Monday, July 9, 2018

Peach Upside-Down Cake


This is a delicious cake best served warm. I cut the cake portion of the original recipe in half to accommodate my pan and substituted some peach flavoring to give it a little boost of flavor.


¼ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
4 peaches, peeled and cut into 4 slices
¾ cup butter
4 oz. cream cheese
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. Wilton Treatology peach flavoring
2 Tbsp. milk
1 ½ cups flour
¼ tsp. salt

Glaze
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp. vanilla
½ to 1 Tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 325°F. Melt 1⁄4 cup of the butter in a small saucepan over medium; stir in 1⁄2 cup of the brown sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Pour mixture evenly into a Bundt pan that has been heavily greased with cooking spray. Place peach slices in an even layer on top of brown sugar mixture.

Beat cream cheese and butter with a heavy-duty stand mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add granulated sugar and brown sugar, beating on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yolk disappears. Beat in vanilla and peach flavoring.

Sift together flour and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spoon batter carefully over peaches in prepared pan; level with a spatula.

Bake in preheated oven until a long wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 50-60 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack until pan is cool enough to handle but still hot, about 25 minutes. Remove cake from pan to rack, and cool completely, about 2 hours.

Stir together powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk in a small bowl, adding more milk if needed to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake.





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Thursday, July 5, 2018

American Flag Cake


This cake takes a little time and effort, but the results are fun and impressive! 


Red Cake Layers
1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist white cake mix
1 pint (2 cups) strawberries, stems removed, pureed in blender or food processor to about 1 1/4 cups
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon red paste food color

Blue Cake Layer
½ box Betty Crocker Super Moist white cake mix (about 1 2/3 cups dry mix)
½ cup blueberries, pureed in blender or food processor
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 whole eggs
½ teaspoon blue paste food color

White Cake Layer
½ box Betty Crocker Super Moist white cake mix (about 1 2/3 cups dry mix)
½ cup water
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 egg whites

Frosting and Sprinkles
3 cubes butter
6 cups powdered sugar
4 ½ tsp. vanilla
6 Tbsp. milk
Red, white and blue sprinkles, as desired

To make red cake layers: Heat oven to 350°F. Grease or spray two 8-inch round pans; place 8-inch round piece cooking parchment paper in bottom of each pan. In large bowl, beat red cake layer ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on high speed about 2 minutes or until smooth. Spread in pans. Bake 29 to 34 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool 10 minutes; run knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes. Gently remove from pans to cooling rack; remove parchment paper. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Flatten cake layers by trimming off rounded tops. Cut layers in half horizontally to make 4 thin red layers. In 1 layer, cut small round out of center, using 4-inch biscuit cutter. Wrap and freeze 1 thin layer and the layer that was cut out of; save for another use.

To make blue cake layer: Heat oven to 350°F. Grease or spray 8-inch round pan; place 8-inch round piece cooking parchment paper in bottom of pan. In medium bowl, beat all blue cake layer ingredients except sprinkles with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on high speed about 2 minutes or until smooth. Spread in pan. Bake 29 to 34 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool 10 minutes; run knife around side of pan to loosen cake. Gently remove from pan to cooling rack; remove parchment paper. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Flatten cake layer by trimming off rounded top. Do not cut in half horizontally. Cut small round out of center, using 4-inch round biscuit cutter. Wrap and freeze 4-inch round; save for another use.

To make white cake layer: Heat oven to 350°F. Grease or spray 8-inch round pan; place 8-inch round piece cooking parchment paper in bottom of pan. In medium bowl, beat white cake layer ingredients with electric mixer on high speed about 2 minutes or until smooth. Spread in pan. Bake 29 to 34 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. Cool 10 minutes; run knife around side of pan to loosen cake. Gently remove from pan to cooling rack; remove parchment paper. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Flatten cake layer by trimming off rounded top. Cut layer in half horizontally to make 2 thin white layers. In 1 layer, cut small round out of center, using 4-inch biscuit cutter. Wrap and freeze the layer that was cut out of; save for another use.

To assemble cake: Place 1 red cake layer on cake stand or serving platter; spread ½  cup frosting on top. Top with 1 white cake layer; spread ½ cup frosting on top. Top with second red cake layer; spread 1/3 cup frosting on top. Gently top with blue layer. Spread thin layer of frosting on white 4-inch cake round, then top with red 4-inch cake round. Carefully spread a thin layer of frosting on the edge of the white and red rounds, then insert into blue layer; press slightly. Frost side and top of cake using remaining frosting. Top with sprinkles. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Ravioli


Brandon got a pasta roller for his birthday and he has become a pro at ravioli. We decided to ditch the ravioli molds after the first batch- it's much easier to cut them with a roller. 


