Yum Yum!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fabulous Chocolate Cake



Fabulous Chocolate Cake has been a family favorite on my mom and grandma's side forever. So when my grandparents, parents, and great aunt and uncle came for the weekend, it was just the right thing to please everyone!

This was my first time making the family recipe and I was happy that it turned out. It is chocolaty, nutty, and rich!



Fabulous Chocolate Cake

Mix in a bowl and set aside:
2 C. sugar
2 C flour

Bring to a boil and pour over the sugar/flour:
1 C butter
1/4 C cocoa
1 C water

Add and mix in:
1/2 C buttermilk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla

Pour into a 13x9 greased baking pan and bake at 350 for around 30 minutes. When the cake has about 10 minutes left, start the frosting and keep it hot on the stove because you'll need to pour the hot frosting on the hot cake when it comes out of the oven.

Bring to a boil:
1/2 C butter
4 T cocoa
6 T buttermilk

Add:
1 lb powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
1/2 t mapleine
2 C chopped walnuts

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mickey Cake Pops-Attempt #2

My second round of Mickey Pops were successfully adorable and delicious. I think several factors went into their final outcome. The flavor combination was perfect: a homemade chocolate cake with a store bought German chocolate frosting. The store bought frosting holds the cake together better than homemade. I also think they turned out better because I had a higher quality dipping chocolate.

Here is the hot cake out of the oven.


Cake mixed with frosting.


Balls formed, ears and sticks added and ready for the freezer.



This time I used a small crockpot to melt the chocolate, which worked wonderfully. It kept the chocolate the perfect temperature the whole time. I mostly poured the chocolate over the Mickeys since their ears were chocolate melts and if I had dipped them, the ears would have melted right into the batch of chocolate!



And didn't they turn out cute? Happy Birthday Grandma!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mickey Cake Pops-Attempt #1

I saw the character cake pops on Bakerella's blogsite and knew that I had to try them. I decided to try them on my parents because I knew they wouldn't give me too hard of a time if they flopped. And they kind of did flop. Apparently cake pops are a bit of an art form. But I'm really glad I practiced them and got a feel for what works and what doesn't. I tried them again a few days later for my grandma's birthday and they turned out waaaayyyy better. They looked prettier and tasted much more yummy. I promise to blog them next!

Step one: Bake a cake. I made a strawberry cake from a box mix.


Step two: Crumble cake and mix with frosting. I made a chocolate butter cream frosting. I think this was a mistake because it was much too soft. And the strawberry and chocolate combo was okay, but not my favorite.



Step three: Form into balls, add chocolate melts for ears and attach sucker stick. This is when I was getting worried that this was a disaster. But I stuck them in the freezer and a half hour later I was able to shape them a little better. After being shaped into smoother balls, I froze them overnight before step four.


Step four: Melt chocolate, dip Mickeys and allow to set before enjoying!



Fun with Nutella



While I was spending a few days at my parents, I enjoyed making desserts with ingredients that they had! My mom had seen this idea on the food network, so we gave it a spin. It was wonderful! I'm already thinking of all sorts of delicious variations for the future!

A dollop of Nutella on a wanton wrapper...


Sealed shut with a little egg white along the edges...


A few seconds to get golden brown in the hot oil...




And a powdered sugar dust on top...
Voila! Amazingly yummy Nutella wraps!


And everyone is happy!



I'm thinking this would be so delicious with all sorts of stuff on the inside. Maybe homemade jelly, fruits, white chocolate, the list goes on and on!

Friday, May 21, 2010

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

I guess it was about time I made Travis' most favorite cookie ever, right? So to be a sweet wife I made white chocolate macadamia nut cookies just for him before I took off to visit my parents for a few days!




White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

3/4 C butter
1/4 C shortening
1 C brown sugar
1/2 sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 C flour (but I tend to add more so they don't turn out too flat)
1 bag white chocolate chips
3 1/2 oz macadamia nuts

1. Preheat oven to 375. Beat butter and shortening on high for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, white sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in as much flour as you can with mixer, then stir in remaining by hand. Stir in white chocolate and nuts.

2. Drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 7-9 minutes of until bottoms are light brown.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm not above box mixes.



In case you were wondering, even though I may appear to be the Martha Stuart you all know and love, I still appreciate and enjoy box mixes! I hope no one is disappointed in me :-)



I'm a huge sucker for brownies and these were really yummy!

Friday, May 14, 2010

5 Minute Chocolate Cake

Last night when I wanted a quick treat I turned to this recipe I got a while back from a co-worker. It is kind of fun and intriguing to make such a fast cake in the microwave, great for just one serving and a quick indulgence. It isn't the most amazing cake in the world, but it does meet that occasional craving! I'm sorry I didn't take a picture last night, but I assure you I ate it and enjoyed it and figured I should pass on the recipe! I definitely recommend some type of frosting too.


