Lemon Poppyseed Gooey Butter Bars

Lemon Poppy Seed Gooey Butter Bars

Lemon Poppy Seed Gooey Butter Bars

It was 80 some degrees out yesterday. I turned the oven on ANYWAY. I need to be committed. During the time that these bars baked, the temp in the house went up to approximately 426 degrees. No, really. Would I lie? Next week, it is supposed to get down to the high 70’s during the day and the low 60’s at night. I can’t EVEN begin to explain my excitement over possibly being able to open the windows and sleep at night with real air, not recycled. Think prepubescent girl going to see her favorite boy band type of excited. Then double it.

These bars made the melting of all my skin layers worth it though. I have a major love for shortbread crusts on cookies ANYWAY (for whatever odd reason, they make me think of Christmas. Don’t ask. I dunno.), and the crust on these bars is sooo buttery, so crispy/crumbly, just the way a good shortbread should be. Add on a gooey, creamy topping filled with the flavors of lemon and butter, with the crunch of poppyseeds and I was in Heaven. Warning though; you notice the slightly grayish cast my bars have? I think I let my poppyseed love go a bit too far. These still taste fantastic which is why I’m posting them anyway, rather than remake them to have a better color for a photo, but yeah… a bit gray. So, in the directions, I am cutting them down a tablespoon. Feel free to add back in another tablespoon if you don’t mind the color.

You know the drill…

Lemon Poppyseed Gooey Butter Bars

  • Crust-
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • Topping-
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with foil, then butter the foil or spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the crust ingredients. Beat on low speed with a hand mixer until it holds together and resembles coarse crumbs. Dump this into the prepared pan and press all over the bottom of the pan.
  3. Bake crust at 350 for about 10 to 12 minutes, until it is a light golden brown.
  4. For the topping, in a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, corn syrup, lemon zest, vanilla and lemon oil.
  5. In another small bowl, whisk together the flour and the poppy seeds.
  6. In a larger bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well blended and creamy. Add in the egg and again beat until well combined.
  7. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mix, alternating with the lemon juice/corn syrup mixture. Beat until well mixed after each addition.
  8. Spread the mixture over the crust, smoothing the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. The top will be a light brown and the center will still have a very VERY slight jiggle. It will all firm up as it cools. You don’t want to overbake these as you’ll lose the whole gooey texture. They’ll still taste great, but they will be much firmer.
  9. When done, let cool in the pan until completely cool, then sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into small squares. You can store these at room temp if you know they will be gone within a day or two. Any longer than that, and I’d suggest the fridge for storage.

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Lemon Poppyseed Gooey Butter Bars

Lemon Poppyseed Gooey Butter Bars

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Uncommon Goods Fathers Day Goodies!

About a month ago, a gentleman named Tom from the company Uncommon Goods got in contact with me and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing one of their Fathers Day products or something from the section of their website geared towards what I jokingly call “Manly Gifts”. πŸ˜› I had heard of Uncommon Goods before and had gone to the site to drool more than once. Drooling over cool products makes me happy. Plus, I found out that Uncommon Goods is so much more than just your average everyday shopping site. One of the things I love? They have another website called Uncommon Knowledge that has just what the name implies; all sorts of short pieces that delve into interesting and sometimes humorous subjects like “Is there a mom in your computer” or “What is the gold standard for sushi?”. This is a company that has been awarded the Bizrate award for outstanding customer service every year since 2007, so it’s not like they HAVE to go that extra mile to make another site. They do it just because they can, and want to. PLUS, as if that’s not enough, this is a company with a conscience. With every purchase you make, they donate a dollar to the non profit charity of your choice. Cool, right?!
Back to the gifts however! If you visit Uncommon Goods you can see some of the neat gifts for the men in your life that they have. We’re talking everything from grilling supplies to a whiskey making kit to garden tools to these really cool Himalayan salt tequila glasses. And I didn’t manage to touch on what all they have. You can check out the ideas for men right here. I was given the option of choosing from that section or from their Fathers Days section which you can find right about here. I so love the make your own hot sauce kit over in that area!
It took me a while but I finally decided on this Artisanal Bamboo Salt Chest. I have been trying forever to teach the guys in my life that salt can be soooo much more than the harsh stuff you get out of the cardboard containers form the grocery store, so I knew this would be something that my husband would enjoy as well as me. I just hadn’t realized how cool my KIDS would find it, too! I think we all raised our blood pressure about 50 points the first day by trying all the different salts, hehe.Artisan Salts Uncommon Goods They have a few smoked salts in there that are amazing! I find myself reaching for them to sprinkle over anything that would do well with a smoky touch; meats of course, but also veggies, eggs, even pasta.
Moral of the story? πŸ˜› If you’re looking for some great Fathers Day gifts or maybe hubbie or son has a birthday coming up, hie thyself on over to Uncommon Goods and check out the gifts they have there. Make sure you check out one of my favorite areas over here if you have any geeky guys in your life; I’m totally crushing on these planet lollipops! I know for certain they have won MY loyalty with great products. I am already planning how to refill the various salts in the case!