PASTA DOUGH

2 cup 00 fine Italian flour

2 cup All-purpose
4 large eggs

Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden board. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the eggs. Using a fork, beat the eggs together and then begin to incorporate the flour; starting with the inner rim of the well.

As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (do not worry if it looks messy).

When half of the flour is incorporated, the dough will begin to come together. Start kneading the dough, using primarily the palms of your hands. Once the dough is a cohesive mass, set the dough aside and scrape up and discard any dried bits of dough.

Continue kneading for 10 minutes, dusting the board with additional flour as necessary. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before using.



FOUR CHEESE RAVIOLI


1 (8 ounce) container ricotta cheese


1 (4 ounce) package cream cheese, softened


1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


1/2 cup provolone cheese, shredded


1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley


Egg Wash:
1 egg
1 Tablespoon water

Combine the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, provolone cheese, egg, and parsley and mix well. Set the filling aside.

Beat the egg with the tablespoon of water to make the egg wash.

Roll out the pasta dough into thin sheets no thicker than a nickel. To assemble the ravioli, brush the egg wash over a sheet of pasta. Drop the filling mixture on the dough by teaspoonfuls about one inch apart. Cover the filling with the top sheet of pasta, pressing out the air from around each portion of filling. Press firmly around the filling to seal. Cut into individual ravioli with a knife or pizza cutter. Seal the edges.

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in the ravioli, and return to a boil. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the ravioli float to the top and the filling is hot, 4 to 8 minutes. Drain well.


TOASTED RAVIOLI
After shaping ravioli, dip in beaten egg, and then in a mixture of 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs and 1 cup Panko bread crumbs. Deep fry until golden brown. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Greek Layer Dip

This recipe sat on my counter for a least 6 months while I waited for the perfect time to try it. If you love Mediterranean food, this is the dip for you! It makes A LOT, so halve it if you aren't feeding a crowd. 

-Cook's Country

4 ¼ cups hummus
1 ½ cups plain Greek yogurt
1 cup ¼-inch English cucumber pieces
½ cup jarred roasted red peppers, patted dry and chopped
⅓ cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
3-4 scallions, sliced thin
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup feta cheese
Pita chips

Spread hummus in a single layer on large, shallow serving platter. Carefully spread yogurt in even layer over hummus.

Combine cucumber, red peppers, olives, scallions, oil, mint, salt, and pepper in bowl. Spoon vegetable mixture in even layer over yogurt. Sprinkle with feta. Serve

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Ice cream sandwiches


These cookies are great for making ice cream sandwiches. Don't bake them too long or the cookies will be too crisp and won't make a soft sandwich.

2 squares (1 oz) semisweet baking chocolate
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup dark cocoa powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt

Microwave chocolate on high until melted. Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Stir in melted chocolate. Sift together flour, cocoa, soda and salt and stir into chocolate mixture. Form into a disc and refrigerate until chilled (2 hours).

Preheat oven to 350. Roll dough out to ⅛" on a Silpat and cut to desired shape. Prick with wooden skewer and bake 8-10 minutes. Cool completely before making sandwiches.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Coconut Key Lime Pie/Tartlets



This recipe works great as a large pie, or as tartlets. I really like the coconut, but you could easily leave it out.

-Stephanie Warner, 2014 Carling Cookbook

Crust:
8 whole graham crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces
5 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
3 Tbsp. sugar

Filling:
1 Tbsp. lime zest
⅓ cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 30 key limes)
2 egg yolks
1 can sweetened condensed milk
⅓ cup sweetened coconut flakes toasted in oven until light brown (or a little more for topping)

Topping:
Heavy whipping cream + sugar
Remaining toasted coconut

To make crust, put broken graham crackers into food processor and process until you get fine, even crumbs, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle butter and sugar with it and pulse until incorporated. Put in a 8 or 9 inch pan depending on your like of thickness (I like it thick!). Bake in oven at 325 for 13-18 minutes until crust is fragrant and beginning to brown. I like to make this the night before for ease.

To make filling: sprinkle ⅓-½ of the ⅓ cup of toasted coconut flakes directly on top of crust. In bowl, combine all the rest of filling ingredients (not coconut) and mix with spoon until it thickens. Pour into crust and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until set (not jiggly). Cool completely, a minimum of 1 hour. Top with freshly whipped cream and the rest of your toasted coconut flakes.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Rolo Cookies


I've had this recipe for a really long time and forgot about it until I saw some Rolos on clearance at the store. This is a good one! 

-Bonnie James/Pillsbury Bake-Off, modified

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 ½ cups flour
¾ cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
48 Rolos


Cream butter and sugar; add vanilla and egg. Combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda separately. Add to sugar mix. Heat oven to 375. Mix remaining nuts and sugar. Shape 1 tbsp dough (I use medium Pampered Chef scoop) around a Rolo. Bake on greased cookie sheet 7-10 min, or until set. Cool 2 min.