2 sticks (1 cup, 1/2 pound or 225 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 cups cake flour or 3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour plus 1/3 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
2 cups buttermilk (475 ml), well-shaken
8-ounce block cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick or 1/4 pound) butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup blueberries (1/2 pint), very dry
3 cups raspberries (1 1/2 pints), very dry
Make cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking pan and line the bottom with a rectangle of parchment paper, then butter parchment. (Or, you can use a nonstick cooking spray instead of butter for speed and ease.)
Beat butter and sugar together in the bottom of a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, at least 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition. Add vanilla extract. Place flour, cornstarch (if using), baking powder, baking soda and table salt in a sifter or fine-mesh strainer and shake half of mixture into mixing bowl. (If this makes a huge mess, you can also do so onto a piece of waxed paper and use that to dump it into the mixing bowl.) Mix until just combined. Add buttermilk and stir it in slowly, because it will splash easily. The mixture might look curdled, but it will come together just fine in a moment. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Pour batter in prepared pan and smooth top. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Make frosting Beat cream cheese and butter together until light and very fluffy, scraping down the sides to make sure no pesky cream cheese is left unmixed. Add the vanilla. Add the first cup of powdered sugar, and beat it until combined. Add the second. I prefer my cream cheese frostings less sweet, so I stopped there. Because the frosting is just going to be a layer between the berries and cake, it doesn’t need to be terribly stiff, so you can get away with skipping the additional cup of sugar. However, if yours still seems way too soft to use as frosting or not sweet enough, add the third cup of powdered sugar.
If your cake is very domed on top and you’d rather it be flat, you can level it a bit with a small serrated knife. Spread frosting evenly over top of cake. Or not evenly. Nobody will know, which is another reason why this cake is the greatest.
Decorate away Place your powdered sugar in a sifter or fine-mesh strainer. If you’ve got an open tea strainer, this is a great time to use it, although it will only hold a spoonful at a time. The short side of the blue rectangle of an American flag – yes, I looked this up, and yes, I need a hobby — will fall at roughly half the height of the short side of your cake. The long side will fall at a little more than one-third the width of your cake. You can outline this shape with blueberries. Then, dot a few blueberries inside, spaced apart. Coat the inside berries with a dusting of powdered sugar. Then, fill the rest of the space with uncoated blueberries.
Dinner with Barack….and Michelle! Love our POTUS and FLOTUS! #Barack2012
MARCH MEN: Woo her with lasagna!
So aside from being a busy body, our CEO knows a thing or two about the kitchen. Here is her recipe that is guaranteed to please the taste buds of your special gal :)
1 package of ground turkey
1 package of turkey italian sausage
2 packages of italian shredded 3 cheese blend
1/2 yellow onion chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 Ragu Garlic and Onion pasta sauces
*Preheat your oven to 350 degrees*
1. Boil about 12 pieces of lasagna noodles in a pot of water witha dash of salt
2. Drizzle some olive oil in a large pot. Cook chopped onions.
3. Place ground turkey and italian sausage (out of the casing) in a large bowl. Season with oregano, italian seasoning, garlic powder…about a 2 tablespoons of each. (it is important to season the meat well!!). Add the minced garlic (1 table spoon).
4. Cook the meat in the pot with the cooked onions.
5. After meat is cooked through, add the Ragu. Season the sauce with a pinch of salt (or to taste), garlic powder, and oregano.
6. Prepare the Ricotta cheese. Mix in a bowl with 1.5 tablespoons of oregano.
7. In a rectangle baking dish pour a cooking spoon full of the meat sauce on the bottom to begin the layering process. Then place 3 pieces of lasagna noodles on top (be sure to cover areas where the noodles don’t reach with a small piece of noodle). Another layer of meat sauce. Noodles. Ricotta cheese layer (Top with Italian cheese blend if you like cheesy lasagna). Noodles. Meat Sauce and top with italian shredded cheese blend.
8. Bake at 350 degrees until the top is golden brown and serve. ENJOY!
White and Dark Hearted Brownies
This recipe makes 16 2-inch square white or dark chocolate brownies. To make a pan of each and reverse the middles, you’ll need double the ingredients listed below. You will end up with 32 reversed-center brownies.
3 ounces (85 grams) semisweet or good white chocolate*, coarsely chopped
1 stick (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing pan
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (6 1/8 ounces or 175 grams) sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla
1/4 teaspoon table salt or 1/2 teaspoon flaky salt (about 2 grams)
2/3 cup (83 grams) all-purpose flour
1-inch heart or other shaped cookie cutter
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over opposite sides of pan. Repeat with second piece of foil in opposite direction. Butter foil.
Melt white or dark chocolate and butter together in a large bowl over a simmering pot of water (or in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between each) until it is 90% melted; remove from heat and stir the mixture until it is smooth. (I do this too keep things from getting too hot.) Whisk in sugar. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Add flour and salt together, stirring until just combined. Spread into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes (for the dark chocolate version) and 30 to 35 minutes (for the white chocolate version).