Disclosure- I was given product to review in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions in this post are my own and are 100% honest.

Easy Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Quick Bread

 

Easy Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Quick Bread 1



It’s FINALLY starting to get chilly during the day here. Am I the only weirdo who does a cheer for that? We’ve been able to leave the windows open and get fresh air, but it’s been warm during the day and only cooled off at night. Now, I had to close all but one window and it’s 66 in the house; a bit chilly, but nothing that socks and a sweater don’t take care of. I’m ready for comfort food weather; for nesting inside with a cup of tea and a blanket over my lap. I’m ready to be standing in front of the wood burning stove, listening to the crackling wood. I want to breathe in crisp air that smells of coming snow.

Ok, enough rhapsodizing. Yes, I know. Another apple recipe. But how can I resist? It’s apple season and they taste so good this time of year before they get shoved into cold storage! While I’ve said before that I have the type of cooking personality that doesn’t always pay attention to season- chili in August, anyone, Pumpkin bread in April?, there are some things that simply begged to be made at specific times of the year.

My husband picked up a handful of gorgeous Gala apples about a week ago and I held back one for this bread. The original recipe for applesauce oatmeal bread that I got from the King Arthur website didn’t call for fresh apples, but I couldn’t resist. That recipe also didn’t call for raisins or crystallized ginger or as much spice or wheat germ or toasting the nuts. In a nutshell (see what I did there? Huh, huh huh? πŸ˜› ), it was pretty boring. Not anymore. My seven year old told me I need to make this bread every day because, “it’s soooo good, momma!”. High praise from a little boy for something that is not overly sweet.

This bread is nice and moist. With applesauce, diced apples and a small amount of oil, it was bound to be. Add in the spices, raisins, toasted nuts, toasted wheat germ, and crystallized ginger and this is actually both quite tasty AND not totally bad for you. It goes together quickly. Just keep in mind… “Mise En Place”. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; having what you need already measured out and near your work space helps so much. When I don’t do this, that’s the times when I forget to add something. Don’t be me. πŸ˜›

You know the drill… get to cooking!

Easy Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Quick Bread

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons boiled cider (you could sub apple juice concentrate)
  • 1 cup diced apple (one medium apple)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup oats (NOT the instant crap)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (if you prefer a sweeter bread, feel free to use sweetened applesauce)
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans (toast for ten minutes in a 350 degree oven, then cool.)
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ ( you can sprinkle them over the nuts and toast them in the same pan with the pecans, but watch carefully; the wheat germ can burn easily)
  • 3 tablespoons diced crystallized ginger
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla extract and boiled cider (or apple juice concentrate). Add in the raisins and diced apple.
  2. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and the spices. Mix with the wet ingredients, stirring until just barely combined.
  3. Add in the oats, applesauce, pecan/wheat germ mixture and diced ginger. Stir until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with some oats to make it purty πŸ˜›
  5. Bake at 350 degrees until a wooden skewer comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool in the pan set on a rack for ten minutes, then turn it out onto the rack to finish cooling. Serve this warm with butter and jam or maybe some honey butter.

Easy Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Quick Bread 3Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

 

