Chocolate Cake Day!

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I’ve been told that today is Chocolate Cake Day ~ I figure any day is chocolate cake day so I will take this opportunity to repost my Mom’s chocolate cake recipe.  This is the recipe that EVERYBODY in my family requests for their birthday.  I think I could make it with my eyes closed.  It’s not as sweet as cakes go and it’s dense but we love it.

Happy Chocolate Cake Day!

My Mom’s Chocolate Cake

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 (1 oz) unsweetened baking chocolate squares, melted
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup ice water

Stir butter to soften gradually, add sugar, creaming until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time beating well after each.

Blend in cooled chocolate and vanilla.

Sift together flour, soda and salt, add to creamed mixture alternately with water, beating after each addition.

Bake in 2 (8-inch) round, greased cake pans at 350º for 30-35 minutes.

Frost with 1 pint heavy or whipping cream, whipped or your favorite frosting.

Makes 8-12 servings depending on size of the slices.

Happy Cooking!

 

Baby Jesus Birthday Cake

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Really, this is just a chocolate refrigerator roll but when my kids were younger we made this every Christmas Eve and this is what they called it and the name stuck.  So we still make the Baby Jesus birthday cake ~ well, some years we make it and some years, yours truly forgets to make it.

The chocolate wafers have become elusive  recently but I found some and they are EXPENSIVE!  At least to me they are ~ almost $5 for a box of boring cookies.  All that aside, it’s super easy to make and really good.  You do have to let it sit in the refrigerator a bit so the cookies soften up and they will be the same texture as cake.  I make mine first thing in the morning for evening dessert.

Baby Jesus Birthday Cake or Chocolate Refrigerator Roll

1 tsp vanilla (I don’t use this)
2 cups whipping cream, whipped (Cool Whip is fine, too)
1 (9 oz) pkg Nabisco Chocolate Wafers
Sprinkles or chocolate curls for garnish

Stir the vanilla into the whipped cream.

Spread about 1/2 tbsp of whipped cream on one side of a wafer. Continue in this manner, stacking the wafers on their sides.

Frost with the rest of the whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate curls or sprinkles.

Refrigerate for 4-6 hours.

To serve, slice at a 45º angle.

Makes about 12 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Peanut Clusters

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Peanuts covered in chocolate and butterscotch ~ what could be better?  I found this recipe on Food.com posted by mollypie and it looked great so I decided to try it for Christmas gift giving.  It is beyond EASY!!!!  Now, I am NOT that big a fan of butterscotch ~ a little goes a long way as far as I am concerned but this recipe says it’s a two for one for the chocolate/butterscotch coating so I switched it up to 2 bags of chocolate chips to one bag of butterscotch instead of the other way around and it worked great.   Of course you can make it whichever way you prefer.

Peanut Clusters

1 (12 ounce) pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 (12 ounce) pkgs butterscotch chips
2 cups of salted peanuts with no skin

Melt the chocolate/butterscotch in a microwave safe bowl at 50% power for 30 seconds at a time until completely melted. You can also melt on the stovetop in a double boiler if you prefer.

Add peanuts to the melted chips and stir until all the peanuts are coated.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper and let cool until they harden up ~ they are not rock hard but firm and are soft to bite into.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes about 3 dozen clusters.

Happy Cooking!

Brownie Holi-Pops ~ Land O’Lakes

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A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Land O’Lakes to see if I would let my readers know that their website had been redesigned and I jumped at the chance.  Why?  I LOVE Land O’Lakes products and use them all the time.  So I decided to make one of their recipes and blog about it instead of just telling you all that they had a new website.  Since I am such a procrastinator, it took me awhile.

I chose to make the brownie holi-pops because they are cute and I had never done anything like it before.  They are very easy to make although in my usual style ~ I did things my way.

They are DELICIOUS!

Brownie Holi-Pops from Land O’Lakes

Brownie Mixture:
3/4 cup butter, divided
3 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, divided
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Coating:
16 ounces vanilla or chocolate-flavored candy coating (almond bark) ~ I used Wilton candy melts in white chocolate and light cocoa

40 lollipop sticks

Decorations:
Holiday nonpareils, jimmies and/or decorator candies

Heat oven to 350°.

