Wednesday, September 19, 2018

FAMILY FAVORITE COCA-COLA CAKE

2 1/3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup butter
2 tbsp cocoa
1 cup coke
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and baking soda; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring the Coca-Cola, butter, and cocoa to boiling over medium heat. While hot, add to the four mixture; stir just until combined. Add the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla; stir until combined. Gently stir in the marshmallows (they will float to the top). Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Set pan on wire rack. Immediately spread the following topping over the hot cake.

TOPPING:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup Coca-Cola
2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts

Bring the butter, cocoa, and Coca-Cola to boiling in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix with a wire whisk until combined. Stir in the nuts and spread over the hot cake.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

PINA COLADA FLAVORED PIE

1 pkg (3-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 can (8-oz) crushed pineapple, drained
1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 carton (8-oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 9-inch graham cracker crumb crust

Combine cream cheese, sugar, milk, 1/2 cup of the pineapple, and the coconut in blender container. Cover and blend at medium speed for 30 minutes. Fold mixture into the whipped topping and spoon into the crust. Freeze 4 hours or until firm.

To serve: Remove from freezer and allow to stand at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes before cutting. Garnish pieces with the remaining pineapple.

Note: Store leftovers in freezer.

Monday, September 17, 2018

HANNAH'S RED VELVET SURPRISE CUPCAKES

This delicious recipe is from NYT Bestselling Author Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen Mystery novel RED VELVET CUPCAKE MURDER. I love her recipes.

Before you can make the cupcakes, you must make the CHOCOLATE APRICOT SURPRISES.
6-oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (that's one cup of chips)
2 tbsp apricot jam
2 tbsp salted butter

If the jam has big pieces of apricots, cut them into smaller pieces before you measure out the jam. You can also simply pick them out and only use the clear part of the jam.

Place the 3 ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. (A 2 cup measuring cup works fine.)

Microwave on high 1 minute. Take the chocolate mixture out of the microwave and stir the contents until smooth.

Tear off a piece of waxed paper and place on a piece of cardboard or a cookie sheet right next to the chocolate mixture.

Use a 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop out the mixture. Scrape it out of the spoon with your clean finger and drop onto the waxed paper in little mounds. If it spreads too much and won't mound, let it cool for a minute or two longer.

Once you start making the chocolate mounds, be sure you make 24 mounds for your 24 cupcakes.

Refrigerate the chocolate surprises until you are ready to use them in your cupcakes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and make the RED VELVET CUPCAKES:
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cocoa powder
2 tsp red food color gel* (Betty Crocker Classic Gel Food Colors are great)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (packed down in the cup when measured)
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp red wine vinegar (white vinegar may be substituted)

Line 24 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners (best to use 2 liners per cup or heavier liners like parchment or foil).

With electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, and vegetable oil until nice and fluffy. Mix in the salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder; be sure to mix in thoroughly.

Add the food color gel and vanilla extract. Beat until the color is mixed in thoroughly.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Add 1 cup of the flour and mix in thoroughly. Turn off mixer and scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber or silicone spatula.

Pour in 1/2 cup of the buttermilk and mix in thoroughly at low speed. Add a second cup of flour, mix in thoroughly then turn off mixer again and scrape down sides of bowl. Add in remaining buttermilk and mix well. Add the remaining flour and mix thoroughly.

Mix in the vinegar then turn off mixer and give the batter a final scrape down and stir with the spatula. Note: Vinegar may make batter foam up a bit but that is okay.

Fill cupcake liners 1/3 full of batter.

Remove chocolate surprises from the fridge and peal off the waxed paper. Place one in the center of each cupcake, pushing them down slightly. Be care not to push them all the way to the bottom! Continue filling liners with batter until 3/4 full. (These cupcakes do not rise much so don't worry about that being too much.

Bake at 350 degrees 20 to 23 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely in pan on a wire rack. DO NOT REMOVE FROM PAN UNTIL COMPLETELY COOLED.

Frost cupcakes with the following CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
4-oz cream cheese
1/4 cup salted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar (packed down in the measuring cup)

Place cream cheese and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds. Stir. If you can stir the cream cheese and butter smooth, take the bowl out and put on counter. If it's not soft enough to stir, microwave on high in 20-second intervals until it is.

Add the vanilla extract and stir it in.

Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cups at a time, stirring after each addition. Continue to add powdered sugar until the frosting is spreadable, but not runny.

When frosting, work out from the center and don't go all the way to the edge. Allow a little red to show.
Sprinkle frosting with a little red decorating sugar, if desired.

Yield: 24 cupcakes
*Do not mistake red food color gel for red decorating gel, they are not the same. If using liquid food coloring, double the amount.


APPLE-CINNAMON PULL-APART BREAD

1 7 1/2 ounce package (10) refrigerated reduced-fat home-style biscuits
4 teaspoons ground flaxseeds
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 of a medium apple, cored and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
2 teaspoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 


Preheat oven to 350F. Coat an 8x4x2-inch loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside. Cut biscuits in half crosswise. In a small bowl combine ground flaxseeds, 11/2 teaspoons of the granulated sugar, and the cinnamon. Roll biscuits in flaxseed mixture to coat. Alternately arrange biscuit halves and apple slices in the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with any remaining flaxseed mixture. Top with walnuts.

