Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce

Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce 9

Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce

Every year, I look forward to this season. Fall and I are good friends. It allows me to breathe like a relatively normal person and I…well, other than gush its praises, I’m not sure what I do for it, but we’re BFF’s nonetheless. I THINK *I say this with fingers crossed and a furtive prayer that I’m not proved wrong* that Summer is finally over here in Kentucky. And that, my friends, makes me oh so happy. We live on ten acres of land and my asthma makes outdoor time difficult for me in the Summer. So, I stay inside and look longingly at our woods and imagine myself sitting in the front yard, under our at least one hundred year old maple tree with a book. Now, I can go outside and see what my Fig tree is doing, see if the pecan tree has grown at all and just go into the woods and breathe deep. There is nothing like the scents in the woods during Autumn.

I also love the foods of Autumn, in case you’ve missed that in the last five and a half years πŸ˜› One that I feel doesn’t get enough Autumn love is pears. They are wonderful most of the year, but right now, they lean more towards fantastic. So when I saw the base for this recipe in a C.I. cookbook, I had to make it. BUT… and here is where it is no surprise because I have said these words about 900 times in the last years, I had to change it up. I wanted it to have more of a Fall-ish (yes, that is now a word. I said so.) flavor. Plus, I like a bit of butter in my caramel which theirs didn’t have. So, what did I do? Besides adding butter, I added some warm Autumn spices and some orange zest to the caramel. Those changes, plus some vanilla extract, took this from good but ordinary to outstanding. The tender pears covered in caramel, that is itself sweet, creamy and with the subtle flavors of Fall, was wonderful. I added a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the it, because ice cream, and it took this completely over the top.

Don’t be nervous over the idea of caramel sauce. This one is quite easy and the whole dish takes just one pan.

You know the drill… get to cooking! <3

Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce

  • 3 ripe (but not mushy) pears. I used Barlett because it’s a wonderful all around pear.
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest (you could sub about 1/2 teaspoon orange extract, in which case add it in at the same time you add the vanilla)
  1. Slice and core the three pears and set aside. In a large skillet (I used my cast iron. Just cooking in it feels rustic and Autumnish), pour the water. Add the sugar to the middle of the pan. Gently stir to make sure all of the sugar is wet, then turn the heat to medium high. Add in the vanilla extract, spices and salt and give it another gentle stir.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then lower the heat to medium and cook until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbling.
  3. Add the pears, cut side down, to the bubbling sugar (be careful not to splatter on yourself!) and cook until the pears are fork tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. While it cooks, add the butter and orange zest (if using instead of orange extract) to the heavy cream and microwave for about 90 seconds or just until barely hot to the touch.
  5. When the pears are tender, slowly pour the cream around the pears. Give the pan a gentle shake to help mix it and continue to cook until the sauce is a light golden brown color, about five minutes.
  6. Then, you can either serve the pears straight from the pan (which is what I did. I just moved some to a smaller pan for the photo, lol) or transfer them to individual plates and serve with sauce puddled around them. No matter how you serve them, sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon and grate some extra orange zest over the top.

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Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce

Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce

 

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Cinnamon Orange Cappuccino Brownies With An Orange Glaze

 

Cinnamon Orange Cappuccino Brownies With An Orange Glaze

Cinnamon Orange Cappuccino Brownies With An Orange Glaze

 

When I first moved to this side of Kentucky, I missed all the big malls that were in the Louisville area. We pay for the beauty of this side of the state with a bit of isolation. Now, I’ve never been a Mall Rat by any stretch of the imagination, but I did sorely miss things like Cinnabon, The Hallmark Store and Godiva. So I was tickled when I finally got into the “big” city of Lexington (where I lived then was about 3000 people and where I am now about 17,000 for the whole town, but only a few hundred in the area I live in, with NO civilization at all) and found a mall. One of the places I absolutely loved to go to in there was a coffee shop. For the life of me, I can’t remember the name now, but I loved it. Sadly, they closed a few years after I found it. Things like that happen near me. I’m that person who gets into the check out lane and the computer breaks JUST after I set all my groceries down; that person who discovers an amazing new product only to have it discontinued a month after I find it, with no chance to even stock up.

