Easy Amish Sugar Cake (Recipe Re-do)

 

Easy Amish Sugar Cake

Easy Amish Sugar Cake



I’ve always wondered what makes some recipes winners and others total flops. I’ll post something that tastes wonderful and even has a decent photo and it will get two shares on facebook and not a lot of notice.Β  Then, another time, I’ll post something that, while good (not like I’m going to post crap), is fairly simple and nothing exciting, just homey food. And suddenly it will get 90 bazillion shares on facebook and a ton of people will come here to the blog to see it. Have I ever mentioned that all of you confuse me sometimes? πŸ˜›

This recipe falls under the second category. It is simple, tasty, homey and as easy as can be. But is certainly isn’t exciting or some earth shaking cuisine and I have come to realize that many of you prefer the recipes like this one.Β  This is by far my most pinned recipe on Pinterest and always get a lot of shares on facebook when I repost it there. All this with sub par photos, lol. I originally made this one for the blog in early 2012. Like I said, it is tasty and simple. You get a slightly crispy top and edges and a tender inside. part of the topping sinks to the bottom and you can a wonderfully buttery, yet crisp and sweet bottom crust, too. It’s a wonderful breakfast cake as well as a great treat for the family and an after school snack. it takes ten minutes tops to get this into the oven and about 3 minutes for your family to have it devoured πŸ˜€ It also is one of those simple cakes that most of you will already have all the ingredients for. So what are you waiting for? Go… make your house smell amazing and make the kids and spouse love you even more than they already do. Cause you’re just that good!

You know the drill…. git to cookin’

Mrs. Cupcake…. who is going to have another slice of this cake

Easy Amish Sugar Cake

 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter (more like 1/4 cup if you’re doing this in one larger pan)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon (you’re sprinkling it on, so use the amount that makes YOU happy)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease two 9 inch cake pans. You can also, as I did this time, use a 10 inch cast iron pan. You may end up using a bit less melted butter for drizzling at the end though, plus plan on a longer baking time by about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, white sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and baking powder.
  3. Dump in the egg, milk, vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons melted butter.
  4. Stir just until well combined and smooth. Don’t overbeat.
  5. Pour into the prepared cake pan or pans. Sprinkle with desired amount of brown sugar, then the cinnamon. Drizzle the remaining melted butter over the tops of the cakes.
  6. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the top is firm and crackly looking and the cake is a nice golden brown color.
  7. This is best served warm but it’s still good cold and reheats nicely.

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Easy Amish Sugar Cake

Easy Amish Sugar Cake

 

 

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (Recipe Redo)

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread



I’m not dead!!! Honest!!! *Checks pulse*Β  Oh, CRAP! Maybe I AM dead!! *Tries one more time to be sure* Whew… there it is. I was worried for a second. I was having a vision of having to be a zombie and eat brains; raw, no less. For the record, I am the one American left who has never, not even once, seen “The Walking Dead” or any of the popular zombie movies. What was that one??? 28 Days Later, I believe was the name? The idea of watching an hour or more of human beings eating each other just doesn’t do much of anything for me; other than make me a wee bit queasy. I’ll stick to reruns of The West Wing, M*A*S*H and Greys Anatomy, thankyouverymuch.

Man, now that I’ve written that paragraph, how do I manage to gracefully segue from zombies and eating people to banana bread? Hmmm.

I really am alive though. I apologize for the lengthy absence. I had the stomach flu, then I went through a few days of no inspiration, then the weather finally warmed up (boy, did it ever) and I had a ton of outside chores to do or oversee with my “Momma/Wife Whip” in hand. But I’m back.

I had a bunch of bananas that I needed to use up before they morphed into sentient life forms (I may have been too late. I think I heard one whimper when I mushed it up). My husband has been wanting banana bread for a while, so I decided to redo my old chocolate chip banana bread post. I’ve been making this for years and put it up here early on in the blog and the pictures, of course, bit donkey toes. So a redo was called for so I could get this out there again. This bread is so darn good. Moist, banana-ey (yes, that is now a word. Because I said so.), chocolatey, filled with chunks of melty, gooey chocolate chips.