Sweet & Tangy Strawberry-Vanilla-Banana Jam

Sweet & Tangy Strawberry-Vanilla-Banana Jam



I remember when I first started canning about 15 years ago. I thought I owned the world. To be able to create jams, jellies and preserves in flavors no store would ever have; to feel so danged “Earth Mother-ish”. It was empowering in its own weird way. The first thing I ever made was orange marmalade. It was, yet again with me, a case of not even realizing I had picked something that experienced cooks/canners don’t like to do and that the inexperienced canners balk at. I have a habit of that. Same thing happened the first time I made croissants not long after I started baking with yeast. I found out later that many experienced home bakers don’t like to attempt croissants because they can be touchy. I’ve always been like, “This sounds good… I want to make it” and I give it a try. Usually things go well. I suppose ignorance really is bliss, ehh? This particular jam is a favorite in my family. My son Jordan has to be stopped from just eating it out of the jar as dessert and my husband, who is diabetic, loves it even though it’s so NOT good for him. If you like the classic mix of strawberry banana, you will love this jam. And contrary to what you may think, home canning isn’t difficult at all. If you can mix, stir, ladle into jars and then boil sealed cans, you’ve got this. I will say what I say every time I post a canning recipe, however. Steer clear of recipes/web sites/blogs that tell you it is just fine and dandy to do things like seal your jars by turning them upside down or just putting a lid on and letting the inner heat seal them, etc. These methods are NOT safe. You’ll run into people who will say, “Oh, my gramma/great gramma/gramma 35 generations ago did it this way and everyone was just fine.” They’re wrong, plain and simple. We have no way of knowing how many illnesses, “Oh, she has a stomach virus” or even deaths back in the day were from food poisoning. Seal your cans the correct way and you’ll have tasty food that is safe. Here’s a wonderful site to check out if you’re new to canning- Fresh Preserving . It will guide you along in easy terms and make you see how simple this really is! You know the drill…. git to cooking. Erhmmm, canning. This makes about 8 half pint jars.

Sweet & Tangy Strawberry-Vanilla-Banana Jam

  • 4 3/3 cups prepared fruit (about 2 1/2 containers strawberries and 3 to 4 medium bananas)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (bottles is fine)
  • 1 box pectin (the powdered kind, not the liquid)
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter to help prevent excessive foaming
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 3/4 cups sugar (yes, this is the correct amount; jams take a fair amount of sugar to set properly and are NOT diet food πŸ˜› )
  1. Prepare your jars as directed in the above link and set your lids in a bowl of bowling water to sterilize them.
  2. Stem your strawberries. Crush them and measure out exactly 3 1/4 cups of the mashed berries (if there is any left over, which is doubtful, just find another use for them). Mash the bananas and add exactly 1 1/2 cups of them in a large pot along with the mashed strawberries. Stir in the lemon juice and the vanilla.
  3. Stir the powdered pectin into the pot with the fruit. Make sure you have your sugar measured and at hand.
  4. Add the butter and bring the fruit/pectin mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that can’t be stirred away), stirring constantly.
  5. Pour in the sugar all at once. Still stirring constantly, bring the mixture back to a full rolling boil Once it gets there, boil for a full minute. Immediately remove form the heat and skim off any foam that has collected on top. Let the pot sit for five minutes, stirring about once every minute to help make sure the fruit doesn’t settle, but stays suspended throughout the mixture.
  6. Ladle into the prepared jars; wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean hot, wet cloth. Cover with the lids and process in boiling water for ten minutes. Remove form the water and let cool, set on a clean towel. You’ll hear a satisfying “ping!” as each jar seals.
  7. Label and store in a dark, cool place.

Sweet & Tangy Strawberry-Vanilla-Banana Jam 2 Β  Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

Fourteen Recipes For Easter (& Spring!)

Fourteen Recipes For Easter (And Spring!)

Fourteen Recipes For Easter (And Spring!)

Ahhh, Spring; that season where our land turns to a swamp and I expect any minute to see crocodiles and hear lively Cajun Zydeco music. But Spring is also the season for Easter, the day when Jesus rose from the dead and set the stage for our salvation, a gift we can never hope to repay. I wanted to put together a compilation of recipes for you that celebrate both the season and the day. Enjoy and have a wonderful Easter Sunday!

I love this risotto. it is perfect for Springtime; fresh and bright. And cheesy. Cheesy is always good πŸ˜€

Lemony Cheese Risotto
Lemony Cheese Risotto2

Blueberries are starting to come into season and get a bit less expensive at the stores. This cornbread is a delicious way to enjoy them!

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

Brown Butter Blueberry Maple Cornbread

And you need a main course, of course. This is my all time favorite way to make ham. The orange marmalade glaze is delicious and I am sure it could be used on any other ham (or even a pork loin roast or chicken) just as easily.

