Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Patriotic Nutter Butters

This is almost too easy to post.



I wanted to make something to take back to West Virginia for the 4th of July Weekend. I was actually going to make something else, but it did not turn out the way I planned, so I came up with these little gems. I made them from start to finish, including making the colored sugar, in less than 30 minutes. They are cute, easy, and tasty! If you want something fun, quick, and EASY here you go!

Patriotic Nutter Butters
from Baked Perfection

1 package Nutter Butter Cookies
1 14oz bags of white chocolate candy coating
1/4 cup red candy coating
Blue colored sugar (instructions below)

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

To melt the candy coating, empty contents of the bag into a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals stirring between until the chocolate is melted consistently. Place the Nutter Butters into the coating, covering them completely. Use a fork to "fish" the cookies from the coating shaking the fork back and forth lightly to remove any extra. Place the cookies on the parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with blue colored sugar. Cool completely until coating hardens.

Melt red candy coating using the same method as above. Transfer to a plastic bag. Using scissors, cut the very tip off the sandwich bag. The smaller your cut, the smalled the drizzle. Use the sandwich bag to pipe the red coating back and forth over the cookie until you reach the desired look. When the drizzle has hardened (you can put them in the freezer to speed up the process) brake off any extra chocolate with your fingers.

Colored Sugar

This is so simple. All you have to do is put some sugar (1/4 cup) into a sandwich bag. For good measure it is best to double bag the sugar. Then place some food coloring into the bag w/ the sugar and squish it around and shake it until the color is blended with the sugar. Add more food coloring until you reach the desired color.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Angel Food Cake with Fresh Whipped Cream and Berries

So light, yet so tasty!



I almost did not get this post up tonight because I could not find my camera cord. Lucky for both of us I found it tucked away in my suitcase left behind from our honeymoon...oh how I wish I was still on vacation. Time to get back to reality and with reality there are several positive things such as baking! One of my favorite summer desserts is Angel Food Cake with fresh berries and whipped cream. It is perfectly sweet and so light that it satisfies your sweet tooth without weighing you down. I served this cake to some of our friends a couple weekends ago and not only did they all love it, but I even converted one friend from hating Angel Food Cake to loving it! If all you have ever tasted is store bought Angel Food Cake, like my friend, then I forgive you for hating it. Just give this recipe a try and you just may be converted too!

Angel Food Cake
adapted from Allrecipes.com

12 egg whites
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar

Place egg whites in a mixing bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, sift confectioners' sugar and flour together three times; set aside. Add cream of tarter, extracts, and salt to egg whites; beat on high speed. Gradually add sugar, beating until sugar is dissolves and stiff peaks form. Fold in flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time. Gently spoon
into an greased and floured 10 inch tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 - 45 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan; cool completely before removing from cake pan.

When cool, serve with fresh whipped cream and berries.

Fresh Homemade Whipped Cream
recipe from Baked Perfection

1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugars and vanilla; beat until soft peaks form. Store in the refrigerator.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chocolate Glazed Donut Cake

This is not a donut.



It's a cake! If you haven't seen this cake pan it is from Williams-Sonoma and makes for quite the fun cake. I think this cake is so adorable and it tasted as good as it looked. When I get new baking tools I like to try the recipe it comes with when I first bake with it. I found the cake to be a little dry, but the glaze was phenomenal and made it up for the dry cake. I pretty much followed the recipe, my only diversion was adding a layer of chocolate glaze between the two layers of cake which if you ask me is a must!

Chocolate Glazed Donut Cake
recipe from Williams-Sonoma

For the cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten

For the chocolate glaze:

5 Tbs. unsalted butter
4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup hot water

Colored sprinkles for decorating

Directions:

Have all the ingredients (except the hot water) at room temperature.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease and flour both halves of a giant donut cake pan.

To make the cake, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition until just incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and tap the pans on the countertop to eliminate any air bubbles. Spread the batter up the sides of each pan so the sides are higher than the center. Bake until the cakes begin to pull away from the sides of the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes.

Set the rack over the cakes, invert the pans onto the rack and lift off the pans. Let the cakes cool completely, at least 2 hours, before assembling and decorating.

To assemble, return both halves of the cooled cake to the pans. (This is easily done by placing the pans over the cake halves and inverting the rack onto the pans.) Level the cakes by using a serrated knife to gently saw off the part of each half that rose above the edge of the pan; discard the scraps. Remove the cakes from the pans. Place one cake half, cut side up, on a wire rack set over a baking sheet; place the other half, cut side down, on top.

To make the chocolate glaze, fill the bottom pan of a double boiler with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In the top pan of the double boiler, combine the butter and chocolate chips and heat until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and water until combined. Pour the glaze over the cake all at once in one layer and immediately decorate with colored sprinkles. Let the glaze set for 15 minutes before slicing and serving the cake. Serves 16.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Snickerdoodle Blondies

These were incredible!


I told you I would be back with regular posts this weekend and I am back with an incredible recipe! Things here are back to normal at home. I am working too much and we are deep in the midst of a hot DC summer. The heat does not stop me from baking, but it did lead me to baking something nice and easy. Quite some time ago snickerdoodle blondies were floating around all over the blogs and I bookmarked the recipe from Crepes of Wrath to make later. I am so glad I made them because they were absolutely phenomenal! Zack took them to a party and they were quite the hit. If you are looking for something easy and delicious they are perfect!

Snickerdoodle Blondies
recipe from Crepes of Wrath

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
a pinch nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and/or line a 9×13 inch pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and set aside.

In large bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar for 3-5 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, and beat until smooth.

Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan (mixture will be somewhat cookiebatter-ish, so it’s best to spread it out with a greased spatula or your hands). Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a little bowl. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool before cutting. Makes 20-24 bars.





Sunday, June 6, 2010

I am back

We made it back from our honeymoon. I don't have a baking post for you today, but I will be back with regular weekly posts next weekend. In the meantime, here are some pictures from our honeymoon in Turks and Caicos.