Without fail, every time I went to this shop, I got the same thing, something that I have seen nowhere since (though I make my own version now). It was half coffee, half hot chocolate, with a shot of orange syrup and copious amounts of cinnamon sprinkled on top.. So, so delicious. The flavors of the chocolate, the cinnamon and the orange all combined together into pretty much the perfect coffee drink. When I make it for myself now, it is usually during the Winter and nine times out of ten, I will add a shot of my favorite brandy . What!? It makes it extra delicious and toe warming. πŸ˜€

So, when I was deciding what to make here, brownies popped into my head, at which point I smacked myself upside the head and said, “Janet, you just want brownies and you already have 72 different ones here.” So, after telling myself to shut up, I realized myself…erhmmm, I, was correct. I needed to DO something with said brownies. So I turned them into a brownie version of my favorite coffee drink. And oh my, these are decadently delicious. The brownies are soft and fudgy with hints of cinnamon and orange. The glaze is glossy perfection with a chocolate orange taste that is amazing (if I do say so myself). In case you can’t tell, I rather like these. Which is why most are going to work with Russell tomorrow, so I don’t have to be put into a piano case when I die.

You know the drill…

Mrs. Cupcake… who wants to be cremated, not buried in a piano case, thankyouverymuch.

Cinnamon Orange Cappuccino Brownies With An Orange GlazeΒ 

  • Brownies-
  • 5 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cup up
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange oil , preferably Boyajian
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee or espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Glaze-
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange oil
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • chocolate covered coffee beans and orange zest for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9 inch baking pan with foil and butter the bottom of the foil.
  2. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate and butter.Microwave at 60% power for 60 seconds, then stir. If not fully melted, microwave at full power for ten seconds; stir. Let cool for five minutes.
  3. Add the sugar to the chocolate mixture; beat well with a wooden spoon or whisk. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined. Add in the corn syrup, vanilla extract and the orange oil. beat just until combined.
  4. Stir in the flour, salt, instant coffee and cinnamon. Beat just until combined.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees until the top is matte looking and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs on it.
  6. Let cool in the pan, on a rack, for about 2 hours or until completely cool.
  7. Make the glaze- In a small microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate and butter. Microwave at 60% power for about 30 seconds. Stir to help the chocolate finish melting. Add in the rest of the glaze ingredients and beat gently until it is a shiny cohesive glaze. Spread over the cooled brownies. For easier cutting, place the pan of brownies in the fridge for at least an hour to let the glaze set up.
  8. Cut into small squares; these are rich. Garnish each square with a chocolate covered coffee bean and some orange zest.

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DSCF1731

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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Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding With A Cream Cheese Glaze

Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding With A Cream Cheese Glaze

Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding With A Cream Cheese Glaze



I already mentioned that I am still deep into comfort food, even though the holidays are past. Since I am too damn old to wear a bikini ever again without breaking many state and federal laws prohibiting harassment and causing personal trauma to innocents, I have nothing pulling me towards getting in shape for bikini season. Our pool on our land is secluded enough that I can go out there in a tank top and shorts and not have anyone but the cats laughing at me. So fat and relatively happy I will stay. At fifty I’ve earned the right πŸ˜› or at least that is what I tell myself as I continue to make high calorie, fattening foods.

I love cinnamon rolls. What’s not to love, right? Warm, yeasty pastry, gooey filling and a sweet glaze. Darn… now I want cinnamon rolls. The problem is that 1) I’m lazy and 2) the closestΒ  place to us that sells them is about 35 minutes away, unless I want to get the tubes (ummmm, no) or the bakery section of the store kind, which I will sometimes, but they are always a disappointment. So what do I do at times like this, when I am in the throes of laziness and it’s too cold to venture out of the house? I make some cinnamon roll bread pudding.