Repeat this recipe with the other kind of chocolate and a second 8×8-inch square pan. If you don’t have two matching square pans (understandably) simply wait until you can remove your brownies from the pan as directed in the next step, and start again.
Cool pans on a wire rack in the freezer if you’re going to make cut-outs; frozen brownies are much easier to make clean cuts from. Once solid, transfer brownies in their foil “sling” to a large cutting board and cut each pan of brownies into 16 even squares, about 2×2 inches each. Still cold (and if they warm up and soften too quickly, pop them back in the freezer for 5 minutes), carefully, slowly, gently, press your cookie cutter into the center of each brownie and set the cut-out aside. Insert the dark cut-outs into the centers of the light brownies, and vice-versa. From here, you can let them warm up to room temperature or wrap them up in the freezer until you will need them.
Happy Valentines Day—Enjoy!
With the dropping temperatures outside, there is nothing like sipping on a cup of hot chocolate. Try this twist on hot cocoa..its called the Mexican Hot Chocolate.
Mexican Hot Cocoa Mix
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa powder (Dutch-process preferred)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Hot water or milk
In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa, powdered milk, salt, and cinnamon. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
To make cocoa, fill a mug half full of hot cocoa mix. Heat water or milk to boiling and pour into glass to the top. Stir to dissolve with a spoon. Add marshmallows or a pinch of cinnamon to top it off.
Recipe via thepastryaffair.com
Baked Pumpkin and Sour Cream Puddings with a Ginger Snap
1 3/4 cups (from a 15-ounce can, 415 grams) pumpkin puree (unsweetened; not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup (237 ml) whole milk
1/2 cup (118 ml) heavy cream
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (227 grams) sour cream
1 tablespoon (13 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F.
The quickest method: In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the pudding ingredients.
For creamier, silkier pudding: Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices in a food processor and blend for 30 seconds. Transfer to a saucepan and heat over medium-high. Once glurping and simmering in the pot, cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The mixture will thicken and get a bit darker. Reduce heat slightly and whisk in milk and cream. Off the heat, slowly whisk in eggs.
Both methods: Divide between 7 to 8 (I had just shy of enough to make eight 1/2-cup puddings) ovenproof 6-ounce pudding cups or ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until puddings barely jiggle when shimmied and/or a knife tip inserted into the center of puddings comes out clean. Try not to overbake.
While they bake, combine topping ingredients in a small bowl. When the puddings are cooked through, transfer to a cooling rack on the counter and leave oven on. Spoon 2 tablespoons of sour cream mixture onto first pudding and use a small offset spatula, butter knife or spoon to quickly (it will get melty fast) spread it over the top of the first pudding. Repeat with remaining puddings.
Return puddings to oven for 5 more minutes, then cool completely at room temperature, about 1 to 2 hours. Chill until ready to serve. Eat with a gingersnap.
Yield: About 4 dozen
2 1/4 cups (281 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (2 to 3 grams) table salt
3 teaspoons (6 grams) ground ginger
1 teaspoon (2 grams) cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 sticks (8 ounces or 227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (96 grams) light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup (79 ml) unsulphured molasses
Optional, for even more of a ginger kick: Add 1 to 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (with the wet ingredients) or 1 to 2 tablespoons finely minced candied ginger (with the dry ingredients).
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars together until fluffy, about three minutes on medium. Add egg and molasses and beat until combined. Add dry ingredient and beat at low speed until just combined. Thoroughly scrape down bowl, ensuring ingredients are evenly mixed.
Transfer your cookie dough to plastic wrap — mine was quite soft and I felt like I was spreading frosting over plastic. I used a plate to support it. Chill in fridge for at least two hours, until firm.
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Roll dough into 1-inch balls and spread at least two inches apart on baking sheets that have either been greased or lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, which is a long range. In the 10 to 12 range, the cookies will be softer. In the 13 to 15 range, a bit snappier. In both cases, you’ll want to leave them on their baking sheets for long enough that they’re firm enough to be transferred to a cooling rack with a spatula, anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes. Cool cookies completely before packing up.
Apple Pie Cookies
Yield: Yeah, so we started eating them before I counted but I’m going to say more than 24 and less than 30 2 1/2-inch (6 1/3 cm) cookies
2 1/2 cups (313 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surfaces, dipping fork
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar (doubled from my standard pie dough to make this more cookie-like)
1 teaspoon (4 grams) table salt
2 sticks (225 grams, 8 ounces, 16 tablespoons or 1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold
1/2 cup (118 ml) water, very cold (I pour 1 cup and add ice while I work, then measure 1/2 cup from it when I need it)
3 medium apples, whatever you like to bake with
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
Few gratings fresh nutmeg
A pinch of any other spices you like in your apple pie
1 large egg
Coarse or granulated sugar for garnish
A couple baking sheets covered with parchment paper
Rolling pin, pastry brush (for egg wash), fork (for crimping and dipping) and sharp knife (to make slits)
Two round cookie cutters of different sizes. I used 2 1/2-inch and 1 1/2 to 1 3/4-inch rounds. You’ll want to make sure there’s at least a 3/4-inch different in the sizes, as you’ll need the extra margin to crimp your dough.
