Wednesday, November 24, 2010

{Bobby Flayed}

I've been Bobby Flayed.

I saw his Pumpkin Bread Pudding on Throwdown with Pioneer Woman and thought I had to try that.

So, i did.

How do you spell labor intensive?

Oh.. yeah.

B-O-B-B-Y-F-L-A-Y.




That is all....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

{Tradition- bucked}

A couple weeks ago I mentioned how my guys always want the same desserts for Thanksgiving. Sugar Cream Pudding for the Bean, Peach Pie for the husband.

Imagine my shock when the latter informs me that he wants Apple this year!

gasp!

Sure, change your mind, make a liar out of me, after I’ve told the whole internet.

whatever.

I’ll be using the same recipe I used last month when I make it however.

Streusel Topped Apple Pie
Ingredients
1 pie shell (9 inch)

Filling:

5  cups apples - peeled, cored and sliced- thinner is better :)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons butter (stick)

Streusel Top:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter

Directions:

Preheat to 425.

Line your baking rack with foil in case of bubble overage.

In a large bowl, toss the apples with the 3 TBS flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and white sugar. Add vanilla and toss again. 

When well coated, pour apples into pie shell.

Chop butter into small squares and place on top of apples.

Cover loosely with foil. 

Bake for 10 minutes at 425.

Then reduce to 375.

To make the streusel, cut the 3/4 C flour, other 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, brown sugar, and oats into the butter until crumbly.

If you wanna go a little crazy, you can chop up 1/4 cup pecans or walnuts to add crunch to your topping.
But you should know by now that I’m no fan of nuts

You can do as you please.

It’s your pie.

Remove pie from oven, add streusel topping, again covered loosely (not sealed) with foil, and return to oven for 30- 35 minutes.

Apples will be tender and streusel will be brown and lovely.

ApplePie

And pretty. Did I mention it will be pretty?

No?

Cuz it will.

With a whisk and a dream… Tina.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

{“Cakes have layers”}

“You know, not everybody like onions. Cakes! Everybody likes cakes. Cakes have layers.”- Donkey, Shrek


So… today was my hubby’s birthday dinner.

I made him a cake… of course. Not much of a birthday dinner without cake is it?

He’s a plain kinda guy. You know what I mean. Likes chocolate cake. Likes yellow cake. 

The end. 

No spice cake. No red velvet cake. Not even German chocolate cake.

I was supposed to make him a chocolate cake, from a box (cuz that’s how he likes it) with white icing.

Hmm…

I gotta kick this up a notch.

I like stripes.
Stripes are pretty.

So, i baked cakes.

Not cake. Cakes.

1  chocolate, 1 yellow.

StripesRack
That’s lotta layers.

Intention- 6 layers.

Reality- 5 layers.

Why?

StripesFail

I coulda sworn I had the whole thing on the rack….

Let’s move on from my failures, shall we?

mmkaythanks.

Chocolate icing between layers

Stripes1

stack, stack, stack!

Stripes2

Crumb coat (aka “dirty ice”)

StripesDirtyIced

2nd coat of icing and….

Ta Da!

stripes

No, icing cakes is not my strong suit.

Thanks for noticing :D

The best part is that, other than being tall, no one will know the secret until you cut into it!

Much like the Rainbow Cake

I’m all about big reveals  ;)

And when you DO cut it… they will ooooh. 

They will ahhhhhh.

StripesCut

And they will say….

“You are so clever!”

At least they SHOULD say it. 

If not I advise new friends. If it’s family… good luck with that.

StripesOnPlate

They will also say… YUM!

Because in the wise words of Donkey, “Cakes! Everybody likes cakes. Cakes have layers!”.

This one just has more than most ;)
By the way, this cake is so tall, I had to serve it on dinner plates instead of dessert plates! Gotta love that, eh?

*note- since there were 3 layers per cake, I baked them for 25 minutes instead of the 35 it said on the back
of the box.

With a whisk and a dream… Tina

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

{Snickerdoodles: My favorite cookie}

Or how about a snicker?

As in doodles!

Snickerdoodles!

I’ve always loved the name of this cookie. It makes me giggle.

Not, it USED to make me giggle when I was a kid. It makes me giggle still.