Now, you could make these with Kings Hawaiian Bread, which is my usual go to for sweet bread puddings, or you could use cinnamon bread or you could even go so far as to use actual cinnamon rolls with this. But, I can’t do that because even I have to draw the calorie line SOMEWHERE not to mention there’s that whole point above about lazy…

So I used croissants. Yeah, yeah, I know… not much better than the cinnamon rolls themselves, but let me keep deluding myself. It makes me happy and a happy Janet is a baking Janet, right? This a yummy bread pudding and quick to throw together, though it does have to bake for a bit. But with this you have a creamy custard flavored base mixed with flaky croissants, then baked and covered in a sweet creamy cream cheese glaze, a la the frosting on the cinnamon roll. Just make sure to not over bake. It will still taste good, but as it gets cold in the fridge, the texture suffers. I was using two different sizes of ramekins because that’s all I had and the smaller ones were too firm my taste once chilled, not creamy. This makes 6 8 ounce ramekins, so cut it in half if, as I always say, you’re not feeding an army or teenage boys.

You know the drill… πŸ™‚

Mrs. Cupcake- who has lovely cinnamon scented breath now πŸ˜›

Cinnamon RollΒ  Bread Pudding With A Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 4 regular sized croissants,Β  broken into chunks and set aside
  • 1 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream or half and half
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
  • boiling water
  1. In a large bowl, beat together 4 ounces of the softened cream cheese and the sugars until creamy. Add the eggs, cinnamon and nutmeg and beat well.Β  Whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla extract, then the melted butter
  2. Dump the croissant chunks on top and press them down into the custard to make sure all the pieces get nice and moist. Let the whole mix sit for about 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325 while waiting. Grease 6 8 ounce ramekins (or you could use a greased baking dish, preferably glass as bread pudding tend to take on a metal taste from regular pans) with butter. Place the greased ramekins inside of a large baking dish.
  4. Stir the pudding mixture, then evenly divide it between the waiting ramekins. Place the pan in the oven near the center, then carefully pour boiling water into the pan around the puddings until it is about a third of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Be careful not to splash into the ramekins themselves.
  5. Bake at 325 until the puddings are just barely set. A butter knife inserted in the center and wiggled should show a nice moist center, but not a bunch of liquid coming up around the knife. Do NOT over bake.
  6. Carefully remove the pan from the oven then remove the ramekins from the pan and set on the counter to cool.
  7. Make the glaze- in a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, the remaining cream cheese, the teaspoon of vanilla extract and the lemon zest, if using. Beat at medium speed with a hand mixer until the mixture is creamy. Add in the cream, a little at a time, until you get a glaze the consistency you prefer.Β  It may take more or less than what I have written.
  8. When the puddings are room temp, you can either chill them from if you like them cold, as I do. or glaze them once they hit room temp. Either way, just drizzle or spoon the glaze on top when ready to serve. Sprinkle with a little extra cinnamon and enjoy.

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Snickerdoodle Magic Cake

Snickerdoodle Magic Cake

Snickerdoodle Magic Cake

 


I think we all know by now that I tend to be late on trends. I am ornery, I am contrary, I am too darn independent for my own good and every time a food gets trendy, I mentally fold my arms over my chest, stick my nose up in the air, give a silent “hmmpphhh” and walk off until it’s no longer trendy. Which of course is a case of biting off my nose to spite my face (on THAT note, you know how most sayings got their starts in something that actually happened at one time? Well, I want to know who the heck bit off their own nose to spite their face and how the heck they even did that! What? That’s the way my mind works. I never claimed it was pretty in my head!) because then, by the time I come off my high horse and try something, everyone else is already bored with it.

But I think I may have gotten this one in under the wire. I am still seeing incarnations of “Magic Cake” all over the place. You can see different flavors everywhere you look. Except for one flavor. Snickerdoodle. I looked and looked to make sure and no one else had a Snickerdoodle Magic Cake. Woo to the Hoo for being first at something!

What is a Magic Cake, you ask? In theory,Β  the thin batter bakes up into 3 distinct layers. I say in theory because I tried twice and mine didn’t separate. Mind you, I used cream in this instead of milk thus the liquid that is fattier could have had something to do with that. But you know what? That’s ok. This is good as it is and I wouldn’t change it just to get layers. Layers, schmayers. Pahhh! Who needs ’em?! I ended up with a nice thick custardy layer that has a smidgen of a cakey layer on top, all of this flavored with the cinnamon sugar taste that makes you think of Snickerdoodles.