Combine 1/2 cup butter and 2 ounces chocolate in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until melted (3 to 5 minutes). Add sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla and salt; mix well.

Spread batter evenly into greased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake for 23 to 27 minutes or until brownies just begin to pull away from sides of pan ~ mine took 25 minutes. Cool completely.

Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter and 1 ounce chocolate as above ~ I did it in the microwave.
Finely crumble cooled brownie into large bowl.

Add butter mixture and powdered sugar; mix well.

Shape mixture into 1-inch balls; place onto waxed paper-lined jelly-roll pan.

Cover with plastic food wrap; refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours or overnight) ~ I left them in overnight.

Melt candy coating according to package directions; keep warm ~ I only used about 1/3 of each pkg. if that. Remove 1/3 of balls from refrigerator; insert lollipop sticks ~ I took them all out at th esame time and they didn’t soften up too much since I worked quickly to keep the chocolate from firming up. Dip balls into melted coating, swirling or tapping off excess; press coated balls into desired decorations. Push lollipop stick into craft foam or place coated balls onto waxed paper. Repeat with remaining balls. Let stand until coating is set.

I am freezing them until I am ready to give as gifts.

Makes 40 pops but I made around 30 since I made them a little bit bigger.

Don’t forget to visit Land O’Lakes and check out all their great recipes !!!!!!

Happy Cooking!

Smoked Almond Turtles

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I saw Giada deLaurentiis make this recipe on her Halloween show and really hadn’t had a chance to make it so I decided to give it a try for our party.  It’s not hard but takes a little time and patience.

Giada makes hers in a regular size muffin pan so I did the same but I cut them in fourths for the party because they are really too big of a piece of candy for one person.  Next time I will use mini muffin pans or maybe even those flexible pans.

These are really, really good and well worth making.  They would be great for a gift.

Smoked Almond Turtles (Giada DiLaurentiis)

Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 cup (5 ounces) coarsely chopped smoked almonds ~ I left mine whole but I would chop them next time

Caramel:

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 stick (4 ounces) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 tablespoon water

3/4 cup bittersweet (use Ghirardelli)) chocolate chips

Spray a 12-count muffin pan, very well, with vegetable oil cooking spray. Put the almonds in the bottom of each muffin cup and set aside.

For the caramel: In a 3-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the cream, butter, sugar, and water. Stir over medium heat until the mixture is smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 240º, about 5 to 7 minutes. Let the mixture cool for 30 seconds. Using a long-handled, metal spoon, carefully spoon the caramel over the nuts. Allow the caramel to harden, at room temperature, for 1 hour.

Put the chocolate chips in a medium glass bowl and melt int he microwave according to the directions on the back of the package of chocolate chips. Spoon the chocolate over the caramel and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Using a thin-bladed spatula, remove the turtles from the pan (caramel will be hard). This will take a little bit of effort.

Let the turtles stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour (to allow the caramel to soften) before serving. I cut into quarters before serving.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes 12 candies.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Chocolate Dipped Cherries

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This very simple treat was a big hit at our Christmas party this past weekend.  They are so simple to make but really taste like it took some work ~ which is my favorite kind of recipe.

The cherries would be excellent for a gift but they may not be the best choice for young kids…you’ll see what I mean!

Chocolate Dipped Cherries

1 cup maraschino cherries, WITH stems
1 cup brandy
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, Ghiradelli’s is best

Put the cherries in a smallish bowl and cover with the brandy. Let the bowl sit on your counter for 8-10 hours ~ I did about 8. Drain the cherries and place on a parchment (or wax paper) lined cookie sheet and freeze. I let mine go overnight.

Melt the chocolate either in the microwave or double boiler being very careful not to let it burn. Wipe each frozen cherry of excess moisture. Dip in the chocolate and place back on the lined cookie sheet and let them stand until the choclate firms up. If it doesn’t seem to be firming up, stick in the fridge for a bit. Mine worked just sitting on the counter.

I did have extra melted chocolate so I could have probably gotten about 2 cups of cherries dipped.

Store cherries in the refrigerator.

Makes about 18-20 cherries.