Make your pie dough: Whisk together flour, sugar and salt in the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl. Using a pastry blender, two forks or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour until the biggest pieces of butter are the size of small peas. (You’ll want to chop your butter into small bits first, unless you’re using a very strong pastry blender in which case you can throw the sticks in whole, as I did.) Gently stir in the ice water with a rubber spatula, mixing it until a craggy mass forms. Get your hands in the bowl and knead it just two or three times to form a ball. Divide dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and flatten a bit, like a disc. Chill in fridge for at least an hour or up to two days. [Even more detailed pie dough instructions in this post, check it out!]
Meanwhile, get everything else together: Line up six small dishes. In the first one, pour some water. Leave the second one empty; you’ll use it for your apples in a bit. In the third one, mix the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and any other spices you like in your pie, such as a pinch of cloves. In the fourth one, place a little bit of flour to dust your surface and dip your fork for crimping. In the fifth one, whisk an egg with one teaspoon of water until smooth. In the last one, or in whatever container you keep it in, add some coarse or regular sugar for decorating the tops of the pies. You are very likely thinking I’ve lost my mind by now and you may not be terribly far off.
On a well-floured counter, roll out your pie dough pretty thin, a little shy of 1/8-inch thick. Lift and rotate your dough as you roll it, to ensure that it rolls out evenly and so you can be sure it’s not sticking in any place. [More rolling tips here!] Use the larger of your two cookie cutters [mine was 2 1/2-inch) to cut as many rounds as you can from the dough. Transfer them to parchment-lined baking sheets and keep them in the fridge until you need them. Once you’ve finished the first packet, repeat the process with the second packet of dough
Prepare your apples: Peel your apples. Cut thin (1/8-inch thick) slices from one side of whole apple, stopping when you hit the core. Repeat on opposite side. I got about 10 usable slices from each side of my small-medium-ish apples. Use the smaller of your two cookie cutters (mine was about 1 2/3 inches) to cut the apples into cute little discs that will fit inside your pie cookies. Place them in your second bowl, covering them with a few drops of lemon juice if you find that they’re browning quickly.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
And now, assemble away! Grab your first disc of chilled dough and lightly dampen it on one side with the water. This is to help it seal. Take your first disc of apple and toss it in the cinnamon spice sugar. Place it on the damp side of the bottom disk. Place a second disc of dough on top; I found it easiest to seal it by picking the whole thing up (this is when you’ll be glad that your dough is cold and semi-firm; if it’s soft and getting sticky, chill it until it’s easy to pick up) and press the tops and bottoms around the apple with your fingers. Back on the floured counter, cut decorative slits in your “pies”. Dip your fork in the flour and use it to create a decorative crimp on the sealed edges. Brush your cookie with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Replace on baking sheet and chill while you prepare the others. About now, you’ll curse your friendly food blogger for getting you into such an exacting cookie making process but I promise, the first couple are slow and the rest come together very quickly.
Bake your apple pie cookies for 25 minutes, or until puffed and bronzed and very pie-like. (If this is your first batch, peer in at them at 20 minutes, to make sure your oven doesn’t run hot.) Transfer to a cooling rack to cool before eating them… oh haha. I forgot who I was talking to.
Holiday Gift Idea for the friend with recipe excellence! Gold Label Recipe Box!
Yum S’Mores Cookies….Ummaaammmmmazing
With the holidays season vastly approaching these cookies look delicious!!! Ingredients and step by step below…Have Fun and Enjoy!!
11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ½ cups flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
3 regular sized Hershey’s bars, broken into pieces
1-2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment paper. I used one 11x17 pan and one 9x13 pan but you can really use any sized pans you want.
Lay out graham crackers side by side on the pans as close as possible (they should be touching). I used 16 graham cracker squares on one pan and 10 squares on another. You may have to add or remove graham crackers according to how much dough you have. If you want your cookies thicker you will use more dough and less graham crackers.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon to combine. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with white and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixer and combine on low speed.
Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight (I did one batch right away and another after chilling overnight and found there was no difference.)
Place tablespoons of dough on graham crackers about 1 – 1 ½ inches apart. I averaged about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough per graham cracker square as seen in the picture above. Press down slightly with fingertips.
Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven to press Hershey’s bar pieces on to the top. You can place as many pieces or as little as you want depending how much chocolate flavor you want.
Bake for 5 – 7 more minutes or until dough is beginning to turn golden brown at the edges. Remove to a wire rack to cool. For clean cutting make sure cookies are completely cool and cut with a sharp knife.
For more food recipes the-girl-who-ate-everything.com