You know the drill…. πŸ™‚

Snickerdoodle Magic Cake

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 cups heavy cream, lightly warmed
  • 3/4 cup flour, whisked together with 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon for dusting the top of the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with foil and lightly grease the foil.
  2. In a small bowl, at high speed, beat the egg whites with 1/4 cup of the sugar and the cream of tarter until stiff peaks form, about five minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, at high speed, beat together the egg yolks and the remaining sugar until pale yellow and creamy looking.
  4. Mix in the flour mixture. Now, use a whisk to slowly whisk in the warm cream (trust me; don’t use an electric beater. The mixture is soupy and will splatter EVERYWHERE.), then mix in the butter and finally, fold in the egg whites.
  5. Pour this into the prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees until the top is a nice light golden brown and the top is firm but still jiggles some when shaken, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool in the pan until completely cooled (I refrigerated mine because I have a thing for chilled custards), then carefully use the foil to lift the whole thing out onto a board to cut into serving sized pieces. Dust with the powdered sugar/cinnamon mixture. Serve.

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Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting




I remember the first time I tried Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls. It was at a mall in Louisville Kentucky. I immediately loved them. I also started to buy them far too often. We went bankrupt, had to live in a cardboard box on a street corner with me holding a sign that said, “please help support my Cinnabon habit. Oh yeah, and help us get a new home too.”Β  My husband wasn’t pleased with me. But I was happy with all the nice people who dropped Cinnabon money in my tin cup. We eventually got a new place to live. Unfortunately, it was nowhere near a Cinnabon store. The closest one was across the state. So I had to learn to make my own. Which I did. And yes, I’ll post those someday too. So when the idea occurred to me to mix one of my favorite desserts, pound cake, with cinnamon rolls, I ran with it. Of course, upon googling it, I found that a lot of other people had also run with the idea lol, but that’s ok. I’ve come to realize that it is very hard to have a totally original idea in cooking anymore. All you can do is put your own spin on it. And that I have done. I used my favorite pound cake recipe, turned half of it into a cinnamon flavored cake and covered it all with half a batch of the icing I use on cinnamon rolls. This is far from my prettiest photo ever. The light stunk, I was having a crap photo taking day and I’m still sick. But you know what? The cake tastes good. πŸ˜› It has that nice crispy crust that is so good on a pound cake,Β  a delicate vanilla flavor in half the cake and a tasty cinnamon flavor in the rest. All of that is smothered in a thick cream cheese frosting. All in all, this is a good rendition of a cinnamon roll that had a sex change operation and became cake.

You know the drill…. πŸ™‚

Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cake-
  • 3 cups cake flour (yes, it makes a difference)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 12 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs, room temp
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • Frosting-
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 10 cup bundt cake pan with a flour and oil non stick baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, on medium speed, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.
  3. Add the flour in and beat on LOW speed just until thoroughly combined.
  4. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Add the cinnamon to the other half of the batter and beat well to combine. Spoon the cinnamon batter on top of the plain batter and smooth it also.
  5. Bake at 325 until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean with no loose crumbs and the top is a nice golden brown, about 75 to 85 minutes.
  6. Let cool in the pan on a rack for ten minutes, then carefully turn the cake out onto the rack to finish cooling.
  7. Meanwhile, make your frosting- combine all the frosting ingredients in a medium bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
  8. Spread over the cooled cake. You can also thin it down some with cream or milk and drizzle it over the cake.

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

 

Snickering Over Doodles

 

Snickerdoodle Muffins. Yum!!

I think I’ve mentioned before that I was a weird kid haven’t I? Not that this comes as a surprise to any of you who read my blog.Β  I have to say though, I came by it honestly. It was all the fault of my brother and sister. They corrupted me. Yep, yep yep. All laid at their psychological doorsteps. There was the time they filled the washing machine with tons of soap and it overflowed everywhere. When confronted by our dad, they said that I did it. Hello?! I was so young I don’t really even remember this happening, it’s just one of those passed down family stories. Point being, if I was that small, how the heck did I reach the washer? But, dad bribed me to “tell the truth” with an offer of jello. I’m a sucker when it comes to jello so I fessed up. I’m pretty sure I didn’t get the jello.