Orange Marmalade Brown Sugar Ham

Orange Marmalade-Brown Sugar Ham

Orange Marmalade-Brown Sugar Ham

What goes better with ham than mac & cheese, right? This one of my most popular recipes and for good reason; it’s absolutely wonderful! Decadent, creamy, cheesy and it makes enough for that Easter day crowd or a potluck at church

Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Macaroni And Cheese
Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & Cheese

If you have kids in your house on Easter, chocolate cake goes over well. Ok, so it goes over well with practically everyone! This is also one of my most popular recipes. Soooo moist and the icing is amazing! And we all know the kids just don’t get enough sweets form the Easter Bunny on Easter, right? *coughcough*

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

Here’s another risotto for you. For some reason, risotto just says Spring to me. If I’m wrong, oh well; it’s still a very tasty risotto, lol. I mean; bacon, mascarpone cheese and caramelized onions. What could be bad about that?

Caramelized Onion, Bacon & Mascarpone Risotto

Caramelized Onion, Bacon & Mascarpone Risotto

Caramelized Onion, Bacon & Mascarpone Risotto

You have to have lemony foods during Easter and in the Spring, am I right? They are just so bright and fresh and lively, the are perfect for this time of the year when the world is waking up from its slumber. This cake is so fitting. lemony and zesty and tangy and oh so good!

Better Than Starbucks Lemon Cake

Better Than Starbucks Lemon Cake

Better Than Starbucks Lemon Cake

It’s always nice to have something tasty to drink when family is getting together. It settles the nerves when there are 4000 kids running about fighting over whose chocolate bunny is bigger. This Berry Peachy Sangria is light and refreshing and a perfect way to signal Springtime to get springing πŸ˜›

Berry Peachy Sangria

Berry Peachy Sangria

Berry Peachy Sangria

If you’d prefer something non-alcoholic, this is one of my favorite ways to make a fresh tasting tea. This is made with Constant Comment tea, Lemonade mix and water; easy peasy. Then you garnish it with frozen strawberries in lieu of ice cubes and enjoy.

Spiced Strawberry lemonade Constant Comment Tea
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Need a little more chocolate, but a bit less involved? These brownies use cake mix and bagged caramels, but you’d never know it once you taste them. They are amazingly good and completely easy

Easy Caramel Pecan Brownies

Easy Caramel Brownies

Easy Caramel Brownies

If you’re wanting some fresh bread for the Easter table, I have a few you’ll love. This loaded baked potato bread is one of my favorites. it is so moist and stays fresh for days thanks to the potato in it. But it won’t last that long because…well…bacon. And cheese.

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Or maybe your family prefers rolls instead of a loaf of bread? These oatmeal rolls are my family’s favorite. This isn’t the greatest photo since it’s one of my earliest posts, but don’t let that influence you away from trying these. These are soft and fluffy with such a good flavor.

Oatmeal Rolls

Oatmeal Rolls

Oatmeal Rolls

These three cheese, pancetta and fig scones are my absolute favorite. The mix of sweet, savory and cheesy is wonderful! And they are great for a buffet brunch on Easter.

Three Cheese, Pancetta And Fig Scones/a>

Three Cheese, Pancetta & Fig Scones

Three Cheese, Pancetta & Fig Scones

Last but not least- this cheesecake is utterly amazing (if I do say so myself). Moist, creamy and the berry sauce on top is the perfect foil to set it off. Plus, it just looks so darn impressive!

New York Cheesecake With Triple Berry Sauce

New York Cheesecake With Triple Berry Sauce

New York Cheesecake With Triple Berry Sauce

Decadent Creamy Chocolate Fudge Pie

Decadent Creamy Chocolate Fudge Pie

Decadent Creamy Chocolate Fudge Pie



Are those three wonderful words or what?Β  Creamy…. Fudge… and Pie. They make me happy just reading them. They also make me want to grab a spoon and shove it into what’s left of this pie, but thus far, I’ve resisted the urge. I’m trying my best to NOT get mistaken for a whale when I go in our pool this Summer. I can see it now- “Today, in an event never before seen in the state of Kentucky, a rare white bellied and legged and armed and faced , obviously needing a tan whale was seen in the swimming pool of a local family. No one knows how it got there, but rumors have been abounding as to how big it really is, with some giving estimates into the hundreds of tons! Full story at eleven!”

I think it may be a lost cause though. All the weight I lost and said “Nope, never gaining it back! Not me!” is back. The part of me that looks at modern society and sees thin women in beautiful clothes cares. But the part of me that is almost 51 and likes to eat creamy fudge pie? Not so much. So far, the fudge pie part is winning. I know me though… at some point, I’ll go through the cycle all over again though I’ve lost all hope that it will be permanent. I’m not willing to cut out all the fun foods nor am I willing to exercise for 2 to 3 hours a day, which at my age, I’ve found seems to be the only way to keep the weight off.