5 Minute Chocolate Cake

4 T flour
4 T sugar
2 T cocoa
1 egg
3 T milk
3 T oil
3 T chocolate chips-optional
splash of vanilla
1 LARGE mug or bowl

Mix dry ingredients in mug. Mix in egg. Pour in milk and oil, mix well. Add chocolate chips and vanilla. Microwave 3 minutes, all to cool before eating because it will be extremely hot.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Walnut Bread



I love squeezing in homemade breads and baked goods for dinner! I found a recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens book for nut bread and decided it would pair well with our scrambled eggs/sausage with a fruit salad. And once again, another great way to enjoy my walnuts. I'm going to be so sad when they are all gone!

I actually did something different in an attempt to make this bread a little lighter on the calories. I substituted applesauce for oil and I only used the egg white.

Nut Bread

2 C flour
1 C sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 C milk
1/4 C oil (or applesauce!)
3/4 C chopped nuts that have been toasted

Preheat oven to 350. Grease bread pan.

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center and set aside.

In another bowl combine egg, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir until just moistened. Fold in nuts.

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


I liked this bread because it was very mild and had a gentle nutty taste!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Cupcakery

I've noticed quite a few bakeries and cupcake places nearby and I've been talking about them for weeks. Travis was super sweet and took me to The Cupcakery for Mother's Day. It was really hard to choose because everything looked so wonderful! I was all excited like a little kid and yes, we did eat them all, and yes, I felt over-sugarified. But it was worth it!

Of course I had to take a picture before we stuffed our faces! We had:
peanut butter cup
coconut with cream cheese icing
coconut cake, chocolate frosting and almonds and coconut
red velvet with cream cheese icing
chocolate with their signature frosting
lemon cake with blueberry frosting

Friday, May 7, 2010

Coconut Macaroons

I had no idea I would love these as much as I did, and I almost ate the whole batch myself! I had leftover coconut from last week's masterpiece and this recipe was on the back of the bag. I added the chocolate myself (big surprise, right?) and I was in love with these!

The batter ready for the cookie sheet.


Ready for the oven.


Just out of the oven, perfectly light and crisp.


Oh the drizzle of chocolate is music to my ears!


Some of them had their bottoms dipped with a dollop on top while others got thick drizzle action.



I loved the texture of these. The cookies were crisp and meringue like and the inside with the coconut had a chewiness to it. Then of course the chocolate added that little something that I love so much!

Coconut Macaroons

2 egg whites
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 dash salt
2/3 C sugar
1 1/2 C coconut

Beat egg whites, salt, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar and beat until it is stiff and glossy. Fold in coconut. Drop onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes, or until set and light brown.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hershey's Cocoa in Chili?!

Yep, that's right, I put Hershey's Cocoa in our chili! I saw this recipe in my Hershey's book and decided it was time to try something wild!

It really did have a nice smokey flavor. I was a little afraid to admit to Travis that I put chocolate in our dinner, but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't taste weird and chocolaty so I did fess up to him! We actually both agreed it was yummy and worth making again!

I did switch out a few ingredients in mine. I used celery instead of onion, I slow cooked steak instead of the ground beef, and used black beans instead of kidney beans. Oh, and I highly recommend reducing the chili powder amount by at least half if not more. All in all, I think it was a fun recipe to try!



SMOKEY CHILI WITH PASTA

2 Cups uncooked pasta
1 pound ground beef
1 C chopped onion
2 cans kidney beans
2 cans of condensed tomato soup
2 Tbsp Hershey's Cocoa
2 1/4 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
cheese and sour cream (optional)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

2. Cook ground beef and onion until meat is cooked through and onion is tender. Drain fat if necessary.

3. Stir in undrained kidney beans, soup, cocoa, chili powder, pepper and salt. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Stir in pasta; heat thoroughly. Serve with cheese and sour cream.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Coconut Dream Bars

This dessert was soooooo good! I've been wanting to use coconut lately and I found this recipe that I've had stored in my recipes for several years now. I got it from a roommate in college and just got around to it, it was worth hanging on to. I actually added the chocolate chips myself because they seemed like a perfect match. My only regret is halving the recipe because it was gone too fast!

My only excuse for how terrible the lighting is in these photos is that I was in such a hurry to devour it that I didn't care at the moment. But now that it is eaten and gone and I'm in the middle of blogging, I wish I had flipped another light on and taken a better picture!


Crust

1/2 C brown sugar
1 C flour
1/2 C butter

Mix well and press into 8x8 baking dish, bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Top

1 C brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 C coconut
1/2 C chopped nuts
1/2 C chocolate chips

Mix sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla. Add flour and baking powder. Gently stir in coconut, nuts, and chocolate chips. Spread over crust. Bake at 300 for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.