That was just one of the many ways they warped my poor tender psyche. There were also words which have stuck with me to this day and still make the five year old stuck inside my feeble minded middle aged body giggle hysterically. Like the word doodle. To you and you and you it means a sort of random drawing right? I don’t want to know what it means to YOU, you sick puppy. πŸ˜›

Not to me though. Nope. Done been warped, I tell you. It’s all his fault *points to my brother and wonder if he sees this*. Doodle to me still brings up mental images of a coloring book I had as a child that, on the cover, told me, in gaily colored words, that one of the fun things to do inside was to “doodle”. And I giggled. My brother giggled. My sister giggled. I’m pretty sure the dog giggled. Because to us,Β  doodles were a certain part of the upper female anatomy. We were kids… thinking of that part made us giggle. Lots. How did the word doodle come to mean boobs… breasts… cleavage, knockers, hooters…well, you get the point. I have. No. Earthly. Idea. I need to ask my brother. He’s even older and more decrepit than I, so he may know how that word came to be the word for boobage in our admittedly strange household. Continue reading

Sometimes You Just Have To Give In

Sopapilla Cheesecake

I have a thing about not trying anything that is trendy, too talked about or gets the rating of “to die for”. I’ve mentioned before as a matter of fact how much I loathe that phrase. No matter how much of a foodie I am, there are no foods I would die for. Nope, not even Twinkies, Cheetos, a medium rare ribeye or a tall glass of Coke. I also tend to have a snobby streak when it comes to trying some recipes. Yep; me, the woman who happily uses cake mixes and cream of crap soups. For some reason when I bake, I want to know that I baked it, not that I used fifty six convenience products. Well, other than that cake mix thing. Don’t stop now! Click here!

Still Craving Autumn

I don’t like Summer. There. My shameful secret is out. I don’t like tank tops (if you had my body, you wouldn’t either πŸ˜› ) or shorts, I don’t like laying in the sun (I prefer no wrinkles and no invasive surgeries to cut out skin cancer) dripping sweat to obtain a skin color that isn’t what I was born with. I don’t like mosquitoes and I don’t like opening my back door on a Summer night only to have 3,897 bugs fly in the house and into my hair while I screech like a three year old who has just been shown a clown picture.

I DO however like beaches or pools and I love to grill out. But then I do that in January because I’m weird that way and unfortunately, until I can win the lottery and build a house with a very very large heated pool, I can only swim during those hot months. Darn it all anyway.

I like Autumn. I also like Winter but I KNOW that’s strange so I won’t ruin my rep too much here.Β  I like shorter days and longer nights. I like the smell of a wood burning fireplaces (gas logs are the devil and should be banned from the face of the earth). I like sweaters and cozy blankets to cover up with as I sit with my family in the nice warm house watching TV; preferably Christmas specials like The Grinch or Charlie Brown. I like soups and stews and fresh baked breads. I love anything made with pumpkin or cranberries and anything that smells spicy and…well… Autumnish.

I like this bread. I found the original recipe somewhere on line years back and when I made it, it was dry and heavy and just not a lot of flavor. So I played with it. Because that’s what I do. πŸ˜› And now it is sweet and moist and bursting with the flavors of Autumn. Pumpkin and cranberry sauce and spices all meld together into a bread that tastes of Fall and football games; fireplaces and steaming cups of hot cocoa shared with those you love. It’s one of my favorite quick breads and it is oh so easy and gives you something that tastes amazing. So give this a try and then close your eyes and imagine that it’s NOT 90 degrees outside. And yes; this really IS the worlds most awesome. I took a poll. πŸ˜› No, btw, it’s not a typo. There are no eggs in this. Yet it is still incredibly moist.