Oh well. As a food blogger, I live by the motto of “fat is flavor”, right? So I should be one well marbled woman! πŸ˜›

I have been making this pie for many many years. It comes from what I have mentioned before is one of my favorite cookbooks- The Fannie Farmer Baking Book. This is the book that helped me learn to REALLY bake as an adult, not the throw together stuff I did as a kid and teen. It’s one I’ve been using for about 30 years now and love. My copy is tattered and stained and I really should get a new one. Someday.

Make this pie. You can cheat like me and use a store bought crust or make your own if you’re feeling ambitious. I do either, depending on my mood. Store bought won this time. This pie is very chocolatey, but not pudding like as most chocolate pies are. it is, as the name says, more fudge like, almost like having a dense brownie in a pie shell. Over the years, I have of course adapted this to our liking but it isn’t much in the way of changes at all. All I do differently is to increase the filling by 50% because otherwise it’s rather thin and I add a bit of almond extract to the filling. Since it’s with the large amount of chocolate, it doesn’t taste almondy so much as, like adding espresso, it just adds that certain something to the flavor. Did I mention that this pie is also really really easy to make?

You know the drill…

Mrs. Cupcake, who needs larger fat girl pants

Decadent Creamy Chocolate Fudge Pie

  • 9 inch pie crust, unbaked
  • 12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) unsalted butter,
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate. Cook at full power for one minute, stirring afterward, then putting it back into the microwave to cook in 30 second increments until the chocolate and butter are melted and combined and the mixture is smooth.
  2. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. Add in the sugar, flour, salt and extracts. beat just until smooth. Stir in the chocolate/butter mixture and blend well.
  3. Pour into the pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes until the pie is gently set. It shouldn’t be liquidy looking at all on top but should be set. The pie will fluff up as it bakes, then sink and crack all over as it cools. This is normal. The top will be an almost chewy, brownie like layer with a creamy mousse like layer under that.
  4. Cool and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

German Chocolate Cake

Yum

German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake



A while back on my facebook page, I asked my followers there (why is it that every time I say “followers”, I feel like Jim Jones holding up a pitcher of kool-aid? Come to me, my pretties… I’ll make life allll better!) what they wanted me to make- sweet, savory, specific flavors? I was having a brain dead day. I have a lot of those. Most people came up with suggestions fitting this blog, i.e., fattening, high calorie, etc. A few however, seemed to forget where they were. I got suggestion for… *GASPS*…. low calorie foods and I was told in email that I needed to start blogging more low cal, even diabetic friendly recipes and that I should also post some vegan ones more often.

Ummmm…. no. I don’t. Have to, that is. Or even need to. There are plenty of other bloggers covering that territory. Those of us willing to put our blood sugar count on the line for you are getting harder to find, however. Appreciate us while we’re still alive and don’t have to be buried in piano cases. :-p

I can appreciate that people want those type of recipes and I will happily guide my readers towards some wonderful blogs and web sites that do that type of food, but unless I make something that just HAPPENS to fit that criteria, I won’t be posting that style of food. There are 900,000 blogs out there cooking under many different topics. Mine is a baking/comfort food blog. You wouldn’t go into a restaurant that specializes in home cooking, things like meat loaf, mashed potatoes, cream pies, etc and say, “Hey, I want you to make me a nice vegan lentil dish. This other stuff just isn’t what I’m looking for and you need to stop serving it.” Same thing here on my little corner of the internet.Β  I love you all more than pizza (fully loaded with extra cheese even) and if I make a recipe that is Vegan or low cal or wonderfully good for you, you’d better believe I’ll post it. But will I actively search for or make those kinds of recipes? No. I enjoy baking, I enjoy comfort foods (and big hips and thighs obviously). However, believe it or not, I make healthy foods sometimes But I do it because I like the sounds of a recipe or want to try making something differently or because I had to turn sideways to fit my hips through a door and can’t afford new jeans and am getting tired of sitting around the house in a Muumuu.

So there you have it. If you want foods that have enough calories to feed a small country or that will make you feel better on a day when all you want to do is eat your emotions, I’m your gal. If you want foods that will trim your waistline or lower your blood sugar, I may not be the blogger for you. I’d hate to see you leave, but I fully understand. πŸ™‚

On that note….. cake. With calories galore.

This is my husbands favorite cake and I kinda like him, so I thought I’d give it a try. This recipe came from Southern Living. It’s moist chocolate cake, smothered in a thick and rich coconut pecan frosting

Because…cake. Chocolate….