You want this. Your spouse wants this. Your kids want this. Your neighbors want this. Your…ok, I’ll stop now. Sorry.

You know the drill…. πŸ™‚

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 to 8 mashed bananas (about 2 cups of mashed banana)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons banana flavoring (found with the vanilla extract at the store)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  1. Β Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 9 inch loaf pans. You can use 8 inch pans if you want a thicker loaf, but add on about 10 to 15 minutes more baking time.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the bananas and mix well. Mix in the eggs, vanilla extract and banana extract. Add the dry ingredients all at once to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour into the two prepared loaf pans and bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick or skewer poked into the center of the loaf comes out almost clean. It’s ok if there are a few moist crumbs on it.. Let it cool for five minutes in the pan then turn it out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

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DSCF1878

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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Raspberry Chocolate Amaretto Streusel Muffins

Raspberry Chocolate Amaretto Streusel Muffins

Raspberry Chocolate Amaretto Streusel Muffins




Mannnn, I’ve mentioned before that I hate wordy recipe titles. I prefer straight to the point and concise. But sometimes, you just need to make sure the title lets people know about all the yummy goodness in the food.

It’s funny that I am the same way with recipe titles as I am with life in general. I’ve always told my husband not to assume I fit the stereotypes of how women are “supposed” to act. If I ask you, “do I look fat in these pants?”, and I do, tell me I do. I can’t stand it when some women use phrases like that as a trap for a guy and when he answers honestly, they go on a rampage. Don’t ask the question if you don’t want a straightforward, honest answer! Point being (yes, somewhere in there there was a point) that I like people to be just as straightforward as I like my recipe titles. πŸ˜›

And no, I have absolutely no idea where that all came from. Chalk it up to being incredibly tired and as I wrote it, there seemed to be some vague connection lol. Now? Not so much. But it’s there, so…

These muffins are quite yummy if I do say so myself. I had found some fresh raspberries at the grocery store for, get this, 50 cents a pint! I was in shock but not so dumbstruck that I didn’t go ahead and grab six pints. My original thought was to make preserves, but lately, I’ve been unbelievably tired for some odd reason and the thought of making preserves just kind of died out. So I went to muffins. Nice, easy to throw together muffins lol.Β  And I’m glad I did. The original recipe for the raspberry and chocolate part of these came from Sallys Baking Addiction which is a blog I love. But I wanted to do them a bit differently. Imagine that…me…changing a recipe. Whoda thunk it?

I have always loved the combo of chocolate and raspberry and the combo of chocolate and almond. Knowing that almond also goes with raspberry made this an easy decision as to what to do. Add in some streusel and these are wonderful dessert muffins, though you can of course still eat them for breakfast. Because…muffins! There is no actual Amaretto in these. I used almond flavoring but didn’t want the title to make it seem that there were nuts in here, so amaretto sufficed as a description. These are soft and tender, fairly high rising with a lovely almond flavor amidst bites of raspberry and chocolate. The original recipe called for an oven temp of 425 for the first five minutes, but I did it at 400 instead; hot enough to yield a quick rise, but not so hot as to burn the outside if ones oven runs hot, as many do (cause ovens are finicky pains in the…) Also, since I used more raspberries and more chocolate than Sally’s, I got more muffins. She got six jumbo. I got six jumbo and five regular sized.