In a small saucepan combine brown sugar, 2 tablespoons orange juice, and butter. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until boiling. Pour mixture over biscuits. Bake about 25 minutes or until edges are golden and biscuits near center are done. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Invert loaf onto a small baking sheet. Invert again onto a serving platter.

For icing, in a small bowl whisk together cream cheese, 2 teaspoons orange juice, vanilla, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar. Drizzle bread with icing. Serve warm.

Recipe and photo from BH&G

DAZZLING PEACH TRIFFLE

1 box (16-oz) Angel food cake mix
1 tbsp chopped crystallized ginger
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, divided
3/4 cup peach preserves
1 quart peach slices
1 pint blueberries
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup prepared lemon curd

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the cake batter by preparing the mix according to package directions then stir in the crystallized ginger. Line a jelly roll pan, 11 x 17-inches, with parchment paper. Pour batter into the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the confectioners' sugar and remove the parchment paper. Cut cake lengthwise into 3 equal pieces. Starting with the long side, tightly roll each piece in paper towel. Let cool completely. Unroll cakes and spread each piece with 1/4 cup of the peach preserves. Re-roll the cakes. Cut each roll into 12 slices.

In a bowl, combine the peach slices, blueberries, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar; toss gently to coat.

In medium bowl of electric mixer, beat on high speed the heavy cream and remaining confectioners' sugar. Beat for 2 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Fold in the lemon curd.

To assemble: Place 12 cake slices, spiral side out, along bottom of trifle bowl. Arrange Arrange peach slices above each cake slice. Add another layer of cake spirals above peaches. Place remaining cake slices in the center of bowl. Spoon the blueberries around the cake slices and peaches. Top the berries with the whipped cream mixture. Add a couple of peach slices to the top along with a sprig of fresh mint as garnish, if desired.

 Sorry, I do not have a picture of this recipe. I received this recipe from a friend after I was diagnosed with diabetes so I have never made it. Sure sounds good, though.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

ANGEL PILLOWS

1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
1 pkg (3-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp milk
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Cream shortening, cream cheese, and milk in a medium mixing bowl at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Beat in the brown sugar and the preserves. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix the flour mixture into the creamed mixture. Stir in nuts.Drop two level tablespoonfuls of dough into a mound for each cookie. Place 2-inches apart on baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 14 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 1 minute then removing to wire racks to cool. Cool completely then frost with the frosting recipe below.

FROSTING:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1 tbsp butter flavored shortening
flaked coconut, chopped

Combine the powdered sugar preserves and shortening in a small mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer until well blended. Frost cooled cookies. Sprinkle with coconut.

 Note: File Photo

Saturday, September 15, 2018

PECAN PENUCHE

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
dash of salt
2 tbsp butter flavored shortening
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Lightly grease an 8-inch loaf pan; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, cream, and salt. Heat to boiling, over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cover and boil for 1 minute. Remove lid. Insert candy thermometer and cook over medium heat, without stirring, until temperature reaches 236 degrees. Remove from heat.

Add the shortening but do not stir. Cool, undisturbed, until temperature is lowered to 120 degrees. Add the vanilla and beat vigorously until mixture starts to thicken and loses its sheen. Stir in pecans. Spread in the prepared pan. Cut into 1-inch squares. Cool until firm.

Note: Make orange-flavored penuche by adding 1 tablespoon grated orange rind when you add the shortening.
 Note: File Photo

Friday, September 14, 2018

ORANGE COCONUT COOKIES

1 cup shortening
2 tbsp grated orange rind
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1 cup quick oats
2 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup milk

Cream shortening and orange rind; add sugar gradually and cream thoroughly. Add eggs, 1 at a time; beat well. Blend in coconut and oats. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together. Add alternately with milk to creamed mixture. Drop from teaspoon about 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly; remove from pan.

Yield: 4 dozen cookies
 Note: File Photo

Thursday, September 13, 2018

OREO WHITE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

1 pkg (18-oz) chocolate sandwich cookies with white filling, finely crushed
1 pkg (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
1 lb white baking chocolate, melted

In a large mixing bowl, combine the crushed cookies with cream cheese. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Form into 1-inch balls. Dip balls in the white chocolate; place on a baking sheet covered with waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. To store, cover and refrigerate.

Yield: 50 truffles. Per truffle: 115 calories, 13 g carbs, 2 g protein, 7 g fat (3 saturated)

 My granddaughter made these Oreo truffles for a party. She drizzled them with chocolate in the party colors.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

PINEAPPLE BREAD PUDDING

3 slices bread, cubed
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 can crushed pineapple, drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In casserole dish combine bread cubes with melted butter. Mix the sugar, eggs, and pineapple together. Combine the pineapple mixture with the bread cubes in the casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
 Note: File Photo