FYI- This recipe makes a TON of frosting. I still had some left over and you can see how heavily iced this cake is. I can see cutting it in half and still having enough for the cake, easily. I have noticed in the past that Southern Living recipes can lean towards a bit of inaccuracy in amounts, as much as I love them.

You know the drill…

German Chocolate Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temp
  • 7 ounces of finely chopped semi sweet chocolate
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Frosting-
  • 3 1/2 cups chopped pecans, lightly toasted and cooled
  • 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 14 ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3 cups (10 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 9 inch cake pans with a baking spray that combines oil and flour. Wilton makes a good one.
  2. Place the chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each one, until chocolate is fully melted. Set aside to cool a bit.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.Β  In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla extract and beat just until combined.
  4. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour (flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour). Fold in the melted chocolate.
  5. Scrape batter (it will be thick) into the prepared pans, smoothing the tops of each pan of batter.
  6. Bake at 350 until a wooden skewer inserted in each comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cakes cool in the pan, on a rack, for five minutes, then turn out carefully onto the rack to finish cooling.
  7. While the cake cools, make your frosting- In a large pot, combine the butter, sweetened condensed milk and brown sugar. Cook over low heat, whisking often, until mixture is smooth. Don’t let it get extremely hot; you’re just getting it all melted down and combined. Add a little of the mixture to the egg yolks and whisk to combine. You’re just trying to heat the yolks so they don’t cook unevenly when you add them into the milk mixture.
  8. Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the milk one. Let cook over low heat, whisking often, until it has thickened up, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer it to a large bowl and add in 3 cups of the pecans, the coconut, vanilla extract and salt. let this cool. It will thicken more as it cools down.
  9. Place one cake layer on serving plate. Frost with half the frosting. Lay the other cake layer carefully on top; frost with the rest of the frosting. Garnish withe the rest of the pecans.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

DSCF1382

Cinnamon Sticky Buns

 

Cinnamon Sticky Buns

Cinnamon Sticky Buns



I always get confused when I see how nervous some people are about the idea of working with yeast. I mean no disrespect by that. I also get confused by at least 948 other things every day. It’s just that I started making yeast breads and pastries when I was still a fairly novice cook. Now I’ll look at recipes that seem pretty straightforward and they’ll have warnings about “Once you master this, you can move on to harder things like danish pastry and croissants”. Hmmmm… one of the first things I ever made were homemade croissants. I didn’t know that, as a beginner, I wasn’t supposed to be able to make them or that I was supposed to be scared to even try. I could read, therefore I could bake.

Point being, that’s what I want for all of you. If you can read and have any cooking ability at all (I qualify that because if opening a can of Chef Boy-Ar-Dee is beyond your skill level and you only come to blogs to send the recipes to your mom, I make no promises πŸ˜› ), you can make yeast raised baked goods with no problem. They take a little more patience is all and a little more with certain things, like the temps of liquids. Too hot and you can kill the yeast. Too cold and it won’t activate at all. But all you need is an instant read thermometer and you’re good to go. Bake enough and you won’t even need that. You’ll be able to test the temp with your finger and know if it’s right.

I first made these sticky buns in about 1990 or so and have been making them ever since. More or less. It occurred to me the other day that I have never made them for my husband and he and I have been together over seven years. Seven years with no sticky buns!!? What was I thinking?! So it was time. And I am so glad I did. Tender, slightly sweet pastry with a buttery, sweet and cinnamony filling, all smothered in a sticky, teenie tiny bit chewy glaze. These are wonderful fresh out of the oven. These are wonderful room temp. These are just wonderful; period. These are done with a stand mixer and I’ll give directions that way, but you can always, always do yeast doughs by hand.

You know the drill…. πŸ™‚ and no fear is your motto!! Well, that and “I’m going to eat a pan of sticky buns all by myself!”