You know the drill… πŸ™‚

Raspberry Chocolate Amaretto Streusel Muffins

  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk, room temp
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil (I used vegetable)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 1 12 ounce bag semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 dry pints fresh raspberries (about 2 cups)
  • Streusel-
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.Β  Spray 6 large and 5 regular muffin cups with no stick spray.
  2. Make your streusel and set aside- in a medium bowl, combine the streusel ingredients. Cut the butter in using a pastry blender. You can also slice it thin and work it in using your fingers. You want small chunks, about the size of a pea.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt). Scoop out about 3 tablespoons of the flour mixture and toss it with the chocolate chips in a small bowl. This helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the muffins. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and brown sugar. Add in the oil, milk and extracts. Dump the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and gently stir just until combined. It’s ok, good actually, if there are some small lumps. Over beaten muffin batter makes for tough muffins.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips, then carefully fold in the raspberries, trying your best to break them as little as possible.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared cups, filling each to the top. Sprinkle with streusel topping, gently pressing it down onto the muffins. If you have streusel left over, just put it in a ziploc bag and freeze it. It’s wonderful to have on hand when you need some. Place in the oven on the middle rack.
  7. Bake at 400 for five minutes, then, without taking the pans out of the oven, reduce the heat to 350. Bake for about 25 minutes for the large muffins, 18 or so for the small ones, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. let cool in the pan for three minutes, then carefully remove to a rack to finish cooling. These are even more delicious spread with some raspberry jam!

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Easy Caramel Apple Granola

 

Easy Caramel Apple Granola

Easy Caramel Apple Granola

Back when I was a kid (yeah, yeah, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and we wrote by chiseling on stone tablets), cereal was so much more fun. No one was worrying about whether it was gluten free, because no one knew what the heck gluten was. There was no panic over HFCS being used in cereals because we had the good stuff in our cereals… real sugar! Parents didn’t make their children start their days with food that was approved by our presidents wife (wth is up with that crap, anyway?); food that would carefully begin their days with a perfect balance of nutrients so that little Joey could go kick little Bobbys ass out on the playground when no one was looking because little Joeys mom and little Bobbys mom were in a feud over whose youth soccer league was better.
Nope… when I was a kid, we had far more fun being..well, kids. We ate Pop Tarts for breakfast (for the record, no, my son does not eat pop tarts for breakfast and yes, I know that makes me hypocritical. Ask me if I care. πŸ˜€ ), followed by a heaping bowl of something like Kaboom… aka round sugar shapes disguised with a bit of grain. Or maybe King Vitamin, aka, round sugary shapes disguised by a vitamin or two. Then there was the really fun stuff like Count Chocula, which one can only get now during the Halloween season (when the heck did Halloween become big business and even GET its own season, btw?) or one of my favorites, Super Sugar Crisp, well named because sugar made up 95% of its ingredients. In other words, damn, it tasted good! Now however, they have changed the name and the ingredients because the word sugar makes everybody freak out.
Did I forget to mention that was a child, we also played outside unattended, even after dark, and the police weren’t called on our parents, that if we acted up at school, our parents didn’t go in and blame the teacher, but actually disciplined us for what we did wrong and lets not forget the ever reliable, we walked five miles to school… uphill…. both ways.
All that being said, even when I was a kid, one of my favorite cereals has always been any type of granola. Granola has always had this strange rep as healthy. But guess what… it rarely is πŸ˜€ It has its good points nutritionally. Since it has a high proportion of fruit, nuts and grains, it has a fair amount of fiber and protein. But that comes with a price. It is also very calorie dense and if you use it like a “normal” cereal and just pour it in a bowl and douse it in milk, you will most likely end up with a 600 calorie bowl of breakfast. It’s better to use it more sparingly; portioned out for the kiddos or yourself in a baggie or mixed into yogurt, spooned over some ice cream or served as a snack with some cheese and fresh fruit.
When I got the idea for this granola, I was sure I would find 500 other incarnations of it online. But lo and behold, while there are caramel apple desserts galore, there was not one caramel apple granola that I found in like 20 pages of Google search. (Edited to add- my brother informed me that yes, there ARE a bunch of them and I realized that what I had googled was what I had originally intended to call this- caramel apple PIE granola. There are none of those, but alas, I’m not original in the other name. *sobs* Brothers! Always have to ruin ones fun!!) Yay for a brief moment of being unique!! I also originally intended to make this completely from scratch, but changed my mind. There are a TON of tasty, plain granolas out there for a decent price that are easily doctored up so I just rolled with that idea. I used my favorite plain granola- Cascadian Farms Fruit And Nut Blend. Then I added some salted caramel sauce (Trader Joes brand, but feel free to use homemade and to use a plain caramel sauce rather than salted), some chopped dried apple slices, some dried cherries, some roasted pistachio pieces for a bit of protein and crunch, mixed it all together and baked it for long enough to “set” the caramel. Let it cool, break it up and voila, you have the perfect snack!