There are many theories, though no one knows for sure, where the name for these soft, sweet, and cinnamony (ignore spellcheck, it’s a word) cookies came from.

The Joy Of Cooking” claims that they are most likely German, coming from the word Schneckennudeln,  meaning ‘Snail Dumplings’. However, why ANYONE would want to name a cookie Snail Dumplings is so far beyond me that I have no words.

It’s also been suggested that it comes from the Dutch word snekrad or the German word Schneck which both refer to a snail shape.

This is worrying.

My cookies do not look like snails.

Have I failed the Schneckennudeln …errr.. Snickerdoodle task?

I think not.
Doodles

Another variation of the story is that snickerdoodle is Dutch in roots and its name is an abbreviation of "Saint Nicholas."

I like this story much butter.

HAHA, I typed butter. Freudian Slip much?

I meant… I like this story much BETTER.

Although I’m not sure how Snickerdoodle is an abbreviation of Saint Nicholas. Abbreviation means shortening. Snickerdoodle is no shorter than Saint Nicholas.

But let’s debate that some other day.

Or not.

I’ve used many Snickerdoodle recipes over the years. It’s really just a trumped up Sugar Cookie using Cream of Tartar instead of Baking Powder. The Cream of Tartar gives them their signature crackle tops.

Here’s the one I used for these cookies:
 
Mrs. Sigg’s Snickerdoodles
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream together butter, shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough (about a tablespoon) into balls. I highly recommend getting a cookie scoop. They are the perfect size. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Coat balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets (or Parchment Paper!!!!!!). Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. I baked mine 9. Exactly. Remove immediately from baking sheets to wire racks.

Original recipe was found at www.allrecipes.com.

I don’t think it will be a shock to anyone when I say… Christmas is getting close.

These cookies, though good anytime of year, just feel kinda Christmasy.

Don’t forget to add Snickerdoodles to your holiday baking list.

These are someone’s favorites.

I won’t mention names, but like the cookies, he is quite soft and squishy.

And jolly.

Can cookies be jolly?

DoodlesOnPlate

He likes his with milk.

And the reindeer like apples.

I’m just sayin’…..

With a whisk and a dream…(and now has her name on the NICE list) Tina

Monday, November 8, 2010

{We just can’t have that: Chocolate Whoopie Pies}


I had filling leftover.

We just can’t have that.

I’m pretty sure I could be jailed if I tossed it in the trash.

So….

What’s a girl to do?

Make more whoopies…. of course!

The Red Velvet batch, taken to a Sunday School room with 8 teenagers,
was gone in 60 seconds.

Flat.

Chocolate1

This time I did the Classic Chocolate as posted on Bakerella’s website.

Her batter was fluffier, probably from all the beating, and the cakes were lighter.

They were delish!

ChocoWhoopie

When asked which he preferred, however, the Bean said… the Red Velvet. 

He has no idea that was my recipe.

SCORE!

Must buy him something expensive  for Christmas….

With a whisk and a dream… and no more cream filling… Tina

Sunday, November 7, 2010

{mmm…cheesy}

In case you want to try your Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with the traditional Cream Cheese filling.. here’s one for you:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (not melted!)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

Beat together the vanilla, cream cheese, and butter. Add powdered sugar slowly. 

Dip spoon into the bowl. 

Remove. 

Lick.

Moan happily.

The end.

With a whisk and a dream and…mmmmmm.. cream cheese… Tina

Saturday, November 6, 2010

{Whoopieeee!!!!!!!!!!!!! : Red Velvet Whoopie Pies}


The legend goes, that if an Amish child (or it’s been said husband) opened their lunch pail and found one of these in there, they would shout, “Whoopie!”.  They were supposedly made from leftover batter and therefore a rare treat. 

And that is how the Whoopie Pie got it’s name.

I’ve never made a whoopie pie before. 

I’ve been wanting to for a really long time, but I’ve been wanting to hire a rainbow colored unicorn to fly me to England.

Just because I want, doesn’t mean it’s gunna happen.

In the case of the Whoopie Pie, however… it did.

I’m still waiting for my unicorn.

It’s late.

I got the grand idea last night, that my first Whoopie Pie would be a red velvet whoopie pie.

So, I spent a good hour making up my own recipe by mashing together red velvet cake and a few different whoopie pie recipes.

