 block) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1/2  cup  butter (1 stick), softened
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
2  large eggs
1 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
1 1/2  teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus extra for cinnamon sugar mixture for pan
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons  baking powder
1/2 teaspoon  salt
1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
3  cups chopped peeled Fuji apples (about 2 large)
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
Cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together a little bit of cinnamon and sugar (about 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 3 tablespoons sugar). Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter wrapper or cooking spray. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture and tap sides to evenly distribute. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt. Whisk together well to incorporate. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, place 1 1/2 cups sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Mix on medium high speed until lightened in color and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture to cream cheese mixture a little at a time, beating at low speed until well blended.

Mix in apples and pecans. Pour batter prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Yield: 12 servings

applecake

Read Full Post »

cookiesandcreamricekrispy

Part two of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer bake sale that I posted about on Saturday. Read all about it here (or just scroll down to the last post).  I made Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting and these Cookies and Cream Rice Krispy Treats. I saw these on Annie’s Eats a several months ago. For whatever reason, Rice Krispy Treats are always a huge hit at bake sales so I decided to put a twist on them with the Cookies and Cream version.

These were really not hard to make and such a delicous twist on your everyday Rice Krispy Treat. And who doesn’t love Oreos?

Cookies and Cream Rice Krispy Treats
(Recipe source Annie’s Eats)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips because it was all I had!)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces (1 small package) marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 cups Rice Krispies
20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped, plus extra finely chopped for topping
4-6 oz. white chocolate, chopped

Directions:

Melt bittersweet chocolate in a small glass bowl, microwaving in 30 second intervals. Stirring after each 30 second interval, until completely melted. Set aside.  Grease a 9×13″ pan with butter or cooking spray.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Turn off heat and stir in chocolate and vanilla. Gently stir in Rice Krispies and Oreos, mix to coat evenly. Press mixture into prepared pan, leveling the top.

Place white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stir continuously until completely melted. Spread melted white chocolate over the Rice Crispies and then sprinkle and press in remaining chopped oreos. Set aside to cool and let chocolate set completely. Cut into squares.

Read Full Post »

pumpkincupcakes

Happy October everyone! It’s breast cancer awareness month!

Some of you know that Brandon and I recently moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. I accepted a temporary position with the American Cancer Society working on their Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. For the last four months I’ve been recruiting teams for Making Strides and raising awareness about the event in our community.

Despite being event staff, our office still wanted to raise money for the event. We organized a bake sale the week before the walk and it was a huge hit in our building. Everyone was very excited about the goodies and about raising funds for breast cancer. We were so amazed by the generosity that was shown.

bakesaleteam

I decided to make pumpkin cupcakes to give everyone a little taste of fall. While researching recipes these Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting from Smitten Kitchen sounded awesome. They were delicious and received great feedback. I even had a co-worker ask for the recipe to make for Thanksgiving dessert.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer was held on September 26 in Charlotte and I’m happy to report that we had over 4,000 walkers and raised over $265,000 for the fight against breast cancer! Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is held in communities nationwide. Check out the Web site here.

And here is the recipe for the pumpkin cupcakes…

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
(Recipe source Smitten Kitchen, who adapted the recipe from David Leite)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CAKE
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (100% pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling)
Cupcake liners

FOR THE FROSTING
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Directions:

FOR THE CAKE
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with 18 liners.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until fluffy and lightened in color, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt salt in a medium bowl.

Reduce mixer speed to medium low and add eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat in the pumpkin until mixture is smooth. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Rap the filled pans once on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on racks completely before frosting.

FOR THE FROSTING
Beat all ingredients in a stand mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Frost cupcakes.

Yield: 18 cupcakes

Read Full Post »

pumpkinchocchipbar2

Every year at about this time the food blogging world goes crazy for pumpkin. Seriously…it’s everywhere, all everyone can talk about. I’m not quite in the fall mindset yet because a) I just love summer so much and all the fresh fruits and vegetables that come with it and b) it’s still 85 degrees here!

The big news this year is the canned pumpkin shortage in some parts of the country. I’ll admit that when I was at the grocery last weekend I couldn’t help but look to see if they had pumpkin in stock. Don’t worry – we’re fine here in Charlotte! No pumpkin shortage for us. I picked up a can and caved and decided to bake these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars that I spotted from Martha Stewart.

I’ll admit, begrudgingly, that these were awesome – especially fresh out of the oven. They have a cake like texture and are very moist. They were great served warm with ice cream on top!

And I’ll also admit…you’ll be seeing another pumpkin post from me soon!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
(Recipe heavily adapted from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (make sure you’re using 100% pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix)
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish by lining it with aluminum foil, shiny side down, leaving about a 1-inch overhang on the edges. Grease foil (I like to use the wrapper from the butter).

In a bowl, mix together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars on medium-high for about 3 minutes, until lightened in color and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until just combined. Beat in pumpkin puree. Reduce speed to low and slowly mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan and spread to ensure it’s even. Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the foil and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. About 35-40 minutes.