You know the drill… πŸ™‚

Caramel Apple Granola

  • 4 cups (one 13.5 ounce box) of your favorite plain granola
  • 2 cups chopped dried apple slices (about 1.5 bags)
  • 2/3 cup dried tart cherries
  • 2/3 cup roasted pistachios (no shell)
  • 1 1/4 cups caramel sauce (homemade, store bought, salted or not; your choice)
  • whatever else makes you happy in the way of nuts or fruit. You could also add about 1/4 cup of flax or chia seeds or some wheat germ
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the top and using either a large wooden spoon or just your hands, mix it all together until the granola is evenly coated.
  3. Spread out onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 325 for ten minutes. Take out of the oven and break the granola up turning the pieces over, as the bottom will be getting crispy. Bake for ten more minutes at 325. Don’t over bake this. Remember, the granola was already ready to go. You are just baking this to set the caramel.
  4. Place the pan on a rack to cool completely. When cool, break this up into bite sized pieces (or chunks if that’s the way you roll… I tend to prefer smaller pieces so I can use it in yogurt). This is NOT a completely dry granola. It will have a slightly tacky feel even after baking because of the caramel sauce.
  5. When this is 199% cool, store in a tightly covered container.

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Cinnamon Sugar Crusted Applesauce Bread

Cinnamon Sugar Crusted Applesauce Bread

Cinnamon Sugar Crusted Applesauce Bread

 

My youngest child started Kindergarten this year. He also turned six the first of this month. If you’re a parent, you know what it’s like to see your littlest being not so little anymore. You are torn between being so proud of their accomplishments and teary eyed because the last little baby is gone. For me, that’s a definite gone. No more babies here. I’m 50 and at this age, I can’t imagine starting over, no matter how tempting it may be. As it is, when Joshie (also known as “Boo”, “Boo Berry”, Boo-Boo”, “Boo Of Boo-ness”, “Joshie Of Joshie-ness” and “Berry Of Boo-ness”…. hey, what family doesn’t have weird endearments for each other? Quit laughing at us. πŸ˜› ) graduates high school, I’ll be in my 60’s! YIKES!

When Josh started school, one of the first things he “learned” was how to sit in class (a way I don’t agree with by the way because it promotes back pain and bad posture, but that’s neither here nor there right now πŸ˜€ ). It’s called “Criss Cross Applesauce”. My older kids are quite a bit older than he is (think mostly grown and married) and I don’t recall them sitting that way or certainly not having what Urban Dictionary calls “the pansy name for sitting cross legged” for it, lol. So now any time I use applesauce in any way, that phrase pops into my head. That is though, preferable to what used to pop into my head- “pork chops and apppppleeesauceeee” from an old Brady Bunch episode. Yes, yes I am old, thankyouverymuch.

On that note, as I totally show my age…. this bread is quite yummy. Very homey, the perfect breakfast bread or after school snack. It’s moist, sweet, but not overly so, with a nice touch of spice. The cinnamon sugar topping as well as the walnuts inside the bread adds a wonderful bit of texture to this to keep it from being one dimensional. This makes 2 loaves, but it’s easily cut in half, though why bother doing so? The loaves aren’t huge and it lasts a fair amount of days wrapped well πŸ™‚