I shoulda googled “Red Velvet Whoopie Pie recipe”. 

It was late. I wasn’t thinking straight.

However… my first 'original recipe’ was kinda awesome.

IMG_2513

Here’s the down and dirties:

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Cake:
1 2/3 Cups All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
1/4 Cup Shortening
1/4 Cup (1/2 sick) Butter
1 Cup Milk
1 Large Egg
1 Tablespoon Red Food Coloring (or more)
1/2 teaspoon white distilled vinegar (I totally forgot to put this in!)

Preheat oven to 375* 

Mix together the butter, shortening, sugar, and egg. Beat in the vanilla and milk. Add the dry ingredients while mixing slowly. Finally add in the red food coloring (I used 1/2 teaspoon gel coloring, because that’s what I had!) and vinegar. Unless you forget the vinegar. 

Like I did. 

You’ll notice mine are not a DEEP red velvet. Add another Tablespoon of red food coloring if you crave the cranberry. 

Or the vinegar might make a difference. 

But don’t ask me, because I wouldn’t know. 

Drop onto parchment lined baking sheets. I started big. They were SO big. The size of a hamburger almost. Though I've read that is the correct size, it's just crazy big. 

Then I went down to the small cookie scoop. I'd guess it to be about 1 Tablespoon. 

Both batches I baked for 10 mins. 

They will be springy when done. 

Cool for a few minutes before moving to wire rack. 

IMG_2521

Pretty…

While you are baking, you can start your filling.

Red Velvet is nearly always topped with Cream Cheese Frosting. I considered this, but bucked tradition and went with an Amish Cream Filling.

I’ll tell you right here, right now. SWEET.

I have a dentist appointment next week. 

I think I have a new cavity due to this filling.

Not that it’s not good.. because it’s sooooooo good. I just wouldn’t recommend eating it with a spoon :D

Not that I’d ever do such a thing!

Ok, here we go.

Amish Cream Filling

3 teaspoons flour
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Crisco
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/4 Cup (1/2 stick) Butter
2 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar

Mix flour and milk in a heavy pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. It will thicken as you stir. When done it will look like this.

IMG_2518

Cool completely. I sat my pan in an ice water bath to cool faster.

Cream together Crisco, butter, sugar and vanilla. Then add cooled milk mixture. Add powdered sugar. This will be thick when done. Your spoon will stand in it, and it will not drip off.

By the way, this makes about double what you’ll need… I found out the hard way.

IMG_2525
IMG_2530

Fill your cooled Whoopie Pies with this.

Whoopies for lil kids

IMG_2535

Whoopies for big kids

IMG_2522

Whoopies for all!

Yummy. The soft cakes, which are somewhere between a cake and cookie texture balance the creamy sweet filling perfectly.

My first original recipe and it wasn’t an epic fail! WOOHOOO!

erm.. I mean, WHOOPIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With a whisk and a dream… Tina

Thursday, November 4, 2010

{Taste the Rainbow…Cake}

I baked a cake! From a box mix! And I used canned icing!

RainbowHiding

Ooooook?

That’s a little underwhelming.

RainbowPeek

Wait… what’s that I see there??

“Show me more!”, you shout.

“I will oblige,” I reply.

And so I do…

RainbowCut

Gasp!

Yes, I made a Rainbow Cake.

Not the Rainbow Cake that I WANT to make. See it here.

I’m lacking 4 round cake pans, and about 10# of patience.

I WILL make it though.

On a side note, I’m taking up donations for round cake pans.

And 10# of patience.

To make the rainbow cake, which I have seen in several spots across the net, including Omnomicon and All Recipes, is much easier, or so I would assume. Still very messy, but still very fun.

First you use your basic white cake mix.

Invite Betty, Duncan, or the Dough Boy to help here.

Since I fail at life, and only had yellow… you’ll understand that my colors are a little off. 

Mix according to directions, then spoon out into 6 bowls (or however many colors you want to have in your cake).Color using GEL coloring if possible. These only require a little to get a vibrant tint. You’ll want 5 colors about even amounts, with one color, being your base color, to have a little more batter.


 RainbowBatter
Please ignore the purple in back. 

She’s unattractive, and she knows it. 

She’s very ashamed.

Then layer in pan one color at a time.