Let cool in pan. Once cool, lift foil from pan and cut squares.

Read Full Post »

icecreamsundaepie

Brandon had been asking for and ice cream pie. I was tempted to make my standby, cookies and cream with an Oreo crust, but decided to look around to see if anything else caught my eye. I saw this Malt Shop Ice Cream Pie on myrecipes.com and thought with a few modifications it would be a winning combination. One of Brandon’s all time favorite desserts is a chocolate malt so I knew he would love this pie.

I think what sold me on it the most was the sugar cone crust. What a fun idea! The crust didn’t really hold together well but I think if I had crushed the cones a little finer I wouldn’t have had that problem. I substituted the strawberry ice cream in the Cooking Light recipe for chocolate and made my own fudge sauce to go in between layers and on top.

I’ll definitely be making this pie again but next time I’ll add more malt powder to get a stronger malt flavor. I think this would be great to serve to dinner guests topped with a cherry!

icecreamsundaewholepie

Malted Ice Cream Sundae Pie
(Recipe adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons  honey
2 tablespoons  butter, melted
12 sugar cones, crushed
2 cups low-fat chocolate ice cream, softened
1/4 cup malted milk powder, divided
1/2 cup  hot fudge topping, plus more for topping
2  cups low-fat vanilla ice cream, softened
Canned whipped cream

Directions:

Combine crushed sugar cones, honey and butter in a medium bowl and stir well to combine. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm.

Place softened chocolate ice cream and 2 tablespoons of malted milk powder in a bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until smooth and creamy. Spread mixture evenly into crust and spread hot fudge over the ice cream. Freeze 30 minutes or until firm.

Place softened vanilla ice cream and remaining 2 tablespoons of malted milk powder in a bowl. Beat with a mixer at hight speed until smooth and creamy. Spread mixture evenly over first 2 layers.

Cover and freeze 4 hours or until firm. Top with hot fudge and whipped cream just before serving.

Yield: 8 servings

Read Full Post »

blueberrypeachcrisp

Some of you might remember that Brandon and I recently moved to Charlotte, North Carolina from Birmingham, Alabama. One of the things we were looking forward to most about the move to Charlotte was being close to great outdoor activities. Last weekend we decided to head to the Pisgah National Forest to hike and camp.

jensulmountain

We were extremely pleased to discover that it’s blueberry season in the mountains and the trail we hiked was FULL of blueberry bushes. You would not believe the amount of blueberries we saw – mountains full! We snacked on blueberries on our hike in and out from our campsite and picked two gallon bags full to take home. It was totally worth the extra weight in our packs!

brandonmountain

So despite being tired from the weekend on Sunday night, I was eager to bake something with my blueberries. I had been planning on making a peach cobbler and had some peaches in the fridge. I was looking for blueberry peach cobbler recipes online when Brandon mentioned he preferred cobbler with “crunchy topping.” I informed him he had a crisp in mind and began looking for crisp recipes. I saw this recipe on Use Real Butter and knew I would look no further.

It was awesome. The flavor of the blueberries really shined and the pecans added just the right nutty taste. You don’t toast them before adding them to the crisp topping but they get a great toasted flavor as they bake. With a scoop of ice cream, this is a heavenly dessert!

Blueberry Peach Crisp
(Recipe source Use Real Butter, originally from Fine Cooking)

Ingredients:

2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened – plus more for greasing pan
3 ounces all purpose flour (this is a little shy of 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
2/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
3 cups (about 1 pound) blueberries, rinsed and picked through
3 medium peaches (about 1 pound), peeled and sliced about 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square pan, or a comparable size baking pan (I used an oval baker).

To make the topping, mix together flour, brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Work butter into the mixture until clumpy.

For the fruit, mix together blueberries, peaches, sugar, cornstarch and nutmeg. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly.

Sprinkle topping over fruit and bake for about 40 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned. Serve warm with ice cream.

Yield: 6 servings

blueberriesandpeaches250

Read Full Post »

figupsidedown

I really wanted to bake something with the figs that I picked on Monday (see my fig pickin’ story and my Grilled Pizza with Fresh Figs, Prosciutto, Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese here). I was not in the mood for a pie or tart and kind of had my heart set on baking some sort of cake so I Googled “fresh fig cake.” Surprisingly, there is not an abundance of fig cake recipes but I did find one Fig Upside Down Cake that sounded like just what I had in mind.

This cake was very simple to put together and so delicious warm out of the oven with a scoop of ice cream. The “upside down” topping of brown sugar, butter and honey caramelizes with the figs to create a caramelized fig preserves type flavor. The cake is moist and buttery and still tasted great the second day warmed up a little.

Fig Upside Down Cake
(Recipe source nola.com)

Ingredients:

12 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
10 fresh figs, stems removed, cut in half (I needed more like 15)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch sides (I used an 8-inch pan and it worked fin). Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter the parchment.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in the microwave. Stir in the brown sugar and honey until smooth. Pour the sauce into the prepared cake pan. Arrange figs, cut sides down, in concentric circles over the sauce. Set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, beat the remaining 8 tablespoons butter with sugar and vanilla until lightened in color and texture, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well combined after each. Turn mixer to low speed and add dry ingredients and milk in 3 parts, beginning and ending with flour. Spoon the batter evenly over the figs.