You know the drill… πŸ™‚

Cinnamon Sugar Crusted Applesauce Bread

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups sweetened applesauce (one 24 ounce container)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • For the topping- 2/3 cup sugar combined with
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8 inch loaf pans with a flour/oil baking spray; that or grease and flour the pans. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda, salt and spices.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar for about 4 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.
  3. Add in the eggs, beating well. Add in the applesauce and vanilla, beating on low speed (this will splatter otherwise) until well combined.
  4. Add in the flour mixture and either on low speed with the mixer or using a sturdy wooden spoon,Β  combine until mixture is just combined. A few small lumps are fine, just no apparent floury areas. Stir in the raisins and walnuts.
  5. Divide between the two prepared pans. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the loaves, gently pressing down. If you don’t use it all, just store it in a small container. It’s great on toast or even in coffee.
  6. Bake at 350 for about 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Let cool in the pan for ten minutes then carefully invert onto a rack to finish cooling. You WILL lose some of the topping. Just scoop it up and sprinkle it back on the bread.

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Spiced Pumpkin Latte

Spiced Pumpkin Latte

Spiced Pumpkin Latte



Do you see the difference in the name there in comparison to a certain company that makes a pumpkin spice latte? That, my friend, is because this one has *GASPS* actual pumpkin in it, first and foremost. So the name reflects that. You have no idea how irked I was the first time I got the big name companies pumpkin spice latte and realized that there was no pumpkin in it. What a gyp!

So I, like 14,382 other bloggers, created my own version. Yeah, yeah, I know. This is ubiquitous online and I’m just one more hack posting it πŸ˜› But ya know what? There may actually be one or two people besides my husband and kids who don’t read a ton of food blogs and just read little old me cause I’m special or something. Work with me here. I’m having a low self esteem day. Tell me I’m special. Maybe buy me some roses, take me out to dinner and a movie and tell me I have purty eyes. So this is for the people who may not have seen this on those other 14,382 blogs.

When you’re done doing all that (I like dramas or documentaries and prefer Italian or Indian food, btw), make this latte. Well, make the latte syrup and THEN make a latte. The syrup will last weeks in the fridge. Pour it into a squeeze bottle or just put it in a covered container. And if you live in my household, keep it away from the 19 year old, who seems to think he needs 1/2 cup of this in one cup of coffee that is then covered with 3 cups of whipped cream.

You know the drill… get to cookin’. Or, erhmmm, simmering…and latteing.

Spiced Pumpkin Latte

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. In a medium pot, whisk together all the ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then immediately turn down to low. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Now you can either strain this if the sight of the spices in your cup will bother you (I can be pretty anal, but I don’t strain it. The spices settle to the bottom and don’t cause any issues.) or just store this, covered, in the fridge without straining. Either way, refrigerate it..
  4. To make a latte, use 2 to 3 tablespoons of this per cup of coffee; less if you only want lightly sweetened, more if you’re working towards a restful diabetic coma. Add cream and top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Thank me… preferably with big bills or that dinner and a movie.
  5. You’ll notice mine is rather light colored. I was drinking it later in the day so cut the amount of coffee in half for this one. Expect a stronger coffee color in a typical cup.

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Blueberry Raspberry Mascarpone Crumbcake

Blueberry Raspberry Mascarpone Crumb Cake

Blueberry Raspberry Mascarpone Crumb Cake

 

My gosh, can you believe it’s almost September!? Wasn’t it just yesterday you and I were whining that we wanted warmer weather and pool season and bikinis and…wait, I never would have whined about wanting bikinis. That must have been you.

Where was I? Oh yeah, September…you whining over bikinis. But yeah, what happened to Summer? It can’t really be almost Fall, can it? My last two school age kids started back to school on August 12th with one in his senior year and the other in Kindergarten. I know, I know, my kids are spaced rather strangely. Kindergarten and senior is nothing, though. I also have a 19 year old and three in their mid to late 20’s as well as 7 grandkids, three of whom are older than my kindergartener hehe.

Man, I can NOT stay on topic today, not that there was really a major topic going anyway. Do you do that? “Ooo, shiny thing!” your way through life? I get distracted easily. Crap, I just did it again. I give up

Berry season is almost over sobs cause I love berries and I had cartons of both blueberries and raspberries I wanted to use before they went bad, but I didn’t know what to make. So what do I fall back on when I’m unsure what to do? I go for the crumbs! C’mon, you know me. Give me streusel or give me death! Because…streusel. Crumbcakes call it crumbs, but we all know it’s streusel with a nickname.