Cinnamon Sticky Buns

  • dough- 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (between 110 to 115 degrees)
  • 1 cup milk, warmed to about 120 degrees
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 5 to 6 cups flour (it will vary each and every time due to weather, humidity, moisture content of the flour, etc)
  • filling-
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • glaze-
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (whichever you prefer; I like to use dark)
  • 3 tablespoons dark corn syrup (this provides the “sticky” part; don’t omit it. Corn syrup is NOT the same thing as HFCS)
  • 3/4 cup lightly toasted chopped pecans
  1. Sprinkle the 2 packs of yeast over the warm water. Let sit for 3 minutes or so to dissolve. When you go to get it, it should be bubbling and foamy. If not, your yeast may be dead and you should probably use different yeast. Better to do that than waste an entire recipes worth of ingredients.
  2. Combine the milk, sugar, salt, butter, vanilla extract and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Mix on low just long enough to combine. Add in the yeast and 2 1/2 cups of flour. Change over to the dough hook and beat until smooth.Β  Add in 2 1/2 cups more flour. Beat until it is a shaggy mass. It may still be somewhat sticky. Add in another 1/4 cup of flour at a time if needed and beat to incorporate. You want a final dough that is SLIGHTLY tacky, but doesn’t leave dough on your fingers when you press into it. This batch took a full six cups of flour for me. Other times, I’ve used about 5 to 5 1/2 cups.
  3. Turn your speed up to 2 or 3 and let the dough hook do the kneading work for you. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes; work that gluten! πŸ˜›
  4. Turn dough out into a lightly oiled bowl. Turn to coat both sides, then cover the bowl with a clean towel and set in a warm place to rise. Let the dough rise until it is about doubled in size.
  5. Meanwhile, make your glaze. Combine all the glaze ingredients and combine until totally mixed and no streaks of butter show. Divide mixture between 2 9 inch cake pans, using your fingers to pat it all the way across the bottoms of the pan. Sprinkle with the toasted pecans. Set aside and start your oven preheating to 350 degrees.
  6. When the dough has risen, punch it down and turn out onto a lightly floured board or counter. Roll it into about a 24×12 rectangle. Don’t stress if it’s not perfect.
  7. Break up the 1/2 cup softened butter and scatter it across the dough. Use your fingers to spread it all over the dough, right to the edges. Sprinkle with the 2/3 cup sugar and then the cinnamon.
  8. Roll the dough tightly from a long end into a cylinder. Trim off the uneven edges (trust me; you’ll have uneven edges) and do what you want with them. You can bake them up in a small pan or I have heard that dogs adore raw dough. Go figure. Cut the dough into 16 pieces with a sharp knife. Lay the slices in the prepared pans, 8 per pan. Let rise again until just about doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes or so.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees until the tops of the rolls are golden brown and you can see the glaze bubbling around them, about 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes to set the glaze somewhat, then invert the pan onto a rimmed plate or serving dish.
  10. These are best warm and fresh, but if you don’t use them all, just wrap them tightly and store on the counter. You can reheat them easily in the microwave. For the record, you can let them rise in the pan, then freeze a pan for another time if two pans is too much. Just wrap the pan tightly with foil and freeze. When you want to bake them, let them sit in the fridge overnight to thaw and bake them as directed above. They may take a bit longer is all.

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Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce



Tomorrow night, when Downton Abbey comes on, I, along with half the United States, will be parked in front of my TV watching it. The difference is, that I will be doing so with a outrageously huge slab small piece of this cake and a cup of tea. Mrs. Patmore would be proud of this one and Lord Crawley, for all of his snobbishness, would love it. Mary would however, turn her nose up at it’s simplicity because…well, because she’s Mary.

Of course, I will have to make another one of these cakes to be able to enjoy that outrageously huge slab, erhmmm, dainty little slice because this one is about gone already.

And, yes, I just used the words “worlds best”. Would I use those words if I didn’t mean it? You all know that I like simple desserts; I’ve made more things like this than I have fancy ones. This is one of those desserts that you look at and think, “ehhh, it looks pretty boring.” Then you give it a taste. And you’re blown away. This cake is wonderful for all its simplicity. I had it fresh from the oven and it was great…room temp and it was great, room temp with the sauce and it was great and then chilled and it was great. Get the feeling I like this one? :-p

I used a mix of tart and sweet apples in this cake. I like to mix it up when I am using apples in a dessert like this. Also, feel free to cut down on the amount of spice a bit if you’d prefer. I like things to be fairly heavily spiced, but I know not everyone shares my quirks. This is beyond easy to throw together. The most time consuming part is chopping the apples. After that, wham bam, thank you apples and it’s mixed.Β  The sauce doesn’t take but a few minutes too and it’s so worth it. It just puts this cake over the top. Add a bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if you’re trying to totally put this into the category of decadent.

