Sunday, March 31, 2013

CREAM CHEESE POUND CAKE

Do you know how pound cake got its name?  Pound cake got its name from the original formulation: a pound each of sugar, flour, butter and eggs. One can only imagine what that did to cholesterol.  However in fairness to our ancestors who ate it, they did a lot more physical work than we do.  They could get by eating a lot more of those goodies than we can do.  How about trying this healthier version of a delicious pound cake?

1-1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 large egg whites
2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufch√Ętel)

Preheat oven to 325°F.
Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray and dust with flour.

Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk whole eggs, buttermilk, oil, corn syrup and vanilla in another medium bowl until well blended.

Beat egg whites in a large clean bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until light and foamy. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar until stiff glossy peaks form.

Beat butter and cream cheese in a large bowl until creamy.
Add the remaining 1-1/2 cups sugar to the butter mixture and beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Alternately add the flour and buttermilk mixtures, beating until just smooth. Fold in about one-third of the egg whites with a rubber spatula until just smooth and no white streaks remain. Fold in the remaining egg whites. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees until a skewer inserted into it comes out clean and the top springs back  when touched lightly with fingertips.  This will take about 1 hour and 10 minutes. 


Remove from oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn out onto the rack; let cool for at least 1 hour more before slicing.

Delicious served with ice cream, fruit toppings, sauces, etc.  Also good topped with strawberries and whipped cream.


Friday, March 29, 2013

ORANGE CRESCENT RING

1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp grated orange peel
2 tubes (8-oz each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1/3 cup chopped almonds

Drizzle:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp orange juice

Garnishes:
approx 16 maraschino cherry halves
additional sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease 1 large or two smaller cookie sheets; set aside.

In a small mixing bowl combine the softened cream cheese, granulated sugar, and orange peel; mix until well blended.

Unroll the crescent roll dough 1 can at a time onto a lightly floured surface.  Overlap the long  edges of the rectangles to form a rectangle of 13-inches by 7-inches; press edges together to seal.  Spread the first rectangle with half the cream cheese mixture and sprinkle with half the almonds.

Starting on the long side, roll up the dough pressing edges together to seal.  Shape into a ring and place seam side down on the prepared cookie sheet.  Seal the ends together to seal.  Cut 2/3's of the way through the ring from the outer edge at 1-inch intervals, leaving the center of the ring intact.  Turn each section on its side.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes until a light golden brown.

To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and orange juice together until smooth.  Drizzle over the warm rings.  Garnish with the cherries and additional almonds.

Repeat process with the remaining rolls, cream cheese mixture and almonds.



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

TEA PUNCH

12 regular-size tea bags
1 quart boiling water
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, undiluted
4 cups water

Steep the tea in the boiling water for 8 minutes; remove and discard the tea bags.

Add the sugar, orange juice, lemonade concentrate, and 4 cups water to the tea; stir until the sugar and lemonade concentrate are dissolved.

May be served hot or cold.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

PUMPKIN PIE WITH SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK

You may be asking why I am posting a pumpkin pie recipe in March.  The answer is simple, I have two reasons.  First, pumpkin is healthy and should be eaten year round!  Second, the calendar may say it is March but much of the country is experiencing snow and blizzard conditions.  So bake up a tasty pumpkin pie, sit by the fire and relax!  You can't control the weather!

1 can (15-oz) pumpkin
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 9-inch deep dish pie crust (boughten or your favorite recipe)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place pie pan on a cookie sheet and line with the crust.

In a large mixing bowl combine the pumpkin, milk, eggs, and spice; mix together until smooth.  Pour the filling into the crust.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 40 minutes or until a knife inserted about an inch from the crust comes out clean. 

Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely.


Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings.


Friday, March 22, 2013

CREAM CHEESE COFFEE CAKE FROM Sweet Pea's Kitchen

I saw this recipe on Sweet Pea's blog, loved it and thought you might like it too.  It just seems to say Spring which seems to be alluding most of us this week.

Ingredients:

For Streusel Topping:
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated zest from 1 lemon
For Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated zest from 1 to 2 lemons
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
For Filling:
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
4 teaspoons juice from 1 to 2 lemons
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
For the Lemon Drizzle:
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/2 to 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions:

For Streusel Topping: Add sugar, flour, butter and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir using a fork or pastry blender until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with the butter pieces no larger than small peas. Transfer mixture to the refrigerator until ready to use.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9” x 13” cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
For the Cake: Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside.
In stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, and lemon zest at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, about 20 seconds, and scraping down beater and sides of bowl as necessary. Add vanilla and mix to combine. Reduce speed to low and add one-third flour mixture, followed by half of sour cream, mixing until incorporated after each addition, 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat, using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining sour cream. Scrape bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 10 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour.
Reserve half of the batter and set aside. Spoon remaining batter into prepared pan and smooth top.
To make the Filling: Return now-empty bowl to mixer and beat cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and egg on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add ¼ cup reserved batter and mix until incorporated. Spoon cheese filling mixture evenly over batter and smooth the top. Spread remaining reserved batter over filling and smooth top. With butter knife or offset spatula, gently swirl filling into batter using figure-8 motion. Firmly tap pan on counter 2 or 3 times to dislodge any bubbles. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over batter.
Bake until just firm and skewer inserted into cake comes out clean (skewer will be wet if inserted into cheese filling), 35 to 40 minutes. Cool cake in pan on wire rack 1 hour. Gently remove from cake pan and place on wire rack to cool to room temperature, about 1½ hours.
To make the lemon drizzle, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and ½ tablespoon of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. Add up to another ½ tablespoon of lemon juice if the mixture is too stiff. Drizzle over the top the coffee cake. Let harden, about 10 minutes, before serving.
Recipe Note: Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly with plastic wrap. For optimal texture, allow the cake to return to room temperature before serving.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