I have a cookbook that I frequently take out from the library. This time around I think it’s about 17 weeks overdue. Sorry, library people! Honest, I’ll get it back there! I really need to buy my own copyΒ she says, channeling Captain Obvious The book is The Best Quick Breads by Beth Hensperger. I love this book (obviously). I have about 900 tabs in it for recipes I want to make, which is of course, why I keep forgetting to return it. One of them was for a Blueberry Cheese Crumbcake. I didn’t change a ton in this, but the changes I DID make made this so much more yummy. Sorry, Beth. No offense.

I used mascarpone instead of plain old boring cream cheese, plus I doubled the vanilla in the cake batter and changed the plain milk to buttermilk, as well as adding both some almond extract and a touch of lemon oil. Plus, I added vanilla in the mascarpone filling and a bit of lemon zest. and a smidgen of vanilla in the crumbs too. I also used raspberries as well as blueberries and probably doubled the recipe amount. Ok, so maybe I did make a few changes lol. Imagine that. This cake take a 10 inch springform pan, which I know some don’t have, but it’s worth the investment. I got a 3 pack of pans, 8, 9, and 10 inch, at Wal-mart, for under 15 dollars. They come in handy for more than just cheesecakes.

This is fairly easy to toss together and smells fantastic when baking. Because…well…crumbs…and mascarpone. Need I say more?

You know the drill πŸ™‚

Blueberry/Raspberry Mascarpone Crumb Cake

  • Mascarpone filling-
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temp
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Crumb topping-
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold and sliced thin
  • Cake-
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Boyajian Lemon Oil (or sub 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint raspberries
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a ten inch springform pan.
  2. Make your cheese filling and set it in the fridge while you make the rest- In a small bowl, beat together the filling ingredients until smooth and well combined.
  3. Make your crumbs- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add in the butter and vanilla and cut it in with a pastry blender. What I like to do is use a pastry blender to cut it in, then when it’s fairly well combined, use my fingers to mix it more. The heat from your fingers will help make some of the crumbs a bit chunkier, which is a nice textural contrast in the topping.
  4. For the cake, in a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add in the extracts and beat well.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, to the butter mixture, beating until smooth and fluffy looking. Start and end with the flour, i.e., flour, milk, flour.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan, then top with half of the berries. Top with the mascarpone filling, then the rest of the berries, Finally, sprinkle the top with the crumb topping.
  7. Bake at 350 for 60 to 70 minutes or until the top is light brown, the filling is set and the cake has started to slightly pull away form the edge of the pan.
  8. Cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan before removing the side for serving. Store leftovers in the fridge. This can be reheated gently in a slow oven or in the microwave for about 5 to 10 seconds per slice.

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Blueberry Peach Yogurt/Granola Parfaits

Blueberry Peach Yogurt Granola Parfaits

Blueberry Peach Yogurt Granola Parfaits




Back in the day, when they first came out, I loved McDonalds Yogurt Parfaits. They were a quick fix when I wanted something light, relatively nutritious and still sweet. They were also cheap at a dollar for a good sized serving. Now though, the serving size has shrunk, the price has gone up and they just aren’t as good as they used to be anyway.

So I made my own.

A lot of blogging isn’t even recipes, it’s just helping your readers think outside the food box. This is one of those times. I am giving specifics here on amounts and fruits and the granola I used, etc etc, but unlike this recipe and when you buy these at a store for a bazillion dollars or at McDonalds and wonder if the 16 year old making it sneezed in it, this can be made to YOUR specifications, with the fruits and granola YOU like, the yogurt brand and flavor YOU favor. These just happen to be mine is all.

You know the drill… πŸ™‚

(This makes enough fruit for quite a few parfaits. But that is deliberate. The fruit is wonderful on its own, just mixed with yogurt as is, over ice cream or frozen yogurt, etc. Feel free to halve the quantities if you don’t think you’d use it all within three days or so.)