You know the drill… πŸ™‚

Mrs. Cupcake…who is going to get the last slice of cake before the kids do

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups peeled, chopped apples
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted in a 350 oven until lightly browned
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • Creamy Sauce-
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch square pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat until thick, creamy looking and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and beat just until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and spices. Add to the butter mixture and beat until well blended, scraping bowl once to get all the mixture in there.
  5. Pour in the apples, cranberries or raisins and walnuts and stir well to combine. Make sure the apples are well coated. This will look “apple heavy”, but trust me, it works out.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 for about 40 to 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a rack for about ten minutes. Serve warm with the sauce. or cool with the sauce…or warm or cool with no sauce πŸ˜›
  7. Creamy Vanilla Sauce-
  8. In a small pot, combine the butter, cream and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Simmer for about ten minutes, until it has started to thicken somewhat. Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla.

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Apple Cinnamon Gooey German Butter Cake

Cinnamon Apple Gooey German Butter Cake

Cinnamon Apple Gooey German Butter Cake




I think I’ve mentioned before (probably many times. I’m getting old and forgetful. Hey, did I mention that I’m getting old and forgetful?) that I was lucky enough to live in Germany for three years in the mid 80’s. Yes, I’m well aware that many of you were barely crawling in the mid 80’s. Just get me my Geritol and call me Granny.

I had my first two children while there and when my oldest was little, one of my favorite things to do was to go to the local Konditorei and by a pastry or nine two. My sons favorite was always one that was similar to American Mallomars but 900 times better. It had a thin wafer bottom covered with a mound of fresh soft marshmallow then coated in chocolate. It was delicious.

My favorites however were anything gooey, messy and preferably with crumbs on or in it. No way to go wrong with gooey and/or streusel, now is there?

German Butter Cake is one of those desserts that you can also serve for breakfast based simply on the fact that it resembles a coffee cake/crumb cake and it is a yeast based cake. Anything with yeast means it’s a bread and you canΒ always serve bread for breakfast. This gooey cake is, as I said, yeast based instead of baking powder, but don’t let that scare you away. It’s extremely easy to toss together. The most time consuming part of this recipe is peeling, slicing and sauteing the apples. The rest is pretty much wham, bam, thank you ma’am.

This isn’t the prettiest cake but it’s delicious. I covered the base with a layer of sweet buttery sauteed apples before I coated it all with the crunchy, crumbly topping. The topping stays partly gooey, as it’s supposed to, but it also get a nice crunchy, crackly edge.

Serve this as it or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You’ll devour it no matter what. πŸ™‚

You know the drill… git to cookin’!

Apple Cinnamon Gooey German Butter Cake

  • Cake-
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 packet dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed to between 110-115 degrees
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of cloves, cardamom and nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Apples-
  • 4 small Granny Smith (or other tart) apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Topping-
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fiori De Sicilia flavoring (optional. If you don’t have it, don’t sweat it)
  • 2 eggs
  1. Start your apples first so they have time to cool. In a medium pot, melt your butter. Add in the sliced apples and cinnamon. Cover the pot and saute the apples over low heat until the apples are crisp tender.
  2. Toss in the sugar, mix well and crank the heat up to medium. With the cover off, saute until they start to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  3. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Let sit for five minutes.
  4. For the cake, in the bowl of a stand mixer (this can all be done by hand or hand mixer if need be), combine the butter, sugar and salt. Mix on low speed until creamy. Add in the milk mixture, then the egg and vanilla extract, then the flour and spices.
  5. Put your dough hook attachment on and let it knead the dough for a minute or two. It is not a dry dough, so expect it to be a bit sticky and tacky. Remove it to a small bowl and let it rise until double, about one hour.
  6. In the stand mixer bowl with the beater hook, combine the butter, flour and sugar. Mix on low for a minute; just to get it all combined.
  7. Add in the eggs, vanilla and Fiori De Sicilia (if using). Beat at low speed until you have a mixture that rather resemble s crumbly cake batter. Set aside.
  8. Spray a 13×9 inch pan with cooking spray. Punch the dough down and then press it onto the bottom and half an inch up the sides of the pan. Pour the cooled apples and any saucy mixture in the pot over the top of the base. Use your fingers to arrange the apples so they cover the bulk of the dough.
  9. Carefully spread the topping over the dough, taking care to not move the apples all over the place. After this is done, let the cake alone for 20 minutes or so so that it can rise a bit. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  10. bake the cake at 375 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes, just until the base is cooked through and nicely golden brown. The topping will still look gooey. Thus the name πŸ˜›
  11. Let cool for about 20 minutes before trying to cut it or it will just ooze everywhere and you’ll end up with half the topping in the pan rather than on the cake.

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