Happy Cooking!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

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I made these for dessert for our Super Bowl munch fest yesterday.  I really am not a fan of peanut butter but I took a taste and they are quite good ~ even if they are peanut butter.  I cut up a whole bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups miniatures (9oz, 12 oz?)  and only used 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

1 cup butter, soft
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsps vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semisweet choclate chips
2 cups chopped peanut butter cups

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, peanut, and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and the vanilla. Add in the flour, baking soda and salt and mix well. Stir in the chips and peanut butter cups.

Drop by tbspfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350º for 10-12 minnutes or until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned.

Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes about 6 dozen.

Happy Cooking!

Halloween Krispie Treats

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This recipe is just a take-off on standard rice krispie treats.  You can’t tell in the picture but I tinted the marshmallows orange.  I think these would work for Thanksgiving, too, by leaving off the candy corn.  I found the recipe on the Land O’Lakes website and adapted it to suit me.

Halloween Rice Krispie Treats

Halloween Rice Krispie Treats

1/2 cup butter, melted
2 (10 oz. pkgs.) large marshmallows
3 drops orange food coloring or 2 drops read and 3 drops yellow
10 cups rice krispie cereal
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp shortening (Crisco)

Lightly grease a 15×10 jelly roll pan and set aside.

In a large pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add both pkgs. of marshmallows and continue to heat over low heat until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat and stir in food coloring. Mix until the coloring is spread out evenly throughout the melted marshmallow mixture.

Add the cereal and mix until well combined.

Pat cereal mixture into prepared pan. Use greased wax paper to even it out so it won’t stick to your hands.

Melt chocolate chips and shortening in microwave and stir to combine. Place chocolat emixture in a sandwich bag, cut a bit of the bag’s corner off, squeeze chocolate in the bag and decorate the treats. Add candy corn if desired.

Let the treats sit for about 30 minutes before cutting so the chocolate can set up.

Makes about 40 bars depending on how large you cut them.

Happy Halloween!

My Signature

Chunky Oatmeal Cookies

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Wow!  It’s March already!  It looks like it may come in like a lion here in Virginia.  We are expecting SNOW tomorrow.

I found this recipe online somewhere and the cookies are delicious!  The recipe called for semisweet mega morsels and I don’t even know if they still make them but I couldn’t find them anywhere so I used semisweet chunks and it worked great.  I also left out the pecans but you could use any kind of nut in these.  The recipe called for a 9 minute baking time and I ended up baking them for 12 minutes.

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Chunky Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsps vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups uncooked oats (I use old fashioned)
1 cup semisweet chunks (use 2 cups if you like lots of chocolate in your cookies)
1 cup pecan pieces, optional

Beat butter and sugars with a mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.

Add flour, baking soda, and salt to butter mixture and mix well. Stir in oats and chunks and pecans if using.

Drop by tbspfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Let the cookies cool a bit on the sheets and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 4-5 dozen cookies.

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Happy Cooking!

my-signature

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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What’s the big deal about chocolate chip cookies, you ask.  First, I love them.  Second, they are easy to make.

I always make the Toll House recipe but I was looking for something a little different and found this recipe on King Arthur Flour.  I only use KA flour since I think good flour does make a difference when baking.  I love their website and have spent more than my share of money there over the years.  Every recipe I have ever tried has come out well.

Back to the recipe.  I have a confession to make first.  I REALLY like the Pillsbury chocolate chip cookies (comes in a tube) but I won’t buy them because of price and all those chemicals.  This recipe really reminds me of those cookies and when I’m jonesin for Pillsbury chocolate chips, I’ll make these instead.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vinegar, cider or white
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
2 cups flour
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

In a large bowl, combine the sugars, butter, shortening, salt, vanilla  extracts, vinegar, and baking soda, beating until smooth and creamy.

Beat in the egg, beating till smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure everything is thoroughly combined.

Mix in the flour, then the chocolate chips.

Scoop 1 1/4″ balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2″ between them on all sides so they can spread.

Bake the cookies for 11 to 12 minutes. I baked mine for 10 minutes in my convection oven and they were perfect.

Remove them from the oven, and cool on the pan until they’ve set enough to move without breaking or smooshing. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Happy Cooking!

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