Blueberry Peach Yogurt/Granola Parfaits

  • 2 cups vanilla or vanilla honey yogurt (my bottom layer was Oikos vanilla, top layer was vanilla honey from Greek Gods)
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 3 peaches, chopped into bite sized chunks
  • juice and zest of one large lime (about 2 tablespoons each juice and zest)
  • 3 tablespoons honey (and a little extra for drizzling over the top)
  • 1 cup of your favorite granola (I used Trader Joes Pumpkin granola)
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the peaches, blueberries, lime juice and zest and the honey. Stir well to combine. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to get some juices going in the fruit and for the flavors to meld.
  2. Now comes the oh so hard part lol; in 4 purty glasses, layer the yogurt, fruit, granola and top with another dollop of yogurt. Drizzle with some extra honey.
  3. They can be served right away or let them sit in the fridge for a while if you prefer softer granola.
  4. Enjoy!! πŸ™‚

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

 

Cherry Browned Butter Crumb Cake

Cherry Browned Butter Crumb Cake

Cherry Browned Butter Crumb Cake



I haven’t made a foodie confession in a while, so I guess it’s time for a new one. Well, I did mention to a friend the other day that I like Spam, but since he is from Hawaii, where they very wisely love the canned meat, it didn’t really phase him as it would have many other food bloggers πŸ˜›

On to the confession. It’s no secret that I used to love Twinkies and Ho-Hos when they were owned by the original company. Now however, they are pretty bad. I’m still mourning and have been blocked from the Hostess site because of my insistence on periodic candlelight vigils lamenting the passing of the REAL Hostess products. One other thing I loved? Those horrid, dry, overly sweet crumb cakes. I can’t recall if they were Hostess or Dolly Madison. All I know is that every couple of months, I had to go to a convenience store and grab a pack. We won’t discuss how I also would buy a Little Debbie Brownies that was topped with fake M&Ms.

But, me being me, when Hostess became “Hostess Wanna Be” (and yes, I’m astute enough to realize they weren’t exactly gourmet in the first place), and they AND Dolly Madison products disappeared, I knew it was time to make my own goodies. I never really got around to the Twinkies and Ho-Hos, but I CAN make a killer crumb cake. Does it taste like theirs? No and this is a good thing lol. The one I make is better. The original recipe is from Food And Wine and while it was good, it was rather plain. I wanted to give it some flavor and I think I succeeded quite nicely.

You know the drill… πŸ™‚

Cherry Browned Butter Crumb Cake

  • Crumb Topping-
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cake-
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups good quality cherry preserves
  1. Make your topping first- combine the flour, baking soda, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut the chilled butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small crumbs. Then get in there with your fingers and smoosh together the mix between your fingers to heat it up a bit and make larger pieces. Refrigerate while you make the cake batter
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch springform pan well with baking spray (the kind with both flour and oil in it) and put the pan on a baking sheet. This will protect the bottom of your oven from possible leakage. Put the butter into a medium pot and cook over medium heat until it has turned a golden brown color and has a nutty scent. Do NOT turn away form it as it begins to color as it can go from browned and delicious to burned and garbage very quickly. Pour into a bowl and set in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom.
  4. In another bowl (remember, always have someone nearby who has dish duty πŸ˜€ ), beat together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract, eggs and egg yolk and beat until well combined.
  5. Alternating the flour and the sour cream (start and end with the flour mixture) add them to the butter/egg mix. Beat just until combined after each addition.
  6. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Spread to the edge of the pan. Cover with dollops of the cherry preserves and spread them to within a half an inch of the edge of the batter. Top with the other half of the batter and spread it carefully to the edges. Sprinkle the chilled crumbs over the top of the batter.
  7. Bake at 350 for 45 -60 minutes or until it is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, with a few moist crumbs, but no loose batter.
  8. Cool on a wire rack, still in the pan. When completely cool, open outside of pan carefully then gently slide a butter knife under the bottom of the cake to loosen it and carefully lift it off of the bottom of the pan and transfer to a plate.

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