Bake until golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes (mine only took 45 so start checking early). Transfer the cake to a rack and cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes.

Run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a serving platter on top of the pan and invert the cake. Gently lift off the pan and remove the parchment paper. Serve warm. Extra delicious with ice cream.

Read Full Post »

cherrycobbler250

Tonight was the last night of my visit with my grandmother. Unfortunately, I have to head back to Charlotte tomorrow and rejoin the working world. I’ve definitely enjoyed my week off of work. My dad bought some great looking Bing Cherries at the Dekalb Farmers Market last weekend. He loves all things cherry so I decided to treat everyone to fresh cherry cobbler tonight.

I really love making fruit cobblers. They are a breeze to throw together and a great way to showcase summer fruits. I thought this cobbler had just the right ratio of fruit to dough (my biggest cobbler pet peeve is too much dough) and had just the right balance of tart and sweet. The topping is biscuity, which I prefer, and has just a hint of cinnamon.

If you are a cherry lover, this cobbler is a must try!

Fresh Cherry Cobbler
(Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse)

Ingredients:

FOR THE FILLING:
5 cups Bing cherries, pitted
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3-4 teaspoons cornstarch

FOR THE TOPPING:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons cold butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare an 8 x 8 pan with cooking spray.

Mix together cherry filling ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until mixture is bubbling and thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir frequently. Start with 3 teaspoons of cornstarch and add extra teaspoon if necessary. Pour filling into prepared pan.

In the meantime, mix together flour, sugars, baking powder and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl, combine egg and milk. Stir into flour mixture until just combined.

Top cherry filling with tablespoons of dough. You should have about three rows of three dough dollops. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until topping is golden in color.

Serve with ice cream.

Yield: 6-8 servings

cherrycobblerpan

Read Full Post »

oatmealraisin

Oatmeal raisin cookies are my FAVORITE. Seriously…if I could only eat one kind of cookie for the rest of my life it would be oatmeal raisin. I love them thick and chewy on the inside and a little crisp around the edges. I tried this recipe from Smitten Kitchen a few months ago and I  think it’s great and have made it several times since.

Most recently, I made them for Round 8 of Operation Baking Gals. This is a great organization where you join a team to bake for our troops overseas. I participated in Round 6 over Christmas and found it very rewarding. Here is my post explaining the organization and what I baked last time.

The soldier that we baked for this time was stationed in Iraq and has a wife and new baby at home. My package had oatmeal raisin cookies, peanut butter cookies and lots of other goodies (granola bars, mac and cheese, magazines, etc) .

If you’d like to do something for our troops overseas, I highly recommend joining a baking team at Operation Baking Gals!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
(Recipe source Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

Fit a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. On medium speed, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy and lightened in color (1-2 minutes). Add eggs one at a time and vanilla until smooth.

Reduce mixer speed to medium-low and slowly mix in flour mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and nuts.

Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before scooping onto a cookie sheet. Make sure they’re about two inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Take them out when they’re beginning to get golden around the edges and look a little undercooked in the middle.

Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Read Full Post »

chocbiscotti

I made this Chocolate Biscotti along with some Strawberry Scones to send to my grandmother for her birthday last month. The biscotti holds up well when shipped and has a longer shelf life than regular cookies. My grandmother told me she stuck them in the freezer and takes one out when she wants a snack.

This was my first time making biscotti. It was fairly easy and I think it makes a great gift. It’s pretty versatile and can be enjoyed as a snack, dessert or even breakfast (hey, some people like it with coffee!). My husband would be one of those in the “Chocolate is okay for breakfast” camp.

I’ll definitely be making this and other biscotti recipes in the future.

Chocolate Biscotti
(Recipe source Proceed With Caution, originally from Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From My Home to Yours)

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder (followed recommendation to replace with cocoa powder since I didn’t have espresso powder)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped almonds, blanched or unblanched (or about 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or 3/4 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
Sugar, for dusting

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Fit a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat butter and sugar on medium speed until lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Mixture may still be crumbly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. On low speed, add eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. Return mixer to low speed and mix in the dry ingredients in three additions. Mix only until dough comes together.

Mix in the chopped nuts and chocolate and turn dough out onto a work surface. Divide dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll dough into 12-inch-long logs. Flatten both logs with the palm of your hand so that they are 1/2 to 1 inch high and about 2 inches across and sort of rectangular. Carefully lift the logs onto the baking sheet and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until they are just slightly firm. The logs will have spread and cracked a little. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes. Leave oven on for second baking.

Use a serrated knife to cut each log into slices between 1/2 and 3/4 inch thick. Stand slices up on the baking sheet (like the picture at the top of the post) and return to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.

Transfer biscotti to a wire rack. Cool completely.

Yield: Around 25 bicotti

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 427 other followers