GLAZED CINNAMON RAISIN SCONES

2 cups biscuit/baking mix
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup milk
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
1 large egg

GLAZE:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk or cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Grease a cookie sheet; set aside.

Combine the glaze ingredients until smooth and set aside.

Mix the baking mix, raisins, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and egg together to form a soft dough.  Spread the dough into an 8-inch circle on the prepared cookie sheet.  Cut into 8 wedges but do not separate.

Bake at 425 for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. 

Remove from oven and drizzle with glaze while the scones are still warm. 

Carefully separate the wedges and serve while warm.


Yield: 8

Friday, March 8, 2013

INCREDIBLE COCONUT CAKE

1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coconut extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans with shortening; line with waxed paper and grease the paper.  Dust with flour, shake out excess.  Set aside.

In large mixer bowl, beat the butter on low speed for 2 minutes or until creamy.  Gradually add the sugar while beating; beat for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time beating only until yolk disappears after each one.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  With mixer on low speed, add mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the coconut milk.  You should start and end with the flour mixture.  Add the vanilla and coconut extracts.

Pour the batter equally into the two prepared pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.  Remove from oven and set pans on wrie racks; allow to cool in the pans for 5 minutes.  Remove from the pans and allow to cool completely on the wire racks.

Frost with your favorite frosting or the coconut-pecan frosting from yesterday's post.  If you use the coconut pecan frosting, use to fill between layers and on top of cake allowing both to drip down the sides.

Note:  I have had this recipe for years.  I believe I got it from Southern Living magazine.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

COCONUT AND PECAN FROSTING

1 can (12-oz) evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter
4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
2 tsp vanilla extract

Using a 3-quart heavy saucepan, combine the evaporated milk, sugar, butter, and egg yolks; bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Cook mixture approximately 10 minutes or until thickened.  Stir occasionally during cooking.

Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the coconut, pecans, and vanilla extract.

Allow to cool some then use to fill and frost your favorite cake.


Yield: About 4 1/4 cups of frosting; enough for a 2-layer cake.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

STRAWBERRY BUTTERCREAM

I don't know about you but I could skip the cake and go straight to the icing. (Now that is a problem for a diabetic!)  I love buttercream frosting and when I found this recipe in my inbox I knew I had to save it.  I thought you might enjoy it, too.  I received it from Cake Central where they are always trying to convince me to take classes.  They don't know me very well, I could never make a beautiful cake! 

Bratko’s Strawberry Italian Meringue Buttercream (IMBC)

Posted by on Mar 5, 2013 in | 1 comment

Strawberry IMBC
Buttercream is wonderfully versatile, and many kinds of flavorings can be added. This recipe is for strawberry IMBC, but strawberries can be omitted or replaced.

INGREDIENTS

6 ¼ ounces egg whites
7 ounces sugar
¼ cup water
Pinch of salt

1 pound of unsalted fine quality butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups fresh strawberries, pureed

DIRECTIONS

In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a soft boil of 245° F. While your sugar is cooling, in a separate mixing bowl, lightly whisk egg whites and salt until soft peaks form (a stand mixer is ideal, but a hand mixer will work).
Once sugar syrup has reached temperature, crank mixer up on high and slowly pour the sugar syrup into eggs. Allow meringue to come to stiff peaks, and make sure bowl is cool to touch. This may take 10 minutes or more.
Meringue must be stiff enough to stay put when scooped to the side of the bowl. If it is at all runny, keep mixing. Change to a paddle attachment and add butter. (If your butter is firm enough to pick up between your fingers, it is too hard. Leave it out to soften overnight for best results.) Mix on the lowest setting. It will look curdled and soupy. Do not mix on high. This step can take up to 15 minutes.
When your buttercream is fluffy, light and smooth, it is done. Add pureed strawberries. Your frosting may appear curdled or lumpy at first, but keep mixing until smooth again, approximately 7 minutes.

Note from Linda:  Now doesn't that just look and sound yummy!  If you fill and top a delicious cake with this, do me a favor - eat a piece for me and pray you never develop diabetes!

Monday, March 4, 2013

CRISPY RAISIN DROP COOKIES

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup granola
1/2 cup chocolate covered raisins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease baking sheets; set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda together; gradually blend into the sugar mixture.  Stir in the granola and chocolate covered raisins.

Drop dough by heaping teaspoons onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake at 375 degrees 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to stand 2 to 3 minutes on the baking sheets and remove to wire racks to cool completely.