RainbowInPan

Prettttttttttty. Well, except Purple there…

Then bake according to package instructions.

RainbowBaked
When I saw these, I started to cry. Because they were ugly.

Then I realized my tears would make the cake soggy. 

Then decided I needed coffee.

And a life.

Baking before 9 am is hazardous to my mental well being.


After cooling, frost. Cause you didn’t know that part already, right?

I make a mean Buttercream icing. Sadly, I am out of Crisco, so I couldn’t make it.

I have canned Buttercream.

It’s SO not the same.

The males in this house care not though. 

It goes something like this.. “Grunt” “FOOD” “Grunt” “CAKE!”.

And all is well in their world.

Once frosted, I cut, held my breath, and….


RainbowSlice

Oooooooooooooooooooo…… aaaaahhhhhhh!

And Purple isn’t even that ugly! Aww…

I can already see this being used for many occasions. 

Green, Red, and White for Christmas.

Red, White, and Blue for Independence Day.

Lots of colors, like this, for birthdays.

I feel like this could be topped with M&Ms for an M&M themed party.

Red and Yellow for Gryffindor for a Harry Potter Party!!! 

Mmmhhhmmmm… I think I’ll be doing that one.

With a whisk and a dream…and food coloring stained fingers… Tina

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

{I Know What You Did Last Christmas}

This is a convenience for you but also good for holiday gifts. 

Ok, so they aren’t as pretty as the cookies in a jar thing-a-ma-jigs, but this makes a whole recipe, not just a handful.

And people won’t be tempted to sit these on their shelves and admire them while exclaiming, “It’s just too pretty to use!”

At least I hope not!

But you never know about people.

baggedcookies 

Last Christmas season, I bagged up all the dry ingredients for cookies making it quicker and easier for holiday baking (or gift giving, as I said up there ^ ).

For Peanut Butter Blossoms, I dropped a smaller ziploc inside (you remember how I love ziplocs, yes?) with enough chocolate kisses to top the Blossoms. I also dropped a printed and folded  recipe inside a, yes, you guessed it, snack sized ziploc.

For the chocolate chip, I did the same, bagging the chips and recipe in individual bags.
Then, when it’s time to bake… siss, boom, bah! Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 

Done.

Or somethin’ like that.

With a whisk and a dream… Tina

Monday, November 1, 2010

{Car Guys Love ‘Em: Chewy Oatmeal Cookies}


Along with non-car guys, girls, and kids too…

Last month my husband went to a car meet out of state. I sent 2 recipes of these with him. He wasn’t sure he wanted to be “that guy”. 

Know what I mean? 

The one who’s wife sends cookies. 

The weird guy.

Anyway, he got the cookies out and was like, my wife made these if anyone wants them. His buddy, that has had my baking several times, was like, heck yeah! Try them.

Long story short, a week after he got home, he was still getting emails saying the cookies were delicious.

I don’t claim cred. I didn’t invent this recipe. I just baked ‘em. 

But I baked ‘em gooooooood. ha.

This recipe is a soft oatmeal cookie. Don’t turn your nose up at it! Lots of people who have said they don’t like oatmeal cookies (including the Bean) love this.

They are soft, they are tender, they are delicious.

They are softenlicious.

Oatmeal

Look, Parchment Paper! Let me pledge my undying love right here, right now to parchment paper…

Moving on…
Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened 

      1 cup white sugar
   

      1 cup packed brown sugar
   

      2 eggs
   

      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
   

      2 cups all-purpose flour
   

      1 teaspoon baking soda
   

      1 teaspoon salt
   

      1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
   

      3 cups quick cooking oats

 

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream together the butter & the sugars. Then add dry ingredients except oats. Mix well. Then add oats. 

Or lump it all in together.

Maybe I’ve done this.. 

but you couldn’t prove it in a court of law.


Drop onto parchment lined baking sheets (c’mon you know you wanna) or greased baking sheets.
Bake for 8-10 mins. Allow to cool 5 mins before moving to cooling racks.

Eat. Nom. Enjoy.

OatmealPink
Also great with raisins or chocolate chips.

Or Butterscotch chips for Oatmeal Scotchies. mmmmm...

You’ll like ‘em. Car guy or not.

With a whisk and a dream… Tina

Original Recipe found here, on All Recipes, by Bittersweet1
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