Worlds Most Awesome Pumpkin Cranberry Quick Bread

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 (16 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling; just pureed pumpkin)
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease two 9 inch loaf pans.
  3. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients thoroughly.
  4. In second large bowl combine all wet ingredients; mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into bowl of dry ingredients. Mix just until thoroughly combined. Do not over mix as this will cause tough bread with lots of little peek a boo holes all throughout it.
  6. Bake at 350 for approximately 60 minutes or until sharp knife inserted in center comes out clean. If necessary, cover lightly with foil during the last 20 minutes to prevent the edges from burning.
  7. Let cool in pans for ten minutes then turn out onto racks to finish cooling.
  8. This is yummy spread with cream cheese or, like I like it, with a ton of butter. But it’s also so good that leftover a couple of days later, at room temp is still pretty awesome.

 

Rhapsody On A Theme

I mentioned on my facebook page earlier that this is one of my favorite pieces of music-

Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini

 

It’s also kind of the way I cook.Β  Well, except when the baby is whining, the teens are ornery and my husband is oblivious. Then… not so rhapsodic. πŸ˜› But generally speaking, cooking is a sort of rhapsody to me. It’s melodies and lyrics and booming orchestras all wrapped up in my cooking. But the problem is this…. like those horrid people who cover classics and remake them in Pop music *cough Michael Bolton/Mariah Carey* cough*, I am incapable of making something and keeping it as it was originally intended to be. Sometimes, this leads to total disaster and we just aren’t going to talk about that because I’m old and vain and refuse to have you laugh at me when I haven’t meant for that to happen. πŸ˜€

But other times, it works out quite well and that is when we have “Rhapsody On A Theme”.

Today, the theme was me wishing it were already Autumn and wanting something made with Pumpkin;Β  preferably scones. But could I just make Pumpkin scones and call it done? Nooooooo… not me! As you already know is par for the course, I have to mess with things and make them…well… MINE. So I did. I had just brought up from downstairs a bag of butterscotch candy. You know the ones. The little hard golden yellow ones. So the thought struck me that something about butterscotch and pumpkin and all the spices going with it seemed to go together. So I crushed up some of the butterscotch and mixed it in with the scone dough. Then sprinkled some on top before baking them. Then sprinkled a bit more on after glazing. And when it comes to pumpkiny treats, I have always been of the mind that 99.9% of recipes never have enough spices. I mean, c’mon… 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon and other yummy spices!? No way mannnnnnn. I need more! More I say!! So…erhmmm… I added more. If you aren’t as fond of lots of sweet spice, go ahead and use less.

The result was a moist tender scone with a yummy Pumpkin spice flavor and a hint of butterscotch. That came with a spiced glaze and more hints of butterscotch. All in all, I’ll call ths one of my more successful rhapsodies πŸ˜€ These are quickly put together if you use the food processor. I didn’t use a mixer but I can’t see it taking much longer if you did. I hope you like it. If not, mail them to me. I’ll eat your share. πŸ˜›

These taste like Autumn and I don’t know about you but I’m ready.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Scones With A Spiced Butterscotch Glaze

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 7 tablespoons cold butter, cut into thin slices
  • 35 butterscotch disc candies, ground in the food processor
  • SPICED GLAZE-
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, 1/2 cup of the ground butterscotch discs (set remaining aside to use to sprinkle on scones before baking and after glazing), salt, sugar and spices in bowl of food processor.
  2. Add the butter to the food processor and pulse until no chunks of butter remain.
  3. Add in the pumpkin, egg and cream. Pulse until the mixture comes together into a soft ball.
  4. Dump the dough out onto a VERY lightly floured board. Pat out into a round about 3/4’s of an inch thick.
  5. Transfer dough to a lightly greased baking pan. Using a sharp knife, score all the way through the dough, cutting into 6 to 8 scones (I did six very large ones cause I know the guys I live with but normal people would want smaller ones lol) but don’t separate the scones. Sprinkle with half of the remaining ground butterscotch discs.
  6. Bake at 425 for 14 to 16 minutes or until they are light golden brown and firm on top.
  7. Cool on a wire rack.
  8. While they cool, whisk together all the glaze ingredients.Β  Spoon the glaze on top of the cooled scones, spreading to cover. Sprinkle with the remaining crushed butterscotch. Let the scones sit for about half an hour so that the glaze can set.
  9. Eat. Wish for a warm cozy fire and a cup of hot cider.